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Subject: Combined game report #3 Ethiopia and China rss

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Simon Nicholls
United Kingdom
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Our players:
Germany Andy P (AndyP)
Japan, Italy Greg (jes nogger)

CW Laurence (Laxyboy)
USA, France, Nat China Simon (nailsworthnobby)

USSR, Com China Andy W (way too cool for BGG)

To date: Rhineland reoccupied, Jaoan at limited war with China, Stalin purges army, France and CW sign level 1 treaty.

Jul / Aug 1936

Japan signs an economic agreement with the Netherlands, France holds an election, Germany declares Anschluss and Austria disappears (this seems very early - have we played this right?). The CW gets more credit from the League of Nations (because you can never have enough of other peoples' money).

The Fascists win initiative. Japan sails out and hunts for the Chinese convoy in the South China Sea but fails to locate them. The Ping Hoi goes for glory and activates in the China Sea as the main Japanese fleet arrives – and rolls a 1 for search! Unfortunately, so do the Japanese so that was the end of the Ping Hoi. I assume there was a vague hope of surprising the Japanese convoys but in what quickly becomes an established pattern, Greg’s luck was not found wanting.

For reference, here is a picture of the China theatre at the beginning of the turn. I invite our readers to compare this with the photograph further down this post and see if you can spot any differences.

Having rolled low in China, Greg switches to East Africa to see if he can roll high. The Italians commit everything to launch an attack on the Ethiopian HQ, struggling up to a + 5 differential which could be very nasty if the roll is poor and very frustrating if the Ethiopians are not eliminated given the difficulty of shipping troops to the battlefield. However Greg rolls 15, Addis and Ethiopia fall and Selassie is smuggled out of the country by the British to safeguard the future of reggae.

With the AOI established, it’s time to get back to China. The newly arrived 6-3 Imperial MAR and 8-3 INF invade next to Shanghai and further north, Peking is taken for no Japanese loss.

We made no note of this or any other city capture this turn generating a chit for US entry, but I am pretty sure one or more did. In sufficient numbers these cause a problem because the chit mix in DoD is rich for the early years and too many chits can easily lead to big US entry swings. And obviously you are piling up chits well before when you would normally start doing so in a WiF game. The entry and tension calculation is so opaque that it is almost impossible to know where you are (sometimes even as the US player). You have to compare the contents of entry pools for all the powers and tension pools for the Fascists and Communist powers for each calculation. However, the overriding principle is that if you are aggressive, it will catch up with you - as Greg discovered.

The Chinese retreat off the coast, abandoning several factories and the IJA trot forward 3 units at a time (limited war = combined action). Finally they reach the Commies who promptly get hit and a MIL is killed in the mountains, again for no Japanese losses. That’s no Japanese losses this turn compared to four Chinese corps (and this is the brief period when the Chinese can trade space for time).

And after only four Japanese combined impulses, the result is –

It’s early days however and generally it only takes a couple of sub optimal Japanese combat rolls to stall the advance. So let’s hope for that, eh?

Note that there is not yet a good link between DoDIII and the latest WiF8 rules. For example, DoD production still has a +0.25 production multiple in its production system for being attacked in your home country which contradicts the WIF8 production which has bonus points instead. And of course the US Entry rules are still tricky to manage in as far as how they interact with the DoD political options, WiF entry options and WiF entry actions.

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