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.
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
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.
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.
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...