1/4th of the World is Missing. Fixing India, China, and the colonies.

1/4th of the World is Missing. Fixing India, China, and the colonies.

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Porkman

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Take a look at this map of all the colonial territory in 1936. (I greyed out the homelands of the colonial powers.)



This a quarter of the world's land area, and about a third of its population that was part of a colony at the beginning of WW2.

We've already had a thread about colonial troops but that's only a symptom of the larger problem which is the lack of a dedicated game mechanic to represent the colonies. I will also show how such a mechanic would also solve the problem of representing China.

So this post is going to be split into three sections because it's long.

1) The Solution: a colony mechanic.

2) The Problems of colonies in the current game.

3) How a colony mechanic could also fix China
 
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I: A colony mechanic, my proposal. (actually based a lot on what OHgamer proposed for the original HOI3)


1) I propose that the areas of the world that were colonies in 1936, get their own special status called... (drumroll) ...colony!


Countries that owned colonies would have something called "colonial policy" for their colonies which would function in a similar fashion to "Occupation policy" in the current game.

Each colony would have their own dissent, their own factories, their own resources, their own equipment pools and their own manpower. The differing colonial policies would determine how much IC/manpower/resources are taken out of the colony for use by the mother country vs. how much is left behind. The more severe and impoverishing the colonial policy the greater the potential for dissent and the more troops required to quell it. Japan, for example, would be using the harshest and most severe policy.

The owning nation would have the potential to raise them to puppets or grant full independence but that would be a big dissent and NU hit. Nations that conquer other nation's colonies would have the option of retaining them as colonies or creating puppet states (see Japan's experiments in Philippines, Burma etc). (Also, important, no new colonies could be created after the start of the game. "Colony" is there to represent areas that have been ruled for decades by foreign powers, not a handful of years.)


2) IC, manpower and resources can be taken from and given to the colony, for direct use by the mother nation but not with perfect efficiency.


So if you take the IC for mother country production you can use it to produce a factory in England, but it won't be as effective as using that IC to produce another factory in Calcutta.

Conversely, a colonial power could also send resources, IC and equipment and MP to help the colonies develop military units and/or infrastructure. If you want to ship tanks to India or spend home country IC to develop the infrastructure or industrial sector in Vietnam, you can, but not with 100% efficiency.


3) Production of Military units from Colonial Areas would be based on that colony's manpower, resources and IC potential.


(which explains why for example the defenses of Singapore and Hong Kong were so poor - Colonial office and the colonial bureaucracies in Hong Kong and Straits Settlements spent decades quibbling over who'd pay for the cost of improving military defenses, as Parliament in London was very, very stingy when it came to military spending for colonial defense and expected the colonies themselves to foot the vast majority of the bill. As for India, the entire cost of the Army of India was footed by the Indian taxpayer, not the British, and even in peacetime approximately half of the Indian budget was spent on the cost of the Royal Indian Armed forces).

The mother country would have complete control over what the colonies produced and how the IC was used, but units produced would have to deploy within the colony. The amount of colonial IC available for military production within the colony vs. used directly by the mother country vs. that lost to the civilian sector would be based on the physical IC on the map and the colonial policy.


4) Active use of colonial military units by the mother nation would be possible but dissent would rise a lot if more than handful are deployed outside of the colony.​


Within the bounds of the colony where the forces came from, there would be no limit or penalty on how they were used. However, shipping colonial armies out of their colony would start raising dissent within the colony. The more units are shipped out the greater the internal dissent and less productive the colony with a chance of revolt if the colonial troops are out too long. This is to prevent Britain from deploying the entire Indian Army to Europe. Historically, they could move a couple divisions out of India at a time, but they had to leave the vast majority within the country to keep order.

Colonial troops would also be able to be merged and form divisions with units from the mother nation. A brigade of French infantry supported by 10,000 Tunisian irregulars in a single division is totally fine.

Also, deploying mother country troops to the colonies would reduce colonial dissent by significantly more than colonial troops themselves.
 
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Porkman

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II: The Problem of colonies in the current game.

There are two main problems with the representation of colonies in the current game.

1) Colonial troops are not well represented.

2) Colonial resources, manpower, and risk of revolt also not well represented.


1) Colonial Troops are not well represented.​


We had a thread about this here already...

Basically, in some places, “colonial” troops are far too powerful and in other theaters, they are far too weak.

Colonial troops were everywhere during the war the Indian Army had 2.1 million soldiers in WW2. They were present in the North African Campaign, the East African campaign and the Burma campaign and The Free French forces (in their hundreds of thousands) were mostly recruited from the colonies and fought in France and Italy. The Dutch used colonial irregulars in their defense of the East Indies. The Japanese used Taiwanese and Korean divisions to fight.

So they were there... but this, by itself, isn't the main reason why they are important. Why are they important for gameplay? The wars in the peripheral areas were almost always fought by a mixture colonial and metropolitan troops. The East African campaign had the British use local divisions and Indian army divisions to fight the Italians, the revolt in Iraq had the British use Indian army divisions, the Arab legion, and divisions from Palestine to put that down.

If you look at the British especially, but also to a lesser extent the French, the Italians, and the Japanese. The theoretical manpower they could have had during the war and the actual manpower they were able to use are vastly disparate. India in WW2 had 300 million people and it built a huge army but the game can't really show those troops without making it possible for the UK to redeploy the Hindu Horde to France and crush the Germans in 1939. Similarly, a good Italian or French player will always empty the colonies of troops before the war starts. There's are reasons that Italy, Britain and France didn't do this in real life that aren't represented by the game.

The British player never really has to struggle to cobble together a force from a bunch of different parts of the empire to deal with the latest crisis. British armies in India are either too powerful and useful via military control (the puppet route that many mods use) or non existent.


2) The colonial resources and politics aren't represented very well.


Colonies during the war were quite interesting, namely in that they switched sides quite often and in a way that's not very well represented by the current system. Colonies should be able to be fully captured without having to defeat the mother country first.

The current system is based on this idea of national territories and core provinces. If the player captures a part of France, the locals will resist and there will be partisans and it's core territory... etc. But that shouldn't be there when the British capture Libya. It's just some new foreigner running an area that was already under foreign control. The Japanese were able to capture and control Indochina entirely intact from the Vichy forces.

During the war, one of the most interesting bits was the gradual shift of French colonies from the Vichy to the Free French side. These colonies like Madagascar or Algeria were captured by Free French forces working in concert with the Allied powers and when they were captured they switched entirely. The current game uses events to simulate this badly since the actual base game mechanics would force the French player to annex the Vichy government in Metropolitan France before it could have full control of the colonies. In the current game, the Japanese similarly can't get their historical high level of control in the Dutch East Indies or Burma, since they can't possibly defeat the mother countries quickly.

Dissent in the colonies was also different from the mother country. All of the colonial powers needed to keep significant amounts of local or mother country troops within the colony to keep internal dissent from rising too much. The current game would let you empty out India without any consequences which is a problem.

This also opens up room in the intelligence missions for a "foment colonial revolt" which is also interesting.

Having a colony was a simple proposition for most countries. The colonies shipped resources to the metropolis and in return the metropolis sold finished goods to the colonies. The colonial governments were based on keeping order and resource extraction, they didn't care much who was ultimately in charge.
 
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Porkman

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III: How this would fix China.

In all of the China threads, we've puzzled over how to model China effectively.

China has a huge army... but it's largely low quality.

China outnumbered the Japanese... but it rarely was able to concentrate troops effectively.

China was not completely unified... but the warlord cliques weren't separate countries in any way.

This can all be fixed by making the warlords colonies of Nationalist China.


1) This way, each of them would have their own troops... that would have to largely remain within their own war area.


If the Chinese player tried to move too many out, the warlord areas would start having massive dissent and risk revolting. Because they'd have some base revolt risk already, this would also force the Chinese player to disperse some Central Army divisions to the warlord areas just to keep them in line. It would also allow the Japanese player to use a historical tactic against the Chinese, which was smashing the one Central Army division, knowing that this would cause the local divisions to melt away.

Also, if the Chinese player tries to disband too many local troops, the area will start having massively increased dissent. This will force the Chinese player to maintain a lot of weak troops.


2) This way, the warlords would each be producing low quality troops from local resources, relying on the Nationalist China player to send any advanced equipment that they either produce themselves or receive via Lend Lease.


We already know that production is going to be split into three types. Civilian, shipyards and military. Well, the lower Yangtze (the area near Shanghai) would be one of the only areas with military production at the start of the game. This will make the warlord areas reliant on the Chinese player to send equipment to equip the local forces This allows the player to actually engage in the sort of resource management that the Chinese did historically.


3) This way, Japan can get puppet Chinese forces.


If the Japane take over Shanxi, they can use it to produce their own weak Chinese forces for internal dissent suppression and guarding infrastructure. Something that the Japanese did historically and has never been represented in any of the games. As a bonus, this also means those forces will be around when Japan surrenders and the Nationalists can use them in the Civil War (as they did historically.)

This would actually relate well to point 2 above, since the Nationalist player would have to balance strengthening North China to fight the Japanese with the knowledge that, when it falls, any equipment sent there would be inevitably turned against the Nationalists.


4) This gives China a fun and plausible path to unification that better mirrors history.


China can start the game with war goals that are based on turning the warlord areas from colonies to regular territory. They would be pretty simple if expensive and annoying. The Chinese player would have reduce dissent to a certain level, hold it there for a long time, as well as build a certain amount province improvements in the area. It would need to force the Chinese player to commit a certain amount of central government troops and IC that could be better used fighting the Japanese.

Even during the war, Yunnan went from being a warlord area to a core province as the amount of Central government troops and government bureaucrats and infrastructure development brought it under Nationalist control.


5) This also gives the Chinese an interesting choice about resisting during Marco Polo.


For the entire 1930's, Chiang Kai Shek was trading small amounts of territory to the Japanese for time to unify and strengthen the army. The Chinese player should have the same choice. There should be an option (which would cause a lot of internal dissent) that the Chinese player can make peace with Japan after it takes North China and then use the time to unify and strengthen the country. They would be able to buy 1 to 3 years of peace if they do this.


6) This makes for a far more interesting Civil War, including allowing the communists to build up the base areas and keep them after the war is over and allowing for the massive amount of troops switching sides that happened during the war.


Japan, in a historical war, is going to take over Shanxi and convert it to a colony. The Communists can fight into there and take territory and if the war ends, the territory they took won't be automatically sent back to the nationalists but instead stay with the communists since the game mechanics will consider that they took it from the Japanese not Nationalist China.

When the Civil War starts, communist China can take out the warlord areas one by one and cause them to switch allegiance. Since local forces would switch sides with the colony.

That was long...

The two most important goals accomplished by this system would be fixing India and China. Especially China, where I know it's not perfect, but it fits better than independent countries or core territory.

What do people think?

(A thread to read if you want to know what happened 5 years ago when HOI3 was in development. )
 
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scroggin

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This sounds like a pretty accurate way of modelling colonies, it would add a lot to role play for a player. The issue would be getting an AI country to handle a colony correctly, how easy would that be to do?
 

SpermCube

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I like it. DH handled colonies pretty well using the puppet system, but it still didn't completely fix the whole issue. There should be more options than just the puppet option.
 

Porkman

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This sounds like a pretty accurate way of modelling colonies, it would add a lot to role play for a player. The issue would be getting an AI country to handle a colony correctly, how easy would that be to do?
I don't think it would be too hard. Most of the colonies would be fairly "shelf stable." The Mother country shouldn't really have to change much unless it comes under threat. In a historical game, Britain is going to set Guyana with a colonial policy favoring resource extraction, 1 brigade of british infantry + some local irregulars, and it will stay that way for the duration of the game. Most of the colonies would be like that and you could also add a a sort of preferred colonial policy based on the country.

If the colony was threatened or internal dissent started rising, than you have an AI switch to a more militant production.

The only real worry would be teaching the AI, which has full miltary control, not to redeploy colonial troops around the world willy nilly and thus raise their dissent.
 

Bullfrog

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Sounds great overall, that's a lot of fine work. One question: how would you determine the inefficiency of IC being borrowed between the Mother country and Colony?
 

tommylotto

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As others have noted, it is a great idea. It just depends on how the AI can implement it. Maybe there should be a percentage limit on the colonial troops that can be moved outside of the colonial region. So, if you want a division of Indian infantry to fight in North Africa, you would need to build three in India to be able to ship one overseas.
 

Porkman

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Sounds great overall, that's a lot of fine work. One question: how would you determine the inefficiency of IC being borrowed between the Mother country and Colony?
I would go for a base rate of something like 60%, so if India has 30 IC worth of civilian production, the British can get 18 IC in Britain proper. (but then India has no more internal IC.) Though the max cap on how much of this could be done would be based on the colonial policy. So you'd have to have the most exploitive colonial policy if you wanted to take out all of the manpower/IC.
 

Porkman

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Tbh why not simulate a colony like they do in EUIV. Let them be independent subjects that trade all excess ressources to the motherstate and send expeditionary forces if they have enough to guard themselves.
It seems tempting because colonial areas unlike occupied territories, were able to produce their own troops. But in difference to puppets, colonial areas were run by an ex pat governors who were direct government officials deriving their authority from the mother country who were under the direct government control of the mother country..

Merely making them puppets doesn't let the player control the production of troops or the development of infrastructure which is something that all governments did in their colonies and that they had direct control over. The player has to be able to switch the colonies over from their civilian IC to military production. The player has to be able to tell the colony what to make. The player has to be able to tell the colony that we really need an airfield/port/railroad right here, right now.

In EUIV, because of the time period, the mother countries couldn't control the colonies directly so making them autonomous represented things pretty well. In WW2, you had within the hour communication via telegram so they weren't really autonomous.
 
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Adonnus

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This sounds like a great idea, although I am a freak about having every single province directly under my control and not under a puppet's it still sounds like the most realistic way of doing historical business. Just one question: what do you mean by the current game? Hoi3 or Darkest Hour?
 

ringhloth

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Tbh why not simulate a colony like they do in EUIV. Let them be independent subjects that trade all excess ressources to the motherstate and send expeditionary forces if they have enough to guard themselves.
It'd be much simpler. You could also have them send resources via the lend lease mechanic, if it's still there. The OP doesn't have bad ideas, but a lot of it isn't implementable with game mechanics in HoI3, so they'd be quite hard to implement in HoI4. The approximation in HPP is pretty good, and satisfies me.
 

Darkath

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The player need at the very least to retain control over the colonial units, so it should be more like Victoria rather than EUIV.

I'd say Porkman ideas are very well thought out and detailed. It woud be worthwile to delay the game to implement such a system IMO (if something similar is not already planned), and even if it doesn't make it into the base game it would make a very good DLC.
 

Porkman

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It'd be much simpler. You could also have them send resources via the lend lease mechanic, if it's still there. The OP doesn't have bad ideas, but a lot of it isn't implementable with game mechanics in HoI3, so they'd be quite hard to implement in HoI4. The approximation in HPP is pretty good, and satisfies me.
Of course it isn't implementable with the mechanics of HOI3, that's why I wrote "1) The Solution: a colony mechanic. " My idea is that colonies were such ubiquitous entities that they require a colonial mechanic.

There were far more colonies in WW2, producing far more troops, than there were "puppet states." HPP does a lot of stuff right (anything that splits India from being British direct territory is good and it has railroads) but it's still using the limited HOI3 mechanics to do something that requires its own specialized set of mechanics .
 

Moppy771

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+1
 

OHgamer

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I thought I felt my ears buzzing :rofl:

The important thing to remember is that Paradox has developed some very good mechanics for handling colonies in more recent titles such as EUIV. Better modelling of colonial relationships and their contributions to the war effort in HoI3 therefore would not so much mean reinventing the wheel as taking existing structures developed to model colonial relationships in more recent games and modifying them to fit the nature of gameplay in HoI4.
 

gas463

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i like it alot. but i would still like it to have full control over it. like the unit cards would have my coler of the nation. and a little flag in it where they came from. but you can deside if they get new weapens or the old weapens thaht where obselite from you home country.
 
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