hearts of iron 4 by blood alone release
Game: Hearts of Iron IV
Content Type: Gaming News
Date: October 4, 2022

On September 27th, By Blood Alone and the accompanying 1.12 patch were released. The free patch focuses on various quality of life improvements, while the DLC introduces a plane designer, several new focus trees, and an updated peace conference.

The following features will be locked behind the purchase of the By Blood Alone DLC:

If you have been following the past few Hearts of Iron updates, you know that Paradox has been dedicated to improving the level of customization in-game. Following the release of the tank and ship designers, an aircraft designer was the natural next step. The aircraft designer allows players to design planes that line up with their goals better than the default plane options.

hearts of iron 4 by blood alone plane designer
Demonstrating anything is possible with the new aircraft designer

A major goal of the expansion was the overhaul of focus trees for Italy, Ethiopia, and Switzerland (these countries also received new unit models). Italy’s new focus tree will be similar to the overhaul Germany received in the Waking the Tiger DLC. It gives players the option of restoring the Italian monarchy, becoming a democracy, or aligning with the Soviet Union.

The Swiss and Ethiopian focus trees will be more interesting updates to their respective countries. Ethiopia’s tree will be focused on surviving long enough to gather support from outside forces like the League of Nations. Switzerland will have to balance its government and neutrality levels to survive and progress down its focus tree.

By Blood Alone adds a slew of new treaty demands to make the end of wars more interesting in Hearts of Iron IV. One major change is the ability to demand control of defeated nations’ navies. Prior to this, these navies would vanish into thin air unless the country was turned into a puppet. Other demands include dismantling military factories, demilitarizing regions, and demanding reparations.

hearts of iron 4 by blood alone new peace conference
An updated peace conference UI, featuring the new demands in the top left

The free patch accompanying the DLC consists primarily of smaller QoL changes. In 1.12, you can now compare your designs against other variants to see if a new design would be worthwhile, and the armor-piercing damage calculation has been changed. However, there has been a substantial update to how war support works. War support will now incur a negative stability malus, and it is now more challenging to gain war support with the nerf of the “War Propaganda” decision.


By Blood Alone breathes some fresh life into the otherwise stale peace negotiations and air combat while providing much-needed updates to Italy, Ethiopia, and Switzerland. Although it doesn’t have the massive meta-shifting changes that No Steps Back brought, it is a solid addition to the pantheon of expansions.

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