Hearts of Iron 4 announced


So, one large Field Marshal front or smaller individual fronts for each general/army?


I had 3 Field Marshals. 1 for the German Defensive Front, 1 for the Black Sea and Hungo-Romania front. And 1 for attacking units as I wanted to maximize point bonus’s for units by mixing FM’s and Generals.

So along the German front I had 24 units cover 4 states each. Then the next 24 would cover the next 4 states etc all the way to the Black Sea. So 8 sets of 24 infantry covered the entire enemy front leaving me with a few tanks, horsies, and NKVD in the back.

BUT… I found out maybe I hurt myself? I hadn’t edited my Infantry template til late and a lot of them look like this: Are they missing stuff like the engineers they’re supposed to have?


I would trim those templates for sure. I would work to get them down to 20 width, that can be super important. If you have 80 combat width and 4 infantry divisions of 24 width, only 3 (3x24=72 width) get to participate in the battle! The 4th is left hanging out int he reserves, not contributing. Also, they have no anti-tank capability. If you watch a combat, you will likely notice that many German divisions have a Shield icon next to them. This means that your infantry lack the ability to pierce their armor. There are two problems with this:

  1. If you are unable to pierce the armor of an enemy division, they effectively get two dice rolls for damage on your defenders. Its like doubling their firepower against you.

  2. Take a look at your Soft Attack (58.1) vs Hard Attack (11.4) values. This is going to be a major issue against Panzer divisions, because they’re going to have a fairly high Hardness rating.

What’s Hardness? It’s the percentage of the division that is affected by Hard Attack instead of Soft Attack. So for a division with 60% hardness, that means 60% of their division uses your Hard Attack stat to determine damage you inflict. So 60% of their division is only getting hit with 11.4 damage instead of your much more respectable 58.1 soft attack (the 40% remainder of their division will get hit with that, which represents the infantry they have in it).

So, right now you’re struggling with defending and holding the line, you’re not too worried about major assaults. Just to see what kind of impact it has, I’d make a quick change to that infantry template:

  • Remove both line artillery and add one Infantry brigade. This will mean you have 10 infantry brigades for a width of 20.
  • Strip out the Recon or medical support and replace with Artillery and Anti-Tank support.

This will result in Infantry divisions that have higher Organization, which means they will be able to stay in the battle and hold the line longer. It will also (hopefully) give them sufficient Piercing to bust through Panzer armor, effectively cutting their damage against those divisions in half. It will also raise their Hard Attack, which will allow you to do more damage against those tanks and wear the Germans down. Right now their armored divisions are likely rolling over your infantry forces and suffering few casualties in the process, freeing up German industry to product yet more tanks and planes.

I’d just start with that and see if you notice any difference in how your lines perform. Not that the Germans WILL still push you back. Your goal is to slow them down, bleed them, and stretch out their supply lines.

EDIT: I couldn’t remember the exact details of Armor, so here’s what the wiki has to say about Armor/Piercing. I think you’ll see how critical it is that you’re able to punch back against those Panzers.


I’d also worry that the division has only a small fraction of required artillery equipment and none of the support and trucks.


That’s a good point, It looks like only 12/72 artillery pieces are actually there, so the division is under-equipped. No support equipment either, which means likely no Engineers to dig in and entrench.


So when I make those changes to the division template, how long til those changes show up to the guys in the field? Like if I had all the stuff they needed stockpiled…

Also, what about anti-air?

If I start from scratch, the moment I have the option to make the new template you mention - should I do it? Or should I get base infantry in the field so I’ve got lots of infantry, while making the stuff they need to be outfitted, then make the division change later and hope they show up in time? The race against the clock is so challenging.


One more question on defensive troops movements. So the enemy has broken my line in a spot and is working his way to surrounding me. So now half that division (12) is in chaos. What do you guys do? Do you create a garrison spot and move them to it? Set up a new front line somewhere and move them? Delete their old front-line and just move them to new spots setting up manual new defensive lines?


In the unmodified game it should only take a few days for equipment to reach your divisions.

Normally I would specify a base template of all infantry and then a template that was mildly improved like add a support art. Gradually switch divisions in the field one army at a time to the new template as equipment becomes available. Divs take an experience hit when upgraded so don’t forget to retrain them.


It is, the devs are aware of it. The Axis AI was buffed, the others were not (yet), but I’m not good or knowledgeable enough to say whether that should be balanced outside of AI.
You need to keep the changes on the front to a minimum at a time, because they’ll be under strength while the equipment doesn’t arrive and that particular front is fragile.

Also, the game is certainly getting harder, as at launch your mistakes weren’t too punished, but that is slowly changing with the patches, so the game is harder to (re)learn.


Yeah something like this, or draw a fallback line. You are trying to prevent troops from getting surrounded and give them time to dig in a bit before the enemy hits them again.


I don’t even know that it was so much that the Axis AI was buffed rather than that the AI has no idea how to conduct Naval warfare at the moment, even with overwhelming force.

Barring US landings, the Axis should be able to seize Eurasia and Africa pretty easily, especially if Nationalist Spain wins and eventually joins Axis (Nationalist Spain winning is historical, them joining Axis is not, but happens most HoI4 games). It’s enough completely fresh troops, and they completely marginalize Portugal should it decide to ever join the Allies. They also take Gibraltar right away, which makes moving Allied ships through the Mediterranean quite difficult.

The way the game is currently designed, the USSR is basically holding out hope for the US to re-open the Western Front, and the AI is simply not doing naval landings against any kind of opposition with any success. In earlier versions of the game, you could count on it. Since MtG, good luck, you’re either gonna need to wait for a new patch or solo Axis as the USSR. If RNG goes against you and Japan wardecs you early you would basically need to cheese game mechanics to win. Either way it’s much more difficult than it was pre-MtG.


If you aren’t interested in adhering to history and just want to win, I’d recommend fabricating on Romania early in the game before they can join up with Axis. In my game this was how I won. But it ended up being completely a-historical.

Fabricated Romania, who joined the Allies right away, and Germany never turned on me because I was at war with Allies, who are a feeble threat to the USSR compared to Germany. Ended up taking Turkey and the Middle East, and about half of India. Then, rather than gear up 5 years for a naval war against Britain and the US, I just turned on Japan and the Co-Prosperity sphere. I was nervous Germany might war-dec me in response, but they refused Japan’s calls for help because they were tied up in Africa fighting the Allies.

After conquering Asia it was just a matter of building a large enough fleet to take the UK, which wasn’t all that difficult with well over 100 naval yards. Long story short, turned on Germany immediately after who were pretty depleted at this point and hadn’t conquered a lot of the things they should have because I got to them first. And then a slog through northern South America and into Florida. Poor Florida.

Long post, but sometimes unconventional tactics work. But it was a gamble, when I war-dec’d Romania there was a reasonable chance they’d have joined Axis at a point too early for me to fight them all.


I decided to give the USSR a try on veteran vanilla difficulty.

I focused on building a strong infantry army and rushed T-34s to give me a counter-punch if necessary. I intentionally slightly neglected my fighter production given the resources demanded to fully win an early air war would have otherwise crippled my land forces. After building an adequate industrial base, I elected to build a line of level 5 defense forts along my border with the Axis powers (current and future).

The game proceeded fairly historically until my Winter war where I crushed the Finns. The Germans shared Poland with me and immediately pivoted to France for an early submission. This concerned me, but Germany largely focused on others continental matters before declaring a fairly late war against me in July, '41.

My line of forts and anti-tank equipped infantry helped me hold my initial defensive positions until September '41, when I allowed my front-line forces to retreat beyond my secondary defensive line (2 provinces away with no forts) and form a new secondary defense line. This initial secondary line is still holding in late November '41. I’m hopeful it will hold until winter sets in and I’m able to allocate my production to push out another few dozen infantry divisions.

Overall, I’m happy with the progress so far. The Germans have been blunted and their 2M causalities will hurt them far worse than the 250k causalities I’ve suffered will hurt me. Another season of this and my superior manpower should allow me to begin driving west.


re: Those casualty figures, I see the AI can still be easily lured into futile attacks across a broad front, whereas in reality such fronts would simply become a sitzkreig.


When the entire front is well-defended and no obvious weak points exist that can be exploited then it becomes the simple war of attrition I’m in now. I probably could have taken fewer losses had I been more willing to surrender territory, but I wouldn’t have inflicted as many causalities as I did. Another million or two and the Germans production will begin to become hampered.

It’s a shame the AI can’t use paratroopers or naval landings effectively. The use of either of those would probably have disrupted me enough to cause pretty substantial losses. Similarly, a concerted effort in the middle with a heavy armour component might have been enough to create a pocket or two that could have cost me divisions. As it is, I’ve only lost two divisions when they chose to retreat in a poor direction.


I feel that a large, well-defended front should lead to concentrated armour attacks where you are trying to make gains before the opposing side’s armour can respond in enough strength. Which would lead into misdirection attempts, etc. Obviously way beyond what the AI is capable of. Does anyone know if this sort of thing is a feature of the German-Soviet front in multiplayer?


Also, how do you find veteran? I tend to like boosting the AI through the sliders or through ExpertAI difficulty controls. I don’t like how the default difficulty controls tend to handicap the player’s game and have pretty uneven effects (e.g. low production efficiency cap reduces early production more than late). Also the PP handicap feels like I can’t get through the appointments that I “should”.


The handicaps annoys me, to be honest. Despite the vanilla nature of it, it definitely feels like I’m not playing the game the Devs intended me to play. Honestly, I’d rather the difficulty gave bonuses to the AI over penalties to me.

I usually play via slider manipulation or ExpertAI, but wanted to try without because I hadn’t previously played as the USSR beyond '38 in vanilla and so didn’t have any of its achievements. You can definitely see the effects of not playing ExpertAI in my current game. Particularly in how there’s no way I would manage to hold a mostly static front with Germany in '41 with it enabled.


Oh that’s important.

  • OK another question. Would it be better, once all my troops are in the defensive front-line positions. To delete the front-line and just leave people where they’re at so there’s no shuffling? Or is the shuffling good?

  • If you have an artillery support unit attached to your infantry division, does that take artillery production, support production, or both? Also, does it take truck production because it’s towed?

I hope you don’t mind, but I have a lot of questions as I’d like to try and copy your technique to see how it plays out for me. Some things like research order can vastly change the outcome of the game.

  • What was your research order and focus?
  • Which focus’s did you take? (screenshot would be all that’s needed)
  • How many factories of each type did you build? Did you go all Civ and then all Mil?
  • When did you start building forts? (I’m not sure when to start building so they’re done in time). WHat level did you build those forts up to and did you build them along the German line after the fall of Poland or on the original Polish line?
  • Did you build forts at your secondary defensive line? Also, if the first line was still hoolding, why retreat?
  • Could you take a screenshot of your current line so I can see where you held for your defense line #2?
  • Did Japan take all of China and Italy all of NE Africa in your game too?
  • Could you post a pic of your armor and infantry templates?