A puppet is a country that is de jure independent but is more or less controlled by another, often stronger nation, through an installed government that is loyal to the controlling nation.
When a country is puppeted, its government is replaced by one installed by the puppet master, matching the puppet master's ideology. If a puppet master declares war, they can call in their puppets as allies. In the peace conference that ensues after a successful war, puppeted countries will not be able to make demands by themselves, though the puppet master can dictate demands in favor of its puppets if they choose to do so. As a result, an already puppeted country cannot puppet other countries. If a puppet master is forced to capitulate, its puppets will automatically capitulate as well. Upon defeating a puppet master, the victorious nations can choose to detach puppeted countries from their puppet master, making them free-standing nations again. Communist countries get a 70% cost reduction for puppeting other countries.
Advantages of having a puppet
- The puppet master nation may import goods from its puppet or subject state at a rate discounted below the standard trade rate of up to 8 loads of a resource per factory. If the Together for Victory DLC is active, a puppet or an integrated puppet (such as Malaya) provides 80 loads per factory to its British master (90% discount), while British Raj colony offers 16 loads (50% discount) and British dominions offer 10 loads per factory (25% discount). Without the DLC, the Raj is a puppet and the only discount is for puppets.
- It is possible to "request" control over the troops of the puppet; this provides additional divisions for the puppet master.
- When doing so, it is desirable for the player to lend-lease appropriate equipment to the puppet nation which will allow for faster division training as well as combat any existing puppet equipment shortages. Alternatively, the master may request lend-lease equipment from the puppet to drain its equipment stocks.
- The master can effectively boost their own manpower by raising units including a mix of master and puppet manpower (70% for a Colony, 90% for a Puppet, and 100% for an Integrated Puppet). Such colonial divisions are controlled by the puppet master. The templates for such colonial divisions are those taken or adapted from the puppet's own template list (open by clicking the Crown icon at the top of the Division Designer in the Recruit/Deploy menu). If a puppet is newly released, it will receive templates of the puppet master.
- Puppeting countries can often be safer than annexing them as it generates less World Tension than territorial annexation, reducing the risk of foreign intervention by other potentially hostile countries.
Disadvantages of having a puppet
- If the player does not own Together for Victory, a puppet retains full control of the territory you grant it, meaning that the master cannot build anything in a puppet's territory. It is then also not possible to annex a puppet, meaning that creating a puppet causes the mother nation to lose the ability to utilize the puppet's territory for construction.
Being a puppet
Advantages of being a puppet
- Puppets can receive lend lease from their master, even in peacetime. This may help in multiplayer games to grant a puppet a head-start in multiplayer games with a 1936 start date.
- If a nation declares war on a puppet, its master will automatically turn hostile towards the nation that declared war on it, bringing them as well as all their other puppets into the fight.
Disadvantages of being a puppet
- A puppet receives a reduced number of factories for giving resources to its master. This can hinder early-game industry development.
- A puppet can neither justify war goals nor can it declare war on another country, in addition to that, puppets cannot make demands in a peace conference, meaning that a puppet's territorial expansion is entirely decided by the puppet master.
- If a puppet master declares war on a nation, they can freely force the puppet into the war. If matched up against a stronger opponent and fighting alone, the odds are clearly not in its favor. Even if the puppet proves stronger and defeats that enemy, it gets nothing but glory from the war unless the puppet master provides something in the peace or thereafter.
|Available only with the Together for Victory DLC enabled.|
One puppet may act more or less independent than another. To represent the difference between largely autonomous dominions like Canada or Australia, somewhat autonomous colonies like the British Raj, and totally subservient puppet states like Manchukuo and Mengkukuo, the game divides subject states into four levels of autonomy. Within each level, Autonomy has a numerical level between 0 and 1000. At 1000 autonomy, the subject may advance to a higher tier, or become free if it is already a Dominion. At 0 autonomy, the master may decrease autonomy to a lower tier, or annex the puppet entirely if it is already an Integrated Puppet. Changing tiers costs 50 Political Power, while annexing a subject or becoming free costs 300 Political Power.
| Integrated Puppet
Autonomy system (fascism)
|Available only with the Death or Dishonor DLC enabled.|
Subjects of a fascist country have a different system, with some similarities. While there are fewer levels of autonomy (3), more autonomy has to be increased to break free (or decreased to annex), as Autonomy is now numerically classified from 0 to 1600 at each level. Changing levels is the same as in other puppets, with a 50 political power requirement to change, and 300 political power to gain freedom or annex the subject.
Changes in autonomy
Both overlord and subject actions can change autonomy. In general, the subject helping the overlord increases its autonomy, while the overlord helping the subject decreases it.
- Lend-leasing equipment to the subject lowers autonomy by 1 for every 100 production cost of the transferred equipment. For example, giving 1000 Infantry Weapons I (unit cost 0.5) will lower autonomy by (1000 * 0.5 / 100) = 5 units. The equipment must be at least as good as the best equipment of that type the subject can produce with its own technology, so dumping obsolete equipment will have no effect (lend leasing obsolete equipment from a master to a puppet might decrease the puppet's autonomy. This master-to-puppet effect needs to be confirmed. In one posting in the Bug Report forum, the British lend-leased 10,000 basic infantry equipment to the British Raj, lowering the Raj's autonomy by 30).
- Similarly, the subject lend-leasing equipment to the overlord will raise autonomy by 1 for every 100 production cost. The equipment must be as good as the best the overlord can produce, so draining a puppet of obsolete equipment does not weaken authority over the puppet.
- The overlord building factories or other constructions in the subject lowers autonomy by 0.7 for every 100 production output invested. For example, building a military factory, with a cost of 3600 units, will lower autonomy by (3600 * 0.7 / 100 = ) 25.2. Note that it's not possible to build in a dominion's territory, except through focus construction that provides an autonomy reduction.
- If the overlord trades for the subject's resources, the subject gains 0.04 autonomy per day for every 8 resources taken.
- The subject gains autonomy for its contributions to the overlord's warsExact formula TBD
- The continuous focus "Suppress subjects" lowers all subjects' autonomy by 0.5 daily, while the focus "Increase autonomy" raises it 0.5 daily.
- Several nation-specific focuses and National Spirits increase or decrease autonomy - currently, these are limited to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth nations.
- If the overlord capitulates (to anyone), the subject immediately gains 500 autonomy.
- If the overlord is fascist and capitulates, the subject gains 800 autonomy instead (only occurs with Death or Dishonor DLC enabled).
Puppets can break free from their puppet masters, however, this cannot be done peacefully if the player wishes to do it swiftly. In vanilla, increasing support for a different ideology than the current government through political advisors and triggering a civil war is the only way of breaking free; once the war starts the newly independent government will be at war with the original puppet government who may still call the puppet master for help. Once that happens, the fate of this struggle for independence depends on whether the rebels are able to overpower both the master and the loyalists. If the puppet succeeds they will get the chance to puppet their former overlord. If the player owns Together for Victory, one can also become independent by increasing autonomy enough. The puppet master can counter this however, by decreasing autonomy through the above methods. This means that breaking free peacefully is possible with Together For Victory, but it is a slow and complicated process.