Hearts of Iron 3 DLC 'Dies Irae: Götterdämmerung' Developer Diary #4

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Devildread

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Hi, and welcome to the fourth developer diary for the Hearts of Iron 3 DLC ”Dies Irae: Götterdämmerung” which features among many other things a German campaign focus. With Dies Irae: Götterdämmerung, you will be able to play Germany and only Germany, but like you never played it before in an Hearts of Iron game.

In this diary, we will talk a little bit about a thing that DI:G brings to HOI3: immersion. :D

U-Boats

We started from the fact that in our opinion the submarine warfare is too abstracted in the game and we wanted, in a Germany focus mood, to emphasis the whole U-Boats thing. Once we agreed on the basics we decided to create three more U-Boats units:
- Coastal Submarine, type II*. Small and cheap submarines with limited range.
- Medium Range Submarine, type VII*. The bulk of your submarine force, efficient and with range starting 1500 up to 3600 in the late war.
- Long Range Submarine, type IX*. The name speaks by itself, they are less efficient than the Type VII but they can operate far from their bases (up to the American coasts).
Along with the vanilla submarine that the AI uses while the player can't (the three types replace the vanilla submarine for Germany)
We introduced as well 21 new technologies related to those submarines, from the better hull to the underway refueling concept in order to make submarine warfare something worth spending leadership points for. As soon as the war starts, if you invested enough in the U-Boats you will be able to create chaos in the ennemy convoys, helped with several events.



As an example of the War of the Atlantic events, when war against England begins, you are informed about the advantage of sending u-boats to the Western Approaches near England, where most convoys historically, and in game, hit a bottleneck. When you conquer the French Atlantic coast harbours, you get an event proposing you to build U-Boats pens in several ports in order to protect your submarines against Allies raids. This will to a larger extent immerse the gamer in the choices faced by Germany in WW2, and make the Atlantic interesting. Also, the whole u-boat development programme will historically follow this development (like the schnorkel design being discovered in Holland after it is conquered).



But those events are not all about benefits. As you can see in the pictures above if you want to invest into submarine warfare you have to pay for it, starting with a better naval organization while air and land have some penalties. You are not forced to take the organization hit path and you totally can use the regular mechanics of the game but if you choose this path your ennemy will suffer a lot more than in HOI3. With an intense naval and air campaign, you can actually achieve the battle of Britain and greatly reduce UK's will to fight.



But act quickly, because after the "Happy Time" the Allies will start to really protect their convoys, represented by some tech bonus to your ennemy and after 1941 if you don't upgrade your U-Boats you might lose your wolves packs against the Allies ASW campaigns.


This is the end of this Dev Diary.
In the next one, we will talk about Reich Ministers and several events related to them.



--Devildread and Danevang


Bonus Screenshots:





For those who can't see the picture, you can find all of them in this ftp folder, thanks to Derkb for providing the server: http://didays.derkb.de/downloads/DiesIrae/
 

Oof

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Looks and sounds great! Is the impact of u-boat surface attacks also included as some kind of bonus? And the impact of radar which made surface attacks a kamikaze attacks?
 

Devildread

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Submarine are not meant to attack surface ships but along with the techs you can have some bonuses (positionning mostly, even more with the leader skill) that lead to some destroyers sunk (I had something like 2-3 DD sunk by a single U-Boat flotilla operating alone since the start of the war, not all the ship in the same time I just saw them in the sink panel).
 

Oof

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Its not really what i meant.
At the start of the u boat war German subs commanders often attacked convoys from the surface with their gun and/or torpedoes. They did more damage this way and saved some torpedoes which allowed them to stay out on the sea longer.
With the coming of radar the surface attack became obsolete. Though it took the Germans some time to find out that this was the reason they were losing one u boat after another.
 

Devildread

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We can't change the way the combat are working but this is the point of the whole "the allies get bonus" system you can see in the screenshots. Along those bonuses for your ennemies, you have several new tech (check the tech screen) such as decoys and coating that makes the submarine more efficient on defense and attack. Abstractly representing all those things you are talking about.

The way the system is designed:
- 1939-1940 (late): happy time (even a few submarines sink hundreds of convoys)
- 1941: escalation of defense from the Allies, you start to lose subs
- 1942-1944 (depending on how many leadership points you invest into submarines): some sort of balance, the war is decided on how many subs you can throw to the ennemy
Of course you can rush the late techs and wreak havoc from day one, like you can already do with planes or land units.
 

Pier

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Where are my Type XXI Electrobote?

One of the most often asked questions is "What if the Germans could have had the Type XXI in operation a couple of years earlier?"
Those secret projects only give partial credit to the how revolutionary the XXI was.
 

Oof

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So it has been included but just on a strategic level (happy time, etc.). Great!
 

unmerged(83175)

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Sounds good, in my first playthrough I am going to try to max out those sub techs and events. But I think it will cost me the war in the East ;-) Looking forward to it!
 

Sirveri

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Where are my Type XXI Electrobote?

One of the most often asked questions is "What if the Germans could have had the Type XXI in operation a couple of years earlier?"
Those secret projects only give partial credit to the how revolutionary the XXI was.

^This.

I'd ask about nuclear, but that's a tad out of scope of the game.

However I WILL ask about towed underwater V2 launchers and other missile platform capabilities that they considered performing/exploring.
 

unmerged(149861)

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What about using surface vessals, such as a Bismark task force of doom?
 

Devildread

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If you look closely you will see an advanced engine tech, covering the Electro Boat and Closed Cycle engines. :)
I am not quite sure about all the modifiers I put in them (right now this is about positioning, that way late war with all the new u-boats tech at max level you have something like 39% positioning) but I will definitely listen to your advices once the DLC is released and make this better and better with patches.

There is no difference between a convoy sunk by a submarine or by a Bismark task force, so you can totally skip the U-Boat stuff and benefit from the naval org bonuses and UK penalties with any ships you want.


--edit: about patches, if we encounter enough success we wanted to add new units and such to the game through patching process (for free of course). :)
 

Danevang

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Where are my Type XXI Electrobote?

One of the most often asked questions is "What if the Germans could have had the Type XXI in operation a couple of years earlier?"
Those secret projects only give partial credit to the how revolutionary the XXI was.

About that the type XXI is in, as well as type XXIII and the Walter closed cycle engine variants.
 

Pier

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If you look closely you will see an advanced engine tech, covering the Electro Boat and Closed Cycle engines. :)
I am not quite sure about all the modifiers I put in them (right now this is about positioning, that way late war with all the new u-boats tech at max level you have something like 39% positioning) but I will definitely listen to your advices once the DLC is released and make this better and better with patches.

There is no difference between a convoy sunk by a submarine or by a Bismark task force, so you can totally skip the U-Boat stuff and benefit from the naval org bonuses and UK penalties with any ships you want.


--edit: about patches, if we encounter enough success we wanted to add new units and such to the game through patching process (for free of course). :)

http://www.uboataces.com/uboat-type-xxi.shtml

Some main advantages of the electrobote were:

-faster underwater than on the surface
-underwater speed was high (something like 18 knots even), which means it could outrun several escorts
-needing only 3 hours per day at the surface (with or without schnorkel) to recharge the batteries
-ability to run on a very silent engine
-hull shape gave it a smaller sonar signature
-more comfort for the crew (airconditioning)
-automated torpedo reloaders: all tubes could be refilled faster than a single tube in a Type VII or IX

What this should translate into ingame is a significant reduction in the visibility of the ship: ASW patrols should really have a lot of trouble finding one.
Secondly, the high speed is an important characteristic as well, but not sure how to implement that in the HOI3 naval combat engine. The high positioning is good though.

Note, however, that actually finding the convoys would still largely depend on things like their own radar.
 

jju_57

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In the last DD you mentioned that this DD would include some tidbits about how England would defend itself against a Sealion. Right now its just too easy as Germany. I don't need subs or ships. Just some troop transports.

Load up 5 divisions land next to or a couple provinces away from a port and use them to capture the port which is usually guarded by just a single division. Then ship in 15 more divisions to the port and England is done. I almost never have the transports intercepted and it works 90%+ of the time and has zero losses.

Please tell us that you did something to void this strategy. Please tell us that transpots sailing alone on the seas and unloading troops become new coral reefs.
 

Raptor83

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http://www.uboataces.com/uboat-type-xxi.shtml

Some main advantages of the electrobote were:

-faster underwater than on the surface
-underwater speed was high (something like 18 knots even), which means it could outrun several escorts
-needing only 3 hours per day at the surface (with or without schnorkel) to recharge the batteries
-ability to run on a very silent engine
-hull shape gave it a smaller sonar signature
-more comfort for the crew (airconditioning)
-automated torpedo reloaders: all tubes could be refilled faster than a single tube in a Type VII or IX

What this should translate into ingame is a significant reduction in the visibility of the ship: ASW patrols should really have a lot of trouble finding one.
Secondly, the high speed is an important characteristic as well, but not sure how to implement that in the HOI3 naval combat engine. The high positioning is good though.

Note, however, that actually finding the convoys would still largely depend on things like their own radar.

some of that might be represented by higher sea (and air) defense.
 

juv95hrn

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Looks very nice and immersive! I hope you don't have to spend too much Leadership on subs etc just to get a "historical" level of ASW due to the new techs in case you decide to not go naval all out.
 

Devildread

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The U-Boat system is only for Germany so you don't have to research anything more than vanilla for anti AI submarine warfare.

About UK defending itself, sadly we can't change how the AI works but there is several new units that the AI can't move around due to their weight. That way we have a better defended England with a Home Guard specialized in urban defense.
 

jju_57

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Is there anyway possible to force the UK to keep contant sea patrols along their southern and eastern shores? They have this great navy but it leaves for who knows where and German transports sail unmolested. Or maybe greatly increase the visibility of transports? Would that do anything? Also increase the time it takes to actually land troops in an uncontested sea invasion or reset their attack delay to some big number? Just some thoughts.
 

Devildread

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Is there anyway possible to force the UK to keep contant sea patrols along their southern and eastern shores? They have this great navy but it leaves for who knows where and German transports sail unmolested. Or maybe greatly increase the visibility of transports? Would that do anything? Also increase the time it takes to actually land troops in an uncontested sea invasion or reset their attack delay to some big number? Just some thoughts.

Yeah Paradox can do that. I can't. ;)
Keep in mind we are talking about a DLC, we add stuff, we fix nothing.