From: Columbia, Missouri
There has been much talk about whether the Japanese are overpowered at the start of 1941 or not. Whether they have enough oil, etc.
#1 Japan should be overpowered.
If Japan is invading India or Australia before February 1942 they are leaving something wide open. The problem with right now is they can do this because the Allies cannot strike back and the player knows this.
#2 Japan should have about 80 more oil in starting stockpile.
Having played Japan a couple of beginnings I do believe Japan should have about a further 80 oil in their stockpile. On the first turn, to invade and do all they have to do, Japan uses around 50 oil. On their second turn Japan can use about the same. That means by the time they hit January 4th they have enough fuel for that turn, but nothing afterword. Japan should be able to last till February before they need are running out.
#3 The US should start with 20 transports and 20 landing craft.
Currently the way the game is setup the Japanese know they have 0 threat from the US. This threat of the US landing a division could reign in the Japanese a little preventing them from just bypassing places and going directly to India or Australia.
As the Japanese currently I have no need to invade Wake Island, Guam, or Tarawa. Why should I? The Americans cannot reinforce them. The earliest the US can get a single transport, good for 1 division, is March 23rd. This means I can effectively ignore Wake, Guam, and Tarawa and invade them in say February or so. With the US starting with 20 transports they do not have enough to drastically change things, but they have enough to move some air units and to be a threat that Japan has to take seriously. If I, as Japan, know that that US has some transports I now have to invade Wake, Guam, and Tarawa for fear that the US moves into them.
#4 It would pressure the Japanese to complete their conquest.
Currently the US can have landing craft, in numbers, by mid-March 1942. With 20 transports and getting some more in March and early April it would pressure the Japanese to get conquest done because by the Middle of April into June the US is ready to Strike.