Combat tactics

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A battle screen showing the selected tactics next to the commanding generals, separated by a chess piece icon (which when clicked shows all tactics). The attacker has chosen Unexpected Thrust, the defender Elastic Defense. The defender has Initiative, shown by the golden chevrons beneath its general.

Combat tactics[1] provide damage, defense, movement speed, and combat width modifiers in land battles.

Tactics get re-selected every 12 hours from a weighted list of all available tactics. The side having Initiative gets an increased chance to counter their enemy's tactic. If a tactic gets countered, all its effects are disabled.

To determine initiative, the leading generals' skill levels are compared. The side with the highest recon value in one of their divisions (including reserves) gets a bonus of 5 skill levels for this comparison. The side with the higher effective skill level gets Initiative.

The side losing this comparison has to pick their tactic first. The side with initiative will pick their tactic after and if the counter-tactic is available its weight gets a bonus of 35% for every point of advantage in the skill comparison. Initiative does not explicitly decrease the probability of picking a tactic that is countered by the enemy's tactic.

Phases[edit | edit source]

Default[edit | edit source]

Name Trigger Weight Countered by Attacker tactic damage Defender tactic damage Tactics combat width Tactics movement Starts battle phase Requires research
Attack.png

Attack

4 Counter-Attack +5%
Assault.png

Assault

2, in urban terrain else 0.4

4, if has trait Aggressive AssaulterAggressive Assaulter and in urban terrain else 0.8

Counter-Attack +25% Close combat
Encirclement.png

Encirclement

  • Frontage filled
  • Has reserves.
  • At least 1 of the following:
4

8, if at least 1 of the following:

Tactical Withdrawal +25% +5% +50%
Shock.png

Shock

4

8, if has trait Aggressive AssaulterAggressive Assaulter

Ambush −25%
Breakthrough.png

Breakthrough

At least 1 of the following:
4 Backhand Blow +25% −15% +50%
Blitz.png

Blitz

4

8, if at least 1 of the following:

Elastic Defense +15% −15% +50%
Masterful Blitz.png

Masterful Blitz

  • Hardness over 50%.
  • At least 1 of the following:
4

8, if at least 1 of the following:

Elastic Defense +20% −20% +10% +50% Flag of Soviet Union Soviet focus: Focus SOV the glory of the red army communism.png The Glory of the Red Army
Seize Bridge.png

Seize Bridge

  • Has combat modifier: River Crossing.
  • At least 1 of the following:
  • Skill is over 3.
  • All of the following:
2 +20% −5% −25% +10% Seize bridge
Mass Charge.png

Mass Charge

  • Frontage is filled.
  • Has reserves.
4 +10% +10% +50% People's ArmyPeople's Army
Banzai Charge.png

Banzai Charge

Country is Flag of Japan Japan. 4 Overwhelming Fire +25% +10% +10%
Infiltration Assault (tactic).png

Infiltration Assault

4 +10% −5% Infantry OffensiveInfantry Offensive
Well-Planned Attack.png

Well-Planned Attack

4 +15% Grand AssaultGrand Assault
Relentless Assault.png

Relentless Assault

4 +20% +5% +15% Large Front OperationsLarge Front Operations
Unexpected Thrust.png

Unexpected Thrust

4 +15% +15% Mobile WarfareMobile Warfare
Suppressive Barrage.png

Suppressive Barrage

4 +10% -20% Superior FirepowerSuperior Firepower


Defend.png

Defend

4 +5%
Counter-Attack.png

Counter-Attack

Skill advantage is over 0. 4

8, if has trait Unyielding DefenderUnyielding Defender.

+25%
Delay (tactic).png

Delay

4 Shock −25% −15% −25%
Tactical Withdrawal.png

Tactical Withdrawal

At least 1 of the following:
4 −25% −5% −25% Tactical withdrawal
Ambush.png

Ambush

At least 1 of the following:
4 Breakthrough −25%
Elastic Defense (tactic).png

Elastic Defense

At least 1 of the following:
4 −15% +10% −25%
Backhand Blow (tactic).png

Backhand Blow

At least 1 of the following:
  • Skill is over 4.
  • All of the following:
4 −20% +25% −30%
Hold Bridge.png

Hold Bridge

  • Has combat modifier: River Crossing.
  • At least 1 of the following:
2 +20% −5% −25% +10% Hold bridge
Guerrilla Tactics.png

Guerrilla Tactics

At least 1 of the following:
4 −70% −60% −50%
Overwhelming Fire.png

Overwhelming Fire

2 −10% +10%

Close combat[edit | edit source]

Name Trigger Weight Countered by Attacker tactic damage Defender tactic damage Tactics combat width Tactics movement Starts battle phase Requires research
Close Quarters Attack.png Close Quarters Attack 4 +10% +5%
Close Quarters Storm.png Close Quarters Storm 2 +20% +20%
Close Quarters Withdraw.png Close Quarters Withdraw 1 −5% −5% Default
Close Quarters Defense.png Close Quarters Defense 4 +5% +10%
Close Quarters Local Strongpoint.png Close Quarters Local Strongpoint 2 −20%

Tactical withdrawal[edit | edit source]

Name Trigger Weight Countered by Attacker tactic damage Defender tactic damage Tactics combat width Tactics movement Starts battle phase Requires research
Tactical Withdrawal Attack.png Tactical Withdrawal Attack 4 −25% −10% −25%
Pursuit.png Pursuit 4 −15% −5% −25%
Intercept.png Intercept 4 −5% −10% Default
Withdrawal.png Withdrawal 4 −30% −5% −25%
Evade.png Evade 4 −40% −10% −25%

Seize bridge[edit | edit source]

Name Trigger Weight Countered by Attacker tactic damage Defender tactic damage Tactics combat width Tactics movement Starts battle phase Requires research
Hold Bridge (seize bridge).png Hold Bridge 4 +20% −25%
Defend Bridge.png Defend Bridge Skill is over 4. 4 +20% −10% −25%
Assault Bridge.png Assault Bridge 4 −5% −25%
Reckless Assault.png Reckless Assault Skill is under 3. 4 +25% −10% −25%
Recapture Bridge.png Recapture Bridge At least one of the following:
4 Defend Bridge +10% −5% −25% Hold bridge

Hold bridge[edit | edit source]

Name Trigger Weight Countered by Attacker tactic damage Defender tactic damage Tactics combat width Tactics movement Starts battle phase Requires research
Attack (hold bridge).png Attack 4 +10% −25%
Rush Bridge.png Rush Bridge Skill is over 4. 4 +20% −25%
Storm Bridge.png Storm Bridge 2 Defend Bridge +20% +5% −25% Seize bridge
Hold Bridge (hold bridge).png Hold Bridge Skill is under 3. 2 +20% −10% −25%
Defend Bridge (hold bridge).png Defend Bridge At least one of the following:
2 +10% +5% −25%

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. See in /Hearts of Iron IV/common/combat_tactics.txt.


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