The Let's Play Archive

Pacific General

by Kangra

Part 1: Central China: August 13, 1937

Our first assignment is the campaign against China. We already have control of its northern territory, but we must manage to take over the cities in the center and southern part in order to proceed with our greater plans for Asia.

Central China

Friday, August 13, 1937
Objectives: (Fou-yang [50]), Han k'ou [100], Nanking [200], Shanghai [2x200]

Unit Name                    Unit Type [Transport]    Exp  
Land Units                    
1.1st Hohei 1936            Hohei 1936[Isuzu]                -            
2.2nd Hohei 1936            Hohei 1936                       -
3.3rd Hohei 1936            Hohei 1936[Isuzu]                -
4.4th Hohei HW 1936         Hohei HW 1936[Isuzu]             -
5.5th Engineers 1936        Engineers 1936[Isuzu]            -
6.6th Kihei                 Kihei                            -
7.7th Type 95 Ha-Go         Type 95 Ha-Go                    -
8.8th Ho-Ni 3               Ho-Ni 3                          -
9.9th Meiji 38 Imp.75       Meiji 38 Imp.75                  -

Aux (by qty)
1                           Hohei 1936[Isuzu]                *
2                           Hohei 1936                       -
1                           Engineers 1936[Isuzu]            -
1                           Kihei                            -      
1                           Type 94 Light                    -
1                           Type 92                          -
1                           Type 93 Sumida                   -
1                           94 Mtn Gun 75mm                  -

Air Units
10.10th Nakajima Ki-27 Nate  Nakajima Ki-27 Nate              -
11.11th G3M Nell             G3M Nell                         -
12.12th Kawasaki Ki-10 Perry Kawasaki Ki-10 Perry             -
13.13th Nakajima Ki-27 Nate  Nakajima Ki-27 Nate              -
14.14th Nakajima Ki-27 Nate  Nakajima Ki-27 Nate              -
15.21st A5M Claude           A5M Claude                       -

Aux (by qty)
1                            G3M Nell                         -
1                            Ki-21 Sally                      -

Core/aux slots: 0/0

This is the start of the war for us, and we don't have a say in our force composition or deployment. In this case, deployment doesn't matter much, since we will have time to spread out on the way to our objectives. It would be nice if we could have chosen different units, though, because we lack the prestige to just swap them out and will have to make do with some stuff that's not that great.

The plan is to send most of the units eastward in a slow march over the Yangtze and then onward to Shanghai. A smaller force will strike southward to Han k'ou in a rapid assault, followed by a swing south and then to the coast to secure the right flank. Air support will be allocated as needed, with the initial bent toward supporting the Han k'ou attack.

Pacific General has some nice artwork for the turn indicators, although some of them can make it a bit hard to read the other text. They come up randomly; I'll likely be able to show off all of them by including just the first turn for each scenario.

Axis Turn 1: Aug 13, 1937
Day, Fair (Dry)

We send scouting units ahead, and aside from the expected defenses at Han k'ou no enemy resistance is reported on this side of the river.

We must clear a path for our bombers. The Ki-27's are sent in to take out the Soviet-made planes defending the city.

The rest of our planes are sent to form a protective shield for the advancing forces.

Allied Turn 1: Aug 13, 1937
Day, Fair (Dry)

The Chinese avoid our interceptors and send their bombers to hit the ground troops.

Artillery shells begin to fall on our own guns in the south.

Note that the guns appear to unload from transport whenever they are attacked. I think this is a real effect of combat, so that additional attacks use the unit's defense, but I haven't yet had a chance to check.

The bombing raids are followed up by the arrival of Chinese armor. The battle is inconclusive as neither side is willing to risk pushing forward with their tanks.

Axis Turn 2: Aug 20, 1937
Day, Fair (Dry)

With the enemy fighters eliminated at Han k'ou, our bombers come and pound the defenders holding the east side of the city.

The tanks push away the cavalry, and our foot soldiers come in afterward to wipe out the enemy artillery.

This army is ill-suited to fight armor battles, and it is taking all our efforts just to get rid of a single armored unit.

We finally push the tanks back with our infantry, and gain a bridgehead on the Yangtze.

Allied Turn 2: Aug 20, 1937
Day, Fair (Dry)

Enemy bombers keep up the raids, even though they know our fighters are close by.

Our first foray over the Yangtze is repelled.

Then a surprise comes in from the northeast -- a contingent of tankettes smashes into the cavalry guarding our left flank!

Axis Turn 3: Aug 27, 1937
Day, Fair (Dry)

A bloody battle at Han k'ou finally gives us the victory there.

The L3 is targeted for destruction with our artillery and bombers. The armored cars are sent to guard the flank.

We may be able to gain an edge at Nanking by surrounding it with enough troops. Some of them are sure to get around the defenses.

Allied Turn 3: Aug 27, 1937
Day, Fair (Dry)

The Chinese focus on pushing away our cavalry on the north side.

To the south, some enemy forces are moving forward to meet us, but they do not appear to have many units available down there.

Axis Turn 4: Sep 3, 1937
Day, Fair (Dry)

With Han k'ou secure, the troops rush southward, forcing the Chinese infantry to run for the hills.

The enemy fighters are finally out of the way in the east.

After sending our bombers to soften them up, the tanks are pushed back all the way behind Nanking.

This frees up our scouts to reconnoiter the whole region north of the Yangtze.

While the fighting at Nanking remains intense, a crossing is made to the south, allowing us to open up a route to the coast.

Victory Level: 215-678 (Defeat)

We're off to a good start. The advance southward is preceding well enough, and given how tough Nanking is to crack, we should have no problem holding the flank with more units. We could be moving a bit faster, but losses so far have been light, and there's no need to push hard yet.

Unit spotlight

For the first spotlight, one of the lesser-used infantry units, followed by the first (and worst) of the planes we have available.

Kihei [Cavalry] (note: link is mainly for the pic, the page is in Japanese)
PG Name: Kihei Type: Infantry
Effective Date: 1/36
Value:6 Cost:72 Spot:2 Move:5 MM:Leg Trans:Air Fuel: 60
Init:2 SA:4 HA:1 AA:0 NA:1 GD:3 AD:10 CD:0 TT:Soft Ammo:7

Cavalry never seemed to form a large part of the modernized (Meiji-era and later) Japanese army, but they were considered a valuable asset. In World War II they were deployed as mobile reconnaissance units, in support of the infantry. For this reason, the cavalry regiments often had tankettes included in their force as mechanized recon gradually took the place of animal transport (at the nebulous scale of this game, the tankettes would be separate units).

In-game analysis: Cavalry in this game are not dissimilar to their real-life role, and the units aren't that different for each side. They are most effective as mobile scouts for more combat-effective infantry units. The higher initiative value means they can also work well for hunting down and finishing off soft targets, too.

Kawasaki Ki-10 (Perry)
PG Name: Kawasaki Ki-10 Perry Type:Fighter
Effective Date: 7/36
Value:10 Cost:120 Spot:3 Move:8 MM:Air Trans:No Fuel: 48
Init:3 SA:1 HA:1 AA:4 NA:0 DA:0 GD:3 AD:5 Ammo:4

This was Japan's last biplane fighter. Although its maneuverability was quite good in its day, it didn't have much in the way of offensive power or armor, and was outdated in just a few short years. It did see action in China and the Nomonhan Incident, but was withdrawn and used only for training by the time of the Pacific War.

In-game analysis: This might be one of the weakest early-game fighters. It can't really be used as an attacker, and it's only marginally valuable as an escort. The better fighters only cost a little bit more, so there's no point in purchasing one either.