This is the third in a series of reviews looking at the evolution of Hearts of Iron IV. See the previous reviews here:
Hearts of Iron IV: Heart of Production
Together For Victory: Commonwealth of Iron

After Together for Victory, the HoI IV team moved on to a second country pack, this time concentrating on Eastern Europe. Death or Dishonor was announced on April 26, 2017, and released alongside patch 1.4 on June 14. As of May 2024, it has been integrated into the base game, and is no longer a separate expansion, but this review discusses what it and the patch did for the game.

Air War

The interface and controls for air wings had been immediately tagged as a place that needed work in the game, and the results of the initial changes finally showed up in this patch. It didn’t really change how things worked, but did help with understanding it.

The most important change was displaying ranges on the map. Selecting an air wing generates a fuzzy yellow/green circle on the map to show the range of the aircraft in the wing. This helps with understanding just where they can reach and what zones are possible to cover from the base. Radar got the same treatment, making the intelligent placement of stations a lot easier. Also, a lot of air zones were split up into smaller sections (meaning new ones were split off), making localized air superiority easier to achieve.

And the air wing interface itself was massively changed. It was cut down to essentials and is easier to manage, though I think there are still problems, with over-fiddly controls to assign a number of planes to a particular unit.

Focus Trees

As a country pack, the main element of the expansion is detailing, with new focus trees, events, and national spirits, four more nations. Surprisingly, two of them were countries whose history was cut short in this period: Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. The other two were the main “Axis minors” of WWII: Hungary and Romania. Seeing it in the light of filling out the Axis countries, it is surprising that Bulgaria and Finland don’t get included in the set. (Bulgaria would get detailed in Battle for the Bosporus, while Finland wouldn’t get its turn until the recent Arms Against Tyranny expansion).

Romania starts with twelve technologies, including motorized units, lots of oil, but hardly any other resources. With thirteen civilian, plus seven military factories, and two dockyards, there’s enough to supply an already large army (33 divisions, many of which have decent pre-war templates), but not much past that. The two starting national spirits keep Romania neutral, and fire off a number of bad events representing Carol II’s dissipated lifestyle. However, there’s also a lot of political flexibility to be found, with a focus tree where working with one major faction is not mutually exclusive with the others.

Hungary starts with the Treaty of Triannon national spirit which severely curtails the military. Sixteen divisions isn’t a bad army for Hungary’s size, but there’s only 52 men left to recruit at the start, so it literally cannot be expanded any further until something is done about that, and taking any casualties would empty the pool immediately. Ten civilian and six military factories will help with equipment deficits, but industrializing further will be a challenge, though there is plenty of aluminum to trade. Sadly, any resource bonuses are somewhat deep in the industrialization tree and there’s barely anything other than aluminum to start, though extra buildings and the first research slot (of three) are easier to access. There are some routes to expansion, but they are difficult at best.

Czechoslovakia has Divided Nation which lowers unity and available recruits, but also has Skoda Works for extra factory output. There are 16 civilian and 9 military factories, with 11 slots available. 22 divisions are a pretty good military, though they’re a bit basic (no artillery or other support other than recon companies for the cavalry), and there’s only 184 men to recruit at start (with about as many becoming available each month). The country has a little of everything except aluminum and rubber, but will need a lot more as the industry ramps up. It seems a perfect candidate for the arms sales allowed with the later Arms Against Tyranny expansion (in fact, the excellent for its day LT vz. 38—Panzer 38(t)—was originally designed for export).

Yugoslavia starts with five national spirits, which mostly outline the internal stresses of a country that seems to be trying to be a ‘greater Serbia’, and decrease unity to 30%, increase most political power costs, slow down production, and increase the cost of new leaders. However, planning gets a boost, and other countries trying to align it to their ideology have a tougher time (this last is there even without the expansion). Manpower is low, but not at the absurd levels of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, while 22 active divisions make the start of a decent army. The starting infantry template is good, but the existing armor template is merely one light tank battalion with a leg infantry regiment (“penny packets” comes to mind). However, fourteen civilian factories, plus three military, and one dockyard mean the military will struggle to equip itself, much less expand. There is lots of aluminum and chromium available at start, and the industrialization tree will add oil, tungsten, and steel, along with expanding industry and research slots.


It has been possible to send equipment (lend-lease) or units (“volunteers”) to other countries. Now, the expansion allows you to license the production of equipment to another country. This was a fairly common thing in the period (the famous Bofors AA gun was used extensively, but developed by Sweden, which didn’t participate in WWII). This generally requires good relations, but the fascist puppets (below) generally have an easy time requesting licenses, and some focus trees (Romania’s especially) will provide licenses.

The cost of not developing the equivalent equipment yourself is that production will not be as efficient, particularly if it is a very recent technology. Also, the license itself costs civilian factories (which go to the licensing nation, just like resource trading), and creating your own variants is twice as expensive in experience. However, the license also grants a boost to researching the technology yourself so you can get off the licensed version.

Another help to production is that the expansion lets you convert equipment. This can be upgrading equipment to newer variants, or to related separate types, like converting tanks to tank destroyers or self-propelled artillery of the same general type. This can’t be done ‘in the field’, but only works on equipment sitting in storage, but will run faster, and consume fewer resources than building from scratch. This provides a great way to use older equipment; develop a new tank type, start building them, and then develop the TD and SPA versions of the old tank, and start converting them as the new tanks take over front-line duty.

To go along with this, the expansion also featured two new technology nodes on the industry screen, which branch off of the 1937 Improved Machine Tools (efficiency cap bonus), and grant a bonus to the speed of converting equipment.

Overall, these are really nice bonuses to equipment production, and is the central reason to look at this expansion. Sadly, conversion isn’t quite as friendly as this in real life, and there should probably be a reliability hit to the results of many of the cross-type conversions. However, it could be seen as just consuming spare parts and re-using tooling for the old types too, and the build up of older equipment types is a problem that needed addressing.


The puppet system was re-done again for this expansion. The British states still use the system from TFV (assuming you have it) and so will other powers, but now fascist puppets use their own variation. The general idea is that it is harder to get from under the thumb of your master as a fascist satellite, but you do get free equipment licenses from the master country, which can be a big help.

There’s only three levels of (non-)independence for Axis puppet regimes, but each one needs more autonomy, so going up and down the scale takes longer. Unlike the Commonwealth version, these will mostly only come about in play. Japan is considered fascist, so Manchuko and Mengkukuo will be reichskommisariats (the lowest level of independence in this system) if you have this expansion, and Slovakia also starts the 1939 scenario as a reichskommisariat of Germany.

Since the actual names of any puppet states will be determined by who actually holds them, those will still be appropriate and the naming is not a big deal, but it still appears in the relationships and the solidly Germanic names can be a sore thumb there.


The central question of any country pack is ‘am I interested enough in the countries involved to get this?’ In general, I think central Europe is an essential area to detail, and it gets the two most prominent Axis minors in the process. On the other hand, I think Finland deserved attention sooner rather than later, and I consider it a missed opportunity here.

The new puppet types aren’t nearly as interesting the second time around, though making fascist puppets work differently than democratic ones makes sense. The various miscellaneous improvements for the patch don’t look like much, but the AI certainly got better, and the air war is easier to manage.

Outside of wanting to try out Czechoslovakia or the like, the new equipment abilities are a good draw. They’re not needed, but made this a good package and I’m glad to see everyone has access to that now.