22 June 2011

GameTalk - Logistics

An army that's out of bullets tends to be out of luck, too. Hungry soldiers don't fight well, and tanks without gas are a scaled-down Maginot Line. But how much logistics planning do we want to layer into games that are inherently not about logistics planning?

So where do you balance the two? How much logistics play is too much? And how do you track it? What *really* matters to log play in a wargame? What parts of the Logistics SITREP chart (below) might you try to tie into wargame tracking? If you were given that chart and told to track your log planning/execution from a wargame, could you do it? Would you want to do it?

FWIW - my take on logistics was (re)published a few weeks ago in the first of the Battle Lab articles.

By: Brant

1 comment:

EastwoodDC said...

You mentioned this in one of the discussions at Origins, but I forgot to discuss it with you when I had the chance. As you note in the linked article, Logistics is a challenging problems. Gamers tend to like to find ways to optimize problems, so in theory logistics problems should lend themselves to interesting and challenging games. In practice though, perhaps any logistics system simplified enough so as not to bog down a combat simulation is no longer interesting.

Here's a thought - turn it into two games - first play out a combat game assuming all units have full logistic support, but keep a record of how much support in needed and where it is needed on each turn. When the first game is over, play out a second "logistics" game where the player(s) have to deliver the require supplies on time and to the right locations as determined by the first game.

Maybe that's a goofy idea (I have a lot of those) but logistics offers unique challenges. A game that focuses on those challenges instead of combat could be interesting, but it might be more of a puzzle game than a competitive game. (Maybe even a solo game?)