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Ask how many Divisions I have!
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Apr 22, 2001
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I enjoyed writing my Argentina V2 AAR and was looking to do one in CK2 when it either came out or I got into beta. Well, my last beta was 8 years ago and I didn't get into CK. I liked Myth's Italy AAR so much that I started playing HoI3 again, even bought For the Motherland. I like playing a small to mid-sized country, one that's big enough where you count, but not so vast that you spend hours on every month even when things are slow. Then I enjoyed Rensslaer's Portugal AAR, wherein he has turned a country weaker than Canada into a serious power.

Well, I'm not going to match that, but I have played to the fall of France and I think I can keep this interesting. My goals are these:

- make Canada punch above it's weight;
- operate largely solo, the AI cannot be counted on to co-operate as Myth showed pretty clearly;
- try to learn a little about supply - that post by potski showed that not only is supply not impossible to figure out, it looks to be a grognard's delight;
- take it pretty quickly through the early stages, but
- explain what I am doing and why.

I'm not very good, but learning from my mistakes should help, especially for anyone interested in playing Canada. Every AAR can use a theme, and since I love Canada, Hockey and the music of Five for Fighting (a name which comes from the penalty for pugilism in hockey), I hope I have one which will provide bad jokes enough to last for the entire war. Plus chapter titles, puns (which are far worse than merely bad jokes) and obscure references that maybe five people will pick up on and one will be amused by (and the one is probably me).

I'm playing on all normal settings, vanilla FtM updated to whatever is up to date in November 2011. I'm not going to do 38 updates in 38 days like I did as Argentina, probably two a week unless I get pretty far ahead. I can already say that Canada can be a real force in WW2, but it needs to avoid the Eye of Sauron (which in WW2 is Germany) just as much as you have to avoid Vicky2's UK. I won't spoil too much I think by saying that I fail to evade Germany's gaze, and it's something of a problem.



Chapter One - Five for Fighting
Chapter Two - Fifteen for a Moment
Chapter Three - Let There Be War On Earth!
Chapter Four - Dying
Chapter Six - The Devil in the Wishing Well
Chapter Seven - Messina!
Chapter Eight - Once on this Island
Chapter Nine - The Fall of France
Chapter Ten - Holding On
Chapter Eleven - Living in the Spotlight
Chapter Twelve - Africa
Chapter Thirteen - Co-Operation
Chapter Fourteen - Squeezing North Africa
Chapter Fifteen - The End in Africa?
Chapter Sixteen - The Longest Week
Chapter Seventeen - The Longest Month
Chapter Eighteen - The Longest Quarter
Chapter Nineteen - And now for Something Completely Different
Chapter Twenty - First Intermission (How to be Canada)


Chapter Twenty-One - I Can Show You The World
Chapter Twenty-Two - Persia!
Chapter Twenty-Three - The Worst Laid Plans...
Chapter Twenty-Four - The Race
Chapter Twenty-Five - The Race ... Continues
Chapter Twenty-Six - The End of Persia
Chapter Twenty-Seven - The Aftermath
Chapter Twenty-Eight - The Odyssey
Chapter Twenty-Nine - Something New
Chapter Thirty - After Casablanca
Chapter Thirty-one - Across Africa
Chapter Thirty-Two - Vichyssoise
Chapter Thirty-Three - Closing the Ring
Chapter Thirty-Four - Closing the Other Ring
Chapter Thirty-Five - The Other End in Africa
Chapter Thirty-Six - That About Wraps It Up For North Africa
Chapter Thirty-Seven - Movin' On
Chapter Thirty-Eight - The Maltese Puppy
Chapter Thirty-Nine - RAID!
Chapter Forty - Does This Bug You? I'm Not Touching You!


Chapter Forty-One - Second Intermission
Chapter Forty-Two - Dipping Our Toe Into Fortress Europe
Chapter Forty-Three - Twenty-Two Days in January
Chapter Forty-Four - Back to the Kids' Table
Chapter Forty-Five - Sardinia
Chapter Forty-Six - Back in the Saddle
Chapter Forty-Seven - The Beginning of the End
Chapter Forty-Eight - Ashore In Italy
Chapter Forty-Nine - Up the Peninsula?
Chapter Fifty - Taking Another Slice of Italy
Chapter Fifty-One - Capture Those 80,000 Italians!
Chapter Fifty-Two - Another Day, Another Pocket
Chapter Fifty-Three - Closing the Ring(let)
Chapter Fifty-Four - Racing the Bear
Chapter Fifty-Five - The Full Monte?
Chapter Fifty-Six - Groundhog Day
Chapter Fifty-Seven - Bang Your Head
Chapter Fifty-Eight - Deja Vu
Chapter Fifty-Nine - Deja Vu
Chapter Sixty - Veni, Vidi ...
Chapter Sixty-One - The Open Door
Chapter Sixty-Two - Slams Shut
Chapter Sixty-Three - We're going to OOO-VERTIME


Chapter Sixty-Four - RUN AWAY!
Chapter Sixty-Five - Move Along, Little Doggie
Chapter Sixty-Six - Rome, Surrounded!
Chapter Sixty-Seven - ...and the Lightbulb Goes Off!
Chapter Sixty-Eight - Fixing Europe's Future
Chapter Sixty-Nine - The Last Race
Chapter Seventy - The End
Chapter Seventy-One - The "Victory" Parade
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Chapter One - Five for Fighting

Here's the plan for Canada, eh. First, make periodic jokes at the expense of Canada because I'm 1/4 Canadian (my father's mother was born in the town that gave us The Great One). Second, get used to having very little in the line of research.

That's right, a whopping six research points. Canada has resources, a very safe location in the world, and a rich neighbor to trade with by land. So I have many advantages which other nations will die wishing they possessed, but manpower and leadership are not among them. Given that I need to catch up on industry, I need to maximize the production of a couple resources (oil and rares, I think, I have tons of metal and a lot of energy), and supplies (to sell for $$), I cannot research much in the line of military techs. I think I'm going to be Mr. Infantry. I'l try to license some nice techs, but I don't have IC to spare, either. Nineteen is not nothing, and this is peacetime, but I won't be putting out fleets of B17s. My first early goal is to expand my industrial base during the dull peace years of 1936-1938, and pile up a few men before the shooting starts.

So research Construction Engineering, which will let me build IC; Education to expand my leadership and research base; Agriculture for manpower; and Industrial Efficiency and Production to make the most of what IC we have. Eventually I'll get to Infantry techs. I also plan to build Destroyers, because I can help in the Battle of the Atlantic, and elsewhere with convoy raiding, which can really hurt. If I can get Light Cruiser techs, I'll call them Canadian Battleships. But let's not shoot for the stars just yet, I'll be happy with a few Corps to have an impact on the war.

The eagle-eyed will note my first mistake - I built full strength units, not reserve infantry. Well, I decided it's not really a mistake to have some ready-to-fight infantry, you never know when a raging horde will rampage through Vancouver. We no sooner start the game than we get to make a change - a decision to prepare for war! Then we buy oil from the USA, let's just hope it doesn't require a pipeline, or we'll have one scary bit of hand-holding in Ottawa!

My second mistake, -ish, was to align with the Allies before setting up a trade with the UK. So since I am rapidly running out of cash to pay for the USA's oil, I make a deal with the USSR to sell supplies.

Here's a look at the Top Bar, "exploded" in the sense that each tooltip is displayed below:

As you can see, without too much effort, Canada is in the green in all things, merely shipping supplies out to pay for it. As new offers are made (especially metals) I'll gather in more money and ship out my surplus. I won't spend too much time on world affairs, but I will keep you abreast of the normal developments so you can tell where we are in the game. Apparently, Italy thought stretching out the war with Ethiopia for the economic benefits was too cheesy.

The game progresses pretty well in terms of allowing Canada to make changes and move toward a war footing. It's good to be a member of the Commonwealth.

By mid-April, I had all three Divisions going full steam ahead.

Some random events are good, though I do hate losing valuable ministers to "scandal". This is the 30s, every leader was The One.

Our first research success boost manpower, something Canada really could use more of. it wouldn't be so bad if I had IC to build all armor with my low manpower, but I cannot research armor and infantry. I could maybe use many special forces to maximize the impact of my manpower, but mostly I'll use ordinary infantry.

In May we're already able to institute a draft. I have to say, that having recently played as the USA, it appears that Canada moves very quickly toward a true war footing.

My first two Infantry Divisions are complete! We rock! Did I mention that Canada starts with one 3-brigade infantry division, one vintage destroyer unit and a half dozen transports? These two divisions boost us to seven brigades. Yes, I'm building two-brigade divisions, not three. I'm weak enough as it is, and I need the flexibility to spread my troops out or stack them up. I just hope I remember this, as the USA I built 3-brigade infantry and added artillery or anti-tank.

So we've contructed our first Division and Corps, the Five for Fighting Corps! I expect these will be Canada's workhorses. Well, since I won't have many Corps, every one of them will be Canada's Workhorses.

Here's where my research stands. Let me say, I'm sorry for the dryness of the first update, but it's Canada! I want to start in 1936 to allow me the maximum input into how the game goes, and I want to explain what I do. I figure that most people reading this will consider a Canada game, and so a large part of what I'm doing is exploring options. I'm not going to maxmize Canada's power, not by along shot, but by showing what I do, I'll give an idea what you could do better!

Canada's progress toward a mid-war economy continues to cruise along nicely!

I'm not saying that these changes are huge, but every step toward being fully engaged in the war has to be taken, and getting this many out of the way in just five months makes me very happy. I am very hopeful that I'll have top-notch troops in the field. What they lack in equipment they will make up for in training and techniques. I'm not going to be going toe-to-toe with Hitler here, so my troops should always be the equal of their enemy, if not superior.

And yet more good news. If this keeps up, I'm not going to wait for the war, I'm invading Poland.

Well, that about wraps it up for now. I'll breeze through the peace years in as few updates as I can, consistent with letting you know what I'm doing and why. There is fighting, trust me.

We've gone through half a year, and I've explained my purposes, Canada's limitations, and given you an idea of what Canada can accomplish at least in terms of what her research and resources can do. Oh, and please note my other mistake: Officers. Canada was fine with three brigades of infantry for the whole country (Rhode Island could beat the crap out of us in a war), but adding six more brigades left us kind of short of guys in fancy uniforms.
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Who are you? :D
Good luck with our neighbors up north.

It would be a lot harder if you hadn't taken the "reduce neutrality" decision.

Thanks, and yeah, watching Canada march quickly to readiness was a great surprise and benefit.

Canada is fun to play. Followed.


Who are you? :D

No one to be trifled with. Well, I used to be somebody...

This is a really neat idea; subscribed!


Update tomorrow. Hopefully I can keep Canada enough in the mix of things to keep them interesting, I've already made enough mistakes to meet my quota (and yes I have screenshots!).
It will be interesting to see what you can do. In the main forum a thread was started asking if Canada could ever take on the United States. I'm pretty sure the answer is "yes", but I'm still working on it. Anyways, I'll be looking here to steal some tips!
No! You're Canada! :happy:

Yes! You are correct, sir!

It will be interesting to see what you can do. In the main forum a thread was started asking if Canada could ever take on the United States. I'm pretty sure the answer is "yes", but I'm still working on it. Anyways, I'll be looking here to steal some tips!

I'm thinking you have to do it with techs from someone else and troops from manpower you grab from other places as well. Tough to see 25 manpower/year getting too far. But good luck!
Chapter Two - Fifteen for a Moment

"I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are"

It's June 1936 and the eighteen year-olds Canada will draft when the war begins are fifteen at the moment. I can hear them talking, they're asking "when is this AAR gonna get interesting?" Soon, boys, soon, don't you have practice? We finish the month about halfway to completing five of our reserve infantry divisions, one is lagging. We have 43 IC working now with the changes in our economy. We've moved rapidly toward a mid-war footing.

Two days later, we add two 2.5% boosts to our economy (IC), and learn how to build Industrial Capacity. My plan is to do this only once. Canada is behind on this tech, including practicals, so it will take forever to complete compared to more advanced nations. I'm guessing there was a better way to manipulate the practicals, but I plan to build one group of IC and then no more.

So that same day I put three IC units into the production and delay our troop recruitment and training.

In August I notice that I have only two domestic spies doing counter-espionage. I devote .25 leadership to that issue (this is the same .25 which we added to leadership since the start through research). My feeling is that very few enemies will be tempted to target Canada with much in the line of spies. Also, I cannot afford to spend leadership on attacking the enemy with spies, so I am going to ignore intelligence. I'll recruit ten spies and then quit for the duration. At the end of August, we invent a census tabulation machine, adding 2% to research.

A rogue politician costs us one national unity and a 5% hit to leadership for three weeks. Thanks guy. On the 26th of September the Spanish Civil War breaks out. This will give Orwell the taste of the future he needs, and a really close shave. In October we get caught rigging elections, so we decide to sell supplies to Venezuela to make up for it. Running a surplus attracts offers, I just sort through and accept the ones that look reasonable. In late October we note that we've gone from two spies to three. Spies are expensive. On the 23rd we advance our education tech, giving a 5% leadership bonus, and we increase spy funding to .75 to get it out of the way.

In November we have to place another order for oil with the USA, 16 crude for $7.2. That was virtually all our money, but gives us a healthy 8.4 excess in oil. Again, it is very convenient to be Canada. Wealthy trading partner right next door, no real need to defend your borders. Canada is huge anyway, giving the nation fair warning in the event that the AI goes all a-historical on you.

November and December 1936 see three important advances in technology, though one quickly turns out to be a mixed blessing.

The Small Arms boost is critical. I don't expect to face too many armored divisions, so soft attack is key. Supply production boost counts the same as a pretty decent IC boost, since we need to supply our troops and make more for export. Light Cruiser tech is something I'd been looking forward to, then I realized that our starting Light Cruiser techs were WWI. Building any CLs would require years of research, the use of many slots, and then a year or so to build the ship. I pretty much gave up on Cruiser techs as soon as I saw that. I'll try to keep modern DDs, and maybe license Cruisers since they are not capital ships and so I can use my allies' technology.

As a mini overview closing out 1936, we see below two things.

First, Republican Spain is doing much better than they did historically. I wonder how Orwell's doing? Second, it will be the end of 1937 before Canada can build anything at all. It's too late to change now, but I'm not sure I'd build IC next time. Seventeen months at 7.37 IC (each) is about 120IC months or 10 IC years. Even with mid-war production multipliers it's not clear that I'll get a good return on my investment. Face it, IC after 1943 is not worth as much as IC before 1940. The one thing which makes me not regret the spending is that I don't have the manpower to use all that I have on warmaking construction. Also, effectively moving IC from 1936-7 to 1938 and beyond lets me build more advanced units. So even if I only break even, taking time off in 1936-1938 is not such a bad thing.

In March 1937 (hey, I am moving along at a pretty good clip) we get an Infantry Warfare advance.

The box says +10% org, but I assume that's really only a 5% boost, since level one would have given us +5%, I wish it was clearer, though I guess it's clear enough to anyone who has played more HoI3 than I have (two games recently, Italy to 1943ish and USA to the defeat of Germany in 1941)(I saved the Italy game for future play against the Red Horde). My additional .25 leadership comes in handy, up to 6.5 now. Oil refining seems very important, as are the two boosts to Infantry. Destroyer armament is nice to have, though I may halve my destroyer tech research to offensive stats only. The Industry techs are important as well, and I hope to maximize my manpower with a good number of special forces like Mountain troops.

In mid-March our advance in Light Artillery increased the toughness of all infantry-based units. On April 3rd we got a surge of volunteers, wow, +10% for a whole week. In Canada that has to be like three guys. I hope it's the Hanson brothers. In mid-April, advances in Anti-Tank boosted our infantry unit's hard attack strength.

Hmm, I forget why we're down to 5.5 Leadership. Heh. Ah, well. We move the Infantry techs right back near the top of the queue. Our armed forces will be ~90% Infantry, these are the techs we need. In May we discover Destroyer armor, and there is much rejoicing. In June oil refining moves to level one, boosting efficiency 10%. The real news in June is that on the 12th, Generalissimo Francisco Franco becomes irrelevant, as Republican Spain wins the civil war. A Canadian child as yet unborn weeps for the loss of one of his more memorable comedy bits (hey, he looks Canadian). At the end of June we reach nine spies, and call it quits in intelligence forever. October to June at .75 spies is eight months, or six at a full point of leadership. These defensive spies cost us one tech advance. Worth it, but not worth doing repeatedly during the war in my opinion. As we reach the middle of 1937, and the end of a full year in this update, Japan DoWs Shanxi, and joins the Axis. Don't blame Japan, the rules for the Allies are very annoying. Here's a look at the current research progress. As you can see, I'm back to 6.5 Leadership, so the mystery is solved!

Officers are up to 130%, but I intend to recruit more troops once I'm done with my one batch of IC, and so I'll go past 140% because it'll drop real quick once the new brigades are formed. The percentage benefit doesn't go past 140%, but the officers are still there. Everything is infantry and industry. In September 1937 we finish off the two Industry techs, giving us +5% in both Production and Efficiency, each improved from +2.5%. That's level 2, when we reach Industry Efficiency 3, we'll be caught up to 1934! As we reach Christmas, our three IC are done, and placed around Toronto, so that everyone can afford Sabres tickets. There is no way on earth they're getting seats in Maple Leaf Gardens. Our production therefore goes back into making reserve infantry, and five (for fighting!) will be done in March.

In January of 1938 both hard and soft attack are improved for our infantry.

As you can see, Destroyer techs are floating to the top. Looking back, I maybe should have just licensed the Destroyers, since being non-capital ships that's possible. However, I'd like for them to be Pure Canadian, like maple sugar candy, since as we'll see I'm going to license everything else of substance. On January 29, 1937 we develop Mountain Infantry. That wraps up 18 months of peace-time development. We're two years into the game, and we have maybe another 18 months left before big things happen.

Again I go back and forth on the IC build. It'll be nice to have three more IC until the game is over. It's not like I'm gonna take Berlin in 1941, so the game should go on for several more years. Still, a year and a half of building nothing but IC seems like it'll be tough to get back. I could have built low manpower items like DDs or some kind of aeroplane. We'll see how it works out. Right now, we're gonna build more troops and be ready to rumble when the time comes. Sorry for another dry update, but there's only one more before the war starts (probably will be posted Thursday). Then the Canadian war machine kicks into high gear! Units are moved! Shots are fired!

The nice thing about being one of the Allies (not yet, but soon) instead of the USA is you don't have to wait for Pearl Harbor to get into the war. The end of 1941 is a long long way from mid-1939. Of course, when it joins the war the USA gets an event which alone grants as much manpower as Canada will get in five years. So there is that.
Did you do the sums for that IC?

4 Aug-21 Dec is 139 days, plus 365 for the extra year (= 504 days) times 7.36 IC gives over 3700 ICdays cost for each new IC. Even discounting that by the amount of Supply that units produced later and quicker won't have used if they'd been made earlier, I can't see how that's going to be able to recoup what you've spent in the course of the game. 10 years 2 months from completion puts you into '48 before they've paid for themselves; you're not building anything else at all for 17 whole months.

What've I missed?
Did you do the sums for that IC?

4 Aug-21 Dec is 139 days, plus 365 for the extra year (= 504 days) times 7.36 IC gives over 3700 ICdays cost for each new IC. Even discounting that by the amount of Supply that units produced later and quicker won't have used if they'd been made earlier, I can't see how that's going to be able to recoup what you've spent in the course of the game. 10 years 2 months from completion puts you into '48 before they've paid for themselves; you're not building anything else at all for 17 whole months.

What've I missed?

I think that's about right, though if most countries take 14 months to build IC, does it ever really pay for itself? The only other factor is that 3 base IC supply more than 3 IC per day, especially once the war starts. So if I use up 10IC years to build an IC, and 1 IC provides, say, 1.5IC per day, then (I think) it's payed for after a mere 6y8m, late 1945!

On the plus side, the IC build did help me breeze through two years of game time.
I think IC will pay back earlier somewhere in 1943. You should note that next IC will cost less and will be built faster. Also if you increase industry capacity and industry efficiency an extra IC will give even more returns. Furthermore, if you build units now you will have to spend IC on upgrading them later while if you build them later and in bigger quantities you would not need to spend on upgrades and practicals would be increased faster and deteriorate less due to mass bulding up in short time.
I think IC will pay back earlier somewhere in 1943. You should note that next IC will cost less and will be built faster. Also if you increase industry capacity and industry efficiency an extra IC will give even more returns. Furthermore, if you build units now you will have to spend IC on upgrading them later while if you build them later and in bigger quantities you would not need to spend on upgrades and practicals would be increased faster and deteriorate less due to mass building up in short time.

Yeah, I could have definitely handled the practicals more efficiently. I'm done building IC though, and I'm sure this won't be my biggest mistake of the game!
Chapter Three - Let There Be War On Earth!

Isn't it great that there's a song asking whether you're the spawn of Satan? That's how I interpret it, anyway.

It's the start of 1939, and you are there! We're working our way toward the start of World War Two. I'm going to give away part of my strategy here. My feeling is that Canadian troops, even if I build a fair number, will not be of much use in the Battle of France. Yes, it's possible that they'd extend that part of the war, possibly even for a good length of time. However, it's much more likely that I'd throw all my assets into a meatgrinder and have to start again from scratch. One Dunkirk will be enough, I think. However, I am going to fight in Europe. As much as I'd like to match my low manpower to Japan's overstretched manpower, there is a lot of water between us and them, and we're never going to be able to hold our own against a real navy. Forget the Repulse and the Prince of Wales, the entire Canadian navy would go down without so much as a brief mention in passing in an AAR.

In February our Destroyers learn to go faster, we hit engine level two. Then our Light Artillery and Support Weapons both hit level three.

Sorry, the Research progress shot is before one advance and after the other. Still, it shows my upcoming techs. Three more Destroyer techs, Marines, Rare Minerals and Coal (because my energy production isn't as overpowered as I had hoped early on)(and I sell some). In mid-March, Herr Hitler annexed Austria, and Canada produced its first reserve infantry divisions. I have 16 convoys and the AI already realizes I need 20 more. While I expect others to keep the seas safe, mostly, I'll build escorts as well later (I have 2!). I'm also building a pair of two-brigade Mountain Divisions, which appear to be full strength, not reserve, which is fine.

We've got 49 IC at work now, with our tech increases, economic policies and three shiny new base IC. At the end of the month, Destroyer AA defense hit level three as well. Not sure how much more I am going to worry about that. Seems to me the main way to avoid damage from aircraft is to stay away from where they're flying. Or adopt the quote I can't find right now, which says that the best defense against air attack is my tank on your runway (it's somewhere in Moorehead's The Desert War iirc). In June of 1938 I realized I need to develop Sea Lane Defense to build escorts. Oops. So we begin work on that. When we complete DD Hull and Main Armament in early July we order up three Destroyer Flotillas. Recall that we have one which was top of the line in around 1920.

Notice that the new ones aren't exactly state of the art in 1939, but they're pretty new, they're 100% Canadian, and I'm going to make some! I'm staggering the build a bit on the theory that the DD practical will help the later ones when I finish the early one? HoIWiki says "For every unit you produce, you will gain a particular kind of practical knowledge. That practical knowledge will, in turn, make the next unit of that type that you build cheaper in terms of IC days", but it's not clear if it kicks in on units in mid-production or not. I'm assuming that my current practical has an impact whenever it is gained. So I am assuming that if I build, say, half of one DD flotilla before I get a boost to practicals, and half after, I'll get the benefit of the practical for about half of my build days. Anyway, DDs are going to be my contribution to the War at Sea, and these are the first. At the end of July we're ready to build our first Marines. Here's our current research:

We're at 74% in Officers, so we're continuing to recruit a fair number. We're ready for the next Education boost; Rares and Coal; and Sea Lane Defense. Mass Assault continues our Infantry improvement program, which iirc is a nice morale boost. We're deploying our troops in the Maritimes for easy dispersal to the warzone, once there is one. Then Hitler moves one step closer to being the foundation of more comic YouTube videos than any other mass-murderer in history!

After Munich, we note that our Officers are down to 62%, we need 3600 and we have 2200, so we bump Officer Training to .75 Leadership. We finish Rares and Coal at the end of September. Here's another "exploded" Top Bar:

We're 1400 short in officers, so we'll catch up in 400 days, as long as we train no more troops! We gain 25 manpower a year, that's, what, a single under-strength Corps? We're piling up cash, but you cannot have too much. We're fine in everything else. I regret my trading away some Rares, but it's to Poland, which means that it's going to someone who needs it more than I do, and there's no use cancelling it. History will do that for us. I wish we could sell more metals and even energy. We accept offers when we get them, though later the transport gets to be a bit dicey.

Italy joins the Axis in November, 1938. We add still more to Officer training (1.15). In 1939 Oil Refining adds a second 10% boost. In February Mass Assault adds a second +5% boost to Infantry Morale, among other things. On February 25, 1939 Canada officially joins the Allies.

We then hit level three in Industrial Production, another 2.5% boost. Then we learned Sea Lane Defense, which will come in handy pretty soon.

So we order up some Escorts, continue work on our Destroyer Fleet and Marines, and contemplate more Convoys, since eventually Canada is going to have to supply overseas troops. And that day is coming ever closer, as we learn that on March 27 Hitler annexed Czechoslovakia, Mussolini annexed Albania, and the UK guaranteed Poland. Here's a map you've never seen before:

Okay, that's the standard "let the war begin" map. Hungary sees which way the wind is blowing and joins the Axis in April. France mobilizes. We added another 5% boost to Leadership with level two in Education, and we deployed our first Marines. As we deploy our first modern Destroyer Flotillas it's useful to consider the differences all our research has produced.

At first glance it's pretty disappointing. However, the sea defense of 19 instead of 15 is a boost of more than 25%; Convoy attack value is nearly doubled; Sea Attack is 25% better and while Hull of 1.10 looks a lot like 1.00, it is 10% better. On the other hand, what could I have put those leadership points into if I'd just licensed Destroyers? Not sure. It's worth considering as I move on, though. Industrial Efficiency jumps in May, adding yet another 2.5% boost. On the other hand, the next boost is a 1936 tech, so Industrial Efficiency goes to the top of the queue.

In June and July our last pre-war tech advances take place. Destroyers will go faster, research will be better, and our manpower makes the massive jump from a monthly gain of 2.1 to a monthly gain of 2.3! Watch out Russia!

In August Hitler announce the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and Germany mobilizes. I don't know about you, but other countries can mobilize all they want, it's Germany mobilizing that gets my attention. On September 2, 1939, World War Two begins with Germany's DoW of Poland.

I love it, "Truth, justice and the Canadian way."

Canada grabs Germany's jersey and prepares to serve Five for Fighting!
I think that's about right, though if most countries take 14 months to build IC, does it ever really pay for itself?
AIUI, the IC-whoring countries have good practicals or theory levels which mean that the first IC run only takes 12 months and costs more like 5 IC per pop.

The only other factor is that 3 base IC supply more than 3 IC per day, especially once the war starts.
Yes, that's a factor I'd forgotten about. Before you're at war though, they produce less (can you get a +55% from anywhere to counter "Full Civilian" plus CPO) unless your unity and neutrality are "Just Right"... You've got nice high Unity, but I couldn't see where your Canada stands on the neutrality front at a quick skim.

On the plus side, the IC build did help me breeze through two years of game time.
I regret my trading away some Rares, but it's to Poland, which means that it's going to someone who needs it more than I do

Germany? (after a very quick invasion of Poland)
Before you're at war though, they produce less (can you get a +55% from anywhere to counter "Full Civilian" plus CPO) unless your unity and neutrality are "Just Right"... You've got nice high Unity, but I couldn't see where your Canada stands on the neutrality front at a quick skim.

I was pretty high neutrality at the start, but the event I got early on ate away at it rapidly.

Germany? (after a very quick invasion of Poland)

True, though most of my trade was done far enough in advance that they should have spent most of it. All of it really, they spent the Canadian rares and hoarded the rest

Update tomorrow.

SPOILER ALERT - shots are fired!
Chapter Four - Dying

Let the Dying begin.

Now the fighting begins, but don't get your hopes up too high for a little bit. I'm Canada, not Poland. So while the game will still be going a few weeks from now, the fighting will take a bit longer to get hot and heavy. I'll follow up now and then with screenshots of the sitution in Europe and elsewhere, but not too much. Remember my coverage of the Spanish Civil War? "Republican Spain is doing pretty well." "Hey, Republican Spain won!" It will be better than that. But Poland, sorry buddy, I worked hard to create you, and I cannot bear to watch you perish.

No sooner does Germany start up the war with Poland than the USSR DoWs Finland. Being at war substantially increases the IC available for war, which is convenient what with all the fighting. We now have 59 IC at work.

We've got three more Destroyer Flotillas in the hopper in various stages of completion; seven more infantry divisions; a third Mountain Division which will have to complete the Corps for the time being; we have an Escort coming soon and eventually two more Convoys. The game tells me that "Germany has decided Blitzkrieg!" Could you be a little more vague, please? The USA gives us transit rights. This probably doesn't mean a lot practically, just a reminder that there is an 800lb gorilla next door who likes us in a good way. We arrange for production licenses from the UK (2 AT Brigades) and France (3 ART Brigades), serial production.

Our techs in those categories are again vintage WWI. I am not at all sure it's the best way of handling things, but I really like Divisions of 2x Inf Brigades (I'd prefer 3x) and 1x AT or Arty. So if I have Corps of four Divisions, 8 Inf, 1 AT and 2 Arty, that should be as close to my ideal as I'm likely to get as Canada. These move to the top of the queue. Germany conquers Poland on the 23rd of September. Three weeks. I blame myself. On September 25 actual combat! Actual shots fired in anger!

Our WWI Destroyer Flotilla, with very slight assistance from the French, take on an entire German fleet. The Germans are led by Donitz himself, while the French are led by, um, some British Admiral. Excellent choice. I love how, historically, Donitz was convinced after the war that he was the rightful leader of Germany because Hitler's will left him the country. That's like the common kid belief that if you're falling while on a large object, you could land safely if you step off just before it hits the ground. Or maybe he'd just called dibs.

So we finally have this huge sea battle, interrupted by digressions, and then ... nothing happened. I blame the French Admiral Darlan. If he ever stands under the mistletoe, somebody shoot him. In October, Netherlands mobilizes! Hey, in 1836 that might have meant something. Blaming this aggresive move by the Dutch, Hitler DoWs Denmark. Five days later, Canadian Industrial Efficiency rises again, and Denmark is half gone.

Industry goes right back to the top, and we're working on both Supply transit techs as well. We've also added Radar, hoping to equip our DDs for anti-submarine warfare. On the 20th of October, Denmark was gone, and our third Mountain Division was deployed. In November we got a +5% IC boosting event and we lost our first transport ship. I read the report and think "why do I have a Halifax-Genova route anyway?" I cancel my trade with Italy. Germany's wars have been Limited, meaning that I am not yet at war with Italy. Which is too bad, because I figure Italy is the perfect opponent for Canada. Big enough to be meaningful, small enough to be a legitimate target, incompetent enough to match my own mad skillz.

In mid-November I license another 3x Artillery, this time from the UK. Always going for "Very Likely" I pay $600. Hmm, giving cash to my alliance leader is not a terrible move, but I have to think I seriously overpaid. Or I would have, if they hadn't turned me down! I went back to France for my artillery, a 4x Serial run, and paid $75. Thanks Winston! By the end of November, both the AI and I think that I'm seriously short of convoys, so I queue up a few more.

I know what you're thinking: "doesn't the action ever let up?" I know, it's like the truck sequence in Indiana Jones. It really is, too, in the sense that important resources are being moved from one place to another in various types of vehicles and against enemy opposition. Speaking of resources, our Rares got a 5% boost to level two, now at +10%. In December, our Destroyers again engage the enemy, two groups of Nazi submarines, and again the blundering around of our allies' Capital Ships cost us victory. No ships are sunk. South Africa, enticed by all the action and wanting to be as much like Canada as South Africa can be, joins the Allies. Our three modern Destroyer Flotillas reach Plymouth, from which they will hunt the Hun.

In preparation for the rollicking wave of Mortal Combat which is about to ensue, let's take a look at the OOB of Canada! Please hold your applauds until all units have been recognized.

This leaves out our two Marine Divisions. Five For Fighting Corps has four divisions and nine brigades, the other two regular army Corps have four Divisions and eight brigades, and the Mountain Corps has three divisions, six brigades. That's fifteen divisions in total, and 31 brigades, 93,000 men. Artillery and AT will be added as they are produced. Feeling the need for Heavy Hitting Power, something massive to punch through enemy lines, we license a serial run of three armored car brigades from the UK for $600. Overcome by excitement at this announcement, Australia joins the Allies. To close out the 1930s, another naval battle takes place, and of course nothing happens. We add a fourth modern Destroyer Flotilla as 1940 begins, and develop level four DD engines. New Zealand joins the Allies, and in celebration we engage and sink two entire submarine flotillas! Meddling French sailors insist that their Capital Ships and screens were largely responsible. Nonsense. In February our first anti-tank brigade is completed, and attached to a division in our main Corps.

It takes a little getting used to, but removing and attaching brigades is very easy in HoI3. Having had supply problems as both Italy and the USA, I start building a portable Naval Base to be placed at an invasion sight to be named later. I cannot promise anything, but I intend to look into reading the supply map, and hope to be able to figure out why units sit out of supply and how to avoid that. In mid-February we develop Radar, and begin working on ASW techs for our DDs. Hopefully our future encounters with German subs will be without French interference.

In March, we reduce the transit cost of supplies by 0.01. Later, we sink a flotilla of German destroyers, a task made all the more difficult by the interference of nine British capital ships and 13 screens. To close out this chapter let me say three things. First, there is one more screenshot:

Supply Throughput is increased by 5%, and Industry Efficiency rises yet another 2.5%! Second, Germany DoWed Belgium and Luxemburg. Third, this is the last update without Canadian ground combat!