What do we even want from a Japan rework?

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Alexander 'The Grape'

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Feb 12, 2022
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From the hints in the latest update, it looks like Japan will be the nation that will get the rework. What do we feel like the nation needs?

Personally, in addition to the obvious (interservice rivalry as balance of power, Zero and Yamato not mutually exclusive) I'm really hoping we get more and better ways to interact with Manchuria. Some 35 day focuses to develop it would be welcome, as you rarely have time for the 70 days between trying to go for the Zero and your various stat buffs. An interesting choice would be to decide between developing its civilian industry and increasing autonomy, trying to improve its military output, or just maximising resource extraction.

What are you hoping for?
 
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A discussion on this was already started here, but for what it's worth, I'll restate my thoughts:

There have been some relatively recent threads talking about the Japan focus tree. It surely could use a serious rework - not least of which is all of the parts surrounding Japan's declaration of war on the West. As suggested in another thread, it would be nice to see events focused around what actually lead to Japan's declaration (more or less): embargoes, especially by the U.S. . . . which were in response to the war in China. Some really immersive focus tree items and events could be constructed around this dynamic culminating in a really nice Pearl Harbor event that Japan could initiate in Dec of '41 (+ or -).

Since a human U.S. player would know Pearl Harbor is coming (and a U.S. AI would not play ball), the Pearl Harbor event could not (necessarily) center on what ships are stationed at Pearl Harbor. Some other mechanism would have to be in place. It seems to me that there was a mod on Steam a long time ago that tried to model this. You get the Pearl Harbor attack option on the Japanese side (with positives and negatives - in other words, incentives to go either way), and on the U.S. side you could choose not to station ships at Pearl Harbor, but there was some kind of big penalty (political and otherwise). It was very interesting and quite well done . . . iirc.
I'd give the US a mission like "Show of force in the Pacific" that they'd fail if they have less than X capitals in Pearl Harbor in peacetime. Failing gives them a negative spirit for Y days.
 
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Giving Japan the BOP mechanics, giving the Communist and Democratic paths actual useful and interesting things, etc are all good ideas I’ve seen floated. Personally, I really want a real incentive for the US and Japan to island hop in the Pacific. Right now the US has no great reason not to ignore them completely until Europe is done, or else just take one or two big islands and then jump onto the mainland. Japan getting some big bonuses for controlling islands and handing the US some big maluses for letting them do it unopposed ought to help with that.
I would rather not have the democratic and communist paths present due to how ahistorical they are and how notable communists and post war ministers supported the war in the end and on principal have focus trees based on historical possibilities instead existing just cause. Japan serves a critical role in the Pacific and any tree that prevents war with the allies effectively removes an entire front from the game. Having Japan be able to move into strike north and strike south after the completion of the other or victory in a theatre would be nice too
 
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Update: It is not Japan

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As Manchukuo Fan is this a double edges sword. Is Japan to strong i can not play my strategy and conquer before he is do. Is he to weak i have no chance again the soldier waves of china.

In 3 of 4 runs Japan declares war before Germany declare on Soviet Union, i think if they fix the old problem of Japan declaring war too early would be a good start. a simple focus priority change would fix this.

What? I watch that Japan sometime send twice (Danzig and Barbarossa) his units to Manchukuo - Russia Border but they have never declare the war. Maybe i am a incompetent manchukuo minion.

One of problems thats create is UK sending forces to china because its get military access, and sometimes even solo expelling japan from china, while europe teather stalemate.

I have watch this. The problem is that China use everytime the british path. The 10 - 12 russian tank and mountain divisions are a problem too. Load a savegame can make this problems more complicatet. Then the german come with 3-4 units and stuck in the dessert. Sometimes for China when the player of Manchukuo ignore it.

Can't be understated how vital it is for AI to be better at naval warfare. I personally won't care for a Japan rework dlc if it doesn't also include better naval tactics for AI. If the DLC cost goes up accordingly then so be it.

I don't know is the Japan naval ai smart or stupid. Most time they stand in the ports. Thats why i must build as Manchukuo DD T1 or T2 without 0 tech and 0 start dockyards for my own invasions. Japan has not enough oil but i dont believe they stand for this in the ports.

Japan has problems with his puppets. Manchukuo start with one military and Mengkukuo with one civil factory. There are more but all goes to Japan. What Manchukuo get from his national focus and Mengkukuo from the random focus is not enough to support Japan without support from Japan. And the ai is not good in land leasing. Korea is out of order too. At the end Manchukuo is in a endless circle of mutinity with negativ stability and war support. And Mengkukuo wait for a usefull sinn for his divine wind.

I mean when i as Manchukuo make the "Anschluß" of Mengkukuo i get in the early 1940 3-5 and 1941 8-10 units. Thats not much. And i ask me for what need Mengkukuo a mot division without truck production? I know from my german games i can give Manchukuo a lot of weapons they will not build more troops in the line or give airunits and they will not fly.

Japans problems are the supply, the higher priority of garrison in a endless rotation from China to the USA. Thats why frontlines broken fast and indochina make problems too. When they fire it there are no troops. Same with Hongkong and the french port in the south at GXC. Next point the ai can't handle supply or invasion. The daily or weekly ressorce carousel between Japan Master and Manchukuo Puppet let me doubt the understanding of the ai too. But i think they can't fix this with the focustree. And yes i know the war of china should go long.

But let begin the rework journey with the first step and give the samurai trait a bonus. And then the next step....
 
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What I would like to see in a rework of Japan, in addition to a greater depth of the FT, is certainly a representation of the sphere of co-prosperity that integrates the mechanics of resistance, compliance and collaborationist governments introduced in LR. Historically Japan presented itself as the liberator of Asian peoples from Western colonialism and this is absolutely not present in the game, for example the player should be able to establish collaborationist governments in Indonesia, Burma, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. More historical admirals would also be welcome.
 
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What I would like to see in a rework of Japan, in addition to a greater depth of the FT, is certainly a representation of the sphere of co-prosperity that integrates the mechanics of resistance, compliance and collaborationist governments introduced in LR. Historically Japan presented itself as the liberator of Asian peoples from Western colonialism and this is absolutely not present in the game, for example the player should be able to establish collaborationist governments in Indonesia, Burma, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. More historical admirals would also be welcome.
I think what you propose could perfectly be achieved without the need do total rework of you tree. But simply with an update of the already existing approaches and expasion of decision in that sense.
 
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Japan-Ethiopia-Italy interaction
Although Ethiopia has been added to the DLC, the latest version still has almost no interaction between Japan and Ethiopia.
A lot has actually happened in history:
-Japan established a consulate in Addis Ababa in 1936.
-The negotiation of a royal marriage between Ethiopian Prince Lij Araya Abeba and Japanese nobleman Masako Kuroda and the warning of Italy.
-Japan from the right-wing Black Dragon Society to the left-wing Communist Party unanimously supported Ethiopia against Italy.
-Due to Mussolini's propaganda of the "Yellow Peril Theory", Italy's image in Japan was very bad at that time. Many organizations sent goods to Ethiopia and some publications were published to promote the support of Ethiopia, until the Japanese government suppressed everything.

It would be interesting to add this history to non-historical Japan/Ethiopia NF.
 
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I think what you propose could perfectly be achieved without the need do total rework of you tree. But simply with an update of the already existing approaches and expasion of decision in that sense.
Yes, I would like, as I said, for the FT to have more depth but not being an expert on Japan of that period I am unable to provide significant contributions in this sense.
I think that implementing the change I described is still more challenging than what we have seen in the war effort patches, perhaps it would be better to include it in a general rework of Japan (which I fear will never arrive).
 
The moment when you join the daitōa kyōeiken and get nothing. I mean in Hoi III there was some alliance benefits. Why not for every countrymember alternatly + 1 stability and + 1 war suppport for the leader. And the half of then for the member. When you have 5 members how at mios you can choose a special benefit. I memory to read that in the daitōa kyōeiken people in asia countrys was ask to work in Manchukuo and then they was exempt from the military service.

benefitsexample: manpower, ressources, consumgoods, constructionspeedbonus, equipmentefficience, fewer cost military attachee, pp or xp boost
 
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If you do any historical reading of the path that led to Japan attacking the West, you realize that the allies (UK and it's all but declared ally USA) needed Japan tied up in China to keep them from helping Germany vs USSR. Japan's 1941 proposals for (basically) a non-aggression pact with USA with trade rights broke down because USA would NOT abandon China. With no hope of reaching a successful conclusion to those peace accords, Japan sought to take advantage of the allies weakness by attacking the resource rich areas of SE Asia. The current focus tree does somewhat achieve those results but I would like to see the following:

1. Balance of Power between the Army and Navy and their various factions. A decision tree supporting Kōdōha (Imperial Way) or Tōseiha (Control Faction) should remain and be the first choice as it happened in early '36.

2. Success or failure in the China Incident should open up diplomatic options vs. the west and choices to pursue war vs allies OR USSR, not exclusive to the earlier choice (#1 above).

3. Similar to Italian war escalation process in Afrika the success of war in China or vs another major power should have political effects to balance of power and paths to gaining path to recognition of a puppet China government by the west and abandonment of National China by allies/USA in exchange for non-aggression pacts/trade treaties.

Japan felt the only path forward to ending China incident was cutting off all outside aid to China, when allies/USA wouldn't so that led to the war, the game should reflect that fact. That is my top priority for any rework of Japan.
 
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2. Success or failure in the China Incident should open up diplomatic options vs. the west and choices to pursue war vs allies OR USSR, not exclusive to the earlier choice (#1 above).
Fully agreed. Honestly I feel like Japan should have more options in where to go in general, but it should be constrained by performance. The Japanese public was not happy about a long costly war in China, especially when they expected a quick victory like the first one and the Russo-Japanese War.

Japan has so much potential to be a very fun nation. Frankly, it already IS a fun nation. But an option to almost be allied with the Allies while still being a baddie would be fun, or at least with a NAP with the allies. It honestly wasn't unthinkable until late 1941, though preparations were of course being made in case a deal couldn't be reached.

Likewise I wish we could see more interactions with any possible Russian invasion. Even setting up a puppet state like they once supported during the Russian Civil War.
 
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Yes, I would like, as I said, for the FT to have more depth but not being an expert on Japan of that period I am unable to provide significant contributions in this sense.
I think that implementing the change I described is still more challenging than what we have seen in the war effort patches, perhaps it would be better to include it in a general rework of Japan (which I fear will never arrive).
I am convinced that the great powers that are somewhat challenged sooner or later will receive an important content update. Very similar to what EU IV was made with Domination
 
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Off the top of my head a few things in no particular order

  • More ways and incentives to interact with Japanese colonialism, in particular Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan. The current colonial focus tree is a waste of time. Manchuria should be heavily industrialized by game end. Taiwan was also significantly invested in.

  • More accurate depiction of complex Japanese political structures (different Prime Ministers, Supreme War Council, Kwangtung Army, Ni niroku Jiken.) I want to see focuses and decisions based on what way you steer the government, with different benefits such as PP, unlocking different advisors, and various spirits with different effects.

  • More accurate depiction of events leading up to second Sino-Japanese war (ties into above point, in particular somehow modeling Kwangtung army autonomy.)

  • More incentive to interact with USSR. Nomonhan jiken is in game right now but basically pointless.
 
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If you do any historical reading of the path that led to Japan attacking the West, you realize that the allies (UK and it's all but declared ally USA) needed Japan tied up in China to keep them from helping Germany vs USSR. Japan's 1941 proposals for (basically) a non-aggression pact with USA with trade rights broke down because USA would NOT abandon China. With no hope of reaching a successful conclusion to those peace accords, Japan sought to take advantage of the allies weakness by attacking the resource rich areas of SE Asia. The current focus tree does somewhat achieve those results but I would like to see the following:

1. Balance of Power between the Army and Navy and their various factions. A decision tree supporting Kōdōha (Imperial Way) or Tōseiha (Control Faction) should remain and be the first choice as it happened in early '36.

2. Success or failure in the China Incident should open up diplomatic options vs. the west and choices to pursue war vs allies OR USSR, not exclusive to the earlier choice (#1 above).

3. Similar to Italian war escalation process in Afrika the success of war in China or vs another major power should have political effects to balance of power and paths to gaining path to recognition of a puppet China government by the west and abandonment of National China by allies/USA in exchange for non-aggression pacts/trade treaties.

Japan felt the only path forward to ending China incident was cutting off all outside aid to China, when allies/USA wouldn't so that led to the war, the game should reflect that fact. That is my top priority for any rework of Japan.
I think the issue here is that a Japan rework would have to come with a total China rework and minor reworks to other nations so that you are able to represent China getting aid continuously from the Soviets, UK, and US. Additionally as a player, it is very easy to flatten China by 39 if you really know what you are doing so there has to be more going on with China to have the war grind to a halt like it did historically. Fighting the allies is really not fun due to the naval system just not working and the fact that you have to literally march troops to Washington DC and London to get a actual peace. It's fun the first time, but playing Japan on repeats just completely sucks because of that and no amount of mini games or flavor will really fix that.

1. I vehemently am opposed to the Kohoda faction being a path in the game because it really adds nothing to Japan. Yes it's ahistorical and it's a thing that could have happened, but it doesn't give a substantive benefit or difference to the way you would play Japan, and if those officers really went through with their coup, it would immediately just start a civil war. It's a really poorly thought out as is and a better substitution would be a negative spirit for the Japanese army representing the Gekujyou mentality that was rampant in the army with generals not only ignoring the directives of the civilian government, but also of high command. It can be said that for a lot of the war in China, the Japanese high command really had no clue where their troops actually were and what they were doing half the time. An army navy balance of power is the most obvious way of giving the mechanic to Japan, but in practice I think that it isn't a particularly good use of the mechanic since the "decision" to allocate resources to the army and navy can be already handled by time investments in the focus tree and in events. I think that it would be more interesting to have the balance of power work very similar to Italy and AAT nations where it represents how effectively the prime minister has maintained their political mandate. Far right would be high mandate and the government would be highly functional and you'd be able to get a ministers agenda done and if you have low mandate you have the option to manually replace the prime minister or if it gets low enough the prime minister is voted out of office. I feel like this system would work really well with Japan since you would be able to transition from a failing democracy being led pulled into a conflict by Gekujyou officers in the Kanto-gun, to going to a war time government under Prince Konoe trying to balance political parties and military affairs to the one-party unity, compromise, military government led by General Tojo. I believe that this would allow for interesting and grounded alternate histories where a player can try to avoid the end point of the Taisei Yokusankai absorbing the other parties in Japan to try to maintain a semblance of democracy and reassert the governments control over the military, or the player can alternatively speed-run to the war path and enjoy assigning ministers from all across the Japanese political spectrum in said unity government. Japan starting out fascist and having it's offroad being a imagined communist plot or "democrats" suddenly gaining the support of the armed forces horribly misrepresents Japan at the time and comes across as incredibly lazy. Especially when the alternate history parts are pieces of content that you have to pay for.

2. I feel like the China incident would really have a lot of posturing with both Japan and China trying to get a leg up over each other in the opening. I think it would be composed of a lot of smaller incidents like fighting in the foreign quarter in Shanghai and so on after the start of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident instead of breaking out into war immediately with battles in Shanghai and maybe a border conflict on the Tianjin-Beijing axis instead of the player dropping the entirety of the Japanese military in China immediately.

3. Never thought of using that mechanic, but that's genius
 
More ways and incentives to interact with Japanese colonialism, in particular Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan. The current colonial focus tree is a waste of time. Manchuria should be heavily industrialized by game end. Taiwan was also significantly invested in.
For Korea, Taiwan, and the southern mandate I could see that being driven mostly by decisions sorta like Turkey. Historically Taiwan was practically ignored due to the war effort and both it and southern Korea primarily provided rice so I'm not really sure what could specifically be done there in terms of investment until you beat China/allies. Manchuria's development was largely overseen by Kishi Nobuske and I don't really think that the Japan player needs to do much there, though having focuses to build up infrastructure specifically to fight the Soviet Union and recruiting auxillaries (something you already can do in the game) unless Manchuria is seriously gutted gameplay wise and serves more as a collaboration government with a unique focus tree to help out Japan.