First impressions ... Afghanistan '11: Logistics tycoon

Afghanistan '11 changes the paradigm of wargaming and manages to bring Counter-Insurgency and guerrilla warfare to your screen, properly represented thanks to a revolutionary gameplay formula!
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Solaristics
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First impressions ... Afghanistan '11: Logistics tycoon

Post by Solaristics » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:44 am

I've been playing the game for a week or so now, and I have mixed feelings. I love the game in principle, but in practice the logistics aspect is too prominent for me to really enjoy the game. I think some of these aspects need to be streamlined somehow. I spend far too much time in-game going back and forward resupplying/refuelling units, resupplying FOBs, moving troops back and forward to villages to get intel, repairing water towers. It reminds me of the whack-a-mole game play from the Civ games to remove pollution ... thankful they decided it was no fun and designed it out in the most recent couple of additions to the series.

The percentage of units in the game that are primarily transportation vehicles (transport helicopters, supply trucks, MRAPs) is very high ... I'm trying to think of another wargame that has a higher percentage, or one that forces you to micromanage supply to this degree.

There is a fun game here, but for me it is buried under the tedium of logistics management. It might be realistic (and it is not even that I think, since the senior commander in the field, whose position we are taking I assume, would have someone else managing all that), but it gets boring quickly. Please consider automating or redesigning out some of these aspects to cut down on the repetitive aspects.

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Re: First impressions ... Afghanistan '11: Logistics tycoon

Post by CaptCarnage » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:33 am

I am really not sure what you are saying here.

I though this indeed WAS a logistics game. And the challenge in Afghanistan WAS a logistic challenge mainly. You know, Counter Insurgency, guerrila warfare.

Means there are no clear front lines and the insurgents attack, yes, your supply lines to disrupt whatever you try to do there.

Have you noticed how while you need to keep your bases running, you cannot actually hunt down and destroy enemy basis?

The whole point of the game is to keep supply and operations running long enough until the whole region is anti-insurgent or until you can leave it to the ANA.

I don't think the game has ever pretended to be something else than a "Logistics Tycoon" - which in fact is pretty much the real-life situation right?

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Re: First impressions ... Afghanistan '11: Logistics tycoon

Post by Solaristics » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:18 am

CaptCarnage wrote:I am really not sure what you are saying here.

I though this indeed WAS a logistics game. And the challenge in Afghanistan WAS a logistic challenge mainly. You know, Counter Insurgency, guerrila warfare.
Counter-insurgency and logistics are not synonymous. Sure, logistics is a critical part of all warfare, if not the most important aspect, but the question is to the degree you model it versus abstract it in game so it remains fun. A'11, for my tastes, models it in too much detail. Compare this to the counter-insurgency board game, A Distant Plain, which provides a detailed simulation of the same conflict (admittedly on a larger scale) but which abstracts logistical management.

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Re: First impressions ... Afghanistan '11: Logistics tycoon

Post by CaptCarnage » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:26 am

But a Distant Plain is played on an Afghanistan map, not a small region containing a handful of villages. Can't compare it like that.

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Re: First impressions ... Afghanistan '11: Logistics tycoon

Post by Solaristics » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:45 pm

CaptCarnage wrote:But a Distant Plain is played on an Afghanistan map, not a small region containing a handful of villages. Can't compare it like that.
I understand that, but my point was COIN is not equivalent to logistics, which was your contention. Also, playing games on this scale doesn't require logistics to be modelled in this level of detail. There are various computer games at this scale, some Slitherine/Matrix offerings, and they don't model logistics to this level of detail. So, my overall point is that neither COIN games, nor wargames at this scale, require logistics to be modelled to this level of detail. Now, if you enjoy this level of logistical modelling, then that's great - I'm expressing my opinion saying that I'd rather focus more on other aspects of the game rather than spending as much time as I do shuttling around ammo, rations, fuel, troops, and conducting repairs.

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Re: First impressions ... Afghanistan '11: Logistics tycoon

Post by Captain_Orso » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:31 pm

Actually, this level of logistical detail is extremely simple and generic. Any FOB with a supply has every type of ammunition and fuel, and a full set replacement parts and every maintenance team necessary to maintain every vehicle in the game at all times, and all you had to was put a supply in the FOB.

Also, the insurgents have no way of blocking supply going to you outposts (infantry standing off a FOB up to 4 hexes practically permanently). No matter where insurgents appear, supply always gets through to them.

The simplified alternative would be to have logistics work automatically. You would have to have a fixed set of resources running automatically to move supplies. This sounds simple, but to program it would require a minor stroke of genius to put a logical plan into place for every possible situation. I'm sure if the plan were not absolutely optimal, players would complain about that too. And as soon as something happened to disrupt the programmed plan, the player would have to be able to jump in and set priorities to keep the most important things supplied, while temporarily neglecting others. That cannot be programmed, at least not with computers and programs available today.

Managing logistics is not that difficult. It requires a plan and some routine work, that once you have learned, is completed fairly quickly.

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