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
 

Fulmen

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I had actually forgotten about the Shuttle Missions. Nonetheless, we are talking of very low numbers here, around 200 aircraft or less, and only a total of three primitive airbases (which in HoI4-terms is easily only a level 1 airfield). Nothing that doesn't fall under the "this is a special case and is better handled by a decision or focus".

What the person I was replying to is asking would enable the stationing of thousands of Allied aircraft in Russia to not only be possible, but to become the norm. IRL this simply wasn't possible due to logistics and politics. The Shuttle Missions from/through Russia were a late-war oddity, not the norm.
 

seattle

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Hmm, is the current limit of 3 sea zones per mission going to get raised then?
 

donkadoo

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Maybe I missed it in some kind of way, but it feels like forcing transport ships to longer but safer routs should lower the efficiency of the trade. Otherwise why take the regular routs at all?
 

Farquarsen

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There is one icon for the fleet deployed in certain larger area. It does not mean it can access all the sectors, and it does not mean ships are in the sector that the fleet icon is displayed to be in.
For the second picture, problem is likely with destroyers, and your fleet range is limited by shortest range of the ships (which is reasonable). The ranges are not exact translation of TTD of individual ships but constitute range in which ships can perform operations. (i.e., it's not from point A to point B, but patrolling particular sea for some time, maybe doing high speed maneuvers and such).
As for oilers, please consider that this is generalization, and while fleets in safe areas would have unrestricted access to them, they would not be available to fleets in contested areas(at least not to the same extent) and they would not be able to keep up with the combat fleet. And as is there is zero reason to patrol uncontested areas.

EDIT: You are of course completely free to argue for removing the range restriction completely. Although my view is that current state is more or less OK.

You know of course the first ship sank in the battle of the Coral Sea was an oller. To say that oilers were not in fleets and not at risk is a very nieve view. You are also denying the USN's ranges. A destroyer can reach Oahu from the PCZ in 1936 on its own with all tanks full. The game does not allow a transfer to Oahu from San Diego unless the destroyer is escorted by a battleship. These restrictions are based on diplomacy not on range ability. With fuel and the naval rework, these restrictions should be removed.
 

DukofDeth

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Will there be a way to get temporary access to ports for special situations? Say... you invade Britain, and they toss in the towel, but are not fully conquered, so now you've got a treaty to respect, and troops to withdrawal, only you can't do that because they are not "friendly enough" to allow you to use their ports to get your forces out, which traps your army, and locks them in a perpetual state of treaty, as you've not yet withdrawn from their land. I've had that happen several times, and seen it happen to the AI, too.
 

Perikles

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This important new feature tends to reduce hte loss of convoy ships. Already currently, the convoy ships are far too cheap compared to war ships. (Obviously, a quite small WW2 destroyer did not need many times more steel as transport ship.) The ridiculous low costs of convoy ships are one of the reasons why trade interdiction warfare and naval warfare as a whole, has a far underrated importance in comparison to reality. So please make convoy ships much more expensive!!!
 

Oof

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Great work. Love being able to determine my trade routes and scrap the dodgy routes the AI sometimes picks.

Any chance of adding extra trade routes as a player? I.e. if I upgrade the ports of Rangoon and Calcutta, the AI will only use the supply port it started with, Calcutta, even if you can't supply your troops in that area.
 

Dan1109

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What will happen with the British decision to get the Azores? Will they now just recieve docking rights from Portugal?
As this was covered under the Luso-British agreement in 1943, it should simply be an event triggered through the Decisions interface. Else, the UK or even the Germans would have to spend PP pumping up relations to get the base rights. The "poltical power" used by the agreement was quite small, as it was covered by an existing ENG-POR treaty from 1387 - and by the time the agreement was made, POR didn't feel the threat of invasion from GER or NSP, else it would have been used earlier in the war when they really needed it.

Furthermore I do hope that base rights are acquired on per port basis, not a per country all port basis. Else it might create unrealistic situations with countries that have bases all over the world.
 

seattle

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This important new feature tends to reduce hte loss of convoy ships. Already currently, the convoy ships are far too cheap compared to war ships. (Obviously, a quite small WW2 destroyer did not need many times more steel as transport ship.) The ridiculous low costs of convoy ships are one of the reasons why trade interdiction warfare and naval warfare as a whole, has a far underrated importance in comparison to reality. So please make convoy ships much more expensive!!!

Germany sank 14 mio tons.
The US alone built 38 mio tons of convoys (2,710 vessels).

How are they too cheap?
I frequently sink 100+ convoys in 1 engagement. If convoys are too cheap, then subs are too deadly.
I recently sank the entire Jap convoy fleet in a few months as Germany.
 

Thumping_Fox

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How do the docking rights work with the fuel mechanic?

eg. Say Germany sends it fleets to operate out of Mexico, who pays for the fuel and how does it get transferred to that base?
 

llib

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You know of course the first ship sank in the battle of the Coral Sea was an oller. To say that oilers were not in fleets and not at risk is a very nieve view. You are also denying the USN's ranges. A destroyer can reach Oahu from the PCZ in 1936 on its own with all tanks full. The game does not allow a transfer to Oahu from San Diego unless the destroyer is escorted by a battleship. These restrictions are based on diplomacy not on range ability. With fuel and the naval rework, these restrictions should be removed.
The oiler was in the fleet? Wasn't it just escorted by one destroyer, and in fact sunk? Oilers did not had speed to stay with main fleets. They were operated separately and detached, and to the extent possible as remote from combat zone as reasonably possible while still remaining somewhat available.
As is, there is no oil in-game. That should change with next expansion. I doubt very much, that next expansion will however start emulating oilers, therefore range will likely remain an abstraction, and an abstraction that cannot be made to max range of single ship, when it's used to also emulate how far can a fleet operate from friendly base, and that is certainly less then it's theoretical (or even factual) max range when going from port A to port B.
Regarding transfer from Oahu to San Diego, you can transfer to arbitrary distance (say from Scapa Flow to to Darwin) any ship. I'll try once more:
1) Select your desirable ship/fleet
2) Move mouse over the desirable target port
3) CTRL+rightclick on the desirable target port where you have access(yours/allied/access)
4) rightclick on desirable target port
5) Your ship is plotted to move to your desirable target port, even in other end of world, so long as it is within range of assigned home port.
 

llib

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Maybe I missed it in some kind of way, but it feels like forcing transport ships to longer but safer routs should lower the efficiency of the trade. Otherwise why take the regular routs at all?
Longer routes take more ship and supplies/equipment take longer to arrive. So it's kind of in. Because there are no actual convoys(maybe there will be? Would be awesome, but more likely not) and no supply depots(dtto), some things are abstracted.
 

llib

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This important new feature tends to reduce hte loss of convoy ships. Already currently, the convoy ships are far too cheap compared to war ships. (Obviously, a quite small WW2 destroyer did not need many times more steel as transport ship.) The ridiculous low costs of convoy ships are one of the reasons why trade interdiction warfare and naval warfare as a whole, has a far underrated importance in comparison to reality. So please make convoy ships much more expensive!!!
The price of Liberty ships was about $2 million USD a piece, at displacement of about 14000 tons. Price of Fletcher class destroyer was about $6 million USD a piece, at displacement of about 2000 tons. Safe to say, steel spent on hull is not exactly the biggest part of the costs, as weapons systems, radars, ammunition, crew facilities etc. are going to cost much more. So do the engines for destroyer, in comparison to those of merchantman.
Now, 15 naval facilities can churn out between 1.5-3 destroyers a month(it will vary depending on tech of both ship and production), or about 18-30(or bit more) merchant ships(but mind you, Liberty ships werent the only ones, and there were also many smaller, while not all that many bigger ships). Destroyer queue takes twice as much steel (more for better versions). Now as UK, I tended to sacrifice quite a few years to building transports only(mostly I wanted to build better ships). I can't say I really had a problem although it could become saturated later in war when moving around lot of troops and doing invasions, and at some times I had to wait some times when moving stuff closer to Japan. Now I play only against AI, which almost never does serious naval challenge(which should change with upcoming expansion). I imagine it's different in online games.
Above written, I don't have feeling that convoys are underpriced, but I'm open to arguments.

EDIT: If really necessary, increase steel cost by one. But anyway ship costs will change significantly with expansion, so not sure how it will be then.
 
Jul 9, 2018
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Can't you already do it right now with military access? So both hostile fleets repair peacefully in the same port but as soon as they exit the harbor they fight each other in the neighboring seazone?
Never did it so I really don't know though.
It'd be like the US Civil War, when Confederate and Union ships sometimes were in a neutral's harbor. It's pretty hard in this game to get that, especially since the AI rarely replaces capital ships after my flattops sink them.
 
Jul 9, 2018
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Can docking rights be granted to either side of a war? Let's say I'm Spain and GER asks me for docking rights and so does UK while they're at war with each other. Can I grant them both? Will they begin to fight each other in my ports or is it "neutral ground" and the German and British sailors meet in the next quayside bar to drink beer together?
Legally, they're not supposed to. If they emulate history, it won't happen either. German submariners and British pilots on sub hunting missions sometimes had that happen in the early stages of the war. And at such close ranges, both fleets might be destroyed equally, which would defeat the purpose of a port. My logic train suggests that they won't open fire, at least not until they're 12+ miles away from the port, in international waters.
 

Perikles

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Germany sank 14 mio tons.
The US alone built 38 mio tons of convoys (2,710 vessels).

How are they too cheap?
I frequently sink 100+ convoys in 1 engagement. If convoys are too cheap, then subs are too deadly.
I recently sank the entire Jap convoy fleet in a few months as Germany.
Well, if you compare a Fletcher class destroyer and a liberty ship, the porduction costs according to Wikipedia were: destroyer: $6.000.000, Liberty ship $2.000.000. And the liberty ships were already extremly efficiently produced for the time, no other nation could do that. And the Liberty ships were much larger than the destroyer, which means more steel consumption.
Sinking of 100+ convoy ships, (I've even seen 2000+, maybe a bug?) in one convoy battle is also far from reality. A few were sunk at best.
Another point, why I would say they are much to cheap, is, that after sinking the whole mercant fleet of Japan, which took the Allies about 2 years, they can rebuild it in a few months in the game, what was impossible in reality.
 
Jul 9, 2018
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looks really nice, hopefully subs will be updated too so I'll actually have to be concerned about them. Also love docking rights, the Soviets will actually be able to do naval things now.
Yes, I'm looking forward to sending cruisers out of Vladivostok to hunt IJN convoys across the Pacific from Honolulu too. The Red Banner Northern Fleet can also help out the RN if I lose Murmansk too.
 

llib

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Well, if you compare a Fletcher class destroyer and a liberty ship, the porduction costs according to Wikipedia were: destroyer: $6.000.000, Liberty ship $2.000.000. And the liberty ships were already extremly efficiently produced for the time, no other nation could do that. And the Liberty ships were much larger than the destroyer, which means more steel consumption.
Sinking of 100+ convoy ships, (I've even seen 2000+, maybe a bug?) in one convoy battle is also far from reality. A few were sunk at best.
Another point, why I would say they are much to cheap, is, that after sinking the whole mercant fleet of Japan, which took the Allies about 2 years, they can rebuild it in a few months in the game, what was impossible in reality.
It's not all that easy to rebuild convoy fleet if you lost it, amongst other things, you will not have any resources coming in because you don't have convoys. Some countries are better in it then others, but building just 100 ships in one month takes 60 shipyards that a) almost noone has b) those that do, probably want to spend it mostly on warships, especially if they didn't had enough of them in the first place to defend their convoys.
 
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