The Let's Play Archive

Empire: Total War

by Yukitsu

Part 77: Q&A - January 12

Empire Total War: The Second 80 Years War quick online Q&A

Q: How did armies manage supply and food?

A: This depended on the region in question. In the dense, highly agricultural lands of Germany, much of India and the islands around the Americas, the army simply acquired food and other such supplies by purchasing from local farmers, stealing from local farmers, or by foraging through the dense forests and plains.

In other, less agriculturally advanced cities such as in North America, supplies were brought in along the east coast through V.O.C. trade ships. The armies of Karel Vrooman were predominantly concentrated along the coast making it a simple matter to supply them. Armies further west were much smaller, and many of their members were native warriors that were skilled at hunting the fairly plentiful game of the region. During the 1700s, the Bison was particularly common and desirable.

In less hospitable regions, such as parts of India, much of North Africa and of course, Russia, more serious supply issues could exist, but most armies preferred avoiding those regions. The Dutch in Africa had to hug the northern coast to receive supply from sea, and in India, the Dutch generally advanced after strongly consolidating their position, which insured a strong supply chain.

Serious supply and logistic chains did exist in the 1700s, but they were not considered a tremendous part of army functioning until the mid 1800s, where army size ballooned to consist of hundreds of thousands of men. The tens of thousands of men in the armies of the 1700s did not require the same level of supplies.

Q: How did the Dutch entice natives from South America to fight far from their homes and families in North America?

A: Much like Scottish, Indian and Swiss mercenaries, the Dutch focused primarily on highly martial groups, homing in on men without many attachments at home. Much like European mercenaries, these men were granted a great deal of material wealth for fighting (for their home standards), and many were lured by the promise of excitement and a chance to prove their valour. Many only served for five to ten years before they returned home, often with enough plundered loot and pay to live a fairly respectable life in their society.

Most importantly however, within those tribes, men without wealth, honour or much chance of advancing as a warrior within their society could go abroad with the Dutch, taking trophies and returning largely as equals to their tribe's warrior elite.