Thursday, 27 October 2016

Logistics: Possible ideas for models

Those of us hobbyists that tend to get very few games in tend to focus on the building and painting of armies, rather than playing grand games. Whilst sitting in front of your models, painting in a concentrated manner, your mind is allowed to roam the universe within. Invariably, I at least, start to think of:

1) How did this guy get this very ornamented plate armour? He is just a lowly warrior.

2) Can this group of dim-wits really feed themselves in times of peace? Fine, now they are living off the land, but in peace time - do they go back to being peasants? Can they even use the soil, or are they living off of fruit in some back-water region?

Dragoons typically didn't look this smart when on a mission.

3) Logistics: How can the bad guy always focus on quantity rather than quality - the bad guys are often  portrayed as instant-gratification-barbarians, but often times they have huuuge numbers for the good guys to kill. The movie 300 springs to mind, not to mention the hordes of Sauron or any video game out there. Heck, even a contemporary example in Somalia springs to mind: Blackhawk Down where the hasch-hisch and kat-chewing youth and men were storming the Americans without any thought of tactic or casaulties...
     So, how is that the bad guys always have grand armies, how do they feed them in peace time - and more importantly: How do they feed them in war-time?!

The Romans used these, accordingly to someone on the internet.

This goes along with J:s baggage train-updates. Since this blog is more focused on warbands, I could go the simple route and just look at how outrider Dragoons of Sweden used to do it: Carry a bunch of provisions on themselves (in horse-pouches), live off the land, rob the enemy rural areas when necessary and go between friendly military stations or postal stations to "recharge" whatever needed be recharged, whether it be horses or gun powder or tobacco (that was later I think).

Despite the above, I would still like to list some interesting things in the baggage-train you could use to form a game around, playing pieces as well as for simple decorative purposes.

Simple reparations are a small warband's smallest problem.

1) Start by looking at the provision-things made by Playmo and Lego: Simple sacks and bags are easy to make in green stuff or in polymer clay.

2) Either buy from a miniature company some crates and loot and chests.

3) Stuff it on pack horses.

4) Stuff it on wagons if you can afford it - even warbands would use these.

Now you have sufficient stuff to simulate a basic baggage train or just some random loot. When dealing with the logistics of a warband, it seems you have to be a bit boring and keep it simple. As the picture above says: No need to carry pemmican or grain-thingies for the horses, no need to have a blacksmith to fix wagons and horse-shoes, and then no need for the blacksmith to have a bunch of stuff with him.
    Which has always been the good thing with raiding parties: You cherry pick stuff from the enemy's lands without the extra trouble of having to really occupy his lands.

But this should not stop you from doing awesome baggage trains, there are numerous reasons why a smallish warband would have that.
     My question to you, however, is: Did warbands bring along civilians and hang-arounds at all? As an example, historically they say that if an army consisted of 5000 fighting men, it was very likely that roughly 5000 women, children, "entertainers", non-fighting staff and looters would accompany the army, wherever it...

Entertainers often followed Swedish armies to 
the joy of all the Svens and Anderses.

... went. A warband I figure operate differently, I mean, a band of 20 men? Just out for an ambush or raid? Would they have any religious leaders, women or retinue with them?

A way to deal with this lack of interesting hobby-options in scenarios where you want to crowbar-in a baggage train is to say that it is either a skeleton crew escorting some loot back or something similar. Or that is plainly an escort for whatever.

I must go, late for something, but I shall end with the king or queen of logistics: The boat. And that comes from someone who has worked most of his professional life with logistics.
    Bye and until later!

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