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Each country has a national focus tree, representing a number of political, economic, diplomatic and research options available to that country. These trees allow the countries to chose the development direction of their nation.
The seven major countries have a unique national focus tree in the base game (Poland got a unique tree in a free DLC released with the game). Additional nations - as detailed below - received unique trees with time as part of themed DLCs. All other countries share the generic national focus tree.
- 1 National focus trees overview
- 2 Majors trees
- 3 British Commonwealth trees
- 4 Eastern Europe block trees
- 5 Minors trees
- 6 Generic tree
National focus trees overview
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.0.
Each country has a National Focus tree to direct its efforts. These trees include focuses covering various areas of the game: For example, France has a political tree focus to change political ideology to communism; all countries have economic focuses to build new dockyards or military or civilian factories; Germany has a diplomatic focus for the Anschluss with Austria; the UK has a focus to improve their research speed for radar.
Focuses serve as a replacement for the mixture of decisions and triggered events which directed countries in previous versions of Hearts of Iron. They also ensure that no two games will play out in precisely the same way.
The AI countries use their own National Focus trees to direct their actions. There is an option when starting a game to choose whether the AI will follow historic focuses. If historic focuses are chosen, then the game will largely follow the order of events building up to the Second World War. Disable historic focuses and there could be a much wider variation of events - for example, France might become a fascist country and join the Axis. Regardless of whether the AI uses historic focuses, players can largely shape the direction of their own country the way they want.
Only one focus can be taken at a time. Each focus costs 1 point of Political Power (PP) per day. A Focus usually takes 70 days to complete, so generally costs 70 PP. If a focus is not taken, the PP saved can be used for other purposes including diplomacy and Government changes. An alert appears at the top of the screen if no focus is active. If a focus is chosen within 10 days, it is treated as having started when the last one ended. If later, it starts when selected.
The National Focus trees consist of a number of branches. Generally, the branches consist of a number of similar focuses. The player must start at the top of a branch and work down the tree. Each available focus has its name on a grey background. Those completed have a gold background. Those not yet available have a brown background.The top level focuses don't have any prerequisites, but those below do. The lines joining each focus on the screen indicate the prerequisites, and the tooltip for each focus also states the conditions to start that focus.
Some focuses have requirements relating to conditions outside of the National Focus tree. For example, the German Reich can only choose the focus Anschluss if the German Reich has built their armed forces to the point that they use at least 550K manpower. The focus only starts when these requirements are met, and it pauses while manpower used falls below 550K. Some other focuses will be abandoned if the circumstances change during the 70 days so that the requirements are no longer met.
Check the tooltip before starting a focus to be sure what will happen. The player can't manually stop or replace a focus once started. If abandoned, the time and PP already used are lost.
Some focuses no longer make sense later in the game, because things have happened which have changed the expected course of history. In that situation it may be possible to by-pass a focus and continue down the branch to the next focus - the tooltip will say if this is the case. For example, if Austria no longer exists, Germany may be able to by-pass the Anschluss focus and still continue on to Demand Sudetenland and after.
Some focuses can be reached by more than one route by following more than one branch. The lines linking to prerequisite focuses are dotted if only one is needed, solid if both are needed.
Some branches give a mutually exclusive choice between two focuses at the same level in a branch. These choices are shown by a double-headed arrow with a red exclamation mark between the two focuses. Only one of the two may be chosen. For example, Germany has a mutually exclusive choice between Befriend China and Befriend Japan - only one of these can be chosen, and then the other choice is excluded and further focuses depending on that excluded focus also become unavailable. These choices should be considered carefully as they can fundamentally change the direction of the country.
A number of focuses construct buildings within some states or provinces. For example, all of the National Focus trees have focuses to build more factories in some states without requiring civilian factories to build them. The states which are chosen are semi-random and listed on the tooltip. These are always owned states, and in some cases are chosen only from the home area where the capital is located. They are not built in enemy-occupied states. Each comes with its own added building slot so it does not affect the building slots otherwise available. The buildings are ready to use when the focus completes. In this way, the focuses can increase significantly the number of slots in some states, but states with type tiny island, wasteland or enclave (default zero slots) are never chosen by a focus.
- Main article: French national focus tree
The French national focus tree can be divided into 4 branches:
- Industrial branch
- This branch offers the possibility to develop Metropolitan France and the overseas region, as well as two more research slots.
- Defensive and aggressive branch
- These branches are mutually exclusive. They end with the shard focus Army Reform which removes the starting national spirit Victors of the Great War. (This focus can only be taken after removing Disjointed Government via the government reform branch.)
- Government Reform branch
- This branch contains of various diplomatic focuses and focuses to change the ideology of the government. All possible mutually exclusive branches contain a focus to remove the crippling Disjointed Government national spirit.
- Navy and air force branch
- This branch includes focuses which grant experience and research boni to improve in these domains.
- Main article: German national focus tree
As one of the seven Major powers, German Reich has a unique National Focus tree. The National Focus tree includes both historical and counterfactual options for the player, and the AI is strongly weighted to follow the historical path when playing a "Historical Focus" game. Notable alliance opportunities are with the USSR, Poland, and the Scandinavian countries. Most of the Focuses for Germany are ultimatums for states/provinces, which may result in: acquiring territory, acquiring a war goal to obtain territory, or immediate war. The additional research tech is quite deep, requiring Industrial Effort II, Air Innovations II, and then Rocketry (among others). An Extra Research Slot becomes available should Rocketry be completed.
Should the German Reich pursue the Anschluss, the German National Focus tree provides levers for reordering Central and Northern Europe. The German Reich may make peace with or make territorial demands of Czechoslovakia, Lithuania and Poland, Yugoslavia and Greece, and Scandinavia. The possible levers reach from Norway and Denmark in the north to the Soviet Union in east, around through Turkey, Greece, Italy and Spain in the south, around up through France to the low countries.
Whether controlled by the player or the AI, Germany will be dictating the course of many events in Hearts of Iron IV.
- Main article: Italian national focus tree
Italy has an interesting National Focus tree with five different entry points.
- Ethiopian War Logistics
- A smaller tree which focuses on industrial build up.
- Army Primacy
- Strengthens your army research.
- Mare Nostrum
- The big naval strengthening tree.
- Light Ship Focus
- Destroyer & Submarine benefits.
- Triumph in Africa
- The big political and diplomatic tree, where you have lots of different choices on who to befriend and conquer.
- Main article: Japanese national focus tree
As one of the seven Majors, Japan has a unique National Focus tree.
- Main article: Soviet national focus tree
The Soviet focus tree includes four different trees.
- Finish the Five Year Plan focuses on development of infrastructure and factories
- Stalin Constitution focuses on manpower and research
- Found the PCDI is the main diplomatic tree that focuses on international relations
- Permanent Revolution / The Great Purge focuses on internal restructuring to unlock the full power of the Soviet Union.
- Main article: British national focus tree
The main areas of focus are: Limited Rearmament, Reinforce the Empire, and Home Defense. There is a Cryptologic Bomb focus but it's on a limited line connected to Limited Rearmament.
- Main article: American national focus tree
As one of the seven major powers, USA has a unique national focus tree, with both historical and alternative branches. The USA has an interesting focus tree with 5 different paths to progress down.
British Commonwealth trees
|Available only with the Together for Victory DLC enabled.|
- Main article: Australian national focus tree
Australia, along with other nations of the British commonwealth, got a unique national focus tree (part of the Together for Victory expansion). Without the expansion Australia utilizes the Generic national focus tree.
Australia's unique focus tree has branches rooted in both history and alt-history:
- Additional Militia Training
- Focuses on providing research bonuses for Land Doctrines, Infantry equipment, Support Companies and Armour.
- Expand the RAAF
- Focuses on improving the Air Force, including research bonuses for aircraft and air doctrines.
- Cockatoo Island Shipyards
- Looks to upgrade the Australian Navy, focusing on ship and naval doctrine bonuses.
- Standard Gauge Railway / Industries Assistance Corporation
- Form a joint tree focusing on improving infrastructure and industrial capacity.
- Establish Advisory War Council
- Acts as a domestic politics tree, providing means to lift the country out of the Great Depression, and additional research slots.
- Support the Policy of Appeasement
- Keeps Australia within the Allies, providing access to Commonwealth technology sharing bonuses.
- Never Another Gallipoli
- Causes Australia to leave the Allies, giving further options to remain a Democracy, or to realign with either Fascist or Communist ideologies.
- Main article: British Raj national focus tree
British Raj, along with other nations of the British commonwealth, got a unique national focus tree (part of the Together for Victory expansion). Without the expansion the British Raj utilizes the Generic national focus tree.
- Main article: Canadian national focus tree
Canada, along with other nations of the British commonwealth, got a unique national focus tree (part of the Together for Victory expansion). Without the expansion Canada utilizes the Generic national focus tree.
Canada's unique focus tree has six main branches:
- Industrial and Internal Politics
- A large interwoven tree that serves to increase industrial capacity, resource availability and to lift the country out of the Great Depression. This first part of the tree is the most powerful, but most of it is locked behind War Bonds and Defense Regulations, which respectively require war and some world tension. These focuses should be picked as they become available to start the industrial expansion. An other key focus is Commit to War, which is necessary for any conscription law above Volunteers and mitigates the Great Depression penalties. Finally, the Canadian must choose between Send In the Zombies to significantly increase their manpower pool, or National Steel Car to unlock their full industrial potential.
- Army Modernization
- The ground forces branch. Focuses on research bonuses for infantry, armor, artillery and support divisions. Requires Send In the Zombies from the industrial tree for the last focus tiers.
- Strengthen the Commonwealth Ties
- The historical path. Keeps Canada within the Allies, providing bonuses to Commonwealth technology sharing and other buffs to industry and resources.
- Canada severs ties with the United Kingdom, thereby allowing allowing Canada to leave the Allies. The first, democratic branch builds an alliance with the United States, the others are the fascist and communist paths. A notable option in the fascist branch is to bring Mexico over to fascism and mount a two-pronged invasion against the United States.
- RCAF Station Borden
- Provides bonuses to RADAR, aircraft and air doctrine research.
- Halifax Shipyards
- Focuses on the Canadian Navy, giving bonuses to ship model and naval doctrine research.
- Main article: South African national focus tree
South Africa, along with other nations of the British commonwealth, got a unique national focus tree (part of the Together for Victory expansion). Without the expansion South Africa utilizes the Generic national focus tree.
South Africa's unique focus tree has six main branches:
- War Measures Act
- South Africa makes war preparation, mustering it's industrial capacity as well as constructing strategic defensive forts. The first focus of the branch requires more than 20% world tension OR an authoritarian government. The final focuses of this branch alleviate the boon suffered by ‘ History of Segregation ’ , bolstering it's army reserves available for muster.
- Support the Policy of Appeasement
- The democratic path, this branch reinforces cooperation with the rest of the Commonwealth. Secure Interests in Africa, the final focus, can create Kenya and Zimbabwe as South African puppet states if the United Kingdom agree to transfer its faraway possessions.
- Support the Afrikaner Broederbond
- The fascist path. This branch opens the possibility to switch to fascism immediately by starting a civil war, as can be done as the British Raj. The player can go for greater cooperation with Germany, which comes with substential benefits, or start a faction of its own. In either case, former British king Edward VIII can be selected as the head of state.
- Empower the Workers
- The communist path. One branch aligns South Africa with the Soviet Union. The other is the most unique of the focus tree, Anti-Colonialist Crusade: South Africa declares war on the colonial powers to liberate all of Africa from their rule.
- Provides bonuses to weapons, artillery and land doctrine research.
- Provides bonuses to aircraft and air doctrine research.
- Focuses on the Navy, giving bonuses to ship models and naval doctrine research.
- Main article: New Zealand national focus tree
New Zealand, along with other nations of the British commonwealth, got a unique national focus tree (part of the Together for Victory expansion). Without the expansion New Zealand utilizes the Generic national focus tree.
New Zealand's unique focus tree has five main branches:
- The First Labour Government acts as the political tree, providing both a means to deal with internal issues, and mutually exclusive branches on whether to remain within the Commonwealth, or to push for Independence as a Democratic, Fascist or Communist country.
- Transfer the New Zealand Division focuses on developing a navy through construction of dockyards and bonuses to ship and naval doctrine research.
- Expand the NZPAF provides bonuses to aircraft and air doctrine research.
- National Roads Board acts as the industrial tree, buffing industrial capacity, resource extraction and research slots.
- Army Reforms focuses on bonuses for Infantry, Armour and Artillery, and construction of military industry capacity.
Eastern Europe block trees
|Available only with the Death or Dishonor DLC enabled.|
- Main article: Czechoslovakian national focus tree
Czechoslovakia, along with other nations situated between Germany and the Soviet Union, got a unique national focus tree (part of the Death or Dishonor expansion). Without the expansion Czechoslovakia utilizes the Generic national focus tree.
- Main article: Hungarian national focus tree
Hungary, along with other nations situated between Germany and the Soviet Union, got a unique national focus tree (part of the Death or Dishonor expansion). Without the expansion Hungary utilizes the Generic national focus tree.
- Main article: Romanian national focus tree
Romania, along with other nations situated between Germany and the Soviet Union, got a unique national focus tree (part of the Death or Dishonor expansion). Without the expansion Romania utilizes the Generic national focus tree.
- Main article: Yugoslavian national focus tree
Yugoslavia, along with other nations situated between Germany and the Soviet Union, got a unique national focus tree (part of the Death or Dishonor expansion). Without the expansion Yugoslavia utilizes the Generic national focus tree.
- Main article: Polish national focus tree
The Polish national focus tree can be divided into 5 branches:
- Central Region Strategy - The Four Year Plan
- This branch offers the possibility to develop the nation's infrastructure and factories as well as enabling up to two additional research slots.
- Prepare For The Next War
- This branch has options to keep pace/modernize the Polish ground forces with/ahead of it's neighbors.
- Air Base Expansion
- This branch includes focuses which grants several research boni to improve. First focus of the branch instantly expands state Capitol's airport capacity (Danzig).
- Develop Polish Ship Building
- This branch includes focuses which grants several research boni that could potentially specialize or widen the range of ships available for service soon. Includes research bonus for naval doctrine advancements.
- Strengthen The Polish State
- This branch contains various diplomatic focuses and focuses to change the ideology of the government. This branch has mutually exclusive choices that enables the player to forge an alliance or create one of its own.
- Main article: Generic national focus tree
All nations without a unique national focus tree use the generic national focus tree.