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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Some changes in this game I can take or leave, they've been good but haven't really altered the way I play a great deal.

This is huge, this system has long since needed some kind of visualisation, it was far to opaque before.

Also great changes.
 
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Now this is logistics! This will properly anchor battles around crucial crossroads like the real thing. Also, are there any plans to show river names? They're going to matter even more now that they can play a logistical role.
 
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i logged into my paradox account for the first time just to make this post. I am VERY hyped for this update. its everything i have wanted in hoi4. Amazing dev diary. does railways mean we might get railway guns? ultra long range to destroy fortifications and ports.

I also cant wait to mod in train whistles and thomas the tank engine skins!
 
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If a hypothetical future Italian focus tree overhaul doesn't have a "Make the Trains Run On Time" focus for Mussolini that buffs his trains, future me will riot.

Also Scherer Gustav, possibly?
 
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Will there be an option for having horses instead of trucks for logistics? The German Army had a majority horse drawn logistics in WW2
 
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This looks fantastic, can’t wait to see how it plays out!
Quick question does this now affect the dispersion of troops on the frontline, will we see large concentrations along built up railways while more distant areas only see some low intensity fighting? Because that’d be amazing.
 
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Will there be an option for having horses instead of trucks for logistics? The German Army had a majority horse drawn logistics in WW2
@podcat has answered that yes, if you don't have enough trucks you switch to horse drawn supply, which is obviously less effective and you always have the small local supply everywhere for the really small numbers of units (a very nice touch, it abstracts the looting of say a small village).
 
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Atm trucks is something that may end up changing a bit but the idea is that without them you are basically running with horses so you dont get 0 if you dont have trucks. Oh and there is also some local supply still like before for small amount of troops
I feel like that is a bit of a fallacy, to say that "trucks are better than horses, and horses are always a backup"

During Barbarossa notably horses were definitely not used as a way to "supplement and replace trucks when needed". They were strictly better than trucks during autumn, early winter and some periods of the thaw, and definitely not an infinite supply. Wheels would bog down in the mud, and even on a dry good day their suspensions could not handle anything but roads. There were huge sections of countryside, forests, plains and hills inaccessible to the trucks that only horses and tracked vehicles could pass.

The thinkers of the interwar and early war liked the idea of completely replacing horses with trucks in their supply lines, but even before the severe shortages of rubber, and domestic and conquered motor pools dried out, animals still made the bulk of the supply chain.

Not to say about China and other undeveloped regions. Some provinces could strictly not be accessed by trucks, no matter how many you'd push into it, when the trotters would gently trot on.
 
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This looks fantastic, can’t wait to see how it plays out!
Quick question does this now affect the dispersion of troops on the frontline, will we see large concentrations along built up railways while more distant areas only see some low intensity fighting? Because that’d be amazing.

Great question, i hope the new warfare system does make it so you dont have all your troops on the frontline because its not immersive, unrealistic and bad gameplay.
 
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Great question, i hope the new warfare system does make it so you dont have all your troops on the frontline because its not immersive, unrealistic and bad gameplay.
Sounds like with railways you’re going to have to keep some back for reserve and for defense
 
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The problem with burning railroads as Soviet I see in Multiplayer. Soviet just sitting on the river line dug in, and just burning all railroads towards the river line, so Germany has to build everything anew.
But some scorched earth mechanic would be cool, just difficult to balance.
There's already a scorched earth mechanic in that you can destroy your own factories, it just limits you to a few at a time. If you could raze your own supply hubs or railroads, that would probably work the same way.

Either way, there's already a delay before you can use newly captured railroads, so I suppose sabotage to deny rails to the enemy is already abstracted.
 
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There's already a scorched earth mechanic in that you can destroy your own factories, it just limits you to a few at a time. If you could raze your own supply hubs or railroads, that would probably work the same way.

Either way, there's already a delay before you can use newly captured railroads, so I suppose sabotage to deny rails to the enemy is already abstracted.
Plus, mp servers have tons of rules already. I can easily see it simply being added as one if it gets too impossible to play with.
 
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Will railroad routes from the start date be mostly modelled on historical maps or will there be some creative freedom for the sake of balance?

They were modelled on historical maps (although finding good maps for 1936 specifically was a bit of a challenge, so I had to use maps from the late 20ies and early 30ies). That said, there were a number of creative decisions for the sake of balance and performance. Not every possible railroad was included, and I aimed more for representing the major network layout (so the French network is heavily centered around Paris, for example) instead of representing every railroad ever. For large parts of central Europe, being completely accurate would have meant covering every province with railroads in ever direction, making them somewhat pointless (and more performance intensive as every unit has to constantly calculate which of the hundreds of nodes is the correct one to draw supplies from). We are still tweaking the system though, so we may decide to add a few railways that don't exist in 1936 but would be complete no-brainers to build at the game start to fix glaring supply issues in various places (The Japanese-Chinese frontier is a bit of a problem child in this regard).

In the final resort, if we have to choose between building the entire system around working with a 100% accurate historical setup or adding a single low-level railway somewhere and have it work with an otherwise balanced system, we will do the latter.

now that railroads are implemented, what role will the infrastructure have apart from more resources and faster factory construction speed? will the focuses that gives you infrastructure also give you railroads in said states?

It depends. The Autobahn focus does not give you railways, but the Australian and Indian focuses talking about railways do. They either upgrade existing railways or add some in places that I thought it would make sense.
 
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Flavius Anthemius

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Jan 28, 2020
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Is paradox planning an invasion of the soviet union in this patch?
I see openTTD has taken a turn...for the worse. ;)

It would be nice to be able to stockpile "supply" in case we are planning for a quick decisive victory.
 
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