HoI3 Divsion System - What do you like?

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HoI3 Divsion System - What do you like?

Post  Chromos on Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:37 am

Recently I asked myself how others would like to see Divisions setup represented in the HoI3 game.
Are all happy with the std system, or do you would like a different system and how.
From my experience with the game, there're first quite some things to remembered. Please let me know if you have some more in mind, I'll then add them to the list below.
I just state here below some in my mind at this moment.

Game speed:
Additional units(Brigades) in a Divsion slow down the game. So with a Battalion based mod wich has ~9-16 units in a Division might slow down the game much earlier as in Std-HOI3.

Tech progression of the unit:
Techs need to affect all new unit types, and combined units might have much more techs affecting them(this could make a rework of the gui needed).

Eye candy:
You can show allways only one symbol of the main unit of that Division.
You need more pics for more different unit types. But also you can have more pics for more different unit types.

From my experience only numbers of Brigades(units in Divsions) are calculated for odds/chances when to attack.
So a Division with 5 MIL is maybe seen stronger as 3 INF with better tech.
And thus mixing Battalion sized units and Brigade sized units could lead to unwanted AI behaviour.

Change of Divsion composition:
The player can have a great time to build up many different Division setups. But the ai will never be able to switch to another setup.
E. g.  if the enemy is using more tanks, a player can attach e. g. AT to his existing Divisions, but the ai can't do that.
So the ai gets behind in options to counter the human player.
(This gets even worse if you plan to build a mod that spans more years as std-HoI3.)

I made up my thoughts on this quite some time ago(2009/2010), and also posted it already here and there. But it holds imo still some very good basic thoughts about what is possible etc, and the historic Division

HoI3 Division Sytem and historical background:


Chromos wrote:
"New Division System"

I thought a lot about what was in reality and what is possible with the engine atm.
And then thought again what would be useful in terms of playability.

So we had in reality many different types of f.e. Infantry Division in size and composition.
Same to other "weapon types".

It would be nice to see that implemented in the game.
But it would be also a "clickfest" to reorganize a whole army with new equipment.

Nearly all nations used the Division as the smallest organisational unit that could fulfill tasks on their own.
(It had all needed weapon types to fulfill any tasks, inf, signal, food, medic, art, at, aa etc.)
The Division is the smallest organisational unit used in the game. (Can use a Commander etc. but is build up by Brigades.)

An example from "reality", Infantry Division:
-Staff (Signal, HQ)
-Supporttroops like: Food, Medical and munitions, Transport
-Recon (Sometimes only available at Corps Level)
-Main component are Infantry squads with small arms. (Regimental size, 2 or more, Regiments had from 2 to 4 Battalions..)
-Heavy Weapon squads up to Battalion size. (Hvy Machine Gun and Mortars.)
-Inf support Artillery (Direct Inf combat support, mostly battalion size directly attached to the Regiments.)
-Divisional Artillery (Mostly Regiment size.)
-Anti Air Guns (Mostly Machine Guns up to small calibre, hvy calibre first used only in HQ attached formations, in Batalion size)
-Anti Tank Guns (Small Cailibre, Hvy Calibre used only in HQ attached formations, in Batalion size)
-Engineer (In Batalion size, rarely in Regimental size-> Stalingrad, german Assault Engineers)

Other Division Types had also Tanks(and Tank like, f.e. Assault Guns.) from Batalion up to Regimental size.
And also Armored Cars were used in the recon role.(Battalion size.)

All in all an "average" Division had around 15.000 men. With at least 2/3 of them were designated for fighting.
(Ranges for Divisions are mainly from ~9.000 up to ~25.000 men.)

The composition of a WW1 Division was something like this:
2-4 Infantry Regiments
1 Artillery Regiment
Heavy-MG Battalion
Train, HQ, Medical..

Up to and in the timeframe of WW2 there were added in nearly all Divisions:
AT incorporated into the Regiments and also added as Supoort Battalion for the Division.
Anti Air Battalion
Engineer Battalion (were already part of the Div in WW1 for Germany.)
Assault Guns
Tank Destroyer

So the buildup of Divisions changed with changing circumstances.
So, f.e. the US-Troops had no Engineers integrated in the Divisional organisation. But nearly every Division had one Engineer Battalion attached from higher level!
The compositions often differed from nation to nation because of enviromental differences or different "doctrinal" views.
(Or they just had to use what they have at the moment, f.e. the russian troops at the beginning of the War.<-Organisational Problems as well.)

That brings us to the following:
We have:
Combat troops
-That fight in the front.
*Front Combat Troops:
*Infantry (Garrision, Militia, Colonial, Regular, Marine, Bergs, Para, Commandos, Engineer, Jäger...)
*Armoured (Armoured Cars, Tanks -Light to SH-, Halftrucks, Armoured Personnel Carrier...)
*Anti Tank Guns (Where used also against "targets of opportunity", Bunkers etc.)
*Anti Air Guns (Where used also against "targets of opportunity", Infantry and the Hvy-AA also against Bunkers and Tanks)
*Infantry Guns (Where used also against "targets of opportunity", Tanks etc.).

-That fight from the rear(Artillery, Anti Air -that was also used againts or Tanks-)
*Rear Combat Troops:
*Artillery, Light Art. up to Railway Guns. (Include also the SHvy Mortars 200mm+ and Rokets)

Non Combat Troops
- That don't fight at all but increase Org and mobility.
*Non Combat Troops (Some have just minimal fighting power for self defense)
*"Logistic" (HQ, Food, Munitions, Medical, Train and later Trucks..)

(Mobilisation is given first by horse (Cavalry), Motorised (Trucks, Motorbikes), Mechanized (APC's, Tanks) and finally by Helicopter.)

If we look at the size of formations and equipment together with the role, we get the following:
(All types represent an own Brigade in game.)

Type 1
Non Combat ("Logistic" = HQ, Food, Munitions, Medical... Regiment size)

Type 2:
Main Combat (Infantry, Tanks, APC... Regiment size)

Type 3:
Direct Combat Support (Engineers, AT, AA, ... alone Battalion size, together Regiment size)

Type 4:
Indirect Combat Support (Artillery... Regiment size)

If Type 1 could not be implemented with an impact to the full Division(f.e. high org and lower the usage of supply?) then it would not make any sense to use it.
It should then maybe be integrated in the other types.
(As for now, I think it is better to have this abstracted in the game trough tech advance.)

Type 2 should vary in size depending on techs(f.e. triangular or square build, or trough having 3 or 4 Regiments into the Division)

Type 3 should vary in size depending on techs that integrate weapon types like AT, AA and so on into the support Brigade.

Type 4 should have the size of a "real life Regiment".

The Typical  Division would look like this:

Type 1 = 1 (average = 1)
Type 2 = 1-6 (average = 3)
Type 3 = 1 (average = 1)
Type 4 = 1-4 (average = 1)

Summ = 2-8 (Brigades in game =  nearly doubled the Brigades compared to the average now.)

If we don't use Type 1, we have the average of 5 ingame Brigades.

We could build Artilery heavy Divsions (Russian Art Divisions), Some without Art Regiments and Support Regiments (Militia) , build a (Heavy) Tank Regiment with a support Regiment an have some sort of a "Fire Brigade" or give Paras a Support Regiment and you have the "Luftwaffen Feld-Division"(not dropabel any longer, because the Support Reg is not dropable...)
Also we would be able to incorporate new weapons into the "support Brigade" (Type 3) and thus represent the organic structure of a Division a bit more as time passes by.
Via Type 2 would be the overall strength of a Division defined.

That would also lead to no more sole light Tank Brigades. Light Tanks will be a part of Tank Regiments. If you havent researched medium Tanks, than your Tank Regiments consist out of light ones. The "mix" is done via techs. Light Tanks/Armoured Cars will still be used for Recon and in MotMech-Cavalry Regiments..(And there you will see the pics of that type..)
You research a tech "Hvy Tank Department" and then one Company of the tank Battalion will now consist out of Heavy Tanks.

Game wise, everybody would build a Type 3 with his normal Divisions, because it brings ernormous extra firepower in many circumstances.
So no need to extract it into more sole units(Battalions) to manage.

For extra Firepower of some special sort, we can use the corps-troops that are available as AA/AT/ART/Eng and Rak-Art Corps-Regiments
(Again as mostly used in reality)

Long Story short, my opinion:
The current HOI engine is not able to handle a "Battalion based Divisional Model".
And the managing overhead is to big because of the existent managing features are designed for Divisions not Battalions.

And I guess that the Spy-System and also the AI is using the size of a Regiment as a base.
So it seems only logical to me to use just a Military System that is based upon Regiments aswell.

Use a new Divisional buildup consisting out of 4 base types described as above.
All Divisions would consist out of 2-9 Brigades. Normally the average would be 5.
A big diversity ist given mainly trough mixing these types.

Size of Regiments can be defined by techs.
So a technical or doctrinal research may lead the player to a new composition of his Regiment.
As more and more tanks were used and Armies were in need of AT. You research a tech now that allows you to incorporate AT-guns on first Divisional and then another on Regimental level.

Research of Self Propelled Guns(AT, Art and AA) just change the values of former Regiment type.(AT, ART, AA have with upgrade now better Toughness and Defensivenes, lesser softness etc..)

In the end we have a more "realistic" approach of Divisions and more diversity without denying other nations to copy our buildup or let the player design his own personell Division type.
The AI can be more more easily told to build the different Divisions set ups we have seen in the area of ww2.

Different Mods had come up with different solutions to add realism/diversification/gameplay help or all combined.
Their solutions might be interesting to see and can maybe be an insparation for your own ideas you hopefully will share with us here.
I'll put them in spoiler tags and sort them alphabetically:
The teams of the mods might correct me, and send me a note if  I wrote something not entirely correct about their mods, or something changed already in that area.

AHOI-Mod - "Treasure Chest"

As this is my own mod, I can write here the most out of my head/copy stuff..
This mod went away from Brigades completely to Regiments. I wrote most of the background in the info from 2009/2010 above.
We have no more old AT/AA/ART/ENG/AC/LARM/ENG Brigades but the support Batallions of a Division were put into a Division-Support-Regiment.
As AA/AT/Recon(AC)/ENG where historically in BAT size, this four make up for a rough Regiment. LARM is now part of MARM in form of a component.
Later research of  Tank Destroyers will be added here to, as that was the historical place for them(part/replacement of AT). So the Regiment will be in the end of the game quite strong, but as support-type unit (frontage) not usable without another combat Regiment.
Additionally we have Corps Units. These represent all the units that were attached to higher tiers like Corps-HQ/Army-HQ.
Here we have AC as "Armoured Cav"(US-style), and Hvy unit types as hvy Art/AT/TD/AA(Mighty 88 has a place now..)

The new Divison setup out of 5 Regiments will consist out of something like this ususally:
3* Inf-Reg, 1* Div-Supp-Reg(aka 4 support Bat), 1* Div-Art-Reg = 5 Regiments.
Pretty historic build.

The Div-Support Regiment is available in a Std-versin for slow units like INF, in a mobile version for tanks/mechs and in an elite version for guards/SS units.

Full list:

I want to mention that this design also had in mind that it's possible to maybe add later an earlier timeline as WWII.)

Militia: Well, Milita, Light equiped short trained people.

Paramilitary: Police Force with military equipment. Secure supply lines and hunt down Partisans.

Garrision: Garrison forces wich protect areas of value, not mobile but tough defenders.

Infantry: The regular Infantry.

Mot/Mech-Inf: Infantry that is used with mobile forces, first equiped with trucks, later with AFV's.

Cavalry: The good old Cavalry on horses, only for quick transport, and could change the horses with Armored Cars/Trucks/AFV due tech advance.

Airmobile-Inf: Infantry wich uses Helicopter for Transport as a quick reaction force. Also named Air-Cavalry sometimes.

Mot/Mech-Cav: Modern Cavalry wich uses Armored Cars or light Tanks for recon and similar missions.

Tanks: The common Tank unit, uses vehicles from light WWI to modern medium(MBT) after WWII.

Heavy Tanks: The common heavy Tank unit, uses heavy vehicles from WWI to modern heavy after WWII. Can also have a Superheavy section.

Land Cruiser: Eventually, to have the vehicles like K-Wagen(nearly completed in WWI) or projects like "Ratte".

Ranger(Jäger)-Inf: Special trained Inf that fights well also in most rough terrain.

Mountain-Inf: Special trained Inf that fights well also in mountains. Will also include the even more special high mountain trained units.

Marine-Inf: Special trained Inf for amphib landings.

Paratrooper: Airdropable Infantry.

Commando: Very special trained Infantry like UK Commandos/Brandenburger..

Divison-Support: All that extra equipment of a Divsion like AA/AT/Eng/Recon, see post 2 for more info.

Mobile Divison Support: All that extra equipment for a mobile Divsion like AA/AT/Eng/Recon, see post 2 for more info.

Divison Artillery: All the Artillery of a Divsion, see post 2 for more info.

Mobile Divison Artillery: All the Artillery of a mobile Divsion, see post 2 for more info.

Siege Artillery: The extra heavy calibres for long range shellig and fortess attack.

Corps-Artillery: The heavy Artilery that was mostly only attached to Corps or Army.

Corps-Anti-Air: The early AA and later heavy AA that was mostly only attached to Corps or Army.

Corps-Anti-Tank: The early AT and later heavy AT and also TD that was mostly only attached to Corps or Army.

Corps-Engineer: The Engineers that were initially only attached to Corps or Army or later formed as Storm-Engieers in Stalingrad.

Then we'll have the "Elite" section wich will be used to have the several WWI Guards or WWII camicie nere/Guards or SS units.
Elite Paramilitary:
Elite Cavalry:
Elite Infantry:
Elite Mot/Mech-Inf:
Elite Tanks:
Elite Heavy Tanks:
Elite Divison-Support:
Elite Divison Artillery:

The new Divison setup out of 5 Regiments(Brigades in Std-HOI3) will consist out of something like this ususally:
3* Inf-Reg, 1* Div-Supp-Reg, 1* Div-Art-Reg = 5 Regiments.


Afaik BI did add much MP-strength to the ususal combat Brigades and uses more of the old support units in a Divsion setup by now.
So you get:
INF or some of the many other BI main combat units: 1-2
Support like AA/AT/AC or many other new BI units: 2-3
Artillery: 1
Sum, mostly 5 Units in a Division.

I lack current deeper infos about that system so I'm glad if some of the mod team can provide more details.


madprofmike was the first one with the idea of having all the support units including Artillery mixed into some new Support Brigades after he read about my Regimental system.

Bottom line was to have:
- fire support regiment - aa/at/art/rct
- fire support MOT regiment - aa/at/art/rct
- fire support SP regiment - aa/at/art/rct
- Elite versions

- combat assault support regiment - recon/eng/cas/commandos (and elite version)
- Infantry Support Regiment - AC/ENG/AT/AA (which you already have)
- Armour support regiment - SP-Art/TD/AG/Eng
- non combat support regiment - MP/Medical/signal/logistics


Bullfrogs mod adds all Battalions of a Divsision as a single unit.
So the Divisions end up with ~5 Regiments and 4 Battalions, ending in a Divsions with 9 units.


This mods adds also all Battalions into A Divsion, so you get in the end up to 9 units in a Divison.


They did consolidate also the support units and mixed them in Support Brigades.
In difference to the others they also put ART into them:
Horse-Towed Support Brigades: Heavy Artillery, Anti-Tank, Rocket Artillery, Engineers.
Truck-Towed Support Brigades: Heavy Artillery, Anti-Tank, Rocket Artillery, Engineers, Armoured Cars.
Self-Propelled Support Brigades: Self-Propelled Artillery, Self-Propelled Rocket Artillery, Tank-Destroyers, Engineers, Armoured Cars.
Also some old unit types where osbolent now and axed.
Removed from the game: Artillery Battalion, Anti-Tank Battalion, Anti-Air Battalion, Military Police Battalion, Rocket Artillery Battalion, Self-Propelled Artillery Battalion, Self-Propelled Rocket Artillery Battalion, Armoured Cars.

Great detailed info about the ideas behind:

The way to the new system:

The DevDiary about the new system:


This mod is sharing quite some ideas with the HPP mod an is right now discussing wich way to go.
System looks imilar to HPP but is extended by some more units.

-Support Regiment (horse-towed)
-Support Regiment (Motorized)
-Support Regiment (Mechanized)
-Support Regiment (Static)
-Rocket Support Regiment
-(Self-Propelled) Rocket Support Regiment
-Assault Regiment
-Armored Car Regiment

Play WW-I up to the Cold War! Soon possible with the "AHOI-Mod"! One of the most played Mods for "Hearts of Iron 3"!
Spiele von dem WK-I bis zum Kalten Krieg!  Bald möglich mit dem "AHOI-Mod"! Einem der meistgespielten Mod für "Hearts of Iron 3"!
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