guide to hoi4 no step back tanks. i made this for multiplayer. i will try to keep it updated, suggestions are encoraged!
tanks are powerful units in hearts of iron 4. they are not as good as they used to be, but with some tricks they can come a little close to their former greatness.
tank template from
by New Sheed
this is a good tank template :
- mechanized : they add an extra 25% hardness and 40 hp to your units. I think they are great.
- anti air : they stop close air support from completely slaughtering the tanks.
- flame tanks : reduces the penalty for tanks going into “harsh” terrain like forest and hills
- light tanks vs. armored car : armored cars cost less and have more recon, but light tanks give much-much better stat then armored cars, and still provide good recon.
why not heavies?
heavy tanks in this update have been reduced to relics of the past, bound by their crazy high production cost and no need to mount the heavy guns on the turret(heavy gun gives mostly hard attack) they become (in my opinion) useless. even if they try to make their armor impenetrable, the amount of tank destroyers in this template should pen them and kill them easily, at a more effective price.
Basics of the tank designer
the tank designer has 6 important common elements, consistent across all tanks.
- 1. speed : effects how fast tanks go, should be consistent across all of your templates. decide on a number and stick to it. recommended number : 8km/h same speed as mechanized, 6.4km/h same speed as cavalry.
- 2. reliability : you can keep at the back of your mind. tanks that have less reliability suffer extra casualty in combat due to attrition, they also gain back their organisation slower. but if you are planning to upgrade your tanks the first batch can have lower reliability because an unreliable tank is better then no tanks. if your main stay tank have low reliability, you might want to consider producing extra to compensate for more losses or changing them to have more reliability.
- 3. suspension : bogie suspension is best for everything besides breakthrough tank, because it cost the least. for breakthrough tanks use interleaved road wheels for even more breakthrough. if your tanks are slower than the decided speed with upgrades to the engine, switch to christie suspension. do not put interleaved road wheels on tank destroyers.
- 4. armor : riveted armor is best in my opinion. they provide just as much breakthrough as welded armor and gives the tank -20% production cost. i think they are worth it
- 5. engine : gasoline engine is best because it buffs speed, the only good stat that engine buffs.
- 6. upgrades : maximize armor upgrade while maintaining the decided speed. do not go over 9 because then it cost extra resources to produce.
Medium tank design
medium tanks are the battalion that provides the rest of the unit with breakthrough thus maximizing breakthrough is a key to success with a good medium tank design. any modules that are not providing breakthrough should be avoided like : sloped armor, squeeze bore adapter, etc.
there is 4 important modules for a medium tank design.
1. gun : pick the best medium cannon, they provides a good balance between hard and soft attack. high velocity gun 2 might be good, but most of the hard attack is going to be provided by the tank destroyer.
2. turret : pick 3 man turret, they give the best breakthrough bonus.
3. radio : pick the best radio you have, they give good breakthrough modifier.
4. modules : you start out with no stabilizers instead use for extra ammo storage untill you do, they give the 2nd best breakthrough.If you are planning not to use any stabilizers, smoke launchers, armor skirts and secondary turrets can be used to increase breakthrough without sacrificing too much reliability.
Tank destroyer design
tank destroyers are the battalion that provides the attack damage of tanks. to make a good tank destroyer design we need to increase its attack to the limit. because tank destroyer has -75% breakthrough, it is a bad idea to put any modules that provides breakthrough like : interleaved road wheels, radios, stabilizers, extra ammo storage on tank destroyers.
there is 4 important modules for a tank destroyer design.
1. gun : pick the best heavy cannon than advanced high velocity cannon, they give great hard attack.
2. turret : pick medium fixed super structure, so you can put the heavy canon.
3. secondary turret : add a secondary turret so we improve the attack even more.
4. machine guns : we can only add 2 secondary turret. instead add additional machine guns to increase attack by a bit more.
Flame tank design
flame tanks have -75 percent to most of its stats, it is not wort it to spend any production on it. this is how you make one as cheap as possible.
- suspension : don’t forget to use wheeled suspension they give -10% production cost. ignore the reliability, there are so few of them and they are so cheap it doesn’t even matter.
- DO NOT FORGET TO SET THEM TO FLAME TANK ROLE
you need to research engineer 2 and make a light flame tank template to add these to your units
Recon light tanks
if you can spare the production, recon light tanks are great at boosting your stats and making your tank template even better, for some sacrifice to recon. its a trade off to seriously consider.
- improved small cannon 15 soft attack+15 hard attack =30 total attack
- high velocity cannon 10 soft attack+26 hard attack = 36 total attack
- 30 total attack is more than 36 total attack
instead of just researching for tanks before nsb. now you have to research the part that are spread through in different tabs. here are the tabs that have important research on them
support tab is key to getting flame thrower for flame tanks. they are located in engineer 2.
- 1.engine upgrade : gives you the ability to upgrade the engine to 9, anymore is a waste of resources.
- 2.improved medium hull : it is the best balance between reliability and production cost. best tank hull in my opinion.
- 3. armour upgrade : gives you access to armour skirts, they give ok breakthrough without costing too much.
the artillery tab is where your tanks get their punch from here are the most important upgrades.
- 1. anti-tank upgrade : where medium cannons come from.
- 2. Improved anti-tank : gives you access to improved heavy cannons.
- 3. Improved anti-tank upgrade I : gives you improved medium cannons.
- 4. advanced anti-tank : gives you advanced high velocity cannon.
the engineering tab gives you access to 2 very important techs.
- 1. radar techs : gives you access to radar and their improved variant. they give a modifier instead of flat number of breakthrough.
- 2. improved computing : gives you stabilizers.
this section is talking about the in game tactic that the commander chooses, not tactics as how to play.
the best attacking tactic for tanks is breakthrough.it gives the most attacking modifier of 25%
the second best is blitz. it only gives 15% but it does counter delay so there’s that.
best defending tactic is guerrilla tactics. they give the enemy -70% attack but it also gives you -60% attack. but the important thing is it reduces your combat width and makes neat division people design to fit in the terrain not fit anymore, thus giving them debuffs.
there are only 2 doctrine in no step back that are any good when using tanks, mobile warfare and superior firepower.
in my opinion the best option for any tank nation. mobile warfare provides good breakthrough and let’s you use blitz and breakthrough tactic the earliest. this means you need to spend less xp overall for your doctrine. most of the good buffs are also located early in the tree compared to superior firepower.
- 1. armored spearhead : for the tank breakthrough stat buff and the blitz tactic
- 2. blitzkrieg: for the breakthrough tactic and organisation to tanks.
- 3. desperate defense or modern blitzkrieg : unlikely to get before the war starts, see what situation you are in and act accordingly.
- trolling. werwolf guerrillas : unlocks guerrilla tactics, best defending tactic in the game.
the other “viable” option for doctrine. it used to be meta before no step back comes out. superior firepower provides more attack, compared to mobile warfare. however it provides less breakthrough overall and takes longer to get to the good buffs. in that time you will lose to a mobile warfare build.
- 1. mechanized offensive : for armor breakthrough and the blitz tactic.
- 2. concentrated fire plan : for the 10% hard attack
- 3. combined arms : for the breakthrough tactic and +10% attack to tanks.
commanders are an important part of making a tank unit good. these are important traits for a general to command a tank effectively.
- adaptable : adaptable reduces the turrain penalty, making tanks more effective at attacking in forests and hills.
- panzer leader : to increase the attack for tanks , stacking modifiers and increasing attack exponentially
- improvisation expert : improv. expert gives +10% to land movement speed and also let you use the “makeshift bridges” ability.
one example “good” general
how to use tanks
tanks are a great unit to attack with, with a combination of high attack and breakthrough they thrash anything on the attack. however they are terrible on defense, a tank will (in most common situation) lose on the defense against other tanks.
tanks on the offensive
tanks have high attack, and with the bonus from planning and veterancy they gain an even higher modifier. if we to stack all these bonus the tanks attack would be very high, potentially above 1000 attack.
with tanks being terrible at holding gained ground, it might in some situation be beneficial to start out the battle by using a tank to attack without moving than move in infantry afterwards. like the video below:
note : to attack without moving press ctrl+alt+right click without a front line assigned to the unit.
tanks on the defensive
as mentioned before, tanks suck on the defense. to hold ground with tanks, have them sit behind the line. when holding infantry looses the battle, attack the units that just moved into the tile. demonstrated below:
this section is highly theoretical. you will not and cannot achive the maximum results shown.
attack modifiers in this game help each other reach a higher number. the more modifiers you stack the higher the number goes. here are some modifiers that increase attack:
- planning skill gives 2% per level, up to +20% max planning.
- thorough planer gives +10% to max planning.
- attack skill gives 2.5% per level, up to +25% attack bonus.
- panzer leader gives +16% to tank attack.
- calvary leader gives +12% to mechanized attack
- a field marshal gives half of their bonuses to the unit so if you have the theoretical best commanders your tanks would get a +59% attack bonus.
now time to bring it all together:
this is the theatrically highest modifier I can think of, but more realistic modifiers might look like this (recreated general from a real game)
we are done, thanks for reading and leave suggestions or questions in the comment below, so i can implement them into the guide, and make it the best it can be.
I hope you enjoy the Guide we share about Hearts of Iron IV – Tanks Strategy Guide and Tips; if you think we forget to add or we should add more information, please let us know via commenting below! See you soon!
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