Japan Strategy for Axis
& Allies 3rd Edition
Japan Turn One
If playing with heavy bombers, buy 2 tech
rolls for heavy bombers and 2 transports, saving 4 IPCs.
If NOT playing with heavy bombers, Buy 3
transports and 2 infantry.
Japan is the 4th
player to go, so some actions depend on what has already happened in the
If Russia defended Buryatia in force, donít
do Pearl Harbor II and use everything to pound Buryatia and take it.
If Russia evacuated Buryatia, move one
infantry from Manchuria into it and take it, and fight Pearl Harbor II,
sending enough stuff that you should kill it all in the first round,
which should include one battleship, carrier, destroyer, sub (if
survived), bomber, two fighters.
Send your battleship and carrier against
the UK destroyer in Kwangtung.
Send two Kwangtung and the other
Manchurian infantry against China, along with three fighters.
Send one fighter against the UK sub (if
Send one Kwangtung infantry into French
Land fighters primarily in French
IndoChina, on carrier, or on island if need be.
If UK sub survived, and the Japanese
fleet is all elsewhere, then build transports on inner sea zone,
otherwise build transports on external sea zone.
Japan Overall Strategy
Keys to winning:
1. Get Heavy Bombers
2. Pressure Russia
3. Avoid Indian and Sinkiang
4. Maximize income
If youíre not playing with Heavy
Bombers, ignore this section. Get heavy bombers quickly, and spend most
of your IPCs (not being spent on building a few infantry a turn for your
preexisting transports) on more bombers. Then, you should strategic bomb
Russia and use the Heavy Bombers in conventional attacks as well.
Japanís #1 goal is to pressure Russia.
Russia must fall for the Axis to win, and much of the task falls on
Japanís shoulders. There are three avenues into Asia, the northern
route over Mongolia through Siberia, the central route through China and
Sinkiang, and the southern route through India. No matter what the
Western Allies do, particularly on the central and southern routes,
Japan has to find a way to take Russian IPCs and force Russia to trade
their own units, man for man, in back and forth battles.
The Western Allies will likely have
factories in India and Sinkiang, pumping out infantry or tanks to slow
your offense down. Backed up by additional Russian reinforcements, these
territories can become thorny problems very quickly. While it can be
tempting to try to throw everything at these two territories, donít
lose focus. The northern route across Siberia is pure Russian. Any units
you kill along that path will likely be Russian, and youíll be taking
away hard to defend IPCs. Donít get sucked into 10 turn stalemates in
India or Sinkiang that by the time you win the battle, youíve lost the
game, because the Allies with their superior economic position have
destroyed Germany and are now coming after Japan.
Japan has always been a fast track
player, and while Allied strategies on the new map can slow them down a
bit, Japan still needs to boast large IPC gains in order to win. Aside
from thorny India and Sinkiang, there is China, Buryatia, Soviet Far
East, Yakut, Evenki, Novosibirsk, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii,
Alaska, Madagascar, and even Africa, depending on what happens there.
Japan must maximize their incoming IPCs, because the temporary
stalemates in India or Sinkiang will prolong the game. The longer the
game gets prolonged, the more the Allied economic advantage will weigh
down the Axis. This means Japan has to start evening the odds by taking
these peripheral territories. Once Japan has enough income to justify a
factory in French IndoChina, they will likely have an extra unused
transport or two (along with battleship bombards) that could ideally be
used to scoop up some of these outlying territories. That factory will
need to be build when Japan hits the limit of 8 units that can be built
within Japan. Early on, they are building more expensive transports,
which helps increase the average unit cost, but once the transport fleet
is built and only infantry and artillery are being purchased, Japan
needs more production space, forcing them to have to build a factory on
If even another factory is warranted, or
you know with specificity when a key battle will be fought in India or
Sinkiang, then a second factory in Kwangtung allows you to produce tanks
that can immediately move two spaces and fight in either of those two
Pearl Harbor II is a great battle when
you consider the mismatch you can create against the US Hawaiian fleet.
But remember that this should only be your plan of attack if Russia
backs off the coast. Otherwise, hammering Russia and Russian units takes
If the US player pulls out all their
troops from the Western US, then Japan should strongly consider invading
Alaska with a minimal force. The US will be forced to then build a much
larger defensive force to ensure they donít lose California. Once the
US has built those troops in the Western US, then you can either leave
your troops there, or simply evacuate Alaska with the knowledge that you
just tied down US troops for a couple of turns and likely disrupted the
transport/infantry pipeline they probably have flowing into Europe.
Alternatively, if you have a big enough
fleet, it may be possible to move a huge army to Alaska, and then take
Western US on the next turn. With the 10 unit building limit in Western
US, and the added territory of Central US to slow down cross country
marches from Eastern US, itís quite possible that you could guarantee
that you would have more units invading Western US than the US player
could possibly defend on their next turn.
Try to use your battleships every
chance you get. Japan has the nice position that there are some
convenient targets in outlying territories such as Hawaii, Australia,
New Zealand, and perhaps even Alaska that will typically have some
infantry that could be easily killed.
Remember that one of the best ways to
keep the Russians from reinforcing India or Sinkiang is by putting
pressure on them elsewhere, such as via Yakut and into Novosibirsk and
Evenki. This guarantees that they will have to slow the flow of units
going into India and Sinkiang just to deal with the new threat along
their northern border. Japan wants to become a Russian leach and start
bleeding the Reds white by taking Russian territory each turn and
forcing Russia to lose units taking their territories back.
Additionally, the Japanese player should
have a heads up if the German Mediterranean fleet gets destroyed. This
means that Africa will probably fall to the Allies, and Germany will be
unable to reinforce with
their transport or do anything about it. That said, Japan should
recognize the situation and quickly come to Germanyís aid and help
maintain Axis control over Africa.