A preview of the image designer in Hearts of Iron IV.
Game: Hearts of Iron IV
Content Type: Gaming Guides

With limitless possibilities to designing your divisions in Hearts of Iron IV, it is easy to be overwhelmed when you open the division designer. Luckily, I’m here to walk you through the most optimal division templates in the game, discussing their purpose and when to use them.

Due to the Barbarossa update and the No Steps Back DLC, designing the “perfect” division in Hearts of Iron IV is nearly impossible. Below you will find some strong generalized templates, but the absolute best division depends heavily on your circumstances in game. Some factors you will have to take into account if you modify these divisions are your industrial capacity, location, who you are fighting, and your fuel.

That said, these templates will serve you well as either a starting point to create your own, or as an easy way to have a strong military without worrying about min-maxing in the division designer.

If you aren’t familiar with the division designer, be sure to check out our guide on it to acclimate yourself with the interface.

There is no single best combat width now, instead there are several effective combat widths to choose from. The best widths are usually considered 10, 15, 18, 27, and 41-45. Some variance exists depending on your starting region, but most players won’t have to worry about this.

Pros of smaller templates are that they have very high organization for their combat width. Organization is vital in combat, so this is a significant benefit. However, they are expensive for support companies, require more generals, and will need more micro-play.

Larger templates on the other hand, require fewer generals, support companies are cheaper, and they take fewer losses in combat.

Infantry templates will be the largest part of most armies and are great to use if you have limited industrial capacity. While they have limited offensive capabilities compared to some other types of divisions, they are excellent for plugging in gaps and holding lines.

Pairing infantry and artillery has been a classic combination since the creation of cannons. Adding artillery to infantry divisions is great because it gives the high defense infantry a strong soft attack boost. While the combat width of your infantry divisions will vary, the basic principle will stay the same. For support companies you will want support artillery, an engineer company, an anti-air company, and throw in some support anti-tank if your enemy utilizes armor. 

The width of your division will be up to preference, but it is best to stick with widths of 18, 27, and somewhere in the range of 40-45 for larger divisions. Smaller and large divisions both have pros and cons, so keep those in mind when choosing your combat width.

18 Width Infantry Template
The 18 Width Infantry Template
27 Width Infantry Template
The 27 Width Infantry Template
44 Width Infantry Template
The 44 Width Infantry Template

Pure infantry can be useful because it is cheap to produce and uses minimal fuel. Using only infantry allows you to stay at 10 combat width, which offers the best organization for the combat width. Adding support artillery and an armored recon company make this division very effective at pushing across a front line. 

10 Width Infantry Template
A 10 Width Infantry Template

One of the most powerful forces on the battlefield in Hearts of Iron IV are the tanks. There are several types of tanks that can fill several roles, so you should evaluate your situation and choose a type of tank accordingly.

Each tank comes with different pros and cons, as demonstrated below. In most cases medium tanks will be the best choice.

Pros: Light tanks are the fastest tank, making them great for encirclements and quickly taking objectives.

Cons: Weak weapons and low armor limit their effectiveness in pitched battles, especially against armored opponents.

Pros: These tanks possess solid armor and speed, making them a jack of all trades in the tank world.

Cons: They are not particularly good at any one thing.

Pros: Strong armor and weapons, excellent for extended battles and batting through fortified areas.

Cons: Heavy tanks are very slow, getting encirclements with them will be virtually impossible.

Armored divisions are indispensable when it comes to breaking through front lines. Armored divisions have excellent attack values and are usually more mobile. Medium tanks will be used because of how good they are all-around, but feel free to swap them out for light or heavy tanks depending on personal preference. If you want to prioritize tank-on-tank combat, swap out the artillery for either anti-tank or a tank destroyer.

The templates below will be 15, 27, and 42 width, though you should adjust width depending on starting location and industrial capacity.

15 Width Tank Template
A 15 Width Tank Template
27 Width Tank Template
A 27 Width Tank Template
42 Width Tank Template
A 42 Width Tank Template

By using these templates you will be dominate on the battlefield in Hearts of Iron IV. While there are other divisions with some niche uses, these will be the basis of your army throughout your campaigns.

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5 months ago

Hey thanks for the guide, was super helpful

red steak
red steak
1 year ago

Which infantry division is 20 width and 40 width? one is covered and the other is 28.8 width so I don’t know which is which.

5 months ago

Most of the infantry templates are good but the tank templates are trash

8 months ago

completely out of date.. how dare you to post 20 and 40 width divisions after no step back? what a joke

Reply to  fghkl
8 months ago

Thanks for letting us know! We’ll update the guide.

Reply to  DanielD
2 months ago

Is this updated to new version with NSB DLC?

Reply to  fghkl
5 months ago

uh I don’t have no step back so…

Reply to  Kh4lid
4 months ago

the combat width is not part of NSB DLC, but part of 1.11 update, which means this new meta still applies

Reply to  salvor
2 months ago

What is the new meta

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