From: Millersburg, OH
Since I've been invited I'll chip in. In future though probably best to post in the STAVKA thread as I have subscription on to that thread to let me know when someone posts and don't check the rest of the forum all that carefully.
There is some information missing which hampers the attempt to craft a helpful answer so I'll ask for some more info first:
1. Can you post a strategic map view of what you hold and what he holds?
2. Can you post his plane losses vs yours?
3. You've spoken about your opponent's distaste for the land war and appearance of thriving on the naval war. While your assessment of his focus/ability is, of course, important when assessing his critical vulnerability I think that your writing down what HE has stated his strengths are would be most helpful, followed by him stating what he doesn't like. I'd also be very interested in the answer to the question of whether he has just expressed distaste for "land war in China" OR whether he has shown the insight to link his distaste with his failure to act in a critical theatre?
Distaste is irrelevant. What is effective and efficient is relevant. I might have a distaste of the land war in China but if it the theatre of decision then my distaste won't prevent me focusing my time and energy on planning the operations necessary to achieve the strategic objections within the theatre in order to meet my grand strategic goal.
Your opponent, from what you say and from the screenshots you have posted, seems to do what he likes and ignore what he doesn't. If this is true and he doesn't learn from this then you can exploit this to defeat him.
4. What HRs do you have for China? Do you have limits on the use of Chinese Corps? Do you have limits on strategic bombing in China or from China.
5. Are you using stacking limits for ground warfare?
Basic advice which is true irrespective of any answers to the above:
A. It seems he does what he likes and ignores what he doesn't. Rob him of this choice and he will become increasingly frustrated. Played properly the majority of games are not WON by one player but LOST by one player. Frustrate him and he will rapidly engage in choices which degrade his forces, position and personal morale. All you then have to do is make reasonable choices and resist the temptation to do anything showy and he will lose the game to you for you.
B. The loss of 6 CVs isn't much of a handicap. It simply limits and delays your ability to commit landings in the Pacific in the face of opposition from KB. You can still land forces in the face of LBA when KB isn't around and you can still island hop under your own land based fighter cover. Just resist the temptation to risk CVs until you have a decisive advantage and you can rapidly advance in the Pacific from mid-43/end-43 depending on how safe you want to be. The key point though is that you can still advance wherever KB isn't--- and you can speed up your ability to resist KB by swapping out your strike planes for all-fighter airgroups. Right there, 4 US CVs should be able to put up enough fighters to slaughter most attacks from KB. Optimise your CV cover for defence instead of attack and you need far fewer CVs to fend off KB and can launch amphibious invasions much earlier than you would normally expect.
C. I've twice won Scenario 2 games as Allies ( starting on 8th December once and taking over from an Allied player who surrendered ) whilst voluntarily not using Allied CVs for anything other than aircraft transfer. No offensive missions or even CAP from any Allied CV ( including British ). I just made China the theatre of decision, kept the Burma road open or re-opened it and then use British, American, Australian and Chinese land forces to push down to Singapore and across to Shanghai. In one of the games I even captured all of Korea and invaded the Japanese home islands without ever using CVs for anything other than air transport from CONUSA to Australia or India.
So, my advice would be
1.sort out the supply problems in Southern India ( build the bases up so that even with monsoon conditions they pull sufficient supply to support an air bridge into China ),
2. Use EVERY transport and bomber you have to fly supplies into China - losses are irrelevant in this mission.
3. move your defending Chinese forces into better defensive terrain ( you are defending in open terrain in many places ). Assume you can move Chinese forces into x2 or x 3 defensive terrain. Assume you are currently using 50 Chinese Armies to defend. Well, if you put them in x2 and x 3 terrain that means you can mount a defence which is just as strong using no more than 25 armies. The other 25 can be freed up for offensive action. If you don't have HRs against it I'd push them to re-open the Burma road.
4. Once the Burma Road is open build bases to draw supply into China, use the Chinese forces to aid the Allies in retaking Burma and then begin the sweep down into Malaysia, Vietnam and coastal China.
5. End-game push into Korea and hop across a few measly hexes of water under LRCAP. This assumes you get to the southern tip of Korea before January 1944 ... something which is eminently doable ... and are a cautious player who won't want to risk your CVs before you are assured of superiority in early 44. If you are willing to risk CVs early then, of course, you can combine the above with a Pacific thrust or carrier support in the South China Sea - which will speed things up through seaborne envelopment of Japanese coastal fortress along the Vietnamese and Chinese coastlines.
For you this will be much easier because once you have enough carriers you can put pressure onto Japan in the Pacific although, if I were you, I'd instead invest the CVs into the DEI and coastal China campaigns as that will strangle Japanese SLOCs and bring about their collapse much more rapidly than a slow, wasteful Pacific campaign.
Bottom line though, so you lost 6 CVs? You can still prosecute amphibious invasions so long as KB isn't around ( although your losses will, necessarily, increase ). Alternately if you don't want to make a naval campaign through the Pacific your means of decision then there are other ways to beat Japan rapidly and effectively.... even without the use of CVs.
If you follow this latter path I would expect your opponent to resign at some point as he would not "enjoy" that approach. The question then becomes if you are playing for his enjoyment, yours, to explore interesting strategic gambits or some weighted variation of all of the above. That's something only you can answer.
Summary: No carriers, no cry. Just batter him to death on land.
Thank you for responding, and for all of the advice / insights. I'm at work, so it will be this evening before I can post a strategic map and the plane loss summary. To answer a couple of questions -
"distaste" was my word, paraphrasing my impression of his attitude. He has used the word "boring" a couple of times in our communications. He is very proud of his conduct of carrier operations. I complimented him on one particular operation and his response was along the lines of " I'm the best carrier guy since Halsey".
No HR's on China of any sort. No stacking limits on land warfare.