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What is the best strategy for Japan to Win

 
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What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 5:58:51 PM   
norsemanjs

 

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It has been a long week without my daily fix of the WITP forum.

In order to start some good discussion what is the best strategy for Japan to follow in order to win. From the AAR's which the tester's have kindly shared with us it looks like the first 12-18 months could be hotly contested. After that the avalanche of US production will really bury Japan.

How far should Japan go in it's expansion attempts?

What are the key geographical objectives of the Japanese expansion?

Are there any (realistic) changes Japan can make to it's production schedule that can help to win the war?

What about China? (Japan aggresive, passive, or balanced)

India? is it worthwhile trying to push through Burma cutting of China.

Australia? Should Japan try to cut the supply and communication from US or is it too expensive in material. Or even invade?

Hawaii? Should be very difficult to take unless it is the prime objective of the first 4 months of the war, and force Japan to ignore PI and perhaps limit attacks toward Malaysia. Is there any possibility of taking and holding Hawaii, should Japan try?

Alaska/Aleutians? Back door to the US west coast or dead end?

New Zealand? Unbelievable perhaps but possible?, really long supply lines.

Most of these thoughts are more than just a little out there. But if players playing Japan don't do something drastic they won't won't have a chance. Or will they?
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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 6:22:34 PM   
Brady


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From What I have gathered in reading the excelent reports from the testers is that in the long haul, it is best for Japan to Not play at all:)



That is,if they are looking to win.:)

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 6:51:48 PM   
norsemanjs

 

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I am afraid that in the end you are right. And no matter how inevitable the outcome may be, I will play the game.

Maybe a better question would be how can they stay competitive the longest.

But I still strive and look for a way for Japan to force an early victory. That is of course when I'm playing Japan, when I'm playing the Allies I try to bleed the Japanese early and contest everything because I know reinforcements are on the way.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 7:47:02 PM   
Mike Scholl

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Brady

From What I have gathered in reading the excelent reports from the testers is that in the long haul, it is best for Japan to Not play at all:)

That is,if they are looking to win.:)


YOU'VE HIT IT ON THE HEAD. If you are looking for a "win" in terms of a chess game,
you have to have "equal" sides. The War in the Pacific is NOT equal---not even close.
So if you play the Japanese side, you have to have a different definition of "winning";
it's more a matter of "quality of loss". Did you inflict maximum damage on the Allies?
Did you hold out longer than they thought you could? Did you manage to slip in a
"victory" on your opponant during the late war by catching him "with his pants down."?
You WILL get pounded in the end---but did you manage to bite your "mugger" on the
ankle while he was kicking you? You need a different mind-set.

(in reply to Brady)
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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 8:34:28 PM   
MikeH1952

 

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Being English, my response is "It's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts"

Seriously I think that the victory conditions might take care of this. I think that you could get a lot of satisfaction from bettering the historical Japanese performance

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 8:39:37 PM   
norsemanjs

 

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So what is the best strategy for Japan to "over achieve" and improve on the historical outcome?

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 8:46:29 PM   
Drex

 

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Yes, inquiring minds want to know!

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 8:46:42 PM   
madflava13


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I'd say delay every major Allied offensive as long as possible. Assuming for argument's sake that the Allied player does everything historically, you (as the Japanese player) should delay Guadalcanal until at least Spring 1943. Hopefully you'd take Noumea or Canton as well, further delaying the Allied advance. Basically slow the Allies down and bleed them at every step. As the Japanese player, I'd consider it a victory if the Allied timetable was delayed by 6 months.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 8:54:18 PM   
pad152

 

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Winning for Japan - seems to come down to how long you can keep the economy going and keeping the enemy out of your resource areas. The war is over once Japan stops producting fuel/production points. Attacking the US, or trying to capture OZ, China, etc. looks like it's going to just be a complete waste of resources.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 8:54:29 PM   
MikeH1952

 

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I agree with Norseman. Holding the defensive perimeter longer than the Japs actually did, preventing US bombing of the Home Islands. I think is is more viable than invading India or Australia

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 8:56:05 PM   
norsemanjs

 

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Madflava has a good point. But just as important as delaying and inflicting allied casualties is preserving the major elements of the IJN air and sea forces.

With Japans' limited ability to replace losses they need to avoid a fair fight. They need to choose their battles wisely and make sure they have solid superiority to minimize their own losses.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 8:57:14 PM   
madflava13


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Norsemen, I agree completely. You certainly can't delay the end without the major units available...

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 9:07:13 PM   
Drex

 

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Establishing and holding the defensive perimeter is what Japan originally wanted to accomplish until Midway did them in, and I think that is still the best way to go. Just take Midway before the US can get there.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 11:37:52 PM   
pasternakski


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I agree. My initial approach as the Japanese is going to be, "Refine what they did historically, look for areas of opportunity to expand my holdings and strategic-economic base (but not to the point of becoming overextended), kick the crap out of the American navy to a greater extent than was done historically, and then dig in and fight like he11 for every inch of ground."

I should be able to "win" sometimes under reasonable victory conditions, and maybe once in a blue moon against some epsilon minus semi-moron (or the AI, which is likely to be easy meat), win as in "winning the war."

It's going to be a lot of fun trying on behalf of either side, I think.

(as an aside, is anyone else POed because you can't be something other than the "Matrix this or that?" I used to like being Billy Pilgrim - and other things that whimsically occurred to me, and I hate being part of anybody's "Legion of Merit" or whatever. Maybe I'm missing something, but I haven't found a way to change that part of my pseudo-identity. What think ye, o great mass of egotistical and independent brethren?).

Get 'er done and bring 'er on.

< Message edited by pasternakski -- 2/7/2004 4:44:28 PM >


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And the people let me down.
So, I turned the other way,
And I carry on anyhow.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/7/2004 11:52:12 PM   
madflava13


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I'd be happier about being a "Matrix ____" if I had my 60-70 odd missing posts back... Maybe I just need to be more prolific, huh? AoW forum here I come!

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 1:54:30 AM   
Drex

 

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I'll give you 60-70 of my posts for one of those Mooseheads!

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 2:02:05 AM   
Luskan

 

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Well, since I'm WIA (no PC) for another week or two, I've got nothing better than to indulge you in my WITP strategems. Nice to be able to get in a long one before Mogami ;)

Japan doesn't want midway. It is a useless rock out in the pacific that has vulnerable approaches for either side. What Japan wants isn't a wide defensive perimeter, but a maintainable one. Best thing to do is expand over the top of the initially immobile and helpless allies and "mop them up" after you've cut them off. Your perimeter should be the one that keeps the greatest amount of empty ocean between you and your opponent possible. Still not sure where the line is good in the Solomons - The game modelling at the moment makes me think Lunga is probably an island or two too far. Anyway, the principle is simple. You pick your ground with a long clear line of fire and you settle in to wait. Don't waste troops on stupid places without resources you don't need, or that aren't of critical strategic value. Then when the US comes a knocking, make sure you win a CV battle. After that, it is just about making the bastards bleed bleed bleed. China is an excellent place to pick up some early victory points if you are willing to sacrifice the fighting units (my experience is that divisions sent to china after they've been in the SRA conquest generally don't ever return to defnd the SRA).

Admittedly, the way the allied fanboys are going there isn't going to be any such thing (I can just see B17s dogfighting zeroes in 1941, shooting them down, then continuing on the same mission to complete the bombing of helpless IJN CVs from 35000ft (sinking them all and strafing them with all guns from that high as well - the US crews were THAT good) before the B17 continues to complete their primary mission by dropping thousands of elite US paratroopers all over the Japanese Isles. Of course the Paratroopers are all basically Rambo/John Wayne/Terminator types who struggle mightily before winning the fight against Japan. War over. Whole thing only took about 4 months, and that is what we like to call historically accurate!

2. Lots of players and testers loose sight of the main objective: resources. As the Japanese player you should be stealing oil, heavy industry, manpower and resources from the very first day, and have your automatic convoys resurrecting your industry from that very first day. None of this "I'll take malaya and the P.I. first, and although it will take a month or two at the minimum, I'll get the industry after that". No - sacrifice some troops from your initial invading onslaughts to go and take places like Kendari (lots of supply, a bit of fuel) Balikpapan (oil!), Brunei and Miri (Oil) Palembang (Oil, but probably a bit too far), and a few of the reources rich Chinese bases that you can steal if your Chinese opponent is crazy enough to concentrate his forces (you can concentrate way better than he can. That big huge army vs huge army battle never ends well for the Chinese). A good chinese opponent will keep individual units spread way the hell over the countryside so that the IJA can't concentrate against them, and therefore can't risk advancing without being cut off.

3. Rangoon/Burma. Not sure how to play this one, but there are resources down there that you can steal, at least for a year or two before the British come an adventuring. Denying them a few airbases isn't a bad idea either.

More diatribe to come later - too hungy atm.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 2:23:00 AM   
madflava13


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I agree with everything you just said, with the exception of Midway being a useless rock. I think the IJN should take it early while the taking's good. Slap a dinky little garrison on it and some small planes. The Allied player has one more base they need to take now. Keeping the island means any Allied advance through the Central Pacific has a thorn in its side that can (potentially) be used as a staging base for IJN raids. Although I'm not as familiar with the supply situation as the testers, I've got to believe that unless the U.S. parks some CVs off Midway, the IJN can probably keep the island supplied. If the U.S. does park those CVs there, well then they're not elsewhere countering the IJN or supporting Allied landings... All this is of course subject to how easily supplied the base is. In that regard I before the testers and their expertise... (Couldn't resist the new smiley)

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 3:31:15 AM   
Drex

 

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A look at the Pacific shows nothing between Midway and the Aleutians. This gap could be used for an approach behind the perimeter if Midway is not secured as a major outpost. Any sally from Pearl could be spotted. Perhaps the Japanese original perimeter was on too wide of an arc. Starting from thailand, go Sumatra-Java-Timor-Halmahera (skip NG and the Solomons)-Carolines and Truk-Kwajalein-Wake-Midway-Attu. I have mixed feelings about Attu and the need to keep any base there except for the smallest outpost. It might be better to have pickets in front of Sakhalin or Hokkaido.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 3:33:18 AM   
Hoplosternum


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The problem with Midway is that it is unsupportable by other land bases of the Japanese. Once the IJN cannot scare away the US fleet because it isweaker or engaged elsewhere the planes and garisson on Midway are doomed. You are just giving VPs away and wasting useful units.

The allies need not be routing much past Midway anyway. It's not on the way to anywhere so the bombers you put there will not have many targets except when the counter attack comes. It would make a good submarine base if you intend to raid beyond Pearl with your I boats. But even then I imagine the US subs will have fun with your supply transports to Midway. I think this is one the Japanese want to leave alone.

There does not seem to be any line the Japanese can safely stop at and sit back and defend. Once they are static the allies will roll them up. The balance of forces and the increasing quality gap is just too great against a human opponent. I think the Japanese probably went too far (or tried to) historically and lost their offensive punch at Midway and Guadalcanal.

A better strategy maybe to stop not much further than the SRA, Mandates and Rabaul - Northern New Guinea. But instead of bunkering down to keep launching spoiling attacks. By all means go and take Midway. Kill off it's garisson and bag a few VPs. Maybe you'll get lucky and the US carriers will fight at a disadvantage and lose. But once you take it I'd withdraw. Otherwise it will cost you more than it lost him. Likewise with Darwin, Noumea, Trincomalee etc. They are great targets to hit and maybe grab. But trying to keep them will just hurt the Japanese in the long run. They are too far away to be supported and spread the Japanese perimiter to wide and thin.

I think the Japanese must try for some kind of 'Midway' battle. And then win it then do it again Otherwise the allies will just start wearing down the Japanese where ever they are in contact. Soon the plane losses will lead to a fall off in experience and shipping losses - transports etc even if you keep the big ships safe - will soon kick in. The Japanese need to keep the allies off balance and basically on the defensive for as long as possible. Besides I want to try my luck in '42 when my CVs can compete. Or '43 at the latest. The Japanese held back until '44 IRL and lost most of their Carriers and Battleships for a handful of destroyers at Leyte and the Philippine Sea. How can you do any worse by trying something else?

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 3:35:26 AM   
pasternakski


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Moosebreath sucks. Work him for a couple of cases of Labatt's Ice (in the black can).

Speaking of which, anybody know where a poor, disenfranchised Californicator can get any of that Labatt's Ice?

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Put my faith in the people
And the people let me down.
So, I turned the other way,
And I carry on anyhow.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 4:31:23 AM   
Mike Scholl

 

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Starting to see a lot of realistic ideas out there. One thing to remember is that the Allied Player will have the advantage of hindsight as well. It could easily be that in game terms holding out until August of 1945 IS a goal that could be thought of as "winning". The game will actually have to be PLAYED several times between reasonably matched opponants before we know for sure what a "good" Japanese performance is. One of the main reasons I feel victory points for intermediary targets to be a waste of time in this instance. Jack Rady's definition is going to be the best one for now. "If one of you kicked the snot out of the other, you won---otherwise it's a draw (a Japanese WIN)

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 4:46:49 AM   
madflava13


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Hoplosternum-
I wasn't implying that the Japanese player put up a fight at Midway when the allied player comes to invade. Whatever aircraft I put there would be removed well before the final battle came. I meant only to put enough of a force there to make the Allied player fight for the island. Doing that for each outpost island, and hopefully ambushing the occasional invasion is the only way I can see the IJN player delaying the war.

Mike Scholl -
I think that's a really important point that I know I didn't think of until you mentioned it - the Allied player in WiTP should be achieving final victory faster than was historical. Because of hindsight our timetables will be shorter. I still think a Japanese "win" is delaying the Allied victory by 6 months or greater. 6 months beyond what date is where I am still stuck, as no one I know of has played this game to the point where the Allies are landing in Japan or dropping the A-Bomb.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 5:48:18 AM   
Drex

 

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Of course the City of Chico is home to the internationally famous "Sierra Nevada" brew, I live only a few blocks from the brewery and on a good day(downwind) I can almost get a good buzz.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 5:54:32 AM   
Drex

 

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I would only make Midway an outpost with patrol planes. Canton Island could be a developed base with bombers and a cv force ready to move, likewise Iwo and Guam. Make Wake, Kwajalein and Nauru outposts supported by Truk. the Japanese plan should be based on the theory of interior lines. Mogami has suggested as much in PacWar and UV.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 7:33:37 AM   
pasternakski


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This is what makes the subject so fascinating, I think. Japan actually sets out to fight three wars: the one that started in China in 1937, the campaign to secure the Southern Resource Area, and the attempt to set up a defensible perimeter against the inevitable Allied counteroffensive from the east and southeast.

The China war (in which I include for general discussion purposes the conflict with Commonwealth forces in South Asia and the Indian Ocean) is one that demands commitment of large numbers of ground troops with supporting air assets. It is a meatgrinder, but opportunities for greatness may present themselves for either side.

The SRA campaign has a definable end demarcated by the southern extremity of the Dutch pre-WWII possessions. Here, the job has to be done quickly by a reasoned mix of naval, air, and ground units. Once the objectives on the ground are taken, most of the Japanese military assets can be reassigned to other duty. East or west, that is the question, and in what proportion?

The war against America starts, of course, with the Philippines and ends as dictated by the measure of American and Australian/New Zealand success. This is the "mother lovin' gut-bustin' Navy war." Relatively small numbers of ground troops act to secure vital airbases with the support of naval and naval air forces.

Where do you go, and what do you try to accomplish there? The Japanese have that initiative at the beginning, but it all too soon slips away and the Allies start dictating the focus.

I think it boils down to this: the player who is best able to identify the critical opportunities (both offensive and defensive) will "win," either by crushing his opponent (not likely, but to some slight degree possible for the Japanese) or by satisfying the game's victory conditions. For the Japanese, if the Allies screw up early and allow you to seize major objectives beyond what was taken historically (Hawaii, greater Australia, India, and so on), you can build a defense that can stand up long enough to prevent Allied victory - but beware becoming overextended and committed to offensive operations when you really need to be fortifying yourself against the coming riposte. For the Allies, if the Japanese screw up early on and allow you to win significant victories (particularly at sea against the heart of the IJN), you can accelerate the pace of your counteroffensive and bring the war to an early (and decisively favorable) conclusion.

The most important moves, as the actor who played Lutjens in the old "Sink the Bismarck" movie said, are the opening. Preparation for the middle and end games is the key. This means that you need a thorough understanding of the strategic situation from the outset and must put a strategic plan into action that will maximize your early success (or, in the case of the Allies, minimize your early defeat), sustain you through the time of relative parity of force and allow you to win critical battles, and carry you to a successful conclusion in your prosecution of the war.

I'm just glad to be around at a time when a thoroughly serious computer simulation of this conflict is being created so that I can take a crack at it. PacWar was great, but this is where the rubber meets the road.

_____________________________

Put my faith in the people
And the people let me down.
So, I turned the other way,
And I carry on anyhow.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 7:47:34 AM   
madflava13


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There was a lot to digest in that one - I just wanted to comment on one point. I think the Japanese player should commit most of the SRA force to the east. I'll be the first to admit my knowledge of the Burma/Indian Ocean theaters is weak, but I don't think the British/Indian forces had the sealift to pose a serious invasion threat until very late in the war. For that reason I'd align my forces east, leaving just enough to hold off any overland attempts through Rangoon...

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 9:13:17 AM   
pad152

 

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A look at defeating Japan, I wonder if the Allies can win by using little more than subs to go after tankers and getting bombers in range to bomb the oil resouce areas. Because the number of tankers/oilers Japan can build is fixed, once Japan starts to lose the ability to bring home oil and transport fuel it's options become limited. I hope the AI does a better job of protecting transports than UV.

I wonder how easy/hard is going to be to protect the key oil resource centers Kendari, Balikpapan, Brunei,Miri, Palembang from a combo of subs, air raids, and quick hit and run raids from carriers/suface goups. It looks like it could turn out like 12"0 High where no matter what else you bomb it still comes down to oil.

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 9:21:06 AM   
madflava13


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pad152

A look at defeating Japan, I wonder if the Allies can win by using little more than subs to go after tankers and getting bombers in range to bomb the oil resouce areas. Because the number of tankers/oilers Japan can build is fixed, once Japan starts to lose the ability to bring home oil and transport fuel it's options become limited. I hope the AI does a better job of protecting transports than UV.



I'd guess you couldn't do this, because even with the longest range Allied bombers, you still need to "kick in the door" with Marines in a few places to secure closer bases...

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RE: What is the best strategy for Japan to Win - 2/8/2004 10:15:55 AM   
Raverdave


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Having played a few early Scens, I am coming around to the thought that it may well be possible for Japan to take Burma AND India. There would have to be a delay in other areas as it would cost at least 4 divisons to do it (maybe at the cost of the PI not falling until June?).
Not only would you knock Britain out of the war, but it would also help in the collapse of China in late '43 early '44.

I would not as the IJN go any further into Australia than Darwin......hit Darwin and you really cramp the allies. New Zealand is just too far south to bother about.

Alaska/Aleutians...I am still in two minds about this.....IF the IJN player is able to use the control of these areas to continue to interdict the allies then yes. But it would require and large effort of men and equipment to do so, and your SLOC are very very long, where as the Allies have very short SLOC. If for nothing else to will hurt your opponets pride if he does loose the Aleutians, but as a long term war objective? I would have to say be very very careful.


As for the south pacific....Noumea MUST be taken along with Lugna and Luganville..........and if you have to ask "why"? then you can't have been playing UV very well.

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