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Thread: The Final Outcome [An HoI3 FtM AAR featuring the Empire of Japan]

  1. #1

    The Final Outcome [An HoI3 FtM AAR featuring the Empire of Japan]

    最終結果は

    THE FINAL OUTCOME

    A Japanese AAR for HoI3


    *



    Should hostilities once break out between Japan and the United States, it is not enough that we take Guam and the Philippines, nor even Hawaii and San Francisco. To make victory certain, we would have to march into Washington and dictate the terms of peace in the White House. I wonder if our politicians, among whom armchair arguments about war are being glibly bandied about in the name of state politics, have confidence as to the final outcome and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.

    Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in a letter to Ryoichi Sasakawa, quoted in At Dawn We Slept, by Gordon W. Prange (1982).

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    LATEST UPDATES

    .

    AFTER ACTION REPORT


    This is the "actual" AAR, the narrative based on my game. This is an epistolary document, so the story will be told in official documents, journals, personal correspondence, and news and magazine reports. This section might be enjoyed by roleplayers.

    1935


    GAMEPLAY JOURNAL


    Here is my gameplay journal, usually presented at six month intervals. There is no immersion, no narrative, nothing but me explaining what I did and why. This section might be of more interest to those who don't roleplay or enjoy roleplay narratives.

    GAME SETTINGS, HOUSE RULES, MISCELLANEOUS


    The Game:

    Faction: The Empire of Japan
    Hearts of Iron III, For the Motherland 3.05
    1936 Scenario - The Road to War
    Normal Difficulty
    Mods currently used: Francesco's Models Mod, Historic Flag Mod
    Autosaved set to monthly.

    Updates:

    I'll try to post updates twice per week, probably on Wednesday and over weekend. Maybe more often to get the AAR started.

    House Rules:

    No cheats. No do-overs. Repeated pausing to strategize is allowed.

    No game character can serve in more than 1 cabinet position.

    No building of IC. I'll only use the IC in the game, and I can maximize it as much as tech allows.

    No reserve units. No spamming of garrison or militia units with the intent upgrading them later.

    Auto-upgrades for units entering combat will be turned off. In general, not all units will get the best upgrades. This reflects the reality that some units still used older planes, etc.

    I struggled to come up with an effective, easy-to-manage tech rule. This is the best I could come up with: No inefficient research of tech. If the warning appears, I have to cancel it.

    No victory point chasing. I'll take provinces in a logical, strategic way.

    Victory conditions have been changed to reflect the Japanese faction.

    No carrier cloning. I'm limited to eight full-sized carriers (CVs) or less until December, 1941. Since I start with three, I can only build five more.

    Gameplay philosophy:

    As suggested by the house rules, I'm primarily going for balance and realism. For example, I intend to use some tanks in China, despite the overwhelming number of reasons not to (e.g. really poor infrastructure). I'm going to try to avoid "gamey" tactics, but what may be gamey to you may not be gamey to me and so on.

    The key thing to keep in mind is this: from day one, this AAR will not follow as historic path. I'll try to add as much historic flavor as I think is necessary, but I'm still playing to win.

    Reader Comments:

    Comments and suggests are encouraged and welcomed. Just don't take me to task for not following a particular historic path.
    Last edited by REMcPhail; 07-06-2012 at 10:28. Reason: Reorganized top page

  2. #2

    Additional materials

    Reserved.

  3. #3

    AAR Introduction

    First, thank you taking the time to read this AAR. Your time is valuable, as is mine, and I hope that whatever I offer here is worth the time you spend reading.

    Second, let us dispose of the "nots." This is not an historic AAR. This is not a good introduction to gameplay. In fact, following this style of game will certainly make the game more difficult, but perhaps not in the best way. As I'm new to HoI3, this is probably not even a good strategy guide.

    So what is it?

    At the most basic level, it's a record of my attempts to successfully complete a semi-historic campaign in Hearts of Iron 3: For the Motherland while playing the Empire of Japan. It will offer a somewhat different style of gameplay. My goal is to win, but not to win by "gaming." This itself presents a question that I still can't answer: is it even possible to win, as Japan, without gaming.

    We will see.

    My overall goal is to successfully conquer the United States. To make this philosophically viable, I've changed history a bit, particularly the history immediately before 1936. So as you start reading, your mind will immediately register that this is not a historic AAR. If that bothers you, feel free to move on to another of the more historic AARs; there are a number of excellent ones on this forum. If you can accept the changes in history, I hope what you'll find here is an exciting alternative history in which "the final outcome" is not guaranteed.

    I find history more immersive when I'm reading source documents or period reports. Therefore, I've chosen to write this AAR as an epistolary document, where it is based upon documents, newspaper reports, and other writings of the time. So I feel it is necessary to state - quite clearly - that this is fiction and none of the documents created or sources cited are intended to be anything other than that.

    But enough about what this is. It's an AAR about the Empire of Japan. I truly hope you like it.
    Last edited by REMcPhail; 06-06-2012 at 11:01.

  4. #4

    The Treaty of Shenyang: November, 1935

    Japan Agrees to Withdraw from Manchuko

    New York Times
    New York, Wednesday, November 27, 1935

    by Jay Warren

    Tomorrow will be a true day of Thanksgiving for the people of eastern Asia. The conflict over the region of Manchuko, which began with the Mukden Incident on September 18, 1931, will be brought to an end with the complete withdraw of Japanese military forces from this region.

    The Treaty of Shenyang, orchestrated by diplomatic intervention of the United States, Great Britain, and France, provides for the complete withdraw of all Japanese land, air, and naval forces in Manchuko to the area south of the Yalu River in Korea. The treaty further provides that Japanese forces will not cross the Yalu River without first providing an official declaration of war to all signators of the treaty.

    British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin called the treaty a significant step towards peace in a region long controlled by a warlords and military opportunists. Samuel Hoare, British Foreign Secretary, stated the withdraw of Japanese forces will prevent the escalation of war in the region and will secure British and French interests in eastern Asia.

    The signators of the treaty include Emperor Puyi of Manchuko, Keisuke Okada on behalf of the Showa Emperor of Japan, Yan Xishan as Governor of Shanxi, and President Lin Sen of the Republic of China. Diplomatic representatives of the United States, Great Britain and France also signed the treaty.


    *

    Excerpt of:

    America Takes the Lead in the Treaty of Shenyang


    TIME Magazine, Monday, December 2, 1935

    by Arthur Branadies

    ****

    It was only a year ago that this correspondent learned of an agreement between Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek and the Japanese government to significantly increase trade tariffs for Chinese goods exported to the United States, Great Britain, and France, while lowering tariffs for Japan. This increase in tariffs, and the subsequent increase in the cost of consumer goods in the United States, brought the United States to the Asian diplomatic table.

    "It is not our desire to cripple Japan," stated United States Secretary of State Cordell Hull in an interview yesterday. "But Japan openly interfered with American economic interests. They cannot do that without expecting reprisals."

    These "reprisals" include more than the withdraw of forces from Manchuko. The Treaty of Shenyang also requires the Imperial Japanese Navy to dismantle any naval vessels currently in production and reinforces the displacement limits agreed to by Japan in the Washington Naval Treaty - a move Secretary Hull stated was designed to "halt the expansion" of the Imperial Japanese Navy. "The Empire of Japan has enough ships to defend itself in the event of an attack but not enough to wage an all-out, aggressive war," noted Secretary Hull. Japanese military forces will not be reduced but Japan is restricted from recruiting additional forces. Furthermore, Japan military forces are prevented from crossing the Yalu River, northwest of the Korean border, without first giving official notice to the United States, Great Britain, and France.

    When asked if the Treaty of Shenyang represents a political change in the United States, a move away from the policy of isolationism, Secretary Hull noted: "The treaty is a preventative measure. It will limit American involvement in foreign wars by putting a stop to Japanese military tendencies and, therefore, putting a stop to warfare in the region. It's a shot across the Japanese bow. Fortunately for everyone, the Japanese listened."

    Indeed, many political and economic leaders were stunned by Japan's agreement to such terms. "We made it clear," stated Secretary Hull, "that we would not tolerate further military adventures by the Japanese. I think it speaks highly of the wisdom of the Japanese government that they agreed to the terms of the treaty. Working together, we have achieved peace in our time. The United States looks forward to a long and prosperous relationship with the Empire of Japan."

    ****
    *



    *

    Excerpt of:

    Report of the Kwantung Army Command
    to the Imperial Japanese General Staff on the Treaty of Shenyang


    Field Marshal Kanin, Commanding
    Kwantung Army Theater
    Imperial Japanse Army

    ###### This Document Is Level 1 Confidential. ######
    ###### Personal delivery to members of General Staff is requested. ######


    ****

    It should be noted that every effort was made by the Kwantung Army staff to comply with Showa Emperor's wishes to avoid an escalation in the conflict in Manchuko.

    It should be noted that the Imperial Japanese Army, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, and the Imperial Japanese Navy currently have insufficient resources to sustain a combined long-term war against the United States, Great Britain, and France.

    It should be noted that while the execution of the treaty is a shameful event, it was necesary to prevent a Western response to what was viewed as aggression by the Empire.

    ****

    Therefore, the following proposals are respectfully submitted:

    First Proposal: That the Empire should refrain from further military expansion in China until the appropriate time. Any future military actions be responsive.

    Second Proposal: That the Empire export goods to the United States at reduced tarriffs with the goal of making te United States economically dependent upon the Empire.

    Third Proposal: That the mobilization and expansion of the Empire's military divisions should continue and increase immediately. Every precaution must be taken to keep these actions secret.

    ****
    Last edited by REMcPhail; 07-06-2012 at 09:17.

  5. #5
    Captain Barvinok's Avatar

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    Will there be screenshots? They help me understand the situation better.
    Requesting help from an experienced HOI 3 player in improving my skills, so I may be able to do an AAR of my own, one day.

  6. #6
    Lt. General Thanik's Avatar

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    1. More photos.
    2. More screenshots.
    3. More posts:P
    4. Subscribed
    5. Also what forces do you plan to build? Only 8 CV + escorts and all IC go to land?Or few SAGs too?
    Simple English User

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Barvinok View Post
    Will there be screenshots? They help me understand the situation better.
    Thanks for reading! Yes, screenshots are coming . . . and today! I just needed to set up an image hosting site.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanik View Post
    1. More photos.
    2. More screenshots.
    3. More posts:P
    4. Subscribed
    5. Also what forces do you plan to build? Only 8 CV + escorts and all IC go to land?Or few SAGs too?
    Thanks for subscribing!

    Yes, screenshots are coming. I have concerns with using photos and images on a forum, as someone who in real life works regularly with copyright issues. I see a lot of great images used in AARs and I often wonder where people get them and if they have permission to use them. There are a lot of images on the Internet, some of which are clearly free to use. If I know or suspect some still holds a copyright on an image, however, I do try to respect that. If anyone knows where I can get license free images, please let me know.

    The first two "posts" are still works in progress. I needed to get a look and feel I'm happy with. Not quite there yet, so they might be changing in the future. In addition to the narrative, I'll be posting "gameplay updates" which explain what I'm actually doing in the game and why I'm doing it. I'll try to pass on what little knowledge of the game I have as I do that, but I don't always play "smart" . . . meaning there are more effective ways to play. If I know them, I'll try to identify them.

    As to forces, I'll be building from the top down, using some of the ideas suggested in Valentinan's excellent AAR. One of the things I do that may not be very smart is to build a lot of land forces in the first two years of the game. This gives me a core army that I can use in China, etc. But I will be posting a list of needed units shortly.

    Thanks for reading!

    Edit: Does anyone know what the preferred image size (in pixels) is for forum images?

  8. #8

    Gameplay Journal: Victory Conditions

    Yes, I've done more in the game than set the Victory Conditions, but I spent most of tonight working on an images. This is basically a test image for legibility and size. I've got a number of others, but they're taking time . . . I'll try to put up another post tomorrow.



    I can read this on my laptop - but if you can't see the conditions, please let me know. Thanks.
    Last edited by REMcPhail; 06-06-2012 at 05:12.

  9. #9
    Why not Vladivostok btw? I will follow this with great interest though

    Tim

  10. #10
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    Another Japan AAR, yay! You should definitely use more screenshots. The one showing VCs was well-edited, so if you maintain this level of quality, it will be a good AAR even because of the quality of the presentation.

  11. #11
    Thanks to both of you for your interest.

    I've a bit of material to post, will get to it later tonight. I was hesitant to post it until I was certain people could actually read the screenshot elements. Some of the text from the screenies - and my resolution is 1440x900 - still seems quite small. Of course, I play on a Macbook (a laptop) so that may have something to do with quality (size) of my screenshots, although I can't see how.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timmie0307 View Post
    Why not Vladivostok btw? I will follow this with great interest though

    Tim
    Well, Valdivostok would have been a natural choice. I had it selected, then got to 15 conditions and wanted to add Gibraltar - don't ask why . . . But perhaps you're thinking like I am . . . how come there's no Seattle, Dallas, or Washington, D.C. victory conditions? 'Cause I'd have picked those . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Another Japan AAR, yay! You should definitely use more screenshots. The one showing VCs was well-edited, so if you maintain this level of quality, it will be a good AAR even because of the quality of the presentation.
    I can do that now that I have a couple of templates. I spent about three hours making templates last night, in a couple of different formats. I also had to create my background texture, which I made from scratch using three different graphic elements. I'm quite proud of it.

    Another reason for the lack of screenshots is we're still in 1935, so pre-game. I have one more 1935 post and then we'll be moving into the game. And then, trust me, there are plenty of screenshots to choose from (over 270 right now and I'm only to April, 1936).

    Thanks again!

  12. #12
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    270 screenshots? In April 1936? That's a total overkill!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    270 screenshots? In April 1936? That's a total overkill!
    Lol. It is. Really.

    But think about this: If I wanted to take a screenshot of what ships were in a carrier fleet, I have to take a screenshot, move the slider down to get the next group of ships - the one's that are not visible - and so on. That means multiple screenshots. Same thing with the research screen. Also, I have every event firing as a pop-up window (oh yes, it's annoying) just so I don't forget anything. When it comes time to write out the AAR, I have a lot of material, most of which will never be used. Finally, I take screenshots of everything I think I might not remember remember - images that I hope will trigger my memory so I know why I'm doing something.

  14. #14
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    I understand your situation - I usually end up with 120+ screenshots for a single update in the Influence Wars and a typical update encompasses ~2 months, but then, we are in the middle of war, not in 1936!

  15. #15
    Lt. General Thanik's Avatar

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    I had it selected, then got to 15 conditions and wanted to add Gibraltar - don't ask why . . .

    I guess about some sneaky airdrop by japanese imperial paratroopers. Of course in italian unifroms


    P.S. You can add in first post quick links to all new stricte AAR posts)? It will be looks nice...
    P.S. I wish you a nice hard work tonight/today.
    Simple English User

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by REMcPhail View Post
    Finally, I take screenshots of everything I think I might not remember remember - images that I hope will trigger my memory so I know why I'm doing something.
    You could film your game. We have one video AAR so I believe it could be done

    I like no IC building rule. Turning off Auto-upgrades every time units in battle is very time consuming.

    Good start

  17. #17
    I was thinking of starting a Jap AaR myself.
    I don't know about the 8 carriers though... maybe 10 to 12.
    For ZE Motherland!!
    My first AAR as the Mighty USSR. A very slow work in progress.

  18. #18

    The Gargoyle: December, 1935

    Excerpt of: Personal letter from Vice Admiral Jisuboro Osawa to Rear Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
    Sent from the IJN Akagi
    December 12, 1935



    Isoroku,

    My friend, I hope this letter finds you well - or at least tolerable. I am sorry to hear of your relief from your duties with General Staff, although I look forward to having you in the fleet again. Now that the treaty is negotiated, I'm sure Kanin and the entire Kwantung Command will be happy to see you go.

    ****

    Yes, the rumors about you in the fleet now are quite humorous - and, of course, untrue. After your protest of the war in Manchuko, and your demonstrated willingness to negotiate with the West, many of the lower offices, and even some of the admirals, are convinced you are a coward and afraid of America. I believe this is also view held by the General Staff and Kwantung Command, but you know better than I how long they have resented your ideas and your relationship with the Emperor.

    Perhaps you should write a brief epistle explaining your position and your experiences in the United States, for publication throughout the Fleet. I'm certain you can explain your ideas in a way that would help the officers of the fleet understand - and it might make your next posting more tolerable.


    ****

    *

    Excerpt of: Personal letter from Rear Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto to Vice Admiral Jisuboro Osawa
    Sent via diplomatic channels from P'yongyang Province, Korea
    December 24, 1935

    Jisuboro,

    ****

    I'm sure the rumors about me thoughout the fleet are quite humorous. You should really hear what they say about me here. Yes, I believe the Kwantung Commmand would like to see me disappear - quite literally.

    As to my ideas and my actions, I offer no explanation for other than they were in the best interests of the Empire and completely consistent with the oath I swore to our Emperor. Let the fleet whisper like hens until either reason or reality strikes them in the face. I will tolerate my new posting quite easily without the assistance of unnecessary explanations.

    But surely a naval officer of your quality understands that the future requires hard decisions. Japan, as you are aware, stands ready to rescind the Washington Treaty, on the basis of its inherent inequality, and soon its provisions will have no further effect. What action will we take then?

    I fear we will return to a naval war plan that is ridiculously dependent upon battleships and which ignores the realities of modern naval warfare. I know, Jisuboro, that you and so many other admirals love the battleships. Have you ever heard the way some of our officers talk about these old boats? The Yamashiro and the Ise?

    The old Ise! There are those in the old guard who would bankrupt the Empire to preserve what little life is left in that old battleship. But consider what a wasteful course of action this is. Sentimentality has no place in combat, nor in our choice of weapons. We can do more damage with a squadron of well-trained air pilots than the Ise can do with her tired old guns. I would rather she retire undefeated, as the great symbol she is, ready to return to action only if necessary, than to be ingloriously sunk to the depths of the Pacific by a newer, more powerful generation of naval war vessels.

    Do not concern yourself with my transfer, for it will be good to be back with the carriers. I even look forward to serving with you, although seeing your face again will certainly give me the usual shock. You really must not take offense when your men call you "gargoyle." Not every face can be a flower.

    I hope I will see you next in good health. As our Christian friends say: Merry Christmas.

    Your friend,

    Isoroku

    *


    Coded Message from General Kawashima, Imperial General Headquarters, to General Kanin, Kwantung Army Command

    CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION - CODING PROCEDURES MANDETORY

    From the General Kawashima, Imperial General Headquarters

    To General Kanin, Kwantung Army Command

    29 December 1935

    I am in receipt of your message of December 1, 1935, and have discussed its contents with the members of the Imperial General Headquarters. We are in agreement that your assessment of the situation is accurate. We will proceed immediately to identify a suitable location to begin the execution of the program. Once the program is underway, we will then present it to the Staffs of the Imperial Army and Navy.

    To prepare the program, we require a comprehensive list of the divisions necessary to hold the Yalu River border in the event of a Chinese or Russian attack. In preparing this list, keep in mind the possibility that a defense might require counter-actions on multiple fronts.

    Upon receipt of your list, we will proceed.

    General Kawashima,
    Imperial General Headquarters


    *

    Author's note:

    The treaty referred to by Yamamoto is the Washington Naval Treat, of which Japan was one of five signators. The treaty limited how many ships a national navy could have by displacement weight. By ratio, the United States and Great Britain were granted ratios of 5 to 3 greater displacement weight against Japan, on the theory that they had more oceans to protect. Japan took this as indication of the West's lack of respect for their military. On December 29, 1934, the Empire gave notice they would not be renewing the treaty upon it's expiration in 1936.

    Yamamoto was never actually "demoted," although his political and strategic views did bring him into conflict with other officers in the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy. I originally wrote this with him being demoted in rank. On further consideration, I decided to simply transferred him to a carrier fleet.

    I've not discovered any evidence of friendship between Osawa and Yamamoto, although it must be certain the two actually knew each other and perhaps closely. On a more humorous note, Jisuboro Osawa was nicknamed "the gargoyle" by his men and was considered one of the four ugliest men in the entire Imperial Japanese Navy.
    Last edited by REMcPhail; 06-06-2012 at 20:22.

  19. #19
    Captain Barvinok's Avatar

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    Will you be building newer battleships?
    Requesting help from an experienced HOI 3 player in improving my skills, so I may be able to do an AAR of my own, one day.

  20. #20
    Field Marshal Baltasar's Avatar
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    Scrapping those ships would take quite a while. They'd have to remove the turrets first, then the top structure... these things can take quite a while and certainly wold not be finished by the time the Wahington treaty expired. Since Japan would not want to renew the treaty anyway, they could just strike them from the naval lists and mothball them for a few months. Or use the time for extensive refit programm.

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