SUPPLY

Re: SUPPLY

Postby Steve Sill » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:15 pm

But we have units that contain all different types of equipment, so how do we separate them? We don't want to have to keep track of various shell caliber's, rifle ammo, diesel fuel, gasoline, etc.

I'm all for a motorized unit with absolutely zero supply not being able to move, but even with only one ton of fuel left it would still have a lot. Same for an artillery unit. But we are dealing with tons of supply, I don't think we have to worry about being down to few gallons of fuel or a handful of shells.

If units are surrounded and cut off and not getting anything, then they are in the Black and will start surrendering, so here again I wouldn't worry about it. Especially given the turn scales - yes 47.PzK was halted for two days due to lack of fuel, but the scenario has week long turns so the reduced movement allowance is a good enough representation.
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Re: SUPPLY

Postby Colin Wright » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:52 pm

Steve Sill wrote:But we have units that contain all different types of equipment, so how do we separate them? We don't want to have to keep track of various shell caliber's, rifle ammo, diesel fuel, gasoline, etc.

I'm all for a motorized unit with absolutely zero supply not being able to move, but even with only one ton of fuel left it would still have a lot. Same for an artillery unit. But we are dealing with tons of supply, I don't think we have to worry about being down to few gallons of fuel or a handful of shells.

If units are surrounded and cut off and not getting anything, then they are in the Black and will start surrendering, so here again I wouldn't worry about it. Especially given the turn scales - yes 47.PzK was halted for two days due to lack of fuel, but the scenario has week long turns so the reduced movement allowance is a good enough representation.


Well, first off, TOAW does work with weapons, so there's no real reason it can't calculate supply consumption (or rather, requirements) by weapon. Each weapon goes from 0% supply to 100% supply -- it's just that the tonnage required to do so and the effects of being short on supply vary. Both a rifle squad and a 21 cm Nebelwerfer have a full combat load; it's just that the tonnage of that load varies.

To my mind, this is a good deal of the reason to have volume-based supply in the first place. In Seelowe, there are several reasons why the German is not going to land a regiment of Nebelwerfers in the first wave -- but one of them is that they'll just eat up too much supply. That regiment of Nebelwerfers could keep the entire fleet of Ju-52's busy ferrying in ammunition for it alone.

If a player is short of supply, he should think carefully about what he sends down that road; that's half the reason to have volume-based supply in the first place. No, a battalion of Tigers does not require the same amount of supply as a battalion of leg infantry.

Secondly, I have to note that surrounded units do not just evaporate on their own. All those giant encirclements had to be liquidated. The Russians weren't able to just cut off 6. Armee and wait for it to surrender; if I recall aright, they actually suffered a million casualties bludgeoning it into submission. You gotta make those guys come out and use up that last clip they have for the Mauser.

Obviously, circumstances varied, but I can't think of a single surrounded force in the Second World War that ever surrendered without being broken by repeated attacks -- even if its ability to repel those attacks sharply declined. For example, the Western Allies decided they could simply forgo reducing the German garrisons of the various secondary French Atlantic ports -- and at least some of those ports held out right to the end of the war. Theoretically, they would have eventually run out of food -- but not within the time constraints of most TOAW scenarios. You get them to fight you, they use up their ammo, and then it's only the infantry that can fight, and then only at sharply reduced potency -- but you still gotta dig them out. That's what almost invariably happened.

Finally, and as something of a stray note, I think it's always posed problems to have 'the rifle squad' as a weapon. Rifle squads actually vary enormously in size; from eight to twenty men. Really, we should go over to the individual rifleman. Then everything can be much more accurately modeled; and now is the time to decide whether or not to do this.
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Re: SUPPLY

Postby Steve Sill » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:59 am

Well, if I have a vote, I wouldn't want the level of detail to be managing individual rifles, shells and vehicles [for fuel consumption]. I'll fall back on what I think is our general feeling toward this project - that we should probably keep it simple at first, and work our way up to the more complex. Plus I know we are both looking forward to the time when we can get a basic model working, so that we can test it out and make improvements from there.
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Re: SUPPLY

Postby Colin Wright » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:49 pm

Steve Sill wrote:Well, if I have a vote, I wouldn't want the level of detail to be managing individual rifles, shells and vehicles [for fuel consumption]. I'll fall back on what I think is our general feeling toward this project - that we should probably keep it simple at first, and work our way up to the more complex. Plus I know we are both looking forward to the time when we can get a basic model working, so that we can test it out and make improvements from there.


Well, assuming we're using a TOAW-type system to begin with, you're not managing the individual consumption by weapon, the program is. In fact, that's probably how it's going to want to do it. It simply sees the units as aggregations of equipment.

So it comes to our mini-kampfgruppe -- composed so as to illustrate my thinking.

1/1 Tiger 1

24/38 riflemen

6/6 machine gun teams

2/2 81 mm mortars

5/5 trucks

The unit is at 66% supply -- so it's going to submit a request of a third of a combat load for each of these weapons.

The Tiger I is going to ask for 1200 pounds of ammunition -- and 70 gallons of fuel.

Twenty four riflemen are going to ask for 120 lbs of ammunition.

Six machine gun teams are going to ask for 120 pounds of ammunition as well.

2 81 mm mortars (this one I'm really guessing on) are going to want 100 pounds of ammunition.

the 5 trucks want 50 gallons of fuel.

So TOAW sends in the request: 1540 pounds of ammunition and 120 gallons of fuel. The unit's needs are then more less completely filled, depending on the total supply available, the volume of the competing requests, and the priority assigned to the unit.

Several things are immediately apparent. First, we're going to want to separate ammunition and fuel. Second, I'm suggesting we simply disregard food, water, medical supplies, et al. These were (a) rarely critical, and (b) more or less locally obtainable, as a rule. Third, I've slipped in my idea of replacing 'squads' with 'riflemen' and the machine guns.

Anyway, the immediate point is that TOAW is more or less oriented to analyzing needs weapon by weapon in the first place. I don't see this as a problem. It would be if we didn't have computers, but...
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Re: SUPPLY

Postby Steve Sill » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:23 am

Ok, I see now. Two types of Supply, Ammo and Fuel. Going to my model, I could request a Defensive Level of Supply for the 84.Korps Supply Dump and it would get about 50% of a normal load of both Fuel and Ammo, and as you say the computer can figure out the Fuel and Ammo for me, I just have to pick the level requested. Since you use a Percentage in your example, I will convert my model's five levels to a percentage of 'normal load':
Attack = 150%
General = 100%
Defense = 50%
Minimal = 25%
Note that the player only has to select a level for each Supply Dump unit, all units attached then receive that amount [subject to weather, enemy interdiction and distance]. This gives the Designer a great flexibility. Want maximum fiddlery ? Design a Company level scenario with individual company's and a company Supply Dump for each one. Want to pretty much ignore supplies ? Design one High Command Supply Dump and attach every combat unit to that one, resulting in only one unit needing supply to be set.
I'll incorporate this 'dual supply' into my model! And actually I think if you want, you can add Individual riflemen as a type of equipment alongside squads, so no issue there. Designer choices are always good!
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Re: SUPPLY

Postby Colin Wright » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:30 pm

Steve Sill wrote:...And actually I think if you want, you can add Individual riflemen as a type of equipment alongside squads, so no issue there. Designer choices are always good!


Yeah. The 'squad' has always been a problem in TOAW. It just varies too much from army to army.

About all that needs to happen is that values need to be scaled up so that an individual rifleman can have a combat value of say, two, and a soldier armed with an assault rifle a value of three. So all AP values need to jump about twenty-fold across the board.
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Re: SUPPLY

Postby Steve Sill » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:24 am

Right, I didn't consider that part, the rifleman would be 1/10 or more of the values that are in the TOAW database and that would throw everything off. This brings back memories of some stuff I was working on concerning the Mexican-American War around 1850. Some of the units were so small that it made it difficult to model. I ended up using squads as individuals. So for example, a 120 man unit had 120 squads in the scenario. I think it worked out ok since everything was on an equal curve, but this couldn't be done on a regular basis for other scenarios, so I guess the entire database would have to adjusted in order to properly include individuals.
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Re: SUPPLY

Postby Colin Wright » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:40 pm

Well really we want to head the same direction it's been suggested we go with terrain -- full and easily editable equipment. I think we already have that -- but the mechanism isn't particularly smooth.

In any case, even for a default list, we want to have the values such that our lowest value 'weapon' can be represented. Like, figure out the values for 'one civilian,' and make those our lowest integers.
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