I've been away from HoI3 for probably a year or so. Installed ftm and tried Japan. I'm at 2/1942, and planning to restart the game: Germany lost the netherlands and has been barely able to establish a static front, while the Soviets are starting to eat up Eastern Europe. Their early demise is problematic, so I'm going to reset and try something different.
One of my questions is the war goal "rule the pacific". Do I have to capture the USA west coast to achieve that? I remember doing that once or twice in HoI2, but always thought it was gamey and figured it would be impossible in HoI3.
For my restart, I'm thinking that I will join the Axis asap as that might help Germany a little. I'm also thinking that I need to enter the war against the Allies not on my time table, but I need to do it the moment Germany is in trouble, wether through an amphib landing or trouble with the Soviets.
Military wise, I'm going to focus more on some ASW capability (in addition to CV's of course), build out a little more transports and merchants, and stage a pretty wide-scale amphib assault on the Dutch East Indies the moment I enter the war. It seems to make sense to focus on a war goal that I can achieve relatively early, and then go on to take the US islands as a defensive move rather than a realistic one to actually achieve a war goal with. I just can't imagine holding several US ports against US land forces on their own territory!