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A Tale of Two Chinas: An MP After Action Report

Discussion in 'Hearts of Iron' started by Mussolini, Feb 19, 2010.

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  1. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    A Tale of Two Chinas
    A Hearts of Iron 3: Multi-Player AAR
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    The Players:
    Mussolini: Communist China
    Paulverisor: Nationalist China
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    Objectives:
    1. To have a fun, enjoyable game of Hearts of Iron 3.
    2. To survive whatever wars break out.
    3. To prosper and expand.

    Rules:
    1. Everything set on 'normal'.
    2. I modified a save-game starting in 1936 to lower Neutrality for both 'Chinas' to 'zero'.
    3. Nothing else has been modified.

    Use the 'Two Chinas Disccusion' thread for discussion of this AAR.




    This AAR is meant to be interesting and fun. I will be posting screenshots and recounting events as best as I can remember, and time permits. At the time of this original posting, we've reached 1938 or just about and, needless to say, the world has gone to Hell! Some very intriguing alliances (Switzerland is no longer Neutral) but an otherwise rather quiet World, minus the Greater China conflict with Imperialist Japan.

    Some interesting things have occurred in-game and Paul and myself are still getting ourselves accustomed to HOI 3 and all it has to offer. We are by no means on the level of Tomcat and his Greater Germany AAR.


     
  2. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    January 1st, 1936: Asia


    Figure 1: Starting Borders circa 1/1/1936
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    We start this tale in the Far East. As things heat up politically in Europe, as the Italians wage war against the Ethiopians, things are also starting to shift in Asia.

    The Chinese Civil War is about to boil over its pre-defined borders. Much to every ones surprise, the Communists and Nationalists have Allied, with their respective leaders carving up a map of China. War is on the horizon - who will be the first to fall?

    Luckily for Xibei San Ma, Shanxi is not a puppet of Nationalist China. The Winds of War sweep East and a truly horrific site befalls the lands of Asia.

    Figure 2: Alliance Forces
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    Are those really Nationalist Troops in Communist China? Are they really not engaging each other? Are rumors of that Truce really true?

    Lets take a closer look.

    Figure 3: Alliance Forces Closeup
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    It is true! Communist Chinese Forces and Nationalist Chinese Forces are performing maneuvers together! What can this mean to the rest of China?

    It can really only mean one thing: WAR is coming and chances are it is going to be directed at Shanxi, a Chinese Warlord Kingdom to the North.

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  3. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    February, 1936: Shanxi

    Figure 4: The Opening Moves
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    February, a cold month, was also decided upon to be the launch of the offensive against Shanxi. The reasoning behind this was that after the initial moves, it would be hard for Shanxi to must up forces and get them to the front lines until the spring thaw, at which point the other Communist and Nationalist forces will have been given ample opportunity to press into Shanxi territory.

    It should also be noted that the politics in China have changed drastically. Communist China has also entered into an Alliance with the Comitern - Russia at its head - and has been assured of assistance from the Russians in times of need. Nationalist China, however, is not part of this Alliance and heads up a separate Alliance consisting of Nationalist China, Communist China, and Xibei San Ma (the puppet of Nationalist China).

    As Figure 4 above shows, the opening moves by the Communist Forces target the weak point in the Shanxi line - two provinces guarded by a Cavalary Division and a Milita unit. Even in the cold month of February, the superior Communist forces (Mountain Infantry against Cavalry, Infantry against Militia) have an easy time making their attacks.

    The Communists have planned to isolate the Shanxi forces in the West and will push through the Mountains to surround them and into open ground where very few Shanxi forces are located or can get to easily, relying on their own mountaineering to accomplish their goals.

    Figure 5: Results after 1st Week of War
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    Figure 5, above, is a snapshot in time, showing the initial gains by Communist and Nationalist forces, dated February 9th, 1936. Prior to the outbreak of war, it was agreed upon that Nationalist forces would take everything south of the southern river in Shanxi, with Communist forces taking the rest of the country including the Port of Dagu (just visible in the top-right corner of Figure 5).

    Figure 6: Encirclement and Moves
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    Figure 6 shows the encirclement of forces in the West, with the break out moves of Communist forces also displayed. The 'mop up' forces for the Communists are mostly Militia units, while the main attack forces consists of 3 Mountain Divisions and 2 Infantry Divisions. Also visible are Nationalist forces and their moves. Their role in this campaign is mostly to fill in the gaps in the line and help prevent counter-attacks while the Communists forces engage the enemy.

    Figure 7: The End is Near
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    Figure 7, aptly named, is taken in Mid-March of 1936, showing the Capital of Shanxi starting to be encircled. Communist Mountain Divisions appear as isolated but the main moves of the encirclement, with the Nationalist Forces occupying the attention of most of the Shanxi army in the south. The Northern corner of Shanxi, not pictured, has been isolated and will be shortly cut off from the rest of the country. There have been no major set backs in this campaign, and Communist and Nationalist forces are feeling rather confidant of each others capabilities.

    Figure 8: Victory Shanxi!
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    Figure 8 shows the results of the Shanxi campaign, final victory and Annexon of Shanxi taking place on April 2nd, 1936. Nationalist China ended up with a few provinces North of the agreed upon 'river-line', but that only makes a small difference in the grand scheme of things. Communist China, on the other hand, has effectively tripled in size in the North of the Country and now shares a border with Mongolia, another member of the Commitern Alliance.

    Communist and Nationalist forces are returning to reorganize themselves, recover their losses, and prepare for movement across Nationalist China to the West. While things may be quiet in the North East of China, things are only beginning to heat up int he South West!

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  4. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    July, 1936: Shanxi

    Figure 9: The Opening Moves
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    Three months of rest, moving across Nationalist China to the Western border with Yunnan, and war breaks out again. July - the best month to attack the mountainous region of Yunnan. Communist Mountain Troops are eager to display their skill in these mountains. The Communists and Nationalists have agreed to split the country in half - the Northern half for the Communists, the Southern for the Nationalists.

    The Mountains of Yunnan will prove a difficult task, slow movement, with plenty of places for the defenders to bunker down. An air-force could be very useful in this region but the Communists and Nationalist both lack any sort of Air Force at this point.

    Figure 10: Early Success
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    Communist forces plunge into battle, deciding to cut off the northern most forces by punching a hole through the middle and racing to the border with the British Empire further to the West. The thought behind this is to cut off and weaken Yunnan forces in the mountains of the north before assaulting them.

    Figure 11: Nationalist Victories
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    Meanwhile the Nationalists are having huge success in the South, taking over the capital of Yunnan and cutting off a division or two themselves, also greatly shrinking the front they need to advance on. Things are looking good for the Nationalists in their first true offensive in China.

    Figure 12: So Close
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    The first week of August demonstrates just how slow moving through the mountains can be, even with Mountaineering forces. The Communists are getting very close to cutting the Northern part of Yunnan off from the rest, making great success after breaking through the frontline. Yunnan is starting to melt away from the double-onslaught and continues to give up more ground.

    Figure 13: Snapshot in Time
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    Nearly a month later and Communist Forces are close to accomplishing their goals. The Nationalists got bogged down on such a narrow front and were unable to make massive gains. The Communists, on the other hand, had freedom of movement through the mountains, isolating small pockets of Yunnan Troops before destroying them. Total Victory is close at hand.

    Figure 14: Victory!
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    Total Victory does not happen until another month passes, finally occuring in October 15th, 1936 as Nationalist forces make a final push in the south and mop up Yunnan Forces. The mountain terrain greatly slowed down this offensive, but the combined might of the Nationalists and Communists was too much for Yunnan to handle.

    Communist China has doubled in size again, owning two regions of about equal size on opposing ends of the country. But Communist and Nationalist forces are on the move again.

    Who will become their next victim?

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  5. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    January, 1937: Guangxi Clique

    Figure 15: The Opening Moves
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    Guangxi Clique.

    Yes, that was to be the next victim! Another Chinese Warlord that needed to be put down! This one would prove to be more difficult - a wide front to start off with, which only gets narrower and narrower the further the Allied Chinese forces progress. Mountains closer to the border giving way to Jungle and Plains along the coast.

    Communist Forces will take the Western Half of the country, including its Capital, while Nationalist forces will take the Eastern portions of the country.

    Figure 16: Early Gains
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    The initial attack is largely successful, Communist forces taking the Capital and a Mountain pass that will allow Communist forces to push into a Plains Valley between some Mountains, forcing the Guangxi troops to either retreat or get cut off.

    Nationalist Forces, who had stationed themselves off of the border (letting Guangxi forces position towards the Communists) are able to rush across the border in several spots meeting little inititial resistance, also pushing down along the coast.

    Figure 17: Pushing South
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    Communist forces face stiff resistance in the West, using Militia forces to plug in the holes in the line while Mountain and Infantry push the attacks. The Guangxi forces are much more organized in the West then they are in the East, where they've rushed some forces to try and slow down the advance of the nationalists.


    Figure 18: Pushing to the Coast
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    The Nationalists are able to push to the coast near British-Controlled Hong Kong. This cuts off a few Guangxi Divisions who will shortly be commpletely wiped out by Nationalist forces. In the West, the Communists are making a gamble, pushing their strongest forces through Jungle towards the coast, attempting to cut off Guangxi forces there. This stretches the rest of the line thin, however.

    Figure 19: Coastal Encirclement
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    The gamble pays off and Guangxi forces are now cut off in the West, with an Infantry Division of Communist forces hugging the coast. Nationalist forces are mopping up in the East and shifting forces more towards the center to deal with a stiff line of defense that Guangxi is throwing up with the help of a river.

    Figure 20: Setbacks!
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    The Communist Gamble, however, backfires, as a too thin line cracks and Militia units fall victim to Gaungxi Infantry from two sides. An initial counter attack from Communist forces to the East is not strong enough and the bulk of the Communist forces now find themselves cut off against the coast. An HQ and Militia unit in the West quickly move in, trying to reestablish contact with the cut-off forces by linking up with them by moving South East.

    Figure 21: Disaster Averted
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    The HQ Unit and Militia are successful, linking up in the South and tightening the noose around Guangxi forces. A Mountain Division with some aid from the Nationalists also reestablishes contact, cutting of the Guangxi forces once more, while the other Communist Forces decide to press the attack to push the Guangxi back and prevent them from other such maneuvers.

    Figure 22: Revenge
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    The Communist Counter Attack is largely successful, wiping out the Guangxi forces in the pocket while also pushing South East and conquering the last major Guangxi port, isolating more troops on an Island just to the south. A minor setback, however, as Guangxi forces exploit the weak middle between Nationalist and Communist forces. This exploit is short lived, as Communist forces push East from the West, and also move up from the South (the port) to attack the soft underbelly of Guangxi forces. Nationalist forces also start to press downwards, successfully have launched an attack across the river, establishing a foothold on the enemy banks.

    Figure 23: Death Throws
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    Guangxi forces are now routing, in their final acts of defiance, about to surrender to Nationalist China (who will get to officially annex Guangxi). Communist Forces keep the Island-bound Guangxi in check while mop-up operations commence on land. Guangxi Clique is annexed a short time later.

    Figure 24: LOL Russia?
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    As Chinese forces redeploy, a Russian Infantry division lands in the port and begins a very long journey, traveling through the West of China, up towards Monglia, and back into Russian territory. The reason of his visit is very perplexing.

    Figure 25: Communist Empire
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    The New China, showing Communist China's new gains in the South (and West) along with the expansion of Nationalist China.

    Now that the Chinese Factions have fallen, Allied Chinese Forces reposition to the North. War with Japan is just on the horizon.


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  6. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    August, 1937: The War of Japanese Aggression



    Figure 25: Pants Down
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    The enivitable conflict with Japan was bound to boil over sooner or later so the Allied Chinese Forces (ACF) began to prepare, deploying troops around their major ports. However, two ports were completely overlooked, both having recently belonged to Guangxi Clique. Japan exploited both of these ports when it declared war on Nationalist China in August of 1937. Figure 25 shows the extent of the gains the Japanese were able to make before Nationalist Chinese Forces were able to launch a counter-attack.

    At the same time, Communist China got involved in some intriguing diplomacy. The Nationalists asked them to honor their allegiance, but the Communists refused. Instead, with Communist Forces in talks with Moscow, Communist China declared a separate Declaration of War against Japan and the Axis Powers a day later, bringing the Comitern into the conflict. More importantly, Russia entered the fray.



    Figure 26: Great Gains
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    The combined forces of Russia and Communist China poured into poorly defended Manchuria. Communist Forces conquered miles and miles of territory and cities with out even coming across anything more then a token force of resistance. It was not long before Manchuria was completely overwhelmed, refusing to surrender to the Communists, the government fleeing into Exile. In all their planning, the combined Communist forces had never counted on this great success.

    Meanwhile, as Figure 27 below shows, Nationalist Chinese Forces along with the Xibei San Ma forces have been able to respond to the Japanese Invasion. Amazingly, Japanese forces do not attack the Communist Forces (Militia) holding the third-port, having earlier lost a battle to these Communist Forces.


    Figure 27: Containment
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    Communist Chinese Forces continue to push into Japan-Controlled Korea, beating the Russians in a land-grab before running into Japanese Forces that put up a brief fight.


    Figure 28: Korea 1
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    Figure 29: Korea-Closeup
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    Things are not looking good for the Japanese right now. The ACF has managed to rally and contain the Japanese breakthroughs, launching their own counter-attack that is bringing Japanese forces to their knees. Hopefully this success will continue.

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  7. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    Late 1937: The War of Japanese Aggression, Part 2


    Figure 30: Containment
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    The threat of the Japanese and their naval abilities had been grossly underestimated. However, the Japanese had underestimated the response of the ACF and had lost a lot of ground in China. The initial invasion of Southern Nationalist China had ground to a halt and the Japanese forces were being systematically wiped out.

    Figure 31: Korea
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    Things are not any better for the Japanese in Korea. The Communist Chinese Forces have now taken the coastal port in Southern Korea, effectively cutting off the Japanese forces from their supplies and any hope of extraction. Communist Forces, while a long way from home, are pressing hard, their early success against the Japanese keeping their motivation high.


    Figure 32: Holding On
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    Japanese forces on mainland China have now been completely wiped out. The Nationalist Forces have reclaimed the port and are completing mopping up duties while pushing to the South. The Japanese advancement off of their Island in the South has stalled, the Japanese unwilling to attack Communist Forces holding the next port. This would prove to be a fatal flaw for the Japanese, as Nationalist forces are heading their way.

    Figure 33: End of Korea
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    The situation in Korea is now over. Communist Forces have annihilated a handful of Japanese divisions in the southern tip of the country, wiping out the last Japanese presence on the mainland. This also gains the Communists valuable resources and another major port (now totaling 4 major ports under Communist control). The Japanese have been soundly defeated.

    Figure 34: Japanese Homeland
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    To add injury to insult, Communist forces are able to occupy an Island just off the coast of Korea that is part of what the Japanese would call their homeland. Russian forces have also managed to occupy the Island of Saipan, near American-held Guam, in the Pacific.


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  8. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    1938: Communist Expansion


    Figure 35:

    It was decided, for no other reason then for Greed, to take Sinkiang and Tibet. Tibet would be first. It was unforeseen that, as part of the Commitern, the Tibetans and Sinkiang would join the Axis and flee into exile. Had this been known at the time, certain alliances would have been broken and Independent Wars would have been attempted.

    The War with Tibet lasted only as long as it took Mountain Troops to march three regions through Mountains to the Tibetan capital and fire a few shots at the fleeing Militia guarding it. As simple as that, Tibetan Government and the Dali-Lama fled into Exile to Germany and the country came under Military Control to the Communists.

    Sinkiang, on the other hand, fell even faster. A larger country, with a dozen or so troops on its border with Russia, it never had time to respond to the new Communist Chinese border. Sinkiang was also unlucky enough to have its capital right on the border, so Communist Troops advanced and took over the Capital before they even knew what had hit them. Once again, the government fled into Exile (and to Germany) and Communist Military Occupation took place.

    And with that, Communist China greatly expanded its borders with minimal gain to IC and Resources with barely a loss of life.

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  9. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    1938 - 1939: Intermission

    Figure 36:

    Technology

    Early on, the leaders of Communist and Nationalist China looked at their strengths and weaknesses and agreed upon a research plan that would utilize their countries strengths headed into the future. Time to research certain things was also taken into account and it was agreed upon to sell Production Rights to all technologies for a low cost to the other country.

    Both countries would focus on Industrial Upgrades as they would be beneficial to both countries in the long run and consisted of technologies that can not be purchased from another country. Such technologies would improve resource gathering, crude oil-to-fuel rations, and Industrial Capacity. These would be very important for Communist China, who starts with a very small IC and has made the greater gains in the wars of expansion.

    Both countries would also focus on upgrading their Infantry while Communist China would also focus on specialized forces like Mountain Troops and Marines as advances in those fields already exceeded Nationalist technologies and could be bought from the Communists.

    Communist China would also focus on the Air Force, allowing Nationalist china to focus on researching and upgrading a Navy. This would cover all the bases, allow the Nationalists to utilize their ports and combat the Japanese Navy with the Communist providing air-cover while combating the Japanese Air Force.

    Production, on the other hand, has been slow due to limited IC and the high cost of Planes. Some new Marine, Mountain, and regular Infantry divisions have been built, but the standing Army has not grown much despite the years of combat. Now that things are consolidated, war with Japan (and possibly the Allies) looms on the horizon, focus has switched to Marines and Mountain troops for Communist China and a Navy for Nationalist China.


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