Outside of creating strong divisions, choosing the right land doctrine is the most impactful decision you can make about your armies effectiveness. Land doctrines are technology trees that allow you to specialize the strategies your army uses. Which doctrine you use will depend on several factors, such as your playstyle, industrial capacity, and geographic position.
Widely considered one of the most powerful options, Superior Firepower is a great choice in just about any situation. It emphasizes heavy use of artillery and infantry, which are the most common battalions in the game. Along with those it benefits all support companies, making it compatible with virtually every division you have.
Superior Firepower is based on the concept of “Shock and awe,” a military strategy that employs great displays of force and significant usage of explosive weapons against the enemy.
Use this if you prefer to have armies heavily based on infantry and artillery divisions, or if you simply don’t have the industrial capabilities to use Mobile Warfare.
The default doctrine for Germany, this doctrine heavily emphasizes tanks and mobile infantry divisions. Within this path you will have the option to focus on either armored divisions or mobile divisions, with each path providing bonuses to their respective unit.
Mobile Warfare is heavily inspired by the blitzkrieg concept utilized by Germany in World War 2. It emphasized high concentrations of force at one point to break an enemies defensive line.
Usually you will want a significant industrial base to utilize this doctrine to its fullest extent, but if you go down the mobile infantry path it could be a viable option.
Mass Assault is a unique doctrine due to it not being meant to be a permanent strategy. Most of the path emphasizes throwing more men at a problem and giving defensive bonuses. This isn’t a viable offensive strategy, although it can be useful for countries with high manpower such as the Soviet Union or China.
There is a path to receiving bonuses to more advanced armored and mobilized divisions, but if you can produce these you should switch to a different doctrine, such as Mobile Warfare or Superior Firepower.
This doctrine should only be used in a few niche circumstances, such as when you are a large country attacking minor ones, or are desperately defending against a larger foe.
Among the weakest doctrines in the game, Grand Battleplan is rarely used due to its weak bonuses and lack of specialization. It’s bonuses primarily apply to planning, although it has some minor boosts for infantry.
It is the default doctrine for several countries due to it’s generic bonuses, including France, Italy, and Japan. Thanks to most of it’s bonuses being oriented around planning, making details battleplans is a must with this doctrine.
Choosing the right doctrine is an important component of Hearts of Iron IV. A wrong doctrine will provide you with minimal bonuses and you will be at a disadvantage against your enemies. In most situations you will want to choose Superior Firepower or Mobile Warfare, but Mass Assault and Grand Battleplan have their uses.
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