If you are new to the game, or simply new to the logistical aspects and mechanisms, this is an excellent place to start learning. The guide is being written using the state of the game as of the official Early Access release. Lessons will be in gathering, refining, manufacturing, transportation, supply and demand, and technology.
The most basic aspect of logistics in Foxhole are materials. Materials are what is used to craft everything else player-made in the game. There currently exist four different types of raw materials: scrap, components, fuel, and sulfur. Of these four, three must be refined at a manufacturing facility (indicated by the hammer on your map) before they become useful.
- Scrap (indicated by the screws on your map) are refined into Building Materials (b-mats).
- Components (indicated by the nuts on your map) are refined into Refined Materials (r-mats).
- Sulfur (indicated by the rocks on your map) are refined into Explosive Materials (e-mats).
- Fuel (indicated by a gas can on your map) cannot be refined and is immediately ready for use.
Once at the location where these mats are located, one will find nodes of each resource. Scrap looks like clumps of steel on the ground. Components look like broken tanks and vehicles. Sulfur look like smoking rocks. Fuel look like stacked steel barrels. Each node has a finite number of each raw material, and each take time to respawn after use. Fuel respawns the quickest, followed by scrap, components, and then sulfur. Sulfur in particular takes two hours to respawn, so its use must be carefully considered.
- B-mats in general can be used to construct basic vehicles, structures, weapons, ammo, and equipment.
- R-mats are used to build advanced structures, complete advanced upgrades to existing structures, and build advanced vehicles such as tanks.
- E-mats are used to order high tech explosive ammunition such as rpg shells, mortar shells, howitzer shells, and tank shells.
Fuel is used simply to keep motorized vehicles moving, such as the transport, construction vehicle, motorcycle, tank, etc. One stack in the vehicles inventory is usually plenty. Fuel does get used up overtime as a vehicle is used. The stamina bar at the top of the screen indicates how much fuel you have left, with a full bar indicating 99 fuel (one full stack).
The most fundamental role a logistics player can take is that of a gatherer. Gathering materials by mining their respective nodes is a necessary evil in order to keep the supply chain running. There is very little complexity to it, so it is perfect for beginners who want to make a difference without worrying about more complex production lines.
All nodes can be gathered by hitting it with either a hammer or a sledgehammer. Sledgehammers collect resources at a much faster pace than hammers do, however unlike the hammer they do not automatically come equipped at every spawn and must be crafted at a workshop (indicated on your map as crossed wrenches). Sledgehammers also cannot be used to build anything, so do not throw away your hammer once you have acquired a sledgehammer.
When gathering, the player will notice that materials will stack in their inventory up to a max of 99 units. Thus, a full inventory would be 9 stacks of 99 units of scrap/components/sulfur/fuel. Once your inventory is full, you will need to empty it into either a nearby storage container, or a truck (either yours or someone else's).
*NOTE: Be aware of your encumberance. Players will drastically reduce in speed and sprinting ability the more materials they carry. This makes long trips with heavy loads unadvisable except under the most necessary of conditions. If a container does not exist at your node, and you do not have a vehicle nearby, go craft a vehicle or container before proceeding any further in your gathering.
Transports are the life blood of logistics in Foxhole. These are the cargo trucks that you see everywhere, often running over friendlies near the town hall, clogging up front lines as if they are parking lots, and otherwise always finding a way to inconvenience you at every turn. All joking aside, transports are easily abused and should be responsibly utilized once built.
In order to build a transport, you will need 100 b-mats, at least 10 fuel, and a hammer. Sometimes, if you are lucky, these materials can be found in a storage container next to the vehicle factory. However more often than not, you will be forced to make the long, grueling treck from scrap yard to manufactury to vehicle factory. The vehicle factory is located where the vehicle icons are on the map. DO NOT FORGET TO BRING FUEL. Transports are not instantly equipped with fuel, and will clog up the vehicle factory making it unusable until you find fuel to move the transport out.
Once you acquire a vehicle, operation is simple, just use WASD to drive around. All vehicles require fuel to work. To fuel up a truck, simply place fuel into the truck's inventory. A full stack (99) is your standard "full tank" as indicated in the stamina bar at the top of your screen. Make sure to monitor your stamina bar to ensure you do not run out of fuel.
Transports do not seem to be impacted by encumberance at all, however you are not allowed to enter a vehicle if you are encumbered.
Logistics players should always use a truck if they are doing anything other than pure gathering. They are necessary to transport crates, supplies, and materials around the map.
Another key tool when using your transport is the radio. Radios can be built at any workshop, and are equipped like any other item. Once equipped, a radio will enable the display of watchtowers on your map. Watchtowers are built by players and manned by AI with the purpose of detecting enemy presence within a clearly delineated range. You should always monitor your map with a radio equipped if you plan on traveling anywhere, to prevent being ambushed between towns or driving down a road controlled by hostiles.
Vertical Integration (Supplies and Manufacturing)
By now you should understand the fundamentals of materials, gathering, and transportation. One last piece of the puzzle is necessary before you can finally claim to be a logistics player. Vertical Integration is the combination of multiple stages of production into a single company or entity. For example, a company who mines iron, refines it, and makes it into steel, would be a basic example. In Foxhole, vertical Integration would be a player who:
- 1) Gathers the materials they need.
- 2) Transports it to the manufactury to refine it.
- 3) Places orders using the resulting b-mats/r-mats/e-mats.
- 4) Takes these supplies to the Frontline.
You should know how to accomplish steps one and two. Now we will briefly cover steps three and four.
Step 3: Placing Orders
There are five different kinds of buildings where supplies are crafted by means of placing orders. These are the weapons factory (indicated by a single bullet on your map), the workshop (indicated by the crossed wrenches on your map), the vehicle factory (indicated by the vehicle on your map), the soldier supplies center (indicated by the shirt on your map), and the hospital (indicated by a cross or plus sign on your map). Weapons factories produce small arms and ammunition such as rifles, MGs, RPGs, mortars, grenades, box ammunition, etc. Workshops produce tools such as radios, gas masks, sledgehammers, wrenches, etc. Vehicle factories produce vehicles. Supply Stations only produce soldier supplies (S. Supplies or SS), and hospitals produce medical equipment.
In order to place an order, access the building by pressing E. Make sure that you have the materials you want to use in your inventory. DO NOT place the materials you want to use in the building's inventory. Instead click "Place Order" and select the kind of equipment you wish to produce. Mat requirements are displayed when hovering over the item you wish to produce. Different kinds of supplies take varying amounts of time to produce. Generally, higher tech equipment takes longer to produce. Once the order is ready, you can return to the building and click "collect order". You will need to make sure you have enough space in your personal inventory to be able to pick up the order. When ordering, you can make up to four items at once, and each order takes up a spot in the queue. Buildings allow up to four orders at a time, and will produce each order one at a time in chronological order. It is not possible for one player to create multiple orders at the same time in the same building. Smart logisticians will utilize multiple buildings across the map to produce similar kinds of equipment at the same time.
Step 4: Supply the Frontline
Once orders are complete, you will receive a crate for every item you chose to produce (up to four). Crates are not stackable items, so take that into account when transporting materials and supplies in a truck. Soldier Supplies are the only exception, and are produced in stacks of ten per order item (so 40 per full order) and can be stacked up to 99 items per stack.
Once you have these crates or supplies, the items inside can only be accessed when placed in a stockpile. Stockpiles exist only in outposts and townhalls. To submit a crate to a stockpile, drive up to a town hall, press E on it to access it's inventory, place the crates in the townhall's inventory, and then press "submit to stockpile". This will add the items in the crates to the stockpile, which can be extracted and used by the grunts on the Frontline. Soldier supplies are simply added to the inventory of an Outpost or townhall, and cannot be submitted to a stockpile. Beware, once you add soldier supplies to the inventory of an Outpost or townhall, you cannot reclaim them again.
Tips: ask in the team chat who needs supplies, and what kind, before producing or transporting anything. Generally there is one officer or quartermaster who is in charge or aware of their local stockpile's state, and can give you critical information of the immediate needs and supply gaps on the Frontline.
Make damn sure you don't waste E-mats. Remember they take hours to respawn and RPGs, Mortars, and tanks are very important but niche items that may or may not be in demand at any given hour of the battle.
Technology is critical to the long term success of any comapign. Tech parts are collected as random drops gained while mining scrap and component nodes. They are a stackable item (up to 99 items in one stack) and are used to craft advanced weaponry and upgrade structures. Small amounts of tech parts are required when crafting things such as a tank blueprint (~6 tech parts per blueprint), and large to massive quanitities (read, 100's) are required to upgrade workshops, vehicle factories, and weapon factories.
Logistics personnel naturally are the most directly responsible for collecting tech parts and using them to upgrade factories, due to the fact that they spend a large portion of their time gathering materials and using the factories/workshops. Thus a good, well rounded logistics player should understand the role of technology in the grander scope of the game, as well as learn how to most efficiently use tech parts.
The first use for tech parts should always be in upgrading one vehicle and weapon factory, and one workshop, preferably in or close to the home town. This way valuable tech isn't wasted on a frontline building that may later be captured or destroyed. ONLY after these buildings are maxed in level should any other building be considered for upgrade. By focusing tech on one building in each category, your team is granted quicker access to powerful weapons such as RPGs, mortars, carbines, halftracks, and tanks, which are key to mid- and late-game success. The earlier you obtain these technologies and send these materials to your front lines, the higher probability that you provide your warfighters with a technological advantage over the opposition. The longer it takes... the more probable your front lines will start collapsing under the pressure of advanced equipment and tactics from the opposition.