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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

DKson

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Apr 13, 2020
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Hi All,
I am new to this forum, I am not an old Paradox games fan. I usually play something like Civilization, Witcher, Diablo or Stronghold but few years back I bought a HoI 3 Semper Fi box based on someone's recommendation. I remember that I installed it those few years ago and removed it after 5 minutes.

A week ago I came back to some of my old games and I decided to give HoI 3 a shot.
I played for a week.
No game have ever made me so annoyed :mad:
I can`t understand whether people who designed it had a great vision but no time or money for details or they were simply not smart enough to understand some basic relations between units, supply chain and other. I think, that what drives me nuts, is that there is no logic in some aspects of this game.

This is the first time I have created an account on a game forum, no other game have ever motivated me to do so.
I need to understand whether there is something wrong with me or the game o_O
Also - I want to understand whether HoI 4 is free of those... imprefections, to say the least. The idea behind is great and this game has the potential to be super-addictive but the execution part in HoI 3 is rubbish.

1. Instructions were unclear... :confused:
Dear Paradox, you are not my wife, I should not be forced to read your mind!
Game Instructions as well as tutorials include only the basic information which is not even closely sufficient to succesfully play the game. Why do I need to base on unofficial YT tutorials to learn most important parts of the game? Some people posting those on YT are correct, some are plain wrong (I guess they were trying to read your mind unsuccesfully).
Examples:
- Convoys - From where maximum number of ships in convoy is coming from? Why I can create only 1 convoy to the same destination? If I assign additional ships to escort the convoy they are sailing only on limited part of the route? what is the limit?
- HQs - sometimes they are within range, sometimes out of range. What is the range? Does it vary depending on HQ level? If HQ is out of range what does it affect?
- Techs - I have done all the techs required for atomic bomb. For other units there is a tech that enables building them and when you research those you can find new unit options in production tab. Atomic bomb is not there, it is somehow created on its' own in the background and appears as options in Bombers, Rockets etc. Why? How often? what is the limit? C'mon!

I can list here every option in the game and there will be some "?" to each of those. No explanation in Instructions, in the tutorial nor in the game itself when you hoover over a unit, tech or a field. I can guess, I can assume but this is not the way it should be.

2. Supply chain - wet dream of an idiot :(
I work for the company which is among the best of the best worldwide when it comes to supply chain management. If we were doing our job like in supply chain in HoI 3 we would be among the worst of the worst.

A) All goods flow to capital and then they are distributed from the capital to other districts/states/cities. I can`t even comment...:confused:

B) No information about daily capacity of a port or infrastructure. I saw in YT tutorials that this info was in there, I did not have it, not sure why.

C) You can create convoys to destination harbours but you cannot decide from which harbour you units will get supply. Oh, my unit is 2 fields away from a harbour where convoys are unloading supply and gas. Let's supply it from a harbour 23 fields away... Jesus Christ...:confused:

D) I have controlled all main Japan islands playing USA. I also controlled big part of current China region (was conquered by Japanese so I had to hunt them down over there) and Korean Penisula. That was not enough for Japanese to give up (which is another sad story) so I could not produce any supply there, I had to bring it in convoys from US (again - assumption (point 1), because I am not sure that I could produce it if Japan gives up).
Tell me - No village and no factory on thousands of square kilometers of conquered land could not produce for me a single supply item just because the country did not give up yet? :D Right, local people don`t eat, don`t sleep and they have no tools. I forgot I invaded this land 150 000 BC... my bad

E) Infrastructure. I created a front in mainland China, I had to retreat after 2 weeks because of lack of supply. Might be I went to fast. I went back and formed a defense line around harbours I have invaded before to keep the troops on ground. I was not planning to give up on this yet. It took me 1.5 years (!) in the game to bring up infrastructure to levels which were sufficient to supply my troops - from 4/10 to 7/10...
Yes, modern highways require ages to be built but here we should be talking about concrete roads that do not have to meet any international standards. It just have to be sufficient to allow heavy trucks travel at high speed.
I landed there around 1944, it was almost 1946 when I could move forward. I should have won the war by then, I managed to build heavy cruisers, 50 ballistic rockets and other fancy things in the meantime, but I was not able to build a damn road.
And what I should do then? move the front by 2-3 fields and wait for the road to be built again?
What is surprising, Japanese managed by AI conquered this huge land and more within 1-2 years. Having much smaller IC than US and also being forced to convoy the goods from their islands. Unless AI has special treatment?

F) Disappearing convoys - I landed on French coast a little bit ahead of schedule - April 1944.
I took over 5 harbours and I established convoys right away. Infrastructure was maxed already so it was supposed to be easy. Suddenly I stopped and had to retreat completely, back to GB. My convoys disappeared.
I had huge escorts and few fleets sailing around, there were hardly any attacks from hostile submarines, almost nothing was sunk.
Convoys became red in the overview and the number of ships was e.g. 0/12
I tried recreating them or adding ships manually. Back to 0 almost instantly after changes. No information why it happened, no blockade on Atlantic (I sailed it through to double-check) no attacks, no reason at all.
I don`t know - Bermuda triangle?

There are probably few more supply chain things that drove me crazy but this text is too long anyway so lets move to...

3. Troops and battles - Home Alone with useless toys :(

A) When I fought in mainland China and Korean penisula I have fought against 4-5 nations on... Japanese ground.
And there were hardly any Japanese troops. I killed them all when acquiring Japanese islands. This is fine, we have our allies, we fight together... do we now?
British guys couldn`t even defend their teritories in India effectively not to mention helping US in fighting Japan.
Other countries? - France, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden - long gone. Soviet Union - fighting their own agenda.
Seems that opponent AIs are fighting together but AIs in my alliance are not fighting at all. They could not even properly supply my troops stationing for 1 week in their harbour.

B) Atrillery, Rocket Artillery, Enginneers and many other "special units" are not able to fight on their own. They instantly lose the battle. When combined with infantry they take part in the battle but only in reserves, they never actually fight. So whey do I need them at all? Should I limit my troops only to infantry kinds (infantry, marine, mountain divisions) and light tanks?
Yeah, s. heavy tanks can`t fight on their own as well, they require... infantry to be part of the battle. o_O
I also tried combining Engineers with other troops in one division to test if that would make them move faster. No, not really. So again - why do I need them?

C) Airforce - useless toys strike again! The only useful plane is the transportation plane. The rest is totally useless. 1 Wing is 100 aircrafts according to the instructions. That means I have sent 900 bombers over 1 district. Effect on hostile infantry - in the range from absolute zero to no effect. Yes, I have checked in the table which bombers have the biggest effect on "live force" and used exactly those.

Another great example - I have sent 16 wings of ballistic missiles (1600 rockets!) to destroy small airport. Effect? None.

Yeah, you can build a lot of planes, its fun! They will eat up huge part of you production capacity and they will be blocking your factories for 9-12 months and then they need another month to get their "organisation" maxed, whethever the hell that is. After all of that you can use them for multiple tasks - for example, flying between the basis or loosing their strenght and organisation in air battles that bring no benefit at all.

D) Maximum amount of ships that can be commanded by a particular commander. Usually 6, sometimes 12 or 18.
What does it affect other than the name is changing into red when you exceed the number? No idea. (link to part 1 - what about those instructions guys...)
Is this number even real? In the early fights with Japan I spotted one of their main fleets - 10 Aircraft Carriers, 2000 planes, 3-4 Battleships, dozen of light cruisers and destroyers, several submarines. So the max. number was exceeded twice by AI, unless Japan has commanders that can manage 40 ships. They were fighting just fine and I had big troubles fighting them back, regardless of huge stack penalty they should have etc.

4. Technologies
Here, most trouble is about understanding what is giving what benefits. Lets not talk about obvious, if a technology gives you +2 to infantry fight in mountains or +20% to organisation this is something understandable even if we are not talking about any specific units.
But technologies, especially those development technologies (which has no other effect than that) give bonuses to some funny little pictures presenting a little human with a riffle or a tank. Or a bulb. Or a propeller. And many others. When you finish researching you get a notification "Airforce practice +1".
Little progress bar in overview becomes a little bit greener and larger.
"That must be good news" you think. "But what the hell does that give me?..." - that is again linked to point 1 - instructions...

On top of that there are some completely idiotic relations - to start researching atomic bomb (recommended year to start research 1943) you need to first have level 4 in civil nuclear research (year 1946 if I remember correctly).
It does not make any sense and it was in the opposite corner of Paradox storage to logic.
Historically - well, I am far from being an expert but I can read Wikipedia. It seems the base research started in 1930s, first bombs were dropped in 1945.
How do dates in the game relate to that?

5. Economy and IC (Production capacities)
When it comes to military and supply chain game is super complex but the economics part is like 1 board, 2 nails and a hammer. Maybe, unlike other strategic games I played so far, here the focus is on military and economy is there because there must be something and maybe this is fine. For me it is just strange to create such a complex game and build such simple economy model.

6. Politics, Espionage and Diplomacy
All tutorials on YT recommend to let AI control it. Paradox was trying to make a realistic game so those aspects were included but they were so simplified and they are lacking so many options that it hurts and it is truly better to let AI control it. I tried playing manually and I did not achieve anything. By the way, I let AI play and it also did not achieve anything. :D My intel was crap, my relations with Japan seconds before they declared me war were through the roof, domestic agents can do only 1 thing at a time and you cannot split them and assign to multiple tasks and politics can be summed up as: "10 windows, 4 options in some of them, only one which makes sense".

After a week of playing at least few hours a day I was in summer 1947. Playing USA, I was controlling big part of mainland China, almost entire Korean penisula and all bigger Japanese islands including big cities and capital.

Game crashed during saving. Now I cannot load the game I was saving. I tried rebooting computer, re-installing the game keeping the saves, I followed few YT guides on how to recover corrupted save files. Nothing works.
I spent a week trying to understand most annoying game in the universe, trying to explain to myself I did not get it or I am too stupid and then it crashes in the way I cannot even load my saved game o_Oo_Oo_O

Great job Paradox! :cool:

In total:
Idea - 10/10
Driving Addiction - 10/10
Execution - 0/10
Annoyance - 12/10

If you got to this point and you played HoI 4 please let me know, considering my dislikes above, whether it is worth trying HoI 4 or should I simply give up on Paradox, because this is how they make all their games.
 

Count Blue

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I am new to this forum,
And a bit late.... ;)
The game is from 2009 and your version (Semper Fi) is heavely outdated so please do get all the updates (FTM/TFH)
"For the motherland" and "Their finest hour"then get back here. :cool:

Think:
Do you really think people would be playing a game for more than 10 years if it had no value? :D

Let alone the work it took the modders to do mods like
"The fox and the lion" or
"BLack ICE" with it submods like "Third reich events" Units of the third reich" and others ?

And they did all that for a game that is the "most annoying game" ?
:D:D:D:D:D
 
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Kovax

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HOI4 is much more "user friendly", but has its own quirks, which you can read about in the HOI4 forum. To address a few of your points:

1 - Yes, the instructions were unclear, on the few occasions where there were any at all. The tutorial is a bad joke, and the manual has mostly become obsolete after the initial debacle upon the game's release, and the hurried effort to put the game into some semblance of functionality. That said, there are numerous hover tips (hover your cursor over the item), and a lot of the info is available if you know where to look, such as clicking on the red-green combat progress bar to open the combat screen and then hover over the units to see combat bonuses and penalties, or hovering over the icons on a province's display to see further details.

Note that if you send less than the maximum number of convoys on a route, you only get part of the supplies or resources delivered, and having insufficient escorts reduces the CHANCE of protecting the convoys, rather than only protecting some specific "part" of the route. Escorts are nearly useless, aside from getting sunk instead of the convoys (or sometimes in addition to) and I never build them. There is no point in assigning MORE than the convoy limit, because the ports can only accept up to some maximum. You can set either Supply or Resource convoys, or both, to manual control, and decide which (owned) ports to send them to and from. Foreign trade is less controllable. The tool tips are often unclear, but generally do give some indication of what the item or situation in question is or does.

2 - The supply chain is one of the keys to the game, and USUALLY simulates the difficulty of getting supplies to the front across variable conditions. The "all supplies from your capital" nonsense is definitely a weak point, as is the painful inability to source supply on land not connected to your capital. The long delay in getting supplies to an advancing front (those supplies move roughly one province per day, as you can verify on the Supply map overlay) means that you can't advance continuously, because your front line will leave the supply wagons and trucks strung out behind. This is half realistic, and half unrealistic, as the supplies would have been gathered in advance, and the first supplies should begin arriving almost immediately, but would still be constrained by port or road/rail limitations.

On the other hand, in HOI4 and the few other games that even make a feeble effort at modelling supply, having no problem sending supplies to a front that's on the opposite side of a mountain range or desert, simply because the infrastructure in the province where you're fighting is high, is seriously unrealistic as well. This isn't the 1700s where you could forage locally for the simple supplies that armies of the period required. Whether HOI3's supply system is "understandable" or not is questionable, but once you figure out the basics, MOST of it is very logical...and then there are the exceptions where it all falls apart. There's "arcade mode" in the final expansion of HOI3, which allows you to turn off the supply chain and have them teleported to your units regardless of terrain, infrastructure, or distance.

Note that a US amphibious invasion of Japan or China will leave the units out of supply until the convoy system advances the supplies (one sea zone at a time) from the West Coast. The AI will automatically choose the "closest" ports "as the crow flies", rather than by nautical distance, leading to some crazy long supply routes. If you have a puppet government under your control that does NOT have a land route to your capital, THEY will send supplies to your units, but it uses their pitiful supply techs, not yours, and the needed supplies will be transferred to them from your own stockpile to compensate them. The system works well over relatively short distances, but gets funky when overseas situations come into play.

3 - Toys: units have stacking penalties, which means that fighting with too many divisions in the same narrow frontage just packs you in tighter, making you more likely to be hit by artillery and gunfire. Check the combat screen for details and modifiers (click the combat arrow between fighting forces, or click the red/green combat progress bar below one of your fighting units.

HQs and "support" units cannot fight by themselves, but provide combat stats to the divisions they are attached to, or in the case of HQs, are near. That artillery brigade has no "front line", and will retreat rather than be overrun, but if it's attached directly to an Infantry brigade (or several), it adds its powerful attack value to that of the division. Note that a division is the SUM of its brigades' offensive and defensive values. The ideal composition of a division is heavily debatable (which means that there is no single "right" answer, but a lot of answers that are "better" for specific situations), but usually either two or three INF, one ART, and often one AT brigade. Sometimes an ENG brigade is used in place of the AT, which helps significantly in attacking forts, urban centers, forests, and across rivers, but is considerably weaker in normal terrain. Personally, I prefer a Corps structure as follows:
(1) HQ+2xINF+ART
(1) 2xINF+ART+ENG
(1) 2xINF+ART+AT
(3) 3xINF+ART
In some situations, such as France facing intensive German tactical bombing, fielding AA instead of a third INF or the ART brigade becomes a viable option, and the ENG isn't.

Note that an AT brigade is nearly useless against soft targets, but helps considerably if facing armor. I prefer using air power, tank destroyers, or my own armor to engage enemy armor, leaving most of my Infantry divisions considerably stronger against MOST of the units that they will face. Likewise with ENG, they provide major bonuses in certain situations, to the point where I want to have them available when and where needed, but they're also one of the weakest units in the open field, so I field them sparingly.

You can attach brigades directly to a HQ, which will allow the HQ to add its weak combat values directly to the combat, but also gives the commander additional experience, not only a fraction of the experience from each of the other divisions under his command (halved for each level of command between), but ALL of it from his own division as well. Having the HQ within range of the divisions allows the bonuses from the higher command level to be applied to the units under that command, and that works all the way up the chain for units within range of their commander. A Theater HQ in Berlin can apply its bonus to an Army Group HQ in Warsaw, which applies both bonuses to an Army HQ on the Soviet border, which applies those to a Corps HQ several provinces deep into the SU, which in turn benefits the individual divisions in his command on the front line. Radio range was variable in Semper Fi, depending on how many brigades were attached directly to the HQ (but a fixed value in later expansions). Either deploy newly created brigades directly to the HQ, or else plop them in the same province, group-select them, and press the "r" key to reorganize them into one division (the Reorganize and Merge buttons do not work for a HQ and a single brigade, but work with a reinforced HQ or a lone HQ and a multi-brigade division).

Air units are heavily affected by stacking, to the point where anything after 5 or 6 groups (depending on the mission) become counter-productive. I usually run 3 to a wing, and double up in critical situations (such as sending a 3xINT group to intercept an opposing group that's intercepting my 3xbombers). Air power begins weak, but gets progressively more powerful and effective as the game goes. Researching air DOCTRINES is as important (or more so) than techs, since after running out of Organization, a unit begins taking Strength damage, which costs IC and supplies, as well as a long time, to repair. Higher ORG means staying in the fight, and higher Morale means faster ORG recovery.

Trade, Diplomacy, and Espionage are powerful tools (or weapons) in the hands of someone who understands them, especially in Semper Fi. These were actually heavily nerfed in later expansions to prevent serious abuse in multi-player, where several players could gang up on a single target and wreck them. Trade increases Relations, and that can affect diplomatic "drift" toward your faction (if you're in a faction), as well as reduce the cost of future trade deals. For example, playing Germany, you need large amounts of Rare Materials, and have a ship-load* (a forum-friendly term for it) of Coal to trade away for money. You can also trade up to 20 Supplies per day to the Soviet Union and/or US for early cash, and probably make a second deal to sell up to 20 more in 8-10 days when your new diplomat arrives there. That should buy you enough Metal and Rare Materials to survive the war. Sell Coal to Sweden, the Netherlands, and anyone else who needs it (particularly those who have Metal or Rare Materials to sell to you later), and the improved relations will reduce the price of what you buy from them, as well as providing a small "pull" toward your faction. After 3-5 small Coal deals, THEN start buying from them at the lower price due to the improved Relations. You can make several small purchases to raise Relations further before buying in quantity. I won't go into Diplomacy or Espionage here, other than to say that by plopping down 10 spies early on, and taking out a country's domestic spies before they get entrenched, gives you nearly free reign to weaken them, make them feared or hated (causing drift away from them and difficulty in making trade deals), or do other nasty things. A massive initial Leadership investment in Espionage can pay off, allowing you to lower the investment to half a point to a point for the rest of the game. Note however that disrupting "Production" only reduces their repair rate, NOT current production, and the tool tip was never fixed.

The learning "wall" is steep and tall (not much of a curve), but can be well worth the investment in time and effort. There is no other "Grand Strategy" game on the market which even remotely covers the full logistical and diplomatic nuances of WWII in anything near the detail and depth of HOI3. HOI4 does make numerous improvements in production, but does several other things like Logistics very simplistically. Granted, HOI3 is definitely flawed, but it does several things VERY right, and to me and quite a few other players, that's well worth the hassle of learning the intricacies and dealing with those flaws. There's still a following for HOI2 as well, with the extensive modifications that have been made based on it.

The game is definitely geared for "micromanagement", although it has several features to automate various aspects of it, and won't appeal to everyone. Good luck with it, if you decide to continue with it.
 
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DKson

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Hey,
#Count_Blue - thanks for feedback. I get the message but lack of details behind your comments is not convincing ;)

#Kovax - many thanks for putting the effort to write it! Really appreciate! :)
I see that in some of the points I am wrong (which is thanks to "1) Instructions"). In others I will need to accept what the game gives me if I decide to continue.
I will consider getting DLCs. For now, I need to get over the fact that I need to start again from scratch.

Unless someone knows how to deal with this currupted saved game files issue.

Thx!
 

HFaber

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Hey,
#Count_Blue - thanks for feedback. I get the message but lack of details behind your comments is not convincing ;)

#Kovax - many thanks for putting the effort to write it! Really appreciate! :)
I see that in some of the points I am wrong (which is thanks to "1) Instructions"). In others I will need to accept what the game gives me if I decide to continue.
I will consider getting DLCs. For now, I need to get over the fact that I need to start again from scratch.

Unless someone knows how to deal with this currupted saved game files issue.

Thx!
Hello fellow strategist! I get you. I was furious after the first two or three hours of trying to play HoI 3. I might have had it worse. I got without any DLCs and it was simply unplayable. I've tried and tried and given up. A few weeks later I invested into all three(?) mandatory DLCs TFH,FTM,SF I believe they're called. Someone will correct me hopefully ;)

From then on it was much better because I could at least see on map which units formed corps and armies, etc. As for the mechanics such as convoys I'm still not perfectly sure. Just recently I came under pressure as I'm running out of convoys in my Japan game and tried to manually manage convoys. The AI is very wasteful with convoys and supplying remote islands that don't even have a garrison. So if you're playing on a higher difficulty level you almost have to manage them manually.

Study the manuals. You can find several of them floating around on the internet. If you can't find them message me, I have a collection somewhere. Yes, most of them are outdated in some way or another. However, they can still clear up lots of misunderstandings.

Secondly: Have no shame to turn to Youtube tutorials. I learned mostly from Marco Antonio. I think it's fair to call him one of the grand masters of HoI 3. While he's a shameless min-maxer ;) and not so much an immersion-focused player, watching him will teach you a lot about how the game works.

If you're more immersion oriented and especially if you want to check out one of the great super mods this community has to offer, come check out my youtube channel or twich. I regularly stream HoI3 TFH / HPP. All my streams are neatly put into Youtube playlists.

Welcome again, and have patience. The game can be very rewarding, once you over come the initial bumps.
 

Count Blue

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Hey,
#Count_Blue - thanks for feedback. I get the message but lack of details behind your comments is not convincing ;)
Unless someone knows how to deal with this currupted saved game files issue.

Thx!
Not that I know of.
The prime game was so buggy it is beyond believe.
You need at least the Semper Fi add on to make it halfway playable.
But your save game is most likely/probably dead.
 

Didz

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Whilst I agree that the supply system in HOI3 is extremely abstract it has the advantage of being fully automated and thus only a problem when its ignored. Having played other games with carefully modelled supply chain systems that require constant player intervention to set-up and work I know which I prefer. I think it was a game called Uncommon Valour that had such a complex supply system it felt like I was involved playing a Quartermaster Sergeants simulation where every can of corned beef had to be carefully coaxed to the mouth of the soldier it was intended for. Personally I'll tolerate the abstract system any day.

But overall the points made are correct. This game has a very steep and long learning curve and the only way to learn it is to watch and read lots of veteran player tutorials.

Quite what an official tutorial that covered all of the same ground would look like is difficult to imagine and I suspect if there had been one nobody would ever have got around to playing the game.
 

Dr. Intolerance

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Hi All,
I am new to this forum, I am not an old Paradox games fan. I usually play something like Civilization, Witcher, Diablo or Stronghold but few years back I bought a HoI 3 Semper Fi box based on someone's recommendation. I remember that I installed it those few years ago and removed it after 5 minutes.

A week ago I came back to some of my old games and I decided to give HoI 3 a shot.
I played for a week.
No game have ever made me so annoyed :mad:
I can`t understand whether people who designed it had a great vision but no time or money for details or they were simply not smart enough to understand some basic relations between units, supply chain and other. I think, that what drives me nuts, is that there is no logic in some aspects of this game.

This is the first time I have created an account on a game forum, no other game have ever motivated me to do so.
I need to understand whether there is something wrong with me or the game o_O
Also - I want to understand whether HoI 4 is free of those... imprefections, to say the least. The idea behind is great and this game has the potential to be super-addictive but the execution part in HoI 3 is rubbish.

1. Instructions were unclear... :confused:
Dear Paradox, you are not my wife, I should not be forced to read your mind!
Game Instructions as well as tutorials include only the basic information which is not even closely sufficient to succesfully play the game. Why do I need to base on unofficial YT tutorials to learn most important parts of the game? Some people posting those on YT are correct, some are plain wrong (I guess they were trying to read your mind unsuccesfully).
Examples:
- Convoys - From where maximum number of ships in convoy is coming from? Why I can create only 1 convoy to the same destination? If I assign additional ships to escort the convoy they are sailing only on limited part of the route? what is the limit?
- HQs - sometimes they are within range, sometimes out of range. What is the range? Does it vary depending on HQ level? If HQ is out of range what does it affect?
- Techs - I have done all the techs required for atomic bomb. For other units there is a tech that enables building them and when you research those you can find new unit options in production tab. Atomic bomb is not there, it is somehow created on its' own in the background and appears as options in Bombers, Rockets etc. Why? How often? what is the limit? C'mon!

I can list here every option in the game and there will be some "?" to each of those. No explanation in Instructions, in the tutorial nor in the game itself when you hoover over a unit, tech or a field. I can guess, I can assume but this is not the way it should be.

2. Supply chain - wet dream of an idiot :(
I work for the company which is among the best of the best worldwide when it comes to supply chain management. If we were doing our job like in supply chain in HoI 3 we would be among the worst of the worst.

A) All goods flow to capital and then they are distributed from the capital to other districts/states/cities. I can`t even comment...:confused:

B) No information about daily capacity of a port or infrastructure. I saw in YT tutorials that this info was in there, I did not have it, not sure why.

C) You can create convoys to destination harbours but you cannot decide from which harbour you units will get supply. Oh, my unit is 2 fields away from a harbour where convoys are unloading supply and gas. Let's supply it from a harbour 23 fields away... Jesus Christ...:confused:

D) I have controlled all main Japan islands playing USA. I also controlled big part of current China region (was conquered by Japanese so I had to hunt them down over there) and Korean Penisula. That was not enough for Japanese to give up (which is another sad story) so I could not produce any supply there, I had to bring it in convoys from US (again - assumption (point 1), because I am not sure that I could produce it if Japan gives up).
Tell me - No village and no factory on thousands of square kilometers of conquered land could not produce for me a single supply item just because the country did not give up yet? :D Right, local people don`t eat, don`t sleep and they have no tools. I forgot I invaded this land 150 000 BC... my bad

E) Infrastructure. I created a front in mainland China, I had to retreat after 2 weeks because of lack of supply. Might be I went to fast. I went back and formed a defense line around harbours I have invaded before to keep the troops on ground. I was not planning to give up on this yet. It took me 1.5 years (!) in the game to bring up infrastructure to levels which were sufficient to supply my troops - from 4/10 to 7/10...
Yes, modern highways require ages to be built but here we should be talking about concrete roads that do not have to meet any international standards. It just have to be sufficient to allow heavy trucks travel at high speed.
I landed there around 1944, it was almost 1946 when I could move forward. I should have won the war by then, I managed to build heavy cruisers, 50 ballistic rockets and other fancy things in the meantime, but I was not able to build a damn road.
And what I should do then? move the front by 2-3 fields and wait for the road to be built again?
What is surprising, Japanese managed by AI conquered this huge land and more within 1-2 years. Having much smaller IC than US and also being forced to convoy the goods from their islands. Unless AI has special treatment?

F) Disappearing convoys - I landed on French coast a little bit ahead of schedule - April 1944.
I took over 5 harbours and I established convoys right away. Infrastructure was maxed already so it was supposed to be easy. Suddenly I stopped and had to retreat completely, back to GB. My convoys disappeared.
I had huge escorts and few fleets sailing around, there were hardly any attacks from hostile submarines, almost nothing was sunk.
Convoys became red in the overview and the number of ships was e.g. 0/12
I tried recreating them or adding ships manually. Back to 0 almost instantly after changes. No information why it happened, no blockade on Atlantic (I sailed it through to double-check) no attacks, no reason at all.
I don`t know - Bermuda triangle?

There are probably few more supply chain things that drove me crazy but this text is too long anyway so lets move to...

3. Troops and battles - Home Alone with useless toys :(

A) When I fought in mainland China and Korean penisula I have fought against 4-5 nations on... Japanese ground.
And there were hardly any Japanese troops. I killed them all when acquiring Japanese islands. This is fine, we have our allies, we fight together... do we now?
British guys couldn`t even defend their teritories in India effectively not to mention helping US in fighting Japan.
Other countries? - France, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden - long gone. Soviet Union - fighting their own agenda.
Seems that opponent AIs are fighting together but AIs in my alliance are not fighting at all. They could not even properly supply my troops stationing for 1 week in their harbour.

B) Atrillery, Rocket Artillery, Enginneers and many other "special units" are not able to fight on their own. They instantly lose the battle. When combined with infantry they take part in the battle but only in reserves, they never actually fight. So whey do I need them at all? Should I limit my troops only to infantry kinds (infantry, marine, mountain divisions) and light tanks?
Yeah, s. heavy tanks can`t fight on their own as well, they require... infantry to be part of the battle. o_O
I also tried combining Engineers with other troops in one division to test if that would make them move faster. No, not really. So again - why do I need them?

C) Airforce - useless toys strike again! The only useful plane is the transportation plane. The rest is totally useless. 1 Wing is 100 aircrafts according to the instructions. That means I have sent 900 bombers over 1 district. Effect on hostile infantry - in the range from absolute zero to no effect. Yes, I have checked in the table which bombers have the biggest effect on "live force" and used exactly those.

Another great example - I have sent 16 wings of ballistic missiles (1600 rockets!) to destroy small airport. Effect? None.

Yeah, you can build a lot of planes, its fun! They will eat up huge part of you production capacity and they will be blocking your factories for 9-12 months and then they need another month to get their "organisation" maxed, whethever the hell that is. After all of that you can use them for multiple tasks - for example, flying between the basis or loosing their strenght and organisation in air battles that bring no benefit at all.

D) Maximum amount of ships that can be commanded by a particular commander. Usually 6, sometimes 12 or 18.
What does it affect other than the name is changing into red when you exceed the number? No idea. (link to part 1 - what about those instructions guys...)
Is this number even real? In the early fights with Japan I spotted one of their main fleets - 10 Aircraft Carriers, 2000 planes, 3-4 Battleships, dozen of light cruisers and destroyers, several submarines. So the max. number was exceeded twice by AI, unless Japan has commanders that can manage 40 ships. They were fighting just fine and I had big troubles fighting them back, regardless of huge stack penalty they should have etc.

4. Technologies
Here, most trouble is about understanding what is giving what benefits. Lets not talk about obvious, if a technology gives you +2 to infantry fight in mountains or +20% to organisation this is something understandable even if we are not talking about any specific units.
But technologies, especially those development technologies (which has no other effect than that) give bonuses to some funny little pictures presenting a little human with a riffle or a tank. Or a bulb. Or a propeller. And many others. When you finish researching you get a notification "Airforce practice +1".
Little progress bar in overview becomes a little bit greener and larger.
"That must be good news" you think. "But what the hell does that give me?..." - that is again linked to point 1 - instructions...

On top of that there are some completely idiotic relations - to start researching atomic bomb (recommended year to start research 1943) you need to first have level 4 in civil nuclear research (year 1946 if I remember correctly).
It does not make any sense and it was in the opposite corner of Paradox storage to logic.
Historically - well, I am far from being an expert but I can read Wikipedia. It seems the base research started in 1930s, first bombs were dropped in 1945.
How do dates in the game relate to that?

5. Economy and IC (Production capacities)
When it comes to military and supply chain game is super complex but the economics part is like 1 board, 2 nails and a hammer. Maybe, unlike other strategic games I played so far, here the focus is on military and economy is there because there must be something and maybe this is fine. For me it is just strange to create such a complex game and build such simple economy model.

6. Politics, Espionage and Diplomacy
All tutorials on YT recommend to let AI control it. Paradox was trying to make a realistic game so those aspects were included but they were so simplified and they are lacking so many options that it hurts and it is truly better to let AI control it. I tried playing manually and I did not achieve anything. By the way, I let AI play and it also did not achieve anything. :D My intel was crap, my relations with Japan seconds before they declared me war were through the roof, domestic agents can do only 1 thing at a time and you cannot split them and assign to multiple tasks and politics can be summed up as: "10 windows, 4 options in some of them, only one which makes sense".

After a week of playing at least few hours a day I was in summer 1947. Playing USA, I was controlling big part of mainland China, almost entire Korean penisula and all bigger Japanese islands including big cities and capital.

Game crashed during saving. Now I cannot load the game I was saving. I tried rebooting computer, re-installing the game keeping the saves, I followed few YT guides on how to recover corrupted save files. Nothing works.
I spent a week trying to understand most annoying game in the universe, trying to explain to myself I did not get it or I am too stupid and then it crashes in the way I cannot even load my saved game o_Oo_Oo_O

Great job Paradox! :cool:

In total:
Idea - 10/10
Driving Addiction - 10/10
Execution - 0/10
Annoyance - 12/10

If you got to this point and you played HoI 4 please let me know, considering my dislikes above, whether it is worth trying HoI 4 or should I simply give up on Paradox, because this is how they make all their games.
"Give yourself to the Dark Side."


It's about five or ten bucks at GoG and Steam. Goes on sale very cheaply and mods there are dozens!
 

Poopfaust

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Mar 19, 2010
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The reference to Marco Antonio was very helpful. I am trying to play and stop researching, but researching is kind of fun. I am curious how guys like Marco obtain that level of knowledge. Jeezus, he really does seem to know everything!