Dear readers, fellow gamers,
We hope you are all well and safe! This DD will take us more into gamplay as we explore the Shanghai Insurrection as we are modelling it in RoWS. As usual, pictures, map, icons and texts are all work in progress and may change over the course of development. Apologies as well for the bits here and there which still appear in French! Now, grab your pistol and prepare your revolutionary slogans as we dive into 1926-1927 Shanghai!
If you remember the previous DD, you were prompted with a choice of characters. Here we chose to go with Wang Shouhua.
All characters should be welcomed with a small introduction dialogue regarding their objectives mission in Shanghai. Unfortunately, Wang has none yet. We show you here below some of Niu Yongjian’s.
Once you are done with this small introduction, the real deal can start! The map of Shanghai will be your playground. We now return to Wang Shouhua, who is tasked with organising labour unions and prepare for an insurrection!
Icons and tools
You will have notice a number of icons on the top and left-hand side of the screen.
These should be somewhat familiar to you as they were already floated around in the [GAME] Organisations and your tools to use them DD. A new one actually joined the lot so a reminder about what is behind each of these symbols should be useful:
- The heart represents your Energy. Energy simply depicts the amount of time you have for actions. This will be the most limited resource and one use in every situation: nothing can be undertaken if you are not present to do it (or at least coordinate it),
- The silver yuan coin represents your Resources, mostly your financial resources. Very few things are free in real life and you need to pay to get them. Should your character or faction be rich enough, money should not be a problem,
- The roster stands for your Influence, this immaterial power that lead others to do your bidding,
- Last but not least, the newcomer. Currently depicted with a clenched fist, this number indicates you how many Partisans you have. Partisans, the faceless-but-nonetheless-crucial working hands of the revolution, are needed for variety of actions.
The below buttons should however new to you. They are quick links to a number of important infos and/or actions, areas etc.
The first icon with your portrait gives you access to information regarding your character: name, biography, your traits, resources as well as the positions you hold. Positions will come with benefits and drawbacks attached.
The second icon is still under construction but will be your gateway to the various factions represented in Rise of the White Sun. Faction names will be listed here together with a small description, their political objectives / preferrences as well as the important characters who are attached to them.
More on this in a future DD.
The third button lists all the important characters you need to know about. This tool will let you select the other key players in your scenario. You can seen on the first screen some general information and click on a specific character to see how much you know about them. Some spying or at least intelligence gathering will be needed to discover the true extent of their partisans, wealth and the number of small arms in their possession.
This fourth button will appear only in multiplayer games. This is the Conversations function! Clicking on it will give you access to a number of communication channels you can use. Among these, you will find: faction and organisation channels as well as private communication with a specific player characer.
This fifth icon will let you access the Forces under your command. This panel lists all units over which you have some influence. We will not get into details here as war, combat, units etc. will be addressed in a future DD.
The ultimate button, representing China, will lead you to the general map of China. A lot of things will happen there but this too will be presented in a subsequent DD!
This concludes this little tour of icons and tools which will be part of your game. Now moving on back to Shanghai!
Interacting with Shanghai
The « Queen of the Orient » awaits you and your insurrection! As you can see, the map is dotted with some icons which represent locations / organisations you can interact with. The house icons (which will change at some point) are used to represent a complete neighbourhood of Chinese Shanghai:
- Zhabei in the North,
- Nandao in the South,
- Pudong in the East.
Let us explore Pudong for the example.
Pudong is the slowly developing part of Chinese Shanghai located on the other side of the Huangpu river. With sparse warehouses, factories and docks, the region is mostly agricultural and has a low political vitality. Our character being alien to this neighbourhood, our relations are set to zero. We only have one action available to us: campaign. Unfortunately for us, Pudong does not seem responsive to our revolutionary zeal.
Achieving something here will require a lot of time, resources and partisans. But as you build up your relations with a location, new actions appear. Let us divert our attention from Pudong to a place which is more in line with the communist thought: the University of Shanghai.
Well, we certainely have slightly better relations with the students than the citizens of Pudong! And they are politically active, with a vitaly of 55%. You can also see, on the bottom part of the left panel, that some thresholds are shown. Once reached, you unlock new actions – paving the way for your insurrection.
Workers will also be a key factor in a successful uprising, in places like the Nagai Wata Company Cotton Mills or the British-American Tobacco Company. As you can see from the below screen, once you can radicalise the workers enough, you will gain the ability to recruit partisans and challenge the Green Gang foremen. If your control is sufficiently asserted, a factory can become the seat of one of your Workers’ Militias. Hitting a level of 100% in your relation with this factory will enable you to count on them for the uprising.
But partisans without arms will not be very useful to your revolution as they will be an easy prey for the warlord’s policemen and soldiers. Securing a sufficient supply of guns will be vital to your success. How about… taking them from the police? As in reality, you will be able to buy guns from the cop or, should you be powerful enough, launch a raid on a Chinese police precinct.
The capture of Shanghai was conducted by both the Guomindang and the CCP, though strategies were diverging. They nonetheless had to coordinate their actions. The GMD Jiangsu Party Affairs Committee was the entity in charge of directing the insurrection and corruption effort. It is represented in-game and offers a nice array of actions as you build up you influence on it.
We could go on describing some more locations / organisations but you probably got the gist of it! Playing the turn and building up, you will eventually reach a moment where you do not have enough of the resources to do anything else. You will hit the « Next turn » button and… discover whether something happened while you were busy doing something.
For Rise of the White Sun, we opted for a simulaneous turn-based model, meaning you and your opponents play at the same time and not one after another. This works very well in creating suspense and forcing you to think two steps ahead, trying to outsmart your opponents by guessing their plans.
We will definitely help you a bit. Even at a low level of intelligence, you will get reports of the most visible (or least discreet) actions undertaken by other characters. You will want to start tailing your opponents to know more about their plans!
We hope this new contact with the game made you want to play it! We will stop this DD here as it is getting quite long and more DDs will come as development progresses. In the meantime, we wish you a nice day / evening / night.
Stay tuned for more DD!