Hearts of Iron 3 Production Explained
Hearts of Iron 3 has taken a much different, and in my opinion far superior approach to the makeup of land units, and how those units are built. In Hearts of Iron 2, you researched a generic infantry unit every 2 years, which was the same unit every other nation in the world would use if they researched that same level technology. The only thing that separated your infantry from that of other nations, was your land doctrines, and any *single* brigade attachment you added to the unit after its creation. Examples of a brigade attachments in HOI2 were artillery, anti-tank, anti-air, engineers, and various tank brigades. While this allowed for some customization, it didn't offer much variation between nations, or allow for a lot of user customization.
Hearts of Iron 3 has improved on the land unit production, by allowing the player to create and combine up to 4 brigades (5 with appropriate technology) when creating an army division. Full infantry, garrison, or militia brigades are made up of 3,000 "strength" which is a rough value of units and equipment. Smaller more customized brigades, such as armored cars, artillery, anti-air, and anti-tank brigades, are made up of 1,000 strength. You can create a division consisting of any combination, as long as it has at least 5,000 strength. There are some general rules you should follow, to produce the optimal units, but you have the freedom to combine these brigades however you wish.
Unit speed is a something you should think about when creating a new division with mixed brigades. You normally don't want to mix slow moving units like garrison or infantry, with light armor brigades that can move at double the speed or faster. Units that are this fast should be used together in separate "mobile" divisions to keep their valuable high speed. If you require your tanks to act as infantry support, Mixing larger (slower) tanks into infantry divisions can also be effective. However, this method is very expensive, and adding an anti-tank brigade can be much more affordable, and just as effective if you keep your AT research up to date.
Replacing an AT with another garrison unit would be just as capable, but cost more manpower, or you could reduce the units softness with an AC, Engineer, or even an armored brigade if the island is important enough. There are so many possible combination you can create very specialized and personal brigade mixes to fit any strategy; as long as you focus on a main overall specialty and have an intended use for each mix of brigades.
Also remember there is no reason to over complicate things. You can create basic divisions that are just as effective, and add your personal touch in the infantry and artillery research windows. The stats of divisions consisting of generic infantry brigades are extremely strong defensively, and quite simple, you could choose to specialize in basic brigades by focusing research accordingly. Rather than adding an AT brigade to each division you may prefer to focus on anti tank infantry upgrades as your standard equipment, making every infantry division have higher hard attack values. If you don't know how this research specialization works, you can find a link at the bottom of this post to my guide which explains the Hearts of Iron 3 research system in depth, which is very different than the design used in Hearts of Iron 2.
If you prefer to build single brigades this option is also fully supported, though maybe not immediately obvious. Simply click the smaller "brigade attachment" tab located below the larger division tab. This allows you to create single brigades and worry about organizing them into full divisions when they are completed and ready for deployment. Many users (including myself) may prefer this method, because it allows you to be more fluid and flexible to suit the changing battlefield situation.
Theater Commander Requests and Advanced Brigade Construction
Yet another method of deploying your units, it by filling the "Theater Commander" requests. This feature is quite useful, as it removes the deployment step entirely. The division or brigade requested will be assigned directly to the unit who needs it upon completion. To access this feature follow these steps: Wile at the main production window, where it lists what you have ordered to build look at the bottom window. Here you can see your "Army theater" commanders listed land, air, and naval forces they think they need to complete their objectives. In this example you can see the "Manchuria Theater Army" requests 1 fighter, 19 light armor brigades, and 3 bomber wings.
Notice how each brigade is ordered separately when you click the build command. This makes it much easier to re-order the production window and makes the IC cost more manageable. Also, when the brigades complete they will be deployed to the unit that is requesting them automatically.
For more Hearts of Iron 3 information please check out my related Hearts of Iron hubs. I will be adding and updating these as game updates are released.
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