From Hearts of Iron 4 Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hearts of Iron 4, and the communities surrounding it, have their own jargon, including slang terms and acronyms.

Acronyms and initialisms

Here are some of the common acronyms in the game and in discussions surrounding it:

Anti-air - Can be used in multiple contexts. Most common are state anti-air and divisional anti-air (battalions or companies that use anti-air equipment such as Anti-aircraft artillery and Self-Propelled anti-air).
Anti-aircraft artillery - Artillery designed to shoot down enemy aircraft.
Armored Car - wheeled (not tracked) lightly armored military vehicle typically used for reconnaissance and security or Air Controller (the player that is responsible for all air wings in the same faction during a multiplayer game).
Alternate History, Austria-Hungary or Adolf Hitler.
After action report - A player's recounting of their game. For more detail, see the AAR section.
Artificial intelligence - What controls all nations that are not being played by humans.
Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.
Armored Personnel Carrier - an armored fighting vehicle for carrying infantry soldiers in combat or Armor Piercing Capped - an armor piercing shell type used in anti-tank guns and naval guns.
Armor, including light (LARM), medium (MARM), heavy (HARM), and super-heavy (SHARM) varieties.
Anti-submarine warfare - the use of ships and planes to find and destroy enemy submarines.
Artillery, including support, line, or self-propelled (see also SPxx). Also "Arty". See also RART.
Anti-tank - Designates units with a high hard attack and piercing value, can be artillery or self-propelled.
Battleship - Most powerful type of ship equipped with guns.
Super heavy battleship - Heavily armored and gunned battleship, sometimes designated as SHBB.
Battlecruiser - Lightly armored battleship, served as a fast convoy attack ship, but can be used in the same role as a BB in HoI4.
Battleplan - Mechanic used in HoI4 to simplify defensive or offensive management of divisions.
A term used in the names of historical units, also informally to refer to a tactical formation of one or more regiments and other assets, a tactical force of comparable size, a collection of varied troops grouped together, or other colloquial meanings. To avoid confusion, it should not be used interchangeably with "regiment" to describe a combat unit column in a division template. Rectangular infantry divisions, common in World War One, were composed of 2 brigades each of 2 regiments.
Battlefield Support - the air doctrine tree that benefits Close Air Support the most.
The common term in HoI4 for the smallest unit, other than support companies, when designing a division or an abbreviation for battalion.
Heavy Cruiser - Large sized cruiser, can fit multiple roles.
Carrier air group - The planes attached to an aircraft carrier.
CAP or cap
Combat Air Patrol, fighter planes flying overhead to protect their target from enemy planes or capitulation, surrender.
Close air support - Airplanes specialized in combat role, inflicts Organization and Hit points damage to enemy divisions during battle.
Cavalry - Combat units mounted on horseback, available in many nations at the start of the war, and often favored for partisan suppression.
Casus belli - Cause for war, term carried over from other Paradox games with the same meaning as the possibilities for Justifying War Goal (Conquer, Puppet, etc.).
Construction industrial capacity - Capacity provided by Civilian factories for the construction of any structure in HoI4.
Commander-in-chief. The term is never used in HoI4 itself, but players may use it to designate various things such as the Chief of Army.
Same as CiC.
Light cruiser - Ship used in screening role and sometimes anti-air role.
Chief of Naval Operations. The term is never used in HoI4 itself, but players may use it to designate various things such as the Chief of Navy.
Crash To Desktop - Frequently used in patch notes.
Commander of Task Force or Carrier Task Force.
Chinese United Front
Aircraft carrier - Ship capable of transporting airplanes of three types: fighter, CAS or naval bomber.
Escort Aircraft Carrier - a shorter and slower carrier with fewer planes, but was cheaper and quicker to build. Usually used to defend convoys.
Light Aircraft Carrier - a faster version of CVE able to keep up with fast moving, full size aircraft carriers.
Damage Control, emergency measures to prevent the sinking of a ship from battle damage or Depth Charge, a weapon launched or dropped into the water that detonates and causes a hydraulic shock wave for the purpose of destroying enemy submarines.
Destroyer - Ship used in screening role and anti-submarine warfare.
Destroyer Escort - A destroyer designed to escort ocean convoys and merchant ships.
Dutch East Indies.
Downloadable content - A package made available by Paradox that adds more game mechanics, music, and other features to the game. Compare with mod.
Death or Dishonor, the 2nd country pack by Paradox for Hearts of Iron IV.
Danzig or War - A common National Focus choice for Germany. OR Declaration of war - Can be used as a verb ("Japan just DOW'd the USA!").
Dual Purpose gun - a light caliber naval artillery piece designed to shoot enemy ships and planes.
Engineer support company
European Theater of Operations - a term used by the United States to refer to US operations in Europe.
Fire Control - a method for aiming a ship's guns that accounts for gun range, gun elevation, ship's speed, distance to target, etc.
Fire Control System - a system that helps aim a ship's guns.
Field Marshal, the highest of the two possible ranks of army leaders.
Fog of War - Prevents nations from seeing parts of the map they do not either border, or have an army or navy adjacent to.
Fighter aircraft. Often means only "light fighters", which is to say the types that aren't in the "heavy fighter" research tree.
Grand Battleplan, one of the available land doctrines.
Great Depression.
Gross Domestic Product - The value of all goods and services produced in a country during a given year.
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere - a coalition, led by Japan, of East Asian nations.
Game-master - A leader or organizer of a multiplayer game.
Hard attack - The hard attack value of a unit or division.
High Command. Same as MHC.
Heavy fighter.
Hunter Killer - destroyers that form groups to hunt and kill enemy submarines.
Field hospital support company
Hit points - Represents how much damage a division can take. Maximum HP is increased by adding regiments to a division. HP value drops when a division takes damage (losing men and equipment) and is replenished when it receives reinforcements.
Industrial capacity - Term used in previous installments of HoI, is equivalent to Factory Output in HoI4.
Number of days of IC usage - Term used in previous installments of HoI, is similar to Production Cost in HoI4.
Imperial Japanese Navy.
Infantry - This word standing alone may refer to either the general category of infantry soldiers (those using infantry equipment) or specifically to non-specialized combat infantrymen who travel on foot, as distinguished from special forces (Marines, Paratroopers, and Mountain Infantry) and from mounted infantry (Cavalry, motorized infantry, and mechanized infantry).
Software manager used by Paradox for bug reporting.
Lend Lease - a program to send free aid (weapons, tanks, planes, etc.) to another nation.
London Naval Treaty - an agreement between the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Italy and the United States to limit and reduce naval armament.
Logistics support company
Mass Assault, one of the available land doctrines.
Maintenance support company
Military High Command.
Military industrial capacity - Capacity provided by Military factories for the construction of any equipment in HoI4.
Same as MiC.
Multi-player, Military Police, or Manpower.
Molotov-Ribbentrop pact - The one pact to rule them all.
Motorized Rocket Artillery - rocket artillery mounted on a truck chassis.
Motor Topedo Boat - a small, fast, lightly armed boat for torpedoing enemy ships.
Man the Guns, the 4th expansion by Paradox for Hearts of Iron IV.
Mean time to happen - The metric used to measure how long, on average, it takes for an event to trigger.
Mobile Warfare, one of the available land doctrines.
Non-Aggression Pact. An agreement or formal treaty between countries not to attack one another via a Declaration of War (DOW).
Naval bombers, used for anti-shipping missions in sea zones and for port strikes over land.
National focus - A concept that works similarly to technologies, but for political actions.
Naval industrial capacity - Capacity provided by Dockyards for the construction of any ship in HoI4.
Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del or People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs - Secret police during the Stalin regime.
National Spirit - a modifier that describes unique advantages or disadvantages of countries.
Pacific Theater of Operations - a term used by the United States to refer to US operations in the Pacific.
Order of Battle - the hierarchical organization, command structure, strength, disposition of personnel, formations, and equipment of armed forces.
Out of Sync - A notorious desynchronisation error that occurs in multiplayer, requires the game to be loaded again. Out of Supply.
Overpowered or, on the forums, the original poster of a thread.
Overpowered minor
Peace conference. A phase of the game that occurs when a country or all the countries in a faction have capitulated.
Pearl Harbor. A naval base in Hawaii.
Pride of the Fleet - a capital ship that is chosen to represent a country and its people at their "best".
Political power - Point acquired over time and required for all political actions in the game.
Rocket Artillery.
Recon support company
Regiment - a basic military formation of 1 or more battalions, which is in game represented by a division template column that can have 1 to 5 battalions of compatible types.
Royal Navy (United Kingdom).
Random number generator; a mathematical subsystem that generates a random number. Used to determine chances for events, battle results, and other game features that use randomization of results to any degree.
Rest of the world - Generally refers to all areas outside Europe.
Soft attack - The Soft attack value of a division or other unit.
Surface Action Group - A task force of surface warships that has a primary mission to attack and sink enemy surface ships.
Spanish Civil War - An event that will always happen when starting in the 1936 scenario.
Southeast Asia
Signal support company
Superior Firepower, one of the available land doctrines or Special Forces (Marines, Mountain Infantry, Paratroopers) or Strike Force (a naval mission).
Super Heavy [something] - Can be used to designate Super Heavy Battleships (SHBB), tanks (SHT), artillery (SHA), tank destroyer (SHTD) or anti-air (SHAA).
Self-propelled [something] - Weapons mounted on vehicle chassis, including self-propelled artillery (SPART) aka guns (SPG), tank destroyer (SPTD) and anti-air brigades (SPAA).
Tactical bombers - Flexible aircraft capable of strategic bombing, ground support, naval strike, and port strike missions.
Tank destroyer - Designates armored vehicles with high hard attack and piercing values.
Task Force - a temporary grouping of naval assets, such as ships and naval planes, to accomplish a specific mission.
Together for Victory, the 1st country pack by Paradox for Hearts of Iron IV.
Two/three province minor - Term borrowed from EU4 to designate small countries in the game, consisting of only two or three States.
Table of Organization and Equipment - specified organization, staffing, and equipment of units in table form.
United States Navy.
Victory Points - Points attributed to some provinces, usually capitals and strategic locations, in order to measure how close a country is to capitulating.
Works/working as designed; this acronym means that the thing in question is wrongly considered a bug and is actually intentional.
World conquest - Taking over every inhabitable province on the map; often a goal for players; for others, an ahistorical outcome.
Washington Naval Treaty - a treaty signed during 1922 among the major nations that had won World War I, which agreed to prevent an arms race by limiting naval construction.
War Support - the willingness of the population to endure the privations of war.
World tension - Variable that serves to limit the involvement of democracies in ongoing events.
Waking the Tiger, the 1st full-fledged expansion by Paradox for Hearts of Iron IV.
Experience - Points acquired in three categories (Army, Navy, Air) through combat or other means.


Here are some of the common slang terms in the game and in discussions surrounding it:

  • Blob: A large nation that tends to get larger over time unless checked. Named after how such large nations' expansions can leave them with irregular borders, resembling blobs of paint.
  • (Country) Can Into Space: to make a country succeed far beyond expectations. (A takeoff on the polandball meme.)
  • Clay: One's rightful land. Also a takeoff from polandball.
  • Div(s): Division(s), the basic combat unit on the map.
  • Doomstack: An extremely large enemy force; seldom used in HoI4.
  • Justifying: The political action of building a propaganda case against a country to justify a declaration of war.
  • Mana: Slang for numerical Political power, Experience and other points.
  • Mech: Mechanized regiment or division
  • Mod: A software package that modifies the game, written by the player community. Compare with DLC.
  • Nuke: Nuclear bombs, or the act of using them.
  • Org: Organization, required for any division to continue or engage combat.
  • Reinfs: Reinforcements in manpower, equipment or both.
  • Savescumming: Reloading earlier saves when something goes wrong in order to set things right. Often considered a negative trait; impossible to do if Ironman is activated.
  • Strat: Strategic bomber or strategic redeploy or strategy.
  • Wardec: The act of declaring war / being declared war upon.

Country abbreviations

Abbreviations sometimes used for countries. Often written in all caps despite not being initialisms, many of those are originating from the country tags used by Paradox.


After Action Reports (AARs) are threads posted to the HOI4 forums or a personal web site or blog written by players about their ongoing games. They can be written from the game player's personal point of view, or can be written from a fictitious narrative perspective, like a serialized novel. Some writers also blend the two elements, going from a metagame discussion to a fictitious narrative set in their game's alternate history world.

Player Point of View

"I had a rough time as Austria this last session. It started when Ulm, that darned OPM, suddenly brought in half the HRE against me when I declared war on it. In all my playthroughs, this was the first time I ever was faced with such a nasty coalition. Before I knew it, not only was I facing the coalition, but the Ottoman Empire decided to make a DOW on me while I was in the thick of it!“

Fictitious Narrative

"Let me tell you a story, a story about how a small and obscure nation, would come and rise to glory and ultimately shape history forever...

It is 1938 and the Munich Conference is in to discuss theSudeten crisis. France and the United Kingdom came to decide the fate of little Czechoslovakia's northern front, the Sudetenland. Both of these powerful nations, France and the U.K. decided to fall in to the German Reich's demands for the land, effectively giving it to them. But when the German soldiers went to their "newly aquired lands" they saw forts, bunkers and all sorts of fortifications along the border, with Czechoslovakian flags held high. See, the Czechs had a fear of this crisis since 1936, and they acted on it. They build great land forts, built the army, worked on moving to a full war economy and mass produced weapons. The Czechs were ready to defend their rightful home. 2 months will pass and the German Reich will demand that Czechoslovakia surrender the land or there will be war... The Czech president sent a message to the German aggressors, "Come and take it", at that moment, In 1938, the German Reich decalred war on the Czechs. No help from the U.K. or France made the situation look dire, but the brave Czechs had a plan, they reformed the "Little Enente" of Yugoslovia and Romania. Hungary, bordering the east of Czechslovakia would go onto join the Axis, and try to invade Slovakia, but Romanian troops will crush the Hungarian menace, and absorb their lands. Its now 1939 and Italy has not decided to enter the war, and Romanian and Yugoslavian troops occupied by fighting to defend Yugoslavia from German invasions, was unable to help the Czechs against Germany, Czechoslovakia stood alone. They saw the German army, the Panzers, the Luffwaffe, and decided that they must hold the line. Winter, 1939 German troops are suffering heavy from attrition, the Czechs have been prepared for winter and have plenty of equipment to hold, then, on December 17, 1939, the Field Marshall of the Czecholslovakian Army ordered a push to attack the encamped Germany attackers. The Czechs raided out of their bunkers and attacked the unprepared Germany army. The Germans were rapidly pushed back, Almost no rest for the retreating German army made them weak. January 12, 1940 -- The capital of the former nation Austria, Vienna, has been taken by Czech forces, the same will be with Nuremberg, Munich. March 11, All of former Austria has been taken by Czech forces, and the entire southern half of Germany has been taken. March 13, The Soviet Union will inavde Poland, and begin to justify war against the Czechoslovakian goverment. In March 27, 1940, the capital of the German Reich, Berlin, will fall to Czech forces, Germany is contemplating surrender. A day later, March 28th, Italy will decide it cannont stand idely by while their ally is being demolished, they declare war on Czechoslovakia. Italy will launch a full invasion on Yugoslavia, in April, Yugoslavia will capitulate to the Italians. Every bit of Germany has been taken except the city of Hamburg, the last bastion of the Nazi goverement. In September of 1940, the German Reich will capitulate to Czech troops. Italy stands alone against the Czech might, A massive army pushed down the Italian pennisula and in December of 1940, Rome will fall. In Early 1941, Italy will surrender to Czech forces, and will be left with control only over Sicily and Sardina, effectively kicked off mainland Europe. In March of 1941, Japan will enter the war and attempt to restore the GErman Reich, their invasion will be stopped. In May, 1941, Japan will give up on the war and ask for peace. The Allies are fighting against Comintern forces while the Czechs consolidate their newly aquired land of Germany, Austria and Italy... and remember the day that when their freedom was in danger, they fought, fought valiantly for it, and won.

The course of human history was changed that day, WW2 never occured, America and the Allies will fight and destory the Soviet Union in late 1944, the Cold War will never happen, and Czechoslovakia will become one of the most powerful nations in the world. Czechmate."

Players can include screen shots from their games, maps, period art, and other elements to add depth to their reports.