Cold Steel: East Vs West – A Hearts Of Iron Game

I love maps and I love horror, but is it possible for a map to be frightening? Defcon says ‘yes, they most certainly can’, and then the next thing it says is a a sequence of numbers, a countdown, a terrible unnerving countdown. Maps communicate events and some events, nuclear war being a notable example, are certainly the stuff of horror. Today, Paradox announced a new Hearts of Iron game, East Vs West, which takes place between 1946 and 1991. All nations are playable and there are “a host of tense features, from taking issues in front of the UN Security Council to nervously watching the game’s Doomsday clock.” The horror. Large words and historical footage make up the trailer below.

Actual Doomsday Clocks included as a preorder bonus. Probably.


  1. Trithne says:

    The main thing I took from that is that Eastern Europe features “POLDND”. Or possibly ROLDND.

    Д is not interchangeable with A!

    • RedViv says:

      It’s always fun when you send troops through Moygolid to Communist Chiyd in HOI3. Always. Fake Cyrillic 80s script is rad.

    • Notelpats says:

      Not to mention Yaomdiid (instead of Romania) and Huigdiatch or Nuigdiatch (Hungary).

    • USER47 says:

      More like Roldid. Other countries’ names are similarly crippled. I don’t even understand why they used that fake cyrillic in Poland’s case, Poles don’t use cyrillic. And nor do Hungarians, Romanians or Czechs…

      • thestage says:

        uhhh, because all of those countries were under soviet control?

        come on, this isn’t hard

        also, this is definitely a great idea for a game

        • Saiko Kila says:

          So what they were under communist rule? They never used cyrillic.

          But most importantly: for people who can read cyrillic (like me) it looks and reads as gibberish. And it is not a great idea for a game to look like trash.

          • mike2R says:

            In HOI3 they have different text for the 3 different alliance blocks. So if Poland was in the Comintern it would get the fake cyrillic. Same thing would happen to France, or the USA. Same way all nations currently in the Axis get gothic script.

            It isn’t a judgement on Polish history or language or anything, simply a fairly subtle cue to provide information to the player on the current alliances without having to go into a specific mapmode to get it.

          • His Dudeness says:

            Wot’s this I say, bleedin’ bunch of intellectuals showing up…since when has RPS become the Café Central?? ;-))

        • Cinek says:

          No it’s not a great idea for a game. Cause then people like you think that all the countries under communist occupation used to use Cyrillic and speak Russian which never was the case. Back then people were learning Russian at schools in the same way they are now learning English, but that’s all.

          • thestage says:

            You’re really stupid.

            The cyrillic is an aesthetic choice, a way to indicate to the player that country X is under Russian control. This doesn’t mean they used the cyrillic alphabet in Real Life, it means you are playing a video game looking to convey information. Fucking christ, didn’t think I’d have to spell it out.

          • Cinek says:

            And it’s still bullshit excuse for total ignorance. This game seems to have dozens of other clues – no need to suggest that people there use Cyrillic or other BS like that.

          • mike2R says:

            I’m sorry, but you are being silly. When Japan joins the Axis its name will appear in a western gothic script in HOI3. No Japanese are getting up in arms about which alphabet this suggests they use.

            It is a handy feature for the player since it provides extra information without extra clutter. Exactly what you need in a complex game like this. It is a small piece of cleverness that the developers should be congratulated about, not criticised for some imagined insult.

          • grenvill says:

            cyrillic is fine, mispresentation country names just to get a cheap laugh from western audience (which coincidentally do not suffer from this “funny” practice) is not.

  2. battles_atlas says:

    So is this HoI 4? Or like an Arsenal of Democracy type mod-spin off?

    • Captain Joyless says:

      Mod/spinoff. HoI 4 would be a huge deal and probably won’t be out for another few years.

      • Oh Tyrone says:

        Also, HoI 4 will probably be centered around WW2, as is the tradition of the series.

        EDIT: In the interest of being as clear as possible, what I mean by the ‘tradition of the series’ is that the principal iterations (e.g. HoI 1-3) tend to be WW2-centric whereas the spinoffs/expansions (Darkest Hour, Doomsday/Armageddon) use different subject matter.

    • Cinek says:

      I would take it as an expansion pack for HoI 3.
      But otherwise? I’m not interested.

      ps. What’s up with this horribly ugly interface?! HoI 3 interface looks like a beauty comparing to this.
      pps. “Pomorskie, Wielkopolska, Silesia” – why the heck Silesia isn’t in Polish: “Slask” but instead uses English equivalent?!

  3. wodin says:

    I would like to see a cold war gone hot wargame, that includes Nukes and Chemical warfare. However not a HoI game. Never got into them. The only game I like and enjoy using that engine is CK2.

    I hoping Flashpoint Germany 2 may well be the game.

    Anyone play Red Lightening many moons ago. I always lost. I always dropped tactical Nukes and chemicals. As I’m like that.

    • Fanbuoy says:


      • wodin says:

        Defcon is fun, but had little longevity. However I want a wargame at battalion or even coy level…

    • Charupa says:

      I remember Red Lightning, I spent my entire revission leave time for my GCSE’s playing that awesome game. Taught me a lot, like how under all except the most unusual and taxing circumstanses for the USSR, that they could have steamrollered to Paris in about 3 weeks

  4. WMain00 says:

    Might be interesting if it has a really indepth espionage system, since the most interesting aspect of the cold war was the great game played by spies.

    In fact, now that I think of it, I kinda want an espionage thriller game set in the cold war now.

    • belgand says:

      I’ve wanted an MMO in that setting for years. Say, Prague in 1968. Ideally it would encourage players to form factions and then spend time trying to socially engineer each other. Infiltrate your enemy, act as an agent provocateur, be a double agent feeding intelligence to the other side or a triple agent deceiving the people who think they’re using you. Real player on player roleplaying, not just fighting other people.

      Wrap the whole thing up in a System Shock/Deus Ex/Thief sort of interface and perspective where you can personally infiltrate enemy bases or spy on conversations in real time and you’d have a really fascinating game.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Sony was working on an espionage MMO a couple of years ago (not cold war, though) but it was cancelled (link to

  5. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    The cold war is not a good setting for a Paradox strategy game because basically nothing ever happens. Maybe they put in enough mechanics in for the setting to work properly, but I don’t see that happening without major changes to the structure of HoI.

    Anyway, I wish somebody would make an alternate history scenario like Kaiserreich or something. That mod was a lot of fun with its weird factions and unlikely outcomes.

    • wodin says:

      I think it’s the cold war goes hot idea…otherwise it really wouldn’t work or be fun at all.

      • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

        I guess it must be.

        Then again, “cold war gone hot” just means “everybody is fucked”.

    • Gammro says:

      You actually have a lot going on in the years after the 2nd world war. A lot of the colonies broke loose from their previous owners, often combined with warfare. Also, proxy wars because the superpowers didn’t want to fight each other directly.(Vietnam, Afganistan etc)
      It might play a bit slower than HoI 3 though. More small wars and more diplomacy. Such as the rebuilding of western-europe

    • Om says:

      Depends on the systems that they use. A straight-up HoI expansion into the Cold War wouldn’t work but using the engine as a base to build new, Cold War specific, could well be promising

      But then it’s worth noting that this project is the work of a third-party modding team. Paradox have traditionally been unwilling to tackle this era but the team behind Arsenal of Democracy have been happy to step in and take up the challenge

  6. mR.Waffles says:

    It is a life goal to one day learn to play a Hearts of Iron game. I think becoming bi-lingual will be easier.

  7. leeder krenon says:

    It’s no Twilight Struggle.

    • Kohlrabi says:

      Well said, I’d love to see a TS PC game on Steam with matchmaking and all. VASSAL works, but the amount of players there is rather small.

      • leeder krenon says:

        GMT are making one. but i guess it won’t be on steam :-( they should try and get it green lit.

        link to

        except it will cost $49. insane. should be $10 at most.

        • Kohlrabi says:

          I hope that doesn’t mean that GMT will pull the officially sanctioned VASSAL module, I played that quite a lot with a friend and my dad. :-(

  8. MrLebanon says:

    looks delicious

  9. sabasNL says:

    A Letter To Paradox Interactive:

    For weeks, I have been playing HoI3 every day for too many hours. I was prepared to die for my version of the Third Reich. Work wasn’t completed. Sleep wasn’t achieved. But my empire kept growing and taking over the world.
    Then I decided to stop. I had to stop. I was putting too much time in this game, which at first didn’t appeal to me at all. I gave it one shot. One shot, that opened an airlock and sucked me right in the huge unexplored space that Hearts of Iron 3 is.

    I ask you, no, I’m begging you, please, I will not be able to resist this. As much as I loved other Cold War games, from World in Conflict to DEFCON, they all were just a great game to spend my time on. However, I’m so afraid this game will suck me in.

    Please, don’t make me hide in my bunker until I outlived this apocalypse of a game.

    Thank you.

  10. Om says:

    That is easily the best Paradox trailer I’ve seen yet. This plus the CK ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ series suggests that they’ve seriously upped their marketing game in the past year or so

  11. Valhuen says:

    Yes!!! Have been waiting for a HOI based Cold War simulation for years. I only hope it is not a typical Paradox buggy mess on release. To date, the only realistic Cold War games I have enjoyed were the various scenarios for TOAW:COW/TOAWIII & Flashpoint Germany. However both lack a serious geopolitical simulation, which IMHO is essential for playing out the East West chess game.

    One thing that has never been properly done is a realistic nuclear war simulation, if this is done well in East vs. West will be in seventh heaven. However I fear it may come up short simply due to a lack of research (and the sheer amount needed), notably how the arsenals of each side changed year to year. Given HOI’s built in tech engine if playing a full scenario you will likely be off the historical narrative by 1947.

    The best simulations of this to date have been on the boardgame side of things. Both First Strike and War Plan: Dropshot by Schutze Games have presented realistic, gameable scenarios for strategic nuclear war (link to Twilight Struggle is also good, but covers the subject area far more abstractly.

    • Tuskin38 says:

      This isn’t made by Paradox, just published, and using the Clausewitz engine. Its made by the same company that made Arsenal of Democracy. The devs off East Vs. West have confirmed it will use more then one core, so thats a plus already.

  12. RegisteredUser says:

    Sooooooooooo can you blow shit up?
    Fight a thermonuclear war?
    Is it just about politics or a “real” HOI game about being (in this case I guess a modern) Hitler and taking over the world?

    Might have to find out if this is some kind of lame-tame game in the vein of King Fling II or something more in the likes of “What if you’d invaded those capitalist pigs through Cuba after all”.

  13. Tom Walker says:

    The most unsettling thing about Defcon was that sample of a gently sobbing woman that faded in and out when stuff got nuked.

    This looks like it might be a bit like those CCS strategy games my dad used to play on the speccy.

  14. King in Winter says:

    Greetings Professor Falken.
    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  15. Tomn says:

    I can’t help but wonder if maybe Paradox is biting off more than they can chew with this title. Trying to simulate every single nation of the 20th century deeply enough to be interesting and reflective of the important parts of the period is already a bit of a tall order – trying to model their interactions so that they correspond with the impressively complicated diplomatic brinksmanship going on during the Cold War seems even taller. If nothing else their AI programmer must be having kittens trying to make sure that the superpowers’ AI doesn’t keep starting up nuclear war over trivial reasons while at the same time making sure they don’t back down so consistently that a human player can just tromp all over their opposite partner.

    Not saying it’s out and out impossible, mind you, just wondering how the heck Paradox is planning to try and pull this off.

  16. MythArcana says:

    Better living through carpet bombing. Damn, I miss those days.

  17. adonf says:

    I’m glad they chose to nuke Rouen. Bunch of wankers there.

    On a more serious note, who’s the guy talking in the video? He doesn’t look like Eisenhower or Truman (according to Google Image)