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Hunter

Supply in CMC

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Sorry for the lack of updates recently. There are still a number of problems before we can release the game, but we are nearly 'feature complete'. Alas, there are also bugs to work out.

One of the recent additions is to make sure there is a complete supply system in place, which will form a central part of any major campaign. Considerations of supply will be central to the tactics considered by each side.

How Supply Works

First of all, each Maneuver Element in the game, whether it be at the platoon, company, battalion or larger size, uses supplies each turn, as it moves, fights, etc.

Supplies come in 3 forms, Basics (representing Food, Water, First Aid and Medical, Mail, etc), Fuel (Petrol, Oil and Lubricants) and Ammo (All types). The supply networks for these 3 types are essentially different and independent, although some depots stock each type.

Basics are used each turn. Fuel is used when moving, and in battles. Ammo is used in battles.

There are locations designated 'Supply Sources' which represent the nexus between this campaign area and the rear area / higher level supply infrastructure. These sources of supply maintain a force of trucks, and have an essentially unlimited amount of actual supplies, although it is limited by the ability to distribute it on the map.

There are also new MEs called Supply Depots. These can move (but won't normally do so, except occasionally). They can stock one of the types of supply, or sometimes all 3. They also come in 3 different sizes, representing Battalion Level Assets, Regimental Level or Divisional level. They also come in both mechanised (trucks) or basic (horse drawn carriages) versions.

Each ME on the map creates a 'demand' for supplies when they are not at 100% supply level in a particular supply type. This demand, along with the distance from appropriate depots (who stock that supply type), and the amount of transport available, will determine how efficiently they are resupplied.

'Distance' in this case is calculated using the transport type of the supply depot (truck or carriage) and specifically uses rail transport where possible. Railways and good roads will be the key to maintaining supply over long distances.

Supply cannot be drawn through enemy positions of course, so looking at supply networks may provide clues as to where supply is being interdicted by enemy forces.

Large MEs will create such a 'demand' for resupply that they are likely to overwhelm the transport capacity of small supply depots. They may be forced to use more distant but better equipped large depots.

Airpower has an effect on depot transport effectiveness, as does the efficiency of the relevant logistics officers. Under high enemy airpower, logistics will function better at night (when airpower is reduced).

All clear as mud?

Hunter

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Interesting. A couple of questions:

1) Does "communications" play a role? Do ME with better communications get supply faster? For instance, radio vs runner. A company out in the bush might be running low on food and ammo. His best means of communication might be a runner... how does he let the supply depot know? Is there a delay in the depot knowing the company is low? Or does the company "always know" just to make it simple?

2) What is the effect of controling roads and choke points? I assume supply can be pinched off if a bridge is taken in the enemy rear. How does the AI determine a choke point?

3) Can a rail line be destroyed? Bridges blown?

4) Does destorying a bridge in a CMBB fight have any effect on the campaign level game?

Thanks for the update.

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A quick question about fuel usage during battles. Does the game track how much fuel was used by each tank (or the unit) during a particular battle, or does it simply dock a set fuel amount for each battle, regardless of how far the tank actually drove in the course of the battle?

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Kool !

I was just wondering , what are the exact effects on your soldiers/tanks if they get cut off from one supply source (for instance fuel or basics).

If they loose fuel will they become immobile ?

etc etc.

More details please.

Thanks for the nice post !

//Salkin

[ September 17, 2006, 02:11 AM: Message edited by: Salkin ]

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Outstanding!

My questions:

1. Clear on the part that the depot effectively has unlimited supply.

But what about a supply situation where the parent formation - corps, division, brigade - is low on something? The aspect that interests me the most is chronically low POL supplies for late-war Germans. Will this be possible to replicate?

2. What about capturing the other side's supply? Gamers love that.

3. Along the same lines, what about looting...ah...requisition by force of civilian property? Gamers love that even more.

3. I am clear on the dangers of overloading a road network.

Will priority be possible - a toggle or some such so unit "a" can receive supply over unit "b"?

Or will it work out that, until unit density maxes out a road network, all units receive proper supply; but as soon as that density is reached no unit depending on the network can receive supply?

4. Will unit "supply overloading" be possible, by which I mean carrying more than the normal supply load with the unit? The classic example is Soviets right before an offensive kicked off, where tanks could be carrying three basic loads of ammo plus a full refuel of diesel and motor oil on the vehicle.

5. Ditto on Bannon's question, can players degrade supply networks by destroying roads, bridges, and rail lines?

6. Which leads me to the obvious follow-on question, will repair and/or construction of same be possible?

7. Will unit "demand" be hard-wired, or can that be manipulated/toggled by designers? I would be inclined to make veteran units less dependant on basic supplies, Soviets especially so.

8. Along the same lines, will unit "demand" be the same from nation to nation. I.e., will five Panthers have the same "demand", all other things being equal, as five T-34s?

9. What about vehicle maintenance and repair? This may not be a supply issue as you guys are designing it, at least, I don't see "spare parts" in the three categories.

However, fixing busted vehicles - especially the tanks - is a real important part of operations, and supply has a direct effect, usually, on how fast and whether busted tanks get fixed. In the game, or not? (If not, the Germans are really going to get screwed viz. the Soviets)

10. How many supply sources per campaign area? Is there a limit?

Those are the questions off the top of my head, anyway... :D

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Originally posted by Hunter:

Supply cannot be drawn through enemy positions of course, so looking at supply networks may provide clues as to where supply is being interdicted by enemy forces.

Hunter

So are you saying that if a supply line is cut, you will not see a “?” mark indicator on the map.

That seems weird as I would think your supply units would most certainly let someone know that the road to said unit was cut by enemy forces, so incidentally no supply is being distributed.

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Originally posted by Bannon DC:

Interesting. A couple of questions:

1) Does "communications" play a role? Do ME with better communications get supply faster? For instance, radio vs runner. A company out in the bush might be running low on food and ammo. His best means of communication might be a runner... how does he let the supply depot know? Is there a delay in the depot knowing the company is low? Or does the company "always know" just to make it simple?

2) What is the effect of controling roads and choke points? I assume supply can be pinched off if a bridge is taken in the enemy rear. How does the AI determine a choke point?

3) Can a rail line be destroyed? Bridges blown?

4) Does destorying a bridge in a CMBB fight have any effect on the campaign level game?

Thanks for the update.

1. Yes and No. Communications don't play a role directly, but the time to travel from the depot to the unit plays a big role in how efficient supply is.

2. Controlling roads and choke points will be critical. Supply can be delayed or cut off if bridges, rail or roads are taken.

3. No, rail lines cannot be blown. They can be 'taken', but if they come under control again, they will be repaired (i.e. usable again). Bridges can't yet be blown at the campaign level.

4. That is the intention.

Hunter

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Originally posted by Kommissar:

A quick question about fuel usage during battles. Does the game track how much fuel was used by each tank (or the unit) during a particular battle, or does it simply dock a set fuel amount for each battle, regardless of how far the tank actually drove in the course of the battle?

No, we don't track the fuel usage of each tank in a battle (we can't actually do it, since CMBB doesn't). We just assume that vehicles use a certain amount of fuel each battle (around 10% from memory), resulting in a further reduction in their fuel available. Mostly fuel will be used when moving.

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Originally posted by Salkin:

Kool !

I was just wondering , what are the exact effects on your soldiers/tanks if they get cut off from one supply source (for instance fuel or basics).

If they loose fuel will they become immobile ?

etc etc.

//Salkin

Troops low on Basic Supplies have their effective readiness for battle reduced. This has many negative effects on their performance, whether auto-combat or CMBB. In CMBB, they may start a battle shocked, suppressed, fatigued, etc.

Run out of fuel and you become immobile. Vehicles may be abandoned.

Low of Ammo means lower combat effectiveness. In CMBB, you will start with proportionately lower number of rounds for each squad / vehicle / gun.

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Originally posted by Bigduke6:

Outstanding!

My questions:

1. Clear on the part that the depot effectively has unlimited supply.

But what about a supply situation where the parent formation - corps, division, brigade - is low on something? The aspect that interests me the most is chronically low POL supplies for late-war Germans. Will this be possible to replicate?

2. What about capturing the other side's supply? Gamers love that.

3. Along the same lines, what about looting...ah...requisition by force of civilian property? Gamers love that even more.

3. I am clear on the dangers of overloading a road network.

Will priority be possible - a toggle or some such so unit "a" can receive supply over unit "b"?

Or will it work out that, until unit density maxes out a road network, all units receive proper supply; but as soon as that density is reached no unit depending on the network can receive supply?

4. Will unit "supply overloading" be possible, by which I mean carrying more than the normal supply load with the unit? The classic example is Soviets right before an offensive kicked off, where tanks could be carrying three basic loads of ammo plus a full refuel of diesel and motor oil on the vehicle.

5. Ditto on Bannon's question, can players degrade supply networks by destroying roads, bridges, and rail lines?

6. Which leads me to the obvious follow-on question, will repair and/or construction of same be possible?

7. Will unit "demand" be hard-wired, or can that be manipulated/toggled by designers? I would be inclined to make veteran units less dependant on basic supplies, Soviets especially so.

8. Along the same lines, will unit "demand" be the same from nation to nation. I.e., will five Panthers have the same "demand", all other things being equal, as five T-34s?

9. What about vehicle maintenance and repair? This may not be a supply issue as you guys are designing it, at least, I don't see "spare parts" in the three categories.

However, fixing busted vehicles - especially the tanks - is a real important part of operations, and supply has a direct effect, usually, on how fast and whether busted tanks get fixed. In the game, or not? (If not, the Germans are really going to get screwed viz. the Soviets)

10. How many supply sources per campaign area? Is there a limit?

Those are the questions off the top of my head, anyway... :D

1. Yes, it will be possible to simulate chronically low shortages of one thing or another, that happened throughout the war to either side. This will simply be small depots with limited transport. Large 'demands' will remain unmet for large periods of time, although there will be some trickle through if they are close to the depot.

2. At the moment you can capture them and they become inoperable. We haven't done 'gaining supply' by capturing the enemys depots, but I would like to in the future.

3. Nope

Second 3. No, road density isnt currently modelled.

4. No.

5. Yes

6. Not at this time

7. Currently hardwired.

8. It depends on their weight, so 5 Panthers will consume more fuel than 5 T-34s. Engine fuel economy is not modelled.

9. Breakdown and Repair is not currently modelled. Maybe in the future. If we did it, I imagine that 'Fuel' i.e. POL would be a good substitute for mechanical parts as well.

10. No

Cheers,

Hunter

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Originally posted by WindyCity:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Hunter:

Supply cannot be drawn through enemy positions of course, so looking at supply networks may provide clues as to where supply is being interdicted by enemy forces.

Hunter

So are you saying that if a supply line is cut, you will not see a “?” mark indicator on the map.

That seems weird as I would think your supply units would most certainly let someone know that the road to said unit was cut by enemy forces, so incidentally no supply is being distributed. </font>

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Bannon DC asked, and Hunter replied in BOLD;

3) Can a rail line be destroyed? Bridges blown?

No, rail lines cannot be blown. They can be 'taken', but if they come under control again, they will be repaired (i.e. usable again). Bridges can't yet be blown at the campaign level.

4) Does destorying a bridge in a CMBB fight have any effect on the campaign level game?

That is the intention.

Then Bigduke6 asks and Hunter replied in BOLD;

5. Ditto on Bannon's question, can players degrade supply networks by destroying roads, bridges, and rail lines?

Yes

6. Which leads me to the obvious follow-on question, will repair and/or construction of same be possible?

Not at this time

So let me restate this and see if I have understood it correctly.

Bridges and rail lines cannot be destroyed or damaged at the operational / campaign level. Air strikes and/or Arty fire missions apparently cannot be used to degrade the road net EXCEPT in a CM tactical battle.

I'm concerned about this. Seems to me that cutting of a unit from supply by interdicting their route by indirect fire should be part of an campaign/operation. No? Might make for some interesting classic cavalry style maneuver, and while fun, perhaps not completely historically accurate.

What sort of arty fire missions are part of the campaign level? Counter mobility, Interdiction, Area denial? Please explain.

Also, I'm not clear about your answers to Bannon and Bigduke regarding repair. If I am reading this right you've answered this question two different ways. Can you clarify?

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Bridges and rail lines cannot be destroyed or damaged at the operational / campaign level. Air strikes and/or Arty fire missions apparently cannot be used to degrade the road net EXCEPT in a CM tactical battle.

I'm concerned about this. Seems to me that cutting of a unit from supply by interdicting their route by indirect fire should be part of an campaign/operation. No? Might make for some interesting classic cavalry style maneuver, and while fun, perhaps not completely historically accurate.

What sort of arty fire missions are part of the campaign level? Counter mobility, Interdiction, Area denial? Please explain.

Also, I'm not clear about your answers to Bannon and Bigduke regarding repair. If I am reading this right you've answered this question two different ways. Can you clarify? [/QB]

Artillery currently is only usable 'on board' in battles.

We don't currently do repair, since we don't currently do 'damage' (as far as rail networks are concerned).

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