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what are the best rules for modern LOGISTICS which you have used?

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Author Topic: what are the best rules for modern LOGISTICS which you have used?  (Read 169 times)
LuckyDiceRolls
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« on: July 25, 2014, 10:58:59 am »

I am fascinated by the problem of logistics in my modern military simulations
I have over the years been developing my own informal rules for dealing with:
how to supply units with essentials
what happens if supply lines are cut
how much of an effect on firing a supply line cut would have
how to get the ammunition to the firing units without disrupting firing
where and when supply trucks would make deliveries to units
and other assorted details of logistics

I was wondering if any of you have any thoughts on these issues, or have come across excellent rules on logistics in modern armored warfare games

please do not simply tell me the name of a game which has good logistics rules... I cannot afford anything like new games right now
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Calandale
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 11:08:26 am »

Afraid I can't do much more than a name - because it's been a long time since I played.

I remember Gulf Strike's supply rules really driving the design - and there was a large focus
on delivery via means other than ground. Probably a higher level game than you're intending though?
It's operational focus.
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LuckyDiceRolls
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2014, 04:48:37 pm »

yes, I kinda expected this would happen
can you tell me what you liked about those supply rules in that
gulf strike
boardgame which I could never afford anyway?

or perhaps there are other people here beside calendale with experience in logistics in games?

Hopefully?
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Calandale
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 05:08:24 pm »

yes, I kinda expected this would happen
can you tell me what you liked about those supply rules in that
gulf strike
boardgame which I could never afford anyway?


Not really. It's been many many years since I've played.

I CAN tell you about a couple WWII systems with good solid logistics though.

In the OCS, you actually haul supplies into range of the fighting. The supplies are
still abstracted (i.e. you don't account for all the different TYPES of materials).
This is a stronger focus than most operational boardgames though. Probably one
which could be used for modern warfare even - just with more reliance on air transport vectors.

In The Desert Fox, you have to set up a network of supply dumps and transport
resources. If you get your balance right for that, you barely spend supplies at
all, but if you're trying to run a campaign on the fly, you end up using up resources
which come into the theater in fairly limited (for the Axis at least) quantities. Again,
more detail than most designs at that level.

For tactical stuff though, I don't think I've played anything later than ACW that worries about individual
resupply in detail.


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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2014, 05:23:48 pm »

that is really just an excellent reply - TYVM!
very specific and now I know what the other systems care about in logistics
yes, that TDF must be TDF indeed!
isnt that the one I saw you with the board laid out on about four tables at once, spread all over the room?  was this to represent all of the north african coast, for rommel's charge across the continent?  yes, I imagine supply rules would be essential for a good game on that subject
VIG!  I really like how supplies are just labelled as generic supplies
How TTP!
in my own games, trucks are loaded with specific weapons
one gets blown up, no more, say, SAMs!
I think thats PDC!
of course, with such a scale as rommels pursuits, thats pretty impossible
youd need a computer assistant to keep track of it all, which wouldnt be fun at all
now when you say, you have to set up supply depots and nets of trucks, do you actually have to keep moving them around, or just maintain a certain number of trucks on the route?
YMO?
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2014, 05:33:58 pm »


of course, with such a scale as rommels pursuits, thats pretty impossible
youd need a computer assistant to keep track of it all, which wouldnt be fun at all


I think the old Campaign for North Africa tracked broad types of supplies (ammo, fuel, food, water!)

Here's a breakdown of the kind of decision making required for ONE unit:


http://files.geekdo.com/geekfile_download.php?filetype=application%2Fpdf&filename=A+guide+to+logistics.pdf&filecode=5zalqwrtd2&validationcode=ac17a4a00cd2c1a1a2887d9993e83508

Quote
A guide to logistics; or, how do you play this thing, anyway?
 
Campaign for North Africa is the most complex board game ever produced, at least as
far as logistics (supplies) is concerned.
 
This is going to be a guide on how to work out how to run a supply net for a single
unit.
 
Situation:
Itís early in the campaign (Sept 1940), and we are going to move a single
Commonwealth reconnaissance unit from central Cairo to Tobruk. For the purposes of
this guide, we will ignore coastal shipping and railways. We are going to drive across
country (by road, we arenít stupid) and set up our supply line as we go.
 
The map is totally empty of all units (enemy and friendly) except for our recce unit in
Central Cairo (E1830). We have unlimited supplies in Cairo, and an unlimited number
of light trucks. Our objective is to drive all the way to Tobruk, and keep the unit
supplied once there.
 
The road distance is about 119 hexes, so we will need to spend several turns to get
there. We will need to set up supply dumps on the way, so that we can keep up a
continuous supply train.
 
Light trucks have a CPA (move allowance) of 40, but it costs 2 CP to load or unload,
so we should set up our dumps no more than 36 hexes apart. We will place one in
Burg el Arab (33 hexes from Cairo), one in Mersa Matruh (33 hexes) and one in
Bardia (36 hexes). Bardia is 17 hexes from Tobruk.
 
Our combat unit is of type hh, which has a CPA of 45, a maximum strength of 8 steps
(TO/E) and a fuel rate of 1. This means the unit has a ďfuel tankĒ of 45/5*8*1 =72
fuel points. We will keep it fully fuelled, so we need at least 72 points of fuel to be
carried by attached (1st line) trucks. Every 5 hexes or part thereof costs 1 fuel point
per TO/E step.
 
Light Trucks have a CPA of 40, fuel rate of 1 and can carry 50 fuel points each. The
trucks themselves have a fuel capacity of 40/5 *1= 8 fuel points. If we attach 2 light
trucks, we will have 100 points of fuel in the back of the trucks, plus 72 in the recce
unit and 16 in the trucksí tanks. If this group moves 33 hexes (such as el Arab to
Mersa) will cost us 33/5 rounded up =7 fuel per step (10 steps= 8 recce plus 2 trucks)
or a total of 70 fuel. A move of 36 hexes would cost 80. Note that if the recce unit
moved itís full 45 CPA, it would have to leave itís trucks behind, as they could only
move 40.
 
Evaporation: each turn, we are going to lose fuel to evaporation. We will assume
normal weather for the whole scenario, given the date that means we will have the
rubbish early war fuel cans, giving a 9% loss of all fuel (wherever it is). For our
combat group, that makes 9% of whatever is left after moving. If we donít move we
will lose 16.9, rounded down to 16 points every turn from the 188 points available, so
we might as well burn some off by moving.



Game turn 1:
Move phase:
The combat group moves to Burg el Arab for 70 fuel, -10 evaporation.
Convoy phase:
14 trucks move 742 fuel to el Arab, leaving 2 more trucks in Cairo.
After refuelling the combat group and the trucks, and after evaporation, 577 fuel
remains.
 
Game turn 2:
Move phase:
The combat group moves to Mersa Matruh at a cost of 70 fuel, -10 evaporation.
Convoy phase:
10 trucks carry 510 fuel to Mersa.
2 trucks carry 102 spare fuel to el Arab
2 trucks return to Cairo from el Arab, empty.
El Arab now holds 141 fuel,
Mersa now holds 391.
 
Game turn 3:
Move phase:
The combat group moves to Bardia at a cost of 80 fuel, -10 evaporation.
Convoy phase:
6 trucks carry 300 fuel to Bardia.
2 trucks move empty from Mersa to el Arab, and the Cairo- el Arab convoys are
repeated.
El Arab now holds 128
Mersa now holds 163
Bardia now holds 191 (after all refuelling and evaporation).
 
Game turn 4:
Move phase:
The combat group arrives in Tobruk, at a cost of 40 fuel.
Convoy phase:
4 trucks Arrive in Tobruk with 216 fuel.
El Arab has shrunk to 116 fuel.
Mersa has shrunk to 152.
Bardia now holds 54.
The total present in Tobruk is 151, after refuelling and evaporation.
 
Thereafter, the intermediate dumps will continue to shrink unless additional trucks are
allocated. Tobruk will continue to expand (214 fuel next turn, 271 the next) while the
combat unit remains in Tobruk. The best way is to make sure you are putting more
into each dump than you are taking out. For example, have 4 trucks in each direction
from Cairo to Burg el Arab, 3 from el Arab to Mersa, two from Mersa to Bardia and
just 1 from Bardia to Tobruk.




Ammunition:
The combat unit needs 3 ammo points per TO/E point, for a total of 24 points for the
recce unit. That requires a further 12 light truck units to carry (in addition to the recce
unitís internal supplies). As you can see, the fuel requirement just went up by more
than double (10 +12).
 
Water:
While in Cairo, Tobruk or Bardia, the units have unlimited water supplies. The units
starting in el Arab or Mersa must roll for water availability. Fortunately, the minimum
amount is 100 points of water at these locations (up to a maximum of 500) and
villages can store up to 1000 points. A high roll has a 1 in 6 chance of depleting that
village until the next rains, however. Each truck and mechanised TO/E uses 1 water
per turn, infantry 1 water per unit (any size). One truck can carry 40 water points, so
the extra requirements are minimal, even when away from cities.
In reality, the Commonwealth may use any rail hex connected to a friendly city as an
unlimited water source, unless the pipeline running through that hex is destroyed.
This is of course where the famous ďpastaĒ rule comes in, with Italian infantry having
to spend 1 extra water per battalion. Good job thereís no tea ruleÖ
 
Stores:
Once every 3 turns (one game turn), every TO/E point needs 4 stores points. These
donít need to be carried around once delivered, but our example unit will need
8*4=32 points every 4 turns. A light truck can carry 6 points. You would therefore
need to get 6 truck loads to the frontline every 3 turns, otherwise they start to suffer
attrition (2% loss every 2 turns). Units can go on half rations, but only if there are no
stores present.
 
Thatís a quick look at how to supply a single combat unit. Multiplying up by the size
of all three armies will give you an idea of just how scary (or boring, depending on
your point of view) this game is.

 

« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 05:35:33 pm by Calandale » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2014, 06:36:32 pm »

Holy ****, it tracks evaporation! That game is nuttier than I had thought possible. My respect for CNA players has grown.
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2014, 06:40:23 pm »

yes, I kinda expected this would happen
can you tell me what you liked about those supply rules in that
gulf strike
boardgame which I could never afford anyway?



In the OCS, you actually haul supplies into range of the fighting. The supplies are
still abstracted (i.e. you don't account for all the different TYPES of materials).
This is a stronger focus than most operational boardgames though. Probably one
which could be used for modern warfare even - just with more reliance on air transport vectors.


The problem with the lack of differentiation is that, from what I understand, the OCS vets rarely use artillery because it isn't an efficient use of the supply points. Moving supplies around to keep them where they're useful is already hard enough, I'm not sure it would really be feasible to provide two separate counters.

I wonder if two (maybe more?) types of supply points could be tracked off-board. You would generically move supply points around on the map like normal, but when you used them you would cross them off the particular off-board track, e.g. you need 3 SP of artillery you remove three SPs within range of the the particular unit off the map and then 3 from the off-board track. To a certain extent the model would assume that someone lower in the command chain has sent the artillery supply to the areas where the artillery units actually are in order to compensate for where you'd use a disproportionate amount of a particular SP type.
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2014, 06:46:39 pm »

I think a desert fox style network, with access to specific points within it would work.

Maybe with specific points for commands outside of the network. That would cut back
on the individual location burden, without losing the core effect. More complex design,
but simpler to play.

But, a commander at this level probably would have some input into just WHAT supplies
they desired. That opens up whole new cans of worms. I want to peek at how Rommel in
Tunisia handles supply - I remember there being something interesting there - maybe just
for airfields.
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2014, 07:53:02 am »

see, thats exactly what I am talking about... with rules that specific, wheres the 'fun' of playing?
too much specificity quickly burdens the game with overwhelming calculations which must be made and which add nothing to the enjoyment of the game

by the way, thank you very kindly for copying out all those rules for me.  I got a great idea of how it works in that game from the section you posted

however, I think those rules are crap.  pure crap.  one would need a secretary with good maths skills to be effective at that game

one cannot simultanteously conduct a fluid battle plan while making those kinds of calculations each turn

no, the scale of the logistics problem was all screwed up.  while its great to have trucks strung out along the routes, zipping back and forth with the needed supplies, one does not need to know exactly how many gas points, for example, each one of your combat units needs.  a rough guide to supplies and consumption would make the game flow much better, while still considering the importance of logistics.

what I had in mind for my own game was much simpler:  for each tank on the move, two supply trucks must be in constant rotation between supply depots and the front line.

this may be an oversimplification but it allows for supplies to be an integral part of the game without creating more homework to be done each turn

that is just the idea.  sure, you could make this much more complex but wheres the gaming fun in that?

now when it comes to the missiles, each missile type would need its own supply lines and trucks and each supply truck must be marked on the map each turn.  but theres no need to keep track of exactly how many missiles would be on the truck.  that would weigh the game down
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2014, 09:01:05 am »

OCS. You cannot move and attack with all of your units every turn (far from it). To launch offensives you must first build up. You get the real feel of operational combat. A flurry of intense action followed by pauses. You must set up a supply network. While artillery use is maybe its weak point it really shines overall. The designers made a conscious decision not to differentiate between supply types (ammo, gas) for playability reasons.
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