The Indian Theater
For the Japanese player, the 4 victory or production points in India are tempting
targets. All but one of these are accessible by land, reducing the number of strategic
invasions required. However, the Allied player has a large number of cheap Indian
infantry units available to counter this threat. Furthermore, annual monsoon and
typhoon weather problems often slow progress in this theater.
Conquering India will almost ensure a marginal victory for the Japanese player.
Combined with the historical gains (see below) India brings the VP tally to 18
points. It makes a solid foundation on the road to a decisive victory. There are
many variations on opening moves that will get the average Japanese player to
14 points in the first two or three turns. These reflect the approximate historical
extent of the Japanese occupation. In game terms, the Japanese should easily capture
the major production centers of Singapore, Palembang, Borneo, Manila, and most
of New Guinea. Palembang is the only one that can't be attacked on the first turn.
Given the limited resources available, the Allied player can usually only delay
its inevitable demise by sending in one or two units via strategic movement, as
well as by retreating any surviving air and naval units from Borneo and/or Singapore.
If using the optional overrun rule, Palembang is also vulnerable to
attack on the first turn. This makes an Allied defense nearly impossible.
The Japanese player must make the decision to go for India almost from the
start. It's going to require a tremendous amount of resources. Meanwhile the Australian
and central Pacific theaters cannot be neglected. It will necessarily be a balancing
act, with the priority placed in India. Obviously, the Allied player is going
to do everything in his power to save India, so it's important for both players
to use fog of war to make feints with groups of smaller units pulling the Allies
away from India.
Capture of Singapore on the first turn is almost necessary. Their are plenty
of forces available but occasionally time runs out. To be safe, send maximum air
and naval units, as well as the 3 strength infantry via strategic attack from
Hainan. Also bring the Marine unit from Kure and/or Palau into the theater for
future invasions, possibly the Andamans on turn 2. Remember, the double defense
does NOT apply on the first turn. The fall of Singapore is important because these
units will be needed to attack Ceylon and Rangoon.
Ceylon is not supplied via rail or road, so it can be blockaded quite effectively.
It's critical that the blockade be established on turn 2, or else the monsoon
on turn 3 (and possible typhoon on turn 4) may hold up operations for two turns.
A blockade of Ceylon will both stop the Allied player from building units there,
as well as cause supply attrition. A blockade at Rangoon will not cause supply
attrition, but it will stop the player from transferring units there via strategic
or re-base movement, limiting Allied options. Rangoon and Ceylon can also be attacked
with Infantry on turn 2 (infantry in Saigon moves to Bangkok on turn one.) Supporting
naval firepower is crucial to the success of these operations. Should they fail,
prepare a second wave for the 4th or 5th turn after the Monsoon and possible Typhoon.
In addition to these objectives on the early turns, the Japanese player must
also "wrap up" the capture of any remaining production centers in the
Dutch East Indies. While achieving this, he should shift the bulk of his units
within range of the Indian theater. The Andaman Islands are crucial as a airbase
Consider abandoning Kwajalein - manning it with only cheap infantry
units while retreating the air and naval units to bolster Hollandia, Truk, and
Rabaul. (Since blockading ships must be in supply themselves, Kwajalein cannot
be blockaded by the Allies unless they also control Rabaul.) This will force the
Allied player to attack strongly defended major bases giving the advantage to
In the midgame, the Japanese player must blockade all the ports in India to
slowly weaken the Indian infantry through supply attrition as well as continued
naval and air attacks. Save the air attacks until the infantry assault
as the ground units can fire back on air units but not naval units. Note that
Singapore must remain captured for any port in India to be blockaded and Ceylon
must also be captured in order to blockade Bombay. Establish "sea superiority"
west of Australia to hamper Allied attempts to resupply and/or attack Japanese
units. This will likely result in sea battles in the Indian Ocean. The Japanese
player should defend within one hex of Sumatra, Java and Ceylon, forcing battles
to occur in range of friendly air units but out of range of Allied air cover.
If conquest of India is accomplished by late '43, the Japanese player can wait
for the Allied player to build up and play back to a stalemate or push for the
decisive victory. It is easier to hold India than Australia against US counter
attack. While it may seem daunting at first, Pearl Harbor may be the best bet
for getting the last two points needed for the win. Another strategy might be
to capture the ports of Darwin and/or Perth and transfer infantry units from the
Indian theater to Australia for a land assault on Melbourne or Sydney. However,
the firepower of Australian infantry units (G3) make this costly.
Of course, all this is much easier said than done. Any Allied player sensing
this strategy should use every opportunity to reinforce bases in the Indian theater
using strategic and/or re-base movement. Consider sending US submarines, US and
Australian Infantry, as well as a "spare" Battleship or Carrier. These
units can make Bombay and/or Calcutta very tough nuts. Lastly, Allied air units
are cheap given the production differential and should be used at every opportunity.