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Import category, typos fixed: etc) → etc.)
== Game Versions ==
Games produced by Paradox Interactive invariably have many versions. There are essentially two types of versions:
* Patches: Each release of Hearts of Iron 3 has patches specific to that release, with the last patch for the "vanilla" game being 1.4, the latest patch for Semper Fi being 2.04 and for For the Motherland being 3.05 (''note:'' the original "Hearts of Iron 3" game is referred to as the "vanilla" version). Patches to the game improve stability, gameplay, and add new features to the game based on user input from the forums. As a result, it is absolutely essential to apply
patches -- these represent a more complete and "finished" version of the game.
* Expansions: The game has two expansions called Semper Fi and For the Motherland. Both expansions are considered important for high quality gameplay.
This wiki uses a [[Template:Version|versioning system]] to ensure that content on a page is correct for only the most current game versions: pages that are marked as obsolete should be updated as needed by readers.
== Choosing a nation ==
Proper selection of a nation to play is essential to learning the game. For players who have never played a previous Hearts of Iron game, selecting a nation that was (more or less) at peace during WW2 is a good starting point.
* Brazil is an interesting choice. It is a regional power in South America: having a relatively strong industry and a reasonable military capacity. Most importantly for the newbie: Brazil is not seriously threatened by her neighbours. It is possible to wage regional, low intensity warfare with some South American neighbours when the player is ready by raising the threat of those nations with spies. These small scale battles will introduce the player to the basic concepts of military warfare (headquarters, logistics, frontage, etc).
* Australia offers a little more excitement. The player will have years to build up to the war in the Pacific, and defending the home land is relatively easy. Australia is an excellent way to learn the navy in a simplistic setting, and also provides some insight into resource management and overseas logistics.
* Germany can be a good choice in the 1939 scenario to learn how to control your military. For that case set politics, diplomacy, espionage and technology to AI control and focus on your units. The German army is poised to strike at Poland and it is an excellent opportunity to learn how best to employ your units.
The espionage system allows you to perform many actions. Internally you can eliminate enemy spies on your home turf, reduce your neutrality, support your ruling party or increase your national unity. Externally you can perform the same actions as on your home turf, plus inhibit enemy research, steal technology, and increase your knowledge of enemy units and ships.
Start an Intel action against an enemy by giving them a high priority. After you get 10 spies in another country, use the counterespionage mission. After getting rid of their spies, pick another mission to perform. If you later on have too many spies affecting your research, switch the mission in your high priority enemies back to counterespionage for a while.
# As a general rule, the best way to destroy enemy divisions is through encirclement.
# Use units particular to their role: tanks in an amphibious assault or attacking an urban area will perform badly, for example.
# Always target victory
points -- taking these lowers the enemy's national unity, and will eventually cause surrender
# Consider opening new fronts to create an advantage, either on land or via amphibious assault. Flanking maneuvers are important!
# Limit or remove fronts that are
stagnating -- dedicate forces to where a decisive advantage can be made
For further reading:
* [[Land combat reference]]