The fine folks at Paradox Interactive have been busy, as ever, working on the next expansion for Hearts of Iron IV along with an associated large free update to the base game. Death or Dishonor is being termed a Country Pack, somewhat less than a full expansion like last year’s Together for Victory which massively expanded and overhauled how the Commonwealth nations played. Death or Dishonor is focusing on central Europe, introducing National Focus trees for four nations.
This Country Pack, retailing at $9.99, compared to $15-20 for fuller expansions such as Together for Victory, will introduce Nation Focus trees for four countries in central Europe trapped between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. You will get your chance to change history for Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. Czechoslovakia might be the most interesting, I will be particularly keen to see what options there might be to avoid or prevent the German occupation that occurs in 1938 after the “Peace in Our Time” Munich Agreement.
It is somewhat strange that Austria isn’t included amongst the Death or Dishonor pack, it seems one of the most crucial countries in central Europe that doesn’t currently have a National Focus tree, but maybe it is too closely intwined with Nazi Germany? Anyway, these new adventures these countries will be able to experience thanks to the new National Focus trees are sure to spice up the interesting pre-War phase of Hearts of Iron, the phase that most interested me when I was playing the game originally last year. I really need to put some time aside and get back into this game, the Together for Victory expansion sounds very fun, and this one might just be even spicier with action taking place in mainland Europe.
Aside from the new National Focus trees, Death or Dishonor will include:
- Equipment Conversion: Update your arsenal by converting older units — or make use of captured enemy vehicles and gear.
- New Music and Art: 3 new thematic musical tracks from composer Andreas Waldetoft, new art content for the four focus nations, and new troop voiceovers.
- New Diplomatic and Puppet Interactions: License military technology to bring other nations’ weapons to the field or sell your advances to the highest bidder. Fascist countries get new subject levels like Reichskommissariat, with access to licenses, industry and strategic resources. The instated governments are held in an iron grip, making it harder for them to break free.
As with most Paradox titles, and especially Hearts of Iron, the country pack will be released alongside a fairly substantial free update, version 1.4 (codenamed Oak) will make progress on air warfare, the AI and map design:
- Revamp of Air Gameplay: Take to the skies with new mechanics and quality of life updates that make it easier to bring your airpower to bear.
- Improved Map Design and Display: the world map has been clarified to make it easier to follow the action around the world. New impassable areas create tactical choke-points and more historical gameplay
For more information on Death or Dishonor, and especially some of the AI updates that will come about in Oak, head over to the official forums, the details are worth checking out. In next week’s developer diary (released every Wednesday), the team behind Hearts of Iron IV will go into detail regarding Hungary’s new National Focus tree. I’m eagerly awaiting more details on that.