HOI4 Dev Diary – Traiiiiins
Arheo , Game Director - Hearts of Iron
Greetings, and welcome back for our last look at the supply system that ships with the Barbarossa update. As you all know, I’m British, and in Britain the trains never run on time - I couldn’t possibly break with this tradition, hence a completely intentional 10 minute delay on today’s diary.
HoI4 Dev Diary - Soviet Union Exiles
Bratyn, Content Design Lead
“Comrade Bratyn, you have been found guilty of counter-WW2 activity. You have been seen consorting with citizens and even figurehead ideologues of the Imperator team.Undeniable proof of work by your hand can be seen in publications by this group of dissidents made over the course of the past year. You do not fool us. We know “Drikus” is just another alias you use.
There’ve been a couple of changes since we last looked at this, so you may find I’ll be reiterating a few aspects that we’ve already covered in previous diaries, albeit in some cases with a new twist.
“Your attempts at shirking your duties to the Team will not be tolerated. Discussion of the Classical Period is wholly unacceptable behaviour for a HoI4 citizen; publication of treasonous material is a crime far, far worse. You are hereby stripped of your rank and sentenced to the mines in HoI-beria. Perhaps a year’s hard labor working on good, proper WW2 material will enable you to see the errors of your ways, and rehabilitate you sufficiently to regain your previous liberties.
“Comrade Bratyn, I will not welcome you back. You were foolish to think you could ever leave, in the first place.”
Hello everyone, and welcome to the third (yes you read that right) dev diary on the Soviet Union focus tree! And yes, in the words of a famous hero who fought valiantly and sacrificed himself for the defense of Earth some 25 years ago: “Hello boys! I’m baaaaaaaaaack!” Not to worry, though! Unlike Russel, I’m not here to destroy the project by dealing catastrophic damage to the superweapon that is this very next DLC that we’re unleashing upon a collection of RVs near a remote and officially non-existing military base in Nevada the world. That requires backbone, and we’re not allowed to have one of those here in HoI-beria.
As indicated in a previous diary, the logistics network that supplies your troops relies on the large-scale relocation of supply using trucks and trains.
It has already been explained in previous DDs that the sheer size of the Soviet tree has meant multiple CDs have been slaving away working proudly on it. This has been doubly the case for the non-Communist branches (which the eagle-eyed among you already noticed in last week's diary must lurk off to the side of the picture you were shown): the collection of CDs that have contributed to these branches have almost been as numerous and varied as the groups comprising the White Movement that inspired them... *Laughs nervously, glancing at his room’s locked door *While I initially was given some background features to toil away on, I eventually was drafted into this group of laborers-- *Glances at the silhouettes of guards visible through the window in the door, sweating this time and continuing in an excessively loud voice* ...Erhhh, I-I mean, I volunteered for this honorable task to contribute in some small way to the ever-increasing glory of the HoI4 Team, which has so graciously and mercifully deigned to allow me to prove my unceasing loyalty through my labor! *Sweats profusely* ...I, uh, am also proud to have volunteered as… as spokesman for this assembled group of CDs, and tell you all about what we’ve been doing!
Whereas trucks serve as an optional last-mile carrier for military supplies, trains make up the backbone of any logistics network that supplies an army which exceeds the local state supply available in its location.
*Clears throat raspily* Very well, let’sget started.
In 1936 the so-called White Movement was in shambles. Despite extensive international support, the Bolsheviks had eventually defeated the loose and diverse anti-Communist coalition (who really only agreed on one point: that the communists must be defeated) that vied for control of the country in the Russian Civil War. With many of their leaders dead, much of the remnants of the Whites fled the country rather than be purged. Many of these fled to Manchuria, which in the early 1930s was invaded and occupied by the Japanese.
The domestic production of trains is something that is unlocked via the technology tree. Many countries will start with the initial (civilian) train technology readily unlocked, however, there are several more options available to you as time progresses (more on this below!).
In the years afterwards these exiles in Manchuria were supported by the Japanese to cause problems for the Soviets across the border (including such intrepid endeavours as erecting a giant neon swastika 3km from the Soviet-Manchurian border). While certainly not the only collection of White exiles in the world, they were the only ones to be in any conceivable position to do any material damage whatsoever to the Soviet state. If an anti-Soviet uprising was to take place, it would therefore likely be in the old White-controlled areas of the Far East and Siberia: far from the tightly-controlled industrial areas of the far west of the Soviet Union, and where Japanese equipment and support would be most forthcoming.
Are you up for the challenge of ousting the Bolsheviks after all, guiding the nation through an Electric Boogaloo of Russian civil wars, reinstating the Romanovs, and, finally, returning its former Glory to the Russian Empire?
If so, the only way to affect such a drastic change by the mid-1930s is through civil war.
Your overall train need for the logistics network is derived from the overall supply usage of the nodes supplying your troops, and the distance factor that supply has to travel in order to reach them. In essence, the more troops you have drawing supply, the more trains you will need to keep supply running.
Needless to say, if fewer trains are provided than are required, supply output at point of demand will incur penalties proportional to the magnitude of the shortfall.
In many ways the build-up to the Civil War for the Nationalists and the Tsarists plays similar to the Communist Opposition build-ups, albeit with a somewhat different touch. The red army is highly politicized so you will find it harder to actually gain a large following there, and you won’t get any support from the NKVD either. But let’s look at the “pre-civil-war” part of the tree:
In one of our previous diaries, we alluded to a number of interactions that could be performed on supply nodes - one of these was a train priority setting. It transpired that this did not fit well with the underlying simulation, and we’ve removed this setting from nodes.
This part of the branch all revolves around various ways in which to prepare for the civil war: obtaining equipment, units, factories, national spirits, decisions, and even advisors for when the civil war kicks off. At the same time, decisions allow you to spread your influence (starting in the Far East) throughout the Soviet Union, readying states for an uprising to coincide with crossing the border from Manchuria. Despite this preparatory work, however, the Soviets have solidified their power tremendously over the past 20 years, and this war will be a challenge.
Of course, a freight-train loaded with supply makes a juicy target for the enemy. In NSB, CAS and bombers are able to perform the new logistics strike mission, which can put a severe strain on an enemy’s ability to supply their network - actively destroying trains and trucks, as well as damaging railways in the target area.
One way of preparing for the continuation of the counterrevolution, and undermining communist support, is to gain the support of the church. Some of the Orthodox Church’s bishops (‘metropolitans’) had fled abroad rather than cooperate with such a militant atheist government as Stalin’s. Others elected to stay, and in 1927 Patriarch Sergy issued a divisive Proclamation on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church that professed absolute loyalty to the Communist government of the country. Many metropolitans broke communion with him as a result. Despite the proclamation, 1931 still saw the destruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, to make room for a colossal Palace of the Soviets. These are the kinds of decisions that need to be overturned to return faith and religion to the central position that it deserves in Russian society, providing suitable rewards accordingly.
As mentioned above, trains will be a researchable technology with several variants. Trains, unlike regular units, are not controllable - their movement and behaviour is entirely simulated based on the needs of your logistics flow. This said, there are several important statistical aspects to them.
To begin with, most of your network is likely to be populated by civilian trains. You can construct more of these by co-opting military factories. Further on in your campaign, you can unlock a variant of the civilian train with a significantly reduced construction cost.
To combat the strategic mission mentioned above, there is one (or..is it more?) further item in your toolbox for owners of the NSB expansion. Armored trains, while coming with a higher price tag, are much more resistant to destruction from air missions, and can act as an effective deterrent against logistics disruption.
Train enthusiasts (we have none of those here, right?) will note that the trains displayed above belong to the soviet union - there is indeed unique art as well as 3d models for several other major nations.
A highly camouflaged train in action.
Displayed trains are based on your stockpiled train equipment. This is the german armoured locomotive!
That’s all from me for today - I’ll hand over here to @YaBoy_Bobby to go over some of the details on supply distribution at a hub level:
Hub to Province Supply Distribution
We have talked about how trains and rails feed the supply hubs, but not so much about how hubs feed divisions in the field. As hubs are fed from the capital province by a rail network, divisions are fed by hubs over land.
Every Hub has an overland range that gives it a collection of provinces that it touches. This range is constant, but the cost of moving over each province is impacted by things like weather, terrain, rivers, and infrastructure. Motorization decreases the penalty for crossing each province, thus increasing the number of provinces a hub will touch and potentially creating greater hub density and thus greater overall supply in an