Guide for Shadow Empire – Logistics 101
Saying it was an easy part of the game would be even more of an understatement.
I will try to give you a guide on it anyway.
Hard and fast rules
If you are just interested in getting the game going without going into the gritty details, here are my rules of thumb:
0. Turn on Map Layers -> “Show Op. Log.” (Show Operational Logistics). The hotkey is 6.
This will tell you exactly how far the last selected unit can go without getting (too severe) supply issues from range. It is not perfect (as it does not account for other units wanting stuff), but still, it is pretty dang good!
1. One Public owned, T1 Truckstop per city!
They cost pittance for fuel, workers, and IP.
No city should ever have to rely on logistics coming in from another city or an outside hex. That is just asking for trouble.
And private ones will not cut it once there are any troops around or any decent spread of Buildings.
2. You should upgrade the truck stations if they are either:
a) Under an SHQ. Those are, after all, the main consumers!
b) share their hex with a Train Station (which makes them a local collection Hub or Strategic base)
Keep in mind that this will primarily upgrade the Capacity, not the range.
3. Do not add SHQ’s. It is really only causing more issues.
4. Roads are a blessing and a curse. Use them sparingly and avoid crossings.
On the one hand, roads expand the range of your Logistics networks from your cities.
On the other hand, crossings fracture and thus drain your supply capacity like nothing else.
The pull point system tries to cope with it but does not try to make its job harder than it needs to be!
5. Consider easier logistics. It doubles the capacity and range of logistics assets
The Roman Way
If you want to know how a supply System works, look at the roman one. They pioneered the Systems we are still using to this day. The systems that are in use in the Shadow Empire.
They knew 3 things: Operational base, Strategic bases, Supply Base/Army Depot.
The Operational Base is where your supplies are produced. Or more precisely, where the SHQ collects them.
The Strategic Base is the truck station closest to the troops. The one that will actually get the resource to the Troops. This starts as being the SHQ city (as you got only 1 Zone). But as you conquer stuff, the new Cities will probably become the new Strategic Bases.
The Supply Base/Army depot is not simulated or abstracted away. Do not be confused by a building of that name; it works very differently!
With this view, you only got a few possible Problems:
Problem X: Having enough production/collection or reserves to support the troops at the Operational Base
Problem Y: Getting enough supplies from the Operational to the Strategic Base. (for the Logistics Systems, you do not need to worry about storage along the way).
Problem Z: Getting enough supplies from the Strategic Base to the troops.
Note that there is no implied order between those Problems! At any time, X, Y, Z, or a combination of the 3 can be the cause of your supplies issues. Figuring out which one (or ones) it is, is the first step to fixing it.
Hex assets (buildings) only need supply points passing through their hex on a road. They do not actually consume any Logistics capacity; they just need the proof that they could be supplied and then assume they are supplied.
Hex Assets will do all Interaction with the Zone Inventory directly. Their consumption is directly drained from the zone inventory. Their production is directly delivered to it. Again, no supply capacity is used for this step.
That makes it very beneficial to place Hex Assets along the roads, where logistics capacity passing through anyway can do double-duty
Hex Perks, meanwhile, just need to be in the zone. They do not need a road. However, troops that may have to defend them probably still need a road.
The Zone Inventory Limits
Resources in a Zone help nobody but that zone. They can be used to directly “feed” the zones consumers: The workers, the running buildings, and the constructions. And in many cases, it is highly advantageous to have the production of goods distributed across all zones and as close to their consumption as possible. Food particularly should never need to be shipped.
But the Zone inventory will not help other zones, help you raise troops, or even feed your soldiers standing right in the city center!
The Zone will try to keep 1 Turn of Consumption (2 for Food) in storage. This helps with any temporary setbacks. Any excess storage capacity is transferred to the SHQ. For some things with shallow storage limits, this can become an issue if the consumers take away the SHQ’s storage.
SHQ – the prime logistics consumer and it’s limits
“The planet is full of zones where there is too much of one good and too little of another good.” – after the memory-alpha.fandom.com – https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Great_Material_Continuum.
And none of the Zones would bother feeding the soldiers that are standing literally in the city center.
This is where the SHQ comes in. Every Shell, every Ration, every unit of Fuel and Energy for your Troops has to be collected and distributed via an SHQ.
Every unit of Fuel, Energy, IP, Metal, and Food that is not produced and stored locally for consumption has to be collected and distributed by an SHQ*
Every start of the turn, the SHQ will do these 4 things:
– Deliver stuff to Zone Inventories that those Zones requested*
– Deliver stuff to Units that they have requested. Yes, that means you need to have the resource for your units in the SHQ Inventory before hitting the end turn.
(construction and consumption in the Zones happens here)
(production happens here, after consumption)
– Collecting stuff from zones. This will be the stuff it has available for next end turn and the rare instant projects (like raising formations or building roads)*
– sending out reinforcements troops.
(For the full sequence, see 18.104.22.168)
The SHQ is given maximums for each of those. Those Maxima do add up to above 100% – if you use anywhere close to the limits in any area, that is an issue that needs fixing.
After the SHQ has done all of those stops once with the limits – and if it got any points left – it would go over each of those points again, this time ignoring limits. If one point had used its logistics maximum, there is now a second chance to get stuff done. This the reason the consumption can be higher than the maximum – it was not used anywhere else.
The SHQ Logistics maxima are never the fault of issues – they are trying to keep things running despite you messing up!
Note that the SHQ seems to need 0 Logistics capacity to do stuff with the Inventory of the Zone it is placed in. Also, 0 Logistics to do stuff with the Hex it is placed in.
*These should be kept as small as possible. Logistics is primarily there for your soldiers. Moving goods between the Zones and the SHQ should be only those things that can not (yet) be produced locally.
Free Shipping included
According to the handbook, several things travel for free on the Logistics network. These include:
Water & Fuel used by assets. Supposedly those travel via Pipes.
Note that Fuel still costs Logistics to move to troops.
Energy (via cables)
Industrial Points (as it is an abstract concept)
This is the special food given to the Private economy if the local production is not enough. Note that this is different from the normal food being given to your workers, which does use Logistics capacity!
Leftover Logistics Points
After the SHQ does its automatic stuff (both passes), there will be some points left. Hopefully, that is a lot of points.
And hopefully, that is not just a lot because you could not bring enough stuff to your troops because of a bottleneck.
Those leftover points you can use for a bunch of special things:
Raising formations in places other than your SHQ
Move Troops in the field via Strategic Movement.
Upgrade units in the field (the SHQ already handles replacement)
Truck AP and Distance
Considering that each hex is ~200km on the short diagonal, it should not come as a surprise that trucks can not move infinitely far!
A Public T1 Truck Station has 1000 Truck Points (Logistics Capacity) and 100 trucks. That AP defines how far you get to use the full capacity – and how far the capacity will dwindle off.
Each Terrain has an AP cost for the “Truck Logistics.” 25 is not uncommon for flat terrain. Hard terrain can go up to 75. With Roads, it is 10 (Dirt Road) or 5 (Paved Road) AP per hex.
As long as the Trucks have not yet used more than 100 AP to get to a hex (and no road split the capacity), you still got a full supply capacity of 1000. Once they start using more than 100 AP, the supply capacity will drop off sharply. Think of them having to carry extra food and fuel for the journey on the back of the vehicle.
If a line hits another transport asset, the remaining points are “refocussed”: A bit of the capacity is lost, but used AP are reset. Generally, there will be nothing left after the 3rd refocus.
In the traffic Signs menu, you can see how many of those AP is used already and how many there are in total (note that leaving the transport assets/city hex costs AP). It does not show this data for hexes without roads, but the same math happens there!
Picture a distance of 21 hexes between two points (it will most likely be cities, but it could be any points, really).
Picture both points having a Public Truck Station that send all their stuff towards the other point
Picture the 1000 truck Points reaching exactly 10 hexes, then drop off to 100 Truck points at the 11th Hex and 0 afterward (it is not quite that extreme in the game).
So the hex in the middle will only have 200 Logistics. Guess what? You only get 200 Units across that road. That 1 Hex is the bottleneck.
Bottlenecks happen when two supply producers “meet” just after they started trailing off. There is a weak link in the chain of logistics assets.
Organic Supply – let us make a food run!
Units are not entirely passive receivers of supply either. Their supply is a lot more forgiving than the one for Assets and cities. It turns out that people are willing to go the extra 1000 miles towards a good supply line to get food!
Terrain also has a Cost for the Movetype “Organic Supply.” Assume each unit has 100 “freeOrganicSupplyAP” and a “OrganicSupplyPoints” that matches the maximum they can request per turn
They work similar to truck points, in that they spread out, dwindling off after they run out of AP.
Usually, movement cost for the Organic supply is a fraction of the one for trucks:
On flat terrain, it is 12 organic/25 Trucks.
In Mountain 20 Organic/75 Trucks.
They will try to find the hex within the range that still allows their requests’ capacity but has as many initial logistics points as possible.
So assume that Organic Supply makes up about half the total supply range of your troops!
(Not) off the rails
Rails are really good at moving a lot of supplies over very long distances. But entirely useless at distributing those supplies anywhere along the lines – or even the endpoint!
Each Rail line needs an endpoint – a Railhead or other station – to drop any relevant quantities off. At least the lower 10% of the Rail capacity will always go through – this helps with getting the Rail assets the necessary fuel – but for real bulk moving, you need a station in the other city.
And assuming they did not just deliver to a Zone or SHQ inventory, they also need a truck Station in the same hex or organic supply to distribute the stuff to troops!
They are good at getting stuff to the Strategic Base. And can even help at collecting the stuff at the Operational base in the first place. But it is still the local trucks that make it a Strategic base!
Note that no asset can be connected only by Rail to a city. They all must have a road connection to a city.
Airbridges and Airlift
A new feature that I did not even have time to test yet, but here is what I understand – the Airbridge kind of works like an Add-to Train line:
You got a start point – that is where your Transports Air Units are stations and are doing their mission from.
You got an End Point – that is where the Air Bridge mission is targeted.
There is a limited amount of “Air Bridge Logistics” points between the two.
There is no dropping off along the way.
Stuff still needs distribution afterward.
Logistics prefers to go over the Land connections. This is because Air bridges are uniquely dangerous for the aero vehicles doing the job and fuel expenses.
A “Airlift” or “Paradop” seems to be moving units over an airbridge using strategic movement.
For using Strategic Movement with units across the Airbrdige, there is also a weight limit in the Beta. It is given as the Squareroot of (Cargo Size/1000), which gives it an absolute limit of 250k for ~15.8 Logistics Weight.
No subunit can weigh more than that, or the unit can not be transported over the airbridge – no matter how much capacity is left over.
This is all that we can say about the Shadow Empire – Logistics 101 for now. I hope this post helped you. If there is anything that we should add, please let us know via comment below. See you soon!
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