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Thread: lines of supply

  1. #1
    Member Member hach's Avatar
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    hi

    just thinking a good think for the next patch would be supply lines.

    for example i have a province that is either totally landlocked by enemy units or on a coastline with no ports.

    now the province is say for example a 200 koku province'but i have 600 guys on it.
    how could these guys be supplied the extra 400 koku needed??

    i think they should wither on the vine and gradually starve down to the 200 guys allowed.the only way to stop this would be to connect the affected province back up to other provinces belonging to the same army or to have a port(also the provinces that would supply affected province would need a port too)

    it would be a pain in the rear if your provinces were scattered all over the place'but a common sense pain in the rear.
    there are many cases of supply problems and protracted sieges in japan including a famous one where ieyasu brought in supplies to a beleagured garrison.

    i am playing an expert campain just now'and the imagawa have all of kyushu far to the west.the only place they have on honshu is totomi and it's jammed pack with a couple of thousand troops!!!
    now this is on a province maybe only capable of a few hundred koku per year.
    but i don't have a problem with this as i'm sure he has a port on totomi and i'm pretty sure he will have at least 1 port on the whole of kyushu'so getting supplies to him will not be a problem.

    however if he had no ports in either place then i would start to smell bs and thats when i think a garrison should start to starve unless he can make a connection to another of his provinces either by land or sea.

    so you could have several pockets of troops for example 7 pockets made up of 7 x 3 provinces all seperated by land borders for example.

    the pockets are koku independant of 1 another and can only supply the troops in their own pocket.

    the next shot one of the pockets captures a province which also joins it on to another of the pockets.this is now a 7 province pocket and all troops in this pocket can be fed by the total koku value of these 7 provinces'but this may be good or bad still depending on how many troops/koku these 7 provinces allow.

    anyway it's just theory and would be a pain in the bum in a massively fractured army'but it's commeon sense!!!!
    how can a 200 province supply 3000 troops sitting on it when there are no other connected friendly provinces to supply rice to the remaining 2800 troops.

    hach
    The greatest thrill in life is not to Kill' but to let live!

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    Member Member Satake's Avatar
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    One word : granary

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    Sideswipe feature king Member shingenmitch2's Avatar
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    HACH -- I understand what you are saying, but supplying ancient armies isn't like keeping a modern mechanized army in the field. Supply lines were far less important. Many armies carried rations with them and then foraged, in terms of local economy, I'm sure graineries or trade between provinces (even those in conflict) can go a long way to explaining how those troops could be sustained.
    Retreat? Hell, we're just attacking in a different direction...

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  4. #4
    Member Member hach's Avatar
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    hi shingenmitch2

    a logical point'but foraging for an extra 2800 koku seems a bit strange in a province only valued at 200??

    hach
    The greatest thrill in life is not to Kill' but to let live!

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    Sideswipe feature king Member shingenmitch2's Avatar
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    I agree it's hardly accurate, but then again there is more than that about the strategic aspect that is innacurate --

    It shouldn't take a month to move across the province. All Cav armies should move quicker.
    You should be able to move inside the provinces themselves (have the provinces broken down into sub-hexes. so that armies can be manuevered into different types of terrain for the main battles... etc.

    But given all that, it is a game, and the Koku system set up works pretty well. :-)
    Retreat? Hell, we're just attacking in a different direction...

    THE DEADLY SHINGEN



  6. #6

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    Imagine if you had to spend koku (well, allocate it) to your armies as supplies. Take a too-large army too far away, get cut off, and eventually you may have to return home or starve. Arguably, supply lines should also matter to the defender in a siege -- it should be easier to smuggle food in if there are neighboring friendly provinces, for instance.

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    Member Member BanzaiZAP's Avatar
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    Personally I like the idea, but it may be harder to implement. For example, what if they had two or three provinces connected in several places, like Takeda or Imagawa at the beginning? If they didn't have the ports, then would the dojo's in one province not be able to build troops, because the main koku-producers are in another part of the land? Would you be able to stock-pile? If I know a province is about to be surrounded, could I "save" koku and not buy new troops, and use that surplus to feed my surrounded men? I'd love to see it happen, but it'll take a lot of fine-tuning. It would be a great addition for TW2!!!

    -- B)

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    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    i dont know how it was in japan at those times, but throughout history many armies would go months without pay. koku isnt the sme thing as rice. armies are also notorious for scavenging, pillaging and plundering whatever they damn well want. i mean, who's gonna stop em?

    that doesnt mean your point isnt somewhat valid, but it shldnt be taken as a given that no koku means the army starves either.

    perhaps a small 'attrition rate would be appropriate to cover things like this.

    K.

  9. #9

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    Well, we can fantasize all we want, but if EA sees a bunch of fantasizing people digressing and whatnot, they're not likely to consider it. But, if we have a coherent discussion about it and Ea sees a good idea, it might be implemented.

    Now, supply lines, as we all know, were only used at certain times in history. Sometimes, such as Napoleon's Italian campaigns during the French Revolution, they were unworkable, because of governmental problems, distance from the homeland, and lack of resources in the homeland. Other times, like in WW2, supply lines were essential, because if you're trying to keep the support of the Free French, you really shouldn't pillage France. Also, America has a general moral aversion to pillaging. So, we should get a verdict on whether they were used in Japan.

    If supplies and supply lines are to be included, do they include just food, or shoes and uniforms, too? Shoes wear out, and so does clothing. Does it include arrows for the archers in unwooded provinces? Does it include broken bows and spears? One can only go so far with this.

    In my opinion, if we are to push for some more realism in STW, we shold include prisoners. Throughout history, armies have surrendered (ie the French, wink wink). Many times, when there was no route to rout along, (pun intended) soldiers surrendered. Other times, people considered death preferable to surrender, such as at the Battle of Friedland in the Campaign of 1807 (I think), part of the Russians were cut off from the escaping rest of their army by burned bridges, and, while some surrendered, some, rather than surrender, unsuccessfully tried to swim across without knowing how to swim, thus drowning themselves. Another example of this is at Masada, when the Jews rebelled against the Romans, the Romans had pretty well defeated the Jews, and were laying siege to the fortress at Masada. When water and food ran out, the Jews committed suicide rather than face Roman capture and the consequential torture. But, despite these cases, people don't just sit there and starve to death when besieged. Usually they surrender.


    [This message has been edited by Alastair (edited 05-12-2001).]
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  10. #10
    Member Member Che's Avatar
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    I'm not sure the Japanese were big on the prisoner concept...
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    Senior Member Senior Member Kurando's Avatar
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    I really like some of your ideas Hach. Not having supply lines as part of STW's overall dynamic definitely ensures that the game will fall short in it's bid to be a realistic warfare simulation.

    Supply, (along with maintenance, and transportation), are the true foundations of operational warfare; so much so that some bright spark, (I think it was Von Clausewitz), immortalized it's principles when he wrote: "...Amateurs speak of strategy; professionals speak of logistics."

    Modern civilization is a vast conspiracy against silence

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    Member Member hach's Avatar
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    thanx for all replies guys

    yes the japanese at that time were not big at being taken or taking prisoners as demonstrated up to 60 years ago.

    (don't like to mention ww2'but seemed appropriate for the thread sorry!!)

    hach
    The greatest thrill in life is not to Kill' but to let live!

  13. #13

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    I think the koku in the game refers to taxed rice.

    When your army is starving, do you go to the peasants and ask pretty please? NO! You burn their houses and steal their stuff! You grab their daughters and....

    ahem

    When things are really shitty, eat the peasants as well. Taste like chickenshit, the cowards.

    [This message has been edited by TheWay (edited 05-12-2001).]

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    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TheWay:
    When your army is starving, do you go to the peasants and ask pretty please? NO! You burn their houses and steal their stuff! You grab their daughters and....
    [This message has been edited by TheWay (edited 05-12-2001).]
    [/QUOTE]

    This of course was exactly the mistake the Mongols kept making during their campaigns. Becuase they saw the peasants as worthless they slaughtered them almost as a sport and then wondered why there was no food to pillage later and the lands they conquered rapidly became worthless deserts.
    Didz
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    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    feudal warfare and their armies just didnt really require supply lines. if a soldier was hungry and there wasnt enough to eat at the mess, he'd simply go out and kill something or 'appropriate' something. he maintained his own equipment, for the most part, and what he couldnt maintain himself then there was often a smithy to make a new sword or repair badly damaged armor. if his horse died he'd find a local farm and again, just take what he needed. in the cases of entire armies, such as Napoleon, he simply take a town or a city and that was his new suuply line.

    'pay' was something else entirely. it was actual money or other valuable, exchangable commodity. it wasnt something you needed to sustain life. soldiers would often receive 'scrip' (or script...i forget), which was nothing more than an iou, which they could cash in later on.

    i really dont see supply lines being that essential to stw. armies in those days were their own supply lines.

    what you dont see in the game are all the non-military folks that traveled with armies to sustain it and i think this is rightfully so. it would simply detract from the game.

    K.

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    Che: Nor were they big on the fleeing concept. But they did it, didn't they?
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    Senior Member Senior Member ElmarkOFear's Avatar
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    WHy do you think the japanese learned to eat raw fish (sushi) and seaweed? No supply lines no good food, so they would anything they could get their hands on!!
    I have seen the future of TW MP and it is XBox Live!

  18. #18

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    Keep in mind that an army that's foraging or looting, risks losing cohesiveness and mobility as the troops fan out over a wide area looking for farms and so forth. In the appendix to _War and Peace_, Tolstoy suggests that Napoleon's army suffered a greater defeat when it rested in Moscow after Borodino, than anywhere on a battlefield, for it reduced unity and discipline. An army that's in a well-fortified camp, with its own supply train, can be considered to be far more ready and much less vulnerable to a surprise attack than one where many of the soldiers are cut loose scrounging around for food. It's a prime opportunity for desertion, as well; and if the army is reduced to foraging, the temptation to desert would certainly be much higher than normal.

    For an older example, there are numerous raids on supply trains and granaries described in _Romance of the Three Kingdoms_, which deals with even older warfare than is covered in _Shogun_. Starvation, or even the threat of starvation, is used as a major weapon, and one that is capable of turning back an army -- especially one that is conducting a siege, and thus cannot expect to keep moving on to areas that they *haven't* yet fully ravaged.


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  19. #19
    Member Member candidgamera's Avatar
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    Hach:
    Agree pretty much with your initial post and rationale.
    -contiguous provinces.
    -supply enabled through ports.

    Maybe on the isolated sets of provinces, the maintenance cost is subtracted first, and whatever's left can be spent other ways. This way, kingdom might have the koku, but not at the place you want to build at. To help this out: let koku be committed to the common pot by province, by category: maintenance, buildings, troops. mostly everything would work the way it does now if provinces are hooked up contiguous, but allows for some "supply" management, planning.

    Anssi(?) posted something ISTR a while back on the order in which koku is spent on things, currently.

    I'd make the maintenance cost assessed, paid per season, so a man's impact on a province per season is 1/4 koku. In a single 200 koku isolated province 200 men would have enough for a year, four seasons, or 800 men would eat everything in one season. After that "damage/pillage" starts to occur to the province and/or the army in question starts taking attrition 1:1 for the amount of shortfall per season (per Kraelin), representing Laertes comment about foraging, finding food breaking up the available-for-duty army strength, desertion.

    By doing maintenance per season, there'd be some planning/budgeting ahead needed instead of just spending all your koku in the winter after the new koku comes in for the year.

    Tempered by some of the other comments about pillaging (like the one about the Mongols), maybe allow armies to "overburden" a province and next seasons supply value is diminished per example above, but also there's some penalty to the next harvest also.

    Would go to individually calculated province harvests too, per province maybe, or at least regional (to be defined: such as Kyushu, Shikoku, ect.)

    Not necessarily in order other comments:

    *Only port and farming koku would count for "feeding purposes". Mine koku count only if the isolated province set has a port to trade the koku for food - can't eat ore unless your a Horta or Brian's mom Mrs. Cohen .

    *On Satake's granaries: another building?: three possible sizes, allow player to spend koku to store food.

    *From the manual:
    "Koku is the standard unit of CURRENCY in 16th Century Japan. A single unit is the amount needed to feed one man for an entire year."

    *Would think that should make cav have maintenance cost of 2/cavalry man: man + horse.

    *More learned people, correct me if I'm wrong, but simply because there is/was not a lot of good arable land, get the impression that troops wouldn't just pillage at will.
    The lands conquered wouldn't have much value if they were stripped barren. Japan a finite space, with finite resources, and our protagonists were trying to gain control not destroy it. Warfare, not as much like 30 years war seems like.

    shingenmitch: Wonder if our 1 province per season movement limit, reflection of no wheeled vehicles allowed, everybody walks, unless riding a horse. Even cav units had folks on foot as attendants.

    Think that its valid to consider supply impact meaningful to the game, in terms of food:
    *How much they need to eat.
    *How much that impacts on the ground they go through.
    *What happens when they don't get enough food.
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  20. #20

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    I would think a horse would be worth 2 or 3 men, making the cost per soldier of cavalry 3 or 4 koku a year. Also, in a siege, many times troops would eat their horses for meat.

    In a single 200 koku isolated province, 200 troops have enough to eat indefinitely, because each year, 1 koku is produced for each man.

    About the harvest quality: Japan is pretty damn small. Too small for there to be completely different weather systems for each of the islands. They might differ a little, but overall, they'd be much alike.

    What happens when people run out of food is not that they die on the spot, but their health goes down, and the populace starts to turn against them. In the siege of Genoa, in the Marengo campaign (I think) sometime around 1800-1804, the troops ate horsemeat until relieved, and the populace ate grass and rats. Obviously not a very healthy diet, but not an immediately lethal one, either.

    About one province a season in terms of time: It should matter how big the province is, and which direction you're traversing it. Obviously, if you're going across Iyo to Tosa from Bungo, it'll take a lot less time than it will to go through Iyo from Bungo to Sanuki, or worse, Awa.

    You should be able to choose which to spend koku on first, whether to be Machiavellian and build buildings before feeding your troops, or be like Davout and feed your troops above all.

    My 10c


    [This message has been edited by Alastair (edited 05-14-2001).]
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    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    hmmm....you guys seem to be making one LARGE assumption here, that the 'isolated' provinces are under siege themselves and that no koku can get in or out or supply trains for that matter. are the provinces surrounded by treatied friendlies or complete hostiles? and even if surrounded by complete hostiles that no koku to pay the troops could be smuggled in, or that an hostile would even try and stop you?

    now, if you wish to set up rules for that, then i'll listen. completely surrounded province(s) by one hostile, surrounded by more than one hostile, mix of hostiles, friendlies neutrals, existing ports in isolated province, at war or just 'not a friend'...if yer gonna consider changing the spending of koku, then i'd suggest you start here before you go elsewhere.

    in the meantime...leave my koku alone ;)

    K.

  22. #22
    Member Member Anssi Hakkinen's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Alastair-san (sorry to pick on you, but I found the most to comment on in your post, so it's a compliment really , anyone is welcome to reply of course):
    Quote I would think a horse would be worth 2 or 3 men, making the cost per soldier of cavalry 3 or 4 koku a year. Also, in a siege, many times troops would eat their horses for meat.[/QUOTE]A horse is considered 1 man in the STW siege rules, but in terms of economic maintenance (koku-wise), they cost the same as foot troops; presumably horse fodder is, in normal conditions, cheap enough to obtain to be irrelevant. However, samurai troops must be paid twice the maintenance of ashigaru troops. While it must be recognized that some of this goes to maintaining their equipement, assigning fiefs to particularly succesful servants and so on, I think it's plausible to assume that the horse fodder is included in this difference.

    Quote In a single 200 koku isolated province, 200 troops have enough to eat indefinitely, because each year, 1 koku is produced for each man.[/QUOTE]If only food is considered an issue, the level of support that can be provided is likely to be considerably greater. Remember, the provincial koku yield is the amount that can be obtained in taxes by the daimyō; taking the costs of the local administration (ie. corrupt landholders ) into account, an army can, using emergency powers, probably claim close to double the normal koku amount without causing an outright famine among the peasants. However, this would possibly require a more organized exercise in adminstration than the Sengoku-era Japan was capable of.

    Quote About the harvest quality: Japan is pretty damn small. Too small for there to be completely different weather systems for each of the islands. They might differ a little, but overall, they'd be much alike.[/QUOTE]Beep! The Northernmost tip of Honshū is about the same latitude as New York, while the South of Kyūshū is situated at the level of Dallas, TX. The smallness Japan is mostly a myth, cultivated by the Japanese themselves. Furthermore, the mountain ranges in central Honshū give the Northwestern shores facing the Japan Sea a considerably different climate from the warmer Southeastern coast and plains.

    Perhaps it's not logical to expect to have a disastrous harvest in Dewa and a bumper in Satsuma, but the amount of variation is quite sufficient to warrant at least some differences in agricultural output, island-wise.

    And BTW, the manual quote about koku being "currency" isn't slightly accurate; while it was commonly used by higher-ranking individuals to measure the worth of items, land etc., koku literally is rice, like TheWay-san said. Minted currency (called kanei tsuho) was quite an uncommon concept in the STW age, and only Hideyoshi and his followers started to make any real effort to make it more common.

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  23. #23

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    On the contrary: I feel honored. I mean, look at it this way: After less than a month of posting, I get picked on by Anssi Hakkinen! And not negatively!

    Quote
    ...without causing an outright famine among the peasants.
    [/QUOTE]

    Speaking of famine, peasants should have a level of health, and should be capable of starving too! (We have rights too! ) There should be a limited amount of peasants in a province, so that manpower can be used up. This may not be a good analogy, but in the Thirty Years War, one third of Germany's men had been used up, and the church made polygamy legal for ten years.
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    Member Member celtiberoijontychi's Avatar
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    When we say a province is woth 200 koku, it does it mean the whole farming production is 200 koku?? Thionk about this, it can't be possible, since that would mean this province has 200 inhabitants, 1 koku being a 1 year ration for a person.
    When we say a province ives 200 koku, we mean a fief of 200k annual rent.


    On supply lines, surrendering when starving etc. ...

    The add on will give the chance to bribe armies. Well suppose u are besieging a castle with a rank 4 general in. He sure will be much cheaper to bribe than a "normal" army.

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    Member Member Jackson's Avatar
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    This is a great thread, with some very sound arguements on both sides. I first thought of supply lines in one of my earliest campaigns. I had the Hojo horde surrounded in an inland province and I thought "Dammit, he should be starving to death!" Therefore, I tend to agree with implementing some kind of supply rules for cut-off armies. If the army in question is more than 10X the province's koku rating, the army should be attrited similar to a castle seige until the army is below the limit. Actually, I would really like to see the attrition much more drastic than that, but the opposing arguements are just too good.

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    Member Member candidgamera's Avatar
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    Alastair:
    Penalties for running out of food: sure, guess its how severe, where to say effects are meaningful in terms of attrition for the game.

    Koku spent on what first: Maybe let the choice be made, but a morale or desertion penalty if the troops don't get fed, make the decision have a game response to it: more attrition from desertion, per above.

    Your last post goes to rating the provinces for manpower: its not infinite, and put too many soldiers under arms and then there's not enough left on the farm. Maybe scale populations off relative size of our STW armies and Japans real estimated population at the time. Levy your troops from personnel points from certain provinces - regiments now have geographic lineage, and also the loyalty factor could be worked in here - you wouldn't levy troops from a place that had just been subdued.

    Sidebar on Thirty Years War: read somewhere that the real casualty numbers on the poplace in Germany problematic to account for because refugees would move around a lot, and be counted as dead casualties: square with your reading also?

    Kraelin:
    Would agree: isolation and out of supply should take into account alliances, or maybe "arrangements" through payment, ect, in a beefed up diplomacy model.
    Make it somewhat important to gain maintain certain alliances.

    Anssi:
    On supply effects, seems like even if koku ratings are only what can be collected in taxes, going the emergency powers route would have some effect. Can we think of the koku rating as food left over from feeding the people in province to some degree?
    Guess also we are so used to thinking in money economies that we forget about your latter point.

    What about effects that vary the harvest other than weather, not grossly, but some - personnel problems, bad management, pests, ect?

    celtiberoijontychi:
    Agreed per above: the koku would seem to be the surplus.
    The comment on prisoners above, yours: would seem reasonable that when in a compromised position: isolated, besieged ought to have some possiblity of armies switching sides, and not just through bribery.


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    Quote square with your reading also?
    [/QUOTE]

    What?
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    Member Member candidgamera's Avatar
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    Sorry: Does what I read agree with any of your reading on 30 Years War: that accurate numbers are obscured by refugees wandering off, but being counted as dead?

    What do you think of the personnel points rating for provinces?
    “You know the sound of thunder Mrs. Garret."
    "Ofcourse"
    "Can you imagine that sound if I asked you to?"
    "Yes I can Mr. Hickok."
    "Your husband and me had this talk, and I told him to head home to avoid a dark result. But I didn't say it in thunder. Ma'am, listen to the thunder.”

  29. #29

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    Oh. I actually haven't read much about the thirty years war, it's just it was point of discussion of another topic. It does make sense though, about refugees counting in with population losses. I pick up factoids everywhere. And I get the thing about the scaling the population, and about unit geographic loyalty, but I don't get it about the personnel points. Do you mean that within a province, there would be multiple areas from which to levy troops?
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  30. #30
    Member Member candidgamera's Avatar
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    A.

    Mean that provinces would have so many men of "draft age" as it were, based on scaling the population as discussed, to levy from, to go into making units. To complete the thought: To build units you'd need the people per above as well as the koku you need now to build units-koku and people forming a common pot to draw from as long provinces are hooked up per above.

    At some point levying enough troops of "draft age" should cut into koku production, have other effects - the farmers are in uniform, not on the farm, at some point this becomes a burden. It could become very province specific - there are no more young men left in Hizen-they are all under arms.

    To carry this further you could train guys, calling them up, paying the koku to train them + 1/4 years maintenance for a season with an appropriate effect on farming, depending on which season they get called up, and then send them back to the farm. In a crisis they could be taken as immediate reinforcements, already paid for, but with corresponding appropriate economic affects.
    Would also say that they'd have to be called up for a season periodically to maintain their existence as troops - just paying the 1/4 year maintenance cost + nominal training fee to do this. Voila - rudimentary system for militia. Players can make a choice between a standing verses a called up army.

    Of course all this discussion can be taken to other periods, further TW's, where it may be more applicable.
    “You know the sound of thunder Mrs. Garret."
    "Ofcourse"
    "Can you imagine that sound if I asked you to?"
    "Yes I can Mr. Hickok."
    "Your husband and me had this talk, and I told him to head home to avoid a dark result. But I didn't say it in thunder. Ma'am, listen to the thunder.”

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