Reviews for Hearts of Iron III: Semper fi
A bit hit-and-miss, but still a must-haveLSD | March 6, 2014 | See all LSD's reviews »
Semper Fi is the first expansion for HoI3, and is a requirement for further expansions to work with the base game -- it's therefore a "must-have", in that you absolutely have to get this expansion for the other (much more important) expansions to work with the game.
Personally, most of the HQ-related features are meaningless to me, since they only apply if you're playing with AI controlled military (and i prefer to manually control my military). I don't use the diplomatic actions added by Semper Fi either, since they're very limited in their applications: sharing tech experience is very costly, and doesn't offer much to your allies, while giving allies objectives are very hit-and-miss, since the AI has its own agenda and rarely follows your orders.
Definitely the most important aspects are the improved AI (for obvious reasons), the new map mode (which is incredibly important when conducting air battles and defending your territory against bomber squadrons), and the ability to upgrade units. The last feature is definitely a favourite, as it allows you to authentically upgrade your military: for example, taking an existing infantry regiment with artillery, and upgrading them to motorised infantry with self-propelled guns, allowing them to utilise the increased movement speed while retaining their existing experience. Definitely worth picking up!
Whole new layer of detailmahon | Aug. 2, 2013 | See all mahon's reviews »
While I am not a huge fan of purely cosmetic expansions, I enjoy the ones which add something new to gameplay or refresh and remake old concepts. Semper Fi is one of such expansions for Hearts of Iron III that adds a whole new layer to the game: a great new twist comes from hidden victory conditions defined by each country at the very beginning.
Now technological development can benefit from your allies' participation and offer benefits to them as well. AI-controlled commanders can have different settings depending on the type of arms they command and operations they participate in. Diplomacy gained some more details, as now you can request particular actions from your allies, but so can they.
It introduces easy way of defining and managing theatres of war. Command hierarchy is now tweaked and improved - easily managed and visible on the map, managing air superiority became easier thanks to a special map. Naval warfare, so important to the American participation in WW2, was upgraded with new options, including ships that are prides of their nations and fleets. Having such a ship confers bonuses, but loss of her is even more painful now.
Add to this a new scenario, events, and (supposedly) improved AI, and you have nearly complete picture of the expansion. I didn't notice the AI improvement as it was already challenging for me before. If you are unsure if it's worth buying, I wouldn't hesitate.