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The United States is one of the largest and richest countries of the globe in 1936, and the only major power outside of Europe and Asia. However, despite its immense wealth in resources and infrastructure assets, the USA is heavily restrained by its laws and national spirits at the start of the game. But should the U.S. remove these restrictions and build up their military might (and optionally get allies by creating or joining a faction), they can easily become a world superpower, in a similar fashion to its real-life counterpart.
- 1 Events
- 2 National focus
- 3 Technology
- 4 Diplomacy
- 5 Politics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Military
- 8 Strategies and Guides
- 8.1 Joining the war in Autumn 1939 and other grand strategies
- 8.2 Political strategy
- 8.3 Technology
- 8.4 Construction
- 8.5 Production
- 8.6 Military Strategy
- Main article: American events
- Main article: American national focus tree
The USA has an interesting focus tree with 5 different branches, both historical and alternative, to progress down:
- Issue War Bonds branch focuses on getting the country out of the Great Depression and ready itself for war.
- WPA & War Propaganda branch is the main industry buildup tree and gives wargoals against other majors.
- Air War Plans Division branch expands and gives bonuses to the air force.
- Bureau of Ships branch expands and gives bonuses to the navy.
- Reaffirm Monroe Doctrine branch turns North & South American nations into the same party type as the United States as well as giving a puppet wargoal against Venezuela.
The USA starts in 1936 with four research slots. Compared to the rest of the world's countries, It has a unique capability to acquire two more slots from its National Focuses - Extra Research Slot and Scientist Haven.
Six slots is a unique ability for the USA, but can only be obtained by completing the Issue War Bonds branch of the focus tree. The first focus in this branch requires the USA to be at war with at least one other major power. The six slots gives it a significant advantage in the late-game to be able to research nuclear, jet and rocket technology, and still maintain its research in other areas. Scientist Haven represents the scientists and engineers who escaped from the war in Europe and traveled to the USA to continue their work.
|Army Technology||Naval Technology||Air Technology||Electronics & Industry|
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.0.
The United States controls several islands in the Pacific such as Guam, Wake, and Midway to name a few. Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii are treated as states in the game. The Philippines is a U.S. puppet.
Every country in North, Central, and South America is guaranteed by the USA under the Monroe Doctrine.
The U.S. does not start as a member of a faction.
|Rule||Whether it applies||Reason|
|Can declare war on country of the same ideology group without a war goal||No||Democracy|
|Can Guarantee other Ideologies||Yes||Democracy|
|Can join Factions led by another Ideology||No||National Spirit: Home of the Free|
|Can create Factions||Yes||National Spirit: Home of the Free|
|Lowers World Tension with Guarantees||Yes||Democracy|
|Can puppet a country||No||Democracy|
|Can justify wargoals against a country that have not generated world tension||No||Democracy|
- Daily Political Power cost: +1.00
- Consumer Goods Factories: +30%
- Recruitable Population Factor: -50%
- Join faction tension limit: +20%
In the 1936 election, the USA can choose the party to lead it. Depending on the choice, another National Spirit can be added:
- If Democratic Party, New Deal
- Infrastructure construction speed: +20%
- National Unity: +10%
- If Republican Party, there is no change to the national spirits, but:
- They gain the Industrial Concern Standard Oil of California, which gives Industrial Research Time: -10%
- The new leader of the USA becomes Alf Landon, who has the trait Staunch Constitutionalist - Ideology Drift Defense: +50%
USA starts 1936 as a democracy, with elections every four years. The ruling party is the Democratic Party led by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Elections are held every four years; in-game, this applies to 1936, 1940, and 1944. Each time, the player will be prompted to choose the outcome. FDR, as the incumbent, will run for the Democrats each time even if he has been unseated in a previous election. The Republicans run three candidates: Alf Landon in 1936, Wendell Willkie in 1940, and Thomas E. Dewey in 1944. Each grant different bonuses and the player can select them. Note that the Republican candidate will not change if they won the previous election, as they will be running as the incumbent. For example, if the player were to choose Alf Landon in 1936, they will not be able to choose Wendell Willkie in 1940. The USA has no National Focus that allows it to change ideology. If the player wants to try to change the ideology then they should appoint Political Advisors either:
- Charles Coughlin, who is a Fascist Demagogue: Daily Fascism Support: +0.1
- Earl Browder, who is a Communist Revolutionary: Daily Communist Support: +0.1
Both cost 150 Political Power to appoint. Support for the fascist Silver Legion of America led by William Dudley Pelley, or for the communist Communist Party USA led by Earl Browder himself, will steadily increase. Because of the USA's National Spirit Home of the Free this will be slower than normal - Ideology Defense Drift: +20%. The result of this will be to convert the USA to a fascist or communist country. The party and leader of the country will change, and they will change the name and flag. Once this has happened, the diplomatic rules applied to fascist or communist countries apply to the USA. There will be no more elections.
Depending on how the player handles this - various events will pop-up asking them on how they would like to proceed - the player may end up in a civil war, against the forces of democracy. The more political support the player builds up, the more of the country they will control if that happens. At 33% support the player will be asked if they would like to have a civil war and at 50% support they can choose to switch governments to either fascist or communist, depending on which ideology is the most dominant.
Staff and Designers
These are choices of ministers and design companies for the United States.
|Standard Oil of California||Industrial Concern||
|General Electric||Electronics Concern||
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.1.
|Conscription Law||Economy Law||Trade Law|
| Disarmed Nation
|| Undisturbed Isolation
|| Free Trade
10 Military Factories
22 Naval Dockyard
130 Civilian Factories
The United States boasts, without a doubt, the largest construction capability of the major powers by 1936. However, due to the immense 70% consumer factory requirements by the country's national spirits, the U.S. only has 32 civilian factories available for construction. To fully exploit the U.S.'s economic potential, one has to go to war to enable the removal of The Great Depression modifier and to change the economic laws. Another undermining factor for the country's might is the low number of military factories, rendering its army very weak at the start.
These numbers represent the available resources, depending on trade law a certain amount may be traded away.
When it comes to resources, the Americans live in abundance. They have more than enough of Oil and Aluminum, as well as sufficient Steel, and will profit greatly from their exports in the game. However, they lack Rubber and Chromium and so these must be imported, at least until the late game. 10 Rubber can be added through a unique National Focus.
One long-term strategic goal for the United States is to acquire Siamese Rubber or Japanese Chromium by controlling the respective provinces. Also, 920 Steel looks like a lot, but when using only 20% of that under the Free trade law, the massive expansion of military production will lead to shortages by late 1939. Researching Resource gain efficiency can counteract this, but only to a certain point. The United States will likely have to move away from a pure free trade doctrine as a result.
The United States military of 1936 boasts of a navy that rivals the United Kingdom, but an army and air force hampered by limited manpower and shortages of equipment.
|Close air support||138|
- 19 of the infantry divisions belong to the National Guard. These are composed of 12 infantry battalions whilst the regular army divisions are composed of 9 battalions. Four infantry divisions are forward-deployed to the Philippines, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal, with the garrison brigades stationed across several Pacific islands. The rest of the army is scattered throughout the continental United States. The Superior Firepower doctrine has been pre-selected.
- The U.S. Navy is one of the strongest in the game. It starts in 1936 with a total of 235 ships, the same amount as the UK but with a heavier emphasis on submarines, and slightly fewer capital ships. The United States is able to build all Tier I vessels and is also able to produce the Tier II Ranger-class aircraft carriers, Brooklyn-class light cruisers and Porpoise-class submarines. At the start date of 1936, their naval yards are building a Portland-class heavy cruiser, a Porpoise-class submarine and 13 Farragut-class destroyers. The Base Strike doctrine has been pre-selected.
Ship classes of the United States Navy Type Class Amount In Production Tech CV Yorktown Class 0 0 Carrier II (Upgraded variant, +1 all parameters) CV Ranger Class 1 0 Carrier II CV Lexington Class 2 0 Carrier I BB New Mexico Class 8 0 Battleship I (Upgraded variant, +2 all parameters) BB Pennsylvania Class 4 0 Battleship I (Upgraded variant, +1 all parameters) BB New York Class 3 0 Battleship I BC Lexington Class 0 0 Battlecruiser I CA Portland Class 7 1 Heavy Cruiser I (Upgraded variant, +2 all parameters) CA Pensacola Class 8 0 Heavy Cruiser I CL Brooklyn Class 0 0 Light Cruiser II CL Omaha Class 10 0 Light Cruiser I DD Farragut Class 8 13 Destroyer I (Upgraded variant, +3 all parameters) DD Clemson Class 107 0 Destroyer I* SS Porpoise Class 9 1 Submarine II SS Barracuda Class 3 0 Submarine I (Upgraded variant, +2 all parameters) SS S Class 65 0 Submarine I Convoy 400 0
- Air force
- The air force consists of 882 aircraft, including 384 Curtiss P-1 Hawk fighters, 96 Northrop A-17 CAS aircraft, 108 Douglas XTBD-1 naval bombers and 204 Douglas B-18 Bolo tactical bombers. The carriers operate 24 Grumman FF 'Fifi' fighters, 42 Northrop BT CAS aircraft and 24 Douglas TBD Devastator naval bombers. The fighters and tactical bombers are of an inter-war design. There is an ongoing production line for the 'Fifi'.
Strategies and Guides
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.0.
Joining the war in Autumn 1939 and other grand strategies
Historically, the United States supported the Allies and joined World War II in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. From the war it emerged as one of two superpowers, the other being the Soviet Union. In Hearts of Iron IV it is, however, possible to join the allies in the war much earlier. This can be done by guaranteeing a German invasion target (Poland when playing with historical focuses), which requires 525 political power, as the United States already guarantees the whole of the Americas, and also that U.S. first gives up the ideas Undisturbed Isolation and Isolation; the political manoeuvring necessary for the later is described below as Prolonged South American intervention.
When choosing this strategy, the United States not only faces a severe bottleneck in political power, but also tough bottlenecks in industrial capacity, research and army experience. Defending France and the Low Countries as the United States in 1939/40 would take at least 60 Infantry Divisions (better 90), and a few Tank Divisions for a counter-offensive are also required. Prioritizing research, production and division design is an interesting challenge, that will likely take several attempts to get it right.If all the rights steps were taken and the counter-offensive against the German army is successful, however, this strategy allows the United States to be victorious against Germany and Italy by early 1941, even before the Soviet Union (and possibly Japan) join the war. Japan's and Russia's expansionists ambitions will then bring them almost inevitably into conflict with the Allies, leading to ono or two more great wars. These have their own challenges (Japan's rather formidable navy and Russia's vast territory and army size), but should still be won rather easily, leaving the Allies to be the only remaining faction and the United States as the sole remaining superpower by 1944 or 1945. Unlike in real history, where the U.S. had to compete with the Soviet union for 45 years, the Communist regime in Russia will toppled in a war, before it can become a military superpower or develop nuclear weapons. This makes an early intervention preferable to the historical strategy of the United States: If they wait until late 1941 before intervening in the war in Europe, they either will have to compete with a Communist Russian superpower, as they did historically in the Cold war, or, even worse, with a German fascist superpower that controls almost all of continental Europe as they managed to emerge victorious against Russia
Due to the preeminence of the United States' participation in the wars, Great Britain, though nominally the leader of the Allies, and France, will have far less influence on the post-war order. They can usually prevent the U.S. from taking all the territory of Germany (or Japan, or Russia), by insisting that these countries change their government to 'democratic', but the United States will have enough influence at the peace negotiations (a.k.a.: warscore) to demand the territory of smaller nations like Austria, Korea or the Ukraine, and afterwards release these as puppets, guaranteeing its dominance in the post war order. This way the U.S. can also get access to resources it lacks; Chromium by puppeting Yugoslavia, Rubber by puppeting Siam, if these join the war on the axis side.
Of course, there are those who criticize the U.S.A. for facilitating democratic regime change, and controlling smaller foreign nations to have access to their resources. At least sometimes, these critics of the Unites States and their democracy are supporters of communist or fascist ideologies, and would presumably prefer an United States that puppets other nations more aggressively (like the Soviet Union) or even controls the territory of conquered nations directly (like fascist Germany); or they are just jealous because their own country lacked the industrial capacity, manpower or political leadership to achieve world domination. In any case, turning the United States into a communist or fascist regime and achieving a more throughout world domination is possible. (Did anyone test, how long this would take?) This would change the other aspects of the United States' strategy only slightly; the U.S. will still need a very large army, however, as they would inevitably have to take on the naval power of Great Britain, they would need to invest somewhat more in the Navy.
Of course, the aforementioned strategies assume that January 1, 1936 was chosen as a start date. When the game is started on August 12, 1939, the U.S. is (almost certainly?) limited to the strategy of a late war entry on the side of the allies. There simply is not enough time left to carry out the political manoeuvring (South American intervention) necessary to accelerate the war entry, or to switch the dominant ideology of the U.S. away from democratic.
Aside from the intention to prevent the rise of a fascist (or communist) superpower in Europe, there is another important reason to join the war as early as possible. The USA is suffering from the effects of The Great Depression, which severely limits its manpower and production, and reduces its daily political power gain by -1. This lack of political power supporting democratic ideologies in other states rather difficult, initially. The Great Depression can be removed by researching the national focus: Issue war bonds, which however, requires the USA to be at war with another major power.
To counteract the extreme lack of political power (+/-0 daily when researching a focus), it is almost obligatory to research WPA first, and use the 150 pp gained to hire the "Silent Workhorse" political advisor Robert Taft. Then at least the U.S. accumulates 0.3 pp/daily, while researching a focus.
When the election event comes in November, Alf Landon is probably the better choice. On the one hand, gaining an industrial concern for free actually helps the U.S., with its lack of political power, a lot. The national unity bonus bonus of the New Deal, on the other hand, is currentlyPatch 1.4.2 useless for the U.S., at least in a game against the AI, since the U.S. doesn't risk being invaded before November 1940 - and one can (and should) elect F.D. Roosevelt at this point anyway. The infrastructure construction bonus of the New Deal would be helpful in the long term for increasing production, but short- and midterm it will likely be more effective to build military factories directly, instead of constructing the infrastructure first.
Prolonged South American intervention
Several essential National focuses from the WPA & War Propaganda branch (Military Construction, USACE Projects, The Giant Wakes, Limited Intervention) either require a high amount of world tension, or that the United States is at war. Fortunately, the Reaffirm Monroe Doctrine branch of the focus tree allows to drag the United States into a war with a South American country (Venezuela when playing with historical focuses.) This requires first researching the complete Reaffirm Monroe Doctrine branch with the exception of Black Chamber Operation. Then one could start the war immediately, but it makes some sense to wait until world tension has risen to 25%, and research War propaganda and Prepare Intervention first. As the United States should be building up a large army at this point, available manpower should be close to zero, so researching The Giant Wakes and Limited Intervention once the U.S. is at war would be the higher priority, as the later switches the conscription law to Limited Conscription, which would otherwise cost 150 political power. The U.S. can then get one Extra Research Slot, before researching Military Construction and USACE Projects.
The idea is to prolong the war until the last of these focuses, that required the U.S. to be at war, is being researched, it will then continue and finish, even when the war is won. Even more importantly, spending 150 political power immediately after the start of the war to switch the economy to Partial Mobilization speeds up military factory construction decisively.
Winning the war and puppeting Venezuela (or another American country) has another side effect. It reduces the number of independent American countries by 1, and thus reduces the political power costs to guarantee a German invasion target (Poland, usually) in Europe to be able to join the war early by 25 to 525. Considering that the USA only accumulates 0.3 political power each day (regular difficulty, Robert Taft hired as advisor, 1 pp/day spent on researching a focus), until the focus Issue War Bonds is completed, this is not insignificant.
Technology research accelerating focusses
After the Preemptive Intervention focus has been researched, there would be time to research two more focusses, before Japan declares war on China and world tension has risen high enough to develop Prepare Intervention (when playing with historical focusses). As the goal at this point is to build up an effective army as fast as possible, it would be appropriate to use this time to develop the focusses Support Rock Island and Committee on Technocracy, to accelerate the research of artillery and support technology. Other focusses of the United States give boni naval and air research and production, but these would then have to wait until mid-1940.
National focuses and Political power
There are three obvious rules to prioritize technology research; Priority #1: When researching something that would accelerate research is possible, research it (Engineering Tech Tree). Priority #2: When researching something that would speed up the production is possible, research it. Always do the researches related to the production cap first (it's more effective on the long run). Priority #3: If the player has a free research slot, research something that they would like to produce early on. With 4 research slots, the United States does not have difficulties to prioritize Engineering and Production technology. Only the question whether it might be worth it to get ahead in production technology could deserve some serious consideration. The real challenge is 3), especially when the goal is to join the war as early as possible.
- See also: Naval technology
Due to the need to build up an effective army, there is hardly any research capacity left for naval technology. Fortunately, the U.S. will be at the edge of technology development in light cruisers and aircraft carriers until 1940, and has a large reserve of ships of other classes, so it can safely skip using research slots for naval technology until late 1939/early 1940. (Unless, probably, if they are planing a war against the United Kingdom.) Due to the large reserve of heavy Cruisers and battleships (BBs), the U.S does not need to research technologies Heavy Cruiser II and Battleship II; it can skip the 1936 technologies by researching Light Cruisers III and Battlecruisers II in early 1940, and then develop Heavy Cruisers III and Battleships III based on these designs, if this should become necessary.
Lagging behind in Destroyer technology is slightly awkward, though, especially considering that the U.S. has the national focus Destroyer effort, that reduces destroyer production cost by an additional -10%. In any case, there's little to no point in building both light cruisers and destroyers, one should pick one. The pre-selected base strike naval doctrine gives boni to light cruiser, but not to destroyers, so if one wants to follow that historical path of U.S. naval strategy, that relies on aircraft carrier groups, light cruisers can be chosen over destroyers.
In any case, for an early war entry in 1939, there are not enough research slots left to follow the base strike tree further down. After 1940, the national focus Fund the Navy allows to catch up with naval doctrine, whereas Carrier Primacy would allow to research the Midway class (Carriers IV) early.
When playing as USA, the player has practically unlimited trade opportunities. There is therefore no reason to build Refineries; if necessary, one can build Civilian Factories (CFs) instead. Although through new Patches Refineries would give the player more resources (7 oil +4 rubber * a maximum of 150% depending on the Excavation technology) comparing to CFs (8 per CF in trade), considering that USA already has an excess amount of oil for trading, it would be better to build Civilian Factories instead.
Whether one should build CFs at all is a more difficult question. A rough estimate of the math involved would advise against that: One CF has a base output of 5 and cost 10800. Without any modifiers, it would repay itself in 2160 days or almost 6 years. Initially, the payback time will be even higher for the U.S.; they have the advantage of Free Trade (+15% factory output), but the disadvantage of Undisturbed Isolation (+40% consumer goods factories).
If an entry into the war later then 1940 is intended, building CFs initially might be suitable strategy. The more the player builds soon in the game, the more potential they have later when it comes to building military factories. The states the player builds them in doesn't really matter, since the Japanese will be kept in a distance, but if the player is paranoid, consider building them in the landlocked provinces. 4 CFs can be built in the first year.
Although building CFs is not an arbitrary question, it is challenging to give a reasonably precise answer. The math involved is not difficult, but very complex. (If anyone can do an excel spreadsheet on that, please do!)
Immediately at January 1, 1936, the Carrier fighter line should be canceled. It is a wasted MF (Military Factory) since the U.S. doesn't import any rubber, and buying some would be ineffective (1 CF traded for 7 unused units of rubber, that is not a great deal for America). Similarly, the towed artillery production line can be cancelled, if the Support Rock Island national focus is to be used to accelerate the research of the 1939 model artillery.
Due to the large army build-up, the U.S. will have a deficit of infantry equipment and support equipment the majority of the time. Initially, infantry equipment is more important, so 6 or 7 MFs should be assigned to that. Newly build MFs can be assigned to infantry and support equipment as needed, but pretty soon the U.S. will need to start more than a dozen production lines for trucks, planes, artillery and tanks.
The submarine and the heavy cruiser, that are in production, should be finished; perfectionist players even might want to increase the number of submarines to 3, as that will bring to total number of submarines in the U.S. navy to 80, which is a nice, easily divisible number.
Even players that chose to go with destroyers, instead of light cruisers, would likely only build 5 destroyer I units instead of the default 13! At the present pace, it shouldn't take more than 180 days to complete them, which is when the player can have the upgraded version available, if research on it was started in January 1936.
After these existing production lines have finished, there are only three ship classes that are interesting for the strategy of an early war entry. Carriers, light cruisers and convoys.
Once the Unites States starts building ACs or Heavy Tanks, they will need Chromium. It makes sense to trade these with the UK or France, as their military build-up would be helped by the additional civilian factory capacity they receive through trade.
Put all the player's existing divisions into training - it will earn them some XP in exchange for some equipment that would still become outdated.
Defending France and the Low Countries in '39 and '40
Sending 60 infantry divisions to Europe immediately after the German attack on Poland is possible for the U.S., if the right decisions were taken for this at the right time. Of these, 24 divisions (preferably Mountaineers) should be sent to the Alps south of Switzerland, to defend the Italian Front. Another 12 divisions (also Mountaineers) can be sent to the Maginot line, as French ai divisions sometimes abandon their line of the front for no apparent reason. That would leave 24 divisions to defend Belgium and the Netherlands, which should be enough, unless the Germans manage to achieve an early breakthrough somewhere south of Amsterdam. As the terrain is easily defensible, the more time the infantry has to dig in and gain experience, the harder it will be for the Germans to push through. If they manage to cross the Rhine and Meuse rivers, or the Ardennes Forest, though, it might be difficult to stabilize the front somewhere east of Paris.
After the initial German onslaught has been halted, the weakest part of the front is around Amsterdam in the Netherlands. East of this is open country, which, initially, can not be defend successfully. The city itself, and the forest east of it, offer some defensive boni, but not enough. Also: The fortifications at Kornwerderzand, where historically the Dutch stopped the Northern flank of the German advance in the Battle of the Afsluitdijk (Wikipedia), are not represented in the game. If Amsterdam and Den Haag fall, the Netherlands will capitulate. The best option, it turned out, is to prepare 3 or 4 heavy tank divisions and have them dig in around Amsterdam.
Another 30 or so US Infantry divisions should arrive in France in November/December 1939. If the Italians have managed to break through in the South around Nice, half or more of these divisions will be needed to hold a front somewhere along the Rhone river. If however, as hoped, both the German and the Italian front are somewhat stable, these new divisions can enforce the divisions at the German front; some of the more experienced divisions (at least 12) can then been withdrawn from combat for the time being, and used as a strategic reserve for the counter-offensive, an invasion of the North German Plain.