Finland is a minor power located in Scandinavia. It borders Norway to the north, Sweden to the west and the Soviet Union to the east. It is bounded by the Baltic Sea to the south and southwest. With a tiny industrial base and a core population of 3.67 million, Finland faces an enormous challenge to survive in the face of historical Soviet pressure.
Finland was a large yet culturally independent region of Sweden, first attached in the early 12th century. Finland was ceded to Russia after the Finnish War of 1809. Following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and Russia's internal turmoil, Finland declared itself independent. After a brief yet very destructive civil war in 1918, Finland was formally recognized as an independent nation.
After 20 years of independence, Finland was attacked by the Soviet Union in 1939, leading to the Winter War in 1939-1940. Against all odds, the badly outnumbered and under-equipped Finnish army was able to repel the Soviet attacks until a grand offensive in 1940 finally forced the country to sue for peace. Finland lost about 12.5% of its territory (equivalent to the states of Salla and Viipuri in-game) but survived as an independent nation, unlike the Baltic states which were annexed into the Soviet Union earlier.
In 1941, Finland along with Nazi Germany started the war against the Soviet Union (officially after Soviet bombers striked Finnish military air fields from which Nazi bombers bombed Leningrad), initially calling the war "Summer War". After it was clear Barbarossa failed it was renamed to a Continuation War. During said war, Finland fought as an ally to the German Reich and Italy and invaded eastern Karelia (equivalent to the states of Onega and Olonets in-game) in addition to reconquering the territory lost during the Winter War. Despite pressure from Germany, Finland refused to attack Leningrad or sever the Murmansk railway and fought the Continuation War separately from Germany. The conquest of eastern Karelia and the seemingly unstoppable Wehrmacht led many in the Finnish fascist party IKL (Isänmaallinen Kansanliike) to dream of a "Greater Finland" encompassing perhaps even all of Scandinavia and the Baltic states.
In 1944, a Soviet grand offensive involving a force larger than the Allied invasion force of D-Day forced the Finns to fall back, but the Finnish forces managed to stop the soviet attack in the battles of Tali-ihantala, Vuosalmi-äyräpää and Vyborg bay before soviet forces reached the border of the Moscow peace treaty in the Karelian Isthmus. Finland signed an armistice with the Soviets in early 1945, making it the last European Axis country to surrender before the fall of Germany and after expelling the remaining Germans from Finnish soil in the Lapland War, the Second World War was finally over for Finland's part. A final peace treaty with the rest of the Allies was signed in 1947. Of note, Finland was the only Axis power that survived the Second World War without being occupied by a foreign power, be it during or after the war.
After the end of the Second World War, Finland found itself playing a delicate political and diplomatic game in the succeeding decades and forming a "neutral space" between the later Cold War East- and West Blocs.
- Main article: Finnish events
- Main article: Generic national focus tree
As a minor nation, Finland uses the generic National Focus Tree, covering Army, Aviation, Naval, Industrial and Political branches.
Finland begins with few technologies, largely confined to contemporary infantry equipment and two support companies. Finland also begins with 3 research slots available; two more can be unlocked through the National Focus tree.
|Army Technology||Naval Technology||Air Technology||Electronics & Industry|
Finland in 1936 finds itself holding tenuous territory out in the center between the Comintern and the Axis. With no established ideology, however, this leaves plenty of room to maneuver in response to shifting world events. Finland's government faces elections every 3 years.
With the Waking the Tiger expansion, Finland has a special Decision to form the Nordic League which is shared with the other nations that make up the League.
Finland starts with one National Spirit:
The nation starts with the following laws:
|Conscription Law||Economy Law||Trade Law|
| Limited Conscription
|| Civilian Economy
|| Export Focus
Centrism is a form of government which wants to achieve common sense solutions that appropriately address current and future needs, that support the public trust and serve the common good with consideration of risk and capacity in context of these needs.
- Can’t impose its ideology on other countries
- Can’t puppet countries in a peace conference
- Ideology drift defense: -30%
World tension limitsEdit
- Generate war goal : 50%
- Join faction: 40%
- Lend-lease: 40%
- Send volunteers: 40%
- Guarantee: 40%
Staff and designersEdit
These are choices of advisors and design companies for Finland. Unless otherwise noted choices for designers are restricted to generics like "Armor Company" or "Industrial Concern".
|Crichton-Vulcan OY||Ship Designer||
|Valtion Ientokonetehdas||Light Aircraft Designer||
|Akseli Anttila||Military Theorist||
|Väinö Valve||Naval Theorist||
Finland begins with very low natural resources and over half of those are being exported, leaving just 6 units of steel and 1 unit of chromium for military use.
Finland has a small industrial base to start with and virtually all of it is concentrated around the capital.
3 Military Factories
1 Naval Dockyard
7 Civilian Factory
In 1936, Finland starts with 17 infantry divisions, with 7 of them at Trained experience made up of 3 infantry battalions with a support engineer company and 10 of them at Regular experience made up of 6 infantry battalions with a support engineer company, 1 Cavalry division at Trained experience of 2 battalions with a support recon company, along with 2 Heavy Cruiser I and 4 Submarine I docked in Helsinki. Remaining recruitable manpower is at 115 at the 1936 starting date. All the land divisions are suffering from significant equipment shortages.
|17 Infantry Divisions||1 Cavalry Division|
|2 Heavy Cruisers I||4 Submarines I|
Total: 6 Ships
Finland has no airplanes built nor any technologies to build them in 1936.
These are the Military Staff candidates for appointment in Finland.
|Candidate||Type I||Type II||Effects||Cost ( )|
|Olavi Sarko||Ground Support||(Expert)||
Strategies and GuidesEdit
Finland is one of the harder minors to play, but the potential for a great nation is there, the nation has good military advisors and generals, in addition, the national spirit of Sisu makes Finnish units hard-hitting in combat. If the player knows what he/she is doing, they can beat the Soviets 1 vs 1. If the player wants to play a longer campaign it is recommended to go for either fascist, or the communist ideology, the democratic or non-alinged paths are poor options, because Finland has a tiny industrial base and very limited manpower, as at the start of the game Finland is at limited conscription, with about 88 thousand manpower. Having 88 thousand manpower means it is almost impossible to defend against any kind of aggression, since the player will be getting more only after they are at war.
The following is just one strategy, but I have found out it works quite well in singleplayer at least. The strategy will contain a lot of small details and it might be required to find ones inner Sisu in order to finish reading this guide. If any DLC mechanics are used, they will be mentioned as: TFV (Together for Victory), DOD (Death or Dishonor) and WTT (Waking the Tiger), and the name or function of the mechanic. The dates mentioned are not a must, they are just a guideline of when the player should have certain things done, but if they have a few hundred hours of the game under their belt they can start making their own decisions, this is just “a very specific overall guide”.
Going fascist and making Suur-Suomi (Greater Finland), reality
Facist path is the best option for a tiny nation such as Finland. This option will mostly likely mean a war with the Soviets, but as they are going to attack Finland anyway, it doesn`t matter. If historical focus is on and Germany does the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the player can expect the Soviet invasion about 6 to 12 months after Soviets get the claims, but it can vary a lot.
The player should start by doing the national focuses from “Political Effort” to “Militarism” and getting a facist advisor right after the first focus. At the start the player's production should be focused on building infantry equipment and convoys. It is recommended to delete most of the dockyards, as the player will accumulate later when invading other nations, since they are going to need the building slots. It is also possible to start building warships after the player has gained more dockyards, and beat the Soviet Baltic Fleet, but it is not too useful, since the Soviet AI doesnt't do naval invasions against the player and the player doesn't really have the capability to do naval invasions themselves.
Construction can be started by building a few civilian factories before going for military ones, or start to build military factories straight away. After this they should just build military factories until there is enough of them (I'll focus on this later), and then start building forts. For reseach the player should get (before June 1939), all the following techs that are not ahead of time, Fighter I (VL Myrsky), all the infantry weapon upgrades and Infantry weapons II (Suomi KP/-31), all anti-tank and artillery upgrades, motorized and the following support companies and their upgrades; engineer, maintanance, field hospital and logistics company, all engineering and industrial techs (not the radar, synthetic oil & rubber and conversion techs), but radio and as much from the land doctrine tree “Superior Firepower” as possible. Its is recommended to always have research on the doctrine going. It is also recommended to go for “Dispersed Industry”, “Dispersed Support” and “Shock and Awe” techs and their respective branches.
After finishing “Militarism” the player should go for industrial focuses and get the free research slot and the civilian factories, after that the player should take “Military Youth” and after that the “Army Effort” and “Doctrine Effort” focuses. And when it can be taken, the “Extra Research Slot II”, it is also important to for the player to have completed the focus “Ideological Fanaticism” before the war with the Soviets, since it grants a bonus to defence on core territory.
The player can expect the facists to take power somewhere in the beginning of 1937, if the player has the facist advisor and has completed the focus “Nationalism Focus”. Next advisors should be the “Silent Workhorse” and “Military Theorist”, in the order that the player chooses. Army XP is going to be important, but there is also a lot of uses for that extra political power. When the facists take power through a coup, (Dont do the civil war, it is not useful), the player should have about 120 free political power (PP) ready, and then start the justifications on first Sweden and then Norway. If the player thinks they can invade Denmark with less or the same effort, they should take it over Norway, but it should take no more time than invading Norway. Going to war with the Allies over Norway or Denmark is a bad option, because oil and rubber need to be bought from somewhere when the player is at war with the Soviets. If the player gets lucky, they will get both Sweden and Norway/Denmark before the allies can quarentee them, but, if not, Sweden will do, it will just take more to produce all the equipment they'll need. Before going to war with the Swedes, remember to garrison the ports of Vaasa, Turku, Helsinki and Åland, since the Swedish AI loves to navally invade them. Manpower should not be wasted when fighting agaisnt the other Nordic countries, as it's going to be needed later.
A quick note about manpower here; it is really important to always have manpower mobilizing, since the player is going to need a lot of it (about 560k to 620k to be precise), and the order of focuses and the choosing order of the laws should reflect this. The player should even go as far as to cause world tension to get for example the “Service By Requirement”, conscription law, this can be done, for example by justifying war on the USA, but the player should in no situation declare wars. Before the war with the Soviets the player should also have the following military high command, Carl G. Mannerheim, Karl Oesch, Valio Porvari and Harald Öhquist.
The production (June 1939), should resemble the following, 10-15 factories on Infantry Equipment, 5-7 on Support Equipment, 15-20 on Artillery, 2-3 on Anti-tank, 1-2 on Motorized and the rest on building fighters + if the player has the DLC WTT, they can build some transports for use later. The division that is best suited for a defensive war like this with the finnish national spirits and leaders looks like the following, 20 infantry battalions, 5 artillery batallions, combat-width of 55. As support there should be; an Anti-Tank, Engineer Corp, Field Hospital, Maintainence, and a Logistics company. The player should recruit 24 of these, and give them to one of their 2 starting generals, if they have the DLC WTT they should recruit a new field marshal and give them the defensive traits. If not, just promote General Nenonen and use him as the field marshal. The player can also use the historical finnish commander-in-chief C.G.E. Mannerheim as the field marshal (I just wonder why it took paradox 2 years to put him in as the highest base defence leader in the game). Recruiting 24 of these units will cost the following; 590k Manpower, 4400 Artillery, 600 AT, 50k Infantry Equipment, 700 Motorized and 2500 Support Equipment. The high combat width of the division is because of the Finnish national spirit of Sisu that gives +20% defense on core territory, 20% is more when taken from 55 width divisions, compared to for example, 40 width divisions.
The player should start building forts and start doing the continuous focus “Construction Effort”, in early 1939 or when Germany starts doing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact national focus. Build level 3 forts in all provinces, and level 4 forts in provinces that are connected to 3 Soviet provinces. After that the player can build whatever they want. Units can be put like the following, 4 on the Karelian Isthmus, the rest (20), with a frontline order on the rest of the border, 2 in the provinces connected to the 3 Soviet provinces. Once the Soviets invade, the player needs to pay attention to where their units are getting constantly attacked and shuffle so the frontline division can recover its organisation at some time, this is because of the high combat-width, there can most likely be only 1 division defending in battle (and for some reason its always the same division), though there is 2 in the province. If the player has the DLC WTT, they can stop building regular equipment after the war begins, since they are going to capture more than enough from the Soviets. Because of this fact, the conscription law should be raised as high as possible after the war begins, to gain more manpower to build more divisions for the invasion of the USSR. When the war starts the continuous focus should be changed to “Construction Repair”, because the soviets will try to bomb the built bunkers to the ground.
Now they just have to wait and let the Soviets endlessly attack the Finnish defensive line (yes it is this strategy again.) Until they reach 2 to 3 million casualties, wait, then after that the player can start attacking, hopefully with air superiority, and with those transports assigned to dropping supplies into the states of Onega, Olonets and Murmansk, because the supply there is bad to, say the least. It is also possible to build tank divisions from the thousands of tanks the player is going to capture during the defensive phase. Should the player lose a part of the defensive line, they should try to retake it before the Soviets can funnel troops in there, after a week for example. It can not really be taken back because of the forts and this might cause the entire line to collapse to provinces where there's no forts. The player should try to encircle as many Soviet divisions as possible when they advance into Onega and Murmansk. The city of Leningrad can be taken when the player thinks it is time, but its recommended to take it after the player has 28-30 divsions with the template mentioned above. Soviets will start constantly attacking to take back the city, so the player should have enough divisions to shuffle and defend. After this, the Soviets should be so crippled the player can, by carefully advancing, take advantage of the rivers and other easy to defend locations to wear down the Soviet forces, take Moscow and other cities to make the Soviets capitulate. After gaining the soviet industrial base it should be fairly easy to make Finland the only superpower on the planet. All the manpower problems the player might experience after removing the Soviets can be fixed by having the DLC TVF and releasing for example, Ukraine, to milk manpower off them.