Domestic Policy

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HOI2 has a very sophisticated domestic policy and politics model, which includes

  • the domestic policy sliders
  • the ministers available in your Government.

You can considerably affect your economic wealth and combat performance by changing your slider settings. The settings also add considerably to the flavour of each nation and the game as a whole.


Domestic Policy Sliders

They are seven sliders, the positions of which determine your domestic policy, your government type, your ability to wage offensive war, and much much more. See the manual page 40-43 for background information that is assumed in the following; this FAQ deals with the details not the overall intent.

Some of them are interdependent. Dependent on your government type, which is determined by the sliders itself, some changes may be impossible to perform. The various government types are described on page 42.

To summarise, the sliders are:

  • Democratic - Authoritarian
  • Political Left - Political Right
  • Open Society - Closed Society
  • Free Market - Central Planning
  • Standing Army - Drafted Army
  • Hawk Lobby - Dove Lobby
  • Interventionism - Isolationism

Social Engineering via Slider Changes

Each slider has 10 discrete possible positions with the position determining the exact effect on your society. The closer towards the end of a slider, the more extreme the political position on the issue. In general, effects near the middle of each slider are very mild with positive and negative effects getting more pronounced the more extreme the position. Note that the left side of a slider will have one group of modifiers while the right side will have another; often they carry the same modifiers but that is not always the case. In this FAQ, slider positions are denoted 0 (left end of slider) - 9 (right end of slider). NOTE: in HOI2DD:A the sliders are confirmed to be from 1 to 10, and this can checked inside a saved game file.

Changing sliders can be done either through events or by deliberate manipulation by the player. From the moment the game starts (except in battle scenarios disabling this), you can perform changes to the sliders - just not very often. Choose the slider you want to change and click to move either one step left or right. Once you have changed any policy, it takes one year before you can perform your next policy change. Additionally, changing policies incurs a minor +1% dissent hit.

Which areas of the game are affected by the domestic policy?

The better question is, which area is not? Your domestic policy choices will affect any or all of the following:

Consumer Goods:

  • Consumer Goods Demand (Directly affects the amount of consumer goods needed to satisfy the population)
  • Consumer Goods Money (Modifies the amount of $ generated per consumer good created)

Dissent:

  • Dissent in Occupied Territories (Reduces or increases the base dissent values in occupied territories)
  • Dissent in National Territories (Reduces or increases the base dissent values in national territories)
  • Dissent Growth (This is a modifier to the daily dissent growth from the current IC's invested in consumer goods. This is not the same as the Consumer Goods Demand modifier)
  • Partisan Activity

Diplomacy:

  • Democracy or Dictatorship (This is determined by the form of government)
  • Diplomatic Action Cost (Increases or reduces the cost of all diplomatic actions)
  • Bad Relations Normalisations Bonus (Affects how quickly other nations get over your bad actions)
  • Belligerence Needed to Declare War
  • Can Join Alliances (Whether the nation can join other alliances or not)
  • Declaration of War Dissent (Dissent per time you DOW. Minimize this by becoming an interventionist autocracy if you want to attack everybody at your leisure.

Intelligence:

  • Counter-intelligence Penalty for outsiders (What it says)

Manpower:

  • Manpower growth (Reduces or increases the daily manpower growth)

Production and Upgrading:

  • IC bonus (Increases IC available)
  • Production Time and Cost (Reduces or increases the time of producing units and provincial enhancements. Reduces or increases the IC cost of units only. I.e. a -20% modifier reduces both cost and time of an infantry division but only production time of a naval base)
  • Upgrade time and cost (Reduces or increases the time and cost divisions of upgrading divisions and brigades)
  • Gearing Bonus (This changes the cap of the gearing bonus. A unit in continous production that is never short on IC will keep increasing in gearing bonus until it reaches 35%+Gearing Bonus Cap. As such, this modifier is only relevant for units you are going to be building a lot of)

Research:

  • Tech Team Cost (Reduces or increases the daily cost of tech teams)

Unit stats:

  • Manpower Experience (The base experience value that new units will have)
  • Organisation Bonus (Increases or reduces the organisation of all units by this percentage. E.g. +10% means that 50 org becomes 55, 80 org become 88 etc)

Government Type & Sliders

Two sliders determine the type of government you have and, in turn, limit the positions you are allowed to occupy on the other sliders.

Democratic - Authoritarian

Rulership style from one extreme to the other, this is one of the factors determining goverment type.

                9        8       7       6       5       4       3       2       1       0
DowDissent     +10%     +8.9%   +7.8%   +6.7%   +5.6%   +4.4%   +3.3%   +2.2%   +1.1%   +0%
BelToAttack    yes      yes     yes     yes     yes     no      no      no      no      no
Partisans      -5%      -4%     -3%     -2%     -1%     +1%     +2%     +3%     +4%     +5%
GoodsDemand    +20%     +16%    +12%    +8%     +4%     -4%     -8%     -12%    -16%    -20%
Puppet dissent 0.5%     1%      1.5%    2%      2.5%    3%      3.5%    4%      4.5%    5%   

A Democratic nation needs a certain level of belligerence to attack another nation, but the interventionism-Isolationism slider determines the amount belligerence needed in such cases. This slider also determines whether the Interventionism-Isolationism slider can prevent you from joining/creating alliances or not.

Political Left - Political Right

Political extremism from one end of the spectrum to the other, this is the other factor in the the goverment type. The government type determines which ministers are available for appointment and the limits on the other sliders.

In general, you can appoint ministers who either share ideology with the government or are close (one step of distance in the ideology spectrum). E.g. if the government is Fascist, you can appoint both Paternal Autocrat, National Socialist, and Fascist ministers.

In Doomsday and Armageddon, you can also nominate "military" ministers (Head of Intelligence and the Chiefs of Staff/Army/Navy/Air Force) if they are within two steps of distance from the government's ideology (e.g. a National Socialist government can nominate a Paternal Autocrat Head of Intelligence). "Civilian" ministers (Foreign, Armaments, and Security) remain limited to one-step ideological tolerance. Once they are in charge, all kinds of ministers (as well as Heads of State and Heads of Government) have a two-step tolerance before changes of ideology force their dismissal.

               LEFT                                                                   RIGHT
DEMOCRATIC       9      8       7       6       5       4       3       2       1       0
	9	SD	SL	SL	SL	SL	ML	ML	ML	ML	SC
	8	SD	SD	SL	SL	SL	ML	ML	ML	SC	SC
	7	SD	SD	SD	SL	SL	ML	ML	SC	SC	SC
	6	LWR	SD	SD	SD	SL	ML	SC	SC	SC	PA
	5	LWR	LWR	SD	SD	SD	SC	SC	SC	PA	PA
	4	LE	LWR	LWR	SD	SD	SC	SC	PA	PA	FA
	3	LE	LE	LWR	LWR	SD	SC	PA	PA	FA	FA
	2	ST	LE	LE	LWR	LWR	PA	PA	FA	FA	NS
	1	ST	ST	LE	LE	LWR	PA	FA	FA	NS	NS
	0	ST	ST	ST	LE	LE	FA	FA	NS	NS	NS
AUTOCRATIC

Key to the above table, in alphabetical order:

FA = Fascist
LE = Leninist
LWR= Left-Wing Radical
ML = Market Liberal
NS = National Socialist
PA = Paternal Autocrat
SC = Social Conservative
SD = Social Democratic
SL = Social Liberal
ST = Stalinist

Changing Governments

Moving the Left/Right and Democratic/Authoritarian sliders changes the type of government you have.

The government determines

  • allowable Society and Economy slider positions
  • The Head of State and available Ministers

Policy under different Governments

The current government type limits freedom of movement on some policy sliders.

Only a Market Liberal government allows a full Free Market. Most authoritarian types of government allow full Central Planning, but prevent movement towards Free Markets.

These limits only apply to economy and society slider moves you make. Starting as the Free Market USA, you can not move the slider far towards Central Planning. Using the 'freedom' cheat you can (for instance) make the USA Stalinist, and the Economy slider will stay all the way over on Free Market. In uncheated gameplay the slider tends to move due to events.

Heads of State

There is no one-to-one correspondence between Government type and Head of State. Which Head of State you have (and hence the ministers available) depends on the path you take to get to your government type.

Each nation has several Heads of State available to it. Minsters are available based on their similarity to the Head of State's ideology.

A Head of State will resign/be ovethrown if the governemnt type is radically different from their own. It will then be replaced by the most similar available Head of State. Returning to the initial Government type need not return you to the initial Head of State!

Moving Germany left, for instance, replaces Hitler's National Socialist government with a Stalinist one under someone called Renn. Then making Germany democratic introduces a Social Liberal government under Wilhelm II (a Paternal Autocrat). Moving the Germany to the Right to a Market Liberal government retains Wilhelm II. Then moving back towards full Authoritarianism results in a National Socialist state. Because Wilhelm II is Paternal Autocrat, he remains in power even when Germany returns to Nazism.


Other Sliders

Open Society - Closed Society

                0       1       2       3       4       5       6       7       8       9
DisGrowth    +10%     +8%     +6%     +4%      +2%    -2%     -4%     -6%     -8%    -10%
DisNat       +40%    +30%    +20%    +10%      N/A   -10%    -20%    -30%    -40%    -50%
DisOcc       -40%    -30%    -20%    -10%      N/A   +10%    +20%    +30%    +40%    +50%
CounterInt   -40%    -30%    -20%    -10%      N/A   +10%    +20%    +30%    +40%    +50%
TechCost     +20%    +16%    +12%     +8%      +4%    -4%     -8%     12%    -16%    -20%

Limitations: All Authoritarian forms of government limit you to a relatively Closed society. Stalinist and National Socialist governments allow virtually no openness.

All Democratic governments require a relatively Open society. Market and Social Liberals require a very high degree of openness.

This slider is mainly of interest for those taking an extensive interest in fighting - and taking land - outside their own borders.

Fundamentally, an open society will experience internal dissent (dissent in national provinces, which is rare) much harder than a closed society will, while a closed society will experience external dissent (from conquests..) much harder than an open society will. However, the more open the society, the easier it is for dissent to grow, so there is that to consider as well.

Free Market - Central Planning

                0       1       2       3       4       5       6       7       8       9
GoodsMoney   +40%    +30%    +20%    +10%     N/A    -10%    -20%    -30%    -40%    -50%
GoodsDemand  +20%    +16%    +12%     +8%     +4%     -4%     -8%    -12%    -16%    -20%
TechCost     +25%    +20%    +15%    +10%     +5%     -5%    -10%    -15%    -20%    -25%
UpgradeCost  -25%    -20%    -15%    -10%     -5%     +5%    +10%    +15%    +20%    +25%
ProdCost     -20%    -15%    -10%     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A
ICBonus       N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A    +15%    +20%    +25%

It is in your interest to be at one extreme or the other because of the very big production or IC bonuses.

Only Market Liberalism allows you to have a full Market Economy. Many totalitarian governments insist on a high level of Central Planning. The middling governments - Social Liberal, Social Democrat and Social Conservative - prevent you from moving to one extreme or the other and therefore prevent your economic performance.

Living in a bourgeois state is bad for you - only unfettered capitalism or total state control is a good move!

The Free Market bonuses are more useful than the Central Planning bonuses.From the perspective of unit production, Free Market rules. An example: Assume a unit costs a base of 5 IC for 100 days - its total cost of production over time is 5 IC/day * 100 days = 500 IC. With a 20% discount on BOTH time and cost, it costs (0.8*5 IC/day) * (0.8*100 days) = 320 IC

Compare that to a 25% IC bonus. The cost is unchanged (500 IC) but you have 25% IC more for an effective cost relative to the baseline of 500 IC/1.25 = 400 IC. Another way to look at it is to assume that you have, say 25 IC. That allows for 5 simultaneous unit productions on the baseline. The -20% discount reduces the cost to 4 IC/day, so you can run 6 (and one quarter) simultaneous which will be finished in 80% of the baseline. The +25% IC bonus increases IC to 31.25 allowing for 6 (and one quarter) simultaneously which will be finished at the same time as the baseline. For province enhancements it is less clear since only production time is affected, not daily IC cost, though Free Market still retains a edge.

However this analysis assumes equal amount of base IC dedicated to production. In reality, Free Market has to dedicate about 40% more of its IC to consumer goods (for which it will get tons of money). On the other hand, Central Production will net you a full 25% more TC, which is vital for conquest. Central production costs far more in terms of raw materials (energy, metal, rare materials).

Conclusion: Go to whichever extreme is closest at the beginning. Both nationalizing your free market industries and having your own Perestroika will cripple your economy for many years.

Standing Army - Drafted Army

                0       1       2       3       4       5       6       7       8       9
Manpower XP   +20%    +15%    +10%     +5%     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A
Gearing       -10%     -8%     -6%     -4%     -2%     +2%     +4%     +6%     +8%    +10%
OrgBonus      +10%     +8%     +6%     +4%     +2%     -2%     -4%     -6%     -8%    -10%
Upgr Time/Cost +10%    +20%    +30%    +40%    +50%    +60%   +70%     +80%   +90%   +100%

Unless you are going to be producing a LOT of the same type of unit, a standing army is clearly superior to a drafted one. A drafted army is most interesting when coupled with slider settings that reduce upgrading costs, as it then makes sense to start e.g. a 99 production of '36 infantry, give them highest priority, and just keep on producing them until '41 or even '43 infantry is available, as the total cost of production plus one or two upgrades will be less than producing new units without the accumulated gearing bonus. Fundamentally, parallel builds to fit the situation on hand works for everybody but long serial builds are the domain of the drafted army.

In DD + Arma, upgrade time/cost 1/2

In DD + Arma, the upgrade time/cost part of the Army slider was cut in half. The range is from 5 to 50 in steps of 5 rather than from 10 to 100 in steps of 10.

Hawk Lobby - Dove Lobby

                0       1       2       3       4       5       6       7       8       9
GoodsMoney     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A    +10%    +20%    +30%    +40%    +50%
ProdCost      -20%    -15%    -10%     -5%     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A     N/A
DisGrowth     -10%     -8%     -6%     -4%     -2%     +2%     +4%     +6%     +8%    +10%
ManGrowth     +10%     +8%     +6%     +4%     +2%     -2%     -4%     -6%     -8%    -10%

This is the choice between Guns and Butter? Given that HoI2 is a wargame, there can be only one answer: GUNS! (And the more, the merrier)

Note that many countries get 'free' moves along this slider from scripted events - particularly German's expansion events at the start of the game.

Interventionism - Isolationism

                0       1       2       3       4       5       6       7       8       9
DipCost       -40%    -30%    -20%    -10%     +0%    +10%    +20%    +30%    +40%    +50%
BadRelBonus   -80%    -60%    -40%    -20%     +0%    +20%    +40%    +60%    +80%   +100%
DowDissent     +0%     +1.1%   +2.2%   +3.3%   +4.4%   +5.6%   +6.7%   +7.8%   +8.9%  +10%
GoodsDemand   +10%    +20%    +30%    +40%    +50%    +60%    +70%    +80%    +90%   +100%
BelToAttack     1       9      19      29      39      49      59      69      79      89
JoinAlliance   yes     yes     yes     yes     yes     no      no      no      no      no

Note: BelToAttack and JoinAlliance are only active when the leadership is very democratic (see Democratic-Authoritarian). However, under those circumstances this is one of the most important sliders in the game as too high isolationism will prevent you from acting against other nations; you will only be able to react. In some ways, this slider can be considered representative of the War Entry from Hearts of Iron 1, except that it is more generalised and not directed against any particular nation but against all aggressive nations. So long as other nations play fairly nice and only invade and conquer just a little bit, the democratic isolationist country will not be able to act because of public opinion. As a rule of thumb, if you are unsure of which dp-slider to move in your yearly dp-change (you DO try to maximize your social engineering skills, presumably), going more interventionist is almost certainly a good choice. If your nation is very democratic, you need it to be able to act rather than merely reacting; if your nation is not, then you need it to reduce the dissent cost of your next declaration of war.

Just like the Hawk or Dove lobby choice, this really is a no-brainer unless you want to play neutral Tibet or something similar: INTERVENTIONISM

Why do I keep getting policy initiative events?

Democratic nations are blessed with (somewhat) loyal oppositions. Once some sliders are brought out of balance with the sort of policy that would be expected by the government type, it is possible to receive some government-specific events. Typically, you may receive an event representing either a government initiative or the opposition's bitching, on any of the topics of defense, economy, foreign policy, law, and constitution. While some of these may indeed bring the free opportunity for slider movements that you desire, it is often at the cost of dissent and it may, occasionally, be better to back off.

Note especially that Democratic nations going Authoritarian have some pretty heavyhanded random events (constitutional policy) in an attempt to stop the slide into Dictatorship before it is too late. But who cares: If you are going Authoritarian, it is probably because you know better than the plebes already, so just accept that 10 dissent hit and continue your purge of unnecessary freedoms. After all, if the good men prefer hanging together, it is almost a civic duty to supply them with rope.

Big changes to policies - One Solution Revolution

Some players like experimenting with random changes to governments; for instance making the USA communist and allying with the Soviet Union in 1938.

There are several ways to do this:

  1. Gently move your democratic/authoritarian and left/right sliders using the moves you have available once per year. If you are democratic you will eventually get 'policy initiative events' that will help you on your way at the cost of some dissent.
  2. Raise your dissent massively (to over 60%). This will prompt a 'Coup' event (in 1.2 onward at least) changing the nature of your government.
  3. Use the 'Robespierre' or 'Freedom' (Depending on game version) cheat to move the sliders and have done with it.