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Old 09-20-2016, 11:34 AM   #11
Varyon
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Cost of raising logisitics forces

I don't have Mass Combat (I've read it in the past, however), but a lot of logistics is about transporting supplies, so if the unit is located in or very near a location where supplies are readily available you could probably manage a lower cost. This is really only going to influence maintenance cost, however, not raising cost - if you want the unit to be able to actually go anywhere, there will need to be a logistics unit to support them. In fact, even if the unit is permanently located somewhere, they'll at the very least need a reduced-size logistics unit to handle administration of supplies and the like. Basically, being in or near a friendly production center is going to reduce maintenance cost just as being in a swamp increases it, but that's about the limit of the effect (aside from the reduced cost to raise a stationary logistics unit).

As for the "No Maintenance" hack, that's potentially a Murphy's Rule. More realistically, the desertion (and passive casualty) rate should probably continually rise as the unit continues without support; the current rules are probably intended for short-term effects. Additionally, even using it, what you'd actually be doing is raising a partial unit in a secure location and then sending them off without support to try and find and catch up with the starving unit. You can't very well raise an army out in the field, but logistics support does allow you to maintain one.

EDIT: Another point of note is that not all military conditions are going to have the RAW cost to raise and maintain the necessary logistical support. In Starcraft, there exist abundant and readily-processed materials all over the place, allowing an army to bring a small logistics unit and have that set up, increase its own size, and produce supplies for the army for a minimal initial cost and practically no maintenance cost. In The Stormlight Archives, magitech can be wielded to transmute readily-available materials (stone, mostly) into whatever is needed, from metal for weapons and armor to food and barracks (which are transmuted to stone from air) for the troops - the characters even make reference to how the technology is so necessary to wage war without a supply train. Even without superscience and magic, deployment in a particularly bountiful area can allow for a unit to function as its own logistics support, with the soldiers taking out a small amount of time to hunt, forage, and prepare food/supplies and the officers keeping things running (although this would arguably reduce the unit's TS, as it splits its attention; a better way to handle it would be to bring along a small dedicated logistics unit to handle procurement of supplies, much as I suggested for units stationed in production centers).

Last edited by Varyon; 09-20-2016 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 09-20-2016, 01:17 PM   #12
VariousRen
 
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Cost of raising logisitics forces

Okay, before I start designing house rules I should put down a few assumptions to make sure I'm actually achieving my goal of making things more reasonable across more situations. If any of these don't make sense I'd appreciate some feedback.

1. The raise and maintain costs are reasonable in Mass Combat.
2. The LS needed in Mass Combat is reasonable for an army on the march through non-allied territory.
3. An elements maintain cost represents it's pay, replacement equipment, and food needed. LS is the force that delivers these supplies, nothing more.
4. It is easier to supply a force inside or near a city than it is to supply one on the march.
5. It is easier to move supplies by port than it is to move them by land (Mass Combat and me disagree here, Mass Combat applies a 2x cost to raising water logistics forces AND requires land logistics from the port to the army).
6. These rules will require rough knowledge about where cities are positioned, major roads, ect, and the distances involved. It will focus more on logistics than the rules in Mass Combat, which may be viewed as the map-less version of my coming rules.
7. The goal is to get a relative correctness, suitable for gaming. As long as being stationed in a city is cheaper than being camped outside one I'm happy.
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Cost of raising logisitics forces

I'm finished a first draft which can be viewed here: https://the-fall-of-brekhan.obsidian...mbat-logistics. The main changes are references to distance from a town or city that can provide supply, and speed while on the march. Both of these apply a multiplier to the LS needed to keep a force in supply (but doesn't increase the actual maintenance cost of the unit).

The major value I'm not sure about is the size of town or city required to produce a certain amount of supplies without paid intervention.

Right now I've got it pegged at 1 LS worth of supplies is produced per 50 people, based on very rough estimates from old medieval battles (involving ~3000 people per side) and sizes of major capitals (Paris and London, ~50000 each). Let me know if you think that's about right, overly generous, or still not enough.
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Cost of raising logisitics forces

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
EDIT: Another point of note is that not all military conditions are going to have the RAW cost to raise and maintain the necessary logistical support. In Starcraft, there exist abundant and readily-processed materials all over the place, allowing an army to bring a small logistics unit and have that set up, increase its own size, and produce supplies for the army for a minimal initial cost and practically no maintenance cost.
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?
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Cost of raising logisitics forces

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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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Old 09-21-2016, 02:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Cost of raising logisitics forces

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
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?
Yeah, I've tried to rationalize it like this, the problem is that canonically training a Marine is literally training; Barracks have neural resocialization chambers which puts recruits through some kind of instant bootcamp in 25 seconds.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:11 PM   #17
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Anyone concerned with the nuts/bolts aspects of pre-industrial military logistics needs to look at Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army, Donald W. Engels (Author), 1980. Despite the title the information on foraging for, transporting, and requisitioning (read "extorting") supplies of food, equipment, and weapons is transferable across a great deal of centuries.
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:57 AM   #18
Varyon
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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Yeah, I've tried to rationalize it like this, the problem is that canonically training a Marine is literally training; Barracks have neural resocialization chambers which puts recruits through some kind of instant bootcamp in 25 seconds.
Well, that's unfortunate. If I ever opt to run a GURPS game set in that universe, I'll just assume the canon on that topic is wrong. Probably not worth derailing this thread any further, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredtheobviouspseudonym View Post
Anyone concerned with the nuts/bolts aspects of pre-industrial military logistics needs to look at Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army, Donald W. Engels (Author), 1980. Despite the title the information on foraging for, transporting, and requisitioning (read "extorting") supplies of food, equipment, and weapons is transferable across a great deal of centuries.
On that topic, does Mass Combat have any information on capturing enemy supplies? Maintenance and logistics costs can drop markedly if you're able to live off of what you get from the enemy.
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:52 AM   #19
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Default Re: Suggestion:

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On that topic, does Mass Combat have any information on capturing enemy supplies? Maintenance and logistics costs can drop markedly if you're able to live off of what you get from the enemy.
I believe you can spend time looting equipment for a force you destroyed/captured, and looting your own destroyed elements for 20% of the cost to raise said elements, assuming you are not forced to leave early.
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:22 PM   #20
Varyon
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I believe you can spend time looting equipment for a force you destroyed/captured, and looting your own destroyed elements for 20% of the cost to raise said elements, assuming you are not forced to leave early.
That probably works alright in terms of abstract monetary resources (salvaged gear can be sold or repurposed), but not so much for using it to maintain a force with reduced logistical support. I'd say that, against a properly maintained enemy force, destroying or capturing them allows you to claim between 50% and 100% of their current supplies (depending on how similar the units involved are). "Current supplies" will depend on how long (up to the GM) it's been since the unit has had a formal resupply - this will range from between 20% (scheduled for a resupply in the immediate future when attacked) to 100% (in the middle of or just finished a resupply when attacked) of the unit's Maintain cost. Note that if the unit is resupplied more frequently than monthly, this will be a fraction of the formal Maintain cost (if they get 4 resupplies a month, the most you can get is 1/4th the value). The GM may opt to adjust this based on how long the battle took to resolve (a long battle will consume or even destroy more supplies than a short one). Capturing/destroying a logistics unit will base the amount gained off of the Maintain cost of both it and the unit it is supplying.
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