Poland

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Background

World War 2 is not a good period for Poland. Since it is the first to fight, it is also the first to fall. Fortunately Hearts of Iron 2 is a game that allows you to change the history and allows Poland a chance to fight back and even annex Germany. However it is not for the faint hearted and inexperienced player.

Do not bother playing Poland if:

  • Germany is human controlled.
  • You are new to this game.

Tricks

Make Friends and Influence Countries

You generally have extra energy. While some can be traded for other important resources, make trades where you give energy away, but don't receive anything in return. This tends to increase your relations by the amount of energy per month, and is generally better than spending the 100 cash to increase relations.

Demand Territory

One thing that Poland needs a lot of is money. For the first month, do not build or research anything, but instead put all but the minimum for supplies into consumer goods to increase your cash. Demand Territory from the Soviet Union. Even on Very Hard/Furious they are likely to cave, and you now have extra resources and the extra factories to get that third tech slot.

Note: Because the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact events were never written for this, this turns out to be an exploit as eastern Poland is seceded to the Soviet Union, but not the provinces the Soviet Union seceded to Poland. The Polish capital moves to Minsk, and this causes all sorts of problems for Germany and the Soviet Union later on.

Early Alliance and an Overseas Haven

Make trade deals to accumulate a huge surplus in all resources as well as cash.

To get in the allies early, use your cash sparingly to influence the United Kingdom and France. They will also influence you, adjusting your social sliders and increasing your relations with them. An early alliance means a large pool of blueprints and good trade deals.

Your new ally France has a useless province in South America called Cayenne. It has no industry or resources, but has two victory points. They may sell it to you for 5,000 each of energy, metal, rares, oil, and cash. Your priority would be to industrialize this as much as you can before war breaks out.

You now have a place for a government-in-exile.

Since Poland never truly falls, the Finnish Winter War never fires, and the Soviets never demand the Baltics.

This can lead to a dull game. The German AI is not programmed to properly fight on until Poland has fallen. Likewise, the Soviet Union will often be unable to advance on for the same reason.

Fortress Warsaw

Due to AI's inability to calculate the likely result for battles in urban provinces, it almost never attack an urban province with enough troops in it. You can exploit this weakness and easily stay alive with Poland virtually forever, even if you start in 1939 scenario.

When the game starts, move all of your air and land divisions to Warsaw. Make sure to adjust your production slider since you will lose a lot of territory. After all of the armies arrived in Warsaw, you only need to watch as the absent minded AI stacks a lot of troops around Warsaw but never try to invade it.

The Polish Congo

In 1936 scenario, it is relatively easy for the Polish to win a war against a minor European nation with a colonial empire (e.g. Belgium).

Moving your domestic policy sliders to Political Right will make you a Fascist nation in two years, meaning you are able to launch unprovoked attacks with much greater ease. Produce a transport fleet and load up with troops.

In 1937, Declare War on Belgium. You can relatively easily conquer mainland Belgium. As part of the peace settlement, insist on some provinces in Africa that have victory-point value. When Germany eventually conquers Polish mainland, they will be unable to annex you because of your holdings in Congo.

The main disadvantage with this approach is that it is likely that anyone guaranteeing Belgium will DOW on Poland. This is likely to be BOTH France and Germany, virtually assuring Polish defeat. The key to this strategy is therefore speed. Conquer Belgium before the non-aggression treaties expire.

Polish Ireland

When beginning the Road To War, quickly build up transports and base about 2 infantry units and 5 militias. Quickly declare war on the irish. Land in and push the enemy away from Dublin.

Once the enemy is separated you push inward and control the poor little nation. As your new colony, Ireland has points of attack toward Brest. It is a great base if Belgium joins the allies and your troops are getting beat out in the mother land.

Once Ireland is captured, you have a base in Dublin to defend from being annexed. (once captured, build up a navy and base them in Dublin. Try to created militias and garrisons from left over production.

Likewise, the United Kingdom is highly likely to DOW over Ireland. Again, speed is essential.

Walkthrough for 1936 Scenario

Peace Time

In the first year it is very important to build three factories. Build one each in Torun, Danzig and Warsaw. After they are built, you will get the third research slot.

After the factories are completed, you may build a few additional factories or proceed with military build up. Produce normal infantry units with engineer brigades. Engineer brigades are cheap and will allow your troops to defend better, which is important as Poland. The only other unit that you may want to build later in war time are garrisons with MP brigade.

Social Engineering

Maximise hawk and then standing army. Every little org bonus is necessary.

Important Research

Since Poland has a very limited research capacity, it is very important to prioritize. Always try to research in the year that the tech is supposed to be researched. Do not even think of researching Armor & Artillery, Naval, Naval Doctrine and Secret Weapon. Think twice before researching anything in aircraft and air doctrine.

  • Industrial: manufacturing, agriculture and cryptography.
  • Infantry: standard infantry, cavalry and supply.
  • Air: you may consider researching interceptor although it is difficult to produce enough of them to make a difference.

Trades

Your main trade partners are UK and France since they have enormous amount of resources and will give you the best deals.

Ministers

  • Armaments Minister: use the person who gives +10% IC
  • Head of Intelligence: during peace time, you may want the person with +30% intelligence. However make sure before war to replace him with minister that gives bonus of +30% army intelligence.

Troop Placement

A good strategy when the war starts is to capture the whole East Prussia then turn to Slovakia and finally to Germany. The German AI only put a few garrisons in East Prussia so it will fall quickly. Put one division in Suwalki and 10 or more divisions in Torun. This is overkill but we need to conquer Prussia as fast as possible.

Important provinces that you need to put a lot of garrisons are: Bydgoszcz, Poznan and Cracow. Put at least 15 divisions each. For other territories that are adjacent to Germany and Slovakia, put at least 6 divisions on each of them. Don’t bother putting any troops in other provinces.

Danzig or War!

By August 1939 your TC will most probably be overloaded and your troops require a lot of supply. It means that Poland is ready for war! When Germany announced its ultimatum, choose war.

Make sure you advance quickly to East Prussia. Troops in Suwalki and 9 divisions from Torun should advance to Konigsberg. After they reached Konigsberg, use support attack to help the one division in Torun advance to Elbing. Then crush the troops in Memel.

If Germany attacks a province, try to attack the provinces where they are attacking from using your other troops. This will provide flanking bonus, which reduces the attack efficiency. As a bonus, you can even win territories with it.

You may lose battles and provinces. If you do, do not panic! Panicking does not help, and prevents you from thinking clearly. Try to recapture lost territories by using attacks from multiple directions.

Slovakia

After you capture Prussia, turn the troops there south. Try to recapture any lost provinces if there is any and then turn to Slovakia. Always attack from multiple provinces at once or else it can be difficult to win. Keep advancing and you will soon be able to annex Slovakia.

Germany

Always try to keep as many troops in one province as possible when facing Germany. Germany has a number of very large provinces such as Kustrin and Cottbus that can serve as good chokepoints.

In the beginning, don’t bother trying to pocket the Germans. It is quite difficult and may jeopardize your own position. Try to advance steadily and slowly instead. Later, when you see the enemy number is decreasing (check the ledger page), you may want to encircle them.

Advance slowly and attack from multiple direction. For example to capture Stettin, attack from Danzig and support attack from Bydgoszcz. Look where the enemy is the weakest at and attack that province (this is one of the reasons why cryptography tech is useful). You may also try to attack two provinces at once to confuse enemy on where to send reinforcements.

It takes months, a lot of patience and skill but if you do it properly, Germany will be gone.

Soviet Union

Thinking of attacking the Soviet Union? By the time you annex Germany, you will be very low on manpower. That reason alone is quite enough to hold any invasion plan on USSR for a while. However, you may want to demand territory from the Soviets. If you are lucky, you will gain free territories where you have claim.

Walkthrough for 1936: Option 2

This requires to attack from the word Go. It is easier to implement than the walkthrough above as Germany does not have time for military development.

This is a strategy to play Poland in the 1936 campaign and survive. Once the survival goal has been achieved (about June 1937), what do to next is an open question for which I would appreciate input.

Note: This strategy has been successfully tested against the computer on Furious AI with difficulty level with set to Normal on Version 1.0 of the game. Need to check it against 1.2 of the game. Will appreciate you if you can add your comments for 1.2 to this note. (Please note that this is as of now a work in progress, so if you edit this, your work might get lost on further additions by me.)

I have been fascinated in working out the ideal strategy for Poland. My first attempt was to gear up Poland for war using the three year interval. While I have been moderately successful, I did not complete the game to see whether what the end was. However, I then decided on the strategy below, which works wonderfully.

What do you do:

Jan 1 1936

Start Poland on the 1936 campaign. Disband aircraft and naval troops. Separate cavalry troops and group them together. You will use them for anti-partisian duty. Start researching Basic Machine Tools, and Trench Warfare. Set your entire production to upgrading. For this prioritize all other troops other than the reserves that you have (which have very low strength), your cavalry troops, and your brigaded troops. Use diplomacy settings to set Hawk Lobby one step to the right. I did it this way, but I now think it would have been better to be more Interventionist.

Jan 2 1936

Get into a trade agreement with France for metals and rare materials by giving away energy and oil.

End of Feb 1936

You should be in a position where your 1918 troops (excepting reserves) have been upgraded to 1936. Move them close to Czechoslovakia. Declare war on it. Ouch, your dissent just increased by 10%. The key to winning here is to arrange your troops so that you are able to penetrate hard and fast. Identification of generals is important. Find ones with skill and Offensive Doctrine. Find a commando leader for your mountain troops. I put my reserves against Presov, and did not attack from there. I attacked with 9 divisions into Kocise and won very easily. There are anti-tank divisions which you can use to attack from Cracow where the computer will put its tank divisions. Strike into the heart of the country and within 15 days it is annexed. Controlling partisian activity is a nuisance then. Set your troops systematically to control it. A unit set on antipartisian activity will do so, in its and neighbouring provinces as well. Use the cavalry units as they are not good for much else. Also use the rest of your units till the time that they are free so as to reduce partisan activity. Change your foreign minister to the one who adds 10% to Foreign IC Use.

Your IC will now go up to 51. As such, this is a much faster way of increasing your IC, then you would by building factories. You will also one more research slot, which I put to researching agriculture.

Comment: playing with 1.3 the Allies declared war on Poland after the attack on Czechoslovakia. Shortly Germany declared war on the Allies and the whole circus began. The only alliance open to Poland is - the Axis! Just make sure to annex Czechoslovakia before joining the Axis, or you may lose some provinces to Hungary. If Hungary has not joined the Axis yet, it makes for easy picking... Comment: pursuing this path has proven a disaster so far, with the Soviet Union declaring war by late '36 and Germany unable to even hold the Western Front against France. (the original author is welcome to delete or incorporate these observations)

Apr to July 1936

Upgrade the rest of your troops, reinforce them, and create one set of 1936 troops by producing them. I created 7. You are now ready to attack Germany. Your dissent will go still higher to approx 27%. The troop placement is as below: Put only enough troops in the heavily fortified districts of the Czechoslovakia-German border so that you can defend. You will attack from the Poland border. I put 6 troops in Strakonice, since there are two districts adjoining to it. At the time of attacking the computer had put three troops uniformly in every district in the border with Poland. I attacked from Liberac into Breslau, and from Crecstowa into Oppen. I also attacked all the Polish border provinces (Sttetin, Kustrin). It is easy to win and gain access. The only annoying factor was that I had put one troop unit each in Suwalki, Torun, Danzig, and Bydo to protect against the troops in Elbing, and Konisberg. They were not enough. I lost Torun first, and then Warsaw too. I had to send a six unit troop back from the main war to polish up.

Control partisian activity as you go along. The hardest part came at the end, where I had to defeat the German troops at the Franco-German border, which is heavily fortified. This was done one province at a time, and after a few heart stopping moments, I annexed Germany in Dec 1936.

Post Dec 1936

Now I had Base IC of 113, but Actual IC was lower than Base IC. The partisan effect had shot up to 30%. First I put all my troops on antipartisan duty. This did not help much, so I identified the provinces with high IC, and focused on that. This gave slightly better results. However, the basic problem was the very high dissent. This was solved over the next six months by setting all IC to consumer goods. I also discovered that I had mistakenly taken the minister for supplies 20%+, rather than IC 10%.

I now have a situation where I have Poland in June 1937 with 113 Base IC, 131 Actual IC, 260 Transport Capacity, 45 1936 divisions, and approximately 300 MP. What should be the course for Poland to follow. The main threat from Germany has been nullified. The Soviet Union? Attack France? Attack Italy?

This is a work in progress, and I would definitely appreciate comments. Also any improvements.