I've always been popping up on these forums talking about how to play Nat. China and doing it in a different way then most people. So for further edification I decided to write an AAR.
Format: Mostly gameplay with some story thrown in where I feel like it. The intended goal of this AAR is to show how a player can successfully unite China and beat the Japanese quickly without resorting to a war of attrition. This includes crushing the Communists early and annexing Guangxi without triggering the peace event. After that, I hope to be the only Nationalist China AAR to ever make it past 43.
Also, for most of this AAR I end up using simplified Chinese because I didn't figure out how to make windows type in Traditional with a Hanyu Pinyin input until recently. For names, I'm using the pinyin forms with the exception of Chiang Kai Shek, because it's the romanization system closest to the real pronunciation. (Chiang Kai Shek however is really pronounced Jiang Jieshi.) the only difference is that "x" makes a "sh" sound, "q" makes a "ch" sound. and "zh" makes a "j" sound. The reason they have both is that it affects the pronunciation of vowels afterwards but the initial consonant is pretty close.
Mods: The Armageddon Consolidated Chinese Improvement pack + CDCP + SKIF + Graphic Improvement Project. + two modded events: the Xi'an event has been pushed back until may (The historical one was in December) and an old guard retires event.
24年 12月 14日
After reading the message, Foreign Minister Zhang Zun nervously fidgeted fearing the inevitable reaction to its contents. The latest message from Russia was not good.
The Generalissimo paced up and down the office, working himself into a rage. His Foreign Minister watched as his strides grew longer and various obscenities started pouring from his mouth.
That was why it was almost startling when Kai Shek stopped suddenly.
"Tell Stalin that if he won't keep up his end of the deal I see no reason why the Guomindang should keep up ours. Fetch the senior staff, 1936 is going to be a whole new year."
25年 1月 1日
China, and by extension the Guomindang, were in poor shape. Outwardly strong, with almost 300,000 soldiers under its direct control, the Guomindang was rife with corruption. Their army while better than the other warlords were themselves underpaid, underfed and ill equipped. That was why Chiang Kai Shek shocked everyone when he canceled the creation of a new army built along German lines.
When asked to explain, his famous quote was, "Regionalism, warlordism, and banditry are what results from putting your faith in armies alone. Qin Shi Huang used his armies to do great things, but his dynasty crumbled to nothing because, although he knew it was the subject's obligation to obey, he neglected his own obligation of moral leadership. The Guomindang cannot defeat the warlords by becoming one itself."
Modern historians question how much of this was just rhetoric. Almost 15,000 soldiers ended up being added to existing units. Furthermore, the Guomindang commissariat, disbanded 1929 after fears of communist infiltration, was re activated. Both the Central Army Officer Academy and the Staff College were expanded. The former trained new junior officers and the latter served as a refresher for senior officers still mired in a WW1 mindset.....
Excerpt from The Nationalist Era of the Guomindang, Lloyd Eastman
In 1924, Chiang Kai Shek had been impressed by the Red Army when he had seen it on maneuvers in Moscow. The low tech and poor training of his armies had parallels with the Russians. So despite being deeply critical of its political leadership, he asked FalkenHausen to develop doctrines for the Revolutionary Army using the Red army as a template. As part of his military reorganization, it was decreed that all divisions be modernized to a unified standard. The Revolutionary army was suffering because although some units were modern enough, the quality of rest varied. Some were still using rifles manufactured under the Qing dynasty. Finally, he had the countries leading industrialists work on a new method for supplying the armies. The current regionalism had in part been caused by the Qing's inability to centrally supply and therefore control their armies.
Responding to Japanese saber rattling, the Chinese decided to roar a little themselves. Needing an ally and financier, German companies were given generous mining and manufacturing concessions in China in hopes that a hold on the pocketbooks would translate into political leverage.
(this is one of many trades that I did, even though it's in march I started them in January)
The justification for all this reorganization had been a renewed offensive against the communists. Every single soldier in the Guomindang would be employed. "The Second Long March" as it would come to be known had begun.
The muslim warlords of Ningxia, Gansu and Qinghai were asked to join in the war. Ma Bufang, Ma Hongkui, and Ma Hongbin agreed as the western part of the communist base area had been carved out of Hui (Ethnic Chinese Muslims) territory. The anti religious nature of Communism was also seen as more of a threat than the Guomindang's indifference.
Surprisingly, the Communists struck first. Seeking to gain control of the important city of Yinchuan, the communists attacked south and hit Guyuan. The local forces were more armed bandits than proper soldiers and the communists were out for blood, as it had been the Hui armies that had caused them the most grief during the first Long March.
The troops had no choice but retreat.
In the confusion started by the massive mobilization, a few forced retirements could be overlooked.
25年 1月 10日
Communist forces under Zhou Enlai attacked south towards Tianshui. Surprisingly outnumbered, Ma Hongkui retreated after little fighting.
25年 1月 1日
Relief forces from Yinchuan had arrived to save Guyuan. They immediately found themselves in the middle of a massive assault.
A mixture of Nationalist and Hui forces in Lanzhou immediately attacked across the river to put pressure on the communist advance.
It quickly became clear, however, that they were outnumbered and the communists were much more well organized. The troops in Lanzhou were forced to cancel their assault and expand their fortifications to accommodate the armies withdrawing from Guyuan.
25年 1月 24日
The communists had decided to follow up their advance by striking at Lanzhou. For a while, artillery fire could be heard in the old capital, but, just as the communists were approaching the city, help arrived in form of the two divisions that had been defeated at Tianshui. The Red Army was suddenly threatened with encirclement and pulled back across the river.
25年 1月 28日
Unfortunately, a second attack on Lanzhou is successful. The armies split into two columns one heading south to Tianshui, the other heading northwest to Jinchang. Communist forces arrived piecemeal in Tianshui from Pingliang and Xiangyang to try to encircle the fleeing forces. When they arrived they were inevitably attacked by Chiang Kai Shek and, once outside of their base area, they were always forced to retreat.
(I have no pictures of this. details at end of post)
25年 2月 30日
By the end of February, most of the armies had arrived and were just waiting for the opportunity to attack. Guomindang forces were organized into three armies. In the East, General Von Falkenhausen would be in command of some twenty divisions, though not all were proper infantry. In the center, Chiang Kai Shek had 14 divisions. Finally, Tianshui was held by an eclectic mixture of Guomindang and Ma troops. As the divisions had arrived at their appropriate commands, the leadership had been changed from marginally skilled, but unimaginative generals to more promising officers from the lower ranks. Over the past two months, artillery shells, grain, ammunition, fuel, and other military supplies had been stockpiled in anticipation of the this offensive. The initial plan was simple. Chiang Kai Skek and Falkenhausen would advance on Xianyang with their experienced armies while the forces in the west would provide spoiling attacks to tie troops down away from the main offensive. Meanwhile, Guomindang's sole wing of bombers would fly from their airbase in Chengdu and try to cause as much chaos as possible. The amount of damage that the outdated planes could do was minimal, but the shock effect of planes on the uneducated, preindustrial peasants of the Red Army would make up for that. Even so, the Communists were fortified behind a river in mountainous terrain and even outnumbered 8 to 1 this wasn't going to be easy. Tomorrow's attack would test the Guomindang like nothing before.
Stay tuned. 再见！
(A quick note about February. I initially played until march taking all my screens, but I realized that I'd broken my own rules by fortifying everyone to Lanzhou. This made Lanzhou too strong and the communists were unable to take it. I got halfway through February before I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to crack Xianyang with all the communist forces still in the east. So I restarted, did the exact same setup with production, tech, movement etc. and this time Lanzhou fell and troops moved to Tianshui. Unfortunately, I didn't do screen grabs of the new game until right before I attack the commies.)