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Subject: Card draws and Ressources leads to japanese lame duck rss

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Sir Tobey
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Hello,

in my recent and first Campaign play with a friend nearly every round a card draw was lost due submarine warfare, after loosing one ressource space (Voogelkop), I was down to 12 Resources since Rangoon was never captured. So my draw would be 5, respectively 6 cards. Since the chance to loose the card to submarinie warfare increases every turn I can expect 5 cards. Why I should bother all Souteast Asia for net gain of 1 card? I could rather dig in, never expand, and fight the progress of war in Iwo Jima instead with a mass of troops. I felt after loose 1 Ressource space, it is not worth to fight for the rest. Maybe to reduce the minimum draw would be a solution?

This leads me to my second problem. The naval Supremacy of the allies lead to the situation that almost no offensive moves are possible and just reshuffling troops to await allied landings. You're sitting around and just wait. I don't care about my card hand since I don't need it anymore. What I miss is to fight for every space like in For the people and Paths of glory. As JP I sat around like a lame duck. Since this cannot be the intention of the designer, I ask what Japan usually is doing after the AP got enough naval units in Turn 5 and 6?
 
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Francisco Colmenares
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That submarine warfare experience is unusual. For Turns 2 to 4 you get 7 cards regardless of resource hexes. Worst case scenario you will have 7, 6 and 6 cards for those turns. Consider (Assuming no other modifiers):

Turn 2: Already set up, no card loss
Turn 3: 30% chance of card loss. (+1 defective torpedoes)
Turn 4: 40% chance of card loss. (+1 defective torpedoes)

Losing cards in both turns is a 12% probability, unusual. The odds of losing 1 card in either turn is 44% and losing no cards is 42%.

Turns 5: 60%
Turns 6: 70%

Losing both cards each turn is 42%, Losing 1 or 0 cards is 56%. The odds of losing a card each turn 3-6 is tiny: 5%. I think you had some very bad luck if you lost a card nearly every turn. It is true that with no modifiers you will lose a card no matter what from turn 9 onwards. But the end game is different.

Japan has the strength to take all 14 resource hexes by the time you hit turn 5 and you should make it harder for the allies to take those hexes from you. Once you secure Rangoon, as long you commit good ground strength the allies cannot easily take it back. With Vogelkop it's a reason to secure most of New Guinea and the Solomon's. It's a shield.

In addition, from a PW perspective, conquest of the Dutch, Malaya, Burma and Philippines gives you 4 political will points. It's much easier to conquer these nations than to stop allied progress of war four times. You may also have opportunities to snipe some naval political will by sinking the allied carriers or navy if the allies suffer a disaster in turns 2-5.

Your mention of the allied navy leads me to think your opponent played a War in Europe card. The large allied navy doesn't arrive until turn 7 because it's usually delayed. You will normally see a war in Europe card among your draws, you might want to keep it handy to ensure the big navy is delayed a turn to give you a buffer. The Japanese Navy is generally superior to the allied one all through turn 6. Unless you have sustained big losses, you should be able to challenge the US navy effectively until their big turn 6 reinforcements actually arrive on the map.

Going turtle is a bad idea because now you have to practically stop progress of war each turn or lose. Also, remember that in turn 5 onwards the moment you have 3 or less resource hexes the allies get a one time +3 political will boost. The equivalent of 3 turns of stopping progress of war. Also it makes the atomic bomb easier to accomplish which requires the allies to reduce Japan to 1 resource hex or 0, if they manage to play Manchuria and you didn't expand then your efforts at fortification have come to naught: the allies don't need to invade you.

Another consideration is that B29 bombing increases political will +1 each turn it's successful, undoing any progress of war penalties. So really, your only window of stopping progress of war is turns 4-8, that's 5 political will points... not enough to force surrender without some luck in drawing Tokyo Rose and Tojo Resigns or inflicting casualties which the allies will be doing their utmost to avoid in this scenario.

Finally there is a significant difference between having 4 cards and 5 cards I suspect you haven't thought of: you only get 2 passes in either case. What this means is that during turns 5-12 the allies will go first AND last if you only have 4 cards (you have 6 plays vs the allied 7 plays) With 5 cards, if you time your passes in the middle you at least can threaten to stop progress of war with your last card play which the allies can't respond to effectively.

A no Japanese expansion strategy is a recipe for disaster.
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Bill Mitchell
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I had a similar situation in the 1 game I played as the Japanese. Few cards and big allied superiority. I played a game of conserving my forces, and falling back to Japan. In the end, I had almost the entire Japanese army in Japan, and a few air and naval units left. I found that reacting to offensives, unless I could hit a secondary battle to win it, was just a good way to lose units even faster. I managed to squeek out a win, but it hardly felt as if I had won!
 
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Rezard Vareth
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wliednm wrote:
I had a similar situation in the 1 game I played as the Japanese. Few cards and big allied superiority. I played a game of conserving my forces, and falling back to Japan. In the end, I had almost the entire Japanese army in Japan, and a few air and naval units left. I found that reacting to offensives, unless I could hit a secondary battle to win it, was just a good way to lose units even faster. I managed to squeek out a win, but it hardly felt as if I had won!


Playing this was probably not nearly as cool for you as reading about it sounds to me.
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John Steidl
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There's no question that the Allies will spend more of the game on the offensive than the Japanese, and if the Japanese player (JP) has two weak hands to start, it can feel like the offensive never gets out of the gate. The cards provide for a very wide range of possibilities, which enhances replayability for experienced players, but anyone playing their first game, or not playing frequently, may prefer to constrain the possibilities within more historical limits. There are several easy ways to accomplish this, which can also be used as game balancers if the Allied player (AP) is more experienced:

1. JP can use the historical hand (17.25F) on turn 2. (Highly recommended for all new players.)
2. Allow a little more flexibility with the "mulligan" hand (17.25E), such that the JP can replace ANY card in their turn 2 hand with the VADM Kondo card if they have only 0 OR 1 military events.
3. Players can agree not to roll for Subs on turn 3 - or turn 2 if using the '41 start.
4. Players can agree not to play War in Europe cards as events on turn 2. There is a roughly 10% chance that the AP will have a WiE card on turn 2 AND the JP will not have one to offset. So on-time arrival of the AP turn 3 reinforcements won't happen often, but it's a big factor when it does. This avoids that, and also avoids the JP being able to put the AP into a big hole early.
5. With more experience, players can go with the '41 campaign, ensuring a better start for the JP. I would not recommend this for new players, however, and I also wouldn't recommend using the historical hand on turn 2 if starting on turn 1 unless the AP is clearly the stronger player.

In the later war, the fact that Japan is on the defensive does not mean that they are totally passive. The defensive set-up is critical, as is knowing when to react and with what. There is a lot of thinking for the JP. But if the goal is to play a game where both players have equal opportunities to attack and defend, the '43 short scenario is the ideal choice.

Hope that helps.
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I think the issue here is one of expectations, to be honest. EotS is meant to reflect to some extent the historicity of the conflict and by the end of the war, the Japanese Navy WAS a lame duck and largely couldn't do anything but react to movements by the Allies (as seen in Leyte Gulf). This does mean that Japan becomes a purely reactive power in the later stages of the game, but I don't think it would be possible to prevent this without completely rewriting history.

What I love about EotS is that there is a reason to go on past the point of no return as the Japanese, and even then decisions matter, although they are mostly restricted to the careful placement of your remaining available forces/air assets. For example, in my last game, it was well within my capabilities to win the game (as much as in reality the victory would have been Pyrrhic), but my own incorrect covering of Formosa and Korea allowed the allies to allow for a resource surrender/nuclear bomb victory. My preparations had been focused too much on preventing invasion and I didn't see how critical those positions were.

The driving point was that it was the Allies' good play and my own bad play that drove the game to its conclusion, and for me that is the most important aspect of a wargame.
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Tagore Nakornchai
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Quote:
Hello,

in my recent and first Campaign play with a friend nearly every round a card draw was lost due submarine warfare, after loosing one ressource space (Voogelkop), I was down to 12 Resources since Rangoon was never captured. So my draw would be 5, respectively 6 cards. Since the chance to loose the card to submarinie warfare increases every turn I can expect 5 cards. Why I should bother all Souteast Asia for net gain of 1 card? I could rather dig in, never expand, and fight the progress of war in Iwo Jima instead with a mass of troops. I felt after loose 1 Ressource space, it is not worth to fight for the rest. Maybe to reduce the minimum draw would be a solution?

There are tons and tons of reasons to go after resource hexes
1. You can take over these resource hexes for almost no loss; the Dutch are pushovers, and the British/Americans in Burma, Malaya and the Phillipines aren't going to put up much more of a fight.
2. Malaya/the DEI/The Phillipines also have some prime bases which would allow the Americans to destroy your fleet piecemeal; ultimately, those American planes and ships are replacable; yours are not. Part of the reasoning behind the Japanese attacks on these areas were to deny forward bases for the Allies that can be used to stage a counteroffensive; one of the nightmare scenarios in this game for the Japanese player is a succesful US defence of the Phillipines in Turns 2/3/4; a forward-based US Navy/Air Force will restrict your operational freedom, and has the ability to cause some serious havoc to your fleet.
3. The Political Will loss the Americans would get from not having to make Progress of War is far exceeded by the political gain they have from the lack of a DEI/Burmese/Malayan surrender, and the +3 bonus from you not having resource hexes. Also, once the Americans havea Bomber base within 8 hexes of Tokyo (And if the Americans want a base hard enough, they will get that base!), they have a practically unlimited supply of political will anyway.
4. Finally, I think you underestimate the value of having cards; the cards aren't necessarily just for operations, a lot of cards provide significant reinforcements (Extra air and naval replacement step cards), can do damage to an allied fleet (Kamikazes and subs), or even cancel offensives completely. Not to mention that you'll still need to plug holes in your defenses, because eventually, that gigantic American fleet is going to kill enough of your units to create a gap in your defences' it's only a matter of time, and by playing passively, you're giving the Americans plenty of time to pick your fleet apart.


Quote:
This leads me to my second problem. The naval Supremacy of the allies lead to the situation that almost no offensive moves are possible and just reshuffling troops to await allied landings. You're sitting around and just wait. I don't care about my card hand since I don't need it anymore. What I miss is to fight for every space like in For the people and Paths of glory. As JP I sat around like a lame duck. Since this cannot be the intention of the designer, I ask what Japan usually is doing after the AP got enough naval units in Turn 5 and 6?



From my experience, even though the Americans generally have an overwhelming military advantage, they're still very hard-pressed to win. Their victory conditions are harsh! Invading Honshu will be bloody and risky. The A-Bomb is unpredictable. Blockade requires you to far surpass the speed of the historical advance; you need to be in Luzon, Okinawa and Korea by December 1944; In fact, by a strict interpretation of the rules, the historical result was a Japanese victory (Honshu hasn't fallen, the tight blockade hasn't been put in place and Japan still controls 6 resource hexes)

As the Japanese, you have to approach the game with that mindset; if the Americans survive the early game, your fleet and Air Forces will be facing a quantitatively and eventually qualitatively superior force that will eventaully overwhelm you. Your goal is to hang on for dear life and make the Americans pay for every inch of ground so that the clock runs out.

I mean, historically, the sane Japanese admirals realised that they'd have no chance of winning a protracted war against the US; their best hope was a negotiated settlement, which the game reflects through the US political will and US victory mechanics.
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Sir Tobey
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Hello,

at first I want to thank all those helpfull replies. I got a some new ideas and views on the game and will try to implment them into the next game.
But one question still I have: What you do with your japanese troops after turn 5 or 6. Because replacements are so scarce, nearly every offensive action bears to speed up the own defeat.
 
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Mark Herman
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Wolf 359 wrote:
Hello,

in my recent and first Campaign play with a friend nearly every round a card draw was lost due submarine warfare, after loosing one ressource space (Voogelkop), I was down to 12 Resources since Rangoon was never captured. So my draw would be 5, respectively 6 cards. Since the chance to loose the card to submarinie warfare increases every turn I can expect 5 cards. Why I should bother all Souteast Asia for net gain of 1 card? I could rather dig in, never expand, and fight the progress of war in Iwo Jima instead with a mass of troops. I felt after loose 1 Ressource space, it is not worth to fight for the rest. Maybe to reduce the minimum draw would be a solution?

This leads me to my second problem. The naval Supremacy of the allies lead to the situation that almost no offensive moves are possible and just reshuffling troops to await allied landings. You're sitting around and just wait. I don't care about my card hand since I don't need it anymore. What I miss is to fight for every space like in For the people and Paths of glory. As JP I sat around like a lame duck. Since this cannot be the intention of the designer, I ask what Japan usually is doing after the AP got enough naval units in Turn 5 and 6?


I would offer that history is a good guide for EotS. Failure to create a perimeter defense that forces the Allies to fight their way toward Japan can be problematical with solid Allied play. If you do not do this it is likely that the war will end sooner than it did historically.

As far as the Submarines go, you can expect to play most turns with 6 card draw after 1942 and without escorts and favorable Allied strategic warfare dice it can happen earlier.

As far as having nothing to do after turn 5 or 6 again history is a good guide. You might find it useful to read up on the China-Burma-India theater as the Japanese have solid ground operation options late into the war. In fact a solid path to Japanese victory is to capture the DEI, Malaya, Philippines, Burma and then force Indian/Chinese surrender. Not easy, but it can be done.

Alternately, the Japanese can capture the DEI, Malaya, Philippines and then use a Pacific strategy to capture Midway and Attu/Kiska in conjunction with winning the battle of Midway for the win.

The supporting mechanic to all of this is the four Politial will cards (Tojo/Rose and Doolittle/Bataan) whose order can shift the situation one or up to three PW.

I can go on, but there are free articles that I wrote for c3i that you can get over on CSW at the ops center for more details.

I hope that helps,

Mark
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William Scanlan
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I just love it when Francisco and John S. have, and quote, statistics and rules like that. (I cut and paste them to a MS Word doc) It’s like reading Nate Silver’s “FiveThirtyEight” page.
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William Scanlan
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Playing this was probably not nearly as cool for you as reading about it sounds to me.[/q]

Not if you were the Allied player being unable to attrite Bill’s skillfully placed and mutually supported units as they fell back to the Home Islands.
 
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