In terms of gameplay and so on, this game would probably be something between a BOP and a govsim. Leaning maybe more towards a BOP. Please find sample stats below, but I largely envisage it being free form. Prizes for old hands who can spot which games some elements have been cribbed from.REPUBLIC OF CHINA 1929
Across Manchuria, domain of the Fengtian Clique, flags are changed on every public building. For the last time, the five-coloured flag of the old Beiyang government is lowered. In its place rises the Blue Sky, White Sun, and Wholly Red Earth. Under the auspices of the Kuomintang and the leadership of Chiang Kaishek, China has been reunited for the first time since 1916.
Yet all is not well in the new republic. After the successes of the Northern Expedition, hundreds of thousands of men remain at arms - nearly all divided between great and powerful warlords, jostling for power before even the fighting was done. Chiang might stand as paramount leader of China, but he is no means unchallenged. In Manchuria the newly loyal Fengtian Clique still resides, rebuilding its strength and carving out its new place in China. Yan Xishan, a powerful warlord from Shanxi, dominates much of the northwest, including Beijing. The radical Guominjun hold sway over much of north-central China, their allegiance ever uncertain. The south remains dominated by the Guangxi Clique, ever uneasy with strong central control. Even within south central China, Kuomintang rule is by no means certain, as internal divisions gnaw at their unity. At the periphery, warlords rule with Nanjing's sanction, and still further out the old borders of China come daily under threat, as Soviet encroachment continues to separate Mongolia from China, and the Tibetans resolutely press their claim to independence. And from within, though bruised and under attack, the once-influential Communist Party reminds all that to forget them is at your own risk...
China is united in name and appearance, but beneath a fresh veneer the old divisions run deep. And where those outside China would seek to exploit such divisions, the situation may be called perilous indeed.
For those less than familiar with the history of China in this period, you'll find here a brief timeline I prepared summarising pretty much everything from the 1911 Xinhai Revolution that brought down the Qing Dynasty, until the end of 1928. Questions welcome.
- Wuchang Uprising. The New Army collaborates with the Tongmenhui to seize control of the city. The revolution soon spreads across southern China, prompting the return of Sun Yatsen from exile.
- Mongolia declares independence.
- The Republic of China is declared. Sun Yatsen relinquishes the provisional presidency to Yuan Shikai, Qing Imperial Prime Minister and military leader, in exchange for his support.
- Emperor Puyi abdicates, ending Qing rule.
- Tibet declares independence.
- Following increasing crackdowns by President Yuan Shikai against Sun Yatsen's Kuomintang, the Second Chinese Revolution is launched. Half the southern provinces rebel, before being defeated. Sun Yatsen flees to Japan.
- Having ignored Tuvan requests from protection in 1912, Russia finally establishes a protectorate.
- The First World War. Japan declares war on Germany and lands in neutral China, seizing parts of Shandong, whether German or Chinese controlled, and advancing into China's interior.
- Japanese troops, joined by a token British force, besiege and force the surrender of Germany's Kiautschou Bay concession.
- Japan issues its Twenty-One Demands. After international pressure they reduce them to thirteen, gaining a longer lease on the South Manchuria Railway Zone, confirmation of seizure of German territories, barred China from giving otherpowers coastal or island concessions, and gave Japan control of the deeply indebted Hanyeping mining complex in Central China.
- Yuan Shikai declares himself Hongxian Emperor.
- Almost immediately revolt breaks out, with southern provinces breaking away and forming the National Protection Army.
- After military defeats, withdrawal of foreign support and threats from Japan, Yuan Shikai abandons his plan to become Emperor, but the National Protection War does not stop.
- Yuan Shikai dies, leaving China with virtually no strong central authority. Li Yuanhong succeeds him as President.
- The Chinese government polarises into two cliques; the Anhui Clique, supporting Premier Duan Qirui, and the Zhili Clique, support Vice President Feng Guozhang. Duan supports violently suppressing the southern rebellions and entering the First World War, whilst Feng does not.
- A brief Manchu Restoration occurs in the midst of this chaos when a royalist general captures Beijing and restores Puyi. Republican troops restore order after 12 days.
- Duan Qirui leads China to declare war on Germany, and ends the German and Austro-Hungarian leases in Tianjin.
- Sun Yatsen arrives in Guangzhou and, convening some members of the original parliament, establishes a military government in Guangzhou, supported by Guangxi, Yunnan and Hunan warlords. The Constitutional Protection Movement enters open confrontation with the northern government.
- Constitutional Protection War. Duan Qirui's army is defeated attempting to attack Hunan, the debacle leading him to resign as premier. Feng Guozhang becomes President, prompting a temporary armistice.
- The Guangzhou government is reorganised to prevent Sun Yatsen as Generalissimo from holding too much power. He leaves for Shanghai.
- Russian Revolution breaks out.
- Pressed by the Zhili and Anhui cliques, Feng Guozhang resumes the Constitutional Protection War, capturing Hunan and prompting another period without fighting.
- Feng Guozhang ends his term and Xu Shichang becomes President, establishing a ceasefire with the Constitutional Protection government.
- Japan seizes control of the China Eastern Railway.
- With Russia in turmoil, Mongolia asks China for protection, prompting its invasion and occupation.
- The First World War ends.
- The Guangxi Clique effectively assumes control of the Constitutional Protection government.
- May Fourth Movement. Mass protests across China in response to government weakness in the Treaty of Versailles, especially concessions to Japan.
- China revokes Mongolian autonomy (including Tuva).
- Fearing the Anhui clique's growing power and its leading of the occupation of Mongolia, the Fengtian clique allies with the Zhili clique.
- Zhili-Anhui War. Mounting tension breaks out into open war. The fighting is brief, lasting mere weeks, and leading to the defeat of the Anhui clique. A new government is established.
- Having organised the Kuomintang in Shanghai, Sun Yatsen and military governor of Guangdong, Chen Jiongming, launch the Guangdong-Guangxi War, expelling the clique and allowing the return of Sun Yatsen.
- The Guangdong military government is dissolved, Sun Yatsen being chosen as "extraordinary president".
- Sun Yatsen orders the Northern Expedition to reunify China. After a lengthy fight, Chen Jiongming nominally occupies Guangxi for the KMT, and is ordered to occupy southern Hunan.
- Xu Shichang proposes both Presidents step down and unify north and south under a restored Li Yuanhong. Chen Jiongming's support clashes with Sun Yatsen's distrust, sowing conflict between the two.
- White Russian forces invade Mongolia, pushing out Chinese forces, seeking refuge in the face of defeat in the civil war.
- Mongolian communist forces join with Soviet forces to oust the White Russians.
- Backed by Zhili Clique military leader Wu Peifu, Chen abandons Sun, attacking the presidential palace be shelled. Sun Yatsen once more flees to Shanghai.
- After low levels of building tension, the Fengtian clique replaces Premier Jin Yunpeng with Liang Shiyi without consulting the Zhili clique. The new government grants amnesty to several members of the Anhui clique. With Fengtian backed by Japan and Zhili by the US and Britain, and the government refusing to give promise military budgets to the Zhili clique, Wu Peifu and other Zhili members force Liang Shiyi to resign.
- First Zhili-Fengtian War. The conflict spirals, leading to all out war and a Zhili victory. The Fengtian clique withdraws to Manchuria, consolidating is power base there.
- Japan withdraws troops from Manchuria after ending its involvement in the Russian Civil War.
- Following cooperation with the Soviet Union and an alliance with the burgeoning Communist Party of China, Sun Yatsen allies with Yunnan warlord Tang Jiyao to retake Guangzhou, forcing Chen Jiongming to flee.
- Influential politician Cao Kun forces the resignation of President Li Yuanhong, and bribes his way to the presidency.
- Under President Cao Kun and backed by Wu Peifu, the Zhili Clique stands poised to unite China. Attempting to establish control of Shanghai (administered by the dying (neutral) remnants of the Anhui clique, fighting breaks out. The Fengtian clique and the KMT pledge to defend the neutral government there, expanding the conflict.
- Second Zhili-Fengtian War. Massive fighting breaks out in the north, while unbeknownst to the Zhili clique, one of their generals Feng Yuxiang has been wooed by the Fengtian. Launching a coup he seizes Beijing and deposes Cao Kun, ending the war.
- Leadership of the Zhili clique passes to Wu Peifu and Sun Chuanfang, who maintain a powerbase in central China - mainly Hubei and Henan.
- Feng Yuxiang renames his army the Guominjun. He and the Fengtian divide northern China between them, reinstalling Duan Qirui as puppet President.
- Sun Yatsen dies. A power struggle ensues.
- Yunnan-Guangxi War. Tang Jiyao claims leadership of the KMT against Hu Hanmin. Party leaders denounce Tang, prompting him to try to seize power. He is defeated by the New Guangxi clique.
- Hu Hanmin is blamed for the assassination of Liao Zhongkai, a competitor for the leadership, prompting Wang Jingwei and Chiang Kaishek to arrest him. Wang Jingwei succeeds Sun, with Chiang as the second most powerful figure.
- May Thirtieth Movement. Popular discontent at the destruction under the rule of the northern cliques, continued foreign recognition of northern governments, and the death of Sun Yatsen, comes to a head when foreign police in Shanghai open fire on Chinese protestors. The protests become a major labour and anti-imperialist force, galvanising the public.
- Anti-Fengtian War. Tensions between the Fengtian clique and the Guominjun erupt into war as both seek the support of the remaining Zhili clique. Wu Peifu aligns with the Fengtian clique, seeking to punish Feng Yuxiang's earlier betrayal.
- Guo Songling, a Fengtian general, leads a three month rebellion against the Fengtian at the encouragment of Feng Yuxiang. He almost succeeds in capturing Mukden before the city's Japanese garrison steps in. Guo is soon captured and executed.
- Anti-Fengtian War. Feng resigns as a warlord and moves to the Soviet Union, while the Guominjun continues to suffer in the war.
- March 18 Massacre. Fighting near Tianjin prompts Japanese warships to assist the Fengtian. Return fire by the Guominjun is viewed as a Boxer Protocol violation, prompting the signatory nations to demand the Taku Forts be demolished. An anti-imperialist protest is violently put down.
- Anti-Fengtian War. With the Guominjun defeated and fleeing, Wu and Zhang Zuolin, leader of the Fengtian clique, jointly occupy Beiping. Unable to decide who should lead, a series of powerless interim governments rules, with Zhang dominating over the decimated Zhili.
- Chiang Kaishek purges communist elements from the KMT military, establishing himself over Wang Jingwei as the most powerful figure in the KMT. He also abruptly dismisses his Soviet advisors and imposes restrictions on communist participation in the top leadership.
- Northern Expedition finally launches in earnest. With northern warlords distracted, the National Revolutionary Army captures northern Hunan, in short order then taking Hubei, Jiangxi and Fujian. They largely defeat the Western Zhili clique under Wu Peifu, as well as forcing Sun Chuanfang to retreat to Nanjing.
- The Fengtian clique reinforces the Zhili clique in Henan, Jiangsu and Anhui, but to no avail. The KMT defeats the remnants of the Zhili clique, and takes Nanjing.
- The Kuomintang-CCP rivalry prompts a split. The left-wing and CCP move the capital from Guangzhou to Wuhan, while the right-wing move it to Nanjing and purge the communists from all areas under their control. The Wuhan government also expels its commnists, but much less violently.
- An attempted communist uprising in Nanchang is crushed.
- Attempts to heal the rift proceed slowly, with Chiang offering to step down. However his military successes reinforce his position, and KMT factions support his leadership in return for regional spheres of influence being maintained.
- The KMT continues its advance northwards, taking the Fengtian clique's headquarters in southern Shandong. They are joined by Feng Yuxiang and the remnants of the Guominjun.
- Having reached the Yellow River, threatening Peking, the KMT is attacked when Japanese troops intervene to prevent war in northeast China. In the process they massacre thousands.
- Shaanxi warlord Yan Xishan abandons his strict neutrality to ally with the KMT and join the march on Peking, capturing it for the Nationalist government.
- Xinjiang warlord Yang Zengxin declares for the Nationalist government.
- Japan finally announces it will recognise the legitimacy of the KMT.
- Frustrated by his failure to stop Chiang's army, the Japanese arrange the assassination of Zhang Zuolin by blowing up his train as he retreats into Manchuria. He is succeeded by his son, Zhang Xueliang.
- Chiang Kaishek is named director of the State Council of the Nationalist Government of China.
- In Manchuria flags of the Fengtian clique are replaced on public buildings with the new Nationalist flag, symbolising the reunification of China under one government for the first time since 1916.
- Right faction: Chiang Kaishek
- Left faction: Wang Jingwei
- New Guangxi Clique: Li Zongren, Bai Chongxi, Huang Shaohong
- Guominjun: Feng Yuxiang
- Shanxi Clique: Yan Xishan
- Fengtian Clique: Zhang Xueliang
- Ma Clique: Ma Fuxiang
- Kwantung Army (Empire of Japan)
- Communist Party of China
- Central Committee faction: Zhou Enlai, Xiang Zhongfa, Li Lisan
- 28 Bolsheviks faction: Wang Ming
- Countryside soviet faction: Mao Zedong, Zhu De
- Sichuan Clique: Liu Wenhui, Liu Xiang, Yang Sen, Deng Xihou, Tian Songyao
- Yunnan Clique: Long Yun
- Tibet: 13th Dalai Lama
- 9th Panchen Lama (in Mongolia)
- Xinjiang: Yang Zengxin
- Mongolia People's Republic
- Tuvan People's Republic
Sample stats are as follows. Essentially there'll be two sets - stats for the factions, cliques, individuals, etc., and stats for each province of the Republic. They'll look something like this:
Leader: Long Yun (Governor of Yunnan, warlord)
Allegiance: Nanjing Government
Popularity: Somewhat High
Units: 3 RI, 2 GI, 1 AV, 1 LA [-55]
Status: Fairly capable soldiers, well organised and well led.
Leader: Ma Fuxiang (Governor of Anhui, warlord in northwest China)
Allegiance: Nanjing Government, Ma Family
Units: 1 RI, 1 GI, 1 AV, 1 LA, 4 MC [-50]
Status: Under-supplied and under-trained, but full of zeal and fearsome in a fight. Plagued by familial infighting.
Units, you'll notice, have some letters after numbers. These correspond to unit types. Just one thought I had to make things a little bit more strategic/interesting. At the moment they include Regular Infantry (RI), Garrison Infantry (GI), Armoured Vehicles (AV), Tanks (TA), Light Artillery (LA), Heavy Artillery (HA) and an incomplete list of special units. Here, the Ma Clique is listed as having Muslim Cavalry (MC). There'll maybe be more.YUNNAN
Control: Yunnan Clique
Resources: Aluminium, lead, zinc, tin, copper, nickel
Income: Poor, mostly underdeveloped
Control: Yunnan Clique
Resources: Forestry, coal
Income: Poor, underdeveloped
For the non-military elements of the game, essentially it's free-form. At present it's slightly less detailed than a BOP, but there's scope for all the usual things you'd do in a BOP at whatever credit prices players wanted to pay to attempt them, as in a govsim. Or at least, that's the thinking. If more detail is needed to facilitate a more govsim-y vibe in parts, I'd welcome feedback on that.
Anyway, that's all we've got so far. Thoughts, feedback, suggestions, critiques, expressions of interest, all welcome. Wouldn't be running this for a little while, not least because I'd have to finish developing the game, but I think it could easily be a riot to play.