Understanding Commanders in Hearts of Iron IV

What is an army without a leader? In Hearts of Iron IV, commanders are an essential part of warfare who will give you a definitive edge in battle. Understanding the difference between a general and a field marshal, as well as the skills they have, will make sure you are prepared when war breaks out.

Every country starts with some commanders, but players can recruit more with political power. Each commander you have will increase the cost by 5 political power. For example, if you already have 12 commanders, recruiting a new one will cost 60 political power.

Germany's army commanders in 1939 in Hearts of Iron 4.

In Hearts of Iron, army commanders are divided into two categories, generals and field marshals. Generals serve as the direct leaders of your troops and can lead 24 divisions at a time in combat. Field Marshals are ranked above your generals and can lead up to five at once.

Besides the fact that they lead divisions, generals are also unique due to the types of traits they can get. Generals will usually get traits that target specific types of divisions, like infantry or armored forces. They also can receive traits giving bonuses in certain tactical situations. Players can promote a general to field marshal, but the general will lose one skill level.

Field marshals do not earn traits that give bonuses to niche situations. Instead, they give generalist bonuses that apply in numerous situations, such as movement speed or how fast an army recovers. Every army under the field marshal gets these bonuses.

All commanders have four types of skills that will improve as they level up. These are attack, defense, logistics, and planning. When leveling up, the commander will get three points towards these skills that are assigned at random. B

A Field Marshals skills in Hearts of Iron 4.

Increasing a commander’s attack skill will improve their ability to fight other divisions. It directly increases the damage done to enemy divisions in battle. High attack commanders are great for executing offensive battleplans.

Defense, as you can probably guess, is the opposite of attack. The higher the skill, is the less damage that your divisions will receive. You should utilize high defense generals for your garrisons and fallback lines.

The logistics skill impacts how much supply is used by the divisions under the commander. A high skill here will be very useful for extended campaigns into foreign territory, such as invading the USSR or naval invasions.

Prior to any combat in Hearts of Iron 4 will be planning. The planning skill increases the bonus troops receive from planning as well as how fast the plans are actually completed. If you are going to be planning an invasion on short notice, a high skill here will be very beneficial.

The best way to immediately improve your army’s performance in Hearts of Iron 4 is through good use of your commanders. Be sure to identify what job they would be best at and prioritize them for the relevant position, and you will be sure to succeed.

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Lucky Boop
Lucky Boop

Strategy game enthusiast, especially Paradox titles and the Civilization series. Whenever he's not writing he spends his time watching sports, enjoying coffee, or studying history.

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