16 April: There was a tough fight with Russian forces along the Yalu River. The army landed at Takushan was desperately needed to help in the fight. Eventually the tide turned in Japan’s favor. All that remained at this point was to secure fortified positions along the Yalu. During the fight, Fenshui Pass was secured and fortified by a cavalry force.
The army landed at Pitzuwo was advancing on Port Arthur during this time.
By 18 May, Nanshan Hill and Dalny were secure, a HQ and further artillery landed at Dalny, and forces deployed to begin the daunting task of taking Port Arthur. Things are now in place to further persecute the war in Manchuria.
While the effort to take Port Arthur is underway, the rest of Japanese forces are poised to advance onto Liaoyang, their first large objective. By 10 May, additional forces had been landed (an effort that must not be overlooked and tended to efficiently), and began moving towards Haicheng. Forces from Korea begin their march towards Motien Pass to advance on Liaoyang from that direction. The Russians have dug in a defensive line to cover Liaoyang and have secured Motien Pass with and entrenched Cossack Division.
By 22 May, the battle for Liaoyang is fought. Japan succeeds in breaching the center of Russia’s defenses. For some reason, the AI had the Russians entrenched facing the opposite direction. There may have been a different result if this were not the case. Liaoyang is taken, the army refitted, and the advance towards Mukden began.
By 23 June, Japanese forces are revived and pushing on Mukden. Russian forces seem sparse at this point, though I hold out the possibility of their reinforcement. I am concerned at his point to see that Russian Infantry could now be upgraded to level 2, whereas my troops were only at level one. I could potentially face a more powerful Russian army in the turns to come.
There is good news though! After a bloody affair, Port Arthur had been seized. All that remained was to mop up the remaining Russian forces and this army could be sent north to reinforce the fight up north.
Not long after this, Mukden falls quickly. The Russian Army just did not reinforce it. It seems the AI did not make use of rail movement effectively and the space of Manchuria made their marching detachments ineffective in a timely manner. The game was quickly ended after this, as it was apparent that is was over for Russia.
I hope this gives insight to those who asked for this AAR.
To conclude, let me make the following points. This is generally the historical route taken by Japan during the war and not the only option. Nonetheless, Japan must assemble its army, protect it, and bring it to its objectives. Otherwise, Russia will win. Russia obviously does not have to set and let Japan do this.
The fleet in Vladivostok can be used to be a real nuisance that will either cause harm or draw away Japanese ships to deal with them. The fleet in Port Arthur can be powerful, but the Japanese Navy is slightly superior.
You may not be able to defeat the Japanese fleet, but you can sure make their task difficult and even cause some upsets. Historically, Russia bided its time in order to assemble forces large enough to fight with.
In this scenario, the Russians committing extra forces to the Yalu only allowed me to destroy them between two armies. I used a garrison event to build a defensive line at Liaoyang, but it seems extra forces are still flung at the nearest enemy. This is a frustration in many mods I am working on. It seems the AI will blindly attack, even to great disadvantage, simply because it is the closest target.