|Available only with the Waking the Tiger DLC enabled.|
A Border War is a small scale conflict. A way to acquire a State without going through the dangers of full scale warfare. It is primarily focused on China and it's communist/nationalist conflict. And for Communist China, in particular, it is the early-game gameplan. As it is largely decision and event driven, the rules can be a bit confusing.
It goes through a number of phases: The decision to cause a border incident, the decision to commit to combat, the combat, the optional decisions to escalate the conflict, and the result. It is limited to two parties: Aggressor and Defender (the decider and the target of the decision).
Cause an Incident
A border conflict starts with the appearance of a decision to create a border incident. It requires finding the right parties to conflict over. If multiple countries are eligible targets, there will be one decision for each of them.
This decision is visible if:
- No other Border Conflict has been initiated between the two parties
- Neither party is in the same Faction or a subject of the other
- The Decider has the Flag CHI_institute_cross_border_raids and neither Aggressor nor Defender are the Leader of China. (Comment: Warlord goes opposition can border war all other warlords (PRC counted as warlord here)
- The Decider has the Flag CHI_provoke_border_clashes and the target is the leader of China (Comment: Warlord has completed focus to start shit against Leader of China)
- The Target has the Flag CHI_provoke_border_clashes and the decider is the leader of China (Comment: Leader of China can kind of fight back)
- The Decider has finished the focus CHI_anti_opposition_campaigns and both sides picked focuses to support in the Nationalist/Communist Conflict
- The Decider is Communist China and the target cooperates with the Nationalists
- The Target is any of the Chinese Factions
- The Decider is any of the Chinese Factions
- OR playing Japan and having a direct border with Soviet Union
This decision is available if the aggressor:
- fully owns and controls a source state
- has at least 1 division in the source state
- does not have a active Border Conflict anywhere else
- does not have a NAP with the Defender
The Decision costs 100 PP and runs for 30 days. Upon taking the decision, a random Defender State without a active border conflict is chosen. Then a random neighboring attacker State is also chosen. The decision can not be taken again for 180 days (state and Faction specific lockouts also exist). The defender is informed and both the defender and aggressor have the 30 days to bring troops in the states into position.
After the initial warning timeout has run it's course, the attacker has 30 days to decide to actually commit to the conflict. If he does, combat starts instantly. This can be used to prepare more forces. Or to reconsider, if the defenders forces or global situation no longer supports a conflict. However if the timer runs out, the Aggressor loses another 100 PP.
After the incident has been created and the conflict committed to, a combat will start:
- 6 Divisions from both states are picked and moved into a separate army. This army is given a random Leader from the countries pool. These two Armies then enter combat.
- Aside from moving divisions out of the State, there seems to be no way to control which divisions are picked and the selection seems to be entirely random. This is outside of mod-able code.
- Equally the leader is randomly picked from across the country pool. This can include any Generals or Field Marshals currently in action or duty at another front. No leader ability can be used.
- The armies are locked and neither side can add or remove divisions, put them under a field marshal or otherwise affect them until the conflict is over.
- The combat has a width of 80 and all units start in reserve. Which can result in one or both sides having 0 divisions actively fighting, dealing no damage to each other.
- Selected Divisions that are not at the border first have to move there, before they are placed in reserve and can then join. This mostly applies to selected divisions that were on garrison duty.
- If not enough divisions are in the State, additional units will be drawn from across the country. These units still have to first move there.
- Divisions that dropped out due to Organisation loss will move away to recover to full, then rejoin the fight as reserve.
- The combat ignores all terrain and fortification modifiers.
- While Entrenchment is ignored, any Planning bonus is not.
- If nobody wins the conflict within 360 days, the conflict is declared a draw
Both sides can decide to escalate the conflict. There is a 45 day cool-down between those options
The first escalation costs 200 PP, increases the width to 100 and gives both sides a +15% bonus.
The second escalation turns this into a full blown war after 15 days, canceling the border conflict and the combat.
Both sides can also decide to back out of the conflict, causing a instant win for the other side.
If the attacker won, he gains 100 PP and control of the State. On the last state, the target is instead annexed.
If the defender won, he gains 150 PP, 30 Army XP, and a Tech bonus of 100% to 1 land doctrine. The attacker loses 150 PP instead.
If the conflict is canceled (like both sides starting war, joining the same faction or it timing out) both sides gain 30 Army XP and 50 PP.
- It is always 6 divisions that are picked, regardless of width. Accordingly it can help to design and encourage the picking of high width divisions.
- The experience gain to manpower loss ratio for Border wars is exceptionally good, leading to a handful of extremely skilled Division which can be used for later attacks.
- While terrain, entrenchment and other defensive modifiers are ignored, there is still a considerable advantage for the defender due to Defense tending to be higher then Breakthrough.
- The defender can win by outlasting the enemy for the entire 360 days.
- The attacker has to win by actually crushing the enemy with enough damage. But failing that, a draw is preferable over a defeat.
- While leader abilities can not be used during the conflict, they can be chosen just before it and still should have effect.
- As all units start in Reserve, the reinforcement score is extremely important
- The AI is also unable to manipulate the divisions chosen for the combat and bring units into play. Often their garrison Cavalry Divisions are drawn into the combat. However it just having a manned frontline against the player will drastically improve the expected enemy troop quality.
- The selection of which units join the fight can not be affected in any known way.
- The decisions and results however are script driven and thus fully mod-able.
- It is worth noting that the strait crossing penalties do still apply, as they were likely not considered for mainland china.