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zSCHIZOz

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Hello and welcome to my Imperial Japanese AAR, Reign of Glory! I will be playing with all expansions, including La Resistance. Historical focuses will be used and I have altered initial division templates to my preference. The plan is to play mostly historically but things may change depending on the situation later in the game. I hope you will enjoy my AAR as much as I enjoy playing and writing. Feel free to comment on whatever takes your fancy and lets get this adventure rolling!
 
Chapter One: 1936 - Mobilizing the Nation

zSCHIZOz

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It was a calm and beautiful morning in Osaka as the Sun began to rise over the Pacific, letting out rays of sunshine that so many of us remember on those cold wintry days. All the while the Sun began to reflect off the freshly packed snow which covered rooftops, roads and lawns that sprawled throughout the city of Osaka. As dawn began to break, many of Osaka’s inhabitants began their early morning routines of getting ready for either work or school. For the Kenji family this was the beginning of both work and stay-at-home parenting. Shin Kenji was a new father of a baby girl with a beautiful wife named Takara, of whom were married for just over a year. The Kenji’s were bakers and they worked just outside Osaka’s farmer’s market which was located downtown. This morning however would be different from any other for the Kenji’s as a loud and abrupt knock on the front door came to be as the Kenji’s were enjoying breakfast before setting off for their day.

As Shin made his way to the front door another knock would sound from the door, creating an uneasy tension for Shin as he stepped a bit faster towards the door before opening. A soldier of the Imperial Army with papers in one hand and a fist clenched on the other ready to knock again was standing on the outside of Shin’s house. “Shin Kenji?” said the soldier.

“Yes.” replied Shin.

The soldier presented Shin the papers in his hand and responded “Congratulations! You have been drafted into the Imperial Army. Follow the instructions in the letter and we will be in touch.” The soldier smiled and turned about and continued down the sidewalk to the next household of an eligible male. Shin looked down at the papers in disappointment and closed the front door and made his way towards his beloved wife and newborn daughter.

“Who was at the door, honey?” said Takara.

Shin tried to hide his frustration from his wife but he was too annoyed. “A soldier. He gave me conscription papers. I’m to be drafted into the Army in a week.“

In shock Takara replied “What? I can’t work and raise our daughter by myself!” She paused before continuing “Did you at least try to reason with the man?”

“There’s nothing I can do, Takara. Once you’re drafted, you’re drafted.” Shin thought for a few moments to himself before continuing “Talk to your mother. She can help with the baby while you work at the bakery. I’ll still be getting paid. Just by the Army instead. I’ll make arrangements to make sure you get the money, Takara.”

Frustrated herself Takara shook her head in disbelief and sighed “I suppose that will have to do, Shin. I will miss you! Please write home when you have the chance.”

“It will be alright, Takara. I have a week to get things in order before I’m to report to the barracks. At least we have that.”

“You’re right my love.” Takara walked closer to Shin before Shin began to hold her in an attempt to comfort his wife. Takara began to softly cry as Shin held her closer. Their daughter watched from the kitchen trying to understand what had happened. The closeness of Shin and Takara always found a way to comfort their child in a way they could not do otherwise. Shin was a family man and his entrance into the Army would make or break him as he and his wife never go more than a day or two without each other. These would be trying times for the Kenji’s as well as the nation of young families as a whole but they would learn to soldier on and serve their country in the coming months ahead.

*****​

Meanwhile, as the draft continued on the Home Islands of Japan the central government of Japan began reorganizing industry to field a large army. Factories and dockyards were of prime concern and with the newly established draft forty eight divisions of Regulars were to be trained before the years end. Future plans for the Imperial Army was to include modernized armor divisions for future expansion in mainland Asia should Japan continue on its current path. For now though the Imperial Army would have to rely on infantry as its main force on the mainland.


On the navy side of the military, the old ships of the past were scrapped for resources while research and development would begin on advancing warships. It was still undecided by high ranking officials in the Imperial Navy whether or not to invest in large battleships or carriers but that was a concern for the future. For now the Imperial Navy would invest in smaller ships and work its way up to capital ships at a later date. It was a bold decision to scrap the entire Imperial Navy but it would pay off in the future to have modern warships over refitting old, less reliable vessels. However, there was still the IJN Nagato, the pride of the fleet, which was conducting exercises on the Coast of Japan to further gain experience for the Imperial Navy. Battleship Nagato would allow the Navy to greatly increase its ability to research naval technology and implement them into a new, modern naval force.


And finally the central government itself was altered. The Kodoha faction was being dismantled and any sympathizers would be arrested. This would quickly allow the Emperor and his trusted staff to form Japan into an ideal position on the world’s stage. The rise of Imperial Japan had begun and the Emperor’s ambitions were bold. With the Kodoha faction soon to be out of the picture Emperor Hirohito would begin forging a new empire from Japan’s proud past. A new empire to rule Asia and its surrounding islands in the south. Japan would now enter a reign of glory.
 

Bullfilter

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OK I’ve clocked in to take a look - off to a lively start. I get the feeling Shin and Takara may not be seeing each other much for a long time!
 

DylanMultiverse

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And finally the central government itself was altered. The Kodoha faction was being dismantled and any sympathizers would be arrested. This would quickly allow the Emperor and his trusted staff to form Japan into an ideal position on the world’s stage.
How about an honorable mention to the intelligence agency (modern day ninja clans) who responsible for bringing down the Kodoha faction (the group of ronin within the Imperial Army plotting a coup) and would be essential for Japan's future war effort?
 

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OK I’ve clocked in to take a look - off to a lively start. I get the feeling Shin and Takara may not be seeing each other much for a long time!
Thanks for tuning in! Hope you're enjoying the content. ;)

How about an honorable mention to the intelligence agency (modern day ninja clans) who responsible for bringing down the Kodoha faction (the group of ronin within the Imperial Army plotting a coup) and would be essential for Japan's future war effort?
I'm not much of a history buff. :p
 

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Best not be like Icarus to fly too close to the sun :D
 

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Thirty days had passed since Shin Kenji had left for Basic Combat Training. He persevered and finished honorably, graduating with most of the members of his platoon. Shin was now in battle dress uniform on a transport truck heading back to the Osaka Barracks, just a few miles from his home. After arriving he waved goodbye to his new friends and comrades and hiked home to surprise his family.

The streets of Osaka were busy. People going back and forth by on the sidewalks with few cars on the road as Japan had not been as financially fortunate as some of the Western Powers. Shin would often take the sidewalk on his way to his bakery from home and that was where he was heading now. A few blocks further down the road was his stop and hopefully his wife working and unsuspecting a visit from her husband.

Shin was now just one building away from the bakery. He stopped short and checked himself out in his reflection on the glass of the neighboring building’s storefront. Shin moved his head slightly to the left and then to the right. He adjusted his cap for a more snug fit and smiled. He felt proud and confident, more so than ever before for now he was an Imperial Japanese Army Soldier on a few days leave before further training. After a few seconds of inspection Shin continued down the sidewalk and casually looked through his bakery storefront, hoping to get a glimpse of Takara before entering. He could not see her and he figured she was busy by the ovens which was out of sight from the storefront.

As Shin opened the door the door triggered a small bell which was suspended just adjacent to the front door and its coinciding wall. The bell ring echoed through the bakery while Shin made his way to the front counter, ignoring customers who were waiting for their order on tables set towards the front of the bakery. He took his right hand and tapped playfully on a tabletop bell with a smug smirk on his face. Shin could now see Takara approaching. Takara did not recognize Shin in his army uniform for a moment until she got close enough to begin a conversation with him. She paused and her expression went from tired to ecstatic. Takara put her right hand to her mouth in surprise before saying “Shin! Oh my God! How long have you been back?”

“Just today, Takara.” Shin smiling just as much as his wife he continued with “Sorry I didn’t write. We didn’t really have any time to ourselves during training. We were very busy.” Shin chuckled.

“That’s alright, hun. My, you look so handsome in your uniform. How long are you back for?”

“Just a few days. We are to continue exercises until the Army says were up to snuff.”

Takara finally lowered her right hand from her mouth. “I missed you so much! I’ll be off work in a couple hours. I’m sure Mother will be happy to see you. She’s watching the baby at home.” Takara paused for a moment, reading her husband’s facial expression before continuing “It’s alright, honey. I’ll see you when I get done my shift. I’ll bring back a loaf of rye and some deli meat and we can eat and catch up.”

“Alright, babe. I guess I’ll catch you later then.” Shin smiled and turned around. He walked past the customers who were listening in on their conversation and exited the bakery, making his way home.

*****​

As Shin Kenji made his way back to his Osaka home further drafting and training was taking place to build up a sizable army for Japan. In charge of the Imperial Army was Field Marshal Tomoyuki Yamashita. He was just recently promoted from General to Field Marshal as the first eight divisions of infantry was being trained. Under Field Marshal Yamashita’s command was General Shizuichi Tanaka who was a capable general in his own right. General Tanaka would be in charge of 1. Infantry Army and he would be allowed twenty four divisions under his command.


An intelligence agency had also just been formed. Imperial Intelligence would be erected in Tokyo and was currently expanding to form a respectable agency. For now Imperial Intelligence would focus on cryptography before recruiting its first agents to carryout future orders in mainland Asia. These agents would be greatly investigated before acceptance as an operative and they would be trained further to operate alone in foreign territory.
 

stnylan

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It's tough being sent to join up. And I do not doubt it will get tougher.
 

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It all seems so simple now. But it will not be so wholesome when Shin finds himself off in some foreign land shooting at the local defenders. You portray his naive innocence at this point well.
 

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Cigarette smoke floated just under the ceiling of an office in the Imperial Intelligence building in Tokyo. A man, known to be an excellent judge of character, was enjoying the last bit of his coffee and cigarette while sitting behind his desk reading a portfolio of a rather impressive young lady. Her name was Nodoka Okubo and she was in her late twenties. Nodoka finished second in her class at Nagasaki University and could speak several different languages. As the cigarette sizzled away to nothing the man behind the desk collected his thoughts one last time before leaving his desk and opening his office door.

Nodoka was sitting adjacent to the office in a rather uncomfortable chair and was waiting to be interviewed for a possible position within Imperial Intelligence. As the door opened the man looked to his left, paused for a moment and called out in a stern voice “Okubo?” Nodoka’s stomach quickly turned over with adrenaline now pumping through her internals. She stood up and said “Yes!” in a mildly nervous tone and followed the man inside his office. She closed the door and took a seat in yet another uncomfortable chair.

The interviewer adjusted his glasses and looked down at a sheet of paper, then into Nodoka’s eyes and said “I see here you graduated from Nagasaki.”

Nodoka smiled and replied “Yes. I finished with my Masters in psychology in three years.”

Nodding his head slightly up and down in a show of respect the interviewer continued “Impressive. But you’ll find here at Imperial that we are looking for the best.”

“I see.”

The man took off his glasses and looked carefully at Nodoka before continuing the interview with “I’ll be giving you a series of tests to take. I just want you to answer truthfully. If I find you have lied, your application will be terminated. Do you understand?”

She nodded her head in acceptance and replied “Why, yes. Of course.”

Smiling the interviewer spoke “Alright then.”

The interviewer conducted his psychological and mathematical tests which took just over twenty minutes. After the tests were over Nodoka’s interview was done and she was released from the premises. She would be given written notice on whether or not she had been accepted into Imperial Intelligence in roughly two weeks. From there she would either become one the Japan’s new division of spies and would later be briefed on her mission for her country. Until then she was left in two weeks of suspense and anticipation.

*****


As Imperial Intelligence continued to gain ground, civilian factories were dedicating their efforts to promoting the intelligence agency’s ability to do both foreign and native operations. Firstly would be the expansion of the Cryptology Department. The new agency would be receiving radio interception technology and equipment along with a dedicated department on teaching new agents the ability to both form and decrypt encoded cyphers. This was a new field of study in Japan and it would take some time and resources to be done correctly. If Japan could formulate the ability to crack a nation of interest Japan would be at an advantage both technologically and militarily. These new methods could be used to steal classified materials to improve Japan’s war industry or even to sway a future battle in favor of the Empire. These would be interesting times indeed and it would only be a matter of time before Imperial Intelligence would either prove its worth or show that it was a waste in resources.
 

Bullfilter

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Nice little glimpse into the personal side of the new espionage setup. I hope she gets hired!
 

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Just so long as the Ministry of Intelligence has better luck that in this HoI3 effort being undertaken right now - where, well, feckless doesn't even start to cover it :D

(The AAR is worth a read though)
 

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Three months have passed since Nodoka Okubo had been interviewed for a position in Imperial Intelligence. She passed all her tests and exams and had a brief but formal training. She was now an agent of Imperial Intelligence. She would embark on her first mission to Northern China, specifically Beijing, to create and operate an informant ring to serve Japan. Currently she was on a transport ship from Tokyo to East Hebei and would soon be docked on mainland Asia in only a matter of hours.

Nodoka’s cover for entering East Hebei was that she was an engineer for the Japanese held region off of Northern China. North of Beijing held crucial infrastructure that had to be further developed if the Imperial Army was to march into China. As an independent engineer for Japan she could cross the border from Japanese soil to Chinese, explicitly Beijing.

Okubo finally landed at port and with her a medium sized suitcase filled with formal clothes and writing supplies. She carried her luggage with her as she exited the naval transport and stepped foot on Asia. Passing through the exit of the transport her eyes squinted at the Sun’s presence on a rather untouched landscape. Most of the surrounding area of Northern China was poor and underdeveloped, almost a third world country which neighbored the wealthy in Beijing. It seemed so surreal to her that people could live this way. After all, Nodoka came from a fortunate family. One that could support her through University at Nagasaki while she found her way in life.

She continued on foot through the shipyard and made her way to a main access road which would bring her to a small village a few miles along the border of East Hebei and China. It was a small, dusty town. Similar to a the romantic wild west villages in America during the early years. There was the main road which split the tiny hamlet in two while most of the buildings were made of planks of wood and sheet metal roofs. Nodoka would continue through the town looking for transportation from this small, dusty village towards Beijing. She came upon a bar which had horses tethered to a wooden post. Nodoka thought she may be able to hitch a ride from a friendly patron or at the very least be able to hire a proper transport into China. She lucked out and was able to pay passage towards Beijing.


It would take Nodoka Okubo many months to form a reliable intelligence ring in Northern China and with the growing tensions between Japan and China it would be dangerous as well. She would use her brief but thorough training to find and produce informants to aid in Japan’s soon to be invasion of the mainland. Her efforts would greatly increase the Imperial Army’s ability to wage an effective war with China in a variety of ways, which was still to be determined based on her network’s efficiency. However, if one of Okubo’s informants turned out to be a double agent Nodoka could be captured, tortured or killed in the line of duty. Therefore another agent would need to be trained in the arts of counterespionage to protect not only Agent Nodoka Okubo but Imperial Japan’s interests as well.
 

stnylan

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Good fortune to her.
 

zSCHIZOz

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As the pawns of Imperial Japan began their first moves on the chessboard, top brass in the Army along with the Central Government began debating the immediate future of Japan. First was to officially mobilize the nation. This was done by executive order from the Emperor himself and the Imperial Army began moving to ports to embark through the Sea of Japan towards Asia. Forty-eight divisions of Regulars had been trained in under nine months and were now dispatched from naval ports at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They would land on Asia proper in a matter of hours and form a frontline throughout Japanese held territory on the continent.


With the Imperial Army in place, Imperial Intelligence would launch its spies behind Chinese lines in order to extract mission critical intelligence and to provide counterintelligence to allow for a more swift blow from the Imperial Army.

While Japan began to organize into a modern military, Nationalist Spain had emerged and was now at war with what is now known as the Republic of Spain. In order to fully modernize Japan militarily was to lease old, obsolete materials to the Nationalists in Spain. An order of all World War One armored vehicles along with dated aircraft would be ferried to Spain at no cost. The lease would take several weeks but would allow Japan to be properly motivated to modernize the military as now not only the Imperial Navy was scrapped but the Army and Air Force of Japan had also gone through a revision. This move would initially weaken Japan but would likely pay off in dividends in the coming years.


As far as research and development was concerned, domestic industry and the Imperial Navy were still a top priority and with the IJN Nagato still preforming valuable experience to those in the Navy research was continuing at a rapid pace. Firstly modules for Destroyers would be researched following a newly designed 1936 Destroyer hull. Following Destroyer technology would be new and more lethal torpedoes. Currently there was no specific designer for ship hull construction but the Imperial Navy would soon choose a contract with an organization to allow for a more finely tuned navy.


Domestic industry was evolving at a respectable rate as well. Much of Japan’s industry would soon be considered modern and Japan was continuing to proceed towards an almost industrial revolution of sorts to fund its newly created military. Armored divisions were still a far cry away from being realized as currently Japan still did not have enough military factories to support such a task. However, to break through China would most likely require some sort or armored or mechanized divisions in order to counter the superior numbers the Chinese have. For now though industry was booming and factories, dockyards and infrastructure was under constant development. It would only be a matter of timing for the right moment to strike into China and to forge Imperial Japan’s divine right to rule Asia. Once China was secured the lesser factions would be invaded and Japanese Order would be realized on the continent.
 

stnylan

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Some small, yet important, developments. Very charitable of you giving Spain all of that superbly antiquated equipment.
 

Bullfilter

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Three months have passed since Nodoka Okubo had been interviewed for a position in Imperial Intelligence.
She was now an agent of Imperial Intelligence.
Excellent! I’m interested to see the new intel aspects being used and incorporated into the narrative. I am still a novice HOI4 player (more used to HOI3) and haven’t bought the latest update yet.

However, if one of Okubo’s informants turned out to be a double agent Nodoka could be captured, tortured or killed in the line of duty. Therefore another agent would need to be trained in the arts of counterespionage to protect not only Agent Nodoka Okubo but Imperial Japan’s interests as well.
Looks like this new aspect has some decent nuance in it, and can allow for Intel narrative to be tied directly to in-game characters. Unlike in my HOI3 story, where that has to be invented.

Forty-eight divisions of Regulars had been trained in under nine months and were now dispatched from naval ports at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They would land on Asia proper in a matter of hours and form a frontline throughout Japanese held territory on the continent.
Now it’s getting serious.

It would only be a matter of timing for the right moment to strike into China and to forge Imperial Japan’s divine right to rule Asia.
So that is the plan: full aggressive imperialist. There will be plenty of action, then!
 

zSCHIZOz

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Some small, yet important, developments. Very charitable of you giving Spain all of that superbly antiquated equipment.
Yes. Charitable we'll call it! :D ::thinks to himself "suckers!"::

So that is the plan: full aggressive imperialist. There will be plenty of action, then!
Yes. I plan on playing historically for the most part. China is a tough nut to crack though. I've done several playthroughs as Japan against China. I have a general strategy although it somewhat rushes me through XP gain for the Navy faster than I would like. I can win... just my navy won't be as powerful as quickly as I'd like.

Right now I'm using the Pride of the Fleet to rack up XP at great speed. Its my only vessel at the moment so the XP exploit works for now. Working on the next chapter as we speak.

*****​

Thanks for following you two! ;)