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HoI4, and communities surrounding it, has its own jargon, including slang terms and acronyms.

Acronyms and initialisms[edit]

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

Anti-air - Can be used in multiple contexts
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
Armor, including light (LARM), medium (MARM), heavy (HARM), and super-heavy (SHARM) varieties
Anti-submarine warfare
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.
The common term in HoI4 for the smallest unit when designing a division.
Heavy Cruiser - Large sized cruiser, can fit multiple roles.
Carrier air group - The planes attached to an aircraft carrier
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
Aircraft carrier - Ship capable of transporting airplanes of three types: fighter, CAS or naval bomber.
Destroyer - Ship used in screening role and anti-submarine warfare.
Downloadable content - A package made available by Paradox that adds more game mechanics, music, and other features to the game. Compare with mod.
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!")
Field Marshall, 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.
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.
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, Paratroops, and Mountain Infantry) and from mounted infantry (Cavalry, motorized infantry, and mechanized infantry).
Software manager used by Paradox for bug reporting.
Mass Assault, one of the available land doctrines.
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.
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.
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 - Ideas that provide one or multiple effects to a limited number of countries.
Out of Sync - A notorious desynchronisation error that occurs in multiplayer, requires the game to be loaded again.
Overpowered or, on the forums, the original poster of a thread.
Peace Conference. A phase of the game that occurs when a country or all the countries in a faction have capitulated.
Political power - Point acquired over time and required for all political actions in the game.
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.
Rocket Artillery
Rest of the world - Generally refers to all areas outside Europe.
Soft attack - The Soft attack value of a division or other unit.
Spanish Civil War - An event that will always happen when starting in the 1936 scenario.
Superior Firepower, one of the available land doctrines.
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, and naval port strike missions
Tank destroyer - Designates armored vehicles with high hard attack and piercing values.
Two/three province minor - Term borrowed from EU4 to designate small countries in the game, consisting of only two or three States.
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.
World tension - Variable that serves to limit the involvement of democracies in ongoing events.
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.
  • 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.
  • Wardec: The act of declaring war / being declared war upon.

Country abbreviations[edit]

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.

  • AST: Australia
  • AUS: Austria
  • AUST: Australia
  • BEL: Belgium
  • CAN: Canada
  • ENG: United Kingdom
  • FIN: Finland
  • FRA: France
  • GER: Germany
  • HOL: Netherlands
  • HUN: Hungary
  • ITA: Italy
  • JAP: Japan
  • NED: Netherlands
  • POL: Poland
  • ROM: Romania
  • SAF: South Africa
  • SPA: Spain
  • SOV: Soviet Union or sometimes the Comintern faction.
  • SU: Soviet Union
  • YUG: Yugoslavia


  • 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: "The Emperor sniffed offendedly at the ambassador of Ulm, who stood resolutely defiant regardless of the withering glance directed at him, 'What do you mean that the Archbishop refuses to accede to my demands? You realize that I shall have to invoke my powers to have him removed as an Elector!' Yet the ambassador shocked the court with his retort, 'If that is the sort of tyranny Your Imperial Majesty wishes to promulgate upon his vassals, then perhaps it is time for another Prince to rule in his stead!' He further shocked the court with this revelation, 'Know this: that Bohemia stands with us. As does Saxony, and Bavaria, and Brandenburg and more! If you dare so much as move against our borders, the entire continent shall rise against you!' And yet, it was too late. For the regiments had already crossed the Ulm frontier. War, a great war indeed, was now inevitable."

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