Militia Strategy Guide

Template:Anthology At first glance, the Militia Division seems to be a worthless unit. When comparing the statistics of Militia to any other land unit, they are clearly inferior. Yet, Militia is so valuable and important to your army that every nation in the game should use Militia when they are able to do so.

Comparison to Infantry

Model ORG Morale Air Att. Air Def. Soft Att. Hard Att. Toughness Defensiveness Softness Cost Build-time Manpower Max Speed Supply Cons. Suppression
Infantry '36 30 30 2 3 10 1 12 15 100 7 95 10 4 1 2
Militia '36 30 30 1 2 2 0 1 8 100 4 50 5 4 0.2 1

This means:

  • Infantry uses five times as much supplies
  • Infantry increases TC load by five times
  • Infantry costs twice as much in manpower
  • Infantry costs over three times more IC days (665 versus 200)

These facts aren't necessarily surprising: since Infantry is a better combat unit, it "should" cost more, right? Yet, combat isn't only about statistics! In particular, there is more to combat in HOI2 than attack ratings, and this will be explained in detail by the following analysis. Further comparison is available at Ground_unit_statistics .


Considering that every unit in game requires: "IC to build x Days to build", also known as IC days (ICd), consider the following scenario. You are a nation with 22 IC available for production and you need to build an army. How do you get the most army for your production? What will you build over the next 3 months? Considering this time frame and the IC you are using, this equates to 2,000 ICd.

According to the findings made by Theokrat , 100% combat efficiency is achieved when the majority of a formation consists of militia. Hence, building 3 militia and 2 infantry (1,930 ICd) versus 3 infantry (1,995 ICd) is a far better choice because the mixed force is:

  • Superior in combat: more units are inflicting damage
  • Superior in losses: more units spread causalities evenly
  • Superior in staying power: Decreased loses enable infantry to fight longer
  • Superior in costs, time, TC, supply, and manpower.

Absorbing Bullets

Militia will act like a sponge for bullets in your formation. A Militia unit that has lost half of its strength has only lost 2.5 manpower, while an infantry unit in the same situation has lost 5 manpower. This has the net effect of keeping your infantry units in a firefight while minimizing the causalities of your units.

Battle Winning Ability

All this being said, the true value of Militia can only be understood with battle winning ability (BWA). BWA = damage inflicted (soft attack) x damage absorbed (org). Continuing the example above of unit production that is the same in IC days, the choice of 3 militia with 2 infantry has a total soft attack of 26, and a total organization of 150. Thus, the BWA is 3,900 (26 * 150). Meanwhile, the group of 3 infantry has a total soft attack of 30, but a total organization of only 90. Thus, their BWA is 2,700 (30 * 90).

Meanwhile, 1 infantry with 300 BWA (30 * 10) will defeat 2 Militia (4 * 60) (240 BWA), however will loose handily against 3 Militia (540 BWA).

Command Limit

A division of Militia takes up command capacity. In offense, Militia are higher in the division ranking (explanation needed) and thus damage-dealing infantry divisions are the ones taking the command penalty of -75% effectiveness. There is no overall limit to command capacity for defenders (instead of 24 divisions per province (FM + HQ) for attackers), so militia are sure to be fully effective on defense.

The Manpower issue

The problem

Although Militia are an excellent, cost effective addition to nearly any army, as explained above, one should still be weary of one particular problem: manpower depletion.

On first sight, this is not really so much a problem, as Militia cost only half the manpower of a standard Infantry unit (5 manpower for a militia compared to 10 for an infantry unit). However, the IC-day cost of an Infantry is more than three times the cost of that of a regular Militia (665 for the Infantry to 200 for the Militia). In effect, this means you can build approximately 3.30 Militia for every 1 Infantry, which means you will spend 5 times 3.30 manpower (16.5) if you build Militia, versus 10 manpower if you go Infantry. This can be a good thing, as an investment in Militia is a quick and cost effective way to use your manpower, rather than having it waste away in the manpower pool.

Militia will rapidly deplete and waste manpower if used incorrectly. For example, a unit comprised 100% of militia will take heavy losses and have very little combat effectiveness. In this sense, creating a unit that is entirely made of militia, and using that unit on the front lines, is very wasteful of manpower. Alternatively, the suggested approach is to combine Militia evenly with Infantry. Doing this ensures that Infantry sustain fewer loses while fighting, and inflict more damage. When Militia is used in this combined approach, manpower is saved.


The consequences are fairly obvious, in that a state which main limitation lies in a small manpower pool and a similarly slow growth in manpower is oftentimes better served committing it's small manpower resources to less cost effective, more elite units like Infantry, Armor and Air force.

This begs the question: which state should employ large quantities of Militia, which should use none and which should keep to a limited amount?

States which should rely heavily on Militia

The states which should favor large amounts of Militia are states with a high "manpower to IC ratio" (mp/IC). They will usually be limited in their capabilities to turn out units because of limited IC, rather than limited manpower.

States which will always fall in this category are the Soviet Union , the Chinese states (cliques, Nationalist China and Communist China ), Japan and minor powers like Brazil .

States which will fall under this category if their slider settings (Hawk), research (Agriculture) and cabinet choices (ministers which favor manpower growth, like a "Man of the people" or a proponent of "the People's war") are states like Italy and Spain, and sometimes Germany if it has built up a large manpower pool in the early years of the game by focusing production on Armor.

Also note that these states usually profit from "Land Doctrine" choices that prefer Militia use (giving combat bonuses and discounts), and spend a lot of manpower (the "Human Wave/Soviet"-branch and the "Infiltration/Japanese"-branch). The "Guerrilla" option on the "Human Wave"-branch is particularly appealing. States in this category should even consider switching branches early on in the game if their research allows it.

States which could use some Militia

These are typically states with a decent manpower growth but with an even larger IC, which causes a medium mp/IC, like Germany (although you should keep the before-mentioned exception in mind) and most of the Allies in mid-game. Most minor powers also fall in this range.

[ ]{#States_which_cannot_afford_Militia,_manpower-wise} States which cannot afford Militia, manpower-wise

These are states which typically have no manpower growth worthy of that name, and more IC than they can spend. Micro-powers often fall under this category, and minor powers with relatively high IC (Benelux-countries and Eastern European countries) and even some major powers (like the early, manpower strapped Allies, and Germany once faced with the task of defeating the Soviet Union).