Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – Warfare Guide: How to Win Wars

Understanding Warfare in Hearts of Iron 4

In Hearts of Iron 4, the ultimate objective is to emerge victorious in the Second World War. However, achieving this goal can be quite challenging for new players due to the complex gameplay mechanics involved.

Warfare in Hearts of Iron 4 encompasses a multitude of factors that players need to grasp. Understanding the significance of various stats, designing divisions effectively, and ensuring a steady supply flow are essential components of achieving success on the battlefield.

Table of Contents

How Divisions Work

Divisions serve as the core combat units in the game, crucial for achieving victory in warfare. These divisions are characterized by two main stats that directly impact their combat effectiveness:

  • Strength (orange bar)
  • Organization (green bar)

Strength represents the division’s durability and is determined by the combination of equipment and manpower. On the other hand, Organization reflects the division’s morale and influences its ability to sustain combat. Divisions with depleted strength or organization are particularly vulnerable and indicate a potential shift in the tide of war.

While maintaining high strength requires a steady supply of equipment and manpower, organization can be adjusted by the player in the division designer.

Division Designer

The division template designer allows players to customize their divisions in the Recruit & Deploy menu, offering control over the composition and stats of each unit.

What All Division Stats Mean

Within the division template designer, players interact with three key columns – Base Stats, Combat Stats, and Equipment Costs. These columns provide insights into the division’s composition, aiding in the optimization of bonuses and hardness percentage.

Base Stats

  • Max Speed – Determines the division’s movement speed
  • HP – Represents the division’s durability in combat
  • Organization – Reflects the division’s overall health and morale
  • Recovery Rate – Speed at which organization recovers out of combat
  • Reconnaissance – Influences a general’s ability to counter enemy tactics
  • Suppression – Efficiency in suppressing occupied territory
  • Weight – Dictates transport requirements across water
  • Supply use – Determines the division’s supply needs
  • Reliability – Likelihood of equipment breakdown due to attrition
  • Reliability Bonus – Additional reliability from support companies
  • Trickleback – Returns lost manpower to the country’s pool
  • Exp. Loss – Determines division experience loss per manpower lost

Combat Stats

  • Soft Attack – Main attack stat targeting divisions with low hardness
  • Hard Attack – Specific attack stat for armored divisions
  • Air Attack – Impacts damage taken from CAS and aerial combat
  • Defense – Reduces damage when defending
  • Breakthrough – Reduces damage when attacking
  • Armor – Influences effectiveness against piercing attacks
  • Piercing – Determines penetration of enemy armor
  • Initiative – Enhances reinforcement rate and coordination
  • Entrenchment – Provides defensive bonuses during combat
  • Eq. Capture Ratio – Indicates equipment captured during battles
  • Combat width – Space occupied by division in battle

How to Make Defensive and Attacking Divisions

When designing divisions, players should focus on specific stats based on their intended role. Defensive divisions prioritize defense, armor, and entrenchment, while attacking divisions emphasize soft attack, hard attack, breakthrough, and piercing.


Hardness plays a vital role in combat, distinguishing between soft and hard attack strategies. Understanding division composition, especially hardness percentage, is crucial for determining combat effectiveness.

In singleplayer, soft attack tends to be predominant, whereas multiplayer strategies often incorporate varying degrees of hardness. Balancing divisions with adequate hardness is essential for success in different combat scenarios.

Combat Width

Combat Width refers to the space divisions occupy during battles in HOI4. Understanding the mechanics of combat width allows players to optimize division design for various terrain types, ensuring combat efficiency.

What Is the Best Combat Width?

Optimal combat width is essential for enhancing division performance across diverse terrain types. Avoiding excessively small or large divisions is critical to minimizing combat width debuffs and maximizing battlefield effectiveness.


Effective management of supply resources is key to sustaining combat operations in Hearts of Iron 4. Understanding the dynamics of state and hub supplies is crucial for ensuring divisions operate at peak efficiency.

How to Win Wars in HOI4

Victory in Hearts of Iron 4 hinges on strategic planning and tactical execution. Leveraging well-designed divisions, maintaining adequate supply, and outmaneuvering the enemy are fundamental to achieving success on the battlefield.

Ultimately, mastering warfare in Hearts of Iron 4 requires a combination of strategic thinking, effective division design, and resource management. By implementing sound tactics and honing your skills, victory can be within reach.

Explore warfare in Hearts of Iron 4 and conquer the challenges that lie ahead. Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!