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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This looks really interesting! Hopefully the AI "understands" the mechanic, it would be disappointing to see the AI attacking in low supply frontiers (Siberia, east Africa) while neglecting key rail routes.
 
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Ethereld

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Sounds like with railways you’re going to have to keep some back for reserve and for defense
In MP sure as a human can exploit parachuters to cut the railways, the communist Chinese rebellion system could also be used to exploit thus weakness in Asia.

But with the AI you most likely will only have to be aware of any spearhead that can cut railways near the front.
 
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Meglok

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Very interesting DD.

Question, assuming you can attack enemy rail lines with aircraft, will there be changes to the air system so players are not playing whack a mole chasing enemy bombers as is required now with strategic bombing?
 
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phe123

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First of this is amazing amazing amazing! Dreaming about trains since it came out! Really cool if you could also link strategic deployment to this cause it was always a bit silly that everyone got the front perfectly and super fast in the straightest line rather then fan out based on infrastructure (sure you will get there and it will be glorious!!!)

One thing that has been bothering me (and you) is tech creep... Kind of un avoidable as the game expands and not really a bad thing (more cool features = more cool stuff to research). However, i find myself neglecting teching Navy improvement because my five research slots are taken up for other things (generally more important land and airforce things), which makes me sad I can use all the Man the Guns features! Also true for the AI that never gets any good navy... or alteast improves it...

Here is my solution (food for thought) --
Keep the research system as is but split navy techs and doctrines into its own "tech tree / slots" where you have 0-2 research slots just for naval doctrines and ship stuff. (so for example UK starts with 2 navy slots and 4 "normal" slots)

My start thinking would be this
  1. Non navel nations / 3rd world - start with 0 slots
  2. Most Europeans start with 1 slot (Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, USSR, etc.)
  3. 2 slot is what Japan, US and UK starts with
  4. 3 slots is unlocked via focus for US/UK only (similar to the fabled 6 research slot for the US/Dem Germany and is to show that those two powers really were in a class of their own when it came to naval research)
    1. I guess Japan and Italy could in theory also join this exclusive club (maybe if you have 30+ - 40+ dock yards)
This also do wonders in co-op where the guy that focuses on Navy can actually do something without losing you the game.... (why give one guy the a slot and cripple your military potential?)
 
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krios41

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yes so those will be important to guard if you dont have alternate routes
Sort of related question, but any plans to make paradrops over longer distances possible? Not saying we should be paradrop across the Atlantic Ocean, but the current range does feel restrictivly small at times and it would be nice if we could make our transport planes fly further ;)
 
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Kosaki MacTavish

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YAHOOOO!!!

Finally my experience playing Railroad Tycoon II Platinum for the last 11 years would be worth it!
 
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First of all very, very nice dev diary @podcat, looking forward to getting to play with the new logistics system.

Second, regarding the new Logistics Capacity tab (I'd actually hoped you'd do something like this!), any chance the new logistics network could be made to not only require trucks and trains, but men as well? This'd allow a big real-life manpower sink to be represented in the game. Of course the in-game manpower values might need to be readjusted (although from a historical standpoint there is currently too much manpower available to combat units in the game as is).
 
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Dojo704

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Thanks so much for all your effort!

Looks great. My question is, if some parts of the map will see their terrain revisited (like the currently wooded steppes near stalingrad or the many jungles, who are currently portrayed as woodlands in asia)
Adittionaly are u taking a look at the amount of builded stuff portraied on the map? With the addition of more stuff, the smaller provinces will just look crowded by 20 overlapping things :D

Thanks for reading
 
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SergeantCatt

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Very exciting! Thank you for making the dev diary, it has been so very tense! I am a man of speculation, so I would expect the release on the 22nd to "honor" the 80th year of the beginning of Barbarossa, that is to say as the 1.11 will be called Barbarossa.
This sounds exciting! I have always wanted a better and more in depth supply system, as I think sometimes supplies can be a bit hyperbole or just not arrive at all. It is a very good idea to pair supplies with Barbarossa as it played a crucial aspect when it comes to trains & systems.

I would like to add my "own idea" or i don't know if it is my own idea, but small-medium sized buildabe supply depots could be very nice? IIRC the totaler krieg or black ice mods have "supply depots" which increase your supplies in that and surrounding states. I think it would be a good way to be able to build 1 supply depot to a strategic region in the game? As having "too many" supply depots aka like one in every state would kinda make no sense and take away the effect.
Like if player or AI Germany conquers "historical" in 1940-mid 41 so Denmark, Norway, West Poland, Benelux, France and Balkans, you could build one supply depot to a strategic region, so as to 1. not overly strain your supplies 2. have "local"/area supplies 3. it could be useful for expanding countries and "necessary" for countries like the US, Britain, Japan and Germany, because if you conquer much of the Southeastern Asia, like Japan, you could build local supply depots to partially circumvent Allied submarines and convoy raiding? I mean it would be a cool way to ensure that you would have a strategic region -supply like for a Burmese campaign (historically began in late 41-early 42), as Japan when you demand Indochina and occupy it in 1940/mid 1941, you could build one supply base to there to better help and supply campaigns in Burma and South East Asia, one in Shanghai or Wuhan to ensure further conquests do not rely entirely on mainland supply etc.
As for Germany, it could be "useful" to have its own or at least partial local supply in France, West Poland and Norway as to not strain logistics completely. Still this feature would have to be tested as to not just allow to build supply depots everywhere and muster 100x 40width super resource-and-supply-drainy -armies to just waltz into Moscow.
Supply depots could be useful themselves to prepare for a "further offensive"/further conquests: I remember I read in Paul Carell's Scorched Earth(Note, Paul was an SS propagandist but his material is semi-credible), that the German army had a huge supply base in Kharkov that basically supplied the army rations and light weapons from horse drawn artillery to rifles for the Summer offensive of 1942(Fall Blau). So that could be an interesting thing, if one were able to build a "supply depot" in Kiev, Minsk and Riga to "supply further conquests" by not draining the supply lines so long.
It could be cool for previously mentioned Japan as well as "necessary" to all players, including then-counterattacking allies, to have a "supply depot" in Delhi or Dhaka and a depot in Guadalcanal or Darwin, Australia?

Edit: This supply system also creates an opportunity for the intelligence agency: Just like in real life, you could stage missions to blow up bridges, blow up railway lines or occupy/block them! So many examples from Soviet and Tito's resistance members occupying/destroying/harrassing bridges or railways to the French resistance blocking them to Chinese resistance forces destroying railway lines and so on!
 
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Tehrozer

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There are trains, trucks and convoys but what about the good old animal transport!? The absolute majority (~80%) of German supply were operated by Horses and there are countries which not only do not start with trucks researched but also never will have the capacity to build enough of them to use for supply. Will the old and reliable H.A.B. logistics (Horse-and-Buggy) be modelled in any way?
 
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maxi100ful

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I have 2 questions:
1 Will "normal" infrastructure still impact supply. I can image that low levels of supply increase the amount of trucks needed to supply your divisions, as the path the trucks would take in the area is longer/less efficient and thus more are needed.
2 Will this update also impact resource propagation, both of extracted resources and factories? Material flow paths/bottlenecks are after all hugely important for a productive industry. Perhaps instead of infrastructure giving factory build speed it gives bonusses to available industrial capacity.
 
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sterrius

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I agree with @Fulmen .
With this system it can be made very easily for trains and supply depots to also require manpower.


This game really need manpower sinks that affect mostly countrys with a ton of population while leaving the small ones mostly untouched. (So they can be playable and still have their fun).
 
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