To Be or Not to Be

With the last official update metrics were added to track various decisions within the game. We’ve now got a substantial amount of data on this and I’ll be posting a series of blogs focusing in on the results.

This has little to do with balancing the game but it’s very interesting to see how players have tackled various curly issues.

Hitler Oath


This decision appears during the early game (like all decisions the timing is randomised) and allows the player to join the Nazi Party if they wish. It won’t appear if you have the Geneva Convention option selected.

The Oath itself isn’t optional for reasons explained below.

It’s a little like Don Vito Corleone, the Godfather, making you an offer that you can’t refuse. With the Reichsführer-SS breathing down your neck, who is going to say no?

But there are other considerations in play. Always on the lookout for a propaganda coup, Reichminister Goebbels is whispering in your ear.


Join the Nazi Party and why not, when they are such a loveable bunch of cuddly, smiling individuals? It would be a reasonable assumption that everybody who plays the game would have some knowledge of the workings of the Party.

What compelling reason would there be to join? The big one is the advantages that party membership bring. More Political Points, a happy Führer and the opportunity to achieve greatness in the public eye (you’ll be more of a feature if you sign, Goebbels will make sure of that).

Of course greatness is a necessity once you’ve put pen to paper as failing to conquer Russia will see you fronting the War Crimes Tribunal with a rather dubious background.

“Could you explain Herr Halder why you chose to join the Nazi Party? “They forced me to sign!’

No they didn’t. You did that all on your lonesome.

Still, it’s a very tempting offer. Think of all the things you can get done with those extra Political Points. It’s highly likely that the Führer will bestow medals upon you. Doors will open with many decision options being cheaper than they normally would be (you’ve got the Nazi trait).

But there is always a counterbalancing downside. That’s politics for you, it’s never clear cut and easy.

Yes, you’ll upset your immediate boss and your subordinates. Does this matter? You could always bulldoze them into submission with the extra Political Points that you will accrue. Nobody will be nominating you for the Officer of the Year award but who cares when you have the Führer in your corner?

It’s an interesting choice and both options tend to lead to different game experiences. It’s also a moral choice.

Everybody has historical hindsight and none of us would willingly join the Nazi Party. But all those extra Political Points…


Roughly one third of players opted for the goodies and the rest went for the moral high ground.

While I haven’t done an analysis it’d be interesting to know if joining the Party resulted in a higher win rate for the German player. I suspect that the combination of extra Political Points and the severe consequences of failure would make this the case.

I really like these types of conflicted moral decisions and the historical resonance is a bonus. It’s only a game but I wonder how often, in real life, would we be willing to put our scruples to one side and take the path of least resistance, especially when it came with significant advantages?


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