How to Play Hearts of Iron IV

March 6, 2020 0 By Ewald Bahringer

welcome to hearts of iron for get ready
to purge your officers forget to escalate the war in China and become a
Nazi you didn’t ask for this you didn’t choose this oh you can call me as a heel
this is hearts of iron for Lance jump in okay
you’re worse than Hitler too late for flattery pick a country any country no
not that one it’s big much better each country has a focused
tree it’s pretty much a choose your own adventure book that affects how the game
plays out most trees also include alternate history branches but we’ll
talk about those later on the top of your screen you’ll see a row of numbers
they represent political power which is spent on modifying your government and
activating decisions stability and war support which do a bunch of things but
obviously you’ll want them to be high if either one is low while you’re a war
very bad things can happen Manpower’s how many troops you have to
staff your military this is how many factories you have we’ll get into how
they work in a bit fuel is how much fuel your country has stored you gain fuel
from the oil resource convoys is how many ships you have to transport troops
and resources and last or command power and military experience which we’ll
cover later this is the laws and government screen you use it to change
their laws and staff your government only raise your conscription law when
you need more manpower when it comes to trade policy free trade is the best it
has big productivity bonuses as well as a huge research boost feel free to
change your trade policy if you find yourself low on resources in regards to
economy law you want to get to total mobilization as soon as possible don’t
worry about the recruitable population penalty you just cancel it out with the
women in the workforce decision each country has an ideology you can use
advisors to help change it if two countries share an ideology they’ll have
an easier time engaging in diplomacy let’s talk about that in hearts of iron
for there’s nothing unusual about basic diplomacy make an offer and hope they
say yes a more interesting diplomatic features world tension it’s closely tied
to the focus treats fascist countries can usually do
whatever they want however doing naughty things raises the world tension as
certain tension thresholds are met the democracies will get access to their
more powerful focuses this dynamic means in the fascist will get ahead early game
but as the tension goes up the democracies will catch up and then
surpass them like the other paradox games you need to cast this valley
before you can start a war well you can fabricate one manually most focus trees
give you any cast as badly as you might need you can also never declare war and
just join a faction that’s already at war factions or group alliances they’re
usually formed along ideological lines with non-aligned countries joining the
Democratic factions if one faction member goes to war the rest of the
faction is very likely to follow them the wars don’t end until every major
power and a faction is capitulated to win a war you’ll need weapons lots of
them at the center of the economy are buildings and the most important kind of
buildings are factories the first kind are civilian factories civilian
factories build more buildings that’s big so you’ll want to build nothing but
civilian factories for the first few years of the game
another important building type is infrastructure infrastructure does a lot
of things but one of the most important is to extract more resources many states
produce resources if you build infrastructure in one of these states
it’ll produce even more resources this can be very valuable in industry poor
poor resource rich countries like Romania if you find yourself needing
more resources than you have you can import the difference you trade one
civilian factory to another country for eight units of a resource but you can
get a better ratio if you’re importing from one of your puppets if there’s no
land connection between you and your trade partner you’ll need convoys to
transport the resources dockyards and military factories which are the other
two type of factories turn your resources into war materials these
include guns tanks ships and those disgusting potato flavor chocolate bars
military factories have something called production efficiency this is basically
how good the factory is of producing something when a factory starts
production it’ll have low production efficiency as time goes on this will
improve if you change what a factory produces this process will start all
over again the products of military factories are used by divisions
let’s talk about them ah damn it mahjong Tom not you Yeltsin come on girls we’re
going on a queer huh the Army is made out of divisions these are important sir
we’re going in depth with them a division is made out of battalions and
support companies battalions determined the vast majority of the division stats
while support companies provide unique bonuses like reconnaissance the physical
placement of a battalion in the division doesn’t do anything as long as it’s in
the division it’ll do its job here’s what you need to know about stats unless
something has gone horribly wrong divisions never get destroyed instead
they retreat this one Li happens when the organization reaches zero that makes
organization the most important stat to consider when making a division soft
attack is how much damage the division does to soft targets like infantry heart
attack is how much damage it does to hard targets like tanks defense is a bit
odd just know that the higher the number is the better the division will be at
defending infantry have a lot of defence so if you need a line held infantry will
be your friend breakthrough does the same thing as
defense but it comes into play when attacking tanks have a lot of
breakthrough so when you want to attack try to do it with tank divisions Armour
is how well armoured the division is generally speaking more and heavier
tanks means more armor if an enemy division can’t pierce your division
it’ll suffer some serious penalties the piercing stat determines how much armor
a division can pierce last is combat with all you need to know is that unless
you’re doing something really fancy your combat width should always be 10 20 or
40 with 40 being best you can see what equipment a division needs on the right
here are the divisions I use this is the classic 7 – it’s not as strong as it was
when the game launched but still gets the job done this is the 14 4 it’s
literally just a 7 – but doubled in size however due to weird mechanics I don’t
fully understand making a division double the size makes it much more than
2 times stronger this is a shovel division it’s kind of awful at attacking
but extremely cost effective on the defensive especially when it’s had time
to entrench we’ll talk about how entrenchment works in a bit this is an
anti rebel cavalry division unless you’re Poland these guys won’t see much
fighting they’re best used to suppress rebels which rise up in occupied
territories to make the rebels disappear just set a few of these divisions to
garrison the trouble spot here’s a good 40 with tank division
there’s no point in having a 20 with tank division notice how there are no
leg infantry only motorized infantry this is because the division moves as
fast as its slowest unit and you always want to keep tank divisions moving feel
free to slide in SPG’s SP AAS and tank destroyers as needed if you want
something overpowered and also kind of dumb throw a heavy tank or two into an
infantry division due to the way the game calculates armor it acts as though
every single infantryman is wearing tank armor this means that if the enemy wants
to kill basic infantry they’ll have to use anti-tank guns now for actually
controlling your troops divisions are organized into armies and armies are
organized into army groups each army has a general and each army group has a
Field Marshal these commanders give bonuses to their divisions you can
upgrade the commander’s here some countries can field hundreds of
divisions and have to manage them across multiple fronts manually controlling
every single one would be a bit ridiculous that’s what the battle
planner is for the battle planner can be used to execute plans by army or if you
really have a lot of divisions by army group to make a battle plan
you create a frontline this will distribute the divisions along the front
you can then make attack plans for the troops to execute on just remember that
the battle plan AI isn’t that smart so you should micro your divisions to get
the most out of them think of the battle planner is more of a big picture thing
and you as the details guy even if you want to totally ignore the battle plan
or always make battle plans for your armies regardless of whether you
actually use the plan divisions assigned to a plan will build up planning bonus
which makes them more effective when attacking on the other side of that coin
if the division is standing around not doing anything
it’ll entrench itself which makes it more effective when defending when a
division tries to move into a province controlled by a hostile division a
battle will begin if the defender reaches zero
organization it’ll be forced off the province and the attacker will move in
if the attacker reaches your organization it’ll stop attacking
divisions recover their organization when not in combat if you’re facing
stiff resistance you can use a trick called cycling this is where you have
multiple divisions on a tile and only attack with a few at a time since the
enemy is constantly in combat they’ll never recover their organization while
some of your divisions will always be recovering there’s you can see how much
organization and equipment and division has via the green and orange bards if
you need an extra boost parts of iron for features special orders which can
use to temporarily buff their troops they’re very gamy though so I don’t like
using them if you find yourself drowning in so many divisions that even army
groups can’t help you you can split your armies into theatres you can see how
each theater is performing from its combat log it includes all sorts of fun
stats alright that’s it for the army up next luckily the Air Force is a lot simpler
you create air wings for each type of airplane and airports you assign your
wings to do missions and Arizonans if a wing can’t cover the whole zone it’ll be
less effective different types of planes perform different missions fighters
fight for air superiority and intercept enemy bombers close air support dive
bomb enemy divisions who are in combat these can do tons of damage strategic
bombers bomb enemy factories and infrastructure they can also do this I think we got them naval bombers bomb
ships and tactical bombers do a little bit of everything but not as well as
dedicated bombers there are aircraft carrier versions of Fighters close air
support and naval banners speaking of carriers and so much with man the guns pleats have gotten a
lot of attention you assign shifts to task forces and task forces to fleets
all task forces in a fleet share an admiral and operate in the same seasons
but they can each perform different tasks naval combat comes in two parts
finding the enemy and then actually fighting them heavy ships like
battleships and aircraft carriers or fuel guzzlers you don’t want them
patrolling for enemies this means that your combat fleet should be split into
two task forces patrols made of light chips to find the enemy and strike
forces made of heavy ships to blow them up please can also do other things
including convoy reading which is best done with submarines convoy escort which
is best on with anti-submarine destroyers lay in sweep for mines which
is best on with mine laying and minesweeping destroyers and naval
invasion support which is best on with big ships to provide the best security
and Shore bombardments up next is experience technology and doctrines step
up your being did look break out the O word lesbian the other l word Lebensraum
the Army Navy and Air Force each have their own experience you get experience
by fighting or doing exercises experience can be spent on a few things
but army experience is particularly important because it’s used to customize
divisions something that all experience can do is customize equipment army
experience can customize tanks when upgrading tanks armor is most important
unless you know the enemy will penetrate it anyway in which case just invest in
the guns air experience can be used to upgrade planes for fighters engines
matter the most because they give agility for bombers close air support
and other air-to-ground units attack and bombing matter the most naval experience
can be spent on customizing ships the Navy has what is by far the most
advanced editor and the same hole can be used to create radically different
designs another use for experience is to speed up doctrine research you research
doctrines as well as other technology using your research slots doctrines buff
the Army Navy and Air Force we can only have one doctrine for each branch the
land doctrines are tanks infantry with heavy gun support kind of all over the
place but the entrenchment bonus is good and also all over the place
but best for small countries that need as much manpower as possible
the air doctrines are fighters and strategic bombers close air support and
all over the place and the naval doctrines our battleships convoy raiding
and aircraft carriers before we get into the meta stuff like DLC in mods I want
to give an overview of my favorite countries in the game and the United
States first is why hungry because it’s great for new players it’s big enough
that it can have an influence but not so big that you’ll be totally overwhelmed
hungry is also landlocked so you won’t have to worry about Navy mechanics which
can be confusing at times I doubly recommend hungry if you have death or
dishonor since then it could do cool stuff like restore austria-hungary
but even vanilla hungry is fine I need winter Germany’s the opposite of a good country
for new players it’s big has no strong allies to rely on and is basically the
driving force behind the whole game that’s a lot of pressure although once
you’re ready for it it’ll probably end up being your favorite country to play
Germany is very well suited for a tank focused mobile war game where big
encirclements are the goal unless the AI does something truly incompetent there’s
really no other way to play Germany you have to be France and the Soviet Union
quickly or you’ll just get out produced speaking of losing I’d like to add that
even losing as Germany can be fun desperately trying to resist the Allies
in the West while barely holding on in the East is a great challenge plus if
you lose you won’t have to think of the consequences of a Nazi dominated world if you want to try your hand at the
naval side of the game Italy is a great country to learn it with it’s Halle an
industry kind of sucks except for its dockyards on land you’ll always be
overshadowed by Germany but that’s not what matters if you can wrestle control
of the Mediterranean from France and Great Britain you’re otherwise weak army
will be able to pull off all sorts of crazy maneuvers Osos are red violets are
blue I’m stuck on the Eastern Front and so are fucking you
if one word describes the USSR its preparation the fascists are coming and
you need to be ready there’s nothing more intense than seeing all the armies
of Europe line up against your border and hoping that whatever you did to
prepare was enough failure to properly prepare means a struggle to the death
where your only hope of survival is an allied landing success on the other hand
means your boys will be in Berlin by Christmas or whatever the Communists
celebrate I once listened to the hearts of iron for developers discuss their
design challenges one of their most interesting challenges was the fascist
have all the fun there’s a certain amount of truth to this countries like
the USSR spent half the game just waiting around others have a more
interesting experience France is in a precarious position it will never be
fully prepared for the German invasion but it can get close if you play your
cards right you can turn the Western Front into another trench warfare
hellscape by doing so the Germans will slowly but surely get crushed by the
combined industry of the French and British Empire’s watching the German war
machine spontaneously stop your Ford line can be quite hilarious no where’s
the problem of fascist have all the fun more pronounced than in the United
States of America this isn’t a country about preparation and execution it’s
about waiting lots and lots of waiting and an effort to make things interesting
the United States features Congress mechanics but the way it’s implemented
Congress is basically just random chance there is an alternative to Congress and
that’s in fighting an alternate history second Civil War but that’s kind of dumb
I’m sorry the south isn’t rising again in the 1930s especially with a weight
you need to elect a Republican to do that a Republican in 1936 you know what
let’s talk about the DLC in mods I feel like we’ll find something better there
and a we the bad days now for the DLC together for victory gives focus trees
to the Commonwealth that’s Canada South Africa Australia the
British Raj and New Zealand death or dishonour does the same thing but for
Hungary Romania Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia waking the tiger focuses on
Japan Germany and China but also includes a bunch of mechanics changes
last is man the guns which massively improves the Navy mechanics and messes
with the United States United Kingdom the Netherlands and for some reason
Mexico a paragraph ago I mentioned that the alternate history in this game can
be kind of dumb even a good amount of it’s pretty fun there are much better
options out there this is where the mods come in let me tell you out of any
paradox game parts of ir4 has the best mods it has mods for World War 1 modern
day and even fallout but there’s one mod that is by far my favorite Kaiser Reich
is amazing it’s a what if Germany won World War 1 mod but it’s so welded up
that’s practically its own universe in this timeline it wasn’t Russia that fell
to communism it was the West after a humiliating defeat in the First World
War Britain and France collapsed and becomes syndicalist state
the British royal family in a French Republic of an exile to the colonies
leaving a barely held together Germany to fight the Syndicates but that’s about
to get a whole lot harder seeing as the Berlin stock market the center of the
world economy is about to crash hell this one is so good it finds a way to
make playing the United States interesting very very interesting so
yeah that was hearts of iron for feel free to ask any questions you have in
the comments I’ll get back to you pretty quick
up next we’ll learn how to play mountain blade in space see you then the higher
right in the Buddhist space not to love food it’s a great day space don’t be
high I won’t write in the for his face then her gamble saves the owned world in