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Subject: CBI theater historical perspective rss

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Walter Hearne
United States
Ashburn
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One question about Churchill has been nagging me recently: why does the UK alone get a benefit of 5 VP from reaching Formosa?

I ask this because my reading* has left me with the distinct impression that the British regarded the CBI as a strategic backwater; as long as India was safe, they didn't seem to care and their attitude about it seemed to mirror the American stance on the eastern Med. It seems that the Americans, or least the pro-Chiang/China Lobby element, were pushing an offensive in the CBI to reopen the land supply route to the Nationalists and make the mainland/Formosa a staging area for bombing runs on the Home Islands. (Also, wasn't Formosa a potential objective for MacArthur a/o Nimitz?)

So I'm wondering why the U.S. has so little incentive to push CBI other than potentially gaining a B-29 space for the Japanese surrender conditions. It's not a criticism; I'm just genuinely curious about the thought process and whether my understanding of the history is erroneous.

*This includes the entertaining American Warlords by Jonathan Jordan, which I read on Mark Herman's recommendation.
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Christopher Hill
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Wilmington
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I don't know much about the history surrounding the CBI theater of operations in WWII, but in my games of Churchill this area has been mostly an afterthought for both the US and UK. Maybe, as you stated, 'they didn't seem to care' is reflected in the game play as well.

I know Mark Herman has long studied the history of the Pacific theater of operations for WWII, so maybe he will chime in with his expert knowledge.
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Charles Finch
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Pearl River
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i'd say it is worth points on the alternative history where UK makes it more of a priority
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Rex Stites
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Lawrence
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I wouldn't look at the VPs as representing a subjective valuation made by the faction receiving the VPs, but rather an objective valuation of what doing a particular action would have actually been "worth" to that faction in how the post-war shakes out - i.e. the value Mark Herman believed it was worth to a country.

As noted above, in practice UK players seem to ignore the CBI, despite the 5 VP for Formosa...just as their historical counterpart did.

Another thing to keep in mind when mapping the game to the history it represents is that VP in absolute terms doesn't mean anything. For example, which of the following winning UK players played better and put their country in the best position for the post-war period? The one who won a condition-3 victory with 60 VP or the one who won a condition-2 victory with 50 VP? An even clearer example is the situation where a player wins with 50 VP in one game but loses in another with 60 VP. So the fact that Formosa is an exclusive 5 VP for the UK doesn't really tell us anything about how viable pursuing advancing that front is for the UK in terms of actually winning the game.
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