Xibei San Ma
Canadian role in the WW2 is often underappreciated by such military power houses as USA and Russia. Historically, Canada played an important role in many military operations during the war and were along with the United Kingdom part of the biggest military operation in history - Operation Overlord (the D-Day). Hearts of Iron 2 allows you to play as Canada in a very uninhibited way. You can either pursue a historical Santa's little helper strategy and assist the UK/US invasions or become a military power house on your own. This guide will explain how to achieve the latter. Canada has many disadvantages, but it also has some obvious advantages in the game.
- Isolation from the actual war, separated by an ocean.
- Huge number of allies.
- Virtually no way of running out of resources.
- Freedom of action
- Very few men available
- Low IC in the beginning
- No army
- No NAVY
- Nothing to fight with in general
- Only two research team slots at start
You will most of the time depend on the UK to do the NAVY fighting for you as well as giving you basic land support, but everything else, such as taking enemy provinces, is up to you.
The idea here is to make Canada a new world aggressor. Unrealistic, but fun. The final goal is: conquest of the USA. This can and has been done (in my case by late 1945).
Use all your menpower to make new divisions, never reinforce old ones (unless you feel very generous)
In the Beginning
You start your game slowly. Nothing is happening or will happen for a LONG while, so stock up on coke and pizza pockets. With proper managing, you should have about 45 or so ICs available in total. You start with one single division and six transports, each with a fancy name. Reinforce your single division and transfer it to Halifax, this is going to be your main port. Start making one infantry division. Make it two if you can. For the next 3 or so years, you should be making 1-2 divisions constantly, so by about 1938 or so you should have at least 10 divisions ready. Play around with your minister to make the most output. Don't bother with manpower ministry, they add almost nothing. One of the ministers add +15% from foreign ICs. Remember him because you will use him after your first successful conquest. It also helps to make some basic armor. I usually stick with light armor at first, it's fast and costs cheap. Make two or preferably 3 tanks (once again by 1938).
Infantry and armor and industry are your key research areas. Start with 1 infantry research and 1 industry. Increase your manpower and ICs in industry and make your infatry more advanced. You will also need marines, so as soon as you can, research that area as well. Don't bother with any of the artilleries, they only waste time/money in the beginning. Do research tanks however. Tanks are your key assault weaponry and almost never need reinforcement due to their low softness. Later on you will also need mountain divisions, but don't bother with these before early 1940s. Navy/air are completely useless. All your research will depend on the blueprints you receive from UK allies. As a matter of fact, always check the UK for what they have. Normally they give you blueprints for free, but if they don't, buy it off them before researching. This way you will have a very up to date and advanced infantry by the time the war starts.
You are not going to be a nice guy here. We are making a Canadian empire, so it requires a lot of bloodshed. Here's a little thing about Canada, when you declare war on anyone, nobody gives a damn and you get instant support from the UK and everyone in the allies. Isn't that fun? You get to be a spoiled child and be supported by powerful parents, in a sense. The only thing is you can only declare war when your democracy goes down quite a few points (2 I believe). So by 1938 you should have enough authoritarianism to be able to declare war with about 9% dissent growth. Dissent won't matter much though since you only have few IC anyway. So now who do you attack? I went with Spain as soon as the civil war was finished just because they were weak and had no allies. To attack Spain, transfer all the division you made to the south of France (Bordeaux I believe) and from there, as soon as you ready, declare war. Now here's an important part: advance quickly before they can secure their borders and try to take Madrid fast. As soon as you take Madrid and some other key provinces, hold your positions because technically speaking, Spain has about 2x more divisions than you do and you'll need that French/English support that is about to come and help you. UK/France normally finishes off the rest of Spanish resistance and you can then safely annex the country. This is a good time to change your ministers to get as much foreign IC bonus as possible. Don't worry about lacking resources that you might now have. UK will most likely provide you with all you need. When this is done, congratulations, you now have Spain as your new province. Let's call it Spaingary.
Edit: This strategy does not work in 1.3, as all of the territories you seize will be taken by France or Britain when you near Gibraltar, and as such you are unable to annex Spain. It is also nigh-impossible to make an amphibious landing since the only provinces in range of your transports are Seville and the other coastal province next to Portugal, and both or these are heavily defended, including by a naval force which can tear your fleet to shreds before Britain or France gets involved. The only successful route I've found is to try and make an amphibious landing on one of the Portuguese coasts with everything you have, and hope that the British navy will be able to keep your supply convoys and transports safe against the rather formidable Portuguese fleet. However, Portugal's home defences are, quite frankly, pushovers, as long as you've kept up-to-date with your infantry research. You may have to reload a few times to succeed in this. However, once you have succeeded, you have a solid base to assault Spain and take many of its VP provinces and major ports very quickly.
But why stop now? What's this to your left? Yes, Portugal...and oh, look at that. They have almost no army. TAKE THEM! Extra 15 or so ICs won't hurt. Let's call this Portugec. Bring your family for vacation, see Lissabon, nice place. By now you should be about 55 or so in your ICs and can start making more divisions/do more research (extra team should be available). I would do as follows:
- Team for research in industry
- Team for infatry/marines/land doctrines
- Team for armor
What's next? Let's go South!
Look at South America. You see those green lushes filled with riches and industry? Well, let's get them and turn them into bilingual(or trilingual) empire of Canada! Start with Mexico. Why Mexico?
- It gives an extra entrance to USA
- It has a UK province next to it, so you can either retreat there if something goes bad or you can wait for UK support.
Land in Belize and strike from there. It helps a lot if you have marines by then. Marines will definitely cut through most mexicans like hot knife through mexican butter. Even though Mexico might have about 10 divisions by then, you shouldn't have much trouble taking it since they're easy to trap and lack that quality your troops have thanks to the UK blueprints. Annex Mexico and wait. USA will probably cancel non-aggression pact with you, but won't do anything else. They can't declare war on you and do anythign else for that matter. Try to get rid of that annoying dissent and strike the next country to the south (forgot what it is, but there's about 5 countries between Mexico and Panama, each with a lot of IC, total of about 35). The idea here is to slowly advance South, taking those Central American provinces and increasing your IC. As your IC increases, you can make more divisions. If you never bothered to reinforce your divisions, you should have enough manpower to produce about 3-4 divisions at once, one of which should be armor.
When you're down to Panama (which should be around 1939 or so). Germany will most likely DOW everyone and start cutting down into France. It is imperative that you reinforce your Spangary position in the North with at least 9 divisions so that they don't get through. Put them in some mountain region where their armor won't harm you and you'll be fine. With 9 divisions gone, you might have trouble advancing further in the South, but when you've got about 10-15 divisions extra, 3 of which are armor, strike futher, preferably at Brazil. Brazil may cause a problem since it's huge and has a lot of army, but it's only fun to have such a challenge. I won't spoil how to fight them best, there are different strategies, but let me stress this: marines kick ass.
You should now reach a point where you have more ICs than you need. Your manpower doesn't grow fast enough for you to make troops and you have 5 research teams, most doing worthless air or navy research because everything else is either done or in progress. This would be time to consider the main purpose of all thise conquest: become powerful enough to take USA. Alternatively, you can continue taking South America, but that requires a lot of patience and is frankly, a waste of time.
US of C
Conquest of the States. This is a hard task and I had to reload several times and I am still to find the best working strategy. But what works without failure is a sudden and quick strike on US from both sides, Mexico and Canada, with about 30 or so divisions you might have formed by then. The more the better. Basically, if you don't care enough about your Spanish provinces, you can remove the forces from there and prepare for the main attack. If you do care, you can later on help the Soviets by cutting through France and taking a lot of provinces there as well, but that only becomes possible if Soviets destroyed most German divisions and are quickly advancing toward Berlin. I'd rather talk about the US invasion though. HOW TO:
- Put several divisions in every province in Canada and Mexico
- Anticipate your advance, but in general 30 divisions can take about half of USA before US starts reacting. It thus becomes imperative to take important provinces such as New York and Philadelphia first, crippling their production and eliminating a possible counter attack.
- Mexican strike force will advance slowly, but you should have a tank division going NW so that you can take most oil stations fast and possibly secure the ports, getting rid of the pesky US NAVY.
- Don't expect much UK help. Their NAVY has a big chance of collapsing under the US pressure and it's most likely that US will join the axis, but in any case, you should not stop no matter what.
- US normally keeps only garrisoned troops on its soil and those troops tend to be lower quality than your strike forces, so that should cause a problem.
- The problem arises from the troops that USA might be making and so if you're not fast enough in capturing their land, you might be faced with a huge army force.
- You have about 3-4 months before the first new US divisions are made
- Normally, US also keeps a bunch of divisions in the pacific and even in the Hawaii, so you might have some trouble after all, but it seems that AI tends not to move those divisions. It seems to be a random event in a sense.
- You won't be able to annex the US unless you take most key points such as Hawaii, so make sure you secure the western coast, should you be successful in your conquest.
- If you ever manage to get any Navy going, try to take Hawaii and maybe annex the states, otherwise just sit tight and let the Japs do your job.
- Whatever happens, keep your transports intact, don't move them anywhere, they'll get slaughtered instantly.
- Don't forget to take Alaska...
- If you've succeeded, congratulations, this indeed was probably one of the most difficult conquests possible during the WW2.
Variation of War Against the States
- Note: Hoi2 Armageddon 1.2
In 1936, you should begin to focus on mainly Light Tank & Infantry research. The manpower techs will come later, once the US is occupied. By 1938, I had most of the Light Tank tree done, and had about 3 Tank Divisions, as well as a few infantry divisions.
General Strategy & Goals
Goals • Taking New England • Ensuring majority of American territory is yours
Strategy Once you have around 7 or so Infantry Divisions, and 2-5 Light Tank Divisions (entirely possible in 1937, even 1936), position your tanks on the New England border. Put your infantry divisions spread out across the Western & Mid-Western part of the USA. Do not put any of them in Army Corps, just keep them single divisions.
Declare war on the USA. What I found best was, land grabbing as much as possible while penetrating as deep as I could into the States. There will be little to no resistance, and by the time that The American Army begins getting more divisions on the field, 40-60% of the United States will be under Canadian control.
The Allies, mainly France, will help you a lot. The French will land in usually California, from French Indochina, and near Washington D.C. from the homeland. They will keep the capital encircled, 70% of the time, allowing you to continue your massive land grab.
By 1938, most of the United States should be Canadian. In 1937, you should have begun Aircraft Carrier & Marine research. The Canadian navy will be no match for the United States Navy, until the Canadians begin to modernize their navy. Until then, proceed through Central America once the US is under your control (not annexed, hard to without any transports, marines, and or navy). Central America, alone, gives you 46 IC, as well as if you take Colon, a valuable route to and from the Pacific & Atlantic oceans.
By that time, you should have somewhere around 500 IC and about 60 manpower, per year. I hope you enjoyed your time, because this usually ignites Allies v Comintern v Axis, which puts you in a difficult position. :P