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- See also: Land units
The division is the basic unit depicted on the map during gameplay. The composition of each division is specified by its division template. Division templates may be created and modified by spending army experience.
Each country starts with one or more division templates that may be used to order recruiting and deployment of new land units. These templates may be modified by the player, or new templates created by using the Duplicate button to make a duplicate of a template, giving it a name different from existing templates, and then making modifications to a template as described below. Land experience is not charged until the changes are saved using the Save button on which the total cost is also shown, so players can experiment and analyze the results of changes before making a decision. When a template is changed, all divisions that are based on that template immediately place orders for additional needed manpower and equipment and return any manpower or equipment that is now surplus to the national stockpile. It is wise to have any needed manpower and equipment ready in the national stockpile before changing the template of a division that may be expected to face combat in the near future. It may be prudent to upgrade units one at a time.
The template a division uses can be changed at any time by selecting the unit helmet, tank or other unit symbol icon in the Unit Details screen when that division's template is open and choosing any of the templates available there.
Each division consists of up to five combat regiments and five support companies. In turn, each combat regiment is composed of up to five battalions. It costs 5 XP to add a battalion to a division; regardless if it is the same or new regiment. Adding a battalion of a different unit type (infantry, mobile, or armored) adds a penalty of 20 XP per additional unit type.
A division may have any number of the same unit type for battalions, but only one of each unit type for support companies.
A division template may be specified as reserve, regular, or elite. Elite divisions will be prioritized for better equipment, followed by regular divisions and finally reserves.
Each division template can receive specific types of equipment if multiple types are available. An example would be elite divisions only using the latest weapons and reserve divisions using the oldest.
Each combat regiment in a division consists entirely of a mix of battalions within a single battalion type. The three battalion types are:
- Infantry battalions: Infantry, special forces, line (towed) artillery/anti-air/anti-tank
- Mobile battalions: Cavalry, motorized infantry, mechanized infantry, motorized rocket artillery
- Armored battalion: Tanks, self-propelled artillery/anti-air/anti-tank
Increasing the number of battalions in a division modifies the stats of the division: for example new combat battalions increase the HP and combat width of the division, and typically increase at least the different attack and defense statistics. Note that the division's organization is the average of the organization of the included battalions, thus it is possible that the division's (average) organization actually drops when adding new battalions.
For the armor, piercing and hardness stats there is a different calculation:
- Armor: 30% * (highest armor of a battalion) + 70% * (average armor for all battalions and companies) = armor of the division
- Piercing: 40% * (highest piercing of a battalion or support company) + 60% * (average piercing for all battalions and companies) = piercing of the division
- Hardness: average of hardness of line battalions = hardness of the division
- Main article: Support Companies technology
A division may have up to five different support companies. These are referred to in doctrines and elsewhere in the game as 'integrated support', distinguished from 'dispersed support' which is an Artillery, Anti-Air or Anti-Tank type regiment included in a combat regiment column. Support company options are:
- Support Artillery: Gives a smaller bonus to soft attack than a line regiment's artillery battalion because it has fewer guns. It does not slow the division† or affect paradrops.
- Support Anti-Air: Gives a smaller bonus to air attack than a line regiment's anti-air battalion because it has fewer guns. It does not slow the division† of affect paradrops.
- Support Anti-Tank: Gives a smaller bonus to hard attack and piercing than a line regiment's anti-tank battalion because it has fewer guns. It does not slow the division† or affect paradrops.
- Support Rocket Artillery: Similar to regular support artillery but it also gives a bonus to the division's breakthrough stat, used when attacking.
- Engineer company: Increases the entrenchment stat of the division and helps in attacking forts and river crossings.
- Recon company: Increases speed in difficult terrain and the division's reconnaissance stat, making it easier to counter enemy combat tactics in battle.
- Military police: Gives a bonus to the suppression stat of its division's line battalions, helping to keep insurgency down. Military Police with 2-6 minimally equipped and trained Cavalry battalions makes an efficient and effective rear-area security division.
- Maintenance company: Adds an equipment reliability bonus to the division, reducing equipment losses from training and combat. Advised for combat units using expensive equipment.
- Field hospital: Increases trickleback stat (returns percentage of lost manpower to the pool) and reduces experience loss from taking casualties. Advised for front-line combat divisions.
- Logistics company: Reduces supply usage of the entire division. This is valuable in areas of low supply and for avoiding the need to disperse for supply reasons.
- Signal company: Increases the initiative stat of the division, speeding up Battle Planning planning and increases chance of reinforcement in battle from divisions in reserve.
† Note that support companies do not affect a division's speed and do not affect combat width as they are forces that remain behind the fighting front while the "front line" combat battalions engage. Therefore a towed antitank support company does not affect the 12 kph speed of a fast division but adding a towed antitank combat battalion to the regiment lines would slow that same division to the towed anti-tank's base speed of 4 KPH. So support Artillery, Anti-Air or Anti-Tank support units can add valuable capabilities to fast divisions. An infantry division marching at 4 kph is well-matched by combat battalions marching at 4 kph as well.
Additional bonuses and effects of adding a support company to overall division stats can be seen in the tooltip in the division designer. Even though these companies may historically have been much larger than company size, they are referred to as support companies to distinguish them from the battalions in line regiments.
Support Companies In-Depth
Anti-Air (AA): AA will primarily help protect against tactical bombers and CAS attacking a battle that the division is participating in, allowing multiple divisions in the same battle to pool their AA fire. Towed and self-propelled Anti-Air will only fire at enemy planes attacking that division or other divisions that take part in the same battle.
- They do nothing against strategic bombers (they fly too high), so adding AA to garrisons will not help protect industry.
- At least as of version 1.3, the Devs have reported that attached AA can shoot down fighters, but it takes a lot of it (the example in the video showed multiple line battalions, not just a lone support company). Of course, if you have no fighters, putting AA in every division on the front line may be your only option.
- Editor's Note: The video where the Devs said they can shoot down fighters is the "Together for Victory feature stream" on Youtube.
- It should be noted that towed AA units also have half-decent anti-armor capability. For example, the tier 2 towed AA has enough Piercing to negate the Armor value of tier 1 medium tanks. However, self-propelled AA doesn't have anywhere near as much anti-armor capability.
- Having towed or self-propelled AA in a division reduces the malus that enemy air superiority provides.
Engineers (ENG): Engineers provide a movement bonus in forest, jungle, marsh, and rivers. They provide a constant defense bonus in forest, jungle, hills, marsh, rivers, and forts. They also provide an entrenchment bonus on top of that. Upgrading engineers increases the entrenchment bonus. Lastly, they provide a constant attack bonus to amphibious (naval invasions), which does stack with Marines.
Reconnaissance (REC): A recon company provides a speed bonus on most terrain and a reconnaissance points bonus to commander skill that increases the chance to counter the tactic chosen by the enemy for a day of combat.
- They provide a 10% speed boost on all terrain except marsh, desert, and urban. In marsh they provide a 5% speed bonus. 0% in desert and urban. This speed bonus does not increase with upgrades. Consider the value of increasing the infantry speed from 4 km/h to 4.4 km/h, or motorized/light tanks from 12 km/h to 13.2 km/h, and consider how this may combine with vehicle variants to achieve specific speed targets to outpace or overrun enemy. The answers will vary from player to player and likely from division to division. For example, exploitation and envelopment divisions may find the extra speed valuable while assault and breakthrough divisions may not, although they may find the combat tactics bonus valuable in intense battles.
- Recon companies also help counter enemy tactics. Details on exactly how this works are not available. However, reports of battles in progress show the tactic being used by each side for the current day, with a big red 'X' on a tactic if it is countered. In the middle there is a button that will display all of the tactics in the game, with unavailable tactics padlocked. Tactics can give damage, defense, movement speed, and combat width modifiers. If an enemy's tactic is countered, they do not get the benefits. However, it's just a chance to counter, and the calculation of that chance is not known. Each recon upgrade increases reconnaissance points. Factors to consider in evaluating recon companies include the relative range of tactics available to each side, potential importance of tactics to an army's warfighting, and opposing commander skill levels. How exactly reconnaissance points from multiple divisions in a combat are combined and how they interact with commander skill levels is not yet known.
Military Police (MP): This support company is not intended for the front lines, or any combat really. It provides a percentage increase to the division's Suppression statistic. Suppression counters partisans operating in a region, preventing them from damaging industry. Best when combined with cavalry, which have better suppression than infantry battalions. While they can simply be added to a garrison division, most prefer to create a division template specifically for MP's.
Maintenance (MAIN): Maintenance companies increase the Reliability statistic of all equipment in a division, thus significantly reducing the amount of equipment lost due to attrition. Unfortunately the division designer's Reliability stat doesn't seem to work, even with only a single battalion. As a result, all calculations for this company must be done outside the game.
- The effect is very powerful right from the start, with a 25% bonus. This means that (land) equipment with 80% reliability will get boosted to 100% (80 * 1.25). This allows reliability improvements to equipment that normally cannot be upgraded. Mechanized are the most significant, but also motorized, all of the towed weapons, and support equipment. It benefits infantry equipment too, but infantry equipment is easy to produce and starts at 90% reliability, rather than the usual 80%.
- For equipment that can be upgraded, such as tanks, it means putting upgrade points into reliability is unnecessary unless it drops below 80% (or as low as 64% to get 80% reliability after the bonus). That can potentially save a lot of XP. Of course, that would require all tanks of that design to have a maintenance company.
Field Hospital (HOS): These provide two bonuses. First, with the 1936 hospital, 20% of the losses in combat get returned to the Manpower pool rather than being lost forever. Second, 10% less XP is lost from combat losses. Upgrading the field hospitals increases both of these bonuses. The more combat a division sees over time, the greater the overall benefit from a field hospital. Conversely, they are a waste in a division unlikely to see sustained combat or likely to be eliminated if engaged in combat, such as some security, garrison, or coastal defense divisions.
- From the manpower perspective, bigger is better. Each field hospital, being percentage based, will simply save more lives in a large division than in a small one.
- From an XP perspective, however, each soldier is worth more XP in a smaller division. So, it can be worth adding them to a small number of elite divisions. These could be things like marine or paratroop divisions, etc. Another possibility might be a regular infantry division that has already gained a high experience level on its own. By creating a duplicate template, a field hospital can be added to some divisions but not to otherwise identical ones, to help those high XP divisions keep their XP. The higher a division's XP gets, the more the average will be reduced by casualties (since replacements are always green). Deploying new divisions that have a field hospital while they are still green is a complete waste from the XP perspective. Therefore, you have more incentive to train new divisions up to regular before deployment when using field hospitals.
Logistics (LOG): These provide a flat 10% reduction in supply consumption, which improves with upgrades. Since it's percentage based, they will provide the most benefit in the most supply-hungry divisions. Since artillery uses a lot of supplies, divisions with multiple artillery of any type (line/support/self-propelled) are the first place to look. Just open the division designer and compare the Supply Use stat before and after adding the company, then decide if it's worth it. Most large divisions are potential candidates. For infantry, keep in mind that when fighting in places with high infrastructure, where months of fighting can go by without units running low on supply, a logistics company provides no benefit. Supplies have no cost in HOI4. Creating a separate infantry division template specifically for low-supply areas is an option. Other divisions can use that support slot for more combat-related purposes.
Signal (SIG): Signal companies provide an Initiative stat, which speeds up joining a combat from reserve and planning speed. Used in the right place, these can be great. Given that the base planning speed is 2 % per day, a signal company 1 saves you 4 days to reach the standard 50 % bonus(II:5 days; III: 7 days; IV: 8 days). Whether this bonus expedites preparation of invasions or paradrops is unconfirmed. In general these are most useful for troops in frequent front-line combat, or for reserves in critical positions where rapid reinforcement is needed.
Army experience costs
Modifying a division template may cost army experience.
|Duplicate a template||0|
|Change a template's equipment||0|
|Change a template's name||0|
|Change a template's priority||0|
|Add a combat regiment of an existing type||5||Includes one battalion.|
|Add a combat regiment of a new type||25||Includes one battalion.|
|Add/swap out a combat battalion||5|
|Remove a battalion||5||This can remove the last battalion in a regiment, removing the regiment.|
|Change a combat battalion type to an existing type||5 per battalion||The existing battalions may be swapped or removed within the new regiment type at no additional cost.|
|Change a combat regiment type to a new type||25 + 5 per battalion||The existing battalions may be swapped or removed within the new regiment type at no additional cost.|
|Add/swap out a support company||10|
|Remove a support company||10|
Some countries already have some tank equipment researched in 1936, and these get an armored template at the start of the game. This is usually a historic template that matches the order of battle of one or more of their starting divisions. For example, Italy ("Divisione Celere" template) and the Soviet Union ("Mekhanizirovaniy Korpus" template) are both in this situation. These templates allow you to create new armored divisions with light tanks. If you have any army experience, then you can change the historic template.
A few countries have some tank equipment already researched when the game starts, but don't actually start with any historical armoured divs. For example, Commonwealth countries like Canada who get tank equipment researched in 1936 (shared with them by UK), though they have no armored divisions then. These countries get an armoured template at the start of the game (called "Armored-Division"), so they can create armored divisions later.
All other countries get a free template (called "Armored-Division") when you research your first tank equipment.
The free "Armored-Division" template, and those templates which some countries start with, are always light tank templates. You have to use some army experience to modify these, or modify a duplicate, for use with Medium or Heavy Tanks. As soon as you complete the research, the Division Designer will allow you to replace the Light Tank Battalions with Medium or Heavy. This costs 5 XP for each battalion.
The Division Designer has a bar just below the stats, which shows the Hardness of the divisions created with the template.
The Hardness represents how much of your division is made up of armored or at least protected vehicles. The free "Armored-Division" template has only 35% hardness, even though it has two light tank and two cavalry battalions (the cavalry have more men/equipment). You can increase the hardness by adding more tank battalions, or replacing light with medium, or medium with heavy. Or by replacing "soft" battalions (infantry or cavalry) with motorized or mechanized battalions.
For example, replacing the two light tank battalions in the default "Armored-Division" template with medium tanks, and the two cavalry with mechanized, changes the hardness from 35% to 70%. Divisions with high hardness will suffer few hits in combat from divisions with low hard attack values - such as infantry with 1936 equipment and no anti-tank equipment.
Division unit type
The overall division unit type is indicated by its default NATO icon. It determines whether certain military high command affects the division. The division unit type is determined by multiplying an internal priority score by the number of units of each type, and taking the unit type with the highest score.
|Engineer Company||0|| Infantry|
|Field Hospital||0|| Infantry|
|Heavy SP Anti-Air||301|| Armor|
|Heavy SP Artillery||1797|| Armor|
|Heavy Tank Destroyer||1797|| Armor|
|Light SP Anti-Air||301|| Armor|
|Light SP Artillery||1795|| Armor|
|Light Tank Destroyer||1795|| Armor|
|Logistics Company||0|| Infantry|
|Maintenance Company||0|| Infantry|
|Medium SP Anti-Air||301|| Armor|
|Medium SP Artillery||1796|| Armor|
|Medium Tank Destroyer||1796|| Armor|
|Military Police||0|| Infantry|
|Modern SP Anti-Air||301|| Armor|
|Modern SP Artillery||1796|| Armor|
|Modern Tank Destroyer||1796|| Armor|
|Motorized Rocket Artillery||1199|| Artillery|
|Recon Company||0|| Infantry|
|Rocket Artillery||1199|| Infantry|
|Signal Company||0|| Infantry|
|Super Heavy SP Anti-Air||301|| Armor|
|Super Heavy SP Artillery||1798|| Armor|
|Super Heavy Tank Destroyer||1798|| Armor|
|Support Anti-Air||0|| Infantry|
|Support Anti-Tank||0|| Infantry|
|Support Artillery||0|| Infantry|
|Support Rocket Artillery||0|| Infantry|
- Historical Divisions from 1939-1941
A good division might be 20 Infantry(regular) Battalions, 4 Artys, and 1 AT. Support: Recon, AT, Field Hospital, Engineering, Signal Company.