Modern warfare is not just about men but material. To win you need to get the right equipment to the right places. This diary looks at what we are doing about the production of the right equipment. Hearts of Iron 3 is not at its core an economic game; it is a war game. However, we cannot escape the link between industrial strength and military strength. Still, in sticking to our core design philosophy we are looking at ways to add depth to the economic system without adding complexity.
With this is mind we began to think of what we could do to make the economic game more interesting and try to make historical choices more interesting for players. So we began to think about the famous and not so famous little facts of World War II, like Black Thursday (14th October 1943 for those who are interested) when the USAAF took heavy casualties in the second raid on the ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt, and the Norwegian partisan raids on the heavy water plant in Norway. These are two examples of when certain resources had a great deal of importance for specific purposes that our IC system doesn’t capture.
Enter the idea of strategic resources. We have a number of resources in the game that provide bonuses for your country. We assume that countries would always be able to cope without access to these resources, just look at the German synthetic rubber industry, for example, but life would be easier if you had them. Some of these are research bonuses, like Heavy Water/Uranium for Nuclear technologies. We are also looking at making Nukes more expensive to research; basically if you don’t have these don’t do it. Some are production bonuses, like Aluminium for planes. Others are combat bonuses, like increased Hard Attack if you have Tungsten.
If a faction member controls a resource then all major faction members (countries with large IC) receive the bonus in addition to the owner. I know this creates a strange quirk that Japan and Germany share resources, so we have added a special rule for the Axis where they only share if the capitals are on the same continent. In addition, neutral countries that are ‘close’ to a faction will supply their strategic resources to that faction. If you as Britain want to prevent countries shipping goods to the Axis then you need to use diplomacy to do this. Historically, the Allies didn’t have a formal blockade but did do things like buy up entire countries' production of certain resources. We also have Switzerland, for example, importing huge amounts of Portuguese tungsten, which everyone knew was a fiction and the tungsten was going to Germany. This has the rather neat consequence that diplomacy doesn’t end just because war has begun. You are looking at what you can do to keep resources out of the hands of your enemies and into yours.
However, sometimes diplomacy won’t do the job and you don’t have the troops to take the province. Here, strategic warfare comes into play, and just like the real Schweinfurt raids you can use Strategic Warfare to target enemy strategic resources. The overall boost you get from a Strategic resource is linked to the infrastructure in a province. Large-scale raids will temporarily knock out this resource for the enemy's arsenal, leading to economic disruption.