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In Hearts of Iron 2 the player can choose to play as any country on the world map in the time period of 1936-1947. There are 5 main campaigns:

  • Road to War (1936): Starts on January 1, 1936
  • The Gathering Storm (1938): Starts on September 1, 1938
  • Blitzkrieg (1939): Starts on 1 September, 1939
  • Awakening the Giant (1941): Starts on June 22, 1941
  • Götterdämmerung (1944): Starts on June 6, 1944

The game also features several smaller scenarios, in which the player only controls the nation's military. Playable scenarios include, among others, the Spanish Civil War, the Battle of the Bulge and Downfall, the planned Allied invasion of Japan.

Managing Your Nation

Hearts of Iron 2 is quite complex when it comes to management. The player has to be responsible for supplies, oil, rare materials, energy and manpower while waging war across the world. The player is also able to preform diplomacy, having the power to form alliances, foster trade agreements and guarantee the independence of other nations.

Production: nations can produce land divisions, ships, air wings, land forts, factories, etc. Production takes up Industrial Capacity (IC). IC is increased by building factories in your territory.

Technology: a nation can have up to five tech teams, depending on the size and industrial development of the nation: Germany will have five tech teams, Poland only three. These tech teams will advance a nation's technological level. There are 9 different tech trees to advance through: Land, Armor, Naval, Air Force, Industrial, Land Doctrine, Naval Doctrine, Air Force Doctrine and Secret Weapons.

Military:

There are 3 different branches of the military Land, Naval and Airforce when a unit is built they automatically get assigned a commander who has its own trait, skill and rank (Higher rank allows more units under there command). You can choose your own commanders of course as long as they are not engaged in combat.

Land:Includes Infantry, Marines, Paratroopers, Mountain and Cavalry which later evolves to mechanized/motorized divisions. Land is used for the capturing of Territory.

Naval: Includes, Battleships, Crusiers, Destroyers, Battlecrusiers, Submarines, Carriers and Transports. Naval is used for transporting units and clearing sea's for later operations, eg shore bombing. A strong Navy is invaluble to a nation such as USA or Great Britain.

Airforce: Includes, Interceptor, Tactical Bomber, Stratigic Bomber, Close Air Support, Transport, Fighters, Escort Fighter and Naval Bombers. Used for bombing stratigic locations, they can also be used to attack navies and to attack land units, Fighters can be used to attack other Planes.

Resources:

A country needs resources to be able to function and in Hearts of Iron 2 there are 6 in total. Metal, Energy, Rare Materials and Oil are all produced in difference provinces which are fed to the nation that controls them, Money is produced from consumer goods, and Supplies are produced in the Production Tab. They can all also be acquired through trade. A nation uses them for production, diplomacy and running an Army.

Politics:

Politics are found under the Diplomacy Tab. There are 10 different positions. Head of State, Head of Government, Foreign Minister,Armaments Minister, Minister of Security, Head of Military Intelligence, Chief of Staff, Chief of the Army, Chief of the Navy and Chief of the Airforce. Apart from Head of State and Head of Government they can all be assigned from leaders already in-game they all have difference bonuses and difference penaltiess. Head of State and Head of Government though are decided by whether you are a Democratic, Fascist or Communist country and they are also decided by one time events. These 2 in particular have powerful bonuses.

There is also the Slider function:

Democracy vs Authoritarian*

Left Wing vs Right Wing*

Open Society vs Closed Society

Free Market vs Central Planning

Standing Army vs Drafted Army

Hawk Lobby vs Dove Lobby

Interventionism vs Isolationism

* determines whether a country is Democratic, Fascist or Communist.

The first expansion, Doomsday, was released as a stand-alone in November 2005; the second expansion, Armageddon, was released in April 2007. In October 2010, the third expansion, Iron Cross, became available as a download-only product.

System Requirements

  • Windows 98SE / 2000 / XP
  • Processor: Pentium III 800 MHz
  • Memory: 128 Mb RAM
  • Hard disk space: 600 MB Free Hard Drive Space
  • Video: 4 MB Video Card DirectX Compatible
  • Sound: Direct X-compatible sound card
  • DirectX®: DirectX 9

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