Hearts of Iron IV - 41st Development Diary - 22nd of January 2016

Sernista

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Them being impossible to control is itself a deliberate scale decision! A game of this style could just as easily have control down to companies (well, not as easily, it'd be a hellstorm of micro, but) or only at the level of Corps as the atomic unit. That's an arbitrary line, just like having only more-or-less army groups in the planning system.
 
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dashstar1972

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Even with the current structure you could have an OOB with Generals reporting to field marshals off-map. The FMs would supply logistical bonuses while the generals do the fighting. Currently what is the point of the distinction? FMs are simply uber-generals with different bonuses.
 
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ringhloth

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That still leaves corps, armies, army groups and theatres, 4 levels while we have only 2, general or field marshal.
It depends on the country. For instance, the three leaders of the AGs for Operation Barbarossa were all Field Marshals, while Franz Halder, the effective commander of the theater, was just a General.
 

Sernista

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It depends on the country. For instance, the three leaders of the AGs for Operation Barbarossa were all Field Marshals, while Franz Halder, the effective commander of the theater, was just a General.

And I think that the current system can do a really playable representation here - a battle-plan each for the North, Center and South, and then pool reserve armor under your favorite Panzer Leader as extra weight to throw into areas being stubborn. Enough plan options to coordinate multiple forces, and the ability to choose abilities for wide swaths of front, without having effectiveness be strongly impacted by micro details that a player will always be able to coordinate better than the AI, but only at a high micro cost. Because that's really the thing about stuff like Div commanders - either they have minimal impact, in which case there's literally no point to having them as a player touched thing, or they do have an impact, in which case there'll be serious outcome differences in the same plan depending on whether you bothered to spend 30 (or more!) minutes manually assigning all your officers to 100+ divisions. If I'm being asked to be Halder, I have staff for that. If I'm being asked to be Hitler... well, sign me out of that personally, but then I would really have people for that.
 

Sernista

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Even with the current structure you could have an OOB with Generals reporting to field marshals off-map. The FMs would supply logistical bonuses while the generals do the fighting. Currently what is the point of the distinction? FMs are simply uber-generals with different bonuses.

As described so far? Generals are Specialists, Marshals are generalists (pun optional). You put a Marshal in place when you want a general efficiency boost for an entire area. You use a General when you want to really get the most out of a particular kind of troops, or particular terrain. Marshals run the overall front, but you get a Fortress Buster and load him up with Arty or Assault Guns when you need to break through the Gustav Line.
 

Lifthrasil

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As described so far? Generals are Specialists, Marshals are generalists (pun optional). You put a Marshal in place when you want a general efficiency boost for an entire area. You use a General when you want to really get the most out of a particular kind of troops, or particular terrain. Marshals run the overall front, but you get a Fortress Buster and load him up with Arty or Assault Guns when you need to break through the Gustav Line.

But why not both?
I think it would be cooler to have a chain of command, but with several meh-generals serving under a few FMs. And when you really need the job done, you do like you said: give some troops to one of the rare genius-generals (still serving the FMs) and let him break through Gustav Line.
If the FM e.g. provides supply bonuses because he is a clever logicstic wizard, why would he stop giving this bonus to a group of specialists, just because they now serve a general?

It's like the FM was a pissed-off child who refuses to give the tank divisions extra fuel and ammo, because Rommel is in charge of them.
 

Sernista

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But why not both?
I think it would be cooler to have a chain of command, but with several meh-generals serving under a few FMs. And when you really need the job done, you do like you said: give some troops to one of the rare genius-generals (still serving the FMs) and let him break through Gustav Line.
If the FM e.g. provides supply bonuses because he is a clever logicstic wizard, why would he stop giving this bonus to a group of specialists, just because they now serve a general?

It's like the FM was a pissed-off child who refuses to give the tank divisions extra fuel and ammo, because Rommel is in charge of them.

I get you. Personally, though, I like the exclusivity just because it makes it much more of an active decision on the player's part, not passive optimization. Having your Afrika Korps always get both great logistics and a Panzer Leader is a bit of a no brainer - having to decide whether you'd rather have the sustained logistics or gamble on better combat performance getting you a result quickly is a fun trade-off, in my book.
 
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Sir Garnet

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Meh-Generals are meh. Only dealing with commanders who can make a difference makes sense for a game - less so for a simulation or exercise where factoring in everyone down to the bad apples is needed to get a useful result.
 

Axe99

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Meh-Generals are meh. Only dealing with commanders who can make a difference makes sense for a game - less so for a simulation or exercise where factoring in everyone down to the bad apples is needed to get a useful result.

Random brainstorming (and someone brighter than me suggested this in depth a whiles (could be a year or two) back), but it would be cool if instead of a 'total control' situation a la HoI3, you actually had hidden traits for the commanders, some of them messed up some of the time, and you had to put the bad ones somewhere (so, for example, there'd be a sensible gameplay reason for the British to have their less capable commanders in the Far East, just waiting for Japan to roll over the top of them). Something representing the institutional inertia (which even Germany had a bit of, although the mechanics and various general profiles would need to reflect each nations' individual situations). HoI3's divisional leaders weren't a simulation, it was gamey min-maxing - but an actual (very abstracted) simulation of the difficulties in maintaining an effective officer staff could potentially be engaging gameplay. Could also be a bit unwieldy with everything else that's going on though.
 

Sir Garnet

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Dealing with commanders who develop serious flaws is fun for some players (me) but definitely not for others who want nothing but bonuses and can be quite unhappy about bad traits.

Staff quality made a big impact in WW2. Germany's did. Other nations made efforts to develop staff organizations in varying degrees and directions.. Ought to be more than just a few modifiers.
 
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