Hello and welcome to the first Dev diary for Their Finest Hour, the latest expansion pack for Hearts of Iron III. Today I'm going to talk about a rather interesting feature we call Custom Game Mode.
Basically, GCM allows you to make changes to your country before you start playing. You can simply tweak a couple of techs if you like, but you can also pretty much start from a blank slate and re-design your country as you choose. Simulation's great and all, but we appreciate that sometimes, you just want to run a war. So we thought we´d help you by speeding up the early years for those gamers who would like to jump straight into the action.We hope that this will be an interesting option both in single and multi player, SP users can experiment with different setups, and MP users will be able to start later scenarios with their own custom setup without having to play through years of peace to build their desired armies.
The way it works is you choose CGM and then the country you wish and hit play. Instead of launching into the game as normal, you're presented with the customisation screens. The first stop is the Diplomacy screen, where you can leave a faction, adjust your neutrality, or align to a faction. You cannot join factions at this point because it requires the faction leader to agree.
Next, we move on to the Technology screen. You start with whatever techs your nation normally has, and if you only want to make minor changes you can shift-click on techs to “unresearch” them. This gives you points, based on how long the tech would take to research, to spend on new techs which are instantly researched in this mode. However, if you want to make more radical changes there is also a “Clear all” button which removes every single tech so you can make your own setup from scratch. If you want to start with Italy having heavy tanks in 1936, go ahead:
Although you only have a limited number of points, so to get tanks you'll lag further behind in other areas.
Finally, it's the Build/Deployment stage. Here you receive points based on the historical size of your armed forces, which can be spent to instantly build units or buildings and deploy them onto the map. You can also right click on existing buildings via the province view to remove them in order to gain more points to spend. Anyone playing widespread empires, like the UK, will be glad to know that you can deploy into any controlled province in this mode, so you do not need to manually transport your forces around the world.
I'm sure some of you are wondering if this is modable, and the answer is yes. You can set the costs for the various options in Diplomacy, set a number of bonus points in any of the modes, assign bonus manpower or officers to Deployment, and you can also set custom values for individual nations.
So that's Custom Game Mode, but I am also going to reveal something else: Unique units. For TFH we have added a unique leg infantry type unit to each of the 7 major powers. They are:
ENG – Gurkhas.
USA – Rangers.
SOV – Guards.
GER - Waffen SS.
ITA – Alpini.
JAP - Imperial guard.
FRA - Chasseurs Alpins.
Each of these units is superior to a normal infantry brigade and has bonuses to certain stats to make them stand out from each other. The Waffen SS, for example, enjoy bonuses to urban combat and have some suppression, Soviet Guards have high morale, and US Rangers excel in fighting in rough ground, like woods or hills, and at night.
But before you start planning your all Gurkha army, these units can only be built in limited numbers. You'll always be able to build a base amount, around 6 brigades, and some additional based on the total number of infantry brigades you own.