Instead of starting preparation for war, game was just throwing random shitty event at me. A few months in, I was totally happy to accept all worker demands - like does it matter if I have -120% penalty to production or -150%? Not really, either way, my armies won't see a single gun.
There's a bunch of complex event chains, and game of course won't tell you future consequences of your choices. I made Orthodox patriarch into prime minister, and that screwed me a lot.
I've seen a lot of bugs. Not terribly serious.
One weird bug was that White Russia was in German's faction, Germany got into war with France, and White Russia flipped to my faction by event, but didn't leave that war.
I managed to avoid civil war. I got Caucasus by threats. Then in December 1938 I finally got my first war, but by then WW2 was already ending, with France in Berlin. And then German Empire magically teleported itself to Africa.
France also got into war against Entente led by Canada - and French Republic in Africa.
I was fighting Mongolia/Tibet, and I was justifying war on Persia and its puppets - twice I was hit by -100 mana event during this, and that pauses claim justification, even though that doesn't actually cost any mana, you pay it all upfront! That's probably bug in vanilla, it just never matters as vanilla doesn't have such dumb events.
And then Japan attacked me - without any warning whatsoever I'm supposed to get while someone fabricates.
I should just send the rest of troops from Europe to Far East - it's not like France will suddenly attack me, right?
• it has associated Kaiserreich music mod, which I really disliked and turned off after 15 minutes
• mod almost completely replaces politics system, but military and tech stuff is only minimally changed, so 7/2 etc. all works just fine
• nobody can join factions other than by events/focus trees. This is amazing.
• there were cases of countries with no land being listed as allies in war, or destroyed countries still having troops on the map
• the "-100pp because fuck you" events never stopped coming, like seriously game, chill out
• in addition to other kinds, I'm now getting "do you want to puppet them or take -100pp" event for pretty much every country I occupy
• my new tsar died, leaving 12 year old ruling, and regency council in charge. Which game is this again?
• White Russia was in German faction and joined WW2
• it flipped to my faction by event, but stayed in WW2
• Soviet Poland ended up annexing and releasing them as puppet.
• I got it all cleanly by threats and events.
In Central Asia:
• I fought Alash Orda, but it also fought Turkestan. Turkestan got most of it
• I wanted that land, so I attacked Turkestan. But Turkestan also fought Persia. Persia got most of it.
• I justified war on Persia, but Persia released that land as a bunch of puppets, so fabrication quietly stopped.
• I justified second time on their puppet, no surprised from this point on, I got it all.
• Mongolia/Tibet were in separate faction
• they were fighting Ma Clique, and were winning
• I attacked Mongolia/Tibet, crushed them, and yet when it came to warscore, Ma Clique got most of it
• this time I waited for Ma Clique to release puppets, and fabricated on them directly
• and Uyghuristan rebelled against Ma Clique, cancelling my fabrication, seriously?
• second try, attacked Ma Clique (and their puppets Mongolia and Tibet)
• Uyghursitan only got 1 state, but still managed to trap way too many of my armies in Tibet with zero supplies
• there's no way to increase supplies - infrastructure and ports just let me move supplies faster, but when exclase is disconnected, they do nothing
• so I conquered Uyghuristan, just to get supplies through - in HOI4 there's pretty much no way to just ask for military access to get troops back home
• they atacked me, with puppets Manchuria and Vladivostok (ok, they had some fancy names, but it's probably easier this way)
• I crushed them, got events asking me if I want to puppet Manchuria, I've chosen not to, so control over Manchuria's lands flipped back and forth a few times
• and 3 of my divisions somehow got destroyed by this flipping while fighting was going on
• once I took by force Manchuria, Vladivostok, Japanese Korea, and Japanese Sakhalin and I was overrunning last Japanese armies in them
• I got separate peace event - I took all of that, plus somehow Taiwan
• I did a fairly cheesy thing of deploying divisions directly to frontline as if they're some paratroopers
• Next I'm planning to fight Qing, Yunnan Clique,, and Afghanistan
• My Qing army is 96 vs their 174, plus maybe 40 naval invasion army
• My Yunnan army is 48 vs their 83
• My Afghanistan army is 24 vs their 21
• I finally got decent number of fighters - just upgrading all air fields to deploy them all
• medium tanks are only just being researched
• there used to be tons of wars, now it's much fewer
• France faction - Germany faction
• France faction - Canada faction
• Canada - Denmark
• Japan - Indonesia
• Ottomans - Cyprus rebels
• none of them seem to have any active fighting, as AI doesn't know how to naval invade
So far I'm really enjoying it.
• terrain view in the game is absolutely awful - I can't even tell which tiles are mountains and which are not; it's probably worst of all Paradox Games
• can this game stop fucking unpausing?
• slow fabrication time (from recent patch) + fabrication pausing due to negative pp (from Kaiserreich event) = massive pain; one of the two would be tolerable, but not together
Qing war was so sweet:
• 6 armies of 24 divisions, each with separate directions
• only one of them got tanks in time
• 38 divisions in 3 separate naval invasions
• air and naval support
• and still everything fit on a single screen
• it was a sweet spot of war that's not trivial, but not forcing me to flip screen back and forth
• Yunnan fell a month before war started - so Qing tried to quick reshuffle their armies, Beijing was basically unprotected
• most of their armies were on West and North fronts, I pushed some weak points, but tried not to waste troops - Qing had way more than me
• North landing didn't capture any port, but managed to meet troops which took loosely defended Beijing
• Middle landing took a few ports and Nanjing, was unsupported for very long time
• South landing took a bunch of ports, was unsupported for very long time - until my Yunnan army somehow managed to squeeze itself to connect
• strategically redeploying forces from one part of front to another to push faster than Qing can reshuffle its frontlines in order was pretty much the key - I just had to push random single divisions out of the way
• alternative strategy would be to just send more troops after landing party by boat, and rush from there - if I had spare troops for it
• Yunnan was trivial, I mostly wanted more directions to attack Qing from
• Burma/India was very easy - finally had tanks in infantry divisions
• Siam was crazy trivial - they had nearly 100 divisions and put most of them onto just a few tiles, so their frontline had huge gaps. I had my first 12 armored divisions who rolled into capital unopposed, meanwhile my infantry just pocketed 50 enemy divisions which stood on two tiles and were asking for it - than's way worse than AI usually is; rather disappointing as up to this point AI was OKish
• after that I fabricated on Ottomans via focus, but didn't even bother to put any troops on the border - to be fair they only had 14 days. I feel such short focuses are really design mistake as long as AI is what it is.
Anyway, there's probably little point continuing this, only trivial stuff ahead, even major factions would get trivially crushed.