Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – Austria-Hungary Strategy Guide

You are currently viewing Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – Austria-Hungary Strategy Guide

No country has gotten destroyed more in the First World War than the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They manage to go from one of the biggest powers in the world to two insignificant countries in the coming World War.

Luckily, Paradox Interactive has decided to give Hungary a special focus tree path in Hearts of Iron 4 that allows them to reform the great Austria-Hungary and try to get all of their historical territories back.

Recommended Read: How to Create a Faction in HOI4

Considering they can keep the peace with the scary Germany to the north, how hard can it be to take all of that territory back with a country that can’t field an army in 1936?

In this guide, we will show you how to form Austria-Hungary as Hungary in Hearts of Iron 4 and how to play as them to defeat both the Comintern and the Axis.

Table of Contents

General Strategy for Austria-Hungary in HOI4

Unfortunately, Hungary got their unique focus tree back when the developers didn’t really know they can use 35 days focuses, so it is very bare-bones.

The path to form Austria-Hungary is very straightforward, and there aren’t a lot of interesting things you can get along the way.

All that Austria-Hungary gets is claims on a lot of their old lands. However, you will need to personally conquer everything if you want these territories.

The worst thing about Hungary in HOI4 is that it starts extremely slow due to all the debuffs it has from WW1.

If you want to form Austria-Hungary, you also have a limited time slot, considering that Germany is preparing the Anschluss.

So, here is how you should play as Hungary to form Austria-Hungary and actually stand a chance to defeat Germany in HOI4:

How to Form Austria-Hungary in HOI4

Though you could, in theory, rush the focus that gives you Austria, it would be best to first fix your army and industry. You have until February of 1938 to conquer Austria.

In theory, you should get them before that since Germany can just annex them while you are fighting.

The first thing you will need to do is rush the Bled Agreement focus. This will allow you to recruit a larger amount of your population as soldiers and to increase your Economy Laws.

So, the first three national focus you will have to pick as the future Austria-Hungary in HOI4 are:

  1. Secret Rearmament
  2. War Games
  3. Bled Agreement

After you complete the Secret Rearmament and War Games focuses, make sure to use all Political Power to change your Economy Law to Partial Mobilization.

When you finish the Bled Agreement focus, Romania will usually allow you to remilitarize. However, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia can protest this move.

Once you complete these, you will need to rush the Demand a Referendum focus down the Balanced Budget focus tree as fast as possible. This should allow you to annex Austria close to 1938, giving you time to also try to get Czechoslovakia.

Military and Civilian Production

Hungary has an incredibly weak production in HOI4. The only two things you should produce are Infantry Equipment and Support Equipment.

You can also make all your templates into the base Cavalry template since you won’t really have time to make anything that requires more Manpower or equipment.

When it comes to Civilian Production, you should only build Civilian Factories.

Until you complete the Bled Agreement focus, you will have -50% Military Factory construction speed. This means that you won’t have a chance to build any of them until at least 210 days have passed since the start.

After you increase your total Civilian Factories, you should also start working on building better Railways around your territories.

Hungary starts in one of the worst places from this point of view as well, considering most of their Railways are level 1.

Once you unlock more Military Factories, you should start building these pieces of equipment in order of priority:

  1. Trucks
  2. Towed Artillery
  3. Civilian Train (1 factory)
  4. Anti-Air
  5. Medium Tanks

If you manage to reach 1940 without starting a war with Germany, you should be able to build the most powerful Cavalry template in HOI4 that should help you conquer all of the lost lands of Austria-Hungary.

Road to Austria-Hungary

So, the first thing you will need to do is get the Secret Rearmament to get Partial Mobilization as early as possible and the Bled Agreement to get the Volunteer Only Conscription Law.

Once you get these two things, you can actually start working on building an army while also conquering Austria and Czechoslovakia. Now, after getting those two focuses, you will need to rush the Demand Referendum focus.

After you get the Balanced Budget focus, make sure to get the Silent Workforce political advisor since you will need a lot of Political Power during this run.

While completing the Elect a King focus, you should finally get enough power to either get a Chief of Army (for Army Experience) or the Captain of Industry political advisor if you want to go crazy on building Civilian Factories. However, the Chief of Army would be the best choice here.

Hugo Sonyi (Army Offense) Chief of Army would be the best choice here, considering we will need to conquer both Romania and Yugoslavia.

While you complete the Invite the Habsburg Prince, you can raid both the Democratic and Fascist parties, to increase base Stability in the long run.

How to Conquer Austria

The Demand Referendum focus is much better than Take Austria By Force since they will say yes to your demands most of the time.

Under normal circumstances, you have a 80% chance that Austria will accept your referendum demand and a 70% chance for the referendum to pass.

If you have completed the Reintegrate the Railroads focus, you can increase the referendum success chance to 80%. If you have completed the focus and also +75 relationship with them, you will have a 95% chance to annex them.

Though it might be better to increase the chance as much as possible, it is a waste to do the Reintegrate the Railroads focus so early.

Even in Ironman Mode, it might be a better idea to risk the 70% and hope that you don’t need to restart your run.

How to Win Referendum 100%

If you want to make sure that you 100% win the referendum and get the right result, don’t pick any focus after the Invite the Habsburg Prince focus and wait for 10 days to pass. Now save.

See what the result of the event is and then go back if you failed. Increase relations with Austria and see the result of the event again.

If you fail the referendum again, your last chance is to complete the Reintegrate the Railroads focus first, improve relations, and then complete the referendum.

If all of these fail, either start the game again or defeat Austria in a war.

Event results are decided the moment you start the game, and the only way you can change the outcome is if you change the percentage (i.e. increase relations, Reintegrate the Railroads, or both).

In Ironman Mode, you can duplicate your save file and risk one to see what the result of this event will be. If it is the wrong one, delete the save file and load the duplicate, allowing you to try again.

When you finish the Demand Referendum focus, wait a bit to see the results and then pick the Restoration of Austria-Hungary focus to get cores on all the Austrian territories and all Czechoslovak and southern Polish territories.

Now, you will finally be known as Austria-Hungary and you can start your world conquest in HOI4.

Austria-Hungary Strategy to Restore the Empire

Now, after completing the Restoration of Austria-Hungary focus, you can choose the Protect Czechoslovakia focus, which can have three different results:

  • You annex Czechoslovakia (20%).
  • You puppet Czechoslovakia (40%).
  • They refuse you, giving you claims on their territories (30%).

The worst possible outcome is the one where they refuse you since it is the most useless result for an event in the history of HOI4. Normally, you would expect that you would get a war goal on them, but you just get claims.

The claims are extremely useless, considering you already have cores on all the territories of Czechoslovakia.

So, if you are in Ironman Mode and don’t want to waste time, it might be a better idea to instantly start justifying a war goal the moment you finish the focus to annex Austria.

Otherwise, you should save before selecting the focus and prepare to put in some effort if you want to increase your chances of getting their territories.

Here are all the factors that can increase your basic 20% chance of annexing the Czechs through the Protect Czechoslovakia focus:

  • *1.3 if World Tension is higher than 20% (so chance increases to 26%)
  • *1.3 if World Tension is higher than 40% (this multiplies the chance that already increased due to 20, so it would be around 34%)
  • *1.3 if World Tension is higher than 60% (same as before, getting to a total of 44%)
  • *1.5 if you have a Non-Aggression Pact with each other
  • *1.5 if they have +65 opinion of you
  • *2 if they aren’t in a faction
  • 100% chance if Germany is doing the Demand Sudetenland or Fate of Czechoslovakia

How to Always Annex Czechoslovakia

So, in theory, if you did it right after uniting Austria-Hungary, you would have a 40% chance to annex them, considering that they aren’t part of a faction and that WT is under 20%.

If you were to select to do the focus now and you failed, load back. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of things on the list from above that you can do to reroll the RNG for the event.

Increasing WT is almost impossible right now, and Germany will help you increase it only by demanding the Sudetenland.

Since you’ve just turned into Austria-Hungary, you have gained cores on all the territories of the Czechs, giving you a simple -90 opinion with them. There is no way you can get a Non-Aggression Pact or +65 opinion of you.

There’s only one thing you can do to change the circumstance and increase your chance to annex Czechoslovakia and that is to wait for Germany to demand the Sudetenland.

When they do, load back and make sure that your focus finishes right before theirs.

Otherwise, you can wait 70 days for them to finish the First Vienna Award and then start the focus to finish it before they do the Fate of Czechoslovakia.

Getting Czechoslovakia before Germany does the Demand Sudetenland focus is useless anyway since they will demand it from you afterward as well.

So, just let them take it, and you can take the rest of the realm, gaining a huge increase in factories and Manpower.

Next Target: Poland

After you complete the Protect Czechoslovakia focus, all the other ones in the Austria-Hungary focus tree are completely useless.

Though they give you claims on the countries around you, you don’t actually get war goals. It might be a better idea to just directly justify on Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia than to get claims.

Now you can just pick all of the focuses that increase your economy while preparing for war. The first target you should attack is Poland.

If you conquer Poland before the USSR or Germany do their special focuses to attack them, you will manage to get all their territories without losing anything.

If you wanted to time it right, you could try to go in around the same time with Germany to also join the Axis.

At this moment in time, the Axis is the best ally you could get since you plan on conquering countries that will most likely join the Allies. Since the war with the Allies is inevitable, might as well join the enemy for now.

However, we would recommend you don’t join the Axis, since we might want to attack them while still at war with the Allies.

Your main goal is to get at least Krakow, Lwow, and Stanislawow, since you already have cores on them and will get a lot of Manpower from the whole ordeal.

During this time, the Second Vienna Award should also happen, in which you will get Northern Transylvania.

If you conquered Czechoslovakia before the Germans did the First Vienna Award, you will get Transylvania for that event instead.

Conquer Romania and Yugoslavia

Right after the Second Vienna Award, Romania has a short time until they also join the Axis, since they will turn Fascist.

You have to move fast and attack them before this happens. Otherwise, you will have to fight Germany as well as the Allies.

This way, Romania joins the Allies and all is well. With the power you got from uniting Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, Romania shouldn’t stand a chance.

Start justifying war goals on both Romania and Yugoslavia, since you will need to get rid of them both before anyone else tries to mess with them.

If you attack them both before 1940, their armies will be incredibly technologically behind and they won’t even have full supply for most of them. As long as your divisions are incredibly good at attacking, they shouldn’t last long.

Romania will be an easy first target after you get North Transylvania since you now have a very large border with them.

There are 15 tiles that Romania will need to defend at your border and most of your troops in Northern Transylvania will be in the mountains.

If you want to be smart about it you can push the front through Crisana and Banat to the West and stay on the defensive in the mountains in Northern Transylvania.

Yugoslavia will be even easier to beat than Romania, since you will have an incredibly long front with them that they won’t have enough troops to defend properly.

Once you defeat these two weak countries, you can complete the Reintegrate the Empire decision to get cores on Transylvania and almost all of Yugoslavia.

What to Do Next

At this point, Austria-Hungary should be the most powerful country in HOI4. Even Germany should be afraid of you.

The only problem is that you will need a bit of time to stabilize the country, build up a powerful army, and start making a lot of Military Factories.

Though you won’t be able to do much now, in around one year, you should be powerful enough to start fighting either the USSR or Germany and assert your dominance as the leader of Europe.

That’s everything you need to know about how to create and play as Austria-Hungary in Hearts of Iron 4!

Have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Adrian Oprea

Based in London, United Kingdom, Adrian Oprea is a Guides Writer. As a professional single-player RPG player, Adrian has often been stigmatized. He has decided to pour his frustration into writing guides!

Leave a Reply