• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Didz

Major
20 Badges
Sep 16, 2001
526
42
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Semper Fi
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Cities in Motion
  • Arsenal of Democracy
I asked this question on the Steam forum and GIJoe597 was kind enough to copy over a post he had from this forum. Which contained some detailed guidance on the effective use of the AI. I've listed the 10 key lessons I learned from this post below and wondered if anyone has anything to add.
  1. Use AI Control at Army Group or Army level depending on the width of the front being coveredc. Use Army level AI on wider fronts to limit intermingling of units and Army Group for smaller fronts.

  2. Define Theatre boundaries carefully and give them narrow but shallow areas.

  3. Do NOT include areas that do not need defending in a Theatre. e.g. Rear Areas; Allied Territory, Boundaries with Allied nations.

  4. Assign Rear Area's and borders with Allies to separate Theatres and keep them on Manual Control to stop any units deployed there from being moved by the AI.

  5. Assign TAC Air Units to appropriate Army Group or Army HQ's if they are to be used as ground support for their specific mission, assign them at Theatre level if you want to use manual control as Theatre HQ's should not normally be automated. Alternatively, if one wants to automate strategic air missions then create a TAC Air HQ attached to a Theatre HQ and assign AI control to it for automated independent strategy missions.

  6. INT and CAS Air units should be assigned to the Army HQ they are required to support.

  7. The AI will tend to use Air units attached to an Army HQ for ground attack missions.

  8. Occupy captured objectives with units under manual control to prevent the AI moving them and remove the objective from the Army HQ which captured it so that it does waste its own units trying to defend it.

  9. The AI will tend to use Air units attached at Army Group HQ for interdiction and installation strikes.

  10. Set limited near-term (e.g. nearby) Army HQ objectives. Keep Army HQ objectives spaced out so that armies do not obstruct each others movement or deployment.

  11. Redraw Theatre boundaries as necessary to remove captured rear areas from the front line and replace them with Rear-Area defence Theatres on manual control to manage the static defences.
So, 11 key lessons and a lot of ideas to change my current Soviet set-up before its too late.

Note: Item 10 is a bit vague but I'm assuming that as the Combat Frontage of a province is 10 and a Brigade occupies 1 frontage (2 for Armour without the Spearhead research) So the maximum number of divisions that can occupy and fight effectively in one province is going to be around four. (e.g. 3 x 3 = 9 + 1) That being true, as a rough guide, I'm thinking that the spacing of Army objectives ought to be about 1 x Province per Corps. e.g. An Army with 5 x Corps should be assigned a front of 5 x Provinces. That's a slight overkill but will mean that the army has some divisions in reserve that can replace front line units, or act as follow up or blocking units.
 
Last edited:
  • 1
Reactions:

Count Blue

Field Marshal
2 Badges
Mar 21, 2013
2.697
910
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
Use AI Control at Army Group or Army level depending on the width of the front being covered
I would use only one kind of level either Army or Army group. I find army better. But thats just personal preference.
It leaves stil a lot of micromanaging to the player but the faults if happening stay in a contained area.

All the other tips in your checklist seem to be absolutly sound.
 
Last edited:

Wraith11B

Call Kenny Loggins, you're in the DANGER ZONE...
39 Badges
Dec 5, 2008
3.890
607
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Magicka
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
I agree that most of these points will probably keep the AI from going too far overboard, but that it is still a bit rambunctious. I've never seen the AI perform interdiction, installation or air base strike missions. I have seen the AI use tactical bombers on a strategic bombardment mission. I've also rarely seen the AI assign garrison troops to the rear areas (only a few times loading as the US and the USSR).

As for the frontage bit, that's a bit off: each combat arms brigade (Infantry and Armor of any types) occupies frontage, Infantry is 1, Armor is 2 (unless spearhead tech is researched). Each province does have a frontage of ten, but can "muscle in" the last division's frontage (for instance, if you have binary divisions (2xINF + attachments), you're going to fit a max of five, but triangle divisions (3xINF + attachments), you can fit four (three to get 9, and the last one muscles in there) and the frontage becomes 12). Generally speaking, Corps could be as spread out as you want or as concentrated as you want. Good reference is here.
 

Didz

Major
20 Badges
Sep 16, 2001
526
42
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Semper Fi
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Cities in Motion
  • Arsenal of Democracy
As for the frontage bit, that's a bit off: each combat arms brigade (Infantry and Armor of any types) occupies frontage, Infantry is 1, Armor is 2 (unless spearhead tech is researched). Each province does have a frontage of ten, but can "muscle in" the last division's frontage (for instance, if you have binary divisions (2xINF + attachments), you're going to fit a max of five, but triangle divisions (3xINF + attachments), you can fit four (three to get 9, and the last one muscles in there) and the frontage becomes 12). Generally speaking, Corps could be as spread out as you want or as concentrated as you want. Good reference is here.
Yes! I made a mistake in my post which I have corrected now.

As you correctly state an Infantry Brigade occupies 1 and an Armoured Brigade 2 unless you have researched the Spearhead Doctrine. So, it's possible to shoehorn 4 x Divisions into a Province Frontage of 10. A Corps can contain up to 5 x Divisions, so as a very rough guide 1 Corps can defend 1 Province with a division in reserve.
 

Didz

Major
20 Badges
Sep 16, 2001
526
42
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Semper Fi
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Cities in Motion
  • Arsenal of Democracy
I would use only one kind of level either Army or Army group. I find army better. But thats just personal preference.
It leaves stil a lot of micromanaging to the player but the faults if happening stay in a contained area.

All the other tips in your checklist seem to be absolutely sound.
I'll probably do the same but I think the original writer was theorising that some armies are so small they don't really warrant a fully populated AG>Army structure and so you could stick with the higher level AI to cut down on manual input.

The main thing I was interested in guidance on was how to make the best use of my Air Force, as I've invested heavily in Interceptors and have achieved The Great Air Force Strategic bonus. So, I'm keen to make sure all these planes actually get used. It looks like the best idea is to assign them to their nearest Army and let the Army Commanders deal with them.
 

Palmerdale

Captain
22 Badges
Oct 3, 2014
497
270
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Victoria 2
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
HOI3 is all about the micromanagement. Embrace the micromanagement. Ignore the AI control.;)
 

rob_mtl

Second Lieutenant
40 Badges
Sep 30, 2017
146
103
www.youtube.com
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
Most people agree on what the AI is terrible at, but here's a few useful things I've found.

The AI is surprisingly good at sub-hunting for the UK. I sometimes turn the Home Command Theatre into a naval/air theatre and assign it the fleets it needs to fight German subs and surface fleets. This frees up my attention to do manual work in the Med., East Africa and Asia. As long as your fleets are set up well, you shouldn't lose much of anything. The AI is also good at air defense and naval bombing. I assign a few stacks of 3xINT, 3xFTR and 3xNAV to Home Theatre on defensive stance (aggressive for navies) and it is quite successful at defending Britain from port strikes and naval strikes as well as using NAVs to bomb subs. Once I've sealed up the Med., I can do the same there and focus my attention elsewhere.

For this specific task, I find the AI is actually better than me unless I play on speed 3. If I'm micromanaging my fronts in Italy and Siam (and eventually Northern France), it's simply too easy to forget to check on my ASW fleets and convoys. Even with popup and pause for convoys sunk and enemy bombings, I either forget to put the patrolling fleets in port or forget to send them back out again...

For land combat, I find micromanaging yields better results unless you've basically destroyed the enemy. Two or three big encirclements as the Soviets and you can just put a wargoal on Berlin and wait two months for victory... But if it's a pitched battle, the AI will use way more manpower even if it does succeed.

I do like the way AI handles TACs and INTs along a front though. If I get tired of micromanaging air units, I'll detach my land army groups from the Theatre (sacrificing stacking penalty reduction, which I almost never need) and set the Theatre to AI with just air units. As long as the stance is set to defensive, my air units get the most out of their available org than they would if I micro'd them.

Putting units under AI control in situations where you have the upper hand will also net you more air, sea and land combat experience. The AI can generally issue more orders than a human, so more units will enter combat more frequently.

A couple of things you should NEVER do:
  • Let the AI use air or sea transport units. It will ferry your invaluable Ghurkas to some port in West Africa or worse, try to invade something.
  • Let the AI reassign units (especially naval and air). It will totally ruin your perfectly planned fleets and air wings.
 
  • 1
Reactions:

Didz

Major
20 Badges
Sep 16, 2001
526
42
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Semper Fi
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Cities in Motion
  • Arsenal of Democracy
HOI3 is all about the micromanagement. Embrace the micromanagement. Ignore the AI control.;)
Yes! I think I got that when I was playing the USA. But the Soviet Army is just so large I was hoping to reduce the need for manual input, especially of my air force and navy.
The AI is surprisingly good at sub-hunting for the UK.
I've noticed this with the Soviet Navy also. I usually have my Soviet Naval units attached to my Theatre HQ's which are occasionally automated when that Theatre is not involved in combat just to allow it to handle the deployment of units. However, I've learned through experience that the AI can't really be trusted to do that effectively often deploying units beyond command and control range of their parent units and leaving the front in a complete mess of chaotic Armies and Army Groups. However, like you, I did notice they seemed to be making good use of the naval units attached to them. For example, during the invasion of Turkey, I suddenly began getting reports of Turkish convoys being sunk in the Baltic and on checking to see what was going on found that my Northern Theatre HQ had dispatched subs and surface raiders from Murmansk all the way around to the Baltic to intercept Turkish convoys trying to reach Sweden and Germany.

This is one reason I'm curious about the practicality of creating separate HQs for Air and Naval units. As it seems from what I've seen that it can be trusted to use them effectively, but I don't really want to trust the AI with my land units as I know it messes them up.

I do like the way AI handles TACs and INTs along a front though. If I get tired of micromanaging air units, I'll detach my land army groups from the Theatre (sacrificing stacking penalty reduction, which I almost never need) and set the Theatre to AI with just air units. As long as the stance is set to defensive, my air units get the most out of their available org than they would if I micro'd them.
Have you never tried assigning the Air units to your Army HQs or lower level HQ's where you are using the AI anyway?

That seemed to be the suggestion in the first response I got on steam.

The only problems I can foresee with that is that a) by dividing ones Air Force into penny packets like that they could just get lost and squandered in fragmented actions and b) it would still create an AI management issue of I suddenly needed to take manual control at a lower level if there is a crisis.

So, I could have perhaps 10 x INT providing close air support to the 12ya Armiya during its defence of the border. But then a sudden German breakthrough requires me to take manual control of the 12th Army and I've then got 10 x Int sitting on their hands unless I handle them manually too.

With a huge force I just think it would get really messy fast. It also ignores the possibility that the 10 x INTs attached to the 12th Army HQ might actually be better employed supporting the 13th Army to the North but unless I notice and re-assign them I suspect it wouldn't happen.

The idea of having a higher level Air Force HQ to control the use of aircraft along an entire front seems to make a lot more sense provided that the AI can be trusted to use the planes wisely.

A couple of things you should NEVER do:
  • Let the AI use air or sea transport units. It will ferry your invaluable Ghurkas to some port in West Africa or worse, try to invade something.
  • Let the AI reassign units (especially naval and air). It will totally ruin your perfectly planned fleets and air wings.
Agreed I experienced this playing the USA and quickly learned to manage everything myself. But the numbers were more manageable in the Pacific War.

As you say AI re-assignments are illogical I once saw it assign a carrier to escort a troop convoy.
 
Last edited:

rob_mtl

Second Lieutenant
40 Badges
Sep 30, 2017
146
103
www.youtube.com
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
Have you never tried assigning the Air units to your Army HQs or lower level HQ's where you are using the AI anyway?
Assigning air units on AI to Army Group or Army level works fine in my experience. The reason I give AI control of am air Theatre (detaching) the Army Group with land forces is so that the Theatre HQ can redistribute the airforce across the whole front. I worry that airforces attached to armies will either 1) be moved around in such a way that they're not actually coordinating with that army or 2) be understrength and unable to receive help from other units. I find that the AI seems to do whatever it wants within the designated theatre provinces, but others may know more.
 

Didz

Major
20 Badges
Sep 16, 2001
526
42
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Semper Fi
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Cities in Motion
  • Arsenal of Democracy
The reason I give AI control of am air Theatre (detaching) the Army Group with land forces is so that the Theatre HQ can redistribute the airforce across the whole front. I worry that airforces attached to armies will either 1) be moved around in such a way that they're not actually coordinating with that army or 2) be understrength and unable to receive help from other units. I find that the AI seems to do whatever it wants within the designated theatre provinces, but others may know more.
Yes! That was my concern about attaching air units in penny-packets to individual Army HQ's. There is always the chance that the enemy might mass its own air forces against a single objective and simply swamp the local air defence and that neighbouring Army HQs will not send their air units to assist.

That was why I was thinking of creating Theatre Level Air Defence HQ's that I could automate without automating the entire Theatre including all its land units. I was considering the same thing for the naval units. Having a Naval HQ for each major fleet to handle routine fleet operations.
 

Didz

Major
20 Badges
Sep 16, 2001
526
42
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Semper Fi
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Cities in Motion
  • Arsenal of Democracy
Just to shows that independent Air HQ's are working in my current game I managed to capture this screenshot.

Here you can see four air wings I think from my Southern Air HQ intercepting a massive Axis bombing raid on Narew. It's very hard to catch a snapshot of a battle as they just flash up and are over in a second even at the slowest speed setting. In fact, I doubt I could even catch a bomber raid with interceptors manually as they are over before you spot them so i suspect you need the AI to do it.
 

rob_mtl

Second Lieutenant
40 Badges
Sep 30, 2017
146
103
www.youtube.com
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
In fact, I doubt I could even catch a bomber raid with interceptors manually as they are over before you spot them so i suspect you need the AI to do it.
If you want to watch air battles, look at the outliner under the "enemy bombing" heading. On speed 1 or 2 you should be able to catch them then click on the outliner.

Another option is to set pop-up and pause "when the enemy starts bombing one of our provinces" in notification settings.

Watching air battles on speed one is vital to understand the most important modifiers.
 

Dr. Intolerance

Major
12 Badges
Dec 9, 2011
710
20
  • Darkest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Semper Fi
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Rome Gold
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II
How does one even go about defining all the context for a theatre? All I've managed is to make the screen green and set objectives in provinces but being unable to remove them.

The idea of having a higher level Air Force HQ to control the use of aircraft along an entire front seems to make a lot more sense provided that the AI can be trusted to use the planes wisely.
A theory that might improve a majority Air HQ, and perhaps Naval HQs, would be to assign a partisan fighting division to them that relies on the same objectives as the Army you want the air to support.
 
Last edited:

Kovax

Field Marshal
10 Badges
May 13, 2003
8.247
2.877
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
It's very hard to catch a snapshot of a battle as they just flash up and are over in a second even at the slowest speed setting. In fact, I doubt I could even catch a bomber raid with interceptors manually as they are over before you spot them so i suspect you need the AI to do it.
I have very little problem catching bombing raids on speed 2 when they appear in the outliner (I turn off all of my own units, leave all combats on, and enable enemy bombing), although at speed 3 it's usually a round of booming into the raid before I manage to hit the spacebar to pause the game. Once you've paused the game, you can send your Interceptors (if they haven't already responded automatically) and send them to Intercept the bombers. Normally that works, although sometimes they insist on attacking the province ahead of the bombers (which doesn't intercept them), and cannot be persuaded to do otherwise until I use "Air Superiority" over the target province instead.

Once they intercept, you can see all of the air combat modifiers.

I find it very helpful to assign some air units at the Army level, and at least one unit to a higher AG level, which tends to get moved around when activity increases in any particular Army's area under that AG's command.

Honestly, unless I'm playing the Soviets, I rarely use AI control at all, because it's so frustrating to watch even when it's "working". I'm reminded of a colony of ants, where 50 ants try to move a piece of food toward the nest: 10 ants pull on each of the two sides, 10 pull directly away from the nest, and 20 pull toward the nest. The net pull is inexorably toward the nest, but it takes 5x as many ants to do it. As the Soviets, you can afford to use 5x the number of ants, but as a smaller country, every unit has to count.
 

Didz

Major
20 Badges
Sep 16, 2001
526
42
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Semper Fi
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Cities in Motion
  • Arsenal of Democracy
I find it very helpful to assign some air units at the Army level, and at least one unit to a higher AG level, which tends to get moved around when activity increases in any particular Army's area under that AG's command.
Does this work even if the AI on the Army or AG isn't switched on?

I've actually been tempted to do but as I'm not using the Army AI I assumed that any Air units would simply sit idle.
 

Kovax

Field Marshal
10 Badges
May 13, 2003
8.247
2.877
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
Does this work even if the AI on the Army or AG isn't switched on?
No. You have to enable the AI, but with the AG AI switched on, you can still assign units at the Army level.
 

Wraith11B

Call Kenny Loggins, you're in the DANGER ZONE...
39 Badges
Dec 5, 2008
3.890
607
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Magicka
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Also good to know is that Naval and Air units don't count towards the unit count limits for HQs.
 

Didz

Major
20 Badges
Sep 16, 2001
526
42
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Semper Fi
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Cities in Motion
  • Arsenal of Democracy
No. You have to enable the AI, but with the AG AI switched on, you can still assign units at the Army level.
That was the problem I encountered and which led me to set-up independent Air and Naval HQ's at AG Level.

You are correct that with the AI turned on at AG level you can still assign units to the Army's and Corps assigned to that Army Group. But unfortunately, you cannot control any units below AG level manually. So in order to automate the Air and Naval units at AG (or Theatre) level you have to accept AI control of everything below that level including land units.

By assigning them to separate AG HQ's that don't own any land units it just means that you can automate them separately.

It actually seems to work, certainly for Naval Units, but also for Air though it's harder to see because air units are hard to track even as slow speed. Whilst it would be nice to assign air units to support specific Armies and even large Corps if the price is to have the AI control my land units in that formation I would only do it if I was happy to give the AI that level of control.
 

dejvid221h

Corporal
7 Badges
Mar 4, 2020
29
6
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron III
>Normally that works, although sometimes they insist on attacking the province ahead of the bombers (which doesn't intercept them), and cannot be persuaded to do otherwise
>until I use "Air Superiority" over the target province instead.

Shooting down bombers before they get to the target rather than wait until they are over the target is historically what they did in WW2.
Are you sure it isn't an effective tactic in HOI3?