Here is a picture of central China. At this time, while I would like to say I was doing probing attacks looking for weaknesses, I was really pretty much bumbling around trying to push Chinese units where I could. Unfortunately, I had run into several areas where witpqs had decided to defend.
My main attack was coming from Wuchang but ran into the hex just east of Changsha. Witpqs had stacked about 75k troops here (the limit for the hex) and even with over stacking the hex, I still could not budge these guys. I beat my head against this wall a couple of times, complained in the Tech Support section and was basically told to deal with it. In one message, JWE said, “Andav, dude, think ‘elegance’”. This was a turning point for me.
Considering this, I had to make some decisions:
1) Was a major commitment in China something I really wanted to do in the spring of 1942?
2) If it was something I elected to do, how could this be accomplished with “elegance”?
3) What the heck was “elegance” to begin with?
In this mod, there are cargo limits on most shipping. From chatting with Vic (the “Eyebrow on the Money AAR opponent”, I decided opening the land route from Singapore to Korea for the flow of fuel and such should be a priority. This would require clearing central China sooner rather than later. So the answer to question one was Yes.
So to answer question 2, I really needed to answer question 3 first. Obviously, over stacking to try to push where I wanted would not work. All the little scattered armies would not work either. Witpqs could stack enough guys to hold me at bay. Frankly, I was pretty depressed about how China was working out. Here is what I decided to do.
First I defined “Elegance” as “Maneuver”. I would move small units into places where witpqs was not in hopes of drawing units away from the places I wanted to go. The main goal would be to cut the road/rail lines to help slow movement. While this did expose the probing units to being defeated in detail, the Chinese move slowly even on roads so moving back and forth would take time. This would also force him to use supplies to attack. Anytime you can make the Chinese use supplies is good especially once the Burma Road is closed. I needed more units so much of the army which was wrapping up Java was ear marked for transport back to China. Most were landed in the port to the Hanoi or in Canton to supplement those vectors.
There is a second part to “Elegance”. Is there anything more elegant then an airplane? Especially 150 or so flying in formation over an open hex with Chinese marching along the road? It is pure “Elegance”. I made the choice to commit most of my air force to China.
One thing I learned from Wenchow was light industry is a pain in the posterior. Since we are playing a pretty wide open game, I began a serious campaign to destroy any heavy or light industry in the area. This way, I would not have little pockets of supplies, no matter how small, appearing to help the defenders. This required a lot of perseverance and dodging of the AVG. In the end, the vast majority of the Japanese air force was transferred to bases ringing the perimeter. Probably too late in the game, I started concentrated airfield bombing. I was running into 3 and 4 forts which required time to reduce.
The third thing I picked up was the use of tanks. GreyJoy commented about Radars “Blitz” in India. I decided to commit to sending as much armor as possible to China.
With these elements, I began a 5 month campaign to clear the land route to Korea.