el cid again
At one point, the senior programmer said "you get the data right, I will get the code right." Regretfully,
that effort has ended. But my policy always was get the data right for every location, and for every unit.
If only to record it for use later in time. Someday we may be allowed to modify the code ourselves. Or someone
may build a better product: it is never wrong to have the correct data.
But it IS possible to do a great deal with the data. In RHS, we tried to facilitate troop movement and supply flow
by variable communications infrastructure. These change seasonally, and also with construction (or rarely with
deconstruction). Some of these features help the India-Burma situation. For one thing, the "one infrastructure for
the whole game" idea of stock vastly overstates the road net in 1941. RHS has removed those roads. You get them
later in time, after they were built. The same applies to the rail network. [The Bengal and Assam starts with no
bridge across the Bhramaputra and as minor gage. Only the US Army changes that later.]
Perhaps the biggest distortion is hard code attempting to supply China from India. There appears to be a route
(more or less the Burma Road) along which fantastic amounts of Allied supply appear by "magic." This is not good
no matter your point of view. [If Japan is going to capture the area, do you want them to capture all those
supplies?] One mitigating factor in the RHS system is more realistic supply requirements for all units. Units
have added logistic tails - not so much because they support operations very much - but so that the supply demand
of a unit is proportionate to reality. This is somewhat counter-intuitive: a pack unit has the greatest logistic
requirement (to feed the animals and porters), but the least firepower (it only has light artillery at best); a
draft unit (the normal case for Japan) is in the middle, with significantly higher logistic cost to "feed" than
a motorized unit, but significantly less firepower than a motorized unit has. Motorized units have the least
logistic demand, but the greatest firepower. Doing this universally greatly increases the need to feed supplies
everywhere, and the need for ships to feed them. You should find even in India and Burma that you do better (and
have more control over where you stockpile supplies) if you use river navigation: automatic supply is not good
enough at least for major operations.
There are also a few "tricks" thrown in. A concept from the old (pre AE) WITP was the "supply sink." This is mainly
associated with certain major cities in RHS for AE. It renders capturing a major city a nightmare (as, indeed,
it should be - urban combat is probably the worst of all). But the biggest of these do create political demands
on commanders. [Historically, the Allies failed to allocate enough shipping to feed India, creating starvation to
such an extent, the Raj was no longer tolerable to many Indians who otherwise might have gone along with it.]
India can be a source of resources to send other places, it should not be a source of unlimited operational supply.
The problem of supply is far worse than it seems to 1941 players: the game must be able to feed the armies (and air
forces and fleets) of 1944 - which are several times larger. AE tends to give you more supply than is available
in 1941 and not nearly enough for 1944. Someone suggested, and RHS adopted, the idea of growing supply sources.
Further, players can invest in growing industry to produce supplies in certain places. If you can do this and hold
on to those places, it will pay dividends in the shipping you don't need to move them to that area later in the war.
The devil is in the details, and it will never be perfectly solved from all points of view. But we were able to
greatly complicate the supply problems for players in many places, and create a need for ships, large and small,
to move them (or the resources, fuel and oil which permit them to be generated). This is particularly acute for
Japan - fail to move resources and oil - and the economy will shut down. Those large stockpiles are not really
large enough - and serious impacts on production of aircraft, armaments and ships will occur within months if one
ignores this. Whole cities industries will shut down. Japanese railroads and roads cannot move the huge numbers
needed - just as in real life - shipping must be used. And players cannot "get rid of" reinforcements: they are
going to show up and demand to be fed too. If you don't need something, figure out where it can be fed automatically -
or it will draw down supplies in places that impact your front line operations.
There is a gigantic problem between India and Burma. There is no railroad. There in no major road. The only
secondary road is to Prome. There are two (or seasonally three) long trails. Now the Burma Road will upgrade
eventually. But these limitations are severe enough to impact major operations early in the war. [Later on,
there will be vastly more troops to feed.] You should find that river shipping is vital to success. [This
is unusually complicated in RHS because the upper Irrawaddy becomes UNNAVIGABLE in the wet season - there is
so much water it forces one into canyon walls above Mandalay. In other seasons, one can use the upper river,
but not in Monsoon.] In India, the Bhramaputra-Ganges river network is properly the most important logistical
system in the area - more important than railroads are - IF you use it. It is also the fastest way to move
units. In real life, it was even worse: it took six weeks to make it to Assam from Calcutta by rail (until
the US Army reorganized the RR, upgraded it, and built a bridge across the Bhramaputra). We have most
of this - but our long minor gage RR is still able to move troops in a week or so - much better than it was
< Message edited by el cid again -- 3/6/2018 3:17:23 PM >