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Chapter 448- Using Your Plan Against You
"Lord, I have a plan."
Black Snake was not willing to fail just like this; he had thought of a great plan.
"In the South of Zhaoqing Prefecture, there's a territory known as Wulong County. Our Black Snake Guards has basically infiltrated it. I advise us to temporarily ally with them and direct our troops directly behind the allied army."
When Ouyang Shuo heard this suggestion, he looked at Black Snake curiously, ‘Do you have confidence?"
Forming an alliance was okay. They only feared that the alliance would fail and alert the enemy instead. Along with the fall of Tianshuang County, the Shanhai Alliance-Tianshuang Alliance had also fallen.
In Zhaoqing Prefecture, Shanhai City was now alone without allies.
"I'm willing to give the military order."
"Great, I'll give you two days."
With such a chance, Ouyang Shuo was willing to gamble. Although Black Snake might look brutish, he was exceedingly precise in his actions. Since he dared to speak so confidently, no problems would occur.
8th month 10th day, the army of the Nanjiang Governor-General House started to act.
From Shanhai City, three thousand Divine Martial Guards rushed to Behai Harbor under the leadership of Wang Feng and Zhao Kuo. They gathered and left along with the Beihai Squadron 1st division, heading toward Jiaozhou Bay to attack Jade Buddha County.
The entire journey was close to four thousand nautical miles, requiring ten days of travel.
Qiongzhou Prefecture, Sun Bin led the 1st division of the Tiger Legion to continue to take charge of Qiongzhou, suppressing the local rebellion forces. The 2nd and 4th divisions rushed to Qiongzhou House. They immediately took a boat over the Qiongzhou Strait onto Leizhou Prefecture, heading for Zhaoqing Prefecture.
The entire journey exceeded two thousand kilometers. Even if they rushed, it would still take them twenty days. With that, one could see how difficult and vexing it was to fight a war without teleportation formations.
Moving two divisions this time, apart from increasing the help in Zhaoqing Prefecture, also held another meaning.
The operation in Qiongzhou Prefecture to clear out the opposition had basically reached its end. To continue leaving the Tiger Legion in Qiongzhou was a huge waste.
Ouyang Shuo was planning to let Fan Lihua lead the 1st division and stay in Qiongzhou, basically ensuring its safety. One must not forget that Yashan Squadron was expanding, and the future Qiongzhou Prefecture military would mainly be composed of navy.
On the island, with one division and also the Garrison Division, they would have more than enough troops.
Taking the chance, Ouyang Shuo wanted to slowly shift the Tiger Legion to the Lingnan Battlefield. The next step, be it to attack Chiyou City or Taiping Country, would require a huge army.
Apart from that, after they took down Zhaoqing, the east region would similarly need large amounts of troops.
At the same time, the 1st division of the Yashan Squadron set off from the South Mountain Harbor to meet with the Beihai Squadron 1st division to head for Jiaozhou Bay.
This was the first time both squadrons had fought together; it would be good training.
The only difference would be the city protection division.
The moment the Guards Division gathered up, they received another military order to temporarily remain in their camp.
Even if it was for sneak attacking the back of the alliance army, Ouyang Shuo still would not push both the 2nd and 4th division of the Tiger Legion up. If the three divisions were in the back lines and did not receive enough grain, the outcome would be catastrophic.
Such an important task was something only a trump card force like the Guards Division could handle. Ouyang Shuo believed that even without a stable grain supply, they could solve that particular problem themselves.
As they say, before the soldiers move, grain would move first.
The supply of the Combat Logistics Department never stopped. Various counties and Houses each built military granaries and amassed large amounts of grain, with the local city protection forces protecting it.
Hence, no matter the location of the army, they could still receive sufficient logistical supplies.
This also helped to save up a lot of manpower.
As the Battle of Zhaoqing opened up, under the coordination of the Combat Logistics Department, large quantities of grain were transported to the front lines.
Now that the situation had changed and more troops would be thrown in, the initial amount they calculated was not enough. Hence, the Combat Logistics Department started a new round of grain transportation.
Director Zhu Hongliang personally stood watch in Leizhou Prefecture to monitor the grain transportation.
Apart from grain, there were weapons, equipments, arrows, siege weapons, and the like. Hence, the Combat Logistics Department had set up a main arsenal in every prefecture and one in each House and county.
The Shanhai City weapons workshop did not provide normal bolts and arrows. Instead, the various weapons workshop in each prefecture would craft them. After a huge battle, they would use up around a hundred thousand bolts and arrows.
If the war lasted for an extended period of time, the military would use up millions of arrows. If they solely relied on the supply of Shanhai City, the transportation costs alone would account for more than the costs of the bolts and arrows themselves.
Be it grain or logistical supplies, they all used up actual gold. Other territories could not truly understand the consumption of funds during a war.
Zhu Hongliang's planning and logistical structure gained Ouyang Shuo's praise.
Combat logistics was the lifeline of the war.
Undoubtedly, Ouyang Shuo felt pleased about this combat logistics director.
In the future, the military works in Shanhai City would only craft high end equipment like Mingguang Armor and Buren Armor. As for other items like the horse lance and arrows, the other workshops would complete them.
Apart from considering the element of craftsmen, iron and resource supply posed another problem.
In this area, Gaia had made the situation life like. Although a mine might have a huge capacity, the workers would have difficulty mining the deeper they dug.
With the mining standards of olden times, they could only mine a small portion of the ores. Those ores deeper in, if they tried to mine, they could lose of lives.
The two iron mines in the west of Shanhai City, the earliest one found at the village stages, had already been used up. They could not mine it anymore.
The second mine already approached its limits.
In this one and a half year span, Shanhai City had crafted a massive quantity of weapons and equipment. Solely the usage of iron and ores was shocking. Apart from that, the steel making factory was also a huge client for iron.
Ouyang Shuo found experts to calculate the depletion rate. The supply of mines in the entire Lianzhou Prefecture would only last for another one and a half years at their current consumption rate.
In one and a half years, Shanhai City would face an awkward situation of possessing no usable iron.
When he received the news, Ouyang Shuo instantly panicked.
He did not expect a new round of resource crisis to appear for the territory so quickly after the grain crisis.
In his last life, Ouyang Shuo was just an adventure gamemode player after all. Although he had some impression of the grain crisis, he did not pay much attention to the iron prices.
He did not expect that, so he nearly commited a grave mistake.
Luckily, he realized the problem soon enough and there was still enough time.
If Shanhai City did not have such a monstrous consumption rate of iron, this problem would not have surfaced so early. At that time, it would really be too late.
Ouyang Shuo was also a decisive person. He immediately ordered the local mines to slow down their mining rate by half to ensure that they had enough backup iron supply.
After all, to transport iron from other places was a hugely expensive matter. This transportation was a much more complicated than moving grain.
Slowing the mining speed only mitigated the problem on the surface.
Ouyang Shuo commanded all the prefectures to investigate their mines and report to the Combat Logistics Department.
The good news was that in Qiongzhou and Leizhou Prefecture, they had over ten large-sized iron mines.
Ouyang Shuo immediately ordered that of the iron mined from these two prefectures, apart from the ore they needed for their own consumption, they must transport more than half to Shanhai City.
Hence, Ouyang Shuo also specifically instructed the shipyard to build transport ships. Compared to land transportation, sea transport was more faster and cheaper.
With that, he temporarily solved the iron shortage problem.
Even so, Ouyang Shuo did not dare to grow careless.
It was foreseeable that as the territory expanded, the scale of the army would increase, and their need for equipment would increase. At the same time, their consumption of iron would only grow greater and greater.
Apart from that, one had to mention Research Institute No. 7.
The number of experts there had expanded to over a hundred people. After they built the steel making factory, the steel research had progressed quickly.
In the future, the creation of guns, cannons, and even steel warships were possible, or even a necessary. In such a scenario, the need for iron would turn into a huge, bottomless pit.
Ouyang Shuo could not be sure that the prefectures he took over in the future would have plentiful iron supplies. Hence, iron importation became necessary.
In the late game, when territories realize this problem, it would be too late.
Shanhai City had to remain a step ahead of them.
Ouyang Shuo immediately instructed the Financial Department to grant the Combat Logistics Department a sum of money every month to buy iron on the market. At the same time, they would sign iron purchasing agreements with the various Chamber of Commerce.
From now on, Shanhai City would start to amass iron.
Ouyang Shuo also commanded them to build ten large-sized iron storages on the east of Shanhai City.
Purchasing iron did not cost a small amount. On the market, a unit of iron ore cost 120 copper, more than six times the price of grain.
If they acquired iron on a large scale, they would place a huge burden on the territory’s finances.
Even so, Ouyang Shuo needed to grit his teeth and stick to this strategy.
Apart from importing iron, there was another method—pillaging. In the South Ocean, there was a huge landmass known as Australia.
In reality, it was a massive iron exporter.
In the game, with the strict settings of Gaia, it naturally would be the same. As long as he occupied Australia, the entire territory would not face iron supply problems.
Unfortunately, the current Shanhai City was too small, and they could not start a country war.
One must know that with the game map having ten times the area of reality, Australia had reached a colossal size.
At the very least, it would not be a barbarian land like Qiongzhou Island.
To attack it posed a high level of difficult.
During the mid-game stages, they could probably think about iron trade deals. Naturally, the end goal was to take over Australia entirely.
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