Archangel85, Vice Deputy Content Lead HoI 4
Hello, and welcome back to anotherDev Diary covering China. Today, we are taking a look at Mao Zedong, and thecountry recently renamed to “Communist China”. As a little treat, we will alsoshow you how crazy you can really get with the new decision system (spoileralert: pretty crazy).
Given the overall situation in China in 1936, the Communists certainly weren’tanyone’s favourite to win the Civil War. Mao and the Red Army had barelyescaped encirclement and destruction in Jiangxi, being forced on the famousLong March that carried them to Shanxi to a new Base Area. There, they tried torecover their strength and prepare for the next showdown with the forces ofChiang Kai-Shek. Japan loomed in the background, and the basic question wassimple: Who would strike first?
This question formed thecore of the strategic deliberations the Party found itself in. If Japan struckfirst, then an alliance with the Nationalists would be necessary to present aUnited Front to the enemy. If Japan remained passive, then the efforts shouldbe directed against the Nationalists. And while Mao had emerged as supreme inthe internal factional struggles during the Long March, he was far from safe.Others may well try to usurp his position, advocating different paths toachieve true communism.
Hello and welcome back to another Dev Diary. This week we will look at the last unrevealed focus tree for Waking the Tiger: Manchukuo.
Manchukuo is perhaps one of the weirdest players in the Chinese Civil War. Formally an Empire led by an Emperor, it was also a puppet. Despite owning a large chunk of China, it was never able to field the numbers the other Chinese factions brought to the fight. Despite being ruled by the last legitimate Son of Heaven, no one particularly liked this government.
As such, your position at the start of the game is precarious at best. You have practically no support from the population, your industry base is mostly working for the Japanese, your army is somewhat less than befitting your station and to star twith, there are bandits running around the country causing havoc.
When war actually came, it came fromthe Japanese. Mere months earlier, one of Chiang’s top generals had takenmatters into his own hand and forced Chiang (more or less at gunpoint) to signan alliance with the Communists (this Xi’an incident is represented in game asa decision the warlords can take - which we thought worked better from agameplay perspective than a random event that fired at some point). Finallytogether in a United Front, both sides lost no time in undermining the spiritof the treaty while staying true to the letter. By 1940, the United Front hadbecome more or less a formality.
So your first step has to be the pacification of the countryside. You can do this by either maintaining a military presence in the relevant areas or spending some manpower and infantry equipment in a more aggressive campaign to hunt them down. You should hurry, though, as the bandit raids will damage your infrastructure and industry if you let them proceed too long.
Looking at the focus tree, you will note that the Communists share the righthand side of their tree with the Nationalists (modders will be pleased to hearthat we now have something called a “shared focus” in script, which does aboutwhat you’d think it does). Since the the opening missions to the variouscountries depend on either having the same ideology or very good relations, theCommunists start in a somewhat weaker negotiating position than theNationalists. But changes in the global situation might give you newopportunities - for example if, say, Japan were to fall to communism…
Once the country is reasonably pacified, you face a more difficult choice: Either you decide to be an obedient little puppet or you start down on your path to independence and restoring the Empire that has always been yours by birth.
On the left side, the tree dealswith the various internal factions in the Communist Party, from Mao and hisallies to the Soviet-trained and backed faction under Wang Ming to an attemptat less radical “Social Democracy” under Zhang Lan. In the center, you arepresented with the mirror of the choice facing the Nationalists - do you focuson the Japanese threat, or do you try to take the fight to the other Chinesefactions and try to gain supremacy before Japan comes knocking?
Representing the Chinese Communists contribution to the war presented us with abit of a problem - they didn’t engage in open warfare for the most part, andour systems are not really made to represent offensive guerilla warfare. Wewanted to give the Communists a real shot at winning the Civil War withouthaving to resort to the clumsy and counter-intuitive system used in vanilla,where you boost party popularity in China to flip states to your side.
So a few late-evening “design meetings” (beer may or may not have beeninvolved) later, we came up with the Infiltration/Uprising system, which is aunique mechanic for the Communists. At the most basic level, it was supposed tolet you pay infantry equipment to infiltrate a state. By itself, this does verylittle - but when you trigger the Uprising, the states you have infiltratedwill flip to your side. Depending on your approach, this can cripple the otherside’s war economy and strand a large part of their army in enemy territory.
We developers, of course, withhold any judgment about which path you take.
Should you choose to remain a mere pathetic lapdog of the Japanese, you sell your dignity and freedom very dear indeed, as that branch gives you a much more powerful economy. Five year plans allow you to shape the direction of your industry for the next, well, five years, giving you the option to focus on industrial growth, military production or aircraft development. You will gain more infrastructure and factories along the way.
(numbers are not final)
While we did want this to represent the ways the Communists executed theirstrategy of People’s War, building base areas from which to wage guerillawarfare, we also didn’t want to leave the other side without any way to counterthe infiltration. So the infiltrated player can spend resources to try anduncover your infiltration, and, if discovered, to counter it.
We then expanded the system a bit further to make infiltrating a state not justa binary infiltrated/cleared state, but actually allow you to build up a BaseArea in several levels. On the most basic level, your soldiers merely sabotageinfrastructure and factories when you trigger the uprising. On the higherlevels, the state flips to your control and on the highest level even spawnsmilitia units to defend it.
We then adapted this system to also work against the Japanese. Counteringinfiltration does not remove it instantly, but only reduces the level ofinfiltration. It is always worthwhile, but it may not be enough.
Note that this system is still in testing and might change before release.
But opposition and warfare is notthe only way you can win the Civil War. We really wanted to explore how theCommunists could have secured their influence through political means, whichbrings us to the second unique China mechanic: Political Support.
Finally, by allying with the Kwantung Army, you can position yourself as the natural leader of China from the Japanese perspective and get all captured Chinese territories turned over to you. Only then can you gain some autonomy and finally arrive at an equal standing with your supposed “Brother-Emperor”.
(numbers are not final)
Should you, however, decide to take a stand for your freedom and independence and assert yourself, you will have a much harder job ahead of you as your imperial masters will not invest nearly as heavily into your state.
More than that, in order to gain your independence, you will have to be patient and gain some small concessions here and there. The next fundamental choice for you is whether you want to turn your country into a society dominated by Manchus, or if you will make good on the propaganda of five equal races under one banner. Each will give you different advantages.
Afterwards, you will at last prepare for the war of independence against Japan (we actually had to rewrite our war system to allow you to be at war with both Japan and China, while they are also at war with each other). However, this branch will allow you to eventually get rid of the penalties from low legitimacy as you climb the ladder to restore your Imperial rule all across China. Once you break free from your Japanese overlords, you will once again be known as Qing China. Conquering the rest of China allows you to claim the Mandate of Heaven and announce yourself to the world as The Chinese Empire (2.0)
When the Communists decide to godown the “Social Democracy” branch of their focus tree, they will eventuallyform a coalition government with the Nationalists, which will begin a powerstruggle between the two parties. You can then spend political power over anumber of days to build your power base in different states. Each staterepresents a support value, and securing the support of other warlords addseven more support. Once you have more support than the Nationalists, you canmake a push for taking over the entire country, eventually annexing all ofChina after Chiang Kai-Shek suffers an...accident.
The Nationalist player, of course, has ways to counter this, but with politicalpower scarce, eventually something will have to give. Note that you can pursueboth approaches at the same time to keep the Nationalists guessing.
Much like the other main Chinese factions (Nationalists and Communists), Manchukuo has access to the shared focus tree that allows them to build up their industry and develop new technologies. Owing to its position in the world, the only viable paths at game start are Germany and Japan, but breaking free will give you the opportunity to reach out to new partners.
More details on how we did this will have to wait until a future diary, inwhich we talk more about the scripting behind the new features.
That’s all for this wee
That is all for this week. There will be a dev diary next week, but we won't tell you what it is just yet (we are working on a number of things that may or may not be done in time for the dev diary). At World War Wednesday today, our intrepid team of Daniel and Gabriel will continue to try and conquer China while making some of the worst jokes known to humanity. Tune in at 16:00 CET and ask your questionsabout the focus tree:
这就是这周所有的内容啦。下周某个不确定时间点也会有一份开发日志，但我们不告诉你啥时候发（我们蠢驴正在处理许多项内容而不确定下周开发日志应该发布的时候能不能准时完成）。在今天的World War Wednesday，由Daniel与Gabriel组成的强力小组将继续尝试征服中国并接着开一些人类史上最恶劣的笑话。记得在欧洲中部时间CET16:00观看直播并提出对国策树的一些问题。
Rejected Titles for this Dev Diary:
China- under new MANagement
This Focus tree sponsored by Burger Qing
MAN-spreading all over China
Henry Puyi and the Dragon Throne
This focus tree will make a MAN out of you
This DLC is basically MAN-datory
Hail to the Qing
Coming up with rejected titles took longer than writing the rest of this diary