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I recently played through the game solitaire and was a bit confused about how to use my USAAF units.

Even if I go in with every USAAF unit, the IJN can hit back much harder with their plethora of air units and surface ships.

I get replacements later but my worry is that I could lose ZOI which would stop reinforcements, replacements and supply in the next turns and open me up to counterattacks soon.

Is my worry valid? What is the best way to use these units?
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David DeThorne
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I never like to 'volunteer' other people for work, but you might geek mail Mark Herman, the designer. He is often on this site, and good about helping his 'constituents' with his games.
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Mark Herman
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kvnrthr wrote:
I recently played through the game solitaire and was a bit confused about how to use my USAAF units.

Even if I go in with every USAAF unit, the IJN can hit back much harder with their plethora of air units and surface ships.

I get replacements later but my worry is that I could lose ZOI which would stop reinforcements, replacements and supply in the next turns and open me up to counterattacks soon.

Is my worry valid? What is the best way to use these units?


The air combat model is designed to allow the USAAF to perform the way it performed historically. The US has to conduct some air attacks otherwise the JP will be above historical strength at the end of the scenario.

If you just look at air steps, not factors:

JP start with 10 steps
Turn 4 the JP recieve 4 additional steps
Turn 5 the JP receive 2 additional steps
JP starts with 2 air replacements total for scenario
Total 18 air steps

Allies start with 12 steps
Turn 4 the Allies receive 2 additional steps
Allies receive 4 replacement air steps per turn for a total of 12 steps
Total 26 air steps

If you play the Allied air conservatively it is 14 air steps to 18. If you play aggressively you have 25%+ more air steps than the JP. Ergo, every Allied air replacement you leave on the table (unused) evens up the odds.

If you look at combat factors the Allies on Turn 3 the Allies have 44 air factors (with 8 arriving on turn 4) whereas the JP start with 62 factors. If you consider the Allied strength as a constant 52 factors versus the equivalent of 60, the Allies need to drop the per turn strength of the Japanese by breaking the back of the Japanese air units in a grinding air offensive.

Also remember that in turns 5 and 6 the Allies get a +1 air modifier (US participating), so this increases the chances of a 1x result.

Lastly, both sides start in ISR, this has little impact on the Allies as they can always access 28 of their USAAF air units whereas the JP strength is approximately a 60/40 (IJN v IJA respectively), so simplifying the JP under ISR have 31 factors to the USAAF 28 essentially even odds.

Bottomline: You need to attack and trade air steps with even a 3:2 exchange ratio, else things will not go as they did in the real war. Sure on occasion you will have some air ZOI issues. Use Carriers to ameliorate this issue. When this is an issue you will not be able to bring your reinforcements into the front requiring that you use activations from Australian or rear areas to bring reinforcements forward. Locations such as Cape York are usually available as jumping off points for returning air.

I hope this short analysis helps,

Mark

PS: most of this was done quickly, so if I miscounted the steps or factors, my apologies, but they are close and the points are unchanged.
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