The United States is perhaps the easiest nation to play. The USA is separated from hostile nations by two huge oceans, and it also has the highest industrial capacity of all nations. The resource production of the USA is the best in the game as well, with enough resources to supply the nation's entire industrial base even after considerable growth. For these reasons, a player can choose nearly any strategy with the USA for a successful game.

The USA starts with a solid navy, but is exceedingly weak in most other regards. The army is a skeleton crew, the airforce moderate and starting tech poor (aside from industrial and naval). Worse, isolationist policies hamstring the nation and lock you into a high percent of consumer goods production. Your industrial base is massive and has even greater potentital, plus you have the resources on your home soil to properly exploit industrial expansion . Your tech teams are excellent, allowing you to pursue several possible strategic avenues. The USA has the potential to do just about anything you want.


The USA has some of the best research teams in the world, second only to Germany overall. The US does start significantly behind other major nations in starting technologies, however. The US land doctrine of Superior Firepower is one of the worst trees possible, becoming truly effectively only after 1944. Some players may choose to abandon this tree for that reason, however doing so could be considered gamey since the US is tremendously overpowered in every other respect. By August, 1937, it is possible for the USA to have researched every 1936 and 1937 technology.



The USA has various alliance possibilities. The most obvious alliance is with the Allies, however a Fascist USA or a Communist USA are possible.


The USA's weakest point are its political sliders. The USA begins the game with only one positive slider position: Free Market. The sliders for Drafted Army, Dove Lobby, and Isolationism are all set to the extreme worst position.


Total slider moves by events: Drafted Army:-1 Hawk: +10 Interventionism:+8


The USA creates more money than any other nation in the game, making it particularly well suited for the Intelligence system. The counter-point, however, is the the US open society causes severe penalties for spying.



The USA does not have to exert any effort in trading. It is fairly easy for the USA not only to have all of its supplies paid for by trading, but even to amass a daily stockpile increase of +20 supplies or more after just the first two months in the game. With enough industrial expansion (around +10 IC), the USA will be short of Rare Materials. These are very easy to trade for via the UK or the USSR, and the best trade good to use is money, since the USA produces huge amounts.

Industrial Production

In the early years of the game, the USA has very little use for its IC other than ship building and IC building. While IC spamming is certainly possible, the USA begins the game with over 100 more IC than any other nation. Therefore, a balance of IC building and naval building is recommended. An early starting run of 4 - 6 IC provides a fairly good balance.



The USA can field a modern army that combines large numbers of high cost units. Armor, Motorized, Mechanized, Marines, Mountain, Infantry and brigades can all be buit and should be built. Usually, the USA does not need to, nor can it, start building large numbers of Armor and Motor prior to '40-'41. Instead, it should focus on developing and deploying the most modern Marine and Mountain units. But do not fail to build some Armor and Motor. It's better to have a handful on hand than to be stuck playing catchup. Further, every nation needs Infantry and to neglect them is to weaken yourself. For the USA, they are important early on for garrison work and later on for holding those islands. Fancy units like Armor, Motor, Mountain and Marines take the ground, but Infantry hold it. Later, the bulk of your army should be composed of Motorized Infantry. These units are perfect for the US and the US can afford to build them in large numbers. In most games I shoot for 40 Motorized divisions and continue to build them till the end of the game. Armor is critical as well, and I often field 20+ armored division. Mechinized are useful, but are best used in conjunction with the Mechanized Assualt doctrine.

The United States begins the game with an enormous Navy (112 ships in total), that probably ranks about third in terms of total strength (beneath Japan and the UK). Many of these ships, however, are obsolete level one destroyers that are best disbanded at the beginning of the game, along with one level-one battleship, the Arkansas, and the 5th and 6th submarine divisions, particularly the latter two. You could probably also part with the early heavy cruisers, since you also have the basic model. In ARMA you can give a maximum of five such ships to a nation that you might have a "soft spot" for. (With this contributor that nation is Shanxi , and through a series of admittedly gamey moves I've had Shanxi use those ships in the early European war.) The submarine divisions mentioned are level 1 dive boats and are of questionable value even for micro and minor powers. With the slowest speed and shortest range of any naval vessels, they'll hinder anything else they're attached to. The USA also begins the game with level four Battleship technology, thus early Battleship building is wise for the creation of powerful Surface Action Groups . An early production run of convoys (99 serial) is also essential, since the USA will rely very heavily on convoys. The mainstay of the United States Navy, however, is its carrier superiority, or Carrier Taskforce Fleet . A powerful CTF is essential in HOI2, but with the introduction of the CVL (light carrier) in DD and ARMA, the United States could rule the seas with SAGs.

Air Force

The USA can build an extremely powerful Air Force if desired. As is the case with every nation, TAC and CAS are extremely effective units. STRAT is not usually useful in the game, but for the USA can be used to deliver nukes and bomb the Japanese mainland, for example, into submission.


Election of 1936

  • Roosevelt: Dissent -2, Manpower +20.
  • Landon: Political Right set to 2, Isolationism +1, Dissent +2; +10 IC.


If the USA ever gets 65 dissent or higher, a revolution event will fire and the player can choose either a Communist or Socialist government.

Pitman Act: Assistance to China

This will occur after the Japanese invasion of China, around July 1, 1937. In HoI2, the Japanese will never take over China. In DD and ARMA, the Japanese will always defeat China. The US has two options:

  • Pass the Act: -1000 supplies.
  • Do not Pass the Act: +1 isolationism

Nanking Massacre

Around the winter of 1937, the Japanese will likely capture Nanking, causing the event to fire. The USA gains +1 interventionism.

Panay Incident

In May, 1939, Japanese vessels will sink a US warship in China. The USA will receive money +500, and dissent +1.

Gearing up for War

After the Dutch capitulation, typically in May, 1940:

  • Prepare for War: +3 IC, +3 Hawk, +200 Manpower, Peace time modified by +25%.
  • These measures are not needed: +1 dove; +50 manpower

After the German attack on the Soviet Union:

  • Prepare for War: +3 IC, +1 Hawk, +1 Isolationism, +100 Manpower, Peace time modified by +15%.
  • These measures are not needed: +1 dove; +50 manpower

August, 1941

  • Prepare for War: +3 IC, +1 Hawk, +1 Isolationism, +100 Manpower, Peace time modified by +15%.
  • These measures are not needed: +1 dove; +50 manpower

Destroyers for Bases In the Summer of 1940 this event will fire.

  • Sign the Agreement: +5 manpower, -50 convoy escorts
  • We need these ships: +1 isolationism

Presidential Election: 1940'

  • Roosevelt: Dissent -2; Manpower +10.
  • Wilkie: Change of government

There is one more thing, the Japanese surprise attack. This has to be added but one caveat, I have seen the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl have two different values:

The Japanese Surprise attack on Pearl Harbor can sometimes NOT happen, so do not depend on it. The AI seems to usually pick it but I have had a few games where it has not done this at all. This is true in all three versions (HOI2, DD, Arma). For multiplayer purposes, the way it works is that the Japanse player gets the war with the US thru one event and then after the war fires, the Japanese player gets another event with the option to do the Surprise attack.

Normal Japanese Surprise attack on Pearl Harbor:

  • +2 Hawk, +3 Intervention

Occasional value for the same attack (not sure what modifies it, maybe random chance?):

  • +3 Hawk, +4 Intervention

Arsenal of Democracy

Occurs when the USA goes to war with Germany (likely around December 1941 or later):

  • Pass the Act: -5000 supplies, -2500 oil, -2500 metal. Interventionism +1. Provides considerable help to the Allies.
  • Remain Completely Neutral: Isolationism +1

Lend Lease Act

This event provides considerable help to the UK and the USSR.

  • Pass the Act: -5000 Supplies, -2500 Oil, -2500 Metal
  • Don't Pass: +1 Isolationism


War with Japan

Around December, 1941, Japan will DOW on the USA. The war against Japan is extremely easy: Japan does not defend its main land. A US player that has planned a modest invasion force of marines can occupy the Japanese mainland and cripple Japan. That is not however, terribly fun. Most players will instead refrain from building Marines or a serious army before Pearl Harbor. After that point, they will follow the historical route of intensive naval battles. Then, naval hopping to every single island in the Pacific, until landings in China combined with an attack on the mainland.

War with Germany

War with Germany is also quite easy, mainly since it does not defend its Atlantic wall. Most players will instead travel through North Africa and Italy, proceeded by an invasion of France.

Gaming the System

A player of the USA can use a litany of gamey tactics , including:

  • Early declaration of war to erase the IC penalties
  • Early to join the Allies, and help research