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Hearts of Iron 3 Tips
Heart of Iron 3 can be a difficult game to learn, but there are ways to make it easier on yourself. This guide provides some quick tips which should make it much easier wrap you head around the game.
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A Happy Medium
Most new players to Hearts of Iron 3 will find that it best to start playing the game as a medium country early in the game's timeline. Some examples are Italy, The United Kingdom, and Portugal. These countries are large enough and close enough to the action that you can take an active part in the game, but they're not so large that they become quickly overwhelming. It is usually not good to try and start as a country like the USSR or the United States simply because the sheer size of the country can quickly overwhelm you.
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Automate the Military
Hearts of Iron 3 includes significant features of automation, one of which is the military. The way the system works is this. Each unit is part of a military command hierarchy. If you set an objective for a specific unit which is a step up in the hierarchy, all other units underneath that unit will attempt to fulfill this objective. Going all the way to the top of the hierarchy to set an objective will automate large portions of your military.
This may sound a bit boring, but Hearts of Iron 3 is really designed for some level of military automation anyway. This is not a game of tactical combat, nor a game of strategic combat in relatively limited locals. This is very much a "grand strategy" game. Playing with individual units can become very boring and it is easy to become lost in the details of shuffling units around, resulting in problems in other parts of your country.
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Don't Be Afraid of Multiple Projects
Most strategy game encourage a very linear approach to production and research. You build one unit and then build the next and the next and so on, or you research one technology at a a time. These simple models usually work well enough, but Hearts of Iron 3 attempts to be realistic, so you won't find such a simple model here.
Instead, multiple construction and research projects happen at once, much as they do in a real country. You production and research screens will both show how many projects you are capable of undertaking at once. It is in your best interests to fill up the production and research ques completely. It may seem that things are progressing slowly, but that is simply the nature of the game, and you can also advance the game's pace if you need to.
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Use Trade Agreements
Many of the countries in Hearts of Iron 3 will begin the game with deficits in certain resources. One way to make up for a deficit is through being very militarily aggressive against those who have resources you need, but this doesn't always work well if you're a new player.
Your best option, then, is usually to obtain the resources you need by trade agreements, which can be found in the diplomacy screen. Try approaching different countries and ask to exchange something you have for something which you don't Most countries are rather agreeable to trade. Just be careful not to form deep ties with a country that may turn on you.