Hearts of Iron IV’s No Step Back expansion and free 1.11 update are coming next week, and I’ve not felt as excited about an expansion in a long while. One of the stated goals of the incoming content is to shake up the strategy game’s fairly stale combat meta, where designing divisions for your armies has been reduced to a fairly clinical set of optimum choices.
The initial bones of this change can be seen in the recent patch notes, where the combat width for different types of provinces is changing. This means the old 40/20 meta (where you would build divisions of either 40 combat width or 20 combat width) is officially no more. Players have been celebrating this impending changing of the guard by sharing their favourite meme division templates.
User Comander-07 on the Hearts of Iron IV subreddit has shared an absolute beast of a template, which has a combat width of 60 and features ten battalions of super-heavy tanks (and 15 infanty battallions), which they have called ‘Big Chungus’. You’d only need two of them to completely dominate a battle, although the resource requirements to actually build and maintain one would be crippling to most economies.
You can read the thread in full below, along with some discussion as to what the new meta might end up being after the 1.11 patch:
There are some fascinating insights to glean. Essentially, the development team wants to reduce the potency of large divisions, as well as change up the ‘math’ so that optimal division width is less certain. Veteran players have yet to come to a consensus as to what the new meta might look like, which I guess was the point of the changes in the first place.
As well as the province tweaks, there are separate changes to how divisions choose their targets in combat as well as the mechanics around how divisions reinforce an ongoing battle.