Author Topic: Today's Article: Battle Lab - Logistics!  (Read 140 times)

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Offline bayonetbrant

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Today's Article: Battle Lab - Logistics!
« on: October 25, 2017, 07:02:52 AM »
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Today's Article: Battle Lab - Logistics!
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 12:55:27 PM »
I suppose the most granular logistics I've seen in a game (and not very much so compared to real life of course), would be Campaigns on the Danube -- which also, and along a similar line, simulated some hardcore fog of war, where you as the commander of your side only really know where your own corps currently is (if you're playing at that level). Everything else, including (if I recall correctly) precise knowledge of where the supply trains are at any time, is a guess based on expectations and the most recent courier report.

I'd sure like to see an update and expansion of that system.  :smitten:
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Offline Phantom

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Re: Today's Article: Battle Lab - Logistics!
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 12:58:54 PM »
Good article, but there is a "fourth way" used by games, for example in the Winter Storm board game series. You get supply points (which in this particular game place a unit in attack/defence or no supply) but you also get transport units (either independent or attached to HQ's) required to move the supply points from rear bases to front line units, and you physically move these units - and their supply point burden, along supply routes. This does combine the above methods to a degree, and whilst I've cited one fairly old game system that uses it, I'm fairly sure others have followed suit. 
I quote this example as I feel it was a good system for a player who wanted to include logistics in a simplified but not so heavily abstracted manner. If you want a more complete simulation of an operational conflict (which I confess, I don't always want) I think this does provide a good challenge without getting bogged down in too much "spreadsheet warfare".

Offline mgacy

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Re: Today's Article: Battle Lab - Logistics!
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 03:23:35 PM »
At what time scale does the consideration of logistics become important?
Or to put it another when is the effect of logistics not a starting condition and something that can actually change due to a player's decisions throughout the course of the game? A week, a day, several hours?
I do not have any sense of this, I apologize.

- Marc

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Today's Article: Battle Lab - Logistics!
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 03:42:02 PM »
Come to think of it, another interesting implementation of logistic planning can be found in Every Single Soldier's Vietnam 65 and Afghanistan 11. Your only safe logistical point is your starting base. Any operation even one hex beyond that point absolutely depends on establishing and maintaining logistic support (somewhat more complexly in the latter than the former game).

And in term's of MGacy's question above, that point starts immediately -- you had better start planning ahead for logistic support several turns (roughly days) before you need it, or you're going to be screwed. Any advancement across the game maps absolutely depends on planning out, setting up, and continuously maintaining logistic networks. And you better have planned out and set up how you're going to maintain those networks, too.

I don't recall another game that presents this vital but annoying aspect of warfare in such (admittedly still abstracted) detail. Even the Danube game starts with the supply nodes already on the ground ready to be used, moved around, or captured.
GROGS OF CRISIS -- a four-player mp of GMT's boardgame Time of Crisis, set in the decades before Diocletian.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline James Sterrett

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Re: Today's Article: Battle Lab - Logistics!
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 07:25:03 PM »
At what time scale does the consideration of logistics become important?
Or to put it another when is the effect of logistics not a starting condition and something that can actually change due to a player's decisions throughout the course of the game? A week, a day, several hours?
I do not have any sense of this, I apologize.
- Marc

The time scale depends on your unit scale.

A tank company (and smaller) is going to want resupply of gas twice a day.  With some effort it may get away with less.  Longer than a day, and you have pillboxes.

The same tank company will go for days without needing ammunition.  Then it gets in a fight and shoots its basic load in under an hour.  Where is that ammo truck....?  (Who is providing security while they crossload ammo....?)

Go to battalions, and the battalion needs a steady flow of fuel, a log element ready to deliver ammo from brigade, needs water every day, and MREs every couple days.  (That's water and food for ~600 to ~1000 people.)

By the time you are looking at division and corps logistics, you are needing to forecast demand several days ahead.  Planning horizons for delivery to theater will often be measured in months.

You could have lots of fun building projections based on:  http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm/ref/collection/p4013coll11/id/1139

 :D


All that being said...   1944: Race to the Rhine ( https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/148601/1944-race-rhine ) is a really good wargame, focused on logistics, and accessible to 10 year olds.

I have three students making planning or logistics centered games this year:  one on hospital movement and establishment; one on steering a National Guard company through training and state-level operational requirements while meeting Objective-T standards; and one on the Western theater of the US Civil War in 1862 with a focus on logistics.  Will they be fun?  We'll see - but they are at least interesting!

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Today's Article: Battle Lab - Logistics!
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 08:47:18 PM »
The planning factor we used for organic logistics in the mech world was

Mech/Tank company = 1 fight, after that you need ammo, but maybe not fuel (depends on offense / defense / mobile defense)

Light infantry company = 1 fight in the offense, 2 in defense since you can pre-stock, and light infantry doesn't really fight a 'mobile' defense


Mech/Tank battalion = 8 hours of operations w/ organic assets carrying their basic loads
Light infantry battalion = 24 hours of static operations; mobile ops for light guys are entirely dependent on the assets you add to them to help move them around, so no rule of thumb planning factor

Heavy brigade = 24 hours of operations w/ organic assets carrying their basic loads
Light brigade = same as battalion, but 48 hours of static operations
Artillery brigade = 24 hours of operations w/ organic assets carrying their basic loads; if the battalions are parceled out, then it depends on the support they get from their maneuver brigades

Once you get past 24 hours, you're depending on divisional trans assets and whatever corps-level reinforcements they offer, but that goes back to what James was saying above that at the division level you're into some forecasting voodoo.


Now, things that are never planned in wargames
--  CASEVAC / personnel replacements
--  backhaul of KIAs (leave no soldier behind)
--  WSRO operations to bring damaged equipment back into service
--  'clean' vs 'dirty' routes in the event of a chemical attack / decon locations
--  FOOD!  Guys gotta eat at some point

the other big issue is that all of your support assets - fuel / ammo depots, maintenance collection & repair locations, decor sites, field hospitals, etc - take up space.  That's a big deal.  You're assuming a lot of room to maneuver around behind your main lines that doesn't necessarily exist once you put all these assets on the map somewhere.  That's particularly important if you have a robust artillery presence in the game.  Those artillery assets are moving around a lot of the same real estate as all those things listed above, and none of them want to be anywhere near the artillery, b/c those guys always attract a lot of counter-battery fire that no one wants to be anywhere near.
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Offline mgacy

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Re: Today's Article: Battle Lab - Logistics!
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 02:25:10 PM »
Thanks James and Brant!

That definitely helps in thinking about how one would/should incorporate logistics in a game.
I think I'll also check out that Rhine game (doesn't look easy to get however)

- Marc

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Today's Article: Battle Lab - Logistics!
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 02:27:36 PM »
Oh, and Welcome Marc!  Glad to see you made it over this way :)
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers