Strategy – Capturing six primary victory cities gives you the win. Getting four allied ships sunk makes you lose. Specifically, the blue ships under AI control representing the supply fleet. Secondary victory conditions providing benefits are not losing any supply ships, reaching the Bayug Hanger in 10 turns and capturing 4 secondary victory hexes within fifteen turns.
Naval Strategy – My naval strategy is avoiding losing. Three sets of US ships must be guarded. Ships immediately off the invasion coast have multiple nearby airfields so defending them is easy. Sea access is far away, and my air power would sink any Jap fleet. The other groups are major problems. The second group is in the far South-Center of the map perhaps four flight turns from the nearest land airfield. The third group is the worst problem being in the far East about seven turns flight away from any land airfield.
Controllable naval assets are only two destroyers, one cruiser and two carriers. The USA has a huge ground invasion force and massive air superiority. Marines should capture the first airfield within two turns of D-Day with additional airfields falling shortly thereafter. Projecting air power to protect the two distant sets of naval targets (fleets) is the problem.
The destroyers and cruiser will support the landing with naval gunfire, then sail South. Carriers start repositioning on turn 1 with one going East and the other South. Helldivers have a very long range and are potent against warships. They will be used in ground support roles until they must land to refuel/rearm. After refueling, Helldivers will fly west to land on the carrier. Less potent Dauntless Dive Bombers will fly to the carrier repositioned in the South. If a Japanese Naval attack materializes in the South, ground aircraft can arrive in four to six turns. But air support against a Japanese attack in the Eastern Fleet is seven to ten turns away.
For these reasons, the carriers must be in position to defend the distant fleets. Dive bombers will initially be used as ground support aircraft. After expending their bombs, they will land, rearm, and fly to the carriers. My Lockheed Lightning’s will remain on the mainland to provide ground support fire and to toast any Jap aircraft that show up. I have a couple of Corsairs which are superb long-range fighters but have negligible anti-ship capability. After the Battle of the Philippine Sea, carriers no longer need fighter air cover.
Land Strategy – Ground forces are almost all US Marines. I have a small number of regular army units and two groups of heavy artillery. Total air superiority should be achieved with six dive bomber squadrons for close air support supplemented with Lockheed Lightnings which have some ground attack capability.
Both Marine and Army units need costly upgraded training and equipment. Fortunately, I shepherded replacement/reinforcement points and can upgrade all Marine and Army units from 1941/42 versions to 1944 standards. Not cheap, but I have those reserves for a reason. It is time to use them.
My first upgrade priority was Marines, followed by Army, followed by upgrading Dauntless Dive Bombers to Helldivers. F4F Wildcat Fighters are almost obsolete, but I lack replacement points to upgrade to Corsairs or Hellfighters. Wildcats are kept in reserve.
I upgraded all Marines, Army and some (but not all) of my Dive Bombers. Upgrading ground troops cost approximately 750 points – half of my total. Helldiver upgrades used up all but 50 or so points. I discarded three obsolete AA/AT guns and a captured Jap tank for a few additional points.
The map is huge and the overhead map difficult to interpret. I’ve heavily annotated the map to illustrate my strategy. Much of the land area is inaccessible to my troops. The accessible area has a very long and thick strip of mountains covered in jungle that greatly inhibits East/West movement. The victory hexes are all close to the coast on a road net.
My troops are all hitting the beach as close to D-Day as possible. Troops move much faster on land than in landing craft. Avoiding horrible supply problems requires keeping all troops in a connected zone of control to your supply ships. Jap defenses are not expected to be heavy and I have massive close air support. Thus, I strung out my landing over a huge area instead of landing in waves.
Two airfields and several secondary victory hexes are close to the beaches. Those are the immediate objectives of the first couple of turns.
Winning means capturing six primary victory cities. Two are close to the landing zones with one to the North and the other South. Three more victory hexes are on the West coast. Thus, the main body will head South down the coast road. Troops follow this road along a U-shape to reach the three primary victory cities on the West Coast.
A smaller force will drive North. The smallest force will cut through a gap in the mountains to support the main force following the road. The NW third of the map has no primary victory hexes and will be bypassed.
Successful Landings Turns 1-3 – US Marines and Army units massively outnumber Japanese defenders. Pockets of heavy resistance are pounded by dive bombers and ground attack fighters. My massive D-Day ground forces are backed by six dive bomber squadrons, Lockheed Lightning fighters/ground attack aircraft, and fighters.
All landings were successful, and troops moved inland or along the coastal road net heading towards primary victory cities in the North and South. Japanese land aircraft were caught on the ground. By turn 2 the first airfield had fallen.
The big picture shows the two fleet carriers moving at full power to support the Eastern and Southern support ships.
Rapid Advance – Turns 4-7 – Japanese defenders on the Southern Coast road had either been destroyed or pushed into a pocket by Turn 4. Lead elements captured the first primary victory city and had turned East towards the next target. But scouts reported spotting multiple Japanese Battleships with accompanying fleet elements close to the Philippines!
By Turn 6 two more primary victory cities are under attack in the North and on the East Coast. Several Marine units have moved inland and are crossing the gap in the central mountain range. The two US Carriers are within a turn or two of their planned positions.
By Turn 7 the smaller US force in the North are attacking their first targeted primary victory city. Additional troops are moving on inland roads towards the final Northern primary victory city.
The larger US force in the South captured the first victory city several turns ago and now attack their second victory city. After this city falls the force heads North on the Western Coast road. Note dive bombers support in the South along with Lockheed Lightning fighters. Next turn the dive bombers will start flying towards land airfields to rearm and refuel. Then the dive bombers start their long flight to the repositioned carriers.