Red Sun Over China - possible bugs

  • Hi. This is a fun map, but needs some getting used to. The notes could be extended to explain for example how the communist units like Propaganda and Guerrilla work. At first it's hard to see how the Allies can stop the Axis onslaught but I'm playing a couple of PvP games and we'll see how they go. I'd be interested to hear others' game experiences and strategies but I can't find any posts.

    My question is about builds. I have read the Game Notes and I know there are some player-imposed rules, such as Japan should only build in factories. That's fine.

    1. Is it intended that China cannot build in any of its factories/cities except the capital? If so, then why cannot they at least build infantry in the cities, given they can in the countryside?
    2. The Notes say that China can only build infantry and cavalry in the countryside (eg not artillery) but describes this as though it's an implemented rule. However the engine allows artillery build in the countryside. So is that a bug or is an extra rule for players to self-apply?
    3. The Notes say the Chinese factories are damaged so that players have to pay a premium to build there. However, it seems as though players can simply build nothing in those factories. Is that a bug?

    Also, I'm not sure if the Communist objective is working correctly where they get a bonus if no allied units are on their turf. The bonus seems to be coming through regardless, as far as I can tell.

  • Hey, is @Pulicat still active in the game/community? This is a great map which just needs a few bugs correcting. If not Pulicat then can another Map Guru or Moderator step in please? I suspect it would be easy to polish this into a high quality option. The dynamic of the Japanese invasion and Chinese trying to hold a line is really interesting.

    In addition to the points above about the build rules, there are a few other odds and ends, like Battleships not repairing and the PU benefits of Objectives not matching the Game Notes.

  • Admin

    @mattbarnes I am not volunteering 😉 But if we would like for somebody to take initiative, and if you got a good sense of what the map needs, you could make it easy for a potential volunteer. You could make a list here in this thread, pointing out exactly what issues that need to be looked at.

  • Moderators

    @mattbarnes said in Red Sun Over China - possible bugs:

    Hey, is @Pulicat still active in the game/community?

    Haven't seen him in years. I recall I had a discussion about this game years ago, as I believe communists are way too strong and many muslim territories have been given to the communists, which makes no sense to me, but pullicat defended his choices and said that I was underestimating the extent of communist power and influence. Anyways, seeing so many muslims as communists is the reason I kept away from this map, but good luck.

  • Frostion - I kinda covered most of the changes in my two posts but if someone volunteers to do the fixes then I'm more than happy to add more details and help them as far as I can.

    Cernel - the Communists don't seem very powerful in the PvP games I'm playing but the key dynamic is which Chinese force the Japanese focus on. The other Chinese force might get a bit of breathing space. I don't know the ethnicity/geography well myself - which areas in particular do you think should be muslim? I thought the muslim areas in china are mostly quite western, where the game has neutral territory?

  • Moderators

    @mattbarnes Yeah, I've a big issue with the absence of the muslims, that had small yet fearsome all-cavalry armies. I don't like so much that they are mostly neutrals, but my main problem is that Lanchow is communist, instead of muslim; tho I see that, in the moment the muslims are neutrals (we should rather say "passive hostile"), you don't want to have Lanchow neutral, as that was a main hub of the renforcements coming to the Communists from the Soviet Union; so I'm guessing that's the reason why it is Communist (to represent the Soviet aid through it).
    However, beside Lanchow, I don't know exactly where the muslims stop and the communists start; so I cannot give the exact list of territories for that. Anyways, I guess you cannot go too wrong if you just take Gansu, Qinghai and Ningxia, by formal borders, as the Muslim territories. Actually, Lanchow was the most important city amongst all of those regions (but, again, I don't actually know how much Communist influence there was in Lanchow, if any).
    Another minor problem I have is West Sikang as Nationalist, as they didn't factually control the western half of that province.
    Also, I'm not sure, but i think both Chongqing and Lanzhou didn't have railways during WWII. In general, I'm not sure if the railway system is meant to be historical, and it is based on a publication, but it is just not in accordance with what I have, also for a number of other connections.
    But let me point out three things:

    1. This is still one of the most historically accurate maps of TripleA (well, this is a rather easy achievement).
    2. As I already discussed in the past with him, if pulicat would be here, he would probably disagree with all or most of what I'm saying; so I'm not trying to push changes he would probably refuse and argue against (maybe correctly).
    3. While I believe several things are wrong, I don't really know what they shoul exactly be, instead, so I cannot suggest clear changes to the game.

    Again, good luck.

    Just for info, if anyone is interested in working on this map, this is where you can learn how to mapmake:

    All or most bugs are due to non backward compatible changes to the TripleA program (you might be able to play the map if you can get the old TripleA program it was designed for).

    p.s.: This map would be a good candidate for a "broken" or "incomplete" category, until someone fixes it.

  • The fixes pretty much just relate to production generally and also strat bomb damage. I agree it's probably a case of having been designed for an old version of triplea. Having a young family though, I don't think I'll get a chance to learn to map-make just to fix this. I do hope a volunteer can work with me.

  • BTW, I did just read a bit of the history and it looks like Pulicat has done his research. There was a 1936 book "Red Star Over China" by Edgar Snow (link to a free copy is on Wikipedia) based on camping with the Communists in Yan'an for several months. I guess this map name is based on that book and period. The game has a territory called Yenan which I assume is the same place and is the centre of the Communist forces in the game. From there, I guess they dominated that broad region and the book describes the Reds fighting towards the NW so the game seems to offer a good approximation of the military situation. By October 1936, when the Reds allied withe Nationalists, the book reports that the Reds controlled all north Kansu (Gansu) above the Sian-Lanchow highway (I assume that one of the game's railways is intended to represent this highway). That does not mean Pulicat was branding any particular people as being communist, just that the communists controlled the area at the time. The book reports the Reds recruiting some muslim troops, fighting others and making big efforts to get them onside against the Japanese. I see also in the history that there were several senior muslim generals in the Nationalist forces. The game shows Ningsia as neutral, which I assume is the muslim region spelled as Ningxia above. Gansu also seems to be neutral in the game, although there was a chinese communist "soviet" established in the eastern part of that region. The book says that the First Front Red Army was based in Yu Wang Pao in southern Ninghsia (another spelling!) at the time. For me, the game seems like a good representation of a narrow period in history and I recommend reading the book!

  • And I really really hope someone helps fix the game. I just found that bombers can "damage" the countryside, stopping the Nationalists placing any units at all! Ahhhhh!!!!!

  • Moderators

    @mattbarnes said in Red Sun Over China - possible bugs:

    The game has a territory called Yenan which I assume is the same place and is the centre of the Communist forces in the game.

    Of course, no problem for Yenan, but, right under it, Sian, also known as Changan, and nowadays known as Xi'an, as far as I know, should instead be a Nationalist territory.
    However, again, I don't really know what was the Communist influence in Sian at the end of 1937, when I assume the game is set, but I would need to be convinced about accepting it as the most important (highest production) Communist territory, as what I know is that the Communists were only in Yenan, plus I guess some surrounding territories, while neither of the two circles/cities there in the map should be Communist, with "Sian" that should be Nationalist and "Lanchow" that should be Muslim, thus Nationalist, as well, but I don't actually know if something happened there, after the Sian incident, that made Sian and the couple territories south of it becoming Communist, at this point.

    Also, I would remove the "merely decorational" flag, as I don't see the point of showing a capital that doesn't exist.

  • Moderators

    @cernel Side note, in my original WWII sources, from 1940 to 1945, "Yenan" is called "Fushih", but maybe the name already changed, at that point, and just what I have was outdated.

    I found this map, that is what I use and used to know as being Communist:

    Thus when I saw so much more assigned to the Communists in this map I was very perplexed about its historicity and never understood where that came from, but I am not sure it is wrong, I don't know (and pulicat believes it is right, but we didn't talk so much, and he didn't convince me specifically).

    I was just saying that is the reason I never played (or tried to play) this map.

  • @cernel Yeah, I think the Red Star book that Pulicat was leaning on was quite communist-favouring and gave the impression of them dominating a wider region. Reading around the history, the muslim Ma clique in the NW remained Nationalist and most Soviet aid to China went to the Nationalists, who reoccupied Xian after the Incident. However, it's undeniable that the communists were very influencial in that period so maybe Pulicat had to find a way within the triplea engine to ensure they get enough game resources. Since the game has the Chinese allied with each other, maybe the "communists" can just be seen as "the northern chinese forces", incorporating Ma troops, communists and other armies in that area?

    It remains a fascinating and highly playable game, all the better for the dynamic of having to manage the northern forces separately and play the guerrilla war. I don't think we should let some historical liberties and poor labelling detract from that fun.

  • Admin

    @mattbarnes I've played this map several times years ago. The reason for the factories not working might be that they were damaged at the beginning of the game. With one of the engine updates this might cause the problem. Back at the time of this map lots of features where not available.
    The main reason I stopped playing was the huge inbalancy towards Japan and as pulicat had vanished for some time nobody to was willing to fix that together with me.

  • Admin

    Well, I'll try to take a look at the map to see if I think it has potential and is worth fixing up. Let's try to use the first post of this thread to collect all the current known problems in detail and how to reproduce them so if I or someone else decides to fix it up then they can jump right in.

  • Admin

    @redrum I don't remember all the errors, but I do remember some user enforced rules which could be coded with todays engine:

    • Cities working as transporting hubs: can move from one adjacent territory of the city to (any) other adjacent one (through the city) for only one movement point if your side controls the city

    • All the building restrictions

  • If this map is getting touched up, it'd be nice if the railroads got implemented in a more reasonable fashion. As it stands, the trains are boats that move through two off map territories to get to their destination.

  • Admin

    @erik542 Yeah I remember moving trains in this being very undesirable.

  • As requested by @redrum, here's a short list of what I think are bugs:

    • nationalists cant build in their factories (except the capital)
    • nationalist factories are supposed to start damaged and require a premium to repair but this isn't functioning; neither the nationalists nor japan (after capture) can repair/use them
    • nationalists can build in the countryside but japan can "damage" the countryside with strat bombing, which is probably not intended
    • 2 hit battleships fail to repair
    • communists seem to get "no allies in my territory" bonus regardless of where allies are
    • the trains don't seem to be captured when the city is captured; they otherwise seem to operate as described
    • nationalists are supposed to only be able to make infantry and cavalry in the countryside but the engine allows anything to be built
    • the PUV bonuses for Objectives are not per the Notes (I'm not sure if the Notes or the Game are the intention)
    • there are a few rules listed in the Notes which players are supposed to self-impose; it would be neater if these can be built into the game

  • And

    • odd turn order wrt Thailand's turn being interwoven with Japan's (unless that is deliberate?)

  • @mattbarnes

    Thailand's turn order is deliberate but I think unnecessary.