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War in China - House rules for more historical simulation

 
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War in China - House rules for more historical simulation - 7/15/2019 6:30:31 PM   
eouellet


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I find that M/WIF are pretty good simulations from an historical perspective, with one big exception: the war in China.

In most games, the Japanese player will empty most of Manchuria (especially the HQ) and will throw the 2 Marines units against China on the first turn in the early scenarios. This leads usually to a lot action in China and a real risk of defeat, and the need for China to have an economy that can keep up with the onslaught. But when the Japanese have their hands full with the Americans and the Commonwealth later on, with time China eventually build ARM, MECH, a full complement of planes, SUBS, and even CVs to reconquer China. All this is seriously off history.

Yet, all the setups in M/WIF (39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44) have the Manchuria and Korea garrison forces on site, and the Marines anywhere but in China. The various setups are historical, and there are good reasons for them.

The Japanese High Command was absolutely terrified at the possibility of a Soviet invasion, and they had a substantive partisan insurgency to deal with in Manchuria. They would had never emptied Manchuria, historically. As well, the Japanese Army and Navy had serious rivalry issues, and never the Navy would have let its Marines forces to be used for “Army’s jobs” in China, except on the coasts.

Lastly, although there was a lot of civilian atrocities committed, the front in China was pretty static, with 3 exceptions: the summer 1940 offensive to capture Ichang, the spring of 1941 where the last coastal cities were taken, and operation Ichi-go in 1944. The Japanese Army had a lot of forces engaged in China, but by and large they were not doing much beyond dealing with partisans, except when it was given strategic priority in those 3 occasions.

So, to have a more historical war in China for MWIF, here is what I use, and the result creates conditions pretty to close the Japanese historical decision-making context.

1. Partisans option on (Japanese need to be serious about garrisoning)
2. No territorials (Japanese have to feel the stretch)
3. Forces in Manchuria and Korea cannot leave, until at war with the USSR, but units can be swapped once delivered in Manchuria/Korea: HQ for HQ, Army/Corps for Army/Corps
4. No warlords (tends to favor the Japanese against the Partisans; again they have to feel the stretch)
5. Japanese Marines can only be on coastal hexes, or a hex adjacent to a coastal hex (to ensure that Navy troops are not engaged in “Army’s jobs”)
6. Japan has to send one extra corps or army to Manchuria no later than J/F 41 (the Japanese worries were increasing as the global war was unfolding)
7. Japanese Strategic Bombing only available for Chungking, Chengtu, and Lanchow (this provides an extra incentive to take Ichang)
8. Chinese attack weakness option on (to keep the risks for Japan balanced)
9. Chinese production reduced to 4 build points, and it is a hard cap (that can be temporarily reduced by Strategic Bombing, and can be temporarily increased by Burma Road build points trade), with the cap increased by 1 more build point for controlling each of Canton and Shanghai (all this to avoid the completely unhistorical super mechanized Chinese Army of 1944 and 1945)
10. Burma Road can only send build points, or oil to save if the oil option is being used
11. Saving build points option on (to allow China to build more expansive units over time; and to keep the Japanese on their toes for the need of a potential operation Ichi-go in the later part of the war)
12. Unlimited divisional break down on (to allow for greater spread and flexibility for the Japanese forces)
Post #: 1
RE: War in China - House rules for more historical simu... - 7/16/2019 11:12:54 AM   
Centuur


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From: Hoorn (NED).
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I don't know if one should force the Japanese in recreating a historical outcome where the war in China is concerned.

After all, World in Flames is a game and why should one simulate history.

If you do this, than you should also don't allow the Euroaxis to DoW Spain, for example, because Hitler wasn't interested to go there.

Or refuse to attack Leningrad with Finnish forces (and don't allow those to exit the Borderlands too), because the Finns were only interested to get there own land back...

And on, and on, and on.

Apart from that, there is a way to make sure the Japanese stay honest in Manchuria. And that's to have a Soviet garrison at the border. If the Japanese go all out in China and it looks like they are making too much progress, have Uncle Stalin DoW them. That will usually stop a conquest of China (but might result in a further withdrawal on the Eastern front). A good offensive by the Soviets in Manchuria will take the heat off the Chinese and will also mean a lot of problems for the Japanese when it comes to getting enough troops available for the capture of the perimeter.





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Peter

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RE: War in China - House rules for more historical simu... - 7/16/2019 1:09:18 PM   
eouellet


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Joined: 2/1/2018
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I honestly thought that a Mod or House Rule is just that, an optional modification to bring a different flavor to the game for those interested. In no way, Mods or house rules are legislation to be imposed on anyone, as if it can be enforced anyway? Is it possible to share genuine yet harmless ideas on this forum without being put down?

(in reply to Centuur)
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RE: War in China - House rules for more historical simu... - 7/16/2019 4:32:38 PM   
Centuur


Posts: 8244
Joined: 6/3/2011
From: Hoorn (NED).
Status: offline
If you think I'm putting you down, that's not what I intended.

I did only give my opinion about this. Personally, I don't think one should aim for a historical game. If only because in reality, nobody knew what the intentions of the warring countries were. That only became visible as the war progressed.



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Peter

(in reply to eouellet)
Post #: 4
RE: War in China - House rules for more historical simu... - 9/2/2019 4:03:18 PM   
rkr1958


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Joined: 5/21/2009
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quote:

ORIGINAL: eouellet
1. Partisans option on (Japanese need to be serious about garrisoning)
2. No territorials (Japanese have to feel the stretch)
3. Forces in Manchuria and Korea cannot leave, until at war with the USSR, but units can be swapped once delivered in Manchuria/Korea: HQ for HQ, Army/Corps for Army/Corps
4. No warlords (tends to favor the Japanese against the Partisans; again they have to feel the stretch)
5. Japanese Marines can only be on coastal hexes, or a hex adjacent to a coastal hex (to ensure that Navy troops are not engaged in “Army’s jobs”)
6. Japan has to send one extra corps or army to Manchuria no later than J/F 41 (the Japanese worries were increasing as the global war was unfolding)
7. Japanese Strategic Bombing only available for Chungking, Chengtu, and Lanchow (this provides an extra incentive to take Ichang)
8. Chinese attack weakness option on (to keep the risks for Japan balanced)
9. Chinese production reduced to 4 build points, and it is a hard cap (that can be temporarily reduced by Strategic Bombing, and can be temporarily increased by Burma Road build points trade), with the cap increased by 1 more build point for controlling each of Canton and Shanghai (all this to avoid the completely unhistorical super mechanized Chinese Army of 1944 and 1945)
10. Burma Road can only send build points, or oil to save if the oil option is being used
11. Saving build points option on (to allow China to build more expansive units over time; and to keep the Japanese on their toes for the need of a potential operation Ichi-go in the later part of the war)
12. Unlimited divisional break down on (to allow for greater spread and flexibility for the Japanese forces)


quote:

.

I too feel that the war in China plays out ahistorically and I'm seriously considering adopting your house rules in my next game. I'd like to explore three of them though, which on initial blush I was "opposed" to but after thinking about them maybe no so much.

quote:

12. Unlimited divisional break down on (to allow for greater spread and flexibility for the Japanese forces)

I've played with this rule and I feel that it dilutes combat losses (i.e., too easy to have a division in all front-line stacks) and makes it too unrealistically easy for the axis to break units down, use SCS to transport the divisions and then reassembly them back into corps overseas (primarily North Africa). However, in the Pacific and for Japan maybe not so bad. For me I think unlimited divisional break down for Japan only might work.

quote:

4. No warlords (tends to favor the Japanese against the Partisans; again they have to feel the stretch)
I like playing with extra units but after thinking a bit about this one I'm really ok with not including warlords.

quote:

2. No territorials (Japanese have to feel the stretch)
Again, I like playing with these extra units and removing them not only impacts Japan but would also impact the CW and Italy too. For the CW the impact would be anti-partisan (using Ind, AUS or RSA Terr's) in places like India, Burma and Singapore for garrison. Also, the CW would lose a unit in North Africa and Palestine. For the Italians they would lose a couple of units in Libya. I guess all this balances out somewhat and would force the CW into devoting "additional" non-Terr units to keeping partisans out of India, Burma and Singapore. As I write this I'm thinking about still playing with Terr but not allowing Japan to build any. I guess the issue is the 3 Terr they start the game with? Not sure what to do there to meet the spirit of your #2 house rule. I guess the at-start Japanese Terr's could be moved (via editing game file) to somewhere in the Kurile islands. Doing that and not allowing Japan to build Terr's would satisfy the spirit of this rule don't you think?

Borrowing from the WiF CE rule set I've got some developing thoughts on how might the Battle of the Atlantic, Norway and Italian entry might play out more historically. Also, I have some ideas on how Finland and the Murmansk convoy might play more historical too.

What I want to achieve is a peer reviewed comprehensive set of house rules that "try" to make MWiF play out more historical without forcing it to do so. That is, the house rules "guide" players into the likelihood that they will make more historical choices without forcing them to so. I was wondering if it'd be ok to use this thread for that or would you prefer me to start a separate one?

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Ronnie

(in reply to eouellet)
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RE: War in China - House rules for more historical simu... - 9/5/2019 1:52:16 AM   
brian brian

 

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I think a simple way to improve the WiF experience in China would be to subject the Nationalists to US Activity Limits, to mirror the ChiComms. This would give the Japanese more of a chance from the middle of the game on, and help start to simulate Chiang's well founded inertia. Given the realities of the looming civil war, there is little need for a true Chinese "player".

Otherwise, major components (Partisan system, Chinese force pool structure, and victory conditions) )have to be altered to simulate Mao's and Chiang's view of strategic priorities.

I like the No-Marines idea. But then I don't commit the Japanese Marines into China anyway, because I want the easy pickings in the Maritime Province, and so does Adolf.

(in reply to rkr1958)
Post #: 6
RE: War in China - House rules for more historical simu... - 9/5/2019 1:13:33 PM   
Centuur


Posts: 8244
Joined: 6/3/2011
From: Hoorn (NED).
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

I think a simple way to improve the WiF experience in China would be to subject the Nationalists to US Activity Limits, to mirror the ChiComms. This would give the Japanese more of a chance from the middle of the game on, and help start to simulate Chiang's well founded inertia. Given the realities of the looming civil war, there is little need for a true Chinese "player".

Otherwise, major components (Partisan system, Chinese force pool structure, and victory conditions) )have to be altered to simulate Mao's and Chiang's view of strategic priorities.

I like the No-Marines idea. But then I don't commit the Japanese Marines into China anyway, because I want the easy pickings in the Maritime Province, and so does Adolf.


I tend to employ the Marines in southern China during the first one and a half year of the war. But they are never to go to far away from railheads or the ports.

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Peter

(in reply to brian brian)
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RE: War in China - House rules for more historical simu... - 9/13/2019 3:12:17 PM   
brian brian

 

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Joined: 11/16/2005
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I can recommend a good book on this subject: “Stillwell & the American experience in China”, by Barbara Tuchman. It was widely printed, even in a trade paperback version, and is easily found used, and cheap.

I would like to read more on this part of WWII, easily the most mysterious part. But much of the history is colored by the participants, from 3 sides in this case.

(in reply to Centuur)
Post #: 8
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