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]

Default[edit]

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 2.4

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

8, if at least 1 of the following:

Elastic Defense +15% −15% +50%
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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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


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