HOI4 Dev Diary - Early look at at supply and the coming year

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PurpulaPhoenixum53

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Welcome back @podcat !

I found this DD to be really refreshing and the highlight of my overall terrible day. I have to say I'm really looking forward to the overhaul on warfare. I loved that trains are getting added and thought the supply rework looks really good. The only problem I can forsee is training the AI to properlly understand how to use it correctly.
 
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@podcat May I humbly suggest you use vice capitals or supply depots as opposed to using the current Capitol centric system? If we look at the United States for example. Lets say you have a need to move aluminum from say St. Louis to Indianapolis, the train will go through Chicago, not Washington DC. So Chicago becomes the vice Capital or supply depot. Another example. Lets move supplies from Obukhiv Ukraine to Boryspil Ukraine. the supplies will move through Kyiv, not Moscow. Kyiv becomes the vice capital. If I may interject history at this point and remind you Kyiv held out for two months the units fully supplied but cut off from Moscow. Leningrad held the entire war, surrounded on all sides by hostile forces, also cut off from Moscow. In the game both situations are not possible because of supply rules implementations. One last thought. When France built its railroads, Paris was the center, a hub. When building the rail network in the US, the center in the midwest was Chicago. When Germany built its rail system, it wasn't just Berlin that was a hub but also Munich. Austria Hungary had several hubs as well Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Ljubljana So the current capital system works for France and Poland but does not make historic sense in other major countries. Even the UK has several hubs, such as York, Glasgow. Surrounding the capital does not make historic or common sense.
 
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Idhrendur

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@Idhrendur Any idea how you'll deal with this for the converter? Converting Vic2 railroads over directly could get a bit silly.

So do these sources of supply give troops in associated regions access to all of the supply the tag/alliance or w/e has access to or some particular amount that radiates from somewhere? Like if an area is encircled and it has a supply depot will it be just as supplied as anywhere else as long as it has suitable infrastructure? I assume choking off an entire country by encircling its capital will be impossible now, but does every supply point work as essentially a magical vortex into a country/alliance or w/e's bag of holding?

Well after they announce Vic3 (which of course will deal with the overbuilding of rails and forts) it's not my problem any more, is it? :p

I imagine I'll have the converter draw rails between VPs, maybe some additional provinces too. It'll be an excuse to do some proper fancy pathing algorithm stuff. I haven't been able to do that in a long while.
 
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RafaelSauron

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I'm both excited and fearful for my future campaigns. South America will be hell.
 
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quasithonder

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How will it impact the performance of the game, will it be more efficient than the previous supply system?
 

RafaelSauron

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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?)
I concur somewhat.

I am not much of a naval game enthusiast, but I find myself basically neglecting naval research even if I'm a nation that needs navy somehow. You just can't keep up with it as well as keep up with land.
 
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Austregisel

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They take the railroad from the Victoria 3, it's clearly, they see the team making good railroad models to vic3, and then they take it too to make supply system.
 
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Metz

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If not Italy in this DLC then the countries will probably be the USSR, Poland, Finland, and Iran? Maybe a generic tree for the Baltics like there was one for the warlords in China back in WtT.
 
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Meglok

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Not for this DLC, but its a thing I want to do when we get back to looking at air warfare. its too microey on the defense now imo


My product manager is brazilian so there is not a day when he doesnt nag me for a south american pack actually ;D


oh pretty soon. i like to mix some mechanics diaries in between focus tree diaries, also this time we are probably gonna split some of the focus tree diaries into two because they are quite large this time around.

Also guys, there is no Italy in this expansion. It really doesnt fit in with the rest and I am a bit surprised that people expected that it would be because we try and keep to themes or close areas (mexico is in MTG because its a neighbor of USA and someone really wanted to make mexico). I had some plans to include it in MTG because of italys naval connections but that DLC got too big with all the other majors in there so there was no room. Italy needs and deserves an expansion with a theme and other nations that supports it imo

Thank you for replying back so fast. Not the answer I was hoping for, but one I can understand.
 
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This is very nice, I'm excited to see how this is fleshed out and how the AI targets these systems as well

Can railways be strat bombed?
 

blahmaster6k

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I wonder why they didn't mention any of this at the PDX Insider event. Makes me wonder if the supply system was in flux even at that late stage, and it only came together in the last month or weeks.
Anything to do with even simple pathfinding can be pretty difficult to program on a big enough scale, and a logistics system like this would be complex pathfinding with a ton of variables involved as well as a whole bunch of other algorithms that might have to be designed from scratch. It wouldn't surprise me if the devs were unsure if they would be able to get the feature working properly in a certain time frame.
 
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It's awesome you're finally reworking the Logistics system to shake things up and help break the "Hold the River!" Meta, but the Industrial Cost for those Trains and Trucks looks concerning for Minor Nations... Majors will be able to keep up, because they will always have the mid-to-late game industry to fuel that, but Minors struggle with industrial demands as is. Now you have to divert some of that industry to Trains and Supply Trucks?
 
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Michael Gladius

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!
Two questions:

1. Will there be a way to prevent cheating the system via encircling just the capital?

2. Will railroads be provincial or state? If they are the latter, how will the provinces be decided upon? Random assignment has the potential to result in gore worse than the Vanilla's peace treaty borders...
 
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  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
Now we need to see the implementation of horsepower. Now there's building stables and breeding horses, mules, donkeys, and camels. Different animals and even breeds have different supply usages and supply capacities and will suffer from attrition differently. Have pack animal conscription laws and get funny little events about have some dudes are mad their precious thoroughbreds were drafted into the war and then subsequently eaten by starving soldiers.

Soldiers with horse based logistics should last longer without supply because they can eat the horses, with a negative effect on horsepower. And maybe war support, but what people don’t know can’t hurt them. Perhaps if supply in an area gets too low horsepower declines in general as people run out of things to eat. While war crimes are a no go, no one was convicted of animal cruelty at Nuremberg, so collateral horse deaths aren’t war crimes.

I also don’t think users of horse logistics should be able to get away without investing IC. You’re still going to need carts(wooden) and the horses themselves consume supply. Horses didn’t feed off the land during WW2, they were still a significant investment of resources and if you were to go about motorization, suffering a loss in your capacity to use horses should happen. You’ll still be losing horses to the winter and they can still get bogged down in deep mud.

And just as aces can be produced by attacking convoys with ships, attacking horse convoys(and trains and trucks) should also produce aces. I want to see Dick Best earn the nickname “Cartkiller” for their bravery over the Ardenne. Pack animals should also be able to become war heroes themselves. I’ve never seen a monument to a specific WW2 ace but i have seen one for a pack mule(Hambone the mule).

And with a large all encompassing logistics update will we see the addition of Mulberry Harbours with the requisite beach surveys and damage from storms?Want to launch an invasion of America? Now you gotta wait for your operatives to get back from enemy territory to return soil samples. Storms did destroy one (incomplete) Mulberry during the war, but the others did stay intact. With changes to weather will Japan be saved by the Kamikaze once again? Or will it be Florida this time?

Also can we get LSTs to allow for supply without docks? Of course you're going to need a combination of partially damaged docks, Mulberrys and LSTs to get the full supply for D-Day.

Don't wanna research another tech? You can use the river barges the real life Sea Lion would've used.

What about palletization and containerization? It was a process that started before the war and just as we have fancy post-jets, the palletization tech tree can culminate in the CONEX and the narrow isle electric forklift. There is a lot of technology that goes into shipping things, and I would sacrifice evetything else to properly represent logistics tech levels.

To speed of researching logistics technology, logistics exp with can be accrued by shipping things. To facilitate this, consumer factories should be exchangeable directly and involuntarily with the ratios on loss vs return being dependent on trade laws and trade influence(with trade being a net positive to both parties). And as democracies are blocked from going to no exports, authoritarian countries should be blocked from going free trade and maybe if they go export focus they’ll get events telling them to switch or lose stability. Domestic consumer factory numbers should also affect trade influence. Having low trade influence would also still affect your ability to import, so you might want to buy a nice pair of American blue jeans, but they can't sell them to you if you're poor.

If we want a Germany that can still win, then perhaps some method of forcing a white peace against the USSR? Perhaps a large amount of forced exports(or trade influence) and even manpower transfer to simulate reparations. Maybe the Soviets are forced to donate garrison manpower if something like this occurs. I just don't like the idea of giving the Axis artificial supply boosts that just weren't there during the war. Maybe the Soviets could get focuses allowing them to raise their surrender limit, and we have bilateral decisions between the Nazis and the Soviets to try and force and forstall a white peace, like the imperialist Britain decisions with it's break away colonies and dominions. Of course this feels kinda forced too, but I'd rather subject the Axis to terrible supply than not.
 
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