[BlackICE 8.6] Republic of China AAR - Episode 1: Prelude

Author: bigwoods
Published: 2017-03-18

Part of the campaign:

[BlackICE 8.6] Republic of China AAR

Hello friends, welcome to my HOI3 BlackICE AAR of the Republic of China.

I'm still pretty new to the game, and this is my first playthrough of BlackICE 8 (I've only played 7.something before) so I'm gonna stick with the normal difficulty.

This is my first AAR, so feedback is very welcome! This is also my second time playing with the ROC, and as I haven't started too much at the time of writing this, I don't know if I'll be able to survive or not, as the situation can get tricky at times.
Quick Note: Before I even started playing, I added a bunch of geo tags to the BICE Geo battleplan. I've got most of east and southeast asia, plus eastern siberia, and a lot of oceania as well. I will most likely update the rest of the pacific, central asia and india if/when I get there. (big if, japan might squish me quick)

Let me know if anyone wants the battleplan file... It took some hours to put together and I'm happy to share it.
The Republic of China in 1936 starts out in a sorry state. Even after the victory of the Generalissimo's Northern Expedition, China is still split into various warlord factions, and the Communists have a strong foothold in the city and surroundings of Yan'an. The wretched Japanese Imperialists have taken control over Manchuria, and threaten our capital Beijing. Although the Soviet Union and the British Raj may be able to aid in our defense, we will bear the brunt of Japanese expansion, and we must prepare.

The path to victory will lie first in the unity of China, and the build-up of its industries and armies. Once we are united, nothing will stand in our way!
Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek immediately rearranges his cabinet to rid himself of the crooked kleptocrats that have been plaguing the republic. Chen Shaokuan is dismayed to know that he will serve as the Chief of Staff AND the Chief of the Navy, but is quickly relieved when he discovers that China has barely any navy in the first place.

IMO China starts out with one of the worst governments/cabinets ever... more ministers will be available later though, and overall our maluses will be decrease over time.
Technology...technology? What technology? Generalissimo Chiang is dismayed when his engineers admit that they do not know what a pillbox is or how to build it.

Our leadership is split mostly into research and espionage, while a smaller portion is dedicated to training more officers for our armies.
Our spies are sent all over the world to stuff as many blueprints as they can into their pockets. Democratic nations with weak counterespionage operations, like France, are given the biggest priority.
Lots and lots of decisions to be made on the first hour before unpausing... I don't want to list them all as it would be excessive but my general rationale is:

- If I can take a hit to manpower, casualty trickleback, resources, or money, I will do it gladly. China will always have a surplus of all of these, except for money, but money is useless anyways.

- I'm prioritizing research efficiency and leadership as it is wildly important to get caught up in the first few years. IC and IC efficiency is next on that list.

The first year will focus on IC and getting our factories up to snuff. Then I plan on shifting to land build speed so we can pump out infantry units, which we will need a lot of. I expect the japanese invasion to hit around mid 1937, so we only have a short 18 months to get our army in order.
I'm setting BlackICE to normal and all other country/theatre difficulties to normal as well. I thought about setting to hard but I'm not completely confident that I can get past the initial invasion even on normal.
We start with a rather... special army. It is currently comprised of around 20 conscript divisions, 15 militia divisions, 7 light infantry divisions, and only 1!!! regular infantry division. Oh my.
Our first order of business is to face the dirty communists, who we start at war with. Militia and conscript forces are pulled back behind the Wei and Huang rivers, for "Operation Go Away Commie Bastards". Our ally, Xibei San Ma, is expected to hold its fort in Xianyang but we will have reserves to plug the gap on our western flank if the fort is breached.
Troops on the Japanese front are pulled back from our capital of Beijing and behind the Hai river. Although it pains the Generalissimo to plan to abandon the city without a fight, it is simply unfeasible and will risk the Japanese achieving a breakthrough.

The plan, also creatively titled "Operation Go Away Japan", features a secondary line formed at the Huang He. This line, as well as the terrain leading up to it, is much more indefensible, and the primary objective is to hold the line at the Hai river for as long as possible. The 1st Army will be tasked with holding the initial line, while the 2nd Army will be built up over time, and will act as a reserve as well as a delaying force for any naval invasions.
The Chinese General Staff also anticipates a series of naval invasions on our northeastern coast. The port cities of Weihai, Qingdao, and Lianyungang are most likely to be targeted, along with the area around Shanghai. The 2nd Army will be tasked with holding the Japanese on the Qingdao peninsula, but in the event of a collapse there a general retreat to the grand canal will be ordered.

The area around Shanghai is well fortified, and should be relatively sturdy against an invasion. It is also far enough away from the northern line that even a successful landing should not force another retreat.
Although the warlord nation of Shanxi will be available to us as allies or a civil war target, it is in our best interest to keep them neutral in the wars against both the Communists and the Japanese. This way, the Japs will be forced to order mass assaults against our river defenses. When we have the resources and divisions to support a wider front, then we will reconsider their neutrality.
Our first target will be the warlord state of Yunnan. The 6th army, comprised of 3. and 7. Light infantry corps, as well as supporting regulars and militia, will rush to secure the cities of Dali and Kunming to force a surrender. Although China's military is weak at the moment, these light infantry divisions will prove their worth in the mountains and jungle of south China.

(Using the Civil War Casus Belli, all remaining enemy troops will become ours after a surrender. Because of that it is very important to keep enemy troops alive, as opposed to surrounding and destroying them.)
The light cruiser Ping Hai is taken off the line at the dockyard, and units have begun to be outfitted. Garrisons and artillery are prioritized for their defensive ability. The training of more light infantry and cavalry divisions will begin once our defenses are solid and sound.
And... unpause! Thanks for reading, please feel free to critique or whatnot. I plan to do some more roleplay/flavor once the war is raging and things fall apart.

Next chapter:

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[BlackICE 8.6] Republic of China AAR - Episode 2: Southern Expedition

Images: 60, author: bigwoods, published: 2017-03-18

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