Hello and welcome to the first actual dev diary for The New Order: Last Days of Europe. A while ago I talked about the reasons we moved from Victoria 2 to Hearts of Iron IV, and with the recent announcement of a decision system coming in the latest expansion, I am happier with this choice than ever.
It’s been awhile since our last dev diary, and a lot has changed, notably, Atlantropa has been tamed a bit due to suggestions and our beautiful Reichskommissariat Mittelmeer was taken from this world at the ripe age of 3. Never forget.
Atlantropa is now
much less fun much more presentable, and matches several projected images of what most people seem to think Atlantropa would look like.
I would show the new Atlantropa in detail, but we’re doing huge changes to it and the surrounding countries there that we’ll be excited to show you in the next dev diary!
Hopefully the new Atlantropa will be a middle ground between realism and fun, because I think that middle ground is what the mod is about and one of the thing that sets it out. I feel Atlantropa is one of many things that makes The New Order a bit special, as I haven’t seen any total conversion with a modified map that isn’t a full on fantasy mod, and none that are currently active or as fleshed out as The New Order is or will be.
The New Order isn’t meant to be entirely realistic, because personally, I see no real way the Axis would have won World War 2, or dammed the Mediterranean, or invaded Britain, or survived for over 5 years if they did. The mod is about being fun and interesting, and presenting the player’s with scenarios and enjoyment they can’t find in others, I think Atlantropa is a big part of that.
But enough about that, it’s time to get onto the meat of the dev diary, and the first country we will cover due to its interesting and unique position in the mod.
**The Matter of Britain**
England in 1962 is a fallen star, lost is the great empire that once spanned from sea to sea, and gone is her freedom and power. In the fires of the World War, the United Kingdom was brutally invaded, and despite receiving help from its old ally, the United States, was crushed under the German heel like so many others. The United Kingdom is gone, Wales and Scotland and all of her colonies are free, and even Cornwall is no longer under control from London.
Gone is the mighty Empire, this is England.
The German Reich has established the Cornwall Governorate, ruled by Military Governor Franz Halder, the mastermind behind the invasion who gained the position as a reward for his service. German soldier’s patrol the countryside and regularly sweep towns door to door, checkpoints and posts sit on every road and major strongpoint, and the Cornish people live in fear of being accused of harboring resistance members and being dragged from their homes by a German firing squad. Even worse, the people have turned on each other, and neighbors report each other to the authorities over the smallest disputes.
Cornwall is the German yoke, pressing down on the English neck. Worse still, Halder, meticulous in his planning and managing his forces day in and out, controls a garrison that sits across England, ensuring England remains firmly in the German sphere and putting down any sign of dissent, especially from the nascent resistance. A major garrison sits in London, patrolling the streets and guarding the Collaborator government, and many others dot the land, big and small, large garrison forces also occupying Manchester and Burmingham. Units regularly go on expeditions across the country to wipe out entire villages suspected of harboring resistance members, and push into Wales and Scotland to do the same there, ostenbily in the name of good law and order, and to “Protect the British peoples”.
Assisting the Germans is the Collaborator government, nominally led by King Edward VII, though mainly led by the fascist Union Movement, legally the only party allowed to hold a majority in the British government. While an opposition exists, all forms of Socialism and Communism are outlawed, and the various parties aligned against the Union are only allowed to form an Opposition at best, although many of them are forced to toe the line and are ultimately beholden to the Union in fear of German reprisals.
Against them, however, is the resistance. Made up of former army units gone underground, patriotic citizenry and a smattering of far left and far right groups all opposed to the Reich and their puppet government, the resistance hopes to free England and break German control of the isles. They do not have an easy path to take, however, as the Resistance remains decentralized without any real contact between its cells, regularly fights between each other on ideological lines or just in petty turf wars, and has little support of much of the British people.
While the Resistance represents freedom, they also represent the possibility of England’s destruction. Perhaps the English can overturn German control and save their nation, but more likely, their attempt at rebellion will simply lead to the German’s having an excuse to finally snuff out all hope of the British people. The Resistance represents risk, and danger, and anarchy, for even if they do somehow throw off the German overlords, who is to say things will get better? Already fighting even with the German’s as a common enemy, many doubt the partisans have any ability to actually unify when they throw them out.
And that is not to speak of their tactics, often cruel, and often with civilian casualties and collateral damage, the most the Resistance seems to have managed so far is constant reprisals against the people they claim to protect.
The opinion seemed to have proven correct, when the London Resistance, without proper planning or preparation, lashed out and attempted to begin the uprising. In the 2nd Battle of London.
Starting with a bombing of a pub frequented by German soldiers and the attempted assassination of Prime Minister Sir Oswald Mosley, with hopes of sparking a general uprising across all of London, the move is utterly futile. The assassination is ill prepared, and the uprising never sparks. Instead, riots break out across London, and the 2nd Battle of London leads to little more than the German garrison and the Metropolitan Police Force battling it out with rioters in the streets, leading to much of the city falling into ruin.
The 2nd Battle of London was a loss for the English, leading to little more than what little hope most of the English had being almost completely snuffed out.
But there is hope.
The resistance may have been beaten back but it is not out. Led by by former British Army Lieutenant General Claude Auchinleck, who had organized the Home Guard in preparation for Sea Lion and had been recalled back home after the disastrous losses in North Africa. Auchinleck led the British southern front during the German invasion, but was unable to defeat the overwhelming forces of the Reich and was forced north with his men. Outside of Carlisle, him and his staff were forced to surrender as the 3rd Infantry Division was cut off and surrounded by the Germans.
Now, Auchinleck is ostensibly a loyal member of the Collaborator government, an official card carrying member of the UM, he, and several of his followers have joined the government and now lead HMMLR, Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Resistance. A small, but organized front proclaiming loyalty to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the British government in exile in Canada.
The HMMLR, however, is not what it needs to be. The resistance faced many setbacks in its opening years, and several failed uprising’s by various cells led to the German boot firmly planting down on the English. Afterwards, a steady stream of losses, both large and small has led to most of the resistance disbanding, its members simply wanting to go home, utterly demoralized. By 1962 it seemed like the resistance may have been in its final hours, when news came from Germany.
The attempt on Hitler’s life shocked the Reich to the core, and made it very clear that the German’s Empire was possibly on death’s door, or at least entering the emergency ward, and suddenly, it seemed England had a chance again.
While the 2nd Battle of London was a loss, it's true result was it taught Auchinleck a powerful lesson. The British resistance can fight, and the British people will fight, but the resistance can not be decentralized, it can not be disorganized. They needed something to unite them. They needed the HMMLR.
The resistance tree has three main branches. To properly fight Jerry, the resistance must have the support of the people of England, the support of the people of the Isles, and the support of the people of the world.
The first part of the tree is about reconnecting the various cells, the isolated people of the country, and then in the various nations on Britain. Finally, the player can use this new basis of support to attempt to woo the leftist rebels, Communist and Socialist guerillas led by veteran Bill Alexander.
To court the various nations however, the resistance may need to make promises and compromises that are against the interests as England as a whole. Wales and Scotland, while against the Germans, have little wish to return to a United Kingdom, and while the Reds would be more than happy to overthrow the Collaborators, there’s no question that the price for their assistance may be more than the resistance can bare. While an alliance with the Alexander does not need to happen, Alexander’s resistance is large, and being refused a place at the table may be equally as disastrous for the English.
The central tree involves the resistance looking for contacts outside of Britain. Things are fairly straight forward until HMMLR manage to establish a line of communications from France to the wider world, when a choice needs to be made. Italy and Iberia, both opposed to the Reich and attempting to solidify their ability to properly stand against Germany, are likely picks for assistance against the Germans. The former nations of the Commonwealth by and large represent a liberal and friendly choice, and their help would prove invaluable.
There are three more options that need to be looked at, however. America assisted England against Germany and American soldiers fought and died alongside their British counterparts during the invasion, but realpolitik rules this Cold War, and America may not want to risk conflict with Germany by supplying the English. Not to mention, American aid can be fickle, it only takes a policy change or a turn in public opinion and the resistance can be cut off from its lifeline.
Japan is also an option, and as the Reich’s biggest rival, would likely be more than happy to weaken their sphere. Japan is far off, however, and hardly proved to be a friend of the English in the past.
Finally, there is a third option. Heinrich Himmler leads the SS-Stadt Burgund and while technically a part of the Reich, is essentially independent. Himmler, with his own mysterious plans and plots, has begun working against the Reich and attempting to weaken its position in Europe. The English do not know why, exactly, the Burgundians have approached with an offer to help, and being the closest power, one of the strongest military powers on Earth, and offering seemingly massive amounts of aid while asking for nothing in return seems too good to be true. But Himmler is not to be trusted, and no doubt he has little good in mind for England, despite his honeyed words.
The third part is about winning over the people and strengthening the position of the English resistance. This will take place by establishing a secret government much like Poland did IOTL, which will allow you to begin choosing how exactly England may look after freedom, and later work to begin creating an entire society under the Collaborator’s noses.
Through the third portion of the tree, you will also infiltrate the police, the military, and begin arming the citizenry for your revolution.
The final portion of the tree is the actual revolution itself, involving trying to break the garrison and cause havoc in the government before beginning the final battle for the fate of England. The focuses, and the events that they bring, are all affected by previous decisions made through previous focuses and events. The goal being that you can have a multitude of outcomes, and multiple playthroughs, even on a branch of a focus tree, have multiple outcomes and play differently. We plan to design the majority of focus tree’s with this mentality.
Fighting for England won’t be easy, however, because there is more than one actor on the Isles…
The English government, led by Prime Minister Sir Oswald Mosley, is hanging on for survival as 1962 rolls in. While the only party allowed to hold majority in the parliament, and receiving support from the Reich, the party itself is deeply unpopular in the English people. Their main basis of support comes from the many English who fear that letting the resistance get their way can lead to a second, more disastrous invasion of England, one in which the German’s will be less content to let England retain some semblance of independence.
Like all things, however, this changes. Two series of events shake the Collaborator government and the English to their core.
(Notice, the British Union of Fascists was renamed the Union Movement by game start, the localisation is slightly dated!)
The London Terrors, leading to the 2nd Battle of London, along with the attempt on Hitler’s life, put the Collaborator’s in a precarious position. While the attacks ultimately failed, it proved the Collaborator’s couldn’t stand on their own without German support, and with the attempt on Hitler’s life, it has become abundantly more clear than ever that what support there is may quickly dry up.
It’s obvious the resistance isn’t dead, despite the failures, and even more obvious that they will be attempting to use the Reich’s slide back into anarchy as a chance to destroy the Collaborators once and for all. It’s a race to see who can cement their position the fastest.
The first portion of the Collaboration tree deals with the Collaborator’s attempts to begin building up an actual military force to handle the Resistance and then using it to begin going on the offensive against the resistance cells outside of England.
It’s a race against time however, which I’ll explain later in the diary, and the Collaborator’s can instead skip most of the steps by petitioning Germany for support directly. In doing so, and if the Germans accept and give a suitable amount of help, then the Collaborator’s will not need to build up their military to start hunting down the resistance. Asking for German support is a double edged sword, however, as it’s doubtful the German’s will be as eager to leave as they were to enter…
Germany may also take issue with remilitarization in violation of their treaties with England, but with the situation in Germany falling apart, the English can choose to ignore these complaints and go forward anyway. Surely if in the end they crush the resistance, the Reichstag won’t be able to complain?
The second part of the tree represents the propaganda campaign and attempting to attack the resistance more subtly. The resistance is quickly able to begin winning the hearts and minds of the people, but the government will be able to go into damage control and possibly counteract this by stressing the dangers the resistance represent, reminding people of the devastation caused by the 2nd Battle of London and the brutal methods of the resistance, especially Bill Alexander and his Communist partisans.
The government will also need to root out the resistance’s funding and begin trying to root sympathizers out from Westminster. This will of course put Auchinleck at risk directly, and while it’s unlikely that he will be caught by these measures, his position can be left greatly weakened. The final focus ends this portion of the tree with an attempt to begin rebuilding London and winning her people back over, and hopefully crush the London cell once and for all.
The final portion of the tree is your final attempts to solidify your hold as the resistance begins moving against you in full. To do so, one or more things must be focused on. The propaganda campaign must go into full swing and the military prepared, foreign support can be gained and the Army restored, with hopes of it being used to support friendly regimes in order for them to in turn support England.
Of course, you can also choose to reinforce the GCHQ even further than you may have done previously, and begin quietly putting the pressure on the resistance, rooting them out from the inside and working in the shadows. To do so, however, you may have to strip what little liberty’s the English have left, and may have to break a few eggs to finally squash HMMLR and Bill Alexander.
Once any of the paths are taken, it is time for the Final Battle for London. The now reinforced military, whether it just be a reformed Territorial Army, a reestablished English Army or a force of foreign regulars, must take the fight to the resistance across all of England. War in the streets will begin, and the English resistance will be stomped out once and for all.
The 3rd Battle of London
No matter which side begins the struggle, the 3rd Battle of London will begin, sparking a civil war across England as both HMMLR and the Collaborators with the German garrison duke it out over who will lead the nation. This war will not be easy, foreign powers will support both sides, and more importantly, no matter which side you chose, the other will have been working against you…
The New Order has a unique system with the English focus tree that when you choose one side, the AI will take the other and work against you. Whether you are HMMLR or the government, as you go down your tree, the AI will be going down the opposite side in an attempt to contain you. Focuses reflect on each other and interact, the Resistance may find many of its objectives more difficult if the Collaborator’s push to infiltrate it earlier, or can lose their Welsh and Scottish connection if the Collaborator’s beat them to the areas.
Likewise, the Collaborator’s will find their control slipping out from under them even as they work to solidify it. The Resistance will be sabotaging every move, and working constantly to undo your work or stop you from doing it in the first place.
It’s a race to the bottom of the tree. It is entirely possible if you become bogged down in your tree or attempt to complete every focus that the AI will be able to reach the end first, in which case you will start the war on the backfoot, as the AI goes on the offensive against you instead of vice-versa.
The Fate of England
Once England is free of control or the power of the government is solidified, the fate of England must be decided. The focus tree will change, based on how exactly you chose to undergo your resistance or reassert control, and hard choices made in the name of victory beforehand may suddenly come back to bite you.
We will show the later English tree’s at a later date, they’re not quite ready for you all to enjoy, but I think you’ll all be excited to see what we have in store! :)
Finally, The New Order will have a variety of events related to culture and the news across the world, even minor. These can be disabled, much like the new’s events in Kaiserreich, but will serve to establish the lore of the world and make each country feel more fleshed out and unique.
I hope you enjoyed our first real dev diary! For the past few years, The New Order has been a solo passion project, but I recently showed off some parts of it on the Kaiserreich Discord and was surprised at the reception I got. Soon after, I had a team of eager volunteers who wanted to help with the mod, and thanks to their efforts this dev diary was possible, and The New Order moved from the development hell that came from only one person taking on what should be such a massive and expansive mod.
I’d like to thank everyone who has helped so far, big or small, here:
Indyclone77, Beelzebub, Skullcrusher, Raptor_Jesus, HellHound, JakeR2000, Bobbins, Risaldar, CanadaMan7, StarGaming, Chrondite (of the Strategic View Adjustments mod, who kindly allowed us to implement it), the Kaiserreich team for all the ideas and the framework for the mod, and the /r/hoi4modding community and its leader, Miah, which helped me fix the mod in the first place and led to me gathering this amazing team.
Thank you all yet again, and if you’re not on the team and would like to join it, or just want to join our growing community, please let me know. All are welcome, and even if you don’t know how to mod but want to help, we are more than willing to teach.
Come in next time for a dev diary on the Triumvirate, the unstable alliance of Italy, Iberia, Turkey, and the Arab states.