India, Indonesia, Burma, Bhutan and Nepal have all been freed from British, Dutch and French colonial tyranny, and in payment for generations of their crimes, the Dutch nation no longer exists. From Saigon to the eastern border of Persia stretches a single, uninterrupted coastline from which the myriad peoples of Asia can look out at a sea free, for the first time in 200 years, of the navies of their hated colonial oppressors. In the place of old tyrannies, a new and enlightened rulership has asserted its right to guide the peoples of Asia into the future; the clouds of imperial oppression have been blown away in just a year of war’s tempest, to allow the glorious light of Japan’s Rising Sun to shine over the whole region. Soon the last remnants of colonial oppression in Asia – Australia’s territories in Papua, and Sri Lanka – will fall and a Greater Asian Prosperity Sphere will be in place. After that, American meddling in Asia through its puppet nation – the Philipines – and its dubious activities in China will have to be dealt with. It pains me as the leader of this great military endeavour to have been forced to wait so long to deal with the American menace, but my first and greatest concern has always been to free the people of Asia from the direct tyranny of colonialism. Next, America’s “modern Imperialism” will be shown for the anachronism it is, and Asia will be truly free. Even Australians will welcome my enlightened rule.

Last night was my last chance before the Golden Week national holiday to indulge in a good round of anti-colonialist imperialism via Hearts of Iron 2. I tried two brief attempts to start war with Holland last week, but one crashed and then the other – oh how hideous – went disastrously wrong after Nationalist China declared war on me. So this time I set about spending money on the Chinese before I commenced my war. Make no mistake, the Chinese are the albatross around Asia’s neck, holding it back from its proper advancement and refusing to cooperate with that which is best for the region, but dealing with them is tricky, and I hope to convince them to change their ways peacefully rather than through war. It’s hard to believe from the way they side with foreign powers, impede my righteous military efforts, and refuse to recognize the benefits of Japan’s plans for Asia, that once they were the cradle of civilization in this region! So, currently I’m buying them off and getting them to look the other way while I stomp my way across Asia. I haven’t had a full-blown naval battle with Britain yet, but I’ve encountered their Indian fleet a few times and now it’s a lot smaller than it was. I think they ran into a bit of trouble early in the piece, when they tried to sneak 13 transports into Singapore (right at the beginning of the war), but I sank the lot. No one tries to sneak empty transports into Singapore. Wikipedia tells me that a division consists of about 10,000 men; I think I drowned 13 divisions of British and Australian soldiers in the first week of the war, that is 130,000 men. I think this slowed down British attempts to stop my relentless march across Asia, and so did my subsequent use of marines to outflank the entire Burmese army at Chittagong. Another 100-150,000 soldiers mopped up there, and then the remainder of India was trivial. What to do with all these soldiers? I note there isn’t a lot of transport infrastructure in India, maybe I’ll build some railways…

I also discovered that the Dutch had their capital in the Dutch East Indies. Why was this, I wondered, and checking found that Germany has conquered all of Western Europe except Republican Spain[1], so the Dutch had to flee to their colonial territory. Every province in Indonesia that I conquered, that little red capital dot would move one province over. So, after a campaign that lasted just a few months, I landed some marines in Hollandia (in West Papua) and captured the last meaningful territory in the Dutch East Indies. I then annexed Holland, my first conquest of a European power. Annexing Holland earned me a massive stockpile of every resource, but especially of money – I now have 30 times more money than I had a year earlier. I’m spending this liberally to keep the Soviets and Chinese off my back.

With India captured I am now able to put one of my fleets into the Red Sea and destroy any British ships attempting to escape – or return – via the Suez canal. I think they might be tied up fighting the Germans in the atlantic anyway, but attempts to retake India are going to be extremely difficult at present, because they need to come via South Africa or they run into a fleet of 6 Advanced Carriers, 4 Advanced Battleships, 4 Advanced Battle Cruisers, about 6 Light Cruisers, and 10 advanced Destroyers. This is a larger and more modern fleet than the Japanese were ever able to field in the real war, it’s significantly more advanced than anything the British have, and it’s just a third of my total naval power. It’s also soon to become just a quarter of my naval power – I have another whole fleet – 4 battleships, 6 carriers, 6 escort carriers, 4 battle cruisers and 10 Destroyers – half complete, and will be deploying that in the next few months to patrol the Indian Ocean. This will free up my larger fleet to destroy the Australian navy, and whatever British remnant is lurking down there, and to capture Australia. With Australia out of the way there will be no way the British can return to their colonial possessions without coming through the Suez canal. I still also have to take Sri Lanka, which is a holdout base for the British at the moment – this won’t be hard, though I’ve noticed that capturing a port city by sea is tricky, because once you land troops the enemy fleet has to flee, and the first thing they do when they flee is meet your transport flotilla. This has happened to me twice so far:

  • First time, the entire Dutch fleet, escaping the capture of Batavia, ran into my transport fleet, which was just leaving the area after the assault. The Dutch fleet consisted of 4 capital ships and about 8 destroyers. My fleet: 6 transports, 2 interwar-era destroyers, a light cruiser and a battleship. The Dutch fleet lost everything but 2 destroyers and a capital ship. This should give some sense of how much tougher the Japanese navy is than those of most other developed nations
  • Second time, the British Indian fleet, when escaping Calcutta, ran across my transports, again just leaving after a successful landing. This pitted the same transport fleet against a fleet of 20 or so interwar-era ships, including four or five battleships. For the loss of 4 transports and a destroyer, I managed to take out a British light cruiser and a destroyer, and escape to Rangoon.

That same British fleet, fleeing the area, ran into my main battle fleet and got eviscerated. After the fall of Karachi they did another runner, and got caught at the mouth of the Red Sea. All that remains of them now are a battleship and a few light cruisers, limping home in disgrace. There have been no other significant naval battles, except some skirmishes with Australia (inevitably disastrous for them). Actually, so far I have only lost any land engagements twice, once in Rangoon before I had a proper force in place and once in the Spice Mountains near Kerala. The Spice Mountains are the only time a small force has managed to hold me off – and of course, they were Australians! Bloody ANZACS…

Which brings me to my plans for the immediate future. It’s mid-1944 and after one year of war the only places remaining to be captured in the region are Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. I have to take Sri Lanka soon so I can remove British naval power in the Indian Ocean, and I will simultaneously also deal with Australia, which I suspect currently holds a large expeditionary force. Australia is a bad place to take, it’s big and worthless. But I have a workaround. I have 4 or 5 brigades of Ballistic Missiles, with a range of 2400 km, currently based in Taiwan, Hanoi and Batavia. The Batavia missiles reach Western Australia. So, I’m going to capture Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne – the main industrial centres of Australia – and possibly Brisbane simultaneously and then wait to see where the Australians move their capital to. Then, I’m going to hit their capital with a significant ballistic missile attack, reducing them to almost no industry. Once this is done I’ll offer them a surrender they can’t resist, and move on to New Zealand. This ballistic missile option, incidentally, is my main deterrent against China. I’ve been building land fortifications in the North of China (Beijing, which I hold) and the border with Indochina, and I now have a force of ballistic missiles sufficient to wipe out industry in Chongqing, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Shanghai simultaneously. If China declares war on me I can eliminate half of their industrial base on the first day, and tie them down trying to storm my maginot line while I land marines on the coast.

Marines! They’re the gift that just keeps on giving!

The ballistic missile option is also the main means by which I aim to reduce the British, as well. I am currently nearly finished researching Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and nuclear waste bombs, which I expect to have working by mid-1944. With this combination, I will nuke London. I have read that not only does this cause massive infrastructure damage but it adds a large amount to your “warscore” (by which you force people to surrender) and increases dissent in the targeted territory. Once I’ve done this, I’m hoping that Britain will surrender and allow me to annex them. This has two immediate consequences – it gives me control of the Suez canal, and frees Germany up to invade Russia. That frees me to concentrate on the USA, which is going to be a challenge. My spies tell me the USA has 22 battleships and 15 carriers, so they have a navy almost as powerful as mine. They’re currently researching Heavy Advanced Carriers, so their carrier force is not as advanced as mine (I’m currently deploying the first of this design), but it’s big and they have almost limitless resources to make more. Of course, by then I’ll have nukes and ICBMs, so it’s possible that the whole issue of naval warfare will become irrelevant. But I want to defeat the US at sea and deploy nukes later, when the land war starts. Also I don’t know how long it takes to make a nuclear bomb once the designs are in, so I may need to rely on conventional war for a year. Anyway, at this stage it looks likely that the entire Pacific will be mine by 1945, with my empire stretching from Korea in the North to New Zealand in the South, and from Papua New Guinea in the East to the border of Persia in the West. If my nuclear plan works, I will also have possession of large parts of the middle east, Africa and the UK. Truly, a global order will emerge and we can hail the beginning of the Asian century!

fn1: a couple of iterations of this game have passed me by recently, and in every one of them Republican Spain trounces Nationalist Spain. I think this is because the Germans don’t try to help Nationalist Spain. It could even indicate British help – I think they’re part of the alliance against me!