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Author Topic: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!  (Read 2965 times)

SHARK

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HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« on: March 23, 2022, 05:52:02 AM »
Greetings!

I have been playing this fantastic World War II global strategy wargame, produced by Paradox.

The game is enormous, with multiple layers of detail and nuance, embracing politics, economic development, scientific research, military industry, civilian industry, and the organization and building of armies and fleets.

And, of course, mass combat focused on the Regimental, Division, Corps, and Army levels.

The game is *deep*

I have recently been playing the Soviet Union, beginning the game in the January, 1936 Scenario.

The greatest challenge of course, is surviving the massive German invasion of Barbarossa. The Nazi onslaught is ferocious!

There are so many tension and crisis points, epic strategic choices from what areas to fortify, what cities to evacuate critical industry, the building and organizing of armies, and then coming to grips with the vast struggle of fighting the Panzers over every step of Russia. If fortunate, and with some planning and a little luck, the Motherland can be saved from the Nazi beasts! Gradually, the Russian industry grows, slowly, but then steadily increasing. In the field, as long as you carefully endure and fight hard, the Russian armies steadily gain reinforcements. The people hear the Call of the Motherland! On the battlefield, Russian armies grow in strength. The Russian Air Force increases in numbers, strength, and skill, gradually gaining air superiority over the Luftwaffe.

Then, the time slowly arrives where the Russian Tank Armies stack up, infantry armies are now fully equipped with the best artillery, and supplies are plentiful. The defenses are strengthened, and held. The Nazi armies are suffering from the bitter winters, and even the arrival of spring and summer doesn't provide much respite for the Wehrmacht. The time comes to take Not One Step Back! The timefor counter-attacking has arrived!

With stronger armies, more and more tanks, and a flood of new infantry armies now arriving, the Red Army unleashes the wrath of the Motherland! It is epic to drive the Nazis back from Russian soil, and hammer the Wehrmacht again and again! The German Army is steadily crushed on the Road to Berlin!

Such an awesome game!

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security b

TheSHEEEP

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2022, 03:12:39 PM »
Yeah, I can recommend it, too.

It sure is a tough learning curve to begin with, but very much possible.

One thing I VERY MUCH wish the game or community would tell you if you're starting:
Do not - I repeat, DO NOT - play a major nation on your first one or two games. No Germany, no Soviets, no US, no Britain.
All of these nations have a million things going on that will just be too much when starting out.

Instead, pick something smaller, with less production, less manpower, etc.
Bonus points if your own territory is relatively safe. Canada would fit the bill, for example. But anything, really, as long as it isn't a major power and not bordering an aggressive one, either (maybe don't play Poland first).
Smaller, less powerful nations are a much better entry point - just don't expect to decide any wars on your own.

By now, though, I am not playing the vanilla game any more.
Kaiserreich, Road To 56, The New Order or Old World Blues is where it's at.

Arkansan

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2022, 03:53:38 PM »
Been playing the hell out of this game for a while now. There's a whole lot to take in, it can be overwhelming at first. Recently I've been playing the Fallout mod, Old World Blues, it's very much worth a try if you're a fan of both games.

SHARK

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2022, 02:24:50 AM »
Greetings!

Indeed, HOIIV has a steep learning curve for certain! The good thing is the *AI* and the features allow you to kind of automate many things, and generally achieve some modest success at least. However, it is quite challenging trying to manage and take care of every detail constantly. I often find myself saying, "Oh, damnit! I forgot to do X, or Y, or Z when it last cycled up--or when the opportunity came. Especially when I am focused on some huge, life-and death-battle somewhere. *Laughing*

My first three games playing the Soviet Union had me enduring the shame and frustration of having the Wehrmacht drive me entirely to the Urals! In each occasion, surrender and abject capitulation followed.

It is definitely fun though, learning everything, and piece by piece, applying the lessons and knowledge, and seeing dramatically different results!

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security b

I

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2022, 02:36:47 PM »

My first three games playing the Soviet Union had me enduring the shame and frustration of having the Wehrmacht drive me entirely to the Urals! In each occasion, surrender and abject capitulation followed.


But the Bulgarian ambassador said you could do that and STILL win the war!  You should have him shot, Comrade Stalin!

SHARK

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2022, 11:09:46 AM »
Yeah, I can recommend it, too.

It sure is a tough learning curve to begin with, but very much possible.

One thing I VERY MUCH wish the game or community would tell you if you're starting:
Do not - I repeat, DO NOT - play a major nation on your first one or two games. No Germany, no Soviets, no US, no Britain.
All of these nations have a million things going on that will just be too much when starting out.

Instead, pick something smaller, with less production, less manpower, etc.
Bonus points if your own territory is relatively safe. Canada would fit the bill, for example. But anything, really, as long as it isn't a major power and not bordering an aggressive one, either (maybe don't play Poland first).
Smaller, less powerful nations are a much better entry point - just don't expect to decide any wars on your own.

By now, though, I am not playing the vanilla game any more.
Kaiserreich, Road To 56, The New Order or Old World Blues is where it's at.

Greetings!

Awesome! Yeah, there is definitely a learning curve to the game! *Laughing* A million things going on all at once, but damn, so entertaining. The game is deep. Lots of different nuances and layers of expertise and such for everything. Armoured forces, defense, conducting offensives, creation of divisions, the air war, and of course, the Naval War and conducting amphibious operations. Coordinating civilian and military industry, technological research, and more. Damn! *Laughing*

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security b

SHARK

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2022, 11:15:04 AM »

My first three games playing the Soviet Union had me enduring the shame and frustration of having the Wehrmacht drive me entirely to the Urals! In each occasion, surrender and abject capitulation followed.


But the Bulgarian ambassador said you could do that and STILL win the war!  You should have him shot, Comrade Stalin!

Greetings!

Yeah, it was definitely a humbling experience! It was absolutely *thrilling* the first time my Soviet forces managed to halt the Wehrmacht's advance, and I watched over time of several in-game months as my own forces, combined with carefully-placed fortifications, gradually broke the Nazi invaders. The winter weather, of course, was a great blessing, helping to slow the Wehrmacht's Panzers to a crawl. THEN, my own reserves had finally begun to get their shit together, and start rolling the Nazi armies back! So awesome!

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security b

Sanson

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2022, 02:48:33 AM »
Sadly i could never get into HOI IV... and i've tried, since i've played 1000's of hours of HOI I and II (Vanilla as well as heavily modded) and a bit
of time with HOI III (Which took the micromanagement to a truly ridiculous level... moreso even than II) and consider it one of the best PC strategy
games ever made, even if i missed the insane level of detail in the research/tech development from HOI I.  (You had to research every little thing,
and could do ridiculous things such as mounting a 20mm Gun on a Maus Tank, if you wished to do something that silly)

I still play HOI II usually Arsenal of Democracy or Darkest Hour every now and then.  III was too involved, even for me.  And IV i disliked on release
because it seemed to lack so much of the depth and minutiae of the earlier games.  I was used to assigning my own officers down to the divisional
level, setting detailed orders to every group of airwings, cursing my stupidity when i forgot to set a coordinated arrival time for one of my divisions
to attack and see them mauled as they arrived early with no support, canning ministers who displeased me, and any number of other little tricks you
could pull off, and the ability to play as Tannu-Tuva and attempt to keep the soviets from annexing me.

One time i played Batista's Cuba, just for fun.  And one time i refused to purge the officer corps in a Soviet playthrough and was hampered the entire
game with the Incompetent generals you're stuck with for the rest of the game.  Heh, fun times.  Took Berlin with France one time, thanks to the AI
firing off Barbarossa with an unconquered France still intact, if battered, in 1941.

Was happy to hear someone likes the game though, honestly, i haven't tried it since around it's release, i really should give HOI IV another chance, as
i'm sure quite a bit of what i disliked about it may be fixed, going by some of what you said in that post.  And an expansion pack or two for it won't kill me.

But if you like it, i'd highly recommend HOI II, or the two variants built on the same engine, those being Arsenal of Democracy and Darkest Hour.
They're usually cheap enough and well worth playing if you can get into them. 

As an old grognard who hasn't found an opponent (live) to play ASL, Third Reich, Flat Top, or La Bataille d'Auerstadt in nigh two decades, HOI has been
a favorite for ages, and now i'm inspired to delete enough from my hard-drive to reinstall it to see how it's come along.
WotC makes me play 1st edition AD&D out of spite...

caldrail

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2022, 09:49:17 PM »
I just started a game the other day, still learning the ropes, and played as non-aligned Bulgaria from 1939. Naturally I wanted to expand, what true petty tyrant doesn't? So I figured Greece on my southern border was ripe for conquest. I had to work fast, building an army with limited resources knowing Italy was going to overtake me if I took too long. Eventually King Boris managed to secure the pretext, and so I declared war.

Fighting on the frontier was fierce but those Greeks gave no ground. Worse still, I lost air superiority! How did that happen? No, stupid question.... Anyway, by May we had started to break the Greek defence and the war went to a terrible battle for Thessalonika in June. My forces were waning due to attrition though for some daft reason the British Raj in India was sending supplies. Jolly nice of him.

In July the proverbial donkey poo hit the fan. Italy struck south from Albania, and Vichy France made an amphibious landing in the Peloponnese. Thessalonika fell as Greece went into chaos trying to defend so I struck south for Athens. By September I was in control of eastern Greece and fighting subsided with Greek government in Crete. Italy and Vichy France between them have secured a huge swathe of Africa, ousted the British from Egypt, and the Suez Canal is in Axis hands, and despite Germany wanting us to sign up, for the moment I think Bulgaria will lick its wounds and be satisfied in thwarted Italian ambition... well... Almost. But the war goes on, as wars do until defeat or agreement.

STOP PRESS - in the last five minutes (end of September in game time) Greece has capitulated. Bulgarians, this is Victory Day! Now Britain clearly wants us to fight France. Erm... Not right now Winston....

THIS MORNINGS PAPERS - April 12th 1941. It's over, it's all over, Bulgaria has capitulated. Yugoslavia overwhelmed my western frontier, Romania (who had supplied me with equipment until this point) are now invading from the north. The Third Reich didn't like my emergency alliance with the Western Allies (Yes, okay Winston, I'm on your side now. Please stop the British-Bulgarian War). Units from Britain and Australia landed on the Black Sea coast but could not stem the Nazi tide and certain disagreeable symbols have appeared on flags outside public buildings. If you want me, I've packed a suitcase, headed for Argentina, where I will start an Old Tyrants Club and a lot of conspiracy theories)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2022, 11:18:43 PM by caldrail »

behayos

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2022, 03:55:25 PM »
HOI4 is a very good game. Its lifespan is almost unlimited with the multiple mods made by the community.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2022, 01:06:04 PM by behayos »

Reckall

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2022, 05:29:56 PM »
Of all the HOI I have played my preferred is still HOI 3. When it was published it was a disaster (the Afrika Korps was stopped by snow that lasted for one year and no one will ever forget when the Bismarck attacked Pearl Harbor ALONE). They fixed it with the expansions and HOI 3 upgraded to "Their Finest Hour" is, IMHO, a gem. It is not that difficult to play once you learn the basics (*) and for those who do not fear WWII on a 1:1 scale there is the wonderful Black Ice mod (which is still worked on and improved even today).

HOI IV never satisfied me. The basic game was a severe case of "meh", especially if you come from HOI 3 + TFH. The AI was embarrassing and the first AARs showed how you could conquer Europe starting as Portugal. Among the biggest omissions there was the lack of articulated OOBs: in HOI 3 you could give an objective to an Army and see your orders go down to corps and from corps to divisions - or micromanage everything. This was how wars are fought even today. HOI IV does seem to lack this basic structure.

Of course since I'm among the morons who throw money at Paradox I have all the expansions. Every then and now I fire it up and every time it fails to grab me (I have 1000+ hours in both Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV). OTOH, having read "To Lose a Battle" by Alistair Horne I plan to play France in HOI 3 + Black Ice as soon as I'll have the time.

Anyway, the best nation to start with in any HOI is Italy. You are not menaced by Germany, you still have a lot of decisions to make (if to expand the fleet or the army, when to enter the war, which objectives prioritise considering your limited industrial base...) Mussolini chased too many cats too early: managing Italy better than him is easy and can be source of unexpected satisfactions. Be advised, however, that for HOI IV the next expansion "By Blood Alone" will flesh out Italy, so you may want to wait for that one.

(*) I learned HOI 3 by watching these video tutorials and I never really needed anymore else: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQ3D7qq61iw&list=PL177CF59636F80BD7&ab_channel=MichaelBroschek
For every idiot who denounces Ayn Rand as "intellectualism" there is an excellent DM who creates a "Bioshock" adventure.

SHARK

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2022, 10:39:59 AM »
Greetings!

In HOI-IV, do you all have favourite Division Widths and templates?

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security b

SHARK

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2022, 01:02:55 PM »
Greetings!

One thing I hope Paradox works on in the future--sooner rather than later--is fixing the whole Naval system. I might be retarded, but sometimes ships don't go where I want them to. They stay in one area, and don't move. Other times, I have numerous ships patrolling different areas, and somehow, still don't have 50% Naval Superiority.

I imagine they are trying to make Naval Warfare detailed, deep, and dynamic--those are worthy goals--but I often experience the Naval Operations as unreliable, fiddly, and a pain in the ass that often seems to require minutia and constant babysitting.

I think that Naval Warfare could be better served if it was streamlined and simplified, at least somewhat. It should flow and compliment the land and air warfare smoothly.

The Naval Technology and research is a pain in the ass too. Too much stuff to research, and all of which takes far too long to actually research and gain. The whole build-times for ships can be speeded up a well. Submarines excepted, for the mot part. The different torpedo technologies can be shortened and combined, or otherwise streamlined. Trying to research, equip, and build a decent force of 1944 Destroyers or other kind of warships is a major pain. Even as playing America, trying to have a current, 1944 Army, Air Force, and Navy, actually able to fight in 1944 I virtually impossible. Let alone any other nation even attempting to do so.

On one hand, I appreciate the strategic design options and choices--but on the other hand, I think relaxing some of these can make a more modern, up to date force achievable, to actually have such forces in 1944--instead of having them in 1946.

As America, for example, I focused on having an uber Navy--everything you would expect America to have in say, the summer of 1944. Fleet Carriers, fast Battleships, fully equipped Light and Heavy Cruisers, Destroyers--all doing good. Carrier aircraft elite. Air Forces looking good.

But my Infantry? Tank and Armoured Forces? Pathetic. Stuck at like, 1940 tech levels.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security b

Reckall

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Re: HOIIV--Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back!
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2022, 07:44:11 AM »
Greetings!

One thing I hope Paradox works on in the future--sooner rather than later--is fixing the whole Naval system. I might be retarded, but sometimes ships don't go where I want them to. They stay in one area, and don't move. Other times, I have numerous ships patrolling different areas, and somehow, still don't have 50% Naval Superiority.

I imagine they are trying to make Naval Warfare detailed, deep, and dynamic--those are worthy goals--but I often experience the Naval Operations as unreliable, fiddly, and a pain in the ass that often seems to require minutia and constant babysitting.

I think that Naval Warfare could be better served if it was streamlined and simplified, at least somewhat. It should flow and compliment the land and air warfare smoothly.

The Naval Technology and research is a pain in the ass too. Too much stuff to research, and all of which takes far too long to actually research and gain. The whole build-times for ships can be speeded up a well. Submarines excepted, for the mot part. The different torpedo technologies can be shortened and combined, or otherwise streamlined. Trying to research, equip, and build a decent force of 1944 Destroyers or other kind of warships is a major pain. Even as playing America, trying to have a current, 1944 Army, Air Force, and Navy, actually able to fight in 1944 I virtually impossible. Let alone any other nation even attempting to do so.

On one hand, I appreciate the strategic design options and choices--but on the other hand, I think relaxing some of these can make a more modern, up to date force achievable, to actually have such forces in 1944--instead of having them in 1946.

As America, for example, I focused on having an uber Navy--everything you would expect America to have in say, the summer of 1944. Fleet Carriers, fast Battleships, fully equipped Light and Heavy Cruisers, Destroyers--all doing good. Carrier aircraft elite. Air Forces looking good.

But my Infantry? Tank and Armoured Forces? Pathetic. Stuck at like, 1940 tech levels.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK

The best thing you can do is to post about these perplexities of yours on Paradox forum. They are always helpful and it is one of the few bastions where criticism (even strong criticism) is still allowed.

I can't really help you since I never played HOI4 in-depth enough. My first question would be "Do you have the 'Man the Guns' expansion?" It is about naval warfare but I never delved into the changes it bought. Maybe enabling/disabling it will give you a better naval experience.

My second question is "What difficult level you are playing at?" Tech growth is tied to difficulty so maybe crippling it unrealistically is a way to increase the challenge (because the AI still sux).

Last suggestion: I checked, and the naval system is a PitA no matter what (it is amazing how the "too complex" HOI3 has a perfectly fine naval system). On Youtube there are some good tutorials for it. This is only an example:

For every idiot who denounces Ayn Rand as "intellectualism" there is an excellent DM who creates a "Bioshock" adventure.