Hi everyone, time for a smoking fresh diary! This time I am going to go through some of the things we showed in the PdxCon stream in more detail.
One of our important design goals for HOI4 is to make you feel like you are growing and nurturing your army as well as putting more focus into pre-war production. We have showed how its important to build up stockpiles of equipment for your army prior to war and get efficiency up for your production lines and we have talked about how you need to gain and spend experience to modify your divisional templates for the army. So whats left? The soft part of the division - the guys who actually does the fighting in the divisions! We wanted you to be able to affect them more as well, and have the effects be more visible.
Conscription and manpower
Manpower will see some big changes in HOI4. Rather than controlling only how much it ticks up per month your conscription laws now control what percentage of the population you can recruit from the full population count. Conscription laws also come with trade-offs in that recruiting more will impact efficiency of your industry and as you dig deeper and starts scraping the barrel of recruits their quality will drop requiring more training time to reach the same level of proficiency. The idea is to make it less clear cut than in hoi3 where more men was always best at all times.
In HOI4 we have a new screen we call the Army Planner. Here you can manage your division that you want to eventually deploy as well as all of your division templates they are built from. You may queue up as much as you want here and as you produce equipment each division will start to fill up. A division that has gotten some equipment will start training its soldiers but training level is limited by how much equipment you have. 10k men having to share a single Panzer II tank is going to have a tough time learning anything . This also means that there is good reason to build even early tanks right away since they can be used for training.
You are free to deploy any division as long as it has 10% of its equipment and manpower, but at least in peace time it is best to wait until they have all the equipment they need and have trained as much as they can.
Speaking of that, experience is now separated into several levels: Green Soldiers, Trained, Regular, Seasoned and finally Veterans. Training off-map while in the deployment queue can only bring your troops up to a maximum of Trained, and simulates training in barracks etc. To get higher you will need to do more.
You can train units on the map when deployed as well and this basically simulates large-scale exercises and war games. Soldiers trained on the map can reach up to Regular status. For Seasoned and Veterans you need to see actual combat. To get these more well trained troops you will now start looking at some trade-offs. Training on the map costs equipment for every day of training as rifles, tanks and other stuff breaks down, so if you are trying to build up a stockpile of arms for an offensive you might need to hold back on training to keep your storage filled. As a side bonus training on the map give you Army Experience (See Diary 6) which you will want if you plan to restructure any of the division templates it is built on. As an example, as Germany, if you want to start using medium tank divisions as well light tanks you will need to run some training exercises to unlock enough experience to either create a fresh new template or modify the existing one to use medium tanks rather than the old light Panzer Is etc. This also gives nations like the US a way of restructuring their army before the war assuming they want to spend the time and equipment on exercises.
When fighting units will continue to gain experience like if they were training (just faster) but will take casualties. For each division the game tracks experience as how many of its men are experienced soldiers and when casualties are removed during combat there is a higher chance that the fresh recruits were the ones who got taken out. This is both realistic and makes it easier to keep your divisions up in experience even when soldiers are lost.
Enjoy your weekend everyone, and I'll see you with another diary in a month.
Here is the list of Hearts of Iron IV hands-on previews from Pdxcon15, enjoy