Hearts of Iron IV - 21st Development Diary - 21st of August 2015

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Welcome to Paradoxplaza. It is friday morning, and the weekend starts here as far as we are concerned. Today we’ll talk a bit about land combat.

Some things are still the same as in the previous iterations of the series. We still have movement is attack, we still have combat width, and we still have divisons with modifiers firing at each other.

First of all, when you have a list of units selected, you can see the progress of all battles those units are involved in, and you can select any of those battles to view from there, or by clicking the combat indicator on the map.

We felt that the role of air support in HOI3 was not really showing off its historical importance, so decided to make it vital in HOI4. First of all having air superiority over the area you are fighting limits the enemy’s ability to defend properly (its hard to dig trenches when someone is strafing you) as well as slowing down movement (its really hard to drive a truck when someone is strafing you). Planes can also directly join combats unlike HOI3 where they had their own separate combats they now join with the ground forces and when this happens it even gives a bonus to your divisions fighting ability (its a really good morale boost when a plane is strafing the enemy). Enemy divisions with AA battalions or support companies can fire back of course, but to remove the effects of air superiority completely you need your own flyboys to help out.

Combat tactics is something that we added to HOI3 with The Finest Hour to add more depth and interesting things happening in battles. When a battle starts each leader will pick a tactic for that day (a new tactics will be picked with the start of a new day if the combat drags on). Tactics are given based on what doctrine you have and terrain, troop composition and traits of the commander influence the choice. Tactics are also separated in different phases depending on location so you can get into a battle over a bridge, or close quarters fighting in cities, or performing a fighting retreat and the like. A commander with higher skill or better reconnaissance also has a chance to pick a counter to the enemy's tactic making it useless.

Notice how I wrote reconnaissance above? Reconnaissance is a new concept in HOI4. This stat is primarily coming from having Recon Companies in your divisions. Recon companies is one of the ten different support companies you can add to your divisions, where you can have an absolute maximum of 5, so it is one of the hard choices you have to make.

6JwgHXV.jpg


Here Sikorski elected for a tactic of Shock, which gives a -25% attack modifier to the defender, but since von Rundstedt has higher skill, and the panzer division has a recon company, they had the final pick of tactics, and could use the good counter of backhand blow, which nullifies the shock penalty and instead gives the attacker a -20% attack modifier.

Next week we’ll go into detail about the support companies.

Combat width works a lot like in HOI3, but is now more detailed. Each division will have a combat width which will tell you how many divisions fit into the frontline for active fighting. The available width of the combat goes up the more directions you attack from, so tactical flanking is needed if you want to leverage a numerical advantage. Width is also affected by certain combat tactics (more on that below). Divisions that do not fit on the frontline at the start of combat end up in reserves and will have a chance to join every hour in as long as there is room. The chance to join is greatly affected by doctrine tech, or by having a signal company attached to the division, and is important if you want to be able to leverage a lot of units in a single location, because if the frontline fall your side is forced to retreat no matter what.

Winning in HOI4, just like HOI3 is still best achieved with encirclements and cutting off large parts of the enemy's army and not by grinding down your men in individual battles, but this is a topic for a later diary on battleplans and strategic planning.
 
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jsheikh

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Ten different support companies?

Lets see:
AA
AT
Art
Rocket Arty
Eng
Recon (in dev diary)
Signal (In dev diary)

That's all I can think of. Wonder what the other 3 will be

Also, excellent job on the combat model. Planes entering the land combat itself is awesome!
 
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Centurion1973

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So can we guess all suppport companies?

Anti tank
Tank destroyers
Assault Guns
Engineers
AAA
artilery
SP artilery
rocket artilery
recon
signals
?
 
Last edited:

facmanpob

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Ten different support companies?

Lets see:
AA
AT
Art
Rocket Arty
Eng
Recon (in dev diary)
Signal (In dev diary)

That's all I can think of. Wonder what the other 3 will be

Assault Gun?
Tank Destroyer? - "you might make your units smaller or swap, say, Anti-Tank guns for Tank Destroyers, etc.) " - from Dev Diary No 6

Also, excellent job on the combat model. Planes entering the land combat itself is awesome!
I have an image of Michael Caine in A Bridge Too Far just before the RAF shows up... "Start the Purple!"
 
Last edited:

Axe99

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Wa-hey, it's DD Friday :D. Cheers for the DD Johan :cool:. I 'ave to say, the way air support/superiority is being treated sounds top-notch - a real step forward for the series (and just another way that HoI is moving away from EU, and not towards it). Love the way support battalions sound as well. It's seven shades of awesome having weekly DDs, but it's also making the anticipation harder (this is not a bad thing, please keep with the weekly DDs if feasible, we'll handle the anticipation :)).

Couple of questions if they're easy/quick/appropriate to answer, and you haven't already all gone to the pub and started drinking :).

1) In terms of aircraft helping with a land combat, given that aircraft are modelled individually, will it be a 'bucket' of aircraft (split by types) where aircraft come in and out, and will the range of the aircraft influence how long it can stay in the combat, or is it more a 'they fly in, fire off their ammo and fly out' situation (or something else that hasn't occurred to me)?

2) If there are Force A aircraft in combat, and fighters from the other side (Force B, say) appear on the scene, does it affect the aircraft in combat immediately, or do the other side's fighters have to 'fight through' any air superiority aircraft screening for the Force A?

3) With support battalions (this might be a question for next week in advance), if there are two divisions that include all ten types of support battalions between them in combat, then does the side with those two divisions in it get all of the bonuses of those divisions (so, for example, is the reinforcement chance bonus of the signals battalion a set number regardless of the size of the combat, so it's (say) +20% reinforcement chance for one signals company in the fight whether it's a fight with 1 division or 10?
 
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ashandresash

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I like that the combat system core is mantained, it was quite good indeed. Making air power more important, and including reconnaissance as an issue seems to me two good changes.

I really like the idea of giving recon the important role it should have, and it'll undoubtly help to a better representation of the adventages of some nation armies over other without 'deus ex machina' modifications. It will of course also be potentially useful to better representation of more modern conflicts.
 

SLiwaPL

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Start making secrets battleplans and strategic plans for wolrd domination. :)
 
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Blijert

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Ten different support companies?
Lets see:
AA
AT
Art
Rocket Arty
Eng
Recon (in dev diary)
Signal (In dev diary)

- Tank Destroyer
- Assault Gun / SP art
- SP Rocket Art

Long shots:
- Transport company
- Field hospitals/medical unit

These last two are most likely only enhanced by doctrine and not as a unit. But given the attention to battle detail these would work as major boosters of respectably morale / organization and reinforcement chance

edit: Signal attachment is much more logical then dedicated transport attachment for the same functions. So my guess is really for the 'hardware' Art & TD listed above
 
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ashandresash

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Will attack delay still be present? Though I liked the idea the implementation was not satisfactory at all in HoI3.
 

Vonboe

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The the bottom part of the combat tab ( map with the big red arrow ) is that just the same static image shown every-time?
 

RaptorCommander

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So can we guess all suppport companies?

Anti tank
Engineers
AAA
artilery
SP artilery
rocket artilery
recon
signals
?
?
?

SP Rocket ARTY
SP Anti Tank (As mentioned byfacmanpob)
SMG/Assualt squads for cities?

Wheel chair faust Tactical nuke? :eek: