Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – How to Get Rid of Political Paranoia

Combatting Political Paranoia in Hearts of Iron 4

Hearts of Iron 4 players who choose to play as the Soviet Union will encounter the challenging Political Paranoia mechanic. This mechanic, introduced in the No Step Back DLC, reflects the purges orchestrated by Joseph Stalin during the Second World War. With Stalin at the helm, players will face the difficult task of ruling one of the largest countries in the world while dealing with the constant threat of losing valuable advisors and officers. In this article, we will explore strategies to combat and minimize the impact of Political Paranoia in Hearts of Iron 4.

Understanding Political Paranoia

In April of 1936, the USSR experiences its first encounter with Political Paranoia, gaining 2 Paranoia every week. Accumulating over 25 Paranoia triggers random events that allow players to choose between minor purges or acquiring even more Paranoia. When the Paranoia level surpasses 75, players run a high risk of triggering the Great Purge events, resulting in the removal of numerous advisors and generals. The central concept of the Political Paranoia mechanic is that failure to manage these points properly leads to the loss of potential advisors.

Getting Rid of Political Paranoia

To eliminate Political Paranoia in Hearts of Iron 4 as the USSR, players have two options: completing the focus “The Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites” or initiating a Civil War to change the government. Until one of these two endings is achieved, Political Paranoia cannot be completely eradicated. Players must actively fight against the mechanic, striving to keep it as low as possible while working toward these ultimate goals.

The Stalin Route

For players following the Stalin route, the best approach is to quickly progress through the Great Purge events by completing the following focuses: “The Zinovyevite Terrorist Center,” “The Anti-Soviet Trotskyist Centre,” “The Military Conspiracy,” and finally, “The Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites.” These focuses trigger the Great Purge, resulting in the removal of approximately 4 to 5 political advisors or military staff. While losing military staff may be manageable, political advisors pose a significant loss.

Starting a Civil War

Alternatively, players can initiate a Civil War by choosing one of the opposing factions: the Left, the Right, or the Monarchy/Fascist group. Each political path eventually leads to a Civil War, rendering the Political Paranoia mechanic irrelevant once Stalin is ousted as the leader. However, until the Civil War focus is reached, players must contend with Stalin’s Political Paranoia and the potential loss of valuable political advisors.

Lowering and Handling Political Paranoia

Given that it takes several years to completely eliminate Political Paranoia in Hearts of Iron 4, players must learn how to lower and manage it effectively until its eradication. Political Paranoia steadily increases each week, with the growth rate escalating as Stalin becomes more paranoid. The only Decision available to reduce Political Paranoia is “Forge Satisfactory Production Reports,” which costs 25 Political Power and decreases Paranoia by 20%. However, this Decision can only be used once every 180 days, leaving players to find other methods to combat the mechanic.

Ultimately, the most practical way to fight Political Paranoia is to acquiesce to it. Once Paranoia exceeds 25%, players will encounter purge events that force them to sacrifice political advisors or military staff or accept debuffs that cannot be removed until Political Paranoia is eliminated. It is essential to evaluate the buffs provided by political advisors before purging them and choose the “good” options in these events. While sacrificing 30 Paranoia or accepting a 20% increase in Paranoia may be unfavorable, selecting the “bad” options losses 60 Political Power and further increases Paranoia.

Utilizing the Focus Tree

Strategic planning within the focus tree is crucial to combatting Political Paranoia. As players progress down Stalin’s path, many focuses lower Paranoia and help retain valuable political advisors. However, it is vital to consider the potential consequences of certain focuses, as some may increase Paranoia. Players should focus on selecting options that offer long-term benefits, ignoring temporary buffs relevant only to the Civil War.

Advisors and Officers Affected by the Great Purge

When choosing the Stalin route in Hearts of Iron 4, players will experience four Great Purges that remove a total of 18 characters from the Russian roster. The characters subject to purge are predetermined and cannot be saved. However, if any of these characters die in earlier minor purges resulting from Political Paranoia events, they will be replaced with random characters in the Great Purge. This arbitrary selection can lead to losing valuable political advisors without any control or choice. To ensure the preservation of reliable political advisors, consider the following list of characters purged during Stalin’s path in HOI4:

  • Grigory Zinovyev
  • Lev Kamenev
  • Ivan Smirnov
  • Grigory Sokolnikov
  • Aleksandr Shlyapnikov
  • Karl Radek
  • Ivar Smilga
  • Yevgeny Preobrazhensky
  • Martemyan Ryutin
  • Nikolay Ustryalov
  • Mikhail Tukhachevsky
  • Aleksandr Yegorov
  • Vasily Blyukher
  • Vitaly Primakov
  • And more…