Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – Byzantium Strategy Guide

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The last remnant of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, has left lasting impressions on most of the grand strategy community. In both Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis, players do their best to make this dying empire thrive once again.

However, in Hearts of Iron 4, almost 500 years since the fall of Constantinople, it might seem like a far-fetched idea to play as the Greek heir of the Romans. Luckily. Paradox Interactive also have a special place in their hearts for the empire, adding it in the focus tree of Greece.

Recommended Read: How to Convert Equipment in Hearts of Iron 4

All you have to do to form Byzantium in HOI4 is to defeat Turkey as Greece. Unfortunately, fighting in Alexandroupolis is actually extremely hard and pushing into Anatolia will be quite the challenge with enough preparation.

So, in this guide, we will show you how to form the Byzantine Empire in Hearts of Iron 4 and how to conquer all of Europe as the true heir of Rome.

Table of Contents

General Strategy for Byzantium in HOI4

The whole strategy for Byzantium would be to prepare for the fight with Turkey. After that, defeating them will be your main priority.

There will be some interesting mechanics for the political parties of the country, but you can generally ignore them. You’ll have the Republicans in power for most of the early game and then change to the Fascists.

Once the coup happens, the war will start in the early future, and you’ll have to beat Turkey using relatively dishonorable tactics that mostly use the inability of the AI to think.

If you don’t want to do that, you can just fight next to Alexandroupolis and try to do a lot of encirclements.

When Turkey has been defeated, Greece players can revive the Byzantine Empire once and for all and the rest of the game will be relatively straightforward.

Greece Start in HOI4

Greece has one of the worst starts in Hearts of Iron 4, with a horrible economy, a lot of debuffs, and enemies in every direction.

Since war with Turkey is inevitable, you will need to fix the economy first and then prepare to properly push into Anatolia.

National Focuses

Here are the exact national focuses you need to pick to form the Byzantine Empire again:

  1. Devaluating the Drachma
  2. Utilize Our Strengths
  3. Open Foreign Subsidized Factories
  4. Exporting More Luxury Commodities
  5. Bring Home the Exiled Republicans
  6. Compromise with the Monarchists
  7. Remembering the Anatolian Catastrophe
  8. Venerate the Ancient Hellenes
  9. Athenian Thinkers
  10. The Anatolian Refugees
  11. Resurrecting the Megali Idea
  12. Theban Warriors
  13. Expand Our Tobacco Industry
  14. Horror and Fear
  15. Reviving the Double-Headed Eagle
  16. Phoideratoi
  17. Mobilize the Economy
  18. Nenikikamen
  19. The Die is Cast!
  20. Byzantine Themata

If you want to do it as quickly as possible, then just do the Devaluating the Drachma focus first and then sprint to the Reviving the Double-Headed Eagle focus.

Then, all you will need to do is defeat Turkey and you’ll have Byzantium back in the 20th century.


You don’t have much construction power, but start building a Naval Base in Alexandroupolis and then just make Military Factories everywhere. You’ll need them for the upcoming war with Turkey.


Unfortunately, you only have 2 Military Factories at the start, and they are placed on the right options: Infantry Equipment and Towed Artillery.

We will do our best to prepare the country with only these two pieces of equipment.


Greece starts off with 13 undersupplied divisions, which have Support Equipment they don’t produce in their templates.

One of the first things you’ll need to do once you get some Army Experience is to remove the Engineers from the basic Infantry division and Mountaineers. The cavalry also has Recon battalions, so remove those as soon as possible.

An improvement you can add to the basic Infantry division is to add a Line Artillery battalion to pump the Soft Attack and Defense up for the troops.

Your goal will be to have a full army of 24 divisions before the war starts with Turkey. However, that’s not really a requirement for winning.

Faction Management

Greece has an interesting mechanic where they can see the opinion of the opposition parties as they control the country.

Depending on this opinion, you gain access to blocked advisors and gain Stability and Manpower bonuses or debuffs.

Generally, if you go down the Byzantium path, your only opposition will be the Communists. Besides the moment we will tell you in this guide to influence the Faction Management decisions, you can just ignore them.

How to Defeat Turkey and Form Byzantium

Start of the Game

First of all, let’s start by placing the King under house arrest using the Decisions menu. We will want Venizelos to rule Greece since he has extremely powerful buffs.

When the Utilize Our Strengths focus is done, start improving relations with Germany, France, UK, and the USSR.

Having 80 relations with them when finishing the Open Foreign Subsidized Factories will get you 8 total extra factories, which is more than half your starting industry.

The first thing you need to research is Civilian Trains since Greece might be one of the only countries in the game without this tech, and commandeer some from the Decisions menu since it will take ages to make new ones from scratch.

As soon as you get 150 Political Power, make sure to crush the Monarchists to get a lot of extra War Support and Stability.

The Compromise with the Monarchists focus will bring back their attitude to friendly, which means that you just get huge bonuses for PP.

Preparing for War

When the The Anatolian Refugees focus is complete, you will get an event where you’ll have to choose if you’ll form a coalition with the EEE or to suppress them.

Select the first option, “The ghosts of the past will not return to haunt us again”, creating an alliance with the fascists.

The other option would lead you down the path to become Greater Greece rather than Byzantium.

After this, the Heraklion Convention event will start, where you’ll have to choose to ask Britain and France to come, or the two of them with Italy on top.

The French and British will flake on the convention, which will lose you Stability. This is why you have to invite Italy since they actually come.

The EEE will launch a coup after the failed convention, and you must allow them to take over Greece. You should also use 250 PP to befriend the Communists since they have useful advisors for you to use.

How to Defeat Turkey

After completing the Horror and Fear will start the war with Turkey, and we’ll need to be prepared. There is a simple tactic that you can use to destroy the whole Turkish army.

First of all, set up 8 divisions at the border with Turkey. Preferably, send all the Mountaineers there since you’ll mainly need to hold the border,

Leave Athens completely undefended, but make sure to always hold Chalcis and Korinthos. When the war starts, make sure to keep your navy docked and wait for Turkey to naval invade the capital.

Once that happens, set out your fleet to Strike Force and destroy the troops inside the capital. However, don’t conquer the city back! Leave it free once the troops are destroyed to allow Turkey to send it even more troops.

This way, you can endlessly destroy all of their divisions until they have 0 Manpower and equipment left.

Select all the troops when the fight reaches around 90% win and press H once the enemy divisions have been destroyed. This will cancel the order and stop them from conquering the province.

If you have been fighting the troops for a while, there’s a chance that the troops will instantly take the city.

Just cancel the attack order and send them to attack again since you won’t really lose progress in the battle, just in the troop advance.

At some point, you will notice the troops on the border are weak or insufficient to hold the line. Push through and conquer all of Turkey, making sure to encircle any remaining divisions.

If you don’t like the strategy form above and consider it “cheating”, you can also attempt something similar in Edirne.

Push the line but leave Edirne port free, allowing the Turkish to send reinforcements there that will constantly die.

How to Form Byzantium

The moment you defeat Turkey, annex all of their territories. This will allow you to use the Decision to Revive Byzantium.

Pressing that button will change the color of your country to purple and will change the name to Byzantine Empire.

Completing the Byzantine Themata will also give you decisions that will give you cores on old Byzantium states. You can see in the image at the top of the article the exact territories that this country will gain cores on.

Considering the cores, your natural enemies will be Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Italy, the UK, and France. You will already be at war with Romania due to their guarantee of Turkey, so they must be the first target.

You will have a choice regarding Bulgaria. You can either ask them to join your faction, which they will likely accept, or attack them as well. Building a bigger army will be very important here, since Byzantium has a lot of rivals.

Once you conquer Romania, your best bet would be to ally yourself to Germany. However, make sure to enter into conflict with Italy before they join the Axis.

That’s everything you need to know about how to play Byzantium 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!

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