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Old 01-22-2010, 12:49 AM
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Default Horses in T2K

TiggerCCW UK 11-26-2005, 11:04 AM I'm just starting to finalise my first T2K campaing in years, and have been looking at horses as a means of transport. Not knowing an awful lot about horses, how essential would the grain requirement be? In the V2.2 rules it states 12kg feed plus grazeing. Thats an awful lot of grain - in fact I think that in some cases it might be easier to use methanol to fuel a small vehicle than try and keep several horses fed. Does antone know how it would work if the horses weren't fed the grain, and just left to graze?

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DeaconR 11-26-2005, 11:12 AM Horses can survive without grain but their performance would start to go downhill. They can even die from being pushed too hard without proper rest and nutrition.


Actually they need about say 10 kg of grain and 10 kg of hay/good grass per day. The advantage versus a vehicle is that you need a still and time to produce the methanol/ethanol unless you have a ready source. Then again you need to get grain from somewhere.


Furthermore, you can at most get a horse to do 20km a day but you have to rest the horse at least once to let them eat. If you don't you should rest them most of the next day.


The game says little about breeds; some are more nervous than others, some have better endurance for particular temperatures.

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ReHerakhte 11-26-2005, 07:24 PM G'Day all,

If you want a more intensive treatment of horses, try the following link. It's from The Supply Bunker, a site that deals with 'The Morrow Project' and covers horses from anywhere in the world by categorizing them as either Small Pony, Large Pony, Light Horse, Medium Horse etc.


http://www.thesupplybunker.net/Morrow/horses.txt


Cheers,

Kevin



P.S. I also meant to say be aware that the figures given are in imperial and not metric.

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copeab 11-27-2005, 03:55 AM I'm just starting to finalise my first T2K campaing in years, and have been looking at horses as a means of transport. Not knowing an awful lot about horses, how essential would the grain requirement be? In the V2.2 rules it states 12kg feed plus grazeing. Thats an awful lot of grain - in fact I think that in some cases it might be easier to use methanol to fuel a small vehicle than try and keep several horses fed. Does antone know how it would work if the horses weren't fed the grain, and just left to graze?


According to my 1998 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, an idle horse can get by on 1 kg of grass or hay per 45 kg of body weight. An active horse needs an additional 0.5 kg of grain per 45 kg of body weight.


Also, you probably would be better off with mules than horses.

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Grimace 11-27-2005, 06:23 PM Okay, color me all confused, but 10 kilograms of grain plus 10 kilograms of hay/grazing seems like an awful lot! Don't get me wrong, I can agree with the hay/grazing amount, but that much grain....PER DAY... is just too much to be realistically believable.


I mean, think of it...22 pounds of grain a day! Where are you planning on carrying that kind of weight. One week of travel would net you 70 kg (or 154 pounds) of just grain alone, not counting what you have to carry for the rider to survive! That figure just simply can't be correct.


Let's look at history. Old West cattle drives. Pony express riders. 7th Cavalry units. These instances couldn't have hundreds of pounds of grain for each horse. Now, I realize that Pony Express riders changed horses often, but not every day, and they certainly didn't carry 40 pounds of food for the horse (combo of grain and hay). Cattle drives certainly didn't carry enough food for all of the horses, and they were undoubtedly longer than a week's time. Horses from the 7th Cavalry, or any other mounted unit in the "wild west" could be fed while in fort, but when they were out hunting for "injuns" I highly doubt they fed their horses that much food. The supply wagons would have been loaded to the top with nothing but hay and grain if that were the case.


Somehow I think there has to be a better way of figuring out how much a horse would need. copeab mentions .5 kg per 45 kg of horse weight. A typical horse would still eat around 5+ kilograms of grain a day using that idea. Less than 10, yes, but still....


Are we to believe that the great horse mounted army of the Mongols was packing around hundreds of tons of grain with them on their conquests of China, Russia and Eastern Europe? Or are we to assume that they weren't packing hundreds of tons because their massive army consisted of only two horses moving all of them for months on end? Heck, for just two horses, moving every day for 6 months, you'd need 16,800 kilograms of grain. That's almost 17 tons of grain! For two horses! What happens if you have 200 horses? My handy calculator says that equals 3,360,000 kilograms of grain!! I know moving an army takes an army of supply, but that's ridiculous when you factor in that it requires the same amount of hay! (and it's not counting water for the horses and food and drink for the riders)


There should be some sort of alternative to that grain. Like say for every 2 kg of extra grazing/hay the horse gets, it reduces the grain needed by 1 kg or something of the sort.

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ChalkLine 11-27-2005, 06:41 PM A working horse, carrying loads, absolutely needs high energy grains as well as forage.


Now you know what the mediaeval people were talking about when they described armies as a 'plague of locusts'!


Nomads and Cavalry get around this problem by having remounts and a high 'wastage' rate among their horses. For every day a horse works, it should rest (this should apply to me too I think) but the resting horse can still keep up with the herd.


As an aside, horses will not forage in the dark in unfamiliar areas, and must be fed in daylight.


I totally agree about Copeab prefering mules, although you can hardly ride them (it's like riding a jackhammer), they're better survivors. In fact, thier vaunted stubborness comes from the fact that they won't allow themselves to be worked to death or do thing that are dangerous unless they trust the handler. One of Australia's greatest war heroes was a donkey-handler too.


In mediaeval Europe, it was determined that one acre of good farming land could support a working horse in an average year. This meant considerable hardship for those trying to support a knight, and was the basic economic fact behind the feudal system. In T2K, supporting working horses is probably a liability initially, until our advanced agricultural knowledge can cope with no oil, no pesticides and other drawback of the post-nuclear fun.


Oxen are a better draught animal, they run primarily on grass, can pull heavier loads - although slower, and you can eat them easily afterwards. They don't need shoeing, and four oxen can pull about 1800kg + mediaeval wagon, a modern steel one with rubber tyres should up the efficiency.


Mules are better load carriers for infantry, nimble and less likely to go lame,


Horse will need outriders foraging for them constantly, you must live off the land and the people on it. No cavalry army ever made friends of the people they were billetted apon. Of course, foragers are a perfect job for PCs!

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copeab 11-27-2005, 09:13 PM Are we to believe that the great horse mounted army of the Mongols was packing around hundreds of tons of grain with them on their conquests of China, Russia and Eastern Europe? Or are we to assume that they weren't packing hundreds of tons because their massive army consisted of only two horses moving all of them for months on end? Heck, for just two horses, moving every day for 6 months, you'd need 16,800 kilograms of grain. That's almost 17 tons of grain! For two horses! What happens if you have 200 horses? My handy calculator says that equals 3,360,000 kilograms of grain!! I know moving an army takes an army of supply, but that's ridiculous when you factor in that it requires the same amount of hay! (and it's not counting water for the horses and food and drink for the riders)



It really is that bad. That's why troops in the field need to live off provisions taken from the enemy or the enemy's land.

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DeaconR 11-27-2005, 10:41 PM That's not all: it has to be GOOD grain. In my pre-WWII army field manual for livestock it stresses the importance of quality control for officers/ncos in charge of draft or riding animals. It has to be dry and clean, it has to be safe from rodents, it has to be free of mold, rot or blight.


Horses, like all ruminants have complicated digestive systems, which are easily subject to complaints if they have eaten rotten or mouldy food, aren't getting a proper diet, are not properly exercised.


The amounts I stated are absolutely correct; without them you cannot expect a good performance for your horse.


Mules require a little less, more like about 7.5 kgs of grain plus same of hay/grazing. Mules come in different sizes depending upon the breeds of donkeys and horses that bred them. The largest can perform about the same level as a horse. Furthermore they tend to be steadier under fire and a bit tougher.


BTW: areas where I'd use livestock instead would certainly be ones where terrain is more accomodating to them.

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ReHerakhte 11-28-2005, 01:49 AM Nomads and Cavalry get around this problem by having remounts and a high 'wastage' rate among their horses. For every day a horse works, it should rest (this should apply to me too I think) but the resting horse can still keep up with the herd.

I have a vague recollection that when the Mongols were invading other lands, the general rule was three horses per warrior (even though their steppe ponies were much hardier and could get by on far less in comparison to European bred horses, they rigourously followed the resting rule mentioned above and achieved that by riding a fresh mount every day).


Cheers,

Kevin

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thefusilier 11-28-2005, 04:38 AM Horses are not some super miracle transportation in post-WW3.


During the South African campaigns about 90% of all horses sent with British and Canadian (and others) never returned. Most died of malnutrition and overwork. Its true what it said about horses, they need ALOT of good food and rest. My girlfriend's father has two race horses and he is out in the barn every day shovelling hay and hauling grain food (for just 2).


In history (Mongol/Napoleanic/etc) what you don't carry was stripped from farms as you advanced. The same is mentioned to be occurring in the later stages in Tw2000.

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DeaconR 11-28-2005, 05:53 PM Having said all this, if you don't have access to parts, oil, fuel, a half decent mechanic and even stuff like decent tires and the ability to inflate them you might just have the ability to keep horses.


For instance, one encounter I'm planning for a group of my players is with a small village, really little more than a few families farming together, who have had to use all their machine stuff to keep a hydroponics barn going in light of the poor soil and climate troubles in the Eastern USA. Because what little fuel they have goes into that they use horses. The fact that some marauders my players are pursuing have stolen the horses is a serious blow to this community.

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abaumgartg 11-29-2005, 05:10 PM I have some experience with horses in the US, mostly form friends and family who have horses (and just time around farms). I have also done some mule trips through the Bitterroot mts. You pack what you can, but mostly they ate grass with some grain supplements. Now, that works for about a week, and then they are pooped. But then again, they are out of shape and used to grain compared to what a t2k mule would be. Think about what you eat compared to what you would eat in a t2k world. Nutritionists would call all but the best t2k diet a starvation diet, but you would manage (albeit with a lot less weight on your frame). Same goes for the amount of work you could do too.


The comment about mules being a rough ride is fair, but once you get used to the difference between a horse's gait and a mule's, the mule is a good ride. The thing about mules being stubborn is way overblown in movies (they are, but I think it is more intelligent-- they know what they can and can't do while horses are eager to please)


Sounds like some folks have the details from various books on horses' requirements. I wanted to add an important wrinkle though, stallions and mares. Mares usually do fine around other mares, but stallions need some time to get used to each other. And if you want some fun, throw a mare in heat into the mix. Serious riding skills required to stay on board for that ride (and lots of lost goodies that were packed onto the animal if it gets away). And that reminds me of a trip I did 2 years ago. We think my buddy's mule got whiff of a bear, thing was gone (my friend was holding the reigns and it just knocked him over as it ran away). We had to hire a plane to fly over the area before we found it (he almost lost a lot of nice gear).


Perhaps more pertinent is my experience as a Peace Corps volunteer. I worked in the central mountain range in the Dominican Republic. And let me tell you, most things I knew about horses went out the window. I don't want to ramble; so if you want details ask; otherwise I'll just hit some highlights.


I used my horse a good deal from March-October. During harvest I put over 200lbs plus myself (over 200lbs) on that horse and road up and down some steep hills. It could go like that for about 6 hours. Mind, that horse was just over 13 hands, which is technically a pony. One day with that load, next day same ride, but just me, followed by 2 days rest. That cycle would happen 3 or 4 times.


The horse was about 6 years old when I got it. It had never had grain feed in its life. Thing could eat several s**t loads of grass though. Which brings us to size and lifespan. If t2k horses are anything like Dominican horses (and I'm betting they would be), they are much smaller and have shorter lives. My horse was one of the biggest in the area at large pony size. Also, from what folks said, Dominican horses have a life span about half what US horses (over worked and under fed, just like the people).


In my game, if folks keep a reasonable load (under 300lbs including rider-- this is a bit much, but what the heck), travel at a reasonable pace (walk don't run), and give the horse a day off every 3 to 4 days (or what adds up to a day in that time) I let them be (it's a game after all-- and from my experience that is reasonable). This assumes there is plenty of grass for it to eat. The wise traveler has at least two horses/mules. One to ride and one to pack (or more).


If the horse has to gallop or is around combat, that changes everything. Treat it like fatigue for people. One extra rest period for every combat. And that doesn't cover training it for combat (or getting it used to it-- probably lots of lost goodies as it bolts from the unsuspecting PC).


That's probably enough for now... :smoke:

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Twilight2000V3 11-29-2005, 05:43 PM OK Im going to put in my 2 cents on horses.


My fiancee has been around Throughbred horses all her life. She competed in cross country, jumping, et.


Our current horse is 5 years old. He is almost 18 hands, he is not a draft horse. Most horses eat about the same regarless of size.


Whiskey (our horse) when he is training (aka - 4 hours hard work) gets 4 flakes a day of oat hay and alfalfa (2 and 2) plus about 100lbs of grain per week (7days).


I asked her what she thinks would be an ammount of food to maintain a horse healthy which woudl be doing hard work for 8 hours a day. She is giving me very broad ammounts.


Basically she would feed a working horse 2 flakes of oat hay in the morning (about 5 lbs per flake), 1 flake of grass hay (grazing) at lunch/noon, 2 flakes of alfalpha (sp) at night with 10 lbs of grain at night. The grain maintains the horses weight and the alfalpha gives it energy or revitalizes it.


The total flakes would be about 20 lbs of flakes (10 kg), grazing, and 5 kg of grain.


You could skip the grain and halve the flakes but the horse woudl nto last more than a few days of hard work and would chance going lame.


Maybe we could come with a rule set for horse kind of like the vehicel breakdown.


Max

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graebardeII 11-29-2005, 08:29 PM Intersting.........


1. Horses are NOT ruminents. Cattle are cud chewers (signs of ruminents) which have multiple stomach cavities. But that is mox nix.


2. The fact that catte drives and working horses in the old west did not get grain is a fact of life, however the cattle drives had 3-5 or more horses for each cowhand, and they rotated the horses. Yes they still walked all day, but without load. The same with the mogal hordes, and Amerinds that used horses.


3. The amount of feed needed is directly proportional to the amount of work and size of the animal, the same concept for the human. NOT all humans need huge amounts of food, but if they are working hard, the body will eat it self (see photos of POWs interned by the Vietnameese and Japaneese, as well as concentration camp internees.)


4. The supply bunker article is an excellent substitiution for the rules in T2K, and I have adapted it, as it covers the range of animals.


5. There were more than a few mules ridden, but never by cavalry that I'm aware of. Some infantry regiments assigned to western outposts were mule borne infantry during the Indian wars.


6. The rules DO address the maintenance of horses, and proability of lameness and fatigue from lack of proper diet.


Excellent exchange of ideas and information however.

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DeaconR 11-30-2005, 01:46 AM You're right about the ruminants thing graebarde. What I was really trying to say is that horses have tricky stomachs and I used an incorrect word.


Just a piece of interesting knowledge; mules have not been used as cavalry but a number of different armies have used them for mounted infantry or for carrying light artillery for instance.

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