Hearts of Iron IV prods China in Waking The Tiger

The next expansion for WW2 grand strategy game Hearts of Iron IV will focus on China, developers Paradox have announced. Waking the Tiger is its name and making China more unique is its game. They’ll get new artwork for units as well as National Focus trees to play as either the Chinese Republic or Communist China. The expansion will also bring new alternate history options for Japan and Germany, including ways to topple Hitler and take Germany in a different direction. In a funny little twist, the announcement of this China-centric expansion comes just weeks after Hearts of Iron IV was removed from sale on Steam in China “due to a claim that the game does not comply with local law.” It’s like rain on your wedding day.

As ever with Paradox strategy expansions, a free new patch bringing game changes for everyone will accompany the launch.

Paradox set up Waking the Tiger thusly:

“Years before Europe went to war, Japan’s imperial ambitions targeted the divided Chinese Republic. Crippled by political paralysis and centuries of fitful development, China is still not a pushover. With vast reserves of manpower and resources, not to mention a giant landmass, the Republic of China and its temporary ally, the Communists under Mao, can withstand another aggressor. There have been, after all, very many.”

Paradox have explained more about the Nationalist China Focus Tree in a dev blog post. Another post dug into the expansion’s new Germany alternate history Focus Trees. Possibilities include fighting a civil war to return Kaiser Wilhelm II from exile and revive the German Empire, forming an alliance with Great Britain to fight Communism, or forming a democratic European alliance against the Soviet Union.

No firm word yet on when Waking the Tiger will launch, but Paradox say it’ll hit Steam “soon” priced at £15.49/$19.99.

The free update launching alongside is version 1.5, codenamed Cornflakes. Its changes will include replacing National Unity with the separate Stability and War Support and the new Decisions and Missions systems that will throw up dynamic events and challenges. Hit the dev diary archive for more on the update and a bit on the expansion.

Here’s Paradox playing with Waking the Tiger in a stream yesterday:


  1. Chris says:

    Is Germany still incapable of defeating France?

    • onodera says:

      You’re thinking of Kaiserreich. In vanilla HoI4 I’ve almost always seen France fold like a wet napkin.

      • Chiron says:

        Ran the game a few times and every time Germany fails to even take out the low countries.

        HoI4 is just… well, I regret getting it for free as part of that refund I’ll just leave it at that.

        • Laurentius says:

          Nope, it is not possible, at least not with historical AI focus. I played ton of games with up to date version and France is super weak. Like incredibly weak. Basicly France is the weakest of the big European countries to play with. Military potential is very low, politically is divided, economy is in shambles due to that, it takes ages to get rid of these negative trait that France start with( which Ai is rather not capable doing). Modernization of army is super hard before war erupts, getting far in military doctrine tree almost impossible. In my games France is trashed evrytime by axis in days. You will get better, more modern and bigger army with Poland then with France. Seriously, you want to have by the skin of teeth challange in HoI4, play as France.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Yeah i got it after the Halloween sale – forget france, even Moscow fell to the german reich.

        • Solidstate89 says:

          I have yet to play a game where France didn’t get absolutely steamrolled. In one game it was even Italy that took about half of France.

  2. Gothnak says:

    I played CK 2 to death mainly due to the character personalities, EU4 a bit less as it was more economics, but HOI just seems to double down on the military, which is the worst bit of these Paradox games.

    Having stacks of soldiers chase each other around Europe just isn’t a great deal of fun if you are not trying to off your feeble minded nephew at the same time.

    • Laurentius says:

      In Ck2 and Eu4, war sucks and it is stupid and full of broken mechanics and I said that loving Ck2. HoI4 is completley diffrent, you asign divisions to your marshals and generals, draw a front lines and they position armies themselves, you draw them offensive goals and thay will try to use their forces to achive them. You may have to intervine to make of the most of the situation but it is completely different experience.

      • Rich says:

        That actually sounds really good. I couldn’t handle the micromanagement in previous versions, but as long as those delegation systems are easy to get to grips with I might have to give it a try some time.

    • Meathim says:

      Different teams, different games. And HoI IV has gotten a lot of flak from fans for being weaker than the earlier titles.

    • darkath says:

      There are no stacks in hoi4, but actual divisions made of brigades, that need equipment produced from factories, as well as manpower. Manpower is directly calculated from your population and conscription laws. So the whole army management side of thing is much more realistic.

      War is the focus of HOI4 but that means the mechanics of war are much deeper and complex than other games.

    • moridin84 says:

      As far as it is to believe, there aren’t really army stacks and chasing in this game.

      You have to establish proper frontlines between you and your enemy. These frontlines need to cover your entire border and you fight back and forth over those lines.

      • Reblosch says:

        Definitely no chasing, but rather having fun trying to form giant encirclements and destroying armies by cutting off their supply. Or you can go full industrial warfare and try to win by attrition. Really fun game.

  3. morganjah says:

    I thought they were going to fix the air war in the next update. Did they give up on that?

    • battles_atlas says:

      No they’ve done a number on that, one of the dev diaries covers it. Assume its included in this update.

  4. Bomarty says:

    Last I heard, your air force will now be attached to your army. This means less micro and less forgetting to change your airforce around as your army pushes forward. Though not sure if this has changed, as I’ve not stayed up to date on the latest dev diaries.

  5. MrEvilGuy says:

    I prefer cardboard solitary war games that don’t try to be as ‘simplistic’/generalized as hoi4 is. That said, I always play China in hoi4 so I am interested in this update.