Hearts of Iron IV – 48th Development Diary – 11th of March 2016

Hi everybody, the topic for today is Naval Invasions.
The main design goal for naval invasions has been to make invasions something that requires a lot of preparation to make it possible to pull off, combat “gamey” tactics of sneaking troops in when others are not looking and make it clear how you go about defending yourself, something that requires both navy, air and land.

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Let’s start with what is required to do a naval invasion:

  • You need to position troops at a starting naval base and draw up an invasion plan for where you want them to go.
  • Before the invasion can be launched you need to prepare the invasion. This is first a matter of needing a certain amount of convoys available (which the invasion plan will grab) and a time. Both these depends on just how big this invasion is. Small invasions can be planned and executed quickly but large amount of divisions will require plenty of preparation time.
  • For each strategic area you pass through with the invasion plan you must have sufficient Naval Supremacy. You get that by having sufficient amount of ships on patrol and by controlling the skies (air superiority). If you do not control these things you won’t be able to invade (no sending your whole army to suicide). This makes it pretty clear now to defend as well. For example as UK – as long as your fleet is strong and stationed around the island and your air force is up and about you can feel safe from naval invasions.

There are also things you can do to improve your chances of successful invasions:

  • Use special troops – Marines are much better than other troops for securing the beach.
  • Make sure to always have ships set up as escorts. Even if you have sufficient naval supremacy to launch the invasion – if the enemy rallies their whole fleet after the invasion is already under way there is still a chance some of the convoys could get intercepted.
  • Station battleships in the destination coastline. They will support the invasion with naval bombardment which will help your guys get the edge when fighting on the beaches.
  • Use a commander with the Invader trait, he will help speed up the preparation as well as speed up to time it takes to get invading troops ready for fighting.
  • And finally: make sure to research transportation technologies. The really useful ones are only available from 1940 (unless you research ahead with the penalties for that), but you can improve things like: Needing less transports to carry out invasions, halving the preparation time required, get extra defense from damage taken during invasion and speed up the time it takes for your troops to get out of the ships and on to the beach where they can fight.

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The actual invasion combat has some special rules. Once troops land they first need to unload from ships and during this time they are unable to fire back effectively. If you have the right technologies researched troops will actually get some extra protection during this time, but still it’s something you want to do as quickly as you can. Once on the beach they can fire back, but will still be suffering from naval invasion penalties.
Next week we’ll talk about nukes!