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Subject: I Played an Entire Game without a Single Naval Combat rss

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Kurt Keckley
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Started in 42 so no PH.

Pulled my Japanese fleets back and waited as my Infantry and LBA pounded China. It seems like an unstoppable strategy for a marginal victory.

Any thoughts???
 
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Kristian Madsen
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My thoughts: boring. Would point this out to opponent, and go home.

Seriously, this would make for an interesting scenario! Can the US/CW economic might compensate for their small force pools. I'd think that the Japanese economy would be in ruin my mid-1944 from bombing and sub warfare, and from there on it is a battle of attrition. Some room for Japanese feints w/the fleet et al, and maneouvering for strategic locations.

Probably not that much replay value, though.

Would be glad to try this out on wargameroom when it becomes available.

/kgm
 
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Colin Hunter
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One of the things about the game is that you don't have to naval battle much unless you want to. That generally means unless both sides want to, it won't happen. While the blocks help make this decision harder, I could definitely see cautious opponents not engaging very much. As for an unbeatable marginal victory, I'll have to try it next time I play devil
 
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Pierre Pinguet
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p38_Lightning wrote:
Started in 42 so no PH.

Pulled my Japanese fleets back and waited as my Infantry and LBA pounded China. It seems like an unstoppable strategy for a marginal victory.

Any thoughts???


Could you elaborate a bit? Did you abandon Burma and Hong Kong right from the start? Left Truk empty? I'm not sure how literal you are.

It seems that you allow the US to grab terrain quickly. Did the US try to cut off you oil supply by taking back Indonesia?
 
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Chris Farrell
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It seems like you'd have to at least fight for the strategic bombing bases. It seems like once the US has those, and have maxed out their subs, your economy could be quickly reduced to 5-6 WERPS a turn. The US could just bomb you for a while until they have an overwhelming carrier force, then invade the Japanese mainland under a massive air umbrella.

It seems like the economic logic is you should fight early. You have force superiority over the US for much of the early game, so it makes a lot more sense to fight then rather than in a years or two when the US will out-gun you in every category.

"Pounding China" is surprisingly expensive and unproductive. Infantry isn't cheap, and the Chinese get a lot of it, including bonus recruits if you take areas. Substantial expenditure of infantry in China means less infantry to contain the Commonwealth and Americans and to defend the homeland. And what's the upside? Most of the steps the Chinese will receive are free. The Chinese are no serious threat to you, so taking them out doesn't make the world any less dangerous. They don't have many VPs.

I think over-commitment of LBA to China is a serious mistake. LBA is absolutely critical for controlling and contesting sea zones, something even the largest navy can't do. Without that, the US and Commonwealth will have nothing in the way to slow them down on their way to those strategic bombing bases.
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Kurt Keckley
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Pippin123 wrote:
p38_Lightning wrote:
Started in 42 so no PH.

Pulled my Japanese fleets back and waited as my Infantry and LBA pounded China. It seems like an unstoppable strategy for a marginal victory.

Any thoughts???


Could you elaborate a bit? D


I'll try to find the time to write a complete SR.
 
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Kurt Keckley
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cfarrell wrote:

The Chinese are no serious threat to you, so taking them out doesn't make the world any less dangerous. They don't have many VPs.



They have the 3 required for a marginal victory. Once conquered, I poured all of my WERPs into infantry blocks on the homeland and waited. The US took too long to get to me.

Keep in mind this was our first game.
 
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Steve
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Very interested to hear more about this. I would think that as soon as the US sees you doing this he needs to get in and pound the Japanese homeland, as Chris suggested.
 
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Colin Hunter
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p38_Lightning wrote:
cfarrell wrote:

The Chinese are no serious threat to you, so taking them out doesn't make the world any less dangerous. They don't have many VPs.



They have the 3 required for a marginal victory. Once conquered, I poured all of my WERPs into infantry blocks on the homeland and waited. The US took too long to get to me.

Keep in mind this was our first game.

I'll be interested to see how it goes. Personally I've found taking china very, very difficult, it takes so many resources from other fronts. I play a more balanced strategy, threatening as many different areas as possible and try to make them over react, giving you an opportunity somewhere else. Anyway it will be interesting to see how all the different strategies pan out. I'll try a heavey resource commitment to china and let you all know how it goes. I've won twice as the Japanese, but never had much luck in china.
 
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Pierre Pinguet
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p38_Lightning wrote:
Pippin123 wrote:
p38_Lightning wrote:
Started in 42 so no PH.

Pulled my Japanese fleets back and waited as my Infantry and LBA pounded China. It seems like an unstoppable strategy for a marginal victory.

Any thoughts???


Could you elaborate a bit? D


I'll try to find the time to write a complete SR.


That would be cool, thanks.

You're right that the VPs in China are secured once you have all of them.
It's usually a slow and heavy fight, as the Chinese can concentrate on defending/dragging it on,using the free Militia rule.

The US, once they realize you're serious about China, should send Max Lend Lease to the Chinese, in order to make this even more difficult for you.

I think, however, that if you go all out (including LBA), China will fall.
Did you finish the Communists? or just the nationalists? It would seem that a conquered China would be less requiring in terms of garrisons if Mao is out of the picture?

So the US has now no choice but to conquer Japan before the end of the game. They have to be agressive about it.

I'll try a three steps approach:

1/ Get close: If the JPN is in Honshu, rush to grab key ports and islands with the US Marines. Produce ground units and LBA, needed to control land and sea.

eg: Wake>Eniwetok>3 Bomber bases
Rabaul>Truk
Relocate your fleet there, and spam LBA to exert a web of influence.
Start Bombing away (you don't need to spend as much on the subs, as Japan is not using its Transport network anyway)

Send the needed fleet at risk to get your production increase.

2/ Strangle:
Take back the Philippines. Place LBAs. You need to get Dominant influence on the seas aroung to block supply from Indonesian Oil and other Werps.

From there, strengthen your embargo. Launch port attacks on Honshu to either get free hits or a naval reaction that will deplete its oil reserves.

3/ Pounce
Just before the oil reserves are depleted, pour all your WERPS in Infantry and prepare a monster land invasion, by positioning units in the Strat Bomber bases and the Philippines. Bring the CW units to the party too...
LBA in Okinawa (2) and Iwo Jima(1) could help,

If it looks you'll have the time, wait for the Kamikaze marker to reach zero to get rid of the LBAs.

That's all assuming Japan is really in bunker mode, of course.
 
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Chris Farrell
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I think you certainly can conquer China, but it's really expensive. You were giving the Chinese their 5 free steps whenever the Japanese clear a Chinese area? One VP space is in rough terrain, and should have a lot of steps in it by the time you get there. The commitment required to actually totally clear China requires the almost total neglect of anything else. Also, it's going to require the commitment of a lot of infantry blocks, a resource on which you are somewhat pressured. Committing all those blocks to China means fewer for home defense and fewer for to oppose the Brits and Americans. The problem with home island garrison units is they have to Banzai all the time and get themselves killed. If the US gets close to Japan, you won't be able to either op-move (because of enemy naval units) or strat-move (due to subs) many of those units committed to China back to the home islands.

Now, I think there might be a strategy here, but in the games I've played the Japanese have never had infantry blocks to burn - that seems like the biggest downside (in addition to moving up when the US can start strat-bombing you). If the opportunity arises - the Chinese burn themselves out attacking you, or you get lucky on an attack towards Chungking and the Allies don't spend the WERPS to shore them up - maybe. But it seems tough game plan.
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Kurt Keckley
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I spent almost zero money on ships aside from transport points after the BB was finished. I poured everything into infantry and LBA.
 
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Mark Luta
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To me, this would seem to be the sort of thing perhaps to try after a few plays of the game, but not really intersting as a main strategy. I have never been one to play for marginal victories, anyway! It is also sort of gaming the system, I think--the game is designed to be playable, as the designer has pointed out, and so there are simplifications for the sake of simpler rules--an example the designer freely admits to is partially supplied LBA remaining fully combat capable is simply a tradeoff of not creating extensive extra rules.

In the historical context, for Japan to strike Pearl Harbor and then suddenly decide to hole up and concentrate solely on conquest of China is more than a bit off. I would think perhaps this could be more appropriate if starting the game in 1941 and Japan decides not to attack Pearl Harbor.
 
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David desJardins
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markluta wrote:
To me, this would seem to be the sort of thing perhaps to try after a few plays of the game, but not really intersting as a main strategy.


Well, of course. But, if it's a problem, the solution is to tweak the rules, right? Not to just ask players to all voluntarily refrain from strategies that aren't considered sufficiently interesting?
 
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Rick Young
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Absolutely - If it's a problem, rules tweaks will be forthcoming.

The jury is still out on whether or not this is a problem.

If the result is easilly repeatable, which has not yet been shown, the easiest fix, is that only two of the Chinese VP areas could be counted towards a Marginal Victory, while all of them can be counted towards a Decisive Victory.

That's the fix I already have in mind, pending the resolution of the issue from the jury (you gamers).
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Kurt Keckley
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Rick Young wrote:
If the result is easilly repeatable, which has not yet been shown,


The conquest of China itself feels easily repeatable. The US just has to move faster when they see it coming.
 
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Jon M
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Before everyone gets their knickers in a twist on this you have to remember that they were both playing their first game. Major mistakes will have been made. I suggest no major rules tweaks until this has been shown to be an easily repeatable win against a player who has actually played before.
 
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Colin Hunter
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I agree jon, but kurt is an experienced EE player, so I wouldn't want to discount his opinion, I need to get this on the table again. I'm trying his strategy solo, it seems solid at the moment, but it is still hard to tell. The japanese have had some terrible luck in china, this might have given the allies an in. We shall see, still not that far in. A real test though will be face to face.
 
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Mark Luta
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Well, I guess I am in the camp that plays wargames as historical simulations, and so am against making rules changes just to prevent obviously ahistorical (in the sense of historically impossible, not the sense of trying what if? which obviously is much of the allure of wargames!). Particularly in a game such as this where the victory conditions are already quite complicated--though that does seem a typical feature of GMT games! Never sure who has won until the points are all counted up...

I have only played the game once, of course, and seen a few more games as they progressed. So I echo the concerns written above, where it is suggested changing rules based on one game report. Speaking historically, conquest of China could have been a prize Japan would have been happy to come away from WWII with, in the event of a negotiated peace. So it seems to me, if the rest of the Pacific Theater is crumbling for Japan, but they have some success in China, that probaby would be a valid marginal victory for a Japan which retains Japan and China. It would be a shame to take this possibility away from the Japanese.

If we say the 'historic' outcome was an Allied Operational Victory, then clearly an unconquered Japan which controls most of China would be much better than history, and so ought to reward the Japanese player. So to me, even if this is a repeatable successful strategy, and we worry about Japanese players who are willing from the start to play for only a marginal victory at most, then the solution ought to be along the lines of simply solving the root problem for the Allies under this strategy, that if China is conquered, because of the board layout it would be nearly impossible for them to get it back. Yet, is this fact really no more than just an artifact of the board layout which was intended for sea-hopping battles, and the simple mechanism of preventing some sort of unrealistic British campaign into Manchuria by allowing only American units in China? (Had China fallen, an entirely different historical set of conditions would have resulted--if the Commonwealth forces in the Far East were not so badly battered as they were historically, they certainly would have been interested in French Indochina at the very least, and possibly future relations with China and the British Empire.)

If this is so, a viable and less game-changing rules change might be to allow Commonwealth units to enter China once two VP areas in China are conquered by Japan. After all, if Japan spends no resources battling out on the Pacific, and allows their forces to be quickly driven back to Japan and China, then I would expect the massive air and production resources of the Allies would eventually disloge any amount of infantry forces from either Japan, or from at least one VP area in China--at which point, with all the strategic airbase islands in Allied hands, this strategy quickly turns from a 'guaranteed' marginal Japanese victory, into pretty much a 'guaranteed' operational Allied victory. Not to mention a massive dice-throwing fest without any strategy, which, as the second poster pointed out, would be extremely boring!
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