Combat width

From Hearts of Iron 3 Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

All province borders have something called frontage, which is meant to represent that the front lines between two provinces are a fixed length. Frontage in combat between two provinces is always 10. Because it represents a geographic reality of the map design, the frontage between two provinces will never change throughout the game (research does not affect it, etc.). Frontage increases by 5 for each extra front in a single combat; for instance, if the player attacks one province from three different directions (i.e., three different adjacent provinces or two and using paratroopers), the frontage for that combat would be 20.

Every battle uses combat width or frontage to determine how many brigades can enter into combat. The maximum available width (10, 15, 20 etc.) will be filled by the available divisions. This maximum may be exceeded, but only by the minimum required to completely fill the “front”. So, for example, if you have four divisions of three frontage each, for a total of 12, they will all fit in to a 10 wide front. Either the entire division takes part, or not.

  • Each combat brigade occupies at least one section of frontage. When all sections of the front have been occupied, all other divisions involved become reserves. These reserve divisions will move to the front when an existing division on the front shatters or retreats (due to complete depletion of Organisation or player instruction). There is a delay for this reinforcement to happen, which is affected by many factors. See – Reinforcement.
  • Support brigades which have no frontage are, therefore, extremely useful in that they allow additional firepower to be deployed on a limited frontage. (e.g. artillery and anti-aircraft do not occupy space on the front but will be effective).
  • Note that in order to take part in combat, a division must have at least one combat brigade that has frontage.


Divisions will move to the front line as long as the total combat width of the divisions already there is less than or equal to the frontage.[1] This can cause the combat width at the front to exceed the frontage by up to a full division.


  • The "Encirclement" event increases the combat width by 5 for both the attacker and the defender.
  • The "Tactical Withdrawal" event decreases the combat width by 5 for both the attack and the defender


For more information, see Stacking Limits and Combat strategy