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Does an old Hearts of Iron veteran, who hasn't played the game in a decade, still have what it takes to led Germany to glory? Join me as I play Hearts of Iron for the first time in ten years! The path ahead will be challenging and I'll no doubt have to relearn some things along the way but Germany can rise to the challenge.

This AAR will have somewhat of a tutorial feel to it. I expect that any readers will either be like myself, someone who hasn't played HoI in awhile, or someone who has never played and is reading it for a novelty. So I will be explaining some things in that manner.

Scenario: The Road to War (1936-1948)
Country: Germany
Difficulty: Normal
Version: 1.06c
Style: Gameplay
Goal: Defeat the Allies and the Soviet Union!​
 

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Better Late than Never



Just looking at the screen again is glorious and it brings back the memories. I haven’t played HoI for ten years but I’m hoping it’s like riding a bike. For those of you have never played before the first thing you’ll notice is that provinces are much fewer than in HoI2 or 3. Germany only has thirty provinces, Belgium three! Some things stay the same, Luxemburg has only a single province.

First things first let’s look at research. There are tons of technologies to choose from. It can be tricky to figure out what the prerequisites for certain techs are. Research doesn’t use tech teams or leadership but IC. This feature makes the USA very powerful as the game goes on. Later on in the game the USA has enough IC to research all technologies at once, maybe I should have played as them! There aren’t any penalties for researching technology ahead of its time either.



I'll concentrate on infantry technologies initially. Later on vehicle, light aircraft, and industrial technologies will be given priority to.



Already in production are; couple of battleships, some cruisers, and a few destroyers. The navy won’t play a large role in the German conquest, at least not at the beginning. Germany starts out being able to build carriers if it choses!



Germany starts with a large army and it is sent to Berlin to be better organized. The largest and most effective formation is a group of twelve divisions commanded by a field general. I’ll set up my initial forces in such a manner, later on I’ll probably split them up into smaller armies. Nine infantry divisions with an attached artillery brigade are put into production. The only way to attach a brigade to a division is when it is first built. Brigades cannot be added or removed later.



The Re-Occupation of the Rhineland event occurs. I do recall that events in Hearts of Iron generally come at their historical times and there aren’t many choices if any at all. So war with Poland will come on September 1, 1939



Germany has a large stockpile of all resources (coal, steel, rubber, and oil) but is losing steel daily. Let’s see if Germany can get some more steel from trading. Trading works on a world market system. The world market has its own stockpile of resources so if there isn’t any steel in the stockpile Germany can’t trade for any. Fortunately there is steel in the world market stockpile. You simply make an offer and maybe you’ll get what you want. You can’t accept or decline deals you make an offer and maybe it will work. The lowest you can go is 1:1 so I can offer 100 coals for 100 steel but not 50 coals for 100 steel. Other nations have offers so I’m guessing that better offers get to go first. I made several large offers but to no effect, maybe if I offer several smaller offers but that too doesn't work. I later realized the problem is the tooltip box, when I hover over steel it only states what is produced at HOME not what is traded in. When I look at the actual numbers steel is going up so the offers are working. Really makes me appreciate the little details Paradox did for HoI2. Something as simple as changing the color of the resource number to red from green, when your losing resources, makes a big difference.



The world market is really useful as Germany. Since we trade with the world market and not directly with countries, Germany will able to get resources from nations they are at war with (you can see why trading was revamped in HoI2) so we can count on being well supplied throughout the game. Germany doesn't get it entirely its own way though. For instance Sweden if offering 300 steel for 150 coal, which is a great deal for Germany but we aren’t allowed to trade directly with Sweden.

There is only four ways to spend IC; consumer goods, supplies, research, and production. Note that this SS if from later in the game and why production is low.



The six infantry divisions with attached artillery finish and three more are added to production, the remaining IC is put into research. A little later the final three divisions with artillery finish and six regular infantry divisions are added to the queue. I start building a land fort along the French border to see what it costs only to find out it isn’t clear. I also find out province improvements cannot be canceled, guess that fort is here to stay.

The Spanish Civil War starts and Germans sends aid to Franco. We can do much more for our fascist ally though. The 4. Armee has six divisions and is sent to Nationalists Spain as an expeditionary force. The 4. Armee is now loaned to the Nationalist but I can still control this force. The Armee boards the Kriegsmarine transports and is shipped to Spain. The 4. Armee will take Madrid which is controlled by the Republicans. The downside to using an Expeditionary force in this manner is I cannot see into any adjacent provinces so its a guessing game were the enemy is.





The 4. Armee makes it to Madrid and wins the battle easily. After the victory the Armee takes Salamanca for the Nationalists and continues on towards Valladolid. Resistance is light and the disorganized Republicans don’t put up much of a fight.


No one ever expects the von Rundstedt expedition!

Valencia is the new capital of Republican Spain so it’s next target. After a short battle Valencia is won for the Nationalists. However, three divisions were lost. I forgot that you need to manually reinforce your divisions, a costly reminder.



Three divisions with artillery are added into the queue (to replace loses in Spain) along with six regular divisions. The German Expeditionary Force continues to defeat Republicans and is currently heading for Seville, it should be the final nail in the coffin.



Nationalist Spain annexes Republican Spain ending the war. With victory secured the 4. Armee is returned to German control and the Kriegsmarine is dispatched to bring them home.

One tactical and two fighters are added to production. I don’t recall much about the air force. There are many types of aircraft to build; interceptors, multirole, fighters, transports, strategic, dive, tactical, naval, and torpedo planes. I’ll need to play around to see what the optimal amount of wings should go into a formation, for now three we’ll be used. More fighters and bombers will need to be built but that will come later.

I'm feeling more secure about my resources so I build a full round of IC (this is only 30 because that’s all the provinces Germany has). With research being done by IC it is that much more important to maximize the amount Germany has.

A concern going further into the game is how strong I need to make Germany. France isn’t a pushover, I do remember that at least it wasn’t in earlier patches. My military strength seems to be sufficient for now. In the west I have twelve divisions on the border compared to France’s three. In the east Germany has forty eight divisions compared to Poland’s fourteen.





Germany is off to a good start, despite losing three divisions in Spain, but more forces will be needed for the war with the west. More armor will be needed to for a quick blitz into Poland and France.


Thanks for reading!
 

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Hearts of Iron.. ONe????? Actually, I didn't expected this, but since it is from you Zorro, I should follow this I guess
 

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Hearts of Iron.. ONe????? Actually, I didn't expected this, but since it is from you Zorro, I should follow this I guess
Hey Belgiumruler good to see you found your way to the HoI AAR forum :D. Thanks for following.
 

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Should have an update in a day or two. Just need to edit my notes and sort through the screenshots.
 

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I've enjoyed your other stuff; guess I'm along for the ride, too.

This is my first exposure to HOI.... feels like it needs a number there. It's fun see the improvements Paradox has made to the franchise (since I was introduced to it with HOI3:FTM. And it's made all the sweeter when I realize you HAVE HOI3 (and 2?). Nostalgia AAR FTW!
 

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I've enjoyed your other stuff; guess I'm along for the ride, too.

This is my first exposure to HOI.... feels like it needs a number there. It's fun see the improvements Paradox has made to the franchise (since I was introduced to it with HOI3:FTM. And it's made all the sweeter when I realize you HAVE HOI3 (and 2?). Nostalgia AAR FTW!
Welcome aboard! Yup I have HoI2 as well. You'll certainly see a ton of improvements Paradox has made.
 

Zorro

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Keep Calm and Carry On

Let’s take some time to talk about the Luftwaffe. The air force has 8 tactical bombers, 5 fighters, 2 transport planes, and 1 dive bomber at the present. In HoI you can base planes in any provinces, there aren’t airbases. The transports have limited to use because, to my knowledge, they were never fixed to actually drop supplies. I’ll probably end up building some paratroopers to take advantage of them. More fighters will be necessary to ensure Germany controls the sky.


Airbases? We don't need no stinkin' airbases!

Three motorized divisions with attached artillery are added to production and are meant for Rommel’s 1. Panzerarmee. The artillery will not slow down the motorized divisions so it is an easy decision.

Currently the bulk of my IC is invested in research; this can be dangerous if I don’t be careful and manage the production of units. There are many categories of research; Infantry, Armored Vehicle, Electronics, Industrial, Rocketry, Nuclear, Naval, Submarine, Artillery, Light Aircraft, Heavy Aircraft, Land Warfare, Air Warfare, and finally Naval Warfare. No one can say there aren’t any options.



My current research has some important infantry and armor tech and a lot of light aircraft techs.



The three motorized divisions are completed and given over to Rommel’s army. The Luftwaffe is given some attention with two dive and one tactical bomber being added to the queue. An armored division is also ordered.

At the start of 1938 the round of industries finishes adding IC to Germany. Steel is still holding up but I’ll need to get some more rubber. The new IC is quickly put to use, two armored divisions with artillery and six infantry divisions are put into production.

On March 25, 1938 Austria is brought into the German Reich! Even better Germany inherited some military units; 11 infantry, 1 mountain, and 1 motorized divisions. Not bad at all, the air force even got two new squadrons of fighters. I add two motorized divisions and one more fighter into production.



A few months later those infantry divisions finish up and a lot of IC is available. Three armored, two motorized, and three infantry divisions are put into production.

September 30, 1938 Germany gets the Treaty of Munich event and Czechoslovakia wisely back down. Soon the Reich will take it all.



By January 13, 1939 Germany is in an excellent position. Research is progressing nicely, the Wehrmacht has been reinforced and should be able to crush Poland and France, and I’ve just started a round of IC. The IC won’t finsh until after the war but that just means Germany will have more resources to fuel those new industries.

I noticed that that those twelve divisions that were inherited from Austria need to be upgraded so I go ahead and do that, this puts them back into the production queue and off the map. These units only needed to be upgraded because they were inherited. German units will be upgraded immediately once the technology is finished being researched. A few weeks pass and Czechoslovakia is split between Germany and Hungary.



Memel is claimed and brought into the Reich via event. Reminds me that some divisions will need to transported into Konigsberg before the war.



I decided to take a look at the ledger. Conventionally it shows the amount of divisions everyone has, not just your own nation and your allies. The National Army Comparison paints a sobering picture, the French outnumber me. It seems I misjudged the amount of forces required. I need more divisions to handle the French, let alone the Soviet Union. Unfortunately there isn't much time left to build more units.



On August 24, 1939 Germany gets the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. I selected Historical Agreement. Around the same time Hungary is admitted into the Axis. Less than a week later Germany gets the Danzig or War event. The Axis and the Allies are now officially at war.





So the war begins. The Wehrmacht stands ready. Poland will not be able to withstand the German attack and should fall quickly. France is another matter. I assumed I'd have a numerical advantage but it is certain that won't be the case. The General Staff will need to come up with a cunning strategy to compensate for this. No doubt the Luftwaffe will be leaned on heavily.

Before this update ends here are the Air force, Naval and Technology comparisons:









At least the Luftwaffe is larger than their French counterpart. The Heer also has the edge in technology so maybe that can make up for their numerical disadvantage.

As always, thanks for reading!
 

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I really like the graph views for techs in HOI1. Wish 3 had something like that, although it would defeat the purpose of spies.
 

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I like it too. Be nice if HoI3 had this for an end game screen.
 

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Update should be out before the end of the week, had a technical error that pushed it back :(
 

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Blitzkrieg

World War 2 has begun and Germany must lead the Axis to victory over her enemies. To this end the Germany assumes military control of Hungary’s armed forces. Our Hungarian friends are moved to fortify their own border with Poland. They won’t actively participate in this campaign but they will force some of the Polish army to stay put. However, the Reich will need to rely heavily on its allies because of the failure to produce enough divisions for the Heer. To make the most of Hungary’s army Germany will give them some infantry technology, more on that after later.


Certainly not the most complex battle plan but it will be effective.

The attack goes well and Poland is being driven back. Soon Warsaw will be attacked. In HoI you are able to share technology with your allies very easily and effectively. The Axis nations can expect infantry technology from Germany. Once the technology is shared it is instantly applied to Hungary as if they researched it themselves. You can only send one technology a week.




Sharing technology will allow the Axis minor armies to fight as effectively as the Heer!

France has moved more divisions to the border but they aren’t attacking. Warsaw fell and Poland is scrambling to defend its last VPs. The retreating Polish divisions are gathering at Lubin and the German army attacks, hoping to destroy it. The Polish lost several divisions in the battle and were forced to retreat deeper into Poland.





The way is now open to capture Poland’s last VP, once it is taken Poland can be annexed.



Poland is annexed and Germany honors its pact with the USSR. The Reich's attention is now focused on France and the Heer is redeployed to strike into Belgium.



On the march towards France I noticed that Australia has landed a division in Hamburg, 4. Armee is sent to remove them.



Germany has shifted all its forces over to the west. The Reich has been giving infantry tech to their Hungarian allies making them formidable troops indeed. The Hungarians also made the march over and have relived the Germans along the French-German border. The entire German army will soon pour into Belgium.

War is declared on Belgium and the army moves in. It was a learning experience. For whatever reasons my tanks and motorized divisions have tissue thin armor and are near worthless. I’m now using them as a defensive force, far from ideal but it is what it is.

As I begin the attack I can't remember if there is an event that forces France to surrender if Paris falls. I know that if Paris falls a province in the Maginot Line will become the new capital, making it near impossible to break the fortifications. I’ve decided to surround the Maginot Line and cut them off from their supplies. Without supplies the French garrison can be destroyed.



The line has been surrounded trapping 40 divisions. The Luftwaffe will pound these trapped units before the Heer moves in. A round of IC finishes bringing total IC up to 704. Twelve infantry divisions are put into production.



The assault begins on part of the Maginot line. Causalities are enormous but the battle was one. If not for the Luftwaffe the province would have never been taken. The entire might of the Luftwaffe was used and it was a slow process to bomb the French divisions into submission.

The other two provinces in the Maginot Line don’t have as much anti air defense and the Luftwaffe can attack with impunity. After weeks of constant bombing the Luftwaffe has annihilated all French resistance in the Maginot Line. The infantry moves in to mop up the few survivors. France still has many divisions under its command, the Heer will need to eliminate some more before marching on Paris. An attack to the coast should trap many allied divisions.



The German economy crashed and I only have 230 IC. I canceled all deals on the World Market and this brought IC back up to 700. As mentioned in the previous update the world market is difficult to manage. Research in industrial tech paid off for Germany and is the reason for this huge increase in IC after canceling world market deals. Coal can be converted into oil and oil into rubber at a decent ratio.

The Heer’s thrust to the coast was able to seal off 41 allied divisions. If these forces can be destroyed it would tip the balance of the war.



The Vienna Diktat even occurs and I selected force Romanian acceptance. The provinces Hungary wants aren’t worth much and I plan on annexing Romania later. Without being able to directly trade with nations there is simply no way I can get that vital Romanian oil which Germany NEEDS. So down the road Germany will need to annex them to secure their oil. The war came sooner, to my surprise Romania refused to accept the Vienna Diktat. The only forces in the east are four Hungarian divisions. Twenty three divisions are pulled from France and are on their way towards the Hungarian/Romanian border.



En route to Romanian the German force had to be rerouted to deal with an allied landing at Hamburg consisting of 13 divisions. The Canadians and Australians were dealt with swiftly.

Paris has fallen and Germany finally has the upper hand in France. For the first time Germany has more divisions than France. Romania still is a problem. Germany has no direct connection to them, if I move through Hungary then they will receive the provinces and not Germany. As mentioned before I want that oil.

I have little choice but to conquer Yugoslavia so those twenty three divisions are sent there. The four Hungarian divisions are driven back to Budapest, they desperately need reinforcements but with the war in France there are none to send. Apparently France does have a surrender event and I create Vichy France. The army is deployed to the border with Yugoslavia and attacks. Yugoslavia made some gains into Hungary but with only two more VPs taken Yugoslavia will fall shortly.





Yugoslavia is incorporated into the Reich and forces are shuffling about to advance into Romania.

The German economy is booming with 786 IC and enough resources to support it all. Still short on oil and rubber but enough coal is available to convert into those resources. With so much IC on hand Germany is able to start researching all technologies!

Italy sees reason and joins the Axis Powers. The panzers sweep into the soft under belly of Romania. Bulgaria joins the Axis as Romania is annexed.

There is still some work to do. The allies landed in Normandy with five divisions and have made it to Paris. Some troops have already been dispatched to deal with the problem. The Soviet Union is next on Germany’s list. The USSR is a powerful force indeed. They have more than double the amount of divisions Germany fields. A massive buildup of the Heer is needed.



France was a major learning experience. For whatever reason Panzers are no match for infantry, if this improves with technology is of yet unknown. Perhaps the most unsettling is the Luftwaffe or should I say Jekyll and Hyde. The initial air attack on the Maginot Line by the air force took heavy losses but afterwards there wasn't a single casualty and enormous damage was inflicted on the French. Things can get complicated by the MP system for the air force. It takes a lot of MP to reinforce planes, it is extremely out of proportion.

There is reason to be optimistic. With Italy and Bulgaria now in the Axis camp Germany can assume military control of their forces between that and sharing technology the Axis minors can be turned into a powerful force. Germany is also self-sufficient. Soon Germany will have the technology to improve coal conversion to a 1:1 ratio. So it takes one coal to make one oil, and it takes one oil to make one rubber. With plenty of IC a massive build up of the Heer can commence. I'm also considering building a fleet of strategic bombers. With research being done by IC, bombing industries looks like a good strategy.

As always, thanks for reading!
 

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Barbarossa should be interesting one way or another
 

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I dont know why but I decided to look in the HOI AAR forum and found this.

Its a good read. I find it especially interesting to note the similarities between this and HOI .

I see you are given the option if you want to create Vichy or not and I find this endearing as for a long time one could not choose to do so in HOI 3.
 

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I dont know why but I decided to look in the HOI AAR forum and found this.

Its a good read. I find it especially interesting to note the similarities between this and HOI .

I see you are given the option if you want to create Vichy or not and I find this endearing as for a long time one could not choose to do so in HOI 3.
I'm glad you decided to check the forum :). I find the similarities in the series interesting as well.

I can't recall if the Vichy event was there on HoI's initial release. The unpatched original Hearts of Iron was a chaotic time. War started in 1936, the USA could join whenever, and France would usually beat Germany outright.
 

Zorro

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Sorry for the delay, the update should be out sometime this week.
 

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Last moves against the Allies

Before Operation Barbarossa starts the allies must be mopped up, in order to secure the Axis homelands. Germany assumes control of Italy’s military with the goal of taking the Suez. The UK has a sizable force in Africa but Italy should be able to handle them. With the Suez under Italian control they would become the predominate Mediterranean power.



Europe will also need to be defended from allied landings. Our Hungarian allies will be used for this task. Three divisions will be sent to Hamburg since this seems to be a popular spot for the allies to land, which they have done at lease six times so far. Six divisions are sent to France, this force should be enough to hold the allies out, at least until the USA joins the war. To highlight the need to close the Mediterranean, Allied troops land in Italy. Enough Italians are on hand to easily repel the invasion...this time.



Another key to the defense of Europe will be getting Nationalist Spain into the Axis. This will provide additional troops and easy access to Gibraltar. Efforts will be made to bring Spain into the fold.

While Germany has plans to increase the Axis membership the British have already added Greece to the allies. British troops quickly land to reinforce their new allies. Bulgarian and Italian troops will be used to counter this new threat. Rommel and his Panzerarmee are sent to the Balkans to support the Axis should their infantry divisions prove insufficient.

As technology finishes researching I’ll be putting IC into production. The Soviets have a decisive advantage over Germany in divisions and the gap must be closed. Fifteen infantry and three mechanized divisions are put into production. This will be the start of many, hopefully manpower can keep pace.

In anticipation for Spain being brought into the Axis, an Armee is sent to the border to help attack Gibraltar. I want to close up the Mediterranean as soon as possible. Spain eventually joins the Axis leaving the British vulnerable in Gibraltar. However the fortress is far from defenseless, 22 British divisions serve as a garrison. That is a much larger force than I expected. More German troops are sent to Spain as well as the Luftwaffe.



A couple of expensive techs finish and allow for twelve infantry divisions to begin production. More divisions are still needed to match the Red Army rifle for rifle!

The war for the Mediterranean is not going well. The British have railed in Alexander and stopped the Italian advance cold. In another blow for German plans, the massive Axis assault on Gibraltar failed despite over 80 divisions being used (no stacking penalty in HoI). This is a devastating blow to protecting the soft Axis underbelly. There is no choice, constant attacks must be made against Gibraltar despite losses.

The cost was high but Gibraltar is taken, leaving only the Suez to ferry Allies troops and supplies in. However it looks like Suez will stay open. The Italian troops in Africa have zero organization. Probably because the Italians are out of convoys. I cant see this changing anytime soon. To get more convoys you need to select a transport and send it to convoy duty. Same thing applies for destroys and escorts. The problem could probably be solved by invading Turkey but I don’t want to delay the attack on the Soviet Union. It seems the Mediterranean will remain open, at least with Gibraltar taken the British will have to go around Africa.

In Greece the allies have reinforced their position forcing the Axis to send in heavier units.



The battle results in a Axis victory and within short order the allies are driven out of Greece.

Surprisingly the Italians have managed to get supplies to their forces in Africa. They are ordered to take Alexander from the British. The attack is a success but the Italians are low on supplies, nonetheless the attack is pressed in hopes of taking the Suez and securing the Axis underbelly. The attack fails and the Italians are again waiting on resupply. The Suez might be in Axis hands in the future but not yet.



War with the Soviet Union is imminent. Germany has reinforced her Armees and while still outnumbered have closed the gap. With the rest of the Axis troops the Germans will meet the Red Army with equal numbers. Already the full might of the Heer is along the border with the USSR waiting for the orders to attack. The fate of Germany will soon be decided in the east.



As always, thanks for reading!
 
Last edited:

MiltonS

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Wow, ready for the next update - how does Barbarossa go?

No stacking penalties - sounds nice...