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Making The UK Communist in Hearts of Iron IV - Part 2

You've got red on you

This is the second and final part of Fraser's attempts to paint the world red in Hearts of Iron IV [official site]. You can read part one here.

It’s a new dawn for Britain. As WWII gets ever closer, the glorious Union of Britain, now a communist superpower, is enjoying its liberation from the shackles of capitalism and democracy. Ignore the tears in the fabric of space time – it’s a small price to pay for setting history right.

There’s little time to settle into this new communist groove, however. The majority of the world is still crying out for a saviour, from our pals across the Irish Sea and the Atlantic, to our continental buddies. The biggest problem is picking which country to save first.

With France becoming more and more communist thanks to my helpful meddling, I decide to take a bold (if I do say so myself) risk and spend more political power encouraging the USA, Belgium and Ireland to have their own revolutions. The result is that each day I get significantly less power, but surely painting the world red is a big enough reward.

The Germans are gearing up for war, though, and they’re already posturing, threatening Czechoslovakia and integrating Austria. Eventually we’re going to need to duke it out, so it’s time to start seriously expanding my military and creating my own custom divisions.

Upon unlocking specific troop types, the game creates premade divisions that can be recruited – over time, once they’ve been trained and given the appropriate equipment – but to make larger and more specialised divisions, experience must be spent. Thankfully I’ve got a bit to spare after my civil war, so I start attaching artillery to infantry divisions and fiddling with my light tanks.

1939 passes without WWII breaking out, but Germany does make its first move, swiftly crushing Poland. Once that happens, France is almost always next in the line of fire, and Germany doesn’t disappoint – war is declared in the spring of 1940, and everyone starts picking their side.

My hope was that France would turn communist beforehand and join me in my own faction, but instead they turn just after Germany declares war and join the Comintern under the Soviets. I roll with it, joining as well. This means the Soviet Union is in charge, lamentably, but at least we’re putting up a united front.

The Allies just hang back. Canada, Australia and their buds don’t seem to have a taste for war with no UK to back them up. Europe splits into two camps: Axis and Comintern. Even the democracies end up joining the communist faction, because they know what’s good for them.

This bizarro WWII has been going extremely well. The Soviets are absolutely hammering the Reich on the Eastern Front, while France – now calling itself the French Commune – has dug in, with my help, not letting them take even one step west.

Air superiority has been key. My army is significantly weaker than Germany’s, but I’ve sent the vast majority of my air force to France and west Germany, and the fascists are barely even trying to counter it. The skies are ours, and thanks to my indomitable navy, so are the seas.

Italy is posing a problem, however. I’ve pushed the Italians back out of France, but thus far I’ve ignored Africa, leaving my colonies there open to invasion. At this point, there’s not much I can do. Germany has sent quite a few men down there as well, and I can’t really afford to take my soldiers out of Europe quite yet. At least they haven’t taken the Suez Canal.

They’ve taken the Suez Canal.

It’s okay, it’s okay. I totally let them have it. Useless, strategically important canal. It really is okay, though, because Germany is almost done for. Now the Soviets and I are racing to Berlin, trying to be the first to lay claim to the heart of the Reich. Here in the west, the Germans aren’t putting up nearly as much of a fight, so I’m pretty confident that I’ll be the victor in this friendly competition. At least if nothing forces me to divert my troops, like… Spain joining the Axis?

Spanish troops pour across the French border, in tanks, on foot, riding horses, with barely any opposition in sight. My closest force is currently embroiled in a bloody fight with the Italians, pushing them further back with every day, so they can’t help. I divert an army from Germany and watch as they slowly make their way to the new front. Conveniently, the Spanish have moved it a lot closer. Thanks, Spain!

By the time their huge push north is finally over, I've even managed to reclaim a little ground. I don’t have time to feel good about this, unfortunately, as my screen is now saturated in notifications. Everyone and their gran is joining the war, and the last time I counted, the conflict had been merged with five other distinct wars playing out across the world.

Here I am, enjoying this very respectable war between France and Germany, and now I have to worry about the Latverian War of Wakandan Aggression or some other nonsense. They’re not even communist! Bloody world wars.

This year I was a very good boy (no coups or anything) so, for the first time, Santa must have read my letter of demands. If he’d done this last year I’d be flitting around the battlefields of Europe on a Pegasus, but whatever. Anyway! This year I asked for the fall of Berlin, and on Christmas Day, we marched on the city to the sound of artillery pummelling buildings and the sweet music of the RAF blasting the Luftwaffe out of the sky.

It’s the bleedin’ Soviets that get the credit, of course. I’m starting to question this arrangement. You know who didn’t get me anything for Christmas? My pal, Joey Stalin. Not even a card! I knew I should have created my own communist faction. Don’t let him see you cry, Fraser.

Through tears I do notice something that cheers me up considerably: Ireland and the USA have converted to communism! Happy days. I’m more chuffed about the Ireland result, I must confess. They joined the war ages ago, even sending me expeditionary forces – Irish troops that I get direct control over – so I’ve been keen to see them become enlightened. The Yanks, on the other hand, haven’t even suggested that they might throw their lot in with us.

Finally, the day I’ve been looking forward to. A joint force of French, Soviet, Bulgarian and British troops march on the last bastion of the Reich, Yugoslavia. Italian and German forces fight with grim determination, making us pay for every inch gained, but eventually a division of tanks smashes through their line, and it all falls apart. Minutes later, Germany capitulates.

Capitulation occurs when a nation’s national unity is exceeded by the percentage of victory points – areas of strategic significance – that have been gobbled up by the enemy. Since Germany is in a faction, however, they haven’t strictly been defeated, and the war is certainly not over. The two other major powers, Italy and Japan, have to be trounced as well. And that’s why the Reich pops up again in Africa, joining Italy, even though it’s capitulated. It’s a bit deflating, really.

But onto Africa, to finally finish this war.

Yes, it’s been over two years since the fall of the Reich, technically, and the war is still going on. Europe is ours, completely, but the conquest of Africa is proving to be a challenge. See, these big wars are not sprints; they’re endurance races. All the victories and well-armed troops in the world don’t matter when you’ve got no more manpower, and the last time I checked I’d lost almost a million men.

Worse: North Africa, where most of the fighting is taking place, doesn’t have much infrastructure or supply, meaning that my dwindling forces move incredibly slowly and are suffering from attrition, stopping them from being able to fight. It’s all a giant mess. Infuriatingly, Italy has already capitulated and the Reich is completely gone, but since Japan is still in the game – and bizarrely, fighting in Africa – there’s still no end in sight.

The Communist States of America is our only hope of getting out of here, but even though they have joined the war and the Comintern, they’ve been no help whatsoever. Indeed, I think they might have gone mad. They’ve been denouncing communism and the very faction they belong to, and last month they decided to conquer… Canada.

I’m in the Pacific now, doing America’s job for it. It’s gotten to that point in the conflict – and this happens a bit too often – where the war devolves into a boring game of cleaning up. Every member of the Axis, apart from Japan, has capitulated, while the Comintern has around 20 nations still fighting. We’ve won. Unequivocally. And there’s nothing Japan can do. It’s not even trying anymore. Their navy has retreated to the coast of Japan, and it doesn’t have a single soldier outside of the archipelago.

Unfortunately, nobody else is doing anything either. The entire world has ground to a halt. My only option is to mount an invasion of Japan myself, which is no mean feat. Invasions by sea can be extremely tricky, requiring a decent grip on the intricacies of every aspect of land, sea and air warfare.

The hard part is clearing the way for the convoys that will land troops on the Japanese beaches. The soldiers won’t even consider getting in the ships until we have enough intel on the water around the country. That means dominating both the skies and the ocean with my navy and airforce. I send a huge fleet of around 100 ships, from destroyers to carriers, all the way over to Japan from the English Channel, and every available aircraft to the most easterly Russian airbase, and then I pray to Stalin’s bushy ‘tache that it’s enough. It’s got to be enough.

I can’t see Japan for all the units fighting in it. Three out of four of my own divisions make it to shore, on my second invasion attempt, capturing a beachhead that finally inspires my allies to get back into the war. Exhausted, starving men with no hope of reinforcements fight for their lives. It’s awful and desperate and God I hope it ends soon.

The conquest of Japan is the most intense battle in the entire war, perhaps even making up for the previous few years of mopping up and waiting around. I keep forgetting about my grand plan: transforming the world into a communist paradise. Now I just want to send these battered men home.

Our final goal is in sight: the last victory point. But Japan’s last defensive line simply refuses to break. Then, suddenly, a brave Belgian expeditionary force charges, breaking through, rushing straight for the target. It’s desperate, but the Japanese soldiers crumble and the Belgians get back-up from British and American troops. We take it. The war is finally over.

Here are all the countries that I converted through conquest, coups and uprisings:

UK: Union of Great Britain
France: French Commune
USA: Communist States of America
Germany: Socialist Republic of Germany
Italy: Italian Union
Ireland: Irish People’s Union
Belgium: Co-operative of Belgium
Mexico: Mexican Socialist Republic
Iraq: Iraqi People’s State
Iran: Iranian Communist Authority
Ethiopia: People’s Republic of Ethiopia

That’s just from my meddling. The Soviet Union and Communist States of America created just as many, largely converting the globe.

Communism has won. Sorry, world.

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