Hearts of Iron IV Thicc China in 1938 – Awake and Angry Achievement – no war with Allies or Comintern

Hearts of Iron IV Thicc China in 1938 – Awake and Angry Achievement – no war with Allies or Comintern 1 - steamsplay.com
Hearts of Iron IV Thicc China in 1938 – Awake and Angry Achievement – no war with Allies or Comintern 1 - steamsplay.com
In this guide I’ll show you how to naval invade Japan early as China and how to use that to get the Awake And Angry Achievement easy and fast.


Capitulating Japan early

Hello! There’s much to talk about, but I’ll try to keep it as short as possible, while still explaining the why’s and what’s. If you rather watch a video of the run, I’ve uploaded both an edited version as well as the unedited footage. Links can be found at the end of the guide.

The requirement for this run are as follows:

  • Beat Japan into submission before they can start a war on their own
  • Conquer all core territory of China
  • Make China as phat as possible, as fast as possible
  • Be at peace at the end of the campaign

To get the Awake and Angry Achievement, we need to get a white peace with Japan, conquer all Chinese core territory as well as Manchukuo. In this guide I’ll explain how you can achieve this without involving any faction and doing it quite quickly as well. It goes without saying that there’s a decent amount of cheese involved here.

The fastest way to do this is with as little puppets from the Subjugate the Warlords focus as possible. If you’re lucky here, you can get the achievement in early 1938. IRL the whole run took me 1h 20min.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.

Day One

What you research is more or less irrelevant for this strategy with some exceptions: researching naval invasion tech rather early and switching to Mobile Warfare is important. Later on you’ll need to have Motorized researched as well otherwise you cannot progress further down the focus tree. Everything else is up to you. I mostly focused on industry besides the necessary research. Build some additional dockyards and only produce infantry equipment and convoys. Take Three Principles of the People first thing and continue the focus path towards Anti-Communism while continuously recruiting new divisions. Hire the Silent Workhorse and the Army Maneuver Expert along the way.

Subjugating the warlords

At first it looks as if there isn’t much one can do to influence whether a warlord will become a puppet or not and that’s bad, since the chance is basically 50 / 50. But we can at least reduce the amount of warlords beforehand by declaring on the communist warlords first through the focus Anti-Communism. Going to war with the communist warlords first also means that they cannot join the Comintern. There are still four warlords remaining in this scenario and ideally, all of them refuse to subjugate. But personally, I haven’t seen that happen. My best roll was 3 out of 4 refusals. Since this happens only a few minutes into the run, you can choose to restart or take the extra time. There’s no downside to the latter other than waiting for enough PP. I highly recommend to not spend PP immediately on the integration process, since with every step, you lower the daily PP gain. Rather wait until you’ve banked most of the PP required for integrating all of your puppets. But that’s something for later anyways, since now we need to conquer all warlords before we finish the focus Pick a Fight With Japan.

At this point you should have about 4 and a half full armies of mostly cavalry under your command. Use this numerical advantage and go around the enemy divisions to quickly make progress. Try to avoid pushing divisions into VPs or lure them out if necessary. Making fast progress is especially important for Xibei San ma, since afterwards you still need to push deep into Xinjiang before they will eventually capitulate.

The naval invasion of Japan

There are a couple of ingredients needed for our invasion to succeed. I’ve already outlined it in detail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhZtM-DikX4 so I’ll keep it brief. We can achieve naval superiority for a couple of hours after we declare war, even with the tiny Chinese navy, allowing us to send lots of divisions over to Japan. In order for this to work, you need to plan the invasions at least 72 days in advance for the planning time to count down and unassign divisions from the invasion plans as soon as they leave the port, freeing up the 10 division cap on naval invasions again. By assigning another batch of 10 divisions, you can pump out 10 divisions each hour for each port that you launch from. I hope that makes sense.

We can draw away and pin down plenty of divisions from Japan by gathering forces at the northern border before the war. Make sure to push into the undefended tiles of Japan’s puppets. That can be easily achieved by pinning down the Japanese divisions until the puppets are called into the war which is just a couple of days later. By holding at least a single tile of their puppets, we make sure that we can actually annex them in the upcoming peace deal.

Taking Japan is a short but intense micro segment of the run. We have a lot more divisions, but in direct combat, the cavalry doesn’t stand a chance. It’s vital that we take most ports quickly, so Japan cannot retreat divisions back to their home islands. Taking all ports before reinforcements can arrive is close to impossible, so I recommend that you leave the port north of Osaka, since the AI loves to pile up there for some reason, making it reasonably easy to contain them while taking VP after VP. If a major city is guarded, do not try to force your way in. Instead, let the AI make mistakes. In most cases, the AI will walk off the tile if you leave gaps yourself or if it’s a port, deploy somewhere else.

The Peace Conference

If you want the Awake and Angry Achievement, you cannot fully annex or puppet Japan. Remember, we still need the white peace event. Japan will, no matter the circumstances, go down the path towards a(nother) war with China, but only if they are still independent. So take as much territory from them as you like, but do not annex or puppet the region with Tokyo in it. Just leave it be and click Done at the conference. Fully annex Mengkukuo and Manchukuo and do not release Korea – or any other nation for that matter.

Japan commits Seppuku

After finishing the focus Pick a Fight With Japan, go for Invite Foreign Investors and Improve relations with Germany after Japan surrendered. Always keep an eye on the relation to Germany from now on, since you’ll need it at +75 or more for a couple of focuses. Take Mission To Germany afterwards and start the first step of Integrating the Warlords decisions if you only have a single puppet. Otherwise wait for more PP before starting the process as explained earlier.

Shortly after, a very ambitious Japan wants to take another shot at us. You don’t have to do anything and can just lean back and enjoy the show. After choosing the breaking point option from the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Japan will declare. This war will last a whooping 24 hours, before Japan offers peace, since we fulfill all conditions for the white peace event. In order for the achievement to work, you have to accept the peace treaty.

Take the Closer Ties With Germany focus next and work your way towards Renegotiate the Unequal Treaties.

Getting the Achievement

Awake And Angry Achievement in 1938

Depending on the amount of puppets that you were left with after the Subjugate the Warlords focus ended, you’ll get the achievement earlier or later in 1938. In my best attempt, with only a single puppet, I fulfilled the required conditions in April 1938. Now there’s just Tibet and Mongolia left to deal with and if we do it just right, we can even steal Tannu Tuva from under the Soviets’ noses.

With Renegotiate the Unequal Treaties done, we’ll automatically skip the One China Policy focus, since there aren’t any independent warlords left. The next focus will give us a war goal on Tibet that we immediately execute. After the Renounce the McMahon-Line and Demand Mongolia focus, we again declare immediately. Officially you’re at war with Comintern now, but the Soviets will take a rather long time before actually joining the war. But they will. To avoid that, you’ll ideally have about 4 to 6 motorized divisions ready at the Mongolian border. Try to steer them around enemy divisions, straight towards Tannu Tuva. Use the length of the frontline with Mongolia to quickly take its territory. Only capitulate Mongolia after holding some territory in Tannu Tuva.

Phat China Done

So why does this work? Why do the Soviets take well over a month before joining the war? Honestly, I don’t know. I assume, but that’s pure speculation, that it’s because we’ve gathered divisions all along their borders that they first want to match in strength before joining the war.

Some interesting side notes:

  • After all that war, we’re still only at around 55 percent world tension, barely enabling us to now justify manually on other nations as Non-Aligned.
  • If you want Phat China only, since you’ve done the achievement already or whatever, puppeting Japan is really beneficial, because you already make a metric ton of PP per day and can easily annex them via the autonomy system to gain control over their fleet.
  • The lost manpower for this run is barely noteworthy up to this point. Maybe 20.000 to 50.000 in total.
  • China is still in a bad state at the end of this run. Especially industry and research need to be improved if you want to continue this campaign.
  • In case you want to continue the campaign, there are a multitude of ways to go about it. You can still go with any ideology, but won’t be able to create factions on your own. You can still join and take over factions, though, if that helps your strategy. One possibility would be to flip fascist and to take out the Allies, using Germany as a base of operation in Europe. Small naval invasions into Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand will allow you to not only puppet, but annex them if you want to after the war. If you’re smart about it, you can even grab most of the Balkans and Poland along the way as well and since it’s still early in the game, the US will not join the Allies unprovoked. With long borders in the east and west, you can do with the Soviets as you please, take over the Axis leadership in the meantime, kick out Germany and Italy and backstab them.
  • * well technically you are at war with Comintern in this campaign, but since the Soviet Union doesn’t join, it doesn’t count now, does it.


Written by m3an

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