Today we have two important topics to cover, for which we have reinstated @podcat with a battlefield commission, in order to detail our latest efforts to combat the width meta. In addition, Comrades @Bratyn and @Wrongwraith return for a dive into changes to the Soviet Exiles branch of the focus tree, based partly on community feedback.
Hi everyone, @podcat here for a little guest appearance to tell you some more about the combat changes coming with Barbarossa. Back in the Combat and Stats Changes diary we outlined our quest to break down the 40 width meta and try to combat an “overall best division”.
In there we outlined several changes such as varying terrain width without easy multipliers to exploit (meaning you can still make optimums for particular terrains but not all), as well as reduced penalties to going over widths.
To expand on this we have changed how targeting and damage spreading works. One way 40 width (and also larger) divisions were stronger than smaller ones was how they could concentrate all of their damage into one target overpowering defense more easily. Targeting is now changed so that divisions will select targets up to its own width (so a 40w can fire on two 20w), but doing so spreads the damage over them relative to their width (and just to be clear, it’s not just for 40w. This applies to any widths that match up like 30+10 say).
‘tis mathematics innit
With these changes I can say that I am not really sure what the best meta is anymore. I think there are likely some optimums depending on your opponent and location (when balancing Org versus cost and piercing and such) but what that is I look forward to see you players try to figure out
We also have one more change that I think will have a pretty big impact. When deciding if a division can reinforce to the battle line inside combat we no longer check in order of the order they joined combat, but instead we will now pick randomly among all waiting divisions with their chance weighted by their reinforce chance. This means that to optimize reinforcing you no longer need to pull micro feats to get the right divisions in order, and can much more safely toss in your newly designed tanks to save the day in an ongoing combat. Also, don’t forget your signal companies, they should be more impactful now!
Hi guys! This is @Bratyn and @Wrongwraith, part of the CD team on the Exiles branch for the Soviet Union. The last month has (other than lots and lots of keyboard-scrubbing...) seen some significant changes to the branch, and while we’ve kept much of the original design, we’ve also incorporated feedback from you guys, the community, and did some further iteration of our own on how the tree looks and works.
I believe we mentioned last time around that the civil war was hard if you chose to go down this path of the focus tree. Really hard. “Realistically hard” someone might argue. "Unwinnable", our testers might say. And while that might be to some degree realistic, it isn’t that fun. So we decided to make it _slightly_ less hard, while also introducing a few new elements to make the war even more interesting. Among other things, you now use Command Power to recruit units, rather than Political Power. And we have increased the amount of things you can get from countries supporting your cause.
We also added a few new focuses.
As you can see, the main structure of this section is similar to what it was before, with some minor changes. Maybe it should be stated at this point that most focuses are short focuses. The new ones that you can access before the war are these:
Why do you need these? Well You really, really need to be the one triggering the war, and you want to ensure you have control of as much land and units as you possibly can. So you need to be juggling your PP’s and CP’s while keeping an eye on the Political Paranoia of the Soviet Union. If Stalin starts the war before you are ready, it will still be very hard to win. And in order to do the latter, you can use the Covert Operations focus to try and divert the attention away from you - by providing fake evidence that e.g. the army is plotting against the state. This will cause an inquiry into army affairs, and this in turn will both damage Stalin’s army, and lower the Paranoia level temporarily - allowing you to continue with your schemes. The other new focus here is intended to give you a better supply situation when the war breaks out. Fighting through Siberia can be tough. Extra so if you don't have a supply system that supports it. So why not get some more help from the Japanese, right?
But I suppose the most interesting thing is this set of Focuses:
What do they do? Well, they give you different options in how to deal with nations that declared independence during the civil war…
A number of countries can declare independence during the war, especially if it drags on for too long. You then get the choice to see that as an act of war, or as a potential ally (for a while at least). Getting help from minor nations can be a good distraction, and something that can greatly reduce the time you need to fight against the Bolsheviks. However, being the empire -wanna be, you might not want that situation to last forever, hence the post war options.
This, together with a few other events that can happen during the war, should make the 2nd Russian Civil War winnable for the exiles, although still a challenge.
Some of the biggest criticism we received from you was the fact that the Western and Eastern expansion branches depended on whether you went down the Tsarist or Fascist branches. And rightly so! It made no sense to arbitrarily lock some of these options behind an ideology choice; a Fascist Russia would certainly have cause to wish to reconquer in the West, and a Tsarist Russia might well have even more reason to exact vengeance upon the Japanese than the Fascists would.
Making these two expansion paths available to both branches would, however, mean other focuses were required to continue to offer a unique identity to both of the ideological branches. Some people suggested more focuses geared to creating alliances, and we paired these with certain focuses intended to offer some flavor to the branches. This is the current state of the post-civil-war branches:
The difference will be immediately apparent. The tree has ‘thickened’ quite a bit, with over 10 new focuses, and the branches against Sweden, the Baltics, and Finland on one side, and Japan on the other, are now available regardless of the political choice you made, clustered near the center of the branch. Nothing has changed in these focuses, except The Lonely Island, which, if you relied upon Japanese aid too much and thus were puppeted after the end of the civil war, converts into a “war for independence” focus.
Let’s explore the newly-added focuses. On the Tsarist side, Capital of the Tsars moves the capital to St. Petersburg, and adds a bunch of goodies for the state itself. Reforge the Triple entente does what it says on the tin: reach out to the UK and France to re-establish the old alliance aimed squarely at Germany.
To emphasize old Tsarist Russia’s emphasis on being a ‘defender of the Slavs’, there’s yet another “Slavic Commitments” focus. If you elected to go down Third Rome, this will still give you an option to send guarantees to the various Slavic powers (along with some other bonuses), after which you may invade Romania (The Fate of Romania) to establish a land connection to the Balkan powers. And finally, “The Iron Wall off Russian Resolve” gives major bonuses to research and production cost, reliability, and armor for Super Heavy Tanks, incentivizing their use by offsetting the most detrimental aspect of them (their production cost), and thus offering a more unique playstyle for the Tsarists.
On the Fascist side, Russian Corporate State offers some factories and industrial bonuses. There is a focus to create a Berlin-Moscow Axis, and follow-up focus Japanese Overtures allows for an alternative choice to simply avenging the war of 1905 by going to war with the Japanese: you can invite them into the new Axis and secure Russia’s flank that way.
Eastern Expansion is now Fascist-only. After this, there is still the option of meddling in the Americas and, ultimately, declaring war on Canada and the USA for the old Russian colonial possessions on the continent. A second branch can be taken, however, offering wargoals on Afghanistan and Iran, and ultimately leading into Iraq, Turkey (if it hasn’t already been taken as the Third Rome), Syria (France), and India.
These changes should offer a bit more identity to the Exiles branches, while also allowing both to fulfil the ‘basics’ of recovering Imperial Russian possessions in the West and avenging the war of 1905 in the East.
Finally, here’s some pictures of certain characters:
As usual, the tree is still under development, and even what you see here might not match what ends up being released See you next week for another dev diary!
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