Hearts of Iron 4 announced

You can specify which kind of anti-naval bombers?

I think one of the AI’s biggest problems is abandoning or purely leaving critical VP points like big manufacturing cities, capitals, or choke-points. I can’t count the number of times I rolled into a totally undefended capital. Last one that happened was Washington DC!

I’m totally perplexed as to what happened to U.S. fighting forces in my game. So as Soviets still, I invaded the US by way of Mexico. As I slowly churned my way north, once I hit the halfway point between the Northern and Southern border of the U.S., the US troops just seemed to all run away North. I took my easy advance to Canada, but was’t sure where they were going nor why. I really should have turned FoW off when I had the chance to see what was going on.

Yeah, I am seeing similar problems in my second play through (Veteran, non-historical focus). This time I decided to try Imperial Japan, and after taking out China I declared war on the USSR since A) they were about to conquer Poland and the Baltics and the Nordics and become super strong and B) Nazi Germany was still fighting the ultra-buff Netherlands, and seemed primed to fall quickly if the USSR moved against them next. So with great trepidation I made the USSR open a Far-Eastern front, hoping to distract them with my weaker armies long enough for Germany to solidify the Western front and threaten the Soviets. And during the entire war the Soviet AI never seemed to find its footing. It kept shuffling troops along the gigantic Eastern front, but it never actually entrenched or made any counter attacks and it just kept getting pushed back, province by province. Once Germany joined in the war on them the entire thing was over in 6 months, and the total Japanese casualties for conquering 2/3’s of Russia was like 50K men.

I think the combat AI has 2 big problems, which sadly were the same 2 problems it had back at release and which I am re-discovering now:

  1. The tactical level AI is terrible. If you use the front system to try and advance, the AI for it is completely brain dead and it will get your troops massacred. Your units will not support each other; one of your provinces will attack, but the neighboring provinces won’t support the attack even through it would completely change the odds of the battle. It will ignore undefended provinces and not advance into them. It will attack into strong provinces and ignore weak provinces. It will attack with your weak armies while leaving strong armies waiting for their turn, which will never arrive. It will constantly shuffle units around on a front, frequently leaving provinces without any defenders at all, and incurring constant attrition from moving across bad terrain. Due to all this, even though the planned attacks get like 50% bonuses to every stat, it’s still not worthwhile to use the tactical AI and you end up micro-ing your advance across the entire USSR. It pushes you to play the game in the least-fun way possible, and pushes you to ignore one of the neatest and most thematic features of the game.

  2. The strategic AI isn’t so much terrible as it is neurotic. E.g. it might do fine for years of war, and then one day it will just abandon an entire front, dooming the nation. Or in odd situations (e.g. my Far Eastern front), it will start thrashing, and will never settle down into consistent army allocations and will just keep re-assigning army groups from one threat to another.

I might finish out my current game, but these (seemingly easily fixable?) AI flaws have removed a lot of the magic from what is otherwise a really impressive game.

The tactical AI isn’t amazing, but this part isn’t true from my experience. The front-line AI will assist from multiple provinces all the time, unless it has those units reserved for a different purpose.

Your troops are smarter than mine. :D I will double check but I could swear that I saw this happen in my most recent game before I gave up on the front system.

I do make sure to coo and give lots of compliments, maybe try that. Or snausages.

The carrier version of naval bombers is the one with high naval attack, and given names of historical torpedo bombers. The carrier version of CAS on the other hand has weak naval attack but can help when you are trying to help out land battles far away from available air bases.

Overall it would be better if say carrier CAS was somehow more useful than they are in naval battles, while being distinct in some way from the carrier NAVs.

I am so tense while playing this game my hand becomes a warped claw that’s hard to unfurl from gripping the mouse so hard.

Ouch, don’t hurt yourself! I play with a trackpad at low speed (1 or 2), and I pause a lot, so I’m pretty relaxed.

It’s late 1945 in my game. I may post some screenshots later. In the east, I’ve liberated the British Raj, which now encompasses all of India, Burma and Vietnam. I’ve taken Taiwan and am now landing on the Kurile Islands, where the outcome is in doubt. Japan is 2% toward capitulation; a start. I’m going to take the Chinese ports and move inland to liberate China. I’m wondering whether I’ll just keep going to liberate Siberia, lol.

In the west, I’m building up forces in England and the Azores, thinking about a possible D-Day. Also strategic bombing. But most of army is tied up in Asia, so I dunno.

Yes please do :)

Hmm, I don’t love the rules for who gets credit as occupying territory. I’m doing all the work, but the British Raj expands with every province I take, apparently because I’m attacking from territory they owned originally. I know a peace conference may eventually adjust the current allocation of occupied territory, but it’s annoying not to immediately gain direct control over resources my troops fought for and occupy. And yes, I know I can ask for control of a state, but the AI often says no.

Is there any way to change the default rules for who occupies what? I’d prefer not to use a mod (like player-led conferences) just yet, as it would be nice to earn one or two achievements at least.

What does the Raj give as the reason for not transferring?

Well, I’ll be, the Raj said yes! Problem solved. :)

That’s great. If you take control of the front line states, you hopefully don’t have to request transfer going forward.

Yep, that worked just as you say: my blue blob is growing! Although now I also see the benefits of letting the Raj swallow everything: they get garrison duty, and with their massive manpower, they crank out tons of units. I’m still growing my blue blob, though. I really appreciate that tip. Makes the game a lot more fun.

I am still playing that USA playthrough, but I’ve also been trying Australia on the “nonhistorical” path option. (I’ve now bought all the DLC, so I get the Oz focus tree.) Great fun! Britain went Fascist, and I and the other members of the Commonwealth all declared independence. Now Britain is “The Allies” with Italy, while Germany is starting to swallow up its neighbors as “The Axis.” The US is neutral. Japan is locked in a civil war, so there has been no China war or war in the Pacific at all as of early 1940.

Britain is mad at me and its other former underlings, and they’ve justified a war against me – as have the Axis. So I think someone will declare war on me. I’m busy making destroyers with minelaying capability to try to protect my ports. The big challenge for Oz is manpower, but there are focuses and laws that ameliorate it somewhat.

So … any of the DLC considered need to have? On sale at humblebundle right now, so thinking of jumping in.

I’ve been having a great time with just the base game. I know I’ve complained plenty about the game and the occasional AI stupidity, but it keeps pulling me back in with it’s theming and alt-world building.

One site’s take.

I have all the DLC. My favorite DLC is Man the Guns, but I’m a naval-war buff.

Man the Guns is the best one so far, IMO. Waking the Tiger is a must-have if you want to play in Asia. Hmm, which expansion added the Autonomy system? I really like that mechanic.

This post was probably less than helpful.

I think the autonomy is part of the Together for Victory or whatever it is called that focuses on the Commonwealth stuff.