Italy game. The point is to become the best dictator ever, leading huge faction. Also no paratroopers, as they're OP as hell.
First order of business is to break Germany - and that means fabricating on Austria and Czechoslovakia, as I need to get them before world tension gets high enough, and before Hitler gets them.
I got war in Ethiopia as soon as possible, and helped Spain - which was actually a bit hard with just 2 divisions and was possible counterproductive as I want to delay world tension as much as possible. The focuses were to be best friend with everyone, rust 5th research slot and new faction.
OK, time for war. Here's the trick - not taking Vienna until Czechoslovakia is done, even though Austria tempted me by leaving it undefended. Austria is non-aligned, so they won't join Allies, but Czechoslovakia might if I order things wrong. Same mistake I made with Netherlands/Belgium/France in Germany game - waiting with Brussels would probably have eliminated them all at once, instead I had WW2 in 1936.
I even told Germany I don't want their volunteers to delay world tension a bit. The result of all the conquests was tension going to 60%, so I really need to calm down now.
Now my army is not in best shape, so I shouldn't try to confront Hitler yet, but hopefully this ought to break his whole focus tree. I checked source code, and leaving Austria and/or Czechoslovakia as puppets would not be enough, but as far as I can tell Germany is now screwed. Except for the part where they'll get CB on me as I'm the one holding Austria, but we'll get there when time for it comes.
Hitler is doing "Das war ein Befehl!" scene just about now
Winning Spanish civil war with 2 dubious divisions is much harder than with 5 strong ones
Vienna is tempting me, but I need Czechoslovakia to capitulate first
For fuck's sake, I need to read game files before planning anything.
• I can't start a faction unless I have Albania (or Slovenia, but I'm already friendly with Yugoslavia)
• Albania will always refuse if anybody major guarantees it
• UK and France will guarantee the bastards if they can (world tension > 50) - some focus buttons inform everyone about fabrications (so guarantees start rolling), some don't (so they're totally safe), this inconsistency is very annoying, as there's no way to tell other than reading game files
• Because of damn guarantees, this will turn into world war
If I knew that, I'd have simply pressed focus buttons in different order. The only way around it now is to reload the save, and fabricate a bunch of fake claims on random countries so UK and France guarantee those first, then cancel those fabrications. Belgium, Finland, Estonia, and Latvia - enjoy your damn guarnatees.
That cost me a lot of mana, but at least I should be able to fabricate in the future with little risk of further UK/French guarantees.
After that I built up a nice faction with Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Poland. I'm working on Turkey, Romania, and Spain, but that will take a while (Portugal's button is really far down). I could also try influencing some minors here and there to go fascist, but that will have to wait.
One country which is not welcome is Japan, as that would bring me into war with the Allies guaranteed.
And now Hitler is fabricating on Italian Alps. Bastard! If he doesn't attack me, I'll have to attack him for this insult.
I was definitely prepared for Albania saying no, just not for world war
The new Roman Empire
Germany was fabricating on me. I had 75 regular (7mnt 2art) and 5 mobile (5ltank 5mot) divisions, all on their border, so it seemed very adequate, and the risk was mostly:
• Germany somehow turning out to be way stronger than I thought even this early
• someone backstabbing me, especially Hungary joining the Axis at bad time
• Allies or Comintern intervening somehow
• Japan joining the Axis and making this war last forever
Apparently I broke Hitler's AI, it gots its Austra cores, then kept trying to do "Demand Sudetenland" and "Befriend Czechoslovakia", but both would get cancelled after a day, so it would be stuck in infinite loop, until it picked some other idea at random.
Fortunately Soviet Union got a civil war, so that would keep them busy for a short while at least.
Unfortunately Hungary indeed joined Germany. Obviously my allies were all pretty much worthless. Germany lost about half its land but few of its troops, so after the frontline got shorter it started viciously counterattacking - and these were just two air zones, so I couldn't get air superiority in either of them.
It was really painful amount of micro to make sure the frontline doesn't simply totally collapse. Fortunately after a while Germany ran out of steam, but it was way too close for my taste. Maybe I should have waited a bit longer before going to war?
Oh and Japan won its war with China. It seems to be doing a lot better than in 1.0 where it usually failed.
Here's where it stalled and Germans started their counterattack.
First time I see this. Presumably Great Purge related, but they aren't trying to install Trotsky.
The plan is simple - cut Silesia / Pomerania, Poland hopefully cleans East Prussia, everyone else pushes
Line same place 4 months later. It's WW1 style trench warfare. At least I could spare my panzers (not much use on stalled front) to clean up leftover Hungarians. Germany got Memel but Poland cleaned it up.
There wasn't much fancy I could do. Germans kept attacking on the whole frontline, but their attacks got weaker and weaker each month, so I reinforced the frontline with Polish and Yugoslavian expeditionary force, waited for full preparation bonus, then did WW1 style mass assault.
We suffered serious losses, but Germans got wrecked. Unfortunately Poland puppeted 2-state Germany, and that'd really kill the whole campaign (it wouldn't if focus buttons worked properly, but they're known bugged as hell, and treat puppetted or surrendered nations as if they were normal nations), so I console switched to make them annex those states instead. Also, non-aligned powers are not supposed to puppet!
Soviets demanded Besarabia from Romania, which folded, then went fascist and joined my faction. I managed to get Portugal, Lithuania, and Latvia as well, but I can't get big prizes like Turkey or Spain yet.
Unfortunately Soviets are now fabricating on Poland, so I'm going to have another big war way too early. I hope Poland won't do something retarded like surrendering its Eastern half.
Soviets attacked Poland, the whole Novus Imperium Romanum rushed to Poland's defense, and Soviets got wrecked.
The war took a while as it takes serious time to destroy pockets (mass assault doctrine tree makes pockets more obnoxious, but that's no reason for player to ever take it).
Japan decided to be clever this time, and attacked Soviets instead of Allies. It didn't get much for that effort, as there are almost no victory points in Far East except for Vladivostok, but fall of Vladivostok at least make Soviet Union collapse faster.
After our two wars against the Soviets ended, the world was finally at peace. Japan wanted to join my faction, but Japan is troublemaker. On the other hand, Soviet and Allies CBs are exclusive, so the only major risk would be if USA attacked them, so maybe I should have let them?
I'd probably get Turkey and Spain eventually, and after that I wanted to do Middle Eastern minors - at least that was the plan before Soviets decided to change my plans.
My attempts at flipping USA fascist failed for 5th time in a row, they got some unknown event that reduced fascist support (or increased democratic support) again. I don't think this is seriously viable, unless you wait for Nov 1944 elections, but by that point USA is pretty much guaranteed to join the Allies and attack someone (its war focuses activate Jan 1942).
Tannu Tuva is what remained of the Comintern now, so it presumamly counts as major power. Go Tannu Tuva!
I think the reason Estonia and Finland don't have "threatened by me so willing to join my faction" like other non-aligned minors is that they got guaranteed by UK and France when I tried to distract them from Albania. Now that Soviet Union fell, there's not much strategic value in them anyway.
No paratroopers rule made little difference, as I had no air superiority ever anyway, and I literally never used my fleets. I planned to get Turkey into my faction, send my navy to Black Sea, and have some naval invasions of Caucasus or Crimea, but Soviet attack was way too fast. I guess that's because they didn't purge their officers, that speeds up their focuses.
Oh and another reason why it didn't matter was that Soviets put all their army on Polish border, but forgot about putting any troops on borders of other faction members (Latvia and Romania), so Black Sea coast (as well as Leningrad on the other end of the front) got overran pretty quickly.
With that I'm really out of ideas for more #hoi4 campaigns. But if you have any, or know any cool mods, definitely tell me.
Once Spain and Turkey join, that covers most core Roman lands well enough
Early 35 division pocket. Soviets were self-pocketing a lot, I barely even put any effort into that.
Someone forgot to defend Moscow
As bonus is linear, level 4 (-40%) means you can fit 10 units where you could previously fit 6 (so it's really +67%).
I still have no idea what signal companies even do. And I never bother with maintenance companies, but that's probably just because I don't understand attrition and my template is full (support art, engineers, recon, logistics, hospital).