I wanted to come back and give an update on my experience with using a 2nd SHQ. I took the plunge a few turns after the situation I posted in the map in the OP. I ended up finally winning the game about 20 turns later, you can see below all the additional zones to the East (and several to the west, eventually wrapping around).
I am out of town, so I don’t have all the earlier saves with me to show the Bottleneck reports, I will try to post them Wednesday. But my logistics was running Red between Phoenix to Cragridge, Yellow down to Basalt and red or black further east. Part of that was also due to having two Mech Brigades and multiple infantry corps fighting on that front.
Once I conquered Charthors (which I think was the capital of one of the other majors), I was able to build rail from Cragridge to there, and build the 2nd SHQ. I did it gradually at first, just connecting Charthors and a couple other zones (Lilincon and Cambridge, then eventually Gault and Lancaster). I initially only assigned some garrison units and a couple border infantry brigades to the SHQ, leaving the heavy mech forces under SHQ1. However, even the fact those zones didn’t have to ship their resources back to SHQ1 and distribute them back out made a big difference in the bottlenecks. My mech/armor bdes were able to get more replacements, even though they were still under SHQ1, because less LIS was tied up moving stuff between zones. Here’s a few lessons I learned from the process.
1. Try to establish the SHQ in a zone (or zones) that is as self-sufficient as possible. If you can generate enough food/metal/rares in that zone, you don’t have to waste LIS transferring stuff back and forth. According to the manual, water, Fuel, Energy, and IP don’t take LIS, and from what I could tell when I transferred from one SHQ to the other they didn’t take any points, just the hassle of remembering to manually transfer them.
2. Trade is your friend!! Once you have 2 SHQ, you can trade from either one (click in the zone for the SHQ you want, and you can buy into/sell from that SHQ’s inventory). This can save LIS if you have lots of metal, for example, and don’t want to tie up LIS in transferring. Sell a bunch from SHQ1, then buy it at SHQ2. You lose money in the transaction, of course, but at that point I had like 50k credits and not much to spend it on. Getting 1000 metal in the new zone was well worth the cost. Also, it’s easier to buy metal and then use Workshop (while still on SHQ2) to create ammo in the new SHQ, vs shipping from the old one.
3. Recruits cost a lot to move, so when you create the new SHQ make sure you start giving recruiting bonuses in the new cities, so you can form your own replacements in SHQ2, much easier than trying to transfer from SHQ1.
4. Remember that each OHQ (and independent unit) must be switched to whichever SHQ you want it to belong to, and that’s where it will draw it’s replacements. I kept my Mech/armor bdes under SHQ1 initially, because I already had some replacements built up and plenty of metal/rares to build more. If the game would have gone on longer I would have swapped them to SHQ2, especially as I started to get mines and scavenge online in the new zones.
5. Take a look at the terrain. In my case, one of the issues is I had solid rail networks to Cragridge and Basalt, but it was extremely mountainous to the south, so it was a patchwork of dirt and sealed roads going to Liberty, Nassau, and Omicron. Once I had the SHQ in Charthors built, and rail connecting all the way east to Lancaster, I was able to build rail south thru Kondel to Omicron through mostly flat terrain, and SE to Deneba. It was much longer distance, but the rail distance penalty is so much lower it was easy to connect those zones back to SHQ2, and take strain off the roads through the mountains to Liberty and Nassau.
Playing/Learning Shadow Empire