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Developer Diary | Italy #1

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Ciao a tutti! Mano de Zombi here to welcome you all to a new Hearts of Iron 4 Dev Diary! As you know, summer is coming and, before my mind gets too distracted by the pleasures of Swedish summer I wanted to tell you about the first country to be revealed for the upcoming HOI expansion, By Blood Alone!
And as you might have guessed the country in question can be none other than la bella Italia!

Similar to how we did it last time for No Step Back, this first Dev Diary will focus on the content related to the historical and common branches of the Italian focus tree. In short, everything that comes for free with the Avalanche patch. Note that some content might change based on previous DLCs being active or not.

As usual, keep in mind that everything you’re about to see is still WIP so things might change before release and you will see some placeholder art, unlocalized texts and WIP values. Thanks for your understanding!

And having said that, cominciamo!
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Italy joined the Triple Entente in the Great War, after having been promised several territorial gains (Trentino and South Tyrol, Austrian Litorale, Eastern Friuli, Istria, Dalmatia, expansion of African colonies and small parts of Carnolia, Albania and Antalya). However, many of these promises would not be honored by the Allies during the Treaty of Versailles, with Italy receiving only a bit of the land expected (no expansion in Africa, no Fiume, Dalmatia, Carnolia…), while the cost of the war had been dire for the country, which was highly in debt after the war.

All this caused high social unrest, leading to Biennio Rosso and later to the rise of Fascism with Benito Mussolini at the helm. Through propaganda, violence, murder and intimidation, the fascists managed to entrench fascism in Italy, implementing a corporatist economic system and pursuing aggressive foreign policies with the ambition to expand Italian territories in the Balkans. Irredentism sentiment was fairly generalized.
During the early 20s and 30s, the campaign for the “Pacification of Libya” resulted in the commitment of multiple atrocities and, in October 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia. This action was condemned by the League of Nations, however the League of Nations did not take strong steps to discourage an Italian military buildup around the Ethiopian border or took any drastic measures against Italy during the war, out of fear of antagonizing Italy to the point of pushing Mussolini to an alliance with Germany. The Italo-Ethiopian conflict soon became the scenario of many more atrocities and war crimes.

And after this little piece of historical context, let’s take a look at how Italy looks in-game in 1936:

As you can see, Mussolini now has a trait, which can be upgraded throughout the focus tree (more on this later).
There are a fair amount of starting national spirits. The first three on the left you probably know from the current version, no changes there. The other five we’ll go into detail later since they will be recurring elements in the appropriate branches (civilian industry, military industry, army, airforce and navy, respectively).

Looking at the map, there’s been a few changes, let me briefly talk about some of the most relevant ones:
The split of the former Istria state into Litorale with the city of Trieste, and Istria with the city of Rijeka, whose name has changed to Fiume when under Italian control, and which is now Italian at game start.

In the beautiful coast of Dalmatia, the formerly missing Victory Points of Zadar (Zara when under Italian control) and Kotor have made an appearance, and Dubrovnik’s location has been adjusted. Compliance in Zara has been increased from 0% to 70%, to represent the significantly big amount of Italian population in the city.

In Albania, the new VP Durrës was added so that Tirana is no longer on the coast. More importantly, Italy will now have resource rights there.

There are a fair amount of new Victory Points all around Italy. Also, to keep it in line with other countries, VPs and states will now have the Italian name.

There’s a new state in the South, Puglia, split from the former Calabria state, with several new VPs popping up.

Compliance in Libya has been drastically reduced (from 70% to 35%) and slightly increased in the East African colonies (from 10% to 20%) to better represent colonial management.

In Eritrea, Asmara is no longer on the coast, some provinces have been split and new VPs and railways appeared to better represent the situation in the Ethiopian conflict.

Regarding the Order of Battle, there’s also been some changes to it, with a couple of new battalions popping up.

First, we have the militia battalion, which in Italy is used to represent the Blackshirts which, by the way, will have a new 3D model if you have the DLC.

Militias are a new type of infantry unit with slightly less organization but also lower training time. Italian militia battalions are used in Blackshirts Divisions, which are “capped divisions”, a gift from our amazing coders that allow us to script locked divisions that can be recruited, with a max cap so that you cannot recruit more than the specified limit (which can be set dynamically).

As we’ll see later, Italian Blackshirts can be improved (both militia battalion stats and division cap) throughout the focus tree.

The second new Battalion is the Irregular Infantry, used to represent the large variety of non-regular units and bands that took part in both sides of the Italo-Ethiopian war and the African Campaign in WW2. They will also have new 3D models in the future.

Irregulars are also a new type of infantry unit with overall slightly lower stats (especially org, but to a minor degree also morale, attack, defense…), however, they have slightly more HP, lower supply and equipment needs and, above all, important bonuses in hills, forests, deserts and mountains, so they might be valuable to both garrison your colonies in Africa or fill-in gaps in the frontlines with rough terrain without having too much impact on supplies.
In Italy, these irregular templates are locked, but there are focuses that will unlock decisions to improve them and even spawn more (or disband them if you so desire).

With By Blood Alone DLC, Italy will receive a significant amount of new 3D models for planes and infantry, so allow me to tease you guys with a few of them (kudos to our 3D artist!).


Regarding Italian unit leaders, the generals roster has increased greatly. Overall, Italian generals don’t have the best skill level or stats compared to other majors, but you now have many characters with a variety of traits to choose from, so you can groom the most suitable guys for your plans. Let me show you a (very) few of the new guys incoming:


The political advisors list is also way larger than before, and there’s also a few new military advisors.

There are also a bunch of new Italian Designers, and I’d like to give a big shout out to our artist because the 2D art for this new expansion is looking reaaaally good!


Last but not least, we will not go too deep into the Italo-Ethiopian war today, so I’ll just say that, with BBA, dragging the war forever to farm XP might not be a great idea. There are systems in place that will seriously damage Italy if the war drags on for too long, both diplomatically (League of Nations) and internally (public discontent, resistance in the colonies, defection in the army…). More of this next week!

But now that we know a bit more about the initial status of Italy, let’s just take a look at the new Focus Tree (excluding the alt-history branches).


As you can see, the Italian tree has grown considerably, hopefully making future Italian playthroughs more flavorful and with significantly more decision making, allowing for different playstyles and strategies.

Let’s get started with the leftmost branch, the Colonial Branch.

Italian colonies in Africa included Libya in North Africa, unified as a single colony in 1934, and Eritrea and Italian Somaliland in the Horn of Africa, which were unified in 1936 along with Ethiopian territories into the province of Italian East Africa, as governorates.

In-game, this branch will allow you to manage and boost your colonial territories and your colonial troops.

Once the war with Ethiopia is over, the focus Ministry of Italian Africa will unlock a new Occupation law for Italy, Colonial Police, available in African states.

The focus will also unlock a decision category to deal with colonial management. Initially it will allow you to train, disband and reorganize irregulars, the latter strengthening irregular divisions with more battalions (be it irregular infantry, camelry or cavalry), and a recon company.

Developing the different colonies will add a level of infrastructure and a building slot in some states. Completing the focus Regional Development will not only add a factory, naval base and extra building slot to some previously developed states, it will also improve the Colonial Police occupation law and unlock decisions to add a building slot and increase the state category of your less developed states (adding a small Compliance boost in the process).


Further down the branch, to the left you can improve your Libyan colony to get the most out of it. Here you will find some resources and infrastructure/railway construction, which by the way will also increase compliance in the affected states to represent the employment of local workers in the area.

At the bottom right of the branch you manage your colonial troops (local units from the colonies, called Ascari) and irregular troops. You can choose to assign colonial troops to Police duty, improving your occupation law one last time, or you can strengthen your Ascari corps, getting new divisions in each colony and unlocking Ascari Generals.


Finally, you can boost your irregular troops, spawning some extra divisions and unlocking the iconic irregulars leader Amedeo Guillet, also known as Comandante Diavolo. A very interesting guy, by the way, and imho one of the coolest new focus icons.


And now let’s talk about the Industrial Branch:

First things first, Italy has now two initial national spirits related to industry that can be improved throughout the Focus Tree.
Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI) was born in 1933 as a temporary state institution sponsored by Benito Mussolini and Guido Jung, among others, and with Alberto Beneduce at the helm. The IRI became the owner of the three largest Italian banks and many large companies such as Ansaldo, Alfa Romeo, CRDA and Terni.
In-game this is represented by a discount in all designers and a small construction speed boost.

Italian military industry was significantly smaller compared to other major countries in the war, most raw materials had to be imported and there was little stockpile of resources when Italy entered the war (in fact, many Italian merchant ships were in foreign ports at that time and were immediately impounded). Furthermore, the Italo-Ethiopian War (also known as Italo-Abyssinian War) and Italian massive involvement in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Nationalists had an extraordinarily high cost not only for the Italian treasury but also in terms of equipment and lives. Most of the military’s budget during the late 30s was consumed by these wars, seriously hampering a very much needed military modernization.
Finally, the huge influence of the state-owned Ansaldo (part of the IRI as mentioned above) made it harder for other companies to present new designs and get a contract, which reduced competence and didn’t help keeping up acceptable production capabilities and quality in some areas, especially in tank production, where this led to an absolute monopoly (in association with Fiat).
All these things are represented in-game by a lot of red modifiers for research and production, most of which can be reduced/removed later.

Back to the Focus tree, the old Italian Highways focus has been moved to the top of the Industrial branch. It will now grant less insta-infrastructure but it will add temporary state modifiers in Italian cores with a significant boost to infrastructure construction.

The sub-branch right below will generally add some civs and improve the IRI national spirit. You can choose between investing in developing Northern Italy or Southern Italy.
The focus New Industrialization Program will unlock some industrial decisions based on the region you went for, for a final boost to your civilian industry.

In the central sub-branch you will find some railway lines, Consumer Goods reductions (some are temporary and some are permanently applied to the IRI national spirit) and your fifth research slot.

To the right, the military sub-branch will grant some military factories, some forts along the Alps and research and production bonuses.


At the end of the branch there’s another decision to be made in order to boost your production lines, which will have a small Consumer Goods penalty in exchange (this will be a recurrent thing in the military branches).

Let’s move on to the Army Branch.

The Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) was not in great shape by 1936. There was a concerning lack of modern equipment, Italian tanks were of poor quality (they “kinda” worked in Ethiopia, since enemy forces basically lacked tanks or anti-tank equipment), and most of the artillery guns dated from World War I.
In-game, the initial national spirit Regio Esercito will provide some penalties at game start in order to represent that. However, this national spirit can be greatly improved throughout the Focus Tree.

Back to the Army Branch, Army Primacy is still at the top (it is a 35-days focus now), and right below it there are two options: Will you keep a traditional warfare approach or will you go for mobile warfare?


The central focus of this branch, Superesercito, represents the military reorganization that Italy undertook in mid 1940. All three military branches have a central focus like this. These focuses require Italy to be at war against a major country, they will remove or significantly reduce some penalties in their related starting National Spirits and also grant some XP.

The focuses to the left are mostly focused on boosting Special Forces stats and cap, so that, if you so desire, you can make a very specialized army out of the Italian military.

To the right, the branch emphasizes more on military industry (production, tank templates, research…), and you can choose between Ending the Fiat-Ansaldo Duopoly (removing research penalties from your starting NS), or Modernizing Ansaldo Facilities for a bit more production and military factories. Either way, just like we saw with the Industry focuses, these focuses will also slightly increase your Consumer Goods needs, representing the big industrial endeavor necessary to get such bonuses.

And now to the Airforce Branch!

The Italian Royal Airforce, Regia Aeronautica, became an important propaganda tool for the fascist regime during the 1920s and 1930s: Italian aviators established numerous records and won multiple world championships. However, the first tests for the Italian Airforce were not that successful: During the Italo-Ethiopian war, even though Italy faced literally no opposition in the air, the Regia Aeronautica lost over 70 aircraft and 100 personnel.
Shortly after, during the Spanish Civil War, more than 700 aircraft and 6000 personnel were sent to aid the Nationalists. The Italian fighter Fiat CR.32 proved superior to the Soviet Polikarpov I-15 and I-16 used by the Republicans, which helped making the Nationalists have the upper hand both in terms of quantity and quality of aircraft, leading the Air Ministry to believe that the Italian biplanes could in fact still dominate the skies in major conflicts. Not long after, they would be proved wrong.
The National Spirit Regia Aeronautica is meant to represent these factors and, as usual, can be improved throughout the branch.

Similar to the Army Branch, Superaereo is the central focus of the Airforce Branch. To the right, Expand Rome Flying School and Officers of the Service Role will mainly help with some of the penalties, representing better-trained pilots and better maintenance for the aircraft, which might help prevent some catastrophic air accidents (will you be able to change the fate of Pietro Pintor and Pellegrini, who perished in an air accident in late 1940? Maybe Italo Balbo could have survived had there been better coordination between the Regia Aeronautica and the Regia Marina?).

Standardization and Specialization present another decision to make: Production cost reduction or Design cost reduction? (very much WIP values yet)

At the bottom part of the tree you will have multiple aircraft templates, air-warfare bonuses and production bonuses.

And we’ve made it into the Naval branch.

The Italian Royal Navy, Regia Marina, also suffered some issues.
One of the main issues was the lack of modern equipment, such as radar and sonar, due to which the Italian Navy had really hard times detecting enemy vessels under foul weather (or just at night).
Probably even more important was the really poor Coordination between the Italian High Command (Comando Supremo) and the Regia Marina, which made it especially difficult to coordinate the Airforce and the Navy during naval operations. Even though the situation improved later on after the establishment of Supermarina, during the early stages of World War II critical mistakes were made (such as the disapproving of the plan to invade a still weakly defended Malta) and the whole Italian military suffered from them.
In-game this is represented in the Regia Marina national spirit by the penalties to Coordination, Spotting and Detection.

In this branch you can expect a bunch of dockyards, naval bases, research and production bonuses, and some naval combat bonuses, along with some design templates.
Just like in the previous branches, Supermarina is the central focus where you’ll be able to remove the initial doctrine penalty and get some minor bonuses. Just to its right, Stockpile Fuel should help with the dire situation of Italy in terms of oil.

Naval Cooperation Programs will send an Event to Sweden to represent the historical purchase of some old Italian Escort ships, in exchange for a minor Consumer Goods bonus for Italy. It also unlocks the homonymous decision category with decisions to get small boosts for Doctrines and create a naval-focused Research Sharing Group. A few more decisions will populate this category later through other focuses.

There are also choices to be made in the Naval Branch: emphasizing on screen ships or going for brutal force with capital ships.

At the bottom left you have yet another choice, this time between sizes of submarines: will you go for long range Cruiser Submarines or will you rely on easy-to-produce Midget Submarines to harass enemy convoys in the Mediterranean? Both focuses grant a couple of dockyards and some doctrine and research bonuses, and both will unlock the appropriate hull (Cruiser Submarines and the new Midget Submarine), and will add a couple of them to your production lines. Additionally, Midget Submarines unlocks decisions to sell these cute things to your minor allies.



To the opposite side, the choice is about carriers. Italy had no carriers during WW2, but there were plans to convert a couple of fast liners into proper carriers with powerful engines. Here you can go for that option and get the design for the decent Aquila Class carrier, or you can choose to go for an even cheaper design representing the fast refitting of civilian ships to get very-mediocre-yet-operational carriers as soon as possible.



The focuses in between will grant some more dockyards, research and naval combat bonuses and templates, culminating with Flotta d’Evasione which is the ultimate focus to help you dominate the seas, granting (among other things) a significant amount of dockyards (including in certain states in North Africa, Iberia and France, if controlled by Italy) and boosting some of your admirals so that you can project Italian power beyond the Mediterranean.


Now let’s skip the Political branch for a moment and let’s jump to the far right part of the tree to talk briefly about the Foreign Politics branch.

In this branch, which is shared with other alt-hist paths, you can first decide to antagonize Yugoslavia by getting claims in the Dalmatian coast and sending an Ultimatum to them, or you can seek to find reliable allies in the Balkans, potentially Yugoslavia, Romania and Bulgaria.
At the leftmost part we have the Albanian sub-branch, in which you will send an ultimatum to Albania just like usual, but then you can also slightly boost the oil extraction there, Support Albanian Irredentism for some fast claims in the Balkans and form the Albanian Fascist Militia which, apart from unlocking the Colonial Police occupation law (that we discussed earlier) in Albanian states, will also increase the Blackshirts division cap and spawn a few divisions.

At the rightmost part lies the Iberian sub-branch, which has not seen that many changes, even though Corpo di Truppe Volontarie (the former Support Nationalist Spain) now has slightly more appealing effects.


The three sub-branches in the middle are the juicy part of the Foreign Affairs branch, with Pact of Steel (historical Axis path) and Italy First (Alt-hist Italy forming its own faction) having seen just a few structural changes and minor additions here and there.

The third sub-branch is the Stresa Front one, in which Italy guarantees Austrian independence and can oppose to the Anschluss and start a war if Germany presses the issue, which will potentially lead to Italy getting closer to the UK and France, which can in turn be used later to negotiate some colonial concessions in East Africa and force the Allies to recognize certain Italian claims in the Balkans. You can then Ratify the Stresa Front and seek closer cooperation with your new friends, which you will need in order to face the natural enemy of capitalism and imperialism, the Soviet Union.

And now let’s go to the Political Branch:

We’ll go through the focuses in a moment, but first we need to talk about the main system for Italy, Mussolini’s missions (or, as someone in the team nicknamed them, Missiolinis).
The main purpose of this system is to both represent the growing ambitions of one of the most infamous fascist dictators while also being a tool with which to help guide new players towards making beneficial decisions and preparing for the conflicts to come.

A Missiolini will usually popup around January/June (with a few exceptions) and consist of an Event in which you are presented with Mussolini’s demands, activating a mission. You’ll need to complete the mission before it times out, otherwise you’d have failed the Duce.
We wanted this system to offer some challenges and reward players, not to punish people for not doing whatever some random fascist guy wants them to do, so while succeeding on these missions will grant some appealing rewards, which can vary depending on the theme of the mission, failing them will only have mild penalties, so you should never feel forced to do something you are not interested in, especially during mid-late game when these missions might get a bit more… crazy.

Long story short, Mussolini has ambitions (many ambitions), and he wants you, dear player, to fulfill them. Spoiler alert, you’re about to see a lot of WIP stuff, so bear with me!

As you already know, Italy starts the game at war with Ethiopia, so in the first Missiolini, which will popup a couple of weeks after game start, Mussolini will ask you to make some actual progress in the war after the end of the Ethiopian Christmas Offensive. In this case, you have two options, you can opt for a major offensive to try to advance by all means necessary or you can choose a more methodical approach. Be wise on your decision, because it will affect the Duce’s expectations and the time you have to show him that your wise strategy is producing the desired results.


The first set of Missiolinis, which will popup during the first years of the game, are pre-set and as mentioned above aimed at guiding new players to do stuff that will be useful, such as building civilian factories, having certain manpower in the field or stockpiling trucks. Later on, Missiolinis will be randomized, with certain criteria, and you will usually only have a max of 2 Missiolinis active at the same time.

Back to the Political Branch, these first three focuses are a bit special in the sense that they cannot be completed manually. Instead, they will be autocompleted based on your success or failure on the first Missiolinis, Conquer the North and Conquer the South.
Succeeding in both missions before time is out, will autocomplete Solid Progress. If you fail in at least one of them, you will have to choose (via event) to autocomplete either of the focuses at the sides.

Solid Progress is what you want if you are going historical.

Struggle in Ethiopia might be useful if you are aiming for an alt-history fascist or monarchist run (if you have BBA), but it’s still not the end of the world if you want to go historical but you failed the missions and had to autocomplete this focus, you can still go down the historical path.

The Abyssinian Fiasco is what you want if you are thinking of taking Italy towards a completely different path. This focus is not available without BBA but thought it would be good to show it here for structural purposes.

If you have La Resistance, completing the focus Servizio Informazione Militare will immediately create an Intelligence Agency for Italy, granting an extra operative slot and unlocking a new Operative (portraits are still WIP).


After your Triumph in Africa you have a selection of focuses to help you out with the post-war situation (consumer goods and compliance bonuses, decisions to deal with local rulers, etc.).

Once Triumph in Africa is completed, a new system will be activated: Balance of Power.
Balance of Power is a new feature, accessible through the main political view (once active), that provides a modular and generic system for a slider that can be driven in almost any way and provide many different outputs. (Watch out! Very WIP user interface ahead!)

In the image above you can see a slider with certain thresholds and an icon at each extreme, representing the Grand Council of Fascism to the left, and the Duce to the right. The value of this slider can be modified via effects (flat changes) or modifiers (daily or weekly changes), making the slider move towards one side or the other.
The “bubbles” represent thresholds. Once the slider value trespasses a threshold, effects can be triggered and modifiers can be activated.
In Italy, there is a bubble in the middle of the slider that represents the “neutral” range, not belonging to any particular side and having no effects or modifiers whatsoever.

However, by default the Italian Balance of Power starts already in favor of Mussolini, activating the modifiers in the rightmost green bubble (only one threshold can be active at the same time, so each time a new threshold is reached, the new modifier replaces the former one from the previous bubble).

Keep in mind that each Balance of Power is different and sometimes you might want to go all-in into one of the sides whereas other times you might be better staying around the middle.

In Italy, moving full into the Duce’s side grants fairly good bonuses, but also comes with minor penalties to represent the issues of having one unchecked authoritarian figure meddling in literally every possible military affair.

However, moving too much towards the Grand Council side is extremely dangerous if you want to keep your political leader in charge.

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As you see, Mussolini can be ousted by the Grand Council of Fascism if the Balance of Power moves too much towards their side. However, this is not even the worst case scenario, if Italy reaches the last threshold in the Grand Council side, a civil war will start (more on this later).

Scary, right? Well let’s see how we can interact with this slider in order to prevent such a catastrophic outcome. Playing as Italy there are several ways of increasing/decreasing the Balance of Power:

Certain events and focuses will move the Balance of Power in one direction or another, just like the first focus in the Mussolini branch does:

You might have noticed that there are decisions inside the Balance of Power (BoP) window, these decisions belong to a regular decision category that has been tagged to be used for this BoP. These decisions will also move the BoP in either direction, here are some examples:

There are also certain advisors (Italian Hierarchs) that will move the Balance of Power towards the Grand Council of Fascism when hired. Each Hierarch is cheaper than your regular advisor, all of them provide +5% daily PP and +0.05 daily Fascism support in addition to the modifiers granted by their actual ministry position, and all are unlocked by a specific focus.

If you are desperate, there are BoP decisions for Mussolini to take over the Ministry positions of the Hierarchs above (something that he actually did historically), granting him a weaker bonus compared to the one the actual advisor provides, locking the Hierarch and firing him if he was hired, and significantly increasing the BoP towards Mussolini’s side. You can always Resign over the position after a while, once the situation is under control.

Last but not least, after some time the Italian population was really not onboard with the war and how things were going in the front (not on the Eastern front, not in the Balkans and definitely not in Africa), a critical factor that is represented in-game by moving the BoP towards the Council whenever a state owned by Italy is lost to an enemy. Losing a colony (or a non-cored state) has a very small impact and will only move the BoP slightly towards the Council once, however, losing a core state will not only move the BoP more towards the Council, but it will also activate a weekly modifier that can be stacked up to 5 times, moving the BoP value towards the Council over time.

This means that if the war goes really bad for Italy, a civil war will take place in the middle of World War II, just like happened historically.

As you can see, there’s a lot of stuff that can be done with the Balance of Power system, and as many of you might be thinking, this FREE feature offers a lot of potential for mods, and we will most likely be talking more about how to use it in a future Dev Diary.

Back to the Italian focus tree, let’s quickly finish the Political branch. After completing Culto al Duce, the Mussolini branch opens up.

To the left you have focuses mostly related to Mussolini and his traits, and the sub-branch right below Culto al Duce is based on the three famous economic battles (for grain, land and birth) of Mussolini.

Mussolini can become pretty scary if you complete all the focuses related to his Cult of Personality.

These two branches will merge further down for the final late-game sub-branch, in which you will find claims, wargoals (keep in mind that these things are now more relevant with the Peace Conference rework and some useful Manpower bonuses.


And we are into the last two remaining sub-branches, shared with other alt-history branches.

On the left we have the Internal Affairs sub-branch, providing bonuses to stability, war support, PP… And also granting some extra operatives and espionage bonuses (LaR only).

To the right, we have the Blackshirts sub-branch.
Security Militias provides mostly manpower and resistance bonuses.
Battaglioni d’Assalto unlocks a new support battalion, the Blackshirt Assault Battalion, which will help adding some extra soft attack and breakthrough to your divisions. Strengthen the Blackshirts, on the other hand, boosts your militia organization, increases the Blackshirts division cap and spawns a few Blackshirt units.

Last but not least, Milizia Coloniale grants some extra nice bonuses to get even more Blackshirt divisions.

Aaaaand we are done with the Italian Focus Tree, or… are we???

There’s one last thing I wanted to show you guys. Do you remember that thing we mentioned earlier about a civil war?
Well, when reaching the final threshold of the Council in the Balance of Power, an event will pop up and trigger the Italian civil war.
For this civil war, each side will potentially become a puppet of the faction leader of each side in the war, when appropriate (in a historical game, the fascist Italian Social Republic will remain in the Axis and become Germany’s puppet, while the breakaway tag, the non-aligned Kingdom of Italy will join the allies as the UK’s puppet).
There are a few pre-fixed state splits based on which states are occupied by enemies when the civil war starts, the occupiers will also receive an event in which they can cede those states to their new Italian friend.

If you don’t have BBA, you will become the Italian Social Republic (fascist). With BBA active, though, you can also choose to change sides and continue playing as either the Kingdom of Italy or the Italian Republic.

Both the Italian Social Republic and the Kingdom of Italy have a custom Civil War branch that will show up in their respective focus trees.

The anti-fascist branch to the left (only playable with BBA active) starts by applying a state modifier in the Italian states controlled by their fascist enemy, the Italian Social Republic, significantly increasing resistance. After that, there are two options based on your choice (monarchist or communist).

On the right, the monarchist focuses spawn different infantry divisions, significantly more powerful than your militias.

The communist-specific focuses on the left will spawn Militia divisions (with a new 3D model with BBA) and boost the state modifier mentioned above.

Grande Rivolta Rurale not only has the most wonderful donkey icon ever (also available in national spirit size), it also provides some fairly good bonuses and boosts your non-fascist militias!

In the Social Republic branch on the right, you can not only spawn some Blackshirts divisions but also permanently improve both the Militia battalion and the Blackshirt Assault Battalion.

Integrate Polizia dell’Africa Italiana will spawn several Ascari (Colonial Troops) divisions in your controlled colonies. Anti-Partisan Measures helps counter the resistance penalties in the state modifier Fronte Militare Clandestino applied in your states by the enemy partisans.

All Within the State has fairly powerful bonuses in exchange for some stability.

Last but not least, both branches have an Italian Independence focus at the end, which works just the same for each side: it gets unlocked once the civil war is over, and it will send an event to the Italian overlord, requesting independence. If the overlord refuses the Italian tag will get an Independence wargoal and, once the wargoal is used to declare war, they will get a timed national spirit with useful bonuses against their overlord.

Aaaaand that was all from me, this time for real! I hope that you guys enjoyed the read and are as excited for the upcoming DLC as we are.
We will be coming back to Italy to talk about the alt-history paths in the near future! But for now, make sure to stay tuned for the next dev diary, where we will talk about Switzerland!




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Developer Replies Here!

DanVegas27 said:
Will irregulars be exclusive to Italy or will some other countries like the Soviet Union or Chinese warlords have them?
Only BBA nations will get access to the new battalions.

.Del said:
Venice is still called Venice instead of Venezia

Totally unacceptable. Fixed

Grzegorz Grzybek said:
Will there be Italian music pack too? I'd love to get one!
More details on this on the future! :)

Gracz said:
Will Albania get a unique focus tree?
Not in BBA, for now they only get annexation.

Gobbe said:
How many more impassable borders have been added? There is a tiny snippet of it in the Venice-Istria-Slovenia picture
We'll talk about the Alps and impassable terrain more next week!

DaddySugar331 said:
View attachment 850317View attachment 850320

It seems to me, or does this focus use a Soviet KGB building image? :)
It is indeed the Lubyanka! :)
We've added a fair amount of new generic icons and for this one I thought that this building was one of the most iconic and probably easy to recognize

tombricks said:
I know you mentioned you would touch on it in the future but are the BoP stuff a scripted gui or a hard coded one?
More on this in the future. For now I'll just say that is fairly moddable, especially when it comes to the graphics, some of which (icons for sides, for example) you can change dynamically.

MrMcQue said:
Are the Commanders shown already all the new Generals? I am hoping that Prince Amadeo, Duke of Aosta is added as well.
Oh, there are many more, but many of the new portraits are not ready yet. Here is a small tease of one of the generals you can get via focus, Mr. "Barba Electrica" :)


onboardbasil said:
The balance of power mechanic looks cool. I noticed that Ethiopia also had a similar mechanic on the Steam store page. Any chance this might be expanded to several countries outside this dlc? I recall that there was a plan to expand internal politics for nations. I guess it might not reflect how every country worked, but could be used for say the rivalry between the army and navy for Japan or the SS and Wehrmacht for Germany.

Also while Albania isn't receiving a focus tree, is it still possible to play as them without only existing to serve Italy? Considering the historic partisan movement in the country perhaps there can be some decisions related to breaking free from Italy or resisting occupation entirely.
While it is not implemented for BBA the BoP can be used for anything you want, including non civil political situations such as the army vs navy issues of japan or SS vs Wehrmacht and where some of the identified use cases when I was designing the system initially.

Almas said:
Are Dev Diarys back to being weekly again?

Laxoo said:
Very nice diary , very good job !
I want to ask tho, does Italy have no interaction for the Dodecanese ?
Also the island of Chios in Greece is misspelled as Samos (In the in game map i mean) , that needs to be changed imo.
There is none for now I'm afraid. Depending on time we might add something there but it is unlikely.

man0lo said:
I read the post carefuly but I still cant figure out; can we bring our precious Vittorio in charge from the beginning or we have to wait for Mussolini to fail?
Don't wanna spoil the alt-history DD, you'll have to find out in a few weeks!

onboardbasil said:
The balance of power mechanic looks cool. I noticed that Ethiopia also had a similar mechanic on the Steam store page. Any chance this might be expanded to several countries outside this dlc? I recall that there was a plan to expand internal politics for nations. I guess it might not reflect how every country worked, but could be used for say the rivalry between the army and navy for Japan or the SS and Wehrmacht for Germany.

Also while Albania isn't receiving a focus tree, is it still possible to play as them without only existing to serve Italy? Considering the historic partisan movement in the country perhaps there can be some decisions related to breaking free from Italy or resisting occupation entirely.
There are no plans to implement the Balance of Power feature to non-BBA countries for this DLC.

Zesla said:
Might I suggest a Pact of Rome focus/foci below Italy First? It would be a nice alternative way to protect Austria against Germany whilst still allowing actions against the Allies. Right now I feel that the Italy First branch is bit bland as it mostly made up of wargoals and its most interesting option seems to just be inviting Spain.
I thought about something like that in the past, but decided against it for a reason that honestly I can't remember right now, I can give it a second thought, but no promises. Also keep in mind that some parts of the Foreign Politics Branch are fairly WIP so there still might be a few tweaks and changes to spice them up.

TimmyTheJimmy said:
How does Italy's Stresa Front focus interact with France's Stresa Front focus? Does one nation completing the focus lock the other nation out of it?
Very WIP for now, but the idea is that the completion of the focus in one country will unlock/bypass the focus in the other country.

ohgodohfrick said:
Would you consider reshaping Kosovo and splitting Macedonia into two states to allow for a more historically accurate Italian occupation of these areas?
It is very unlikely that we make any more map changes for this DLC.

King Of Heroes said:
I'm slightly worried regarding impassable terrain, When fighting in North Africa and Australia there were some big issues regarding how the frontlines and attack plans behave when provinces are captured, issues that actually don't exist when dealing with water if I may add, can we assume that the behavior as a whole is being looked on?
We will talk about that in the next dev diary, I have not implemented the impassable province borders but as far as I'm aware Frontlines cannot be drawn across impassable borders, as usual.

Namelessgod95 said:
how much oil we talking about "At the leftmost part we have the Albanian sub-branch, in which you will send an ultimatum to Albania just like usual, but then you can also slightly boost the oil extraction there," 10 20 also will prospecting for oil increase the amount or will it stay the same as it is currenlty?
For now, very little oil (2 iirc) + synthetic refinery. Again, WIP values that might change before release.

anteisus123 said:
Are you going to update the states that Italy had before and after Treaties of Rome(1941)? States are not correct in the current version of the game. (I am talking about Zara and surrounding areas, Split and few islands that became Italian)
Very unlikely that we make further map changes in Dalmatia for this DLC.

GianpietroU90 said:
I have litteraly finished to read the biography of Amedeo ( an incredible story ) and the fact that he is finally in the game is indeed a dream! Plus why they can't just call the civil war Kingdom of Italy, Kingdom of South as it was called?
So, the alias in script is actually the acronym for Regno del Sud, but I moved away from talking about that, since the idea is that if the Allies invade from the North, the Kingdom of Italy will spawn around that area, and not in the South :)

Liquid Ghost said:
I think there's room to further penalize the Regia Marina in that national spirit, specifically on the topic of submarines. Admiral Mario Falangola wrote in 1941 a scathing report on the capabilities of Italian submarines after comparing them to their German counterparts. It's a very interesting read. It also killed Falangola's career. I summarized of this in a suggestion some time ago.
Can't make any promises, but I will def take a look at this! Thanks for sharing!

GianpietroU90 said:
Asking the real question here:
There will be a weekly DD from now on?

Rachidelson said:
That's cool! I might sound a little dumb saying this, as I am 99% sure it is just a joke from the developers, but please don't name the Mussolini missions as Missiolinis while in game. Also, the Balance of Power thing is really cool, any plans for a long term rework of, let's say, Germany, with all of these new mechanics? Great DD.
Hmmm... We'll see about Missiolinis, the name is kinda catchy :p
When it comes to other countries, no plans for this expansions, but not totally out of the table for the future!

Liquid Ghost said:
If I trigger the Italian civil war while playing France leading the Little Entente, will I get the non-aligned Kingdom of Italy tag as my puppet? This question goes for multiple scenarios:

  1. UK joined the Little Entente, but is not the leader.
  2. UK is leader of the Allies and fighting Italy too.
  3. UK is leader of the Allies but are not fighting Italy.
Yes. There is certain criteria for assigning the overlord for the Kingdom of Italy, being a player (instead of AI), and being a faction leader takes priority.

greatgio99 said:
Will there be a focus tree to get rid of the monarchy and proclaim the Italian Social Republic without a civil war? Historically, one of Mussolini's goals after his victory in Ethiopia was to get rid of the king
There is, Capo Supremo. Still a bit WIP though but you get the idea :)

Azukii said:
Why the historical 1943 Kingdom of Italy path is dlc-only and the Italian Social Republic "non-historical" path is base-game ? Or else I didn't understand anything.
You normally commit to a path when you go through a political focus branch. If the war goes badly and you have a civil war, you are still Mussolini (the path you comitted to). If you end up losing the Civil War, then it's game over.

Being able to "change sides" is just a bonus we added for BBA, since you also have the alt-history branches unlocked with the DLC.

azurcher said:
Will the propaganda system from NSB be added in for Italy? I remember something about expanding its use for other majors when it was announced, and Italy certainly had its fair share of propaganda.
Unfortunately not.

aperson456 said:
Why are you making it the Italian names, but the vast majority of other areas in the world will have English names instead of their native names? If you're adding the native state and city names for Italy, shouldn't you do it for the rest of the world as well? I don't know, I just think it's a bit weird how Italy has Italian state and city names while Germany has English city names (but for some reason they have German state names).
I worked on Soviet Union, and we make it consistent for Soviet Union.
I'm workign on Italy, and I'm doing the same for Italy.
Trust me I have plans and I'm very thorough, whenever I work on the rest of the world I'll give the same treatment to the rest of the world.

Alexander 'The Grape' said:
Looks great! Can't wait to challenge the med with superior Italian naval dominance.

Quick query; in the screen vs capital ship choice of focus, one gives a bonus to Heavy Cruisers and the other gives a bonus to Light Cruisers. Aren't these the same tech in man the guns?
They are in MtG but they are not without it. The effect is valid for both. The big difference (with MtG) is the doctrine bonuses for different trees.

GabLicata said:
Just wanted to ask why Latium and not Lazio, and point out that it's "Starace" and not "Starache".
Need to do a final pass on this yet, but thanks for pointing it out, It'll be fixed!

Like, I can understand that we cannot divide Istria into 30000 states, but how Trieste things will be managed? In a peace treaty where Yugoslavia gets Istria, giving to them also Trieste is a bit simplistic; maybe I could propose splitting Trieste province into two and giving the city itself to Veneto State and the strip of land that's today's Slovenia coast leave it to Litorale state. Or Create another state for just Trieste or for the whole Friuli... there are many ways to fix this problem. Also, the Trento and Alto Adige/South Tirol border seems a bit odd (in real life it's different), so maybe you could twerk it up.
Honestly that entire region caused me many headaches when I was working on map changes. I decided on this map version for various reasons, among them the big concern of increasing state count that for the sake of increasing it, which leads to a very inconsistent concentration of tiny not-so-valuable states that can build a huge ton of AA and stuff like that, creating big unbalance.

I really like new mechanics (BoP and missions), and how they complete the narrative of the Focus Tree but looking at the Tree itself seems like it's lacking something. In the end, I hope it gets some more focus (for example I would change how Stresa front works, maybe with the guaranteeing of Austria put before (and maybe linked also to the possibility of creating a Pact of Rome) or giving also the chance to fail the guarantee of Austria (Germany ignore Italy's guarantee but Italy doesn't retaliate in fear and shift even more to allies), so Germany possibilities wouldn't be cut at the start of the game. Or also the fact that Mussolini declared himself the protector of Islam, so maybe some decision or focus regarding that would be cool.
I hope in the alt path there is at least a Democratic (I don't know if with a republic or a constitutional monarchy), a communist (maybe with the choice of being aligned to Moscow or not) and a monarchist path (with the chance of being aligned or not to the allies or the chance to make Vittorio abdicate in favour of Umberto).

All of these are just ideas (Hoping they can help you)! Thanks again for the DD and the time.
Thanks a lot for the feedback, it is always welcome and useful!

Sterile said:
Awesome. However (and I might be called particularly annoying for this, but it IS my job as a proofreader in Italian), please not some Italian mistakes based on the screenshots:
- the name of the politician is Achille STARACE, not Starache
- why are all States name in Italian, but Latium is still called Latium? It would be Lazio (yes, even back then)
- "Culto al Duce" doesn't make much sense in Italian, it would be "Culto del Duce"
Thank you! Noted for fixing in the near future.

Praetor_Urbanus said:
will the player be able to form Italian East Africa as a dominion and separate Tag or the region will be directly controlled by italy as in vanilla?
Still WIP and not 100% guaranteed, but the plan is that you can form the Italian East Africa tag, potentially after conquering Ethiopia and reaching certain compliance.

blahmaster6k said:
View attachment 850401
I know it's not the focus of the dev diary, but I can't help but notice that all occupation laws have been reworked in terms of manpower requirement and resistance target reduction.
well spotted. a small but important improvement we have made.

blackpowder320 said:
Lavoro Fantastico, @ManoDeZombi! :)

I do have some questions:
1. Regarding the Superesercito and related Focuses: Does that mean I (as Benito Mussolini) will HAVE to go to war against a Major Power? What if I wanted to take it slow and build up my industries and military first, unlike the IRL Mussolini? Or will it be possible to skip them and rush to the bottom while playing "neutral" at first?
2. Will Japan also get the Midget Submarine tech? Both Italy and Japan are quite notorious for using them.
3. Aside from losing the Balance of Power, will there also be a minimum percentage of Victory Points so Italy gets plunged into a Civil War even if BoP is neutral?

Again, great job Paradox Team. <3
Click to expand...
1. For now yes, the military reorganization only happened after Italy faced an actual major power in the war.
2. Japan is not getting the midget submarine hull for now. Maybe in the future.

Robosoldier1 said:
So just to clarify, the Irregular and militia new unit types are part of the free update and not apart of the DLC? Ontop of that will we have other means for countries to enhance their respective militias/Irregular troops? in so far as focus bonuses or decision events wise? I can see a fair number of countries that would probably have some means and basis to prioritize around militias at various stages in the game. Including german Volksturm, UK home guard, soviet units i'm sure etc.
They are part of the free update, yes. For now exclusive to BBA countries, but I would personally like to expand into other countries in the future, can't make any promises though.

bass12 said:
Great DD! I am not sure if it has already been reported, but there is a spelling mistake. The name of the advisor was Achille Starace, not Starache
Already reported and noted, thanks!

HaxMode said:
I see an intriguing lack of the Roman Empire. Did you decide to remove it, keep it as a decision, or is it now a dedicated alt-history path?
You will have to wait for the next Italian DD in a few weeks
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Will Italy's AI be changed to make them always seize the Balearics Islands? Since that is what they did irl. Could add a decision to return them too based on the outcome of the SCW.

Nevertheless, great start.
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FINALMENTE!! About time!! You made my day!! Greetings from an expat spaghetti-eater in the East Coast!!
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