So checking in on Hearts of Iron 4 mods, and TNO got a big update.
TNO = The New Order, and it’s probably the second most ambitious mod for HOI4 (Kaiserreich is a close first just on sheer content). The lead developer wrote it as a visceral reaction to “wehraboo” Nazi fanboys in strategy gaming; the mod is set in 1962 after an Axis victory, and shows in rigorous detail how the inherent contradictions of fascism lead to its collapse, even after conquering half the known world. It’s really an incredible achievement just for that alone.
You are NOT going to win as Germany; your choices are the manic SS leader Heydrich (who promptly begins a nuclear war destroying the world), the bureaucratic Bormann who watches helplessly as Germany’s economy melts into slag, the amateurish Goering who figures there’s no problem that can’t be solved by MORE INVASIONS, until the money runs out, and finally, and most comprehensively, the reformer Speer who attempts to enact a Chinese-style economically rationalized “Nazism with a human face” only to fail completely as slave revolts break out and militarist holdouts fight back. No, you don’t get to do “Nazism with a human face”. Bad authoritarian, no cookie.
So, the latest update has to do with the Russian survivor states; instead of piloting Nazi Germany into the ground you can play in the wreckage of the shattered Soviet Union (one of the historical departure points being Bukharin instead of Stalin leading the USSR in the 1930s and badly losing the war – another plot point that seems intentionally designed to infuriate a certain type of Internet poster) as a Russian warlord in a Mad Max landscape. Luftwaffe terror bombers droning overhead, you raid your neighbors for food and wait for opportunities to expand. The writers went absolutely manic with the choices on display – ranging from the almost cloyingly good Valery Sablin (a naval officer who lead a mutiny against Soviet repression in our timeline) and his libertarian socialism, to a cargo cult of Nazi fanboys who think they can be real Aryans if they just try hard enough, to a literally insane monarchist, Sergey Taboritsky, who is convinced Czar Nicholas’ hemophiliac child Alexei survived the Russian Civil War and is waiting to return as a savior on the wings of angels. To pave said path to heaven, Taboritsky kills everyone in the way. With poison gas.
Gamers being who they are, Taboritsky’s doomed path became enormously popular (despite, or more probably because it is without a doubt the most tragic and evil outcome for the Russian survivor states) so the latest update adds…. 15 MORE successor states that Taboritsky’s empire shatters into after his death. Which range from desperate refugees to literal Satanists. There’s a lot here to unpack, you could say.
Anyway, it took me a while to find this update on Steam, because the old version is, uh, still there, unupdated. Apparently there was a LOT of drama involving Russophobia and transphobia and Reddit, and the mod underwent a change of ownership. I spent about 2 hours on the mod’s Reddit trying to figure out what happened and I still got nothin’.
So to save you hours of drama spelunking, here’s the link to the latest version. There’s a LOT of content here – I haven’t even touched upon the various ways the US is doomed in this mod, and you should fire off a nuclear war at least once (it breaks the entire game. Quite literally.)
The New Order – Last Days of Europe on Steam Workshop