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Asia Engulfed» Forums » Rules

Subject: Does submarine supply allow a supply path through dominant influence? rss

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Patrick Shirley
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I took it for granted that it did but then realised there is a distinction between being about to extend your supply network into a dominant influence sea zone which is allowed per

3.52...except that it may ignore the restrictions on Allied
Dominant Influence [3.51]....


and being able to trace a supply path through dominant influence sea zones which is disallowed per

3.4.
a) The enemy Player does not have Dominant Influence over any
sea-zone that supply is traced into or through.


I had initially thought that the first rule I quoted implied an exception in the following rule but in fact that is probably not the case. So placing your submarine would allow you to extend your supply network to a dominant influence sea zone but you would have to do something about that sea zone (flying a GSU to an adjoining space for instance) to insure those units needing to trace through that sea zone were not OOS come the final supply determination.
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Mark Luta
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Certainly another intersting point of confusion...It always seemed to me the 'submarine supply' recreated the several Japanese efforts to get supplies through to semi-isolated island locations during the war, such as runs with supplies and troops on fast destroyers, running supply vessels aground on the beaches to prevent sinking, and of course using cargo and tanker submarines (though the capacities of these could not have been significant on this scale).

This derived from the rules you cite, plus the fact the Japanese supply network must be able to trace a route back to a port in Japan. However, although I am pretty sure I recall an answer a couple of years ago that limited supply sources were only useable overland, and could not be traced to overseas, I have heard the contrary opinion of late, that supply may be drawn from a limited supply source across a sea route. If this is the case, then the submarine supply could be used as you suggest, to trace a 'route' back to Japan through an Allied dominant influence seazone, so the network is then linked to Japan, allowing another section of the network to trace to a limited supply area across seazones on the network, even though a path free of dominant influence to Japan does not exist.

Personally, I would go with the idea the submarine supply traces actualy supply through one seazone of dominant Allied influence. This is far simpler, and the whole concept is admittedly a very abstract method of simulating the serious logistical constraints the Japanese faced. So additional complexity here is of little simulation value. Plus, the game is already pretty hopeless for Japan when played between experienced players, so granting Japan the slight advantage of rules interpretation here is probably a good thing.
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Sakari Lahti
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markluta wrote:
Plus, the game is already pretty hopeless for Japan when played between experienced players, so granting Japan the slight advantage of rules interpretation here is probably a good thing.


Is it? I admittedly have not played much against experienced players, but is the game considered imbalanced? I'd like to hear an elaboration. What makes the game hopeless for Japan?
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Mark Luta
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Well, I had typed a nice long and detailed response as to why Japan does not win, but the site decided to drop into maintenance mode then! But probably it is sufficient to distill the two main problems I perceive. First, the fact Japan cannot count VPs which are still occupied and in limited supply, but not supplied from Japan, on their last turn. This allows the Allied player to simply ensure Japan does not gain the 12VP automatic victory during the game (quite rightly nearly impossible, but frankly probably Japan's best chance), and then put essentially all the effort into the Central Pacific offensive once carrier parity has been attained. Sooner or later, the IJN is going to either be defeated, or run out of oil and be insignificant, there are simply too many approaches to Japan for them to all be defended, and the logistics network is going to collapse so long as America builds enough submarines, which prevents any long-term defense along the Wake-Tarawa-Guadalcanal-Gili Gili-Celebes line that might be possible to hold. If Japan could count the VPs in limited supply, the Allied player would have more a dilemma as to whether to spend more resources defending, and then retake, since they cannot be certain of conquering Honshu. However, the Allies are pretty much unstoppable with regards being able to isolate Japan from the rest of the Empire--possibly VPs in China or India could be held with air resources hidden in China and submarine supply used on their last turn, but when Japan puts enough force into China or India to achieve these objectives, normally they do not have enough left to defend the Pacific. Plus, the game is not very interesting if Japan is just going to stand on the defensive and hope for good die rolls in Asia.

The other problem is I believe the USA starts with far too many Army blocks available. One way Japan can gain advantage is to force America to lend-lease massively early, a lend-lease of 5 WERPs costs 10, leaving America with only 10 to spend in 1942 and so Allied production would be comparable to Japanese, much to the advantage of Japan since the Japanese start with much more force already built. However, the USA does not need to build their expensive Marines early, and does not need to lend-lease for the defense of Australia, rather they should just send US Army blocks there (extremely ahistorical, the US Army did not commit significant forces to the Pacific until FDR forced the issue when he became concerned about the effect a potential loss in the struggle for Guadalcanal would have on the November 1942 Congressional elections--fighting wars based on political considerations is hardly a modern phenomonen!). If Japan wins in Burma and moves into India, then they give the Commonwealth 3 more BRPs which is normally enough to build up the big British blocks, while a Japanese amphibious invasion is limited to only 2 ground/air units by turn end (a very good rule change as this was a game-winning strategy for Japan, send a massive invasion force against India and prevent any additional Commonwealth ground or air units from SR in). China also rarely seems to need much in the way of lend-lease, and again if Japan sends enough force there they do, then it seems Japan does not have enough force to defend the Pacific perimeter.

In any event, the game plays very well between two players who understand and work within the constraints of their side. The Japanese seem invincible at first, if they get a few good dice, and the Allied player has plenty of chances for frustration when things which should be working, simply do not work. But ultimately, the Allies always seem to be able to isolate, and very often conquer Japan, before the end.
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