Hearts of Iron IV 4 – Recommended Division Templates

Recommended Division Templates

The division template system is one of the key mechanics of Hearts of Iron IV. A division is 1 basic unit depicted on the map during gameplay. The composition of each division is specified by its division template. Division templates can be created and modified by the player using spending army experience. The composition of your division can make or break a battle.

Where and How to Edit Division Templates

You can edit division templates by going to:

Recruit & Deploy: Then click “Edit” on the desired division.

Each division has a division template.

Here is an example of a 7 Infantry – 2 Artilery division template:

Reset: Reset the edits you’ve made but haven’t saved.

Duplicate: Create another division template just like this one without spending army experience, useful if you want to make a new division template while still keeping this one.

The 3 Arrows: Red is for backup units, they are the last to receive quality equipment, white is for normal units, and yellow is for elite units, they are the first to receive quality equipement (new weapons or of you’re lacking equipment they will be the first one to be filled). You can manually choose which divisions you consider to be elite, normal or backup.

This is how a division looks like:

– Each division consists of up to 5 combat regiments and 5 support companies.

– Each combat regiment is composed of up to 5 battalions.

– It costs 5 XP to add a battalion to a division, regardless if it is the same or new regiment.

– Adding a battalion of a different unit type (infantry, mobile, or armored) adds a penalty of 20 XP per additional unit type.

– A division may have any number of the same unit type for battalions, but only one of each unit type for support companies.

– A division template may be specified as reserve, regular, or elite. Elite divisions will be prioritized for better equipment, followed by regular divisions and finally reserves.

– Each division template can receive specific types of equipment if multiple types are available. An example would be elite divisions only using the latest weapons and reserve divisions using the oldest.

The Stats Screen and Base Stats

Base Stats, Combat Stats are Equipment Cost located on the right side of the division template. These are the stats for the 7 Infantry – 2 Artilery division from above.

The stats may change based on your national ideas or completed researches.

Universally speaking, higher values are better except for Weight, Supply Use and Combat Width.

Base Stats

Max Speed: The base maximum speed a unit can go, this value is usually lower due to terrain and infrastructure modifiers, however certain things increase this such as engineers.

HP (hitpoints): How much damage your unit can take during combat. Infantry and variants have a lot of this because they are many, while armor has very little.

Organization: This is very important. It’s your unit’s ability to sustain combat. It is important to keep it in the back of your head, but not make it dictate your unit composition. Provided primarily by infantry and motorized or mechanized. It’s usually between 25 and 60.

Recovery Rate: How fast your units will regain organization. Recovery is as important as organization. However, since most units that provide recovery also provide organization, these values usually balance each other out. It’s usually between 0.30 and 0.44.

Reconnaissance: High reconnaissance increases the chances of a unit to pick a combat tactic that better counters the enemy’s chosen tactic. It is only affected by 2 things: whether you have support battalions & whether you have Shock&Awe research of the Superior Firepower doctrine or Infiltration in Depth of the Grand Battleplan doctrine. Both of these doctrines are at or near the very end of their trees, thus your recon value is usually equal to your recon batallion’s level with values between 1 and 7 with an absolute maximum of 8.

Suppression: Whether you’re albe to keep the revolts in an occupied territory in check. Suppression has very few things that affect it, cavalry is good for suppression, providing 2 per cavalry while most other units provide 1 and the Military Police provides a 10% modifier to the unit value. In combat it doesn’t offer anything and is pretty neglectable.

Weight: How many convoys it takes to ship your unit. Only important for countries that have to ship their units by sea. Very closely related to Supply Use, but then without any actual meaning.

Supply Use: How much supply use your units use (press F4 in game to see the supply lines), which directly translates to how many units you can have in any given province. As a general rule: Infantry uses very little supply, tanks use a lot of supply, Logistics Company support company is indispensible.

Reliability: Affected only by the Maintenance Battalion, Reliability is a modifier to the base reliability of a vehicle (such as the effect of a tank designer). This applies to vehicles only. As far as I can tell it affects mostly during attrition, and doesn’t appear to have the same combat effects as reliability does for ships.

Trickleback & Exp.Loss: Trickleback is how many casualties are returned to your manpower pool and exp.loss is how much experience is lost when these casualties are replaced by fresh men. They only change with the use of a Field Hospital battalion. This makes the Field Hospital support company extremely important for nations with a low manpower pool.

Combat Stats and Equipment Cost

2. Combat Stats

Soft Attack: A unit’s ability to deal damage. As a general rule: Infantry has very low soft attack, tanks have pretty low soft attack, artillery and SPG units have insanely high soft attacks. Most people, and especially the AI, build an army consisting 90-100% of infantry, infantry is very soft and thus soft attack is one of the very most important stats you look at.

Hard Attack: A unit’s ability to deal hard damage to tanks and mechanized units. Tanks and Anti-Tank guns have high hard attack.

Air Attack: A unit’s ability to shoot at planes. Support AA (Support battalion) is more cost-effective than line-AA for air-attack purposes. Support AA or Line-AA is the most cost-effective (production-wise) AA when you take the researches for this.

Defense: A unit’s ability to not break under attack. Absorbing damage that would otherwise have gone to a unit’s organization. This value is provided primarily by Infantry and derivatives. For armored units, this alone makes motorized or mechanized indispensible as without it your units are simply unable to defend.

Breakthrough: A unit’s ability to break the enemy units under attack. Breakthrough is less relevant than defense for the typical player as you want to hold the ground that you take, having enemies bleed off their organization on the attack and counter-attacking to maintain momentum in a push. It’s usually around 150.

Armor: A unit’s ability to resist the enemy’s piercing. When the enemy cannot pierce, you take 50% less damage, 50% less organization loss and you deal 50% more organization loss to the units you are facing, this bonus is applied to your entire division. Thus, armor alone can make a unit work, even if on paper it seems hopelessly outclassed. Armor values are one of the things that develop extremely quickly between armored vehicles. Not very useful unless you have enough of it.

Piercing: All piercing does is deny the enemy the bonuses armor could provide him. Units with the highest piercing are tank destroyers followed by regular tanks. Although infantry anti-tank provides good piercing to all infantry units it will prove insufficient if you are facing a clever enemy in multiplayer, as the piercing bonus is based on a percentage value and will have a limited impact on actual stats.

Initiative: The reinforce rate and planning speed. It is affected only by the signal company, and seems to have very little tangible impact on battles other than the planning bonuses.

Entrenchment: Affected only by the Engineer Company support battalion, Entrenchment affects how much and how fast a unit gets entrenched. Very similar to Recon, Reliability and Initiative, there are very few things that affect this value, and it is universal regardless of which line units you employ. While Field Marshalls with “Defensive Doctrine” affect maximum entrenchment it is not represented in this stat.

Combat Width: How much space the unit takes on the battlefield. A typical fight has 80 combat width, thus you could fit 8 units of 10, 4 units of 20, 2 units of 40 or 1 unit of 80. Each combat width range is representative of an approach to the game. When you make many units of 10 combat width, you increase the density of support battalions on the field, effectively increasing your entire army’s effectiveness at no additional cost of combat width.

The 40 combat width aims to get the most out of its line units. The 20 combat width is the balanced method. If you get a Field Marshall with Offensive Doctrine, which reduces the combat width of all units under his command by 10%, you can create units of 11, 22 and 44 combat width respectively and have them all act as if they are 10, 20 and 40 combat width.

Equipment Cost

Manpower: How many people your division employs. More men in the division means more men on the battlefield and bigger casualty numbers. Typically you want to keep this number as low as possible, but at no point should this be your main aim as it is hard to impossible to balance out. As a general rule, line-artillery units and armor take 500 men per unit in your division, infantry takes 1000 and motorized & mechanized take 1200.

Training Time: There are two versions of training time, 120 and 180. 120 is for infantry and 180 for tanks. This is a time listed in days, but since Armor = 180, Infantry = 120, you just have to take this value as it is.

Equipment numbers > All the individual numbers of vehicles and other equipment you would require to produce this division template. It is here that you can make a good estimate of how to distribute your overall production.

Additional Stats

Hardness (the bar below the division template): The ratio of damage you take. If your unit has 43% hardness you take 57% soft attack and 43% hard attack. For example, if you are being attacked by a unit with 1000 soft attack and 200 hard attack, you will receive (1000 * 0.57) + (200 * 0.43) = 656 damage.

Estimated Production Cost: The minimum and maximum estimated production cost of a unit. These values represent the overall production cost in industrial capacity of your unit, and do not represent the material requirements of each division. Naturally a lower cost is better.

Infantry Divisions

20 width 7/2 divisions > 7 infantry and 2 artillery battalions. Good starter division, but is completely outclassed by 40 width divisions in almost every situation. Still good in low supply areas like Africa or Asia.

20 width 6/2/1 divisions > 6 infantry, 2 artillery and 1 Light Tank Destroyer of year at least 1936. The goal being to provide an armor bonus against the majority of AI and maybe even player builds while providing piercing to beat up any armor that may be encountered along the way. This does not work with the 1934 Light Tank Destroyer version.

The 40 width divisions outclass 20 width divisions because of how criticals are calculated. The 40 width divisions do more damage at the expense of having half the organization of 20 divisions because they have the same, but it’s only 1 division instead of 2 divisions, however they deal 4-5 times more damage, so the tradeoff for using 20’s is barely worth it.

This generally leads to faster fights if both of you are fighting with 40’s. 20’s on the other hand might not do so much damage but will hold the line for longer. This in turn makes your enemy take more attrition damage so don’t underestimate 20’s defensive power, especially in wide theaters. Most people like to have a line of 20’s as the front and then a smaller army of 40’s to do the pushing.

40 width 14/4 divisions > 14 infantry and 4 artillery battalions. This is preferable to the above division, especially if you’re fighting in Europe.

40 width 13/4/2 divisions > 14 infantry, 4 artillery and 2 anti-tank battalions. These are good if you’re fighting against tanks and aren’t looking to abuse space marine divisions (see below.)

BROKEN/OP: 40 width 13/4/1 divisions “Space Marines” > 13 infantry, 4 artillery and 1 Heavy Tank Destroyer battalion. These are usually banned in multiplayer games as they are completely game breaking. The AI basically never builds enough AT to counter the extra armor you have on these infantry divisions.

Tank Divisions

20 width 6/4 division > 6 medium tank and 4 motorized battalions. Maintenance companies are good on your armored divisions to reduce attrition losses.

40 width 15/5 division > 15 medium tank and 5 motorized battalions. Higher production cost, but these divisions are nearly unstoppable. Probably banned in most MP games, and will destroy anything they face in singleplayer.

Summary of the Divisions

The most common type of divisions are:

  • 20 width 7/2 divisions
  • 20 width 6/2/1 divisions with a light tank
  • 40 width 14/4 divisions
  • 40 width 13/4/2 divisions with anti-tank
  • 40 width 13/4/1 divisions with 1 heavy tank destroyer aka “Space Marines” (be careful, they are banned in multiplayer!)
  • Best support are recon, artilery and trenches.

As for tank divisions:

  • 20 width 6/4 division with medium tanks and motorized
  • 40 width 15/5 division with medium and motorized.

How Armored Divisions Work

The amount and type of damage that you take depends on the percentage of the hardness of your division, that can range from 0% to 100%. Infantry have 0% hardness, Motorized have 10% hardness, light tanks have 80% hardness and medium tanks have 90% hardness.

A division of 6 Light Tanks and 4 Motorized has 52% Hardness. If your armor > the piercing of your opponent, then it halves both the number of soft and hard attacks. A 1936 Light Tank has 15 armor while a 1936 medium tank has 60 armor, your division’s armor is equal to 30% of the highest armor in the division plus 70% of the average armor in the division.

A 10 INF division has 4 piercing and a 7 INF 2 ART division has 4.5 piercing, so your 15 armor light tank divisions will do well against them. However, with Anti-Tank support unit a 10 INF will get 20 piercing so your 15 armor light tank divisions won’t get the armor protection and take the full damage.

So if you fight 10 INF or 7 INF 2 ART divisions without Anti-Tank your Light Tanks will beat them easily. But if you go against armored divisions or infantry with Anti-Tank there will be a huge difference between the performance of Light tanks and Medium or Heavy Tanks.

A Light Tank division whose armor is pierced is not the same thing as a regular infantry division when attacking. A 6 LT2 4 MOT division has 112 HP and 30 organization, compared to a 10 INF division’s 250 HP and 60 organization. Light Tank are good early game but you’re definetly not going to conquer the world with them once you get past the early part of the game. Eventually you will encounter opposing divisions that can pierce you and a pierced tank division won’t be able to win sustained battles even with their higher breakthrough because of their lower HP and organization.

A 1936 Light Tank has 15 armor while a 1936 medium tank has 60 armor, this is very imporant when it comes to piercing. If the division you are fighting against can pierce your armor then nothing changes, but if they can’t pierce your armor then it halves both the number of soft and hard attacks you take, basically you take half the normal damage you should take from that division.

Suppression in Occupied Territories

With patch 1.9 on 25th February 2020, a new game mechanic was added, that you will have whether you have DLC or not – ressistance on occupied territory. This includes colonies as well as territory that you took via a peace treaty but it isn’t core territory. Any occupied territory that you don’t have a core on is going to generate ressistance, regardless of whether they have been occupied or annexed in peace treaties.

How does the new mechanic of ressistance and compliance work?

Every such state will grow in ressistance, you want to keep ressistance as low as possible because it will reduce the change for sabotage in that region as well as loss of men and equipment from your garrisoning troops. Worse, if ressistance in a state reaches over 90% you are at risk of open rebellion.

To keep ressistance low, you need to assign a garrison to those regions. Garrisoning is now different in 1.9, you don’t need to physically train troops and manually assign them in that region like in previous versions. You just select what kind of division you want to garrion that region and the manpower and equipment will be automatically deducted from your stockpile.

The amount of garrison required for a state is listed as a fraction between the divison template assigned to garrison that state. So if you have a state with 0.15 then you could defend that region with so much less troops, but if you have a state with 1.50 then you need to increase the number of units in the garrison division template you have.

The best infantry garrison unit is the horse. That’s right, the Cavalry while obsolete on the frontline has its use in suppressing ressistance. It’s a good idea to have some hardness in your garrison division templates too as it mitigates damage from ressistance activity, Armored Cars are a good choice for this as they are quite easy to produce.

You have 8 occupation laws, from Civillian Oversight to Harsh Quotas, the more strict the occupation law you choose the larger the garrison needed to enforce that stricter occupation law. Harsher laws will give you more military resources and factories from that state, but this comes at the cost of more garrison troops needed to keep ressistance under control.

But there is a way to get more military resources and factories from that state without having to use more garrison troops to keep ressistance in check, and that is called Compliance. By enabling a softer occupatin laws such as Civillian Oversight you can enable compliance to grow over time, giving you more resources, factories and manpower from the occupied state.

Colonies of France and England already start out the game with about 70% Compliance and therefore not much is needed to keep them in check. This new occupation mechanic gives you a choice:

A) Use harsher occupation laws for immediate benefits with much higher costs to suppress ressistance.

B) Use softer occupation laws for long-term benefits with low costs to suppress ressistance but also low taken resources and factories until the population grows compliance.

What are the best garrison division templates that you can have?

Let’s start with the support divisions:

  • Military Police – Is a no brainer and must be used on any garrison division template.
  • Field Hospital – Is optional but very useful because it will save some garrison lives.

And the answer is: Cavalry and Armored Cars.

Combine Cavalry and Armored Cars how you see fit depending on the needs of the region, if the score next to your division icon is 0.15 then you have too many troops in that region for defense that could be used elsewhere, they are not going to do any harm but won’t do any extra good either, if the score next to your division icon is 1.50 then you have way too few troops for that region and need to increase the number of Cavalry or Armored Cars in your garrison division template. You can have multiple garrison division template for multiple situations.

The stats like attack or defense of the divisions don’t matter at all. You are not fighting in the frontline, you are trying to keep a population compliant. For example artillery, it’s useless, what are you going to do with artillery when keeping a population compliant? bomb them into submission? Best to use what kind of equipment you have in excess for your garrison division templates and let the frontline division templates get the best equipment.

Air & Sea Battles

Summary For Air Battles:

  • It is best to keep planes in Airwings of 100. Ace bonuses are tailored for that size and it makes it easy to move them around.
  • Your bombers can actually defend themselves fairly well, but will operate rarely and may achieve their actual objective without a fighter coverage.
  • Detection chance and bombing damage are decreased at night.
  • If you are unable to challenge enemy air superiority you should put your Fighters on “Intercept” mission. It will allow you to semi-reliably stop enemy bombers while not engaging enemy Fighters head on. Your forces will still suffer air superiority penalties.
  • Agility and Speed are two most important statistics of a fighter only then followed by Air Attack.
  • Strategic bombing can cause serious damage to the industry and infrastructure of an enemy.
  • Both Radar and Air Superiority in a region provide Naval intelligence.
  • When starting a campaign you should disband all your airwings and create a new ones.
  • Disbanded planes go back to your reserves.

Summary For Sea Battles:

  • Destroyers are cheap and best at dealing with Submarines.
  • Light Cruisers provide the best surface detection allowing you to find enemy ships.
  • Heavy Cruisers and Battlecruisers are good against Destroyers.
  • Battleships have the highest health points and damage.
  • Carriers aren’t as good as Battleships but have a nice damage if they aren’t attacked from too many sources, you can strike with bomber and flighter Aircraft in land and annoy major powers.
  • Submarines are the best against Convoys, but they can also be efficient in fleets if the enemy doesn’t have many Desteoyers.

Ending Tips

Maintenance companies & Attrition

Attrition is mostly caused by terrain not supply. So if you are fighting in the jungle, desert or mountains you will suffer a lot of attrition. Maintenance companies will reduce attrition taken. You can also just accept the losses taken.

AA divisions & Strategic Bombers

No division AA only protect the divisions they are in and not the province or anything else. They reduce the defense and speed penalty from enemy air superiority. They will also shoot down close air support engaged. But they have to be engaged inside combat.

Breakthrough & Defense

Breakthrough is identical to defense in function. When you are on the offensive you use breakthrough when on the defense you use defense. These just reduce damage taken. There is a limit as every defense can only reduce 1 point of enemy attack.

Mechanized & Heavy Tanks

Mechanized are a defensive upgrade for tanks with a secondary role of AT. Hardness greatly reduce damage infantry/mediums can do, defense helps protect from counter attack, and HP reduces losses. The higher the tech and more tanks the better these are. Heavy tanks provide armor, and AT mostly at the cost of speed. You only need 1 heavy tank to get the majority of armor at the cost of speed.

40 width & 20 width > 40 width is stronger in most situations. It’s less flexible but stronger in combat.

And remember, don’t hate the build, but design a counter instead.

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Written by Akfiz

7 thoughts on “Hearts of Iron IV 4 – Recommended Division Templates

  1. TomiV Reply

    False there is too 90 training time for raw infantry, the are very week but as garnizon they are perfect.

  2. Akfiz Reply

    You could have at least credited the original author, Akfiz.

    I’m not against taking my guide and posting it someone else, on the contrary, the more people learn from it the better, but I’m just dissapointed that you didn’t mention me.

  3. Daniil Yarygin Reply

    You could have also mentioned some of the options of advisors and the pp modifications and companies, as those also can increase speed, reduce attrition, or increase reliability

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