Hello, and welcome to the seventeenth Dev Report for Spartakus. Here is the link to the last Dev Report. Its been a while, but we are hoping to get back on track from now on.
With the new mechanics provided in MtG, we have many plans for useful and creative ways to make use of them. Here is just some detail on our workings to catch your interest:
One of the features added in MtG is the ability to have countries forcibly control the resources of another country. In the DLC, this is most importantly used for Mexico, which has its oil taken by the United States and Britain. The mechanic will be used in Spartakus to represent British exploitation of resources in their spheres of interest, such as a monopoly on oil in Khuzestan, Persia, and Iraq, with other locations including the Ottoman Sultanate and China. American exploitation of resources in Central and South America will be represented also.
Additionally, the new government in exile mechanics will hopefully be able to be used to allow the west (primarily Britain) to host opposition governments to Comintern powers. This could include the exiled oppositions from Russia, Poland, Hungary, Bavaria and elsewhere.
While the vanilla US Senate mechanic is certainly interesting, in terms of its use for our purposes, due to issues such as binary representation and non-modular implementation, it is not very helpful nor adaptable. For this reason we are continuing to use our own previously built parliamentary system, but we certainly hope to bring it up to the same level of visuals and polish as Paradox’s own system.
Another useful feature added is the ability to have scripted custom province modifiers. We have already begun experimenting with various new modifiers, including riots, fires, monsoons, cliffs, scorched earth and many other ideas. The most significant of these so far is railways. We plan to have fully detailed railway networks for as many countries as possible, providing strategic infrastructure for supplies, troop transport, etc, and hope for it to be very impactful on warfare and the flow of the game. There are many possibilities for province modifiers that we hope to use to the fullest. We also plan to expand the vanilla ‘flooded’ province modifier for usage by other nations than the Dutch, primarily in areas where there was historical usage of the tactic, such as the deliberate flooding of the Yellow River by the Kuomintang in China.
The new custom game rules menu will hopefully be able to be used to allow players of Spartakus to choose from several scenarios for how they’d like their game to go, ranging from the most fun and interesting to the most realistic scenarios.
With the addition of naval terrain we hope to go over all sea areas in the map and overhaul them much like we have with land areas and our region-specific overhauls such as in the Sahara. This may range from adding more detailed/realistic islands and naval bases, to smaller sea regions with more diverse and abundant use of naval terrains for the most interesting and strategic gameplay possible.
Finally. the update also included the addition of arrays, dynamic modifiers, new modifiers, etc. These may sound complicated and boring, but are very important, as the main point of these additions is their crucial nature in improving performance and creating better gameplay.
While MtG has given us a large number of new toys to play with in order to deliver the best experience possible, we’ve also been playing with and expanding some old mechanics that have been in HoI4 for a long time. Enter straits. We have greatly expanded the number of naval straits to make naval transportation and trade more interesting and difficult, including in Indonesia, Japan, the Middle East, and Russia.
We have also expanded the use of the other type of strait: crossings. In order to model the real-life use of the Caspian Sea to transport supplies, resources, and troops, there are now straits that criss-cross the sea between its major ports. This is not only a way to supply your troops who are cut off by land, but also to reinforce or evacuate them. Some may be concerned about attacks occurring across the Caspian, but attacking across straits gives large combat debuffs, and the AI tends to put troops on the ends of those straits that lead to enemy territory, so as long as you keep an eye out, you shouldn’t be facing large invasions over water.
We hope that these additions add new depth to combat, supply, and trade.
It has been quite a while since the last dev report, and particularly since the last update on what’s going on in the west Balkans, but here I am again with some news regarding the development of this region.
First and foremost, since the last report, I’ve taken over the development for the whole region of Yugoslavia, and have started actual work on the countries that’ll be present or releasable there. This being a complex area, and my free time being less than adequate for it, progress has been slow, but progress nonetheless.
More important is to note that I’ve changed some things up in the setup of this region, so it’ll rely on fully scripted storytelling and progression of events. Most dynamic mechanics that were initially planned and possibly mentioned have been scrapped (ethnic stability decisions and dynamically formable Yugoslavia), so if you were expecting them, don’t be unpleasantly surprised by their absence. The main issue with them was that the former couldn’t affect the gameplay much without possibly breaking the game and would just become a minor annoyance (there will certainly eventually be destabilizing national spirits and such for attempting to annex territories with hostile populations, but no decisions in the foreseeable future). The latter was somewhat unnecessary as the conditions for the creation of Yugoslavia would usually be present only in Serbia and potentially in Croatia under a few specific circumstances. Henceforth, Yugoslavia will be formable only by a socialist Serbia and (later) by socialist Croatia or as a corporatist puppet. (Also note that the natsyn path for Serbia may not be present upon initial release as i’m busier with implementing something workable for the rest of the countries and the planned route is unlikely itself for several lore reasons.)
Now that’s over with, let’s move onto the main subject of this DR!
Illyria, formerly known as the Kingdom of Croats, Serbs and Slovenes
As might be obvious from that screenshot, Illyria is a hot mess, more so than Serbia even. It was formed as a pro-Italian successor to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes centered around Zagreb more after the Adriatic War. It’s king is of the Italian house of Savoy-Aosta, but he has later taken a Croatian name as the monarch of a predominately Croatian nation.
The nation, despite desperate attempts to create national unity by an united Illyrian identity, is torn into bits. Very little of the native population is recruiting, leading to a manpower crisis and a nigh powerless military force mostly consisting of what was left over by the Italians.
I’ve provided a simplified overview of the ethnoreligious groups in the country, based on the states they’re divided it into. The blue represents the Croats, the red the Serbs, the green Bosniaks and the pink the Slovenes. The usage of the term “Bosniak” during this time period is somewhat controversial but as the Illyrian ideology the Italian administration is upholding considers Bosniaks an equivalent tribe to Croats and Serbs as part of one Illyrian nation, and the writing is primarily from a contemporary perspective in which most members of this group use that as the preferred term for their ethnic identification, you can submit any complaints about me opting to use it here. Unfortunately, very little accurate data of the time is available due to the nature of the states occupying the west balkans at the time. Please note that this is a very sensitive region (by which I mean people are gonna butcher me if I don’t do it right), so I’ve done my best to represent the actual dynamics in play without any anachronistic, nationalist slant. Some things are obviously left out because of the limitations of the game. Most notably, the Serb minority region in Croatia is not represented by its own state and the entire mosaic that is eastern Bosnia is merged into one predominantly Bosniak region, mainly due to the fact that the Serbian population contained within it is overwhelmingly rural and therefore less relevant to its political alignments. Thankfully, as MtG has added province modifiers, I may make use of them in the future to represent dissent in rural ethnic populations via an attrition modifier.
So, Illyria consists primarily of these 4 groups, and not a single one of them is happy. While Croats are the closest to being politically represented, the injustices committed against them are clear and they demand more freedom, constantly under threat from the increasingly repressive foreign government. The King manipulates the press, banning all dissenting voices, persecuting nationalists, communists, and liberals. Worst of all, Italianization is in play, meaning each group is being constantly denigrated and forced to change its culture. Some cities controlled by Italy directly even prohibit public usage of the Serbocroatian language. During the course of the game, this situation will develop, with Illyria further constricting these policies upon its controlled territories.
The countryside is lawless and basic civil conduct is hardly upheld even in the larger cities. Illyria is growing unstable at its core each day, and will nearly inevitably burst not too long into the game, typically corresponding to Italy’s civil war (which sparkz will talk about more soon).
As was in our timeline, the agrarian Croatia’s independence movement is dominated by the Croatian Republican Peasant Party - the HRSS. While several other parties are involved, most notably the KPJ (Communists), the future of Croatia will usually be administered by Stjepan Radić and his associates. When the politics move to the battlefield, Croatia may be equipped with a strongly motivated army of militiamen, mostly coming from the HRSS’s paramilitary wings; That is, the Croatian Peasant Defence and the Croatian Civil Defence.
So far, Croatia’s post-war politics are not very developed. The usual course would be, if freed from Illyria, the HRSS remaining in control of the government and proceeding with its social-democratic and social-liberal policies, the creation of a federal Yugoslavia also a possibility. Otherwise - a coup of the Croatian Revolutionary Movement (HRP) or even the communists gaining influence might be possible.
The nearby Slovenia is harshly afflicted, torn between Illyria and Italy. It’ll be able to achieve sovereignty only when the conditions are truly right, as the military power it could muster to protect itself from both Italy and Illyria are meager. It’s currently rather early in development, but here’s a peek at one of its possible starting setups.
Bosnia is just as, if not more downtrodden than Croatia within Illyria. In fact, it’s affected by a myriad of more atypical issues. As Italian power was consolidated in the region after the Adriatic War, Italy established several corporations dedicated to making use of these new territories abundant natural resources. Most notably, the SAd’EMB (Società Anonima d'Estrazione Mineraria Bosnia) - an Italian mining company founded specifically on exploiting the mineral wealth found in Bosnia. The Illyrian government will receive a modest cut of what it makes, but at the cost of letting them run hardly regulated. This’ll be a significant part of the storyline, as the consequences of these actions could lead to total anarchy in Bosnia.
The Bosnian independence movement is rather reflective of Croatia’s, as its most successful elements embrace a similar kind of alliance and kinship between the different ethnic groups. More nationalistic parts of the population still support the liberal popular front, unable to lead a larger movement themselves, as they can only recruit a lesser amount of the population. This is not to say they’re dormant, but the civil government of a recently liberated Bosnia would only be able to establish itself by not alienating any of its ethnic groups too much.
Socialists and trade unions in particular may also play a significant role, fueled by alienation towards the Italian corporations which dominate the local economy, but more about this soon™.
Of course, after their shared enemy is gone, things could fall apart quick. Bosnia could either retain the tenuous balance it held by a liberal or socialist government, or a takeover by a certain military leader driving it into even more chaos.
The interplay of these nations has been and will be hard to manage - a lot of things could break, a lot may be left out. Despite all of this, I’m looking forwards to more progress in this direction, and doing this usually poorly represented region the justice and detail it deserves.
Until the next report, which may focus more on Serbia yet again, here is something also in the region that’s a little… Different!
While a lot has been teased regarding the Italian Civil War in recent months, it hasn’t quite been explained in detail yet.
Lore (skip to the end if you don’t care about this)
If you prefer to view the lore in the form of the intro events see here:
First, it is necessary to provide a brief bit of background lore. In this timeline, the post-war years of socialist unrest never truly ended. Italy became embroiled in a conflict in the Balkans known as the Adriatic War not long after the end of the Great War. Although this war ended with a rapid Italian victory, it placed major economic and political pressure on an already war torn Italy. The establishment of the puppet state known as Illyria in Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia only served to increase this pressure, as Italy was forced to prop up the unpopular and unstable state.
This pressure exacerbated the already existing economic crisis, leading to mass unrest among workers and veterans. 1919 alone saw over 1,600 industrial strikes, and over a million peasants took part in their own strikes in 1919 and 1920. The Italian Socialist Party(PSI) was divided, and failed to develop this unrest into a revolution. This was, in large part, because of the opposition of the reformist wing of the party. This nearly resulted in a split off of the communists, but with outside pressure mounting the reformist wing was expelled in January 1921 and the party was renamed to the Communist Party of Italy (PCd’I) in accordance with Comintern guidelines.
Amidst the rise of left-wing radicalism, the National Fascist Party attempted a coup in 1922 known as the “March on Rome”. Under pressure from the increasingly influential military as well as the Prime Minister, the King reluctantly authorized military action against the fascists, who were quickly defeated as many of the coup leaders abandoned the coup at the first sight of resistance. Some fascist leaders, including Benito Mussolini, were arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Others, like longtime general Emilio De Bono, were released. The party was subsequently banned.
A scarred Italy held new elections in 1924 which saw the unexpected rise in separatist parties, as well as an increase in votes for the communists. The liberal and right-wing opposition formed a wide coalition and Alcide De Gasperi of the conservative Italian People’s Party became the Prime Minister. However, he and the coalition proved unable to quell the strikes and political violence. The period between 1924 and 1928 became known as the “Years of Lead” due to a significant rise in political assassinations. De Gasperi resigned in May 1926 in favor of Luigi Sturzo, a self-described Christian socialist also from the Italian People’s Party. The Sturzo government saw some limited reconciliation with the communists, but in April 1928 he was brutally gunned down by a group of assassins. The act was initially blamed on the communists, but investigators soon uncovered evidence pointing to former members of the fascist Blackshirts. Ivanoe Bonomi was appointed provisionally as Prime Minister.
However, on May 5th 1928, a clique of military officers led by the influential General and former colonial governor Pietro Badoglio presented their demands to the King, only a month before the scheduled elections. It was demanded that the King appoint Badoglio as Prime Minister, and that he allow the replacement of the liberal cabinet with a cabinet of military officers. Fearing civil war, the King agreed, and the rule of the “Governo Militare” began. Elections were immediately suspended and Badoglio had the investigation team for the Sturzo assassination replaced with a team that would present fabricated evidence pointing towards the communists. Badoglio used this to justify a ban on the communists, and this was followed not long after with a ban on the reformist Unitary Socialist Party), as well as the two main separatist parties, the Lion of Saint Mark and the Sardinian Action Party. This would trigger the formation of various separatist paramilitaries, and inspired nationalists in Sicily would go on to form their own party in 1929.
End of Lore
So, that brings us to the end of this wall of text and to the start of the game. Italy, by all observational metrics, is a mess. Its economy is in shambles, the Governo Militare is wildly unpopular, separatists are actively waging an insurgency against the government and it is seemingly on the brink of Civil War. All that is needed is a few sparks to light the flame.
The two main sparks come in the form of a familiar economic crisis in March 1932, as well as a certain repeating of history in November.
These two unavoidable sparks are enough to fan the flames of Civil War, but it is important to note that the Civil War changes radically in nature depending on whether the fascists succeed in their coup or not. Within a few months, Italy will be fractured into various pieces, and the divides will take years to mend no matter who emerges victorious.
But, of course, it should be noted there is multiple other escalations that will occur between the coup and the beginning of the Civil War. If the fascists are dispersed, their leaders will ultimately slip out of prison amidst the chaos.
If their demands are met, they will quickly backstab the King, abolishing the monarchy and sending him into exile.
The chaos does not end there, however, for the socialists will have their own reactions:
What comes next is tragic, but also not unexpected. The “Milan Massacre” is an event that will go down in Italian history for decades, if not more, regardless of what happens next.
With the situation rapidly deteriorating, the communists will reemerge, now stronger than ever. The government is powerless to stop the return of exiled communist leaders, as their grip over the northern industrial areas falters by the minute.
However disaster will, inevitably, hit, and when it does it is chaotic to say the least. Socialist militias rush to take hold of the northern urban centres and the surrounding areas, while separatists scramble to seize their local governments and declare their independence. The police and military clash with them, disputing socialist and separatist control over Italian territory. Some military formations defect, others refuse to fight. Anti-socialist and anti-separatist civilian militias form, often taking the place of reluctant soldiers.
But there are some differences that depend on your previous choices. If the monarchy survives, they will face a fascist rebellion based in the Puglia region. If the fascists take power, they will face a Sicilian separatist uprising based in Palermo as well as a potential war with the exiled monarchy in Illyria.
If that all seems a little confusing, here is two maps showing how each scenario of the Civil War is set up:
The Italian Civil War is, at this stage, fully playable, but more in depth mechanics will be explained in the future progress reports. This will include the decisions system, warfare, focus trees, comprehensive explanations of the internal politics of all the participants, political paths and more.
I know, it's lazy to just link a Wiki page, but I promise there’s a reason. I decide to not blob the report because that wiki page is massive, and genuinely bloats the entire report (I tried). However, I will explain why India is the way it is, and how it gets so bad that Rajsplosion™ occurs.
First thing first, Gandhi is dead. RIP, big F for hungry boi. While officially I’m choosing not to state his cause of death, I’ll let you piece the puzzle, it's 1919, and the official autopsy states his cause of death was pneumonia (wrong) and associates who met with him prior to his death state that he was coughing severely and appeared pale. All I can say is the sudden death of a respected independence leader, who a year later would be the host of joint action between the two largest independence groups looks really, really suspicious to your average Bengali farmer.
This residual tension, combined with the successful uprising in Peshawar and a worse Amritsar Massacre (both OTL) leads to a vastly different backdrop to the Third Anglo-Afghani War , where Col. Reginald Dyer holds a more important post than OTL and loses the Khyber Pass. This leads to the loss of Peshawar and the Treaty of Tahkt-e-Nasrati.
After a temporary recovery, the Raj is thrown to chaos, when angry farmers re-enact the storming of the Bastille on the Yerawada Central Jail and free none other than Lala Lajpat Rai, who decides to make the trees speak Hindi by launching a guerrilla war against Britain. Due to its agrarian nature, the revolt is neatly known as the Red Revolt.
Now, you have to remember that the Empire is overstretched, having to protect its interests in Africa, the Caribbean, Iran and has to take the mantle of the protector of Europe from the ‘Red Horde’. This means that while bandits are robbing them blind, they can’t even send troops around quickly to protect roads, let alone conduct counteroffensives. Enter the happy solution, just get the Princes to deal with it. The plan succeeds, and Britain basically has a vassal swarm in real life. Unfortunately, the swarm can turn on its master just as easily as its enemies. However, the issue is shelved for now.
Next, the London Crash. This is another one of those, shouldn’t it be a problem type things? To answer this simply, it's about exports. Italy, Japan, the Persian states, Turkey and Illyria all need cotton, and the Raj can supply it, with most of its agriculture dedicated to cash crops, furthermore, everyone else doesn’t mind more spices. To add to this, India doesn’t really have a middle class, as there was the poor and the English, resulting in a tiny manufacturing sector that no one cares about dying.
India is fine, for now, but since no-one bothered to ask the Burmese if they were ok with getting their rice from China and Siam, they revolt. Leading to the start date, and an economy that can take the hits of future market crashes, but will collapse spectacularly if the cotton industry yeets itself. I wonder what causes Rajsplosion™?
Seriously tho, the Raj is crazy, and I’ve tried to explain my thinking as to why it's so precariously balanced at the start of the game. Rajsplosion™ is going to be insane (If I ever get the guts to code it) and I hope you pay attention to this corner of the globe.
The China lore has been unclear for a long time now, but rest assured the details are being hammered out behind the scenes. A large number of changes have been made, but we weren’t quite ready to show it off this time around, but we’ll tell you all about it in the next dev report! This time around, we’ll talk about province modifiers and weather.
With the release of Man the Guns, the concept of environmental warfare has arisen (for example, with how Paradox implemented flooding in the Netherlands). While the Netherlands did use some aspects of environmental warfare to halt the German advance, it was not the sole use of such measures during the period.
in China in particular, the 1938 Yellow River flood was strategically created to halt the advance of Japanese forces in Central China, having devastating effects on both the civilian population and the Japanese army. In addition the Changsha fire of 1938 was intentionally created by the Kuomintang to prevent the Japanese from obtaining the city’s vast wealth.
In STL, while the circumstances are much different, there is always the chance that a foreign power would invade China as a whole, and using environmental warfare to slow their advance can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Human-made disasters will also have opportunities of appearing in several other places in Europe which will be revealed at a later date.
In addition, some natural disasters will also be shown including various earthquakes that occurred in Western China during the early 1930’s (1932 and 1933). The new modifiers allow the impact to go beyond just flavor events.
So, despite personal difficulties recently, I have recommitted to working further on Nejd, the land of the Saudis, along with anything that it can come to be. Currently, I’m having issues with Hoi4 crashing to desktop while loading, seemingly due to the recent update. Gonna keep trying to fix this, and I might have to reset my PC. Anyway, when this is resolved I will work on getting the Saudis up to standard, though this may take a while. For now, I will tease the fact that the Ikhwan will be appearing. I would also like to ask for anyone to recommend materials, images, people, or articles related to politics in 20s-30s Saudi Arabia, as there is a third faction I’m planning aside from the House of Saud and Ikhwan, though they’re still being conceptualized. If you’ve got information that may be useful, contact me at EnlightenedHo#2775 on Discord. Thank you for reading.
We hope you enjoyed the seventeenth Dev Report! Remember to join the Discord as well, as many additional teasers are posted on there. Discord.gg
Also, if you are interested in joining the Dev Team, please remember all you need to do is fill out this form: Goo.gl
Working as hard as we can to put this out for you guys. :D
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