HOI4 Dev Diary - Naval Access

Diary time! Today, in the 7th diary, we continue showing off features in Man the Guns, but don’t worry - there are loads more coming! The topics for today both concern access.

Sea zone access
With MTG it will now be possible for players to mark sea zones as either Avoid or Banned. A zone marked as Avoid will be treated as dangerous and, well, something to avoid if possible. This goes for all ship routing. So if enemy submarines are decimating your shipping you will be able to route it elsewhere, perhaps somewhere safer and closer to an ally. Ships will still route through a zone marked as Avoid if there is no other way to get where they are going.

route.jpg


A Banned zone won't allow moving through it at all, except by manual player moves, or say if it’s an invasion order triggered by the player. It will for example even shut down trading if there are no other possible paths. Zone markings are shown in the naval mapmode and can both be toggled directly on strategic area alerts, or in the new “state view” for the sea. Here we also show a proper breakdown on the level of naval supremacy in the area much like you are used to for air zones instead of the old sparse tooltip. You’ll have to excuse my sneaky censoring as not to spoil a future topic however ;)

state.jpg


At this point I am sure some aspiring u-boat captains are wondering why the enemy can’t just shuffle their shipping routes constantly to avoid being located and interdicted. Changing your route will put its efficiency at 0, so if you continuously change settings you won’t be able to move things through the route. That said, there might be some good strategy in sometimes changing things up to make it harder for the enemy to concentrate their raiders.


Docking Rights
Asking for or receiving Docking Rights are new diplomatic actions. They function like military access “light” and allow someone access to base out of, resupply and repair in your naval bases. In fact military access by necessity automatically comes with docking rights. Docking rights can give you better reach and avoid troublesome paths. For example, German subs will be able to operate out of Spanish ports (if permission is granted) and threaten British shipping in areas where defending them is trickier and they won’t have to pass through the channel or more guarded waters.

dr.jpg


When it comes to repair and such you will be at a lower priority than the owner of the port, but you will have to wait for a future dev diary for more details on how the new repair system functions in detail. Ships in a neutral port that are there due to docking rights can not be attacked with aerial strikes on the base, so if you want to get rid of ships operating there you will need to draw the harboring nation into war also.

That’s all for this time folks. Tune in next week for a *cough* explosive update.

Rejected Titles:
  • This feature was inspired by the famous documentary Das Boot
  • A pouch of tricks
  • Tuesday Teaser Extended Cut HD
  • Nono, these U-Boats are on holiday here in Spain
  • “Should we be worried that Command is sending us, specifically this ship, into a zone marked as Avoid?”
  • Blockchain for dummies - naval edition
  • This dev diary has probably the worst Dev-Time-Needed to Feature-Dev-Diary-Length ratio
 

Invader

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Sweet, but dearest @podcat , this makes me think you need to change sea zones a bit. I did some MS Paint art on your screen shot (hire me!) and here is what I'm thinking:

There needs to be coastal sea zones for all coastal provinces. One to a few states per coastal sea zone. As sea zones are now, a sub positioned at my glorious white X at the middle of the North Sea is "raiding" the glorious sea shipping lane I made between two UK ports. Hence, a battle fleet at the white X gives naval supremacy to launch an invasion of England. If you make coastal sea zones like my three glorious suggestions in yellow, purple and green,
- naval invasions becomes a lot harder IG, and they really should be. D-Day took a year of planning, Seelöwe never happened, Iwo Jima was hell.
- coastal submarines becomes a thing IG (but not a very offensive thing)
- positioning your DDs becomes harder, making subs better (but I'm sure you are working on this already
- CAS becomes (more) important for coastal sea zone self-defense, making longer-range NAVs a more offensive asset.

If you could make convoys prefer coastal routes, this'd made things a lot better as well.
Ideally, you'd set up dummy convoys between domestic ports. The UK moved freight by boat as all major cities except Hull had a port in the early phases of the industrial revolution. You just couldn't move all that coal and steel and iron ore and supplies and goods by rail. Not possible. (Rivers were used for the same many places (Volga, Rhine) but I understand that you cannot mimic this ingame.) But, if there was a bad penalty to the UK for not having yellow coastal sea zone submarine-free, it'd make sub warfare more worthwhile.

I mean, there must be some of you that played Silen Hunter III? Hunting outside a port was gold, until those war fleets came - because that's where you'd meet them. Mid-atlantic: safer, but less yield.
 

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Dan1109

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yea basically. no fighting in neutral harbor. you can pretend the sailors meet up in the local bar and there is a really uncomfortable vibe though. possibly fistfights.
Actually, this entire feature can help truly model the high sea adventures of the Admiral Graf Spee. A single powerful surface raider breaking out of the Atlantic and having base rights in South America and Portuguese colonies, would certainly help spread the UK navy thin.
 

podcat

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What about Air base access between countries? As far as i know, today general military access does not include air base usage right? Only for faction members. Will it be finally possible with new update? Am i dumb and don't know how to request air base usage?

I consider running planes from neutrals a lot closer to an act of war and would be quite imbalanced I think. I think the reaction from britain vs france would have been quite different between allowing subs to refuel vs german bombers hitting gibraltar from spanish bases.

Actually, this entire feature can help truly model the high sea adventures of the Admiral Graf Spee. A single powerful surface raider breaking out of the Atlantic and having base rights in South America and Portuguese colonies, would certainly help spread the UK navy thin.
>:)

I mean, there must be some of you that played Silent Hunter III
oh yeah, one of my favourites :) We have done some changes to certain zones to better fit certain features.
 

Flamefang

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@podcat Since we can warn and block access for trade now, is there any chance that the trade system will see a little bit of an overhaul? It's always seemed strange, and a little broken, that China can trade with Europe over land.

Regardless though, very happy with these changes! :)
 

Keisok

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You have no idea how happy I am that I now don't have to worry as much about sub murder as say the Raj now that I can ban certain zones, and how as Germany or the US, I can now temporarily dock at (x) nation for plans that may not be reachable otherwise.
 

derflensburger

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Very nice!

One question though:
"Blocked" means blocked for trade. Does it also mean blocked for convoy based shipping troops around e.g. through the English Channel?

What I really need is an automatic way to tell "my" AI to not ship troops from Northern Germany to southern Italy but to use the land route if I just give an invasion command.
 

Dan1109

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"Explosive". My guess is either American rework, other countries with focus trees, or release date with start of livestreans.
Na, I hope it refers to giving the community explosive diarrhea due to how awesome it is.
 

GsusNSV

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yea basically. no fighting in neutral harbor. you can pretend the sailors meet up in the local bar and there is a really uncomfortable vibe though. possibly fistfights.
we live in modern times. There are (obviously) rules for it.

Convention (XIII) concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval War. The Hague, 18 October 1907.
Art. 16. When war-ships belonging to both belligerents are present simultaneously in a neutral port or roadstead, a period of not less than twenty-four hours must elapse between the departure of the ship belonging to one belligerent and the departure of the ship belonging to the other.
 

Zavaleta

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With MTG it will now be possible for players to mark sea zones as either Avoid or Banned. A zone marked as Avoid will be treated as dangerous and, well, something to avoid if possible. This goes for all ship routing. So if enemy submarines are decimating your shipping you will be able to route it elsewhere, perhaps somewhere safer and closer to an ally. Ships will still route through a zone marked as Avoid if there is no other way to get where they are going.

Sea Zone Access for ships and transports is a Quality of Life issue for players, not something that should be restricted behind a paywall. Says a lot about your development model for this game. I have to say that I am fed up and giving up on the product. At this point I am paying for QOL improvements and alternative history trees that a free and better designed on the Workshop. My dollars are going elsewhere.
 

Karapis

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I consider running planes from neutrals a lot closer to an act of war and would be quite imbalanced I think. I think the reaction from britain vs france would have been quite different between allowing subs to refuel vs german bombers hitting gibraltar from spanish bases.
Makes sense yeah. But i am concerned about different scenario, when you fight on one side with some country, but not in their faction. You have troops on their land, fighting on frontline, but not allowed to use their airbases.
 

Nostromo84

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Looks great!

Will the troop transport routes be looked at?
For example, troop transports sent from UK tp Egypt go through the french and italian coastline instead of the safer north africa coastline
 

xustc

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As USA trading with Soviet Union, the default trading route starts from Leningrad. If I ban the Baltic Sea, will the trading route change to Murmansk/Vladivostok?
 

CyberianK

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we live in modern times. There are (obviously) rules for it.

Convention (XIII) concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval War. The Hague, 18 October 1907.
Art. 16. When war-ships belonging to both belligerents are present simultaneously in a neutral port or roadstead, a period of not less than twenty-four hours must elapse between the departure of the ship belonging to one belligerent and the departure of the ship belonging to the other.
Great that it is perfectly sorted out.

That obviously solves everything:
German sub leaves and submerges in front of harbor in the night.
British cruiser leaves 24 hours later and eats torpedoes.
 

Admiral Ciprian

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I have 3 questions now as i only play as UK most of the time
#1
Is it possible to create the asw taskforces (sort of) and send them in shark (u-boat) infested waters while relocating the convoys to safer zones where either me or my allies have enough escorts to protect them?

#2
With the arrival of this improved naval systems would be possible to mod (add modify substract) naval missions in the game

#3
Fuel, love it, hate it, personally prefer both, it will be possible now to have 4 refineries as the original vanilla game had? or you plan to improve the situation with dlc/patch things that you present earlier?

Keep it comming boys, my supply lines will love your ideas but please hurry up its already 1941 and i am starving and my fellow FDR back in the USA has just got a limited lend-lease agreement from the Senate to help me, the u-boats are hungrier than ever! :)

"Good luck and good shooting!" Quote from Sink the Bismarck
 

Fulmen

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What about Air base access between countries? As far as i know, today general military access does not include air base usage right? Only for faction members. Will it be finally possible with new update? Am i dumb and don't know how to request air base usage?
This would be exploitable in multiplayer, e.g. German/Hungarian planes bombing shipping in the Straits of Malacca from neutral Siamese and Japanese territory. Realistically this'd also be an act of war by the host country, making it a pointless feature.

Historically the Russians did use Estonian airfields during the Winter War to bomb Finland, but this would better be simulated by either transferring provinces in the Baltics into Russian ownership after they accept mil.access from Russia (a historical event currently not in the game) or just by turning them into puppets that through follow-up events are later coup d'etated into communist and annexed directly into the USSR around the time Germany takes Paris. And in any case on a political level Finland viewed Estonia as an ally of the enemy and bombed Russian bases outside of Tallinn in Estonia as a response to the Russian bombers flying out of there. This would not be possible in-game without a state of war existing between the target and the host country of those airplanes, which again makes it a pointless feature as it'd be no different than just being at war.

Beyond that I can't really think of many instances when neutral airfields were used by combatants. Maybe Irish airfields were used by a few RAF planes, but Ireland was also still a British Dominion, even if it was otherwise neutral.

Not even the Luftwaffe planes stationed in Finland in June 1941 flew against Russia before Russia had resumed hostilities against Finland first.

Flying combat missions out of neutral bases is such a niché occurance historically that it's not really worth creating special mechanics for.
 
Last edited:

ltccone

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This is awesome! I wish this was working in the game I'm playing now as Imperial Germany. I conquered Japan and the USSR, but I'm still at war with the Allies. Instead of my resource convoys going from Japan to Valdivostok or Shanghai, they are going to HOLLAND, making the convoys easy prey.
 

Invader

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oh yeah, one of my favourites :) We have done some changes to certain zones to better fit certain features.

I was kinda hoping for something more elaborate than this, dearest @podcat ... Still hoping for something more elaborate, since I consider my own idea absolutely brilliant. I'm also world-class humble. Everybody says so. So humble, it's amazing.

Question: does the size of a sea zone impact currently on spotting/detection? Do they even have assigned physical sizes, as in square kilometres? I really hope they do, or at least, will do.

I think all countries need coastal sea zones along their entire coast lines. In narrow seas (the Adriatic, Kattegat, English Channel) there should only be a very small ridge of "high seas" in the middle. Due to the tiny size of this high seas sea zone tucked in between coastal sea zones on two/three sides, spotting/detection/search and destroy should be quick as you can zig-zag the whole sea sone in short time. The big mid-atlantic zones, however, should have low chance of spotting/detection due to size of the sea zone.

The Öresund strait and the Finnish bay should of course be shared coastal sea zone, or two coastal sea zones meeting mid-sea.

If there was also a mechanic where you could ban belligerent countries from your coastal sea zones, it'd be swell. It'd allow for some more diplomacy. (Diplomacy needs a fix which I will rant about some later time).