Any thoughts on Hearts of Iron 2 vs Hearts of Iron 3?
I never played 3 as I heard it was very unstable when unpatched, or when you didn't also have the expansion(s). I may get it some day.
I still love 2 and think it's one of their best efforts. Of course, it is not without a few bugs such as the late game slowdown bug and the crash to desktop. It seems like all versions of the WW2 game from Hearts of Iron 1 to every version of 2 had that bug.
I've spent hundreds of hours with 2, played so many different countries. My favorites are France, Germany, USA, Russia, and Brazil. But I've had games where I cheated a bit here and there to enable Cuba or Switzerland to dominate their region that were pretty fun.
Some of the silly exploits in Hoi2 include the countries no one cares about. Often, Brazil can run amok in South America and no one interferes. Also, Republican Spain prior to the Fascist coup is not protected by anyone. I've had France take them over in 1936 for extra resources, or Germany to enable immediate 2 front on France.
One hilarious game I had Ireland take over Spain which was difficult. I mass produced Irish divisions for years and stacked them in Spain but it stayed a stalemate against Germany well into the late 40's. (Ireland had joined the Allies) I think Ireland had to eventually nuke their way through the German lines. (The AI hardly ever seems to research nukes.)
What's fun to me about the game, is even if you cheat moderately, you won't dominate the game but you may allow a small country to exceed their normal potential. For example, I had Sweden join the Axis. I think I cheated a bit to fill in resources they were missing and to expedite their techs. But all they could do is dominate Scandinavia. They could never get past at best a stalemate with Russia.
What's irritating about the game is how incredibly badly the computer plays your "Allies" most of the time. If you are England, rest assured the US will suck and Germany will be dangerous. If you are Germany, Italy usually is utterly useless. There should be an option to play as an entire Alliance. The alliances share expenditionary forces but it's just not nearly as useful as if you could completely control the whole Alliance at once.
I can ramble about Hoi2 for quite a while, obviously.