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Old 09-21-2016, 03:50 PM   #15
Varyon
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: [Mass Combat] Cost of raising logisitics forces

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I don't think you can make sense of Starcraft in realism terms. Currently it takes 25 seconds to train a Terran Marine (via neural resocialization), and I have no idea where the recruits even come from (do Supply Depots have recruits in suspended animation?). Even if this was actually possible from a logistical standpoint wouldn't it make more sense to just send trained Marines in the first place?
Depends on how literally you take the game mechanics. Constructing a building in 60 seconds and having it somehow churn out a fully-equipped marine in 25 seconds? Yeah, that doesn't follow. If you think of the mechanics as simplifications with things markedly sped up to make them quick and exciting? Well, then they can start to make sense. Let's consider this particular situation for a moment, and how it works out for a force like Raynor's Raiders. They've got a single, albeit rather large, battleship that they operate out of, which means they cannot afford - in terms of resources or space - to keep all of their soldiers awake and equipped, so the bulk of them are in stasis (probably on a rotation). Let's say they initially just send down a Command Center and some SCV's to a mineral- and vespene-rich location. The Command Center has a reserve of SCV pilots in stasis and possibly the hardware to create more SCV's, so as they mine they can increase their numbers. Once it's time for a Barracks, an SCV (actually, probably several of them working in tandem) is going to start constructing it, but what about the soldiers it's going to produce? That's easy enough - as the SCV's start constructing the Barracks, the Hyperion (or a more permanent base, if one has been established) sends a one-way shuttle stocked full of soldiers in stasis. The shuttle is designed so the SCV's can cannibalize most of it in building the Barracks (the stasis units would be maintained and incorporated into the Barracks). Presumably, basic armor and weaponry are produced in the Barracks, with the Tech Lab add-on and Ghost Academy producing some of what the more advanced units need, or the dedicated Armory producing better versions of the basic gear. Supply Depots turn raw materials into foodstuffs and perhaps other supplies for the army.
(Creating only one unit - or two with attached Reactor - at a time and needing to "research" new upgrades each mission are pretty much purely gamist conventions, but you can take ideas from them, like my suggestion to have the Armory - where infantry upgrades are usually researched - be where more advanced gear is manufactured)

How does this apply to logistics? Simply put, doing things this way markedly reduces the cost to raise and maintain a Unit. For a squad of marines, the cost to raise is basically just the cost to initially train them, as you can use the same equipment (minus some loss) for each squad you're training - all of their gear is later made on-site from available materials. The cost to maintain is mostly just whatever it costs to keep them in stasis (including paying them, if applicable). You'll have some of your units actually fully equipped and maintained (with the Raiders, above, this is the rotation I referred to), but the bulk of your forces won't be. Your logistics units are in a similar boat, but the effect is even more pronounced, because almost all of your supplies are generated on-site - you don't need a supply train stretching back to Korhal (for the Dominion) to wage war on Char, because you can readily produce everything you need (except for soldiers, but you've got more than enough of those in stasis) planetside.

...

As for the proposed system, I can't really offer any advice, other than that you should make certain you're accounting for the fact that logistics is more than just food and supplies - it's also laundresses, cooks, grooms, porters, and so forth. Some militaries have their soldiers pull double duty, such that a spearman is also a groom, and an archer is also a cook, but that either requires better (and thus higher-paid) soldiers or reduces their TS such that you'll need to bolster their numbers - the price and effects are ultimately going to be close enough to just giving them their own logistics unit that you can approximate things that way. Or, rather, boost their price to raise and maintain by the same price as a logistics unit for a stationary one, then when they travel you reduce the price of the actual logistics unit by that amount (because you only need goods transported, the unit itself handles the terminal logistics).
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