Europa Universalis IV and Hearts of Iron IV DLC looks to the East

Look at that wee tank!

Adam is away at E3 and thus someone who isn’t Adam needs to develop emotions and/or words regarding the new DLC available for two of Paradox’s grand strategy games, Europa Universalis IV [official site] and Hearts of Iron IV [official site]. That person is me so I was hoping that somehow it was an under-the-sea expansion of some kind. The fact that the DLCs are called Third Rome and Death or Dishonor respectively implies not. I’ll wear my snorkel just in case, though.

“Third Rome, a new immersion pack for Europa Universalis IV, adds new gameplay features for the Russian empire,” say Paradox. “Death or Dishonor, a new country pack for Hearts of Iron IV, brings new events and national focuses to the nations bordering the Soviet Union during World War II – Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Yugoslavia.”

For Third Rome we have this:

Aaaaaaaand for Death or Dishonor:

The Third Rome stuff sounds interesting to me for the religious options being added in relation to the Orthodox Church. You can commission icons and revere saints which affects the power of your empire via the reach of the church. I don’t think that’s a huge departure in terms of the way in which religion is wielded in grand strategy but I just happen to like religious iconography of that sort so I’ve spent a nice few minutes revisiting some artwork sites. There are also new government ranks and Tsars have the right to claim entire states. Russian nations can also slowly colonise uninhabited border regions without fear of native uprisings, kind of like how the wild strawberries send out runners to start encroaching on the rest of the garden if I just let them be.

Death or Dishonor is just about being between an ideological rock and a hard place:

Features include:

  • Four New Focus Trees: Experience the war from the difficult perspectives of Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.
  • Equipment Conversion: Update your arsenal by converting older units – or make use of captured enemy vehicles and gear.
  • New Diplomatic and Puppet Interactions: License military technology to bring other nations’ weapons to the field or sell your advances to the highest bidder.

Each DLC is $9.99/£7.99 but there’s a bundle deal where you can get the pair together for $17.98/£14.38. PLEASE MAKE ADAM COME BACK SOON.


  1. Sly-Lupin says:

    So what the hell is “Third Rome” supposed to mean? I’ve never heard the term before, but it sounds uncomfortably like a reference to Nazi Germany.

    Remember, it was the Third Reich. As in the third great European empire after the Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Empire. Or the *third* Rome.

    Which I can see as an intentional reference for a Hearts of Iron expansion, but Europa Universalis? It feels suuuuuuuuper weird here.

    • Premium User Badge

      Philippa Warr says:

      It’s another way of referring to Moscow: link to

    • Faldrath says:

      Yeah, it’s much older than the “3rd Reich” thing. It dates from at least the 16th century, it was a major “justification” for the Crimean War, there are references to it in War and Peace, etc.

      It’s an early nationalistic/religious justification for imperialism, basically. According to Russian Orthodoxy, Rome was the first seat of the true faith. After the Schism, that moved to Constantinople (the Second Rome). After it was taken by the Ottomans, it moves to Moscow – and that should justify a Russian Empire as great as the Roman/Byzantine.

      See, for instance, link to

    • Eightball says:

      lol what are you doing in a Paradox thread if you don’t even know what the Third Rome refers to. Read a book.

      • Premium User Badge

        Earl-Grey says:

        Indeed, who let the plebs in?
        Now excuse me, fine sir, I need to hop on my Penny-farthing and head on home from our esteemed gentlemen’s club; I seem to have left my monocle at home.

        This was sarcasm, don’t be a cock.

        • Eightball says:

          Maybe you should direct that advice towards the guy insinuating that Paradox are a bunch of neo-Nazis or whatever.

          • toshiro says:

            Take a polite nod that you’re out of line like an adult. Your first comment is trolling. Your second seem to be unaware of the fact. Repent, and thou might still be able to walk away with some dignity.

          • Eightball says:

            lol k

    • jeremyalexander says:

      Wow, the lack of education here is jaw dropping. You could have tried google if it baffles you so much. The concept of the Third Rome predates the existence of “Germany” by centuries. After the first Roman Empire fell, the burden of Rome fell to Byzantium. After Constantinople was sacked and Byzantium was destroyed the Orthodox religious capital and Imperial capital was considered to be Moscow. Russia is considered to be the Third Roman empire centered in Moscow. It has nothing to do with goofball fascists and their made up fantasies.

      • cardinalsfd says:

        I wouldn’t say it’s jaw dropping. 3rd Rome It isn’t something supposedly taught in school. There are millions of people who cant name 5 modern-day countries. You come off a bit high and mighty here. You may be suprised, but the historical intricacies of the Orthodox church are not by any means common knowledge. We exist in a bubble of history buffs by playing these games.

      • Doctor K says:

        I’ve got to agree with Cardinals here. While I had heard of the term “Third Rome” before, I certainly never learned of it in school. Living in America, history classes only covered American history. Even in college, the closest to world history I was exposed to was the Vietnam War (You know, the second one. The one we were in.). While the title may not be obscure in history circles, it’s hardly common knowledge.

        On that note, I really have learned so much history and geography from Paradox games, and Total War games before that. Historical Strategy games are surprisingly effective educational tools.

    • Skales says:

      wow you really dont know this? Russia call itself third rome after fall of constantinopole ( which was “Second Rome” ) becouse Moscovian Ruler married byzantine princess

      also you dont even know what third reich mean?

      Holy roman empire firt reich
      German Empire- Second Reich

    • djhellsinki says:

      It has everything to do with christianity and nothing to do with fascism.The Patriarchate in Constantinople claimed governance over the whole christian church, both orthodox and latin churces.The Pope in Rome was also a patriarch in the eyes of Byzantium, so was the coptic patriarch, and the patriarch in historical Egypt and Syria, and ofcourse the patriarch in Moscow.Then Constantinople fell and the Patriarch in Moscow became de facto top dog.They didn’t view themselves as romans lol.

    • SaunteringLion says:

      So much in here that needs correction. It’s already been tackled by multiple people but hopefully reading it repeatedly will imprint it fully.

      First, the Third Reich refers to the understanding that this was Germany’s third go at a unifying empire: the first was the Holy Roman Empire, largely comprised of Germanic states. The second was the German Empire, after Prussia unified the disparate smaller territories and excluded Austria.

      Secondly, Europe had many more great empires than two: the Russian Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Carolingian Empire, the Napoleonic Empire, not to mention the British and Spanish empires.

      Thirdly, the “Third Rome” refers to a distinctly religious element. It’s not a “third Roman Empire” but a third centrally religious city, from Rome to Constantinople to Moscow.

  2. Robyrt says:

    The “Third Rome” is Moscow, which continued the Orthodox imperial tradition of Constantinople (the Second Rome).

  3. Faldrath says:

    So is anyone else surprised that this EU4 expansion is significantly more expensive than the previous ones? That stings a bit.

    • Sakkura says:

      What? It’s 9.99€. Previous expansions have ranged from 9.99€ to 19.99€. This one is on the cheaper end of the scale.

      However, it technically belongs to a new category of content, being an “immersion pack” rather than a full-fledged expansion. So the more limited scope certainly wouldn’t justify eg. a 19.99€ price.

  4. causticnl says:

    all EU4 expansions have got a pricehike, from 50% to 100% due to “inflation”.

    • Aetylus says:

      That the real story here… and the fact that Paradox seem to have alienated one of the most loyal communities in gaming.

    • Sakkura says:

      What? They have cost the same for years. Check the price history on isthereanydeal.

  5. Moth Bones says:

    Philippa Warr is a really good writer. It would be very easy for such a light-hearted, sometimes whimsical style to tip over the edge into tweeness, or for the style to predominate at the expense of information. But she never falls into either of those traps, and consequently I find myself reading about games I would otherwise have little interest in. Along with Tim Stone, probably my favourite of the current RPS crew.

    • TrenchFoot says:

      I agree. She somehow can talk about beautiful or whimsical games in ways accessible even to a guy reading in an up-armored Humvee trying to spot a road-side bomb.

  6. Cropduster says:

    Far from the first to say it, but paradox are going bananas on the DLC front at this point.

    I mean £15 for some new focus trees and some quality of life features that should probably just be added to the base game (which many still find a bit lackluster >12 months after launch). When folk used to say “that looks cool, but I’m not buying x ammount of dlc” you could reassure them that the base game on it’s own was a legit purchase, but now they’re just taking the piss sadly.

    The eu4 one will probably make Russia super OP like Ming China was made in previous one, plus add more quality of life improvements behind a paywall.

    Meh, I think I’m done with it at this point, at least until some steep discounts or some dlc with a little more value.

    • wackazoa says:

      My personal philosophy with Paradox games is to never 1. buy on release. Wait several months to a year to purchase when new DLC and patches will have changed the way the game is going to be played.
      2.always purchase DLC in sales and in groups. That way you are getting them cheaper and are able to play with multiple changes and additions at the same time.

      Paradox, mainly the self developed games, love them some DLC. And Im not sure that it makes their games better. Yeah you could always not buy them. But their DLC model is no longer like Sunset Invasion where it just adds a mechanic you might not like. The DLC now includes patches which make changes to existing mechanics which you can now only access if you purchase said DLC. (Kind of like province growth in EU4)

      • Someoldguy says:

        I think that’s a little harsh. I always wait to buy Pdox DLC in sale batches but in many cases the base game has been enjoyable enough to vacuum up tens or hundreds of hours of quality gaming time anyway. Base EU4 was all I played for a long time and I have absolutely no regrets about that.

  7. jeremyalexander says:

    These are fine, but I would hope the next expansion for HOI4 would focus on the War in the Pacific. I think we’ve squeezed enough out of the Grand Army of Romania. Let’s give China a go, or maybe some refined Korean, Japanse, etc content.

    • morganjah says:

      Yeah. It’s HOI IV and they still haven’t managed a War in the Pacific that actually works. In the servile interview RPS gave Paradox recently, Paradox stated that they are just going to keep milking half-*** DLC’s as long as people are stupid enough to buy them.
      They have gotten a free pass from the press for way too long. They are no longer a small company. They are a major player and the fawning of the press has made them complacent.
      Paradox is essentially run by people who have already cashed out and aren’t motivated to do the hard stuff. They would rather coast on the easy stuff. The company would be much better served if they pensioned off Johann and the rest of them and brought it some new blood to run the company, people still excited about making games.

      • Ericusson says:

        Yep and yep.
        Cant even bother to maintain their complete editions up to date.
        Can’t be bothered to use a decently modern engine to display some text at a decent size or trying to fix the awful performance problems of Stellaris.

        So nope.

      • TrenchFoot says:

        Agree. most recent HOI isn’t complete to the point where I would purchase it yet, judging by the reviews, players comments. Paradox are reaching a point of no return/diminishing returns on their DLC strategy, IMO. Or maybe I’m just off grand strategy for awhile and prefer something petite.