HOI4 Greece Bad Romeance Guide: Hellenic Rebirth

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Greece starts the game as one of the weakest Balkan nations with awful Nation Spirits and little to no resources. But with shrewd army maneuvers, good timing, and the right alliances, this minor country can rise like a (purple) phoenix.

For this guide, I’ll assume all DLC’s are available and that Historical Focus is on.

Also note that this is a casual guide, I won’t be using cheesy tactics like paratroopers, since I believe they take away the game’s fun. I also won’t be using the most meta divisions.

I’ll simply teach how a casual player such as me can do a fun achievement.


Initial Situation

This is how Greece starts the game:

(Click for full-size)
7 factories and 60% Consumer Goods? You gotta be kidding me…

The country begins with:

  • 13 well trained troops
  • A whopping amount of 2 military Factories
  • A navy of 16 ships
  • 7 Civilian Factories
  • A good 18 width template with support companies
  • A decent air force against regional foes

Overall, not too bad. Quite good for a minor power.

But your politics?

Those are messy, really messy.

We have a long way to go before becoming a superpower / Hearts of Iron IV
We have a long way to go before becoming a superpower.

Greece has 6 Spirits, and all of them damage your country in some way.

  • “George II” hurts your stability
  • “Debt to the I.F.C.” hurts your economy and stability
  • “Foreign Monopolies” destroys your industry
  • “Schachtplan” has some ok bonuses, but takes away the little resources you have
  • “Political Instability” hurts your PP gain and enables a faction system
  • “Agrarian Society” Takes away almost half of your manpower and 30% of your Factory Output

In order for Greece to remove these curses, you will need to complete the appropriate focuses.


Early Moves

So let’s begin:

  • Set your Civilian Factories to build 1 more Civ on the Attica state
  • Set your naval dockyards to build more subs
  • Swap all your divisions to your basic infantry template
  • Set them and all your airplanes to train until they’re regulars (Shift click on the train button)
  • Research Construction I, Basic Machine Tools, and Electronic Mechanical Engineering
  • Take the “Devaluating the Drachma” Focus on the Industry Tree
  • Arrest your king

Yes, you heard me right, arrest your king before he steals the upcoming elections.

Make sure to arrest the king, otherwise the achievement won’t be possible / HOI4
Make sure to arrest the king, otherwise the achievement won’t be possible.

When the election is over, you will have a new leader.

This new ruler is great, but he will eventually die, and that’s completely random.

Having him die early might ruin your run, since his war support is necessary to complete “Mobilize our Economy”. If he dies before that, consider restarting your campaign.

Now that the focus is done, we have a good amount of PP, and the option to pay off our debts (spoilers: we won’t).

Also, a new part of the tree has been opened up, allowing us to take the “Bring Home the Exiled Republicans” Focus, and soon “Compromise with the Monarchists”.

What a chad, a shame he is mortal / Hearts of Iron IV
What a chad, a shame he is mortal.

After Bringing home the Republicans, get Napoleon Zervas as a military advisor for the Army XP and good bonuses. Since many advisors are locked behind the faction system, you’ll need to wait after Compromise to get some cool ones.

Now that the Monarchists are loyal, hire Ioannis Metaxas as an advisor and select “Remembering the Anatolian Catastrophe” for your next focus.

Don’t worry about the unspent PP, we will have some spending sprees coming soon.

Note: Always remember to be up to date with your industry research. Industry is one of the biggest priorities in the early game.

Pay attention to the fact that Greece is behind in infantry equipment tech. Research it when you’re done with industry so your mil’s can produce better weapons.


Improving the Industry

When “Remembering the Anatolian Catastrophe” is over, take “Utilize our Strengths” to begin the much needed process of saving the Greek industry.

You’ll soon notice some agitation among the people and the rise of a new movement due to the focus we just completed.

Here come the Fascists / HOI4
Here come the Fascists.

When you complete “Utilize Our Strengths”, begin improving relations with the UK, France, the USSR and Germany.

Our next focus “Open Foreign Subsidized Factories” will give us a new Mil and a new Civ for each of these countries with +80 opinion of us, a huge boost for our economy.

There will be a lot of Events about the Fascists, and you should always strive to pick the option that will boost their popularity.

Our first goal here is to, eventually, forge an alliance with them.

After getting the 4 new Civ’s, go for “Exporting More Luxury Commodities” for a free Free Trade (pun intended), and queue mil’s in your states.

Now that we have more Mil’s, begin producing support equipment.

When the focus is done, get Georgios Kosmas as a military advisor and Aristeidis Dimitratos as a political advisor.

Our next focus will be “Mobilize the Economy”.

Begin training 11 infantry divisions on high priority.


Fascist Takeover

Take “Venerate the ancient Hellenes”, and follow all the way down to “The Anatolian Refugees”.

A coalition with fascists, what could go wrong / Hearts of Iron IV
A coalition with fascists, what could go wrong?

When this happens, pick the first option and go for “Resurrecting the Megali Idea”.

This 140 days focus will “fail” because you have a coalition with the fascists, so it’ll be done way earlier than this.

Invite only the French and British delegates for the event, and you’ll soon be abandoned by the Democratic nations.

This will cause the focus to be over, so immediately pick “Rejuvenating Athens” as your next focus.

The fascists will launch a coup, and accepting it will make your country ruled by them.

Straight out of a cartoon, here comes our new leader / HOI4
Straight out of a cartoon, here comes our new leader.

Restoring the Empire

Now, with the fascists in power, we’ll prepare for war.

  • Duplicate your infantry template and add an artillery battalion on the copy
  • Swap your main army to use it
  • Hire Georgios Tsolakoglou as your Chief of Army
  • Enable Extensive Conscription
  • Add Xenaphon Giosmas as an advisor
  • Hire Alexandro Papagos as a Military Theorist
  • Select befriend the communists on the decisions tab*
  • Promote the general “Nikolaos Plastiras” to a Field Marshal
  • Give him the Aggressive Assaulter, Organization First and Offensive Doctrine traits
  • Assign Theodoros Pangalos as general of your 13 divisions

*I do this for the extra military High Command advisor and the bonuses gained by making them friendly, but if you feel like crushing them, you do you.

Once the focus is done, pick “Horror and Fear” and get your divisions in place.

Our strategy will be to cede land to the Turks, naval invade them and open a second frontline on their backs, thus crushing them.

Since our border with them can’t supply our divisions, we have to retreat to Thessaloniki.

Here’s how your orders should go:

How to trap a Turkey / Hearts of Iron IV
How to trap a Turkey.

Remember to leave troops guarding ports in the other states, because the Turks will try to naval invade you.

After the war starts, select “Reviving the Double-Headed Eagle” and wait for the Turks to get on your frontline.

Use your air force for Close Air Support, Interception, and Superiority.

Don’t worry about Romania. They’re in the war, but won’t send troops.

Wait for mid-March and send your naval invasion. You’ll likely have wiped some rogue naval invaders already, and wiping some extra Turkish troops will be a major blow to their army.

What a successful counter attack should look like / HOI4
What a successful counter attack should look like.

Ideally, you should do this twice, since Turkey will send more troops. Retreat back to Thessaloniki and bait them again.

Now that the focus is done, default on your debt through decision (300PP). Who knew that becoming debt free was so easy?

Our next focus will be “Phoideratoi”.

Now, Justify on Bulgaria.

Ideally the justification will be done around the time we are close to defeating Turkey.

When you’ve done your second counter attack, encircle the troops west of Istanbul by pushing with your 3 divisions all the way there. With your main army, crush the rest of the Turkish troops, and put your 24 divisions under general 1.

Now you’ll want to attack Turkey, rushing their victory points.

Get “Connecting our Prefectures” while you’re fighting Turkey, and make a fresh batch of 12 basic infantry divisions on high priority.

Take “Sophistry and Science” next.

Note: It’s important that you annex Turkey AFTER the Bulgarian justification is done. Otherwise they will be guaranteed by the democratic nations due to the tension caused by the annexation.

Force deploy the 12 divisions as soon as the Bulgarian justification is done. Place them on the border and capitulate Turkey.

Annex it all, immediately declare on Bulgaria and move your main army to the new frontline.

Rise Purple Phoenix / Hearts of Iron IV
Rise Purple Phoenix!

You’re getting cores on all of Turkey. In fact, you’re getting cores on stuff that even Turkey doesn’t have cores on (looking at you Kurdistan).

Apparently, being Hellenic is better than being Turkish.


Defeating Bulgaria and Romania

First you should get the “Cooperate with Foreign Monopolies” focus and build a Spy Agency.

Our goal with the agency will be to crack Italy’s cypher, so focus on the cryptology department and crack their codes.

Place all your spies in the same state in the USSR and become the Axis’s spymaster when you join them to get more.

Let’s defeat the Bulgarians.

Bulgaria is tiny, so having your whole army concentrated on beating them should make it an easy win.

Just focus on taking their victory points and they will be done quickly.

Note: Be careful when taking land on Romania’s border, since they can attack you too.

By the way, Justify on Italy as soon as you attack Bulgaria. Yes, we will take Italy down next.

The objective is to strike them after they take Albania, since their next focus will be to join Germany, and we can’t have that happen. They have a core of ours, so the war goal won’t expire anytime soon.

Your next focus will be “Nenikikamen” all the way down to “Byzantine Themata”.

After Bulgaria’s capitulation, rush your main army to the Romanian border and train enough of the basic infantry template to have 48 total divisions.

Force deploy them as soon as possible.

If you see gaps on the other side of the river, rush your troops and try to get encirclements against Romania. In any case, setting a naval invasion on the east with your secondary army will allow you to attack them from behind and get a few wipes.

How a naval invasion of Romania looks like / HOI4
How a naval invasion of Romania looks like.

Rush Bucharest, Muntenia, and Cluj and you should be golden on capitulating Romania.

Annex them and get ready to fight Italy.


War with Italy

  • Join the Axis and put your main army on the Albanian border
  • Place 6 troops of the second army on the border of each Italian Island on the Anatolian coast
  • The rest should be a flexible defense group, focusing on defending against incoming naval invasions wherever they come

This strategy works because Italy will park a lot of troops on the German border and send their army in portions for you to kill.

Make sure to request land leases from Germany, but don’t join them nor allow them to join you in any wars before conquering Italy.

With the new found Romanian equipment, make another 12 units, and ask for land lease from Germany and Hungary to fulfill your deficits.

Declaring War

When you declare on Italy, take their port in Albania ASAP. Kill their initial standing units and boom, you should have destroyed basically an entire army’s worth of Italians.

After cleaning Albania, use your main army to help with killing any remaining Italian forces you couldn’t previously defeat.

Now there’s no reason to hurry, we’ve been preparing for this war for the whole game.

Let the Italians send their invasions again and again. While they’re weakening themselves, your generals will be farming XP.

If you can’t kill the Italians on Rhodes, fall back a bit and let them take land, then rush from all sides and encircle them inland.

Almost historical roleplay / Hearts of Iron IV
Almost historical roleplay
By 1940, Italy has lost 90% of their army without me sending a single division to their mainland / HOI4
By 1940, Italy has lost 90% of their army without me sending a single division to their mainland

When Italy’s army is gone:

  • Park 48 divisions on Yugoslavia
  • Justify on some random European minors (Portugal, Sweden, Ireland) until the British/French stop guaranteeing them**
  • Then justify on Yugoslavia and attack them

**Important: don’t allow the justification to finish on a minor, cancel after the guarantee is placed or after 7 days have passed.

Yugoslavia will be our bridge to Italy. Attempting a naval invasion would also work, but it’s too RNG reliant, since the Italian navy is much superior to Greece’s.

Since you’re at war with Italy, the justification will be done within 10 days, allowing you to annex Yugoslavia in under a month.

Just use your 48 divisions and rush their victory points.

When they capitulate, move your forces to the Italian border.

The Italian army will already be defunct. Set 24 divisions to go south all the way to Palermo, and 24 to go to the French border.

With two armies sweeping across their country, Italy will likely die within a month.

The Bad Romeance achievement requires us to puppet Italy, so take all of their mainland and puppet them in Libya or Ethiopia. Triumph for Italy doesn’t give us a core in Sardinia, so feel free to leave them there too.

Important: When the USSR claims Bessarabia, cede it. We’re not yet ready to fight them, so we have to agree with their demands.

Now that we have conquered the Balkans and Italy, we can begin preparations for fighting the USSR.


War with the USSR

With Italian and Balkan manpower and industry, you’re free to build your army however you want.

I’ll be using Infantry with Anti Air, but with your new industry you shouldn’t have any problems running tanks.

Just make sure to send 120 fully supplied divisions to the fight, and the USSR will fall, since you’ll be attacking with Germany.

  • Prepare collaboration governments and crack their cypher
  • Also be sure to improve the supply situation on the border so your armies don’t starve
  • Switch your economy to “limited Exports” to get the necessary materials for your industry, and go for “Bolstering the Schachtplan” or “Restoring our home” to either improve or remove the Spirit.

I prefer the improved version, since it gives some nice buffs. But the extra resources to the market might be a problem, so removing it is also understandable.

For your templates, here is the infantry template I’ll be using to invade the USSR:

(Click for full-size)
120 of these bad boys and we will chop this Soviet Onion

You won’t be able to declare war on them because of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. But no worries, the Germans will break it in 1941.

Wait for Germany to attack them, and join ONLY this war, otherwise you’ll be facing the allies as well, and that’s an unnecessary struggle.

Tip: Pay attention to what Germany is doing. Being in their faction allows you to see the focus they’re doing, and how close they are to completing it.

Also, make sure to mass motorize the supply chain and produce trains since attacking the USSR is a logistical nightmare. You have the Romanian oil fields, so that should be enough fuel for your needs.

Note: completing the “Hellenic Army”, “Hellenic Airforce”, and “Hellenic Navy” focuses will allow you to use the “Anti Soviet Stratagems” decision. This buffs your army against them for 90 days.

In my game, Germany did the “War with the USSR” focus but wasn’t declaring on them, so I had to justify a war goal.

Since they annexed some of our cores earlier, we can justify a war in just 30 days.

Set 3 armies on the West and 2 on the East with 2 big marshal plans, micro for some encirclements and focus on taking their major cities.

From now on it’s just a standard invasion of the USSR.

How the marshall orders look / HOI4
How the marshall orders look

Final Tips + Getting The Achievement

Here’s a small list of advice to consider when fighting the Soviets:

  • Once the war starts, put all your navy on the Black Sea on Convoy Escort mission.
  • Remember to use the “Anti Soviet Stratagems”
  • Toggle off allied supply on your supply hubs if you can’t sustain your troops properly. Who even invited them anyways?
  • Use your air force to achieve superiority and push into Ukraine and the Caucasus first.
  • Focus on taking Supply Hubs and Ports.
  • Connect the two frontlines, they’ll likely meet close to Stalingrad.
  • The Caucasus region is mountainous, so be careful there. Encircle small pockets at a time, and soon enough you’ll be overrunning it all.
  • When invading Crimea (where Sevastopol is), you’ll notice that your frontline order will not extend there. Take 8 divisions from the nearest army and make it their duty to conquer the peninsula.
  • Set a division to guard the other side of the Crimean strait if your armies haven’t conquered both sides yet.
In half a year, the USSR is already close to capitulation / Hearts of Iron IV
In half a year, the USSR is already close to capitulation

Thanks to the collaboration governments we set, the Soviet Union will collapse when we take their major cities in the West.

In this run I got 60% Collaborations with 2 missions, but if you’re lucky you can end up getting 45% with each to a total of 90%.

The moment we all dreamt of / HOI4
The moment we all dreamt of.

On the peace deal, do as you like, just don’t forget to puppet the USSR and Satellite Romania.

You can release Romania from your own lands, but you’ll lose the cores, so retake Silistra and satellite them on Bessarabia and Bucovina.

Now that you have Romania, Italy, and Russia as your puppets, the achievement is done.

The Bad Romeance Achievement; Victory at last / Hearts of Iron IV
The Bad Romeance Achievement; Victory at last
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Vinícius Teixeira de M. L.

I’ve always liked strategy games and when I picked up the Paradox Historical Grand Strategy genre I fell in love. I like to fool myself into believing that I play these games to learn History and Geography, but in reality I’m just trying to find the most cursed ways to restore the Roman Empire.