Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

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mind_messing
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by mind_messing »

Looking at the pictures posted, the situation for you in China looks excellent. Any IJ player who remains inactive in China is giving a massive gift to the Allied player, so you should exploit it.

By Aug '42, you should have most, if not all, of your Chinese units trained up to the max EXP that training can reach (45 EXP). If not, hope the lull lasts longer and you get the chance to train up.

Sit tight, the massive numbers of American transport planes due to arrive in China will give you the supply you need to change China into an active theatre for you.

As already suggested, move units into frontline IJ cities with industry to halt production. Canton and Wuchang are key candidates. The point isn't to attack the Japanese, it's to sit in the good terrain and force them to dislodge you.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by Uncivil Engineer »

ORIGINAL: dave sindel

ORIGINAL: AcePylut

Move about 500-600 AV into Canton. It will stop some of his industry there, and since it's heavy urban, it'll be really difficult to kick your troops out of the hex.

on the way... [:D]

I assume you are aware that the garrison requirement at Canton is 360. If he's been ignoring China, he probably still has 360+ AV there, which should be dug in behind fort level 4 or 5 (or higher). You won't be capturing it with 500 Chinese AV. But, co-occupying it will mess with his supply situation. On the other hand, Hong Kong may be lightly defended, if he moved the 38th Division out after capturing it and didn't replace it with something substantial. Capturing HK will definitely mess with his supplies. HK is worth 50 more HI than Canton. That's my 2 cents.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by mind_messing »

ORIGINAL: Uncivil Engineer

ORIGINAL: dave sindel

ORIGINAL: AcePylut

Move about 500-600 AV into Canton. It will stop some of his industry there, and since it's heavy urban, it'll be really difficult to kick your troops out of the hex.

on the way... [:D]

I assume you are aware that the garrison requirement at Canton is 360. If he's been ignoring China, he probably still has 360+ AV there, which should be dug in behind fort level 4 or 5 (or higher). You won't be capturing it with 500 Chinese AV. But, co-occupying it will mess with his supply situation. On the other hand, Hong Kong may be lightly defended, if he moved the 38th Division out after capturing it and didn't replace it with something substantial. Capturing HK will definitely mess with his supplies. HK is worth 50 more HI than Canton. That's my 2 cents.

You're missing the point. The mere presence of enemy troops in a hex stops the production of industrial enterprsies within that hex. In this case, all the Chinese troops have to do is march in and stop.

Then the onus is on the Japanese player to evict the Chinese from x3 urban terrain. And the level of Japanese forts won't matter one iota if they're on the offensive.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by dave sindel »

ORIGINAL: witpqs

ORIGINAL: dave sindel

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

Much depends on whether you have agreed that Auto-Victory will decide the game or not. If A-V is in play, the Japanese player can harvest a lot of points for destroying Chinese units - pin them with tanks, then surround them and wipe them out. One point per six squads IIRC, but other devices like guns count too.

And in the negative side, he needs to prevent your Chinese Corps from filling out, getting training/experience and improving morale or by 1943 he will have difficulty hanging on the large VP bases in China which Japan needs to keep the Allies from getting to A-V.

actually we've never had a discussion about A-V. I suppose we should.
Look at the game date: you are in the midst of the monsoon for those bases, which imposes a daily cap on supply which can arrive via ground. Look into the monsoon issue. It really does matter.

thanks for the insight George. Appreciate it.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by Flicker »

Have you repaired your industry in Chungking (also Changsha and Nanning)? If not, I would stockpile supplies in Chungking and repair light industry, then HI, then manpower, then resources. It will take a few months (this is one of the first things I do as Allies). Repeat with Changsha, then Nanning.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by Anachro »

The fact that you sank some of his carriers including the Shokaku means you aren't in too bad of a position. He might assume you are going to do a land campaign and his lack of offensive north of Burma means you can do a counter-offensive instead. Still, I would certainly make use of naval invasion feints far away to try and draw away troops/ships from that theater. Perhaps a push into the Kuriles/Aleutians or into Guinea or parts of the southern DEI. Nothing too big or permanent mind you. These would be feints in my mind, but they have to look real to him.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by rustysi »

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

ORIGINAL: Uncivil Engineer

ORIGINAL: dave sindel




on the way... [:D]

I assume you are aware that the garrison requirement at Canton is 360. If he's been ignoring China, he probably still has 360+ AV there, which should be dug in behind fort level 4 or 5 (or higher). You won't be capturing it with 500 Chinese AV. But, co-occupying it will mess with his supply situation. On the other hand, Hong Kong may be lightly defended, if he moved the 38th Division out after capturing it and didn't replace it with something substantial. Capturing HK will definitely mess with his supplies. HK is worth 50 more HI than Canton. That's my 2 cents.

You're missing the point. The mere presence of enemy troops in a hex stops the production of industrial enterprsies within that hex. In this case, all the Chinese troops have to do is march in and stop.

Then the onus is on the Japanese player to evict the Chinese from x3 urban terrain. And the level of Japanese forts won't matter one iota if they're on the offensive.

IIRC you're all missing the point. Having opposing forces in Canton will only stop the production of any resources that may be produced in that location. If he can supply the base with sufficient inputs from outside the hex all industries will function normally. For Japan resource shortages are not normally a problem.

Now OTOH that doesn't make moving into Canton a poor decision. You'll still get the terrain benefit.

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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by Nemo121 »

Hi Dave,

Since I've been invited I'll chip in. In future though probably best to post in the STAVKA thread as I have subscription on to that thread to let me know when someone posts and don't check the rest of the forum all that carefully.

There is some information missing which hampers the attempt to craft a helpful answer so I'll ask for some more info first:
1. Can you post a strategic map view of what you hold and what he holds?

2. Can you post his plane losses vs yours?

3. You've spoken about your opponent's distaste for the land war and appearance of thriving on the naval war. While your assessment of his focus/ability is, of course, important when assessing his critical vulnerability I think that your writing down what HE has stated his strengths are would be most helpful, followed by him stating what he doesn't like. I'd also be very interested in the answer to the question of whether he has just expressed distaste for "land war in China" OR whether he has shown the insight to link his distaste with his failure to act in a critical theatre?

Distaste is irrelevant. What is effective and efficient is relevant. I might have a distaste of the land war in China but if it the theatre of decision then my distaste won't prevent me focusing my time and energy on planning the operations necessary to achieve the strategic objections within the theatre in order to meet my grand strategic goal.

Your opponent, from what you say and from the screenshots you have posted, seems to do what he likes and ignore what he doesn't. If this is true and he doesn't learn from this then you can exploit this to defeat him.

4. What HRs do you have for China? Do you have limits on the use of Chinese Corps? Do you have limits on strategic bombing in China or from China.

5. Are you using stacking limits for ground warfare?



Basic advice which is true irrespective of any answers to the above:
A. It seems he does what he likes and ignores what he doesn't. Rob him of this choice and he will become increasingly frustrated. Played properly the majority of games are not WON by one player but LOST by one player. Frustrate him and he will rapidly engage in choices which degrade his forces, position and personal morale. All you then have to do is make reasonable choices and resist the temptation to do anything showy and he will lose the game to you for you.


B. The loss of 6 CVs isn't much of a handicap. It simply limits and delays your ability to commit landings in the Pacific in the face of opposition from KB. You can still land forces in the face of LBA when KB isn't around and you can still island hop under your own land based fighter cover. Just resist the temptation to risk CVs until you have a decisive advantage and you can rapidly advance in the Pacific from mid-43/end-43 depending on how safe you want to be. The key point though is that you can still advance wherever KB isn't--- and you can speed up your ability to resist KB by swapping out your strike planes for all-fighter airgroups. Right there, 4 US CVs should be able to put up enough fighters to slaughter most attacks from KB. Optimise your CV cover for defence instead of attack and you need far fewer CVs to fend off KB and can launch amphibious invasions much earlier than you would normally expect.


C. I've twice won Scenario 2 games as Allies ( starting on 8th December once and taking over from an Allied player who surrendered ) whilst voluntarily not using Allied CVs for anything other than aircraft transfer. No offensive missions or even CAP from any Allied CV ( including British ). I just made China the theatre of decision, kept the Burma road open or re-opened it and then use British, American, Australian and Chinese land forces to push down to Singapore and across to Shanghai. In one of the games I even captured all of Korea and invaded the Japanese home islands without ever using CVs for anything other than air transport from CONUSA to Australia or India.

So, my advice would be
1.sort out the supply problems in Southern India ( build the bases up so that even with monsoon conditions they pull sufficient supply to support an air bridge into China ),

2. Use EVERY transport and bomber you have to fly supplies into China - losses are irrelevant in this mission.

3. move your defending Chinese forces into better defensive terrain ( you are defending in open terrain in many places ). Assume you can move Chinese forces into x2 or x 3 defensive terrain. Assume you are currently using 50 Chinese Armies to defend. Well, if you put them in x2 and x 3 terrain that means you can mount a defence which is just as strong using no more than 25 armies. The other 25 can be freed up for offensive action. If you don't have HRs against it I'd push them to re-open the Burma road.

4. Once the Burma Road is open build bases to draw supply into China, use the Chinese forces to aid the Allies in retaking Burma and then begin the sweep down into Malaysia, Vietnam and coastal China.

5. End-game push into Korea and hop across a few measly hexes of water under LRCAP. This assumes you get to the southern tip of Korea before January 1944 ... something which is eminently doable ... and are a cautious player who won't want to risk your CVs before you are assured of superiority in early 44. If you are willing to risk CVs early then, of course, you can combine the above with a Pacific thrust or carrier support in the South China Sea - which will speed things up through seaborne envelopment of Japanese coastal fortress along the Vietnamese and Chinese coastlines.

For you this will be much easier because once you have enough carriers you can put pressure onto Japan in the Pacific although, if I were you, I'd instead invest the CVs into the DEI and coastal China campaigns as that will strangle Japanese SLOCs and bring about their collapse much more rapidly than a slow, wasteful Pacific campaign.


Bottom line though, so you lost 6 CVs? You can still prosecute amphibious invasions so long as KB isn't around ( although your losses will, necessarily, increase ). Alternately if you don't want to make a naval campaign through the Pacific your means of decision then there are other ways to beat Japan rapidly and effectively.... even without the use of CVs.

If you follow this latter path I would expect your opponent to resign at some point as he would not "enjoy" that approach. The question then becomes if you are playing for his enjoyment, yours, to explore interesting strategic gambits or some weighted variation of all of the above. That's something only you can answer.

Summary: No carriers, no cry. Just batter him to death on land.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by Yaab »

ad 2. Remember guys, B-26 Marauder is your friend here, cause it carries 2 supply points per plane (4000 load capacity) in the stock scenarios.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by dave sindel »

ORIGINAL: Nemo121

Hi Dave,

Since I've been invited I'll chip in. In future though probably best to post in the STAVKA thread as I have subscription on to that thread to let me know when someone posts and don't check the rest of the forum all that carefully.

There is some information missing which hampers the attempt to craft a helpful answer so I'll ask for some more info first:
1. Can you post a strategic map view of what you hold and what he holds?

2. Can you post his plane losses vs yours?

3. You've spoken about your opponent's distaste for the land war and appearance of thriving on the naval war. While your assessment of his focus/ability is, of course, important when assessing his critical vulnerability I think that your writing down what HE has stated his strengths are would be most helpful, followed by him stating what he doesn't like. I'd also be very interested in the answer to the question of whether he has just expressed distaste for "land war in China" OR whether he has shown the insight to link his distaste with his failure to act in a critical theatre?

Distaste is irrelevant. What is effective and efficient is relevant. I might have a distaste of the land war in China but if it the theatre of decision then my distaste won't prevent me focusing my time and energy on planning the operations necessary to achieve the strategic objections within the theatre in order to meet my grand strategic goal.

Your opponent, from what you say and from the screenshots you have posted, seems to do what he likes and ignore what he doesn't. If this is true and he doesn't learn from this then you can exploit this to defeat him.

4. What HRs do you have for China? Do you have limits on the use of Chinese Corps? Do you have limits on strategic bombing in China or from China.

5. Are you using stacking limits for ground warfare?



Basic advice which is true irrespective of any answers to the above:
A. It seems he does what he likes and ignores what he doesn't. Rob him of this choice and he will become increasingly frustrated. Played properly the majority of games are not WON by one player but LOST by one player. Frustrate him and he will rapidly engage in choices which degrade his forces, position and personal morale. All you then have to do is make reasonable choices and resist the temptation to do anything showy and he will lose the game to you for you.


B. The loss of 6 CVs isn't much of a handicap. It simply limits and delays your ability to commit landings in the Pacific in the face of opposition from KB. You can still land forces in the face of LBA when KB isn't around and you can still island hop under your own land based fighter cover. Just resist the temptation to risk CVs until you have a decisive advantage and you can rapidly advance in the Pacific from mid-43/end-43 depending on how safe you want to be. The key point though is that you can still advance wherever KB isn't--- and you can speed up your ability to resist KB by swapping out your strike planes for all-fighter airgroups. Right there, 4 US CVs should be able to put up enough fighters to slaughter most attacks from KB. Optimise your CV cover for defence instead of attack and you need far fewer CVs to fend off KB and can launch amphibious invasions much earlier than you would normally expect.


C. I've twice won Scenario 2 games as Allies ( starting on 8th December once and taking over from an Allied player who surrendered ) whilst voluntarily not using Allied CVs for anything other than aircraft transfer. No offensive missions or even CAP from any Allied CV ( including British ). I just made China the theatre of decision, kept the Burma road open or re-opened it and then use British, American, Australian and Chinese land forces to push down to Singapore and across to Shanghai. In one of the games I even captured all of Korea and invaded the Japanese home islands without ever using CVs for anything other than air transport from CONUSA to Australia or India.

So, my advice would be
1.sort out the supply problems in Southern India ( build the bases up so that even with monsoon conditions they pull sufficient supply to support an air bridge into China ),

2. Use EVERY transport and bomber you have to fly supplies into China - losses are irrelevant in this mission.

3. move your defending Chinese forces into better defensive terrain ( you are defending in open terrain in many places ). Assume you can move Chinese forces into x2 or x 3 defensive terrain. Assume you are currently using 50 Chinese Armies to defend. Well, if you put them in x2 and x 3 terrain that means you can mount a defence which is just as strong using no more than 25 armies. The other 25 can be freed up for offensive action. If you don't have HRs against it I'd push them to re-open the Burma road.

4. Once the Burma Road is open build bases to draw supply into China, use the Chinese forces to aid the Allies in retaking Burma and then begin the sweep down into Malaysia, Vietnam and coastal China.

5. End-game push into Korea and hop across a few measly hexes of water under LRCAP. This assumes you get to the southern tip of Korea before January 1944 ... something which is eminently doable ... and are a cautious player who won't want to risk your CVs before you are assured of superiority in early 44. If you are willing to risk CVs early then, of course, you can combine the above with a Pacific thrust or carrier support in the South China Sea - which will speed things up through seaborne envelopment of Japanese coastal fortress along the Vietnamese and Chinese coastlines.

For you this will be much easier because once you have enough carriers you can put pressure onto Japan in the Pacific although, if I were you, I'd instead invest the CVs into the DEI and coastal China campaigns as that will strangle Japanese SLOCs and bring about their collapse much more rapidly than a slow, wasteful Pacific campaign.


Bottom line though, so you lost 6 CVs? You can still prosecute amphibious invasions so long as KB isn't around ( although your losses will, necessarily, increase ). Alternately if you don't want to make a naval campaign through the Pacific your means of decision then there are other ways to beat Japan rapidly and effectively.... even without the use of CVs.

If you follow this latter path I would expect your opponent to resign at some point as he would not "enjoy" that approach. The question then becomes if you are playing for his enjoyment, yours, to explore interesting strategic gambits or some weighted variation of all of the above. That's something only you can answer.

Summary: No carriers, no cry. Just batter him to death on land.

Thank you for responding, and for all of the advice / insights. I'm at work, so it will be this evening before I can post a strategic map and the plane loss summary. To answer a couple of questions -

"distaste" was my word, paraphrasing my impression of his attitude. He has used the word "boring" a couple of times in our communications. He is very proud of his conduct of carrier operations. I complimented him on one particular operation and his response was along the lines of " I'm the best carrier guy since Halsey".

No HR's on China of any sort. No stacking limits on land warfare.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by dave sindel »

ORIGINAL: Flicker

Have you repaired your industry in Chungking (also Changsha and Nanning)? If not, I would stockpile supplies in Chungking and repair light industry, then HI, then manpower, then resources. It will take a few months (this is one of the first things I do as Allies). Repeat with Changsha, then Nanning.

Thanks for this suggestion - I will check the status this evening.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by Nemo121 »

his response was along the lines of " I'm the best carrier guy since Halsey"

Is it probable that this was self-deprecating and not intended seriously? If serious then, wow, just wow.


With respect to the strategic situation shown in the map on the thread where you were discussing your carrier losses I would say that that position looks extremely good from the Allied point of view. He has left you with bases within LBA reach of his bases guarding the eastern and southern routes into the Philippines. It also seems he has left you with lots of bases in the southern DEI - this is a huge mistake on his part.

He may have sunk your carriers and be patting himself on the back for the losses he has inflicted but I am reminded of Maharbal's comment about Hannibal insofar as he know how to gain a victory but not how to USE that victory. Basically Maharbal was saying that Hannibal could beat the Romans on the field of battle but had difficulty turning those victories into strategic decision.

Your opponent has had lots of action and won some nice battles but if the map in that thread truly shows the bases you still own ( especially in the DEI ) then he should expect to see you around Manilla before the end of 1943 - even playing conservatively.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by rustysi »

A. It seems he does what he likes and ignores what he doesn't. Rob him of this choice and he will become increasingly frustrated. Played properly the majority of games are not WON by one player but LOST by one player. Frustrate him and he will rapidly engage in choices which degrade his forces, position and personal morale. All you then have to do is make reasonable choices and resist the temptation to do anything showy and he will lose the game to you for you.

I played a guy regularly in chess who hated to lose his knights. So much so it destroyed his game. Once I knew it of course I always traded a bishop or knight for one of his, and he then proceeded to 'win the game for me'. TBH he was a better player than I, but his 'distaste' for losing knights made him vulnerable. Eventually he quit playing me, but that's his loss. He should have learned to accept the loss and proceed to beat the stuffing out of me.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by dave sindel »

ORIGINAL: Nemo121
his response was along the lines of " I'm the best carrier guy since Halsey"

Is it probable that this was self-deprecating and not intended seriously? If serious then, wow, just wow.


With respect to the strategic situation shown in the map on the thread where you were discussing your carrier losses I would say that that position looks extremely good from the Allied point of view. He has left you with bases within LBA reach of his bases guarding the eastern and southern routes into the Philippines. It also seems he has left you with lots of bases in the southern DEI - this is a huge mistake on his part.

He may have sunk your carriers and be patting himself on the back for the losses he has inflicted but I am reminded of Maharbal's comment about Hannibal insofar as he know how to gain a victory but not how to USE that victory. Basically Maharbal was saying that Hannibal could beat the Romans on the field of battle but had difficulty turning those victories into strategic decision.

Your opponent has had lots of action and won some nice battles but if the map in that thread truly shows the bases you still own ( especially in the DEI ) then he should expect to see you around Manilla before the end of 1943 - even playing conservatively.

I think it was a mixture of half joking, and some pride in his play. I will post an updated strategic map and the aircraft losses, per your request.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by dave sindel »

Strategic map - August 11 1942

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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by dave sindel »

Air losses

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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by Lokasenna »

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

ORIGINAL: Uncivil Engineer

ORIGINAL: dave sindel




on the way... [:D]

I assume you are aware that the garrison requirement at Canton is 360. If he's been ignoring China, he probably still has 360+ AV there, which should be dug in behind fort level 4 or 5 (or higher). You won't be capturing it with 500 Chinese AV. But, co-occupying it will mess with his supply situation. On the other hand, Hong Kong may be lightly defended, if he moved the 38th Division out after capturing it and didn't replace it with something substantial. Capturing HK will definitely mess with his supplies. HK is worth 50 more HI than Canton. That's my 2 cents.

You're missing the point. The mere presence of enemy troops in a hex stops the production of industrial enterprsies within that hex. In this case, all the Chinese troops have to do is march in and stop.

Then the onus is on the Japanese player to evict the Chinese from x3 urban terrain. And the level of Japanese forts won't matter one iota if they're on the offensive.


No it doesn't. It stops the Resources, but not the Light Industry/Heavy Industry.
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by Nemo121 »

Dave,

It looks to me like you're in a very good position really. He has danced around with his CVs, sunk yours but has really neglected the strategic layer. I would suggest the following 3 phase strategic plan...


Phase 1: Green arrows in the accompanying picture.
A. Consolidate your Chinese forces into good defensive terrain ( this may mean advancing into cities Japan holds in order to gain the urban defensive bonuses ) in order to maximise the efficiency of your Chinese forces. This should allow you to free up 1/3rd of Chinese combat power. I would then suggest you use that combat power to push west into Burma to re-open the Burma Road.

B. Build up your Southern Indian bases, Imphal, Kohima etc... and then use Allied forces (including some Americans... these are essential for maskirovka purposes I'll outline later) to push south into Burma and re-open the Burma Road. You already seem to have forces 1 hex away from cutting the railroad to Myitkyina just 2 hexes north-east of Schwebo ( 2 hexes because that hex is jungle/rough terrain with nice defensive bonuses while the hex just north of Schwebo is clear. Your Chinese forces could move into Lashio, blocking the Japanese there. Put another unit into the 2 hexes north-west of Lashio to link up with the guys blocking the Schwebo/Myitkyina road and you will stop supply flowing to Myitkyina. At that point in time Myikyina should fall quickly and easily allowing you to bring Allied units ( British, Indian, US ) to attack down through the nice open terrain at and south of Schwebo.

C. Reinforce the bases you currently hold in the southern DEI and begin pushing northward towards Mindanao... This also has the benefit of cutting off the Southern SLOCs for the Japanese to get oil, fuel etc to the Philippines and Japan... This forces them to use the South China Sea to transport anything to Japan, simplifying your submarine war and meaning that if you ever get LBA onto the southern China coast Japan can basically kiss all benefits from holding Java etc goodbye. The number of bases close to eachother in this region will also maximise your LBA, allow you to save many ships damaged in surface combat and prevent KB from intervening safely... It can still intervene but every time it clobbers one base it runs the risk of being hit from 3 or 4 others. Eventually IJN CVs will start to be damaged and die.

D. I'd also keep the pressure up be island-hopping ( mostly under LBA cover ) across the Pacific north of Rabaul and from Guadalcanal to Rabaul. This isn't going to be a decisive thrust but it will force the Japanese to keep sending garrison troops to Pacific Islands and allow you to attrit their LBA and KB airgroups. He won't be able to resist using KB time and again to blunt your threatened invasions. At that point it is a numbers game. If he risks KB 10 times in a year to blunt the next island hop then, eventually, he'll get unlucky and a sub or bomber or mine or SC TF will get a hit on an IJN CV. Another benefit of this is that every time KB appears in the Pacific and suffers losses blunting an invasion there you can unleash another landing in the DEI... and vice versa. I don't mean a week later, I mean landing within 2 or 3 days of KB appearing elsewhere.

E. Maskirovka Operations
E1. You hold the island to the west of Java. I'd build it up, begin reconning Java repeatedly, particularly the western coastal hexes. I'd also consider running a few DD SC TFs into Javan SLOCs from time to time. Just 2 DDs per TF or even a single DD per TF will do fine. I'd also ship in a few good defensive units ( CD, lots of AAA, a Bde or two of troops and lots of fragments of other units. Eventually your opponent will recognise the recon, spot the units, possibly even bomb it a bit to gain more intel about whats there. At that point in time you can talk about building it up to protect KB from cutting your SLOCs to India, being a base for recon of Java in prep for your eventual invasion of Java etc.

His options then are:
a. Reinforce Java to resist invasion - a win for you as every IJA unit in Java is an IJA unit which isn't preventing your advance in Burma, Malaysia, Vietnam or China.
b. Invade the island - a win for you, even if he takes it, as again these units aren't in the theatre of decision and his cutting this SLOC to India doesn't prevent you using other, slower SLOCs and re-establishing rapid SLOCs once you take the Philippines.
c. KB strikes on the island from time to time to kill ships in ports etc - great, the AA will kill lots of KB planes and pilots.

If he points out the number of fragments there vs full units just reply that his recon and your fear of KB meant you are ferrying units up in small convoys to minimise losses and sometimes get scared and run back to Oz or India with them. He will love hearing this as it feeds into his assessment of KB and himself.

E2. North Pacific. Lots of recon, perhaps even some commando-style raids on any bases he hasn't yet garrisoned. Just try to get him to increase garrisons and deploy forces there.

E3. During the thrust towards the Philippines you'll have to take bases close to Java in order to have mutually supporting LBA bases. If it comes up during convo just also be sure to point out that they would be good kicking off bases for amphibious invasions of Java. Again, he'll have to defend against that and every IJA soldier sitting in Java, an island you don't ever intend to invade, is as useless to Japanese forces in China as if they had been killed in the ground war there.

This phase should be accomplished by the end of 1942 fairly easily.


Phase 2 - 1943, Red Arrows
A. Once the Burma Road is open you can use British, Indian and Chinese forces to push down into Malaysia and Vietnam whilst pushing other forces into China ( particularly engineer units to build up the bases rapidly and get supplies flowing ). As the bases build up and supplies flow you can push more and more combat power into China. The key point with China is only to commit as much combat power as you can supply. If you push in more than you can supply you actually end up weaker than if you had fewer, but supplied troops.

Obviously the long-term plan is to open up the good rail network from Malaysia and Vietnam into China and solve all of your supply problems that way.


B. Take China by pushing eastward and southward. The southern push to take Hong Kong and other such coastal cities is to give your LBA the bases they need to sink Japanese supply convoys running close to China.This will push them south to the northern shores of Borneo ( they can't go south of Borneo because you'll have taken the bases there and cut that SLOC ). The eastern push is the push into Korea... You should only do this once the British, American and Indian forces have taken all of Malaysia ( ideally including Singapore ) and are freed up to help.

This can be supported by a push into Vietnam and Malaysia... The push into Vietnam is very helpful in securing additional routes of supply into China. The push into Malaysia and southern Vietnam isn't necessary but it helps to complicate the enemy strategic situation, bolsters the narrative of an upcoming invasion of the DEI and helps promote Japanese misallocation of reserves, thus improving the odds that your main thrust in the theatre of strategic decision will be successful as at low a cost as possible.

C. At this stage Japanese supply convoys will have two options:
C1. run the gauntlet around Formosa - where you should be concentrating subs and have LBA ranging.
C2. run along northern Borneo, into Manilla, ship the supplies to ports in the Eastern Philippines and then ship from there into Japan.

Either way you can concentrate your subs and harass them with LBA based in Mindanao ( and nearby small islands ) and southern China.

D. Korea.
Ideally you would push into Korea. What you want to do there is decrease your commitment of US, British and Indian troops as you move through Korea. Let the Chinese take the lion's share of the losses the further south you move into Korea. Why?
D1. You actually want to rest your US, British and Indian forces for the invasion of Japan.
D2. You want him to notice, ask and be told that you're doing D1. Nothing will win you Korea more rapidly than telling him you're not worried about taking Korea but already planning for the next step.

People always think that maskirovka is about deception and lies. Sometimes it is but it is ALWAYS about shaping the ground to your benefit. Many times shaping the ground to your benefit can involve being very honest about what you're doing and why... and letting that knowledge gnaw at your opponent. I'd have no problem telling my opponent that the reason I was resting British, US and Indian troops as the invasion of Korea progressed was so that I could invade Japan as quickly as possible once Korea fell. Once your opponent hears that their thoughts will turn to the invasion of Japan, they'll begin prepping for that and that'll make the invasion of Korea proceed apace as forces which might have gone there instead stay in the Home Islands.

Once you get to Mindanao I also wouldn't be shy in telling your opponent precisely why you did that and I'd be happy to tell him why the Southern Chinese bases would be so important to me. Sure he might throw more forces into defending them once he hears that but the more airplanes and troops and ships he throws in defending them the more will be removed from his ORBAT when they fall.


E. Invading the Philippines is optional. It really depends on:
E1. How much spare force you have available to you that you cannot deploy into China rapidly
E2. How much you need to divert his reserves from China.
E3. How much you want to mess with his mind and put him under mental pressure.... By this point in time if I wanted this game to continue into 1944 I'd be concerned that my opponent would quit if I invaded the Philippines so you'd have to bear that in mind if you choose to invade them. On the other hand it is good practice and would completely cut off his SLOCs from the DEI whilst providing you with much shorter SLOC from CONUSA to China.

What I mean by this is that you could, if all goes well, move units and supplies from CONUSA, through the Marshalls, to Mindanao, then up the Philippine coast west of Manilla and into southern China, greatly shortening the time taken for new US forces to enter the land war in China/Korea once you have taken the Philippines.

Personally I'd invade the Philippines because it allows you to complicate his strategic situation and invite him to misallocate ground forces from China, thus speeding your romp into Korea.



You should then find yourself entering 1944 with:
a. Your USN CV fleets replenished,
b. Japanese supplies in the Home Islands in a critical situation
c. Many experienced Allied ground combat formations rested and prepped for Japan.


Phase 3:
Home Islands invasion from the unsinkable aircraft carrier that is Korea.... if you want to test strategic bombing Korea is also a great base from which to carry that out. Hell, even twin-engined planes are great strategic bombers from Korea.



Even if your opponent plays to the death this should be over no later than March 1944. I wouldn't expect it to get that far though. I expect that once he sense your shift to a new land-based/under LBA at almost all times strategy, asks you about it and you confirm it to him he will attempt a few KB interventions, find them unsuccessful and unsatisfying and probably concede/argue that you're going against the spirit of the game/argue for HRs to be imposed to prevent your plan.


Obviously you're free to do what you want but the basic thrust is that those bases he has left you in the southern DEI are a dagger poised at a critical weakness ( his SLOCs to the HI ) and are relatively easily exploited. Combine that with a rationalisation of the Chinese defences, freeing up of 1/3rd of that army and its redeployment into Burma in a co-ordinated effort to isolate and then take Myitkyina and then pushes south and east and this should be over as a competition by September to December 1943 with the invasion of the HI to follow in March to June 1944. I think it should be an interesting game from your perspective though and a great opportunity to see how you can defeat someone who, theoretically, has much greater combat power to bring to bear. The problem with that combat power is that you can render much of it ineffective by refusing naval engagements far from your LBA and render other large portions of it irrelevant by forcing it to be garrisoning islands you don't need to invade.

They key to all of this ( and something your opponent clearly hasn't done ) is to decide now how and when you want to win this game and then measure EVERY day's decisions against that grand strategic objective. If a daily action doesn't fit into that grand strategic objective ( how and when to achieve victory ) then you shouldn't do it. It it does further that objective then do it. If you consciously think that way then you will avoid the frittering away of men, materiel and time on strategic fripperies.

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dave sindel
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by dave sindel »

Thank you very much for taking the time to lay out such a detailed and specific course of action. I appreciate it greatly. The comment about Maskirovka not necessarily being about deception really got my attention.

Parts of your plan are already underway - the Burma portion. There is one US Division there and another on the way, as well as the 6th & 7th Aussie divs. I've started shifting troops towards Mykitkyina with an eye towards then moving south towards Schwebo from there.

The Aleutians have not seen a single sign of Japanese recon or interest. I have been quietly building up Attu, Shemya Island, Adak with an eye towards an invasion of the Kurile Islands in the spring of 1943. My thinking was to draw KB north and away from the main thrust from Darwin north through Ambon, Menado towards PI and to develop some airfields to strat bomb Hokkaido and points south.

He tried to take Cocos Islands - twice - and failed. I'm not sure if he gave up, but Cocos has been built into a real bastion. 200+Av behind 5 forts. Plus some British SCTF's lurking undetected to the west of the island. It will take a huge effort to take it now.
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rustysi
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RE: Finding Nemo, and a Discussion on China Strategy

Post by rustysi »

Then the onus is on the Japanese player to evict the Chinese from x3 urban terrain.

Just a minor point here, Canton's terrain is Heavy Urban (HU), which IIRC is x4 defensive terrain.
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