HOI4 Dev Diary - Bag of Tricks : the Sequel

Greetings all!

Today’s dev diary contains the details of a few smaller features coming to the table in No Step Back. In addition, I’ll get ahead of the curve here and point out that there will be no diary next week - we’ll be back the week after with more to see.

Scorched Earth

One of the enduring tactical practices of the Soviet defense during the German invasion, was the use of scorched earth. In No Step Back, you’ll be able to spend Command Power on ordering the strategic disabling of railways in the event of a tactical retreat.

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(All visuals WIP!)

Enacted on a state level, every railway present receives full damage, and is immediately flagged, making sure that your eager workers do not attempt repairs.

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The pending repairs will show up differently in your construction queue, and won’t be worked on. Rather than re-enable these all manually, you can toggle the state of Scorched Earth off on a state, in the same way it was enabled. All affected railways will begin repairing at once.

Scorched Earth is a pretty simple mechanic here, but has potentially devastating effects on invaders. In addition to the rail conversion time that exists on captured railway, damaged rail must now be repaired in order to continue supply flow onwards. While we considered extending some effects to factories, we determined that this was likely to affect balance far more than we wanted.

Preferred Tactics

We touched on this feature briefly during a previous diary, however, due to some good feedback from the community and from inside the team, we’ve made some alterations to how it works.

Where previously, you set a preferred tactic on a national level, giving a positive chance modifier for that tactic to be chosen in combat, your generals and field marshals will now also possess the ability to earn a favored combat tactic.

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At level 5, you’ll be prompted to choose a preferred tactic for your generals. This represents their doctrinal school of war - a choice that affects all units under their command.

Note here, that we are not removing the national preferred tactic, and that the additive weight will compound from national -> field marshal -> general. To pre-empt the question, you can of course stack all 3 as the same tactic, although this drastically reduces your flexibility, and potentially makes it very easy to be countered. The overall additions granted by preferred tactics, have of course been reduced somewhat to account for this.

We wanted to avoid a rock-paper-scissors choice here, and in order to further emulate the core, doctrinal nature of a general’s fighting style, we have chosen to make this choice permanent for characters.

Strategic Redeployment

As we hinted at, strategic redeployment will now make use of railways in order to simulate more realistic army relocation. This applies a different weighting to the regular pathfinder, resulting in choices that largely look sensible where routes of a similar weight are encountered.

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Here, we take a train followed by a scenic bus-tour in order to avoid the long connection.

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Sometimes it becomes difficult to predict what will be considered 'sensible' in every scenario - there will be edge cases where pretty looking behaviour and logical behaviour do not overlap.

That’s all we have for today’s diary - just a final reminder that next week there will not be a dev diary - tune back in on the 29th!

As usual, I’ll be around to answer questions in the thread below!

/Arheo
 
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Ethereld

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Strategic Redeployment using railways is dreamlike. But what happens in areas with no trains or damaged railways? Will the pathfinding and speed work the same?
 
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kimidf

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I think the burned earth should also affect not only the enemy movement capacity but also the productive capacity of a province to avoid this can be used by the enemy in the short term
 
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TheTouho10

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Do you intend on making a separate diary on the new tags and associated formables? Also, will you finally make Germany balkanizeable from the start? (not locking the cores behind that one french focus)
 
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pheonicia

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I don't think favoring rail provinces is going to do much more than confuse players as to why their troops aren't taking a more direct route.

Edit: that is to say is there anything that indicates to the player that the rail actually does anything for strat redeploy speed, or are we just assuming that they'll make the connection?
 
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C0RAX

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Strategic Redeployment using railways is dreamlike. But what happens in areas with no trains or damaged railways? Will the pathfinding and speed work the same?
yes, there are separate speed calculations for both the current rail level and the current infrastructure level. The pathfinder will work out which is the fastest route based on both these speeds so if there are no railways between 2 points but there are varying levels of infrastructure it will still find the fastest path.
 
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Maybe a filter to toggle showing flagged railways could be useful. If they are not going to be repaired, they are taking space in the queue while organising other repairs or constructions
 
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yes, there are separate speed calculations for both the current rail level and the current infrastructure level. The pathfinder will work out which is the fastest route based on both these speeds so if there is no railways between 2 points but there are varying levels of infrastructure it will still find the fastest path.

That's great & will add to the depth of the game. Units won't be able to just stategically redeploy out of potential encirclements as easily after you've taken the railways around them.
 
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Will throughput be a factor in the Strategic redeployment, or is it just as if there are unlimited trains with unlimited capacity to go by rail?
 
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