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TheMcD
May 4, 2013

Monaca / Subject N 2020
---------
Despair. Malice.
Values America can believe in.





What's all this then?

This is Hearts of Iron 4, a grand strategy game released in 2016 by Paradox Development Studio. It is currently the latest in that series, and has been continually developed and received new DLCs up to now, with more content still due to be released past the writing of this post.

So what's this game about?

Basically, this is a game all about World War 2. You pick a country and guide it from 1936 to 1948 (actual end date is flexible), making decisions, building nations and running wars along the way. If you've played other Paradox games, you have a basic idea of how this is going to go, though this game is more war-focused than, say, Crusader Kings 2 or such.

If you haven't played a Paradox game, basically imagine yourself in control of the major facets of a country. You decide which direction your politics take, build your cabinet, you construct your nation's industry, you decide what weapons you build and what kind of an army, navy and air force you set up with those weapons, you trade resources with other nations, build alliances, spy on each other, all sorts of stuff you need to do to run a successful nation. As such, there's a lot of stuff to learn with this game.

And what about the LP?

Well, as I said, there's a lot of stuff to learn with this game. Furthermore, this game has an interesting multiplayer function where multiple people can play the same nation, with changes any player makes instantly being visible to all players. With that in mind, I decided to combine those two factors to create this LP. As such, here's who's part of this LP.



First, we have myself, TheMcD. I have about 1000 hours in this game, though a good part of that was probably spent in observer mode watching games with different mods develop because that interests me. Still, I have a fair amount of experience in this game, even if there are some parts I really don't know how to work optimally. I can get through games and win wars. Sometimes. I will be taking the role of teacher in this LP.



And for our second participant, we have Ibblebibble. As he describes his experience with this game himself: "I last played the game on release, and then played Italy and lost to Greece." Ibble will be taking the role of student in this LP.

So together, we will be playing this game in co-op multiplayer and attempt to get through a Germany campaign while I teach Ibble to play the way I play. From there, we see how things go. Things might go great! Things might not go great. Hopefully, it will be entertaining either way.

You said something about mods.

Yeah, I'm using a few minor graphical mods I like and one multiplayer utility mod. Here's the list of mods I'm using.

- Square Counters: Exactly what it says. Normally, counters that show units are rectangular in this game. But I come from HoI2, where counters were square. So I prefer it this way.
- Universal Colored Puppets: This colors puppet states the same color as their overlord. It makes maps look a bit nicer when you can tell at a glance that a country is just a puppet.
- WW's Map: This is just a map mod. I think it looks cleaner and nicer, so I use it.
- No Forced Pause / Slowdown For MP Lag: There's an automatic slowdown with speed when somebody lags behind in multiplayer. Since this is just two people playing co-op and we're probably going to be frequently pausing to go over stuff anyway, I figure it's easier to disable the automatic slowdown and keep us in control of the speed.

I don't think that's all the mods you're using.

No, those are all the mods. Everything else is completely normal vanilla HoI4. Don't question it.

Anything else?

One more important note. Do not treat this LP as a comprehensive tutorial! You will be sorely disappointed if you do that. This LP will teach you to play my way. That is not necessarily a good thing. It will probably be enough to play the game, find some success, and have fun. But people who know the game better will probably tear their hair out at some things I say. Please don't get mad. I'm just kinda dumb.



TheMcD fucked around with this message at 18:12 on Oct 16, 2020

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Ibblebibble
Nov 12, 2013



owo whats this

Cerebral Bore
Apr 21, 2010



Fun Shoe

All artillery build or bust you cowards.

turol
Jul 31, 2017


Video is still unlisted. Intentional?

Also the game (and DLC) is on sale on Steam for about another hour and a half.

TheMcD
May 4, 2013

Monaca / Subject N 2020
---------
Despair. Malice.
Values America can believe in.



turol posted:

Video is still unlisted. Intentional?

Also the game (and DLC) is on sale on Steam for about another hour and a half.

Intentional. My YouTube channel used to be a place where I uploaded music from pinball machines and I accrued about 450 subscribers from that (note: Haven't uploaded anything in that regard in five years now, but still). When I started doing LP stuff, I made everything unlisted so I wouldn't spam those people with poo poo they weren't here for. And, well, it stuck. Call it a hot forums exclusive.

NeverHelm
Aug 9, 2017


I can't believe literally all of society was gaslighting me. They tried to pass Charlie Chaplin off as Hitler, all these years. They even made fake documentaries and made up this whole narrative about Chaplin satirizing Hitler in his films, all so I wouldn't question it.

Well, now I know the truth.

biosterous
Feb 23, 2013






seems like i'm a little too drunk to actually pay attention to this video but it makes some really enjoyable background noise! i will probably try again another day when i'm sober

TheMcD
May 4, 2013

Monaca / Subject N 2020
---------
Despair. Malice.
Values America can believe in.



biosterous posted:

seems like i'm a little too drunk to actually pay attention to this video but it makes some really enjoyable background noise! i will probably try again another day when i'm sober

So between this and feedback on Discord that this first video was a chill experience, I'm getting the feeling that my trajectory so far is, like, a low rate Bob Ross with World War 2.

I'm fine with this.

frankenfreak
Feb 16, 2007

Almanya önde!
Bir başka hedef!
Sonsuz şef Löw için zafer!




TheMcD posted:

Bob Ross with World War 2.
There's a reason this genre is also known as map painting!

Kangxi
Nov 12, 2016

The hat is mandatory.


Happy little trees explosions. Anyone can do it!

starbucks hermit
Dec 13, 2016




uwu

OutofSight
May 4, 2017


I demand naval warfare, cowards. Challenge British sea power.

TheMcD
May 4, 2013

Monaca / Subject N 2020
---------
Despair. Malice.
Values America can believe in.



OutofSight posted:

I demand naval warfare, cowards. Challenge British sea power.

You'll get naval bombers and like it.

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



I suppose you could also do the Oppose Hitler focus down the road, since that would let you get to grips with the military system a lot sooner with the Civil War as a result.

Will you be doing other nations later on? It'd be interesting to see how to do a democratic nation to try and prepare for the war, as opposed to Germany which obviously is set up to be the prime mover. The revised France might be an interesting thing to try.

TheMcD
May 4, 2013

Monaca / Subject N 2020
---------
Despair. Malice.
Values America can believe in.



Yvonmukluk posted:

I suppose you could also do the Oppose Hitler focus down the road, since that would let you get to grips with the military system a lot sooner with the Civil War as a result.

Will you be doing other nations later on? It'd be interesting to see how to do a democratic nation to try and prepare for the war, as opposed to Germany which obviously is set up to be the prime mover. The revised France might be an interesting thing to try.

Well, we're going to play around with the military system with our volunteers in the Spanish Civil War. That should be enough for the basest basics and the war with Poland (or maybe the Czechs, depending on how that goes) should work for an actual war. I intend to stick with the historical path, by and large anyway.

My intent for later campaigns, if this takes off, is to do different mods. I love playing different HoI4 mods. So maybe we could do Kaiserreich next, as the mechanics are still largely the same but with a different world to play around with.

EDIT: Like, if you wanted to pin me down to something right now, the next planned campaign would be somewhere in China in Kaiserreich, since that's a really interesting region since the rework happened.

TheMcD fucked around with this message at 11:23 on Oct 2, 2020

TheMcD
May 4, 2013

Monaca / Subject N 2020
---------
Despair. Malice.
Values America can believe in.



Hey, just a quick FYI: Ibble and I determined we're going to go for recording once every two weeks, starting next week. I will be shooting for having a video out every week. However, we can't record this week, and we only recorded that first video the first time, so the next session will be next weekend, and I'll see to it that I get the first video of that session edited and uploaded that weekend as well.

So no video this weekend, next one should be next weekend.

TheMcD
May 4, 2013

Monaca / Subject N 2020
---------
Despair. Malice.
Values America can believe in.



Alright, I got it in in time! It's still this weekend for me!



In this video, we add "WW2 factoid collection" to the list of things this LP is probably not going to be as we start letting time pass in the game and spend some time chatting about particular things we at least believe we know about WW2.

Also, note that from now on, episodes will be coming from longer recording sessions (this first one went about 3 hours and 45 minutes), so there will be abrupt cuts at the end and videos will start in medias res apart from the first one of the session.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009




Who gets access to Garbo, aka Alaric, aka Juan Pujol García on their spies list? It would be funny for both Britain and Germany to get access but hard to make him both historical and a viable choice for the Germans.

Historically he was a Catalan farmer who came out of the Spanish Civil War disgusted with both sides but proud of having served them without actually firing bullets. When World War II broke out he resolved to help Germany's enemies by acting as a spy...but he got turned down several times by the British. Undaunted, he made contact with the Abwehr under false pretenses to instead "spy" for them in England. Pujol never intended to actually carry this out, so he instead went to Lisbon and started bullshitting like mad. The utterly credulous Abwehr believed him despite in-hindsight hilarious errors like a (fake) Scottish contact who "would do anything for a litre of wine". Eventually, after the Kriegsmarine went running after an entire fictitious convoy, the British brought him on for real as part of the Double Cross system. (Every single Nazi spy who went to Britain got suborned in some way; Pujol was the only one who actively sought the Brits out from the start.) From then on Pujol (codenamed Garbo) was instrumental in the Allied intelligence apparatus, especially during the events of Operations Fortitude and Overlord. The Nazis believed him so completely that he kept a mix of 21 divisions out of Normandy from D-Day through August 1944.

NeverHelm
Aug 9, 2017


Ah, intelligence agencies. Very expensive for smaller countries, and their effects are a bit subtle compared to just building more military factories. In my experience, their most valuable contribution is the actual intel on the enemy: Knowing what they produce, what their division templates look like, where their fleets are stationed and so on is impossible to get anywhere else, and highly valuable if a bit difficult to quantify.

My usual order for upgrades is Cryptology Deparment first, since that takes a while to take effect and I want to get working on that straight away. Next comes a bit passive defense, followed by intel stuff and then whatever (usually cryptology upgrades).

As for spy operations, Intel networks are quite useful on their own even without any other operations. As a warmongering nation like Germany, building up Collaberation during the early game in countries you inted to capitulate early like Poland and France can save you tons of equipment and manpower later on by indirectly reducing the resistance there much more efficiently than directly placing spies for that purpose. You'll still probably have to do so though as Germany, due to the sheer volume of occupied territory. Stealing blueprints is nice as a way to boost your research but I almost never use it myself.


NGDBSS posted:

Who gets access to Garbo, aka Alaric, aka Juan Pujol García on their spies list? It would be funny for both Britain and Germany to get access but hard to make him both historical and a viable choice for the Germans.

He's a spy for Britain in-game, but has both British and German nationality (helping him blend in better in those countries) and the "Double Agent" trait.

NeverHelm fucked around with this message at 11:07 on Oct 12, 2020

starbucks hermit
Dec 13, 2016




the anime portraits and music are a nice touch

I'm not enough of a war history nerd to play this but I really appreciate the detail that goes into the speculative possible history aspects of all of this.

Lynneth
Sep 13, 2011


TheMcD posted:

My intent for later campaigns, if this takes off, is to do different mods. I love playing different HoI4 mods. So maybe we could do Kaiserreich next, as the mechanics are still largely the same but with a different world to play around with.

EDIT: Like, if you wanted to pin me down to something right now, the next planned campaign would be somewhere in China in Kaiserreich, since that's a really interesting region since the rework happened.
I dare you to do EAW eventually. It's legitimately one of the highest-quality mods I played to date, alongside goddamn Kaiserreich.

That said, looking forward to a complete newbie learning the game as it is nowadays. I've been playing for 500 hours and still feel like I'm learning constantly.

TheMcD
May 4, 2013

Monaca / Subject N 2020
---------
Despair. Malice.
Values America can believe in.



NeverHelm posted:

Ah, intelligence agencies. Very expensive for smaller countries, and their effects are a bit subtle compared to just building more military factories. In my experience, their most valuable contribution is the actual intel on the enemy: Knowing what they produce, what their division templates look like, where their fleets are stationed and so on is impossible to get anywhere else, and highly valuable if a bit difficult to quantify.

My usual order for upgrades is Cryptology Deparment first, since that takes a while to take effect and I want to get working on that straight away. Next comes a bit passive defense, followed by intel stuff and then whatever (usually cryptology upgrades).

As for spy operations, Intel networks are quite useful on their own even without any other operations. As a warmongering nation like Germany, building up Collaberation during the early game in countries you inted to capitulate early like Poland and France can save you tons of equipment and manpower later on by indirectly reducing the resistance there much more efficiently than directly placing spies for that purpose. You'll still probably have to do so though as Germany, due to the sheer volume of occupied territory. Stealing blueprints is nice as a way to boost your research but I almost never use it myself.

I'm going to try and make more use of spies in this game than I usually do, and yeah, collab governments is probably going to be what I'll try to do eventually because the occupation stuff wasn't fun in my practice game.

NeverHelm posted:

He's a spy for Britain in-game, but has both British and German nationality (helping him blend in better in those countries) and the "Double Agent" trait.

I was wondering how that was going to work, since there is a double agent system in game, but it'd be kind of a dick move to have a spy in Germany's pool that was just guaranteed to go double agent on you. I suppose him just showing up in Britain's pool is appropriate.

Lynneth posted:

I dare you to do EAW eventually. It's legitimately one of the highest-quality mods I played to date, alongside goddamn Kaiserreich.

You don't need to dare me on that. EaW is absolutely on my shortlist for mods I want to do (alongside Kaiserreich, Kaiserredux and Old World Blues) because yes, it is amazing.

Lynneth posted:

That said, looking forward to a complete newbie learning the game as it is nowadays. I've been playing for 500 hours and still feel like I'm learning constantly.

I bring this up in an episode yet to be posted, but I only learned that you can manually support attacks by holding CTRL and right-clicking the battle indicator after I was about 800 hours in. Sometimes, you just never learn something until someone specifically brings it up.

starbucks hermit posted:

the anime portraits and music are a nice touch

I'm not enough of a war history nerd to play this but I really appreciate the detail that goes into the speculative possible history aspects of all of this.

I do wonder if I'm eventually going to run out of music in my collection that is appropriate for what I want to go for, but I should probably be good for a while. And yeah, while there are some faults with the alt-history approach that HoI4 goes for, one perk is that a ton of different stuff can happen. I played a practice game as Germany after the first video just to see if I could still get through the Soviets without too much trouble, and things went radically different compared to what the save I'm running with Ibble is turning out as.

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TheMcD
May 4, 2013

Monaca / Subject N 2020
---------
Despair. Malice.
Values America can believe in.



Alright, now that I have some episodes ready, I will be establishing a schedule - I'll post a new episode every Friday evening. And with that...



This time, we have a bit of a lull as we wait for the Spanish Civil War to kick off, so Ibble gets to look around the world and check out all the places he's been in his life, and then we start prepping for the Spanish Civil War.

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