Interview

Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour Interview (PC)

Hearts of Iron III – Paradox’s most ambitious game is sadly one of the most troublesome. By the studio’s own admission it tried to do a little too much all at once and is a little bit too complex for its own good. Bit by bit though, the team at the 'Paradox Development Studios' has been improving and re-working bits of the game to make it more fun and interesting.

We fired off some questions to Project Lead Dan Lind about the new upcoming expansion, Their Finest Hour:

Strategy Informer: Hmmm, you’re not Johan. Where’s Johan gone? What have you done with him!?

Dan Lind: Have you checked the bunker? :D Nah, since Paradox Development Studio has been growing so well (we have 3 full game teams now!), Johan has started off-loading more responsibility on the individual teams. How else would he have time for beer drinking? ;) The team working on Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour is the same one that worked on Hearts of iron III: For the Motherland and Victoria II: A House Divided expansion.

 

Strategy Informer: Every Hearts of Iron III expansion has had a ‘theme’, what’s the theme for the expansion Their Finest Hour? It can’t be the Battle of Britain – which was totally our finest hour – because none of the material to date suggests that the aerial warfare mechanics are being changed.

Dan Lind: Our expansions for Hearts of Iron III have never really been that focused on a particular theme feature wise. We have always preferred overall improvements with one or two features to go with the theme. The feature referencing the title is our new strategic warfare screen giving you much more detailed long term information on how the aerial war, bombing and convoy raiding/defence are going. So it is very much part of the Battle of Britain, albeit an abstraction.

Strategy Informer: Espionage is being worked on for the first time since release, but there are plenty of areas still left untouched… what’s currently the biggest thing you’d like to change or improve upon?

Dan Lind: The entire air war model could do with a make-over. We had a look at doing this for the expansion, but we decided it was such a radical change that it would fit better in a possible sequel... I want to make it much more visible to the player without being so micro intensive.

Strategy Informer: Tell us more about the ‘Elite’ Units – how do they fit in with Heart of Iron’s larger army management structure? How will you make them ‘stand out’?

Dan Lind: The idea is that they are specialized infantry with generally strong terrain bonuses. Each nation's elite units have unique stats and models. Whether it's the US Rangers bonus to combat in rough terrain, the Soviet Guard's high morale or the Alpini's mountain warfare skill they are each pretty different. They are also limited in number so it will be important to pick the most suitable battlefields for them to maximize their capabilities.

 

Strategy Informer: The custom game-mode seems to offer an ‘accelerated’ start to the main game – was that a fan-request or did you just want to offer more flexibility?

Dan Lind: The main proponent was Johan actually, he's been nagging me about it since Semper Fi! But I have had several multi-player groups talk to me about this as well, so it´s definitely a fan-request we took to our hearts. The idea is that you can start at a later date and not have to play from 1936 to get your country to where you want it. It saves a lot of time in multi-player. In single player I expect players will like it for the experimentation as it lets you quickly test completely new technology tracks and army compositions.

Strategy Informer: The Naval systems seem to be getting tweaked again – are you having trouble getting that element to work how you want it too?

Dan Lind: The invasions have always been a bit tricky to get right, I have to admit. But we are now introducing new ships and technology for handling naval invasion. This should definitely give much more control and flavour I hope.

Strategy Informer: Members of the HoI dev team, including Johan and King, have mentioned before how with Hearts of Iron III they tried to do too much all at once, so the base product wasn’t as good as it should be. Three years on, if you could go back in time and do it all again, how would the base product differ?

Dan Lind: We still love our game, and with patches and updates as well as expansions we do think it is a great game and we are proud of it. But if we got to go back in time and do it all again, then we would most likely hold back a lot more on the complexity. Many systems like supply and weather are big and complex, but don’t really give the player the right tools to understand and work with them easily. They are also hard to balance from a developer perspective to make them fun, which is of course one of the most important things! When we design expansions for other games, it is usually a question of coming up with new features to put in. In Hearts of Iron we already have so many features right from the start that it is more a question of taking existing features and giving them a do-over to make them fun and easier to use. If there is something we learned over the last couple of years it is that it’s better to have a smaller game that works and then add more things to it though patches and updates. Rather than to put everything in at once and get it too rough around the edges.

 

Strategy Informer: Is this a ‘last hurrah’ for Hearts of Iron III? Does the team want to continue making expansions for this game or move on to something else?

Dan Lind: When you have a good game, I believe you can always keep adding more cream on top of the cake. But you never know, I can´t confirm or deny it right now… ;) But I have to admit that the ideas we want to do are getting bigger and bigger and do not always lend themselves well to the incremental improvements you can do in expansions.

Thanks go to Dan for taking the time to talk to us. Their Finest Hour is due out later this year.

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Comments

By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jul 12, 2012
nocutius
Looking forward to this, I have all the expansions so far and I'll probably be getting this one as well.
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 12, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
I love strategic games, WW2 ones especially, I love Paradox's entire EU-series, Cruseader Kings, I love the deeper and more abstract gaming experience. I think I meet al the geek-requirements to play a game like HOI.

Then why on earth have I never understood this series? I've tried it so many times but it's sooooo difficult that I just give it up, time and time again... I think that I could really enjoy it, so please tell me: how do you play a game like this?
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jul 12, 2012
nocutius
For me it's the same with Crusader Kings, I love all their other games but CK and similar games(Sengoku, Rome) are just not working for me.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 12, 2012
SirRoderick
Have you tried playing it since they updated the theaters? You can assign theaters very easily now and let your army be run by the AI on any level. You can let the AI take care of the whole theater, or you can take control of one particular army and have the rest given seperate objectives while you focus on one region (the way I do it)

I takes out a LOT of micromanagement.

It might do you some good to watch a couple videos though.

A basic tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q026xS5QDGI

A let's play that you might pick a few things up on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pciP2KDwAK0

It IS a very complex game, but the great thing is that you can delegate almost every responsibilty to the AI! So if you are overwhelmed, you can focus on one section at a time. Once you manage to figure most of it out, it is a very rewarding and enjoyable game!
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 12, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
thanks man , I'm checking it out as we speak
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 13, 2012
SirRoderick
If you have any more specific questions, feel free to ask ^_^
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 13, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
For starters, what's the best faction to play to get a grip on it?
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 13, 2012
SirRoderick
Some say a small faction is easier...but you're so impotent in that situation that I just don't agree. There's too little to do. Personally I'd go for Germany, which was also my own first game. Italy might work well too.

As Germany, start in 1936 and focus on bulding a military force and on research. You can keep the theaters on AI control completely and just let them handle the war when it happens while you figure out the finer points of managing production etc. Maybe take charge of a single army or corps if you feel up to it. The AI will even reorganise all your troops into a pretty good command structure for you, you can literally just assign them a target and watch them fight.

You'll probably lose, most likely due to Sovjet invasion, but you can use what you've learned to try again and adapt your strategy. It's the way I learned ^_^

With a game or two under your belt you'll probably have a much better idea of what units you want to build, what targets to attack and what tech you want to prioritise.

EDIT

A few general tips on Germany. They don't have a lot of manpower, so go for high quality! Also try to use trading early on to build up a stock of metal and rare resources, you WILL run out if you don't. The USSR is very kindly willing to trade you a lot of materials :)
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 14, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
I'm being persuaded to play a game I'm probably going to lose and I'm kinda falling for it too. It's a bit masochistic, but I somehow feel attracted to games I don't understand at first.

I'll put your advice to good use, and maybe I'll be showing off screens of Netherlands having conquered entire Europe later on :), as I did in CK2.
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 14, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
Some further questions though,
1) What do I learn from watching my AI led army being beaten?
2) If I want to play a corps, do I detach it from the AI-led OKW and play it as a human-led "splinter - cell" ?
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 14, 2012
SirRoderick
1) Well keep an eye on WHY they're losing. Is it just the AI's tactics? Or are they fighting under circumstances that you might have prevented by utilising different units and tech? If you're being continually attacked by aircraft for instance, it might not be a bad idea to increase the amount of interceptors in your building plan. Maybe you have a lot of infantry fighting armoured targets and you need some Tank Destroyers or AT guns in there. Are there forts and rivers impeding progress? That means engineers. Not enough fuel getting to the front? Research improved fuel production and maybe build more infrastructure.

And that's just a couple things that can go wrong ^_^

2) The easiest way to do this is to just select the relevant HQ unit and click the red X mark on the left of the unit interface, the one that detaches it from the unit hierarchy. That way you can let the rest of your army be under the AI controlled theatre and you'll be leading a seperate army or corps.

the other way to do it is to NOT put the theater itself under AI control, but all the seperate armies with their own objectives. You can assign ANY HQ unit to AI control, at any level.

One thing I often do is have say three army groups on a front. Two I'll assign AI objectives and basically leave to themselves while I control the third personally, so I can focus on a smaller area.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 14, 2012
SirRoderick
Another handy thing! The HOI3 wiki!

http://www.paradoxian.org/hoi3wiki/Newbie_guide
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jul 14, 2012
nocutius
I'd vote for Germany as the first country to play too, it's by far the most interesting of the major ones.
At least it's the country I play first and the most often in any HoI game, Axis in general are interesting as I don't really like simply repeating the history.

Italy would be good too, it can get a lot of action while at the same time you don't have to face the Russians :).
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 14, 2012
SirRoderick
Playing AS the Russians was my single easiest game ever...I just sort of steamrolled everything automatically :/
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jul 14, 2012
nocutius
Yea, that's exactly why I never play as either USA or USSR but then again I always start in 36'.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 14, 2012
SirRoderick
Japan is a great game I think. The naval aspect is a little micro heavy, but I love conquering a pacific empire ^^
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 15, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
Great great guys. I of course gave Fritz a try the first time round, but I was daunted into replaying Panzer Corps instead. For a really easy starter, I think i might try China, as they did in the beginners Wiki. Very one dimensional and therefore easier to get a grip on all aspects without delegating everything to AI.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 15, 2012
SirRoderick
Whatever floats your boat buddy, I can only repeat that the game is very rewarding if you actually scale that initial cliff!

And I never managed to hold of the Japanese as China soooooooooo....good luck!
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 17, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
Im watching and learning from YTs Lets Plays. Some questions come to mind.

i. What is the rule for making a good army? Id only ever make Panzer Divisions. Is that the way to go? Is there a good way of subdividing everything?

ii. Is it possible to leave the entire Naval aspect to AI? Patrolling and raiding seems very tedious work.

iii. Why does Poland surrender and France only has its territory conquered?

iv. Why would you build puppet states? Ive seen games where your supposed allies just sit back and do nothing. That seems uncool.

v. Whats this Rare Metal thing and the urge to go after it on the Russian Taigas?

vi. Ive seen a naval supply line. Does a similar line exist on land, so that you can cut your enemy's one off? Or is that line just the strip of territory that connects him to its HQ.

I look forward to hearing
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 17, 2012
SirRoderick
I.
Well there a few thing to keep in mind. The most important ones are attack, defence, supply and build cost.

Attack, look for "Hard" and Soft" attack values on those units. Some units are ONLY good at attacking either hard or sof targets. An AT gun for instance won't do that well against infantry, the basic soft unit. There's also toughness and...I think the other's called tenacity? Well the two values with little shields for icons with either and arrow pointing towards it or away from it. Those tell you how much this unit will suffer when it attacks or defends. Some units are just much better at defending, such as again the AT gun.

Supply and cost...look at how much it takes to build! Manpower, IC and time are all different. On top of that, certain units will consume a lot more supplies and fuel than others. So if you were to spam panzers for instance, you might have a serious fuel shortage.

And on top of all that, there' bonusses for having combined arms in a battle. Tanks and infantry/support division. For a panzer division I usually have 1 actual armour unit and then two motorised infantry to support them. Or two armour and one inf, the point is getting that combined arms at a divisional level.

So all together, a good amry is entirely dependent on both your enemy's army and your own industry and supply.

II.
Yes you can! You can assign all naval units to an HQ and just put it on AI control. I usually make it a theatre HQ and give it control over the coastal provinces I want it keeping safe. Maybe I'll add some basic land units if it has an important port to guard.

III.
Well it's to do with National Unity and territory. A country only ever surrenders when the national unity is lower than the percentage of Victory points their enemies have captured. That said some countries are just different, like France might be split into German controlled lands and Vichy France. Poland might be annexed completely or split with the USSR. So really, it's complicated.

IV.
Puppet states, well that means that's less territory for you to cover with your own army. Personally I don't use the option much.

V.
Rare materials are resources like rubber, aluminium, etc. They are quite needed to fuel an industry and if you run out, you will lose part of your IC. They're on the regular map just like metal and oil. You can tell where deposits can be found by switching to your "resource" map mode.

Not sure what you mean by the Russian taiga on that one.

VI.
The supply lines on maps simply follow the provinces. If a province needs supplies to give to a unit and doesn't have enough on it's own , it asks all the adjacent ones. If it can't find enough there, each of those can do the same. One "check" takes one day. The rate at which supply gets transported along the lines is determined by infrastructure level and "throughput". the former can be improved by building more infrastructure, the latter by researching certain technlogies.

It's a good idea to have at least one "line" of provinces running from your capital (the source of all supply) to your front that have good infrastucture. (there's another mapmode for easy overview).

One last thing you can do to improve supply is use airdrops with, I think, transport planes.

PHEW!....well I hope that helps!
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 22, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
thanks mate!

"really, it's complicated"; I am so glad you agree.

Ive watched a million let's plays now, and combined with your help I'm gonna give it another try. A more educated one this time.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 22, 2012
SirRoderick
Well anything else you need buddy ^_^
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 23, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
Damn Poles. It took me 6 weeks to make them _yield_, not even surrender... What's that all about? (I played the HOI3 v1.0 demo, mind you, but after today I'll be fully equipped untill FTM)

Some questions come to mind :
(1) What is the way to go when delegating to AI? I tried it at OKW level, Heeresgruppe Level, and Armee Level. I get the impression that the AI is not that good at directing an attack straight from the OKW level. Even with aggressive instructions it would just stay still (especially in lower Poland), causing me to fail. So then I restarted and delegated on Army Level. There are about 5 of them invading Poland, so that's well managable. But even then it just refused to attack, even on Blitz stance. I only beat them after delegating Heeresgruppe South entirely to AI, and taking charge of one northern Army, leaving the other (from Prussia) to the AI. It finally budged when I singlehandedly broke through and encircled, but before that? no way... Is there some lesson in this, other than that I shouldn play the outdated demo anymore?

(2) What is the way to go with airplanes... Is it best to attach to the highest command Level, and use them yourself, or to attach to the lower Army levels and let the AI figure it out? Is it possible to have a seperate theaterHQ for your airforce, so that you can give them targets to go after, until neutralized?

(3) What is the function of a Coastal Fortress? IS it advisable to use them as part of your Atlantik Wall? Previous gaming experience tells me these things are rarely worth their investment...

(4) Can I use that transportplane for paratroopers? Are they useful early on?

(5) Is it true that, when I trade within the European mainland, the transportation doesnt involve convoys on the ocean? That would mean a much safer way of trading.

(6) My copy of For the Motherland gives me only 4 scenarios/starting dates to start from, and not the regular map from which you can choose your faction. Any idea what that is all about? Do I first have to finish one of those 4?

Thanks Rod, and Im sure some more questions will pop sooner or later
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 23, 2012
SirRoderick
Six weeks isn't that bad, the game usually takes a little longer for those lightning campaigns ^_^

1) Well the AI definitely gets better with the FTM expansion. I haven't had problems with passive AI's too much. Although it's still always the best option to manage an assault yourself as much as possible for best effect. You can just see intuitive oppurtunities where the AI might not. Also, the AI tends to move up pretty steadily and uniformly even in blitz. Brealthrough and evelopments are best accomplished by hand. I usually delegate on the Army Group level and take one of them for my own.

2)I usually manage air myself, but it can be pretty micro heavy. The AI seems to do a pretty good job using them though, so feel free to attach them to automated HQ's. Also, while it IS possible to make a seperate HQ for them, they won't be doing much without an actual assigned theatre, they need territory to defend/attack from basically.

3) A coastal fort gives a combat bonus to a land unit stationed in that province when a enemy unit try an invasion from the sea to that province. Don't bother getting them myself, since the coast is typically too large in my games. They ARE useful in the Pacific, when fighting over the myriad of islands.

4) Yes you can! You can drop paratroopers wherever you wish within the range of those planes. You just load the troops in at the airport and select the appropriate mission. The same planes should be able to airdrop supplies as well, so your paratroopers will never be out of supply as long as you have air superiourity.

As for usefullness, DEFINITELY get the airborne equipment tech or whatever it's called if you plan on using them. Greatly improves effectiveness and reduces supply consumption.

5) Pretty sure that's correct, yes.

6) There is a button called "custom start" I think, click that!

Hope that helps! Don't hesitate to come back for more questions ^_^
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 24, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
I beat Poland in four weeks now! oofff...

But then I got completely bogged down invading France and Belgium, appearently because too much forces were preoccupied invading the Baltics and Norway.

When playing from 1939 it's all crystal clear but when I start over from 1936, I will be building up myself towards invading Poland. Now this may seem a bit silly to you, but it touches on one of the aspects that daunted me the most at the beginning: How will I know what forces to build and how many will be enough? How do I make a calculated guess how much forces I need for my plans
(i) to capture a country (preferably before even having declared war), and on a broader scale
(ii) capturing all of Europe and the world...?
(iii) How do I know how many ships will be enough to at least keep Britain at bay?
(iv) How do I know how many Airplains I need to support my groundtroops?

The NOOB thing to do would be to squirt out as much as possible, but that doesnt seem feasable.

I've seen Lets Plays were guys can tell from a distance whether a country is going to make it, or whether an army is strong enough to invade. Is there a rule of thumb or a good way of telling this?
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 24, 2012
SirRoderick
Oh that's not silly at all, that's one of the major gameplay elements, estimating required strenght is tricky. Getting good army intel form the espionage function can give you a hint about army composition and allow you to gear up an army to counter it, but generally you'll know what they'll have. USSR is always going to have masses of infantry supported by tanks for instance.

Experience is the best way to gauge these situations I guess, there's a lot of different factors. Numbers, quality, supply and infrastructure, air superiourity, types of units, industrial capacity etc. In the end the most important thing is still numbers and firepower. That's why the USSR is such a hard nut to crack.

The real trick is seeing what you could have done better. You for instance recognised that you might have had too many troops tied up in the North. You should then ask yourself how to fix that. Do you just need more troops in general? Can you do with fewer troops in the North? Need more air support to bust open those entrenched positions?

Maybe also utilise the troops you HAVE in the west differently, try passing through the Netherlands or enticing an army to attack a weak point in your line and encircling them. By that I mean just allowing the enemy to break through, but keeping many units in reserve behing the line and sending them in to cut off the advance after a portion of their troops overreach themselves.

As for general rules of thumb for Germany...don't even try to outdo Britain on the seas. Get your resources from the mainland. Focus on keeping your airspace safe against them and keep the fleets for when you need them (invading Britain itself). Oh and don't attack the Maginot line head on ^_^

You'll get better at it with experience!
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 24, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
Ok great.

Doesnt the Theater HQ provide you with an estimate, when it says "forces needed" ? But I guess that only works when you set a target beforehand, and for that you need to be at war....
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 24, 2012
SirRoderick
The forces estimate is only based on what is directly engagning them though, doing some recon flight and cheking out reserves is a good idea.

As for the forces required thing, That never makes any sense to me. They always ask so much more than is actually needed. Like I'll have an army that outnumbers and outguns the enemy 2 to 1 and it still claims it needs 50 more armour brigades, stuf like that.
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 24, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
I will go and up my own experience then I guess :)
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 24, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
Another thing;

Not to be morbid or anything, but is there a way to keep track of casualties inflicted or sustained, or PoWs captured? A statistic like that always gives me a more "natural" feel to how Im doing in the war.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 24, 2012
SirRoderick
I know you can look at all the ships sunk in the ledger somewhere, but I don't know about troop kills. Have a browse in there.
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 25, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
Oh, I found out that Paradox considered stats like that to be part of the darker pages of WW2. Therefore they didnt include it in HOI3.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 25, 2012
SirRoderick
Fair enough I guess.
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 27, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
Ok so I started out kicking some ass.

Its 1938 and I've conquered denmark,poland, yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, and queueing up for the Baltics. I drove Romania and Holland to my faction for their oil refining. Also Im influencing Turkey towards me. Now England DOWd me and Im getting kinda overrun by France, but Ill get him on his knees... Meanwhile I put my HQ's on Auto-organisation. NEVER do that after you made your own army arrangements; Im gonna have to spend at least an hour to set things right now...

Now:
(i) Are there downsides to conquering, in stead of puppetting? For example NU ?
(ii) I tried to invade Belgium through Holland, who gave me transit rights. When I wanted to attack, they suddenly became out of supply. Why is that? Does Holland need to actually be in my faction for me to use them as a staging area?
(iii) Is there a strategic gain from installing a Croatian nation? I dont get that. I want the resources.
(iv) Is it feasable to attack England without having a realllly good navy? I want them off my back...
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 27, 2012
SirRoderick
I. Well there's the possibility of partisans popping up when your conquer and you'll need to cover more land personally, but other than that you'll get more resources, IC, leadership etc out of properly conquered regions. Remember to set the appropriate occupation strategy in your politics tab depending on your needs.

II. I admit I'm a little confused on that myself. I thought transit right included supply lines. I've always just conquered them. If they're in your faction you should definitely get supply through, although I'm not sure if the Netherlands will join you.

III. Not really no, if you need resourse then occupy and ecploit the fark out of it ^_^

IV. Absolutely. The things I needed for England are the following: A large transport fleet filled to the brim with troops, a powerful airforce to make sure said troops aren't pounded into the dust too much and I used a few paratroopers to capture key point. The rest of my navy formed a screen either side of the channel to keep any British ships busy while I ferried troops across. I lost a good number of ships, but I ended up with nearly half a million troops on their soil, more than enough to take everything over.
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 28, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
So Russia Dow'd me after I took London (which was a piece of cake by the way). Now I have one very urgent question ; I NEED to have turkey and Romania in my faction, but they refuse to join. They keep saying it is 'impossible'. How do I get them to join me????

I now face an increasingly stronger Russia in april '40, and I dont know how to defeat them. After theyƩ finished, I win the game, but before that?? My supplies are great by the way, very easy to keep high on oil and gas if you keep Holland near your faction but neutral, so you can use their resources in Indonesia.

But can you help my with my Russia problem?
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 28, 2012
SirRoderick
The "impossible thing", I have no idea why some countries just don't seem to join you. The only oher option is invading them and conquering or puppeting them. If it's a victory condition, puppeting works.

As for Russia, a big ass army and clever tactics is your best bet. They're just going to try and steamroll over you with pure numbers. Direct them towards areas with poor supply, bomb infrastructure, starve them of supplies and fuel. Let them break through your lines where you have strong, fast troops in reserve and cut off portions of their army entirely when they do, then destroy them.

Fighting the USSR is the single hardest war in the game basically.
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 30, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
Its summer 1941 and I have conquered UK and Sovjet Union. Not bad for a first game I guess.... It was a war I got sucked into by the Majors continually declaring war on me, so I never really had enough time to prepare, let alone BLitz my way through. In the end Germany seemed to have the most muscle power though. Even the resources weren't much of a problem. I only ran out of oil and fuel on the outskirts of Moscow, which I was able to fix by then. A key part was lowering national unity. I couldnt have done it without that.

Thanks for all your help Rod! And of course the AI is really wonderful.

I still have a couple of questions tho:
(1) UK is a government in Exile, but some parts of Asia are still UK. For example India could declare itself independent... Why is this?
(2) I want to continue and start controlling the East. That leaves me with the problem of policing Russia. Is there an easy way to do this? I tried setting the local theater to blitzing stance with some motorised divisions, but it doesnt reaally work.
(3) Do you have a suggestion for a gameplan from now? I have two heeresgruppen on the border of India right now, but it's not as if I _need_ anymore conquests...
(4) After having finished Russia and UK I had just under 500 brigades. The tally for the "large army" bonus is 800 brigades, and Ive seen letsplays where they didn't even start the war before having this many brigades. I feel like my army is maybe a bit to small? Or is it just that you don't _need_ a big army when you start the war in 1938?
(5) Wargoals : If I win with wargoal "conquest", why do I get all the territory, and f.e. Romania doesnt get anything from what they conquered?
(6) Is there a difference between on the one hand first winning on "conquest" and then creating a puppet, and on the other hand winning on "create puppet" immediately? I would prefer the first wargoal, as you still keep a choice then.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 30, 2012
SirRoderick
Well, that was pretty good progress! I must be better than I thought ^_^ 1941 is bloody quick too. I usually wrap up a game in 1943-44.

I. They are a government in exile, meaning you captured their home territory and they basically moved out. They still run the other territories as I understand it, like India.

II. Policing Russia? Well if you really want to try and police all of it, you're going to need a LOT of troops attached to that territory. Preferably things like MPs, militia and cavalry for the simple reason that they're cheap. MP also get a bonus in keeping order if I'm not mistaken, but I'm not sure exactly what that was.

III.If you haven't made your victory conditions yet, just make a straight line for what else you need. If you won but are just playing for the hell of it, well the States are fun to invade ^_^

IV. Well yeah, you started the war WAY ahead of shedule, so everyone's a little undergunned. Usually I'd expect you to be worn down by the USSR in that case or get bogged down in France due to a lack of punch. But you seemed to have handled yourself pretty well for a relatively new player! As Germany, I usually use the historical chain of decisions to start the war, so I start in 1939-40.

V. I'm not sure on the mechanics behind that. I know sometimes my allies hang on to bits and sometomes they don't. Maybe it has something to do with how the war started (You declaring versus them declaring?)

VI. Nope, no difference.
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 30, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
Yeah me too. But I already said that I meet all the necessary geek-specs, so it shouldn't come as a surprise :).

Oh and btw : HOI3 is the most fulfilling gaming experience Ive ever had. It almost feels like a real life achievement when you win ...
Almost :))
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 30, 2012
SirRoderick
Told you ^_^
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Jul 31, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
O and I didn't play it on easier level, for the record...
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jul 31, 2012
SirRoderick
I never think you'd do that :)

Now try a Japan game, taking on the USA is a whole different ballgame.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Aug 01, 2012
herodotus
Might be time to re-install this monster. Having just completed a four volume tome on the Pacific War (the one closest to my heart, and my doorstep) I'd like to just ignore Europe and concentrate on an Allied operation against Japan starting 1st December 1941 with today's hindsights, and lack of ulterior motives from the US and GB Governments (a "what-if" if you like). With British, French, Dutch and German interests at stake in this theatre I'm hoping for some long term and complex strategies and alliances/treaties.
One rule - no nukes.

I appreciate all of your posts gentleman (Roderick and Horseman particularly) and the links for helpful videos. I haven't had the time, nor inclination to delve as deeply into the 'game' as I have now so time to go hermit on my PC.

Great interview again SI. You ask all the questions we think of.
By the_fourth_horseman (SI Veteran Member) on Aug 02, 2012
the_fourth_horseman
My German game is now entering the pacific theater, which is of course very easy by now with all my resources. Its '44 now and after Ive taken my 3 last victory locations in the east ( which of course good old lethargic Japan refuses to go after) Im headed for the US.

The pacific theater _really_ got me going again, even if I already have the world on it's knees. So you're right; I really am looking forward to playing a pacific faction. Especially Japan.