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.
poland_big_picture.png

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!
organize_peasant_strike.png

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.
peasant_strike_buildup.png

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.
peasant_strike_war.png

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.

poland_morges_pact.png


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.

regency_branch_kingdom_poland.png


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!

poland_lithuania.png


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.

poland_romania.png


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.

poland_romania_tree.png


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.
poland_pavel.png

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.
poland_pavel_path.png

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.
poland_fascist_start.png

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.
poland_fascist_germany.png

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.
poland_fascist_postwar.png

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.
poland_falangist_path.png

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.
poland_falangist_path_boost.png

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.
poland_falangist_demand_lit.png

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.
poland_prepare_inevitable.png

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.
poland_exile_leaders.png

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.

poland_irena_anders.png


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.

poland_exile_intelligence.png


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.

poland_exile_warsaw_uprising.png


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.

poland_offmap_reactor.png


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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One cautiously hopeful thing to say though is that much of this content is still salvageable in regards to the puppet system. For example, in-game currently if Fascist Germany puppets Poland, it doesn't make much sense for Bolesław Piasecki to be the leader when he commanded resistance forces during world war II against German occupiers. In HPL we put Hans Frank in this specific case for the Generalgouvernement puppet.

Just using some brief examples:
  • Maria Koszutska is a great fit if a Trotsky-led USSR puppets Poland (no great purge).
    • I wouldn't see anything wrong with a Trostsky puppet Poland having a PLC commonwealth branch to launch some proxy wars (a better name for it could be found though)
  • The Cossack King can fill in if a Fascist Russia manages to puppet Poland
    • That said, a not-so-well-loved foreign king isn't going to want lean on nationalistic Poles for his powerbase.
    • Achievement run material
  • The whole democratic peasant rebellion would be a great way for a Poland player who is puppeted by an AI to try and break free to regain independence
    • I do have to ask, as presented in the two Dev Diaries, what kind of player is going to want to launch an internal democratic coup against themselves when they have fight some wars in 1939 (or earlier) against the strongest super-powers in the game?
    • A narrative of angry conservative Polish peasants rising up against their foreign overlords does have some historical resonance though.

The DLC includes the Soviets/Russia and these interactions in the bullet points would still be alt-history Soviet/Russia themed.

-------
Not everyone knows the ins and outs of how to exploit the AI. While the forum base tends to represent people who are knowledgeable about the game, many people are going to be playing Polish playthroughs and losing, ending up as puppets. Perhaps one avenue of development to explore is making the experience of being a puppet more interesting in certain scenarios with options for cooperation/resistance?

Even the deepest alt-history memes are plausible if you put the correct triggers in place. Weird stuff happened in the real timeline, but there was a big cause/effect chain that you could point to and say, "this is where it all went wrong." I see this whole thing as being less a problem of the destination, but about the narrative of "how do you get there?" not feeling right. (that said, please do try to adjust some underlying historical inaccuracies along the way still)

Hoi4 alt-history branches overall would feel a lot better if you could see ripple effects and cross-interactions with other trees. Such puppet branches might be one way to start introducing them in small steps.
 
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-------
Not everyone knows the ins and outs of how to exploit the AI. While the forum base tends to represent people who are knowledgeable about the game, many people are going to be playing Polish playthroughs and losing, ending up as puppets. Perhaps one avenue of development to explore is making the experience of being a puppet more interesting in certain scenarios with options for cooperation/resistance?

Even the deepest alt-history memes are plausible if you put the correct triggers in place. Weird stuff happened in the real timeline, but there was a big cause/effect chain that you could point to and say, "this is where it all went wrong." I see this whole thing as being less a problem of the destination, but about the narrative of "how do you get there?" not feeling right. (that said, please do try to adjust some underlying historical inaccuracies along the way still)

Hoi4 alt-history branches overall would feel a lot better if you could see ripple effects and cross-interactions with other trees. Such puppet branches might be one way to start introducing them in small steps.

I don't think so. If this focus tree became a reality, i see two things happen in the future:

The web and forum will get an overflow of playthroughs where the Polish intermarium /colonial communist empire will conquer Germany and the USSR and / or the USA will get conquered from the Polish colonies in South America.

In the competitive multiplayer spectrum, ahistorical Poland will either become banned or Poland gets conquered immediately so that the regular major powers can have an undisturbed match.


I think that it would help things more if for example a player led Poland in exile could have an impact on the further course of the war by being able to successfully request sufficient equipment and expeditionary forces (especially from AI Allies) to actually become the leading force behind the campaign and the operations to liberate Europe and the homeland from the nasty enemy occupiers. The player could be in the central of events and have a decisive impact by his actions.

Magical nukes being wormholed in to devastate Europe just for retaliation purposes are a fantasy, simplicist and by no means helpful answer instead.
 
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Polish colonial communist empire

USA will get conquered from the Polish colonies in South America.

Magical nukes being wormholed in to devastate Europe
Some outcomes are indeed not salvageable from a narrative standpoint, but the need to change these things has already been conveyed and discussed to death already.

I think that it would help things more if for example a player led Poland in exile could have an impact on the further course of the war by being able to successfully request sufficient equipment and expeditionary forces (especially from AI Allies) to actually become the leading force behind the campaign and the operations to liberate Europe and the homeland from the nasty enemy occupiers. The player could be in the central of events and have a decisive impact by his actions.
The process of losing a semi-historical in-game situation akin to the September campaign could be a matter of seeing how many liquid assets, gold reserves, machine tools from factories, etc can be evacuated in time (i.e. converted into offmap factories). The whole point of trying to put up as spirited a defense as possible once the tides have turned in multiplayer initially could be to try and get a stronger army in exile for later on. Being less dependent on handouts could help their chances in determining the post-war settlement to some degree in singleplayer. Past a certain surrender progress threshold, you start getting repeatable timed decisions to convert what you have left into future exiled assets. This gives all the more incentive for the opponent to finish you off quickly and grab what they can for occupation.

The issue of a Poland player's actions feeding Germany in multiplayer does need to be addressed in some form.
 
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I wonder, considering the exile tree is historical (apart from the bloody offmap nukes, of course), is it free content or also DLC exclusive?
 
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Some outcomes are indeed not salvageable from a narrative standpoint, but the need to change these things has already been conveyed and discussed to death already.


The process of losing a semi-historical in-game situation akin to the September campaign could be a matter of seeing how many liquid assets, gold reserves, machine tools from factories, etc can be evacuated in time (i.e. converted into offmap factories). The whole point of trying to put up as spirited a defense as possible once the tides have turned in multiplayer initially could be to try and get a stronger army in exile for later on. Being less dependent on handouts could help their chances in determining the post-war settlement to some degree in singleplayer. Past a certain surrender progress threshold, you start getting repeatable timed decisions to convert what you have left into future exiled assets. This gives all the more incentive for the opponent to finish you off quickly and grab what they can for occupation.

The issue of a Poland player's actions feeding Germany in multiplayer does need to be addressed in some form.

As far as i know, governments in exile already receive some off-map production as is. My point is that even an increased number might not be a sufficient solution to really make a difference in the ongoing war. If an exiled nation could instead get command of an expeditionary army (e.g. AI controlled UK / USA accepting requests for expeditionaries up to case sensitive limit) - this together with their own exile forces might be enough to lead meaningful operations in future - maybe even allowing for the player becoming the main driving force of the Allies in a SP game.

If warscore was working in accordance - this might also have the incentive for the player to actually shape the postwar order so the effort invested gets rewarded.


To your last part:
That's not what i was trying to say. I meant a mutual agreement between player controlled GER / USSR in a MP game to divide Poland early so that they get rid of deviant focus stuff they don't want to see in their match. I agree that this would not be a satisfying solution in general.
Historical oriented MP groups may even try to mod out the ahistorical part of the Polish tree - which would lead this development effort go to waste as well.


I wonder, considering the exile tree is historical (apart from the bloody offmap nukes, of course), is it free content or also DLC exclusive?

If the policy has not been changed recently, the historical part can be expected to be a free part of the update. This had been the case with the first Polish focus tree and also happened with the focus tree updates of the major reworks if i remember correctly.
 
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There were so many comments, so many ideas! It took me 2 days to read all of them and gather my own thoughts. While I love crazy alternative history paths, I also want them to be plausible! I think I have a solution for offmap factories, nuclear reactor, cossack king and some minor clarification for already asked questions.

Offmap industry
It is in fact a real story! UK loaned Poland quite a lot money. They paid for equipment and salaries of Polish soldiers in exile. Polish gold was a collateral. It was possible, because Poland managed to evacuate national gold during war. The debt was partially paid, as you can read in official document to be seen on Polish government website (it is already translated). It included 3 mln pounds paid immediately in gold, which is 91 mln $ in 2020. Remember, there is no currency in-game, we are paying for licenses with civ factories. So, renting and buying equipment may be presented as using offmap factories.

But, it would be still better to incorporate a real intelligence mission about evacuation of Polish gold. It was 95 tonnes and escaped German chase trough Romania, Turkey, Africa, France to New York.

Moreover, there was a small underground industry developing and producing stuff for resistance. Examples: Błyskawica submachine guns (about 700 were produced) and hand grenade ET wz. 40 (about 240 000). Also propaganda materials and so on. I believe, that industry should depend on level of resistance strenght as percentage of regions industrial capacity.

If devs will use those example as the background, offmap industry should be justified.

Offmap nuclear reactor
Regarding offmap nuclear reactor... Notice it is in intelligence tree! What if instead of producing it, Polish intelligence could "borrow" it? Imagine a newspaper event for the first country to build a nuclear bomb, that it disappeared in unknown circumstances. This is alt history, right? :)

But, if exiled government receives some nuclear bombs via intelligence, it should also receive a way to deliver it without strategic bombers. How about a mission Sum of All Fears (smuggle it)? Or a lame event costing political power for people without La Résistance.
 
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Iskulya

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One cautiously hopeful thing to say though is that much of this content is still salvageable in regards to the puppet system. For example, in-game currently if Fascist Germany puppets Poland, it doesn't make much sense for Bolesław Piasecki to be the leader when he commanded resistance forces during world war II against German occupiers. In HPL we put Hans Frank in this specific case for the Generalgouvernement puppet.

Just using some brief examples:
  • Maria Koszutska is a great fit if a Trotsky-led USSR puppets Poland (no great purge).
    • I wouldn't see anything wrong with a Trostsky puppet Poland having a PLC commonwealth branch to launch some proxy wars (a better name for it could be found though)
Don't really know anything about Polish history specifically, although the history of 20th century communism is a big interest of mine, but this sounds great, although we are unlikely to see something like this implemented simply because of limited resources in producing a lot of portraits.

There's definitely a lot of options for switching around Communist Party leaders in various nations based on who comes out on top in the Soviet Union. James Cannon for the CPUSA if Trotsky comes out on top, or Jay Lovestone if Bukharin does for instance. Like I said though, probably not going to happen if only for limitations related to making a bunch of leader portraits.

I'm not even sure what even happened to Bela Kun.. I remember there was a time a few years back where if Hungary became communist quickly enough that he would be the leader(IE before his historical execution date). Doesn't seem to be in the game anymore, but I haven't looked at the code. Feel free to correct me here(anyone).
  • The whole democratic peasant rebellion would be a great way for a Poland player who is puppeted by an AI to try and break free to regain independence
    • I do have to ask, as presented in the two Dev Diaries, what kind of player is going to want to launch an internal democratic coup against themselves when they have fight some wars in 1939 (or earlier) against the strongest super-powers in the game?
    • A narrative of angry conservative Polish peasants rising up against their foreign overlords does have some historical resonance though.
Honestly, I don't think viability for a historical playthrough was the intent here. This seems like something that most players would either turn historical off and hope that Germany has a civil war, or just outright set Germany to have one for sure via the game rules. IIRC from the information Podcat has given us in the past a lot of players already use this tool to make the game easier for them, like making the US have a civil war if they are playing an Axis country.. I think a lot of people will choose to play that way.

Don't necessarily see a problem with this design philosophy. There are many other options if you want to do a run with historical focuses on. Going fascist or communist seem like options, or just taking the historical approach and seeing if you can hold out.


The DLC includes the Soviets/Russia and these interactions in the bullet points would still be alt-history Soviet/Russia themed.

-------
Not everyone knows the ins and outs of how to exploit the AI. While the forum base tends to represent people who are knowledgeable about the game, many people are going to be playing Polish playthroughs and losing, ending up as puppets. Perhaps one avenue of development to explore is making the experience of being a puppet more interesting in certain scenarios with options for cooperation/resistance?

Even the deepest alt-history memes are plausible if you put the correct triggers in place. Weird stuff happened in the real timeline, but there was a big cause/effect chain that you could point to and say, "this is where it all went wrong." I see this whole thing as being less a problem of the destination, but about the narrative of "how do you get there?" not feeling right. (that said, please do try to adjust some underlying historical inaccuracies along the way still)

Hoi4 alt-history branches overall would feel a lot better if you could see ripple effects and cross-interactions with other trees. Such puppet branches might be one way to start introducing them in small steps.
Agreed entirely.

I think a lot of people miss that a truly significant historical event retroactively changes the entire terrain of historical narrative. The Russian Revolution itself is an easy example of this. It's not necessarily well know, but before Lenin returned from exile, following the February Revolution and the formation of Kerensky's government, a lot of Bolsheviks favored collaboration with the regime, opting for the Menshevik strategy. Among those on the Central Committee were Stalin, Zinoviev, and Kamenev. When Lenin returned from exile, he advocated breaking with the 'Provisional Government' completely and opting for revolution. Many(some sources argue most) higher ranking bolsheviks resisted this. Even on the eve of the Revolution itself, Kamenev and Zinoviev were still so opposed to the idea of revolution that they leaked the plans for the seizure of power to the press several days beforehand.

The significance here is that it is not at all difficult for us to imagine a different sequence of events where perhaps Lenin didn't make it back to Russia at all, or at a later date and was unable to convince the party to adopt his strategy with the result that the Bolsheviks, like the Mensheviks, support the government and the revolution never even happens at all.

In which case, it is not difficult for us to imagine yet another sequence of events: people sitting on a forum for a historically situation computer game discussing an alternate history scenario where communists do take power, and we can just as easily imagine a common reaction, "Communists in Russia? Absurd. Get out of here with this meme crap!".

The ultimate point of all this is that there really is no such thing as a "plausible" alternate-history. All hypotheticals are stricto-senso absurd since their realization would completely alter the terrain on which we even interpret history in the first place. There is nothing controversial about this; I seem to recall one famous historian referring to speculation over how history might have gone differently as a "parlor game".

Being absurd from a realism standpoint isn't the same thing as being unsatisfying. What makes a good alternate history? Generally a lot of the things that make a good fictional narrative in general: we have to be able to suspend our disbelief.

But to go offtopic for a minute... really a big fan of your mod. It's given me quite a lot of fun over the years. I'm also glad to see that it seems a lot of elements of it heavily influenced the official focus tree in some ways(although some would say, not enough) that clearly have turned it for the better.
I don't think so. If this focus tree became a reality, i see two things happen in the future:

The web and forum will get an overflow of playthroughs where the Polish intermarium /colonial communist empire will conquer Germany and the USSR and / or the USA will get conquered from the Polish colonies in South America.
Where exactly is this meme of a "Communist colonial empire" coming from? It seems to have started earlier in the thread, but I also have seen it on reddit. Where is the basis for thinking this?

If we actually look at the focus tree, we see clearly that getting Madagascar is exclusive to becoming democratic and allying with France, while Palestine will be exclusive to becoming Democratic and allying with Britain.

It does have a "Press for Liberia" focus, which communist Poland can take, but we don't know what this actually does. It could just be, potentially, puppeting Liberia. I don't think anything about this necessarily implies "colonial empire", seems like a more apt comparison would be between Cuba and the Soviet Union in the 60's. Of course, it's not very realistic at all especially given that Poland has no guaranteed route to the Atlantic ocean(the straits of Denmark can easily lock them out of t he worrld's oceans entirely), but there are actually things in the game way more silly AND overpowered than this.

Take for instance the fact that Falangist Spain can puppet entire swathes of Latin America by decision with no American interference. Granted I don't keep an eagle eye on these forums, I can't recall anyone around here EVER complaining about it despite it having been in the game since February 2020. I don't see Poland having Liberia as a puppet as overpowered. Unrealistic and a bit silly? Sure. But it's not very outlandish or overpowered compared to a lot of things that have been in the game for years that people either never complain about or seldomly do. I think it's fine honestly, if you're going independent commie as Poland that means you'll be making an enemy out of both Germany and the Soviet Union. Potentially maybe puppeting Liberia doesn't seem game changing to me. A neat thing people will find to exploit or leverage in some way, but definitely not your average player. It definitely seems far superior to say the Canadian or Australian communist trees which amount to "become communist, ally the Soviet Union, ?????, profit". Communist portions of focus trees are usually the low point in terms of interesting and engaging content. The Polish communist focuses actually look to be among the better ones and as pre-BFTB focus trees go I really only think communist Spain and Portugal compare to it.

We also see a focus "Support Colonial Worker Strikes". We have no idea what this does. The focus "Reopen the Polish Colonial league" is exclusive to democratic Poland allying with the UK.

In a strange reversal, some of the people very loudly complaining about how this focus tree is a meme, are themselves making silly memes about it without knowing it. Not really seeing any basis for this meme people have made up about the "Communist Polish colonial empire". Not to say that what is there is "plausible", but this really aggressive and vitriolic reaction by a lot of people is definitely over the top and even straight out ignores some of the information in the diary.

I was curious to see what Meka would come with after the Yugoslav rework last year. As far as focus tree *reworks* go, I think really only the German and British ones compare to this, but offer much less new content than this new Polish one. I have to say I'm impressed by this overall. Yeah, there are a few glaring issues that shouldn't be difficult to remedy(like exile nukes), but overall it's looking good. The White Russian Georgian Nazi king is super weird, but I see no real reason to be upset over it. It doesn't seem to have come at the expense of more "plausible" content. We have a Sanitation government branch with a purely historical route and two "plausible" ones, what more do people want, specifically? As far as "plausible" history goes, this rework seems complete to me. The Bergmont thing(and the monarchist/communist/fascist/democratic stuff for that matter) is just an ADDITION to it, not something that came at the expense of semi-historical stuff.

The real significant thing that I think is left out, as others have mentioned, is the lack of a Soviet invasion of Poland *along* with the Germans. It would take some scripting shenanigans, no doubt, to prevent this from dragging the Allies to war with the Comintern, but hopefully they will find a way to do this. Simultaneously I think we can see a good reason for it not being included: for the vast majority of players, playing a historical Poland, it will be utterly impossible to fend off a Soviet and Axis invasion *that start at the same time*(or close to it). Perhaps if the Soviet invasion is gated behind Poland having a certain amount of surrender progress to Germany it could be triggered, and we'd have a situation that 'everyone' is happy with.
 
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Federkiel

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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.

Where exactly is this meme of a "Communist colonial empire" coming from? It seems to have started earlier in the thread, but I also have seen it on reddit. Where is the basis for thinking this?

Above is the citation from the original dev diary.

In the end I cannot tell you whether all this is a huge misinterpretation - wouldn't be bad if it actually were.

By the exact wording of the dev diary it is not and really an ingame option.
 
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kronos8

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I was curious to see what Meka would come with after the Yugoslav rework last year. As far as focus tree *reworks* go, I think really only the German and British ones compare to this, but offer much less new content than this new Polish one. I have to say I'm impressed by this overall. Yeah, there are a few glaring issues that shouldn't be difficult to remedy(like exile nukes), but overall it's looking good. The White Russian Georgian Nazi king is super weird, but I see no real reason to be upset over it. It doesn't seem to have come at the expense of more "plausible" content. We have a Sanitation government branch with a purely historical route and two "plausible" ones, what more do people want, specifically? As far as "plausible" history goes, this rework seems complete to me. The Bergmont thing(and the monarchist/communist/fascist/democratic stuff for that matter) is just an ADDITION to it, not something that came at the expense of semi-historical stuff.
I think there are several more plausible alt-history options than what is on display, like Karol Olbracht for king, a revival of Prometheism, or a Japanese-Polish alliance. Before the dev diary came out, I had assumed that a Prometheist branch was almost guaranteed.

I really do like large focus, complicated focus trees, and have always liked alt-history, but I think the Polish tree is too large, and some of the alt-history is too dubious or possibly OP (like the Hohenzollern branch seems to be). I'd have preferred they made a much more regular-sized tree for Poland, and spent that extra time giving another country a tree as well.
 
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Federkiel

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There were so many comments, so many ideas! It took me 2 days to read all of them and gather some ideas. While I love crazy alternative history paths, I also want them to be plausible! I think I have a solution for offmap factories, nuclear reactor, cossack king and some minor clarification for already asked questions.

Offmap industry
It is in fact a real story! UK loaned Poland quite a lot money. They paid for equipment and salaries of Polish soldiers in exile. Polish gold was a collateral. It was possible, because Poland managed to evacuate national gold during war. The debt was partially paid, as you can read in official document to be seen on Polish government website (it is already translated). It included 3 mln pounds paid immediately in gold, which is 91 mln $ in 2020. Remember, there is no currency in-game, we are paying for licenses with civ factories. So, building renting and buying of equipment may be presented as using offmap factories.

But, it would be still better to incorporate a real intelligence mission about evacuation of Polish gold trough Romania and Mediterranean Sea! It was 95 tonnes and escaped German chase trough Romania, Turkey, Africa, France to New York.

Also, there was a small underground industry developing and producing stuff for resistance. Examples: Błyskawica submachine guns (about 700 were produced) and hand grenade ET wz. 40 (about 240 000). Also propaganda materials and so on. I believe, that industry should depend on level of resistance strenght as percentage of regions industrial capacity.

If devs will use those example as the background, offmap industry should be justified.

Offmap nuclear reactor
Regarding offmap nuclear reactor... Notice it is in intelligence tree! What if instead of producing it, Polish intelligence could "borrow" it? Imagine a newspaper event for the first country to build a nuclear bomb, that it disappeared in unknown circumstances. This is alt history, right? :)

But, if exiled government receives some nuclear bombs via intelligence, it should also receive a way to deliver it without strategic bombers. How about a mission Sum of All Fears? Or a lame event costing political power for people without La Résistance.

As stated i don't see any serious problem with (limited) off-map production for exiled nations so that continuing to play them has any sense. I even proposed an option to make playing an exile more meaningful.


I would like to agree to the rest as well but the nuclear reactor constantly producing nukes out of nowhere isn't part of the ahistorical branch of the tree. It would happen if the game goes as real history did. And among others i do not see any basis for that. This is pure fiction.
 

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Hello! Super update about Poland.

I would like to add in connection with the Barbarossa patch a rather important topic, being the country of Romania. Romania was a country that made a difference in Barbarossa by its geographical position and the army, but in the game there are far fewer than or in reality. The game is a ww2 simulator and should have several alternative countries that have been involved or have had a major impact. Like Russia and Italy new focustrees and some balances. My dream is to see that Romania in Hoi has a great importance, through its history and through the deeds it did in the Second World War.

I think you can add a lot to Romania, as well as to focustree and events such as:
-To recover old territories to unite Dacia, Greater Romania, Romania Dodoloata, to recover territories that are many Romanians such as western Banat and to have claims if they lose them, to have the whole chain of Carpathian mountains starting from carphat Ruthenia.
-To have more alternatives, to be able to stop Antonescu from leaving Carol II to leave the country and to kill him so that the country will no longer have problems with money, if you bring the PNL to power to be corruption, if you bring communism to be different national spirits, to be more diversified each branch. If it is to go to PNL / FRN, it may be a desire to defend the Balkans not only by guaranteeing, bringing them into faction or making them puppet.
-To have more generals, a few are missing.
-Like Germany, Russia to be able to break up Romania through Moldova and Muntenia, a historical fact before the unite, as in France to be able to break up Germany.
-To have new events, to be secret events, to be national new spirits.

I consider that Romania had a major impact with each decision and I think it should be taken seriously, plus it would make the game much more interesting. And I can come up with many ideas if you are going to change something :)
 
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Rachidelson

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Paradox wants us to pay for this, however I suspect that the sales on this DLC will be terrible. I and thousands upon thousands of others will not pay for this.

I will personally mod this content out of the game if the need be. We need another developer to create a WW2 grand strategy, because Paradox is shitting the damn bed and leaving a niche open ripe for the taking just like Maxis did with Simcity, when ironically Paradox saved the genre with Cities Skylines.

History repeats itself, I cannot wait for it to do so again. I would much rather Paradox just fix their shit though.
I don't think so, while I am not pleased with this Dev Diary, the DLC is going to be more than this, and making such early assumptions is not based on anything, we have literally seen 3 Dev Diaries and the only bad one is this one, the historical polish tree is fine and supply is amazing, we are yet to see tanks, trains, more on supply and the hat tab. I understand that the community is upset at what has been shown last wednesday but it is still way too early to make assumptions about the next DLC.
 
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Jedrek

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Jesus. Christ. This is a mess.

People complain about Kaiserreich being too memey... and then we get this kind of stuff in official, vanilla game. Plus, it's not even the paths being ridiculous (Cossack Poland...? Polish-Romanian kingdom?!), it's the tiny stuff that could be ironed out in a single day but it seems dev team doesn't care. Like the cossack dude using English spelling... But suddenly we get Michał II. What city is Lviv supposed to be? Back in 1936 was named Lwów and renaming it makes as much sense as using Wrocław for Breslau (and inb4 - Kaiserreich has an exo/endonym system that changes city names depending on the controller, so... that can be solved without insulting any nationality).

Black Madonna focus?! What's next, a Polish papacy with immortal John Paul II coming back in time to save Europe from communism?

People say HoI4 is a sandbox WW2 game so it should have memey/unrealistic paths. But this is approaching Road to 56 levels of stupid now.
 
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Kosaki MacTavish

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I wonder, considering the exile tree is historical (apart from the bloody offmap nukes, of course), is it free content or also DLC exclusive?
Either for this DLC, or free. Certain results like legitimacy bonuses is obviously would appear for MtG players, just like decryption and operatives for LaR players.
 

Sir.Dr.X

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One cautiously hopeful thing to say though is that much of this content is still salvageable in regards to the puppet system. For example, in-game currently if Fascist Germany puppets Poland, it doesn't make much sense for Bolesław Piasecki to be the leader when he commanded resistance forces during world war II against German occupiers. In HPL we put Hans Frank in this specific case for the Generalgouvernement puppet.

Just using some brief examples:
  • Maria Koszutska is a great fit if a Trotsky-led USSR puppets Poland (no great purge).
    • I wouldn't see anything wrong with a Trostsky puppet Poland having a PLC commonwealth branch to launch some proxy wars (a better name for it could be found though)
  • The Cossack King can fill in if a Fascist Russia manages to puppet Poland
    • That said, a not-so-well-loved foreign king isn't going to want lean on nationalistic Poles for his powerbase.
    • Achievement run material
  • The whole democratic peasant rebellion would be a great way for a Poland player who is puppeted by an AI to try and break free to regain independence
    • I do have to ask, as presented in the two Dev Diaries, what kind of player is going to want to launch an internal democratic coup against themselves when they have fight some wars in 1939 (or earlier) against the strongest super-powers in the game?
    • A narrative of angry conservative Polish peasants rising up against their foreign overlords does have some historical resonance though.

The DLC includes the Soviets/Russia and these interactions in the bullet points would still be alt-history Soviet/Russia themed.

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Not everyone knows the ins and outs of how to exploit the AI. While the forum base tends to represent people who are knowledgeable about the game, many people are going to be playing Polish playthroughs and losing, ending up as puppets. Perhaps one avenue of development to explore is making the experience of being a puppet more interesting in certain scenarios with options for cooperation/resistance?

Even the deepest alt-history memes are plausible if you put the correct triggers in place. Weird stuff happened in the real timeline, but there was a big cause/effect chain that you could point to and say, "this is where it all went wrong." I see this whole thing as being less a problem of the destination, but about the narrative of "how do you get there?" not feeling right. (that said, please do try to adjust some underlying historical inaccuracies along the way still)

Hoi4 alt-history branches overall would feel a lot better if you could see ripple effects and cross-interactions with other trees. Such puppet branches might be one way to start introducing them in small steps.
In my opinion usung exploits against AI is like Plaing on cheats. Enyone can win witch cheats on against even most skilfull oponents. Dew team schould sistematicaly work to upgreate AI so it can become free of any exploits. Also AI schould become smarther in strategic sens. AI schoulden't be abble to recognize hiuman player and treat evryone as fallow AI to meake game eqal and lore frendly. Now beating AI is too dificult somtimes event impasible. Das anyone try to ripit german sukcess against France in HoI IV its practicaly impasible becouse AI have air superiority on belgium and germany can't outproduce allys. So tanks stack in ardens and get smasch by ally bombers and that is a real problem of the game not ahistoric pasibylity for some lesser countries. You schould be abble repet history on historical mode but you can't.

Also AI ofthen play like NWO all against player. Ofthen i see a sytuation when AI gve up against AI only to stop a player just five minuts longer even at cost od loosing a capital.
 
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Matihood1

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In my opinion usung exploits against AI is like Plaing on cheats. Enyone Can win witch cheats on against event most skilfull oponents. Dew team schould sistematicaly work to upgreate AI so it can become free of any exploits. Also AI schould become smarther in strategic sens. AI schoulden't be abble to recognize hiuman player and treat evryone as fallow AI to meake game eqal and lore frendly. Now beating AI is too dificult somtimes event impasible. Dos anyone trie to repet german sukcess against France in HoI IV its practicaly impasible becouse AI have air superiority on belgium and germany can't outproduce allys. So tanks stack in ardens and get smasch by ally bombers and that is a real problem of the game not ahistoric pasibylity for some lesser countries. You schould be abble repet history on historical mode but you can't.

Also AI ofthen play like NWO all against player. Ofthen i see a sytuation when AI gve up against AI only to stop a player just five minuts longer even at cost od loosing a capital.
I don't want to be rude but you should really check your spellings. It makes your comment harder to read and thus make your point harder to present.
 
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Áurum

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Hmm. If it was just Poland? No. But it's gonna be Finland and Soviet((should be)) so then i would. Im not all that impressed with the Greek tree in BftB but i absolutely LOVE Bulgaria and Turkey is okay. So it depends what Finland and Soviets are like for me.
I'm waiting to see the Soviet Union, but I wouldn't buy this Poland either. For me this DLC is probably going to be trying the Soviet Union once or twice while Kaiserreich updates and then go back to it to enjoy the new supply mechanics in a true game.
 
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