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Concerning Fleets

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Concerning Fleets - 12/3/2008 1:27:37 PM   

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Joined: 6/28/2008
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In the past there has been some discussion about container units costs etc and overall, in my opinion, the land container unit system seems reasonable. What follows is a suggestion for minor changes to the Fleet container units and the rationale behind them.

Got to thinking about Fleets container units and asked the questions: Why does creating a Fleet consume 20 Iron? Why does it take fully 2-months to create a formalized warship command structure? What does the Fleet container unit actually represent?

With land units it's easy with the container units representing the logistical and administrative tail required for any army to be effective. As the organization grows through Division - Corps - Army, the requirements become more extensive, expensive and specialized and this is reflected in the costs of these containers and the leadership needed for them to operate at full potential.

Fleets are different, in the 19th Century a fleet was tied to the infrastructure of its base of operations. Food, coal, ammunition and administrative support was pushed out to sea using a combination of civil and naval transports. Unlike the Napoleonic wars, blockading ships were not on station for months on end but rotated to a secure anchorage for replenishment and repair (but not necessarily their base) more often than in past wars. The FoF naval system simulates little of this but it is not the issue here.

There is no apperant reason for a Fleet to cost 20 Iron. Given that FoF Iron probably represents resources other than just iron, what did it take to organize a squadron of ships and send them off to an operation? Command and control, money, specialized foods, coal, ammunition and administrative support.

Just edit the AcwUnits file in the Data folder after saving the original somewhere safe.

Money: 20 Money is not excessive, navies are expensive.

Labor: 20 Labour is a lot since most of the labour already exists in the infrastructure of the port where the Fleet is built. Reduce this to 5.

Iron: 20 Iron is excessive even if game iron represents coal. Reduce this to 5.

Time: 4-turns is far too long and it's hard to see how it would take 2-months to organize and equip already existing ships for a mission, particularly once the initial administrative chaos that occured from April through July 1861 had passed. Naval operations were typically conducted far more rapidly even taking into account transit time to station. Reduce this to 1-turn.

Upkeep Money: Navies are costly to keep on station, supply ships need to be chartered and special naval logistic requirements need to be purchased. Increase this to 4 Money per turn.

Upkeep Labor: Sailors need to be hired for the supply chain, increase this to 1 Labor per turn.

Upkeep Iron: If FoF Iron can equal FoF coal, increase this to 1 Iron per turn.

Navies do not function as armies do. Giving a general 5-brigades with no headquarters elements and sending him out on a mission might well be a recipe for disaster. Handing an admiral (or commodore) five ships and a Flag and dispatching them to station is the way Navies operated in those days. Although naval commanders had a personal staff, they were few and his logistic support would be almost always tied to a shore establishment and out of his immediate control unlike a divisional commander and his division train. As long as beans, bullets and coal was pushed forward, the Fleet would do its job as best it could.

Apologies for the long post but I wanted to put the mod into context rather than just complaining that 4-turns seems far too long to build an FoF Fleet. The aim here is to allow their creation much quicker but at greater cost to maintain on station. I believe this to be an effective compromise, comments are welcome.


< Message edited by Randomizer -- 12/3/2008 1:30:07 PM >
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