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Old 01-19-2017, 11:48 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default [Mass Combat] Logistics Force for Levy or Mercenary troops

Do Levy troops, operating within 2 days travel of their home base and during their two months of free service yearly, require a logistics force?

Do Mercenary troops (or Levy troops operating as mercenaries after their two months of free service) require an extra 50% of logistics force compared to the same unit without the mercenary tag? Mercenaries cost more to maintain because you have to pay them more, but do they require more support or just more money?

As far as I can tell, pages 13, 14 of Mass Combat don't address these issues at all.
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:00 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2015
Default Re: [Mass Combat] Logistics Force for Levy or Mercenary troops

I've had the same questions before, and wasn't able to come up with any official answers. Here are my best guesses though and how I would run it.

1) Yes, Levy forces require logistics. Logistics isn't about payment of the troops themselves (that's their maintain cost, which levy's don't have). Logistics are needed to provide food, set up camp, keep people organized, ect.

2) No, just because it seems like double dipping on the cost of mercenaries. The purpose of hiring mercenaries is to avoid having to pay Raise costs, but with increased logistics a lot of those savings go to buying more logistics strength. This seems major enough that if it was intended, it would have been mentioned.

That said, I wasn't satisfied with how mass combat handles logistics anyway. It feels far too simplified and makes too many assumptions about how your forces are operating. For example, a Roman legion would need the same amount of logistics support while stationed inside Rome itself as it would while marching around the northern coast of Europe. If you do the math, it's also cheaper to not provide any logistics to a force and retrain them as they starve to death.

So I decided to rewrite the rules, keeping the concept of LS, but basing the LS requirements of a force on a few different factors. I introduced two new factors, "Distance from Supporting City" and "Speed of Movement". The full rules are detailed here: https://the-fall-of-brekhan.obsidian...mbat-logistics

It's worked well in practice so far, and does a much better job of letting you detail the cost of troops garrisoned in cities or redeploying through friendly territory. The math wasn't super difficult, but it was annoying enough to do on the fly that I wrote a spreadsheet to do it automatically (Save a copy for yourself to use. Fill in the light grey boxes with information, results are presented in the dark grey boxes):

Here's what it looks like in practice with our army, currently garrisoned at a mine near the supporting town "Glumtown":
I run a low fantasy GURPS game:
World details on Obsidian Portal: https://the-fall-of-brekhan.obsidian...ikis/main-page
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:44 PM   #3
jason taylor
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: [Mass Combat] Logistics Force for Levy or Mercenary troops

Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
Do Levy troops, operating within 2 days travel of their home base and during their two months of free service yearly, require a logistics force?
All armies require something in the way of a logistics force. However what you are describing could be done with foot porters-slaves, hirelings, or the main army taking turns-to carry the extra impedimenta.

According to Keegan or maybe it's Dunnigan, a given load seems to have a stable average at fifty pounds per man and it is hard for any force to lighten it. If the personal load reaches a certain point someone will have to carry the rest. Even two days from home requires a tail. In fact it may have a bigger tail then normal for if they expect to give battle quickly they may not be willing to shed a lot of comforts.

Furthermore it is impossible for a militia to live by forage two days from it's home turf. It will not be callous enough to it's neighbors and the polis will lose it's citizen's respect if it tries. Which means four days minimum rations(the return has to be accounted for too), plus weapons and armor, plus camp impedimenta, and something has to give. But as I said, if in fact they expect to give battle within two days there is no reason not to have a larger number of porters and/or beasts. They can always cut them loose if they miscalculate.
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
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