Hearts of Iron 4 announced


You guys are so nice. :)


Started a Germany game with the Expert AI mod set to give my opponents bonuses. I took the option to oppose Hitler and the resulting civil war was pretty tough. First Nazi Germany had the bonuses from the mod, and second all my regular divisions had half their equipment stripped away (didn’t seem to affect them though).

I managed to pull it off by cutting off a third of their army in south-western Germany, but it was a close-run thing, as the concentration of force for the encirclement meant that my front was collapsing in other areas. Pretty fun so far. Will have to take a close look at the focus tree now and see what my options are going forward. The regular German expansion gimmies seem to be closed off, but hopefully I can at least pull central Europe into a faction. Probably a two-front war with France and the USSR in the future.


ohhh boy. I don’t know anything anymore. I’d only played briefly when it first came out, and at this point it’s like I never touched it. The interface and buried items upon items to do is what’s getting me. Any tips? Also - when you moue over items, instead of telling you what they are it gives a keyboard shortcut instead? Is there some way I can change that. In learning phase don’t care about shortcuts, I need to be able to see what each thing is as i’ts all alien hieroglyphics at this point.


I know a lot about the game, but I’m not much help for learning the UI. I think I paid so much attention to development that I pretty much knew what everything did before I laid hands on it.

Maybe these tutorial vids will help? They are old, but I think the basics are similar enough?

Are you have trouble mostly with the basic game concepts or the interface?

Probably the hardest part of the UI to grasp is the battle planner. Those are the buttons that show up once you’ve selected an army (I guess forming an army is another topic). You give an army orders such as garrison an area or protect a section of border. If they are protecting a border, you can also give them an offensive plan (to be activated later) to capture some region of enemy territory (you draw where you want their front line to be after the offensive).

In practice it’s even more complicated because once you launch an offensive the sections of front line that each army is responsible for tend to stretch out and start to overlap each other, meaning you have to trim them periodically. I like to imagine and angry meeting between the generals over some rickety field table.


Yes yes yes. So I did the tutorial, then decided I would continue on as Italy and invade Oman for fun. I know/understand how all the political stuff works and I got to the point where I declared war and am ready to invade, but now I can’t get my troops from Eritrea in Africa across the Sea to invade. And the whole army composition and mixing/merging is not clicking for me. I have one troop that is mountain troop in my mix and I think it is causing a message that basically says “mismatched type”.


I don’t know if there is a straight connecting Eritrea with Oman. If there is a straight, you should be able to attack across it as long as there is no enemy navy to interfere (or maybe you need some friendly fleets there?).

If there is no straight, then you need to do a naval invasion, which is the most complicated type of command in the game. The UI kind of walks you through it, but you need to select the troops, select the naval invasion, where they are leaving from and where they are going to. Actually I don’t remember at which point you select the troops. Then there are conditions that you have to wait for planning to complete and need naval superiority in all of the sea zones you are crossing. There are also limits to how many divisions worth of naval invasions you can have planned at any time. Once the conditions are met you can hit the activate orders arrow to launch the invasion.

Make sure that you invade a port, or next to one that you can capture, or your troops will starve once they hit the beach.

I don’t think there should be a problem with a mountain troop. As far as I know they should be able to do straight crossings or naval invasions.


Hoo boy. There is no strait. And I don’t know what 90% of all the icons are so even trying to do that seems impossible at the moment.

Wait… whoa. When I reloaded the game when I hover over an icon it now expands to say what they are. That will help a ton. So the tutorial must disable that for some backwards reason? So weird.


I never played the tutorial, but I think they are often busted in some way.

Good luck with the naval invasion. I think if you follow the tooltips you can figure it out pretty quickly.


Were you playing on a UI scale above 1.0? There was a bug where tooltips at the bottom of the screen were not showing for scales above 1, but that’s been fixed now.


Yep! I had it at 1.5x. Then when I reloaded I actually dropped it to 1.2 hoping stuff would be less blurry and I could more of the research options on one page. Never would have thought of that as the culprit. Thanks!


New patch dev diary

Biggest news is:

XP gain on commanders and divisions
There have been a lot of conflicting feedback on how fast your commanders level up and gain traits. Some say it’s much too fast and some say its prohibitively slow. We did a quick fix for 1.5.1 to try and smooth out the progression curve, but realized we really needed to do something more radical. The issue is that its very playstyle dependent since XP is rewarded for every hour in combat. This essentially means that if you play well, pull off encirclements, use concentration of force or overrun the enemy you get very little XP compared to someone who is just throwing bodies at the enemy to slowly wear them down. To deal with this we are changing how you gain XP:

  • Overruns (blocking retreating enemy paths) and shattered divisions (enemy that cannot escape) gives you a flat xp reward per unit that is destroyed.
  • The rate of XP gain per hour is reduced over time with max penalty at 1 month long battle (-90%)

  • The more damage you do relative to the enemy the better XP reward you get to compensate for those combats being relatively short (up to a 4x difference)

Hopefully these changes should help balance the radical differences between long and short battles and reward players who play smart while not negatively impacting the brute force method too much. We’ll be relying on feedback on how this feels during the open beta process to see how it pans out.

I always hated that conquering a dozen countries and destroying massive armies would net my commanders less experience than some backwater general fighting for six months over the same province.


A most excellent change, overall I found the commander experience to be much too slow in 1.5. Although unit experience seems just about right to me. Most units stay at regular, lots become green after the first test of combat, and view mostly armor units become veteran or elite.


A new DD on patch changes

Seems to be the death of strategic bomber ping-pong:

Planes on missions now have to gain efficiency over time. Strategic bombers are slower than smaller planes when it comes to this. This was done to avoid ping-ponging and terrible microing in multiplayer where players would keep switching their bombers around to stop them from being caught. It also simply makes sense that it takes some time after a move to get organized.

Some other welcome air changes:

Division anti air now reduces damage to the division caused by close air support attacks, in proportion to the AA’s ability to shoot down planes. This should now make divisional AA more helpful against direct attacks as well

We now allow a bigger bonus from close air support supporting a combat, while the penalty to defense to the enemy from pure air superiority has been reduced. The speed penalty from enemy air superiority has also been reduced as it was a little excessive. We hope these things together will incentivize CAS over fighter spam a bit.

Strategic Bombers now only give 0.01 air superiority to make it clear thats not really their job ;)

The last 3 levels of radar tech will now improve hit chance for static AA guns while unlocking new AA equipment will increase their damage and all their intermediary techs will increase the protection from AA on buildings in the area. We hope this will make the techs nicer to get and help in late game defense vs bombers.


Do you think we’ll have to start a new game for all those things to take effect?


They were talking earlier about some map changes that would mess up existing games, but I don’t think this batch is the sort of thing that should cause problems like that. It shouldn’t affect game state. No real way of knowing without testing though.


Any tips for a new player? I’ve played nearly a thousand hours of EU4 and hundreds of hours of EU3 - but haven’t played an HOI game in a LONG time.

Picked this up from the Summer Sale, as i’ve been eyeing it for a long time. Really excited to have a military simulation, and I’ve played the tutorial as Italy… and now I kind of know what is happening?

Any suggestions for a starter country that I can take my time with, and familiarize myself with the interface? I’m thinking Canada, where I hopefully can kind of dip my toes into the water.


I found Peru was a pretty good starter country. It starts out as Fascist, which is good, since you can go to war whenever you want (Democratic nations require work to get conflict going with their neighbors). It’s not involved with the wider WW2 conflict unless you want it to be. It’s big enough you can beat up on your neighbors but not so big that it’s a walkover. It’s small enough that it’s manageable. I thought it worked out really well for learning most of the game systems.

I took over most of the West Coast of South America in a series of hard fought campaigns. Right at the very end, the US told me I needed to knock it off, or they’d come and take me out, but that’s after a full decade of fighting.


I’d say you can go with Germany. If you fail, hey, you’re making the Nazis fail, so you still win! I need to see I can still salvage that game… I did well with Japan, but I think I prefer Italy (didn’t finish), it’s hard to do worse than in real life. With South America, the US focus Pax Americana makes them intervene at any time, but the moment they take it varies a lot.

The game is all about producing the right stuff and not wasting what you can’t waste (including manpower). Infantry and artillery first, and lots of it. Infantry defends your lines and artillery punches. I failed at making enough before trying to switch to tanks and I could barely break through anywhere. I’d recommend dispersed industry instead of concentrated while you don’t have a good grasp of what you want to produce, the penalty for switching gears is very painful. Forts are kind of hard to see, but you really need to avoid the meatgrinder. Always have an offensive line for the bonus, even if you end up doing something else. Beware army group frontlines: a push can leave an army vulnerable to encirclement if you don’t change the lines, and big changes at once can leave big gaps. Apparently, Battleships rule the waves by themselves at the moment, but that’s exploity. Don’t forget infrastructure increases resource production.

I need to play a lot more to give you something more useful, but I haven’t been playing much (of anything).


This is helpful, thanks!

Peru sounds pretty intriguing…


Italy is probably the best beginner country, so playing it again is pretty good idea. But hey everybody really wants to play Germany, cause they control the action and it is fun to conquer stuff. If you play an historical game as Germany you can basically ignore the navy (build subs) without sacrificing too much.

I’m not a big fan of playing the minor (I did play Brazil once or twice, and the Raj (several times) is an interesting choice but only if you have the expansions and have dabbled with the others.)

There is a shit ton of naval stuff to do as Britain and they suffer from a very limited manpower pool, so I don’t recommend them as beginner. France and Russia are fine beginners countries, but unfortunately the tactical AI (e.g. battle planer) works better/more interesting offensively than defensively. America is an interesting choice to get a good feel for how the production system works, but often the game is pretty much decided before you can join the fight.

The latest expansion introduces some interesting game mechanics for playing one of the Chinese and rather complex focus tree for Japanese. Both are worth playing but maybe not your 2nd or 3rd game.

If you find the game too easy. Rather than adjusting the sliders (which work fine). I’d suggest getting the Expert AI mod. It make the computer make far more intelligent choices for production, and designing divisions.