La Resistance’s Intelligence Agencies, branch upgrades, and Cryptology
Now that you know about managing resistance and compliance levels, let’s talk about espionage. In Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance, it takes 30 days and five civilian factories to build your Intelligence Agency by default. It doesn’t matter whether you start in 1936 or 1939 because your intelligence services will be zilch just like Generalfeldmarschall Erhard Milch. Once completed, you’ll also be able to recruit your first operative.
Anyway, there are five Intelligence Agency branches with the following upgrades:
- Intelligence – information about the different branches of the armed forces
- Defense – anti-partisan, counterintelligence, and agent capturing bonuses
- Operations – increases the effectiveness of stealing blueprints, sabotage, and strengthening resistance activities; also improves the chance that an operative will commit suicide if captured (otherwise, your spy will divulge your nation’s secrets)
- Operative Training – increases the effectiveness of trade mission, diplomatic pressure, propaganda, and boost ideology actions; improved spy recruitment and higher chances of getting the “Commando” trait; improves enemy spy capture chance
- Cryptology Department – increases Cryptology levels and Cryptology Power
Speaking of Cryptology, this section in your Intelligence Agency panel is all about revealing enemy intel. It takes hundreds of days for cryptologists to crack a country’s cipher. Once they do, you can use the “Reveal Intel” command. This only lasts for 30 days but you gain bonuses to your invasion, planning speed, defenses, and breakthrough chances.
Operatives: The spy who loved you
Operatives (aka. spies and agents) are the backbone of your country’s espionage and counterintelligence efforts in Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance. Many are generic characters, but some are historical such as Germany’s Otto Skorzeny and the Soviet Union’s Richard Sorge. They also have particular levels and traits. Examples of traits include:
- “Tough” – reduces extraction rate of enemy operatives
- “Natural Orator” – improves Boost Ideology mission and coups
- “Seducer” – increases infiltration capabilities; reduces detection rate
- “Commando” – increases Sabotage and Capture Cypher efficiency; reduces detection rate and Sabotage risk
Your agents will be able to perform various actions on the strategic map such as counterintelligence (to protect your country from other spies), building an intel network (for use in operations), rooting out dissent, spreading propaganda, and more.
Recruiting more spies and becoming a Spymaster
Here are the ways you can have more operatives in Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance:
- constructing your Intelligence Agency (mentioned above) = +1
- having five Intelligence Agency upgrades = +1
- having a minister with the “Illusive Gentleman” trait = +1
- becoming a Spymaster = variable
In order to become a Spymaster, you need to be part of a faction. You also need to research upgrades in three different Intelligence Agency branches and have 50 political power to spare. Once you’re a Spymaster, you’ll gain an extra operative for every two nations that join your faction, excluding puppets.
Note: It’s possible that some nations won’t have the aforementioned minister trait. As such, you’ll be limited to only two spies until you’re able to join a faction and become a Spymaster.
In Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance, the Axis, Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Comintern, and custom factions will find becoming Spymaster tougher compared to Britain and the Allies. Once hostile forces march all over Europe and Asia, most countries will be drawn to the Allies and Britain will reap the benefits. For instance, if you play as Germany, it’s possible to see the UK having nine or ten agents thanks to your conquests and pissing off your neighbors.
However, you can effectively counter the number of Allied spies recruited by other nations through these conquests. Your capture of territory and existing civilian factories will effectively lock out many nations from generating more spies.
Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance – Operations, not the Sea Lion kind
Operations are the core of Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance‘s depiction of espionage’s active role during the conflict. Your operatives are able to undertake a number of these. Examples include:
- planting false intel
- infiltrating branches of the armed forces
- infiltrating the civilian administration
- making contact with resistance members
- strengthening resistance forces
- sabotaging infrastructure and resources
- stealing blueprints
- stealing ciphers to help cryptologists
- setting up a collaborationist government (mentioned earlier)
- rescuing a captured agent
- orchestrating a coup
Operations require relative intel network strength and other extras (such as some supplies for coups) in order to commence. Operations also progress in phases and, if successful, they’ll provide you with more advanced actions down the line.
Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance even has several operations of historical significance such as:
- Operation Gunnerside – The commando raid that destroyed a heavy water/uranium facility in Norway to curb Germany’s atomic weapons project.
- Operation Biting – The Bruneval Raid; destruction of German radar facilities in Northern France.
- Operation Rösselsprung – The German attempt to assassinate Yugoslavia’s Josip Broz Tito.
- Gran Sasso Raid – Otto Skorzeny’s rescue of Benito Mussolini from his captors.
Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance is available now via Steam. You can purchase the expansion for $19.99.