From: Chapel Hill, NC, USA
The third critical step in my master plan is "Know thy enemy". Everyone who has been on these forums more than an hour knows Mike is the Production JFB. He loves the planning and logistics challenges of getting the Japanese economy up and running, and then keeping it running efficiently for as long as he can. He used to do this for a living with the Army and DLA, for Pete's sake! What he doesn't want is to throw everything into a longshot gamble to knock out Australia, for example, or to invade Portland. For Mike, the best challenge is keeping his economy, and Japan, alive and functioning as long as he can.
I hope to be able to use Mike's love of the economics to get him to react to me a bit by hitting him at production and industrial locations. I'll focus on hitting his oil as much as I can. Since I expect him to have an abundance of HI points, etc, in his economy, trying to win a battle of attrition with him in the air or on the ground will be a long game. The one area that he can't over produce with a very strong economy is ships. I will look to hit and sink any and all types of Japanese shipping when ever I can.
I expect his expansion phase of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere will be methodical, but very efficient and focused. He knows he needs to get those resources and oil flowing as quickly as he can. This likely means the KB will fairly quickly move to this theater and a few "extra" ground forces will likely be dedicated to the job. I don't have any illusions of being able to stop him here in early '42, but I won't hand the area to him either. Our last game didn't get very far, so not much of my game plan was tipped, but Mike fully expected me to do a full on "Brave Sir Robin". He was caught off guard when I was able to hit him with a couple of small but hard counter punches. I know he remembers that and won't be surprised by them this time.
I will try to pull my ground forces into a couple of bastions, including Singers, Bataan, and somewhere on Java. A few delaying roadblock forces will be left in place to make his guys actually fight a little bit instead of riding trains right up to the gates of Singapore, et al. I'll try to salvage any shipping from the region that I can and some of the air squadrons. I will also try to fly/ship out some fragments for rebuilding, especially valuable Naval Base Forces and HQ units. I may buy out one of the Dutch defense forces as well and move them to Darwin to make use of the replacement pools. The overall goal for this region early on will be to hit as many of Mike's ships as I can and use up as much of the Japanese Amphib Bonus.
The India theater will see Ceylon reinforced by all of the unrestricted Indian Rgts and some air. The British 18th and later the Aussie 6th and 7th Divisions will head to Darwin and/or any other threatened part of Australia. The forces in Burma will keep a garrison and screening force in place and try to get the rest to pull back to Mandalay and then fall back to India. If Mike wants to take Burma he will, when ever he wants to. I just want to make him have to fight a bit and not just walk in. I'd like to keep the Burma Road open as long as I can for the critical supply and to allow most of the "non-perm restricted" Chinese LCUs to be bought out and escape to India along with the bulk of the Chinese "Air Force". The troops can grow strong on the supply in India without draining all of the very limited supply in China and the pilots can train, train, train until they get some real aircraft to fly. I'll probably try to get a supply convoy into Rangoon very early to see if I can manage to pull some extra supply into China from there. I've not had good luck with this process in the past. The supply just seems to move so slowly on it's way. Perhaps a tutorial on the mechanics of getting this supply pump to work better would help me.
The USN will take her licks on Day 1, then play it pretty conservative, while looking for opportunities to land a punch or two. I'll defend and fortify a bit on Johnston, Palmyra, Canton Island, and a bit stronger at Pago. From that base, I'll push into Suva to support a move in strength into Noumea. If Mike beats me to Noumea, then Auckland will get lots of strength. Nothing will go unescorted after the first few days of ships running everywhere. All ships that are eventually capable of upgrading to APA or AKA will immediately be ordered to Panama for off map duty running supplies to Capetown from the UK and US East Coast. I'll have at least one more large supply convoy running the same route. I'd like to get a lot of supply into Australia, and especially Darwin, from Capetown. Fuel from Abadan will also feed Australia, using Capetown as a long detour for safety if necessary.
None of this is really any different from my plans in our first game. Since that one ended early in January of '42, Mike didn't get any ideas of my planning, other than that I won't do a full on Brave Sir Robin.
"Good times will set you free" - Jimmy Buffett
"They need more rum punch" - Me
Artwork by The Amazing Dixie