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HOI4 Dev Diary - Chain of Command

Hi everyone and welcome back to regular dev diaries. This and upcoming diaries will be covering stuff happening in the 1.5 "Cornflakes" update as well as the unannounced expansion that will come out together with it. One of the main focuses of those can be summarized as "making players care more about armies, leaders and troops" (our DLCs tend to have 1-3 main focuses or missions). The first feature that touches on this, and the topic of today's dev diary is adding a military chain of command to the game.

After Hearts of Iron III, where something like organizing the soviet chain of command could take about an hour of the players time we decided that we wanted something that was a lot less effort to work with for HOI4. We basically settled on a flat level with field marshals with no restriction on commanded divisions, and generals with a limit on division count but with a different set of traits. Over time we felt that we lost a bit too much of the WW2 military flavor with this abstraction, so we started thinking about how to do it in a more interesting way.

Pasted image at 2017_09_13 02_48 PM.jpg

What we have done now for 1.5 is that field marshals are now leading an Army Group, which is a certain number of Armies (what we had before) led by Generals. There are then places in theaters as before. Theaters are like before just a geographical organizational tool for the player and don't have a commander or the like to keep them as flexible as possible. This means that we have a Theaters->Army Groups->Armies->Divisions structure now.
While the Generals still come with a soft cap for how many divisions they can efficiently command, the field marshals will now have a number of armies they can efficiently command.

I also want to make sure to point out that this is still very early on in development, so stuff is very likely to change, and some stuff aren't completely working as it should yet. So we are showing you this in progress rather than showing a completely finished feature, and as always any numbers you see are extremely subject to change ;) Also I very sneekily hid the topbar for now ;)
upload_2017-9-13_15-27-6.png


When it comes to controlling your troops the new system introduces some changes to the battle planner. You can either do a plan for each army in the army group, or have a central plan for the whole Army Group where each army has a part of the frontline assigned as its responsibility. You can also do a mix, in which case an Army will finish its plan and then fall back to executing the Army Group's plan. We are still iteration on this stuff though but I figured you all wanted to know how it would work in practice.

upload_2017-9-13_15-26-30.png


Something that does not really come across in the images is that we are working on ways to streamline the process for setting up fronts using the new army groups. This should make at least the basic cases feel smooth to set up, even with one more command level and more armies without a ton of extra clicking.

upload_2017-9-13_15-23-51.png


The sharp eyed reader will also notice that we have removed the skill level for generals. This is now replaced with separate skills of different kinds. Attack, Defense, Planning and Logistics. Attack and Defense do what you expect while Planning improves planning speed and Logistics lowers supply consumption. Field marshal stats apply together with army general stats at a reduced capacity, so you will always want to have a chain of command for best efficiency.

The chain of command feature is going to be part of the free update, although there is some cool DLC features that tie into it we will be revealing in later diaries. Also expect to read more details about the system itself like how things in combat are affected etc.

See you next week when we will be taking a look at national unity...
 

Johan

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BTW, is this feature for DLC or for 1.5?

As @podcat wrote 'The chain of command feature is going to be part of the free update, although there is some cool DLC features that tie into it we will be revealing in later diaries'
 

Novacat

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The OOB is making a return. Hooray! Will there be any improvements to naval combat?
 

podcat

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Also sorry for the late post, as I said we are early in development still and we had some problems with stuff not working for the screenies
 

the1ringer

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Hey, a HoI4 expansion that sounds like it will have features that will really impact the whole game! That really gets me excited and I can't wait to see what is in store.
 

grandad1982

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A welcome addition of a bit more depth to the CoC. I personally would enjoy seeing corps introduced in some form but I'm happy to give this a good play when it hits the game!

Is there any coordination between Army groups so that front lines don't expand into another groups territory? Actually is there any plans to do this for all front lines in general?

Will the leaders skills in attack, defence, planning and logistics change (up or down) with game play?
 

Crowarior

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"Theaters are like before just a geographical organizational tool for the player and don't have a commander or the like to keep them as flexible as possible."

:( I wish theaters would be connected somehow with supply system, like further your theater HQ is from front line less supply you get.

EDIT: Why so many people Disagree?
 
Last edited:

Johuotar

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Ooh, national unity changes as well as OOB! sounds great!
 

Vidkjaer

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It looks very promising. I am happy about this.

BTW, what determines which divisions are put in frontline and reserves when initiating a battle? I constantly see infantry units first and tank divisions in reserve when i am using the Battle plan system. It is consistent, so there must be a system that determines which divisions go first? I just want my tank divisions to be first and infantry divisions in reserves and/or supporting the battle.
 

PsychoLold

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Nice changes, this first "content" DD makes me already look forward to the next patch/expansion.

See you next week when we will be taking a look at national unity...
Which you hopefully scrapped and replaced by something completely new o_O

The first screenshot hints an eighth tab on the top bar, so my hope is that there is some more refined internal politics (e.g. factions).
 

Serensius

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This looks really great! Being able to properly coordinate different attacks along one front line is something I've been looking forward to.

Another idea this brings up - which might be more into mod territory than the base game - is commander personality. Imagine, for instance, if you couldn't choose if the army was cautious, neutral, or offensive, but that was an inherent trait in the general. Would make you have to carefully consider which command to put where, not just to maximize the stats.

EDIT: One more thought - can generals still gain traits?
 

Herz2146

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That logistics skill has me curious! Fuel and ammunition maybe. :)

For army frontline assignments, let's say you put an army group on the border with four armies underneath. Will the armies have sectors automatically assigned to them or will they operate like the field marshals do now? Can you see these sector assignments if you don't specify them? Sounds like what I do now with armies will be done automatically to some extent (like in the screenshot).