After Action Report 01
Submitted by Matt Kelland on 11 Oct 2005

People of China! Fellow revolutionaries! Workers! Farmers! Comrades! I salute you all!

Today, we stand on the threshold of a new China. Four years ago, in the winter of 1942, the battered remnants of the People's Army found itself beset on all sides. Pinned in our mountain refuges, the imperialist fascist Japanese invaders laid siege to us from the East, while the bourgeois capitalist forces of Chiang Kai-Shek threatened us from the West. Only our heroic militia groups, and their campaign of resistance, sabotage and guerrilla action prevented our troops from being crushed like a lychee between the two enemies.

Today, both Chiang and the Japanese are gone. The inevitable march of Communism is a page in history than can never be forgotten.

1942, our darkest year, began in triumph. Elements of the 2nd Division of the People's Army under Comrade General Peng liberated the city of Yang Qang from the Japanese. Their retaliation was immediate and brutal. Diverting their entire war effort from the Nationalist front in the south, the Japanese struck against us twice in as many months. Ill-equipped though our troops were against the tanks and bombers of the enemy, they fought heroically, blunting the attacks of the aggressors, regardless of the cost. Some outposts fell, but the city remained in the hands of the free Chinese people. But worse was to come. Even as Communist forces struggled with the Japanese invaders, Nationalist forces, in league with the fascist imperialists, attacked our rear echelons, seizing our factories and weapons. In response to this cowardly attack, militia groups arose in the Nationalist areas, and waged a campaign of resistance, just as their comrades were doing in Japanese areas. For six months, the Nationalists continued to wage war against us, using tanks and equipment given to them by their capitalist allies, the United States, for the purpose of defeating the common enemy, Japan. In response, Comrade Stalin provided us with new equipment to counter the bourgeois threat - tanks which had also been given to him by the United States for fighting the Hitlerite fascist aggressors in Europe. Chiang was forced to withdraw and return our stolen territory.

Throughout 1943, following the wise advice of Comrades Chou and Liu, the Communist armies regrouped and rebuilt. Comrade Teng marshalled the workers in the factories, while Comrade General Peng trained our forces in the use of the tanks and aircraft supplied by both Comrade Stalin and the Americans. During this year, the Party also put in place a gigantic deception plan, preparatory to its forthcoming military offensives. It was necessary to convince the bourgeois Nationalist forces that we were no longer a threat to them, and so Comrade General Peng's place on the front line was taken by myself, a diplomat with only small-scale military experience. The Nationalist General Ho was soon assured that our military command was incompetent, and he withdrew his forces to the south to combat the Japanese. Furthermore, Comrades Chou and Liu convinced the imperialist aggressors that we would aid them against the Nationalists, and persuaded them to supply us with war material.

At the start of 1944, the Communist tiger was unleashed from its mountain lair. Under the guise of launching an attack against the Japanese, the 3rd Division of the People's Army struck against the oppressors. The column fought their way to the gates of the Nationalist capital, Chungking. They were forced back only by the cowardly use of American strategic bombers against our front-line troops - bombers which the Americans had made clear were only to be used against the Japanese invaders. But even as our spearhead units threatened Chiang himself, General Ho launched a vast counterattack to cut our supply and encircle two thirds of our army.

This, comrades, was the finest moment so far in the annals of our struggle against the class oppressor. Although outnumbered twenty to one, and despite the enemy's massive superiority in tanks and aircraft, the morale of our fighters did not waver. Battling against the odds, and heedless of the sacrifice called for, the troops laid down their lives to keep supplies flowing through to the forward units. The cost was terrible. Barely a man survived. But the will of the people prevailed. Nationalist deserters flocked to our cause, swelling our army to over a million men.

Chiang Kai-Shek, struck by the invincible power of our forces, and threatened in the south by the Japanese, offered to cede to the Communists vast tracts of territory in the north, extending as far as the Soviet and Mongolian borders, if we agreed to spare Chungking. The Party Committee, following once again the wise advice of Comrades Chou and Liu, recognised the value of this offer to the people of China, and agreed a truce and withdrawal.

A month later, the 1st and 2nd Divisions of the People's Army, now armed with additional tanks and aircraft and ammunition from our brother revolutionary Comrade Stalin, smashed through the Japanese lines in a surprise attack.. Before the Japanese could react, Communist forces liberated our historic capital, Peking. Everywhere our forces struck them, the invaders collapsed in disarray. As the People's Army drove them back westwards, Soviet strike units entered Manchuria, pinning the fascist imperialists between the jaws of two unstoppable forces.

Even as our armies were poised to strike the final hammer blow against the Japanese armies, Emperor Hirohito himself begged for an audience with our leaders. I myself had the honour of representing the people of China as the Japanese tyrant pledged to cede us all the territory they held in Northern China if we would spare the lives of his troops. Despite the horrors of Nanking and other war crimes, China is not a vengeful nation. In the interests of the furtherance of international Communism, the Party Committee agreed to the tyrant's request and allowed the Japanese to return home.

Today, Communist forces indisputably control northern China. The People's Army, now numbering nearly three million men, backed with the latest military equipment, is on the verge of an offensive that will destroy the Nationalists for ever. Our partisan militias are active in Malaya, Burma, and Indo-China, as well as in southern China itself. On the international stage, it is now recognised that we speak for China. General Chiang Kai-Shek has been executed by his own officers, and their political systems are in turmoil. Communism will prevail!

Comrades, long live the Revolution!



It was truly fascinating to see WW2 from a totally new perspective. Although it would have been fun to see how the Chinese Civil War played out (I reckon we could have taken them by late 1947), it was really interesting to see how events elsewhere in the world had a dramatic - and unpredictable - effect on the course of Chinese history. Whatever Mao's speech may say, we really didn't know which way to jump at the end of 1943 - should we attack the Japanese or the Kuomintang? (I have to admit that I was all for attacking the Japanese, but the rest of the team decided otherwise. I don't know whether that was the right or wrong call, but it sure as hell worked!) We really thought we were going to be knocked out on about turn 2 or 3 when the Japanese hammered us, and we were saved - literally - by the bell. It took some adroit political manoeuvring to get enough support from both the USSR and the USA to keep us in the game, and to enable us to get off the ground.

The waiting game we played throughout the whole of day one was nerve-wracking, and certainly more stressful than the mayhem of day two. As a team, we all realised early on that we were very vulnerable at the start, and that it would take us at least two years to build up to a viable strength. We used every trick in the book to avoid conflict while trying to convince the Nationalists that we were going to do something - "party conferences" just as combat resolution came around, "forgetting" to put offensive flags down, and the like. When we finally did attack, first thing on Sunday morning, the look on Sean's face as he realised that our attacks were against him, not the Japs, was worth the wait, though. (Sorry, Sean! I really did spend an entire day backstabbing you.) We came close to losing pretty well the entire Communist army in mid-1944, when I was way over-stretched during my stupidly audacious assault on Chungking. We only survived thanks to a +5 advantage card, me rolling a 6 on the die, and Sean rolling a 2. (Sorry again, Sean. You should have won that.)

While our territorial gains were spectacular, most of our military gains were actually achieved against undefended sections of the line, with very few significant battles. The rules for Chinese land warfare meant that while the map looked like a modern battlefield, with unbroken front lines, in reality it was more like a Napoleonic campaign, with huge mobile armies. Our biggest gain was at the end of the game, when we occupied most of the northern territory vacated by Japan, thanks to the terms of the Soviet-Japanese peace treaty. If Stalin had decided to grab northern China, he could have had it, but instead he decided to support his brother Communists.

The party game played less of a part than I was expecting. As Mao, I think I ended up with sufficiently many Party Cards to exercise effective control over China, had I wished to. However, I ended up as acting military commander for practically the whole game, and had no idea what my political colleagues were up to, so missed most of the machinations. I surmised they were arranging for Mao to have an "accident", but they assure me that this wasn't the case! They did decide that I was too powerful to stay in China, though, and as the public face of the Chinese Communists (the photo of Mao on a T-34 driving through the gates of the Forbidden City was what swung it), the Party unanimously elected Mao to be its foreign ambassador, and ultimately its delegate to the UN in Helsinki, when they get round to setting that up.