Thursday, December 16, 2010

[GURPS Mass Combat] "Real Soldiers Dig"

In one of the lectures I heard the term "Real Soldiers Dig".

The roman legionaires were said to build fort-camps every day of march. This made sense when you realize that they budgeted their average marching time to 4-5hours, instead of the travel time in GURPS mass combat at 8hours. If you check out Small Wars Manual, Combat Leader's Field Guide, Vegetius, and the Strategikon you see this time budget, 4-5 hours, more frequently. Special Emphasis is made in Small wars Manual because of Animal Handling, in the care of the expensive assets of pack animals.

Professional soldiers would march 4-5hours then set up fortified camp. In the strategikon it was a combination of camp fortification, foraging and reconnaissance. Those who stayed in camp would dig, cut down small trees, and fashion the camp that would become the basis of many medieval town squares, some surviving to the modern eras.

Its not just the manuals that talked about digging and the importance of keeping men busy, focused, learning and honing useful skills like earth-working, carpentry and rope use, but it can be seen in the soldiers standard equipment. 2 picks, 2 shovels, and some basic carpentry tools (hammers and saws) per squad or contebernium Its rational to consider that for the next 5 hours to watch hours these soldiers are not continuously digging. Trouble can be expected at any time, its always emphasized to minimize exhaustion (Small Wars Manual and Combat Leaders Field Guide) and rotate heavy loads, this is the same with exhausting work like digging and carpentry.

Experts vs Expertise. In GURPS mass combat miners, the engineer combat element, has a TS0.5 at TL2, TS1 at TL3, TS2 at TL4. There isn't a special feature that allows for a limited engineering capabilities given to an combat element. Instead the role of engineer is a specialized unit, not capable of a being an effective combat unit.

I don't like the idea of making a homebrew plug in because it will be less useful. So as a compromise I recommend just adding an 1/10th an Engineering Element per squad. This translates as 10-20% of the force being engineers and In any and every squad will have one skilled engineer.

In the smaller mass combat scale, these rules can be reverse engineered to 1/10th Miner Element which adds $3k to raise, $600 to maintain, TS0.5 (double per every TL above 2), and Engineering-TS0.5 (double every TL above 2).

In the final Tally of Units, its simplified by calculating them separately "on paper" but working with the assumption that every 10 soldiers has one engineer. So when taking loses every element loss, that includes a lost engineer.

Home Brew Plug In.
Added Class Abilities: Under Troop Quality, allow for the adding of Class Abilities instead of TS increase for Good and Elite. These class abilities do not use the Unit's Base TS for Ratio Comparisons, instead it has a value of 1. Each quality level is an Opportunity to gain a Class Ability.

These abilities are:
Engineer-TS0.5 (double for every TL above 2)

Equipment Quality also affects both these Independent Class TS abilities.

  • Good Bowmen; TS2; Class: F,Rec-TS1; Raise: $80k; Maintain: $9.6k
  • Good Light Infantry TS2; Class: F-TS1,Rec; Raise: $80k; Maintain: $9.6k
  • "Legionnaire" Good Heavy Infantry TS5; Class: Eng-1; Raise: $80k; Maintain: $9.6k
  • "Defensores" Elite Pikemen TS4; Class: F-1, Eng-1, (Cv); Raise: $120k; Maintain: $11.2k
  • "Lancers" Good Heavy Cavalry TS5; Class: (Cv)-TS1, Cv; Raise: $400k; Maintain: $48k (inspired by the Civ V unit and Sarmatian Lancers)
  • "Dwarven Crossbowmen" Finely Eqpt. Good Bowmen TS4; Class: Eng-TS2, F; Raise: $120k; Maintain: $17.6k
Lesser Roles. Training and Discipline can be applied with versatility. Units can perform roles similar to a more inferior quality at the GM's discression. Typically this is indicated by Tradition. If a unit is performing a role it has as an Added Class Class Ability, it performs at an Equipment Quality 1 step worse. Use the Base TS of the Element they are emulating.

Ex. the "Defensores"(above example) can made to perform the role of Poor Archers. Their new stats will be TS1.5; Class: F, Eng-TS1.

Ex#2 Lancers can be used as Pikemen TS3; Class: (CV). (note that logical limitations should be imposed; this is a Homebrew rule so there may be some problems)

Ex#3 Heavy Cavalry can be used as Heavy Infantry at TS3.75.

Ex#3 Medium Cavalry can be used as Bowmen at TS1.5; Class: F

Reason to Voluntarily Bring Down Capabilities:
False Intelligence,
  • Reading up on Cartography Guild posts
  • Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia has a great map
  • Formalizing my research on average City GDPs (allowing for City Wealth levels and Cost of Living)
  • Organizing the First Crusader Lords by their chain of command, peerage, subordinates and forces

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