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Me needs idea how military unit can forage

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by Karl der Grosse, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. Karl der Grosse

    Karl der Grosse Chieftain

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    Its come to my attention that until modern times, the big prollem with armies was that they traveled on their bellies; it wasn't until late-industrial period that some military genious glommed onto the idear that caravans of supplies was thought to be a good idea.

    It seems that military units should be able to pillage their way to health / survival - and not rely on home country for anything - and can't become more than 3% of population until industrialization (max 10% then) and become extremely cost-prohibitive thereafter.

    Perhaps some sort of 'caravan' type thingy, that if intercepted generates massive amounts of commerce, otherwise the units depending on it for supply are starving and would run amok into the region to satiate their wants, desires and needs...

    :mischief:

    That is a very documented issue concerning medieval era vassal forces, i.e., I raised them in accordance to my vow of fealty to you - My Lord - but they're now 1500 miles away and they have nothing to eat, My Lord, what shall they do?

    :mischief: :lol: :eek:
     
  2. timerover51

    timerover51 Deity

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    I have in my library an interesting book entitled, Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army, published in 1968, and available online at Abebooks.com. It discusses how Alexander supplied his army with food via advance procurement in the areas he was marching into, supplies carried by his troops on their persons, by their servants, and baggage columns, and additional supply columns from where food was available for purchase or impoundment to where his troops were operating. Persian interception of a Greek supply column of 500 wagons was one of the reasons that the Greeks were forced into fighting the Battle of Plataea in 479 B.C. under less than ideal terms for them. Supply columns have been around for a much longer time than the late-industrial period. They were an especially critical item in any form of extensive siege operation, as the besieging army would rapidly eat the immediate area clean, and be dependent on regular supply columns from then on. Large numbers of horses were a special problem due to the need for grass forage for them.

    I would suggest you read an account of Napoleon's advance and retreat from Moscow in 1812 with respect to that idea of pillaging their way to health and survival. As for units after the introduction of gunpowder, military units were highly dependent on some supplies from the home country in the form of gunpowder, replacement weapons, and replacement personnel. Your idea is only valid if the military unit is moving through a good agricultural area immediately following the harvest, as occurred with Sherman's March through Georgia in November and December of 1864.

    Such a unit already exists in some of the scenarios of the game, particularly the Age of Discovery, but you cannot make units in the game dependent on supplies. Factoring the need for supply into any game is extremely difficult, and rarely succeeds. I have in my game collection a game published by Simulation Publications Incorporated called "War on Ice" about a hypothetical war in the Antarctic, where the entire game is based on supplies. It is completely unplayable.

    Such problems occurred during the Crusades, where the response was getting access to a port where supplies could be delivered from overseas, supply columns or local merchants then moved the food supplies to the needy units, and typically the men would then be given money to purchase their own food. Of course, there was nothing to keep merchants from heavily charging for the food.

    Note, the food requirements for men and animals have not changed to any great degree over the past Five Thousand or so years. Somewhere between 3 and 5 pounds per man per day, along with at least one gallon of water, with horses requiring about 9 pounds of grain and 10 to 12 pounds of hay per day, along with a minimum of 5 gallons of water, and oxen requiring about 20 pounds of hay or 50 pounds of grass, along with time to process it. Then time processing food for oxen, as in "chewing the cud", is one reason why oxen move slower then horses. There is quite a lot of information on animal rations in Sir Garnet Wolseley's Soldier's Pocket Book for 1886. I have a copy and it makes for interesting reading.
     
  3. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias I saw the Great Library burn.

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    Dear Heavens! Someone else who's played SPI's "War on Ice" :eek: ("War on the Ice?" "War in the Ice??")

    Anyway, given the game's time scale (and disasters like, oh, every "Industrial" power who's ever invaded Russia - Sweden; France; Germany ... ) I tend to take the POV that units should not be able to move too far beyond a supply source (i.e., a 1 Pop city either built or captured by the Civ in question.) To this end, I introduce a tech called "Penicillin" in the Industrial Age - and THAT'S when "Battlefield Healing" is allowed.

    -Oz
     
  4. timerover51

    timerover51 Deity

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    Oh my, somewhat else has the game??!! I got it because I served in the US Army in Alaska, and wanted to see how the game worked for Antarctica. I still have my copy, hardily been used.

    On a lower level, I have been reading about the headaches the US Army had when chasing the Plains Indians in the 1850s through the 1870s. Crook's mule trains worked the best, but even they slowed the Army down quite a lot. The biggest problem was the grain for the horses, 9 to 12 pounds per day per horse. Water was another problem, given the aridity of the Great Plains. Same thing for the Western Desert campaign in World War 2. You outran your water supply at your peril.
     
  5. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias I saw the Great Library burn.

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    I was "seduced" by the Soviet SEVs ... :lol:

    I suspect that this jives with my approach - in Civ3, cities are de facto "supply sources," and the best approach I've been able to come up with to represent this is the one I mentioned. (One can also extrapolate, via where "Penicillin" appears in the Tech Tree, the influence of mechanization, aircraft, etc., re: supply issues.)

    :hatsoff: ,

    Oz
     
  6. Karl der Grosse

    Karl der Grosse Chieftain

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    Oz, how does that Penicillin tech work in the implementation you describe?
     
  7. Erebras

    Erebras Prince

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    I believe [c3c] is an abstract game founded on basic principles. Thankfully, those principles can be tinkered with to our collective heart's content.

    The idea of an army -- or any unit, for that matter -- healing in enemy territory implies, but does not mean, that the army has set up field hospitals and are waiting for their wounded recruits to recover or revive from their wounds. Rather, as their numbers are depleted -- their hit points -- they recover them through rallying of broken or separated troops, reinforcements arriving from their supply column (obviously abstracted, people), hiring of auxiliaries and mercenaries (an old standby), conscription or impression of locals into military service, and, um, troops recovering from non-lethal battle wounds.

    I may have left something out, but you get the point, yes?
     
  8. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias I saw the Great Library burn.

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    Erebras is (re: my implementation of "Penicillin") roughly correct.

    Antibiotics IMHO made a huge difference in "Battlefield Healing." Now, through whatever fluke, penicillin was discovered after radio and the internal combustion engine; it's placing the 1st after the latter after 2: so, improved C3 (Command, Control, Communications) via radio and mechanized/aircraft resupply/medevac (via internal combustion) which, for me, brings the "complete picture of "Battlefield Healing" into focus.

    -:scan:z
     
  9. Erebras

    Erebras Prince

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    As a military-trained healthcare worker, I have picked up a thing or two about the history of medicine over the years, and wikipedia and occasional documentaries filled in the blanks before educational television channels decided to embrace monsterhunting, pawn shops, and dumpster divers.

    Roughly, ambulances and field hospitals came to be around the time of the Napoleonic wars, as did the controversial practice of vaccinations. Around the time of the American Civil War there were discoveries (among other things) that you didn't have to dip amputee stumps in boiling oil for them to do okay. A little after that they discovered antisepsis (originally spraying carbolic acid using perfume atomizers) and anesthesia other than booze and blackjacks, which gave people a better chance with their post-op infections and surgeons more time to do something other than just cutting off the limb of a screaming, writhing patient being held down by burly helpers. The 20th century saw more technology and new chemicals put to use in medicine, whether it was gadgets like stethoscopes and sphygmomanometers, or giant pressure-cooker sterilizers, or sterilants like ethylene oxide (originally used to keep shipments of spices from going bad), or synthetic fibers to replace silk, steel and cotton sutures (at first nylon, plastic and polyesters, but giving way to fancy absorbable sutures, and then much more recently, goretex, teflon-impregnated suture, and metal-reinforced threads). Pharmaceuticals in the 20th century were refined into widespread usage of morphine, curare (an anesthetic derived from poison arrow tree frogs), and antibiotics (still being widely used/misused to inadvertently engineer the inevitable drug-resistant superbugs that will kill us all, someday). The idea of medivac helicopters arose in the Korean conflict (we see them on M*A*S*H) and became the norm in Vietnam and later wars. One important innovation of Vietnam was the idea of a combat medic, which gave rise to modern civilian emergency services. Before paramedics and EMTs, if you were in a car crash, some guy driving the tow truck would drag your bleeding body through the windshield using a chain and winch before tossing you in the back of the local funeral home hearse, which took you to the hospital. (in fact, original civilian-sector ambulances in America were hearses painted white or red. Van-style chasses familiar today came later.) As far as battlefield medicine goes, since the First Gulf War (as I call it) we have seen deployable airconditioned field hospitals complete with environmental control units capable of filtering out nuclear/biological/chemical hazards, Humvee ambulances capable of treating and transporting several casualties at once (their stretchers lock in place in stacks along the inside walls of the vehicle), and the pioneering of forward medical teams where nurses and surgeons are transported to or beyond the front line to render lifesaving interventions to wounded warriors that much more quickly.
     
  10. Erebras

    Erebras Prince

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    Why couldn't it be "Erebras is (re: anything he ever says) roughly correct."? Well, at least I have an answer for everything. May not be accurate, but, yes, I have an answer for everything.:mischief:
     

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