Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Decline Hearts of Iron 4 - The Ultimate WWII Strategy Game

Discussion in 'Strategy Gaming' started by GarfunkeL, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    I've said this before, but will say again anyway: I would say that as far as comparing the base games one has a sort of a major difficulty in that HoI2, HoI3, and HoI4 have important fundamental differences in their gameplay design. HoI2 is more like other Paradox games with several major improvements to warfare, HoI3 has an absurd number of provinces, supply model (though this ties in heavily with the number of provinces), and order of battle detail. HoI4 approaches from both a middle ground between HoI2 and HoI3 and new direction, with highest degree of modding support so far.

    The last of which I would say is why HoI4 is definately the go-to choice for me at least. Thanks to fleshing out a number of non-war mechanics a bit more than previously (most notably the things that can be done with the ideology system) and the addition of national focuses and equipment, there's already the best Hearts of Iron, which is HoI4 version of Kaiserreich without even a contest. BlackICE's HoI4 version is sort of fun, but also a go-to example of modder feature bloat, but it does showcase interesting feature possibilities like unique and extensive equipment tech trees.
     
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  2. Baptismbyfiregender: ⚧ Scholar

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    Yah, but is the AI any good?
     
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  3. Make America Great Again Average Manateegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Definitely not, though it's highly up to taste. But in general:

    HoI4:
    - Much more simplified in most respects other than production line management. Units automagically walk across water, you have no chain of command (and no real reason to have more than 1 field marshal command your entire armed forces), you get free combat bonuses for letting the AI command your units rather than you doing it yourself, and so on.
    - Most of the political and diplomatic systems are geared for an ahistorical game, very multiplayer-focused where anyone can do anything easily. Certain features have to be banned in MP because of how abusable they are (cause anyone's country to split in half in rebellion like the Spanish civil war, for free? wtf)
    - AI is the worst, mostly because its just insanely overaggresive and basically tries to kill itself as fast as possible. If you play, say, France, you'll probably just do nothing the first few months of the war and let Germany take 1M casualties to your 10k.
    - Divisions can be designed down to the battalion level (30 slots), which is a great feature but easy to abuse the highly imbalanced combat mechanics and be way stronger than the AI unless you hold yourself back.

    HoI3:
    - Most complexity. Huge chain of command complexity with leaders in HQ represented on-map that need to be maneouvered like normal units (which can be offputting due to all the time required to set it up and constant micro to keep them in radio range). Most techs and a fairly complicated politics alignment system that doesn't really work well in practice (Paradox had a great idea but pretty much hard-coded WW2 to happen historically when they never got it to work in a historical manner). Very complex logistics system that makes invading Russia hell.
    - Divisions designable with up to 5 brigade slots. Combat system much more balanced than HoI4.
    - AI middle of the road. It's still poor and doesn't use its chain of command properly at all, but it knows the combat system quite well and won't kill itself in stupid battles. The game is still best played as a nation on the attack because on the defense it's fairly easy to just dig in so hard that the AI doesn't even try to attack and wars become a stalemate. Encirclements are pretty easy to pull off and you can win fairly ahistorically easy and quickly if you are good, but there is still always some challenge due to the logistics which WILL bite you in the ass when you think you're about to win and all your units suddenly become combat-incapable.

    HoI2 (get Darkest Hour though):
    - Middle of the road complexity. HQs are represented on-map but much more simplified with no chain of command structure, you just put them next to your big armies to reduce penalties for large stacks. Tech system has less options but individual tech teams are selected to research each tech (which can be annoyingly micro heavy). Logistics is highly simplified but can still bite you in the ass eventually.
    - Most complex actually-working political system, which also makes various total conversion mods work better when they aren't just WW2 and done. All the best mods are in DH, compared to HoI3 which has almost no good modding scene and HoI4 which is mostly joke mods interspersed with mods that were better in their DH version.
    - No divisional design, your only options are attaching a specialized brigade to each one.
    - Best combat AI. Mostly it's similar to HoI3, but having far less provinces lets the AI focus its strength (head on attacks) better while its weakness (doing something dumb on large fronts) is minimized. Combat is realistically fairly bloody and in most cases winning the war is the hardest and the bloodiest of any game.
     
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  4. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Darkest Hour> HoI4 > Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Kim Kardashian ruling the world> HoI 3.
     
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  5. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    Just to correct, the units don't automagically cross water, you need convoys to do that and the convoys are still prone to attacking. The thing removed is separate transport ships from other convoys.

    This is actually one of the worst things with the AI since the AI *loves* to move stuff around by water whenever possible if it's even marginally faster, which in turn if you don't have total naval supremacy will lead to lots of coastal garrisons committing suicide by mass drowning.
     
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  6. Make America Great Again Average Manateegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Everyone has plenty of convoys (due to them being cheap and shipyards having nothing else to build), so it's pretty automagical.

    The AI in general has no concept of risk assessment in HoI4. See: Half the German army trying to support the Italians in Ethiopia... by taking a nice cruise across the English channel and planning to go around South Africa. I think Paradox is finally going to hardcode the AI to not ship armies across certain water zones (only more than a year after release major issues like this get fixed), but that really just shows that they have no way to teaching the AI not to do risky things, they can only hardcode it away.
     
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  7. Alexiosgender: ⚧ Novice

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    I still miss the casualty reports from HOI2. There was something very satisfying about getting to see that your naval bombers killed 13,000 soldiers when it sank a transport.
     
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  8. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    My experience with the AI in HoI4 is that it's mentally unstable or something, since while it often does something like that then with certain countries (changes from patch to patch) it is very good at exploiting openings you forgot about or the sort. It's particularly more aggressive with naval invasions than in the previous HoI games, which I somewhat appreciate since HoI3 Japan and British AI was just hopeless (mostly just because the AI was just incapable of handling dispersed theaters that involved naval invasions; most mods IIRC in HoI3 dealt with this in regards to Japan just by spawning new troops for Japan at destination so the AI wouldn't just fail). Though Japan's AI is still probably the weakest one overall, invading the home islands is just effortless, at least the British nowadays have a large force there.

    (Also since I play almost exclusive Kaiserreich in HoI4, I do have to note that I haven't yet seen the AI do a suicide run across entire hostile oceans, but this might be because Kaiserreich restricts factions and has a radically different map which might be easier for the AI's addled machine mind to understand; however as I noted previously they will still send far too many divisions to Africa and the Middle East when more than one country in the faction has plenty to send so supply limits are broken multiple times over and no one is going to get anywhere)
     
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  9. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    HoI4 AI is definitely lacking, but it's still good enough for 100-150h hours while you learn the ropes. After that AI mods and sliders can give easily give you additional 100-150h hours of decent fun until you learn to trash everything. And after that it's onto the total conversion mods.

    I guess the issue is that classic strategy games of the past can be played and enjoyed indefinitely, while Hoi4 certainly has an expiration date after which you just can't be beaten by AI without extensive LARPing. But it's still fun for good couple hundred hours.
     
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  10. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    I dunno, strategy game AI has *always* been beatable once you learn its pattern or what cheats it has. You need a specific sort of game where a computer will be unbeatable for a human player.

    Personally I'd say there's nothing wrong with that, to me MK Walker AIs are for masochists.
     
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  11. Space Satangender: ⚧ Arcane

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    HoIIV do have casualty repors. Per battle, per war and others.
     
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  12. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    They're a bit hidden tho, and don't they have a 12 month limit? Or am I remembering that rong?
     
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  13. Space Satangender: ⚧ Arcane

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    They count per war if I remember correctly, and I never had a situation when i checked losses for a year old battle.

    As for comparison,
    HoI II was great but still lacking and with a very difficult learning curve. Plus, it had atrocious balance decisions.
    HoI III - unplayable due to micromanagement hell, it's like a Maste rof Orion III compared to MoO II. Political system was a clusterfuck, with belligerance castrating entire early game. Never bothered to check AI effectiveness because who cares about AI effectiveness when entire game is a mess.
    HoI IV - easiest learning curve, customization is on okay level. Best of all, early game is no longer sitting for years and watching divisions being built. You can actually fight Spanish Civil War, instead of just clicking on an event like "se тв volunteers" resulting in +1000 manpower. Endorsed ahistorical play was a nice decision because historical games get boring very fast, especially given how easy it is to outsmart AI.

    Overall, HoIIV in my opinion is the best HoI so far. Mostly because they took right direction of developement. They axed shitty balance decisions, like assigning cutting USSR combat effectivenes by 80% just to prevent early agression. Instead, they adde decisions to make players take Purge because it opens the path to another research slot. Early agression makes Axis and allies stronger etc. Overall, they decided to stick with soft counters instead of hard ones. AI is shit but it is manageable with time. And fact that mod like ExpertAI can turn Ais into a horror for unprepared players or those who got used to meta templates, is a proof that it could be used to full potential still. Also, devs said they want to move away from cookiecutter templates and stick division design to doctrine more.
     
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  14. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    Another thing to note about HoI3 is that without mods the game actively hated the idea of letting you play as anyone except the starting majors, and even there it really wanted you to stick with Germany, US, UK, or USSR. Even France, Japan, and Italy arguably had too little Leadership to be able to produce enough officers and to keep up with at least ONE tech area. Minors could at best keep up with a fraction of a single unit type's techs and have crap officer ratio.
     
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  15. Space Satangender: ⚧ Arcane

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    minors should act like minors. On the other side...
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    Gist is that HoI3 without mods left NOTHING for minors to do at all (plus its licensed production was just fucked). HoI4 does by far the best in the series in this regard which is hugely important from a game viewpoint.

    EDIT: Guess here, but I'd figure those are some very very small divisions? Since only other alternative is for Luxembourg to have gotten additional territory with extra manpower to Scrape.

    EDIT2: And again, one of the reasons that makes HoI4 Kaiserreich so amazing is how it "balances" the globe and makes power gaps much smaller and number of potential powers far higher (in vanilla there's only one genuine potential SURPRISE! major which is Hungary going with the Habsburg restoration path and lucking out with world tension build-up rate), which is further assisted by the very welcome strangling of factions in favor of allowing for local wars. A big problem in vanilla and most mods is that after X amount of world tension every war will be subsumed into the big war going on, which drastically limits possibilities for unexpected developments.

    That's really why Kaiserreich for HoI4 is just simply unmatched among HoI games, it's the only one that's built specifically around derailing. They present a start scenario, and after that EVERYTHING is up in the air and those deviations are fleshed out and made important. There's no sense of satisfactory "goals" to hit in vanilla or any other HoI game or mod in the same manner, or evolving "goals" like my personal example of starting a Sweden campaign with the purpose of creating a Nordic empire that was a constitutional monarchy, after which I then realized that "hey, I'mma see if I can swing the war against the Internationale singlehandedly for Mitteleuropa".
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
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  17. Make America Great Again Average Manateegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Vaarna_Aarne isn't happy until Finland can beat the Soviets.

    Real life minors did have problems keeping up in tech and production. Even Japan failed to keep up in stuff like Radar/Carrier/Aircraft with the USA, which is sort of the highest priority for their situation. They entered the war with really good stuff but by the end were outclassed everywhere.
     
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  18. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Mate, Finland is one of the easiest non-major countries to play.
     
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  19. Space Satangender: ⚧ Arcane

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    DD about...lots of things. Wow, they are making some radical changes
    Show Spoiler

    Hello everyone! Today we are going to be talking about National Unity, or rather the fact that it no longer exists…

    National Unity
    National Unity first made its appearance in Hearts of Iron III, basically as a mechanic to make France surrender at an appropriate time (when Paris fell essentially). It was largely moved over to HOI4 unchanged. While it does accomplish what we wanted it's also a very restrictive currency to work with design wise. A player who is winning doesn't really care what their NU is, making a lot of focus choices meaningless in those instances (or almost, there is always that time your country gets blanketed in nukes and someone dropping paras on one of your big cities seals the deal in multiplayer). We wanted to model different nations better and make sure we could do more interesting focuses and events where picking a loss of NU wasn't always the better choice compared to giving up, say, political power. So what's the answer?

    Stability and War Support
    These are two new values shown in the topbar that replace National Unity. Stability models the people's unity and support for the current government. War Support on the other hand represent the people’s support of war and of fully committing to fighting that war. As an example Britain in 1936 would be a pretty stable nation, but with very low war support. A nation like France would be much more unstable and with equally low war support, while Japan would have high war support and also high stability (mostly due to the emperor’s influence).

    Stability average is 50% and nations with higher stability than that gain bonuses to industry, political power and consumer goods. Once you drop below 50% there are penalties instead as well as lowering your surrender limit (although nothing as extreme as how NU affected things). Strong party support helps increase stability, but being in a war - no matter how well supported - is going to lower your stability. Stability also works to protect against coups against your nation as well.

    War Support has several passive effects and also limits several of the laws. You can’t switch to full War Economy without enough war support for example.

    Note that in the picture below France is getting +30% war support because they have been attacked by Germany. An offensive war on the other hand for Germany actually hurts their war support. This comes with some interesting balancing effects:
    • Democracies challenging Germany early over Rhineland etc would put themselves as attackers, forcing them to fight hindered by the war support penalty.
    • Fascist or aggressive nations will generally have more initial war support but are likely to be surpassed by democracies in a defensive war when it comes to war support.
    • Defensive nations will be able to ramp up army sizes faster due to mobilization speed while attackers need to play a bit more carefully. The return of “national pride” from HOI3 in the form of combat bonuses on core territory will help here too.
    Speaking of mobilization speed, you no longer get a chunk of manpower instantly when enacting conscription laws or other changes to recruitable manpower. Instead how quickly the manpower is made available by the law change is controlled by your mobilization speed. The higher the war support the faster new manpower trickles in.
    [​IMG]

    The air war also affects things as successful enemy bombing (or nuking) will lower War Support. Shooting down enemy bombers will offset this somewhat, as people are seeing you fight back against the enemy.

    Here is an example on what can happen in a nation with low war support and low stability in a war. The severity of these particular options depends on exactly how low your stability/war support are. Here it's pretty bad.
    [​IMG]

    For Germany a good way of raising war support is to pull off its diplomatic expansions without being opposed:
    [​IMG]

    War support is also affected by how your allies manage. If a major ally surrenders it will lower your war support, so make sure to keep your friends in the war. On the flip side successfully capitulating major enemies increases your war support.

    There are also some new ways to affect War Support and Stability outside events, ministers and national focuses that we aren't ready to show off yet ;)

    See you again next week!

    Last edited: Today at 14:28
    Reject reason to make the impossible possible!
     
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  20. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Bleh, those mechanics look like a massive nerf to minor nations that cannot go to war or ramp up stability/war support through focus trees.
     
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  21. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    A welcome change in my opinion, National Unity was too simplistic.

    EDIT: But yea, I agree that it also needs to be something that you can manage or affect outside of preset focus tree choices.

    The problems really start in case of HoI3's leadership in that the game has an extremely large tech tree and you have a huge need for officers, whereas it massively hamstrings minors by not giving enough Leadership in the base game to cover even the basic needs adequately. Issue isn't so much that minors can't keep up with anything, issue is that minors can't even keep up with infantry techs and doctrines alone. In the base game even the lower end majors like Japan have a huge problem in this regard that they don't have even a chance at keeping up with the leadership demands they're expected to meet even if they prioritize. The only exception to this was Germany, who had so much leadership that Germany would end up having best and most advanced land, air, and sea forces with everything at minimum at date-penalty limits right down to using cutting edge carrier task forces without any costs. Well, assuming it wasn't one of the patches where submarines were battle-ninjas of the sea.

    This I'd say is one aspect where HoI3 was a huge step back from HoI2 and why it was great that HoI4 rolled back towards HoI2 but with a twist of its own in decoupling IC and research slots. Now the mechanics encourage taking priorities rather than punish not being able to do everything at once like in HoI3. I suppos one bummer though is that the priorities are generally only slightly varied, like for instance fighter research is very unlikely to budge from its position of prominence in air research you need to do. Kaiserreich is also quite neat in this regard in that the scenario in KR has more varied geography play major roles since there are far more important conflict theaters across the globe, so you have more countries where priority might be with Marine or Mountaineer research above every other land division type thanks to Mongolia's surroundings being best managed with Mountaineers and Cavalry even before considering need for getting a lot with as few factories as possible.

    Equipment is also a much better way of doing what Officer ratio was supposed to do.
     
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  22. Alexiosgender: ⚧ Novice

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    Maybe I'm missing something but this manpower change doesn't seem to make any sense. In HOI, just because manpower is there doesn't mean you're immediately getting units. You still have to build them and wait months for them to be fielded. Mobilization speed made sense in Victoria 2, but here it just seems like a needless obstacle.
     
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  23. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    Well there is some basis in having it like that, since currently you essentially just up the conscription law when you need to for an instant influx of new reserves when your previous law is running out. So it takes a bit more foresight, which I approve of.

    On the otherhand, I definately don't want to see a Victoria style manpower model, because in case of Victoria games the manpower model has bloat elements that are decidedly purely a chore and anti-fun. There's no reason to tie manpower to specific provinces and states so you end up needing to build new fucking regiments to replace ones that vanish because of their place of origin, rather than worrying about overall manpower. Also of note would be that mobilization forces in Victoria 2 are purely meatshields, since they are just infantry regiments, without artillery and cavalry (and later tanks and airplanes) and engineers and guard regiments you largely have them for the mega-occupation+encirclement human wave.
     
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  24. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    Btw, Progress Report 30 for next version of Kaiserreich is up, detailing the changes to countries outside of Africa, with reworked or new trees and events for Switzerland, Serbia, and Siam.
     
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  25. fantadomatgender: ⚧ Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Edgy

    fantadomat
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    Hahahaha it seems that they played Kaiserreich.Fucking retarded swedes.I am curious if there is even one competent guy at their company.Their whole game history is copying other peoples work,and doing it poorly.It is really sad that there is not a competition on the market.
    By the way does anyone knows when approximately the new version of kaiserreich will come out?I take it that it will come out some time after the next dlc-patch.
     
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