Dear readers, fellow gamers,
We hope you are all well and ready for a new DD! This time, we would like to address a key feature of Rise of the White Sun: party factions!
Strength in unity
In RoWS, you play as member of the Zhongguo Guomindang party with your own goals and ambitions. You will quickly come to realise that you cannot do much on your own. Help from others members, if possible like-minded, will be necessary to achieve your goals. This is where factions come into play.
A faction can roughly be defined as a group of persons gathered around common interests or ideas (to a certain extent) and actively defending/promoting said interests/ideas.
Among RoWS’s ambitions is our will to depict factional struggle in the GMD to impose party line, define major policies, control resources and seize key positions in the party.
Gameplay mechanisms for factions are still in design phase as we speak. However, we went into history books to try and understand what the main factions were in the Guomindang in the 1920s.
A snapshot of the factions in 1920
Since you will start the game in 1920, we are proud to introduce to you the existing factions at this start date!
The Guomindang transitioned from a « suit-and-tie » party to a Leninist party in January 1924. We have good information on its structure and factions past this date. Unfortunately, the information is rather scarce on these topics prior to this date. As a result, most of the below factions are our interpretation of what factions in 1920 would have been. Some factions are mentioned in plain letters in some sources, we marked them with an *.
The Parliamentary Faction gathers the GMD members who were elected to the Chinese National Assembly in 1912-1913. Disbanded once by Yuan Shikai in 1914, it reconvened in 1916 under the pretext that its 3-year term had been suspended and had not expired. In February 1917, the Parliament was disbanded one more time during the attempted Manchu Restoration by Zhang Xun. 130 membres (mostly GMD) immediately fled to Guangzhou in an extraordinary session to support Sun’s rival government in the south; 120 followed shortly after. In 1919, with the schemes of Lu Rongting’s Guangxi Clique becoming openly threatening, it was decided to move the Parliament to Kunming and later to Chongqing, Yunnan under Tang Jiyao’s protection. In our interpretation, the Parliamentarians:
- Support legalism and constitutionalism,
- Tend to favour compromise over deadset opposition,
- Support a peaceful reunification of China, though everybody knows this is wishful thinking.
Parliamentary Faction: 1920 key characters
- WU Chaoshu (until mid-1921)
In the 1910s and early 1920s, there was quite a strong support, emerging from anarchism, for transforming China from the traditional centralised state to a federation of autonomous provinces. Local warlords found this option particularly interesting as this would preserve their fiefdoms while maintaining a minimal central government. Regionalism was also present within the GMD, notably clashing with Sun’s point of view. We decided that this faction would gather people truly supporting federalism and those who were more interested in provincial autonomy.
Regionalist Faction: 1920 key characters
- CHEN Jiongming (Warlord of Guangdong)
- XU Chongzhi
- CHEN Jitang
- TAN Yankai
The Yunnan Clique*
TANG Jiyao, master of Yunnan after the death of CAI E in 1916, was known for his pro-Sun Yat-sen policies as well as for his support to federalism. He was instrumental in establishing the Constitutional Protection Movement in 1917 and shielding Sun. A very influential member of GMD since he controlled Yunnan and a private army, TANG Jiyao is simply too important to be just another member of the Regionalist Faction. We decided to have them as a specific Faction. The Yunnan Clique will be present both as an internal GMD faction and on the map of China as an independant Warlord.
Yunnan Clique: 1920 key characters
- TANG Jiyao (Warlord of Yunnan)
- LONG Yun
- HE Ruoyu
The Prince Group*
The « Prince Group » (太子派, Taizipai) gathered around SUN Fo, the only son of SUN Yat-sen, after he was appointed Mayor of Guangzhou by his father in late 1920. This group, comprised of people with a Western education, aimed at modernising China both economically and administratively. From a game perspective, we consider them to be in favour of a cooperation with the West and Japan and with strong connections to the bourgeoisie and compradors.
Prince Group: 1920 key figures
- SUN Fo
- WU Chaoshu (from mid-1921 onward)
- FU Bingchang
The Revolutionary Faction
The Revolutionary Faction was actually comprised of the group of highly motivated people around SUN Yat-sen (who would have been the informal leader). Their objectives were 1) to reunite China by force and 2) to radically and rapidly implement the Three Principles of the People (Welfare, Democracy, Nationalism) in the Chinese society. In RoWS, this faction opposes other factions/members in the party who are either in favour of a more gradual process or supporting a totally different plan.
Revolutionary Faction: 1920 key characters
- SUN Yat-sen
- HU Hanmin
- LIAO Zhongkai
- WANG Jingwei
- CHIANG Kai-shek (JIANG Jieshi)
Militarists and Bureaucrats
This faction recruits, despite what its name implies, people regardless of their background. There is only one thing that set them apart from other factions: they have no common goal except the preservation of their individual power. Yes, this faction is nothing more than a mere collection of personal interests and ambitions which will do everything to block any change that would reduce their power. These conservatives may seem disunited and harmless but one should never underestimate those who have nothing to lose to protect themselves…
Militarists and Bureaucrats: 1920 key characters
- HE Long
In any political formation, there are always some who refuse to align on any line, any leader, any faction. They prefer to have free reins to champion the ideas they favour and will support whoever is currently promoting these. We assumed that any party, in this case the GMD, would have labelled them as Independents, and we did put them in the eponymous faction. In our view, this faction would be special (Independants would not vote together for instance) and behave differently: however, for the time being, we are still reflecting on what would be their special game mechanics.
This marks the end of the presentation of the 1920 factions. We have more about them in storage on their political positioning which we will explore with the next DD!
Stay tuned for more info!