Such were my sentiments, echoing those of Bismarck himself preceding the First World War, as I sat down to take the helm of the United Kingdom in Hearts of Iron IV. I was variously opposed or supported by some 20-odd players as we plunged into the upcoming grand strategy affair’s multiplayer mode, which seeks to model the turbulent years leading up to and culminating in the Second World War.
Bolstered though I was in my Allied cause by the likes of Paradox EVP of Game Development Johan Andersson as the United States and YouTuber Martin “Quill18” Glaude as France, I couldn’t help but recognize that our opponents were equally fearsome. At the head of the Axis was none other than fellow strategy fanatic Rob Zacny, looming behind the bustling factories of Germany. Any reasonable person would react to a statement like “Rob’s playing Germany” with an unjustified, day one declaration of pre-emptive war… but Hearts of Iron 4 doesn’t make it that simple.