Recent articles on contemporary logistics in wargames

Gamers can also use this forum to chat about any game related subject, news, rumours etc.

Moderator: maddog986

Post Reply
User avatar
bayonetbrant
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 1:11 pm
Location: the rare sane part of the southeastern US
Contact:

Recent articles on contemporary logistics in wargames

Post by bayonetbrant »

Rocky had a good one last week that compares several different rules systems and their effects on units in the game, compared to what we think is happening on current events
https://rockymountainnavy.com/2022/03/0 ... my-supply/
One factor that appears unaccounted for by most any wargame supply rule is traffic jams. One would like to think this number is “baked into” the game mechanism, but the more I look at the different game mechanism the less confident I am in making such an assertion. Granted, almost every one of the wargames referenced here has rules for refugees clogging roads, but units clogging roads is part of the stacking rules in any wargame. Then again, those stacking rules are often for combat units and do not look at combat service or logistics. That may not be a good assumption to make. Take a look at imagery from the road jam again.


This one (full disclosure: I wrote it) focuses more on the doctrinal processes behind the logistics issues and why they'd be hard to inject into a wargame
https://www.armchairdragoons.com/articl ... ns/logwar/
Most Western militaries operate under the oft-heard adage that you should “train as you fight” – that is, whenever possible, your training should mirror as much of your in-theater experience as it can. If you typically operate while wearing body armor when deployed, then you wear body armor whenever you’re in the field in training. If you typically send a specific kind of report on a regular schedule when deployed, then you do the same report every time you’re in the field in training. When training, you still specify your night shift for security, put them out there as a part of your personnel rotation, even if all they’re guarding against are stray raccoons trying to raid your extra bag of chips you left in the back seat of the HUMMWV. This training included the regular rotation of all of those elements of logistics we’ve mentioned above – your regular food rotation showing up with the fuel & ammo resupply, the regular maintenance checks on all your vehicles and equipment, the regular medical checks of your soldiers, etc.

And while Western militaries will “train as you fight” it’s because the reverse is also true: you fight as you train. I mentioned “muscle memory” above. Training is what creates that muscle memory. Repetition is what ingrains that muscle memory. When Western armies head to the field, everyone knows what to do because they’ve done it, over and over. The Russian troops in Ukraine? It’s clear they’ve hardly done anything. Wait, that’s not entirely fair. The Russian airborne troops made some dope-ass YouTube videos.

Brian Train had some reactions to Rocky's article, but then edited it to include some thoughts on mine (dammit, I wanted my own reaction article!)
https://brtrain.wordpress.com/2022/03/0 ... ticle-rmn/
And earlier, over at the Rocky Mountain Navy blog, a good piece on logistics treatment and examples of supply rules in modern-period wargames… the handwavy, the ambitious-but-fundamentally-spineless, and the just-don’t-go-there. Also, would the famous 40 km long traffic jam north of Kyiv happen in a civilian wargame? Answer: no it wouldn’t, because trucks are magic and unit commanders are smart and disciplined. Offhand, the only wargame I can recall that dealt seriously with the amount of road space a unit on the march took up was SPI’s East Front game Lost Battles, from 1971; also, some Bulge games have rules about traffic jams and occasionally someone insists you cannot just drive one division through another division.

And the USAF guys in Dayton are working on some wargaming tools to track the ongoing supply/logistics statuses in the current conflict, and you might could even get involved in that one
https://www.scmglobe.com/russian-logist ... f-ukraine/#
Building and running simulations of this supply chain model, plus looking at satellite views of facilities and routes, leads us to believe that use of the Ukrainian railroad network is the only way the Russian Army can sustain a long campaign. They had planned a quick campaign leading to Ukrainian surrender in a day or two. Then their troops were to live off the land by requisitioning local supplies of food and fuel. But that did not happen. (This is investigated further in an article on the Bloomberg website, “Railways Helped Drive Russia Off Track and Into Ukraine’s Cities“)
=+=+=+=+=
BayonetBrant
Editorial director ~ www.armchairdragoons.com
Host/Producter ~ Mentioned in Dispatches podcast
All around awesome dude & more handsome than I deserve to be with such a sparkling personality

Image
User avatar
OldSarge
Posts: 680
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Recent articles on contemporary logistics in wargames

Post by OldSarge »

Thanks for the links, that was a good read!

There are some wargames that have just the right amount of abstraction without turning it into a simulation of supply chain management, that only operations research graduate students would enjoy.

Oh, I almost forgot. Play Freebird! :lol:
You and the rest, you forgot the first rule of the fanatic: When you become obsessed with the enemy, you become the enemy.
Jeffrey Sinclair, "Infection", Babylon 5
Kuokkanen
Posts: 3585
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 1:16 pm

Re: Recent articles on contemporary logistics in wargames

Post by Kuokkanen »

OldSarge wrote: Thu Mar 17, 2022 8:05 pm Oh, I almost forgot. Play Freebird! :lol:
Made search with Google and found this
You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars
User avatar
OldSarge
Posts: 680
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Recent articles on contemporary logistics in wargames

Post by OldSarge »

@bayonetbrant I thought that you might appreciate the link, and I couldn't resist. :lol:
probably the same chucklehead that reflexively yells out “Play Freebird!” during every lull at a concert
Today is July 2, 2022. The link below is to a concert in Oakland on July 2, 1977, just over 3 months later there was the plane crash that took out several band members including Ronnie Van Zandt.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxIWDmmqZzY

Oh to be that young again, those were great times!
Last edited by OldSarge on Sun Jul 03, 2022 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
You and the rest, you forgot the first rule of the fanatic: When you become obsessed with the enemy, you become the enemy.
Jeffrey Sinclair, "Infection", Babylon 5
JWW
Posts: 1627
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2000 8:00 am
Location: Louisiana, USA

Re: Recent articles on contemporary logistics in wargames

Post by JWW »

Interesting. I've been playing a lot of Strategic Command lately. I just finished as a beta tester for SC ACW and have at the same time been playing a game of SC War In Europe. And as I read your posts I started thinking how the often criticized no stacking rules in the SC games often result in traffic jams, especially in rough terrain, and require some thinking in the order of movement of units to get the right units to the right place at the right time. Now that isn't the same as managing logistical convoys and unit movements -- and I've led my share of convoys back in the distant 20th Century, in peacetime, during which things can still get screwed up if everything isn't planned properly and run on time. But it does provide just a little bit of the sense of movement management.
User avatar
bayonetbrant
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 1:11 pm
Location: the rare sane part of the southeastern US
Contact:

Re: Recent articles on contemporary logistics in wargames

Post by bayonetbrant »

folks that think that "logistics" is just one giant spreadsheet drill have never been logisticians


there's sooooo much more "art" to the "science" than they can ever appreciate, and that's the key point of some of those articles

:mrgreen:
=+=+=+=+=
BayonetBrant
Editorial director ~ www.armchairdragoons.com
Host/Producter ~ Mentioned in Dispatches podcast
All around awesome dude & more handsome than I deserve to be with such a sparkling personality

Image
Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”