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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Kovax

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I would like to know what i could have done to avoid being thrown into this mess, even if it means doing earlier actions on my part. I know that i will have to load an earlier save, or even restart the game to control a bit more my war mongering opponents.

I await your thoughts,

Vanslyke.
A country in a faction presents a higher Threat than one outside of a faction, so joining the Axis earlier would just have made the Allies better prepared. The Netherlands is guaranteed by the UK (check them in the diplomacy screen), so declaring war on them would automatically put you at war with the UK. If you're at war against one member of the Allies, you're at war with all of them, so there's no way to declare war on the Netherlands without bringing in the whole Allied faction in against you.

The US is a different matter. If your Threat is high enough (such as by declaring war on each of the Chinese warlords individually), and their position on the diplomatic triangle is close enough to the Allied corner, they'll join. Your options are to keep the US's Neutrality over 25 by keeping your Threat lower, or to maintain good Relations and try to influence them away from the Allied corner once you join the Axis. Once your Threat to them exceeds some level, they're going to embargo you and trash diplomatic relations anyway, so your choice is either to play nice and NOT declare a lot of wars while you slowly draw the US away from the Allies, or to go for broke and hope you can build up fast enough to deal with them when they inevitably go to war against you. My preference would be to absorb Nat Chi and Shanxi, then wait until Germany does its thing before joining the Axis, and taking only one or two the various warlords while you attempt to keep the US out of the war for as long as possible. You should have more than enough UK, French, and Netherland territory to keep you busy without fighting over the useless territories of Xibei San Ma or Yunnan.

The higher your Threat, the less that Democratic and Communist countries will need to spend on Consumer Goods, meaning more to spend on military units. Building Threat makes the war harder for both you and your eventual allies, so limiting your Threat early in the game by limiting wars to just one or two big juicy targets is to be preferred over declaring a lot of small wars for limited gains. Once the "main event" begins, and all of the big countries are already committed, Threat no longer matters.

Ideally, you'd want all of the Chinese warlords to join Nat China against you, so you only need to trigger Marco Polo Bridge and not make any other DoWs. I suspect that I steamrolled Nat Chi too quickly for that to happen in my own Japan game, so all I got to annex before WWII broke out was Nat Chi and Shanxi.
 

Vanslyke

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A country in a faction presents a higher Threat than one outside of a faction, so joining the Axis earlier would just have made the Allies better prepared. The Netherlands is guaranteed by the UK (check them in the diplomacy screen), so declaring war on them would automatically put you at war with the UK. If you're at war against one member of the Allies, you're at war with all of them, so there's no way to declare war on the Netherlands without bringing in the whole Allied faction in against you.

The US is a different matter. If your Threat is high enough (such as by declaring war on each of the Chinese warlords individually), and their position on the diplomatic triangle is close enough to the Allied corner, they'll join. Your options are to keep the US's Neutrality over 25 by keeping your Threat lower, or to maintain good Relations and try to influence them away from the Allied corner once you join the Axis. Once your Threat to them exceeds some level, they're going to embargo you and trash diplomatic relations anyway, so your choice is either to play nice and NOT declare a lot of wars while you slowly draw the US away from the Allies, or to go for broke and hope you can build up fast enough to deal with them when they inevitably go to war against you. My preference would be to absorb Nat Chi and Shanxi, then wait until Germany does its thing before joining the Axis, and taking only one or two the various warlords while you attempt to keep the US out of the war for as long as possible. You should have more than enough UK, French, and Netherland territory to keep you busy without fighting over the useless territories of Xibei San Ma or Yunnan.

The higher your Threat, the less that Democratic and Communist countries will need to spend on Consumer Goods, meaning more to spend on military units. Building Threat makes the war harder for both you and your eventual allies, so limiting your Threat early in the game by limiting wars to just one or two big juicy targets is to be preferred over declaring a lot of small wars for limited gains. Once the "main event" begins, and all of the big countries are already committed, Threat no longer matters.

Ideally, you'd want all of the Chinese warlords to join Nat China against you, so you only need to trigger Marco Polo Bridge and not make any other DoWs. I suspect that I steamrolled Nat Chi too quickly for that to happen in my own Japan game, so all I got to annex before WWII broke out was Nat Chi and Shanxi.
I had read about the differences between being in a faction or not, relating to the threat level. I guess it could make some difference.

Regarding the US, i did try to make as much trade with them as possible. At one point, it was close to 200. Eventually, they embargoed me, so it went down quite a bit, i had more than a dozen trade with them; small ones instead of a big one, to get better relationship faster.
If i read you correctly, you suggest i invest some leadership points to influence the US, or just put spies there to Support my Party? When i play as Germany, i have enough Leadership so that question never arise, but as Japan, it’s more limited.

How would i do to make the other warlords to join Nationalist China, beside triggering the Marco Polo event? Unless that event make them join automatically, i’m not sure.

Anyway, thank you very much Kovax. I really appreciate that you take the time to answer my questions.

Vanslyke
 

Kovax

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I THINK there's a possibility of the various warlords joining Nat China if the war drags on ("Forge the United Front" decision by China, followed by acceptance or rejection by each of the various warlords), but I don't know the specifics for China to activate it, or if it's even in TFH. Before TFH, it happened in almost every game.

It's "possible" but extremely difficult to make some diplomatic headway with the US, but you need to place spies as early as possible, as in Jan-Feb of 1936 (3 pips into counter-spying, until you've removed all or almost all of their defensive spies, then add 1 or 2 pips to "Support our Party" until the 1940 elections), otherwise their own spies become entrenched and they're almost impossible to get rid of. If/when you gain the advantage by wiping out their defending spies, you can usually keep 10 spies in place with well under a 1 point Leadership investment; if not, then you'll continue to lose a lot of spies, which will cost a lot of Leadership to replace.

You can't exert Influence unless you're in a faction, and that's not going to happen until you trigger Marco Polo Bridge or otherwise reduce your Neutrality far enough to join, and they'll generally embargo you soon after that. About all you can usually hope for is to pull the US far enough away that it takes time for them to get back within range of the Allied corner.

The really SILLY course of action is to wait until Germany launches Barbarossa, then do Pearl Harbor, which puts the US in the Commintern instead of the Allies, not that they're any less dangerous that way.
 
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vanillaicecubet

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During a recent game, i conquered ROC, and pretty much all of the chinese Warlords, exept Xibei wich became a puppet...

I am in the middle of a Japan campaign and had a plan similar to yours.

I only declared war on Nat China and Communist China, added puppet war goal for both and seized the Chinese coast. Ieft the other warlords alone. I kept the war going until late 1939 when Germany kicked off the main event then I joined the main war. Germany decided to invade France through Italy (total disaster) but eventually they declared on Netherlands. I also tried waiting to get French Indochina through the event, but it was taking way too long for France to fall, so I just invaded.

I did join the war against soviet union when that started

USA did eventually declare war on me in early 1941 or late 1940 I think. I'm pretty sure the trick is to keep your threat low as possible by limiting war declarations, but if you join the European war USA won't sit around waiting forever.

I hope that helps!
 
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Vanslyke

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I am in the middle of a Japan campaign and had a plan similar to yours.

I only declared war on Nat China and Communist China, added puppet war goal for both and seized the Chinese coast. Ieft the other warlords alone. I kept the war going until late 1939 when Germany kicked off the main event then I joined the main war. Germany decided to invade France through Italy (total disaster) but eventually they declared on Netherlands. I also tried waiting to get French Indochina through the event, but it was taking way too long for France to fall, so I just invaded.

I did join the war against soviet union when that started

USA did eventually declare war on me in early 1941 or late 1940 I think. I'm pretty sure the trick is to keep your threat low as possible by limiting war declarations, but if you join the European war USA won't sit around waiting forever.

I hope that helps!
Thank you for your comments

Yes, it does help. I had read about that in some earlier posts, but i welcome your comments anyway, they just confirm what i was told before.

About your game, how are you dealing with the US? Are you able to keep up against the UK SU and US?

Thanks
 
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About your game, how are you dealing with the US? Are you able to keep up against the UK SU and US?

Thanks

For the UK and France I had troops staged on Taiwan and as soon as I declared hit Hong Kong and the other British ports. I had focused very heavily on my navy, so I was able to sink a lot of Royal Navy ships by the time I took Singapore. I rushed radar and researched the ship and CAG radars ASAP. I don't know how much this actually helped but I wrecked their fleets. I pushed as far as India taking most of the coast, and aside from some convoy raiding they've left me alone.

For the USSR I had maybe 30 divisions for the invasion, I used some marines and the starting cav to cut off almost all of their far east troops. I've been pushing west along the trans Siberia railway. I'm getting close to stalingrad and have just started encountering soviet divisions. Germany seems to be stalled out (they haven't even taken Crimea) so I have no idea how this is going to turn out. I have about 15 divisions pushing west due to the poor supply lines.

For USA I was prepared, I had already taken all of SE Asia except New Zealand. As soon as they declared I hit the Phillipines then wake and midway. I had maybe 10 divisions for this: 5 marines and 5 inf/art, and used garrisons to hold the important islands. I left Guam hoping to trap their navy - its in range of the airbase at saipan (i think thats the name) at this point I had 8 or 9 CV in 3 fleets, 2 SHBB + CVL in fleet and all the starting BBs in 3 separate fleets. Plus screens of course. So I was able to cycle fleets in and out wearing down their capital ships and destroying their screens. My admirals were already high skill or even maxed so that really helped. By the time I took Pearl Harbor I sunk most or all American BBs, DDs and CLs. They must still have a few CVs, but they don't have much of a navy. I also caught a few invasion forces and trapped defending forces, maybe 5 - 10 divisions including marines.


Considering this, I assumed USA would be low on divisions so I landed on the Pacific coast to force them into making divisions instead of rebuilding their navy. I might be able to hold it, but they are pumping out a lot of armor divisions. I have managed to encircle a few divisions along the coast, maybe another 5 -10. I just keep falling back to the ports (but hold the airfield in Sacramento or their airforce will pound you) letting the Americans move in and then try and trap 1 or 2 divisions at a time. Make sure you have Anti tank brigades, I licensed them from Germany.

I think my 2 biggest mistakes of this campaign were building too many engineers (very useful in China and SE Asia, not so much in Siberia)and not building backup CAGs. My CV fleets had to spend a lot of time in port due to depleted CAGs.
 
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For the UK and France I had troops staged on Taiwan and as soon as I declared hit Hong Kong and the other British ports. I had focused very heavily on my navy, so I was able to sink a lot of Royal Navy ships by the time I took Singapore. I rushed radar and researched the ship and CAG radars ASAP. I don't know how much this actually helped but I wrecked their fleets. I pushed as far as India taking most of the coast, and aside from some convoy raiding they've left me alone.

For the USSR I had maybe 30 divisions for the invasion, I used some marines and the starting cav to cut off almost all of their far east troops. I've been pushing west along the trans Siberia railway. I'm getting close to stalingrad and have just started encountering soviet divisions. Germany seems to be stalled out (they haven't even taken Crimea) so I have no idea how this is going to turn out. I have about 15 divisions pushing west due to the poor supply lines.

For USA I was prepared, I had already taken all of SE Asia except New Zealand. As soon as they declared I hit the Phillipines then wake and midway. I had maybe 10 divisions for this: 5 marines and 5 inf/art, and used garrisons to hold the important islands. I left Guam hoping to trap their navy - its in range of the airbase at saipan (i think thats the name) at this point I had 8 or 9 CV in 3 fleets, 2 SHBB + CVL in fleet and all the starting BBs in 3 separate fleets. Plus screens of course. So I was able to cycle fleets in and out wearing down their capital ships and destroying their screens. My admirals were already high skill or even maxed so that really helped. By the time I took Pearl Harbor I sunk most or all American BBs, DDs and CLs. They must still have a few CVs, but they don't have much of a navy. I also caught a few invasion forces and trapped defending forces, maybe 5 - 10 divisions including marines.


Considering this, I assumed USA would be low on divisions so I landed on the Pacific coast to force them into making divisions instead of rebuilding their navy. I might be able to hold it, but they are pumping out a lot of armor divisions. I have managed to encircle a few divisions along the coast, maybe another 5 -10. I just keep falling back to the ports (but hold the airfield in Sacramento or their airforce will pound you) letting the Americans move in and then try and trap 1 or 2 divisions at a time. Make sure you have Anti tank brigades, I licensed them from Germany.

I think my 2 biggest mistakes of this campaign were building too many engineers (very useful in China and SE Asia, not so much in Siberia)and not building backup CAGs. My CV fleets had to spend a lot of time in port due to depleted CAGs.
Thank you very much Vanillaicecubet,

I will put all of this to good use when i go back to my Japan game. I need to reload an earlier save because of my threat level. I will go at it with a lower profile, so that when it's time to tackle the Big Boys, i should be ready and it would be on my terms... Hopefully.

Vanslyke
 
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