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Resupply of armoured units?

 
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Resupply of armoured units? - 7/2/2013 1:40:10 AM   
Perturabo


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Didn't armoured units normally move to resupply locations when running out of ammo? I find it weird that they tend to stay in the front even when main gun runs out of ammo - from what I've seen, my assault units equipped with tanks/tank units tend to lose all their depot's supplying vehicles much faster than units without tanks (which I never saw running out of supplying vehicles so far).

Also, tank units have a tendency to stop and dig-in when under fire. From what I've read running over anti-tank guns and enemy positions in general was a very common behaviour during WWI and WWII. I don't recall reading about tanks digging in when attacking enemy positions/armour.

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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/2/2013 2:03:38 AM   
Arjuna


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Both are fair points.

Yes tank units generally withdrew behind an infantry screen at night to replenish. We do not model this behaviour for two reasons. First it's a very tactical behaviour and we are modelling an operational level game - although I admit the lines are pretty blurred. Second, it would take a lot of work to model this as you need to handle a myriad of exception cases, like what if I don't have any infantry within the force or what if I do but they are still marching up to the front or what if I am surrounded or what if I have no fuel or what if the terrain is impassable or so vulnerable to enemy fire.

Re tanks digging in. Well first off yes they did dig in and quite often but mainly on the defensive. There is scope to change this behaviour. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/2/2013 12:14:16 PM   
jimcarravallah

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

Both are fair points.

Yes tank units generally withdrew behind an infantry screen at night to replenish. We do not model this behaviour for two reasons. First it's a very tactical behaviour and we are modelling an operational level game - although I admit the lines are pretty blurred. Second, it would take a lot of work to model this as you need to handle a myriad of exception cases, like what if I don't have any infantry within the force or what if I do but they are still marching up to the front or what if I am surrounded or what if I have no fuel or what if the terrain is impassable or so vulnerable to enemy fire.

Re tanks digging in. Well first off yes they did dig in and quite often but mainly on the defensive. There is scope to change this behaviour. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


Here's how ammo was handled in the US Army during World War II: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/PDFs/FM9-6.PDF

It basically says that an ammunition supply point (ASP) (akin to a subset of higher echelon unit supply base) is established for units near the front line. It was the unit commander's responsibility to send assets back to the supply point to draw on the stores ideally during lulls in operations. There's a a caveat that the quartermaster unit in the division could be assigned to assist combat units if they don't have assets available to draw on the stores (akin to using the supply base's organic transport assets).

If it were to be modelled at an operational scale, it results in diminished availability of the unit's total firepower during the time period ammunition is retrieved, because individual units are pulled out incrementally to visit the ASP to replenish their ammo racks, or are taken out of the fight while ammo delivered by organic or quartermaster assets is loaded onto the platform and the crews store it in the vehicle's racks.



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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/2/2013 6:07:32 PM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

Both are fair points.

Yes tank units generally withdrew behind an infantry screen at night to replenish. We do not model this behaviour for two reasons. First it's a very tactical behaviour and we are modelling an operational level game - although I admit the lines are pretty blurred. Second, it would take a lot of work to model this as you need to handle a myriad of exception cases, like what if I don't have any infantry within the force or what if I do but they are still marching up to the front or what if I am surrounded or what if I have no fuel or what if the terrain is impassable or so vulnerable to enemy fire.

AFAIK tactical wargames usually don't represent resupply as resupply becomes significant only in operational scale.

In most of these cases the result would probably be surrender or abandoning of vehicles (no ammo and no possibility of resupply). If there's no infantry then tanks would probably withdraw to resupply anyway. I think it happened many times in history.
Losing a few units due to lack of fuel/running out of ammo when surrounded would still be better than losing whole transport capability in a few days of fighting.
What I'm thinking about is basically, a unit (usually a company) withdrawing automatically towards the resupply point when it runs out of mission-critical ammo, making a resupply request, resting there and then returning to the previous task after the resupply arrives.

If withdrawing of an armoured unit is impossible due to terrain or enemy fire, resupply by a supply column is even more impossible.

quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah


If it were to be modelled at an operational scale, it results in diminished availability of the unit's total firepower during the time period ammunition is retrieved, because individual units are pulled out incrementally to visit the ASP to replenish their ammo racks, or are taken out of the fight while ammo delivered by organic or quartermaster assets is loaded onto the platform and the crews store it in the vehicle's racks.

Unit's total firepower during the ammo retrieval wouldn't be diminished because the withdrawing units would be out of ammo anyway.

< Message edited by Perturabo -- 7/2/2013 6:11:31 PM >


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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/2/2013 8:56:13 PM   
jimcarravallah

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah

If it were to be modelled at an operational scale, it results in diminished availability of the unit's total firepower during the time period ammunition is retrieved, because individual units are pulled out incrementally to visit the ASP to replenish their ammo racks, or are taken out of the fight while ammo delivered by organic or quartermaster assets is loaded onto the platform and the crews store it in the vehicle's racks.

Unit's total firepower during the ammo retrieval wouldn't be diminished because the withdrawing units would be out of ammo anyway.


Well, not in an effective army.

In the US Army, a commander leaving his unit defenseless by not monitoring ammunition use levels and consuming all supplies inside the unit could be court martialed, unless ordered to stand and fire until out of ammo by a higher higher echelon headquarters in control of the battlefield or cut off from a resupply option and fighting on the defensive.

Among the tactical operations going on inside an armored platoon or company is going over to the defensive when ammo supplies become critical, and cross leveling available supplies among combat platforms to assure each crew has a capability to at least defend itself until resupplied.


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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/2/2013 10:09:59 PM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah


quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah

If it were to be modelled at an operational scale, it results in diminished availability of the unit's total firepower during the time period ammunition is retrieved, because individual units are pulled out incrementally to visit the ASP to replenish their ammo racks, or are taken out of the fight while ammo delivered by organic or quartermaster assets is loaded onto the platform and the crews store it in the vehicle's racks.

Unit's total firepower during the ammo retrieval wouldn't be diminished because the withdrawing units would be out of ammo anyway.


Well, not in an effective army.

In the US Army, a commander leaving his unit defenseless by not monitoring ammunition use levels and consuming all supplies inside the unit could be court martialed, unless ordered to stand and fire until out of ammo by a higher higher echelon headquarters in control of the battlefield or cut off from a resupply option and fighting on the defensive.

Among the tactical operations going on inside an armored platoon or company is going over to the defensive when ammo supplies become critical, and cross leveling available supplies among combat platforms to assure each crew has a capability to at least defend itself until resupplied.

Even if they wouldn't be fully out of ammo at the time of withdrawal, they would still not be sitting half of a day without ammo while supply columns get slaughtered because they drive in the middle of a tank battle.
Anyway, what ammo supply levels would be critical and would warrant moving back to the ASP?

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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/2/2013 10:51:45 PM   
jimcarravallah

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah


. . .

Well, not in an effective army.

In the US Army, a commander leaving his unit defenseless by not monitoring ammunition use levels and consuming all supplies inside the unit could be court martialed, unless ordered to stand and fire until out of ammo by a higher higher echelon headquarters in control of the battlefield or cut off from a resupply option and fighting on the defensive.

Among the tactical operations going on inside an armored platoon or company is going over to the defensive when ammo supplies become critical, and cross leveling available supplies among combat platforms to assure each crew has a capability to at least defend itself until resupplied.


Even if they wouldn't be fully out of ammo at the time of withdrawal, they would still not be sitting half of a day without ammo while supply columns get slaughtered because they drive in the middle of a tank battle.
Anyway, what ammo supply levels would be critical and would warrant moving back to the ASP?


It's defined here: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/PDFs/FM17-10.PDF


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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/3/2013 5:04:03 PM   
Rock64

 

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Having armored units withdraw to resupply would appear to be very hard to work into the game and really, what is it adding? Yes, we cycled thru supply points in the rear at night, but usually by platoons, not as a company, and the supply points usually consisted of two vehicles very close to the front line (just out of LOS).

However, one thing that was common and maybe should be looked at is units that are out of ammo withdrawing from combat under certain circumstances (ie not surrounded).

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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/3/2013 8:05:46 PM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rock64

Having armored units withdraw to resupply would appear to be very hard to work into the game and really, what is it adding? Yes, we cycled thru supply points in the rear at night, but usually by platoons, not as a company, and the supply points usually consisted of two vehicles very close to the front line (just out of LOS).

Supply columns use trucks from base units. When they take losses, the amount of trucks in the base unit and thus transport capacity decreases. When they take big enough losses, resupply becomes impossible and whole division stops from lack of ammo/fuel/basics.

< Message edited by Perturabo -- 7/3/2013 8:07:24 PM >


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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/3/2013 9:21:16 PM   
navwarcol

 

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I get the point being made by Perturabo here. It is that the (realistic) resupply efforts in game are causing catastrophic losses to the resupply formations, rendering them incapable of performing their duties after several runs in which their losses stack up to unsustainable levels. In a few of the longer scenarios I had this problem also, several times even deciding to go into the editor and add higher level bases to assist in the resupply, as btn level or even some regiment level ones can be easily depleted in one night. In the real world these vehicles would be replaced by pretty much anything available, the respective HQ would not just say "Well we have no vehicles to send you any ammunition, sorry". Both sides used pretty much anything available, so it would be a nice touch if it was possible to reinforce the supply bases with vehicles, even of a substandard quality, if they ran out.

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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/3/2013 10:50:19 PM   
jimcarravallah

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: navwarcol

I get the point being made by Perturabo here. It is that the (realistic) resupply efforts in game are causing catastrophic losses to the resupply formations, rendering them incapable of performing their duties after several runs in which their losses stack up to unsustainable levels. In a few of the longer scenarios I had this problem also, several times even deciding to go into the editor and add higher level bases to assist in the resupply, as btn level or even some regiment level ones can be easily depleted in one night. In the real world these vehicles would be replaced by pretty much anything available, the respective HQ would not just say "Well we have no vehicles to send you any ammunition, sorry". Both sides used pretty much anything available, so it would be a nice touch if it was possible to reinforce the supply bases with vehicles, even of a substandard quality, if they ran out.



There was a discussion a while back regarding supply base placement and routes from bases and SEPs to units drawing those supplies during a resupply event.

First thing is that the resupply columns are routed from the most appropriate supply point with sufficient supplies on hand to fill the pulling unit's "requisition" (base of the parent unit or the nearest SEP if the base is cut off / low on the products required, or further distant from the requisitioning unit than the SEP).

Second thing is that the dispatched "column" (in quotes because it is not represented on the map as a unit) takes the avoidance route to the requisitioning unit.

An avoidance route follows the shortest path possible around known threats to its objective.

Key here, is "known threats."

If the rear areas of the battlefield between the SEP or base dispatching the "column" and the front where the supplies are delivered are not well scouted, the avoidance route (avoiding already known enemies) just could run through an enemy position that remains unknown because it is out of sight of all friendly units until the "column" encounters it.

That's when the message about those columns taking 100 percent losses start popping up.

Effective commanders in World War II not only worried about what was going on at the front, but also about the safety of their line of communication (LOC) from that front back to where the base or supply point resided.

When I do an "all units available" push toward an objective, I realize that some units will have to be pulled out to provide security in rear areas the instant I start getting the 100 percent casualty messages from the resupply event.

A better commander would assure the security before he advances.

The game is rich in providing real life lessons on battlefield management.

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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/3/2013 11:41:23 PM   
navwarcol

 

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Agree with that also Jim.. but even with the (very good) AI, it becomes a bit of a cakewalk getting behind THEIR lines. It never was very easy irl getting company or btn sized formations behind enemy lines to disrupt their supplies, and as I mentioned above, when it did happen, those supply units made good their losses with anything they could scrounge. Barring the actual supply base being overrun, it was relatively unheard of for a supply unit to cease operations due to running out of vehicles to carry their supplies, and when it did happen, another unit would step in, virtually guaranteeing that any non-isolated unit that could receive supplies, did(at least, especially/ on the American side... relatives that fought for the German side had a much harsher view of their supply capabilities).

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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/3/2013 11:44:55 PM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah

Effective commanders in World War II not only worried about what was going on at the front, but also about the safety of their line of communication (LOC) from that front back to where the base or supply point resided.

When I do an "all units available" push toward an objective, I realize that some units will have to be pulled out to provide security in rear areas the instant I start getting the 100 percent casualty messages from the resupply event.

A better commander would assure the security before he advances.

The game is rich in providing real life lessons on battlefield management.

From what I saw, the columns in my case get lost mostly because they drive into line of sight of a tens of enemy tanks and machine guns when supplying the forward units. They had a clear way to my lines. I know it because I had a lot of units between the base and the frontline and I saw it in AAR. And the columns that got lost were almost exclusively the ones going to the most forward units.

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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/4/2013 12:29:54 AM   
jimcarravallah

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: navwarcol

Agree with that also Jim.. but even with the (very good) AI, it becomes a bit of a cakewalk getting behind THEIR lines. It never was very easy irl getting company or btn sized formations behind enemy lines to disrupt their supplies, and as I mentioned above, when it did happen, those supply units made good their losses with anything they could scrounge. Barring the actual supply base being overrun, it was relatively unheard of for a supply unit to cease operations due to running out of vehicles to carry their supplies, and when it did happen, another unit would step in, virtually guaranteeing that any non-isolated unit that could receive supplies, did(at least, especially/ on the American side... relatives that fought for the German side had a much harsher view of their supply capabilities).



I think if you checked the von Paulus "archives," you'd learn that in some cases, it was relatively easy to get behind enemy lines when assets weren't made available to protect lines of communication ( ;-) ).

And, as a 27-year US Army logistician, I fully agree that non-supply unit vehicles should be dispatched to support supply operations. ;-)

But, those vehicles which were taken to support supply diminished maneuver capabilities for the line units whose vehicles were "stolen" by the quartermaster / ordnance guys (see Patton's thoughts on diverting transport and fuel assets to "the northern push" after the Normandy breakout) to provide the goods to the troops.

I've struggled with the Meuse to Rhine scenario until I realized that one key toward victory (haven't won it yet) is securing "Hell's Highway" from the south end of the map, through the supply route choke point at Nijmegen, to Arnhem (winning after cheating a bit with my fantasy variant that allocates the unseasoned and less trained 11th Airborne to the area between Nijmegen and Arnhem, largely to provide assets for securing the supply line).

Another favorite is "Widening the Corridor" in BftB (I like to play the original BftB scenario because I love "being" 3rd Army Commander, riding togs, pearl handled pistols on my hips and all ;-) ).

In "Widening the Corridor", the US commander is basically tasked with first securing supply lines to the isolated 101st Airborne, and then heading north by using the 101st Airborne as an anvil to destroy remaining enemy forces while advancing north.



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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/4/2013 1:36:21 AM   
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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/4/2013 4:46:24 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah

It's defined here: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/PDFs/FM17-10.PDF




Actually, it's defined in FM17-50, in FM100-10 and in FM17-57, which I can't find online.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/PDFs/FM17-50.pdf






quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah

[].....
That's when the message about those columns taking 100 percent losses start popping up.

Effective commanders in World War II not only worried about what was going on at the front, but also about the safety of their line of communication (LOC) from that front back to where the base or supply point resided.

When I do an "all units available" push toward an objective, I realize that some units will have to be pulled out to provide security in rear areas the instant I start getting the 100 percent casualty messages from the resupply event.

A better commander would assure the security before he advances.

The game is rich in providing real life lessons on battlefield management.



But it looks a bit like its supply AI/model lacks some common sense:

Each (sub-)unit of a division had its supply section, that goes for the German supply system as well as for the US system.

If an American unit's supply routes were contested, the G-4 or divisional commander had to decide whether it was tolerable to lose materiel (vehicles, precious supplies) and personnel (drivers, plus the personnel running the supply train section's security component), if supply trucks were attacked/destroyed, or if the supply columns had to be a) held back or b) restricted to use of small vehicles (Jeeps, motorcycles), in an attempt to up the chance to sneak through contested areas.
In many cases, the divisional commander rather sent additional combat elements (if available) to adjust the front, thus securing the supply lines, than sending supply trucks into certain destruction.

Say a company was about to get surrounded, support elements would have been stopped completely, and either other methods of resupply (ie. air drops or relief missions) would have been considered by HQ, or the Coy would have sent out troops to scout the area and find a possible supply route or to secure some supplies themselfs, in case they were ordered to hold the position.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

[].....
What I'm thinking about is basically, a unit (usually a company) withdrawing automatically towards the resupply point when it runs out of mission-critical ammo, making a resupply request, resting there and then returning to the previous task after the resupply arrives.

quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah

If it were to be modelled at an operational scale, it results in diminished availability of the unit's total firepower during the time period ammunition is retrieved, because individual units are pulled out incrementally to visit the ASP to replenish their ammo racks, or are taken out of the fight while ammo delivered by organic or quartermaster assets is loaded onto the platform and the crews store it in the vehicle's racks.



The Germans did pull out individual tanks for example, indeed, but they did not send these to ASPs or depots, under normal conditions.

(Damaged tanks would be sent to field repair shops, or field repair teams were sent out to either repair an immobile vehicle in the field or to tow it to a shop/an Army ordnance depot, if the damage was (too) severe.)

With the wide availability of radios, armored units were able to call in resupplies when needed, on both sides. The Germans often pulled out individual tanks that had run out of ammo (using smoke if necessary, sometimes they just pulled back to one end of a village to get emergency supplies, while the fight was still raging at the other end of the village) and got them resupplied next to or even in a combat area, quite often, as it was vital too keep pressure on the enemy with the rest of the tanks. With Infantry attacks, that could mean that an entire unit would pull back behind say a hill, back to the initial starting point of the attack, if the attack was unsuccessful, use the ammo crates on the trucks/carriages to refill their ammo bags/pick up cartridges/pick up grenades, pick up some water, and charge again. But in general, resupply requests to an Inf Coy's support element were either forwarded by telephone or by motorcycle messengers, where then the supply column hauled the supplies to the unit in question. With advance/rear/Flank guard elements, sometimes such elements either had to haul small arm supplies themselfs, or build sufficient small stocks, as precious motor/carriage transport was needed elsewhere. In Normandy, gun nests, trenches and bunkers had sheltered ammo stocks 50-150 meters behind the main front (first trench line). When a MG42 gun nest ran out of ammo, either one of its crew or dedicated support soldiers were sent to run back and fetch more cartidges/boxes.

According to the Armored Force Field Manual, ASPs could be set up next to rallye points or FUPs, if it was deemed necessary. The figure from the Field manual shows that whatever type of vehicle was available (jeep, halftrack, etc.) was supposed to help to shuttle ammo supplies, if there were no sufficient numbers of trucks available. According to FM17-50, ASPs could even be established close to the actual combat zone, in cases where the commander of the division or the commander in charge of the supplies thought that to be necessary or where insufficient numbers of trucks would have hampered the resupply process.
That said, the tank elements of an Armored unit did not have to travel to the ASP or even DAO to pick up supplies. A request was transmitted via radio, where then the Coy's supply section would draw ammunition from the ASP and deliver it to the combat unit.

I tend to think that US Armored units were more cautious, though, as they pulled out bigger groups of tanks to get resupplies, quite often, at least in France, a result of the ammunition supply crisis in Summer 1944, most likely.


Flaws in the AI command system dealing with a unit's supply level and its impact on tactical decisions/combat:

  • The CO engine does not render levels of ammunition say in tank units and its impact on tactical decisions realistically.

    Like someone mentioned before, tanks running low on shells, will most likely preserve say 1-3 rounds of each type under normal conditions, in order to be able to defend themselfs when leaving the immediate combat zone. In the game, enemy AI tanks will stay out in the open and keep charging even after they ran out of shells, just having MG rounds at their disposal. This may make sense where a tank is supposed to hold enemy Infantry (who don't have AT weapons) in check, but it would be suicidal to keep facing enemy tanks or enemy AT inf elements with ZERO shells.


Programming-wise, I do understand that it would be too cumbersome to deduct empty tanks temporarily or even create new units (splitting a tank company into a unit with tanks that have shells left and creating a new unit with empty tanks), but units that have zero shells left in all of their tanks should at least be pulled back by the AI commander, and not used for (or even lead) an attack, until resupplies have arrived.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 7/4/2013 2:44:27 PM >


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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/4/2013 1:23:14 PM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Armored Force Field Manual

"LOGISTICS
4-5

b. If an armored division or separate tank battalion is attached to a larger unit, it is the responsibility of the larger unit to establish supply points within practicable hauling distance. This distance should not exceed 35 miles on ordinary roads from the bivouac of the most distant unit to these supply points. If roads are bad the distance must be shorter.

c. Frequent missions for armored troops are to disrupt the supply lines of the enemy, to hamper his evacuation, and to destroy his communication. To accomplish these missions, supplies frequently must be pushed beyond exist- ing rail or road facilities. This presents a tremendous prob- lem for the army supply services and engineers. While it is the responsibility of the army to push supplies within practicable hauling distance of the division, anticipatory planning by the division G-4 to determine the probable requirements for the operation and coordination with Army G-4 will insure an adequate flow of supplies without which no armored operation can be successful.

d. The armored division obtains its supplies directly from army supply points. The armored corps is an administrative agency for corps troops only and is not in the chain of supply except when acting independently. The corps also secures its supplies from army."


A trip from a unit's bivouac to the supply point (ASP or F&L Dump) was not supposed to exceed 35 miles, as 70 miles for a round-trip was set to be the max. distance, to cater for the tank units' corresponding travel ranges on different types of terrain.

Btw, the Field Manual also points out, that a Corp did not have supply bases/depots, as it was an administrative body only, just like its German counterpart. I outlined that in a detailed logistics and supply base article here in this forum, before BFTB was released, but that piece of historical info did not make it into the game.


The Logistics Manual 17-50 also provides detailed marching orders and methods not just for administrative marches and their planning, but also for tactical formation prior or during combat (eg. "infiltration", or during night marches (eg. "open column", with less friendly units being spotted, when enemy flares illuminate the area):

quote:

5.
"HALTS AND BIVOUACS.
-a. Halts.-(1)

The order for the march will provide for halts at stated regular intervals to provide for relief of men and for inspection of vehicles. Usually a halt of 15 minutes is made at the end of the first 45 minutes of marching. Subsequent halts are for 10 minutes and are made at the end of 1 hour and 20 minutes or 1 hour and 50 minutes. The halt for lunch and refueling is usually of 45 minutes to 1 hour duration. The time for the halt is taken from the time leading vehicles of the march unit stop (not when the commander dismounts) until that vehicle resumes its forward movement.

(6)Drivers, especially of full-track vehicles, should be changed frequently. Halts offer an excellent opportunity to make this change. Changes of drivers should not be limited to an exchange-of duties between drivers and assistant drivers, but should include all members of the crew. This is especially true on a very long day's march and on marches of several days' duration."


While German armored and infantry units had to perform forced marches in France in 1940, in Russia, in France 1944 and especially during the last months - in 1945 - again, US infantry often had the luxury to have enough transports at their disposal. While I doubt that an American armored unit halted after 45 mins, and then after 1 hr 20 mins., or 1hr and 50 minutes, means in accordance with the manual, especially when time was of the essence, it's a fact that US and German tank crews had a dedicated assistance driver (in German tanks the radio operator, usually, the loader in rare cases), who was able to handle the tank in non-combat situations, at the very least.

It's pretty hard in BFTB to have a wheeled/tracked unit engage during the day and relocate at night, or the other way around, without it getting too fatigued, which is pretty inaccurate, historically.
Fatigue may and will have an impact on the ability to muster an attack, or on actual combat performance itself, but should not have an impact on the ability to move. There's a huge difference between 8 hrs of marching by foot, and 8 hrs driving (ie. sitting) in a car or tank. Especially in late 1943, early 1944, tank ventilation in medium and heavy tanks had been improved a lot, which made long marches halfway bearable.

In turn, mounted infantry units may have had sore bums after say a 6 or 7 hrs rides in trucks, but could still be considered "fresh", as they had not been committed to combat, yet. That's where an "unmount" feature would add to realism, since the type of the unit could then change to "foot", with the fatigue level changing correspondingly.

quote:

Marching
Night marches.

-(1) Armored units will frequently march at night to avoid air observation and attack. Also the threat of a hostile mechanized attack may cause armored units to march at night. Marches in the combat zone are usually made at night.

Night marches will be used frequently when secrecy or surprise is desired and to avoid long range interdicting fires.

(2) Night marches require careful and thorough planning. When hostile observation is active, night marches may be made without lights. When it is desired to march at night without lights, it is better to begin the march without lights or turn lights out at a halt and permit drivers' eyes to become accustomed to the darkness before moving out than to turn the lights out while the column is moving.

Marching on dark nights without lights materially reduces the rate of march of any column. It will vary from 5 miles per hour on poor roads and across country to 10 miles per hour on good roads. When marching at night with lights or in bright moonlight without lights, the rate of march is about the same as marches in daylight.
(3) To maintain close contact and communication between and within march units, distances between vehicles are reduced during night marches. When hostile air attack may be expected, it may be desirable to dispatch groups of about five vehicles with minimum safe distances between vehicles and maintain an average density of about 20 vehicles to the mile. The particular advantage of this method of night movement is, that should the column be attacked, only a small part of the command would suffer losses. This method of movement is predicated on the march objective being secured by friendly troops.

(4) As night marching, under the most favorable conditions is difficult, the following measures should receive careful attention during the planning and conduct of the march. These points have equal application irrespective of the type or method of marching employed:

(a) .........


The following points (a) etc. are a list of detailed precautions and procedures (eg. recon of route and alt. route, traffic control, planning etc.), which are so detailed, they'd just distract from my initial point:

The CO engine should feature night marching and take into account that night marches (and subsequent daylight attacks) were vital parts of historical movement procedures and attack plans.

That means that a wheeled/tracked unit should be able to march at night at full range, but with a speed penalty, according to the assessed speeds in the manual (ie. 5 miles on bad roads and 10 miles per hour on good roads) when marching without lights. There should also be a reduction of the column's visibility, as it would be harder for the enemy to spot it (if at all).
In turn, if lights are used, the enemy should be able to spot a friendly column way more easily, as reflections can even be seen even through/behind woods (depending on its density), whereas a column inside/behind a wood would be invisible during daylight, for example.

In order to improve marching speeds and security of vehicles at night, German vehicles had removable caps on their lights, which looked like little observations slits, reducing the light cone to a narrow horizontal line, which made it very hard for Allied night fighter/night bomber planes, - as well as for Allied ground units, to some extent - to spot them.

If these details would make it into the game, there should be a button next to the order buttons for marching speeds, like "night march" (on/off) and "lights" (on/off).

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 7/4/2013 3:07:34 PM >


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Post #: 17
RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/4/2013 1:42:41 PM   
jimcarravallah

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: GoodGuy

quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah

It's defined here: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/PDFs/FM17-10.PDF




Actually, it's defined in FM17-50, in FM100-10 and in FM17-57, which I can't find online.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/PDFs/FM17-50.pdf



Excellent research!

The references to how an Army really operates is the foundation for developing software changes necessary to reflect reality in the game engine.

One frustration, perhaps because I only speak English, is the difficulty finding World War II doctrine and field procedure information for all the combatants.

You can't reflect the reality of the battlefield until you understand how each side was supposed to operate.

In the US Army, the manner in which a unit operates starts with doctrine for that unit. Sub-formation / platform / soldier activities to implement that doctrine are reflected in the Tactics and Techniques (now termed Tactics, Techniques and Procedures). Details of how skill / support service activities are performed to address the tactics and techniques get fleshed out in the field manuals aligned with those skills / support services.



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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/15/2013 5:19:53 PM   
Rock64

 

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I'll admit is it a bit frustrating to see column after column get wiped out from using a blocked supply route. The first column, ok, but the second one? I think eventually there would be a sign "Huns past this point" or something like that.

Historically, a unit out of ammo would either surrender or withdraw. No doubt someone can find an example of a Hungarian cook unit that fought with ladels and forks to the last man, but for the most part they surrendered or withdrew.

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Post #: 19
RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/16/2013 7:33:34 PM   
jimcarravallah

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rock64

I'll admit is it a bit frustrating to see column after column get wiped out from using a blocked supply route. The first column, ok, but the second one? I think eventually there would be a sign "Huns past this point" or something like that.

Historically, a unit out of ammo would either surrender or withdraw. No doubt someone can find an example of a Hungarian cook unit that fought with ladels and forks to the last man, but for the most part they surrendered or withdrew.


You have a point. The trouble report of a unit being lost ought to at least generate a concern that the route it was assigned was not safe.

However, since the "supply unit" activity is emulated, the "loss" is emulated as well, most likely by determining the universe of avoidance routes available for reaching a supply drop location against the universe of encounters with undetected enemy units within a range capable of causing damage to soft units moving along those potential routes.

There are no specific routes or specific units causing the "damage" to pinpoint a location to avoid other than someplace in between the unit expecting the supplies and the base / SEP dispatching them.

The messages could serve as the trigger to consider ordering the withdrawal of the unit having the supplies cut off toward a base unit or dispatching free units to explore the terrain in between the base and the unit having its supplies cut off.




< Message edited by jimcarravallah -- 7/16/2013 7:36:27 PM >


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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/17/2013 5:33:38 PM   
Rock64

 

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It was my understanding that even though the supply unit is not represented on the map, the blocking unit causing the damage is an actual enemy unit. Also, units that are cut off show the supply line as red, so there must be some programming determining this.

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Post #: 21
RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/17/2013 6:25:45 PM   
jimcarravallah

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rock64

It was my understanding that even though the supply unit is not represented on the map, the blocking unit causing the damage is an actual enemy unit. Also, units that are cut off show the supply line as red, so there must be some programming determining this.


Considering avoidance routes vary based on known (or seen) opponent formation locations, there is not a single route available to facilitate supply or a single unseen unit along that route capable of blocking supply when a unit is cut off.

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Post #: 22
RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/17/2013 6:32:41 PM   
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Personally I'd like to see the supply mechanic simplified and more abstract than it is at the moment..When I keep seeing so and so 100% supply loss I think to myself surely they'd have tried to find another way around or sent out a jeep first to make sure the way was clear..rather than just running into the Germans time and time again..

I'd rather it be simplified and more abstract..rather than plotting routes etc the game just checks if any enemy is in the way and then do a die roll to see if any supplies are lost if so another die roll to say how much..but make it hard for it to be 100%.

At the moment the game is in the middle of tactical and operational and I think that is causing some gameplay issues..The game dips it's toe into tactical aspects but then backs out to more operational with other aspects...sometimes it's neither one or the other and then ends up being abit confusing or be to complicated for it's own good.

I'd rather see supply be modeled in a more simplified\abstract way. At the moment really if you kept this sort of detail then you need to add more and give the player more control over supply, it's routes and maybe even give it some combat power if enemy are in the way to show some armed protection for the supply column, or even the player could detach a unit from reserve to protect the convoy. However for me this is adding to much management and like I said I'd rather it be KISS (keep it simple stupid)as it's not an aspect that need lots of attention from the player as long as it appears to be doing the job realistically i.e the end result seems right then I for one am happy.

I notice posts sometimes that show that some players can get confused about the scale of the game..usually they are seeing the game as tactical when really it's grand tactical\operational so they question aspects and want certain features etc. It's a tricky line as I said that Command Ops finds itself..to tacticla for operational and to operational for tactical. Thats not a bad thing at all aslong as the mechanics fit.

< Message edited by wodin -- 7/17/2013 6:36:41 PM >


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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/17/2013 8:45:26 PM   
jimcarravallah

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

Personally I'd like to see the supply mechanic simplified and more abstract than it is at the moment..When I keep seeing so and so 100% supply loss I think to myself surely they'd have tried to find another way around or sent out a jeep first to make sure the way was clear..rather than just running into the Germans time and time again..

I'd rather it be simplified and more abstract..rather than plotting routes etc the game just checks if any enemy is in the way and then do a die roll to see if any supplies are lost if so another die roll to say how much..but make it hard for it to be 100%.

At the moment the game is in the middle of tactical and operational and I think that is causing some gameplay issues..The game dips it's toe into tactical aspects but then backs out to more operational with other aspects...sometimes it's neither one or the other and then ends up being abit confusing or be to complicated for it's own good.

I'd rather see supply be modeled in a more simplified\abstract way. At the moment really if you kept this sort of detail then you need to add more and give the player more control over supply, it's routes and maybe even give it some combat power if enemy are in the way to show some armed protection for the supply column, or even the player could detach a unit from reserve to protect the convoy. However for me this is adding to much management and like I said I'd rather it be KISS (keep it simple stupid)as it's not an aspect that need lots of attention from the player as long as it appears to be doing the job realistically i.e the end result seems right then I for one am happy.

I notice posts sometimes that show that some players can get confused about the scale of the game..usually they are seeing the game as tactical when really it's grand tactical\operational so they question aspects and want certain features etc. It's a tricky line as I said that Command Ops finds itself..to tacticla for operational and to operational for tactical. Thats not a bad thing at all aslong as the mechanics fit.


The solution at an operational level is to maintain a route between an advanced unit and a supply base, or scout a new route in the event a forward unit is isolated and the operational commander orders the forward unit to stay in place.

Von Paulus' operation became isolated at Stalingrad because his supply routes were not protected efficiently to pursue the orders he was issued and the reaction to his isolation was a pipedream.

McAuliffe's position at Bastogne was saved because the allied commander for the operation decided to fight for a supply route to the isolated unit rather then let it die on the vine while waiting for a pipedream.

The game is designed to be commanded at an operational level, but can be managed at the tactical level when appropriate.

Once a player starts worrying about individual units not getting their supplies, he's already watching at a tactical level, and ought to take the plunge and manage at that level as well.


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Post #: 24
RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/17/2013 9:46:41 PM   
wodin


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The supply mechanic though on the whole is out of the players hands as they have no control of the convoys..yet they have to keep the lines open so in one hand it's tactical and the other more operational..again I'd rather it be more abstract and not plot routes and count trucks etc..or make it fully tactical where you get to control the supply convoys (though to me that wouldn't add anything to the game and just add to much micromanagement).

I don't want to get rid of supplies as that would be stupid but just abstract the mechanic of how they get to the units.

< Message edited by wodin -- 7/17/2013 9:48:10 PM >


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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/17/2013 11:20:15 PM   
jimcarravallah

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

The supply mechanic though on the whole is out of the players hands as they have no control of the convoys..yet they have to keep the lines open so in one hand it's tactical and the other more operational..again I'd rather it be more abstract and not plot routes and count trucks etc..or make it fully tactical where you get to control the supply convoys (though to me that wouldn't add anything to the game and just add to much micromanagement).

I don't want to get rid of supplies as that would be stupid but just abstract the mechanic of how they get to the units.


It is abstracted.

An effective operational commander pays attention to his supply lines, and delegates the delivery of supplies to the subordinate organizations and command staff responsible for that part of the operation.

When there are problems with supplies getting through, he adjusts his plans to assure that no units are isolated, unless ordered to ignore the situation, as McAuliff and Von Paulus were.

Command Ops forces the human operational commander to either react to the messages and adjust plans, or suppress them and press on regardless of his subordinates' problems.

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Post #: 26
RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/18/2013 2:17:04 AM   
Deathtreader


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Hi,

Maybe a new order such as "patrol" might help when it comes to clearing out supply lines. The player could (for example) click 2 locations on the map and the unit in question could keep routinely patrolling between them. If all the traditional unit formations, pathing options, and task options etc.associated with a "move" order were available with the new "patrol" order this might go a long way to faciliting resupply efforts as well as rear area security in general.

What do others think?

Rob.

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Post #: 27
RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/18/2013 2:47:57 AM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathtreader


Hi,

Maybe a new order such as "patrol" might help when it comes to clearing out supply lines. The player could (for example) click 2 locations on the map and the unit in question could keep routinely patrolling between them. If all the traditional unit formations, pathing options, and task options etc.associated with a "move" order were available with the new "patrol" order this might go a long way to faciliting resupply efforts as well as rear area security in general.


You can get something like that by issuing a Move order with high Aggro settings and allowing it to launch attacks. Choose mobile units with leaders with high Determination, Aggro and Judgement levels. You'll need to plot it back and forth...

Regarding wodin's observations. The supply system in Command Ops runs itself - you just need to provide the environment for it to function properly. Simple as that.

And yes, one has to adjust his mindset in this regard. In Tiller's Panzer Campaigns you have ZOC's and other yes-no rules that dictate what the enemy side can do to you. Not in Command Ops. This - and other traits - make Command Ops to stand apart, and make it interesting to work on and play it


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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/18/2013 2:49:00 AM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rock64

I'll admit is it a bit frustrating to see column after column get wiped out from using a blocked supply route. The first column, ok, but the second one? I think eventually there would be a sign "Huns past this point" or something like that.

Historically, a unit out of ammo would either surrender or withdraw. No doubt someone can find an example of a Hungarian cook unit that fought with ladels and forks to the last man, but for the most part they surrendered or withdrew.


Rock, could you show us an screenshot of this particular situation or a similar one?

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RE: Resupply of armoured units? - 7/19/2013 1:32:04 PM   
wodin


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Think people misunderstand what I'm trying to say...personally I find the 100% loss rate one after the other annoying..surely the base would organise something to re route or send you the info of where they are being attacked..we can't get any of that..we can't re route supply convoy ourselves..I suppose what I'm saying is the AI for the supply convoys is lacking to non existent..it will keep sending the convoys along a dangerous path no matter what. Yes we can send a Coy to go hunt the problem...however as I said we have NO control over the convoys themselves and they don't think for themselves at all either..Lots of things could happen in real life that can't be done in game to get supplies forward and rerouting..or sending back a small selection of men of to contact the convoy to go a different way. Again these are all tactical level mechanics..but we have half tactical i.e we can detach a coy to open the route if we can find where it is being attacked..and half operational with regards to the convoys themselves being abstract and not actually controllable nor can you issue orders to them...give them weapons and a small guard etc it's all done abstract. SO I think the supply system could have been made alot simpler and still got the job done with results more realistic than we currently get due to the complexity of the system.

What I'm trying to say is I reckon there is a much simpler system to get supplies out to the troops and give more realistic losses during the process without the current complexity we have at the moment. It's part of the game thats half in and half out of our hands..where it probably is best even more abstract with how it gets to your troops and out of your hands altogether or go the whole hog and give us control of the supply system and conoys. Just a thought.

It's what Rock has just said I suppose I'm talking about..it really highlights the lack of any AI with regards to supply convoys and the supply system allround.

Bletchly I understand but currently we are handicapped in creating the environment to run properly as I said due to have no control of the convoys and routes.

< Message edited by wodin -- 7/19/2013 1:34:57 PM >


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