Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – Czechoslovakia Strategy Guide

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For many players, Czechoslovakia might seem like one of the worst country choices in Hearts of Iron 4. Getting conquered relatively early by Germany, most think that this is just some weak country, considering they don’t even attempt to fight back.

However, Czechoslovakia might have one of the best defensive positions in the whole game, being able to stop the German menace years before the actual start of the war and saving Poland from its upcoming demise (until the arrival of the Soviets).

Recommended Read: Hearts of Iron 4 – Byzantium Guide

After you manage to hold the Germans once from getting the Sudetenland, you’ll suddenly realize how overpowered the Czechoslovaks are in HOI4 and how easy it is to stop the rise of Fascism in Europe.

In this guide, we will show you exactly what focuses to pick, how to design your divisions, and what decisions to take to win the war with Germany as Czechoslovakia in Hearts of Iron 4 and become the most powerful nation in the world.

Table of Contents

General Strategy for Czechoslovakia in HOI4

Your main goal as Czechoslovakia will be to defend. Hold Sudetenland forever, and just look at the green bubbles as Germany loses all of its Manpower and equipment against you.

After at least a year of constant losses passes for your enemies, and you’ve finally managed to build two 24-division armies, you can push them back and take Berlin if the Allies haven’t yet managed a proper D-Day.

Do not, under any circumstances, join the Allies since your war with Germany will likely also keep Poland alive, which will result in an Axis vs Allies vs Comintern three-way world war.

You do not want to fight the Soviets under any circumstances, so stay away from the Allies.

If you don’t finish off the Germans early, your biggest problem will be Hungary since they will open up the front on the south, making your lines on the border with Germany even weaker.

By 1940, you will likely be surrounded on all sides by enemies.

This will all be an attrition war that the Czechoslovaks can easily win if the player has patience and doesn’t attack recklessly, losing precious Manpower.

How to Start as Czechoslovakia in HOI4

Your first goal will be changing and upgrading all your divisions into something with a lot of Defense and Soft Attack.

The focus tree will do most of your job when it comes to fort building, and you will likely only have to build some in Slovakia to make sure the forts will be at least level 5.

In terms of economy, we’ve chosen the United Population focus branch, so this means you’ll need to build a few Civilian Factories before completely filling out the country with Mils.

For politics, we’ll stick with Democracy since this is the only choice that will give you a Division Defense bonus in core states.

Otherwise, you’ll just have to stand still and wait for stuff to happen around you.

We know there are also more interactive paths for Czechoslovakia in the focus tree, but they’re really boring, and most end up with you serving another major power.

National Focuses

Here are the focuses you will need to complete to win the game as Czechoslovakia:

  1. Industrial Legacy
  2. Balanced Industry Investment
  3. Joint Czech-Slovakian Planning Commission
  4. Local Specialization
  5. United Population
  6. Arms Export
  7. Export Subsidies
  8. Fortification Studies
  9. Sudetenland Early Fortifications
  10. Sudetenland Advanced Fortifications
  11. Polish Line
  12. Hungarian Line
  13. Sudetenland Final Fortifications
  14. Political Direction
  15. Democratic Bastion
  16. Beacon of Liberty

The most important focuses will be United Population, the Sudetenland Fortifications, and Beacon of Liberty.

The first focus will remove a huge debuff to Stability and Manpower. However, choosing this path will make us lose out on 3 Civilian Factories and 70 extra days.

If you don’t care about the Recruitment debuff and think that you can defeat the Germans relatively early, go down the Czech Industry path.

The Sudetenland Fortifications focuses should all be completed before the middle of 1938 since that’s the earliest time Germany might attack you.

If you’ve changed the order of the focuses, then you can skip the Polish and Hungarian lines for now just to get the final upgrade faster.

The Beacon of Liberty will give all your division +10% Defense in core states, perfect for what we need here.


The Czechoslovaks start the game off with 16 Civilian Factories, out of which only 8 can be sued for Construction.

We’ll start by building 2 Civilian Factories in Western and Southern Slovakia and then build Military Factories to the maximum in all states except Carpathian Ruthenia.

There’s no way you can defend this region efficiently, there are no factories at the start, and it is under a different air region, so there’s no reason to do anything in this state besides abandon it.

Once the Military Factories are done, build as much Anti-Air as possible in all states besides Carpathian Ruthenia, since they are all inside the Czechoslovakia air region.

You can also build Infrastructure in Southern Slovakia, Moravia, Bohemia, and Sudetenland to improve Steel production.

Southern Slovakia can give you an extra 5 Steel, so building infrastructure there can really be worth it.

Otherwise the supply is fine, you can maybe improve the bottleneck that stops most resources reaching Slovakia from the capital.


Czechoslovakia starts HOI4 with 9 Military Factories. We’ll aim to get that to at least 16 by the time Germany attacks.

Stop the production of Light Tanks, since we’re gonna start the production of 1938 Mediums once we research them.

Put 3 Mils on Infantry Equipment, 2 on Support, 2 on Towed Artillery, 1 on Supply Trucks, and 1 on Trains. By the time war starts with Germany, we should have 3 on Support, 3 on Artillery, 3 on Medium Tanks, and 2 on Anti-Air.

There’s no way we can produce planes as well as equipment for the army, so we’ll just give up on that. Anti-Air, both in Construction and inside the divisions, will be our best bet to beat the German air force.

Also, make sure to go Concentrated Industry this game. You’ll need every bonus you can get, and you won’t really be able to increase your territory in the early parts of the war.


Change all of your divisions (maybe besides the Mountaineers) into Infantry divisions. We will edit this template to make the most out of it.

The divisions start with a simple 3×3 Infantry with no Support or other line battalions. What we’ll need to add by the time war starts with Germany is one Line Artillery, one Anti-Air Artillery, and a Medium Tank.

This will be enough to pump the Soft Attack, Air Attack, and Hardness to defend easily against the enemy attacks.

Make sure to edit the design of the Medium Tank to have as much Armor as possible, to increase the overall Armor of the whole division.

Otherwise, just make sure it’s fast enough to keep up with the Infantry (4 km/h) and that it isn’t unreliable. Maybe pump up the Soft Attack as well.

Your frontline will mainly be with Germany for most of the game, with Hungary joining around 1940. Prepare in time for the Hungarians since you might otherwise lose it all if they attack and you have no troops at the border.

How to Defeat Germany


Set up all your divisions on the border with Germany. After they annex the Austrians, you’ll need around 24 troops to have at least 1 division per tile at the border.

This means that, in theory, to have 2 divisions per tile, you’ll need two full 24 division armies.

Unfortunately, the lack of Manpower and equipment won’t really allow us to get this far by the time the war starts, so let’s aim for at least 34 fully equipped divisions.

Generally, even underequipped divisions with the template we’ve listed above we’ll have a good chance of holding the line.

Make sure that all the forts on the border are at least level 5. The focus tree will make sure that you get up to 7 in the Sudetenland, but the ones at the Hungarian and Polish border will be under leveled.

You can calmly train your troops until Austria is annexed. Once that happens, prepare since you likely have 70 days until the war starts.

Once they demand the Sudetenland, make sure to reject and choose the option to never surrender. If you even think about giving up the Sudetenland, you will never have a chance of winning the war.

Winning the War

Germany will almost instantly attack and Romania will likely join to defend you, due to their guarantee on you from the start of the game.

Two things can happen now. If you have fully supplied troops, Germany will try attacking in a few provinces but will give up due to the high level of forts and the preparedness of your troops.

If you haven’t managed to fully take care of the equipment of your troops, they will likely constantly attack, even though they won’t really have a chance.

If they do not attack, you can tease them by leaving a single division in a province or even leaving them empty, pinning them when they start moving, and then bringing back the division in the empty province.

For most of the war, you’ll just stand and look at the bubbles, maybe occasionally moving a division here and there to reinforce. You can keep a special elite army just to come in and help battles where you might be losing.

Once you’ve managed to survive the initial attack, Germany will prepare to demand Danzig, which will be your best opportunity to end the war early.

The Germans will move a large chunk of troops on the border with Poland and you should not allow Poland to station troops in your territory.

If you do, they will move a large part of their army to help you, instantly losing the war.

You will have to either start pushing toward Berlin, helping Poland encircle the troops between you, or start pushing to the south, conquering Austria and Bavaria.

However, if you don’t trust your micro skills, just patiently defend your borders and maybe push the Germans back to the river south, stopping at Vienna and conquering Linz.

Hungary Joins the Axis

If all goes well, you’ve either already defeated Germany, or you’re patiently waiting while their troops sit on the border. As time passes by, around 1940, Hungary will join the war. This will be your make or break moment.

By this time, you should have managed to train more troops to send to the fight. Set up at least 10 divisions on the border with Hungary, stopping right at Kosice.

We will abandon the Carpathian Ruthenia state as well as the three provinces east of Kosice and Presov.

Presov is a Supply Hub, so it will be extremely important to defend it from the Axis. The troops that will come into your territory from the east will most likely suffer from attrition, which will be great for your troops.

At this point in time, Romania will most likely lose since they will have most of their troops defending your borders rather than theirs with Hungary. You will now be alone, surrounded by enemies.

Now, the whole war will turn into a waiting game. You can either wait for the Soviets or the Allies to start pushing back the Axis and join in the offensive or start your own push when you can see that the troops on the border have weakened.

Either way, you can start thinking about joining the Allies and maybe helping them defeat the Comintern if they attacked Poland and the war between the two factions started.

That’s everything you need to know about how to win WW2 as Czechoslovakia 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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