Darkest Hour vs HOI4: How do they stack up?

RobRoy3

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Ok, here my three main reasons why Darkest Hour is superior to Hearts of Iron 4

1- The content. Darkest hour came out with only the 1914 and the 1936 scenario, but it gained more and more content as time passed by FREE patches. paradox interactive have been milking DLCs since europa universalis 3, but Hearts of Iron 4 turned into paradox Rome 2 total war, even the songs come as DLCs...
I'm ashamed to say it, but I never bought/tried Darkest Hour. I loved HOI2, but disliked the over-exposure of related third party offerings that had to compete with each other (Arsenal of Democracy, Darkest Hour, Iron Cross) as well as shiny new Paradox offerings.

Although, every previous attempt I made to get into HOI3 left me disappointed, I'm currently trying HOI3, again. I need to take a break from some of my favorite Paradox games that are looking like permanent, buggy Beta efforts these days, thanks to the current DLC system. And I don't really want to waste my time experimenting with HOI4, given my experience with early HOI3, and the fact that I can't believe a WW2 game can possibly work if you change the rules around every few months. Tried some older games, Civ6, etc., but want to get back to Paradox games if they were just somewhat stable.

So, hunting around for a compelling, "finished" game led me here. I just purchased Darkest Hour, based on some of the comments in this thread. But I'm ambivalent which WW2 experience I want to try first (well, re-try). I already own Arsenal of Democracy (and Iron Cross, though I never really figured out how it fit into the scheme of things) as well as HOI3 +expansions. Time being more valuable than money these days, I'm wondering if the (presumably highly biased) crowd here has anything particularly positive or negative to say about some of the other "competitors" to Darkest Hour besides HOI4? E.g., would some of the statements made in this thread (about Darkest Hour vs HOI4) apply equally to comparisons of the latest version of HOI3 or Arsenal of Democracy to HOI4?

The comment about the "almost useless airforce", for example, leaves me a bit concerned that I might find some aspects of Darkest Hour unsatisfying, as well.
 

DINOSAURS1986

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As a newbie, I just finished my first game as Germany (and second game overall) in HOI IV on Ironman: I invaded Britain, USA, and Russia; and also helped Japan win against China. So I can understand why people consider it to be very arcade.

I have Darkest Hour and HOI III but they have always been more dense and harder to crack, never won any wars in them. I have a suspicion though that a lot of that is due to how easier it is to manage armies in HOI IV. You can draw a border and assign many divisions with just a few clicks. The tooltips in HOI IV are very good at explaining a lot of what is happening too.

I definitely think HOI IV makes a great gateway game into the older titles.

So, hunting around for a compelling, "finished" game led me here. I just purchased Darkest Hour, based on some of the comments in this thread. But I'm ambivalent which WW2 experience I want to try first (well, re-try). I already own Arsenal of Democracy (and Iron Cross, though I never really figured out how it fit into the scheme of things) as well as HOI3 +expansions. Time being more valuable than money these days, I'm wondering if the (presumably highly biased) crowd here has anything particularly positive or negative to say about some of the other "competitors" to Darkest Hour besides HOI4? E.g., would some of the statements made in this thread (about Darkest Hour vs HOI4) apply equally to comparisons of the latest version of HOI3 or Arsenal of Democracy to HOI4?

I don't think you will find the perfect or 'finished' game (there's always something that could be improved), but if you want complexity then HOI III with the Black Ice mod has a really good reputation. I like the presentation in Darkest Hour though, and it comes with a really amazing manual.
 

nuarbnellaffej

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In HOI IV, aircraft basically teleport to the air zone they are assigned to fly in., e.g. Southern England--> Western Germany.

In Darkest Hour, said planes would have to battle interceptors all the way across the Benelux to Germany.
 

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HOI IV has many of the issues that HOI III was accused of having. Awkward building system... which seems to work quite well in Black Ice in HOI III where as in any sense HOI IV build program is incredibly tedious for no apparent reason for bonuses that make little difference. IVs naval production is terrible with the same number of shipyards building a carrier or destroyer and still like III you can assign it to appear anywhere you wish which was an issue with III. HOI IV has given up the more detailed map allowing less provinces than in III. The division maker in IV is fun but mods have allowed this in III for years. IV has the very ahistoric IMHO command rules. I commander who says attack and thats pretty much it. In III you would built a workable pyramid of command in III and could assign commanders to control fronts for you. I have done that in III setting up Gibraltar as American later in '43 and assigning an army under Eisenhower to take N. Africa and ask for help from allies and he does it.... even launches attacks into Sicily. Giving AI command in III would place your general on the same AI footing as the enemy. Its the officers you assign, supply, and support fighting the specific campaign front. Having an AI fight AI in Russia works great for me in III with 3 German fronts plus an Arctic command. IV is just so off in combat because the provinces are less. The great strength of HOI I to III were the number of provinces. These are just a few things I find that make HOI IV the more inferior version of Hearts of Iron II thru III On Darkest Hour (which I play too) the game and its more fun than IV. There just is not enough good stuff in IV to make it great. All this IMHO.
 
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TomorrowsHerald

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Frankly, in my opinion, HOI4 is little more than a world war 2 sandbox and not much of a war strategy game. Victoria 2 was also rather limited in its war system, but it worked, and that game had an amazing political and economic system that HOI4 can't even come near to. That is to say that HOI4 is basically a jack of all trades and master of none. There is no harm in enjoying playing some crazy scenario in it and I do not begrudge those who enjoy it, but personally, I've come to expect war strategy from the HOI series and in that regard HOI4 completely failed to deliver. I'd imagine it's a result of Paradox's shift toa general audience.

HOI3 had too much micromanagement in it as well but it still seemed to retain the war strategy core of the series. Hearts of Iron 2 and its Darkest Hour refinement, in my view, did so well precisely because they neglected all other game systems but warfare left a game in which the systems worked pretty well precisely because they were so simple while making warfare suitably challenging. That said, having played Darkest Hour for a long time (though only with lore centric mods such as KR, Napoleon's Legacy, others and Vanilla) I find that I know how the game works well enough to the point that the AI generally poses very little challenge.

Even the DH AI is very limited without the more gameplay dedicated mods. Personally, I find I enjoy it just the same along with self-imposed challenges and limitations. In KR for example, I can play the Commune France in at least four unique ways if not six. It's the game (and mod) I never seem to get tired of.
 
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