Japan declares war on China at mid 1937. China have lots of lands and manpower but little to no industry. Whereas Japan already finished industrial revolution. Also China is divided between Chinese warlords. So, as you can see defending against Japan in HOI4 looks really hard to achieve. However, it is possible and I will guide you through it.
For my other guide, check out HOI4 defending against Germany. Anyway, Japan isn’t as strong as Germany but China is really weak at the start. That weakness comes from lack of resources and industry. Yet, infinite Chinese manpower is enough to drive Japanese forces out of mainland China.
HOI4 Defending China
Defending China and beating Japan as China in HOI4 is possible.
First thing to do is diverting all military factories to a basic infantry equipment production. Because we need to equip every man with a gun. Also it is not possible to achieve air superiority over Japan. Of course we need to buy some steel for full production.
Rest of our civilian factories should be used for building forts on the at the Japanese border. Also we need to build coastal forts at our naval bases because Japan spams naval invasions.
Political power goes to these two important advisors:
- Li Zongren: Division defense +15%.
- Xiao Yisu: Infantry division defense +15%, attack +10%.
Choosing generals are also important. Especially field marshal is a life saver. One field marshal for Beijing Japanese border, and one for naval base defense forces. I prefer Tu Yu-ming and Zhang Xuelliang. Because they have the best defensive stats combined with defensive doctrine trait. Which grants +30% max entrenchment. Totally life saver.
HOI4 China Guide
What about offense? China have a negatif buff called army corruption at the start. Which gives division attack -30%, defense -30%, and mobilization -30%. I wouldn’t recommend attacking Japanese forces before removing army corruption.
In order to remove army corruption, you need to pass army reform focus first. Afterwards, you need to activate army reform decision three times. Each activation requires 99 army experience. You can gain army experience by defending against Japan. But the best way is, rushing subjugate the warlords focus and conquering your neighbors. That will increase both your industry and army experience. That is the advanced way.
However, you can still reform the army by gaining army experience via defending against Japan. Just don’t invest your army experience in land doctrine by mistake. Because you need to reform army and remove the army corruption as soon as possible.
Once you drive Japanese forces out of China and Korea, a peace event will trigger. That concludes the war and gives all lands to the China except Japanese main island.
Thank you for reading this HOI4 guide. Now you know how defending against Japan works in HOI4. If you have any question or want to add something, just use the comment section below. I will answer you shortly. Okay, have fun and good luck on your campaign.