Hearts of Iron IV – Canada Guide


I wrote this guide originally after Together for Victory was released… oh lord! so, I’ve updated it a bit from my original Reddit Post. Like, I know it’s a bonkers country to play (and is waaaaay easier without the expansions) but I’ve got some… SOME! tips for turning Canada from “laaaaaaaaaame”, into “meh”.

It’s my favourite country to play, partly because i am Canadian, but also, it has a lot of choices to do different things in HOI4 simply because of its geography.

The United States

First, the whole ‘Just invade the USA!’ thing, feels like a bit of a cheat.

So, we’re going to pretend that the USA is actually sort of a threat to Canada, and we’re not going to poke that bear, today.

Heart of Iron IV - Guide

Amerika is kaput!

Keep in mind as you play Canada in this way, you aren’t a global superpower.But you could build to become a kickass colonial power. These are the first steps I use.

Men or Machines

Let’s start with the main crux of Canada’s problem: manpower vs production.

As Canada you are tasked to trade manpower for production. I feel this ‘bridging idea’ balances that request well enough.

Therefore I recommend:

-If you go fascist take National Steel Car tree. You’ll get manpower being fascist, so take the extra production bonus.

-If you go communist Send in the Zombies tree. You’ll get extra production being communist, so gather some men!

Send in the Zombies is an Achievement, apparently.

However, in my games I do prefer to use ‘Send in the Zombies’. Manpower is always at a premium.

Military Production Setup

We, as Canadians, are known for our excessive production capabilities… so!


3. Infantry Equipment.

2. Light Tanks.

You’ll want to build 8 Sanguenay Class Destroyers as well. This will serve as a Mine Sweeper group later in the game for you, or as Sub hunters, or both.

Because of the starting commonwealth, The United Kingdom will give you light tanks should you need them early, so take advantage! Deploy 6 new default ‘Tank Brigades’ and wait for the UK to call with an offer of tanks. These are great for charging around the Sino-Japanese theater with reckless abandon!

Your light tanks will later become Recon units in your Heavy Tank Division, so nothing is wasted.

If you play as Fascist you can get naval port access with Venezuela and that will help cover your sea zone distance for the Cuban Invasion when using destroyers.

When playing as Communist, you’ll still want to get the rank III Cruiser hull, but you’ll want a stripped down variant to deploy. This can still be done after you deploy the 8 new destroyers.

When you take Cuba you’ll get more chromium than needed; this is for your fleet and heavy tanks (heavy tanks are better for Canada with Cuba under it’s belt than using light tanks. The heavy uses additional chromium in place of steel, which you have precious little of… but chromium, well…)

Bonus, Cuba at Excavation III will unlock a new deposit of Steel!


Louis Riel is happy with this.

Building up Canada’s war industry is… painful.

I like this build for when I’m trying to take territory in the Asian theater, or against my oldest nemesis: Portugal! *shakes fist!*

We’re building a Naval Yard first because it takes no construction penalties. They’re cheap and we’ll make a lot of use of it.

Next is the 2 required infrastructure to unlock Quebec’s deeper Steel reserves. Again, get this out of the way while there isnt a lot of action.

Finally, we need to get our industrial base up. Max the Infrastructure in Southern Ontario (land locked) and fill it with CIVs. Just keep adding more CIVs here as the slots become available.

You’ll get MILs from the focus tree to help get your production values up, again, later in the game.

Staging and Armies

Because the use of destroyers we’ll need to keep a small pocket of manpower until we’re ready to bulk up our armies.

For now we’ll setup our armies for the invasion of Cuba – our first target. Select all your units and change them into the default Cavalry. It’s only a placeholder for later Infantry units.

Create 7 new Cavalry and 6 Tank Brigades.
There should be roughly 34k manpower remaining. This will be plenty for our destroyers.

Split your CAV into 2 Armies

#1 – 10 CAV
#2 – 3 CAV

*attach the 7 new cavalry to Army 2 giving you (2) Armies of 10.

Set Army 1 to Naval invade from Halifax to East of Havana – Around the island.
Set Army 2 to Naval invade from New Brunswick to West of Havana – Place this army on a fallback line to keep them organized on the invasion port.

Army 1 is to land and cut off resupply and support. The AI typically – but not always – will abandon Havana after either a very short attack, or immediately after you land.

The second Army 1 has landed, you’ll attach Army 2 to it’s naval invasion plan and send them to the West side of Havana, the tip of the island. make sure they arent attached to the fallback line. It’s a good idea to delete it after you’ve got your CAV finished.

Army 2 will serve as both a backup and act as a secondary invasion.

Important notes

Make sure you have Army 2 standing in position and READY when you do the invasion. Because you’ll only have Transports I you can’t send more than 10 units at a time.

So you will send them in succession. Yes you can rush the additional landing tech, but it isnt worth it.

Also, and super big time saver! Draw a naval invasion from Havana to Guantanamo Bay for Army 1. Attach 1 or 2 units to this order after you’ve taken Havana. Hold the city – do not advance – until you’ve completed your War Bonds and/or Commit to the War Focuses.

If you time your selections (and world tension cooperates on nonhistoric…) you could reasonably do both.

When to convert from CAV to INF:

After you unlock any 1 manpower option from your focus tree, not before. You dont want your manpower reserve at 0.

Typically after I ‘Support the Blue Shirts.’ +2% population! woo!

If youre playing Communist you’ll want to get National Resources Mobilization Act for the extra push of manpower.


Because of the starting bonus with the Commonwealth, and depending on how you’ll play your game, you’ll want to take advantage of its early offerings. Look for items with a bonus attached, and try to ONLY take items with a 50% bonus.

Most items that you’ll get the best benefit from are under the Naval and Industry trees. Saving 50% on anything is great, but most items in the naval area are only 20% or so. I like to combine my excessive training fleet’s experience gains with the commonwealth bonus to get things like Rank III depth charges, and Cruiser Hull armor II at reduced costs.

On the industry tree, wait until there is a 50% bonus here for your construction and production techs. Why spend full price when you can spend half!? But the synthetic bonuses should be taken, even though its only 20%. its one of the longest techs at like… 280 days, so 20% off is pretty huge.

You wont get a lot of research slots early, so focus on your midgame element early, and get it in great shape for when you use it – I like Heavy Tanks and Cruisers.

Political Power and Focus Tree

Patriation – always first.

Canada will FLY through its government also, and if you’re playing on non-historic some wild things can happen. The Royal Family can arrive in Fascist Canada, bringing a nice boost. Decolonization gives you back Newfoundland and Labrador… and a hunk of steel with it!

Similar to the manpower/production problem, Canada has a political problem – but this is a good one. You can PUMP out political power if you set up for it early.

Hire first: R. B. Bennett, then Harry Crerar.

Improve worker conditions once and perform Anti-government raids once (preferably at the same time) and you should come out of it with 100% stability, and more importantly, an additional CIV because of the consumer goods bonus!

At 60% support your government will be forced to act. a popup will give you the option of civil war. Always chose the peaceful (canadian!) choice and change the government for 100PP.

PP spend order:

150 Bennett / 150 Crerar / 150 Political Advisor / *save your points* 100 Worker Conditions / 50 Anti-x Raids / 300 Buy Freedom.

1. Patriation
2. Swastika Clubs / Burn Royal Portraits
3. Halifax Shipyards
4. Destroyer Effort (i use the ahead of time bonus on rank 3 depth charges)
5. Light Cruiser Effort

You can use the Heavy Cruiser focus to go for a rank 4 Cruiser hull early, but the Rank III is more than enough for what you’ll be using it for.

After #5 you can chose a couple of paths:
I like to try and snap up The Pacific Defense Radar System then pound through the Industry tree. Or, if the world tension has ramped up early enough, start the Defense of Canada Regulations to get Commit to the War asap.Onward!With this simple Cuban launchpad-plan you can hit:

Venezuela, Colombia (careful the mountains!) have huge deposits of oil and can be quickly overwhelmed. once here, you can move further into South America. (columbia has naval access in the pacific also!

Mexico and the remainder of Central America are weak enemies and easily taken. The USA does not interfere with its guarantee on any of the countries it claims to ‘protect’. Taking one or two smaller countries here can provide you with large sums of additional guns with little effort.

Portugal, which is a tough nut to crack due to its small size, but it’s got GREAT potential for colonialism, including ports in and near Africa, Papua New Guinea, China, India and the Middle East.

Important Note: Rank 2 heavy fighters with 2 range upgrades (55 points) can reach the Portuguese mainland from the nearest barrier island (you’ll need to build a rank 1 airbase). if you plan to take Portugal, bring either: lots of guys to land in various places, or a TON of aircraft to subdue the enemy, landing a smaller force. or a bit of both. Your call really. and of course, Tanks!

India Watch to see if / when they get released by the commonwealth. They’re a very easy target if you’re prepared and if you took Cuba and Portugal, you’ll be fine to slug it out with the former Crown Jewel.

Spain (if its Fascist, Carlist, or Anarchist… its good! the commies join up to Stalin and well… yer done) It’s a good fight too. But you’ll need long range cruisers and Heavy Hulls to fight their navy. It’s best to take the barrier lands first, then go for the mainland after you’ve secured the outlying areas.

Ireland they can be a bit tricky because of their democratic nature, but on occasion you can snap them up from under the UK’s nose. Upgrade your boats range and prepare to plow down the Emerald Isle.

China Using tanks to rip through and cut your enemies and win the war, for whichever side you want! Mao or Hirohito – just pick your winner! This is a great theater after you hit Cuba and you can collect a lot of territory here from the Guangxi Clique with sufficient war score.

Alternate USA
Set America to custom rule: Communists.
Set UK to custom rule: Communists.

Newfoundland and Labrador will be returned.
When America has it’s Civil War, be ready to invade Michigan from all sides.
Yup. We’ll make you all sorry!

Guide by OriginalWebCam

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