1938 – Year of the Earth Tiger
First, I present a brief review. I’ve joined the Axis, and together with Japan have eliminated Nationalist China from the game. Looking over that war, I would have been better served leaving Yunnan alone and sending everything I had after Chiang to gobble up as much of their turf as I could ahead of the Japanese, especially that nearby port. Since Yunnan is mostly blocked off from Japanese attack there would have been plenty of time to get in there a bit later. I knew it would be tough to crack Yunnan without Mountain troops, but I thought a preponderance of force would fix that problem. I was wrong.
I’ve been focusing my production on building Artillery brigades to beef up my existing divisions and have been eschewing new divisions for the moment. I’m also creating Convoys, but I’ve discovered it is more helpful to build your stockpile before you need them, rather than run dry in the middle of a war. For the same reason I will likely queue up Escorts as soon as they become available. At the moment, however, nothing is being produced since my troops started 1936 with equipment far below what I can supply, so I am going to go flat-out trying to fix this situation:
I’ve also finally dealt with my chronic officer shortage (I started out at 59%, I think, the lowest I’ve seen for any country to start with). With that problem fixed I can now divert my insane (for a Minor country) amount of leadership back to a research focus:
And here is the front: I’ve already had Nationalist partisans pop up. Troops are being redirected west. I would prefer to sit and wait a bit so they can re-equip. but I have to try and grab as much of Yunnan as I can before Japan does:
With that, I’m about ready to start.
14 January: I see something that looks like a map error, I can’t attack Chuxiong from Zhaotong even though Zhaotong claims to have a link to that province. This puts a big crimp in my plan to envelop Yunnan’s capital.
28 January: Still trying to encircle Kunming.
29 January: New Zealand joins the Allies.
3 February: I take Kunming. Troops are being strategically redeployed to attack Dali from Xichang.
But I have the same problem, it won’t let me attack even though the provinces are adjacent. Something is wrong with this whole area, there doesn’t seem to be any way to cross over into Yunnan from the east side of the entire country.
8 March: Enough troops have shiny new toys that I can spend ICs on production again.
11 March: Germany gets the Anschluss of Austria.
18 March: The Republicans win the Spanish Civil War and annex the Nationalists.
25 March: I get Economic Boost.
28 March: I take Dali, and Yunnan surrenders. I annex them; next stop, Xibei San Ma! It will be hard to get any booty there since Shanxi puppet troops have already gobbled up most of it while I have been stuck in the mountains of Yunnan.
Since only one VP remains to them, I may be better off letting them go and preparing for an attack on Tibet instead. Coincidentally Tibet happens to see me as their highest threat at the moment. Looking over my production queue, I realize I need to bite the bullet and start getting some Industry produced as I badly need some practical going. I’ve also added a Mountain division to the queue, in serial format as I don’t have enough ICs yet for anything better. The realization slowly comes to me that even though there is plenty of land nearby I could conquer, most of it is pretty worthless- a stark contrast to the rich Balkans where I usually hang out. If I want any ICs before I tackle the Allies, I’ll need to crank ‘em out myself.
” Miss Teschmacher, when I was six years old, my father said to me...”
“Nope. Before that... He said, ‘Son... stocks may rise and fall, utilities and transportation systems may collapse, people are no !@#$ good, but they will always need land…’ ” – Lex Luthor and Miss Teschmacher
I’m also thinking I should try to upgrade some of my existing divisions to Mountain troops, but the method to do that escapes me at the moment – I’m not finding the upgrade button when I click on one of my Infantry divisions.
29 March: I finish research of Destroyers, which I wanted so I could build up Naval bases to get both construction practical and to increase my supply output for any islands I get my hands on later. Of course, in order for the supply to be worth anything, I also need more than 30% infrastructure running from Guilin to Guangzhou (again, another big difference between SE Asia and the Balkans).
30 March: I finish research of Fleet Auxiliary Submarine Doctrine, which I wanted as the lead-in to the all-important Basing tech, again to help with running supply to islands.
10 April: I complete Sea Lane Defense, and add Escorts to my now overstretched production queue.
16 April: I declare war on Tibet. Troops are in position to move into Tibet and try to get one of the last bits of Xibei San Ma territory left. I think they are down to their last Ma.
18 April: USA joins the Allies.
28 April: First contact with the Tibetan People’s Front crack suicide squad. I figure out the upgrade interface but it turns out I don’t have the ICs for it.
23 May: I get Economic Boost.
30 May: Going for Xibei San Ma’s capital.
6 June: Their capital falls, only one VP left.
7 September: Xibei San Ma surrenders to Japan, and we split the spoils.
17 September: South Africa joins the Allies.
27 September: UK goes with “Peace in Our Time” option for the Munich Agreement. The Czechs accept the claims.
2 October: Tibet surrenders, and I annex them. I would probably be better off making them a puppet, but the political map looks so much cooler with all that land under my thrall…
Now I have a bit of a problem… what problem, you might ask?
The problem with finding myself suddenly at peace, is, that now I have this unwelcome demand for consumer goods. It seems like once you start a war or two (and Tibet makes my 4th!) the people shouldn’t be begging for consumer goods if you happen to be at peace for a week. It might be nice if that in addition to lowering demand based on your neutrality, they also lowered your demand based on the threat you have generated with your neighbors (the implication being that the populace is well aware they might be back at war forthwith).”Anybody… anybody… anybody” – Economics Teacher, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
I’ve had the same issue in other games- once you get that nice drop in consumer goods demand, you don’t want to go back! My usual scheme is to declare war on Vichy France if I have run out of opponents, since Syria is easy to grab and you don’t have to fear any reprisals from anywhere. However, once they added the guarantee of independence from Germany in Semper Fi, that sort of put the kibosh on that idea.
So, looking around, whom else might I pick on? Hmmm….” You know I've kiboshed before… and I will… kibosh again.”- Crazy Joe Davola
I think we have a winner!
A phony war with Portugal seems like it might fit the bill. Macau is begging to be occupied, and the Portuguese are too far away to take it back. If I get any ships online in 1939 or 1940, then I have an excuse to step into Africa ahead of going to war with the Allies. Now, one thing is bothering me. I had thought that when you agreed to a deal proposed to you, that the other party supplied the convoys. However, you’ll see that my list here is chock full of them! Many of these are in the Pacific and thus won’t be under attack from Lisbon once Macau is in my hands, but I know from reading an excellent AAR about submarine warfare that just about everything seems to flow right past Portugal if it goes to Europe. So I may end up having to cancel a lot of deals and try to get them rerouted via the Pacific. I will also gamble that Italy might do something against the Portuguese Navy if I bring the entire Axis in immediately. This will only help us in the long run as all the Axis powers can then stay on a war footing throughout 1939 before the Danzig event.”Tell them what they’ve won, Rod” – Bob Barker
I don’t actually find this too ahistorical, since it seems plausible that a rogue Chinese warlord might decide to abrogate the treaty and snag this city for himself to avenge past humiliations. After all, that treaty was the responsibility of Chiang and the national government, which are now gone. The ahistorical part might be that with Japan now dominant in China, that the Portuguese wouldn’t just simply surrender the city without a war. Since I’m expecting convoy losses, I switch my Spies over from lowering neutrality to raising national unity. Since I’m sitting at 60 right now, this is probably a good idea. If I had done the same in my last Hungary game, I might not have surrendered so soon.
9 October: My energy convoys to Stettin take the first losses, so I pull out the ships assigned to it until I can get some Escorts on there. I see Italian ships heading for the Portuguese coast as hoped for.
11 October: Germany declares war on Denmark, Luxemburg, Belgium, and the Netherlands! I’ve created a monster...
”It’s alive! It’s aliiiiive!” – Baron Viktor von Frankenstein13 October (was this a Friday?): All my trade routes to Europe are now on hiatus. The carnage in the Low Countries begins.”That’s frAHnkenStEEn” – Gene Wilder
18 October: It looks like Il Duce is ready to invade! Awesome! These Marines are so suave that I suspect they can win without a fight!
30 October: Luxemburg surrenders to Germany and is annexed. The Italians are still landing on the beaches, so I guess those guys weren’t quite suave enough.
31 October: Denmark surrenders and is annexed.
2 November: Sweden mobilizes for war.
11 November: Greece joins the Allies.
13 November: Extra! Extra! Italians take Lisbon!
14 November: Czechoslovakia mobilizes their troops. Does this mean they won’t just be annexed a week later by default? To be safe, I redeploy some troops near Hong Kong in case I find myself at war with Britain unexpectedly.
26 November: Portugal is going down fast…
18 December: Czechoslovakia picks ’Give it a Go’ for their Emergency Legislation event. I’m not sure what this means, but I am surprised they are still here.
22 December: The Czechs get the Unauthorized Demonstration event.
25 December: Portugal loses their last Iberian province. Nice Christmas present for Il Duce. I notice an invasion force is lined up for the Azores. And with this, I stop for the night.