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The Sardus Reclamation: Logistics 
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:00 pm
Posts: 23
Hi all,

My friend and I are planning a narrative campaign which features the re-conquest of an entire Nurgle world (mixed economy) by the Imperial Guard.

The question I have is how many men and machines do you reasonably think you would need to take over a world? Games Workshop gets this FAAAAR out, with the number of regiments given to take over a world in the fluff only contributing a division size strength over all. All the lasguns in the world won't help you if a modern day battlefront would have you outnumbered.

Of course this all depends on the baseline, so imagine we have a planet of 2billion, which is heavily militarised, that we need to conquer. How much opposition (in numbers) could our enemy put up and how many men, machines and ships would we need to take it?

My first instinct is to look at WWII numbers? The world was heavily militarised with around 2billion people then, but they were fighting amongst themselves, not being invaded!

This is always been a concern for me when writing fluff, so if anyone has any idea how to make a sensible count for our campaign I would be most appreciative.

Last edited by Captain Mike on Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:23 am
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:47 pm
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I'm going to go back to when the US Army had a fairly straightforward system during the American Civil War to give you some input. In theory, an infantry regiment consisted of between 800-1000 men with three or four regiments making a brigade. Usually three brigades made a division and three divisions made a Corps. Let's assume bigger rather than smaller with these formations in mind for a rough total of 36,000 in a theoretical fresh infantry Corps. It was, of course, much less than that in practice but you get the idea. Different numbers of Corps wold then be combined as needed to form Armies.

The battle of Gettysburg involved approximately 75,000 Confederate (Army of Northern Virginia) and 85,000 Federal soldiers (Army of the Potomac) if my memory serves me correctly. Those were the two largest armies in their respective countries at the time but there were several others engaged in other states across the country. That's just for fighting on one piece of one continent.

If you're considering a planet-wide fight against a militarized modern enemy (using your WW2 example), the numbers will easily grow into the millions on each side, so effectively thousands of regiments of infantry as well as tanks, artillery, aviation, etc. During WW2, the US Army used five tanks in a platoon and three platoons plus two tanks per company (I think) with four companies per independant numbered battalion or eight or nine companies per regiment (again, I think). Artillery was normally six pieces per battery I think.

Basically, huge numbers of troops for that kind of fight to be considered even before you start taking casualties.

Legio Patria Nostra! Armor forever!

Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:42 pm

Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:08 pm
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Don't forget that the entire population will not be militant and you will need occupying forces to keep them heeled. Then you get the chaos fanatics pulling TERRORISM on your troops and any of the cowed population. But on the other hand there are probably Emperor loyal insurgents already on the planet that could be armed to aid in the fight and holding territory.
Its going to be one hell of a fight, avoid inquisitors or they might just nuke it from orbit.

Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:31 pm

Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:00 pm
Posts: 23
Some more context to help (thank you for input so far!)

The planet has been Nurgle for 50-100 years, there is no Imperial loyalty left. It fell from within after a number of civil wars and cult wars.

The Imperials are going to be carrying out experimentation and extermination, so occupation would probably require less holding troops? That said there are Nurgle insurgent groups going around trying to free people.

There are 7 major cities (dedicated to seven saints) with a few million each, and then plenty of towns and minor cities around.

There will also be large numbers of pox walkers but I appreciate they're a bit hard to draw parallels too!

Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:20 pm
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:47 pm
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Frankly, if it's been nurgled that long, I could maybe see a senior commander (who isn't Death Korps) saying "Let's blast these locations from orbit and concentrate on just taking those other locations to further the experimentation effort," or something like that. Concentrate focus of effort, maximize psychological effect upon the enemy before landing, etc.

Legio Patria Nostra! Armor forever!

Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:45 am
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:52 am
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Location: NSW, Australia
I love these kinds of discussions, I always learn something and they are great for really getting into the "feel" of Warhammer.

Ok so first.... What is the opposition forces mass transportation ability? There could be hundreds of billions of enemy troops on the planet, but without the ability to be transported quickly and en-mass, that number is irrelevant.

Second.... Do the opposing forces have any atmospheric attack capability? If the Imperial forces have the ability to secure air superiority it will make a huge impact on how many forces will be required to take the planet.

Third.... Ground to orbit attack capability, do the chaos forces have any? This is also a key factor as it will allow close orbit to ground attack capability, close support for deployment and recovery of troops and the rapid resupply of forces on the ground.

Fourth..... Total Imperial objective and secondary objectives. Is it just a cleanse mission where the destruction of infrastructure and deaths of any surviving Imperial servants is irrelevant? Or is it a recapture, where the undamaged securement of Imperial infrastructure is the key? A cleanse will require less Imperial forces as orbit bombardments and firepower in Extremis will be the keys to success. A recapture will require FAR more forces and rely heavily on infantry forces over air, armour, artillery and orbit units.

looking forward to working on this more.

Cheers, Cuthbo

"Into the jaws of death, into the mouth of Hell, to the last man and the last round!"

Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:42 pm

Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:00 pm
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Army movement capabilities vary from area to area. They have invested in some infrastructure but even after half a century of development they don't have a fully mechanised Force. They've remained largely on planet and, as it was previously an Imperial shrine world, the actual infrastructure they inherited was terrible. However they have tried, and troops can move quickly by rail at least.

They do have significant anti orbit capabilities, as the planet was previously heavily defended. This includes 3 planetary defense fortresses that pack orbital lasers and anti-drop ship capabilities. These provide a protective umbrella over the majority of the planets land mass, forcing the Imperials to attack with Space Marines, or deploy far away and use mass troop movements.

Initially they have no orbit to ground capabilities. The initial resistance the Imperials face is trivial, little more than converted pilgrim ships. However, the Nurgle lot will send out a distress call into the warp which may well bring a fleet along.

Imperial objectives is the cleansing and reclaiming of the world. However they also wish to retrieve a number of relics that would have been silo'd during the initial civil wars. Infrastructure is less key as the planet had little (plot wise, the Imperials are going to be surprised at just how developed the Nurgle lot managed to get the world). So certain areas are okay for a good old fashioned orbital bombardment, but the Imperials are worried about shooting anywhere that might be a relic silo. They're tough, but not that tough. Pre-emptive orbital bombardment was also difficult due to considerable planetary defenses.

There's also a degree of pride, as Sardus was the Shrineworld of the Sutaris sector. So there's a lot of pilgrims as well who are attempting to settle behind the Imperial front lines, purge and re-consecrate the world etc. In terms of strategic importance Sardus is actually pretty poor, but a victory there will be a massive morale boost for the wider Sutaris reclamation.

Helping so far?

Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:16 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:55 am
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I'd say an estabilished and entrenched Nurgle infestation on the world would force a swift approach in order to limit exposition to all kinds of Grandfather's gifts and all the joy they bring as much as possible, which would preclude landings outside the StS umbrella and just marching/riding in.

Also, they way You've presented it, I'd risk saying population is by no means considered viable for salvaging (since it's at least 3 generations of nurglite rule and indoctrination, it's safe to assume nearly 100% population is to be considered actively hostile), thus I'll go for a 40k-styled "realism" and base my line of thinking on Kastorel-Novem operation:
Regiment per important site (either relic site or defence site) plus one more to either bolster the initiall attack in case of problems or to hold the place afterwards against approaching waves of cultists.
Afterwards it's easy to estimate whether and how much more guardsmen or Fraternis Militia needs to be shipped in.

Also, as far as orbital bombardment goes, remember that no amount of surface-to-orbit capability offers any protection from plain old antiship torpedoes - they can be fired from any range and just fly to pre-calculated target.

Lastly, I'd say do consider practicalities of playing - even if it's narrative campaign, how are you going to represent massive armies during play? Incidently, that, I reckon, is the reason most campaigns either goes with hilariously (from realistic point of viev) small forces, or with merely a fraction of actuall invasion.

The correct answer is: This is our job.

Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:16 pm

Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:00 pm
Posts: 23
So operational parameters refined;

Primary Objectives:
- Seek and recover relic silos
- cleanse and re-consecrate all land and buildings
- de-populate and the re-populate planet with religious colonists.

- Entire planet is hostile environment. Self sustained internal environments needed.
- Local Nurglified population may provide some data as to the nature of diseases present. Retain some for experiments
- some areas are known as free of silos, meaning orbital strikes can be used (these will likely be used to speed up the mechanised advance of the Northern army)
- enemy force strength and resources unknown, but there were over 4billion pilgrims and shrine staff before the Rift cut off Sardus.

Imperial Intelligence Gaps
- Nurgle Sardus has suffered multiple Tzeentch invasions, resulting in a more experienced armies than expected.
- Nurgle Sardus has been heavily industrialised after the civil wars.

A regiment per front seems waaaay too small? Although narratively I want to have most regiments on a front from the same planets. Just makes things easier.

As for battle scale, I'm planning on only showing the key points of battles, but we're going to have a map too. We need to work out how that will work though!

The Battle for the Spine is somewhat easy to represent as it's a series of relatively small scale engagements. One front I have planned for yeeeeeeears down the line features massive trench warfare, which may mean 2mm models and epic rules.

Sorry if this is a bit disjointed, I've been working on the fluff for this for over a year on various train journeys so it all makes sense in my head!! I just need to understand scale really.

Sardus model blog is up by the way, in the Hobby section.

Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:20 pm
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Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:54 pm
Posts: 89
Very interesting and inspiring to see the size and scale of your planning!

Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:36 am
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