aspqrz
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Posts: 47
Joined: Mon 07 Sep 2020, 12:17
Location: Sydney, Australia

[ALPHA] Horses as starting Vehicles

Sat 28 Nov 2020, 23:45

Instead of a Dirt Bike (or possibly an addition to the Group Gear) should be Civilian or Military Bicycles or Mopeds.

The chance of having Horses is FAR too high given how many there are in pre-WW3 Europe as compared to the WW2 period ... Germany, for example, had around 3 million horses in 1939 and committed 600,000 to Barbarossa.

In 2000 Germany had around 450,000 horses, most of which would have died in the nuclear exchange or been slaughtered for food in the harsh winters following. I'd be surprised if a third survived the nuclear portion of the war and even more surprised if a third of those survived the immediate aftermath. So, maybe 50,000 horses in Germany in alt 2000 ... of which, proportionally by WW2 standards, 20% could be committed to military operations ... so maybe 10,000 ... and that's, I suspect, being generous as few of the Horses available are likely to be the robust breeds the German army used for logistics purposes and commiting occasional riding horses to such use would kill them off quick smart.

Other European nations have similar much smaller than WW2 horse populations (figures are easily available online).

That's enough for, IIRC, three or four WW2 style German Leg Infantry divisions or, on a similar issue basis, maybe 5-6 US Infantry Divisions reduced to effectively Brigade strength.

And, as in a WW2 German Infantry Battalion, the Horses were committed to supply duties ... there was exactly ONE riding horse, for the CO ... and they died off so quickly during Barbarossa that they were never replaced as the ones used for logistics purposes died almost as quickly.

Instead it is MUCH more likely that the PCs would have Bicycles, Mopeds or, perhaps, scavenged civilian cars (junkers) or motorcycles of all types and vintages, well and truly clapped out and kept marginally operational with spit and bailing wire.

Phil McGregor
========
Author: Space Opera (FGU); Rigger Black Book #1 (FASA); Orbis Mundi 2, The Marketplace, Ithura & Porthaven, Fantasy Europe (PGD); Road to Armageddon & Supplements, Displaced, Audace ad Gloriam, Farm, Forge & Steam (PGD).
 
AEB
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Joined: Sat 19 Sep 2020, 06:01

Re: [ALPHA] Horses as starting Vehicles

Sun 29 Nov 2020, 05:48

There is even a Trope called "There are no bicycles in an apocalypse" which refers to how every other mode of transport is considered in post-apocalyptic fiction before the humble bike.

Bikes are an effective method of increasing a human's carrying capacity. While they can be ridden the best use is to load up the bicycle with cargo and then wheel the bike along rather than carrying that weight in a pack or webbing. Bikes tend to be plentiful and easy to fix.

I expect that as soon as oil became scarce horse breeding would take off, but given the long gestation + foal period (and no doubt massive loss of horse flesh in the same period) horse numbers are unlikely to be enough for horses to be commonly available.
 
aspqrz
Topic Author
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon 07 Sep 2020, 12:17
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: [ALPHA] Horses as starting Vehicles

Sun 29 Nov 2020, 06:33

Exactly so. The Swedes had Bicycle Infantry units well into the late 1980s and (at least according to a photo in Wikipedia) they were in use in some capacity as late as 2004.

The Swiss had a Bicycle Infantry Regiment as late as 2001 and have recently purchased in excess of 4000 examples of a modern military Bicycle!

The Finnish Army trains all recruits (according to Wikipedia) to Ski and ride a Bicycle.

Phil McGregor
========
Author: Space Opera (FGU); Rigger Black Book #1 (FASA); Orbis Mundi 2, The Marketplace, Ithura & Porthaven, Fantasy Europe (PGD); Road to Armageddon & Supplements, Displaced, Audace ad Gloriam, Farm, Forge & Steam (PGD).
 
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pansarskott
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon 24 Aug 2020, 19:29

Re: [ALPHA] Horses as starting Vehicles

Sun 29 Nov 2020, 07:53

Exactly so. The Swedes had Bicycle Infantry units well into the late 1980s and (at least according to a photo in Wikipedia) they were in use in some capacity as late as 2004.
Even for units that didn't have bicycles in the wartime TO&E, there were used just for transportation during training. Getting from the baracks to the firing range and stuff like that. Much simpler than bringing out motor vehicles.

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