Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Warfare Notes

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

So I've been listening to Tyrant Series, I just finished funeral games and I'm now in King of the Bosphoros. I started reading all the Wikipedia about the Diadochi and all related articles. Christian Cameron and the Wikipedia has helped make these successor wars very interesting. Particularly the evolution of the Cavalry and Specialized unit roles. 

I find myself revising a lot of my understandings on man-power regarding some of the units. Basically the economics and psycho-mechanics of these units. Here are some key take aways: 
  • Edit: From feedback from Ian Borchardt
    • Pikemen, Halberders, Spearmen, swordsmen, etc... are all heavy infantry. the circumstancial modifiers will be detailed in my Warfare notes. 
    • Professional/regular vs Conscript Forces/iregular are 2 : 1 better. Trade-offs and circumstantial bonus based on their equipment and training.  Veteran and Elite are 2:3 meaning Elite is only marginally better but can 
    • With Open terrain where Regular vs Irregular have 2 vs 1 odds.  
      • In GURPS mass combat there is Troop Strength. It doesnt really have any mechanic to represent Flexibility and Adaptability that comes with a well drilled machine and the cumbersomeness of some tactics. The closest work around is to give it conditional penalties when it comes to being flexible or adaptable or giving conditional advantages to other units who exploit their inflexibility/in-adaptability. 
      • Wedge formation. Will be modeled as an Risky and Aggressive maneuver. Well armored units (and those with shields) are better at it than other units. Whats great about it is destroying cohession of the opposing unit and getting to more vulnerable units past it. 
    • Regular would be 5x in cost and time to train and equip than Irregular (especially because of half of the cost and time will be Overhead to reach Regular status. 
  • Heavy Infantry is not a unit but more of a role. A role that requires a lot of discipline and training.  
    • The Hoplite or the Roman Legionaire are heavy infantry. Special Unit Qualities:
      • Heavy to Light Shield
      • Heavy to Light Armored
      • Sword (defaults to Short sword)
      • Spear
      • Pike
      • Pole or Great weapon
      • Great, Strong, and Skirmishing Ranged
      • Shock or Skirmishing
      • Heavy (Closed formation), Medium (small group formations), to Light (Open Formation). 
    • Shock Action as well as taking the brunt of shock action are parts of the Role. The byzantines called heavy infantry Defensores. Many armies depended on the role as an a morale anchor. 
      • Taking the brunt of a Shock action is harder and takes more discipline.
      • Charging to become the "shock action" is easier which is why more expendable Auxilia can be made to do it. (the Kurasores)
    • So there will be Heavy "Armored" Infantry or Heavy Infantry Role to be more clear. 
    • In GURPS Mass Combat Troop Strength can be further simplified with the following tool (which I'm using with Open Warfare system). 
      • Ignore the previous TS method. 
      • Start counting the (Professional) Warriors. You can set that as your TS of 1 per warrior. So 1,000 trained warriors is a TS 1000. 
        • The most important table is the Relative TS Table. Relative TS table 
          • next is the class superiority modifier. 
          • limit to 2-3 key modifying circumstance modifiers. do not get too bogdown with
        • Equipment. This is a conditional multiplier the way Special Classes superiority gives modifiers to the roll. If the Force has the Equipment superiority for the situation then they get the Special Class superiority.  
        • Experience Level. consider the warrior the benchmark of quality of troop. non warriors count as 0.3TS, TS1.5 for veteran, to Elite of TS2, to a max of TS3 for heroes. 
      •  this simplifies the situation to:
        • what are the forces engaging? 
          • no. and quality (which is the TS)
        • what is the circumstances (who has superiority)?
          • terrain, position, 
          • their respective maneuvers, 
          • equipment
          • condition, initiative
        • roll and check combat results table. 
  • Remounts have a very very tangible effect in the Cavalry. The biomechanics of horses are very similar to humans, you can't expect them to carry a rider for more 4-6 hours (depending on horse's quality) without risking injury or getting injured if they go all-out. 
    • There are some serious problems of making it reflect in GURPS mass combat mechanics. In fact mounted combat has been very hard to model, and only recently with games like Mount and blade, simulations in Total War, and books like those of Flavius Arrianus being recently getting the rounds  reworking a lot of the notions of how Mounted combat works. Allowing GMs to stress it as an advantage. 
  • Any economic entity mechanics have to be pretty abstract as to leave the details of land usage, and focuses on the final products of a particular area. 
    • Further readings and the limitations of Historical knowledge would be a great and helpful set of directions to get people to see for themselves. 
    • The KPIs of the region can be a long list, but can have an order of details. Some details are more important and others are just dressing that help in immersion. A handy guide would be helpful because the details can be overwhelming (and powerfully immersive).
    • So far I've figured out much of Roman and Greek systems. Trying to figure out  Persian and Near East traditions, as well as Chinese traditions. 
  • Warfare system needs a checklist. The first checklist being: what are the Assets/Resources, and how they are employed/deployed. 
    • then comes the overhead, logistics, and support of these resources. 
    • step by step: from simplest combat in a narrative formula to levels of details.
  • Much of Chinese warfare is conscripts as r/k strategies. It became much clearer when the profile of heavy infantry became more apparent and universal in many of my studies. They did have shields but The Art of War by Thomas Cleary the commentaries by the other generals stressed on conscripts infantry. 
    • Its possible to have no heavy infantry units, especially given the population and man power in chinese history.  Its kind of telling how sun tzu resorts to tricking his own men and putting them in desperate situations vs western tradition of heroic combat.  Just my pet theory, googling around for contrary opinions (because that would mean I could find a heavy infantry). Their halberdiers arent exactly heavy infantry, still open to ideas. 
    • There is a possibility there were Heavy Infantry in the Warring States. But the Qiin must have killed them off. 
Currently Reading
  • People Land and Politics Demographic developments and transformation of roman itally 300 BCE to 14 CE Luuk de Ligt and SJ Nortwood 
  • The Beginnings of Rome Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars 1000 to 264 BCE by TJ Cornell
  • A History of the Roman World HH Scullard and TJ Cornell
  • Hanson The Other Greeks The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization
  • Women in the Ancient World The Arethusa Papers SUNY series in Classical Studies by John Perdaotto and JP Sullivan
  • Ancient Chinese Warfare Ralph D. Sawyer
  • The Roman Empire Economy Society and Culture by Peter Garnesy and Richard Saller 
  • The Roman market Economy by Peter Temin
  • Ancient Mesopotamia New Perspectives by Peter Knight
  • Millet Cultivation in China by Francesca Bray
  • Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece by Victor Davis Hanson
  • Rome at War Farm Family and Death in the Middle Republic by Nathan Rosenstein 
  • History of the ROman Legion (a self published book in google play that is very poorly sourced but aggregates a lot of secondary sources)
Post a Comment