Hearts Of Iron II

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  • The manual is available as an 88 page PDF and explains a lot, although it is pretty cheesy to read.
  • When you occupy enemy territory, provinces will have partisan activity that drains your TC really severely. Garrison units with MP brigades attached and set on anti-partisan duty are the best way to stifle those fucking partisans. You can build a million of these divisions; they are super cheap, effective, and worth their weight in gold if you are playing a land war.
  • It might be worth it for you to build nothing but factories in all of your developed provinces for the first year for extra TC later on in the war. It is a tossup, but I almost always do this.
  • As far as intelligence is concerned, you are best served by maxing out your territory with anti intelligence spies, rather than spying on other countries. You will just end up getting aggravated, and knowing what the enemy is researching doesn't really give you much of an advantage. Just keep the spies in other countries as they are at the beginning of the game and never mess with them.
  • If you are going to fight in the ocean, you need to research your naval units early, because they take forever to build.
  • Don't research anything more than a year before the actual research happened in the real world...there is a severe time penalty if you do this.
  • Your instinct may be to spend a lot on battleships in your navy...almost always you should instead focus on aircraft carriers. Your offensive battlegroups will almost always be more effective if they are based around carriers rather than battleships.
  • You don't need as many tanks as you think you do!
  • You don't need as many marines as you think you do!
  • Pay attention to whomever is in charge of your units! My advice is to turn off the auto-assign general feature, otherwise you will end up with Rommel buttfucking partisans in France while some rubber-stamp idiot is getting your tanks killed in Russia.
  • You can promote generals to higher ranks yourself if you want to, but the generals will lose some of their effectiveness. You would be better served letting the game decide when to promote.
  • HQ units are awesome, but make sure that you don't put them in stacks that you are going to use to attack another province with...in fact, keep them 1 province behind the front lines and have an AA brigade attached to the HQ unit. Their effective radius extends all the way to the province your offensive units are attacking, if they attack from 1 province away from the HQ unit.
  • Ground attack bombing really works best on units that are retreating.
  • You are going to eliminate many more enemy divisions by breaking through and encircling than you are by attacking on a broad front!
  • Paratroopers are incredibly difficult to use, develop, and research. You might want to avoid them altogether.