Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

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Kull
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Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Kull »

UPDATE 12/21/2015: The revised AE-Japan Setup Spreadsheet (Rev B) has been uploaded. It contains several new tabs containing many new features and lots of advice, while the main section has 701 changes (from a total line count of 3734). For those who have used (or are using) the previous version, just go to column "AI" (on the "Japan Set-up" tab) and filter on "1". This will show ONLY the elements which have changed, making it much easier to edit your starting setup. For a more detailed list of the changes and improvements, see the "changelog" in Post #6 below. (The link in this post has been updated so it contains the new spreadsheet)
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Since October 2012, I've been working on the Japanese equivalent to the AE-Allies Setup Spreadsheet. The focus, again, is to give the player a prescriptive list of actions to take on "Day 2", following the December 7th series of historical moves. Even more so than with the Allies, the range of choices facing the Japanese player are complex and daunting. There are 3734 individual Bases (277), LCUs (988), Ships (1673), Air Groups (282), and Industry elements (514), all of which can potentially be adjusted in the course of the Day 2 turn. And don't be fooled - although the Allies have more individual items (4589), the Japanese decision process is exponentially more difficult as the player has to account for all economic and production activity, specifically:

- The need to review current aircraft and engine models & pools and make immediate adjustments to industry to accommodate expected near term needs.
- The simultaneous requirement to make long term decisions on which airframes & engines to research, and to make plans and industry changes accordingly.
- Make similar adjustments to the Armaments & Vehicle plants, as well as the three forms of shipyards.
- Review the list of Civilian and Military naval vessels and decide which to accelerate or halt.
- Develop plans for importing the resources and fuel which are essential to the long term growth and functioning of the Japanese economy.
- Do all of the above without "Crashing the Economy" (a very real and very dangerous effect experienced by all too many inexperienced Japanese players).

Further complicating the decision process are the many "game play" options available, in particular whether one is playing PBEM or versus the AI, with "Player Defined Upgrades" on or off, and "Realistic R&D" on or off. Recommendations made without taking those three variables into account are effectively worthless. For example, an excellent research plan developed for a "PDU on" game would be insanity if followed with "PDU off". Personally I prefer games that impose a more historical set of constraints upon the player, plus my games are played against the AI, and thus I tend to shun settings which provide additional advantages against an already crippled opponent. So that means this spreadsheet is primarily intended for those who:

1) Play with PDU "off"
2) Play with Realistic R&D "on"
3) Play against the AI (although if the above settings are in place and you have a PBEM opponent, many of the spreadsheet recommendations are still pertinent).
4) Also worth noting that this spreadsheet is designed for Scenario 1. I've also used this setup in Scenario 17 (Allied Ironman), although you have to be quite a bit more cautious in that one.

Strategically, all unit movements and industry adjustments were made to support a moderately aggressive and historical Japanese approach. The primary objectives (at the 50,000 foot level) are as follows:

1) Pursue the traditional conquest pattern involving immediate moves to take Malaya, the Philippines, northern Borneo, northern New Guinea, and various island outposts in the Central Pacific.
2) Relatively near term moves aimed at the Moluccas, Rabaul, eastern Borneo, Burma, and Palembang.
3) A complex series of unit moves in China designed to release Division sized units for decidedly non-historical offensive actions in Northeast and Central China.
4) Post-Pearl Harbor positioning of KB to support the Wake Island invasion and a subsequent provisioning move to Truk (thus leaving it centrally positioned to move in any direction the player desires)
5) Development of two fully functional Baby KBs within a week's time (each comprising Zero & Kate equipped CVL/CVE combos) for immediate deployment to the Philippines and/or SRA.
6) Full implementation of the Resource Convoy system outlined by Damien in his Japanese Economy guide.
7) Implementation of most of Damien's recommendations regarding Armament, Vehicle, and Shipyard expansion.
8) Many of the ship conversions and upgrades recommended by Damien or picked up from Mike Solli's AAR.
9) Identification and expansion of designated Air Training units with extensive reallocation of pilots.
10) Detailed network of Search & ASW planes at key locations (interlocking verified and tweaked).
11) All submarines deployed on patrol (with patrol zones detailed).
12) A similar deployment of Naval ASW ship patrols in key areas.

If you've always wanted to play the Japanese, but never knew quite where to begin, here's the plan to get you started:

(Note: The attachment below will always be updated to contain the most recent spreadsheet revision)
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Kull »

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's what the AE-Japan Setup Spreadsheet looks like. Each column has a story:

Col A: Counter - This is the "row count". When using a filter button - lets say you wanted to work on all the "Manchukuo" region bases, units, and industry elements first - the counter in Cell A6 tells you how many rows of data you are working on (Manchukuo = 305).
Col B: Region - Every location on the map falls into one of 23 regions. It's one way to work on your Turn 2 selections in "bite size chunks". The Base data came from the WitP AE Tracker dataset (of which some was edited), and was manually extended to units.
Col C: Location - The hex location of every base, unit, or industry element. Modified WitP AE Tracker data.
Col D: Location Name - If the hex has a name (i.e. it's a Base of some sort), here it is. Modified WitP AE Tracker data.
Col E: Type - There are five row "types": Bases, Air Groups, LCUs, Ships, and Industry. New field, not from Tracker. Some of these cells are color coded:
- Green: Garrison Requirement is met
- Red: Garrison Requirement is NOT met
- Light Blue: Identifies all rows in which follow-on actions are required. You can filter this column by color in the "Day 3 and beyond" turns to identify tasks that still need to be performed (for example, LCUs that travel to one location by rail and then move somewhere else by road)
Col F: Unit Name - The name of each unit. Straight from the WitP AE Tracker datasets.
Col G: Unit Model/Type - Applies primarily to the units, although it also includes designators for "Airframe" & "Engine" to help filter on those elements when when working on Industry data. Airframe Model Names in Light Grey cells do not get upgrades. This is primarily unmodified data from WitP AE Tracker.
Col H: HQ - Applies only to Bases, Air Groups, and LCUs. Unmodified data from WitP AE Tracker.
Col I: Nation - Applies only to Bases, Air Groups, and LCUs. Heavily modified data from WitP AE Tracker.
Col J: ID - Unit ID. Of limited use, but insofar as it was provided by WitP AE Tracker, it's loaded here.
Col K: Code - Indicates the restriction status of units, and is also used to determine whether a base has a Garrison requirement (Conditional formatting automatically changes the cell color):
1: Unrestricted units. Can be moved to any base.
2: Restricted units. Can spend PP to switch to an unrestricted HQ (thus allowing moves to any base)
3: Restricted units. Cannot spend PP to change the HQ. Some "static" units allow HQ changes but they are marked as "3" because they can't move anyway.
G: Base has a Garrison Requirement (see Comments in Column L for specifics). Certain types of damage can occur when this requirement is not met (see Manual for details)
Col L: Comments - The meat of the spreadsheet. You can either follow my recommendations or tweak them to apply to your own strategy. Rather obviously, this is a new field, not from Tracker. Here's the meaning of the colored fonts used in the Comments field:
- Black: Take action as indicated
- Red: Either have to make a decision or ensure that indicated action takes place at a later date
- Green: Useful Information ("why" or "what", not "go do")
- Blue: Search coordinates
- Purple: Change made to a pre-existing TF or it's contents (i.e. on-map on Turn 1)

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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Kull »

Here's a screenshot of the second half of the spreadsheet. You may have been wondering about those descriptions in rows 1-5 of column D. They exist because I did something in this spreadsheet which is normally a bad idea - the data in columns M thru AG varies depending upon the "Type" (column E). I did this for a few reasons:
- First of all, most of this data is interesting but most people won't use it when making their Turn 2 choices.
- Secondly, it allowed me to shrink the width of the spreadsheet by a factor of three, which greatly enhances "usability".
- Thirdly, all of this data was taken directly from the WitP AE Tracker datasets, and is entirely unmodified.

So how do you interpret this? It's actually pretty easy:

- If you are viewing a row in which the "type" is "Industry", then use the column headings in row 1 (applies to columns M-O)
- If you are viewing a row in which the "type" is "Bases", then use the column headings in row 2 (applies to columns M-Z)
- If you are viewing a row in which the "type" is "LCU", then use the column headings in row 3 (applies to columns M-AE)
- If you are viewing a row in which the "type" is "Ship", then use the column headings in row 4 (applies to columns M-AG)
- If you are viewing a row in which the "type" is "Air Group", then use the column headings in row 5 (applies to columns M-AF)

Note: WitP AE Tracker has added a LOT more data since the AE-Allied Set-up spreadsheet was last updated in 2011, so this section of the spreadsheet is quite different when comparing the Japan & Allied version.

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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Kull »

There are twelve tabs in this workbook (used to be five), all serving a different purpose:

1) Getting Started (New): Primarily focused on teaching you to how to use and interpret the "Japan Set-up" worksheet, but also provides a synopsis of the other tabs.
2) Japan Set-up (Revised): Discussed extensively above.
3) Strategy & Reference (Revised): Used to be called "Background Info", but has now been expanded to include a detailed description of the overall strategy plus it adds a number of very useful references. These include charts for Leaders, Pilot training, the Production system, and links to a number of useful threads in the Matrix Games War in the Pacific Admiral's Edition Discussion Forum
4) CVL-CVE-CS Unit Resize Plan (Revised): Provides step-by-step instructions on how to completely fill your two "Baby KB" TFs with a full complement of Zeros and Kates manned by top notch pilots, AND set up a number of Air Training units. For certain units, the "Japan Set-up" worksheet will direct you to this tab for detailed instructions. Has been expanded to include a number of additional floatplane resizing activities. (Screen shot below)
5) Unit Arrival Dates (New): This is something I had planned to do for a long time, but it took a while to achieve - a single document listing the arrival dates and locations for ALL units - Land, Air and Sea. Much of this was pulled from Tracker, but it's nice to have all of it in one location. For the most part, use of this worksheet is self-explanatory, but please take note that it follows the same approach as the "Japan Set-up" worksheet, with different column headings in rows 2-4 (applies to data in columns O thru AC). It can help to filter by unit "Type" (column C) in order to see the various units aggregated. The headings for all other columns (A thru N) apply equally to all units, regardless of type.
6) Jap Airgroup Upgrades (New): This is an important new research and tracking tool, which will be explored in detail in a follow-on post.
7) Transports for Key LCUs (Revised): Details (by name) the ships needed to transport four key land units to their destinations. To some extent this is redundant with information in the "Comments" column in the "Japan Set-up" worksheet, but it can be helpful to see it centralized in one place.
8) Devices (New): Information pulled from Tracker, listing all the devices. Can be very helpful when trying to determine the importance of any given device upgrade, especially for LCUs. Redundant with reports available in game, but the sorting here is a bit easier, especially if you have this workbook open during your game.
9) Bases (New): Information pulled from Tracker, listing all the Japanese Bases and their "Turn 1" status. Probably of limited utility.
10) Industry (New): Information pulled from Tracker, listing the "Turn 1" status of all Japanese Industry and Resource-type elements. Useful if you want to aggregate them by type and plan out some global changes (Addition of the "Industry button" in AE makes this less useful than it once was).
11) Region-Base list (New): Information pulled from Tracker, listing all Bases (including the Allies) and their associated regions.
12) KB (2nd Day at PH): Let's just say that I don't recommend hanging around Pearl Harbor for a second day of air strikes, but if you do, here are the TF and Airgroup changes you'll need to make. Basically its a 38 row duplication of the main spreadsheet, but focused purely on KB's constituent elements.

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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Kull »

Here are two things which should add to your enjoyment:

1) Japanese ships Art Mod: In April 2020 I completed a mod which provides historically accurate shapes, colors, and camouflage for 135 classes of Japanese ships, primarily Auxiliaries, Transports and Cargo ships. If you are interested in the historical background behind each and every one of these vessels, there's an interesting thread which takes you through the development process. For the mod itself, this link has the download and full installation instructions.

2) The Japan Airframe & Engine Planner spreadsheet is a tool I developed to determine which changes to airframe and engine production and R&D would be needed, not just in the initial days of the campaign, but over the first year and beyond. The attached file (in this post) is not the generic planner linked to above, but rather the specific plan contained in the AE-Japan Set-up spreadsheet.

It should prove useful for those who follow that model.
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

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Rev B (12/21/2015):

The major reason for this revision is that LCU forces were originally spread too widely, and could not achieve quick, decisive wins in either of the two invasion theatres designated for Division-sized units (Malaya/Singapore & Luzon/Bataan). One of the two MUST be won quickly in order to free up forces for use elsewhere. Force disposition recommendations also kept too many of the divisions divided into their sub component groupings (primarily 2, 18, and 48 Div, to a lesser extent 16, 55, & 56 Div), and they simply fight more effectively when combined. Personally I love the granularity of the regiments and battalions, but c'est la vie. In this revised version, every effort is made to quickly deliver preponderant levels of force to Singapore (strategically the most important theatre) and achieve victory so those units can be released for the conquest of (1) Java, (2) Luzon, & (3) Burma.

Also important is to have overwhelming power available to quickly grab control of the Solomons/New Guinea region before the Allies have time to build up their defenses. That requires two full divisions for immediate employment at Rabaul and then Port Moresby - to include an HQ unit (The earliest available reinforcement HQ arrives in May '42, but you can't wait that long). Not everyone agrees that PM is important, but to me it is necessary to solidify full control of the Solomons and as a precursor to the possession of Horn Island and ensuring the viability of the Darwin Invasion option.

Primarily for this reason - but also to clean up mistakes and improve recommendations in other areas - 701 of the "Comments" have been altered (out of 3734 total - almost 20%). So this really is a very different looking game from the original.

Lastly, the entire workbook has been significantly modified. Although the format of the "set-up" has not changed, there are 7 new tabs, to include "Getting Started" and "Strategy & References" worksheets loaded with helpful tips and insights.

*****************************************************************************************

Rev A (2/8/2013):

Added Column AM which features two new filtering options:
* - The single asterisk designates all units that are part of a "magic move" Task Force
** - The double asterisk designates all units contained in non-submarine TFs at game start
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Kull »

One of the really cool things that happens when you complete your "Day 2" dispositions and hit the End Turn button, is the amazing Red Cloud of ships that appear all around the Home Islands:

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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by nashvillen »

Bravo! Kull!
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

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My haven't you been a busy beaver Paul ....... My compliments ......
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Kull »

ORIGINAL: scout1

My haven't you been a busy beaver Paul ....... My compliments ......

Playing as Japan is really fun, but my god, is it complicated. To the extent I can give some folks an easier head start, well, it's worth the effort! One thing I heard again and again from folks who used the Allied Spreadsheet is that it "got them going". Hopefully this does the same thing on the Japanese side.
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Razz1 »

Excellent!
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Ossian »

Superb. I'm currently doing my first ever turn as Japan and have been stumped by the sheer volume of stuff, things and whatnots. I think your sheets will be getting a lot of reading. Thanks for all the work.
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Blackhorse »

Once again, outstanding work!
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Dante Fierro »

Just came across your spreadsheets today. Wow!! [:D] This will be so helpful for noobies like myself. Kudos thanks. [&o][&o]
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by scout1 »

ORIGINAL: Kull
ORIGINAL: scout1

My haven't you been a busy beaver Paul ....... My compliments ......

Playing as Japan is really fun, but my god, is it complicated. To the extent I can give some folks an easier head start, well, it's worth the effort! One thing I heard again and again from folks who used the Allied Spreadsheet is that it "got them going". Hopefully this does the same thing on the Japanese side.

Paul,

Your spreadsheet for turn 0 is pretty cool ...... Though is based on a PH raid, etc ...... Alternate targets on turn 1 (such as Manilla) will alter some spreadsheet choices obviously, but the logistics part of it isn't likely to change (cargo setups to haul raw materials). Is there a convienent method the isolate this aspect to implement. I filtered on the Region as Japan and then filtered on ships. This kinda works, but was curious of you might be able to suggest an alternate approach ....... ??????
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Kull »

ORIGINAL: scout1

Paul,

Your spreadsheet for turn 0 is pretty cool ...... Though is based on a PH raid, etc ...... Alternate targets on turn 1 (such as Manilla) will alter some spreadsheet choices obviously, but the logistics part of it isn't likely to change (cargo setups to haul raw materials). Is there a convienent method the isolate this aspect to implement. I filtered on the Region as Japan and then filtered on ships. This kinda works, but was curious of you might be able to suggest an alternate approach ....... ??????

I use the "Historical Start" for a number of reasons, in particular because it "fixes" the starting point for Japan, and thus buckets my advice into the category of "you just bombed Pearl Harbor AND all your task forces are following the historical model, now what?" By contrast, if I chose "non-historical start", the game begins with the real Turn 0 and the player is faced with a near-infinite number of possible strategies. Deploy KB against Manila? Possibly fragment it (the "Kaga-in-SRA/Malaya" option)? Alter many or most of the Amphibious landing destinations (Mersing Gambit? SRA Oil Ports? Palembang?). At that point the spreadsheet would be narrowly focused on MY non-historical recommendations, thus making it less useful to most new players (who have enough to worry about in managing the choices following from the historical start).

That said, there IS a way for a "non-historical start" player to get real benefit from the spreadsheet. Most of the units (and choices) in China, Japan, and Manchukuo are not affected by a change in TF destinations on Turn 0. And neither are most of the units deployed elsewhere on the map. Conversely, most of the TFs present at game start (especially the asterisked "Magic Move" TFs) probably will change. Accordingly I've updated the spreadsheet and added column AM, which allows the player to filter those out initially, thus allowing you to proceed with the changes that are less likely to be altered in a "non historical" start. The idea is to use the filter button and ensure that only "Blanks" is checked. That will leave 2965 of a possible 3734 rows.

At this point you should follow a process that I recommend in all cases - make your changes region by region and as each row's action is completed, change the fill color of the cell in Column B to a color (such as green or yellow or whatever you like). This allows you to easily filter by "no fill" and thus easily highlight only those rows where action has NOT been taken. Let's face it, making your initial Japanese dispositions is a multi-day process anyway, so it's helpful to keep track of what's been done versus what hasn't. Eventually you will find that leaves a relatively small number of TFs and related units that will need to be altered in accordance with the non-historical strategy of your choice.

This probably sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is!

EDIT: Revised comments to reflect the new filtering capability in the Rev A spreadsheet
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by scout1 »

ORIGINAL: Kull
ORIGINAL: scout1

Paul,

Your spreadsheet for turn 0 is pretty cool ...... Though is based on a PH raid, etc ...... Alternate targets on turn 1 (such as Manilla) will alter some spreadsheet choices obviously, but the logistics part of it isn't likely to change (cargo setups to haul raw materials). Is there a convienent method the isolate this aspect to implement. I filtered on the Region as Japan and then filtered on ships. This kinda works, but was curious of you might be able to suggest an alternate approach ....... ??????

I use the "Historical Start" for a number of reasons, in particular because it "fixes" the starting point for Japan, and thus buckets my advice into the category of "you just bombed Pearl Harbor AND all your task forces are following the historical model, now what?" By contrast, if I chose "non-historical start", the game begins with the real Turn 0 and the player is faced with a near-infinite number of possible strategies. Deploy KB against Manila? Possibly fragment it (the "Kaga-in-SRA/Malaya" option)? Alter many or most of the Amphibious landing destinations (Mersing Gambit? SRA Oil Ports? Palembang?). At that point the spreadsheet would be narrowly focused on MY non-historical recommendations, thus making it less useful to most new players (who have enough to worry about in managing the choices following from the historical start).

That said, there IS a way for a "non-historical start" player to get real benefit from the spreadsheet. Most of the units (and choices) in China, Japan, and Manchukuo are not affected by a change in TF destinations on Turn 0. And neither are most of the units deployed elsewhere on the map. Conversely, most of the TFs present at game start (especially the asterisked "Magic Move" TFs) probably will change. Accordingly I've updated the spreadsheet and added column AM, which allows the player to filter those out initially, thus allowing you to proceed with the changes that are less likely to be altered in a "non historical" start. The idea is to use the filter button and ensure that only "Blanks" is checked. That will leave 2965 of a possible 3734 rows.

At this point you should follow a process that I recommend in all cases - make your changes region by region and as each row's action is completed, change the fill color of the cell in Column B to a color (such as green or yellow or whatever you like). This allows you to easily filter by "no fill" and thus easily highlight only those rows where action has NOT been taken. Let's face it, making your initial Japanese dispositions is a multi-day process anyway, so it's helpful to keep track of what's been done versus what hasn't. Eventually you will find that leaves a relatively small number of TFs and related units that will need to be altered in accordance with the non-historical strategy of your choice.

This probably sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is!

EDIT: Revised comments to reflect the new filtering capability in the Rev A spreadsheet


That will work .... Thanks Paul ........ [:D]
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Speedysteve »

This is great. I'm planning on starting a game as Japanese vs my Dad in the next 3-4 months. Although I'm a veteran if WitP I haven't played the Japenese side in AE ever! This will be a big help. Thanks
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Kull »

A few comments on using the spreadsheet. If you aren't committed to the general strategy and only want to use portions of the advice, keep in mind that most of my recommendations are reversible. For example, changing the move mode of a land unit, assigning missions to aircraft, or putting ships into one task force or another. The actions which are NOT immediately reversible (at least in the same turn) are as follows:

- Moving an aircraft from one location to another
- Loading a land or air unit into an amphibious or transport TF
- Moving pilots in and out of air units
- Resizing air units and Industry elements
- Changing Industry production from one air unit or engine type to another
- Changing an LCUs "Plan For" target from one base to another (you can change it back, but most or all of the previous points will be lost)
- Disbanding Air units (although I can't think of any cases where I advise you to do this)
- Spending PPs to change HQs

Obviously that's not a short list, and the spreadsheet has plenty of recommendations for those exact activities. It would be a very disjointed exercise were you to delay all those actions until the very end, so I don't recommend it. However, if you have certain areas of the game where you definitely plan a different approach (for example a holding action in Malaya while moving immediately to Burma or Sumatra), or any of a hundred other strategy-specific tweaks, well just make those changes first, and then follow the spreadsheet goals elsewhere. The key point is to be aware that you can't easily roll back certain choices.
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RE: Japan Set-up Spreadsheet for AE

Post by Speedysteve »

Thanks. I've played the game long enough to know the strategic options, processes and planning etc. for me it's more about the industry side and not expanding too much too quickly, getting the right resource levels, aircraft choices, engines, production levels etc etc[:)]
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