Hearts of Iron 4 announced


The equipment system in the early game is the best feature I’ve encountered in a game in a very long time and one that I hope is mimicked in other games. Unfortunately, the mechanic (and the accompanying UI) doesn’t scale particularly well which means by late-game you can have dozens of full production lines that become a chore to manage.


Thanks for all the advice. I’ve been messing around - learning the interface and the game by playing as Fascist Brazil.

I don’t want to complain, but is the AI somewhat dumb? I’m on the latest patch and it seems to do some silly things. Like AI Germany attacks USSR before they’ve conquered the French and Benelux and similarly strategic bad moves.


If you’re playing with Historical Focus on, Germany will tend to attack the USSR around the historical time. This is regardless to what is going on elsewhere. I’ve seen it do such things even without Historical Focus, but it tends to be worse when it’s on in that regard.


I think my favorite game was playing as Italy and trying to cover Germany crazy war declarations without covering their borders. It made for some fun and frantic redeploying and line holding while I whittled away the French, Danes and various English landings in north west Germany.


Paradox is planning to roll out the 1.3.3 patch tomorrow, which contains a lot of quality of life improvements (full changelog and diaries related to the patch can be found here).

In the meantime, HOI4 has hit 500,000 in sales which seems like it may have exceeded some expectations. Podcat also mentioned a bit about the forthcoming 1.4 update and related expansion:


With all the work done on the AI, they still seem to automatically declare war once the option is available. I don’t understand how that became the original design, and I REALLY don’t understand why this hasn’t been revisited. Maybe 1.4?


I sure hope so. Having the AI examine the strategic situation before declaring war is something that I expect and is done well in other Paradox games.

I can sort of see an argument for it behaving the way it does with Historical Focus on, but not in sandbox mode. The AI should understand that just because it can declare it war doesn’t mean it should.


Nice to see the air system getting addressed because it’s a frieken slaughter house as it stands now and ruins my enjoyment of the game.

BTW, I got over my trepidation of HOI 3 and managed to play a game as Germany with the help of a 400 something page player written guide. Despite that intimidating interface it’s really not that bad once you get the feel of it and the OOB is pretty damn cool once you understand the hierarchy although I could do without assigning leaders at the division level. It took about a half hour to get everyone in place but once it’s set up you don’t have to dick with it until you’re gearing up for another theater. Barbarossa was most certainly a handful managing all my units manually but you just have to set the game speed to something you can manage and pause often. Conquering Russia was immensely satisfying much more so than doing the same in HOI IV. I also love how the air aspect is managed in that game; setting range to patrol, number of provinces, etc., means you can concentrate your planes where you need them most versus HOI IV.


The Air system for me is the one aspect of HOI4 that I find the most lacking. I know they had said at release that they weren’t happy about it either but it wouldn’t be a quick fix, so I’m glad to see it getting addressed next.

I have a couple major issues with it. The first, as you mention, is that it’s a bloodbath. I feel like the “air war” is more like “the air battle”, and it’s completely binary. Either you have air dominance throughout the game, or you don’t. Whoever wins that first battle or two will dominate the rest of the game.

The second issue is that I don’t care for how the regions are set up. I’m not against the concept of air regions, but the implementation leaves things like CAS in a weird place. In the larger air regions, their efficiency goes to crap due to “lack of coverage” of the province. That’s extra annoying when the battle is taking place RIGHT NEXT to the airfield they’re based in. I don’t want to go back to HOI3’s finicky system where I have to set precise provinces and flight times for every single air wing, but they abstracted things a little too far and creates some weird scenarios like I described above.


I think it would be better if they took the air regions as a sort of general orders, but acknowledged that actual air engagements happen at a particular location. So maybe your bombers can’t cover the whole air region. Each wing is still based at a particular air base and has a particular range, so they just attack the portions of the region that they can actually reach. Similarly each intercepting fighter is at a particular air base. Maybe they don’t cover the whole region they are assigned to either, but they can intercept attacks that happen near enough to their bases.

Basically I am saying keep the orders at the region level, but resolve the air engagements more locally.

The particular locations that an air wing can engage at don’t have to be hard edged either. If bombers are assigned to attack western Germany, but can only reach a few of those cities without penalty, then they have a probability distribution over targets that weights the areas they can reach more easily more heavily, but allows them to do some raids that are further afield, but a higher penalty. Similarly for interceptions.

I’d also make the air regions a bit fuzzy, so that air battles can still happen outside the assigned air region, but with decreasing probability the further you get away from the air regions borders. That would address some annoying situations where the ground battle lines straddle the air region boundaries.


That sounds like a really good approach to me, Mike.


I guess it’s easy to come up with things that sound good, but hard to know if it’s feasible with the way the code works under the hood. I certainly had the experience in my own work where the high-level idea seemed like a good thing, but looked a lot more problematic once I had to work out the actual implementation.

Edit: Well I wrote it up, and it immediately got moved to the suggestions forum, there to wallow in obscurity for all eternity.


A lesson the real WW2 Germany needed to learn as well.


I find it funny that air and naval war were some of the most complained out mechanisms in HOI2, still a little borked.

I have not bought this game yet. I played the hell out of 1 and 2; bought 3, played less than 1 hour, looking forward to playing 4, not purchased yet.


I just wish the AI could build, use, and defend against armoured divisions. At all. Everything tends to degrade into “my allies try to hold out while my panzerball moves around the map crushing everything in its path”. Maybe I need stricter house rules for SP. (Currently I restrict myself to width 20 divisions with 2 artillery battalions max)


The update that’s just releasing now is supposed to have improvements in that regard. There’s also a mod out there that I’ve used that takes a more rigid approach by having historical division templates for each major, which I felt improved things.


Chuckling at this because it describes very well how I felt playing 5-player Axis and Allies when I was Germany. And not matter how many WWII games I play, it always seems to be a problem when things are taken to a macro scale. You can say the same for the US, basically. “Hey, you guys hold out while we get spun up to come assist you.”

I’m happy reading the patch stuff. Like @Spaced_Cowboy I’ve been holding out for HOI4. I didn’t really play enough of HOI3 and I should have.


Yeah, except in the most memorable instance the panzerball in question was Canadian :)

I am optimistic about aspects of the patch, but it doesn’t sound like its going to fix the fact the AI can’t handle armoured warfare.

But that’s one of the best things about PDX games, you have fun with them for a bit, leave them for a year, come back, buy the DLC, and it’s a whole new game :)


Truth. :)


I have to admit that I am developing a mancrush on KevinC…he likes all the same games as me and if you put an F in his initials, the spell out my favorite China fast food place. Oh and the Boss Hogg avatar, yep!