Heart of Iron IV are adding the Railway Gun as the game's newest unit. This unit will not stockpile, and will be limited by a number of factories as well as railways, but will bring with it new combat interactions, but, most importantly, models!
On to combat now, in combat with a supporting railway gun, devs have added the useful icon on the combat progress indicator that there is a supporting bombardment. This new icon will also show if there is shore bombardment happening in the combat.
The combat effects of railway gun bombardment work just like shore bombardment, causing negative combat stat modifiers to those on the receiving end of the big guns. These modifiers affect both soft and hard attacks as well as defense values. Notably, these effects do not stack - it becomes more important to spread out your railway artillery than to concentrate it.
There are unique guns for all the major powers:
- The German Schwerer Gustav is the model you will see when playing as the Germans. It's perhaps the most famous railway gun and definitely, the biggest and so had to have a part in this feature.
- After that is the BL 9.2inch railway gun, a relic of the first world war but these big guns were kept in service until 1945,
- Following that, we will have the French Canon de 305 another veteran of the first world war.
- Next up is the USA’s 8-inch Mk. VI which remarkably first entered service as late as 1941!
- The type 90 240 mm railway gun whose claim to fame is being destroyed by the retreating Japanese in the soviet invasion of Manchuria.
- And finally the TM-3-12, three of these were made in 1938 and were used in the winter war against Finland, unbelievably these were in service until 1999.
But the most important part we need to talk about, gameplay-wise, is capture and damage, as railway guns can be captured via encircling them and damaged by damaging the railway they are placed upon.
Now railway guns are the biggest guns by far used on land and so it's important that we have representations of those built by the major powers, and the developers have delivered on that, as we can see.