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Old 12-31-2009, 05:33 PM
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Default "Rations" in the late Twilight War

I think that MREs and other prepared combat rations would be running out (if not long gone already) by 2000. After the TDM, I don't think production of MREs could continue and, even if it did, distribution of said would be difficult.

Instead, I think you'd see a return to the way armies were fed in the 19th century. Actually, I got this idea from a book I'm reading about a VGD in WWII (Victory Was Beyond Their Grasp by D. Nash). Each battalion (and the assault company) in the VGD had a mobile field kitchen (mounted on a horse-drawn wagon) which served hot meals whenever possible (which was pretty much every day as long as the unit wasn't under heavy attack or moving rapidly). The fare was very simple (stews and bread mostly, with sausage and hard cheese on occasion) but provided most of the calories the men needed to keep fighting. "Iron Rations" (slightly more primitive equivalent of the American K-ration) were issued to the troops but they were ordered not to open them until they were told to, usually during attacks or emergency situations.

I see divisions reverting to this system gradually, post-'97. The basic foodstuffs for stews, sausages, cheeses, butter, and bread could be produced in their respective cantonments. No chemical preservatives or packaging would be required (i.e. no factories, no electricity, no long-distance shipping, etc.). Whatever MREs were still around would only be issued for use during attacks (like U.S. 5th ID's "raid") or emergencies.

I suppose canning would still be possible on some scale, after the TDM. Perhaps canned goods would replace or supplement MREs and supplement the fresher food from field kitchens.

Another idea comes from LRRP operations in Vietnam, but I don't know if it would work with post-TDM tech. Indigenously produced "LURP" rations were made especially for LRRP and SOG recon teams. They were a variety of freeze dried (IIRC) meals in plastic baggies. The soldier would just add water and chow down. In the memoirs I've read, the authors state that the LURP rations were almost universally preferred to the C-rations issued to line companies. If the soldier couldn't heat water, they would stick the LURP pouch in their clothes to let their body heat warm them up before eating, or they would eat them cold.

It seems that if a third world nation in the late '60s could produce this type of field ration, the Twilight armies after '97 probably could too (although in what numbers, I don't know). Would freeze-drying be possible or would it require too much tech?

What are your thoughts on military food, post-TDM?
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:33 PM
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I don't don't know about other armies but in the Canadian Army Rations were only to consumed durring emergencies (IE patrols), primary due to their cost.

In our M113 we had one day worth stored for each man, but we usually eat out the feild kitchens that the BN had.

More feild kitchens were also held by the Service Bn which are the primary combat support units in the Canadian Army.

All of the feild kitchen were old US one which they started getting rid off in mid 1980's or so KO told me once.

To futher feild feed each solider in the Canadian Army was issued, a plate, bowl, coffee cup (Kit Shop had green mugs with Regt Cap Badge), and a KFS (Knife Fork, Spoon), we also had a canteen cup and canteen stove with heat tabs, a bread plate was also aviable but I never got one well not offically anyway
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:47 PM
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I can see a "combat ration" consisting of beef (or other meat) jerky, hard tack, dried fish and pemmican, along with erstaz coffee from chickory,etc. It may seem a little primitive, but added to the "forage" while moving, it will make for a "starvation" ration until back to base.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for the RL military experience info. Here's another thought. To save manpower (to maximize the number of able-bodied men in the unit's combat components), the field kitchen could be run by an "invalid" NCO aided by a couple of indigs (i.e. civilians from wherever the cantonment happens to be).

Back in the Nelsonian British Navy, ships' cooks were almost exclusively Greenwich (naval hospital) pensioners appointed by warrant. Almost all of them were ex petty officers missing a limb (or two).

Wouldn't that a little flavor (pardon the pun) to a T2K campaign? The company cook with a prosthetic leg and eye patch.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rcaf_777 View Post
I don't don't know about other armies but in the Canadian Army Rations were only to consumed durring emergencies (IE patrols), primary due to their cost.

In our M113 we had one day worth stored for each man, but we usually eat out the feild kitchens that the BN had.
That's how we did it when I was still in Mech Infantry -- the MREs were the last things we ate, after the field kitchen or logpack food and the pogie. Of course, in light infantry, there is usually nary a field kitchen in sight...

As an interesting aside, when you are on long-term MRE usage, your water consumption will go up, because some of the MRE components are dehydrated; also, if you don't keep up your hydration, you'll get constipated pretty quickly (according to the doctor who fixed my shoulder, who was an Army reserve doctor until a year ago, it's because they are packed with calories -- up to 6000 in some meals for certain climates).
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:32 PM
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Obviously every nation has their own versions of field rations - MRE's in the US, "rat packs" in Australia, and so on. Each version is also of different quality, right down to the actual "menu" (I couldn't stomach anything with eggs in a can while others couldn't get enough of it).
Climate must also be addressed by the creators of each type of ration. A pack designed for us in the artic for example would be next to useless in the tropics due to the different demands on the human body. For example, hot coffee, high in demand in cold weather would be discarded in favour of electrolyte ladden drink powders, etc in the tropics.

Time is another factor. Back in the early 90's, the only dehydrated items our issued ration packs contained was a packet of 2 minute noodles - everything else was canned, in biscuits, or in a tube (condensed milk, jam, etc). A few years later in the mid to late 90's, the composition of the rat packs changed to include the sort of freeze dried meals that had been available to civilan campers for years.
Personally I felt the freezed dried stuff wasn't a good move as it required a solider to carry more water, thereby increasing his load.

There were three levels of rations - fresh, 10 man ration packs, and the 24 hour and 1 meal packs (hated the latter - not enough in them although they shared components with the 24 hr).
When we were operating for more than a few days in the bush, fresh food was almost always provided whenever possible and the 24/1 meal ration packs used only on patrols or in an emergency. Often though the 10 man packs would replace fresh rations and be prepared by the company cook / fitter and turner (fits good food into pots and turns it into crap).

I would expect that the individual rations would become less and less common as the war dragged on and fresh and unit style packs would become more common. Canned and bottled foods, along with other methods of preservation (salting, drying, smoking, baking into hardtack, etc) would become the norm.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:33 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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From what I remember reading about MRE in emergency situation one MRE would provide the nutrition one would need for an entire day in emergency situation.

Yeah Paul you are quite correct. I only remember once when we got anything consider close to being cooked in field kitchen while out in the field. The rest of the time it was MREs or whatever that soldier could get away with packing for the field. Yeah when you are on diet of almost exclusively MRE you do tend to drink a lot more water too.

One thing that many people seem to forget is the stock of equipment and other items that US and UK had pre-position in Western Europe. Not talking about larger bases, but there were number smaller caches where uniforms, rations, and ammo were placed.

I do see in early 1997 the German Army at various command levels would want to improve the quality of the diet of their troops. So they would start improving their field kitchens. By the time US, UK, and Canadian join in they many of the commanders having seen what the German have been through would have their field kitchens improvising to make what rations they had left last long, since I am sure they have all turned over to the Germans a share of what they had in Rations, Ammo, Fuel, and other sundry items that needed for a modern Army.

After TDM MRE type rations use would be limited more, with things like hardtack and those type of rations would become more common again. Units would forage from the start too of the war. Soldier who are MREs or other rations would enjoy anything they could liberate to enrich their diet.

Part of the reason units in 1998 would start setting up Catoments on each side would be to grow food, make fuel and to be more self sufficient in other details in regards of their supply chain. MREs wouldn't be readily in the supply trains, but would be moved to units that may be going on offensive actions.

The lack of higher commands providing resupply is why units started to raid enemy units and then allied units. I could see Pact units raiding allies units more quickly than NATO units, just my opinion.

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Old 12-31-2009, 11:43 PM
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When I was a recruit and amongst almost 400 others on a field exercise, the kitchen (primarily staffed by recently released civilian criminals and commanded by a small unit of 4 senior NCOs from the Catering Corp) made a little bit of a stuff up with the food budget.
They'd spent far too much on vegetables, etc and forgot to buy meat - for almost a week all 400 of us had to share a total of 8 pounds of meat. Suffice to say the vast majority of us were soon made very reluctant and extremely pissed off vegetarians!

As an appology, for one lunch they sent us the first decent salad we'd seen in weeks. Shame it was bucketing down with rain at the time and freezing cold! The tv dinner trays they came with were full of water before the second mouthful.

A few days go by and we get a delivery of hot porridge for breakfast. Everything was great until the CSM (Company Sergeant Major and 3rd in command) found a wevil or ten in his. Turns out the entire lot was infested with the bugs and totally inedible! (not that it stopped some...)

So, morale to the story is that sometimes the supply people can screw you over. Also, quality of the available food will vary greatly even if it's supposed to be fresh rations!
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:05 AM
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Keeping in mind I was a REMF in the USMC Air Wing; when we would go to the field, we had a field services staff with a field kitchen. The staff was a couple guys out of the S-4 to supervise, then a couple guys from each section on mess duty. Hot food was provided breakfast and supper, lunch was an MRE.

When I was in the Reserves, an Infantry Battalion, but still in HQ Co., it was pretty much the same. The Field Services tried to truck at least one hot meal out to the line grunts once a day but it wasn't always still hot by the time they were delivered.

MRE's and other prepackaged rations would become rare, IMO. I can see patrols carrying dried meats, cheeses and hardtack.

One thing I've noticed, when I was in the Corps, MREs had freeze dried meals. This was from '85-89. I don't remember them while I was in the reserves '90-'92. I have 4 cases of MREs I aquired after Hurricane Ike last year. Three are military issue, one civilian. I haven't rooted through the military ones, but in the civilian one there are NO freeze dried menus. I'm not sure if it's because it's a civilian brand, or if they did away with the freeze dried stuff.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:50 AM
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I think that most food would be locally produced and locally cooked as many units are more or less static by the end of the Twilight war.

There might however be several types of rations for those who needed to be away from their logistical base for a while:

Patrol rations: Designed for a week or so away from base.
Rye bread (can last a few months)
Wax coated cheese
Potatoes
Freeze dried fruit (mainly apples)
Cured meats for a few days

This menu isn't exciting or hugely easy to transport or cook, but it would keep for the time needed and be easy to produce locally without particulary rare components.

Emergency or Siege rations: Long term
Pease porridge(basically dried peas with maybe some salt, soak it overnight and then boil and you have a really boring mulch which will keep you alive)
Hardtack (rye or other bread baked 2-4 times, virtually indestructible, can be fortified with fat for more calories)
Salt Pork

Given how horrendous this ration is, people would probably have to be ordered to eat it!

Individual troops might be better off than this, but all of the above can be produced by amateurs as long as there is access to salt and if you think your troops will settle for a vegetarian diet you don't even need much of that.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:56 AM
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snip..
They'd spent far too much on vegetables, etc and forgot to buy meat - for almost a week all 400 of us had to share a total of 8 pounds of meat. ...

A few days go by and we get a delivery of hot porridge for breakfast. Everything was great until the CSM (Company Sergeant Major and 3rd in command) found a wevil or ten in his. Turns out the entire lot was infested with the bugs and totally inedible! (not that it stopped some...)

...
Hey.. first you bitch cuz there was no meat, then when you got it you bitch at what kind it is... sheesh, never satisfied

Reminds me of a story my dad told about when they were in the Philipine's during WW2. They had scambled eggs for breakfast, made from powdered eggs of course and cooked before sunup by flashlight in the mess tent. No meat to accompany it. The men bitched to no end, so dad, who was in good with the mess sergeant, went to him and told him the men were pissed they had no meat. The mess sergeant's reply was classical, "What you mean no meat?" at which time he produced a square of the aforesaid eggs. Dad said it looked like you'd dumped a box of coarse ground pepper in it. NATS! Drawn by the light, stirred into the mix. Of course in the dark it was OK, but when dad took the 'sample' back to the bitchers, they got sick.. LOL

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Old 01-01-2010, 11:25 AM
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...
Would freeze-drying be possible or would it require too much tech?

What are your thoughts on military food, post-TDM?
Freeze drying would require too much tech IMO. It required freezing the food to extreemly low temperatures then subjecting it to vacum to extract the ice/water. Very efficient and the stuff will last a LONG time without spoilage as long as it's kept from moisture. Relatively easily reconstitured.

One thing mentioned was LRP rations. They were dehydrated and freeze dried. You MUST add water. Do NOT make the mistake of eating the dehyd potato slices like potato chips.. know of a guy who did, then drank water... It was NOT a pretty picture as he rolled on the ground suffering severly, and had to be medivaced... (best to learn from other's mistakes eh?)

As for what rations would be after the collapse.

Yep, locally grown with potato as the staple, but they are fairly perishable and such compared to some other's, but very large yields for acerage planted usually, but more susceptible to crop failure than other crops. Turnips, carrots, onions, and other root crops. Cabbage (Chalkie loves feeding us that, or did) and other kohl crops. Legumes in peas and beans. Easy to grow and store with pretty good yields. Wheat, oats, and rye for cereals I think. You have to be very careful with the rye as it is highly suseptible to ergot.

Ergot is a fungus that grows in the head in place of a seed. They use it in medicine as a blood thinner, and wars have been lost because of it. I've read stories of the Crimean War where it was a major problem in the Russian army, effecting men and horses. Can cause blindness, limbloss, and death, a horrible prolonged process leading to the latter.

Field rations would be dehydrated/dried vegetables and fruits, nuts, dried meats (esp sausages). The quanity of cheese they can get would depend largely on how well and what kind of stock they get for milk. It's a process that takes a bit of time to get a good finished product that is storable.. ie hard cheese. Soft cheese would be consumed locally though.

Hard tack, definately.

I could see some 'country boy' finding a chicken or two and persuading his mates to keep the chickens alive rather than go right into the stew pot.. hence some fresh eggs, though not alot. (maybe average one a day for the two of them if that) Later there would be stewed chicken when they layed out. Same for a goat or cow. Squad pet??? Of course the maintenance of the goat or cow is MUCH more than a chicken that could be fed on crumbs and scratch her own if allowed to.

I envisioned in large containment areas, the large truck fields and other fields maintained by a 'labor battalion' of persons under detainment by the provost for what ever. At harvest time it would be augmented by persons from the various units.

Field kitchens and bakeries would make a resurgence most definately. IF nothing more than sheet iron wood burning stoves cobbled out of 55-gal drums. Though it would take several of them to each company sized unit.

In the days before the T-pack and when the army DID have a military mess team for each company, it was usually an NCO (E7/E6) in charge, with 2-4 cooks. The ratio was about 1 cook per 50 men assigned, and the whole mess team was about 5-7 for a company. There also used to be bakery units in the US army, but I've searched and it seems they have been 'dropped from rolls', along with several other 'useful' type units, such as the saw-mill detachment, and soon to be all rail-operation units.
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:16 PM
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I recall back in the day the early MREs that did have freeze dried portions, these were mainly the fruit which were freeze fruit mix, peaches and then later strawberries. The main meals that were freeze dried were the pork patty and the beef patty, about a 2 inch square of something that tasted like hamburger or pork sausage. These meals also came with freeze dried ketchup, a buillion package and a pack of beans.

As for cold weather rations, these had, nuts, fruit mix, beef jerky bits, cocoa powder, bullion broth mix and a couple packets of fruit soup mix.

The main meal regular MREs ALL had beverage powder base, fruit, grape, lemon lime and orange along with cocoa and coffee.

A thing about not using the cold weather/arttic rations in the tropics. I would preffer them since most of the food items where small snack type foods, alot lighter, less water needed to process vice regular MRE's, in my view, I could probably live for five days in the field with just three cold weather MREs since you preffered to snack rather than sit down, eat whole MRE ration which is what we would get in the jungle.

As for localy made rations:

Fred beat me to it. I would go with peas, beans and some grains or cereals since they are easily preserved and can be made into soups or breads with grinding or milling into flour. And those two items would be the in my view the two most comon types of food because again as Fred said crop yeild and the ease of which they are preserved. So, alot of bean, pea, barely and corn soup and bread made from the grains would be the most common food stuffs.

Other items like potatoes, fresh corn, turnips, cabbage, other assorted root crops would be decent as they do keep for a bit in root cellars, even apples as well. But these will not keep for longer periods so they will be used within a month, maybe two after harvest.

I can see other prepared foods like cheeses being used, hardbreads like the hardtack mentioned, maybe even dried foods <addressed later> and even some preserves, boiling fruit or some other vegetable and fruit items into preserves that can be canned for long term storage <and providing something come mid winter when no one has had anything fresh in weeks>

Dried foods!

I personaly love the sundried tomatoes they have at the market, but alas, they are quite expensive. Granted, they are not freeze dried. But people have been drying food as a means of preservation for millenia, I have posted on the other sites about one of my early profs in college who went on an archeological dig in S. America and the archeologists made him potatoes for breakfast. Then they asked how they tasted, then how he felt. It turns out the potatoes they fed him were from a find they found in a cave the day before that were in excess of 800 years old.

I can see some communities processing some foods and drying them. They would need sunlight, screens to protect them from birds and insects <although the attracting of birds could be a secondary benefit immeidatly, Sparrow Stew, Fried Swallow etc, catching the birds that were attracted to your drying foods> I read a 1950s era cookbook actualy a series my uncle left me <3 really> and it covers foods from around the world, their history, preparation etc, with PHOTOS! And it shows some of the drying screens used for some items, simple wicker or bamboo screens that the food item is pressed between and they are set where sun and air can do their work drying the items. Others, are set on racks in the sun, and others are placed on the roofs of the houses. A couple just skewer them and hang them, or string them on a line. It all depends on the culture and the item.

However, the time and space to process in this way can be a limiting factor, as well as storage space since the game takes place in N. Europe which is usualy wet, storage space would be another factor. How much can you store successfully where it would not be exposed to moisture and rot?

Another means of preserving foods could be pickling and salting foods. A vinegar brine or a salt brine or combination to make pickled vegetables like carrots, cauliflouer, carrots, olives, mushrooms and of course cabbage and pepers, sauer kraut and kimche would also be good....well not good but a break from a dull diet, lack of vitimins due to a lack of fresh vegetables and of course improving morale too.

Another method wines and fruit concentrates preserved with alcohol.

As for meat, that would be pretty rare beyond fish, fowl and rabits unless one caught the odd snake or squirrel or such. Or of course you raided an enemys farm, or you had the bad luck of having an animal go lame or be killed for whatever reason.

I can see small stoves much like the Yukon stoves they issue for cold weather training being common. A rectangular box about 2 feet long, cut say 2 or 3 holes in them large enough to place a metal bucket or pot and then start a fire in your box to start the cooking. 1 pot could be for a stew or soup, a second for a hot drink, a 3rd for bumplings, or even making something like dutchover bread, or just add that inside with the coals to cook biscuits, all of which would be doable in a container about that size and enough to feed a squad I think.

On the "Good Luck You're On You're Own" campaign I am playing in I found some Russian rations from their sting in A-Stan and they seem much more T2K'ish than MREs. A package of porridge, a small package of tea, lump sugar, sausage or tinned meat and some crackers. I can see that being something that would be common in T2K.

A standard field ration would be kinda like our K-Rations of old. Used only when needed.

I can see troops being issued metal tins like bread and butter tins like they did in WWI and WWII and even earlier.

A container for porridge, add water and wait
Bread box to hold hardtack or hardbiscuits
Meat container to hold a piece of saltpork, dried fish or sausage
Butter Dish <the cows and goats are saved for cheese and butter>
Oil bottle, cooking oil for frying in your new messkits, oil adds flavor, helps cook and is a source of calories, in a T2K world calories are not to be wasted, so the grease and oil left over from when you cooked that piece of saltpork you found in that marauders pack, well that bacon grease would go nicely with some potatoes.

The trooper may get one mess kit of food for that day that is premade, but the next day its up to their section or squad to make fresh rations daily consisting of say half a dozen potatoes, a couple carrots and an onion with a diced sausage.

I would say that even that porridge ration would be used sparingly because of the time it takes to make.

Then again, someone with the ability, time and materials could make a nice profit from making hardtack, dried sausage and instant soup or porridge.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:45 AM
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The Soviet Army very much operated on the idea of providing cooked meals for units or shared ration packs rather than allowing the troops comprehensive individual ration packs. Something to do with removing the self-sufficiency that would allow them to desert if I remember right.
As such, the units were also expected to forage for or purchase extra foodstuffs from the local area and I believe garrisons actually operated their own farms.

That means there might be a large number of Soviet field kitchens available for reuse.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:03 AM
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Yes, I do recall the Sovs had unit farms as well which is a cool concept.

As for the manpower to provide workers, troops that are recovering from wounds, or who are to crippled to do combat operations any longer could be used to work the farms as well as a troop rotation to bring the troops off the line for a couple weeks to let the troops winddown but not let them go wild in the local town at the brothels and taverns or just have them melt into the countryside. But, a small regular day that is pretty much safe and with a regular routine that a farm would bring, wake up from living inside a house in a bed even, breakfast at a table that is hot that someone didn't have to dodge snipers to get to you if you got anything at all. Work the fields, shovel the manure, feed the animals store some hay, heavy labor for sure, but pretty safe compared to a regular T2K day. Ending the day after a hot meal inside sitting by a warm fire reading or talking and sleeping under a roof in a bed. All things that could be welcome in a T2K world.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:19 AM
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I read in a magazine article from the early 90's about a number of different military ration packs from around the world. The one that really sticks in my mind is the Saudi Arabian one - contained such delicacies as dates, foul madames (you just know westerners will avoid that one!) and, for those with really strong stomachs, preserved sheeps eyes...
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:15 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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Originally Posted by jester View Post
Yes, I do recall the Sovs had unit farms as well which is a cool concept.

As for the manpower to provide workers, troops that are recovering from wounds, or who are to crippled to do combat operations any longer could be used to work the farms as well as a troop rotation to bring the troops off the line for a couple weeks to let the troops winddown but not let them go wild in the local town at the brothels and taverns or just have them melt into the countryside. But, a small regular day that is pretty much safe and with a regular routine that a farm would bring, wake up from living inside a house in a bed even, breakfast at a table that is hot that someone didn't have to dodge snipers to get to you if you got anything at all. Work the fields, shovel the manure, feed the animals store some hay, heavy labor for sure, but pretty safe compared to a regular T2K day. Ending the day after a hot meal inside sitting by a warm fire reading or talking and sleeping under a roof in a bed. All things that could be welcome in a T2K world.
It is one of the points where the Soviet units would be ahead of the learning curve compare to others.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:22 PM
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True, they would be ahead of the curve, they would also be ahead of the curve in the reguard that a good number of their troops would have also have been from farms and farm communities, or have done time on collective farms at least. Thus, they would have farm knowledge, animal husbandry and tending animals.

I would also venture to guess that a good number of them would be used to eating a bland diet of porridge, bread and soups and stews.

Whereas, most Western troops or US troops well, initialy there is going to be a good drop in weight when we loose our fast food fat, and maybe beer fat for some of us older guys But! On the plus side we would be hating life, but have more fat to loose, thus we could last longer on short rations than alot of other troops.


Another issue, the troopers from the republics well, a good number of them wouldn't speak the same language, or at least not very well. So, coordination with their forces would be a bigger issue. At least the Canadians, Brits, Ozies and Kiwis and Americans would be able to talk among one another easily, as well as the Germans and Dutch would all have persons in their units who speak English.

<And, a good number of Eastern European people speak English pretty well!>
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:49 AM
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I think the transition from an industrially prepared and serviced menu to, well, simpler foods (variations according to local resources, knowhow and ingenuity) would pose very serious morale problems for a lot of western troops. One thing is the learning curve, another is the ability to appreciate how lucky one can be to have a handful of spuds in a dirthole, as opposed to none. In this respect the Russians have huge cultural advantage in coping with adverse conditions- they're simply a lot more fatalistic.
With the partial loss of industrial food production and distribution, gathering enough calories would become a lot more labor intensive and probably divert a lot of attention and effort away from fighting a war for principles. Principles that are likely to lose a lot of meaning for the individual in the foxhole- with or without spuds.

But, I'm curious, I play in a different campaign (Headquarters'), that seems to be a bit on the colourful side compared to what you're discussing here.
Do your campaigns all play out in mainland Europe? What rank are your characters? Is the 'party' a squad or similar-sized unit part of a line formation or a more specialized outfit? What movie would best describe the mood?
Ours is a very entertaining mix of high-powered action movies, bizarre megalomaniac characters, backstabbing and exotic weapon systems sprinkled with gritty realism, drug abuse and a well-developed, somewhat baroque backdrop. I've always thought it would make a fabulous manga movie.
I really enjoy our long-running campaign, but I've often wished for a bit more "sachlichkeit" from my co-players, sometimes from myself. (Rolf, if you're reading this, I adore the dust whirled up by your stylish boots- but you know what I'm talking about.)
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:07 AM
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Yes, I think this one of the point that GDW got right, for in 1999 and 2000 there was limited fighting largely due to the troops trying to grow plots of food. Lot of attention would be diverted to keep food in their bellies. Also some would be diverted to replace what the former supply chain was no longer supplying.

For the growing of crops as among other things the Soviets would be somewhat ahead of the curve, of some of the Reserve/National Guard/Territorial units. Yet one has to remember after couple years of fighting, everyone will be on level playing field. Even in the US Regular Army there were people who would special jobs while they weren't in the field.

By 1999 time frame, yeah some units will be able to achieve the learning curve faster than others.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:43 PM
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This also brings to mind the whole idea of raiding the enemys farms or grainaries, to improve your food supply but, also to knock the enemy down to prevent them from going on a spring offensive, or so that you can more easily attack him come mid winter, or just force them to disapear when they run out of food in the winter, or before winter.

I can see this as the basis for a good number of raids in the T2K world.

And then again, we also have units with their farms, so how willing would they be to accepting anyone into their ranks and thus another mouth to feed, reguardless of nationality. I propose that unless you were from that unit, or had some very usable skill you would at best be told to keep moving, at worste shot or driven off maybe with or without your equipment.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:44 PM
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I agree. In my way of thinking, destroying the enemy's crops and stored food before the coming of autumn was a major strategic objective of the German 3rd Army's summer offensive.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:58 PM
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Might give birth to a new MOS in the military: Farmer
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmulcahy11b View Post
Might give birth to a new MOS in the military: Farmer
Naw, just an ASI. Of course there are MOS, or use to be, in Civil Affairs that were agriculure related IIRC.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester View Post
And then again, we also have units with their farms, so how willing would they be to accepting anyone into their ranks and thus another mouth to feed, reguardless of nationality. I propose that unless you were from that unit, or had some very usable skill you would at best be told to keep moving, at worste shot or driven off maybe with or without your equipment.

I believe this is why the Going Home module they made it sound so interesting for US units to move to the port to evacuate the parts of the US Military that were able, willing, and interested on heading back to the States. It mention quite a few times how some German units may resist the idea of US unit moving through their for various reasons with hints toward the extra mouths to fed while traveling through their area. Another hint was some units may try to fleece the US units out of equipment on their move too.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I agree. In my way of thinking, destroying the enemy's crops and stored food before the coming of autumn was a major strategic objective of the German 3rd Army's summer offensive.
Could have been, but I would think they would of been better off with offensive in the south if this was their intentions for the offensive. The Polish in the north were pretty well spent by this time. Granted there were some units if they wanted too who could carry out offensive attacks, but by this time many of their commander had come to the same conclusions that the Commander of the 8th and 14th MRDs had. Many of the units that had already were former Border Guard Brigade, and had declared for NATO.

Some of the reason why they hadn't themselves done so, was there were still Soviet Armies that were capable of Offensive action in the Front they were attached too. Many of the units were also taking steps to separate themselves from the Pact chain of command, but realize they had to do in slower fashion. The Offensive of 2000 by NATO hasten some of these units. I don't see these units declaring for NATO either. I see them more or less taking the position of 8th MRD where they want to be left alone and help rebuild their nation.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMDeCorba View Post
I think the transition from an industrially prepared and serviced menu to, well, simpler foods (variations according to local resources, knowhow and ingenuity) would pose very serious morale problems for a lot of western troops. One thing is the learning curve, another is the ability to appreciate how lucky one can be to have a handful of spuds in a dirthole, as opposed to none. In this respect the Russians have huge cultural advantage in coping with adverse conditions- they're simply a lot more fatalistic.
With the partial loss of industrial food production and distribution, gathering enough calories would become a lot more labor intensive and probably divert a lot of attention and effort away from fighting a war for principles. Principles that are likely to lose a lot of meaning for the individual in the foxhole- with or without spuds.

But, I'm curious, I play in a different campaign (Headquarters'), that seems to be a bit on the colourful side compared to what you're discussing here.
Do your campaigns all play out in mainland Europe? What rank are your characters? Is the 'party' a squad or similar-sized unit part of a line formation or a more specialized outfit? What movie would best describe the mood?
Ours is a very entertaining mix of high-powered action movies, bizarre megalomaniac characters, backstabbing and exotic weapon systems sprinkled with gritty realism, drug abuse and a well-developed, somewhat baroque backdrop. I've always thought it would make a fabulous manga movie.
I really enjoy our long-running campaign, but I've often wished for a bit more "sachlichkeit" from my co-players, sometimes from myself. (Rolf, if you're reading this, I adore the dust whirled up by your stylish boots- but you know what I'm talking about.)
I wonder if you're talking about your own character here...kind of remember all of them like this....

sachlichkeit????------why do all my former slaves rant about this....'????

(I'm just playing my god-given part.....I blame society...but you dare blame the GM......what a mindfield you're entering!!!)

..27 days to next session
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMDeCorba View Post
I really enjoy our long-running campaign, but I've often wished for a bit more "sachlichkeit" from my co-players, sometimes from myself. (Rolf, if you're reading this, I adore the dust whirled up by your stylish boots- but you know what I'm talking about.)
roger that - but remember you guys have weirdness on your side ,and I can only put up a defense for so long until my dryness crumbles.

As for rations - when the party where at the head of the table so to speak they had access to the produce of their underlings/subjects- they dined on all sorts ,wines,shell fish,quail, venison ,beef etc -all thoroughly checked by radiation meters etc and tasted by the food tasters of course.

ordinary personnel had only vague memories of such feats ,but as long as things were going good they had adequate nutritions from beans,spuds,some veggies,some bread and the occasional piece of meat or fish.

All this is now gone of course.

the long standing military staple in our campaign has been :

daily rations : flour ,salt, oil + a slab of fish,cold cuts ,meats or veggies on and off .Local produce ,the most accessible foodstuff predominant in the region in the ration bags

field rations : freeze dried vegetabilic compound with lard and seasoning.add hot or cold water as pr taste .( Its pretty much a salty mulch anyways) - produced at central facilities/factories from the harvests etc .More costly due to longevity and weight to kcal ratio

Developments have been made though -
even though things are as grim as I could possibly paint it the party has members that are getting into livestock and food produce-

landshrimp

algae vats

fungii

edibles that can be grown and harvested inside .
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:58 PM
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Smoked, dried, and/or salted meats might be good for stored foods. Canning isn't an especially difficult technology to master and doesn't actually require cans. Any cantonment that can produce its own glass containers can go into canning. Of course, glass doesn't necessarily travel very well. It's all just another reason why late Twilight formations aren't especially mobile and why sending a single brigade into a neighboring region for pacification purposes (thinking of CONUS) is such a massive undertaking.

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Old 01-04-2010, 03:59 PM
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Maybe we need a new thread: The Cuisine of Twilight: 2000. (No cannibal recipes, please)

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