Hearts of Iron IV – By Blood Alone

Almost a year later, in September we’re getting a new, 8th, DLC for Hearts of Iron IV called By Blood Alone, which will focus on Italy and the events surrounding it. And as always, there will be improvements to several gameplay mechanics. Let’s take a look at this DLC more…

… and as we always do, we’ll start with the trailer…

Trailer of By Blood Alone DLC

… the opening trailer didn’t show us the detailed gameplay mechanics and changes that will come with this DLC (we’ll show you those below) but it gave us the atmosphere. At first glance, I’m looking forward to the refresh and I believe it will bring some old and new players back to the game.

After all, DLC are one of the reasons why HOI4 is so popular.

What will be added by blood alone to HOI IV?

There’s no point in showing you a mere “list” of what all the DLC By Blood Alone will add and not commenting on it at all, I’ve scoured the developer diaries and picked out the essentials for you and will break it down in more detail.

New focus trees

There are new three focus trees for Italy, Switzerland, and Ethiopia. In the Italian focus tree, we will see a similar decision to the one that brought No Step Back for the Soviet Union. We should have more opportunities to play alternative paths such as communism or the return of the monarchy.

Balance of power is a new feature that will be opened for Italy after completing Triumph in Africa and will give you the power to influence how your country develops in the end. You will have the power to go more “right” and thus strengthen your regime or evolve “left” and the result will be a civil war.

Screen from developer diaries [source]

I wonder if this feature will be available in other countries or not. And overall I am curious about the implementation. However, more trees and different directions to take is welcome to me. As far as I know Switzerland was never elaborated and Ethiopia was just basic.

Peace Conference Options

The developers said the peace conferences had been a pain in the neck for them for a long time and that change was long overdue. The system is changing from the current “turn-based” system to a “turn-based auction” system.

This will bring a lot of changes, and it will no longer be possible to do the trick of “shutting down” a competitor by taking territory around him and he no longer takes any territory. At the same time, there will be a slight increase in price with each round of auctions.

Screen from developer diaries [source]

In addition, the system of how states collect points and how their “participation” in the war is calculated should be revised. At the same time, the system should be a bit more intuitive and simpler for all players.

In addition, there will also be more options for what you want from a losing country, ranging from dismantling their military factories, being able to set up demilitarized zones, gaining rights to resources, or gaining title to factories.

This will primarily please players who play multiplayer games or games where you don’t play on realistic AI. Because there is room for that creativity. It will definitely, at least for me, pick up interest in playing alternate history.

Aircraft Designer, Airplane rework

What was missing in the game was the Aircraft Designer, so like ships and tanks, we get the ability to customize planes. Currently, the final design is unknown (what can be set up), but I see this as a positive step forward…

Possible new aircraft tree [source]

… besides the fact that you will be able to customize individual air units you will also get the possibility to manage your air force better deploying or creating “mixed” air groups in which there will be both fighters and bombers at the same time.

Unit Medals and commanders rework?

The DLC by blood alone will change the way generals work. Newly, “field officers” will be associated with a division (I hope I understand correctly), so there will be significantly more of them in the game (they will be generated dynamically and there will be many of them)…

Field officers [source]

… their advantage will be that they (and their divisions) will be “honored” for participating and winning battles. As well, it will be possible to give your units medals (see below) and thus you will have the power to upgrade them. But we don’t really know much more than that at the moment…

Field officers – honor and medals [source]

… so I’m curious how this will fit into the context of generals and battle plans, which by the way should now be given more realistic names (based on history) or based on where they attack from. But that’s something I’ll expand on when we know more – I don’t know more today.

Other new things

Finally, I will just add that a new political action called “embargo” will come into play so it will probably be to slow down the foreign economy. We’ll see 12 new songs playing in the game, we’ll get 20 new units for the aforementioned countries and we’ll get 67 new aircraft models thanks to the aircraft rework.

Is DLC By Blood Alone worth?

For me, who has recorded several hundred hours, definitely yes. If you play for Italy I believe you will like and enjoy the new DLC. In case you frequent the peace conference your game will also be improved.

And the addition of the missing aircraft designer will be a nice bonus. Units will get medals and the political game will also be expanded with new options. For the advanced player, it definitely worth.

Price, pre-order and availability date

Starting (full) price will be 19,99€ or 19,99 US$.

This DLC was announced on 07.06.2022 and will be available on 27.09.2022

If you pre-order this DLC you could get a pre-order bonus, which will be song Bella Ciao.

Isn’t the price of the new DLC too much?

Yes, I’ve seen voices criticizing the price of the new DLC when US$19.99 or €19.99 is practically half the price of the full vanilla game, but I think we can say that the price is justified. It really isn’t just a cosmetic package, but you can see that there is work behind this DLC and I know it will bring me hours of fun. So we may not like it, but we’ll still get it, right?

Is DLC By Blood Alone must have for HOI IV?

For advanced player => Yes.

For new players => Probably yes, I might start with other DLC.

I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!