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Pacific Victory
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 covering India.

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 the Japanese.

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.