If you do send units to Palmyra and Canton and he wants them, he has to bring his units a long way and if you have S-boats n the area with working torpedoes, any damaged ships from torpedoes or any other action will take a long time to get to a repair yard. That much force away from other locations can also help slow down any other adventures and/or make them vulnerable.
That's my vision indeed. Some kind of counter-value strategy. At least, that's the intention...
You seem to be looking mostly at Infantry units because of their Assault Value. You should consider Marine Defence Battalions for their arty and CD capabilities. I think they have reasonable AA values as well. There are some tank battalions on the US west coast that can also be bought out fairly cheaply. The IJA and SNLF/Naval Guard units do not have much in the way of anti-armour value at this stage in the war so tanks are great for atoll defence unless he brings rapid-fire (anti-tank) guns or his own tanks.
Use subs, mines and PTs to discourage bombardments.
The two Marine Defence Batallions which begin the war in PH have been loaded yesterday (when KB was 11hexes away and going down SOUTH-WEST) and are moving toward Johnston Island and Christmas Island.
I'm not concerned much by SNLF, rather by all those pesky brigades which start in Onshu. With a little bit more than 200PPs, he can free them up and 252AV ashore are quite tough to hold for my troops.
Tanks would be ideal, same goes with ART, but I have nothing at hand right now. I'm quite worried by the next very few weeks, a timespan in which I wouldn't be able to reinforce those places from the West Coast due to geographical limitations (it's a long trip).
My understanding is that units with AT guns don't have increased anti-armor capabilities, though. As far as I know, AT guns shot only in defense. Have I lived for years under the wrong assumption? It wouldn't be the first time
You are correct that any Allied garrison cannot withstand a full on offensive from the IJ in strength at this point in the war.
A US Army regiment of approx. 120 AV is surprisingly challenging to dislodge at the bases you have listed. Two naval guards/SNLF may be equal in terms of AV, but the firepower factor is misleading considering the different TOE's and the number of MMG's in US Army units (to say nothing of artillery largely lacking from the IJN infantry).
Some considerations are:
- the general absence of developed airbases means that carrier aircraft are required to protect amphibious ships.
- generally poor port facilities leads to a dependence on tenders to keep IJ ships in operational conditions. Meanwhile the USN has full advantage of a first rate fleet base at Pearl.
- Catalina patrols should be able to provide ample warning of any incoming fleet given the distances involved.
- A full on divisional landing requires a large consumption of fuel and operation of ships at the end of a long logistics tail.
To put it simply, is a US Army regiment a good exchange for getting IJN CA's, BB's and amphibs lugging a division this far east?
As BBfanboy suggests, some mines to ruin their day on arrival, PT boats to waste some ammo (long way to Truk to rearm, unless they're lugging tenders along too!) and some USN ships (or even CVs?) waiting in the wings. Midway by another name.
As mentioned above, SNLF/NavGuards are not my concern. Those damn 252AV brigades are. They're very tough to block and their TOEs are farily good even late in the game. Those small allied units work well against the usual SNLF/NavGuards, but against those IJA brigades it's like stopping a train with a paper sheet...
Indeed, my posture is to make a series of decent strong points so that he has to mobilize his assets in force to capture them.
If you ask me, if I were him I'd do my usual moves that are: landing in Suva and getting the place, setting some kind of forward base there while in various dots around Luganville I disband the train of support ships. Then, with the logistical base in Suva, I can easily dominate the whole sector.
In my current Japanese match, I've fought for an entire month in the area in Feb-42 using just AKEs, AOs, TKs and the like to resupply my ships. And I have a very heavy presence (10xBBs + KB + etcetc), fighting what looks like the entire damn USN.
What I mean is that the support ships can do the trick with relative ease for short campaigns and I suspect Omar is such a good player not to neglect these logistical aspects.
Fundamentally, I'm frightened at the idea of him doing what I would do: arriving in forces with those nasty 252AV brigades on fast cargoes and with an insane train of support ships to mantain operational strength without many issues.
The only thing that creates me issues in the setting above when I play Japanese is the need of having a base with enough supplies to replenish CV airgroups, something not that hard to accomplish also.