U.S. Strategy in WW II Pacific?


Jun 17, 2005
Hi guys

I'm a little baffled by the opening situation for the Americans in the Pacific in 1936. Why are a couple of my islands already starving??

Anyway, can any of you suggest an opening strategy for the United States? What to build and where? Where to move? Etc.?


Wow! No suggestions at *all*? Have the WW II scenarios been that completely ignored, or are they so simple, or so bad that nobody bothers with them?
i havent even looked at them yet, too busy playing the normal game. would you recommend playing the scenarios? I remember the world war one in the old game was rubbish, but i used to love the rome one!

A few suggestions. First, are you playing the Historical Scenario that locks in the historical chronological sequence of political events or one of the others that allows you to do what you want when you want? I will concentrate on the Historical. I've only played about three times though so I do not claim to be any kind of an expert, but I do know a fair amount about the real WWII in the Pacific.

But first let me comment on the scenario itself. It is a great advance over the one in Civ III, which was utterly ridiculous because you spent all your time moving slowly over vast oceans. Now, the Civ IV scenario corrected this flaw, but not completely. In reality, even a slow ship could get from SF to Pearl in two weeks (one move in the Scenario), or less. It takes even fast ships two turns to do it here (in Civ III it took forever, 4 or 5 turns, it took forever to get anywhere). I don't know why the designer did not give the ships their true rate of speed, but the game is as it is.

The second thing I find wrong, and if I am incorrect someone please help me out, is that I can find no way for fighters to escort bombers. This is deadly for the bombers if there is any kind of enemy fighter defense.

Now, strategy. You did not say who you are playing but I will assume you are playing either Japan or the US as these are the most interesting ones; after all the War in the Pacific was really a US - Japan war; the other nations played subsidiary roles.

First, the US. If playing the 1936 Historical the only thing you have to do for 5 years, the only thing you can do until the Japanese attack you, is build up your industry, espcially the industrial advances themselves. This is ahistorical, as it allows you to start an economic boom in the middle of the Depression but, good hell, let us not get into another discussion over whether Civ is a game or a simulation. It is also quite boring, unless you really, really like building, as you will have a 100+ turns before the War starts. You will also have a roaring industrial base. I find it more fun, as well as more historically accurate, to play the 1939 Historical Scenario.

Once the Japanese attack you what happens depends on the degree of difficulty and agressiveness you have set for them. On the low levels they will not do much of anything, certainly not attempt to press out as far as they actually did. You can take your time and counter attack at your leisure. On higher levels you will be on the defensive in '39 scenario but may have enough of a fleet to begin to compete immediately if in the '36. But in both you will probably lose the Phillipines; they are indefensible, just try and hold on as long as possible to tie down Japanese forces.

If playing the Japanese forces don't get bogged down in China. As in real life you will be sucked into a morass, unending, consumptive of forces, leading nowhere. And remember, in the Fall of '45 Russia is going to attack you in Manchuria. Occupy and fortify a zone of islands forward of what you start with. How far is the cruz of it all. In reality the Japanese went too far, beyond that point of maximun efficiency which all successful offenses reach eventually and the point where they should stop. But History is replete with armies and conquerors who could not stop because things are going so great lets take a little more and suddenly you are over extended and smacked with an effective counter-attack.

Now, whether you are playing Jap. or US there are only two routes across the Pacific, going either way; the Phillipines-Indonesia-New Guinea-Australia and/or islands beyond, or the Central Pacific. If Jap. decide which you want and don't try for both. If US you have to defend both, because you dare not lose Hawaii or let your communications with Australia be cut. So, with an agressive player, human or AI, the initiative rests with the Jap. at the beginning.

Also, with either side, you have the advantage of hindsight. For example, as the Jap. player you will never match the US industrial output but you can concentrate on producing an adequate supply of naval aircraft, which the Jap. did not do in the War. You can also keep your forces concentrated and in coherent relationship to each other rather than scatter them all over creation in patters of attack that look more like a Jackson Pollock painting than a military operation, as the Jap. really did (in truth, the mind of the Jap. military was Medieval Mind wielding 20th century weapons and they did not have a clue about how to fight a modern war). Case in point: in the real war the Jap. did not use their considerable sub force against US transports and merchants shipping on the long and vulnerable SF-Hawai or West Coast-Australia lines because a samurai attacks only enemy warships and merchants are beneath a samurai's dignity. In the game the Jap. AI will attack your transports and you can see what the Jap. might have accomplished had they not been mired in the Middle Ages mentally. Conversely, in the real war the Jap. would not place escorts with their convoys because escort duty was an insult to the dignity of a samurai! Thus the US sub forces shattered Japan's merchant shipping.

But I am rambling and far too long. Briefly, decide at first whether to attack or defend (though the Jap must attack some, both to get the oil ect. of the Indies and to build a buffer zone against the coming US counter-attack). As US decide which axis of approach you want to take towards Japan but secure your communications with Australia first. Of course, as in the real War you can approach Japan along Both, you will have the resources. If you choose to go only up through New Guinea, concentrate on building Army and Aircraft, if through the Central Pacific more ships and Marines.

Well, far more than you probably wanted, and I've only scratched the surface. But, after all, this was a war unique in History, the greatest Naval War ever waged, fought over half the globe.
Only started to play this scenario yesterday, so my startegy is not complete or proven yet :) (I play the historical scenario)
First I think you should build your industry, factories, etc.
Research industry level techs.
Then I think marines and anti air units will be important in the early phase besides your airforce.

And I have also a problem: I tried to attack a japan transport with my sub but it was a loss :o
Are the early units so weak? Or how can I get them more experience besides barracks and drydocks?

And a last thought: you can get many great people. Create many farms and use engineers. Healtiness will be a problem though. I settled most of my GEs.
Is there anything at all you can do about the terribble unhealthiness? It seems like most cities already have a hospital and a 'sewer'. I don't see anything else to do but just suck it up and lose food.
And you does not need naval dock in every city I think, most naval build were done in one city.
But naval dock adds only one :yuck: .
Valadon post more please! Not that i can't wiki it but when you talk about it and relate it to game play is cool. Also don't mind the lack of responses... people are reading it and enjoying :)
If I were the Japanese, I would make sure that I destroyed the entire American Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor and took out the support facilities. One of the major mistakes of December 7, 1941, was that the Japanese did not 1) eliminate the American carrier presence, which came back to bite them at Midway, and 2) eliminate the resupply and repair facilities at Pearl Harbor. Each of these is critical.

Once the war with the United States breaks out, you've got to move quickly. I'd suggest a more or less historical gambit flanking down through the Philippines and into Indonesia, getting the valuable resources as soon as possible. You can try to invade Australia if you want, but it's sort of secondary to your main focus of getting the Americans out of the picture.

This is a hard task, because you're outnumbered and outgunned, and you're fighting on several fronts at once. One of the key things to remember, I think, is that you've got to make sure your forces aren't picked off slowly one-by-one. A war of attrition is just what the Allies are looking for.
One suggestion: Build air bases in most cities. That way you can move units direcvtly from US to distant islands and sustain a drive easier.

I also found playing China, admittedly on an easy level, to be interesting.
I'm playing Pacific War 1936 for the first time; have played Europe War 1936 twice (all three as the U.S., I'm enjoying being patriotic.)

On your Pacific islands, build the Naval Dock - accelerate spending to finish it sooner if you can - to increase the food production of the islands. They are no good for production, but for some reason they show as producing a lot of research (see your Cities screen) so this is a good place to build Laboratories.

There was another question about pollution, lack of health and so on. My approach to this is primarily by carefully assigning which factories get built in which cities, so that each city builds for only one of the services. The factories all add pollution points. If you're careful about this, you can avoid adding a damaging amount of pollution. First RTW game I played, my cities were starving all the way through it as pollution and unhealth got high. So, a city will either be an Aircraft producing city (Aircraft Factory, Air Base); a Naval producing city (Naval Dock and Naval Factory); or have a Vehicle Factory for making Tanks. The latter should also have an Army Barracks (no pollution there, you can build them in every city) to produce extra experience points for new units. You will want to add some extra AFBs for wartime transport from more places. If the pollution is a problem, wait until the war actually starts, or right before it - I play the Historical Events option, so I know when this will be - to lessen the number of turns the extra pollution occurs.

You want to get your cities cranking arms so you have nice big stacks of them once the war starts. My second Europe game, America had an ungodly huge army by the time the war started, 350 units total or so. (As it should be.) My Japan game, I was not as successful. This is my first Japan game. I have a tendency to think about land warfare - Tanks to take cities, Infantry to hold 'em, Artillery - but the Pacific War is mostly about naval and air. My next time, I'll build more Naval Factories and crank more ships. I've got a goodly number of them, but I've got a lot of Tanks I have no use for, unless I somehow use them backing up the Brits in India and Burma, and hey, I'm not set up to support a land war in Asia. Or helping out the Aussies on their coast - but the Japs won't actually invade there, they'll be getting spread too thin - or helping out the Dutch in their islands.

In my game, the Japanese took out the Chinese even before Pearl Harbor, and have a huge army (I counted around 350 units that I could find), meaning they could focus it all on the Brits, wiping out the French in Indochina, the Dutch and the Australians. The Canadians appear to be sitting out the war. My saving grace so far has been that the Japanese are thrusting south and didn't attack me; I stacked a lot of troops in Guam to hold it and, so far, have. I have started moving west from Midway and Wake, taking the five islands in the Bikini chain, and then Truk. I am now running into stiffer resistance and must face a large Japanese stack, including a lot of naval and air, in Port Moresby. However, I think I can take Moresby by land by taking another J-occupied city by it, Lae, first, which is lightly held, and then defeating Moresby, which has a lot of Marines in it, with my large stack of Tanks. This will be a big victory when it happens.

Hi guys

I'm a little baffled by the opening situation for the Americans in the Pacific in 1936. Why are a couple of my islands already starving??

Anyway, can any of you suggest an opening strategy for the United States? What to build and where? Where to move? Etc.?


Also, I've found a) you can trade for a couple of resources which can improve your health or happiness. In both Europe and Pacific games, you can get (or in Pacific, conquer) Fish; and you can trade for Spices.

I have tended to build extra farms in my cities to produce extra food to cover the health deficit caused by the pollution. Before the pollution sets in, you can turn the extra food into Specialists and Great People Points.
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