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I found out myself -- thankfully before it was too late -- that Install Democracy doesn't work as a war goal. It's bugged. I don't know if the new beta fixes that or not, but it doesn't actually do anything. I ended up puppeting Italy and then de-puppetting them in the save in my most recent game as the US.
I've spent several dinner hours reading this AAR. I've really enjoyed it and I arrive at the end of a long road where Canada (and hockey) reigns victorious -- err, does it? What the hell happened with imposing democracy?

Captain Canada: *postures over a defeated Italy* "Consider yourself to have received a damned good thrashing".
Italy: "So what happens now?"
Captain Canada: "Well we're going home to play hockey. You can decide your own future from here".
Italy: "Oh thanks. Well it was nice of you to drop by, but we'll be buddying up with our German cousins again if it's all the same to you".

lol, and thanks!

Best of Seven, right?

I found out myself -- thankfully before it was too late -- that Install Democracy doesn't work as a war goal. It's bugged. I don't know if the new beta fixes that or not, but it doesn't actually do anything. I ended up puppeting Italy and then de-puppetting them in the save in my most recent game as the US.

I was just messing about, that's the result I get for it.

To my own mind I finished fourth, behind the USSR, USA and UK (France has spent the entire war prostrate and ended the war as a puppet). Setting Italy free was simply an act of traditional Canadian humility. Speaking of which, I see that "Goon" is on Netflix, got to check that out (based on the life story of a fighter who learned to skate at 19, lifetime stat line: no goals, one assist, a few hundred PIMs).
I think that was How Hockey Saved Commies ;) They captured almost all Europe.

Great job in Italy!
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I think that was How Hockey Saved Commies ;) They captured almost all Europe.

Great job in Italy!

Thank you, and you've got that right. All my Straits of Messina battle did was weaken Germany.

95 VP? so France re-united ?
good job , and yeah the install X wargoals are bugged.

Yeah, those are all USSR VPs if you ask me.

Ah Hitler is spared from the wrath of stick wavin', Timmies drinkin', poutine lovin' Canucks.
Now for some jet fighters and the A Bomb.
Congrats on finishing!

We would have grabbed his jersey if we'd had the chance!

This has been my favorite AAR that I have come across so far. The style, amount of pictures, and premise were all excellent, and it's been a pleasure to follow. Thanks for the great read!

Thank you, I've had fun myself :D
Chapter Seventy-One - The "Victory" Parade

Remember, the AARland Choice AwAARds are running. Also, keep in mind that AAR writers are asked to mention the awards because people who read AARs are the ones they're trying to reach. The writers aren't plugging their own AARs, just helping out in a worthwhile process.

Three score and ten is the span alloted to us, so this extra chapter will be a bit short as well as very late. Originally I pictured myself offering brilliant advice to those who played Canada. Now, while I think that reading this AAR will be helpful, it gives a sense of Canada's assets and limitations, I also realize that I don't know HoI3 all that well. Maximizing returns from the research tree requires a good deal more work than I put into it, for example. Still, I can say a few things to anyone who wants to play Canada.

First, what are you waiting for? It's a blast. Big enough to matter, small enough to be manageable. Even a good deal more effort into placing the right commanders than I did would not be micromanagement, just asset management. Same thing with the air force and navy. A decently powered but small or smallish country is in my view the way to maximize your fun. Russia, Germany, USA, UK, are all fun too, don't get me wrong, but the obligations are far greater.

The main thing I learned is that Canada has an abundance of resources, enough industry, but very low manpower. And this is with some decent acquisitions along the way. So I would take the ratio of specialized troops I built and turn it on its head. If I had 80-20 Infantry to Special Forces I'd go 80% SF or even zero regular infantry. Your forces are unlikely to be the equal of the Germans on anything like an equal footing (unless you're a great deal better than I am, which is possible), so you need to start with all the advantages you can get. Advantages in numbers are unlikely except in limited settings. You have enough IC over the years that it's worth piling all the value-added you possibly can onto whatever Manpower you spend.

The few, the proud, the Canadians!

On air force vs Navy, you can have one or the other, but if you want both they'll both be very weak. If you spent most of your IC on them, you might well have both, but a very limited army. The way I played things, I had a decent navy, but I could only take on Italy's navy later because somewhere the Brits beat the crap out of them, or forced them into port. The only time I dominated was when I faced only a BB and a CL or two, iirc. In the air, I was so weak that half the Italian air force was enough to keep me grounded something like nine weeks out of ten. True, when the enemy had no air force, it was a lot of fun bombing undefended troops. But if you're in that position I doubt you actually needed the air force in the first place. If I was building air force again I'd go with 2-3 wings of B-17s. As the USA I was amazed how much infrastructure damage they did. Seriously, a couple days per province and you can build a line behind the enemy troops where no supplies can get through. With some time spent planning, you can cut off the enemy's supplies even before you launch your attack. I'm pretty sure, never actually did it as the US. All I did was land, beat the enemy quickly, and curse the moron who smashed all the roads and railroads I needed for my own supplies.

The tough part is that for either air force or navy you need to pick a long long way ahead of time. You can't see what circumstances call for and build to suit. Plus there's my fear that anything you build before 1940 turns to crap when the shooting starts, but I don't understand the upgrade mechanics, so that might be just unnecessary worries.

It's the same with armor, which probably constitutes the third choice. My idea of independent Rat Patrol armored cars was amusing because it was so dreadfully wrong. Ah well. But the real point now is that if you went without a real air force and much of a navy you could probably build a good sized armored force. Now, perhaps you could do Navy or Air force and armor, building them instead of special forces. Then you run into Canada's leadership limits. I think six projects at all times is about your lot unless you go on a capturing spree or I did something really wrong. You can't keep your infantry potent and do two other major projects as well. There are probably many basic industry things I did that I could have skipped, but not enough to get you armor and AF/Navy.

So think of playing Canada like you're rolling a new toon in an MMORPG. Very early on you have to choose your spec and live with it forever. Actually, looked at that way Canada could be played several times just following the different paths. Don't expect much from your AI companions though, but at least these don't go wandering off and come back with a train. You could go Navy and fight Japan. The main reason I didn't was the prospect of fighting what I expected to be the "real war" in Europe with half my army at the bottom of the Pacific. It's not like the US would have followed me to Italy if I'd followed them to Japan. What I'd hoped for was a semi-historical D-Day where Canada jumps in where it matters. My guess is that the new expansion will give you many opportunities to do just that. It looks to me like they're going to let us choose out "backstory" 1936-40 and start right in with fighting. Want navy? make a few naval choices. Want armor? Pick it, same with air force. Canada will be a great choice for that, I think. Click a few buttons, take three beaches at Normandy, not just Juno!

The bizarre lesson I learned was this: as the Allies, whatever you do, don't weaken Germany before Barbarossa! You need the Nazis and the Commies to be evenly balanced to have a chance to get into Europe as the Allies. In fact, if there was a way to weaken the Comintern, that would work better. In the long run they seem like the ones with a serious chance to beat the Allies. Of course, to take real advantage of that you'd need to be the USA or UK, or a greatly expanded Canada. Maybe I should have taken Iberia, and Turkey, and hmm, what's the Monroe Doctrine rule for Canadian attacks on South America?

I want to thank everyone who read the AAR and especially all those who commented. I liked writing this, but it was great to know that people were reading and enjoying it.