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PacWar, Logistics and the real world

 
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PacWar, Logistics and the real world - 6/27/2013 6:35:08 PM   
Ranger-75


Posts: 610
Joined: 6/29/2001
From: Giant sand box
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Hi, People see my posts and I'll bet they often think, who is this guy to say this or that was logistically or politically not possible, etc?

Well, I don't know what everyone else's background is, but in addition to being IT pro (never programmed a game though) I've been a logistician for nearly 30 years and a historian for over 37. When i dived into PacWar back in the late 90s early 2000s, i thought, OK, finally a game that pays some attention to logistics and supply concerns. But that was not to be. While there is a requirement and consumption of supplies that is pretty good, the way the game handles re-supply is well, interesting.

I'm sure many have already looked at this, but just look at the map, It's some 2,400 miles from SF to Pearl, a Carrier TF can barely make it there in 1 week, but a 10 knot MCS plodding along will take over 10 days one way, LA to Sydney is over 6,000 miles, Japan to Java or Sumatra , some 3,400 miles. anywhere from 12-30 days one way.

Yet the routine convoys can resupply these bases and ones further away in 1 week round trip! Yeah tell me about that. It makes Get transport a little less fantasy based when you consider this. If everyone had to use hand built convoys, they would get a better idea of how logistically strained the Japanese merchant fleet really was especially as it occupied bases all over the SW Pacific. While the US and British had much more ample shipping fleets, they would also feel the pinch, especially on the long routes to Australia where a convoy would take about 4 weeks or more to make a round trip.

So, what am I getting at? Simple I don't mind having fun with the game, but I really don't condone gaming the game to make what was clearly an impossibility a preferred COA for either side.

Let's look at just two items in the real world and translate them to PACWAR game terms if we can.

Fuel - in the mideast for the two campaigns the US has been conducting here (I'm "here" now):

We were using, at the peak, over 2 million gallons of fuel per day in Iraq / Kuwait for ground forces alone, when adding in afghan and the smaller gulf states and air and naval operations this went over 5 million gallons per day. That was to support approx 4 divisions a couple hundred aircraft and 1-2 CBGs. Probably 3 port bases with 2-3 further land paths in PACWAR terms. Now granted, we did not have to transport this all over the ocean, the source was right there, but the consumption was indeed there.

5 million gallons is approx three WW2 era Fleet Oilers (AOs). In a PACWAR game-week that's 21-25 AOs needed just to keep the fuel level from dropping to supply 3 ports and their subsequent inland bases, with a 7 to 15 day one way travel time, this means 50-80 AOs (or TKs) are needed just to keep these three bases supplied. Does the IJN (or even the US / Brits) have this many AO (and TKs) floating around. No they don't.

And that's just fuel (no ammo food, etc) for only a 3 port cluster supporting 4 divisions.

Look at food. We had over 200,000 troops at the peak, (actually close to 250,000 with the navy personnel) plus an almost equal number of US civilians and contractors that had to be fed. The dining facilities serve 4 meals per day, making a requirement of some 1.6 million meals per day. I haven't calculated the actual # of short tons that is, but planning factors make that approx, 7,500 short tons per day. That is a medium MCS every day or 7 per week just for the food. Ammunition is a similar load, and that's scheduled (not based on demand), but 1 more ship for that (and construction material which was in high demand all along), and you have a 14 MCS requirement per week. Again with travel times this would tie up between 30-45 MCS just for these 3 posts and their onward bases.

To attack Hawai'i would have required at this much of a force level, assuming that the IJA would consent to diverting the troops from other operations which they would not do. That's the political part and I invite anyone who disagrees to read up on the subject.

It was these very heavy requirements that enabled the US to later bypass large garrisons and leave them to basically starve out the rest of the war.

I hope this sheds some light on the severe logistical requirements that the Pacific Campaigns had and how truly impossible it was to make some of these attacks that some players are waxing about. They could not be supported logistically or politically.

Fire away.


< Message edited by Ranger-75 -- 6/29/2013 7:09:32 AM >


_____________________________

Still playing PacWar (but no so much anymore)...
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RE: PacWar, Logistics and the real world - 6/27/2013 10:01:23 PM   
Denniss

 

Posts: 2226
Joined: 1/10/2002
From: Germany, Hannover (region)
Status: online
Supply system had to be somewhat abstracted due to limits in available cpu power and memory. Think about these convoys as multiple convoys starting each week into the pacific while multiple others are underway, at their destination, on their way back and returning home.

(in reply to Ranger-75)
Post #: 2
RE: PacWar, Logistics and the real world - 6/28/2013 12:32:17 AM   
Ranger-75


Posts: 610
Joined: 6/29/2001
From: Giant sand box
Status: offline
Hi Denniss,

Somewhat abstracted. That would be an understatement. You might like to think that they are rotating, but it's not correct. In fact, there is something in the PacWar-Hint11.doc that specifically states that ships can be used more than once, due to the "time scale" Umm, yeah. OK.

Hey something has to give, and admittedly most wargames completely ignore logistics, so PacWar is above most. It's just not "real" and doesn't accurately reflect the constraints either side, but especially the Japanese, were under.

< Message edited by Ranger-75 -- 6/28/2013 12:34:34 AM >


_____________________________

Still playing PacWar (but no so much anymore)...

(in reply to Denniss)
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RE: PacWar, Logistics and the real world - 6/28/2013 3:15:26 AM   
Cerran


Posts: 31
Joined: 9/20/2009
From: West Coast, USA
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quote:

Somewhat abstracted. That would be an understatement.


Yep.

quote:

Hey something has to give, and admittedly most wargames completely ignore logistics, so PacWar is above most. It's just not "real" and doesn't accurately reflect the constraints either side, but especially the Japanese, were under.


Quite true. That, to me, is what some of the "house rules" tried to address.

I have to admit I was pretty impressed by the first post in the thread. However if you go too far into realism, you end up with something like WITP:AE, only worse.

I read the manual several times, and even looked at some of the YouTube tutorial videos, and I am still completely at sea (pardon the pun, I assure you it's unintentional) trying to figure it out.

I think I'd enjoy it if it weren't quite so detailed.

_____________________________

'All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.'
- Edmund Burke, British statesman

(in reply to Ranger-75)
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RE: PacWar, Logistics and the real world - 6/28/2013 4:08:10 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4173
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
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quote:

I read the manual several times, and even looked at some of the YouTube tutorial videos, and I am still completely at sea (pardon the pun, I assure you it's unintentional) trying to figure it out.

I think I'd enjoy it if it weren't quite so detailed.


Have you tried the tutorial exercise in the original manual? That helped me when I was starting out -- sometime around the start of the Iron Age.

Also, there is a "data card" file containing a few extra rules and explanations which the printer didn't have time to get into the manual. I attach it for convenience.

Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Cerran)
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RE: PacWar, Logistics and the real world - 6/28/2013 5:31:17 PM   
Ranger-75


Posts: 610
Joined: 6/29/2001
From: Giant sand box
Status: offline
Cerran, thanks.

I've been buried in this for the past 10 years, even while not deployed. It was meant to illustrate the significant role logistics planning and capabilities exert on operations. No fun at all from a gaming perspective though, and that's why it is so abstracted in PacWar, and just about ignored everywhere else. We have to use what we have in PacWar. It would be more realistic to not have any RCS, but that's nearly impossible to do with the automated routines, so it is what it is. It would also be enormously more complex to have to send out every single re-supply convoy by hand (and wait 3-4 weeks for some of them to return to their home ports). You're correct, like WITP AE only worse.

When you consider that with a 12 million man Army, the US only fielded 90 divisions (of which only about a dozen were in the pacific until 1945) you might wonder where all that manpower went. Have you ever heard of a term called the "division slice" I'll write on that a little later. Originally the US planed for some 255 divisions, but the planners were assuming that the Soviets would get knocked out of the war. This was a particularly bad assumption; not as bad as some pre-war and early war Japanese assumptions, but a bad one nonetheless. It colored planning through mid 1942.

Capt Harlock, I have a data card that is different, I'm going to look at both and put up the one i have and this one both as RTFs, so folks can compare and keep either or both.

I uploaded the orig SSI card dated 1992. It is the same for as long as the Capt's file goes, but adds a couple more pages of errata including Load factors for fighters. It is a separate post.

I have to work on some orders, but will try to get something in WRT the "tooth-to tail" and "division slice" concepts, and how they relate to PacWar. Might as well do something since I'm completely vexed getting it to display properly on my computer.


< Message edited by Ranger-75 -- 6/29/2013 7:08:31 AM >


_____________________________

Still playing PacWar (but no so much anymore)...

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 6
RE: PacWar, Logistics and the real world - 7/9/2013 4:29:46 AM   
Cerran


Posts: 31
Joined: 9/20/2009
From: West Coast, USA
Status: offline
quote:



Have you tried the tutorial exercise in the original manual? That helped me when I was starting out -- sometime around the start of the Iron Age.

Also, there is a "data card" file containing a few extra rules and explanations which the printer didn't have time to get into the manual. I attach it for convenience.


Thanks for the card, it IS handy... however, I was referring to WITP for the last couple of paragraphs.

_____________________________

'All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.'
- Edmund Burke, British statesman

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 7
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