Note to readers:
- I use customised GFX graphics (Tripartite pack mod, Bestmajors mod, etc.)!
- Since I got in my hands an early 0.60 beta version mod's graphics haven't been fully updated to represent what one is supposed to see! Graphical updates will be done by Hagar in upcoming internal versions and will be showcased separately.
- Air and naval unit stats haven't been the ones used in the latest version so don't mind them!
OK, let me start this short Japanese campaign by showing you what awaits you when you start up your game.
Imperial Japan, 1st January 1936.
Let's take a peek at a starting diplomatic situation.
Japanese Home islands, Taiwan, Korea, Rehe region in N. China and many Pacific Islands belong to our core imperial domain which has a Paternal Autocracy as a form of government. In terms of political stability Rehe region is the most unstable one due to native revolt and many tensions (skirmishes) between our and Chinese Warlord's army. Tensions are high also on the border with Soviet Union so we need to make sure we don't awake the red bear especially because we got reports from our units that Soviet military capacities are not negligible in the area. There is some turmoil on the Home Japanese islands but if the problems arise unity will be maintained by our Security garrisons spread throughout our domains.*
*Note: all starting Security forces are locked up together with majority of forces guarding the border with Soviet Union - the latter are unlocked if war with SU starts).
We have Manchukuo for a puppet and we already started being in contact with emergent Mongol Military Government (MMG) which has desires to separate from Shanxi and needs our support in order for their separation to be realizable. MMG might prove useful to our cause later on, we shall see.
Manchukuo is used for straightforward resource exploitation which is reflected in valuable supply and money shipments from them to our main island which boosts our economy quite considerably. On top of that we have a military control over them which makes our future war with the Chinese more sustainable due to land units this state is able to provide.
Starting OOB needs reorganisation
Most of your army is stationed on the Japanese mainland so you need to reorganise, ferry and rebase your military forces to more useful OOB's and locations for the upcoming Sino-Japanese war. You have more options here and it depends how you want your game to play out. Land troops can be either ferried to Rehe region in Northern China for the assault on Shanxi and/or to Taiwan if you are to make a southern amphibious assault on Gungxi Clique and on main Chinese land (a bit later on that is).
Air assets should be rebased to airfields from where their current range can be properly utilized. I've put mine to Changde - Dalian (N. China), Taiwan and Okinawa.
Main use of the Manchukuo-ian army in this campaign will be to guard the Rehe border with Shanxi since I decided to transport all of my land troops to Taiwan for the early war with Gungxi Clique (I went a bit ahistorical in order to secure a better starting point for my attack on Nationalistic China). Head on assaults with them will be done only in dire situations so they are primarily intended for defensive and auxiliary tasks. I provided Manchukuo government with some of the technological blueprints which will make their land army more potent.
You should also reorganise your starting naval forces from the get-go so that they are ready and more effective for the upcoming conflicts. Historical OOB does not completely suite players needs so I went with 1 Carrier Task Force (CTF) lead by Yamamoto (seen on the pic below), 3 main Surface Action Groups (SAG) together with 2 smaller SAG's, some independent destroyer groups (older and/or shorter range vessels) and many submarine wolf packs consisting of subs with similar range to make the most out of naval range and speed aspect. Leaders with proper traits and skills were assigned accordingly.
We are notified about our excellent Naval doctrine and all the ships that are already being produced and require a big chunk of our national resources. I decide to continue with the building programme.
As already explained in the 0.60 dev diary smaller ships/screens are not represented on a 1:1 basis any more. Pay attention to below pic where you can note that for example destroyer unit (DD 7) has 3 dashes on the lower right part of the icon while another destroyer unit (DD 6) has 4 dashes. Each dash represents one ship. Capital ships have only one dash that visually differs according to the ship's size and length. Transport ships unit icon shows that there are 20 actual ferries in one singly unit - now that makes for an easier understandability of what those transport ships really are like! There are more naval brigades also which were sorely missing in previous versions of the mod.*
*Note: Naval brigades icons aren't updated, in finalised version there will be more icon variety. (Teggethoff, is this correct ?)
Internal political situation on the Home islands
As already mentioned there are no widespread internal tensions on the Home islands at the start but situation isn't pretty nevertheless. The Kodoha organisation is stirring unrest and we have to be especially cautious when dealing with their spreading power and influence. We will hopefully overcome any difficulties on the home front with smart leadership decisions.
Our economy and people in general are already somewhat mobilised for a war due to government policies and constant conflict we have with the Chinese ever since we puppeted Manchukuo. Together with rearmament initiative we can utilise our war efforts more effectively.
I decide to maintained all starting ministers and not swap anyone for the time being.
First move I do is I drift away one notch from drafted army and into standing army which gives me lower upgrade time and cost, better unit organisation (much needed in China where enemy numbers are far greater then yours) on the expense of gearing bonus and military expense.
Those of you that are not familiar with the particularities of this mod might appreciate implemented Development Level which represents general technological and industrial state of each nation in the game. It's one of those aspects of this mod I love the most because it makes for a much more plausible game where vanilla sandbox aspect is much limited. Below you can see what modifiers Japan starts with.
This is it for the intro - next up: Japanese starting tech tree overview and what I decided to research. Stay tuned