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Canada is a North American regional power with no significant army to speak of, a decent amount of leadership, and a good industrial base. Their relative inconspicuous nature also gives them decent relations with everyone on the Continent (75-85 relations, including the USA).
Base stats are: 32 Base IC, 6 Leadership, 77% Officer Pool, 90 Unity and no dissent. Because Canada begins extremely limited on military forces (1 DD, and 3 reserve INF brigades!), the first few years should be used to evaluate potential player goals.
Aiding the Allies (specifically US and UK) is the most straightforward scenario, and requires a military and economic ramp up in order to be a significant contributing member to the war at large on any scale. Luckily, there are no major threats to the Canadian Commonwealth until 1940 or later - so there is ample time to prepare a few defenses.
Staying neutral can afford the player with a stronger ability to focus on trades and be an economic supporter to the war engine, requiring a larger investment in naval research (which can hinder your troop build-up). Flipping over to the Axis is a much more drawn out affair and requires singular focus from 1936 on (and the help of some of your multiplayer friends if you hope to make it in time for the war).
With limited leadership (6 to start), Canada does not have enough time or research ability to make adequate in-roads towards effective combined arms. In conjunction with the objectives the player chose at the beginning of the game, any invasion/expeditionary force deployed by Canada will require a bit more specialized force than the Americans.
While it will take a significant time to research without any combat experience, Canada benefits significantly from Education research. Be sure to get your Industry research ramped up, including ranks in Industrial Production, Industrial Efficiency, and any supply research you can add to the queue without hampering your military ramp-up.
For a ground army, focus on INF research, including any upgrades to MAR and MTN troop upgrades. You'll use those to full effect securing beachheads for the Allies, and can even use them to snake away enemy territory in the Pacific late game. Avoid GAR/MIL/MEC/MOT until 1942 or later (or you see a need in Multiplayer), and just acquire the units with production runs from the USA(if Allied)/GER(if Axis).
Any imperial aspirations held by Canada will have to be supported by a significant expansion of the standing Navy. Because of Canada's distance to any significant threat and lack of colonies, a fleet that can support transporting troops across the Atlantic and making an amphibious assault (in order to ensure Canada gets control of the territory, instead of an ally) will be required for any significant invasion. Focus on light cruisers (CLs)and Battlecruisers (BCs) or cheaper Heavy Cruisers (CAs) and establish a strong enough presence to back up your transports as they ferry troops across the Atlantic.
Alternatively, with Canada being short on Leadership, what tech is missing can be supplemented with buying Production Licenses from allies. Research from the start of the game should primarily be focused on industry techs, theories and potentially 1 type of capital ship. All ground, air and DD/CLs can be purchased first from Britain, and then from the US. These troops will not be upgraded unless higher levels of tech are researched, so there is a trade-off.
Be careful to not to run out of money - you'll need it to buy resources. Usually allies will sell for very cheap, but rarely can you pay $0 (even if it says Very Likely), just pay one step up from that.
Distribution of Leadership
Use as much leadership as you can (4) to kick start your research engine. In fact, as Canada - it makes the most sense to leave your research churning for the entire campaign, with a break every now and then to replenish your officer pool if need be. As you get more leadership, keep ramping up your research.
Putting a little emphasis (0.75) in diplomacy early on will allow you to establish your resource trades early. Avoid establishing distant convoy lines (across the Pacific/Atlantic) since you will not be doing much research into convoy defense unless you have imperial aspirations. Continental nations that are great targets for trade: Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, USA, and Mexico. After you've established your lines, you can move this emphasis to an extra research project.
Disregard creating officers until three-year draft laws are available, or at war. Once at war, stay around 140%. Building new troops will dilute the officer pool, so build officers ahead of time.
Canada is well placed to cause some spying havoc, since it is likely a periphery power throughout the game. Send 30 spies to the Axis countries, in Italy to increase the opposition and attempt a coup, and in Japan and Germany to lower national unity, and limit the amount of good laws they can enact. You can also use the "Support our Party" option in Brazil, Argentina, and Romania to slow their entry into the war (Romania) and ensure they join the Allies (Brazil, Argentina). There's no reason to invest in raising threat/spying unless you're looking to declare war on the USA.
Allies: The Allies are the historical course for a Canadian player, and can make for an interesting game, as despite Canada's small size they can make up a huge part of the Allied war effort.
Axis: It is possible for Canada to join the Axis, however this will put Canada at war with the UK, and possibly the USA. This is a nearly suicidal route if the USA has joined the Allies, however if they have not then this may open up many opportunities for Canada to expand.
Comintern: Not advised. Based on the manner in which the game engine's alliances are calculated, there is a less than 1% chance that you would successfully be able to join the Comintern, and would make your swinging to Communism a solo effort. However, joining the Comintern can open up the possibility if of helping Russia on the eastern front, or attacking Germany from behind.
Prepare for war is a required choice unless you love a good challenge.
Canada begins with very strong government, and a few minor changes can help bolster the country regardless of strategy. For the effects each minister has, see the Minister traits page.
Head of State: John Baron Tweedsmuir (Benevolent Gentleman) Head of Government: Mackenzie King (Flamboyant Tough Guy) Foreign Minister: Mackenzie King (Great Compromiser) Minister of Security: Ernest Lapointe (Crime Fighter) Armament Minister: Ian A. Mackenzie: (Administrative Genius) Head of Intelligence: Henry Crerar (Tech Specialist) Chief of Staff: Ernest Ashton (School of Fire Support) Chief of the Army: Ernest Ashton (Guns and Butter Doctrine) Chief of the Navy: Percy Nelles (Open Seas Doctrine) Chief of the Air Force: George Croil (Carpet Bombing Doctrine)
Consider these changes to maximize your industrial/leadership engine, and entry into the Allies:
Minister of Security to Thomas A. Crerar (Man of the People) Foreign Minister to R. B. Bennett (Iron-Fisted Brute)
Be aware that these changes will also leave Canada with absolutely no ability to detect spies (Free Press + No levels of Decryption) in your country in exchange for a minor boost to Leadership. When you are ready to attempt spy catching, either reinstate Ernest Lapointe or switch to a Censored Press if he is no longer available.
Consider these changes to help your sway into the Axis:
Chief of Staff to Frederick M.W. Harvey (Guns and Butter Doctrine) Chief of the Army to Frederick M.W. Harvey (School of Mass Combat) Chief of the Navy to Alasdair Murray (Base Control Doctrine) Chief of the Air Force to P.W. Oland (School of Mass Combat)
These changes will provide a much needed boost to sway due to internal affairs in the direct of the Axis-aligned parties, and give a good flavor to your Axis America. There are a few other Axis-aligned party members (John Ross Taylor as Armament Minister, Chuck Crate as Minister of Security) to start, but their bolstering the ruling party will make it harder to get out of a Democratic government. Reserve that change until you can switch to a government that does not have elections.
The United States is the best trading partner for Canada. Any resources can be purchased from them, or supplies can be sold to them for cash. The UK has significant numbers of Rares, and try to trade within the western hemisphere for oil, then sell the fuel to whomever. Canada has the option of trading resources in the early years, but should hold on to resources, as factories will soon require a lot of inputs.
It is possible for Canada to become a major power (100 base IC) by the end of 1941. This is worthwhile, as major nations can build underground resistance and get access to all of their allies strategic resources. From Jan 1 36, Canada will need to research Construction Engineering, and until that finishes in June 36, construct 3 or 4 airbases to get the construction practical up. Eventually IC will become very cheap and quick to build, but the first years are certainly slow. When the Americans enter the war, Canada should be receiving Lend-lease from the UK and USA, and with laws and the IC built to that point, be able to reach over 200 IC.
You start off with a relatively weak army of one HQ brigade and 3 units. However you have the possibility for a major build up depending on which year you start on. For the best playing experience you should start at 1936 to build up a decent sized Army.
You start with 6 transporters and 1 Destroyer.
Joining the Axis will be a very complex game which will most likely have you losing. For the majority of this section I will go over a few strategies and details that I used while being involved with the Allies.
Before the war starts you should hopefully be in the Allies and have a decent sized army, navy, and at-least 2 interceptors. Your IC is okay but you should think of Industrial expansion when choosing where to invade as compared to major powers your units need to be worth 2-4 of theirs meaning you have to play a very tactical game in this process.
What I did was build up a decent sized army consisting of 3 corps. I shipped them off to France to wait until WW2 starts. My basic strategy would be to expand strategically here. Portugal will most likely join the Axis and has a base Azores which is a group of islands near the Iberian Peninsula. I quickly took advantage of that and used it as my base of operations, however I would make sure to upgrade the Airfield and Navy ports. Once then I start picking off Axis territory across the world starting with Africa. Portugal has a few colonies which are worth taking and Italy has Somalia and Ethiopia which would help a little bit. If you manage to get bases around the world you could easily become a very versatile and strategic force as you do not even need to defend your homeland. Personally I would build up the air-force majorly and buy a production license for at least 2 transport planes to be able to jump worldwide. Paratroopers will aid your cause a lot and I would definitely invest some IC into building quite a few brigades of them. The invasion of Japanese islands throughout the Pacific will be a nice edition to your base as I would look to expand there.
|Major Powers||France · Germany · Italy · Japan · United Kingdom · United States of America · Soviet Union|
|Regional Powers||Argentina · Australia · Belgium · Brazil · Bulgaria · Czechoslovakia · Guangxi Clique · Hungary · Manchukuo · Nationalist China · Nationalist Spain · Netherlands · Poland · Republican Spain · Romania · Sweden · Turkey · Yugoslavia|
|Minor Powers||Austria · Canada · Chile · Colombia · Denmark · Finland · Greece · Ireland · Mexico · Norway · Peru · Portugal · Shanxi · South Africa · Switzerland|
|Micro Powers||Afghanistan · Albania · Bhutan · Bolivia · Communist China · Costa Rica · Cuba · Dominican Republic · Ecuador · El Salvador · Estonia · Ethiopia · Guatemala · Haiti · Honduras · Iraq · Latvia · Liberia · Lithuania · Luxembourg · Mongolia · Nepal · New Zealand · Nicaragua · Oman · Panama · Paraguay · Persia · Philippines · Saudi Arabia · Siam · Sinkiang · Tannu Tuva · Tibet · Uruguay · Venezuela · Xibei San Ma · Yemen · Yunnan|