From: Utlima Thule
Not intending to hijack, but I have also noted that in its initial displacement, Germany has many supply depots and import / export ports to the west of its NSS which seem to be drawing freight away from the eastern front.
Should these depots / ports be removed or set to 0? What are the point of these depots? When you remove them the AI assist feature adds them.
you might as well but they don't make much difference.
What is missing in the discussion above is the logistics system has 3 parts that feed into what arrives at a depot. The 2 obvious ones are depot processing capacity and rail line capacity. The last one that gets overlooked is demand.
In the main a depot won't claim much if there is no local demand, so a priority #4 at say Brandenburg in 1941 will only take a little bit - probably related to supplying new arrivals, while if the capacity rules were all that mattered it would fill up and stay filled up.
A good place to test this is to use Stal-Berlin, simply do it solitaire so no moves etc. Create/set a load of depots in the Reich to say priority #3, they actually won't have much freight after a few turns as there is not much local demand for that freight.
So to take:
Why is there such a large gap in the chain of depots between the supply sources and the front line at game start? Was Germany's logistical preparation really that poor in June of 1941?
I have yet to see hard evidence that those intermediate depots help. In my(limited) experience, the two limiting factors for the Axis are railroads and armaments, not depots.
Consider these two options (R= Railroad, D = Depot).
a) D0 R1 R2 D3 R4 R5 D6 R7 R8 D9
b) D0 R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 D9
The limiting factor to get stuff to D9 will always be the capacity of railroad R7 and R8, the last ones to near D9. It doesn't matter if the freight has to come from D0 or D6, it always had to pass R7 and R8 anyway.
Now, it is true that you build a D6 and fill it up but that gives you less stuff in D9 if the capacity of R4 and R5 is the same as R7 and R8 (like it is in the beginning of the game when all those Rs are perfectly repaired and all fully-functioning).
thats the key, the intermediate depots will not naturally claim very much. What they will pick is up is freight that lacks the SMP to reach the depot it was aimed for, so they will usually only pick up a bit.
On the other hand, a rear depot set to #4 and with your transport planes clustered around will fill up and can be a very efficient tool to push freight into the front line sectors