HoI4 Dev Diary - Poland Focus Tree Rework Part 2/2

Hello folks and welcome back to the Poland dev-diary extravaganza! This week, I am going to continue covering the changes coming to Poland in 1.11 Barbarossa and the unannounced DLC.Today we’ll be covering the DLC content.
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So, I’m going to start here with something a bunch of you predicted last week; you can indeed play as the Peasants’ Strike! A Poland with ambitions to restore democracy or embrace the communist revolution must first build an organized peasant militia from the rabble of disorganized farmers!
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No matter how many or few states join you in the strike, the rebellious state will be in a delicate balancing act between democrats and socialists. Your first step towards revolution is to sway the Front Morges to take up the peasant’s cause, the Morges being an alliance of political parties supported by a select few Polish generals including Sikorski.
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Each focus you do in this initial block will add 5 support to either communism or democracy, with a total of 50% or more being needed for one to assert dominance over the other and take control of the government.
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Similar to the Spanish Civil War, the Peasants’ Strike will be on a tight schedule, taking up to a year before the revolution happens. Poland will at first be able to add agricultural states to the strike, but by expanding the strike to factory workers, Poland will also be able to bring states from Poland’s industrial heartland into the revolution.
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Along with contesting for popular support, gaining military support will be vital for the movement. Using decisions, certain field marshals and generals will be swayed to your cause and gain the “Peasant Sympathiser” trait, ensuring that they will join your side when the war begins.
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Poland will begin with socialist politician Stanisław Mikołajczyk as country leader, but those who wish to see the return of Wincenty Witos will be able to bring him back to leadership via event.
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Once the civil war is won, Poland will be in a vulnerable state. Recuperating manpower and resources after a civil war will place Poland in a precarious position, so some concessions and outreach for foreign assistance may be needed.
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A communist Poland will have two options: they may be bold and elect an anti-Stalinist candidate as Chairman, or they may elect the Soviet-aligned Władysław Gomułka. However, aligning with the Soviets will come at the cost of ceding Eastern Poland, but will unlock a few focuses for dealing with the USSR.

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With democracy, Poland may take advantage of the Front Morges’ ambitions for closer relations with the French and create the Morges Pact, a sort-of Poland-led Little Entente. Going down this route will allow Poland access to the Between the Seas branch we talked about last week.

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Anti-Soviet communists will be able to denounce both Capitalism and Fascism, diplomatically isolating this people’s republic, but allowing for new expansion options and military bonuses against the empires of this world. In doing so, they will gain a powerful attack and defence bonus against major powers.
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Both democrats and anti-Soviet communists will also be able to declare the destruction of fascism a greater cause than the spread of socialism and align themselves with the British Empire. Doing so will allow Poland to renew her interests in colonialism and attempt to purchase colonies from Allied powers. By officially recognising the Maritime and Colonial League, Poland can purchase Madagascar, Palestine, and more. If any of your purchases are successful, Poland will have somewhere to build their forces in exile, should the front back home fail.

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No matter which option you pick, either conquering or building alliances with the Baltic States will allow you to create a new kind of Commonwealth: the Commonwealth of Socialist Republics.

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Moving on to the next branch, we have the Regency Council: Poland’s attempt to “restore” the monarchy. The Act of the Fifth of November was the promise of the Central Powers to release a Kingdom of Poland from the occupied territories of the Russian Empire, but the Regency Council of the newly formed Kingdom of Poland failed to crown a King before Józef Piłsudski declared the Second Polish Republic.

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With the Regency Council assembled, Poland will be able to choose from one of three claimants, each with their own complete political path. There were countless claimants and candidates for the Polish throne so it was impossible for me to make content for them all, so we have: The Hohenzollern, The Commonwealth Claimant, and the Cossack-King to choose from!

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The Commonwealth Claimant is perhaps the most obvious: Poland’s preferred candidate for King was Friedrich Christian. Christian was preferred due to Poland’s long connection with the houses of Saxony, and with a claimant so supported by the Poles, you are able to claim the throne of Lithuania without the need for warfare.

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Through decisions, Poland can trend monarchist sentiment up in Lithuania, and when it reaches high enough, they may either enter a civil war or peacefully take over the government. When either case has happened, Poland can annex the Lithuanian Kingdom and begin integrating the industries of their two nations and preparing for war with the Soviets and Germans: restoring the old borders of the Commonwealth and then some!

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Poland and Romania enjoyed close relations at the start of HoI’s timeframe, and with the throne of Poland empty, Poland may throw herself into the complex mess of Romanian politics by electing a Romanian King.

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With King Michael on the throne of Poland, the Kingdoms will be able to unite under the right circumstances. Either by Polish interference or by Romania completing “King Michael’s Coup”, Romania and Poland will be united, bringing their armies together and becoming a powerful wall between the Axis and the Comintern.

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This Intermarium nation may seek Balkan Domination and a restoration of Poland-Hungary, or (as with the Commonwealth) it may seek to maintain its alignment with the Allies.

Finally, we have the most unlikely candidate for the throne: Pavel Bermondt-Avalov.
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A warlord, a cossack, and a Georgian Prince, Pavel led an interesting life of conquest and warfare. In the interwar period, Pavel and his Bermontian host invaded Lithuania and Latvia for reasons historians are still unsure of, but his ambition for Baltic domination makes him the ideal candidate for militarizing the Polish state into action and dominating the Baltics and Czechoslovakia.
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When done conquering the Baltics, Pavel will be able to either turn his militarized Polish Kingdom against the Germans and asser Poland’s claims in Silesia and Pomerania or, as a National Socialist, Pavel may wish to seek alignment with the Germans, which brings us on to the fascist branch.
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Poland was home to a multitude of fascist and nationalist movements: the most notable of which are the Endecja (or National Democracy) and the Falanga. The Sanation historically made dealings with both of these groups, and as such, if you want either Endecja or Falanga to take control, you must collaborate with the Sanation until you are able to supplant them.

When either Endecja or Falanga have taken over the government, they will have a choice to either stand firm with Polish nationalism or make concessions to the Germans and attempt to seek an alliance.
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Aligning with the Germans will not place you on equal grounds, and it is not as easy as it once was. Germany will refuse to ally with Poland unless Danzig and Poznan are surrendered and Poland becomes a German subject. Unlike Czechoslovakia though, the Poles will be able to break their shackles and tear the Reich apart from within.

With either Pavel, Piasecki, or Dmowski in control, Poland will be presented with a ladder of focuses enabling them to either gain powerful bonuses from the Germans or plot with the Underground State to overthrow their current masters.
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Going for independence will allow Poland to switch sides and stab Germany in the back, whereas remaining loyal will enable Poland to gain some cores in the USSR in a sort-of reverse Yalta Conference.
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However, a Falanga or Endecja that does not bow to the Germans will be able to lean into the Polish Catholic identity and form the Falangist International: a faction devoted to the perseverance of Falangist ideals.
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Once the Spanish Civil War is done with, if either the Carlists, Nationalists, or Falangists come out on top, Poland will be able to bring them into their own faction and from there, they will be able to expand that faction to other nations where Falangism was present such as: Mexico, the Netherlands, and much of Latin America.

They will have access to decisions to boost fascism in those nations, and with a certain percentage achieved, those nations will be invited to join the Falangist International. These focuses invite multiple nations at once, so the faction can grow very large very quickly.
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Similar to the Sanation path, the Polish fascists must choose between allying with Lithuania or attempting to reclaim the legacy of the Commonwealth, but choose wisely. Without allying Lithuania, this Poland will be unable to progress down the Between the Seas path, severely limiting their faction’s ability to expand.

That’s about it for the political paths, so I’ll wrap this one up by talking about a feature we haven’t touched in quite some time: Governments in Exile.
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Unlike France and the Netherlands, Poland does not by default have a vast colonial empire to which they may retreat when things fall apart back home, so Poland will be entirely reliant on the support and goodwill of their allies and the network of resistance fighters in the Polish Underground State.
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In exile, the Polish government went through a number of Prime Ministers and Presidents before landing on something the Allies were satisfied with. If Poland is following a historical route and is exiled in a Democratic nation like Britain or France, they will demand the resignation of the Sanation leaders, and from there, Poland may pick from one of three new leaders, each with a unique personality enabling them to gain manpower while in exile.

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On top of that, they will gain access to Irena Anders as a political adviser, granting more legitimacy, stability, and exiled manpower.

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In the exile focus tree, Poland can gain a number of offmap factories and dockyards, and bonuses to their ace generation and an increase in special forces cap. Poland will never muster a major army while exiled, but with these bonuses, Poland will still be able to keep fighting on with a small but specialised force.

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Owners of La Resistance will gain access to a slew of agency bonuses including an increase to their spy capacity, free agency upgrades via focus, and the new Warsaw Uprising operation.

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Completing the operation will trigger the Warsaw Uprising sooner than the game mechanics usually allow. With 50% resistance or higher in Polish states, the uprising can be started, but time this well as you can only complete this operation once. A well-timed uprising can shatter the German army and leave them short on supply as they attempt Operation Barbarossa.

Poland was also vital to assisting in decrypting the enigma machine, so they also gain access to the Mastermind Codebreaker advisor: Marian Rejewski.

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The old Cyclometer and Bombe focuses have been moved into the espionage branch, but I noted that without any territory left, a bonus to atomic research was fairly useless to Poland. So, when the Atomic Research focus is done, Poland gains an offmap nuclear reactor that will give roughly one nuke per year... Try not to think too hard about it.

There were a lot of interesting alternate-history scenarios for Poland to explore and new possibilities came up during my research and implementation. Though I didn’t represent everything in game (such as the proposed Japan-Polish alliance), Poland is a treasure-trove of alternate history scenarios if only you can find a way to survive.

That’s all for this week, and that wraps up the two week Poland extravaganza!
 
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Aeroclub

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The best part of the tree:
Alternative fascist paths. Finally! They were the only ideology that lacked them.

The worst part of the tree:
You just couldn't resist the Byzantium-style free cores on half of Europe, could you? I mean with other memes like Byzantium or the Ottomans you at least need to conquer stuff to get it, but here it seems like you can just become the most powerful major by JUST CLICKING FOCI. Really?

That's the closest this game has ever been to a "Click here to win WW2" focus.
 
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Sir.Dr.X

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Not sure I like the idea of a poor nation becoming a super power by 39. This seems way to unrealistic. This is just an arcade game now
Poland whasn't poor nation. It whas considered as major power in central Europe afther 1920 when Polisch army defet Soviet Russia. Every one trye to swey Poland at they side before second world war. The nev tree schould express that sytuation.
 
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While there are some glaring problems in this tree, I still think it is a real improvement on the original polish tree, especially the "light alt-history" and the fascist part.

Personally, I find a Poland-Hungary ruled by a Romanian (German) monarch to be ludicrous. It is based in memes, lets not kid ourselves, and on a Union from 500 years ago. I think it would be good to treat it like the HRE and Byzantium in this game: make it essentially an easter egg.

Say you replace the Mihal route with a Karol Olbracht von Habsburg route, with the option of working closely with Romania, Hungary and / or a potentially resurgent German Empire and Austria-Hungary. Under very specific conditions Karol either gets killed or declines the crown (preferably conditions that almost only arise when forced by a player, very rarely for the AI, perhaps sabote in the negotiations or an assassination), then you get to ask Mihal to assume the crown, much like how its very hard to get Victoria Louise and getting Byz relies on the outcome of the conference in the democratic greece tree.

I understand that the devs would be very reluctant to scrap already existing content and a subset of people likes the memes, and personally I would see this as probably the best compromise between the camps in this discussion.
 
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Spelaren

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What absolute rubbish alt-history! There's plausible things like Thailand joining allies or what if Norway actually managed to put up a defense against Germany which change the tide of the war a lot and possibly shorten the war by a good bit. Or Italy staying neutral.

Then there's poland in exile with nuclear bombs!

Inb4 Romanoff restoration path for USSR.
 
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I like most of the Focus Tree. The Polish Romania Thing is a bit stupid but well we have communist 'Japan and a Second American Civil war so it's not that bad. What I really miss is the polish subjugation path aka they give germany everything they want, become a puppet and later over a german decision a reichkomiseriat. This should be not a normal AI way but IUt would be nice to see polish politicians trying everything to suvive as a state even if they let germany free reign.

Will we see a polish komiseriat either way? Like the others as a decision from fascist germany? Maybe with a small focus tree deicated to suppress polish resistance. It could get some bonuses for recruitible population on none core territory and ask for industrial and military support from germany. This would make it easier for the AI to start a warsaw uprising and give the german Player agency in stopping it by supporting the polish komiseriat.
Lastly another wihs I have is the bohemian Reichskomieriat and the Russian one (that goes to the Urals after Ukraine and a Siberian afterwards) Idk if that is hard to add but it would be nice to just don't annex all and have more puppets that help germany contrll this stuff like they planned in reality. It also would add Nice borders in the East.
Lastly giving Romania cores or claims taht can become cores on the promised Ukrainian Territories would be very nice (also giving the same for germany in eastern poland slovenia and the german states that they coul get refused like austria or sudentenland, making them non core is fone when you get them via conquest but I think you should be able to xore these historical claims like Bulgaria).

Thanks for reading if you did ^^ really like your work in the comments and the game.
 
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Hjalfnar

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That was also bad, and directed at the same developer. People got it into their heads that he had been paid taxpayer dollars to add al-Andalus to the game, when, in fact, he had stated quite clearly that the new formable nations were created in his spare time.

Again, people don't always visit this forum with their reading glasses and thinking caps on.

Also, is it possible that the negative reactions to this diary originate from Polish gamers, who, after much anticipation, were disappointed to find that, even with the potential of alternate history, Hearts of Iron's Poland still "cannot into space"?
Well, from the Poles in the HoI4 community I know the negative reaction exclusively comes from the new focus trees being historically NOT researched. Otherwise you can't explain the glaring mistakes. And from my experience, Poles don't like it at all when their national history is misrepresented.
 
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Another question: Why is the Kingdom of Poland (which is an achievement to bring to life in itself) mostly just a stepping stone towards another country? I looked over the focus trees, and how about i just wanna stay the Kingdom of Poland? That would be excellent for the Karl Albrecht path! stay Poland (no unions or commonwealth) and cooperate with other monarchs diplomaticly.
 
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jakubcz

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Is it possible to add Polish–Czechoslovak confederation focus in the exile focus tree? It was a historical project performed after the Polish defeat in the Polish September campaign.
 

Hjalfnar

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Also would give good reasons to change the head of state of Austria and Hungary to the von Habsburg (Otto?) via diplomacy or military action, without annexing them. What about a "Restore the Monarchies" focus tree that allows a Habsburg-Kingdom of Poland to not annex, but change all the majors that had monarchies back to them?
 

Sultan Suleiman

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@Sultan Suleiman
We are not upset because Poland is not too wacky but becuase it is
Moreover, devs shown that they not only doesn't care about history anymore (the have got polish socialism, the people's movement completely wrong, they didn't add the only possible polish king candidate) but they also copied HPoland mod almost 1:1 in Sanacja part of the tree (including idea about endorsing various wings of Sanacja and naming them like in the mod, which was done for fun because it's not historical at all).
And why would anyone want to change polish flag to The Black Madonna? Especially PSL which was mildly anti-clerical. (I'm not even talking about PSL-Revolution)
There was quite a fun on polish HoI4 groups after they called Mikołajczyk socialist (the man who literally led anti-socialist opposition after the war) and made Gomułka a stalinist (who was imprisioned for not endorsing it and being a nationalist) while ND was made into german collabolators despite them being strongly anti-nazi and democratic IRL.

There are no problems with about 40% of pops being of differend culture. There is no synthetic rubber, neither innovative industrial exploits. Instead they went for memey stuff like buying off Palestyne as a socialist government.

We only expected Paradox to do a little of historical research and apply some minor-yet-plausable paths and mechanics but instead we got The Red Flood level of wackyness.

NGL the falangist internationale made me chuckle and while it may be a fun tree to play with it doesn't seem to be right for a game that tries to be somewhat historical. I'm not talking about there should not be any alt-history but c'mon. Why would you ever add somebody like Pavel as a king of Poland? Literally the prince of Japan would be more possible and I'm not even joking. We want a high-tech espionage Polish-Japanese tree instead, with Piłsudski as a prime minister
I would take the time to read all this, but I'm much too busy living in a country with a well-established space program.

The moon, Mars, it's like, "Hey, can we just spend a little bit of time on this planet for a change?" When you get to space, I mean, really get to space, I'm sure you'll understand what I'm talking about. But, Earth is...nice. It's not space-nice, but it's got Michael Keaton. That's not nothing.
 
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Speaking from a plausibility standpoint, neither had any chance of coming to power without being puppeted by a foreign power. Zilch, nada, none.

If you wanted the most realistic depiction of communist Poland, it'd be as a Soviet puppet state. Even in the most fanciful scenario where Poland manages to internally succeed in a coup and some communist regime comes to power, Papa Stalin (or Leon Trotsky in the case of hoi4 alt-history) is going to come knocking on the door demanding obedience to Moscow. Assuming the organization was somehow not already puppeted internally (where else do you get the material support to launch such a fanciful coup anyways?), there would be war with the USSR if they didn't accept.

Under no circumstances is the USSR or a Fascist Germany going to tolerate full Polish independence without huge territorial concessions, internal government control, and diplomatic oversight.
-------------------------------------------------

When I first set out to make Historical Poland (the R56 Poland as most call it these days), one of the most fundamental motivations was to try and overcome the real reason that most people flipped communism or fascist in the base game. Everyone was simply just flipping fascism/commie to get Germany or the USSR in their faction. Then you as the minor nation declare a bunch of wars and sit back and watch as Germany or the USSR kill everything for you as you feel smug and watch your own country expand its borders for no risk at all. I tried to represent the fact that being German or Soviet aligned was going to result in serious diplomatic obstacles and that you're basically going to end up as a rump puppet state, not a winner coming out of WW2 by going this route.

I always thought that Poland in HPL was significantly stronger than vanilla united and ready, but I got constant moaning from lots of people saying that the game was so hard because they couldn't use the USSR or Germany to bludgeon everyone to death anymore. Are we ever going to address the fact that cooperation with Germany or the USSR would be a Faustian bargain for a lot of countries? It should feel more like a hollow victory with harsh consequences in my opinion.

If we're going for an authentic feeling, whatever route you take in a Polish play-through should feel like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
This has to be one of the better written posts explaining why it is so hard to create a Poland game in HOI4. Without going way outside the margins, Poland does not have a realistic chance in hell of surviving the first few months after being attacked. That is no fun. Players demand fun. Ergo, players are given the tools to have fun, or they go elsewhere.

In my opinion, the developers are in a no-win scenario. Poland cannot realistically survive. Not enough players would play a loser Poland. Players will burn the house down if Poland is ignored. Therefore, developers must create a survivable Poland.

I absolutely agree, we could have a more realistic focus trees, with the proper characters in their expected positions, but no matter how many times you rearrange those chairs, that ship is going to sink and sink fast. How many people are going to play that, no matter how many scholars give it accolades?

Filing in the game space from a realistic Poland to a surviving Poland requires giving the player options that will later need names and explanations. Since there is no realistic option for Poland to survive; these game options are pure fantasy and enter instant meme territory. When faced with such impossibilities, at least try to make it fun for the player. This adds another layer of fantasy. Adding names to those game options adds yet another layer of fantasy. All this fantasy is going to draw criticism, loud criticism in this case, but no better solution.

Even so, the names given to these fantastical political organizations and the people who would lead them could be better related to the history of Poland before the war. I agree. Many others do, too. The developers have made it clear they have heard the criticism on that and the nuke. Could we please stop kicking that can and hear some input on the rest of the Polish update? I rely on people who know more than me to critique new content and all I am hearing in 25 pages of posts is the same thing over and over.
 
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What if instead the focus raised the nuclear research of Polish allies, then? A focus that you take which doesn't pay off for you directly, but indirectly, because it still helps your faction win?

But that's also REALLY REALLY dull. You spend 5 years as a government in exile so you can spend 35-70 days to take a focus to boost a research the AI will not even bother taking. It might work in a multiplayer game where you can actually talk to the other players but in single player it's a terrible idea.

Approaching the NF tree as a GAME the two options are give the player the fruits of nuclear research or don't mention nuclear at all. Having a button that says "give other people more fun" is usually bad game design.
 
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Bane5

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In my opinion, the developers are in a no-win scenario. Poland cannot realistically survive. Not enough players would play a loser Poland. Players will burn the house down if Poland is ignored. Therefore, developers must create a survivable Poland.
The DLC has the Soviets as a main attraction to sell copies. As a result, I don't think the devs need to feel pressured to make Poland artificially survivable (hint, hint, if they're reading this comment). That said, I know there are folks out there who do find fun in trying to win the hardest challenges out there or at least trying to see how far they can make it.
 
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The DLC has the Soviets as a main attraction to sell copies. As a result, I don't think the devs need to feel pressured to make Poland artificially survivable (hint, hint, if they're reading this comment). That said, I know there are folks out there who do find fun in trying to win the hardest challenges out there or at least trying to see how far they can make it.
I know I am in a minority of the player base, but I would greatly enjoy a realistic Poland update, even though I know it would probably mean I do not survive very long. For me the game part would be trying to survive longer than I did last time, but at the same time learning things about a country I know little about.

Yea, I am weird.
 
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But that's also REALLY REALLY dull. You spend 5 years as a government in exile so you can spend 35-70 days to take a focus to boost a research the AI will not even bother taking. It might work in a multiplayer game where you can actually talk to the other players but in single player it's a terrible idea.
If you want whacky fun with a historical nod, make Hydrogen bombs a 1950s+ tech. The Hydrogen bomb is also known as a "Teller-Ulam" device. Stanisław Ulam being a Polish emigre would be a boost to hydrogen bomb research. Serious games are going to be over by 1950+ so it'd be harmless fun to include.

Castle-Bravo-3_thumb.jpg
 
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sorry if this got said before but wasn't poland's idea to buy Madagascar only so they could kick out their jews and move them there?

edit:
The idea was revisited in the 1930s, when it was proposed that Polish Jews, who were perceived to dominate the Polish professions, be encouraged to emigrate. At one point, Polish foreign minister Józef Beck bluntly proposed that Madagascar be used as a "dumping ground" for Poland's "surplus" Jewish population.
 
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