From: Grass Valley, California
ORIGINAL: Rio Bravo
I find this discussion on the defense of China extremely interesting as the PBEM I am presently playing with El Lobo has experienced considerable action from day one of the outbreak of hostilities.
El Lobo and I agreed not to have any house rules with the exception to ignore victory points.
Accordingly, El Lobo didn't need to pay political points to unleash the Japanese in Manchukua.
The difficulties I have faced in attempting to save Chungking are as follows:
1. Low supply from day one.
2. Chinese using sling-shots and throwing rocks at hardened, experienced, well armed Japanese infantry, tanks, artillery, and aircraft.
3. Either quite low on supply or entirely out of supply, movement is rather slow. El Lobo's troops usually managed to cut my Chinese off well before they could reach their destination.
Having read advice from others on China, watching AARs involving a hard push in China, and after considerable thought given to the defense of China, I adopted the following tactics:
1.) Never attack (the Chinese get creamed, get little for their effort in terms of Japanese casualties, and what little supply the Chinese has gets drained faster).
2.) Attempt to determine the Japanese intended paths of Advancement and then block him in the mountains, forests, behind rivers, and at bases with good fort levels.
3.) Attempt to disrupt Japanese logistics. From day one, I intentionally hid Chinese in the forests two hexes off main roads and railways that I anticipated the Japanese would use foe their advance to Chungking. My brave Chinese would catch rats for food, store up rocks, sit and wait. As soon as the Japanese wave passed my hungry Chinese, I would move them into the forests or mountains behind El Lobo's advancing forces.
As to number 3. immediately above, I can't tell you how effective that tactic has been. I hope that El Lobo's Japanese have had some supply problems, but whether he has, only he could tell you.
It is October 31, 1942 in our game and the Chinese do hold Chengtu and Chungking. However, El Lobo has rung the doorbell at Chungking (he is right next door). I pretend that I am deaf.
In my opinion, if the Gorilla wants China and makes a Pitbull-determined, well-planned, and methodical dedication to take China, the Gorilla will own all the bananas in China.
Your game has one, very important HR that most do not ... "didn't need to pay political points to unleash the Japanese in Manchukua"
This completely changes the IJ timetable and allows them to get into position before the allies. Hence, yes, I see no way barring a lot of lucky rolls and/or some rather large mistakes on the IJ side, for the allies to hold china into late '42.
Good Evening Pax-
I have read many of your posts and have found you to be experienced, knowledgeable and reasonable.
Yes, El Lobo and I both knew that the Japanese not having to pay political points to cross the border from Manchukua into China would benefit the Japanese.
El Lobo has never played a strategic war game before playing this one with me. On the other hand, I have played these type games for years with cardboard squares on hex maps. This game takes the old games to a new, exciting level of play.
I am impressed with El Lobo's calm-headed, steady progress toward Chungking. I have no doubt that Chungking will fall.
"No one throws me my own guns and tells me to run. No one."
-Bret (James Coburn); The Magnificent Seven