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J Flower
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Horses

Post by J Flower on Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:46 pm

On the treasury sheet the number of spare recruits for investment & military expansion are listed.

I have sometimes wondered if there should also be a listing for the avaliable number of horses. Afterall they are a major part of the war effort & also in the trade side.

Or is that taking things too far?
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Ardagor
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Re: Horses

Post by Ardagor on Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:15 pm

It would certainly increase the logistics of the game, limiting the number of cavalry or any unit that require horses. More accounting for Richard equal higher price.
It is a lot of things like this that would be historical but would increase price and lower turnaround.

What about timber for the navy, nations like England and in particular UDP had to import most of the timber they needed from the Baltic. Can the industry in the country deliver enough cloth for the sails, miles of rope, thousands of cannon and everything else necessary. In game anybody can build as much as they want if they have the recruits and money ready. Realistic? not so much but easier to administrate.

Also, I can raise an army, equip it with the best weapons available, drill it to excellent and than they will remain there until they lose a battle or something else bad happens.
Idle soldiers in a garrison, perhaps a long way from home in a peaceful little corner of the world have a tendency to become slack and diverted by other things if their commander does not work to keep them in top fighting shape. Soldiers may understand that 6-8 hours drill a day is required to keep them ready for battle but if they can avoid it and they receive no punishment many will try to avoid it. When the choice is between marching or crawling around in the mud somewhere fully loaded or sneaking away to enjoy a all day party with his friends, many would choose the latter unless prevented from doing so.

So the question is how realistic is enough and how much do people accept to pay.

J Flower
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Re: Horses

Post by J Flower on Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:24 pm

I did wonder because in the rules some units do say that you need a number of horses as well. Wagons to transport infantry battalions springs to mind. But there is never a question as to the upper limit of horses that you have. maybe there is a hidden mechanisum whereby if you raise too many units then your EH will suffer due to lack of Horse Power for the economic side of things.
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Basileus
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Re: Horses

Post by Basileus on Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:07 pm

It could be even more complicated than just the number of horses. By rights the question should be the number of the correct type of horses. The right size, being "up to weight" to carry a trooper through a campaign, the right confirmation for certain types of role - skirmisher v cuirassier (think Spanish school of Vienna type horses, but I think they were more seventeenth century than eighteenth century in style). So it then becomes even more compicated. You might have sufficient horses to form skirmish/light units but not heavy units or vice versa. Some nations at this time chose the quality of their horse on its colour. For example, the Swedish army of 1700 gave their officers greys whilst the troopers had darker colours.
The gestation period for a horse is 11 months. Therefore, a breeding programme providing enough blood stock takes quite a while. Take into account that you should not really be training a horse until it is a three year old by modern standards, and the British army used to train horses as four years and sometimes later for big horses. Then you have to have all the brood mares. So you need a breeding programme to get your brood mares as well.
It was often a matter of state policy to build up your quality horses. Such as the Prussians and the Trekhener lines.
Otherwise you could do what many armies have done in the past. Buy your horses in from a horse breeding area. But Poland in our period put an export ban on horse sales abroad.
Horses have long been a commodity so you could see this reflected in rising prices during times of shortage, or today we see horse prices crashing in the recession. It is a good guage on how affluent the current economy is on the rise and fall of the price of quality horses. But even in times of affluence you can still see New Forest Ponies going to Longleat for 50 - hard lines if you are an ugly looking New Forest pony.
So, it could become a very complicated matter if it was brought in as a new game mechanics, or it could be done simply like your annual supply of game recruits.

J Flower
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Re: Horses

Post by J Flower on Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:32 pm

I would have thought that a number similar to that for recruits would be alright. Afterall the recruits in the recruit pool are not sorted, in theory some would be too small for the heavy cavalry, or to do service as Grenadiers, some would not be physically strong strong enough to endure the rigours of life in the field.

If an abstract quality were used in a similar way to the human recruits then it would not be overly complicated.
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Re: Horses

Post by Kingmaker on Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:44 pm

excellent drilled soldiers are one thing battle trained are another.
You could have ordinary soldiers who have fought in say 3 or 4 battles they will have more experience than excellent drilled ones. Yes they will be able to reload faster etc, BUT when the chips are down how well can they face up to the enemy in a real fight?

Training is only one part of training fighting battles is the next.


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Ardagor
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Re: Horses

Post by Ardagor on Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:45 pm

Battle experience is of course the best test for soldiers but lets say a army have been drilled to excellent, won some battles and then they sit as garrison troops in a town for 10-15 years. Would they still be as battle-ready and cutting edge as they were just after the victory?
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Re: Horses

Post by Kingmaker on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:57 am

hmm they should be still excellent but as to battle ready, no idea


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J Flower
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Re: Horses

Post by J Flower on Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:12 pm

It is possible that veteran units will fight better, there is also however the danger that they have also learnt the lessons of self preservation. They know a dangerous situation when they see one & will seek to avoid it.

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Re: Horses

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:59 pm

Basileus wrote:It could be even more complicated ... the question should be the number of the correct type of horses. The right size, being "up to weight" to carry a trooper through a campaign, the right confirmation for certain types of role - skirmisher v cuirassier so you might have sufficient horses to form skirmish/light units but not heavy units or vice versa.

The gestation period for a horse is 11 months. Therefore, a breeding programme providing enough blood stock takes quite a while. Take into account that you should not really be training a horse until it is a three year old by modern standards, and the British army used to train horses as four years and sometimes later for big horses. Then you have to have all the brood mares. So you need a breeding programme to get your brood mares as well.

Ardagor wrote:It would certainly increase the logistics of the game, limiting the number of cavalry or any unit that require horses. More accounting for Richard equal higher price.
It is a lot of things like this that would be historical but would increase price and lower turnaround.

I agree with both of these contributions. If done properly it gets very complicated very quickly, and I think it would be unfair on smaller nations. One of the main reasons for Napoleon's eventual defeat was the loss of so many trained horses in the retreat from Moscow; after that his cavalry arm never recovered. Because of the expense of raising and maintaining heavy cavalry, Napoleon was annoyed with Jerome for forming a regiment of Westphalian Cuirassiers: "I see that you have a regiment of cuirassiers. This arm does not seem to me appropriate for you. You are not a power large enough for a respectable body of heavy cavalry, what you should form is light cavalry. Your cavalry should be composed entirely of chasseurs." Napoleon also tried to discourage Prince Poniatowski from forming a single cuirassier regiment in the Polish army, though both chose to ignore him.

In the game the easiest way to get more horses is to form stud farms. Coupled with a breeding program for specific types of horse, the only issue then is equipping your cavalry with them. I successfully did this in G7, though did find I ran out of horses when I tried to export a few. I don't know whether it was because it was to early in the breeding program or because I had used up an unknown quota myself.

Although I can see the attraction of having a horse recruit figure I don't think it is a simple way of adding realism for the reasons Basileus has stated - to many variables to be reflected in a single figure. If we are going for realism, then do we really want poor Westphalia to be restricted to raising say 3,000 light horse per year and only the larger nations able to raise heavy horse?

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