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Old 08-18-2020, 03:04 PM
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Default Honest T2k Sourcebooks

If sourcebook topics reflected what's really important to our characters...

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Old 08-18-2020, 03:15 PM
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Old 08-18-2020, 04:31 PM
Vespers War Vespers War is offline
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Heck, I'd go for a sourcebook that was actually about rebuilding. It's one of the gaps that I think would be interesting to fill - what can be salvaged from different places, and what do you need to (e.g.) grow enough crops for 100 people for a year?
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Old 08-18-2020, 06:10 PM
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Default What About Combines?

Does it include rules for cow-tipping? Or tractor v. tractor combat? I know it's called The Last Tractor, but please don't tell me that you didn't include an epic, "there can be only one", tractor showdown.

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Old 08-18-2020, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Vespers War View Post
Heck, I'd go for a sourcebook that was actually about rebuilding. It's one of the gaps that I think would be interesting to fill - what can be salvaged from different places, and what do you need to (e.g.) grow enough crops for 100 people for a year?
I did some calculations on this for the Kraków Defence Forces that didn't make it here (posting the same thing in various places can be a pain!):

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This is a really long technical look at what survival would be like for one centre; Kraków. It is a model for the sort of capability that will be available to anywhere in the Twilight 2000 world. If this sort of boring navel-gazing makes your eyes-cross it probably won’t be very interesting.
In a spare moment I gave some thought to The Free City of Kraków. To be precise how its economy works. This is pretty much going to be a critique and then I thought we could workshop an actual real, logical Kraków.

Note: I'm not disrespecting GDW here. They did a great job on extremely little information. Older posters here will remember just how little information came out of the Eastern Bloc in the Cold War.

Now, disclaimer: I've never been quite sure why the Kraków authorities thought making a "free city" would be of any use. By definition in Twilight 2000 there's very little travel and what little there is can be handled by normal procedures. In effect they're saying to Lublin "NATO Welcome Here", and you can imagine how well that would go over. Secondly, no matter how well-disposed many people were towards the west before the war that's not going to be the case any more. The west was well-thought of in many places because they offered a lot and didn't do anything overly damaging to Poland, most of the western hatred was focused on Russia and East Germany. Since then in the game NATO has massively nuked Poland. Now, let that sink in. Not only did they invade but they also used nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. NATO has killed an enormous amount of Polish people. NATO PCs will not be viewed as "good guys" by many Poles, and also the activity of NATO marauders will be conflated with NATO troops. (This also goes for other nations, they're probably sick of Russia too, but at least Russia fought alongside the Poles). Now add in anti-NATO propaganda.

In my campaign Kraków is a very different place to what GDW envisaged. Anyway, that's just an aside.

Now, this might well be far too much detail and nitpicking, but I was wondering how they grow food, produce materials and so on. The reason I do this is because it puts stuff in the world. If there's an ammonium nitrate source it's not only extremely valuable to everyone, you can make fertiliser and explosives with it, but it's really something the players should bounce off. It makes the world real rather than an exercise in rolling on tables.

The first big problem with Kraków being that you simply can't run industry on a significant scale without significant power generation and the generator listed on page 17 of the source-book brings up a few problems. Firstly, yes you can move a boiler, although they are insanely technical and fragile things, but it also means you have to move the generators, the transformers, and then you have to rebuild the electrical infrastructure hooking it to the grid all while needing a food and security surplus to allow you to apply the personnel to the task.

Nowa Huta had a power plant but that's almost certainly bombed into oblivion (canonically it was vaporised in a triple nuclear strike) and also it ran on brown coal, and that would mean yet another industry required. Worse, the coal came originally from Silesia (it's complicated but Poland had a lot of odd inefficiencies due to Stalin-era requirements of industry going to certain places for political reasons and this meant long supply lines) and of course this isn't going to arrive, even if the plant is both reasonably intact and running at extremely low capacity. The problem with out steam-powered plant is we simply can’t fuel it. Wood does not produce enough calories when burnt and also you’re going to run out of wood in just a few months. In addition wood is difficult and costly to transport from it’s ever-moving harvesting areas.

So, big power is out. So that means small power, and of course you can distill fuel and run that but really it's both inefficient and insufficient to run things like lathes, industrial presses and so on for the likes of the Wojo Mortar Factory that is going to need at least those two pieces of industrial tools and many more.
Secondly, it's stated that Kraków imports most of its food. From where? Now, as I said before I don't blame GDW for this but people familiar with modern farming know that there's a massive infrastructure associated with it so you can make a reasonable surplus.

In the 1950s to 1960s there was a thing called The Green Revolution(The Third Agricultural Revolution) when inefficient smaller farms switched over to agri-industry on a massive scale (the soviets showed exactly how not to do this in the 1920s) and of course that infrastructure is gone in Twilight 2000. Fertiliser, pesticides, the systems for storing and applying those two, and especially the massive infrastructure that revolves around irrigation and its equipment (and the fuel required). Modern farming uses a large amount of fuel. This infrastructure came from central hubs that then went to transportation feeders, both military targets (although food production targeting is a war crime it's usually inevitable collateral damage).
Simply put there is no food for Kraków to import and there's no way the people nearby could get it there. While "sail it on a barge" is the canonical answer it doesn't really cover the logistics of getting the food from granaries, loading barges with heavy equipment and then fueling them for the run downriver. Even if it was possible, would Kraków produce enough for it to be worth it when those people know that cyclical famine is now a thing they have to contend with?

So we have no food and no fuel. But that doesn't mean we can't have some sort of large unit in Kraków running a city.
So, we have to have Kraków produce enough food and also create a surplus. Luckily, there is a large amount of farmland to the north west of the city, however I can’t get a size on this to determine how many people it can support.
Unfortunately potassium and phosphorus do not occur naturally in Poland and along with nitrogen (which is not hard to get with ingenuity) you need all three for commercial surplus level farming. (The Polish government is probably getting all three from Russia which explains their ability to support troops and Germany has sources which explains NATO continuing on). This means the farming production is going to drop to pre-1870s levels.
Now, this was between 0.6 to 2.0 tonnes per hectare in optimum conditions, with the low numbers being for backwards areas with little mechanisation (what there was for the time) and the higher level for optimised areas in advanced countries. It took between 625 and 875 man-hours to produce that amount. Note these are when the mechanisation is gone. Tractors and farm gear will quickly wear out, especially when not lubricated or using poor quality fuel. Even so the immediate loss of fertilisers will be the main reducing factor in output.

Those numbers are only important if you want to go into eye-crossing detail, and that’s not even where I’m going and my reputation proceeds me. Instead the basic rule is that 80% of an established population will be engaged in food production. In transient or survival-level farming that number jumps to 95%. In areas that have access to modern farming level technology and infrastructure that plummets but I think only Lublin could manage that locally.

This means that the Kraków soldiery spends nearly all their time farming and only small patrols and checkpoints guard Kraków itself. It also means those patrols take away from those running the very inefficient post apocalypse industry and commercial activity. As can be seen almost no one lives in idleness and things like bars and shops will all be part time affairs. It also means the Kraków troops are going to be centred in the farming areas and more of a reaction force. The centre of Kraków is going to be a very dreary place as the focus of the city will be on the farming areas.

With food understood and the subsistence level of production worked out we now look at power production. As can be understood fuel is the primary problem. The only really available source is agricultural waste, however most of that is put back into the soil as fertiliser and only a tiny amount will be available to brew fuel. Forestry reduction is available in the short term, this might be where Kraków is now, but as mentioned above forestry is also a fuel-intensive industry. The two nearest coal deposits are the Lublin Basin, they’re not sharing with a rogue unit, and the Upper Silesia Basin which is too far away. However the canal between the two was used as a transport hub and is unlikely to have been directly targeted by anyone. GMs might want to have a resource war between Kraków and Silesia over the coal at some point.

It now appears that Kraków on the surface simply can’t get the power to run any industry on the scale of a factory capable of making mortar shells (the fuzes are totally impossible), which is rather sad. It is in fact unlikely they’ll be able to maintain their equipment and will eventually go under to someone with access to fuel unless the expand to absorb such a region.
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Old 08-18-2020, 09:16 PM
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I would happily buy this book, just for giggles if nothing else!
Well done Tegyrius, bitingly funny
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:42 PM
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The armored tractor crawls closer to the outpost, its HMG blasting away at the defenders' slit trenches...

"Sir, that armored tractor's tearing us up! Permission to use our last TOW to take it out?"

"No way, sergeant. What if the Ruskies throw an actual tank at us? We can't waste our only remaining TOW on a tractor!"

"But sir, how will it look to the battalion commander if we get overrun by a freakin' tractor?!?"

...

"Permission granted, Sergeant.

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Old 08-19-2020, 12:12 AM
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Given some of the original "tank" ideas and designs were little more than armouring up an existing agricultural machine, this is actually more a throwback than humour.
Sure, we laugh now, but is this really that far from historical reality?
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:01 AM
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Sure, we laugh now, but is this really that far from historical reality?
Greatgrandad gave it a go
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Old 08-19-2020, 03:16 PM
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Greatgrandad gave it a go
As did the Soviets, with the NI and KhTZ-16 tanks and the ZiS-30 self-propelled anti-tank gun.
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Old 08-19-2020, 08:11 PM
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And more recently the Pakistanis trotted out some armoured tractors sporting weapons. I recall seeing them in photos of a Pakistani military parade some years ago but a quick check of the web didn't bring up any images
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Old 08-19-2020, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Vespers War View Post
Heck, I'd go for a sourcebook that was actually about rebuilding. It's one of the gaps that I think would be interesting to fill - what can be salvaged from different places, and what do you need to (e.g.) grow enough crops for 100 people for a year?
TW2K13 had a section on rebuilding and even includes charts for agricultural yields. In another part of that section, TW2K13 talks about "building units" and breaks those down into Light (residential), Industrial, and Heavy Industrial units. "Units" are like "repair parts" and are generated by a skill roll when salvaging a structure (or object for repair parts). I love this as it assigns a value to one's "labor" when engaging in salvage and parts are specific to repair types (automotive parts, small arms parts, electronics parts) based on what was salvaged. I use the system (modified for V2.2) because it's fast and intuitive.
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Old 12-11-2020, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
TW2K13 had a section on rebuilding and even includes charts for agricultural yields. In another part of that section, TW2K13 talks about "building units" and breaks those down into Light (residential), Industrial, and Heavy Industrial units. "Units" are like "repair parts" and are generated by a skill roll when salvaging a structure (or object for repair parts). I love this as it assigns a value to one's "labor" when engaging in salvage and parts are specific to repair types (automotive parts, small arms parts, electronics parts) based on what was salvaged. I use the system (modified for V2.2) because it's fast and intuitive.
Would you be willing to share the modifications? I don't grok the 2013 system well enough to feel comfortable adapting it to v2.2, which is my preferred edition.
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Old 12-24-2020, 07:19 PM
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Would you be willing to share the modifications? I don't grok the 2013 system well enough to feel comfortable adapting it to v2.2, which is my preferred edition.
I'll get them posted up.
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