Saturday, March 30, 2019

Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Cavalry in Twilight: 2000

Silesian Lancer with Rifle & Lance 
(from The Black Madonna)
One of the thematic elements of the Twilight World is the scarcity of gasoline, combined with the difficulty of distilling alcohol-based fuels which has led to a shift of forces from conventional mechanized cavalry to traditional horse cavalry.

This is particularly common in the various Poland-based modules, where there is a strong tradition of local cavalry units or lancers and many of the Soviet tank based forces have been converted to cavalry, drawing on their Cossack roots in some cases.

While researching the other "mini-game" articles (Fuel, Maintenance, Foraging & Harvesting, Fatigue etc), I realised that using animals in Twilight: 2000 requires an odd collection of mini-games in itself - almost all the rules for animals are different to human characters and they only partly relate to the rules for vehicles. This includes travel, food, maintenance & upkeep, and to an extent even combat.

This post will act as an index for relevant canonical rules across the core book and any additional rules from the various supplements as well as relevant commentary.

Although the v2.2 rules cover horses, mules, oxen, camels and even elephants oddly - however for the purposes of this post I'll be using only horses, mules and occasionally oxen (for carts and wagons) in the worked examples as they're the ones most relevant to a starting Polish campaign.

Horses in Twilight: 2000


So let's start with the basic statistics of horses (and mules) as per their "Vehicle Card":


Compare this with the "Typical Adult Human" Vehicle Card summary I developed:



Why Ride when you can Walk (or Drive)?


Honestly, initially, I wasn't really sure apart from the coolness / thematic factor.

In most games, riding a horse or being mounted provides a significant advantage in one or more areas common to adventuring or other benefits to a character including:

  1. Increased carrying capacity (Load)
  2. Overland travel (Travel Move and forced march)
  3. Mounted combat (Combat Move and fighting mounted) 

Of the three above, there are some gains for the first, but really only a small benefit for tactical movement (twice a human on foot) and no major benefit for mounted combat (in fact there are only penalties to fire while mounted and/or moving with no charge benefit). Regardless, compared to most RPGs, a horse seems less appealing, but I think there is a reason for cavalry which becomes apparent.

Horsemanship & Careers

Note: although the v2.2 skill is referred to as "Horsemanship", in many places the text refers to the old "Riding" skill from the earlier edition - the two are interchangeable and this likely reflects poor editing.

Only a limited number of characters will have access to Horsemanship (aka Riding in v1.0):
  • as an initial Background Skill
  • as a Secondary Activity
  • as part of National Military Academy Education career (officer training)
  • as part of the Entertainer, Idle Rich, or Farmer Civilian career
There is no Military career that provides access to the Horsemanship skill.

The Horsemanship (Riding) skill is used for the following in Tk2 v2.2:

  • Saddle-break unbroken horse (FORM, failure results in injury to the rider)
  • Assess the condition of a horse before purchase (DIFF)
  • Conceal condition of a horse before the sale (FORM)
  • Mount or dismount an animal (AUTO regardless of skill)
  • Riding a walking animal (AUTO regardless of skill or if untrained)
  • Riding a trotting animal (AUTO; Agility: EASY if untrained)
  • Maximum safe speed: 20 + Horsemanship (Riding)
  • Riding at full gallop (DIFF per turn; use Agility if untrained & mishap on Catastrophic Failure)
  • Firing from the saddle ("marksmanship" or Horsemanship Asset, whichever is *worse*)
  • Animal maintenance (EASY, 20 minutes once per day)
  • Recover a lame animal within a week (DIFF)

The Cavalryman Career (optional)


As noted, there's no official "Cavalry" Military Career - the return of cavalry being relatively recent in the Twilight World. I'd suggest adding the option to the basic Infantry and Support careers as allowable for the last pre-war term and the "War Term" only, but if a specific "horse cavalry" career were to exist it might look something like this:

Cavalryman (Enlisted) 
Entry: CON 6+, Horsemanship 2+; last pre-war Term and "War Term" only.
1st Term Skills: Horsemanship 2, Observation 1, Small Arms 2.
Subsequent Term Skills: Armed Martial Arts, Autogun, Forward Observer, Grenade Launcher, Ground Vehicle: Wheeled, Horsemanship, Observation, Small Arms, Survival, Tac Missile (US only), Unarmed Martial Arts.
Promotion: 6+, DM +1 if INT 7+.
Contacts: One per term, military. Roll 1d10 for 8+ for the contact to be foreign.
Special: begins play with a broken horse and horse tack (saddle, bridle, straps, etc.)

Cavalry Officers would be similar except entry needs plus OCS, military academy, or commission. For 1st Term Skills add Leadership 1 and drop to Small Arms 1;  for Subsequent Term Skills add Instruction, Leadership, Persuasion and Navigation. Otherwise the same as for most other "Infantry" Officers: Promotion: 6+, OM +1 if INT 7+, and/or if a graduate of Military Academy; Contacts: Two per term, military. Roll 1d10 for 7+ for the contact to be foreign; Special: as above, begin play with a broken in horse and horse tack (saddle, bridle, straps, etc.)

Polish cavalrymen are sometimes referred to as Hussars (Lancers) and add Armed Martial Arts 1 (lance). Soviet cavalrymen are loosely termed Cossacks (even if not ethnically Cossack) and increase their Horsemanship to 3. German cavalrymen are referred to as Uhlans (also confusingly used in Poland apparently), but have the same skills as above except the US-only Tac Missile skill.

Maintenance, or the relative lack thereof... 


Now, this is when the overland travel benefit of animals comes into play.

Unlike vehicles, animals don't need any fuel, nor do they require specific "maintenance" from a character with the Mechanic skill - except for the minor upkeep required for carts or wagons (Mnt: 1 only, readily achievable without major issue). Furthermore, unlike humans, animals do not suffer from fatigue nor need to sleep to recover from hard work such as hauling cargo overland. Unless broken, an animal that suffers an injury or goes lame can still travel with the group as long as it is not carrying a load and is fed.

What animals *do* need is food - in the form of grazing (2 periods per day) and additionally for horses and mules, grain. This allows them to move cross country every day as long as they have sufficient grazing time and grain (if applicable eg horses, mules).  Oxen are notable in that they don't need grain, which makes them much less expensive to maintain in terms of upkeep as there is no need for cargo space to be sacrificed for their food - the average horse needs 84kg of food for a week, a mule needs 70kg for a week, whereas an ox need only graze making them a preferable draft animal. 

In reality overland travel is limited by the Fatigue of the human overseers to 2 periods per day, similar to travelling on foot, as even riding in a cart or wagon still counts as "hard work" and contributes to a human character's need for sleep to prevent Fatigue penalties. The benefit of using animals as opposed to travelling on foot is the resulting extra carrying capacity.

Given the scarcity of fuel and/or usual need to stop and distill fuel for a few days to a few weeks or so unless reserves are carried, the benefit of animal transport is that cargo (such as food supplies, heavier equipment and weaponry, or even towed artillery) can move steadily but slowly over the map rather than in an interrupted fashion. It's the reliability that makes the difference - this becomes more clear when the manageable risk of "going lame" is factored in (see below).

This may help explain the frequent conversion of units to cavalry when fuel is in scarce supply.



Going Lame (Feeding & Maintenance)


This is the key "mini-game" mechanic used for animals used as mounts or beasts of burden such as horses, mules, oxen and, in non-Polish campaigns, camels and elephants potentially. Instead of Fatigue, animals use a mechanic similar to the potential breakdowns for vehicles that incorporates not only "maintenance" but also starvation, overburdening, increased periods traveled and the effects of force-marching.

This is referred to here in the post collectively as Going Lame, but is somewhat confusingly referred to as "Maintenance" in the core rules. It is in effect "animal breakdown" if that makes sense.

In effect this is a "unified" single mechanic for animals, but unfortunately has to be used in conjunction with the rules for characters travelling (Food & Foraging and Fatigue) so it doesn't really streamline in play and becomes a separate aspect to track for groups with a mixture of vehicles, animals and humans on foot.

For ease of use, the insert reproduces the relevant rules:

MAINTENANCE—ANIMALS (T2k v2.2, p153)
Animals, like vehicles, require "maintenance" if they are to perform properly. 
Feeding: All draft animals need to graze for two four-hour periods per day. Horses and mules also require grain if they do any work that day (including being ridden). The amount of grain required is given on the Food Consumption Table on page 273. If they do no work, they need not be fed grain, but must spend all day grazing to make up for it.  
Each day in which an animal does not receive enough to eat, it receives a hunger level increase of one. If it is also forced to work, it receives a hunger level increase of two. All animals start at a hunger level of 0. If an animal's hunger level reaches 20, it dies. The animal's hunger level also increases its chance of going lame (see below). For every day in which the animal gets all the food it needs and is not required to do any work, it receives a hunger level decrease of one.
Care: Animal "maintenance" is a task (Average: Riding) and takes 20 minutes per animal after its work is completed each day. Failure to conduct animal maintenance (or a failed roll) causes the animal to suffer a hunger level increase of one, but this addition does not occur more than once per week. (The animal is not really hungry, but the effects and remedies of inadequate care are the same as for hunger. For simplicity, they are treated the same.)
Going Lame: Each day in which an animal travels, it may go lame. A 1D10 roll of 1 indicates a potential injury. For each potentially injured animal, roll another D10 for 1 or less. Subtract one from the die roll for the following: each hunger level, each forced march, each period burdened, and each period traveled that day in addition to the normal allowed number. If the PC rolls less than -3 on the second die roll, the horse has either broken a leg or collapsed from exhaustion and, in either case, must be put out of its misery. Any other result on the second die roll indicates that the animal has gone lame, but can recover if treated properly. An animal carrying no load at all has no chance of going lame.

So looking at this in practical terms, for any animal carrying a load:

  • 1 in 10 chance per day of travel of potential injury (regardless of periods traveled)
  • Roll second d10 to determine effect and modify as follows:
    • -1 for each Hunger Level
    • -1 for each Forced March
    • -1 for each period Overburdened
    • -1 for each Extra Period traveled
  • The result of Going Lame is then as follows:
    • Score of 2 to 10: animal is uninjured
    • Score of 1,0, -1 or -2: animal has become lame
    • Score -3 or less: animal is broken 

Any animal with a Hunger Level of 4 or more has a risk of being broken and any animal with a Hunger Level of 13 or more is automatically broken if they have a potential injury. For an animal carrying a load and travelling this is equivalent to 2 days without food or 6 days without food, assuming appropriate care is otherwise possible (although this would only increase the Hunger Level by 1 over the week which is effectively 2 days and 5 days still). 

Keeping an animal at a Hunger Level of <4 seems to make a lot of sense given the disastrous consequences - basic care and upkeep at the negligible amount of 20 minutes per day is essential and should be considered automatic unless the group has such a large number of animals that the time factor becomes relevant eg 12 or more horses (4 hours or one period of work caring for the animals) or lacks a character with the Horsemanship skill.

An animal can be either burdened or force-marched but not both; a burdened or force-marched animal can be made to travel extra periods however, but this is limited by the Fatigue on the humans in the group to a maximum of four periods per day in practice with penalty (see the discussion in Overland Travel below).


The Limit of Carrying Enough Feed

Unfortunately, using the base Load figures above, a horse can only carry 10 days of food (120kg, 12kg per day) for itself and a mule only 8 days of food for itself (80kg, 8kg per day) - the number of days is doubled if overburdened. This uses up their available capacity to carry other equipment and/or food for the group.  Groups using horses or mules therefore probably need at least one cart or wagon to carry food for the animals (and humans) - a single cart can carry 41 days food for a horse and 69 days food for a mule in addition to any food the animal can carry itself without being overburdened. 

Oxen, while much slower at a Travel Move of 5/5, have the compensation that they only need to graze rather than eat reduces accumulation of Hunger Level, their risk of going lame is much less (only affected by extra periods of travel or travelling while overburdened) and their carrying capacity is therefore preserved. An ox cart has the potential advantage of large carrying capacity for food for any other animals but slows the whole group to the oxen's rate of travel - equivalent to half a 20km hex per day unless an extra period is travelled.



Going Lame seems to be critically dependent on an animal's food supply more than any other factor if a group takes appropriate precautions and is sensible about their expectations in terms of forced marches and burdening. Although the risk of potential injury is low (1 in 10) it is constant and unlike vehicle breakdowns can only be prevented by not loading up the animal at all - an animal in poor condition has the same risk of a potential injury but if this occurs a much higher chance of going lame or broken. I'd note that this is pretty much the opposite of the vehicles rules.

If an animal does go lame it can still travel with the group (unlike a vehicle) but consumes food and can't carry any load or be force-marched, limiting the group significantly. It's not a permanent condition, but can greatly affect a group's travel efficiency unless the animal is abandoned:

Recovery: An animal can recover from going lame. In order to recover, it must not carry any load and may not be force-marched (although it can move at the normal travel speed). It must receive its full care and be well fed. If so, it will recover in two weeks automatically. There is a chance it will recover in one week if the character caring for the animal does his job well (Difficult: Riding). If any of the above requirements for recovery are not met, the animal is permanently lame and is of no further use (except for food or sale to the gullible). 

Improved Carrying Capacity (Load)




So let's now look at Load then in further detail, referring to the relevant Vehicle Cards above.

The average Load of a human character (assuming 30 point build) is only 36kg, max 60kg. 

The Load of a horse is 120kg base, so even if unridden, 4x the Load of the average human isn't bad and if overburdened this becomes 240kg, but compares perhaps less favourably with a motorcycle (300kg), UAZ or civilian car (500kg), 3/4 ton truck (750kg) or a HumVee (1250kg) although all of these options need fuel, whether by accessing reserves or distilling as the group travels.

This is enough to carry most heavy weapons, including some mortars, although a weapon cannot be fired from horseback as there is no real equivalent to a pintle mount or a tripod.

For other animals, an ox has a base Load of 70kg, whereas a mule 80kg. 
Note: the average weight of a human character is 76kg (max 116kg), so depending on whether you read that a horse's Load of 120kg must include its rider (not particularly clearly specified anywhere), this leaves minimal extra useful Load for a ridden horse without overburdening to 240kg - a decision which comes at the cost of the risk of going *lame* (see section below). I'd suggest this load is in addition to a *single* rider, whereas a second rider is counted against the animal's Load.  
A cart (500kg, 1 animal) or a wagon (1000kg, 2 or 4 animals) can be utilised by either horses, mules or oxen without seeming to affect the Load of each animal - oxen *double* the load of a cart or wagon but halve the speed and have a notably lower Load than a horse so pulling a cart or wagon doesn't seem to be dependent on an animal's Load which is somewhat confusing. By the RAW, an ox cart (or wagon) should travel at 10/5 but an unhitched ox travels at 5/5 - it seems impossible that an ox would actually move faster when hauling a cart or wagon so this should probably be reset to 5/5 above).

"The mule is listed with an 80kg load, but per the World War I era Handbook for Quartermasters, a mule's typical load was 250 pounds, or ~113 kilos. Thee J-118 Escort Wagon was a 2-mule wagon that had a typical load of 3000 pounds (1360kg), and on flat-and-level road could carry 5000 pounds (2260kg). For horses, the US Cavalry Manual of Horse Management recommended loads be limited to 20% of a horse's weight, so that 350kg horse would have a load of 70kg (or, conversely, the 120kg load would belong to a 600kg horse). Some sources suggest that can co up to 30% of body weight, but that puts more stress on the horse according to veterinary studies." 
- Vespers War (Juhulin Forums, March 2019)

Compare to a UAZ (500kg), 3/4 ton truck (750kg) or a HumVee (1.25 tons).

Animal and Starting Vehicle Loads

So for single animals, the amount able to be transported is low, then carts and wagons enter into play, although it's really only oxen harnessed to carts or wagons that have the haulage power to compete with light vehicles - an ox cart can haul just over 1000kg, an ox wagon just over 2 tons.
As per "Going Home" page 37, animal drawn rail "cars" carry twice the load of their conventional versions, so a standard cart has a capacity of 1 ton and a wagon 2 tons. This is doubled to 2 tons and 4 tons respectively for oxen drawn rail "car" versions.

Overland Travel by Animal


Interestingly, the Travel Move for a human and a horse (or mule) is actually the same.

That is just 20/20 or one 20km hex per 4-hour period travelled.

TRAVEL p147
Animals: Horses, elephants, and oxen should not be made to travel more than two periods per day; mules and camels should not be made to travel more than three periods per day. They can travel more than that, but they suffer an increased chance of going lame (see below). Horses and mules may be force-marched. If force marched, a horse's travel distance is multiplied by 2, and a mule's by 1 1/2However, this also increases the animal's chance of going lame. Elephants and camels may not be force-marched (they refuse to move when too tired).
Any animal except camels and elephants may be burdened (carrying up to twice its load). Unlike a human, the animal's travel distance is not reduced, but burdening increases the animal's chance of going lame. A burdened animal may not be force-marched. Camels and elephants refuse to move when overloaded. Animals pulling wagons or carts may not be force-marched or burdened, but may be forced to travel more than their usual number of periods. Camels and elephants are not usually used to pull carts or wagons, and no harness has been developed for them to do so. 

The main difference is that animals *don't* become Fatigued - this will be the subject of a whole separate post ultimately, but consider the following:

Humans need at least 2 periods of sleep if they perform more than 3 periods of hard work (includes marching or riding) per day, so if a human rides, marches or performs other heavy work for more than 4 periods they suffer at least 6 Fatigue Levels (the extra period of heavy work adds 2 fatigue levels, one for the work itself and one for the resulting lack of sleep). As most humans have average Attributes of 5 (although some individual scores may be lower) and each Fatigue Level reduces *all* Attributes by 1, it is possible to cope with 4 Fatigue Levels in some cases but apparent that dropping to 0 or below and becoming unconscious is inevitable at greater levels of fatigue and therefore becomes the rate-limiting step for overland travel regardless of how the group travels.

For practical purposes a human can realistically travel for only 2 periods consistently as they need to sleep for at least two periods and can perform only one period of hard work compensated for by another period of sleep before Fatigue starts to set in. If a human travels for 3 periods, they still need 2 periods of sleep which leaves only one period of 4 hours for animal maintenance (20 minutes easy work),  setting up camp and miscellaneous tasks or else they begin the next day with a Fatigue Level and resultant Attribute penalty.

So even if the animal is barely affected eg a mule, travelling for 3 periods is the practical maximum for an animal to travel when in a mixed group with humans and/or vehicles. Force marching doubles the distance travelled for horses to 40/40 or 30/30 for mules but at the increased chance of going lame so even if well fed 1-2 days of travelling by forced march is the maximum without significant risk. Oxen can't force march and are better suited to support trains where reliability and load trump the need for overland speed.

Note: a human also needs food - 2kg of "civilised food" / grain per day or 3kg "wild" food in addition to the food required for their mount, as per my previous post. Whether a human's individual Load and/or actual weight counts against the animal's Load is somewhat unclear. For other vehicles the weight of a passenger (and their individual Load) is irrelevant for Crew and Load but the RAW have many examples of using different rules for vehicles compared to animals.

Mounted Combat: Hussars, Cossacks, Uhlans or Dragoons?


So this doesn't really seem to be a thing, mechanically at least, in Twilight: 2000. Unlike many other RPGs with a fantasy or medieval setting, the use of horses or similar mounts in combat isn't given a lot of space, while combat mounted on a vehicle is reasonably detailed.

Sure, horses are faster than humans tactically - a mounted soldier travels at a Combat Move of 30 when trotting which is an automatically successful Horsemanship check and equivalent in speed to a human running. Unfortunately, however, firing from the saddle uses not only the *lower* of the two assets (STR: Small Arms vs AGL: Horsemanship) but also is factored according to the mount's movement rate so a soldier cannot aim while their mount is trotting and cannot fire at all if their mount is running (galloping). Furthermore, travelling at more than "safe speed" requires a Horsemanship (Riding) check and risk of a mishap unlike a human running on foot. 

There's no apparent mechanical distinction for mounted melee combat other than noting that a mounted warrior against a dismounted opponent is unlikely to hit the footman's legs but no real strong mechanical comment about the horseman's head being difficult to reach. 

"For the height difference, I'd use the Punch hit location table from James Langham's Unarmed Combat, and say that a mounted attacker hitting an infantry defender rolls 1d4 for hit location, while the infantry attacker hitting a momunted defender rolls 1d8+2 (and flips a coin for which arm if it comes up an arm)." 
Vespers War (Juhulin forums, March 2019)

Statistics for spears (to be used as lances) are given but there's no comment on their use on horseback or in cavalry charges. A charging animal does provoke a panic check with or without a rider which is a potentially useful shock tactic against infantry or civilians, although it is unspecified in the RAW whether the animal needs to gallop or can just trot. 

Edit: certainly has to be a gallop to provoke panic and charging usually inflicts *double* damage - a base spear as per the Melee Weapon chart inflicts 1d6+(STR+2)

"One rule that folks often forget is Target Movement (table on page 215 of T2k v2.2 book; and more on page 204). This has significant implications on combat. A target's combat speed of 30m/turn imposes a +1 level of difficulty increase. DIF becomes FOR; FOR becomes IMP. A human reaches this threshold by running; a horse by trotting. A target horse at a full gallop (60m/turn) forces a +2 levels of difficulty (DIF becomes IMP), making hits very unlikely in ranged combat. So a skilled Silesian lancer could charge an opponent, closing the distance between them quickly, engage the enemy, and impose that panic roll as well." 
- Wayne Gralian (MeWe group, March 2019)

The rules for firing while mounted on horseback (use *lower* asset of STR: Small Arms etc or AGL: Horsemanship (Riding) differ to the rules for firing while mounted on a vehicle including a bicycle, motorcycle or boats (just add one difficulty level to the task), adding complexity to the whole system and everything is scattered across several pages.

Overall, a human that is mounted can move as fast as they could otherwise run by trotting without a check but can't take an aimed shot *or* can choose to gallop (possibly charging at an opponent on foot with a melee attack with increased chance of hitting the head and upper body) without firing as long as they make a successful DIFF Horsemanship (Riding) check.

From what I've researched, including this excellent resource by James Langham, it seems that for most mounted troops, horses are intended for transport (of riders but also for heavy equipment) and "cavalry" as such dismount to advance and then fight as regular infantry, leaving the horses tethered safely to the rear - this makes sense realistically and is backed up mechanically in the rules. Horses are used to rapidly position or withdraw troops, almost like a "battle taxi" such as an APC but without the additional supportive firepower. This approach has more in common with the original definition of a dragoon, although later forces with that designation did fight as light cavalry with straight swords.

Interlude: Tachankas 
A Tachanka is a horse-drawn machinegun, particularly popular with Pact forces, such as a DhSK or KPV mounted in a small cart or wagon facing to the rear away from the horse(s). Optionally a medium PK machinegun, AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher or a recoiless rifle / anti-tank missile system may be mounted instead. 
Treat as a Wagon (T2k v2.2, p68) with a driver and a machine-gun team for a Crew: 1+2 and reduced residual Load: 500kg. These are usually unarmored, although some may be fitted with a gun shield facing to the rear with an Armor Value of 2, but are not usually fully enclosed unless they represent a variant of light Fahrpanzer (see images below and later post - usually heavier guns were used in the WW2 era), making them effectively a light turret for hit location purposes.
Note: the 120mm Valisek autogun, 120mm towed mortar, and the example towed howitzers (122mm and Rapira-3 artillery) are considered towed weapon systems, not tachankas per se but are not uncommon in Twilight cavalry units.

Ukrainian Tachanka without gun-shield
A Fahrpanzer on its carriage


Original simple horse-drawn Fahrpanzer



Conclusions


So in conclusion, lore and thematic factors aside, cavalry do make some sense in the Twilight world, particularly in Poland where there is a long history. Rather than modern day mounted knights, however, the horseman of the apocalypse use their horses to force march overland, haul heavy equipment including artillery (or salvaged tank guns) and then dismount to fight as dragoons once in tactical position. Food becomes their major limitation rather than fuel if using horses, although units using oxen as draft animals have much less limitation but move significantly slower.



Special thanks to all those that have written on this concept before, whether in posts on the Juhulin forums, other sites or through commentary on the old G+ and current MeWe platforms.

Resources

These will be added to as I collect other articles and links.


6 comments:

  1. Good referance for horses in t2k. Thanks!

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  2. Another use for horses. If they go lame, they can become food.

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    1. Yes I did leave that out of the Going Lame section, probably should add that in - the excerpt vehicle card actually lists "Meat" of 90kg (70kg for a mule) which is a bit less than the 30% of a horse's 350kg weight as it should be 105kg (or 90kg for a mule).

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  3. Good work! I played in a T2k PbP game last year, and I turned my mania for detail into a spreadsheet that tried to track loads, food, and fatigue for a group that swelled to 10 characters, 2 vehicles, and 19 horses. I was fascinated with the resource management aspect of planning how far we might travel.

    FWIW, I included the weight of saddles and riders and their gear in a horse's load, which meant 3 of the horses started overloaded under big men.

    The vehicles and their still were added after our first encounter, and they became a bit maddening-- they could potentially drive really far on their only tank of ethanol/methanol, but the horses would need days to catch up. On the other hand, the horses could carry 3-4 days of fodder and food.

    I started to wonder if we'd be better off with only horses OR vehicles, not both, and that the horses would be better used as pack animals and not mounts.

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    1. Yes mixed groups are tricky as you outline - the vehicles allow for great distance but then several days-weeks to catchup (see my "The Trouble with Stills" article for a breakdown) so "hops" compared to more continuous movement with animals. Or for scouting and trade eg using a motorcycle (which at 156kg can be carried in a cart or wagon with a tank or two worth of fuel) to make quick trips to town or down the road ahead. I really need to do the article on Fatigue - tentatively tired "Never as Tired as When I'm Waking Up" before I can do an analysis on mixed group travel (possibly with the title "Are We There Yet?"). For a mixed group, vehicles may be better for armor and armament (other than towed artillery) or for scouting as per the motorcycle suggestion above - I actually think motorcycles probably need a separate analysis as nearly any group other than one completely on foot can find a use for them to complement their main travel and a group on motorcycles alone would be interesting to work through.

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  4. Really Good Article Thanks a lot for share it. Very informative and helpful for everybody
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    ReplyDelete