From: OH, USA
Hiya, here for a few comments about our game specifically and about the greater balance:
1. I was able to get a lot going in Australia because, I believe, neither northern cities were ungarrisoned. Noumea fell turn 2-4.
2. Naval superiority was ensured when kennon attempted to lift the blockade off Fiji-ish area with the entire USN fleet sans repairing ships turn 3-4. I had a bad PH harbor attack, too, with ~15 total damage. I intercepted with the full KB with an oiler and managed I think ~15 damage or so. Kennon tried to push a DD off north of NZ convoy a few turns later, and KB returned with a COMINT on noumea (you were too close, so I got the bonus there). Note I used only 1-2 other oilers this game, usually as emergency due to bad planning. The gifted amount could probably be toned down a bit to force player commitment. I think you were too overzealous with them. I think Canberra managed to kill two BB by itself, so if you sat tight (hard to do), you probably would have had more say in the Australia invasion. I did publish before that KB can hide turn 1-2 so USN should steer clear until their location can be identified.
3. India, not shown, I cleared I believe 3 counters early on. I managed to push the Moulmein crossing turn 2 with air and I think naval. If Japan is that aggressive/lucky, India CANNOT afford to lose units. Units are lost with ZOC bypassing. Get around this by bringing either command army or forming a small corps early. Ungarrison ASAP, so you're not trailing a 2 OP unit. In our game, I pushed Calcutta off with a fleet and PT resupply and 3 armies and 2 ground attack air around March-May. However, it's not sustainable to Delhi on a shoestring, so the Ceylon approach is probably better.
4. I got Batavia turn 2. I landed 3 SNLF and actually claimed the city with a 4th division. This was not cheap but let me keep the entire fleet going continuously.
5. The army landing bug at Philippines really hurt my LC. I was almost out by February. However, I only actually bought 6 more LC over the entire course of the game. I had ~40 remaining after last turn landings in southern Australia.
6. China, not shown, had 3-5 armies pushing Changsha, two departing after it fell. 2 armies in the north. I kept an extremely sparse garrison but made sure no partisans were able to be formed. Extra units went to Australia.