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Hi everyone and welcome back to regular weekly dev diaries (if you don't count the april fools one last week). I know you are all super excited to hear what we have been up to since Battle for the Bosporus. The answers to that are going to take a few dev diaries to cover, so I figured I would start with a timeline for you:
  • We recently released 1.10.4 to fix various multiplayer exploits going on, but seems an important case was not detected at the time so we are working on a 1.10.5 to address that soon.
  • Pdxcon is coming up in May so expect to hear some more details there.
  • The yearly anniversary is coming in June so expect some cool stuff and a patch.
  • We are however spending most of our time on the 1.11 Barbarossa update as well as the unannounced expansion that will be released together with it. That's what we will spend most of our diaries on, as well as today!

‘Barbarossa’ and the unannounced DLC will focus on the Eastern Front and the core of Hearts of Iron, which is warfare - particularly land warfare. Historically the Eastern Front was without doubt the most important front for World War II. It was the largest confrontation in history and
is where Hitler’s expansion was first stopped and pushed back signaling the eventual doom of the axis powers. There are several areas we want to improve here. Weather does not feel impactful enough, while historically it had a massive impact. Logistics currently doesn’t have much player interaction and is mostly something you have to deal with only when problems appear, and finally the combat and division meta has been stable (with an emphasis on large divisions) for a long time - something we hope we can shake up. As you can imagine, these are all things that affect the game on a deeper level and take a lot of work to get right.

Today, I’ll give you guys a bit of an overview on the supply aspect, but fair warning: it’s early days and stuff may still change here before we’re done. I’ll probably spend 3+ diaries on supply over the course of the development to cover everything, but I figured it would be nice to hear about the overarching ideas.

The old system worked by having discrete supply areas pathing back to the players capital and keeping track of the bottlenecks. To simplify a bit ;) - those bottlenecks then decided how many units could fit into areas near the front without penalties. The areas themselves were unintuitive to players and required you to check multiple mapmodes to see if you stepped over an edge etc. I do like bottleneck systems though, because feedback is usually immediate, but it suffered from not having much scaling cost as distances increased, so it was hard to use it to limit snowballing. As I mentioned it was also a system you didn't care too much about until you had problems, while historically, logistics was a vital part of planning a campaign. This led to combining the issue with another gripe of ours - that the way fronts moved in WW2 often followed important railroads, but don't really in HOI4. We came to the conclusion that we should try and make a system focused on railways and with a truck based component as a way to get more out of it when away from the rails.

1617799554638.png


In our new system, supply flows from the capital (the total amount available depends on your total industrial base) through railways, where the level of the railway acts as a bottleneck. To transport more, you need a higher level railway (or a bigger port if it goes over water) so the railways are the current bottlenecks in a way. Depending on how much supply is transported you need a certain amount of trains for the rails to perform. Trains are a new equipment type that we will dig into in a future diary (well actually, several types ;P)

An important part of railways is that they are capturable, so as you push into enemy territory you will want to make sure to hold vital railways and capture railway hubs to supply your troops. There is a conversion time here to model the fact that there was usually some repair or re-gauging that needed to happen for attackers.

1617798271066.png

1617799689604.png

Mapmodes are still quite WIP ;)

Rivers also had a huge importance on the eastern front for transport and supply so they will work essentially like basic railroads now, where you need to control both sides of their banks to use them to ship supplies around.

1617798407335.png


Supply is drawn from what we call Supply Hubs now, which are either cities, naval bases, or manually constructed stations along the rails, which have to be linked into the network. Air supply works a bit differently but we will talk about this in the future along with some other supply additions...

The flow of supply from a Hub to a division depends on the terrain/weather etc, and ideally you want to have available trucks here (which is to say, motorized equipment) to increase the amount of supply you get as well as range. Cost of trucks and trains and losses to attrition and bad weather will be a limiting factor on your logistics.

1617798787102.png


Overall, this creates a system where it's strategically sound to fight over railways, prepare for large offensives, to try and bleed each other's logistics capability and to force care when advancing in bad terrain and weather. The result is a much more fun, historical and immersive Eastern Front as well as adding a new layer of invasion planning in the rest of the world.

See you all next week for the next diary!
 
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"The yearly anniversary is coming in June so expect some cool stuff and a patch." - I hope that this patch will come together with Jet Planes DLC unit pack game really miss it since is funny/stupid that jets in game been represent with propeller planes.
 
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"The yearly anniversary is coming in June so expect some cool stuff and a patch." - I hope that this patch will come together with Jet Planes DLC unit pack game really miss it since is funny/stupid that jets in game been represent with propeller planes.
I think the skins for jets will keep it for them when they take out dlc that they call Wunderwaffen but it is certain that a skins package will come and I would also like another package of new generals and advisers for the countries already worked
 
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Really happy about this news.

For Divisions the meta should be based on actual historical Division design. Which means removing the arbitrary cap on Support Companies. And it means adding some more types of units like Militia and Assault Guns which were heavily used by the Germans and basically only built during World War 2. There's a user on here who has threads about creating historical Divisions. Forget his name though.

For weather, attrition needs to be more detailed. Currently attrition only affects Equipment and doesn't affect manpower at all. In real life there are extreme environments and disease etc. South Pacific for example. Germans in the USSR without winter clothing etc. Weather stations and weather prediction were a big deal as well. Weather affected aircraft a lot as well for example. There needs to be controls on Air Wings (and other units) which determine how they operate in different weather conditions. Battle of the Bulge for example the Germans got lucky with bad top weather, so the Allied aircraft couldn't operate.

For Railways, there's a lot to think about. The main transport routes for an army should be the Rail system. If you want to travel away from a Rail line then you need to either walk or you need motor transport. The Germans had huge problems because they didn't have enough trucks and their trucks were not standardized enough. Also, the process of converting Soviet Rail gauge to German Rail gauge was a huge undertaking. I think there were 1 or 2 million workers working on the conversion of Rail lines for the Army.

I personally believe that Bridges should be represented like this: when there is a river between two provinces, those two provinces should have a Bridge rating. Which represents how many Bridges there are between them or how good those Bridges are. Some provinces might have really good Bridges which makes them an important target for capture (like A Bridge Too Far movies). Crossing a river, especially a major river, should be really hard without Bridges.

Bridges can be sabotaged as well (along with other types of infrastructure).
 
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Does this mean we're getting the Schwerer Gustav? I need a massive railway cannon to bombared enemy forts
 
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I am Pole, I am historian too. I fully agree and support your opinion. It is with concern that I observe the process of the HOI4's increasing deviation from the historical context.
Instead, there are absurd ideas, such as reactivating the Roman Empire and the like.

I like playing as Japan. There was an event like this: the Nanjing Massacre. Suddenly it was gone.

Political correctness is a disease of our time. It leads to the falsification of history. As a result, the lack of knowledge of history - as can already be seen today - results in a return to popularity of totalitarianism and populisIr
Thanks for your great dev diaries again. This looks great and I am super exited for those new supply mechanics.
The irony is that both of you dont know what you are talking about. I will leave you with a quote from Napoleon ¨what is history but a fable agreed upon¨
 
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The irony is that both of you dont know what you are talking about.
What's wrong about thanking the devs for their great work and being excited about new game features/mechanics?
 
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will there be an option to build lightweight tempopary railways for major operations? like in late '41 early '42 soviets took tracks from an unfinished railway in Far East and used them to construct almost 1000km of new railroads to supply troops during battle of Stalingrad. seasonal railroads like that over frozen Ladoga lake?
 

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will there be an option to build lightweight tempopary railways for major operations? like in late '41 early '42 soviets took tracks from an unfinished railway in Far East and used them to construct almost 1000km of new railroads to supply troops during battle of Stalingrad. seasonal railroads like that over frozen Ladoga lake?
IIRC they have said that there will be a railroad building mechanic; not clear whether there is any distinction between light and high-capacity rail.

Lakes, frozen or otherwise, are just considered impassible to supply right now. Maybe they could be a rolled into riverine supply, but I don't recall it being mentioned.
 
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Very excited to see this system in game, looks great!

Is there currently any plan for the supply rework to incorporate direct supply routs to Airfields and/or Navy Fleets/Ports? (Noting its a land update.)
 

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I have 4 suggestions, love to hear anybody's thoughts on this.....

1. Add armoured trains as divisions. They could have a shore bombardment effect like the navy which automatically gives a bonus to combat for all friendly forces in combat 1 or 2 tiles over. Also, give them a high breakthrough stat so that they won't get trapped by 1 paratroop division trying to cheese the game.
2. Add button to sabotage/blow up a bridge when retreating
3. Don't let heavy tanks cross LARGE rivers, make them have to go over bridges. Maybe add a weight limit for each type of river crossing to simulate the pontoon bridge strength?
4. (kind of an add on to 3) Add engineer divisions as special forces. They could have a function to repair infrastructure/bunkers. Also, they could somehow act as a pontoon bridge for tanks, maybe eliminating some of the negative crossing modifier or weight requirement?
 
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Are dams going to be in the new supply update? They were pretty important and the Allies targeted and destroyed them in Germany.
 
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@podcat
Its been years since discussed (though I fought hard for it), but would the logistics elements- hubs, train and truck, river, trans oceanic convoys, etc, cost a background tax of manpower as well?

Doing so would likely have a large impact on desired or required supply efficiency, reinforcement and reactivity say, by selecting the appropriate % (player chosen) of alloted logistical troops relative to fielded combat manpower and equipment.

Likely the farther the lines from the capital, the greater the requirement, meaning a global or power projecting nation would require vastly more investment in logistics than a continental nation.

Maybe this would limit the US and British armies to somewhat more historic sizes, while affording them the opportunity for a much better relative supply and reinforcement efficiency. Additionally powers like Japan and Italy would have some increased challenges or difficulties (as was the case) around supply capabilities abroad while having to field substantial armies.

Cheers ;)
 
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I'm really personally looking forward to this. I tend to play on regular difficulty and have little to no trouble steam rolling the entire world because I can just simply build enough divisions by later game so as to be able to completely ignore supply. Only once have I actually been defeated and that was simply because while playing as Russia, I miscalculated the amount of troops I needed for my German front and had most of my troops tied up in a war with the United States and allies for Alaska. I lost the German-Russian war, with them taking most of my territory, but I was (eventually) able to re-take it after the allies had sufficiently pushed back the Germans. This update promises to make the gameplay far more historically accurate, as well as providing me with another factor I need to consider in my war plans that will actually have a larger impact than do I simply have the manpower and IC to steamroll my opposition. Previously the only time I've ever had to worry about supply was when I actually bothered fighting in Africa.
 
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