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HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV): Canada Guide – Conquer America

HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV) Canada Guide - Conquer America

Hearts of Iron IV places players in the pivotal role of guiding a nation toward global supremacy. As a grand strategy masterpiece set against the backdrop of the Second World War, historical accuracy and realism are core principles. Among the key actors of the era, Canada’s journey from Commonwealth member to its pivotal role in liberating France underscores its historical significance. Unquestionably, Canada emerges as a major player of its time. This guide delves into Canada’s initial position and charts the optimal trajectory for securing triumph over its adversaries. By exploring strategic decisions, diplomatic intricacies, and military campaigns, we unveil the path Canada needs to take in HOI4 ultimate success on the world stage.

Canada Starting Position in HOI4

Following the Great War, Canada was struck with a massive amount of returning soldiers, populist demands, and a fear of a communist uprising within.

Although suffering from the effects of the Spanish Flu, labor unrest, and veterans’ needs going unanswered, Canada managed to boost itself into an economic boom during the 1920s aided in large part by the government’s desire to forget its issues.

Unfortunately, the Great Depression struck Canada hard, and even today, its effects are still felt. Couple this with rising tensions in Europe and the global war that Canada had been so eager to move past may be starting anew once again.

Initial Economic Position

Canada starts off in HOI4 with no resource deficit and a surplus of aluminum and steel (16 and 4 units, respectively). Sadly, the Canadian civilian industry is hampered with only 3 free civilian factories capable of constructing new buildings.

In terms of laws, Canada starts off with Export Focus and Civilian Economy as its trade law and economy law in HOI4, respectively.

While the former is decent in its own right (thanks to it just being one tier lower than Free Trade), the latter is problematic since having a Civilian Economy will obstruct the nation’s capability to transform itself from a peace-time economy to a wartime one.

The Great Depression national focus will also make things equally difficult due to its debuff to both factory output and dockyard output alongside it requiring 25% of all civilian factories.

Initial Political Position

With Canada being a part of the Commonwealth in HOI4, it starts off as a member of the Allies (under the leadership of the United Kingdom) and enjoys a close relationship with its fellow Commonwealth members. In terms of status, Canada is only one level below being a free nation, making it easier for Canada to chart its path in the world.

Able to appoint capable advisors such as R. B. Bennett (Silent Workhorse), Leo Richer Lafleche (Popular Figurehead), C. D. Howe (Captain of Industry), and James Ilsley (War Industrialist), Canada has a decent selection of leaders 

Alas, Canada’s relatively outdated content makes its political path fairly straightforward with not much focus to go through, unlike the latest Italian DLC.

Initial Military Position

To start, the Canadian Army is composed of 13 divisions with nearly half being cavalry divisions.

All divisions start off needing heavy reinforcement so keep that in mind when starting the game (since you’ll need to produce the equipment needed to supply them instead of already having it unlocked). The division templates could use some fine-tuning (especially the cavalry division).

The Canadian Navy only has two lonely destroyers in its entire fleet (both of which are outdated) while the Air Force has a single understrength CAS squadron deployed.

In terms of leadership, Canada has Andrew McNaughton (Army Offense), Guy Simonds (Artillery), John Murchie (Armor), and Percy W. Nelles (Decisive Battle) to count upon. 

For the recruitable population, Canada has the national spirit Conscription Crisis among French Canadians which reduces the recruitable population factor by a whopping 30% in HOI4. This debuff will definitely need to be addressed if the Canadian Armed Forces stand any chance of modernizing.

The Fascist Route for Canada in HOI4

With Canada being far from the European theaters, going for the historical path in HOI4 is relatively easy and as such, we will not be going through that route since there is no way to lose with big brother America at your doorstep, ready to help expel any foreign invaders.

Instead, we’ll look at how Canada can conquer the United States in HOI4 and turn its vast manpower, industry, and resources for its own benefit as it looks to break free from the shackles of the Empire and establish its own place among the world’s superpowers.

Opening Military Moves

As Canada has a limited amount of troops in HOI4, the focus should be on training new cavalry divisions (since they take the least amount of manpower) and bolstering existing forces.

The aim is to prepare the troops for the upcoming Civil War against the Democratic forces. Be sure not to deploy these troops and only have them on standby once the war starts.

For military production, set up 3 factories for infantry equipment (take one from here in case the war starts and you’re down a single factory) and 1 each for support equipment and trains. In terms of land doctrine, be sure to switch from Grand Battleplan to Superior Firepower since the latter is better than the former once the war with the States ends.

In regards to military leadership, be sure to appoint Andrew McNaughton first to your Chief of Army to give a boost in army offense and XP.

Set the navy to train and assign the air force to your only army.

Opening Economic Moves

Since we only have 3 civilian factories available to us at the start, we will need to construct some more. Start by building 2-4 civilian factories in Ontario and Quebec.

For technology focuses, research Electronic Mechanical EngineeringBasic Machine Tools, and Trucks. After this, go for Concentrated IndustryConstruction I, and Radio.

Although we’ll see a deficit in Tungsten following the military industry rearrangement, it’s not worth sacrificing a single factory for tungsten. We’ll do that in the future once our industry is capable of handling it.

Opening Political Moves

To start, take the Patriation focus and go down the Fascist tree towards the Swastika Clubs focus. Following this, take the Rowell-Sirios Commission to get enough political power to appoint Chuck Crate (Fascist Demagogue).

Let the fascist support build up and don’t forget to give refuge to both Italian and German scientists before the war starts to get the boost in research speed.

Once possible, select the decision to prepare for a civil war (once you reach 10% support). We’ll slowly build up support here by ensuring military and civil loyalties are towards your preferred ideology. To further destabilize the government, be sure to take anti-fascist and anti-communist raids to lower the stability.

While this is ongoing, take the Crown Corporations focus and once this is complete, we should be ready to go to war. 

Civil War

Once the Civil War starts, be sure to have enough troops hold the line to the west while the rest mops up the remainder to the east. At this point, you should deploy all the cavalry divisions you have managed to train and use them to capture enemy victory points and encircle enemy divisions.

Now, the trick here is to keep the war going as long as possible while keeping the world tension in a respectable manner. Take the War Bonds focus and at the same time, justify a focus on the United Kingdom to boost world tension. It is important that once 20% world tension has been reached, you immediately cancel the justification so as not to provoke any British responses.

After completing this HOI4 national focus, start towards the Support the Blue Shirts and Defense of Canada Regulations focuses with the former aimed at building our manpower and the latter focusing on going down the Send in the Zombies focus.

The Civil War shouldn’t be difficult with the Democratic forces being outpowered by our own but until we complete the Commit to the War focus, the war should not end.

Keep in mind this goal and not much should trouble you here.

The Preparations for the Next

Assuming you have already completed the Commit to the War focus by going down it during the war, you can finally end the war and annex the Democratic government, bringing them back towards the fold.

Take the Support a Synarchist Baja and Skewer the Eagle focus to finally give us an ally to attack America with. After this, get the National Resource Mobilization ActDepartment of Munitions and Supply, and Victory Aircraft Limited to increase the recruitable population even further and get more military supplies.

Keep placing all military resources on infantry equipment until you reach at least 10 factories and then you can add them to support equipment.

Additionally, once you have enough manpower, keep training cavalry divisions until manpower runs out and you’re forced to stop. The goal here is to stop the Americans with sheer numbers alone as early-game, the United States cannot simply cover all of its borders.

Once the units are deployed, keep training them to keep grinding the XP.

Continuing our Preparations

With our focus on opening a Southern Front against the Americans, the Mexicans will start a civil war, looking to install a Fascist government there. Send as many cavalry divisions as you can to aid the Mexicans and start a march towards Mexico City to capitulate the opponent as soon as possible.

By this point, we should have enough divisions (at least aim for 112 divisions or more) to cover the entirety of the United States. Be sure to also get new Generals as much as possible to lead the armies into battle after you take Theatre Training for the Spirit of the Academy.

Take the Proper Heritage and Flexible Organization for Spirit of the Army and Spirit of Division Command, respectively.

The war front with the US should look like this:

  • 48 Divisions composed of cavalry divisions along the West Coast with battleplans leading towards Los Angeles and Texas. The forces here should not pose any threats since the AI should be focusing more on New York and New England
  • 24 Divisions (12 initially) of Cavalry against Detroit and Chicago. Start off with 12 divisions to ease logistical strains here but once a breakthrough has been achieved against Detroit, take Illinois, Minnesota, and eventually make a push towards Georgia.
  • 24 divisions of Cavalry against Buffalo. Follow the Detroit strategy and set them against Washington DC and Philadelphia once a breakthrough has been accomplished. Do not let this column stop at all costs.
  • The remaining should be predominantly infantry divisions covering New York and New England. They will play a defensive role until breakthroughs have been accomplished, at which point their battle plan towards New York will activate and they will hold the enemy forces in the area at bay.

1812 All Over Again

Take the focus Defense Scheme No. 1 to get an annexation war goal against the United States and launch your attack once this begins.

For the navy and air force, it’d be best to leave them at home since they won’t be able to do much for us.

Be sure to have Proper Heritage and Flexible Organization set as your Spirit of the Army and Spirit of Division Command, respectively.

The key strategy here is micromanaging. Reduce the game speed if you have to and be sure to encircle any possible enemy forces and head straight for their victory points.

Call in Mexico to the War and the United States should be hard pressed on two fronts. Don’t forget to follow the strategy mentioned in the previous section and don’t hesitate to control units yourself to implement the needed strategy.

Assuming you have done so, the United States should be reeling at the swarms of Canadian Cavalry coming for them and surrender once all their victory points have been taken.

At the peace conference, the main goal is to take territories (New York and New England) and take control of the United States Navy (thereby alleviating our woes), and have the rest being puppeted. Remember, we’re not here to conquer, we’re here to puppet the United States and use their manpower for our benefit.

Aftermath

Once the United States has been conquered, we are free to make our mark on the world. Continue finishing the focus tree for the industry to fully bring the Canadian industry to the forefront and get rid of the Great Depression debuffs.

Start to transform the cavalry-centric army to a motorized/mechanized one if possible or an infantry-dominated one (6/2) since our foes won’t fall to the same strategy as the Americans.

In case more manpower is needed, do not hesitate to use the Americans for this task since this was the very reason why they were puppeted. Keep on researching new technology to keep up with the world.

At this point, Canada and its allies should be able to pick their next path at will.


And that is all you need to know about how to play as Canada in HOI4. Check out other interesting HOI4 guides and articles:

Based in Santa Rosa, Philippines, Jonathan Ledesma is a Freelance Writer for Raider King.
Jonathan Ledesma
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