HoI III: For The Motherland Is Taking Shape

RPS' plans for a full European invasion take shape.

Details on Paradox’s second expansion for historical heavyweight Hearts of Iron III (the first being Semper Fi) are starting to emerge, like flares fired high over the endless battlefield that is everyday life. Entitled For The Motherland, the expansion will focus on the Soviet Union and the Eastern front of the war. You can watch a 7 minute interview with game designer Chris King after the jump. Because I am a lovely, I’ve also summarised what he’s promising from the expansion in easily digestible bullet points.

Developers tend to be as evasive as a lubricated fox when it comes to talking about the oft-obvious inspiration for new features, so I like the bit in the video when Chris cheerily describes a new feature coming in For The Motherland that the team “lifted” from Victoria. His honesty falls upon my soul like gentle summer rain. But yes, that man Chris promises:

  • A new system for modelling partisan warfare, with you slinking your units around behind enemy lines, sabotaging important military targets and generally being a bit cheeky. This’ll allow the team to model both the Eastern front and the French Resistance with greater accuracy.
  • A new system of “war goals”, making diplomacy more realistic because certain countries will want certain things, and that’ll factor into their decisions.
  • The U-boat war will now take place in the North Atlantic, as well as other changes that will allow HoI to model the “undeclared war” that America was involved in.
  • The ability to sponsor coups in other countries
  • Support for multi-core CPUs
  • Improved AI
  • Interface streamlining
  • Don’t believe me? Fine. FINE. HERE IS THE EVIDENCE.


  1. CaptainHairy says:

    Man, as much as I’d like to play Hearts of Iron, that game has a higher wall of entry than Dwarf Fortress did. I bought it, watched the tutorials explain basically nothing, started a game and stared at the interface attempting to grasp some meaning in it all.

    I have it filed in a Steam category titled: “Insane Impenetrable BS”, with the idea that one day I will run out of games and hunt down some beginners guides that aren’t just hamfisted attempts to explain what half the labels in the UI mean.

    • KoldPT says:

      just play hoi2 instead, 3 is kinda bad.

    • Alikchi says:

      what that man said

    • Xercies says:

      Its not actually that hard to be honest, try some of the already made scenarios, those basically make it quite easier. Also do things one at a time, I mean the technology browser well thats a thing of scariness and i haven’t touched it but its still fun just doing the troops stuff.

    • Warth0g says:

      Damn. I’ve just taken my first leap into grand strategy games and Paradox games in general by buying HOI3. Now you tell me it’s the wrong one??

      Sigh.. why is it worse than HOI2?

    • RegisteredUser says:

      HOI 2 > HOI 3 sadly enough. I wish I could also say that AOD is better than HOI 2, but they ended up trying too much at once and breaking the AI (if you want a historical game as Germany you don’t expect France to declare war on you, first).

      And in no way whatsoever is HOI 2 complicated to learn, let alone even close to DF’s obtuse closed-off-ness.
      The only stupid menial tasks are: securing resource trades during war ramp up, initial spy management, and deploying batches of troops.

      All 3 of these AOD tried to fix, and partly did, but as I said, sadly also changed too much other stuff.

      Wish there were a middle-ground mod that just took out the crap and left most of the core game intact.

      (As for one of the reasons HOI3 sucked for me see the other post)

    • olemars says:

      HoI 3 wall of entry wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t have what is possibly the shittiest tutorial I’ve ever seen.

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      For what it’s worth, I’ve never seen wildly ahistorical campaigns in Arsenal of Democracy. Certainly never seen France declare war on Germany. The only times I’ve seen pre-Danzig war have been when events such as the annexation of Czechoslovakia end up firing the 5% chance of outright hostility, which were there in HoI2 anyway.

  2. Om says:

    Multi-core is the big one. Unfortunately the current P’dox game engine came out just before this became standard in the industry and recent games (particularly Victoria 2) have really struggled in places with the computational load. If they get this working for HoI then expect to see it carried over to Vicky 2 in an expansion and feature in Crusader Kings II

  3. Fede says:

    Support for multi core CPUs will be an interesting change.
    Paradox’s engine never supported multiple cores, and I think no one expected that to change (too big a change, also economically).
    I guess this means they want to keep this tech for the next 4-5 years.

    Edit: Om said it earlier and better.

  4. latedave says:

    I would love to be enthusiastic about this but like Captain Hairy I found myself confused and bewildered, once my Belgium bicycle corp had failed their easy mission of destroying a german tank regiment I lost heart somewhat. One day I want to be man enough to take on its cold hard statistics but today isn’t that day and tomorrow isn’t looking good either *slinks back to Empire Total War and his beloved Darth Mod*

  5. agent47 says:

    I actually managed to get into Hearts of Iron 3, I’m not 100 percent on every feature, but it is insanely fun and rewarding once you overcome the steep learning curve.

    The new features sound awesome, I love these Paradox grand strategy games!

  6. CoyoteTheClever says:

    How can we sponsor a coup when we still don’t have the basic feature to see what the other countries damn leaders are? =P

  7. thebigJ_A says:

    I never did get Semper Fi. How much did that fix the game?

    • frags says:

      Depended on what was your main sticking point. Performance, no. Gameplay, to a certain extent yes.

  8. rocktart says:

    This reminded me I fancied this game. Had a look at steam, odd pricing. Full package,including expansion and DLC is £43.10, individual price £41.51.
    That package must have some groovy wrapping paper or something.

  9. Greg Wild says:

    Another Paradox paid patch! Yay!

    The last three are particularly galling.

  10. RegisteredUser says:

    If by interface streamlining they mean I can finally just directly click and control units in their provinces again like in HOI 2, then it might be worth looking at.
    If it’s still the same useless “where is what and how do I find it and how do I see where my units are moving to ffs” unit interface the initial HOI 3 had then forget it.

    (Brief explanation:
    HOI 3’s tale of ultrafail began when they introduced “theatres” and went down consolification logic lane: people might not be able to be control their own darn units, because they are not smart enough, so there needs to be automated poop. Let’s put aside that anyone playing a Paradox game to begin with has a strong OCD control-tendency and that the whole darn series revolves around DIRECT CONTROL..and just annoy everyone for fun and ruin the interface and unit logc! Yay! )

    • Strabo says:

      What on earth are you complaining about? If you want to have direct control over all your units, you can. Just diabled to theater AI. I think it’s even disavled by default,

    • Zephro says:

      Yeah it’s disabled by default and automating the AI ought to be PC-ifying as it’s the only platform with the grunt for decent AI.

  11. Cooper says:

    He looks… Just like someone who would develop a game like HoI.


  12. Panzeh says:

    HOI3 has a huge structural problem in that a unit, once beaten, can never recover if it’s pursued due to the way org regain works. Basically, the attacker gets his organization back as he marches on, while the defender does not regain organization when he retreats, thusly it results in cascading loss as the defender is attacked at low organization.

    • ahenobarbus says:

      the trick is, don’t lose battles? you must be pretty shit to get defeated by the AI…

    • Panzeh says:

      Clearly you’ve never played MP. Sure, you can always beat down the AI but it does make the game trivial.

  13. IcarianAscent says:

    The issue I’ve always had with some of the Paradox games has been that they’re very often not well balanced…

    France is overpowered in EUIII, Rome devolves into a struggle to stay alive if you’re not one of the top few starting nations, and in Victoria II, there’s no hope of facing down Britain if you’re not playing as another great power.

    That said, I have wasted and will continue to waste my life on Paradox games.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      This is not true, and I must now assume you are a weak person.

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      It’s pretty definitely true. EU3 the least of them, since you can at least turn off Lucky Nations and give yourself a better footing against France.

    • Zephro says:

      Yeah but the bit about Victoria 2, OUGHT to be true. That’s like moaning that in your game of global politics set in the 1990s Britain couldn’t take on the US. Well duh.

  14. ahenobarbus says:

    HOI 3 is the easiest Paradox game I own to play. EU3 is just impossible, AOD is hideous, HOI2 has no detail and Vicki 1 & 2 are impossible to play because of the huge amount of resources. For those of you, aka CaptainHairy who says HOI3 has a steap learning cure, your obviously a complete dyslexic retard. Read shit a bit closer and you might begin to understand some of the information in HOI3. I learned the game in 12 hours, no tutorials, no beginners guides…

    Want me to give you a helping hand?
    1. Resources don’t count for much, just make sure they’re in the green, free up IC if they start going red.
    2. You should know what IC is, from HOI2.
    3. Technology: Well, research anything to do with infantry, tanks, planes, and artillery. Then go to the theory section, add in Infantry Warfare tech, Operational Level something a rather, Schwerpunkt, Mobile Warfare and you should be set. Yeah sure, you can go research warships and nukes and stuff, but for a noob like you, stick to the stuff mentioned above.

  15. tyrspawn says:

    I really, really tried to give HOI3 the benefit of the doubt. I was a beta tester and thought it was horrible, tried to urge them to fix some things, they responded by banning me.

    I then came back to HOI3 a year later, and tried it with the latest patch, still sucked. Installed Semper Fi with latest patch recently, still sucks.

    Honestly HOI2 would be perfect if it had an OOB editor like HOI3 and supported high resolutions.

    Paradox’s design philosophy has been appalling in recent years – they are essentially milking their customers for what are clearly patches, not expansions.

  16. wardancer says:

    I was waiting the whole night when Hoi3 was released. What the developers call version 1.0 was in reality version 0.5. Sadly it could not be played. I waited some months and played it again, it could be a great game i think many of the features are cool but AI is none exsisting. To give you an example try and play germany and build up for the climax in russia. If you log on russia you will notice they are building NAVY not army. I wished the developers played their own game instead of just releasing it. I bet AI is difficult to make but Hoi3 is just broken from the beginning to the end in that sense. To take maginot line directly you retreat one hex, france will rush in and you paradrop in maginot line. Ive been waiting for the computer version of World in Flames for 20 years now so i was “forced” to play hoi series. It can be playable but only vs humans and not too big a group.

  17. Romanfighter says:

    Idk what everyone is complaining about i think hoi3 was amazing i pumped hours into the game, i cant wait to play mother land ! i think the AI does a decent job sometimes you gotta help em out like get Germany to declare war on Russia and stuff like that :)

  18. achilles123 says:

    I don’t think you guys really understand what hoi3 was about. As I understood it was a ww2 setup but you get decide how ww2 unfolded. Sure there are some unrealistic scenarios but that bound to happen in a game with about endless possibilities. I love this game, and I thought how it was awesome that South America can get dragged into the war and so on.