- May 13, 2003
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.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,
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.