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RHS China Theory

 
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RHS China Theory - 3/28/2012 3:49:54 PM   
el cid again

 

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China in RHS is at the core of the game. It is what the War in the Pacific is about. It is the opposite of a "quiet China" scenario - which I presume is for players who love an oceanic naval game without regard for the strategic rationale for the war. The proximate cause of the war was the embargo by the US, UK and NEI of oil, iron ore and rubber UNLESS it changed its policy in China. This in the broader context that Japan, more than any other nation, depends on imports. It cannot feed itself - something understood when Commodore Perry said so, advocating Japan open up to trade "so you don't have to drown girl babies in years of famine." Japan would become addicted to that trade, to feed its ever growing population. Japanese policy was different from European or US colonial policy mainly in that it started later in time and was successfully taking over colonial domination of China, to the detriment of Western interests. ROC archives indicate the ROC formally attempted to maneuver the USA into war with Japan, and believes it succeeded in that object. [See Origins of the Pacific War, Stansford University Press, Youli Sun, a Chinese academic given access to the KMT archives.]

For this reason, RHS has made a consistent effort to better model China, its economy, its geography, and its armed forces. In strategic terms, China is to Japan as the USSR is to Germany - a country invaded which is essentially too big to digest - a country it is desired to extract raw materials from and exploit industry in - and a country it hopes to divide and dominate. The number of locations in China has been increased by upwards of 100%. Locations were added mainly so the economic assets of the area could be modeled, but also so the Allies gain the ability to fortify that location and order supplies (resources, etc) to stockpile there, the ability to base aircraft there, and to explain why there is a road or rail line (or several) to that place (getting rid of the many "roads to nowhere" in stock). The sheer impact of these new locations, plus additional economic assets in existing locations, greatly increases the strategic and economic strength of China, and slows down any attempt to conquer the country - as there are more places to fight over where the fight can be difficult (because the place can be fortified).

There are several flavors of Chinese military forces. Since they operate under a nominal unified command, all except the RED faction operate under ROC command, with the technical exception of the tiny ROC Navy Command - a special creation to permit mainly riverine operations - requiring unrestricted units in order to load. A number of ROC and RED divisions can conduct amphibious operations, or make strategic movement by naval or merchant vessels - which is not the general case for Chinese units. All Chinese units operate within a semi-unified designation system - the numbers for each unit are part of a national scheme - and are historical. In spite of this, there are real differences between the different families of units. As well - some units retain traditional, pre reform names, as they really were better known by their old name than by the official name. Thus - every case of a "route army" is a case where that is what the unit was called, popularly, because of its fame with its no longer official name - which always is "corps."

Type 1: ROC: The biggest family of Chinese units is ROC government units. These are always prefixed by ROC and do NOT include the name of a province. Note that the group army HQ has been entirely removed from the OB: a group army is another name for a corps - and it is not a higher command echelon. On the other hand, War Areas, which serve as Army commands, are more rationally and historically located, permitting supporting line units except in the most remote areas of China. They are subdivided into sub groups:

Type 1A: Regular ROC: These are units with weapons and organizations nominally standardized in China. A "heavy corps" has three divisions in it - and was formerly known as a "route army." A "light corps" has two divisions in it - and was formerly known as a "field army." In a few cases you will see the "route army" usage - interpret it as merely a "heavy corps" retaining its former traditional name. All non-infantry, non cavalry units with ROC prefixes are regular ROC. This includes all engineers, all artillery and all ROCAF units. Regular ROC also has cavalry formations.

Type 1B: US Equipped ROC: These are units using US weapons instead of ROC standard weapons. They often also are stronger units. There are two kinds of these: those organized before the Pacific War, and those organized BY the USA in India. These latter have more modern US weapons and standard US Army organization. These later divisions can divide like US divisions can.

Type 1C: Provincial ROC: These are units raised and often (but not always) maintained by Provinces. [Some such units, from provinces which are enemy controlled, retreated outside their original Province, and are now fed by national resources instead of local ones. They generally recruit men from the same Province, not merely for patriotic reasons, but also so they speak the right language. There are 634 dialects in China, and several command languages in use in this period.] These units are most often "light corps" - but occasionally semi-elite, larger and stronger "heavy corps." Provincial ROC also has cavalry formations, identified by the name of their Province in the unit name.

Type 1D: Warlord ROC: These are units of local warlordy's who have a loose arrangement - and nominal national unit designation - but are wholly controlled by an independent Warlord who runs an area. As such, these units are generally static, tied to the place the Warlord controls, gets men and supplies from, and is politically safe in. That static nature is not hard and fast - similar to guerilla units - under pressure - these units will become mobile. If they do, and if later they get well fed by supplies, they will "plant" and become static again. Old habits die hard: Warlords will tend to become warlords where ever you put them. EXCEPTION: Warlord cavalry units - the weakest of all Chinese units - pretty much pure horsemen with few heavy weapons - often hire as mercenaries - and they are always mobile.

Type 2: RED: Communist units are similar to ROC units but differ in several respects. They use Russian weapons instead of the national ROC weapons. They also have a separate command, nominally subordinate to the ROC command, and in important respects, similar to a war area command - it is a de facto Army HQ - of higher than usual quality and attributes than is normal in China. There is also a small RED riverine naval force, all based at Yenan, the locus of Red political power. This "micro navy" only has motor junks and a variation that function as landing craft. The transport junks may be converted into landing craft junks at a tiny shipyard at Yenan. The RED HQ and subordinate formations all have there real wartime commanders.

Type 3: Guerillas: Both ROC and RED guerilla "regiments" (which are actually battalions and stack as such) exist in RHS. These are not merely small land combat units, but quasi supply independent ones. ROC units have one static device in the formation they point at - so if well fed they will become (and many start out as) static. This because they tend to have ties to a local area, which they feed off of. RHS units are "self feeding" to some extent - enough that if not subject to combat - ROC units will tend to stay at 70% of their nominal full size and RED ones will tend to stay at full strength. IF partly fed by a LOC with a supply source, both will get supply heavy to a small degree and both will rebuild to full strength if below it. These units may undertake "missions" deep into enemy territory - because they will survive without supplies - where they can jump on LOC and be a source of constant irritation to the enemy. Under attack, they almost always retreat rather than surrender - even of most devices are lost. They can be killed however. In which case they will regenerate at Chunking, as all Chinese units do. This usually takes odds of high hundreds to one, although with a shock attack after air attack attrition, only dozens to one may work.

ROCAF is considerably larger than in stock, with more kinds of planes, and more base forces. These are distributed so there are no isolated places with short range fighters unable to move to other parts of China. It is generally possible to move from any part of China to any other - even the most remote areas - and from distant Sinkiang to or from the USSR - for most plane types. ROC also has a functional aviation factory working up (it was turning out reworked P-40s when the war began, and nearly got the CAF CW-21 Demon into production. As in the real war, the Japanese must take upper Burma to threaten this plant. [The CW-21 - also in service and even made in NEI - is a radical, high performance, light interceptor - US in origin but differing from USAAF preferences in design. It was successful re Japanese fighters - but overwhelmed by numbers.] ROC also nominally has the CNAC - a US owned airline with three kinds of equipment - DC-3s, DC-2s and Lockheed Model 18s - the former pressed into US service out of India early in 1942, before the US had lots of air transport in theater. These planes ought to be transferred to safer locations - as IRL - and used for air mobility and supply - as IRL - although many RHS players ignore them altogether.

ROC Navy is also present - never mind it was wiped out as a fighting force on the sea before the Pacific War began. [The two ROCN "cruisers" both eventually appear in IJN service - as escorts.] Nevertheless, ROC Navy HQ relocated to Chunking when the government (and most universities and other institutions) did - after the fall of Nanking. It is there and controls a significant river fleet - including two RN and one USN gunboats (formerly subject to ROC command from Feb 1942 IRL). This fleet consists of small transports and tankers, numbers of junks, a peculiar, Chinese form of landing craft modified from junks, and a few modestly armed gunboat junks. ROCN
motor junks may be converted to gunboat junks at any ROC shipyard, of which there are many distributed along the rivers and coasts of China. Other elements of ROCN are in isolated pockets along the coasts (these being assigned to UK SE Asia command) or on the Yellow River - which is isolated from the sea by flooding of its lower section - and which has three different "micro navies" on it - one RED, one ROC and one IJ Army!

Geography: In RHS, the Yangtze river gorge is modeled by "cliffs" - blocked hex sides - above Wuhan. Also, the Yellow, Yangtze, and Pearl rivers are fully navigable - including tributories of the Yangtze in Central China. This creates opportunities and vulnerabilities - and it appears the game system works well with riverine elements. The many ports along these rivers have small shipyards where naval vessels can be repaired or converted - and where a few junks appear regularly. Consideration is being given to how to model the "flooded region" of the lower Yangtze? And the one functional part of the Grand Canal during the war connects the Yangtze from the Lower Yellow River - which is navigable for a few hexes below the flooded region. The Upper Yellow River offers the only good LOC in Outer Mongolia. The Yangtze is navigable to ocean ships all the way to Wuhan - where ocean ships have been built since the 19th century - and by shallow draft vessels to (and beyond) CHunking.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 3/28/2012 3:54:36 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: RHS China Theory - 3/28/2012 4:15:11 PM   
Historiker


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That sounds great - though exhausting to play...

< Message edited by Historiker -- 3/28/2012 4:20:35 PM >


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RE: RHS China Theory - 3/28/2012 6:56:34 PM   
berto


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quote:

ORIGINAL: el cid again

China in RHS is at the core of the game. It is what the War in the Pacific is about.

I like your general drift. My readings about the Japanese home front suggest that, to the Japanese people, China was central to the war, until they were blindsided by the American/Pacific War "sideshow". "Quiet China" -- historically, it makes little sense. (Although it might make perfect sense to some people as gamers. Play as you like.)

Details aside (no comment), keep up the good work. Even if -- no, for certain -- it incites controversy, outrage even.

I will continue to follow your modding efforts with interest.

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RE: RHS China Theory - 3/28/2012 8:10:29 PM   
Captain Cruft


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I really like the idea of the riverine stuff. The only question is, does Naval Search work on land hexes? If it does then the dominant airforce could very quickly eradicate the other side's entire fleet of river craft.

On the other hand, if river TFs can only be detected by explicit aerial recon or by having LCUs adjacent then great.

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RE: RHS China Theory - 3/29/2012 8:08:41 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Captain Cruft

I really like the idea of the riverine stuff. The only question is, does Naval Search work on land hexes? If it does then the dominant airforce could very quickly eradicate the other side's entire fleet of river craft.

On the other hand, if river TFs can only be detected by explicit aerial recon or by having LCUs adjacent then great.



I am surprised to report naval search works on land so well one ought to use it WITHOUT ANY CHANCE of a naval target!
It seems to reveal the presence of ground units - and even their direction of movement.

But it certainly detects river craft - and ocean vessels on rivers.

In spite of that, it turns out air power - which IS useful - does not have an easy time with river targets. It may be any target in a coastal hex
is given a chance of "hiding along the shoreline" in some way? Since rivers are actually coastal hexes, that effect seems to be present. Otherwise, or in addition to that if my preliminary sense is correct, there is the matter that Army bombers may not be good with naval targets. My opponent in test 4B has tried major river runs - including the full length of the Yangtze - and it forced me to divert all my planes - and all my gunboats - and days of time - to stop them. Yet now I find the bombers that cut their teeth for some time are more likely to hit craft at sea - apparently the air units "learn" how to hit a moving naval target. A very frustrating thing was when medium bombers - intended to go after ocean ships - decided to try to "torpedo" river vessels - with generally no effect! I find I need to set range limits carefully to "guide" the air unit to bomb the "right" targets. The ultimate weapon on a river seems to be a squadron of gunboats or small warships - and as you know - that does not always sink everything on the other side.

(in reply to Captain Cruft)
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