misterbean

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misterbean

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I tried to convince my wife that our honeymoon should basically follow Patton's tracks through Europe. I mean, it would have been really pretty! She wasn't buying it...

What you should have told her, was the following:

A day on the beach in Normandy, followed by a visit to the beautiful Loire valley. Afterwards, you'd see the sights in Paris, and, from there, travel to Munich. How you'd get her to go to Bastogne, is your problem. An "accidental" wrong turn somewhere?
 

CaesarCzech

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What you should have told her, was the following:

A day on the beach in Normandy, followed by a visit to the beautiful Loire valley. Afterwards, you'd see the sights in Paris, and, from there, travel to Munich. How you'd get her to go to Bastogne, is your problem. An "accidental" wrong turn somewhere?

Perhaps say that you grand-grand father fought at bastogne ? so you want to see the place ?
another possibility would be Paris-Reims-Bastogne it is in straight line
simply tell her it is Paris-Reims-Munich.
 

KyrionMyrthar

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What you should have told her, was the following:

A day on the beach in Normandy, followed by a visit to the beautiful Loire valley. Afterwards, you'd see the sights in Paris, and, from there, travel to Munich. How you'd get her to go to Bastogne, is your problem. An "accidental" wrong turn somewhere?
Heh! That would have been fun. :)
 

misterbean

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ChaChaLoco

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Yes! Been waiting for this for a while! TFH made so many changes I just can't keep up with, partly due to laziness on reading up on them all, but also partly due to a lot of the written information being vague, cryptic or out-dated.

Looking forward to seeing this through to its completion before Hearts of Iron IV! :D
Your Take 2 tutorial was great for teaching me the game as Germany (even though I never followed through on the tutorial past 1940), and set me up well for my Japan FTM campaign (which went pretty well).
 
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misterbean

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Next chapter has been written. I will post it later tonight or tomorrow during the day.
 

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9zS3zrE.png


Chapter 5: The End Of Czechoslovakia.


Last time, we rushed the invasion of Austria, which means we now have some extra time to recover before starting the next phase of our plan. We will spend the rest of 1937 at peace. This will allow our Manpower to grow back to reasonable levels.


But there is a catch.

If you demobilize, you only regain about half the MP you invested during mobilization. For most majors, that’s not a big deal, since most of them only mobilize in preparation for WWII. The Soviet Union, who has the Winter War against Finland, and Japan, who will go to war against China, are two exceptions.


So we now have a choice.


If we stay mobilized, we will not lose that MP, but the need for Consumer Goods, Reinforcements and Supplies will stay higher than normal because we have more men in uniform and less men in the factories.


Or we can demobilize and hope that we will be able to recover in time. We will lose a lot of Manpower, but our economy will have an easier time.


Secret Master came up with a couple of ideas, though.


If you are only fighting a war on one front, you can set all other fronts so that they don’t reinforce. Taking the Soviet Winter War as an example, you can dedicate the men needed for the invasion of Finland to a single theater. That way, you can set all other theaters not to reinforce. Mobilisation will take less IC and afterwards, when you demobilize, you will lose a lot less of MP.


Another trick that works if you’re fighting against a weak enemy, is to DoW without assigning any IC to reinforcements. That way, you will be fighting the war with purposely understrength divisions so that you can demobilize afterwards without losing any Manpower. Obviously, that works best when your draft laws are already at 3-year-draft, since you have more men under arms already before the war.


21Oliver informed me that it is an easy thing to mod, if you’re into that kind of thing.



In the case of Romania, it is clear to me that we can easily bear the burden, so I decide to stay mobilized. If you’re coming from EU IV, there is no Manpower cap in HOI 3. So any MP saved, is MP that will stay with you until you actually use it.


First thing I will have to do, is to trade. I sell oil and fuel to any and all who is interested, so that I can then use that money to buy rares, energy and, if you have money to spend, some extra supplies. It’s ok to go slightly into the red here. Losing about 0.60 dollars a day is no big deal when you have enough saved up. You can always end the trade later if it becomes a hassle. This way, our IC can work fulltime on the things that are important.

Remember to trade as much as possible with the Soviets and the Germans. Keeping relations high with both, might prevent them from giving you a hard time later, since they could both squash us with their eyes closed and one hand tied behind their back. By the same token, it pays to buy at least some rares from the UK, if they will agree to the trade.


We have also gained some extra Leadership, which I will pour into Officer Training for now. I’m hoping to get as close as possible to 140% Officers Ratio as possible. Up until now, the forces we start out with, have been plenty. But the Czech army is a bit more modern than we are, and if we are to overcome them, we will need surprise and more firepower.



5tDerP5.png



We have 18 infantry divisions, and only 4 of them have artillery brigades. As soon as I have spare IC, I start building extra artillery brigades. Build them as reserves, to cut down on the amount of IC needed.


DpsJh7x.png


It takes me about a month before my economy starts to settle down. By April, I can focus on other things. Note that we now have 66 IC, which is a far cry from the measly 19 IC we started the game with.


By the middle of May, my infantry techs are starting to get up-to-date. I would love to get better tanks, Anti-tank guns or Close Support Airplanes, but with 7.62 LS, choices have to be made. I will keep researching artillery until it is up-to-date, but my main focus will be to make a start in improving our Land Doctrines. Operational Level Organisation will reduce our Attack Delay, while Operational Level Command Structure will increase our Attack Speed. Sometimes the ability to react faster to changing developments on the battlefield will make it a lot easier to win or avoid battles.


ENrFxRi.png


Another neat little feature added to TFH. If you select a province and then hover your mouse over another province, a tooltip will tell you the distance between the two provinces. This makes it a lot easier to keep your HQs in range of their subordinates. For example, First Army is standing in Leoben. If I move the Army Group HQ to Cluj, they will be 514 km away, well within their radio range.


In June, my first new fighter wing is coming off the production line. I will use the free IC to upgrade first. The rest will be used to build extra artillery. We will need 14 of them in total, in addition to the 4 we already have. I just set up 14 parallell builds. That way, I am certain that I won’t forget about them later.


BkAWWGR.png


In July, the last of our infantry techs is done. I replace it will Mountain Warfare Equipment, which is vital in making Mountaineers excell in their chosen terrain. It will also reduce attrition rates by 10% for all infantry, marines, paras and mountaineers in mountains.

My artillery techs upgrade to 1932-level in August. There’s still a ton of work here, but we’ll get there. They both stay in the queu.


In November, Japan DoWs China and is promptly accepted into the Axis.


The first six artillery brigades are finished in December and are attached to some of our infantry divisions.


After the 1937 elections, won by the Market Liberals, I replace the Chief Of The Army by Tatarescu, who will give me a 10% reduction in supply needs. This frees up another 1 IC in and by itself. That may not seem like much, but when you only have 66 in total, every point of IC counts.


oaYhpwa.png


With our artillery attached, it’s time to start thinking about the future. I queu up a parallell build of 2 infantry divisions. We will probably need more men than we have right now for the eventual invasion of Yugoslavia, and this allows me to at least begin dredging our Infantry Practical from the basement. Again, these are reserve divisions. We are only a minor, after all.


The first level of Operational Level Organisation is done in January, but it stays in the queu. Better to focus on a couple of things than to spread ourselves too thin.


0WbLSUL.png


It’s time to start the next phase of the plan. I will use both my armies for this one. Once again, our Armour Corps will be the spearhead of the attack through the farmland in the Czech interior. 1st and 3rd Corps will secure the flanks and move to help with the battle of Prague. The Mountaineers will stay defensive for now, until I can get a better view of the way things are developing. 2nd Corps will cut Slovakia off from the industrialised west, and then move to keep the Czech army busy.

Second Army will use the infantry to take the 4 VPs in Bratislava and the 2 VPs further east will be secured by the cavalry. After that, taking Prague should be enough to make them surrender.


9ug4Tsl.png


By February, it is clear that there is no snow anywhere, and the time is right to DoW Czechoslovakia. This will give us at least 6 months before Germany will steal the Sudetenland. If we can make the country part of our nation, however, Germany will lose that opportunity and we will be able to keep the ring of forts between Czechoslovakia and Germany.


After the DoW, I keep the game paused so that I can fire up the wartime laws. It may seem silly, but Czechoslovakia is potentially a lot more dangerous than Hungary or Austria were. They have better tanks than we do, for instance, and I don’t want to take any risks.


kCvJdnu.png


Kosice will fall without a single shot being fired. After that, the cavalry will keep the single infantry division trapped in the east.


MaoQRL4.png


Six divisions will attack Bratislava, with the support of an additional two. These last ones will not move from their spot until I’m confident it’s safe for them to do so, since these will be the lynchpin between First and Second Army.


0jscdU9.png


Of course, not everything goes as planned all the time, but it’s still a rotten time for my tanks to need fuel. This is my fault, actually. I should have moved them here sooner and manually instead of Strategically Redeploying them. As a consequence, they will begin their attack a couple of days later than planned. Thankfully, the infantry can move without a hitch.


ywzw6vq.png


Bratislava falls after only 2 days. The surprise is complete and the Czechs are in complete disarray. If we move fast enough, we can do a VP rush before they can get fully mobilized. In case you have never heard that term before, it is a tactic whereby you ignore everything and everyone except getting to the enemy's VPs as quickly as possible. It can be a bit gamey at times, or it can be a sign of desperation, or complete overconfidence.


6ST9pUq.png


The math worked. With both Kosice and Bratislava in my possession, I will only need Prague to complete yet another conquest.


JP4MyxR.png


I spread the divisions that took Bratislava, looking to keep any enemy units too busy to think about an attack in our (completely unprotected) rear.


QFKh9se.png


I’d be surprised if they were anything more than a Volunteer Army. You can tell from the low state of their Strength bar. The fight will be won effortlessly against a division working with a skeleton crew.


As my spearhead moves closer to Prague almost unopposed, I judge it safe enough to start moving the mountaineers as well, who will focus on the mountains and hills in the southern Sudetenland.


n44MP2z.png


The mere sight of our tanks is enough to make the enemy turn tail and run. I haven’t even begun the actual attack on the city yet!


rXnRN1Q.png


At the same time, 2nd Corps is doing the job I wanted it to: split the country in half so that we can more easily control what happens and who we engage in battle.


5vSyf5F.png


This was meant as a probing attack, so gauge the strength of the defenders of Prague, but my Armour Divisions are almost able to get the job done by themselves. Note the rest of the spearhad coming in to join the attack.


F1y0rhT.png


18 February. 8 Days into the war, and Prague is just about mine. Notice the divisions in the rear keeping any and all Czech divisions away from Prague and my spearhead.


C7pog5d.png


Three days later it is over. Czechoslovakia is completely ours and Germany is now officially severely handicapped for their part of the war. Italy is not even part of the Axis yet, and I contemplate attacking them for a second or two. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We are not ready to engage a Major Power. We are going to stick to the plan. First some more well-deserved R&R for the men. Then Bulgaria, and finally Yugoslavia.


iVBpPmI.png


Our peacetime IC has now risen to a staggering 78 (well, staggering for Romania, that is). We are well on our way to fulfilling our ambitions.


See you next time!
 
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ChaChaLoco

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Nice! I myself decided to follow along with your guide (loosely) and do a Romania campaign. Just now invading Greece in January 1939, having already annexed Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania. One thing I'm doing is, instead of building fighter planes, is building 2xLArm/Motor/Engi Divisions with German production licenses. Purchased cheap because I aligned with Axis, although I didn't join them. Not sure if PLs are wise, but figured I might aswell see how it goes.
 

misterbean

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Nice! I myself decided to follow along with your guide (loosely) and do a Romania campaign. Just now invading Greece in January 1939, having already annexed Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania. One thing I'm doing is, instead of building fighter planes, is building 2xLArm/Motor/Engi Divisions with German production licenses. Purchased cheap because I aligned with Axis, although I didn't join them. Not sure if PLs are wise, but figured I might aswell see how it goes.

Production Licenses are a smart choice when it deals with something like transport ships or the like that don't get all that many upgrades over the course of the game, or when it deals with something that you just can't afford to research (Italy License Building panzers would be one example). Unfortunately, the further away you are from their corner of the Diplomatic Triangle, the harder it becomes to get their permission. Germany asking Japan for PL Landing Craft is easy. Asking the UK for a PL for a Spitfire would be a bit harder. It can save a tremendous amount of research as, say, Canada. Just License Build everything from UK designs.

Only downside, of course, is that you build it at the tech level of THAT PARTICULAR MOMENT. Whatever you build never upgrades. And it costs money.
 
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ChaChaLoco

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Only downside, of course, is that you build it at the tech level of THAT PARTICULAR MOMENT. Whatever you build never upgrades. And it costs money.

Really, it never upgrades? Even if you surpass whatever tech the one you bought was? Seems odd that I can't purchase 1936 German tanks and then convert them into 1938 Romanian-tech tanks or something.
 

misterbean

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It's more the other way around. You buy a license so you won't have to research it, trusting the other nation to do the research. The crutch is: do you prefer having Panzer III in 1944 or Italian tanks? All things considered, I'd still go for the Panzers, even though they'd be outdated by then.

Edited to add: Usually, if it's something important to your nation, you want to research it yourself.

edit 2: I guess you could use it to build up your practicals until you get your techs up-to-date. E.g. Buy UK destroyers until you can build better destroyers yourself.
 

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9zS3zrE.png


Chapter 6: Preparing For The Final Stretch.


We’re back with another installment of my tutorial. Last time we invaded and conquered Czechoslovakia. Let’s see how the rest of the world sees us.


We’re mostly doing ok. Germany, Italy and Japan still consider the Soviet Union a bigger threat than us, while the democratic major powers (UK, France, US) are more concerned about the 2nd Sino-Japanese War than about our own Unification War.


BKPct0G.png


The Soviets are not amused, however, and they consider us a bigger threat to their security than Japan, who has around 27.5 threat towards the SU.


It has been worth it, however. One reason why minor nations might go to war, is the age-old problem of resources. They have it, we want it. See, want, take.


MnIV8rA.png


Since our taking over Czechoslovakia, we now control the province of Rakovnik, the heart of the Czech armor industry. This strategic resource allows us to build tanks 13.6% faster than normal.
Too bad our tech is crap. Of course, if we had managed to enter the Axis, we might be able to get a PL for German panzers. As it is, nobody likes us enough to let us buy any licenses of consequence. But that’s ok. I chose this path. I still could join the Axis, but I don’t really need them to accomplish our goals. Plus, this is only a mini-campaign with a very singular purpose. If this were a real campaign, I might have made a different decision.


6dURcof.png


What I also have not mentioned, is that your generals seem to gain levels a lot faster in TFH than they did in FTM. I don’t know if that’s a fact, or just a feeling, but we can definitely see them shaping up after the past 3 wars. I have gained a brand-new level -3 Battle Master, so I let him take control of 1st Armour Division, while Dumitrescu becomes the new leader of my Armour Corps. I have also gained a new Commando general, who will be out in charge of one of our Mountain Divisions.


While I’m doing that, I have moved First Army back to Romania, while Second Army (who has received one of the infantry corps from First Army) will take care of security in our new territories. The Cavalry will be stationed in Hungary, the Mountaineers in Austria and the infantry in Czechoslovakia.


Wg7aYMD.png


We are going to get a couple of uprisings in the next years, but they are nothing more than a nuissance that is easily dealt with by the cavalry.


oarat5t.png


Now that we have a bit more Leadership and less urgent priorities elsewhere, we can begin to devote more attention to modernising our army. The first step would be to get Motorised Infantry, but that requires all 4 cavalry techs to gain another level. Ideally, we would gain access to Medium Armor and Self-Propelled Artillery as well, but, again, as a minor, there are choices you have to make. In your own campaign, your decisions might very well differ from mine. They might even be better. Again, it’s your game, and you decide how you want to advance your nation of choice.


qNJBqZT.png


I am going to spend the next couple of months at peace for two reasons. The first is that I want my Manpower to recover. The second one is even more important. I want the Allies, Axis and Comintern to start worrying about each other more than they are worrying about me. The longer we wait, the closer we get to WWII. I want to finish this campaign just before Germany demands Danzig in September 1939. In other words, we have plenty of time now that our Northern border has reached its final shape.

So there will be a lot of trading to keep our economy stable. As Romania, we are the world’s 4th largest producer of Crude Oil, so getting trading partners should be fairly easy.


On the 23rd of March, we gain a new level in Operational Level Command Structure, but it’s still not up-to-date, and it stays in the queu.


Y52J3Iz.png


When the final Artillery brigades have finished building, and have been attached to our infantry divisions, we can begin building more cavalry divisions. These will be our police forces. I plan to have 2 in each occupied country. Since we have 3 divisions already, we only need 5 more.


EodNlVC.png


Extra IC could be put to good use building more infantry, but I want to keep plenty of MP in reserve, and I don’t want the supply needs to grow out of control. Enlarging the air base in Bucarest will allow us to base all planes there if need be, and it will give us some Contruction Bonus, that we could one day use to build extra factories.

I also put an extra Tactical Bomber into the queu. It provides plenty of aerial artillery and hardly costs any MP at all.


SdU0EnK.png


By the 2nd of July, First Army is ready for the next stage of our masterplan. Here, the operational plan is simply to push south as hard and as fast as possible. Time to declare war on Bulgaria.


KzCnxlK.png


Four days later, the success of the operation is evident. It’s just a matter of time before we get to Bulgaria’s VPs. I still don’t take any risks, however, and make sure that all provinces are covered.


dFzrssK.png


I even include our bombers (such as they are) in the attack on Sofiya, to make sure we win as quickly as possible.


4isp5FN.png


By the 17th, it is all over for them. Once again, the glorious First Army of Romania emerges victorious!


RBtPLnU.png


I have started building a fortified line behind the river next to Bessarabia. If the Soviets start giving us a hard time, I want to be ready for it. We don’t have nearly enough IC to get everything done at once, but I want them in the queu. If they ever do get finished, they too will give us Construction Practicals, that will be of use in case we want factories.


I keep saying “we”, but, in truth, this is just a mini-campaign for me. After the conquest of Yugoslavia, I will end it. But, since some of you have expressed a desire to get the save file when I’m done, I want to make sure you have plenty of options open to you later on. Aren’t I a nice guy ;).


fWx0DQr.png


Anyway, speaking of the Soviets, Stalin is getting nervous. The Soviets are only 10 points away from being able to Embargo us, which would ruin our delicate economy, and 15 points away from being able to declare war on us.


Cavalry Small Arms reaches level 3, and is replaced by Cavalry Light Artillery.


t48EAMA.png


Operational Level Organisation is now up-to-date, and is replaced by Cavalry Anti-Tank Weapons. This is the final requirement for Motorised Infantry.


ahWdLpk.png


When our cavalry finishes, a major reorganisation is put into action. Second Army will be a pure cavalry army, that will command 4 cavalry corps. Each corps will have 2 cavalry divisions and will be based in Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria respectively. The range of the army HQ is just barely adequate for all of them to stay in range.


Fourth Infantry Corps and the Mountain Corps will form Third Army, under the command of Dumitrescu, who has reached skill level 5 by now (on par with such luminaries as Von Rundstedt in skill level, if not in traits). They are stationed in former Austria for now.


When our artillery techs are up-to-date, they are replaced by the infantry techs.


dNvE1ZX.png


After juggling the HQs on the map, I have found a position for each of them to stay in range of the Second Army HQ. Again, TFH makes this a lot easier to accomplish.


2N0e5Q3.png


Third Army is on its way to the assembly area in southern Austria. Technically speaking, it would make sense to have Dumitrescu as a Field Marshall in command of First Army Group, which would lower our supply draw even more, but it is commanded by a skill-4 Field Marshall right now, and I want Dumitrescu’s skill to weigh in on the eventual battles in Yugoslavia.


First Army remains the largest under our command, with 17 divisions. Second Army now commands all 8 of our cavalry divisions. Third Army has 8 divisions, including the Mountain Divisions.


JEUWsgE.png


I am going to leave you with my battleplan for the invasion of Yugoslavia. Third Army will launch from former Austria, focused on securing Zagreb and Ljubljana in the North.

First Army will focus on Belgrade (Armour Corps and 3rd Corps) and Skopje (1st and 2nd corps). If that is not enough, they will both advance towards the final VPs.

I will keep a strong defensive line between my 3 spearheads (the dotted lines), that will advance as the situation allows. The two cavs stationed in former Hungary will be put on frontline duty, acting as lynchpin between First andd Third Army.


See you next time!
 
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jolly_duck

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Just wanted to say thanks for doing these - they're really informative for new players!
I've read quite a bit of Take 2 as well, very helpful for getting used to the UI and all the other features. I had no idea the game was so detailed.
 

misterbean

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Just wanted to say thanks for doing these - they're really informative for new players!
I've read quite a bit of Take 2 as well, very helpful for getting used to the UI and all the other features. I had no idea the game was so detailed.

You're welcome. There's a lot going on under the game's hood at any one time. I think that it is this, that confuses new players more than anything else. If PDS makes HOI 4 as difficult but more easy to understand what's going on outside your direct view, then it will make the franchise even more successful.
 

Vlalkori

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So i tried to mostly follow your instructions and see how I would fair. The hitch i came onto was that my neutrality was still 6 and wouldn't go lower by mid October because the prepare for war event had ended. It got stuck at about 6 neutrality and i still needed to either lower it or increase the threat of Hungary. I'm not sure what I did wrong.
 

misterbean

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Did you increase threat on the Soviets and Yugoslavia?

Does the SU have troops just across the border?
 

Vlalkori

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Did you increase threat on the Soviets and Yugoslavia?

Does the SU have troops just across the border?

I have solely been increasing threat against both nations and the SU has quite some troops across the border. The thing i did notice though was that my threat agains Yugoslavia was barely increasing, as in it was still less then 1 at October.