Command structure

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Overview of HQ levels

The Command Structure makes it easier for players to manage their various fronts. This structure is partly in place to make AI control over player specified units very manageable by the player. It also reflects a greater level of historical accuracy and allows for added realism and strategic planning. The purpose of this page is to describe how the system works. See the Command organization strategy page for strategic advice on how to best use a command structure.

Leaders[edit]

Leaders play a critical role in the command structure of an army. Leader skill levels, and their possible leader traits, have the following effects:

Skill levels[edit]

Every leader in the game has a skill level. The effect of the leader skill level is a function of where the leader is in the command hierarchy:

  • Theater: Reduce stacking penalty by 1% per leader skill level.
  • Army Group: Decrease supply consumption by 5% per leader skill level.
  • Army: Increase organization by 1% per leader skill level.
  • Corps: Improve chance of a reserve division entering combat.
  • Division: Increase combat efficiency by 5% per leader skill level.
  • Note that if you skip a command level, the skill level effect does not change. For example if you skip the Corps level and assign divisions directly to an Army HQ, you lose the chance of a reserve division entering combat.

Modifiers to Trait Effects[edit]

Generals can have distinct traits that offer various benefits on the units he commands, yet each effect is modified by the general's position in the command hierarchy. Traits cascade down the chain of command and are halved at each HQ level:

  • Division: 100% effect
  • Corps: 50% effect
  • Army: 25% effect
  • Army Group: 12.5% effect
  • Theater: 6.25% effect
  • Note that if you skip an HQ by for example assigning divisions to an Army, then the Army replaces the Corps effect for the trait [it's at 50%].

This means that, for example, at the divisional level the trait modifier is granted 100% to all brigades in that division. While this may seem to be the best scenario, this effect is only applied to a limited number of divisions. Meanwhile, while the Army bonus is lower, it could be passed onto 25 divisions. If a Division commander, Corps commander, Army commander, Army group commander and Theater commander all have the Offensive Doctrine trait, it gives the division a combat modifier of 10% + 5% + 2.5% + 1.25% + 0.625% = 19.375%, when attacking. Clearly, the effectiveness of traits at the Theater and Army Group level are severely diminished.

Exception[edit]

This assumes that you are using the standard Command hierarchy of Division => Corps => Army => Army Group => Theatre. If instead you are using a modified command hierarchy (practical, for example, with small national armies), such as Divisions attached directly to Army (omitting the Corps level), or Corps attached directly to Army Group (omitting the Army level), then the Trait bonus will be halved once per HQ in the command chain, regardless of that HQ's formal position in the Hierarchy.

Example: with Division attached to Corps attached to Army Group attached to Theatre (omitting any Army HQ entirely), the Division commander gives full Trait bonus, Corps commander gives 50% Trait bonus, the Army Group commander gives 25% Trait bonus (as if it were Army), and the Theatre commander gives 12.5% Trait bonus (as if it were Army Group).

Land traits[edit]

Exclusive starting traits[edit]

  • Commando: Decreases the negative effect of being out of supply by 20%
  • Defensive Doctrine: Gives a 10% combat modifier when defending
  • Engineer: Gives a 10% combat modifier to attacks across rivers
  • Logistics Wizard: Troops under a leader with Logistics wizard trait consume 25% less supplies (Quick Questions Quick Answers post #5625)
  • Old Guard: Leaders with Old Guard trait gain experience 50% slower (effects do not trickle down to lower units in the hierarchy)
  • Offensive Doctrine: Gives a 10% combat modifier when attacking
  • Trickster: This trait gives a 10% higher chance of a surprise combat event (effects do not trickle down to lower units in the hierarchy). This can only occur against units that are not dug-in.

Learnable traits[edit]

  • Battle Master: Increases the combined arms bonus 10%
  • Desert Fox: Gives a 10% combat and speed modifier while fighting in deserts
  • Fortress Buster: Gives a 10% combat modifier to attacks against fortified provinces
  • Hill Fighter: Gives a 10% combat and speed modifier while fighting in hills
  • Jungle Rat: Gives a 10% combat and speed modifier while fighting in jungles
  • Mountaineer: Gives a 10% combat and speed modifier while fighting in mountains
  • Ranger: Gives a 10% combat and speed modifier while fighting in woods and forests
  • Swamp Fox: Gives a 10% combat and speed modifier while fighting in swamps
  • Urban Assault Specialist: Gives a 10% combat and speed modifier while fighting in urban areas
  • Winter Specialist: Reduces attrition in frozen and snow by 50%

Naval traits[edit]

Exclusive starting traits[edit]

  • Blockade Runner: Makes it easier for your ships to disengage combat (e.g. allows for quicker retreats in naval combat)
  • Old Guard: Leaders with Old Guard trait gain experience 50% slower
  • Spotter: Increases the chance of spotting enemy fleets by 10%

Learnable traits[edit]

  • Seawolf: Gives a 20% combat modifier to submarines
  • Superior Tactician: Provides a spread out bonus of 10%. This increases the range for naval ships to engage in combat.

Air traits[edit]

Exclusive starting traits[edit]

  • Night Flyer: Gives a 10% combat modifier to air-to-air attacks
  • Old Guard: Leaders with Old Guard trait gain experience 50% slower

Learnable traits[edit]

  • Carpet Bomber: Gives a 10% combat modifier to strategic bombing
  • Fleet Destroyer: Gives a 10% combat modifier to naval bombing
  • Tank Buster: Reduces the defending divisions softness by 20%
  • Superior Air Tactician: Gives a 10% combat modifier for ground attacks and interdiction

Army Organization[edit]

Theater[edit]

German Theater HQ

The highest HQ unit is the Theater HQ (xxxxxx on the counter, or 6 stars in the sprite), used to define a strategic area of command within national borders.

AI operation: The AI at this level will take care of all its theater area (as shown in the Theater Map Mode). It will defend important victory point provinces, ports and fronts. It will also defend the coast and send ships in convoy raiding missions. If given the Blitzing stance it might weaken one front to pursue its objective, possibly resulting in an invasion. When defending, setting objectives in enemy territory means the AI will try to defend those borders, when setting on your own territory it will allow itself space to retreat. The AI will not transfer forces between theaters.

Group[edit]

German Group HQ

The Army Group HQ (xxxxx, or 5 stars), used to divide the strategic theater into broad areas of command.

AI operation: Setting AI control at this level is useful for maintaining a part of the front on the defensive, for example, while the other army groups may be used offensively by the player. E.g.: The German invasion on France, using one army group to defend against the Maginot Line while the other invades the low countries.

Army[edit]

German Group HQ

The Army HQ(xxxx, 4 stars) usually controls two to five corps, and can be used to take multiple strategic objectives.

AI operation: The Army HQ is the intermediate level of command for the AI, and is where we begin to notice the differences between stances and axis of attacks more clearly. Through good use of the Army HQ it is possible to deliver efficient Breakthroughs. Considering a front consisting of 3 Army HQs, set objectives to the 3 straight behind enemy lines, and parallel axis of attack. By setting the middle one to the Blitzing stance it will advance disregarding its flanks, pressing forward, while the other two (attacking stance) will pin their enemies down.

Corps[edit]

German Group HQ

The Corps HQ (xxx, 3 stars) is used for bringing together several divisions that will be used in conjunction with each other. Corps typically handle a geographic region, acting as highly localized groups dedicated to a few provinces. As a result, corps are generally used for a single objective.

Divisions & Brigades[edit]

Divisions (xx, 2 stars) are the last unit of the command hierarchy, and are composed of Brigades (x, 1 star). By default, divisions can have four brigades, but this can be increased to five with the Superior Firepower tech advance. Single Brigades can not have a leader, you need at least a Division with a minimum of 2 Brigades to install a commander.

AI operation: Divisions and Brigades cannot be individually set to AI control.

Air & Naval units[edit]

Naval and Air units can be placed under corps command for maximum bonuses for the player. When under AI control, these units should be placed under the Theater HQ for AI efficiency.

Also note, that the leader benefits vanish when you do not have an appropriate leader for your stack size, which is 4/8/12/16 for air units and 6/12/18/30 for naval units. Since the air stacking penalty is huge (10% for every aircraft after the first), you will actually never want a stack of more than four planes and thus never have to promote an air leader beyond the basic rank. The situation is different though for naval leaders, since some fleets tend to be bigger than the basic size of six due to the smaller stacking penalty.

Radio Command[edit]

Base communication distances for your troops to receive bonuses from the command hierarchy:

  • Corps 200 km
  • Army 400 km
  • Army Group 600 km
  • Theater Commander 2000 km

Leaders by country[edit]

Leaders by trait[edit]

Leaders with skill 5[edit]

Name Type Country Skill Max Skill Traits Start Date End Date
Konev land Soviet Union 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
Alanbrooke land United Kingdom 5 9 Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1946.1.1
Alexander land United Kingdom 5 9 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1946.1.1
Yamashita land Japan 5 9 Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Engineer 1930.1.1 1990.1.1
Ozawa sea Japan 5 8 Blockade Runner, Superior Tactician 1930.1.1 1990.1.1
Yamamoto I. sea Japan 5 7 Superior Tactician, Spotter 1930.1.1 1990.1.1
Auchinleck land United Kingdom 5 8 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1947.1.1
Zhukov G.K. land Soviet Union 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Winter Specialist, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
Slim land United Kingdom 5 8 Logistics Wizard, Trickster 1939.1.1
Cunningham A.B. sea United Kingdom 5 9 Blockade Runner, Superior Tactician 1930.1.1 1946.1.1
Fraser sea United Kingdom 5 7 1939.1.1
Sommerville sea United Kingdom 5 9 Superior Tactician 1930.1.1 1947.1.1
Harris air United Kingdom 5 9 Carpet Bomber, Night Flyer 1939.1.1 1947.1.1
Portal air United Kingdom 5 7 Carpet Bomber, Night Flyer 1937.1.1 1946.1.1
Tedder air United Kingdom 5 9 Carpet Bomber, Night Flyer 1930.1.1
Kluge land Germany 5 8 1942.1.1
Model land Germany 5 9 Defensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader 1938.1.1
Rommel land Germany 5 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Panzer Leader 1939.1.1
Estigarribia land Paraguay 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster 1930.1.1 1941.1.1
von Kluge land Germany 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Winter Specialist 1930.1.1
von Manstein land Germany 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Fortress Buster, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1
von Rundstedt land Germany 5 8 Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1
Dönitz sea Germany 5 9 Seawolf 1939.1.1
Bülowius air FRG 5 8 Tank Buster 1937.1.1
Kammhuber air FRG 5 7 Night Flyer 1936.1.1
Vo Nguyen Giap land Indochina 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster 1930.1.1
Bradley O.N. land USA 5 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Engineer 1941.1.1 1970.1.1
Eisenhower land USA 5 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine 1940.1.1 1970.1.1
Patton land USA 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
King sea USA 5 9 Blockade Runner, Superior Tactician 1930.1.1 1945.1.1
Nimitz sea USA 5 9 Superior Tactician, Spotter 1930.1.1 1947.1.1
Lin Biao land Communist China 5 8 Defensive Doctrine, Trickster 1938.1.1 1970.1.1
Guderian land Germany 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1

Leaders with max skill 9 or 10[edit]

Name Type Country Skill Max Skill Traits Start Date End Date
Khrulev land Soviet Union 3 9 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
Konev land Soviet Union 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
Alanbrooke land United Kingdom 5 9 Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1946.1.1
Alexander land United Kingdom 5 9 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1946.1.1
Yamashita land Japan 5 9 Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Engineer 1930.1.1 1990.1.1
Genda air Japan 4 9 Superior Air Tactician, Fleet Destroyer 1943.1.1 1990.1.1
Ozawa air Japan 4 9 Superior Air Tactician, Spotter, Fleet Destroyer 1930.1.1 1990.1.1
Rokossovsky land Soviet Union 4 9 Offensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader 1940.1.1 1970.1.1
Vassilevskij land Soviet Union 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
Vatutin land Soviet Union 3 9 1938.1.1 1944.1.1
Vlassov land Soviet Union 3 9 Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1937.1.1 1943.1.1
Zhukov G.K. land Soviet Union 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Winter Specialist, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
Papanin sea Soviet Union 3 9 Blockade Runner 1938.1.1 1970.1.1
Smuschkevich air Soviet Union 2 9 Tank Buster 1930.1.1 1943.1.1
Montgomery land United Kingdom 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Fortress Buster 1938.1.1 1955.1.1
Wavell land United Kingdom 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1947.1.1
Cunningham A.B. sea United Kingdom 5 9 Blockade Runner, Superior Tactician 1930.1.1 1946.1.1
Cunningham J.H.D. sea United Kingdom 4 9 1930.1.1
Sommerville sea United Kingdom 5 9 Superior Tactician 1930.1.1 1947.1.1
Tovey sea United Kingdom 4 9 Superior Tactician 1930.1.1
Dowding air United Kingdom 3 9 Superior Air Tactician 1930.1.1 1942.1.1
Harris air United Kingdom 5 9 Carpet Bomber, Night Flyer 1939.1.1 1947.1.1
Leigh-Mallory air United Kingdom 4 9 Superior Air Tactician, Night Flyer 1938.1.1 1945.1.1
Sholto-Douglas air United Kingdom 4 9 1938.1.1
Tedder air United Kingdom 5 9 Carpet Bomber, Night Flyer 1930.1.1
Kesselring land Germany 4 9 Defensive Doctrine 1930.1.1
Blaskowitz land Germany 3 9 Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1
Model land Germany 5 9 Defensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader 1938.1.1
Rommel land Germany 5 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Panzer Leader 1939.1.1
Estigarribia land Paraguay 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster 1930.1.1 1941.1.1
von Arnim land Germany 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Panzer Leader 1938.1.1
von Bock land Germany 4 9 Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1
von Both land Germany 2 9 Offensive Doctrine 1937.1.1
von Brauchitsch land Germany 4 9 Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1
von Kleist land Germany 4 9 Offensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1 1945.1.1
von Kluge land Germany 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Winter Specialist 1930.1.1
von Küchler land Germany 4 9 Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1
von Manstein land Germany 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Fortress Buster, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1
von Richthofen air Nationalist Spain 3 9 Superior Air Tactician, Carpet Bomber 1930.1.1
von Sperrle air Nationalist Spain 3 9 Tank Buster, Carpet Bomber 1930.1.1
Bärenfänger land Germany 2 9 Offensive Doctrine, Winter Specialist 1943.1.1
von Weichs land Germany 4 9 1930.1.1
von Witzleben land Germany 4 9 Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1
Dönitz sea Germany 5 9 Seawolf 1939.1.1
Raeder sea Germany 4 9 Superior Tactician 1930.1.1
Kesselring air Germany 4 9 Tank Buster 1930.1.1 1943.1.1
Broz Tito land Yugoslavia 3 9 Trickster 1930.1.1
Rudel air Germany 3 9 Superior Air Tactician, Tank Buster 1945.1.1
Sperrle air Germany 4 9 Tank Buster, Carpet Bomber 1930.1.1
von Pohl air Germany 3 9 1939.1.1
von Richthofen air Germany 4 9 Superior Air Tactician, Carpet Bomber 1938.1.1 1945.1.1
Dietl land Germany 4 9 Winter Specialist, Commando 1938.1.1
Hausser land Germany 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1
Slim land India 4 10 Logistics Wizard, Trickster 1939.1.1
Vo Nguyen Giap land Indochina 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster 1930.1.1
Phleps land Germany 3 9 Offensive Doctrine 1941.1.1
Bradley O.N. land USA 5 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Engineer 1941.1.1 1970.1.1
Clark land USA 4 9 Offensive Doctrine 1941.1.1 1970.1.1
Eisenhower land USA 5 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine 1940.1.1 1970.1.1
Hodges land USA 4 9 Offensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
MacArthur land USA 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
Marshall land USA 4 9 Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1947.1.1
Patton land USA 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
Stillwell land USA 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Trickster 1930.1.1 1946.1.1
Halsey sea USA 4 9 Superior Tactician, Spotter 1938.1.1 1947.1.1
King sea USA 5 9 Blockade Runner, Superior Tactician 1930.1.1 1945.1.1
Nimitz sea USA 5 9 Superior Tactician, Spotter 1930.1.1 1947.1.1
Spruance sea USA 4 9 Superior Tactician 1940.1.1 1970.1.1
Arnold H. air USA 4 9 Carpet Bomber 1930.1.1 1946.1.1
Cannon air USA 3 9 Fleet Destroyer 1942.1.1 1970.1.1
Spaatz air USA 4 9 Superior Air Tactician, Tank Buster, Carpet Bomber 1940.1.1 1970.1.1
Balck land Germany 3 9 Panzer Leader 1942.1.1
Guderian land Germany 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1
Siilasvuo land Finland 3 9 Winter Specialist, Commando 1930.1.1 1947.1.1
Mannerheim land Finland 4 9 Defensive Doctrine, Winter Specialist, Old Guard 1930.1.1 1946.1.1
Bogdanov S.I. land Soviet Union 4 9 Panzer Leader 1942.1.1 1970.1.1
Chuikov land Soviet Union 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Winter Specialist 1938.1.1 1970.1.1

Leaders with 3 or 4 traits[edit]

  • Does not include Old Guard.
Name Type Country Skill Max Skill Traits Start Date End Date
Alexander land United Kingdom 5 9 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1946.1.1
Kuribayashi land Japan 4 7 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1937.1.1 1990.1.1
Yamashita land Japan 5 9 Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Engineer 1930.1.1 1990.1.1
Fukudome air Japan 4 8 Spotter, Tank Buster, Fleet Destroyer 1944.1.1 1990.1.1
Ozawa air Japan 4 9 Superior Air Tactician, Spotter, Fleet Destroyer 1930.1.1 1990.1.1
Ugaki air Japan 3 7 Superior Air Tactician, Spotter, Fleet Destroyer 1938.1.1 1990.1.1
Auchinleck land United Kingdom 5 8 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1947.1.1
Zhukov G.K. land Soviet Union 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Winter Specialist, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
Montgomery land United Kingdom 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Fortress Buster 1938.1.1 1955.1.1
Embry air United Kingdom 2 7 Superior Air Tactician, Tank Buster, Night Flyer 1944.1.1
Rommel land Germany 5 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Panzer Leader 1939.1.1
Schörner land Germany 4 8 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Commando 1938.1.1
von Manstein land Germany 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Fortress Buster, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1
MacArthur land Philippines 3 8 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1942.1.1
Hausser land Germany 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1
Anderson T.V. land Canada 2 6 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Engineer 1930.1.1 1943.1.1
Bradley O.N. land USA 5 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Engineer 1941.1.1 1970.1.1
Geiger land USA 2 8 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Commando 1942.1.1 1947.1.1
MacArthur land USA 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Offensive Doctrine 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
Patton land USA 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1 1970.1.1
Stillwell land USA 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Trickster 1930.1.1 1946.1.1
Carboni land Italy 1 4 Offensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader, Commando 1930.1.1
Spaatz air USA 4 9 Superior Air Tactician, Tank Buster, Carpet Bomber 1940.1.1 1970.1.1
de Stefanis land Italy 1 4 Offensive Doctrine, Fortress Buster, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1
Zingales land Italy 2 5 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1
Bitossi land Italy 2 6 Logistics Wizard, Offensive Doctrine, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1
Anders land Poland 3 8 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Fortress Buster 1937.1.1
Guderian land Germany 5 9 Offensive Doctrine, Trickster, Panzer Leader 1930.1.1
Chuikov land Soviet Union 4 9 Logistics Wizard, Defensive Doctrine, Winter Specialist 1938.1.1 1970.1.1

See also[edit]