Have Fun Modelling Logistics

Or … “Sergeant Bilko goes to War”

Troops work frantically through the night somewhere east of TOBRUK to crossload fuel from army to corps transport

Combat mechanisms in most wargames are complex, yet Wargamers enjoy rolling dice to calculate them. There is no reason for much simpler logistics mechanisms to be dull or tedious. As long as they are an integral part of the game, they should not slow it down. If logistics slow a game down, they will not be played and if dull, players won’t play the game.  Simple really. So how does NQM do it?

Army Railhead somewhere east of TOBRUK with no rails in sight, but lots of trucks. Note the Junior General truck printed onto card in the foreground

Firstly, logistics are modelled. Figure gamers love modelling, and I’m no exception, even with my dodgy modelling skills. The previous post but one showed a logistic train from railhead to fighting unit.

The only complexity not previously discussed is that in pursuit, motorised units use 2 POLs (Divisional Fuel  Loads)  per day and no CUs (Divisional Ammo Load) or FUs (Artillery Load), as they are racing along in pursuit of a defeated enemy. In defence, up to 2 CUs (because the defenders will almost certainly have to fight off more than 3 attacks) and as many FUs  (usually one) as can be brought forward or have been stockpiled. Likewise in attack, up to 2 FUs of artillery will be fired off to soften up the defenders and 1 CU of ammo expended as the division goes in.

Sergeant Bilko's English cousin WO1 "Brummy" Stokes reads the Racing Times in his supply depot. "Want any jam mate?"

I have showed divisional and corps supply dumps being modelled. Most players will not want to bother with the calculations of how many  CUs, FUs, and POLs are in these dumps. If you want the full flavour of desert warfare however, then modelling the flow of supplies moving forward is very instructive, and helps to explain why battles were followed by long lulls of apparent inactivity as the logistic troops raced to build up supply dumps and repair damaged fighting vehicles.

Page 18 shows how this works … so how were the sums arrived at :


A division consumes somewhere between 200-400tons of supplies a day* split broadly into Ammo (CUs), Artillery Ammo (FUs) and Fuel (POL). If each NQM model represents 30 trucks, then a 3-tonner can lift 90 tons and a 5-tonner 150 tons, so say 1 model per 100 tons. Conveniently, most NQM divisions have 3 trucks to supply 1 each of CUs, FUs and POL.


* The Allies planned for up to 650 tons/day at D-Day, but this was pessimistic. Simple sums derived from van Krefeld’s Supplying War.



Filed under "Rules" Explanations, 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Logistics, Modelling, Trucks, Wargames, WWII

4 responses to “Have Fun Modelling Logistics

  1. More toy lorries – hurrah!


  2. An easy cure for Tiger fetishism.


    • Welcome to the blog Pat,

      You need a lot of trucks to keep a Tiger battalion fighting. I haven’t needed to find out how many yet, but somebody will know 🙂

      Kind regards, Chris


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