Hearts of Iron IV – How to Form The Empire with All Cores (the US, the EU, All Dominions)

Yes, you read that title correctly. As the British Empire you can easily become the strongest nation by 1940 just through the Imperial federation alone, however the fascist UK gets special treatment. As Britain you get additional options after forming the Imperial federation to also form the European Union, however your tag will not change and you will remain as “The Empire” just with cores on all founding members of the EU. Why? This is to do with the fascist UK’s leader, who in real life had a pan-European stance of “Europe a Nation.”

Important!

I’ll state here that most importantly if you do not take the “Unite the Anglosphere” focus, you cannot core US territory as the decision to do so is from that focus as well as it also giving you additional cores on all of Ireland. It doesn’t state this in the focus description, but it gives you a unique decision to “Create Pan-North American State” which in reality just changes Canada’s name and gives them cores on all of the US so it’s important to note it now for this strategy, in case someone reads this and free balls it instead.

Quick Summary of What We’ll Do

I stated before that as the UK we’ll get these options, but since this is a more in-depth walk-through and if you’re an experienced player who just wants to free-style it, here’s how it works. (No matter if you’ll free-style it or not, I advise you use the table in the next section to make your life a lot easier)

  • Rush ideology flip
  • Keep Dominions peacefully and because our invade the Dominions focuses will skip, we’ll get quick access to the “Unite the Anglosphere” focus and will have an early invasion of america
  • Take the US and annex the entire country. It’s up to you if you wish to puppet them for their fleet, however to core their territory, they need to be annexed in their entirety first
  • Do the Imperial Conference and get Canada to accept, once the conference is fully over and Canada have accepted, go into your decisions and find the “Political Actions” section. Create the Pan-North American State and once you take the “Imperial Federation” focus, you will have cores on all US territory as well as all other dominions except the Raj.
  • From this point, you have now unlocked a new option in your decisions list, gaining it’s own unique section. “Realise European Unity,” a decision that requires you to own all French, Italian, German, Belgian, Dutch, and Luxembourger states to be able to click.

Here is an old screenshot of mine from a world conquest that proves it’s possible, as there’s not much information or guides about it out there, also ignore me accidentally giving my puppet land in Siberia. If you rush you can get the federation done by 1939. Cropped because my resolution is tarded up wide pawg style and was even wider before cropping

1936 (Preparation)

Throughout this guide, important text that needs to be unmissable will look like this is

Immediately go for “A Change in Course” and start building military factories. From the Imperial federation we’re going to be drowning in industry so just focus on fuelling your war machine. Max out mils in areas with 70%+ infrastructure, London, south western and southern England, the Midlands, and Lowland Scotland.

For research focus on your industry, Construction, Machine tooling, Mechanical Computing, and your fourth slot is for whatever you like. I personally switch to the Superior Firepower doctrine and also get 1936 equipment out of the way. After like I said, focus on your industry and try to get as many mils as you can to throw divisions out. Luckily in 1936 we don’t need them to be equipped, but we do need them to have enough equipment to be deployable and for us to also eventually have a functioning army when the time comes in a few years.

Also go ahead and shove all free factories onto guns and support equipment, just so we can pop out troops quicker later.

Shift left-click your unassigned divisions and place them into a single army.

Select that army group and change them all into the standard infantry Division template. This is important because this is how we’ll keep the dominions as puppets when we’ll democratically flip ideology, we don’t care about equipment, what we need is each of these 36 units to have the 9600 manpower per unit required to garrison the Dominions.

Select your army and start dividing them up, this is the most efficient way to do it (in my experience):

  • Grab 14 units and move them to an army (Canadian garrison)
  • Grab 12 units and move them to an army (South African garrison)
  • Grab 6 units and move them to an army (New Zealand garrison)
  • Grab the remaining 4 units and use them to garrison Victoria, place a fallback order in Melbourne. Train more divisions for Australia and India, India is the worst to garrison as it requires 29 units to fully garrison. thankfully South Africa already starts out at 20% fascist, meaning when the time comes, we can immediately secure them as a puppet and safely move our troops elsewhere, to a dominion that more needs them.

On the placement of the units, it does not matter besides the fact that the units MUST be placed inside of the required state. For example it says 5 units must be placed in Southern Ontario, so either just place them all on Ottawa or dump them in the south near the Detroit border to be safe, as I said, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re in the state.

Included is a table of where to place your units, all information is correct and it’s all you need to follow correctly to keep the Dominions when you flip fascist or alternatively communist (However, if you flip communist, you can not core the US or Europe.)

Before you finish, don’t forget to temporarily turn up reinforcment priority, so the units gain the manpower they need. Turn it off once they have manpower because we’ll need the equipment to train new units for India and Australia.

1936 (Election, Gameplay, Finally!)

After setting up fallback lines to keep your divisions in their states in their respective Dominions, you can finally unpause. Creating an intelligence agency this early is optional, but you can if you want, just be aware it’ll hurt your industry that is currently building our mil factories.

Wait for your “A Change in Course” focus to complete and then immediately go for “Organise the Blackshirts”.

Don’t take any decisions that cost Political Power (from now on I’ll call it PP) and just stockpile PP until your focus is finished.

Once your focus finishes immediately do an anti-German speech and urge restraint, for your focus select “Reinforce the Empire” and DO NOT take any marches yet. We’re waiting for a golden spot of stability that will allow us to march on London and give us the option to flip fascist before December is over. How early you flip is up to you, as the moment you change ideology you will you will need to secure the Dominions.

Regularly check your units strength by clicking on the army and hovering over the brown bar next to their icon. As I said at the start, we only need these garrisons to have full manpower, their equipment doesn’t matter. So once you check your armies and see that everyone has full manpower, take your units off of high priority for reinforcements and start training troops for Australia and India on high equipment priority once you think you have enough equipment.

Right around the time your focus will be about to finish, you’ll get an abdication crisis event pushing you up to around 90%+ stability, and at very the end of your focus you’ll get another event where Edward abdicates, granting you 10%+ stability, making you have 100% stability. This is why we waited earlier, now before your focus finishes march on London and take the safe stability hit from urged restraint, we’ll gain an additional 10%+ from our focus which will push us back to the safety of being around 70% stability, instead of the 60% we’d be at if we didn’t do it like this. We’ll play with our stability but it won’t matter because we’ll urge restraint and do anti-German speeches, keeping us safely above 50% stability. It doesn’t matter if its even for a week, if you drop below 50% you will get a civil war and will have to restart.

Continue speaking against Germany and continue your focus “Service Overseas”, we’ll be rushing the federation.

At this point early in your focus you should have a deficit of around 7-8k guns if you just started “Service Overseas” so this is optionally a good time to begin training units. Place any new units you’ll deploy in Australia to finish the garrison there, as you can immediately move 12 South African units over to India when you’ll move to secure the Dominions.

We’re waiting now for around 80% stability in order to take a march on Liverpool (the decision for this is called “March in Lancashire”), which will put us at around 40%+ fascist, almost enough to flip ideology. Again as always, remember to take the “Urge Restraint” decision and also the “Hold Anti-German Speech” decision whenever they’re available.

Once “Service Overseas” finishes, move onto “Encourage Colonial Elite”.

At this point, halfway into “Encourage Colonial Elite” I have 4 divisions half way trained and ready to be deployed and added to the Australia garrison (which would make it be now 8 units in Australia, just so its easy to follow where I am), it’s up to you if you wish to immediately force deploy and spam out units to get this done as early and quickly as possible for an early late 1936 fascist flip, but keep in mind we wont need to train too many to garrison India. It’s just good because it takes so long for the units from the other Dominions to get there once you’ve secured them all besides the Raj.

I do however typically force deploy the first 4 new units at around 75%, and then the rest of the batches at around 50% or 25-20% if I worry about losing India and decide to rush, doing it the first calm way you get more time to fix your equipment problem for when you’ll actually need an army with decent divisions.

Once “Encourage Colonial Elite” finishes, DO NOT take any focuses. We’ll need some PP until we change ideology, at which point we’ll first and most importantly, secure the Dominions, and secondly, we’ll then invade Ireland and the United States.

In my experience of using this strategy, it’s best to flip fascist around December 1936 to January 1937, simply for the fact that you get more time to prepare. If you’re an experienced player and think you can do it earlier then go ahead, just be careful with how you move forward, as you should prepare for having a war with America (and possibly France) in 1937.

Lastly, now at the end of the year we flip fascist. If you’ve done everything correctly, by the end of December you can naturally have enough fascism to flip from our last march in Liverpool, if you’re 1% or 2% behind, then take one of the smaller marches. For reference, at this point I have 3 batches of new infantry deployed, Australia is now fully garrisoned and India has 4 divisions. If your game is like this, then you’re well on track, even better if you have more that you’ve forced out, just watch your equipment deficit.

Early 1937 (Secure the Dominions)

When you begin garrisoning India, my advice is that you first garrison the states that are heavily inland and will take your units time to travel to, such as Peshawar, or Arunachal Pradesh.

For your next focus after flipping ideolofy, immediately take “Move to Secure the Dominions”. This focus is why we’ve been garrisoning them, as it grants us decisions to declare martial law on them and change their ideology, keeping them as our puppets peacefully without war.

Once the “Move to Secure the Dominions” is done, DO NOT take another focus, it will screw your PP gain and cause you to lose the Raj.

I hope you’ve been stockpiling your PP and only following the decisions I said, as this run is very PP heavy as you’re about to find out.

At this point I also like to get rid of the Allies faction and create my own faction with the Dominions.

This should be how your decision screen will look after completing “Move to Secure the Dominions”. Immediately turn South Africa fascist and don’t bother doing a propaganda campaign in them, it’s a waste of PP when they already have the 20% fascism required to change their ideology. Select the 12 units from the South Africa garrison and move them over to India, that’s half of the garrison already. Don’t panic about not having fully garrisoned India, we have plenty of time and the other Dominions flip relatively quickly. continue monitoring your decisions and keep clicking on the countries to check their percentage of fascism.

You’ll quite easily be able to do this so just relax and monitor it, I understand if it’s your first time doing this that it might seem a bit finicky or tricky, but the decisions give you more than enough time to switch their ideologies before they break free, the Raj included. For now keep an eye on each country’s political situation and either wait to move units from other dominions over, or keep deploying units. Deploying some units is advisable, continue training them in groups of 4 and force-deploying, the Raj can be dodgy sometimes so it’s better safe than sorry. Also move over units from the other Dominions too, even when railroading in the ocean they’re so slow to move.

Once you’ve flipped most dominions and India is secured under marshal law, you’re safe, so go ahead and take our next focus “God Save the King”. Since you still have all of your puppets, you’ll get a lot of focus bypasses, that’s normal and good. Once “God Save the King” is done, go ahead and go for the focus “Consolidate the British Isles”. This will give you claims and a war goal on Ireland. You’ll want to have invaded Ireland and annexed them before you’ll finish the “Unite the Anglosphere” focus, because this gives you cores on the entirety of Ireland. Once you flip the Raj, the “Ceylon Foward Operating Base” and “Reclaim the Jewel in the Crown” focues will bypass as well

Late 1937 (War with the US)

Now we prepare for war with the US. I say prepare, this will be a cakewake. Set up your field order like mine, your frontline spanning from Detroit to eastern New England, the Canadians will garrison their half of the border. The US AI ends up wasting half of their troops over on the north-west with Canada, so our goal is to cut through the north-east, encircling half of their army, and then head south-west, aiming to reach California as that’s what will capitulate them, usually Los Angeles or San Francisco, it will be guaranteed one of these two cities. You can also send an attache to Japan for XP to upgrade your units, this is optional and is one of the only times I’ll tell you to spend PP again, we’ll need around 400-450 PP stockpiled for the Imperial Federation.

Once “Unite the Anglosphere” is done, take the focus “The British Parth to Fascism” in order to get rid of your horrible “War to End All Wars” national spirit. Declare war on the US whenever you’re ready and call in Canada. Once your war with the US is over be careful, Canada is a Dominion and can take territory in the peace deal, preventing you from doing the Pan-North American state decision. You must cut them off by taking the land at their border, and the land on the coast. Potentially, France could join the war but that’s the absolute best case scenario in this situation, you now have the two most easily capitulatable majors (at this point in time) in a war with you, both of whom’s territory you need for this. If you capitulate the US too fast and France doesn’t join, don’t sweat it, it gives us more time to invade France.

After “The British Parth to Fascism” is done, immediately go for one of the war goal focuses, either on the Soviets, or Japan. Not for our invasion, that comes later, what we want is the buff to Mosley which will finally let us begin justifying on France. Begin training new units to navally invade France across the English Channel.

1938 (War with the US, France, and More)

At this point, the war has been raging for a few months, you’ll want at least 10 units to invade France with, set up your naval invasion from Cherbourg, all the way east across the coast, to Dunkerque. If you act quickly and immediately rush all near Victory Points and Paris, this is easily all you will need to capitulate France. France has too much land to effectively garrison, and if you’re really unsure you can do it, declare on France and wait a small amount of time. They’ll immediately begin sending troops to the US and your African borders. Doing that is very much overkill, but I want this guide to be digestible for both new and older players alike, there’s no shame in taking it slow, however as you’re about to find out, you shouldn’t take it too slow.

After your naval invasion, France should fall within days, so immediately begin Justifying on Belgium. From here you can take your war against the US slow, it should be somewhere around mid 1938, so you have some time to take them and a few other countries down. Our goal is to get Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Once done there, we’ll invite Italy into our faction through our focus tree, and then turn our sights to Germany. DO NOT take too long, Czechoslovakia could deny the Sudetenland, causing Germany to declare war, which will in-turn merge the wars as America will invite the Czechs to the faction. I know this as it happened in one of my runs when I was perfecting this strategy, however they could accept it, just be careful and don’t let the war drag on, get your justifications and beat the US. In my case I managed to do it all quick enough that after beating the Netherlands, I was able to get an 85 day justification on Switzerland while still justifying on Luxembourg, if you have time, this is as far as you should go. Do not wait for your justifications to be finished, just beat the US and go home with full pockets. Have a unit waiting in California to capitulate the US for when you’re ready to end the war.

In the peace conference, make sure to take all US land as I said, also don’t forget to puppet the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies. This is on Historical so Japan will attack us anyway.

Now our war is over and we’ve taken care to annex all US core territory, we get this magical button. Don’t click it just yet, that’s a big mistake, the time for this will come later after Canada accepts federation. Seeing this just means you’ve done everything right. Don’t panic and rage-restart if the button doesn’t appear right away, for some reason it can take some time to appear. Give it a few days and it should pop up.

1939 Onward (War with Germany, Federation)

At this point you’ve hopefully gotten all of the countries you justified on mopped up, it doesn’t matter if your justification finishes after beating France and the US, there is no world police left to guarantee them and at most maybe Denmark will create a faction with them. And now we also have 80% of the required countries to form the EU. You’re now quite easily the world power, this is where we set our sights on Germany. When you’re ready to take on Germany, do the focus “Secure the Italian Alliance”. Even though Italy has likely joined the Axis by now (they don’t always, they need a war, either Greece, Czechs, Yugoslavia, or Poland), doing this focus will force them into our faction. Against you and Italy, Germany will eventually be worn down.

I’d personally do the Imperial federation at the same time as this, so after “Secure the Italian Alliance” is complete, head down the “Commonwealth Ties” focus path, remember, to get India to accept Federation, you MUST do the focus “Indian Autonomy” before doing the Imperial conference, they will refuse everything without it.

Before finally doing the conference, make sure your PP is around 400-450 like I said before, when you’ll do the conference and are halfway through the focus to actually start the conference, begin improving relations with all dominions. Your relations will get an added -100 modifier at the start, but if you improve relations, those relations are counted separately and wont be removed. When you’ll discuss with the Dominions, you should always click the bottom option of “Spend tremendous diplomatic effort,” it gives you the absolute greatest chance at them accepting. Make sure to do all other discuss decisions before finally doing the “Discuss Federation” decision. If the dominions reject a few other discussions, it’s fine, the only one we absolutely need them to accept is discussing federation, the rest just give national spirits that make absorbing them after easier.

Once they’ll accept and you’ll get the event that signifies the end of the conference, you can now finally click that shiny button we’ve all be itching to scratch. Canada has accepted the federation, and the Dominion of North America is simply just Canada with cores on the US, they keep the same leader, party, national spirits, everything besides gaining a flag with an eagle on it.

Now it’s just a game of simply taking down the Axis while reducing your puppet’s autonomy and then kicking Italy from your faction and stabbing them in the back, once all is said and done.

With Germany, it’s a war of attrition. If they last long enough then they’ll have to face a two front war against you, Italy, and the Soviets. No matter what, just make sure you get all the German core territory you can, it’s not an issue if Italy takes German land, we’ll be kicking and turning on them anyway.

End of Guide (Federation Complete)

Once you’ve completed the Federation, nothing really can stop you. It couldn’t anyway, but now with all of your Victory Points, industry, and manpower, there’s just no stopping you at all so I’ll end the guide here, there’s no strategy involved in just spamming out fighters, 40 width infantry, and 40W tanks with your massive industry and throwing them at a front line. Now you’re all set up for victory already owning most of the states required for the EU, have fun!

This is my first guide, so if people want further guidance at the end, let me know in the comments and I’ll edit the guide and expand it on how to take Germany and Italy, I just thought that it should be simple enough with already being so strong and close to completing your goal, but I understand the Axis can sometimes be a nuisance or AI can act differently.

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