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Hearts of Iron 2

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by CAS FAN, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    Hi, my copy came on Saturday and I finally got the chance to start a game last night.

    I think it's superb, with a much better interface IMO. The way that you have separate screens for research, production, map & diplomacy is much better, clearer & easy to use. I particularly like the research bit where you asign a group of scientists to research a broader subject (like light tanks) instead of all it's component parts (like 20mm guns, light armour etc).

    The map & unit movement is virtually unchanged apart from the "movement is attack" thing, which I like as it means that front line forces can engage straight away and then be properly supported by reserve forces as in real life.

    I've only really started getting my teeth into this game but so far i'm very impressed - it's taken everything that was great about Hearts of Iron and improved most of the areas that needed improving - A top effort by Paradox! :thumbsup: Oh and the manual is actually decent this time as well, as are the tutorials (especially for beginners!)
     
  2. Squiffy

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    Can't say I bothered with the manual having played the first game, but I did do the tutorials.

    I agree on the research aspect. This is much improved. Not only is it easier to manage, but introducing research teams with varying skilled personalities makes it more interesting.

    The production side of things is quite similar in its mechanics, although much easier to access through a dedicated screen. Ditto for the diplomacy side of things.

    I also like the movement is attack thing. The introduction of "support attack" is good and there is less need to explicitly tie together units converging on the enemy at the same time.

    However, I don't like how individual armies are put together. In the tutorial you have to split two armies down into four separate units. I just couldn't do it. I successfully split one of them, but for the life of me I couldn't get the "-" button to appear for the other.

    When I created a new infantry unit, I just couldn't find how to merge it into an existing army group. I almost had to look in the manual, but instead just used the army as part of my risk-boardgame-style defend the borders while other armies move and attack tactics.

    As in the other game, the use of combined forces is also problematical. When trying to use interdiction on a specific country/army, you find that your air forces apply that order to a whole region and therefore may not attack the specific army that you are attacking with land forces. I became absolutely infuriated that ground attack orders on a specific army saw my airforces attacking other armies seemingly at random. :mad:

    I haven't done much with my navy yet. (I'm playing as Germany and it is still VERY early in the war - I've just completed the conquest of Czechoslovakia). However I'm a little concerned that it is also going to end up as one of those annoying micro-management jobs where you have to individually cut down your armies and manually load them onto transports.

    It still has that indefinable 'one more go' syndrome though. A solid 8.30pm till 1.30am bash despite the annoying UI niggles is testament to that.

    For anyone who hasn't played the original, expect an almost vertical learning curve - but also immense satisfaction when you do start exerting control over the world. :smoke:
     
  3. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    I found this OK, I just clicked the divide unit button on both and created 4 units in the tutorial. Not tried this in the full game yet though but didn't have a problem with the tutorial one.

    I agree that there will be a steep learning curve (especially for those not previously aquainted with Paradox's other games) but there has always been a steep learning curve with there games and I would say that this one is far easier to learn than the 1st game. Several areas like Research have been simplified to great effect and the manual is miles better than the waste of paper that came with HOI. Infact I spent ages trawling through the HOI forums until I understood how the game (things like trade especially) worked.

    Like you say though Squiffy, it does have that "one more go thing" and 6-8 hours can vanish in a flash! It really does reward people who put the time into the game and I have thourally enjoyed my time spent on this title so far.
     
  4. Squiffy

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    How did you find the whole combined arms thing? Did you have the same problem with airforces as I did?

    Who are you playing in your first game? I'm playing as Germany, mainly because I prefer the land-based battles over the more amphibious based tactics you need as the UK, Japan, USA, etc.

    My strategy at the moment is to pour research resources into production efficiency, synthetic oil and air forces. At the same time I'm producing large numbers of infantry and tanks, whilst neglecting AA and factory production.

    As far as possible I'm going to ignore the Balkans and Middle East. When I've built up my forces the plan is to wipe out Western Europe as quickly as possible and then do a concerted assault to take as much of the Soviet Union as possible.

    I'm going to encircle the likes of Moscow and rely on this to reduce the supplies and hence organisation level of their garrisons. I'm not going to spend too much time and resource on taking on Stalins armies head on - I just want to grab his land, disrupt supplies, disrupt production and basically prevent the massive numbers of reinforcements coming on stream.

    At the same time I'm going to deploy my limited navy (which I'm not putting much resource into) to prevent supply convoys via the northern ports. The supplies from the south should hopefully be cut off by my victorious armies which should (I hope) face less opposition than in the more heavily defended population centres of the north.

    Once the USA comes into the war I'm hoping to deploy significant numbers of fighters in western Europe to enforce air superiority and prevent too much strategic bombing. Hopefully by this time a successful war in the east will have resulted in greatly increased production and the chance to build a truly awesome air force, and basically fortify Europe to the extend that invasion by the allies becomes untenable.

    After that I'm not sure. An amphibious assault of the UK might be possible, but I'd guess the game would be getting very close to its end date by then.
     
  5. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    Not used my fighters as yet (just got to about March 1937) but I did use them in the desert rats senario I played. I found that they tend to patrol an area as opposed to a province (which I suppose has a degree of realism) which I guess can be a pain if you are wanting to target specific units.

    I too am also using Germany in my game (mainly for the same reasons that I like ground combat etc and they are not too spread out, but still a good size). My strategy is different to yours though. I'm building up my factories to increase IC and i'm stockpiling my resources so that I have the 2/1/0.5 ratio for Energy/Metals/Rare Materials in good supply! I am also researching Blitzkrieg and better light & heavy tanks along with good infantry. I plan to create a huge army towards the end of 1939 (mainly inf with some panzer divisions) and take France (I will deal with Austria and Czechoslovakia & Poland prior to this though) I am also building some strong forts along the eastern border to withstand the red army! I will Attack France via Holland & Belgium, thus avoiding the Maginot line & taking Holland & Belgium in the process. I will also mass an army to take Denmark. :thumbsup:
     
  6. Squiffy

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    Thats an interesting strategy. What will you do about the Balkans and Middle East?
     
  7. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    Pretty much ignore that side of things at least initially. Like you my aim is to take western Europe fairly rapidly and then mass a force to punch into the USSR. One thing i've learnt from playing Germany in HOI is that it's very difficult to be fighting at the same time on both fronts. Your forces become too spread out and once a whole is punched through your defenses you are on the back foot from then on.
     
  8. Squiffy

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    OK, I executed my "master plan" last night.

    I got into early 1939 and my plans were paying off. Czechoslovakia was mine and had added to my production capacity. The research I wanted was coming through, and significant production resources were going into upgrades to improve the quality of my units. I had also managed to build around 16 tank, 12 infantry and 8 fighters to bolster the army I started with.

    So I moved defensive units into western Europe to contain France while I initiated the war with Poland. What a disaster! The war in the east was going brilliantly, despite the odd couple of reverses.

    But then the British landed in Rostock, so I had to divert some forces there to see them off. How did they get past my navy that was patrolling those waters? Oh well.

    Things in the west weren't going much better. One of my key defensive positions was seriously weakened by massive air assaults...and the French army broke through.

    What to do? Complete the conquest of Poland and then rush to the west, or divert forces from Poland to halt the French incursion before they got into the largely undefended German heartlands, but then face a two front war.

    I went for the former. Big mistake! How many bloody provinces are there in Poland? It just seemed to take forever to finish them off, and while I was doing it the allies had penetrated almost to Berlin. In fact their southern sweep towards Czechoslovakia could easily have turned towards Poland and started to liberate the countries I had just taken.

    My production points were down from the large number of countries I'd lost. I needed more than my available production just for reinforcements - let alone producing new units to replace those that were lost.

    A total bloody disaster.

    So I'm going to restart tonight to try and vary my tactics a bit. Instead of attacking Poland first, I'm going to try and take out France as they are a much larger threat than I'd given them credit for.

    How is your game going?
     
  9. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    Hi not had chance to play much further yet but i'm currently arming up with 64 infantry units in production! Not sure which border to defend and which to assault 1st though. I think I may take Holland, Belgium & France 1st though.
     
  10. Squiffy

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    Zzzzzzz.

    Well I finished at 2am on Tuesday night, and 3.30am last night. This game is seriously addictive. I've seriously considered whether I could get away with bringing my laptop to work to continue playing. On the learning curve front, I think I'm now completely up to speed. The only annoying UI thing that I can't seem to work out is how to merge or reorganise armies.

    Anyway, back to my game. I loaded my game pre-Poland and rejigged things a bit. I moved virtually all of my airforce to cover my border with France, plus built a few AA guns in those border countries.

    And it seems to be working. :clap: I've gone through the war with Poland again, and apart from the usual couple of reversals Poland is effectively mine. (They have about 9 territories left, but Warsaw has fallen along with the destruction of the vast majority of their army).

    The French did manage to defeat my defenders in Stuttgart, but I had a reserve force of 4 infantry which luckily did manage to retake it and prevent a French breakout.

    What a fantastic game. :thumbsup:
     
  11. Squiffy

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    Oh, and a little tip over which border to defend first... The border with France is only three countries. Thats a whole lot easier to defend than the rather larger border with Poland - not forgetting of course that you also have two territories within Poland that would be vulnerable.
     
  12. Desticado

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    am a huge fan of the original and I had completely failed to notice that a sequal was coming out!

    Where have you folks ordered the game from?

    Its £25 on Play247 and not available for two more weeks...

    thanks.
     
  13. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    Tell me about it - I managed to get to bed at 3:30am last night! I installed the new patch which made my saved game unloadable so i've started again and I am doing a better job this time. I'm in 1937 and have already got 49 inf and 9 panzer units in production (to arrive in May '38).

    I agree that it's best to defend against France and take Poland first due to the border sizes. France do have a pretty strong army though (and quite a few bombers) so it's important to have good forts, a good sized army and reasonable air support & AA guns to hold them off.

    I don't have a problem reorganising armies. I tend to just merge everything and then create the units I want by splitting them. To merge units you just highlight the units that you want to merge & then click merge (button on the bottom of the information panel on the left). To separate you click on the unit and then click the "create new unit" button (again at the bottom of the info panel on the left of the screen. This then shows the existing unit & commander at the top and a new commander at the bottom. To move divisions to the new commander just click on the + symbol on the division and they move down to the new commander. You can also add divisions to a field commander direct from the deployment screen.
     
  14. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    We both bought it from a bloke on ebay who was selling off US copies (it's been out a couple of months over there). It's out on the 18th over here I think so not long to wait now. It's a superb game though - takes everything that was great about HOI and improves on everything that wasn't. The research is superb now as where you had to research every little thing before (say 20 mm guns, light armour etc for a light tank) now you just research light tank and pick the best suited team of scientists to research it! Production is also a lot clearer and like everything it has it's own screen now (not just a bit down the side of the map). Diplomacy and trade is also much improved - especially the trade bit where you can see at a glance everything each nation has to trade & set up your trade agreements accordingly!

    Personally this is the best global strategy game i've yet played - They have somehow managed to give it more depth than the first game, whilst making it easier to play so that you can focus on the more important parts of the game. Absolutely superb!! :thumbsup:
     
  15. Squiffy

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    Ebay.

    My copy arrived extremely quickly.

    This is the guy I bought from http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=11053&item=8167004433&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

    There is another guy selling it for £22.50 inc P&P here
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=11053&item=8167294526&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

    This game has managed to take me away from FM2005, Halo 2, GTA San Andreas, VTM Bloodlines, Battle for Middle Earth, etc.

    If you are a fan of the first game, it's an absolute must.

    I went to bed at 3.30am last night with playing this game. It has the "I'll just finish doing...." one-more-go compulsion down to a tee.
     
  16. Squiffy

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    I see that you can have 32 player online games.

    I can't imagine how long that is going to take to play. Especially everyone can pause the game whilst issuing orders. :eek:

    If we do ever play the game online I bagseye being Germany. :rolleyes:
     
  17. Desticado

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    thanks for that. Just purchased it now via 'buy it now' so there goes my weekend.... :D
     
  18. Squiffy

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    Have yourself an early night tonight mate. While you still can..... :boring:
     
  19. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    It certainly does!! I'll just finish researching those tanks, i'll just wait unil i've produced that last batch of infantry, i'll just keep playing until i've taken Poland (by which time another conflict has flared up that needs your attention!). It's a joy to play - I could litterally play it all day if I didn't have to attend to "real life" matters :D
     
  20. Squiffy

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    Well, France is now mine. My forces have relocated to the East. I didn't lose many units taking France, but now I'm looking more closely at the number of territories to take in the Soviet Union I must admit to feeling somewhat daunted! I'm going to have to do a lot of cutting armies down to single divisions to hold territories and ensure my supply lines aren't compromised.

    I've left a single garrison brigade in most of the Northern European coastal territories to slow up any invasion forces, plus I've a reasonably large reserve force located within each quarter of France ready to move in and expel any invaders. The allies have already tried two invasions - one in Dunkerque and one surprising one in the South of France. Both were expelled, but the southern invasion looked a little tricky for a while as it too some time to move sufficient forces south.

    How is your game going gthom3?

    Let us know when yours arrives Desticado, and what you think of it.
     
  21. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    Now then Squiffy!

    I started my game again and have done a lot better this time. I've not been able to play over the last couple of days but i'll give you a run down of where I stand.

    After Austria I decided to split Czech with Hungary. I have since taken Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hugary & Romania. I am now amassing an invasion force to go into France via Holland & Belgium! I am also looking nervously over my sholder at the huge Soviet border with all his units omminously lining it. My defenses are not that strong there so i'm desparately trying to sure them up!

    Hopefully once i've taken France I can leave a fairly strong Garrison on the northern coast (whilst building up my Anti Air & Costal forts). I will then divert most of my forces to the eastern border where I can begin the HUGE task of taking down the Soviets! I may get on later tonight for another installment of this (after my PES4 games that is :p too many games, not enough time! And to think a mate is probably bringing me RE4 back from the states next week as well!)
     
  22. Squiffy

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    Things are getting quite hairy now!

    The allies keep trying invasions in the south. My strategic reserves have combatted them pretty easily by concentrating my fire, but I will struggle if they invade from the north and south simultaneously. The USA has entered the war now, but not much sign of any of their forces yet. Bombing activity seems to have ramped up, but the USA are directing most of this against Italy.

    The war in the East has been truly epic.

    Most of my airforce has gone. The majority was operating from Kiev, which I lost to a counter attack. Disaster! I took it back easily, but lost all of my tactical bombers and most of my interceptors.

    I had great success in the south taking Sevastopol and penetrating quite far. Until, well, that will come in a bit. I had nowhere near as much success in the north and got bogged down. So much for my grand plan to encircle Moscow. In the centre I'm doing OK, but don't have enough forces to attack and hold any more territories. You know the problem - two of your countries with only one army group each touch three enemy countries. I'm desperate for reinforcements!

    One thing is really bugging me though. Whilst driving across the south I encircled two territories containing 19 soviet divisions between them. The idea being of course to starve them of supplies and watch their organisation level drop so I could pick them off at my leisure. While I kept those units in check I drove on to Sevastopol et al.

    I was unbelievably angry when somehow those 19 divisions swelled to 45 divisions. what the fudge?

    To make matters worse, these 45 divisions then cut my supply lines to my southern armies, and eventually defeated them resulting in the outright loss of about 15 tank divisions and 20+ infantry.

    Basically I'm now screwed because it seems that the computer has cheated. Have I got this wrong? Is there a legitimate way of reinforcing territories that are cut off? The territories were landlocked, had no airbases, were cut off by at least two territories in all directions AND every one of my touching territories had at least one infantry division.

    I can't drop reinforcements into a territory unless there is a land link to my other territories. How can they do this?

    Still it is a great game. I know I can't win now - especially when the allies mount a serious invasion - but I'll definitely replay it and try to do better next time.
     
  23. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    Sounds like your having a pretty good game Squiffy! One thing that I can think of is that they have airdropped the units in. They can do this if the provinces are in range of their aircraft.

    I stuck my game on for an hour or two at about 11ish last night and finally pulled myself away at 3am. The offensive against the French is working well, Paris is mine & I have advanced about 2 rows of provinces further south. I have encircled the Maginot line and am starving them out with a ring of units around the 3 provinces. My main army is pushing on South. I have sured up the eastern front with at least 3 divisions dug in on every province and some Panzer divisions waiting behind to repel any would be Soviet advances.

    I think the key is to ensure that you proceed slowly but surely with Germany making sure that everything that you take is defended and that you don't spread yourself too thin. Essentially if you can defend western Europe by pouring loads into coastal, Air & Land forts and manage to take Moscow by 1947 then you will easily win. That's my aim anyway & I may be more adventurous in my next game.

    In this one I hope to take the rest of France, Yugoslavia, Greece, Spain & Portugal in the next year and then I will start building defenses & a huge invasion force in the east. Hopefully i'll get some more played today :thumbsup:
     
  24. Squiffy

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    I was using my remaining air group to enforce air superiority in that region. I certainly didn't notice any enemy planes going over. Plus I was checking them regularly as I needed to be sure they weren't going to mount a break-out. Also the rise in forces was pretty dramatic. It started at 19, went to 20, then 27, then 45. I'm sure I would have noticed 18 transport planes coming over!

    Much as it pains me to say it, all I can think is that the game cheated somehow? (If I'm losing, it must be because the game cheated - right? :laugh: )

    I was simply unable to prevent such a huge force breaking out to the south east and cutting off a big part of my forces. They then suffered the fate I had planned for the russkies - being forced to fight without supplies, and due to having nowhere to retreat the units just 'dissolve'. :mad:

    I might restart tonight and try some new tactics. Maybe leave Poland / Czech Republic alone and try and knock out France early followed by an invasion of the UK?

    Thats the real beauty of this game isn't it. So many different things to try.

    And thats even without thinking of playing as another country!
     
  25. Desticado

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    well my copy finally arrived in the post this morning so will get to grips with it tonight... means weds could be rough as I have to be up at 5.30am.... :(

    Im surprised reading some of the war reports, is HOMII harder than the original? I usually crack Poland in the first two weeks of the way (1939) and break the back of France by about May 1940 and usually Invade England in the summer and conquere the mainland by then end of the summer. The english fleet is always a night mare though, have to be very careful about dumping troops on the beaches and then getting the hell out of there.

    I find I lose supply transports early on in the channel but as the mainland falls so does the operational range of the English Fleet.

    I usually stall on attacking the USSR until I absolutely must, instead choosing to conquer Greece, Turkey and Iraq to come about them from under neath. On one game I even made it through India and into Siam! although my supply lines were very thin to say the least.

    Something I've always struggled with though is which type of bombers to use and when. Use interceptors a lot and generally build dive bombers, largely ignoring tac bombers and strategic bombers.

    here's a Q I never bothered to work out. The production damage done by Strategic Bombers. Is that permanent or temporary and restores itself?

    Will post a report on my first game in the next couple of days.
     
  26. Squiffy

    Squiffy
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    I'm not sure that it's harder. It's just different, and it will take some time to work out the optimal tactics for each side.

    Regarding the production thing. I don't know. It's becoming an issue in my game as bombing is ramping up. And sadly I've lost 80% of the airforce which I was going to rely on to fight off the bombers. :blush:
     
  27. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    I've researched into AA quite a bit and have 250% Flak power, which seems to be holding the bombers at bay! You can also use AA inf to help protect your provinces rather than just relying on the Airforce.
     
  28. Desticado

    Desticado
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    just finished playing the 'spanish civil war' scenario as a warmup. won a strategic victory by mid 1937 with not too much bother.

    Innitial observations...

    I like the research, FAR less fussy although it will take a while to get used to the new tech trees and the best use of the research teams.

    The 'move is combat' makes for a slightly different approach. I found that I wasnt committing enough troops to be in the conquered province and that as soon as I conquered them I'd get bootedout again.

    The best improvement for me though has to be the new way of upgrading units without having to take them out of service. Used to be very frustrating when you got on a research role in HOMI that you'd end up with huge numbers of units out of use.

    Well, its 1am and I have to be up at 5.30am... just time to start that German Campaign I guess...
     
  29. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    Just finished my sesh as well! Really enjoying this game and i've now got to grips with most aspects of it. I'm going pretty slowely in this game but i'm looking at a less expansionistic approach based on defending what I have taken and ensuring that everything is kept in check.

    It's Nov 1942 and we have just obliterated the French! Most of Europe (apart from Spain, Italy and the UK) are mine. I'm currently allied to Italy (although i'll probably break that once I have Spain and perhaps the UK). I've researched my armour & infantry to 1945 standards and i've got the 2nd biggest army in the game only about 5 behind the Soviets. Allthough I left it late to attack France I went through them as you'd expect like a knife through Butter! My next job is to mobilise my armies to the south to invade Spain and I don't see this campaign being particularly difficult. I've enchanced several of my panzer divs up to Tiger status and my infantry is superb.

    I agree 100% with the upgrading thing - it was a right chore in the previous game to upgrade them all by sticking them back in the pool until done & then have to redeploy them. Infact I think they've really listened to peoples comments about HOI and improved every area of this game. They seem to have added more depth whilst removing loads of the pointless micromanagement aspects that plagued the first game.
     
  30. HMHB

    HMHB
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    This sounds like it could be my cup of tea. Being a newbie to this game, I've just downloaded a demo version.
     

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