"Hearts of Iron" Game Series

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Giambattista, Jun 12, 2009.

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  1. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

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    Grand WW2 strategy game where you can play any country you want. Conquer the world as Germany or Russia. Or Switzerland. Or Afghanistan. With minute historical details.

    Anyone like this game? Anyone heard of it???

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearts_of_Iron_II

    I am very excited about the third installment, due to come out this fall or thereabouts!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearts_of_Iron_III
    Screenshot of HOI3!

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    Screenshot of HOI2
    http://downloadsource.net/img/7717805785e6ff4467eec5bb1ab2612c.jpg.jpg

    Screenshot of Production Screen

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    If you like lots of detail in your strategy games, this one is awesome.
    Research different technologies
    Go down different paths of research
    Choose from a variety of units to build, and upgrade the obsolete ones
    Control your countries political ideologies and alter key government members
    Engage in diplomacy and espionage
    Control your armies at the divisional level and assign historical leaders individually (mj. general = division, lt. general = corps (3 divs), general = army, field marshall = army group w/HQ)
    Each leader has a (most of them) historical picture that goes with them, as well as skill levels, max skill, and various traits which add bonuses to the armies under them
    You can choose to go down a completely ahistorical path if you so choose (although the AI's reactions to non-historical human choices depends on the events programming, with some mods being better than the standard AI events that come with the game)


    The third is going to have a little more depth and improved graphics and more detail esp. in the map, and a modified tech research scheme. I'm looking forward to that.
     
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  3. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

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    One of the better improvements in the map is more provinces, and a stricter limit on the practicality of how many divisions can fight in one province to prevent masses of armies in a small area which is not very realistic.
     
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  5. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    Played it once (as my native Canada , which as it turns out is a GREAT country to use to learn the game).

    Found it annoying, frankly. Like any RTS, only this time to mix that with my beloved Grand Strategy Genre, is bloodly awful. The trading model is pure garbage, supply is the worst most convoluted handled system yet. THAT is the most important aspect of any grand strategy game, believe it or not - just like real life. Other aspects seem to really demand serious micromanagement. Sometimes I like Micromanagement, sometimes not. But never do I like it forced on me.

    I'm looking forward to World in Flames coming out from Matrix. Kinda a single developer project, which seems to be a trend coming back. Labours of love. So sick of corporate crap like Hearts of Iron(which is really just old Europa Universalis repackaged)
     
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  7. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

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    I know supply is being revamped. Not sure about trade...
    You can see here a list of developer diaries dealing with the numerous changes and improvements...
    http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?t=379311

    What exactly was your beef with the supply and trade systems?
     
  8. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

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    I have the second one, I've had a few goes at it but I can't get into it, after several hours of intense micromanagement, learning to play, setting up a small attack etc I find the game's advanced about 12 hours and is boring the hell out of me. Advanced techniques take ages to get used to and lots of practice, plus it's hard enough and time consuming to find the damn units in each region and organise them and check terrain before doing anything over and over etc. The furthest I've taken a game is about 1941.

    The new map looks more basic though and if the ease of information is far more helpful I might look into it.
     
  9. Killjoy Propelling The Farce!! Valued Senior Member

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    I played the first version/edition - twice as Russia, once as Germany, and thoroughly enjoyed it in spite of its limitations.

    The Russians were a hoot. Nothing like crushing blows dealt with hordes & hordes & hordes & hordes of massed tanks !
    Can't recall how many divisions of T34/85s I fielded... ... I can tell you they weren't no damned good trying to cross the mountains to invade Switzerland after the German defeat !
    LoL

    Played as Germany as a result of a discussion as to whether or not the planned German invasion of Britain - Operation Sea Lion - could have succeeded, with the intent of attempting to pull off the invasion.

    Problem was, I played Germany too aggressively on the diplomatic front, trying to bully my neighbors into giving me what Germany historically took by "bloodless conquest" before the war started even sooner than they did, and the Anglo-Franco alliance declared war on Germany in 1938.

    This, however, made for an even more interesting game, as it was all Germany could do to hold off the sons of bitches & turn the tide.

    I got a kick out of the fact that I could halt the building of the entire German navy except U-Boats. Naval combat itself seemed a bit funky in the game, though. I recall wanting to play as Japan, but after seeing the way encounters between groups of opposing naval vessels were dealt with in the game, I had to wonder how the use of carriers in the Pacific would be handled.
    Guess I should have tried just for the hell of it.

    Bought some incarnation of HOI 2 called "Doomsday" a while back, but for some reason I have yet to play it.



    I thought the same thing about the amount of time it took for - well... time to pass in the game. Then I found the control that sped up the passage of game time, and cranked it up to maximum so that a month in the game was passing in an hour or less of real time. It also made waiting for research/development projects to be completed quite a bit less vexing.

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  10. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    Supply wasn't clear when it was cut - and if you had it on fast speed, you could really eff up your troops(obviously). If you were first to take a province in a theater and allies came into that province - they'd suck your supply (a REAL pain in the ass for Canada to supply ALL U.S forces in a province), it's broken fake.

    Trade - you could rip off even the russians very badly. I could triple my Canadian production by meticulously fleecing various countries around the world.

    It's hard for me to not take advantage of a broken system like that, so I'd wind up micromanaging that, then of course i'd futz with other stuff that seemed to NEED doing....then hit time compress and Boom another popup to deal with.

    Seriously Grand strategy is the domain of turn based games, I'm amazed at the level of effort made to make it real time. Wow.
     
  11. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

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    I played 1 and 2. They were so easy to mod though, I got into the habit of making myself a supernation. Funny how fast E-50's overrun Russia.

    The A-Bomb didn't seem to do crap, really, though. You could use it as a "tactical" device, eliminating strongpoints. It didn't seem to function with regards to the diplomatic arena.

    HOI3 looks like that older game "Third Reich" to me. That game had a ridiculous learning curve. I don't want to have to figure out what all those symbols mean to know what unit is where.

    Then again, I'm sort of lazy.
     
  12. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

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    The problem with speeding it up is you then start to miss things you should be micromanaging, and 12 days later you realise you *should* have been doing something for the last 12 days. Do that a few times and it pretty much cripples the game. I found the best thing is just to pause it every day and check everything's running ok, but it can get so tedious sometimes.
     
  13. Killjoy Propelling The Farce!! Valued Senior Member

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    I know what you mean, but at some stages, there are just not so many things going on that need micromanaging - at least to me. Plus, at key stages or circumstances you could always slow the passage of time down to something more resembling "real time", and "monumentous occurences" were usually announced by pop-ups so that one could pause time flying by to see what had occurred. In the first version the events chronicled by pop-up included everything from somebody declaring war on you to a handfull of transports being sunk 5,ooo miles away.

    I probably missed some things which, if handled differently, might have altered the eventual outcome, but if so I just sort of chalked 'em up to "fog of war", or some sort of bureaucratic mis-step. Sloppy or lazy, perhaps, but what the hey.
    The only instance it made any sort of critical difference is when I was trying to develop an atom bomb for Germany, and I forgot some step in electronics research that was impossible to make up for before the game scenario ended.
     
  14. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

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    Yep, I found it went from one extreme to the other, either you're organising a lot or sitting there waiting for supplies and stuff. I usually adjust pop-up messages to only display important ones that I need to stop the game for, otherwise you get swamped with random crap.

    I think it just gives you too much to focus on, I mean you know what you want to do and when, but actually remembering to do it all, and in several different theatres just leaves you bound to forget something.
    MTW is about the limit I can cope with and that takes a while too in the late game.
    I play Europa, and it's less complex than HOI, although the 3rd one was a big step backwards.
     
  15. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

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    I do a little modding. One of the faults with HOI2 was the limit to models. You could only have 10 (0-9=10) models of any unit. You could technically have more, but the tenth wasn't workable (didn't display an icon and had to be skipped over fast by making it upgrade instantly to the next one), and icons for 11+ models were basically "stolen" from the next highest model number. Models 1_0 to 1_9 could use their respective icons. 1_10 couldn't display an icon. 1_11 would display 2_0's icon and so on.
    Confusing! And made extra models a lot of work if you wanted to go beyond 10 models. That made it hard to have a good diversity in unit characteristics to mimic real world differences between countries.
    One could do it, but some of the improvements would have to be instantaneous changes without upgrading to a new model. Which isn't always a bad thing, I suppose, but instant improvements are slightly unrealistic depending on what they are.

    I haven't looked into how HOI3 is going to deal with model structuring.
    I DO know that they are making it much more moddable. You can even create your own leader traits! So I think from that standpoint, it will overall be a much more open-ended and adaptable game, which is always cool!



    A-Bombs are a-holes! I didn't like them, because it gets really easy to decimate areas. Almost a game killer.
     
  16. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

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    I just set it on super fast and pause it every once in awhile when some project is finished. If all five research teams have just started or are only half done, and none of your units are nearing completion, there is no reason not to speed it ahead. Just keep an eye on the projects...
     
  17. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

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    Nice to see some people have actually played it, though not all of the reviews here are favorable.
     
  18. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    I'm playing 1914 Mod of HoI 2. It's pretty interesting. The only thing I dislike about the game is year limitation.
    I would like to play it as same as Football Manager - infinitely.
     
  19. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

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    There is a timelimit mod that alters the .exe to accept a wider range of dates.
     
  20. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

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    Doesn't it still end around 1950 though?
    I can see why people want to play indefinitely, but then you could have WW2 tanks in the year 2525.

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  21. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

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    No, it goes past that. You really have to have Armageddon add-on, and/or the NoTimeLimit executable mod, which enables you to play past that date. I've never played much farther than 52, and I think Armageddon is designed to go to 55 or something.

    As far as WW2 tanks in the future, Armageddon and or Doomsday does add extra models of units that don't come with vanilla HOI2. I think the infantry go up to '52 or '54. You can conceivably add more, though in the convoluted way I mentioned in a previous post, since things get just a little screwy when you exceed 10 models.
    The workaround is doable, but takes a little more effort than it would ordinarily. I personally have added models beyond ten, but since each country can have individualized icons, the changes I made only affected my country's icons. So my country looked like it was supposed to, but since I hadn't bothered to change other individual country specific icons, the light infantry was represented by airplanes! (interceptor models are the next set after militia)
    Like I explained before, it only takes 0-9 icon names, model 10 gets no icon at all, and model 11 robs the next model sets 0-9. So if you're doing a major overhaul of the unit systems, you have to shift all the appropriate icons up however many numbers were used for the previous model!

    A little confusing. And one of the major drawbacks, in my opinion, of modability in the current incarnation. I think it would have been easier if the actual unit stats in the model files would have included a slot just for the graphic to be representing it. So instead of automatically assigning the icons in order of model, you could simply specify ANY icon you wanted to use, and that would include being able to use the same icon for X number of models and not have to have duplicate bitmaps for each.

    (the DMP Ragnaroek mod utilizes such a modified system for tanks, so you can more accurately represent the differences between the countries
    http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?t=374368 for anyone interested. I'm going to give it a try since #3 isn't due out for several months still)

    What's really going to be cool about Hearts 3 is that you can design templates for all ground based units, and you build the templates by brigade. I think you can have up to 5 brigades in a division, and you choose which ones you want (infantry, light artillery, heavy artillery, armored car, heavy tank, etc.). You simply research the individual brigade components, and then design your divisions using your latest brigade models! That basically eliminates the rigidity of having all ground divisions the same for each category. And it allows a much greater range of variety and realism for all countries.

    The revised division creator

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  22. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

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    I think that new system is pretty nifty, myself.

    Does anyone concur?
     
  23. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Thanks for the info. I just found it.
    Immortal dictator FTW!

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