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"An Army marches on its stomach."
Napoléon Bonaparte, explaining how important logistics are

If the day-long battle and hundreds of men that fought it stupefy you, figuring out the much greater amounts of time and individuals it took to get those men there will really send your jaw to the floor.

Any modern armed force in Real Life must receive a steady supply of fuel, ammunition and other provisions in order to be able to operate. There are countless examples of armies being fatally weakened or even dissolving completely due to insufficient supplies. In some types of combat, such as air-to-air, ammo and fuel supplies can even set an absolute hard limit on how long an engagement can go on; combat airplanes, for instance, may well expend all their munitions in a single pass. Therefore securing supply lines is a vital part of any military operation. In games with a military theme, save the most serious wargames and grand strategy games, this aspect is usually dealt with in the background without the player having to worry unduly about it. Sometimes, however, this aspect is portrayed in an egregiously unrealistic fashion, with the forces depicted being mostly or entirely liberated from logistical constraints.

Airplanes will normally be the exception, if anything is, as chances are they'll be restrained by their fuel capacity or their ammo; once one of such is depleted, they usually have to return to a nearby landing strip (or, if the military is advanced enough, provided with in-flight (mid-air) refueling, which then means they have to have additional bases capable of providing for tanker planes along the way). This is for both stylistic and balance reasons: it would be overpowered to have an infinite bombing run, and the aircraft carriers have to do something.

Some of the most egregious examples are repair units. These little buggers can fix a heavy tank from near disintegrated state in a matter of seconds with any needed spare parts being pulled out of hammerspace (otherwise the unit would be carrying an entire tank in spare parts around) without making the repair crew actually get out, or even immobilizing the repaired unit for a short time. The latter part includes repairing an attack helicopter hovering over the repair unit. These guys are hardcore. Shoot them first.

In its milder form this is an acceptable break from reality, but it is often abused to make fantastic scenarios take place in ostensibly realistic settings. However, at least some of the listed aversions prove that a "deficit management" game is not only inherent in any logistics model worthy of being named so, but can also make interesting challenges in itself.

As they say in the military: "Amateurs study tactics. Professionals study logistics."

Usually seen along with Easy Communication and Command & Conquer Economy. Contrast Wizard Needs Food Badly and Resources Management Gameplay. A subtrope is Automaton Horses, which addresses the ease of keeping horses fed, watered and healthy in fiction. Another major component of this trope is a Global Currency, because it eliminates the need to calculate exchange rates and manage additional kinds of resources based off that. Apocalyptic Logistics is a setting-based Sub-Trope where the logistics are easy despite the collapse of society.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • A key plot point of Arpeggio of Blue Steel is that even though humanity has weapons that can fight the Fleet of Fog, they are in highly limited supply. A major part of the story is bringing the plans for the first human-producible anti-Fog weapon from the nation that designed it to a nation with the industrial capacity to produce enough of them that they can equip a fleet with them.
  • This is normally averted in Attack on Titan; the extremely specialised equipment the protagonists use to fight the Titans is prone to malfunction, and on-site repair is treated as impossible. Both the gas canisters for propulsion and the blades for chopping Titan limbs/necks are limited resources. It is mentioned in the design documents for the gear that the extremely sharp but brittle steel used for these blades are manufactured in only one location within the most interior wall. If this production stopped for any reason, the protagonists would be defenceless as soon as their supply of blades ran out.
  • Subverted for everyone but the main party, the Crimson Vow, in Didn't I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?. Storage Magic (a Bag of Holding spell) is so valuable that many adventuring parties, merchant groups, and militaries are willing to pay good money to keep mages who know just that spell; being able to reliably produce significant amounts of potable water with magic is also highly prized; and any kill contracts requires the adventurers to extract relatively easy-to-transport proof from the corpses, such as ears or tails, and compensation is affected by how difficult it would be to get there and back, and also the deterioration and mishaps that may occur. Part of the reason why the Crimson Vow is so successful is that Mile's storage magic is so powerful that her storage magic has effectively infinite capacity. The one time the party tries to go questing while she's taking a day off, the others find their ability to work significantly hindered by the absence of all the various conveniences that Miles can bring with her without being encumbered, and the fact that she can just as easily take several tons of monster meat back home with her the same way.
  • Deconstructed in Legend of the Galactic Heroes where, in a broad analog to Operation Barbarossa (listed in Real Life below), ambitious members of the Free Planets Alliance military propose a grand "liberation" of planets in Imperial space, which the political leadership signs off on because a decisive victory will help them score points in the upcoming elections. When more sensible members of the senior officer corps point out that the Alliance doesn't have the resources to support such a campaign and that their supply lines will be overstretched and vulnerable, the planners naively assert that they'll be able to requisition whatever supplies they need from the planets they conquer. Unfortunately, by this time the Empire's war effort is being directed by genius strategist Reinhard von Lohengramm, who uses a scorched-earth policy and raids against those very unguarded supply lines to cripple the Alliance's space navy. While the war continues for almost three years more, the enormous losses in the merchant fleet and combat elements (the latter caused in no small part by the fleet being undersupplied) suffered in this this campaign prove decisive for the ultimate Imperial victory.
  • Subverted or Averted at multiple points in the Macross franchise:
    • Any Zentraedi fleet has many planetoid-sized Factory Satellites to keep it supplied, so they should play it straight. The problem is, the Protoculture, fearing their slave soldiers would one day rebel, willingly weakened the Zentraedi by denying them the technical know-how necessary to maintain and repair their ships or reverse-engineer existing designs. As the Zentraedi rebelled and wiped out the Protoculture 500,000 years ago, modern Zentraedi ships degrade into progressively worse conditions as they’re used, and don’t have access to reaction weapons because all the Factory Satellites producing them were wiped out and they’ve long run out of preexisting supplies. Additionally, at least the fleet appearing in Super Dimension Fortress Macross is shown to have only a limited supply of Glaug officer pods due to their Satellite for that one getting destroyed too. The New UN Spacy stealing any Factory Satellite they stumble upon (including those of the Zentraedi fleet they defeated in the original series) isn't helping the situation of independent Zentraedi fleets either, though those who have allied with humanity have benefited from the latter's technical know-how.
    • Averted in Macross Delta: Chaos cannot launch an immediate counteroffensive after Windermere conquers the whole Brisingr Cluster because they've used up almost all their munitions in the last battle and, with their employers, the worlds of the Brisingr Cluster, having been overrun and thus being unable to pay, cannot buy any more, much less afford the spare parts to repair their refugee ship: being mercenaries and not government military, Chaos doesn’t have direct access to the New UN's Factory Satellites but has to buy all their weapons and munitions. This gets solved when a mining consortium with interests in the Brisingr Cluster hire them to retake it, but even then they have to wait until the supplies show up.
  • Robotech is one long aversion: the advanced technology that gives the name to the series is powered by Protoculture, a very specific fuel made from the Invid Flower of Life being processed through the Protoculture Matrix... And the only remaining supply of Flower of Life was on a ship that crashed on Earth, and the fight for that source is the entire reason for the first two arcs. The motif remains present in the New Generation saga, as while the Robotech Expeditionary Force has managed to set up its own plantations of Flower of Life and has a Matrix and the Invid have control of Earth (now teeming with the Flower) and have the knowledge to mass-produce the Protoculture Matrix, Scott's group is a small resistance cell stranded on Invid-controlled Earth and is often short on Protoculture supplies for their vehicles and weapons.
    • The trope returns on large scale in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles: when the SDF-3 Pioneer disappeared it was carrying the REF Protoculture Matrix and the one guy who knew how to make more, and while the Invid are not hostile anymore-and in fact they now have a common enemy with the REF-they have disappeared to parts unknown.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime:
    • The reason orc armies are so dangerous is because Orc Lords have the special Starvation ability, which not only gives them a Cannibalism Superpower that lets them absorb the abilities of those they eat, but also means that so long as the Orc Lord eats, no one in his army can starve to death. Characters point out that this is why a 200,000 sized Orc army can keep going without any supply lines. The downside is that they still feel hungry, turning them into a mindless horde that will devour anything and everything in its path.
    • Averted with Rimuru; much of the story is about him securing supplies for his people and growing nation, and he solves a lot of problems just by introducing basic plumbing. Quite a bit of time is spent focusing on also finding and training the qualified people who will help keep the economical and military machines running smoothly without him micromanaging everything and driving himself insane with stress. Being the superpower with control over the Jura Forest and all its natural resources, combined with no shortage of land to turn into various farmland and sites for various specialized structures, owning one of the most valuable trade centers in the entire world, and being allied with some of the most influential and powerful beings on the planet who have their own vested interests in ensuring the Jura-Tempest Federation's success for their own benefits, all help smooth out the logistical issues immensely. The fact he and his many of his spellcasters devise a Teleportation spell that can safely transport dozens to hundreds of people and equipment across miles at a time only limited by their Mana storages is treated as a breakthrough with an incredible edge in times of war.
  • The Dragon, The Hero and The Courier toys with this a lot, given that its subject matter mostly involves lowly jobs taking place in a fantasy setting. One early chapter, for instance, averts this heavily by showing an adventuring party that at first looks like the typical "four to six characters with standard RPG classes", but is tailed by a few dozen support staff to handle things like carrying supplies, weapon repair, and processing the remains and treasures of the creatures they kill.

    Board Games 
  • Averted in the Classic BattleTech board game. Ballistic weapons and missile launchers require literally tons of ammunition, and supplies play a major part in any game that extends beyond individual battles.
    • A factor which was actually invoked by all sides during the Clan invasion. The Clans resorted to Energy Weapon use because their logistics train (designed only for the Clans Duel to the Death style combat) couldn't cope with the Inner Sphere's grueling wars of attrition, and the Inner Sphere used Energy Weapons for operation behind enemy lines, specifically to hunt down Clan supplies.
    • Also averted by Comstar, whose logistics were already good enough to supply HPV Defender units all across the Inner Sphere, and managed the logistical nightmare of supplying dozens of army groups in the Battle for Tukayyid. When the opposing generals discuss the battle after the fact, it is pointed out that the Precentor Martial of Comstar won the battle almost entirely because he understood logistics in a way the Clans did not. The very few Clan forces that brought enough supplies tended to win their individual contests.
  • Board game Campaign For North Africa is a massive aversion. A full game takes 10 players some 1200 hours to play, and the majority of it is record-keeping. The entire North African theatre, for three years, with individual pilots, unit ammunition counts and water supplies, and the like being tracked to minute detail. It's so detailed that Italian units use more water than any other nation, because they cook pasta.

  • Regularly averted in Lord of Misrule's Babylon 5 fanfics:
    • In The Dilgar War, the main obstacle to the Dilgar effort in the first phase of the war is the continuous extension of their supply lines, an obstacle made worse when the Drazi got the drop on half their cargo ships and destroyed them. Things get much worse with Earth Alliance's entry in the war and their concentrated effort to demolish the Dilgar merchant fleet, and by the time of the battle of Balos (the last chance for the Dilgar to stop EarthForce and the League before they can reach the Dilgar homeworld) the Dilgar fleet assembled there has no fuel to move somewhere else. On the other hand, the main trouble for EarthForce is the need to bring their supplies to the front all the way from Earth Alliance space, and while they're better at defending them they get in trouble during the Balos campaign when the Dilgar manage to destroy the main stockpile near the front.
    • In The Last Star, this is the main problem for the Minbari: they are winning decisively against Earth, but EarthForce has savaged their merchant fleet and their industrial production is inadequate, and they're dangerously coming close to the point they'll have to stop for months and let EarthForce regroup right when warships that can actually pose a threat to the superior Minbari ships are starting being produced.
    • In A Fighting Chance, Earth Alliance quickly acquires the technology to target the Minbari ships, leading to the above scenario much faster. Later turned back against Earth Alliance when Branmer manage to keep most of Earth's main force from chasing his fleet attacking Earth itself when he destroys their fuel stockpiles after tricking them into using most of their onboard fuel in a running battle. This is also the reason Branmer is attacking Earth: due their relative youth as a spacefaring nation, more than half of Earth Alliance's industrial production is still based on Earth itself with most of the rest placed on Mars and Proxima, and the loss of those industries would cripple the Alliance.
  • In The Black Emperor, building new 7th Generation Knightmare Frames or even replacing Gloucesters is a serious trial for Cornelia's forces in Area Eleven. Because Clovis never had a high spec production facility built, all Gloucesters have to be shipped from the mainland rather than manufactured in Area Eleven. Meanwhile, the Lancelot is a unique Knightmare which means every part is custom made, so even repairing the badly damaged Frame would take weeks. Furthermore, Cecile and Lloyd explain to Cornelia that it'd take months to properly design a 7th Generation Knightmare that any but the absolute best pilots could use, partially due to all the downgrades they'd have to make while still maintaining it's high performance.
  • Averted in The Chronicles of Tanya the Holy where regular mention is given towards weapons, ammo (in the case of the dwarves), and food. The latter in particular is a problem given that grain has proven to carry the plague and has to be burned rather than used. Tanya notes early on that Azeroth has a massive abundance of most metals compared to Earth, particularly iron, allowing the armies of Lordaeron to easily supply all their footsoldiers with full suits of plate armor, something that was prohibitively expensive in real life.
  • Code Geass: The Prepared Rebellion makes a point of noting how difficult supplying a rebellion is, with Lelouch holding gathering funds as at least as important as actually fighting Britannia. This same aversion allows Lelouch to Spot the Thread about the Neo Shinsengumi and their backing during the Battle of Port Yokosuka. This is because he realized that "anyone with the slightest tactical acumen" wouldn't have ordered such a wasteful deployment, in both materiel and personnel, for no gain other than intel gathering if they did not know from the start they can afford it.
  • In Codes And Geass: Embracing Your Inner Megalomania, during a raid for supplies, the Black Knights make sure to have a list of exactly what they need. When the enemy commander blows up the base, Cornelia is furious as the base itself was a vital part of the Area's supply chain, making it more valuable than it's contents, and Zero couldn't have the forces to take and hold the locationnote .
  • Averted often in A Cold Calculus. To give a few examples:
    • Just after the Shinjuku incident, Ohgi's resistance cell runs low on supplies for everything to the point where they're unable to handle any major operations for a good while. Also, while Kallen loses her Glasgow and manages to steal a Pureblood's Sutherland, that actually makes things more difficult for them as they're unable to find an energy filler for it without drawing attention to themselves.
    • During the Refrain arc, we see Inoue and Kallen do a supply run.
    • Inoue works at Keio Hospital, which lacks personnel, power and supplies due to being essentially a charity-funded operation in the ghettos. Part of Euphie's hearts-and-minds campaign has them send aid to there and like places while also reaching out to the Sumeragi House to get a start on uplifting the conditions, basic and economic, of the Japanese people.
    • The author has also reduced the omnipresence Knightmare Frames had in canon due to the logistics needed to field (and lose) them in such numbers as we see in the show. This means that infantry, armor and jet fighters have beefed up roles. Also, no Knight Police.
    • Some of the background information points out that one of the key advantages that Britannia has in the war against the EU is that Britannia is one nation, so all their units are standardized to use the same gear. The European Union is a coalition of twenty or so nations, each of which has their own military supplied by their own contractors, which complicates their logistics considerably. One simple example provided is that the Western, Central and Eastern European nations each standardized on a different caliber of ammunition for their rifles, which means that they have to keep track of which units need which types of clips if they don't want them to be totally useless. The Britannian Army only has one type of rifle issued to the general infantry, which means they only need one type of clip.
  • In Davion & Davion (Deceased), this is heavily averted.
    • John Davion takes great pains to ensure his own supply lines are well-protected and prepares emergency fallback production for his industries in off-the-map sites so the other Great Houses know nothing of his true production and supply capabilities.
    • Operation Oxbow is a deep-striking military operation John plans so that he can cripple the ability of his longtime foes to keep their fleets maintained.
    • The SLDF offensive suffers after John secedes from the now-rotten Star League as without his taxes and materiel support, the SLDF loses more than a third of its funding and supply capability. On top of that, with one of their biggest supply depots cut off from SLDF lines in now-hostile territory, they find themselves even more short on everything and are ultimately forced to effectively become pseudo-mercenaries under the employ of the other Great Houses.
  • In A Discordant Note, Harry Potter/Black taught all of his children about combat and waging war, but to their surprise he spent more time on logistics than on tactics or strategy. Because of that, after securing a foothold on Skagos, Harry's son Grond lets the defending army assemble so he can take his time fortifying and setting up a supply line.
  • Averted in An Entry with a Bang!! GDI forces ran low on supplies after the battle to take Port Krin. Also, one of the key meta-arguments in having GDI go for a standardized equipment loadout is to ease supply lines.
  • Averted for A Feddie Story has logistical problems surface in one form or another repeatedly. The Federation vehicles start to run out of ammunition in Iowa, and several vehicles break down at various points in the journey and have to be abandoned. By the time they reach Minneapolis supplies of ammunition are being airlifted to them from Winnipeg, without which they would have been useless during the Battle of Saint Paul. Zeon units by then are suffering a similar issue, as their own supply lines have been cut; one of the reasons they withdraw from Saint Paul is a belief they don't have enough ammunition left to fight a pitched battle. Basic fuel and food are rarely concerns, but the reason for this is actually valid: North America is populated enough that it's not hard to find gasoline or a convenience store when regular supply isn't available.
  • In Fire Emblem Fates fanfic A Brighter Dark, Jakob consciously invokes this to the benefit of Corrin. Due to Jakob's talent with organizing and management, he assures his liege that she won't have to worry about any of the details involving troop movements, equipment, and maintenance when making her decisions and that whatever path they took, he would ensure everything ended up where it needed to be without her having to think about it.
    Narration: All she needed to know, as Jakob put it, was that there would be an army of 300 men at arms, 100 archers, 50 calvary, 10 flyers, and even 2 mages all prepped and ready to march at the break of dawn.
  • Zig-zagged in Fractured (SovereignGFC) and its sequel, Origins. When the Trans-Galactic Republic first arrives at the Citadel, the trope seems to be in play (as it tends to be in Star Wars), but as battles wear on the newcomers are shown to run short on hypermatter fuel, limiting their ability to participate in combat. This problem is the reason for merging hyperdrives with Element Zero. In the sequel, specific types of Unobtanium that power Trans-Galactic Republic ships are noted to be in short supply, limiting the ability of anybody to reproduce said ships (and their powerful weapons). This gets partially sorted, but the replacements are noted to be weaker due to lack of the "real" Phlebotinum used at home.
  • A Nerubian's Journey pays special attention to the problem of logistics both during and after a war. The Nerubians need several weeks after officially entering the war to actually help the Alliance as their empire is on an entirely different continent. While portals are a thing, setting up permanent portals that can handle the kind of traffic needed takes considerable time and effort to setup. Similarly, when the Horde takes control of Khaz Modan, they have to spend weeks both resupplying and building up a fleet of ships to cross into the northern half of the continent. Both Ironforge and Gnomergan are stated to have massive stockpiles of food as well as underground mushroom farms so their citizens don't starve during the siege. Lastly, because Alexstrasza is never enslaved by the Horde, they're forced to make due with undead dragons raised by their death knights. But since most dragons fly to Dragonblight to die, dragon remains are very rare and replacing even one is difficult.
  • Averted in Order in Chaos: supplying the fleets with fuel, spare parts, new fighters and ships and even personnel is a primary concern for both sides, and one of the main Centauri advantages against their enemies is that their fleets not only need less supplies (as the Orieni make use of waves of ramming drones, devastating but a logistical nightmare), but they have enough factories and cargo ships to constantly resupply the fleets fighting on the Orieni front and still support a force strong enough to crush the Drazi on the other side of the Republic, with Orieni strategy being centered around the need to change this situation. The fact Centauri space is far richer in Quantium-40, translating in their ships having a higher percentage of jump drives (thus making them less reliant on the jump gates) and of higher quality to boot, made things even worse for the Orieni.
  • Defied in Power Rangers Mythos; during a mission in Wales to track down a recent mass purchase of cows that they speculate has been carried out by their foe, the titular Mythos Rangers are able to intercept one such convoy, but their mentor confirms that they don't have the time or resources to track down every other such convoy.
  • Averted in Prince Iroh. After the Fire Nation's catastrophic defeat at Lake Myojin, Gan chides Nikon for not realizing that an army is made up not only of men, but also the resources they need to wage war, which includes the cost of their equipment and ability to replace it should it ever be lost in battle. In a later chapter, Chieng points out that should Mequon ever be lost, the Fire Nation's ability to supply its oversea armies would be lost.
  • The Straw Hat pirates in Stallion of the Line regularly bring up not only the need to stay stocked on food and fresh water but also various bits and pieces to keep the ship in proper shape such as nails, metal, wood, cloth, and ropes. Tellingly, their reward from a village they saved from another pirate crew is in the form of supplies rather than money.
  • Averted in The Swarm of War. There are a lot of issues with feeding an army a million strong, and the Ork invasion runs into significant problems once they find out their spores don’t grow in Creep.
  • Averted in "Tarkin's Fist". Much of the conflict between the Empire and the Earth is influenced by logistical issues.

    • When the Empire arrives in the Solar System they have limited food and water supplies and no fuel to power their hyperdrives. So they are confined to sublight speeds in the Sol System until they can acquire more hypermatter fuel. But they can't acquire more fuel until they've built the machinery and refinery to make and distill said fuel. So they can't just leave the Earth alone, go to the other side of the Milky Way and settle there. Their initial lack of supplies limits their ability to operate and requires them to either ask for help from the Earth or seize what they need by force. The Empire, being the Empire, resorts to force.

    • The Empire takes special efforts to destroy the Earth's infrastructure, annihilating bridges, railways, highways, ports, and factories to hamper the Earth's ability to build and ship war material to the front. Much of the story is dedicated to the Earth's attempts to create an ad hoc logistical system that circumvents the Empire's attacks and keeps their troops at the front supplied.
  • Justified in A Thing of Vikings. Berk has a large army of dragons and at least one of their enemies is shocked by how they're able to feed them. They manage because of several different reasons. Firstly, with the death of the Green Death, the ecosystem suddenly had a huge surplus in its carrying capacity. Secondly, Berk makes use of the dragons themselves to catch all the fish they'll need to feed the dragons and build things to be more efficient about feeding everyone. Thirdly, it also turns out dragon dung is an extremely potent fertiliser, so they can grow more crops so the humans will need less fish and therefore can allocate more to the dragons. All their enemies however avert this as they either have no dragons or too few dragons to smooth out their own logistical issues.
  • Travels Through Azeroth and Outland spends some time describing just how all these far-flung settlements (often in very inhospitable environments) get the supplies that they need.
  • Tyranids "R" Us mentions that Orks instinctively use their psychic abilities to warp reality so as to avoid logistical issues. A group of orks dropped on an ice-bound planet with no sunlight or resources should logically just die off, but instead, come back in a century and they'll have a civilisation (or at least, a war machine) about to spread out and conquer the stars.
    It was slow, but I'm pretty sure it was the start of a planetary WAAAAAAGH field, which is the actual, technical name for the umbrella of minor effects that allowed Orks that were warring to cheat when it came to biology, physics, technology, and a myriad other logistical issues that should plague an unsupported detachment of a few million individuals with no baggage "tail" like all human forces would require.
  • Referenced and averted in Wilhuff Tarkin, Hero of the Rebellion: even with over fifteen years of preparations and Tarkin as one of their leaders, the Rebels haven't started open warfare against the Empire in no small part because they don't have the resources to support the war effort. Garm Bel Iblis is noted to be "willing to buy, steal and procure anything that could fly and fight if it could serve the Rebellion, especially when it was cruisers" in spite of preferring by far Corellian Engineering Corporation products (CEC made very few cruisers and most of them aren't on the markets), and the discovery and capture of a secret shipyard capable of building everything from fighters to battlecruisers and a ready supply of gunships and battlecruisers is treated as a major achievement.
    • Double Subverted with Stella Maris, the above shipyard: as the original owners had built it in secret and were operating illegally Bel Iblis immediately wonders how they had managed to pull it off, but Tarkin quickly explains they started out with a single mobile dock and it took them years and a large revenue, in part procured by selling counterfeits Corellian gunships, to build the rest.
  • With This Ring: Justified in the Accala, a tribe who all used the Danner formula to gain Super-Strength and Super-Toughness, enough to run as fast as a car and punch concrete to bits. This terrifies every South American government; if negotiations with the Accala break down, they can attack at a moment's notice.
    Paul: Mister President, they don't need logistics. They can get food for a few hundred people easily just about anywhere and they'll be attacking with their bare hands. They don't need build-up time, they just need a 'go' signal.

  • The aversion is critical to the finale of Battle of the Bulge: The German supply lines were so weak that their counteroffensive was dependent on their ability to salvage fuel from defeated Allied units. Once the Allies realized this, they lured the Germans into an open country battle that the German tanks were good at fighting, but didn't have the gas to fight for very long. Between the fuel expended fighting the tank battle and the failure to capture the supply depot nearest the battlefield, the Germans ran out of gas, costing them the use of their armor and ending the offensive.
  • Many of the problems the soldiers face in A Bridge Too Far are logistics related. Since the film was based on a real campaign, the actual soldiers who served in Operation Market Garden likely faced many of them in real life:
    • The Allies lacked the airlift capacity to deliver all the paratroopers and their gear in one drop.
    • Key equipment that was supposed to be part of the first drop was lost during the drop, leaving the troops unable to fight effectively.
    • The later drops were repeatedly postponed due to weather issues.
    • Even when supply drops did make it through, communication problems meant that the supply drops were delivered to the wrong locations, resulting in desperately needed food, munitions and medical supplies being delivered to the enemy by accident.
    • And the relief force on the ground was sent to advance along a single, fairly narrow road. This meant that any bottlenecks caused by traffic difficulties could (and on several occasions did) block the advance of the entire column.
  • In Gone with the Wind, Rhett Butler is present in a discussion of the newly declared Civil War with plantation owners and other rich men. Everyone else in the room assumes that the Union forces are cowards and that the Southern "gentlemen" will always fight better than the northern "rabble." Rhett Butler points out that there isn't a single cannon factory in all of the South, while the North has factories, shipyards, railroads, and a fleet to blockade the South into starvation, while the South only has, "Cotton, Slaves, and Arrogance." His points fall on deaf ears, and like in real life the South loses the war.
  • Played for Laughs, together with Easy Communication, in Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession. Miloslavsky orders Ivan the Terrible's army to march against the Crimean khan, there is a call to arms a second later, and in another second, off the army goes, including the horses and weaponry (and to top it off, crowds of civilians are already lined up in the streets to wave goodbye to them).
  • Defied in Nicholas and Alexandra. Supplying soldiers across the vast Russian Empire is a monumental challenge, as Grand Duke Nicholas frustratingly explains.
    Grand Duke Nicholas: Well Nicky, let me put it this way. (Presents a bullet) This is a bullet, munitioned in Saint Petersburg. I send it off to war. How does it get there? On a single spur of railroad track four thousand miles long. And in the middle, no track at all. God help us, it spends three days packed on sleds. This works the same way for every pair of boots, first aid kit, or pound of tea we send. Get out now, Nicky. While there is time.

  • In the alternate history novel Biography of X by Catherine Lacey, sometime in the 1940s the southern states of America seceded from the northern states to become a fascist theocratic dictatorship. They did this by secretly building a giant wall between themselves and the North and erecting it apparently overnight—how they concealed all the materials, money, personnel, and labor that would be required to build thousands of miles of wall is handwaved. This would not be an easy task, given the rough terrain large chunks of the wall would have to go through, and attempting to conceal it would only make it more difficult. The whole thing certainly couldn't all go up at once. But apparently there were no setbacks, engineering challenges, unexpected costs, random citizens who noticed a suspicious amount of trucks carrying concrete, federal auditors who wanted to know what all those new line items in the budget were for, or employees who slipped up and spoke a little too freely to the wrong person.
  • Brandon Sanderson:
    • Mistborn: The Original Trilogy: The koloss are massive Super Soldiers with Super-Strength and Super-Toughness who can each fight dozens of ordinary soldiers by themselves. Their real advantage, however, is that they can eat anything—even dirt—making them very cheap to keep in fighting shape.
    • Warbreaker: This is a huge point in international politics. The magically created undead known as Lifeless are no stronger or more skilled or more capable of absorbing damage than regular living humans, but they don't have to eat, which made the discovery of an efficient way of summoning them a Game-Breaker that started a massive multinational war. Also a roundabout key to the villain's plan. He sends the Lifeless to attack a neighboring kingdom and then kills everyone who knows how to change their orders, banking on the fact that even unsupported, the Lifeless will deal enough damage to start a second world war.
    • The Stormlight Archive: The magical artifacts known as Soulcasters can eliminate much of an army's need for supplies, as they literally create food, wood and other supplies. They need stormlight charged gemstones to work, and they actually transform the material an object is made out of, meaning waste can be made into food, wood can be created in an area without trees and structures can be built out of easily worked material then transformed into stone for strength. This makes them arguably even more strategically important than Shardblades or Shardplate used in battle, and the king's tax on the use of his Soulcasters is Elokhar's main income source. That being said, trade still moves between the homeland and the armies' bases, but they typically supply things that are harder to acquire or can't be created by Soulcasters. For example, while a Soulcaster can create food, that food is inherently bland, and needs to be literally spiced up by other food items brought in from outside.
  • The Corps novels by W.E.B. Griffin have a different twist: at one point the Marines are shipped all the supplies they need, but they weren't packed in any particular order, which meant that before could ship out to Guadalcanal, they had to unpack everything on the docks in Australia, figure out how soon after deployment they'd need what stuff, and repack the ships. Some staff officers made a point of filming the resulting mess to send back to America to help convince the brass to make sure this never happened again.
  • Seriously averted both in Sunzi's The Art of War and Clausewitz's On War. Both relate very seriously on logistics and their importance. The Art of War even notes that one bushel of grain looted from the enemy is worth ten bushels from your own stores... because it takes nine of those bushels to feed the guys bringing the tenth up to your own lines.
  • Averted in the Babylon 5 novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows. After Sinclair opens recruitment in the Rangers to humans, one of the first things he does is address the need to establish supply lines to bring in food and medicines for them to use. He also discusses the need to establish more training centers and bases of operation, and acquire more weapons and ships.
  • Strongly averted in The Belgariad. During the build-up to climactic warfare in the last book of the main series, King Fulrach becomes the de facto commander of the army because his country is the breadbasket of the region and he knows how to get the necessary supplies to everyone. Others lead the actual battles, but he decides where they can fight and how long it will take to get there. On the historical side, it was mentioned that the only reason the Angarak army stopped besieging the Algarian Stronghold and moved on to Vo Mimbre in a previous war was because after six years of trying to breach the walls, they were running out of things to forage for food.
  • Averted repeatedly in the Belisarius Series. Logistics play a major part in the Malwa invasion of Mesopotamia (defeated when Belisarius destroys their logistics center), the Roman invasion of India (getting gunpowder to his troops at the front is a major concern), and one of the final battles (won by preventing an army on the march from getting food). Sometimes it seems like Belisarius wins more fights through logistic superiority than through direct combat. (And most of the rest are won by him being a Guile Hero.)
  • In The Big One series, the ability to produce fuel, weapons, spare parts and everything and bring them to the frontline is shown as crucial to prosecute the war. Kazan Thunderbolts shows it perfectly when a German 1943 offensive steamrolls the recently arrived US troops but is paralyzed and forced to retreat due American bombers wiping out their supply lines, the supply depots said lines started from, and generally every transportation hub in German-occupied Russia for good measure.
  • Codex Alera: Averted.
    • The series go into considerable detail with the day-to-day functioning of a military encampment and the administrative problems it poses. It helps that The Hero Tavi (before experiencing a case of You Are in Command Now,) was actually a subtribune tasked with precisely the sort of logistical issues that often get overlooked in other works. Transport is also a major issue, with Tavi coming to recognise that even marching is more difficult than one would think, and an enemy has a decisive advantage because of their ability to force-march faster for longer without relying on the established transport routes. Furycasting allows the Legions and their supply wagons to travel incredibly fast on the causeways, which is nice at the strategic level but useless at the tactical level against opponents who don't operate near the causeways.
    • One early problem that Tavi discovers is that the Legionaries are reporting that their flour ration used to make bread seems to be short. A search and investigation reveals that someone has modified the measuring cups to reduce the amount of flour being doled out to each soldier, and someone is selling the excess flour in the camp's black market. He points this out to the commander of logistics (while noting that the amount of missing flour so far seems to be just enough to pay for a couple of suspiciously-nice items the officer is wearing) and that he's replaced the cups with proper measures. The commander promptly thanks Tavi and reassigns him to measure the latrines to ensure they, too, are up to regulation.
    • Even the Vord, who are exactly the sort of force that might well be handwaved to be immune to this trope get crippled by strikes to their own food storehouses, and the few Aleran victories come largely because the Alerans get them to overextend their supply lines and outmanoeuvre them strategically on the large-scale map rather than tactically on the battlefield.
  • The Draka: The Domination somehow managed to conquer the entirety of the African continent, starting from a single small British colony that declared independence. Furthermore, this all started at the time of the American Revolutionary War, when medical, food, and supply technology were all unsuited for large-scale campaigns (disease and starvation killed far more soldiers than the enemy), and there were no roads or other infrastructure in Africa to make it easier. The Draka just steamrolled their way across the continent until they were a superpower no one could stop.
  • Ender's Game takes averting this to a new level — the logistics of an interstellar war in a universe without FTL travel are so difficult that they're essentially impossible, as it would literally take years for any supply ships to reach a deployed fleet. So they don't even try — every fleet is essentially sent out on a suicide mission, having been given enough supplies to reach their target system and fight one battle, after which they will either have taken the system and can colonize it, or they will be dead.
  • Zigzagged in Factory of the Gods.
    • Buildings have no maintenance, conveyer belts operate without any input, and magic items make creating robotic hands simple.
    • However, the need for materials being transported to the main factory so they can be turned into useful goods is an ongoing challenge throughout the series.
  • In one The Hardy Boys: Casefiles book, the boys fly an airplane across large portions of America. They stop for gas. That is, regular unleaded, seeing as the jet is a prototype intended for use as a "family flying car". As such, it doesn't seem to need much maintenance either.
  • Early in The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Narsus tells Prince Arslan the tale of a King who marched to war with an army of fifty thousand men. When food started running short, the king shared the reserved the rations set aside for himself and the generals with the men. Arslan thought that sounded noble and generous, but Narsus explained that it was actually foolish: there was no way that those reserved rations could provide even one decent meal when divided across fifty thousand men, and the king should have known better than to deploy an army larger than his supply lines could feed in the first place. This begins Arslan's first lesson into the importance of logistics.
  • Averted in Harry Turtledove's Tales of the Fox series; for instance, in Fox and Empire, when the Northland forces lose supplies, they have to "forage" (rob peasants) or hunt, which slows their travel speed to a crawl. Fortunately there's a lightly guarded Imperial supply train being sent north...
  • While the actual fight takes place off-page, several books in the Honor Harrington series mention the importance of taking Trevor's Star because of its logistical importance. Because it's connected to Manticore by the wormhole nexus, once it is secure, they can use the wormhole to ship supplies and reinforcements from Manticore to the front and damaged ships back in a matter of hours rather than weeks, making logistics trivial. It also has the added bonus of removing a major avenue of attack the Havenites could use, allowing the Manticorans to reduce the resources they need to use manning the wormhole defenses.
  • The non-fiction book The Lieutenant Don't Know: One Marine's Story of Warfare and Combat Logistics in Afghanistan is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. In Real Life, logistics is definitely not easy.
  • The Lord of the Rings subverts this as well. After Sauron's defeat at the Battle of the Last Alliance, it takes him centuries to build his strength back up before he attempts to conquer Middle-earth again, and he and Saruman make allies, hires mercenaries, and operates through said allies or servants that act on their whim to strike out at Middle-earth, such as the Witch-king of Angmar forming an entire country expressly for the purpose of conquering the North or Grima Wormtongue filling the role of an Evil Chancellor in Rohan to weaken it. In the movies it's the same; Sauron and Saruman require preparation and time in order to build up forces to enact their plans, and the first movie even has a montage of Saruman tearing down the trees at Isengard to feed the huge forges underneath the place as they churn out weapons and armor for his Uruk-hai, and Saruman's order to have his first bunch of Uruks armed and ready to march in two weeks is regarded as impossible by an orc leader before he tells him to burn Fangorn Forest to the ground. This also applies to the good guys, where Theoden is shown making great effort to muster his army and grumbles at one point that a force of six thousand spear cavalry was "less than half of what I'd hoped for"—suggesting that Rohan's full army is (or was) much larger than that, but recent events have made gathering it on a short timeframe rather difficult. That said, the films do suffer from this with regards to Minas Tirith, where the region around it is basically an empty plain with no signs of farmland, raising the question of how the city feeds itself (in the books, it's said that the Pelennor Fields are full of small towns and farms, and more attention is given to Gondor's other regions—both were omitted from the films for budget reasons).
  • In The Lost Fleet, the titular fleet has its own squadron of ships that are ultimately nothing more than giant flying machine shops to produce spare parts, fuel and munitions so the fleet can keep going despite being stuck behind enemy lines. However, this still doesn't solve all their logistics problems, as they have to stop to loot more raw materials the auxiliaries need to make all those things after roughly every other battle, and the simple fact that there are several hundred warships of various sizes in the fleet and only four auxiliaries means that the fleet uses supplies faster than they can replace them. The factory ships also have limited numbers of personnel and other equipment; at one point, after a particularly intense series of engagements Captain Geary has to order the fleet to prioritise energy weapons and conserve missiles and kinetic projectiles because the auxillaries have been too busy refining more reactor fuel to bring the ammunition stocks back up. This issue escalates steadily all the way to the climax: At the end of the fifth book, some ships end up dropping out of formation because they're totally out of fuel and can no longer run the engines. Fortunately, this happens in an Alliance border system, so once the battle is over they can ask the system fleet for a tow to the nearest shipyard.
  • Averted in The Lost Regiment series, where problems of supplies and transportation are extremely important to the war effort. In fact, they are frequently used against the enemy (do you have any idea how many acres of grassland you need to feed a million horses?).
  • The Powder Mage Trilogy:
    • Averted. The logistics of moving and supplying large armies of men play a key role in the war that is fought in the books. The major battles are fought over mountain passes that the invading army needs to supply its forces. When a group of corrupt officers steal gunpowder shipments and sell them on the civilian market, it causes serious issues for the army and the crime is treated as a form of treason.
    • When an army is cut off behind enemy lines, supplies quickly become an issue. The army is able to forage food and horse feed from the countryside but its only a matter of time before that runs out and the army will have to surrender. It becomes a race as the army tries to fight its way back to its own territory before it runs out of supplied. In the final battle, gunpowder is so short that it is given out to only the best marksmen.
    • The trope is played with in one instance when a general realizes that his army is spending less on food than it should but his soldiers seem better fed than before. When he investigates, he discovers that the army's new head chef is actually a god who makes high quality meals appear out of thin air.
  • In the Larry Bond novel Red Phoenix, the turning point of the Second Korean War wasn't a battle. It was when the NATO supply officers were successfully pulled far enough away from the front that they could get back to work and reorganize their side's logistics (which had been deliberately screwed up earlier so that a politically mandated withdrawal of NATO troops would be delayed long enough so that they'd still be in South Korea when the invasion the military high command saw coming started), allowing the NATO troops to have the supplies they needed to fight the decisive battle.
  • A major part of the Soviet strategy in Red Storm Rising is using submarine attacks and aerial bombing to gut any supply convoys between North America and Europe, depriving the NATO troops in Germany of munitions. On the NATO side, a good part of the war is figuring out ways to stop said attacks so that the troops fighting the land war don't run out of ammunition. The war ultimately ends when NATO learns that Russia started the war so that they could secure extra sources of petroleum to replace a ruined well and refinery, and moves fuel convoys and depots to the top of the priority list for air raids in response.
  • Redwall: Turns up depending on the needs of the plot, as vermin tend to have no idea how to get food other than extorting it from their victims. Redwall being a fortified abbey with an orchard and a pond usually has little problem keeping itself fed, while the ravening hordes outside pillage the forest for what little food they can find.
    • Lord Brocktree has Ungatt Trunn's truly massive hordes run into problems after they take Salamandastron, running out of food and considering eating prisoners. It get worse for them later when the Bark Crew start targeting their forage parties, waiting until they gather food to steal it and send the vermin back to the fortress empty-handed, hungry and humiliated (and one of the crew's mother yells at her son because they're running out of space to store the food).
    • Another book has Salamandastron under siege from a vermin army, with the defenders tossing half-eaten food they can't spare to the starving vermin outside to lower their morale.
  • The Safehold series averts this, with several scenes of the Church of God Awaiting's treasurer Rhobair Duchairn focusing on how he's in charge of getting their military forces fed, equipped, moved and how he's supposed to pay for it. This becomes especially apparent in the later books featuring the Siddarmarkian Civil War, where logistics, or cutting them off, can become a crucial factor.
  • Second Apocalypse: Both series place logistics as a primary concern in the massive invasions they follow. More soldiers die in the Holy War during the marching than in the actual battles. In the second series, the logistics of the Great Ordeal take 20 years for an Impossible Genius to plan and implement, and even then, he has to plan for the army to start eating their enemy midway through. One of the aspects of Sranc that makes them so dangerous is their ability to live on practically anything, allowing them to sustain their staggering numbers.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • A a Dothraki invasion of Westeros is seen as a very real threat to the latter. However, this would require the Dothraki to sail over the Narrow Sea... despite the Dothraki considering the sea "poison water" (as their horses cannot drink it) and refusing to sail on it. Even if the Dothraki could overcome their cultural aversion to sea travel, acquire the literal thousands of ships it would take to transport a sizable cavalry invasion force, and learn how to crew them/get slaves to crew them, they could still be stopped by Westeros' naval forces (who'd be much better at naval warfare than the Dothraki, not having a cultural aversion to sea travel). This is without getting into any logistical issues they'd face upon landing in Westeros, the fact that they'd be facing a lot of fortifications, and the fact that their enemies would both outnumber them and be better-equipped. Ned Stark points out these problems, yet other characters still consider Dothraki invasion something to worry about.
      Ned: He would say that even a million Dothraki are no threat to the realm, so long as they remain on the other side of the narrow sea. The barbarians have no ships. They hate and fear the open sea.
      Robert: There are still those in the Seven Kingdoms who call me usurper. If the Targaryen boy crosses with a Dothraki horde at his back, the scum will join him.
      Ned: He will not cross. And if by chance he does, we'll throw him back into the sea.
    • In a non-military case of this, the city of King's Landing is said to have a population of around 500,000—to put it simply, this is a huge sum for what's meant to be a medieval city, on par with Constantinople at its height and more than double the high-end estimates of Paris. It's claimed to get most of its food from the Reach, taking a land route up the Roseroad. The Reach is 900 miles away from King's Landing, with the only major thing in between for resupply being the castle of Highgarden. It should take a phenomenal amount of organization, funding, and bureaucracy to keep King's Landing fed, as well as a lot of control over constituent kingdoms. Yet a major idea in the books is that the Crownlands are fairly hands-off in its rule, and the administration of King's Landing is corrupt and uncaring to extremes and struggles with basic taxation of the other kingdoms.
  • Used as a major plot point in The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge, where interstellar conquest has long been seen as impossible because of logistics issues. It turns out that the conquerors were actually setting up revolutionary groups on each planet beforehand then marching in as they launched their revolutions.
  • Sword of Truth: The Imperial Order's army is so ridiculously huge, keeping it supplied should be much harder than it is. Then again, they've got a vast empire that is supplying them, and they're mentioned as also raiding everywhere they go for supplies.
  • The Sleeping Beauty: Siegfried calms down some of the panicking Eltarian nobility by pointing out that this trope is not in effect, and no conquering army can possibly mobilize in time to attack before the volunteer hostages ... er, that should be "princes vying for Princess Rosa's hand" ... begin arriving.
  • Constantly averted in the Temeraire series. A subject that gets mentioned at least a couple of times per book is the inherent difficulty of keeping multi-tonne flying carnivores fed, innovating solutions to this is a major advantage to whoever comes up with them, and in Blood of Tyrants the lack of proper infrastructure poses considerable problems for the Chinese reinforcements sent to aid Russia even before the starving inmates of the latter's breeding grounds are set loose.
  • Tree of Aeons mentions that many generals have Skills to make logistics easier, such as reducing an army's hunger. Aeon is betting on them having limits, however; if he can cut off supply lines entirely, they won't be able to hold.
  • The aversion is a plot point in Timothy Zahn's The Hand of Thrawn: When explaining why the Imperial Remnant should sue for peace with the New Republic, Pellaeon points out that their eight remaining sectors (comprising about a thousand star systems) have a single major shipyard between them, which can't keep up with the demand for starfighters, let alone capital ships like star destroyers. It's why his flagship ISD Chimaera now carries SoroSuub Preybirds instead of TIE fighters. It turns out Moff Disra is sourcing the Preybirds from the Cavrilhu Pirates in violation of Imperial copyright law, which helps Pellaeon prove his connection to the conspiracy to derail the peace talks.
  • Victoria: The Victorians largely dispense with logistics and intelligence, and most military conventions in place of plaid-coated militia, even equipping and training National Guard units in the same way. They still easily squash the competition, largely by attacking their supplies. As a further example, there are no computers in Victoria, save a handful used by their military to somehow hack their enemies. The book doesn't even handwave all of the massive supply issues they should be facing, particularly the absurdity of keeping ancient Soviet T-34 tanks functional without appropriate parts, maintaining any kind of information warfare capability with only a small number of computers, or keeping any of their troops supplied when the narrator explictly says that most of the rear support elements of an army are unnecessary and the Confederacy phases them out. It's a wonder none of the Confederacy's troops desert en masse due to mass starvation.
  • Averted in Vortex. When South Africa and Cuba go to war, both sides face different logistical hamstrings. South Africa bleeds their own industry dry as because of the new regime's racial policies, they throw all their white men of South African ancestry into the meat grinder, leaving nobody to take care of the civil services at home. Cuba, meanwhile, is in a rush to take the South African capitol as quickly as possible, partially because they want to get there before the Americans and English arrive and more pressingly because Cuba, even with the Soviet Union giving them mild logistical support, knows it can't sustain a long, protracted war in Africa.
  • The Space Marine Battles novel Helsreach averts this. Prior to the Third War for Armageddon kicking off, strategy meetings are held for weeks to make plans and ascertain the planet's readiness. At Helsreach hive alone, where the protagonist has his company of Black Templars Space Marines stationed, simply going over the number of Imperial Guard regiments stationed at the hive takes two whole days. The logistical preparations and bureaucratic minutae for everything takes a total of nine days and the super human Grimaldus is about to break from the tedium.
    • The Ciaphas Cain novel For The Emperor has General Zyvan point out that defending Gravalax would be difficult because its status as a remote border system meant that it would take a lot of resources to secure their supply lines - resources that could be much better used elsewhere.
  • In The Wheel of Time series, this trope gives certain armies a significant advantage over others.
    • The trollocs don't need supply lines because they eat whatever's around, including their own dead if need be, though because they're mostly pinned down in the Blight, this factor doesn't apply until they gather sufficient numbers to effectively invade the southern countries.
    • The Seanchan have Giant Flyers which are used mainly as scouts, but the larger ones can also carry shock troops or emergency supplies to help the rest of the army move more quickly.
    • Around the midpoint of the series, Traveling is rediscovered. Although there aren't enough magic-users to move a large army from one place to another, they can move supply wagons, allowing any army to move much faster.
  • A very striking example can be found in one of the novellas by Vasil' Bykov (one of the Soviet WWII veterans/writers whose works were later collectively dubbed "lieutenants' prose"). In His Battalion, a precarious situation is presented. A battalion, together with a small partisan strike force, has to take a fortified hill. A battle has been going for some time, the attack has stalled, the enemy has a killing field sighted in with HMGs and air-burst artillery. At the same time, the battalion cannot pull back, lest it be almost completely annihilated. To make things worse, the protagonist (a battalion CO) is stripped of command by a vengeful regiment commander, and replaced by his lieutenant. The cincher? The battalion artillery has only ten shells left. Cue the arguments over their application, the Point of No Return when they're expended (without desired effect), and a desperate and bloody trench battle where the ex-battalion CO fights along his soldiers without any support and with drastically dwindled numbers — haphazardly collecting enemy grenades, manning an HMG like a Left 4 Dead character, using the enemy's Throw-Away Guns when running out of ammo and even accepting first aid from a German grunt. All of the obstacles in the novella hinge on logistics: ammunition, transport, medical supplies and food. The stalwart bravery of the soldiers is certainly required, but not nearly enough.
  • In World War Z, the US general being interviewed discusses this trope as regards to why the military had such a difficult time beating back the zombies: the logistics aren't at all easy for the humans, but they sure as heck are for the dead. Being walking corpses, zombies have none of the normal needs of an army—they don't need ammo, fuel, gear, or water, or in fact any support at all, and can go years without eating. Whereas human troops definitely do need all that stuff and must somehow get it while society is collapsing, and must guard against the possibility of their own casualties feeding or reinforcing the enemy. The US army eventually develops a very strict "resource to kill ratio" policy: only weapons that kill the absolute most zombies for the absolute least resource expenditure are used, anything else is repurposed or mothballed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • Averted as the station is shown to be highly dependent on shipping traveling through the area for both supplies and money to purchase equipment and pay workers to run the place. This becomes even more urgent after they declare independence from Earth and are put under an embargo by the Earth Alliance.
    • Indeed, even coffee is considered prohibitively expensive to ship to the station, and more than one officer stationed board B5 has violated regulations to smuggle coffee plants aboard and have them planted in the hydroponics gardens that are normally reserved for producing foodstuffs and oxygen.
  • Zigzagged on The Expanse. While the show does say how important resources are and how dangerous it can be to run out of them (especially anywhere in the Colonized Solar System that isn't Mars) exactly where the resources come from that allows humanity build and arm large fleets of spaceships or feed their enormous populations (Earth's population is over thirty billion as of the start of the show), isn't fully elaborated on. However, the issue of logistics does become critical in the sixth and final season. After Marco Inaros successfully struck Earth and Mars with asteroids covered with stealth technology and declares the independence of the Belt, it soon becomes readily apparent that the Belt simply cannot grow the food needed to keep itself fed without trade with the Inner Planets. Marco, now the de facto dictator of the Belt, refuses to make any such deal with the Inners and doesn't have the skill or patience to be bothered with worrying about the logistics of supporting a large civilian population. The result is that within six months of what could have easily been a decisive blow against the Inners, Marco has basically squandered his advantage, since he isn't able to transform the Belt into a self-sufficient society, and the fact that he obviously intends to slowly kill off both Earth and Mars by continuing to chuck asteroids at them forces the bitter rivals to combine their efforts in order to defeat him.
  • Game of Thrones runs off of this trope with lords able to raise up armies of tens of thousands of men and move them around a continent at will. Daenerys Targaryen herself gains a force of some 8000 Unsullied warriors and 5000 untrained boys that are not yet Unsullied; she is then able to march this force through a desert and take city after city without a single mention of supply lines or who's running any of the logistics. It gets even worse come seasons 7 and 8, as now these ostensibly medieval armies can seemingly teleport around the continent and move without supply lines or anyone even noticing them.
  • In the television adaptation of Sharpe's Company, Sharpe is demoted to commanding a baggage train and laments it as being not "proper soldiering", and promptly gets a strip torn off him by Major Nairn saying that Sharpe might have been allowed to "swan around like a pirate" as a lieutenant without worrying where his supplies came from, but if he wants a lasting promotion then he needs to learn large scale logistics.
  • On Stargate SG-1 the humans spend a lot of time making fun of how hopeless the Jaffa are as soldiers, and how ineffective their equipment is compared to a good old P-90. What is never explored is the massive logistical advantage that the System Lords seem to have. Staff Weapons appear to have a power source that lasts for years compared to the few hundred rounds a human could reasonably carry for his weapon. On the medicinal front, human medicine seems to be more effective against massive trauma, but the Jaffa's Symbiotes render them immune to infection, minor wounds, and disease. Human special ops teams with quick gate access are way ahead of their Jaffa opponents in a quick fight, but the System Lords seem to have an immense logistical advantage, having eliminated the need to supply their troops with ammunition or medical supplies. This is adequately demonstrated whenever a system lord, or just about any foe, learns Earth's location and move to attack, SG-1 had to pull more than a few Deus Ex Machinas to avoid Earth getting gibbed, and it was shown in several multiverse episodes they were the only Earth not about or in the process of being destroyed.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • The Dominion's Jem'Hadar are genetically engineered to grow to full combat-capable size, intelligence and strength in three days, and to not need sleep, water or food. Their only requirement is the addictive Ketracel-White drug to ensure their loyalty, but without it they quickly become feral and violent. Many of the Dominion's plans and those of their allies and enemies were centered around increasing or reducing production of Ketracel-White, as the more the Dominion had, the more Jem'Hadar it would be able to support in the field.
    • Earlier, it's shown that the Klingon invasion reduced the Cardassian Union to a shadow of itself not just by inflicting devastating military losses, but also by taking over or destroying a large chunk of their infrastructure, thus preventing them from rebuilding.
    • Much emphasis is also put upon the wormhole near Deep Space Nine, as it's the fastest route to Dominion space and the Federation regaining control of the station cuts off Dominion supply lines of troops and ships. There's even more emphasis on the Dominion's sheer ability to manufacture ships.
    • When the Romulans are being courted to join the war on the Federation and Klingon side, their representative points out the logistical situation as one of the reasons the Dominion is winning, as their early strikes caused dire damage to the Federation and Klingon infrastructure that still haven't been fully repaired while the Dominion's in Cardassian space was at full efficiency. Logistics are also implied to be one of the reasons the Romulan entry in the war quickly kicks them back out of Federation and Klingon space: the Romulan infrastructure is completely intact, allowing them to support their powerful fleet and supply their new allies until they recover.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Averted in The Hyborian Campaign. An entire chapter of Setting Up a Wargames Campaign, which has the rules for it, examines the maintenance of armies from pay of troops to production of weapons. Failure to supply troops would result in them losing effectiveness every turn.
  • Zig-zagged in the storyline to Legend of the Five Rings, generally Depending on the Writer.
    • Canonically, the Lion Clan are masters of logistics and train their troops extensively to march and make/break camp extensively. This means that they can move armies across hundreds of miles much faster than other clans, which has given them a major advantage in a number of conflicts.
    • The Scorpion Clan, being full of Ninja, excel at using intelligence, sabotage, and bribery to hinder enemy logistics, making up for their smaller military. The Crane Clan has specialized units of harriers that do much the same on a smaller scale.
    • The Unicorn Clan seems to be immune to any logistical considerations, based apparently on the idea that horses are faster than humans without considering that cavalry require much MORE logistical support than infantry. Several L5R writers apparently think that an army with twenty thousand horses can cover hundreds of miles with just a few short stops to graze on the local grasses.
  • Downplayed in The One Ring: Adventurers' traveling gear is assumed to include anything that would make sense for a long journey, as well as anything appropriate for their career and wealth level. However, there are detailed mechanics to plan and execute a journey, and any trip through the wild longer than a week needs to be supplemented by hunting for food.
  • Averted in Traveller. A high degree of attention is paid to this. For instance, during the Interstellar Wars, an entire Vilani fleet was stranded in port because the Terrans had paralysed the traffic round. Voyages have to be planned based on whether a given star system can supply jump fuel (if a ship is equipped properly, skimming it from a gas giant will do), thus corralling traffic into predictable patterns.
  • While Warhammer usually takes the efficacy of supply lines as a given, and focuses entirely on the drama of the actual combat engagement, there have been forays in the past into ways of representing supply lines and logistics should players be keen to do so. The most involved was undoubtedly the original Mighty Empires game — which could be played entirely on its own as a simulation of warring empires, but was designed with the notion in mind that when armies clash across the game map you play Warhammer battles to decide the outcome. In Mighty Empires each army piece had to maintain an unbroken, uncontested supply line of friendly tiles back to one of the player's home cities, or it began to lose troops rapidly and would eventually disappear. It also had to return to its home city during the winter season, just as real ancient and medieval armies were usually forced to do.
  • Games Workshop once released rules for a Warhammer 40,000 mission where both players had to roll to see which provision they were running out of before the battle: rations, bullets, fuel, or vehicle parts.
    • Somewhat averted in the case of the Forever War of the Octarius system, where a tyranid hive fleet is fighting an ork Waaagh. The tyranids replenish themselves by consuming biomatter, whereas a dead ork releases spores that mature into more orks. And while the tyranids have a slight short-term advantage, it's compensated by the fact that orks stream into the system all the time, attracted by the unending war. The Imperium, really, really hopes the war keeps going, because the winner will be the single most powerful and unified force in the galaxy.
    • The Imperial Guard also takes a stab at justifying how it carries on operations, although it's less than totally successful. For instance, although less lethal that e.g. bolters or plasma guns, lasguns are favored by the Guard because their cells can be recharged from municipal power sources or, in a pinch, heat or sunlight. Reusing the robust Chimaera chassis for self-propelled artillery, scout vehicles, recovery vehicles, etc. helps simplify repairs. All in all, while far from perfect (and logistics issues do often come up in Guard fiction), they're a lot lighter on the move than, say, the Space Marines.
    • Ah, speaking of which, the Space Marine Rhino is one of the most humble and ubiquitously useful vehicles in the Imperium's arsenal. It's not particularly well-armed or armoured, but the marines inside certainly are, and it can be built from just about any locally available materials and run on just about any semi-combustible fuel source including coal and wood. It's the chassis for all kinds of vehicles including the Space Marine Predator tank, the Whirlwind self-propelled rocket artillery, the Vindicator siege tank and the Immolator of the Adeptus Sororitas.
    • Imperial Armour Volume III: The Taros Campaign, one of Forge World's published companion books, details the Imperial attempt to liberate the desert world Taros from the Tau Empire's annexation of it. The entire conflict was precipitated by logistics, the planet's xeno-collusion being revealed accidentally during an Administratum audit to see if it could increase mining output in anticipation of Abbadon's Thirteenth Black Crusade. An entire chapter is devoted to covering simply the planning it took, the choices made of force composition for the invasion, the kinds of supplies that would be needed, and the compromises that had to be made when balancing against other needs. The whole of the conflict's outcome hinged on logistics. The Tau knew they could not muster the kind of forces the Imperium could hit them with, and they knew that the Imperium's goal was to capture the planetary capital (the only major city on the world.) So they entrenched what supplies they could while the Imperium mustered, then focused on bleeding the Imperial advance's strength with hit-and-run attacks, forcing them to slow and commit their reserves to replace losses. As the Imperial advance inevitably gained ground, the Tau used nighttime Orca Drop Ship insertions of Stealthsuit and Pathfinder teams behind the Imperial line to harry their supply and reinforcement caravans. This forced the Imperium to change their immediate objective to divert to one of the few fresh water processing facilities on the planet to make up for losses in their own supplies. The fighting over it was fierce, and while the Imperium ultimately took the ground, the facility had sustained so much damage as to make it functionally useless for replenishment. Thought they had plenty of forces left, the Imperium was forced to abort the invasion shortly after that as their Guardsmen were dying of dehydration and their frontline vehicles could not get enough fuel or munitions.
    • Only War, an RPG that casts the players as Guardsmen, also plays with this idea. In theory, the Imperium's glorious, perfect Munitorum supplies the Guard with standard equipment according to their regiment and role in addition to specialist gear appropriate to the mission they're given. In practice, the squad has to make a "Logistics roll" to see if anything actually turns up, and if they roll poorly enough can even be forced to go without pieces of their normal kit.
    • The Tyranids have a horrifying solution for their logistics needs. Anything not suppose to operate autonomously or who's role is specifically consumption of Biomass is basically not given a digestive tract; they're expected to die before they starve. Similarly flying creatures are not given legs to land with. This makes them more aerodynamic and lighter, but they're expected to die the moment they can no longer fly (the Hive Tyrant seems to be the sole exception to this). Finally, all of their "military" is made from flesh and bone, which means Biomass (the very thing they consume) is all the material they'll ever need.
  • Battletech: The novella "The Price of Duty" averts this hard. The second half of the novella concerns the first mission of the resurrected Gray Death Legion, in combat against a rogue LCAF unit that is going to try and liberate worlds from the Jade Falcons on their own initiative. The Legion is trying to keep casualties to a minimum, and so focuses on the "loggies", or logistics train. The opposing commander throws in the towel when she realizes that the Legion has completely destroyed her logistics train. When her subordinates point out that the combat units are still largely intact, she responds by asking just how effective they are going to be in the long run without ammo resupply or repair capacity.
    • Also comes up in Battle of Tukayyid, where ComStar fought the Clans and won. Clan battle tactics being focused on fast, decisive strikes, ComStar forces denied them engagements and forced the Clans to use up their ammo on retreating or ambushing forces. When the Clans realized they needed to resupply, their overwhelming focus on their frontline forces and use of second-line (at best) combatants to protect their logistics trains meant that ComStar was able to essentially destroy their supplies outright, forcing the Clans to divert from their goals to try to capture ComStar supplies. Which were heavily defended. In most cases the Clans were reduced to lasers and PPCsnote  before they were even in sight of their goals, forcing them to retreat in the face of the overwhelming firepower of ComStar forces.
  • Rifts: One of the mayor factors in the Fall of the City of Tolkeen is that one huge division of Coalition soldiers (and their respective vehicles) performed a flanking attack through Xiticix-infested terrain, right where nobody in Tolkeen was expecting it because it seemed outright suicidal. The effectiveness of this tactic was only partially Handwaved by explaining that the leader of the attack was an expert in Xiticix, and how the heck he kept his army supplied with the necessary fuel, food and other vittles to endure a weeks-long march through said Hell on Earth was just not given.

  • Erfworld: A Lampshaded/Justified example. Because the titular universe explicitly runs on the rules of a Turn-Based Strategy game, as long as you have enough Schmuckers for upkeep, then food, weapons, armor, and anything else you require simply appear out of thin air. That being said, there are still some logistical concerns. Giving units rations reduces their upkeep, and hunting feral units for food does the same. The primary way to get Schmuckers is from cities, but cities have diminishing returns on the amount they produce, thus limiting the size of each Side.

    Western Animation 
  • Averted in Castlevania. In season 3, the vampire Carmilla takes advantage of the Evil Power Vacuum left behind by Dracula's death, plotting to conquer her own country. Season 4 points out that even with an army of vampires, one castle trying to grab a country's worth of land would be a logistical nightmare. When Carmilla's sisters Morana and Striga survey the territory she marked out, they don't even come close to the border after weeks of riding. One peasant uprising later, Morana realizes that holding this territory would mean snuffing out every peasant rebellion across an entire country, constantly, as the humans wouldn't just lie down and allow themselves to be cattle; Striga would be off fighting while Morana handles supply lines from the castle, meaning that they would never see each other again.
  • There's a minor aversion in Season 2 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. At the end of the first season, a massive attack of Entrapta's bots almost allowed The Horde to conquer Bright Moon, the main base of the heroes. Early in the second season, Catra has settled into using the bots to keep the princesses busy while she attempts to make conquests or solidify gains elsewhere. Just a few episodes later Catra is informed that making the bots in such large numbers has put enormous strain on the Horde's resources, and has resulted in the central armory being so low on metal that it can't make new armor for the Horde's soldiers or equipment, resulting in several battalions refusing to go out on missions while they're so undersupplied. In fact, the forges don't even have enough of the fuel that they need in order to keep making armor. However, after that episode these issues aren't really brought up again.

    Real Life 
  • One of the easiest ways to achieve "easy" logistics in real war is to live off the land—that is, simply take necessary supplies from the territory the army happened to be in. One of the earliest descriptions of the idea comes from Roman history, specifically Book 34, Chapter 9 of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita, in which he describes Cato the Elder's campaign in Hispania in 195 BC: "It happened to be the time of year when the Spaniards had the grain on their threshing floors. Cato therefore forbade the contractors to purchase any, and sent them back to Rome saying, 'The war will feed itself.'" Ever since Cato's comment, Bellum se ipsum alet ("The war will feed itself" in the original Latin) has been used to describe the policy.
    • Living off the land was easier in pre-industrial warfare. Fixing spears, swords, or even muskets could be done by an on field blacksmith, arrows could be replaced with almost any wood in the area, and an army's biggest need was food and water. Industrial and post industrial armies need far more varied and specific resources to keep going such as specific chemicals for gunpowder, metal alloys for guns, rubber for tires, factory constructed pieces for weapons/vehicles, and gasoline to fuel the vehicles of war. While it is partially possible to steal some of these things from an enemy as an army marches, almost every modern army needs a safe supply line from the factories producing all the items in question straight to the front lines.
    • At least part of the reason the Mongol Empire was so successful was that they could live off the land rather effectively. Mongol horses are unusually small, meaning they could survive solely off grazing (most warhorses need richer feed), and if the horse was a mare, she could even serve as food supply for the rider through her milk. The other main Mongol animal was the sheep, which similarly ate just grass and could also provide a variety of resources (wool, meat, milk, etc), not to mention being relatively easy to transport. Even the classic home of the ger could be broken down for travel without too much difficulty. This meant that Mongol armies were pretty self-sufficient while on the move.
  • The Thirty Years' War. All the participants' armies were a) mainly composed of mercenaries and paid professional troops and b) were living off the land and the spoils of war. This made for some very Easy Logistics indeed, which is the sole reason the war that bankrupted 17th century Europe was able to continue for as long as it did. Most campaigns were based around rivers as these were used to transport food to troops. The belligerents explicitly quoted Cato to describe their policy. It was also the reason why this war devastated Europe so much — all those lootings simply didn't leave anything to the civilians, and the level of shooty-killy spirit among all the sides meant that the Pope for some time allowed polygamy in the Catholic parts of Germany simply to repopulate the land.
  • The French Revolutionary and The Napoleonic Wars had this in spades; hence the Emperor's famous quote.
    • You would have roaming bands of soldiers raiding homesteads for food leaving the civilians meager rations; and that was in allied territory. This was a relatively new policy; in the 18th century, the small professional armies of the Great Powers could usually get by with relatively minimal "requisitioning," but the massive armies raised first by the French and then by the Allies in response to the French were far beyond the abilities of preindustrial/early industrial economies to supply. It was the French who began this in earnest, because besides the fact that their army was absolutely giant, the combination of revolutionary upheaval and isolation from international trade meant that the finances of the French state, already shaky to begin with (that's why the Revolution started, after all), were woefully inadequate to support the army they needed to field. Thus when France invaded the Netherlands in 1794, the Committee of Public Safety ordered the army to live off the land. This worked so well that the Directory decided the policy should be applied more generally. Of course, this meant that (1) in order to eat, the French armies had to go around conquering, and therefore (2) soldiers were reliant on their generals, rather than the Directory, for their needs. As anyone can tell you, this ended rather well for one general in particular and rather poorly for the Directory...
    • The one general knew well whereof he spoke; besides the fact that his power base, the French Army of Italy, became his power base because he led it on incredibly successful campaigns that let his soldiers do a lot of serious looting, one of his most famous battles, the Battle of Marengo, was driven by the fact that his army needed to forage for food, and the main reason he won was that a part of his army he had allowed to go foraging received his message calling for aid in the nick of time and was able to catch the Austrians by surprise. And then, according to legend, the then-Consul came back to his tent to find his cook had made him dinner out of ingredients that were themselves largely foraged: Chicken stewed with tomatoes, garlic, and brandy garnished with fried eggs and crawfish.
    • The British were slightly less hated than other armies because their army was considerably smaller (and thus less raid-y) than everyone else's, and they tended to hand out receipts for the stuff they looted. While they rarely actually paid out on these receipts, on the other hand there were times when they actually paid for the stuff they'd taken — something no-one else did (if only because the British banking system was so ridiculously advanced compared to everyone else's). During the Peninsular War, paying for supplies was one of the requirement imposed by the Duke of Wellington. He figured it helped prevent the civilians from murdering the soldiers. This allowed him to free up soldiers that would normally be protecting the supply lines. Wellington could see very clearly how important civilian attitudes were because the French Army was being torn apart by Spanish guerrilleros at the time. British funds not only kept the guerrilleros from attacking the British but also enabled them to hurt the French more.
    • From the Allied side of the Italian campaign of the same war, one of the keys to Alexander Suvorov's battle successes was his adoption of a field kitchennote  on a massive scale. Since the kitchen was designed to operate on the go, the food could be distributed to the soldiers immediately as the marching army stopped, thus eliminating the need for each soldier to cook his own meal and radically shortening the rest stops. Also, when the army would stop for the night, elimination of cooking left soldiers more time to sleep, making them better rested afterwards. This allowed Suvorov to take his armies on the fast forced marches he became famous for, at the same time leaving his soldiers better fed and rested than most, able to strike where enemy least expects them.
  • In another example of Real Life playing it straight, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's "March to the Sea" during The American Civil War helped to prove that an army could literally live off the land—and the properties of enemy territory—thus greatly reducing the need for supply lines. In fact, Sherman's men ate better on that march than when they were not marching; this is memorialized in the famous song "Marching Through Georgia" (particularly the second verse). Sherman himself dispatched "And let it be known that if a farmer wishes to burn his cotton, his house, his family, and himself, he may do so. But not his corn. We want that."
  • World War II: In general, it could be said that the Germans had never really understood logistics; Germany being a compact and densely populated European country, handling logistics was quite easy for them most of the time (see above the Thirty Years' War for an example), so they never had the need to feel it on a subconscious level, concentrating more on the tactical side of warfare. The Japanese had it a bit better since they went into the Pacific War with a sprawling empire, but it was an empire less than half of a century old. The Allies, on the other hand, included four of the largest countries in the world (the Brits still more or less had their empire back then), and, moreover, linked by the various mutual supply agreements, which forced them to devote themselves to the matters of supply in earnest. It's often said that while Stalin, the dictator of the largest single country on earth, never really understood warfare (what with his penchant for hauling any military commander who opposed him to the gulag), he understood logistics, up to personally allocating the scarce resources during the hardest month of 1941; the Americans had to develop a whole scientific method to supply their forces through the Pacific war. This had led to Germans in the 20th century often winning battles, but inevitably losing wars in the long run.
    • General Halder (Chief of the General Staff), while planning Unternehmen Barbarossa, was no exception. Having been informed that the petrol-reserve would only allow full-scale operations/warfare to a depth of 300km and for two months, his team declared (at his prompting) that the war would be won in two months after they advanced to a depth of 300km. But they went on to assume that:
      1. The Soviet railway system and large numbers of Soviet trains would be captured intact and allow an unopposed 'rail-advance' to capture Leningrad-Moscow-Stalingrad-Caucusus in the third month, so they re-allocated resources away from the railway-repair unitsnote .
      2. Even if their transport-system was inadequate, looting would keep the lead elements supplied note 
      3. Their logistical capabilities could be unproblematically boosted by impressing 20,000 civilian, French, and French civilian trucks into service for a total of 120,000 trucks (versus their 724,000 draft-horses). Their pre-existing truck fleet was already alarmingly heterogenous, but this move meant they were using more than 2000 different types of vehicle — with a million different and often mutually-incompatible spare parts for them. note 
      4. (Unstated assumption): It would not be important to take economic targets because after Soviet resistance has crumbled they can be captured without a fight. The war will also be too short for the enemy to make use of these resources. note 
      5. (Unstated assumption): The USSR will be unable to produce new military formations, weapons, and equipment to replace the losses they take.note 
      6. (Unstated assumption): All the encircled troops will surrender, and there will be no partisan movements. note 
      7. (Unstated assumption): Germany's intention to murder and enslave the large swaths of Soviet population won't affect the outcome of the war because the war will be too short for the peoples' opinions or actions to matter.note 
    • This 'unproblematic' supplementation was also extended to captured Czech and French tanks and other military equipment. One of the Wehrmacht's 30 mobile (motorized and panzer/tank) divisions, the 18th Panzer Division, was rendered "combat-incapable" after the first two weeks of the Operation owing largely to the way it started Unternehmen Barbarossa withnote :
      1. c.14,000 men
      2. c.200 working tanks of more than 6 typesnote 
      3. c.500 working personnel carriers of more than 96 types
      4. c.200 working motorbikes of more than 37 types
      5. c.2000 working trucks of more than 111 typesnote 
    • Half of Rommel's troubles in Africa during World War II came from the fact logistics weren't easy for him (as the Italian merchant ships had to run the gauntlet of minefields and British ships and airplanes, the latter of which often knew where they would pass, while carrying insufficient supplies to ports that couldn't handle enough supplies, and both the Italians and his Afrika Korps had too little trucks and carriages to bring them to the front... oh, and the roads couldn't handle the necessary supply load anyway, much like the ports) but, proportionally speaking, they were for the Eighth Army (as the Royal Navy was that much better defending the merchant ships, the merchant ships were always full with useful stuff coming from either Britain or America, Alexandria and other Egyptian ports beat the pants off Tripoli in capacity, and the American supplies included enough trucks to bring the stuff to the front). The other half came from him squandering his reserves of fuel and spare parts and sometimes neglecting to salvage damaged but repairable tanks from the battlefield and demolishing the British ones, thus making the logistic situation even worse.
    • There's an interesting real life example that took place during World War II. In the Battle of Stalingrad, due to the nature of urban warfare, Soviet tanks were literally manufactured on the front lines. Once a tank was completed, it would be driven out of the factory and straight into battle. Operated by the workers who built it, no less. Due to the high casualty rates, it was faster to have the workers who already knew how the tank worked operate it rather than train new tank crews.
    • For the most part played straight for America during World War II by virtue of the US immense industrial potential (it took every single one of the other big players combined to surpass it, and it wasn't by much): they could produce all the supplies their forces and those of their allies needed and then some, and the ships to carry them on the combat theater and the trucks to bring them to the troops, and, to make things even easier on logistics, they reduced the types of material produced as much as possible. It went to to the point that in the latter half of 1944 they had to slow down production because the war was ending too fast to use all the things they were producing. And during this time they not only didn't mobilize all their industrial potential for war-making (they didn't have the time for that, the war ended too quickly), they also spent billions on improving what they were making and develop the atomic bomb. A brief and abridged rundown can be found here. And even on the occasions the Americans did run into supply problems (the Guadalcanal campaign wasn't nicknamed "Operation Shoestring" for nothing), said problems were almost all in 1942 before production hit its peak and tended to be not nearly as bad as what their opponents were facing.
    • Japan suffered severe supply issues throughout the war. Their industrial capacity during the war. Their forces were spread out between China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and countless islands in the Pacific. The Japanese islands simply did not have enough steel and food production for all their forces. In some battles, more Japanese soldiers starved to death than from combat. While the Nationalist Chinese army had awful logistics by all accounts, and the Chinese Communists were so poorly armed that they armed themselves with captured Japanese weapons, they were both still able to strike the overstretched Japanese supply lines with relative ease.
    • In fact, one of the key reasons Japan had poor logistics for much of the war was because many of its military leaders, particularly those in the Navy, put far more emphasis on combat performance. Like Nazi-Germany's Invasion of the USSR, the Japanese Military assumed that their war against the United States would be a short one, where they would win a quick string of victories in a matter of months until the US decided to agree to a peace treaty on their terms & back down. As such, their navy decided to build some of the finest, most advanced Battleships, Cruisers, and Carriers in the world. However, because of this "Short War" mentality, the Japanese did not see the need to emphasize on logistics or supply lines; unlike the Americans or the British, they did not enact a system of supply convoys to protect their cargo ships. And their mentality applied to their actions against the enemy as well; many Japanese Naval Leaders focused on attacking enemy warshipsnote  while frequently ignoring supply convoysnote . Throughout the war, The Japanese never truly implemented an effective method of securing its convoys & sea lanes from enemy attack, even though the Home Island were heavily reliant on supplies from said sea-lanes. Because of this lack of consideration, by the time the war turned against Japan's favor, Japanese merchant ships and troop transports became easy targets for the Americans & Allies, which further exasperated the Empire's Logistical Issues, to the point where those advanced warships Japan believed would win the war were often stuck in bases in the Home Islands or throughout the Pacific simply because they did not have the fuel to be operational. And once the Americans secured the sea lanes, islands under Japanese Control were completely isolated, trapping hundreds of thousands of soldiers throughout the Pacific Ocean with no means to get supplies or even food.
  • During the Cold War, both the US and Soviet Union experimented with nuclear-powered bomber aircraft that would be able to stay aloft for months at a time, but the technical limitations, safety considerations, and the fact the crew would reach the limits of their endurance far before the aircraft meant the idea never got beyond prototype stage. However, both nations had enormous success in developing nuclear-fueled warships, particularly submarines, that can hold enough food and supplies to sustain a crew long enough to make it worth the effort.
  • The package shipping company FedEx nearly ended up going out of business during the first Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield) because the company had accepted option payments allowing the U.S. Government to invoke the right in the future to use civilian transport for military purposes. When Desert Storm broke out, the government exercised its option with FedEx in order to move people and supplies to the theater of operations, which took a large part of FedEx's planes out of service for delivering packages as they were busy being used for military transport operations. Their competitor, UPS, did not take the subsidy and was unaffected.
  • One of the thing people has to remember is that, while many of examples here are that of great tactics being hampered by poor logistics, the inverse can also happen: you can have excellent or best in the world supply, but your leadership and troops are so bad that supplies don't help—or worse, it'll help the enemies when they overrun you. This can be seen the best with the Iraqis in the Iran–Iraq War, or the Libyans in Chadian-Libyan conflict, especially after 1986.
  • The Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812 is notable in that unlike in most naval battles, where each side has a pre-existing fleet which they then sail a fair way across an ocean, it was fought almost entirely using ships that were constructed on the lakeside solely for the purpose of taking control of the lake, using whatever local materials were at hand, by mostly local shipwrights, and manned by mostly local sailors. In fact, the American fleet was fighting within what would have been visual range of the place it was built had there not been a small peninsula in the way.
  • Massively subverted in the Battle of Hattin during the Crusades. The Christian leaders approached a battle with the Saracens as if this trope was in effect, which in real life only meant that they completely failed to consider even the basic needs of their soldiers, such as access to water. The result was that by the time the battle came around, the exhausted and depleted Christian army was no match for the Saracens, who absolutely pulverized them.
  • The failures of Zhuge Liang's Northern Campaigns were the result of the fact that Shu was not only the smallest and least developed of the titular Three Kingdoms, moving supplies involved crossing over treacherous plank roads that at some points were only wide enough for a single man to pass. Any significant build-up of supplies took so long that Wei's agents and scouts would inevitably notice, meaning they were ready when the attacks actually began.
    • When Shu general Wei Yan was put in charge of the Hanzhong region (where the aforementioned Northern Campaigns were launched from), he designed the defenses to specifically take advantage of the fact resupply was so difficult. His defenses were planned to hold off an enemy long enough for their supplies to run out, forcing them to withdraw. These defense performed excellently for decades, long after Wei Yan himself was dead.
    • Decades earlier, during the war between Cao Cao and northern warlord Yuan Shao, the key to Cao Cao's victory was his generals being so successful at intercepting and destroying Yuan's supply convoys that Yuan was forced to move more supplies foward and concentrate them at a supply base at Wu Chao for distribution. When Cao also managed to destroy said supply base, Yuan's forces collapsed as supplies ran out and they began retreating back north.

Video Games

  • Averted in Aurora. All ships have fuel and any ship classified as military needs maintenance. Missiles need to be designed, built and possibly shipped to the vessels/ In version 5.70 when it comes out one will also have to deal with regular leave of shores for the crew of their ships. And that's just considering the ship part. Logistics is hard in all parts of the game. The only exception is that all officers, administrators and scientists seem to have a teleportation device that allows them to be deployed wherever the player wants instantly.
  • Civilization:
    • Civilization II handled it a bit more realistically. Units were paid for in shields (the production stat, it's hammers in Civ IV) representing the material needs of the unit, paid for by the city that produced the unit. The city supporting said unit could be changed and certain government types allowed for a certain number of free units per city (despotism allowed 1, monarchy allowed 3, and fundamentalism allowed a whopping 10 and troops that cost 0 shields).
    • Civilization III uses the Civilization IV model of unit support, while SMAC uses the Civilization II model.
    • In Civilization IV, all units have infinite amounts of whatever, but the player is required to pay money to support the units after a certain point; when invading other civilizations, the units also incur a supply line cost. However, units are still supported even if a certain resource is gone — such as vehicles working indefinitely if the player loses control of all their oil resources. Planes are mainly based in cities, forts, and carriers; they go out and do their missions and immediately return to their base.
    • However, Civilization V averts this by having two different kinds of logistics penalties. If you have more units than a supply number based on your population, all of your production slows down. If you have 3 units of Iron, and 5 units that use Iron, all of the Iron units take a combat penalty until you have more Iron or fewer Iron based units. Ships can regain health only when they are in friendly territory, unless they have been in battle enough to get a promotion that allows them to heal anywhere. Aircraft always suffer damage from an attack, even if it's very successful because just flying a high-performance military jet is hard on it. Since they don't heal damage on turns when they attack (unless they've been given a high-level promotion representing an exceptional repair team), your aircraft will have to sit out turns periodically while they get fixed.
    • More specifically, Civilization games tend to deny you full use of roads unless you control the territory, and your units can't "heal" on hostile ground, which makes capturing cities necessary for a sustained offensive. That is, as opposed to simply going around then and forging into enemy territory. Furthermore, it is possible to deny supplies to a city by either destroying all roads or enacting a Naval Blockade, which can both starve the population and kill production. And as hostile units prevent people from working the square they occupy, that can be used to deny city-important land altogether.
  • Galactic Civilizations II:
    • There are technologies called "Logistics", and researching them essentially increases your civilization's ability to handle this sort of offscreen logistical problem. Having a high Logistics lets you field bigger fleets (which allows a number of ships to move and fight in a group) and allows you to have more Starbases without having to pay extra. Note that Logistics doesn't limit how many ships you can have, only how many you can have (and of what class) in each fleet. The actual number of ships is governed by your income, since each ship costs a certain amount to not only build but also to maintain, and occasionally you will get messages telling you that your military is too much of a drain on your treasury and you need to scrap some of your weaker weapon barges and/or conquer some new planets to turn into money generators.
    • Ships have a set "range" from friendly territory determined by their supply upgrades. A ship outside its supply range cannot move except to head directly towards friendly space (which means that hilarious results can be gained with wormhole anomalies on large maps, as your flagship disappears to the far side of the map and meets everyone while charging back)). However, this resupply appears to work by magic. There is nothing wrong with having a ship soar around in a giant circle at extreme range indefinitely, so long as it doesn't stray outside it.
  • Semi-averted in Master of Magic. Resources are generalized, but normal troops need two: Gold and Food. Upkeeping enchantments and summoned units eats Mana which you also need for spellcasting and research. Juggling all 3, city production and armies all at once while dealing with opponents can be hard. But how the food gets to the armies that are outside cities and nowhere near any type of (nonexistent) supply lines is never addressed. E.g. a dragon turtle can sit in the middle of the ocean for the entire game as long as you are producing sufficient food and gold to pay for its upkeep. Units with ranged attacks are given a limited number of shots, but warships have 99 even though normal catapults and airships has only 10.
  • In the Master of Orion series, ships carried a limited number of missiles while energy (and projectile) weapons had infinite ammo. They could remain indefinitely in deep space or orbiting uninhabited planets. Since fuel cells limited how far you could go from a world you occupy, you can assume a fleet of tenders or something like that. Transporting food to all your colonies may be problematic depending on population, techs chosen, and the quality of the planets. In an aversion, a fleet operating far from the players home base will often have to stop and rendezvous with reinforcements. This isn't written into the rules but is simply part of the game mechanic; the effect is a simple and elegant way to show logistics problems while not drowning the player in paperwork.
  • Sins of a Solar Empire partially averts this by requiring you to purchase levels of "fleet logistics" upgrades to train more capital ship crews and raise your fleet capacity. However, the number of available crews is not reduced when a capital ship is lost, and the material and income penalty you pay in upkeep for a huge fleet is not reduced when your fleet is annihilated.
  • At first, this was the case for the Space Empires series. You have construction points for building things and resupply stations for your ships. As the series progressed, the resources were split, and so were the ship supplies. In the fourth game, there are three kinds of resources, along with general ship supplies and ordnance for the weapons. The trope still applies, every world gets access to the whole of the imperial resource pool, unless the system doesn't have a starport in it, regardless of the fact that it takes more than a turn to cross each system.
  • Star Ruler:
    • Played with. Your ships will spawn with a full load of ammo and fuel, but they will deplete them as they fight and fly around — though how fast depends on how many guns it has, subsystem modifiers, the size of the ammo/fuel caches, ship mass, engine size, etc. Ships (by default) will automatically fly to planets and designated "tenders" / "tankers" to reload their ammo and refuel, though not always in a way that makes sense. However, the player will need to keep a constant stream of tender ships moving in and out to supply a fleet that lacks sufficient ammo/fuel storage capacity. In the Galactic Armory Game Mod, fuel and ammunition are resources that must be built in planetary factories or via ship subsystems, which are then exported into the Galactic Bank (your empire-wide resource pool). Good luck invading that enemy system if your ships are sputtering out of fuel and can't load their guns!
    • Star Ruler 2 slides a bit towards the easy end, making upgrades instantly propagate among your fleets, to counter the annoyance of SR1's ships being "obsolete" within minutes of producing them in the mid-game forcing a nigh-endless series of retrofits. Resupplying is done automatically in friendly systems.
  • In Stars! (1995), the only resource your ships need to worry about is fuel and/or cargo.
  • In Stellaris, this is mostly played straight: While both the military and civilian infrastructure requires various resources for construction and upkeep, the actual logistics (transportation of resources) are not modeled. An empire may well produce its alloys at one end of the galaxy while consuming them in its shipyards on the other end. The economy itself is also fairly forgiving, as most resources can be bought or sold for energy on the galactic market, even by a Horde of Alien Locusts.
  • Averted with a bang in Supreme Ruler, where supply lines halt armies, strand ships, and cause losses of territory. Ammo eats through supplies, and moving eats petroleum. Technologies can change this, with fuel cells for vehicles and nuclear reactors on ships.
  • VGA Planets: Doesn't get down into the nitty-gritty, but you do have devote some attention to logistics: you need four kinds of minerals and cash to build your spaceships, and to keep them supplied with torpedeoes, fighters and (especially) fuel. You can only build and re-crew ships at your starbases. And minerals are a limited resource, sooner or later you need to build refinery ships and churn out Supplies in planet-bound Factories to operate them. Some factions in the game have to worry more about this than others, for example the Crystals survive by spewing fields of web-mines, which require endless material inputs.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In Call of Duty (and perhaps several others) when you simply receive a resupply of ammunition for your weapons from the last mission, it makes one wonder how the Allies can resupply a soldier carrying a Gewehr 43 and a Sturmgewehr 44. Aside from the question why said soldier would be using German weaponry.
  • Averted in Call of Duty: Black Ops III where it is brought up in both dialogue and mentioned in the Codex that Proxy War between the Egyptian Army and the NRC leans heavily in the favor of the latter due to logistics. To elaborate the entire war was started when the Nile started drying up due to a combination of Global Warming and the NRC's dam projects. By the time of the time of the game the Egyptian has been driven back to Cairo which itself has been mostly taken over by the NRC due to the Egyptians lack of water and other supplies. The only reason they are fighting in this Dam War is because they still have a fully functional DEAD System and the NRC ends up taking that too.
  • Averted hard in Hell Let Loose. Getting supplied near the frontlines is a must for both attacking and defending teams, especially when one needs to build fortifications, set up garrisons, or place anti-tank guns. Supplies can arrive to certain sectors in one of three ways: on foot by the Support class, dropped from the air by the Commander, or by driving a supply truck to the point on the map that needs reinforcing. It is also very much possible for enemy soldiers to destroy these supplies, either by manually destroying it through interacting or simply by blowing them up, which can and will hamper offensive and defensive operations.
  • Similarly it is averted in Homefront where Invaded States of America setting happens because of a lack of proper oil supplies (most of the oil wells in the Middle East were destroyed in a war between Iran and Saudi-Arabia who both have Nukes). It actually becomes a major point in the game's as every level except save for the Final mission are focused on La Résistance trying to steal an convoy of oil-filled tanker trucks for the U.S. Army.
  • Played straight and subverted in Modern Warfare 2, where the Russian Army lands a sizable invasion force in Virginia and Washington DC, totally avoiding the entirety of Europe and hitting America within a day of what sets them off, with very little apparent problem supplying them. When you actually engage them in combat, you very quickly see that the Russians are no longer using Russian weaponry but instead they mostly use ''Israeli'' (such as the Tavor/MTAR-21) and stolen American gear like Javelin launchers, and many of the rifles they're carrying are chambered for NATO 5.56x45mm. It still doesn't explain why they mostly use such weapons when you strike back at facilities and such that would have long been under their control. Then averted later on, when an EMP disables all electronics in Washington; the Russians receive no replacements for their vehicles and ultimately lose because of it. Of course it never bothers to mention how they got the food or fuel to last as long as they did. Or how they managed to fuel hundreds of military transport planes halfway across the world in one go, without anyone noticing. To top it all off, Russia seems to have no plan for "and then what?"—after a brutal, indiscriminate invasion of the eastern coast of America, Russia then has to somehow supply an entire invasion force without any supply lines, and their invasion force is left with no objectives because there was never any point to the invasion in the first place. Also done on a gameplay level, where the player can find these ammo crates scattered about. The crates contain an infinite supply of ammunition for whatever weapons the player happens to be carrying.
  • Played ridiculously straight in Modern Warfare 3, in which after the chemical attacks across Europe, the Russian Army overruns most of Western Europe in the matter of a day. Handwaved by saving that the chemical attacks took down defences well enough to allow this. Yes, you read that right: all of Europe, at once, in the course of a day, without any help. Try not to think about it if you want to remain sane. Bonus points for the fact that, right when the tide finally turns and Russian forces are getting steadily driven back across Europe and out of North America, Russia negotiates for peace. Even though it had basically committed every war crime in the book, utterly devastated all of Europe and the eastern coast of the United States, destroyed the ISS, detonated a nuke in Qurac, attempted to nuke the United States multiple times, and launched a plethora of chemical attacks and purges on civilian population centres, all without any provocation beyond a bunch of Russian citizens being massacred by what was clearly documented to be other Russians (albeit mercenaries) and a single American agent. Simply put, this is the diplomatic equivalent of Easy Logistics, since there is no way the international community would ever allow Russia to even exist after a stunt like that. To be fair however, we don't actually see what happens due to the game's Troubled Production leading to a rushed ending, and the President was already seeking peace talks with the U.S. before the attacks on Europe took place. The only reason said invasion even happened is because Vladimir Makarov—a known terrorist and leader of the Inner Circle (an extremist organization which was forced out of the Russian government due to its criminal activities)—killed most of the Russian cabinet and took the President hostage; consequently "hijacking" the military. Between this and the fact that said President is otherwise portrayed as a Reasonable Authority Figure who ultimately wants peace with NATO (it's implied that he was pressured into declaring war on the U.S. by other extremists amid outrage over the aforementioned massacre), it is likely that he would agree enthusiastically to a disarmament or some other treaty which forbids the use of military force in other countries (similar to Japan's treaty with the U.S. following World War II). Word of God also states that he ordered all war criminals in the Russian military court-martialed and other pro-war extremists forced out of the government. Besides, given how badly Europe was hit by the chemical attacks and ensuing invasion, it's possible they were so desperate for peace that they were willing to let Russia off more easily anyway. The only things this doesn't cover are during the U.S. invasion wherein they attack a civilian Evacuation Site (which could be considered a military target since there were armed combatants defending it) and the International Space Station, which wasn't their fault but that of Captain Price.
  • Squad simplifies logistics, but doesn't make it necessarily easy. The only two resources in the game are construciton (which can be used to build anything from respawn points call FOBS, to sandbags, mortars, or machine guns) and "ammo" (which can be used resupply bullets, mortar shells, grenades, and even bandages). The starting base of each faction has unlimited amounts of both. However, ammo and construction needs to be physically taken to the forward FOBs, as running back to base on foot to resupply usually takes far to much time to be practical. While players can respawn, they don't regain their lost ammo/other consumable items, creating a constant need for more ammo. This creates line of logistics, either in the form of helicopters or trucks, that are running from the forward bases back to the main base to pick up more supplies for the FOBs. These supply vehicles can be attacked and destroyed mid route, leaving the forward bases without construction to build defenses or ammo to fight with.

  • Logistics in EVE Online is a major part of managing a successful corporation or alliance, especially in outlaw space. Raw materials need to be extracted and refined, starbases consume fuel and supplies, taxes and rents need to be paid, ammo is expended, capital ships need fuel for their jump drives and spare ships and other equipment need to be manually hauled to replace losses. While this keeps industrialists busy, it also provides ample targets for enemies looking for something expensive to shoot, and disruption of supply lines is a viable tactic to undermine combat readiness. To be specific it's the players that mine, haul and produce everything, to the point where if you buy something from a space station you have to go fetch it yourself. It's a bit odd considering the number of Mega Corps in the fluff. However, one of the most successful and renowned player corporations in EVE is... a freight line.
  • Planetside 2:
    • Played straight with infantry weapons and averted with vehicle weapons. Infantry weapons can be restocked by an engineer throwing down an supply box roughly the size of a man's open hand or at any infantry based terminal. Vehicles on the other hand require either a landing pad (for aircraft) or an ammo tower (for land vehicles). Also a purchasable perk for a Sunderer allows you to restock/repair nearby vehicles, which plays this trope straight. This is given a justification with the ACE system, basically nano machines which are capable of constructing anything from tanks to bullets.
    • Also, the spawning of aircraft, vehicles and people plays this straight. Exceptions are main battle tanks,note  and the Galaxy.note  Also, some terminals are only for spawning transports, meaning they can only spawn The Sunderer or The Flash.
  • While players don't have to worry about it, in World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King, Varok Saurfang is trying to give a lesson in logistics to Garrosh Hellscream. They are in Warsong Hold on the west coast of Northrend, and need supplies from Orgrimmar, but the only port the Horde has is Vengeance Landing, on the other side of the continent. Getting supplies means using Goblin zeppelins that have less cargo capacity than a ship, or sending things to Vengeance Landing and then over the length of Northrend. Garrosh finds the lecture boring. He then suggests taking over the Alliance port nearby, completely forgetting the Alliance are his allies and it wouldn't be that hard to go ahead and ask them "Can we drop our supplies off from this port?". Also a case of Forgotten Phlebotinum in a universe where warlock summoning and mage portals exist. In later expansions there are occasions when troops and supplies are simply teleported directly from the faction's capital city. It is unclear why they don't just do this all time, though sometimes there is a handwave along the lines of not having the power to maintain portals indefinitely.
    • Likewise numerous quests and npc dialogue mention the need for not just supplies but civilians to erect buildings, cook food, etc. It's particularly common in Wrath of the Lich King due to the entire expansion taking place on a continent that has no friendly settlements or military bases. One quest has an officer complaining that some moron supplied the fort with cannons that use a non-standard cannonball, forcing players to go find the ones that have already been fired.
    • In Vanilla, the Defias Brotherhood's operations outside Westfall are almost entirely centered around securing supplies for both their forces and to construct their massive gunship, with communications indicating they're stripping every mine, rail, and farmstead from Elwynn Forest to Booty Bay. In Westfall, they've taken over most of the farms both so they can operate freely and feed their forces.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Act of War is notable for allowing you to capture enemy infantry for money. When you "kill" an enemy infantry unit, there is a chance that they are simply injured rather than dying, after which you can send one of your troops to capture it. Once captured though, what happens to him? He disappears from the map and is magically teleported to your field prison building.
  • Played straight in the Age of Empires series. Units might require food to build, but then they never require support — even if they're archers and catapults far away from anything resembling a resupply point. The only thing resembling an aversion of this trope are trade routes running through the map in II and III, where you could set up trade posts. However, in III, you could cut off (non-essential) shipments from your enemies' home cities.
  • Blitzkrieg mostly averts this. All vehicles, guns, and infantrymen carry a finite amount of shells and bullets (although they often carry a large amount of the latter). Resupplying them requires the use of trucks, transports, and haulers, and destroying all of an enemy's resupply vehicles can cripple their offensive power because if they run out of ammunition they can't attack. Damage to any vehicles also requires the use of special mechanics trucks to repair them. If a tank has its treads knocked out with a grenade, it will sit there completely stationary until a repair truck sends out some mechanics to fix it. (Vehicles never run out of fuel, though.)
  • Codename Panzers:
    • Averted in the broad gameplay. Armies are what you bring with you, purchased through "requisition points" earned during missions. There are realistic limits on how much ammo each unit can carry — save for infantry (unlimited bullets but limited special weapons such as grenades) and, surprisingly, supply and repair vehicles, both of which have unlimited amounts of supply on Easy mode. Compensated for by that fact that supply vehicles are EXTREMELY vulnerable (being depicted in-game as picket-style flatbed trucks). Playing the game as either British or American forces makes you wonder how the Allies won the war — as there's never enough requisition to allow the Americans to utilize swarm tactics as they did in WWII — and the less said about the British "land fortress" concept, the better.
    • Heavily disputable regarding the Western Allies: in reality they never really did use swarm tactics save as an absolute last resort, and it is fairly easy to win when you know what you are doing: simply put, shell shell shell, flank flank flank, repair and reload every chance you get, and do what you can to avoid going head to head with German (or Soviet, for that matter) heavy armor. It's difficult and it leaves you scrounging a LOT of arty and supplies from every battle, but once you get a your units up in XP, they'll pay their way more or less by themselves.
  • One of the mildest and most common forms of this is how units in RTS games usually have unlimited ammo, fuel and food and are exempt from fatigue. This is an entirely justifiable simplification to reduce micromanagement that usually is not commented upon, but is sometimes handwaved, like in the Command & Conquer games, by claiming that Applied Phlebotinum or magic or somesuch eliminates the need for resupply on the battlefield.
  • Command & Conquer:
    • Up until Tiberian Sun, the only way to repair a vehicle was to put it on a repair facility, which avoided the hammerspace issue by being larger than the units it was repairing (it also drained money, and, naturally, immobilized the unit being repaired). Repairing buildings with an engineer, however, played that part straight.
    • Command & Conquer: Generals averts this one to some degree: your units never get tired or run out of fuel, and their ammo is infinite, but the ones that fire missiles do have to wait before they can reload their projectiles. By extension, this also means fighter planes and bombers must return to a nearby airport after hitting their target.
    • As well, any and all attack/abilities/reinforcements that require an airplane to deliver it anywhere on the field can be shot down before dropping their payload, though impractical in a serious game.
    • Aircraft in all the Command & Conquer games tend to play it both ways:
      • Those that are permanently airborne, like the Kirov Airship in the Red Alert series and most of the games' helicopters, are treated as having unlimited fuel and munitions; at best, there is a short cooldown timer between attack runs. How they are repaired is also questionable.
      • Fixed wing aircraft are handle a little more unusually. They must return to an Airbase structure once they have exhausted their munitions, or for repairs. However, damage has little effect on their airworthiness (until they reach Critical Existence Failure) and they can loiter in the air indefinitely — unless their Airbase is destroyed, at which point they apparently begin to consume fuel (which damages the plane, somehow) and will crash when it runs out.
  • Company of Heroes:
    • The game uses a territory control resource model like Dawn of War, from the same studio. In its case, if a territory section doesn't have a continuous chain of captured sections linking it back to headquarters, it doesn't add any resources to the pool until the lines are connected. The supply of ammo and fuel to individual units on the field is rolled into the resource model: fuel and munitions are generic, and using special abilities or getting individual upgrades like hand grenades and sub-machine guns respectively use up munitions while buying advanced units and global upgrades use up fuel (and what you get permanently with both resources does not cause more upkeep on the resource to maintain, though having units causes an upkeep reducing your income on the separate manpower resource). Units must be next to a reinforcement area in order to replace their missing squad members (such as your headquarters or a forward barracks), but a single halftrack on a distant corner of the map can provide a reinforcement area to replenish numerous devastated squads repeatedly just so long as you have the manpower resource to do so (the actual vehicles tend to hold up to ten passengers at best, on that note). In the case of paratroops, they are allowed to reinforce anywhere, with the replacements dropped one at a time from wave after wave of apparently-underloaded cargo planes.
    • One notable area where the game averts this trope is with the first aid stations, which depict medics running out onto the battlefield to retrieve individual downed soldiers.
    • As stated in the main article above, this is rather egregious with repair-capable units like the Engineers/Pioneers/Sappers. While it's probably a little more realistic that the Bergetiger has storage for spare parts to repair a Kettenkrad, it's not really so that it can restore a heavy tank wreck an infinite amount of times on the spot(considering the "Berge"-type vehicles were AR Vs designed to tow the wrecks back to a safe place to be repaired with help outside of the ARV). Gets totally ridiculous when the inverse happens: a Tank Destroyer doctrine-enabled Kettenkrad restoring an almost destroyed Bergetiger, or any super heavy vehicle for that matter.
  • Avoided in Conquest: Frontier Wars, a space RTS: ships that went into enemy territory or just away from supply bases would quickly use up their supplies in battle ending up helpless and unable to fire. Supply ships could accompany fleets to help somewhat, but even these could be drained by prolonged battle and the only way to be truly safe from supply problems was to be camping under the radius of a supply base built in controlled territory. Key word controlled as one was also required to build chains of jump gates or HQs in order to be allowed to build in a system. Surprisingly not as annoying as it sounds, and added interesting depth to an otherwise somewhat flat combat system.
  • Very slightly averted in Cossacks: European Wars, cannons do use trifling amounts of coal and iron, and units either eat food or require paying (gold).
  • Creeper World: Significantly less easy than most games, you must build a physical network that connects your structures and units to your HQ building to keep them supplied with energy. Structures that are cut off cease functioning entirely, while units that are cut off still function but quickly run out of ammo. Your units can still move even without energy though.
  • Dawn of War 2:
    • Slightly dealt with — more units do hurt your resource income. Though you still gain resources for capturing points, for whatever probably-not-realistic reason, making it likely that this was put in to help players who were currently behind their opponent(s).
    • The game actually sidesteps that issue, too. The universal resource is Requisition, not something that goes into actual production. The more points you take, the better you're doing, and the more material your higher-ups would be willing to commit to the cause. The more stuff you have, the less willing they are to waste more on your battlefield.
    • Soulstorm makes a vague attempt at averting this- since the game takes place across a solar system and FTL travel is blocked off by a Warp storm, some provinces give less requisition than normal (used to buy honor guard units and preplace buildings) due to lack of logistics, but the Chaos faction suffers no such drawback due to their mastery of the Warp (conquering their stronghold gives this advantage as well).
  • In the Dungeons games, this is zig-zagged. Units need certain resources: the Horde requires beer, while the Demons require rooms dedicated to admiring them and the Undead need rooms devoted to letting them relax. They also need to be regularly paid, but this can be circumvented in the first couple of games by sending them out of the dungeon to fight (and die) before they collect their pay. Horde units also don't need to drink on the surface, with the game lampshading this by mentioning the air is more moist up above. In the third game, units on the overworld automatically collect their pay without needing to go visit the treasury.
  • Averted in Earth 2150. Units using bullet, cannon or rocket weapons have a limited supply of ammunition that must be replenished by helicopters going back and forth between the units and ammo depots. This particular example serves very well to explain why the logistics problem is usually handwaved. There are long stretches of time where you're twiddling your thumbs waiting for the helicopters to reach your force that's on the other side of the map, they often miss some units and thus necessitate painstaking micromanagement to replenish your entire force, and they'll get shot down by enemy defenses. They are, in other words, a big pain, and the game would have been far better off without them. Also averted in its sequel, Earth 2160. Only without the helicopters: ammo is either delivered via long-range projectile or delivered via nearby flying metal generator.
  • Empire Earth: Only averted during specific missions, otherwise the game uses Easy Logistics all the way.
    • One Greek mission tells you to gather your citizens inside the walls to protect them from the Spartan siege, leaving the fields undefended. You can't build farms or fishing boats, instead bringing in food shipments from allied cities. Plague also strikes until there's enough food.
    • One German mission has you protect cargoes as they run the British Naval Blockade.
    • Another starts you off with huge amounts of every resource as you build an army. If you hit the cap or are spotted by the enemy, the resources get taken away.
  • In Enemy Nations, this is played straight for fighting units (which never run out of ammo or fuel), but averted for the game's Command & Conquer Economy. Individual trucks have to actually carry resources from mines to refineries, from refineries to factories, and even to construction sites for new buildings, in order for anything to get done. These trucks run automatically (and have mostly-decent AI), but can also be controlled directly by the player. If a truck gets destroyed en route, you lose everything it was carrying, and your refineries and factories will sit idle until supply is re-established. A good network of roads, and the protection of all elements in the supply chain, are important to victory.
  • Averted in Harpoon- you have to wait for guns to reload and firing rates are realistic. Like every three minutes for an "Echo II" SSGN's "Shaddock" missiles. However, aircraft have unlimited ammo. So whilst a real life base or carrier might only have a few dozen of the high tech weapons, you can constantly launch, attack and relaunch plane squadrons using these high tech weapons.
  • Hearts of Iron:
    • Totally averted in Hearts of Iron 2. Every unit consumes some amount of supplies, while armor, mechanized/motorized/very advanced infantry, aircraft, and ships all consume fuel as well. If units are cut off from supply depots, they will weaken and become much easier to defeat. This leads to a known exploit: because all of your supplies and fuel are shipped from the capital, by surrounding the capital you effectively (and bang-your-head-against-the-wall unrealistically) cut off the entire nation from supplies. This is oft discussed in the forum and expected to be changed.
    • Hearts of Iron 3 thoroughly averts this. Supplies take time to pass through each province based on weather and infrastructure, and targeting supply lines is a very effective way to cut off an army, by either raiding their convoys or attacking their logistics train with aircraft. Also, though all units are supplied from the country's capital, any province with industry in it manufactures supplies and can supply units, so if the capital is cut off supply lines are rerouted from areas with industry to the front.
    • The human element is modeled with a whole another form of Hit Points: units have Manpower and Organization. The latter represents chains of command, communication lines, supply delivery — basically everything other than men and materiel. Warfare software. An unit with 0 organization is technically there, but it's not going to do any good. Among the implications, pretty much everything has to be Cast from Hit Points, units regenerate when left alone, and researching such things as land combat doctrines or limited NCO initiative gives bonus health. We could go on to compare regional infrastructure to Geo Effects, but this has gotten silly.
    • Averted with a vengeance in Hearts of Iron 4. The logistical system has been completely revamped so that players must manufacture all individual equipment needed for their army, including infantry weapons, support equipment, artillery pieces, to even individual tanks and airplanesnote . In addition, changing an assembly line resets the efficiency. For instance, if the player changes a line manufacturing artillery at 90% efficiency to manufacturing anti-air guns, it will reset to 10% due to the factories having to start again. Prior to the Man the Guns DLC, units didn't consume fuel, though. Also, if other conditions are met (having strategic bombers in range of the target, and benefiting from air superiority in the area), once you have a nuke it can be dropped immediately regardless of the distance and the supply lines between the airfield it takes off from and the nuclear reactors which produced it.
    • A mod for Hearts of Iron 4, BlackICE, averts the trope even further by overhauling the tech and equipment trees. Standard infantry equipment has been divided in several independent items (rifles, automatic weapons, mortars, uniforms, etc.) which need to be produced separately, and that's only for plain, standard infantry; different types of troops and squads also need their own standard equipment, requiring to produce special "recon equipment", "paratrooper equipment", "cavalry equipment", "engineer equipment", etc. Similarly, you now need to produce Jeeps and radio equipment as their own (splitting "support equipment" in several type of proper items). Moving artillery pieces requires other types of special equipments, depending on the type of artillery (horse carriage for lighter pieces, trucks for heavier guns, and tractors for the heaviest ones). The trucks which serve to carry motorized troops are no longer the same ones which tow motorized artillery.
  • Averted in the Hegemony Series. You'll need to keep track of where your food's going, and if your army has none, don't expect it to last too long in combat.
  • Averted in the original Homeworld RTS. Sure, you had your main base being apparently self-sufficient in space, but since the thing's roughly the size of the Death Star and mobile, whatever. Fighters, on the other time, had limited fuel. Micromanaging this proved enough of a nuisance to enough players that the sequel went back to standard RTS Logistics. Homeworld: Cataclysm Hand Waves this in the manual by claiming that the Somtaaw have acquired highly-efficient fusion engines from the Bentusi.
  • Averted to an extent in Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, as a sector's proximity to resources increases efficiency, while cut-off ones suffer large penalties.
  • Mostly averted in Joint Task Force, where bullets are unlimited but cannon shells and supplies for repairs are not. 'Special' equipment like anti-tank rockets and mines also has a set number of uses before it is lost forever.
  • Averted in Knights and Merchants and its sequel The Peasant Rebellion. Your army (and workers too) need to be supplied to prevent them from starving, making waging war a tricky business especially when the enemy's base is far away. It's even more troublesome when you notice that there aren't any special supply units in the game, and that you need (slow moving and vulnerable) civilians to carry the food to the front lines. During a battle, logistics might actually be one of the most difficult aspects of this game. However, your archers never run out of arrows.
  • Averted in Knights of Honor deployed troops consume food supplies, which need to be restocked, either by pillaging farms, or by entering a castle and restocking there. This can be problematic when laying siege to a castle, because often the castle's supply of food is larger than that of the enemy army.
  • MechCommander series of BattleTech:
    • Played with, at least in the second game. While mechs can go on for miles without losing juice (since they're powered by contained, but volatile nuclear fusion reactors), their weapons are subject to ammo depletion and overheating. Replenishment of ammo and health requires the deployment of a Repair Truck. Suffice to say, the Repair Truck defies the repair unit stereotype hard. To repair and reload a mech, the mech in question must be immobilized and shut down first. And unlike Bottomless Spare Parts repairers, each Repair Truck only carries a limited truckload of spare parts and ammo (called repair resources), meaning that once the Repair Truck runs out of resources left to spend, you're not getting that Truck back. But what makes it Easy Logistics: the Repair Truck seemingly has only one kind of repair resource — whether it's a damaged limb that needs to be fixed or a gun that needs to be reloaded, it's all taken care of by the same resource pool.
    • Also worth pointing out that in both games ammunition availability is Hand Waved in The Manual. In the first, it is mentioned that plenty of ammo has been landed on the planet as part of the invasion force, and that running out over the course of the campaign is not something to worry about, though making sure the mechs in the field have access to enough of it between returns to base is still an issue. In the second, it is mentioned that the contract the player's group of mercenaries has negotiated include ammunition expenses, so the more they shoot the more they can afford to restock.
    • Infinite Ammunition can be turned off in the settings for gameplay missions. Ingame that can make beam weapons considerably more useful when missiles and solid shell weapons run out.
  • This trope is also averted in other Paradox Interactive games. In all of them, maintaining military forces costs money, and in Victoria: An Empire Under The Sun military units also consume certain types of world resource (for example, an infantry division might require not only pay but also ammunition and weapons). Furthermore, while the system is understandably (and justifiably) less complex than the one in Hearts of Iron, units still need to be in your territory or adjacent to it to reinforce, and will suffer attrition (modified by terrain factors such as winter conditions or how fertile the province is) if they cannot form a continuous supply line. This leads to many interesting approaches to deal with larger invading armies, as it is possible to create some of those terrain factors yourself.
  • Rise of Nations:
    • Averted to some degree. Any unit that stands within enemy turf receives attrition damage, but you can prevent that by keeping a supply convoy nearby.
    • Best of all, light raiding cavalry get a bonus to destroying convoy units, Russians get a bonus bonus, and their Cossacks get a bonus bonus bonus. There's nothing like targeting your opponent's supply wagon and watching his army suffer and just....disappear.
    • Though aircraft operate from airfields, the helicopters display this trope by hovering indefinitely. Once created, they never land.
  • Averted in The Settlers games, where functional logistics is usually at least half the battle, and often far more so. The resources have to be physically carried by peasants walking along roads to get them to the buildings that process them; how good your road network is determines how fast you can equip soldiers, fire siege weapons, build ships, and so forth.
  • Partial aversion with regards to unit creation for the human factions in Seven Kingdoms 2: The Frythan Wars. To train soldiers you need available civilians to conscript. But, you also need to keep lots of civilians on hand to keep your economy going. If a war goes bad you can find yourself in the position of either hurting your economy to replace losses or trying to get by with a weak army. Played straight with everything else.
  • Averted in the real-time strategy Tribal Stage in Spore, where you have to keep your villagers well-fed or risk dying of starvation. This generally means that you'll be sending them out on short missions and then returning them to the village to refuel, rather than setting them to guard far-away areas, not that there's anything important out there that needs guarding (although it is possible to keep them alive on long journeys by ordering them to hunt or forage for food locally). The more occupation-based Civilization Stage plays this trope straight, which is good, because you'll want to set up long-term guards to protect your Spice mines.
  • Handwaved in StarCraft. Terrans need to build supply depots to support more units and Protoss warp everything in from their cities. Zerg use an organic mat called the creep to circulate nutrients to their structures. Brood War manages to avert it from a story perspective for the UED strike force. The second mission of their campaign is a raid on a shipyard, specifically to gain battlecruisers to supplement their fleet (and deny them to the enemy). They are the main power of the sector by the end of their campaign, but are spread too thin to properly garrison everything. This allows Kerrigan to take them down by first targeting them on Braxis (destroying their vital Psi Disrupter in the process), then Korhal, and finally their main base of operations on Char. After their final defeat, they have no option but to try and flee back to Earth, only for Kerrigan to hunt them down and kill them.
  • Star Wars Empire at War:
    • Sort of justified. Blaster pistol and rifle ammo capacity, though not infinite, is canonically large, and since the only time units are active is during actual battle, resupply is justifiably handled offscreen (during Galactic Mode). The only problem is with bombers firing proton torpedoes (Y-Wings and TIE Bombers only have 6 torpedoes, and fire 2 at a time) never run out of ammo, and fire WAY more than they canonically hold when used in bombing runs. Then there's the concussion missile satellites that are nothing but twin 100-something barrel boxes, with no visible ammo storage.
    • Repairs are an interesting matter. In vanilla Empire at War a unit will usually be removed from play if reduced to a pitifully small amount of health during battle (ex. a TIE Mauler battalion reduced to a single, smoking tank out of five). In Forces of Corruption the unit must actually be killed during battle before being removed from the Galactic Map. Further, if the unit survives, it returns to full health, even if it takes part in another battle immediately after surviving the previous engagement.
  • Averted partially in the realistic Sudden Strike. While you don't have to worry about food or fatigue, your units will run out of bullets and fuel. Even the supply trucks that resupply your units run out of supplies, but they gradually gain them over time. Also, the repair-supply truck needs to be a realistic size to hold what is needed to repair a tank or other vehicle, not pulling supplies out of thin air, and it builds a crane first and takes a realistic long time to repair a building or a bridge.
  • Averted to a minor degree in Supreme Commander. Ground and naval units have unlimited ammunition and fuel, how they receive these supplies never being explained, but while aircraft still have infinite ammunition their primary fuel is finite. An aircraft which exhausts its fuel can still fly, but receives a massive speed penalty, being reduced to around 10% of its maximum speed. Its fuel regenerates extremely slowly when landed, though resupply structures will repair aircraft and refuel them at greater speed. These resupply structures can be built anywhere, however, and need no connection to the main base or a firebase in order to function at maximum efficiency.
  • Averted in S.W.I.N.E., where fuel, ammunition and armor repairs are all expendable and finite supplies which are critical to the long-term operation of your army. Apart from the stores of each of your units, you can haul fairly large amounts of these supplies in trailers towed by your trucks, which you use to replenish your units, but even these can be depleted in intense or long battles, not to mention destroyed or captured by enemy forces.
  • Its predecessor Total Annihilation required the (raygun-based) weapons of all units to consume energy from your main resource pool in order to fire, how said energy GOT to your forces is another question.
  • The later games in the Total War series avert this as well, for the most part; if you're caught in enemy territory during the winter, your troops will take attrition damage and when spring comes again the unit will have taken losses. Food is also a strong priority, as your armies will start to shrink due to soldiers starving to death or deserting, and public order will also take a big hit making rebellions more likely. On the sea, your trade can be blocked by enemies either raiding your trade routes or blockading your ports, which can cause a penalty to your income.
  • Handwaved in Urban Assault, in the future humanity develops plasma formation technology. This allows units and buildings to form out of energy provided by your station. Somewhat averted in that your units have a limited energy supply that provides ammo for their attacks (but this recharges over time).
  • Similarly, in Warcraft games food is used as the population cap. Humans and orcs build farms and burrows/pig farms respectively. Undead don't need to eat, but they can use corpses for healing and reinforcements (and their supply structure doubles as their defensive tower). Night elves apparently eat moonlight, as their supply structure is a well that fills with healing water at night. Also, players with (relatively) large armies in Warcraft III will incur heavy income penalties (giving you only 70 and 40 % of mined gold), implying that the rest goes to pay your soldiers and to maintain your war machines.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War:
    • Dark Crusade averts this to an extent on the "Risk"-Style Map, where you can only attack an area your army are next to, unless you've captured the Pavonis Spaceport on the "Risk"-Style Map. Owning it gives you access to Applied Phlebotinum capable of plotting air insert missions avoiding the hostile fleets in orbit. Basically, you can attack anywhere except the six enemy strongholds (because they have heavy anti-air defenses). The main RTS sections plays this straight.
    • Soulstorm pays lip service to the idea by introducing a "broken supply lines" mechanic where provinces on another planet that aren't connected to your stronghold via other provinces only give part of their requisition every turn. Chaos and Dark Eldar armies, who move around via the Warp / the Webway respectively, have no such restrictions.
  • Warzone 2100 partially averts this. Ground based unit has infinite ammo, but VTOL units do have limited ammo, and need to be refilled.
  • World in Conflict is a strong example of this.
    • On strategic level in the single-player campaign, the player has to contend with a Soviet invasion fleet that snuck past US and Canadian naval and air assets along the Pacific coast and landed an overwhelming ground force in Seattle. Said force must later be defeated with ground forces retaking the city against poor odds, seeing as air and naval forces are NOT capable of severing their supply lines. Another part of the campaign entails defeating a Soviet force that has sailed past all of Greece and Italy to land in Southeast France without being anywhere close to linking up with their other forces. How they did it without the invasion fleet either being sunk or the supply lines severed by air and naval forces in the Western Mediterranean is not explained. And finally, there is an attack against the Soviet Northwest, where heavy armour liberally supported by strike aircraft are airdropped in behind enemy lines to rescue some pilots and then mount an assault upon a naval base.
    • On the tactical, i.e. in-game level, all ground units are delivered onto the battlefield by helicopter or para-dropped from heavy transport aircraft. Evidently, these transport never have to contend with air defenses and are always loitering in the air near the battlefield, packed with ready-to-deploy vehicles (including main battle tanks too heavy to be air-dropped in real life), ready to bring in anything you have ordered from the reinforcement menu.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • In The Alliance Alive, neither your party nor the hundreds of NPCs recruited to the Global Airship ever have to worry about food or tools. Similarly, Guild towers are constructed instantly, by one guy, and immediately filled with lavish furnishings whether they're one metre away from a city or in the middle of a snowy wilderness.
  • Dark Sun: Desert survival was an important part of the tabletop setting, but in the games those mechanics were not implemented. Food and water are not consumed, heat strokes do not happen. The first game in the series does contain what may be leftovers of water-related mechanics: there are pots and buckets that can be filled with water in several key points, NPCs warn the player how important the water is, but none of it affects the gameplay.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition plays with this trope. The player character never has to worry about the daily business of running the Inquisition — feeding the troops, providing them arms and armour and so forth. However, those duties are handled by an in-game quartermaster: Threnn in Haven and Ser Morris in Skyhold. They can provide you Requisitions to fill for extra Power and Influence, and if you hang around them enough, their interactions with other characters will give you an idea of how difficult it is to manage the resources of a massive military/spy force.
    Threnn: Lots of people expecting us to be heroes, marching all day to fight the demons. Turns out heroes need to dig latrines just like everyone else.
    • The game also frequently acknowledges that not everyone in the Inquisition is a warrior, a spy or a mage; there are many regular people who have no skill beyond scribing, cooking or carpentry, but are nonetheless crucial to the running of the organization.
  • You can recruit literally hundreds of party members in Monster Girl Quest! Paradox RPG. You never have to worry about feeding them, even if quite a few are Big Eaters (though you can optionally give them food to raise their Relationship Values), nor do you have to worry about their other everyday needs. It becomes a bit more plausible when you start recruiting the Royals Who Actually Do Something, since supplying a few hundred people should be trivial compared to the needs of one or more countries.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • The Shockwave games:
    • Averted early on in Invasion Earth when the news anchor describes how he and some of the newsroom employees have holed up in their studio during the alien invasion but they don't know how long their food and water will last.
    • Averted again late in Invasion Earth when an entire mission centers on the Omaha sending pilots out to search for the wreckage of a space shuttle the aliens shot down. The shuttle was in the process of making a supply run, and the Omaha can't live without whatever supplies survived.
  • Zig-Zagged in Mega Drive game Desert Strike. Your Helicopter can run out of fuel, and will crash if fuel isn't kept topped up, and can only carry a limited amount of ammo, picking up more than maximum makes it go to waste. However, you can only get repairs at a landing zone, if you've got passengers on board, and the repairmen will only fix one sixth of your helicopters hit points per person. So if you land with five hundred of damage, but only two people, you have to continue onwards with half your health still missing. It's as if the rest of the air force wants you to fail.

    Simulation Game 
  • Ace Combat:
  • Aerobiz: You never have to worry about ensuring adequate ground support equipment is available for your airliners at their destinations, nor do you have to worry about flight scheduling, maintenance issues, etc...
  • Air Force Delta Series plays this straight as is par for arcade-styled flight sim shooters.
  • Zigzagged by the Armored Core franchise. The eponymous mechs have effectively unlimited fuel for movement, boosting, and energy weapons. The meter for energy that supplies these will decrease as you use them, and they'll stop functioning if the meter is depleted, but the meter quickly fills back up when it isn't used. Ammunition for projectile weapons, missiles, mines and the like are limited to max capacity for each mission, with refills only occurring in between missions back at base. Repairs to the Armored Core also don't happen in the field, and must be taken care of in between missions. Oh, and the funds for spent ammo and repairs come right out of your own pocket at the end of the mission, so if you screw up badly enough, a "successful" mission can still cost you more than you earn from completing it.
  • Averted in Black & White 2. In this game, you can make armies (unlike the last game, where warfare was entirely god- and Creature-based), but there's a couple of catches: first, you make armies from your own people, so if they get killed, you'll be down to Disciples until you breed some more; and second, army units eat twice as much food as the regular people whether they're fighting or not, and if you disband them, there's no guarantee that you'll get the same people again if you reform them- so if one unit is particularly skilled in battle, you might want to disband them to save food, but then you might lose their skill, so you might have to leave them standing around, doing nothing but eating all your food.
  • City-Building Series:
    • Averted in the Caesar games with buildings that require raw materials or labour. Raw materials are distributed by handcarts that must be pushed through your streets and each building only generates one cart. This means that importing more than one type of raw material (olives, timber, iron ore, etc.) can lead to production buildings standing idle most of the time. Also, the random paths taken by service providers can easily deprive a house of things it needs to maintain its status for no apparent reason.
    • Pharaoh:
      • Goods still have to be carted from one end of the city to the other (as the cart pushers will happily remind you), but storage yards can be told to refuse certain types of goods so as to make sure everything goes where it's supposed to. It also allows a small amount of control over service providers via roadblocks: the cartpushers ignore them, but walkers will turn around and stay out of places where they're useless.
      • Requests for goods from other cities are instantly taken away without needing to arrange their transportation. similarly, gifts from other cities are added instantly to the city's yards. Unfortunately, food requests can only be taken out of storage yards.
      • The biggest Acceptable Break from Reality, however, is the fact that a recruiter only has to walk past a house for his job to have workers taken out of the entire workforce, so you can have a massive mining complex with all necessary support buildings employing hundreds apparently crewed by five people living in a hut, then turn off the mines to free up the workers if, say, your educational system or military needs workers.
        Unfortunately, the fact that recruiters don't always pop out from the most convenient corner of the building means a lot of extra planning involving roadblocks (and sometimes those don't work, the building remaining unstaffed because the recruiter spawns in the middle of the roadblocks and is immediately despawned) and wasted road space.
      • The need for simplification causes its own problems: storage facilities send out one cart at a time, making it not unusual to see as many storage yards as there are types of goods. Similarly, maritime trade is hamperd by the fact that trade ships dump all their goods simultaneously at the first dock they see instead of going to another one, tying up traffic while they wait for carts to return.
      • Stored food never goes bad. It's possible to put the mission's very first harvest in a yard as insurance and still see it there decades or centuries later at the mission's end.
    • Zeus: Master of Olympus:
      • Recruitment logistics are made even easier by the fact that workers are taken instantly from the workforce as a whole, no more Industrial Ghetto crewed by the half-dozen inhabitants of a tent propped up with sticks.
      • Trade with other cities is now done by giving each city its own trading post/dock, giving you more control over what goods need to be carted a long way away.
      • Armies are recruited from the population, with standard housing providing ranged troops (since they also provide workers, they're best used sparingly to prevent economic meltdown) and elite housing providing infantry and cavalry (and in fact need armor/horses to progress). Because of this, only the elites can be sent abroad to aid in defending an allied city or conquering enemies.
    • Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom:
      • This game finally allows you to turn off industries on a building-by-building basis, rather than shutting down an entire industry to free up a few workers.
      • Armies are once again drawn from the general populace, building elite housing merely allows you to increase the total number of companies. You also don't command your armies, simply choosing the troop types (infantry and catapults work better on walled cities, cavalry work better on settlements, etc.) and sending them to the target city.
  • Averted entirely in Falcon 4.0 except in Dogfight mode.
  • The FreeSpace series averts this somewhat by the need to call a support ship to reload secondary weapons. The support ship can bring subsystems (such as communications and sensors) back to life but cannot repair your ship's hull. Depending on the weapons you have on board, they can take a bit of time to reload — bigger missiles and bombs, for example, take forever to load on your ship, leaving you highly vulnerable to enemy fire. Only one support ship can be present in the area at a given time, which means that if your wingmen run out of ammo the support ship will momentarily be unavailable for you to reload and repair. However, the ship itself can reload any number of missiles of any type on ship any number of times, despite the training instructor in both games telling you that the support ship can only carry a limited amount of ordinance. Then again, your support ship will probably blow up (with a big bang, with all those bombs on board!) after one or two reloads (or even in transit before it reloads anybody's ship), in which you'd need to call another one in anyway. And in a more general subversion, there are several missions where you are defending supply ships or cutting enemy supply lines, providing at least a nod in the direction of logistics.
  • MechWarrior:
    • Averted in MechWarrior 3. You play as a commando with a few support vehicles behind the enemy lines, so every ammo round and armor plate is counted. The vehicles carrying them are slow and unarmed. On the same note, the majority of your mission objectives revolve around knocking out enemy logistics, which include things as mundane as a greenhouse farm to deny the enemy sufficient food for its soldiers.
    • In MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, you play as (shock) a commander of a brand-new mercenary company. While things like repairs and ammo reloads are handled by your accountants, bulking up your force is not — you can either pay the exorbitant prices on the Free Market, or salvage destroyed enemy vehicles off the battlefield. You have to pay upkeep based on your mechs and pilots, and quite a lot at that; even making an interstellar transit and not doing anything for a couple weeks is a significant expense. You're even charged for fuel used dropping your force into combat.
    • Since then, played perfectly straight in Mechwarrior Online's "Community Warfare" mode. A strategic map of the Inner Sphere is provided for factions to fight over, but the factions are not constrained by such bean-counter things as 'industrial output,' 'transit time,' or 'transport capacity.' This leads to all sorts of wacky salients as each reset season progresses, and as there's no death penalty, much less a requirement for players to pay for repairs and expended ammunition, the faction with the most players (and thus the most competent players) easily wins.
  • Steel Battalion mostly averted this — the mech had limited fuel and limited ammunition for almost all of the weapons (including machine guns) — it could be replenished by calling in a supply helicopter (which could get shot down if you weren't careful). Mind you, if I recall correctly, it seemed to have infinite chaff and windscreen wash supplies.
  • Played with by the Wing Commander series.
    • In Wing Commander I, one of the escort missions on the losing path is for two tankers to refuel the Tiger's Claw. Lose them both, and you've effectively lost the campaign.note  If at least one survives, thennote  you go to Rostov where the winner effectively takes the sector.
    • In Wing Commander II, one of the escort missions is for a transport hauling missiles to resupply the Concordia, and if you fail the mission you're supposed to not have any more missiles. However, failure doesn't seem to actually affect whether or not your fighter goes out with missiles in later missions.
  • X-Universe:
    • Averted. Your ships will run out of ammunition for their cannons, they will run out of energy for their jump drives, and they will run out of Mosquito anti-missile munitions. Fighters docked to carriers will sustain losses, and you will need to buy more or order damaged fighters to repair a shipyard — manually (unless you download a script to do it all for you).
    • This isn't even played fully straight with energy weapons. Each ship has only so much energy available for weapons to fire at full force, and the ship can only replenish that energy so quickly, though a ship can continue to fire at a fraction of the speed when the energy runs out. And as each cannon and cannon type have separate power draws, on some of the smaller ships this turns into a game of how much firepower a pilot can load onto a ship without sapping the energy dry in one burst.
    • Played straight with shipboard consumables (e.g. sublight fuel, crew food and water), which never need to be restocked, though the Flavor Text on some ships note spacious cargo holds for provisions on long flights.
    • Enforced with spaceship fuel. There is no need for refueling in the series, presumably to make it easier for players to get into the series. What kind of fuel vessels run on is yet to be revealed by the developers and left for the player's imagination. "Space fuel" cargo is a misnomer, as it is actually a contraband alcoholic drink often found from the destroyed remains of pirate vessels, and a newcomer to the series won't realize the cargo they're carrying and will get chased by the specific sector's Space Police.
    • X: Rebirth takes some steps in alleviate the logistics nightmare of previous games, at least in regards to fleet resupply. In previous games, Carriers were a nightmare to manage without a carrier automation script, as new fighters had to be acquired from a shipyard, new weapons and upgrades had to be sourced as fighters only came with half their max weapons loadout, then the fighters had to be docked to the carrier and typically assigned to a flight wing. And with the earlier games' signature Artificial Stupidity and Wall Bonking, fighter attrition rates could be atrocious and bring financial ruin. In Rebirth, all capital ships now launch autonomous Attack Drones which while weaker than fighters, are significantly easier and cheaper to replace.

    Space Management 
  • And of course, completely averted in Dwarf Fortress: every single piece of equipment (weapons, ammo, armor, and even clothes), as well as food, water, ammo for the siege engines, maintenance of the traps, etc... has to be created/performed/hauled by a dwarf, as part of his or her daily routine. So creating a working army from scratch is an arduous process that can take years of ingame time, because you have to assign immigrant dwarves to the military, then mine the metal needed for a weapon, smelt it (which necessitates additional coal or charcoal), manufacture the weapon, and repeat the process for every single weapon, element of armor or ammo that each dwarf needs to carry. Then you have to cook food and create waterskins for them, and create a place to store ammo and spare weapons. And finally, you have to train the dwarves, giving them spaces to train, plotting training rotation schedules, and crafting or buying weapons to train with.
  • Elite Dangerous completely averts this. While there are explanations for why 20 tons of hydrogen is all you need to travel several light years at a time, and the usage of that hydrogen fuel is nigh unnoticeable outside of interstellar jumps, that fuel must either be refilled at space ports, or "scooped" from eligible stars.note  Furthermore, all ship repairs and ammunition must either be paid for at space ports, or produced via an on-board crafting module. And the resources used by the crafting module to produce stuff must be obtained by the player.
  • Endless Sky does require the player to restock hyperspace fuel and missiles. However, the reactors that power every other ship system can keep operating forever, including flying around at sublight speeds, without any kind of top-up. Even more egregiously, hull repair technology can entirely rebuild the ship's exterior without any material input. And anything on the menu at an outfitter or shipyard can be bought instantly in unlimited quantity.
  • Largely averted by Factorio, though it makes some concessions for the sake of player sanity such as no building maintenance and conveyor belts that do not require electricity to run. Gun turrets require a constant supply of ammunition via conveyor belt and mineral deposits eventually run out requiring the player to find a new one and set up a delivery system to bring its minerals to a processing station. The Logistic Robots are designed to significantly ease the burden of maintaining a logistics network; they can automatically repair and/or replace damaged equipment (i.e. landmines) if they have supplies on hand, will deliver parts to requisition stations, and can place new buildings (i.e. pre-made train stations).
  • Sort-of averted by Theme Park, which on higher complexity levels requires the player to buy stock for their shops.
  • Satisfactory mostly plays this straight.
    • Ore can be found in two forms: small nodes that must be mined by hand and eventually deplete; and large, flat deposits (usually with one of the aforementioned nodes on top) that never run out. Automated miners can only use the latter (after breaking the node on top). Conveyor belts and portable miners do not need power to operate. Larger machines do, but rarely is a lack of power generation a serious concern.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Mass Effect: This is generally averted across the games, as frequently the biggest issue facing organizations is maintaining their supplies.
    • In the first game, a major issue facing the Feros colony is helping them get back to being self-sufficient after the geth attacks by repairing local water and power supplies and killing a dangerous varren so that the colony can hunt lesser varren for meat. Shepard can outright offer to use their ship to fly in supplies, but that option is shut down simply because their ship lacks the cargo capacity to fly in enough supplies to keep the colony alive.
    • Targeting logistics and support is the core of salarian, asari, and human military doctrines. Salarian doctrine focuses on completely controlling the enemy's logistics and support network via mass infiltration of their security prior to the start of any conflict, effectively ending the war before it ever begins. Asari doctrine focuses on commando operations deep behind enemy lines, destroying logistics and cutting off the enemy's ability to support themselves. Human doctrine uses armored cavalry and mobility to completely bypass the enemy's positions and attack their command and logistics sections and leave the rest of the enemy army to "wither on the vine."
    • In Mass Effect 2, Shepard has to personally source the rare materials needed for expensive research projects or cutting-edge ship upgrades by mining various planets using orbital probes. Shepard also has to acquire money and schematics and equipment him/herself in the field. Cerberus handles the operating costs of the Normandy so Shepard can focus on fighting the Collectors, and they cut their support after the game ends, which is one of the reasons why Shepard has to turn themselves in to the Alliance afterward.
    • The Reapers do not have any known fuel needs, and are never mentioned to be resupplying during their invasion of the galaxy. The game Lampshades that this makes it almost impossible to fight them: no supply lines to disrupt, no resources to steal, no strategic bases to attack. They are a highly mobile, entirely self-sufficient army. No one in the game has any idea how in the hell the Reapers manage this; it's assumed to be some form of higher technology no one understands. The only known supply lines that they have are simply ships ferrying husks from planet to planet as needed; and these may travel inside of the Reapers for most of that.
    • Refueling is one of the Normandy's issues in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. In the second game, it is relatively easy to refuel: you just have to spend a small amount of money at refueling stations. In the third game, it is much more problematic, because you're in the middle of a massive galactic war with the Reapers, who make it a policy to destroy refueling stations wherever they can. Thus, you're forced to scavenge fuel from wrecked stations and ships in order to explore.
    • Mass Effect 3: When trying to secure krogan support for the turians, EDI will talk at length about the logistics should you be successful. First, due to demilitarization, the krogan have no war ships, so someone will need to supply the ships. Second, since the turians have Mirror Chemistry with the krogan, the krogan will not be able to eat any food on turian worlds; and will need to bring their own. Finally, a species as naturally aggressive as the krogan don't do well in enclosed spaces (like space ships) with fellow krogan, and will need tranquilizers to keep them from fighting each other during the trip.
  • Warhammer 40000 Spacemarine takes care to avert this as well as possible in both story and game mechanics. There are several points where jury-rigged Ork systems have to be destroyed, since about 99% of their gear is either straight looted or cobbled-together scrap, rather than carrying it all with them; similarly, more than one mission involves reactivating power and freeing up other supplies for the defending Imperial Guard, the first third of the game being the destruction of anti-air weaponry to allow said supplies and reinforcements to reach the surface. The trope is played straight for the player, one of the titular Space Marines, and his squad, but it's also justified in the fact that a Space Marine has enough food/water kept in the backpack of his Power Armor to last for days on end, and all the new ammo/weapons you picked up have either been sent via freefalling Drop Pod or are scattered about because the battle takes place on a Forge World dedicated to producing weapons and Titans for the Imperium. There's also a small example of a Guardsman bemoaning this not being played straight for him in spite of expectations, as they are on a previously-mentioned Forge World which are all directly ruled by the Adeptus Mechanicus faction of the Imperium, yet no Tech-priests are around and he's stuck trying to fix stuff.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Averted in some respects in 7.62mm High Caliber. Vehicles have unlimited fuel and basically act as a way to transport more loot and get across the map faster (and possibly act as cover during an ambush) and mercs don't need food or water (it's assumed that they eat and drink during visits to towns, possibly). However, all weapons not only require ammo, but also the specific magazines that fit the gun. A merc can quickly become useless because they spawned with a rare or high-tech gun and plenty of boxes of ammo but not magazines because the vendors don't sell any more than the two or three that he comes with; this can encourage some players to sell off guns that don't have much ammo or magazines (especially very rare weapons like the Gyrojet) and use that money to buy more practical equipment. Mercs also need to be healed through using first aid kits or bandages that must be bought and stored in their inventory, weapons must be cleaned to keep them from jamming or missing their targets, and equipment like mines and grenades individually bought and prepared before use. The Blue Sun mod adds a feature where mercs can be paid at the end of their contract rather than at the beginning, and with the inclusion of the new economy and tax system can create a situation where the player has to manage their money to keep their brand new PMC (or possibly army) operating. And when you take into account how every merc needs to have their equipment individually purchased by the player....
  • Mostly averted in Advanced Strategic Command. You can do just about anything, but still Can't Get Away with Nuthin' — almost everything requires expended resources and a proper Worker Unit; lots of these are needed to keep the war machine running. Planes need buildable but expensive runways. Helicopters don't, but cannot be refueled in flight. Units lose XP for major repair and are mostly repaired inside of something. Field repair vehicles can service only units standing on the ground, not just anything one hex away; field repair is less cost-efficient and sometimes limited (an unit with minFieldRepairDamage=20 can't be restored above 80% health/strength).
  • In Age of Wonders, each unit costs a small amount of gold (or mana for summoned creatures) each turn. If you cannot pay their morale will suffer and they may desert you (summons will disappear immediately). However, it only matters that you have the resources at all. Supply lines are not addressed.
  • Mostly averted in Battle Isle series. In the second and third games you have to supply your troops with both ammunition and fuel, units can either refill themselves at various installations or logistical units can supply them on the field. Played straight by the first instalment though.
  • Mostly averted in the DEADLOCK games, where each of your conquered territories requires resources to run...whether they produce them themselves or not, and shipping resources also costs money. This makes blockades a rather effective (and annoying) tactic. Only mostly averted because certain technologies lower the cost of shipping, and one (transporters) not only makes it free, but renders one immune to blockades. The military units themselves, however, still conjure up ammo and fuel out of thin air.
  • Averted in Dominions 3. Magic gems (the 'ammunition' for powerful battlefield spells) are very limited and hard to get out to the troops in the field. Each province has a supply limit, and units will starve, develop diseases, etc if a province is overstuffed. In battle, units build up fatigue which reduces their combat effectiveness. Some spells increase this—"Curse of Stones," for instance, drastically increases the fatigue cost of moving in armor to the point that a huge, heavily-armed force with low magic resistance can be easily decimated by a small force of archers it would otherwise crush, simply because it's too tiring to march up to melee range, and the army's morale is crushed by the constant arrow fire.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Played mostly straight in every game in the series, though there are a few aversions here and there. One of the mainstays in the series is the fact that dead units cannot be revived, making it unique for an RPG series and enforcing the importance of conserving numbers in a small army. There's also the fact that weapons have durability, even the magical Infinity+1Sword the main character swings around (most of the time), meaning you have to constantly keep every individual unit's equipment restocked.
    • Slight aversion in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776. It's difficult to stick to a set party that continually gets more powerful with level ups like the other games in the series or in fact any other Strategy Role Playing Game despite what you'd expect. This is due to a fatigue meter that makes units tire out if they're deployed in too many subsequent battles, forcing you to switch around your party to keep them fresh.
  • Front Mission:
    • The game is a partial aversion — the wanzers (mechs) have unlimited fuel and ammo for melee and short range weapons, but NOT for the long-range missile ones. You can resupply from a special unit, but you have to be standing next to that unit, and resupply takes a turn.
    • Further changed in Front Mission 4, so that all ranged weapons, along with a few other special abilities added to the installment, have a limited number of ammo or charges. If a weapon runs out of ammo, someone with extra ammo must spend a turn restocking them, But it still begs the question, what powers these giant mecha.
  • Somewhat averted in Gadget Trial. While all units have unlimited ammo, they have limited fuel and (since the game doesn't have a resupply unit) must return to friendly bases every few turns. True to the trope, air units have the smallest "fuel tanks" (having to return to base every 10 turns).
  • Each unit in Gihren's Greed has a health bar and an 'energy' bar (which represents fuel and ammunition). A battlemap also has supply points and supply lines clearly shown. As long as a unit is on a supply line, on each turn they recover a small amount of energy (though not as much as if they were at a supply point, which also restores health to boot). However, supply points and lines only do this if there's an actual source of supplies (e.g. from the attacker's territory to the defender's). Cutting off supply lines is a very Boring, but Practical method of winning a battle, since even the most advanced Gundam is just a gigantic pile of useless metal when it's out of fuel and can't move.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic:
    • An army led by a hero who has learned the "Logistics" skill can move farther every turn—the implication being he or she has been educated in more efficient ways to bring along food and water, or in how to forage for them in the field, and so can bring along the same amount of supplies more quickly (perhaps by having big dragons carry them) or bring along less and forage for the rest. There is no mention of how you gather food or ammunition for your troops, but in one case, no such explanation is needed. On some campaign maps, you lose resources because your supply lines are raided by bandits or the enemy as a scripted event but supply lines have no effect in actual gameplay.
    • Certain units in earlier games could grant you small movement bonuses if they themselves have a high speed characteristic (which is understandable, since a centaur and a dragon move MUCH faster than a dwarf lugging around his chest). Likewise slower units tend to slow your army down.
    • Note that there are some structures, such as mills, mines and monasteries, whose products don't quite waft over to your central coffers offscreen. They will generate a certain amount of resources each week (which accumulate,) but a hero has to visit in person to pick it up (at which point it will instantly zip over to your reserves.) The only boon granted by ownership is the ability to station some of your mooks there as a garrison.
    • Actual supply lines are introduced in the dwarf add-on to Heroes V, in the form of caravans from creature dwellings. Rather than having to hire heroes to "do the rounds" of the various creature dwellings around the map (tedious micromanaging to say the least), you can now hire them directly from a town, at which point they'll spawn a caravan that'll move toward the city each turn. You can also hire one city's creatures from the next city over, resulting in the same thing. Raiding the enemy's caravans is a good strategy: better to face one week's worth of unled creatures today than a month's worth of mooks led by your enemy's best hero tomorrow. Caravans do exist in Heroes IV, but they are much less realistic and much more powerful. You only need a clear path between source and destination to set the caravan on its way. After that, it doesn't appear on the map so it can't be intercepted. These caravans also work between towns, so it's possible to quickly send heroes over to defend a town just before the enemy arrives.
    • There also exist Ammo Carts, which have the sole purpose to resupplying your ranged units so that they dont run out of ammo during a battle. While in earlier games most units carried enough arrows/harpoons/bullets/bile to almost never run out of ammo during a single battle, in Heroes V some units only get 2 shots, making them very important. Units regenerate their shots after battle, possibly explained by the fact that they might have looted their enemy's corpses or retrieved their equipment.
  • Jagged Alliance:
    • You have to track your ammo and medical supply use for your mercenaries, but you never have to worry about feeding them. Water is in the game, but only as an energy boost instead of a necessity.
    • Jagged Alliance 2 gives you two automobiles (a Humvee and an ice cream truck) as well as the ability to rent a helicopter. You have to keep the ground vehicles fueled, which is tough as the Queen rations it. The helicopter you rent, so you don't have to worry directly about fuel, though he will say he has to head back to base to refuel if he hangs around an area too long.
  • Averted in M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault & Exploration, where all units have limited ammunition, and repair units — though they still get the job done peculiarly quickly, and don't carry any spare parts — need to carry resources to do their work, and will run out if not re-supplied. Ammunition supply trucks are an essential part of any force that strays far from their base, and units will often have cause to return to a depot for repair, resupply, or upgrading. Most buildings must also be connected directly to storage or production sites for the power and resources they need in order to function, and these links can become a weak spot for a poorly-planned base.
  • Nectaris makes logistics very easy indeed. No unit ever runs out of fuel or ammunition. Factories can repair any damaged unit in one turn to better-than-new condition.
  • Advance Wars:
    • The games require you to keep your units supplied with fuel and ammunition. However, resupplying can be done with a single APC that is capable of resupplying any unit, including naval vessels and aircraft. Even on the same turn. APCs also never run out of supplies themselves, except their own fuel supply, and even that can be alleviated by merely having two APCs, which can restore each other indefinitely.
    • Same goes for repairs. Ground units regain 2 HP per turn they rest on an allied property.It's understandable that Infantry can obtain more men and from cities but one really has to wonder where these remote cities in the middle of nowhere are getting their heavy tank parts. You do have to pay to heal the units, however.
    • Two CO's even have this as part of their CO Powers. Jess (AW2 and AW:DS) and Greyfield (Days of Ruin) instantly resupply all units.
    • However, all machine guns have infinite ammo.
  • Averted in No Greater Glory, which is set during The American Civil War. Every area generates a certain amount of supplies, and each unit requires supplies. During the strategic movement phase, you must bring those supplies, generally from the rear areas, to the troops, who tend to be concentrated at the front. You have a limited supply of rail and sea-lift capacity with which to move supplies, although it is possible to build more each turn, and every unit thereof which you use to move supplies is not available to move troops, and vice versa. Riverine transport is infinite, but can only move along friendly-controlled sections of the Mississippi River and its major tributaries. The same is true for rail and sea-lift: the former can only move along existing railroads and the latter can only move from one friendly port to another. If a unit is under-supplied, it will requisition supplies from the area in which it is located. If the deficit is not too great, that may just involve paying a premium; otherwise, you will damage the economy and alienate the population of the area. Also, under-supplied units take greater losses to disease and desertion. There is some abstraction in that supplies are simply a single generic quantity: you do not have to worry about providing an army with a reasonably balanced diet, multiple kinds of ammunition, different sorts of medicines, etc., just "supplies." Even with that, however, managing logistics is the most important aspect of the game, and consumes by far the most time and energy from the player.
  • Averted in R-Type Command, mostly. All units have limited fuel, and units other than capitol ships cannot be moved if they run out. Units also have limited ammunition, and keeping your forces topped up is a major challenge even early in the game.
  • Averted in the Steel Panthers series. Every single weapon has limited ammunition and if you want to resupply anything larger than grenade launchers. Be prepared to take trucks or huge ammo dumps into battle. Air strikes are also very limited, more than a few is unlikely to be purchased in a normal size battle. Fuel is the only thing that you don't have to use carefully, because the battles can't be longer than around 2 hours ingame.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • Averted. Weapons either have their own ammunition or drain energy from the robot, and air or space movement also costs one energy per movement panel. It's possible, though somewhat difficult, to have a unit unable to move because of lack of energy, although they can still move enough to fire weapons or even whack another robot with a sword from a few tiles away. This also doesn't explain why, for example, Mazinkaiser is holding 99 missiles in its torso.
    • Still runs into the same resupply issue as Advance Wars. Later games actually let you put a resupply device on any unit. Even something as small as a fighter plane is apparently capable of carrying a full set of revolver stake and heavy claymore ammo for Alteisen, and hold enough fuel to refill the energy reserves of any and all the player's units, including battleships. And for that matter, while units spend energy flying through the air or outer space, they can still run on the ground, swim/wade/propel itself through the water, operate the weapons that don't use energy themselves (some of which logically should and some other which should also require ammo like a Grungust's Boost Knuckle), and otherwise stay on infinitely without using any energy despite being giant robots. And most units recover a set amount of energy each turn (that can get bigger with certain equipment).
    • The players are also able to buy parts for cash to repair downed units no matter what the tactical situation is. Any unit shot down is repaired at the end of the fight, but costs money you'd probably rather use for upgrades. Apparently in the future, Radio Shack carries mech parts, and has locations in enemy territory, outer space, the future, and at the bottom of the ocean. Alpha Gaiden has a scene where the Iron Gear is said to be repaired from damage it got in a cutscene using parts from the enemy ships they destroyed, and they mention they often use enemy parts for repairing their own units. Granted, this would make more sense if units didn't tend to explode the second they run out of hit points.
    • And none of this addresses the fact that the WARSHIPS can always resupply everyone and any other unit between chapters and if you fly ANY unit into a carrier (Even the ones that shouldn't be able to fit in the carrier, like the Daitarn 3, which is most likely AS BIG AS THE CARRIER), even if the teams have been separated from any source of material for weeks on end.
  • Total War:
    • Averted when bringing the game to the real-time portion (ie. starting a battle). Your troops can get easily tired if moving any faster than marching speed (and if you march too much, too), including cavalry. All projectile weapons have ammunition limits (Archers have limited arrows and backup knives, certain infantry units can throw javelins before closing in with swords, etc.)
    • Also averted in the strategic part of the game, where all units have an upkeep cost to be paid each turn, symbolizing the need to pay, equip and feed the men. No actual supply lines to manage, though.
    • The lack of supply lines however, means you can pretty much move your army anywhere at anytime and suffer no penalties. Middle of the desert? No worries. Middle of winter? Keep marching! Take a city in the middle of enemy territory? It's only an issue if another army is physically there to besiege it, being in the middle of someone elses territory in no way hinders its ability to function as a city.
    • Things like deserts, hills and the dead of winter are represented in the game. During the winter, income is generally lower and armies are unable to march as far. Marching through difficult terrain cuts their movement even more severely. Note that hostile armies inside enemy territory do reduce that territory's income, as the enemy army is considered to be pillaging from the land (this is shown by having the ground around the unit slowly be burned down). Also, the further a territory is from your capital city, the lower its maximum happiness is. Though this penalty is not affected by being isolated from the nations other territories by enemy provinces, there is a separate penalty to a town's max happiness if that province is surrounded by enemies... Although, your troops can pillage from farmland, frozen tundra or desert, with equal ease.
    • A recently captured city may very well rebel and chuck you and your troops out, on its own, If it isn't kept happy enough (sometimes rejoining its previous owner, sometimes becoming an isolated rebel settlement).
    • Many games have the problem of being able to recruit or retrain faction-specific units anywhere with basic facilities where it wouldn't make sense, (excepting the Romans who did (eventually) recruit most of their troops abroad, and the Shogun games that take place in a Civil War). The Medieval II Expansion Pack Kingdoms fixes this two separate ways: In its Teutonic, Americas and Crusades campaigns, many units require converting the conquered territory to your religion a certain amount, before you can recruit or retrain more than basic levies from it. In the Britannia campaign, after conquering a province of a different culture, you can only recruit units of the nation you conquered it from, until a governor converts the Provence to your culture enough to recruit or retrain your own. This realism has been integrated into various mods as well (requiring that you own Kingdoms to install them).
    • In (only) two of the games, Empire: Total War and Napoleon: Total War, all artillery pieces and Naval ships have unlimited ammo. Infantry and cavalry still have limited ammo in those two games
    • From Napoleon onwards, the games have an attrition mechanic, meaning that soldiers that aren't near a friendly city will suffer losses in winter as men die from rough terrain supply difficulties and weather conditions, and in Shogun 2, merely from being in enemy territory during winter. In the popular Stainless Steel series of mods, there is an option to create logistics, where your soldiers can buy army supplies in a city. Running out of supplies forces your army to resort to foraging, and keeping any army deployed for more than a few turns causes morale penalties in combat.
    • Thrones of Britannia and Three Kingdoms sees individual armies having their own "Supplies" number. This number increases while in friendly territory and decreases in non-friendly territory. While it's depleted, the army's units will see attrition reduce their units, from some combination of starvation and men abandoning the army's desperate straits. A variety of factors in both games affects how many supplies allied and enemy units get or lose in both kinds of territory (most notably, having more food means getting more supplies from friendly territory and lacking food can mean supplies won't replenish even in friendly cities) - and through some combination of experience skills, technology, items and traits, generals may be outright capable of causing their army to get some sort of Easy Logistics and never, ever have to resupply even while in enemy territory.
  • Total War: Warhammer introduces more exotic forms of attrition, all of which represent being unable to live off the land for various reasons. Chaos and the Undead can only maintain their armies in areas with sufficient corruption, that same corruption harms armies of other factions. The Wood Elves are uniquely immune to attrition within their sacred forest of Athel Loren as it resists outsiders. Mountains and badlands not only cause attrition to armies other than Dwarves and Orcs but aren't even inhabitable by other groups. The extreme northern cold also afflicts the armies of all but the Norscans and Chaos forces.
  • Averted in Unity Of Command. The maintenance of a stable supply line is the only way that attacking troops can continue their offensive deep into enemy territory. Once units are at the end of their supply tethers, they'll be more vulnerable to the enemy on subsequent turns.
  • Averted with most units in Valkyria Chronicles. Special weapons like lances and sniper rifles have limited ammo, and can only fire that amount on Offense. On defense, scouts, engineers, and shocktroopers, and tank machine guns can fire at anyone, no matter how many come by, as long as they stay in range. Also, while those weapons and theoretically fire indefinitely, they must still take time to reload their weapons once the magazines are used up. The only way for soldiers to refill ammo is to stay near a base or have an engineer resupply them, though some soldiers have special abilities that let them magically get ammo out of nowhere. The game features an early operation devoted to seizing a supply base to aid the forces on the front lines. Played straight as an arrow with Engineers and their ability to repair tanks from the brink of destruction, however. Logistics also play a key part in the plot as well. The entire reason Gallia was invaded in the first place was because of the country's ragnite mines could be used to make fuel and munitions to supply the greater war. And in the fourth game, the first offensive fails when an early winter cuts the Federation's already dangerously thin supply lines.
    • The consequences of logistics are also used in the fourth game to explain something in the first; namely, how Gallia actually managed to stop the massive Empire's war machine just by killing the general in charge. It turns out that completely unbeknown to Gallia itself, a Federation ranger squad destroyed the tail base being used to supply the Empire's Gallian front as a target of opportunity. He might be invading a nation-sized fuel mine but Maximillian was running out of materiel to put the fuel in, casting him the war.
  • Averted in Wargame: European Escalation. All vehicles have limited ammunition and fuel, and can only be repaired and resupplied when in range of a logistics vehicle or Forward Operating Base. However, even the logistics vehicles and FOBs have (very) limited supplies, making it impossible to keep your units well-stocked for too long. FOBs are a bit less limited in their supplies, but they can't be deployed after the pregame. Reinforcements also come from outside the map through predetermined paths that are only available when you control the entry territory, allowing ambushes and blockades. Looked at another way though, you could say that this game is a good example of this trope, as a single ubiquitous "supply" resource can refuel and rearm all units from not only different countries of an alliance, but from the opposing faction as well. For example, Warsaw Pact troops can capture NATO supplies and use them to restock their ammunition stores.
  • XCom:
    • Averted. Ammunition must be bought, manufactured or captured in battle and then distributed to troops before battle. Vehicles cannot be repaired in the field, can run out of ammo and have limited operational range due to fuel constraints. Ammo and fuel for hybrid craft based on captured alien technology can be in fairly short supply since it is also used to manufacture advanced armour and other gadgets. And you have to balance your budget along with fighting aliens and researching desperately-needed better equipment.
    • There are minor subversions when they must be made. Some craft — the Interceptor, for example — use "regular" fuel, do need to be refueled, but you never have to buy units of it nor do you run out of it (though both the non-alien vehicles are rented - you pay a monthly fee, and presumably that includes the fuel you use and spare parts; you still have to buy/manufacture the ammunition, though). Laser-based weapons do not run out of ammo; presumably your soldiers plug 'em into the base walls after a mission. Also, you have an infinite amount of manufacturing material when it doesn't include the exotic substances that must be scavenged from the aliens — it's all represented by money spent on production.
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown plays it straighter, as ammunition and fuel are managed off-screen for you, and all conventional human weapons technologies are readily available in large quantities. However, you do need to carefully manage and share out any captured or reproduced advanced/alien technology you do obtain, as their materials are limited. When building certain structures, however (such as the Elerium Reactor or the Firestorm Interceptor), you only need to provide an initial supply of alien fuel material.
    • XCOM 2 has even easier logistics than before, as you can now pay a flat amount of resources to immediately upgrade all weapons and armor of a specific tier. Modular Weapons Attachments in use are even inherited by the operative's new weapons.

    Web Games 
  • Averted, unsurprisingly, in the promotional game Red Cross: Emergency Response Unit. Supplies are limited, and while more are airdropped during the course of each level, if you're found to be wasting them (using up base supplies instead of the ones you already have in the field) then you lose points. There's also a Reality Check button you can hit, which explains in detail how the actual situations have been simplified to make the game remotely playable.
  • Averted and played straight in Cyber Nations. Averted in that everything military-related (combat forces, improvements, and national wonders) has a daily upkeep cost, and not paying this cost can all but paralyze your army. Played straight in that once deployed, your armies can be used to attack any of your enemies (although since there is no real "game map", this might fall under Acceptable Breaks from Reality).
  • Averted to some extent in War Story. Your company has limited food, ammunition, and fuel, meaning you require good supply lines. Said supply lines route through major cities, and the shorter a supply line, the more goods your company receives. Liberating capital cities also helps ease logistical concerns.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Thoroughly averted in Fallout: New Vegas. From the very start, you see that even the mighty New California Republic is so stymied in the Mojave due to logistical problems. Many other issues too, including sabotage, apathetic higher ups and so on, but lacking the materials to be able to do anything is at the forefront of their concerns. At the end, you can even explain to Legate Lanius that, in the event of a Legion victory at Hoover Dam, they will not be able to invade the NCR because they will experience their own logistical problems should they attempt it. This is because the NCR does understand logistics, even if many places and units get shafted due to prioritization or politics, while barely anyone in the Legion ever even gave a thought to the issue of supply.
  • Zigzagged in Fortresscraft Evolved. You must have the proper power and resources to build up appropriately, and must manufacture ammunition for missile turrets, but your regular beam cannon turrets only require power to operate and need no repairs or maintenance beyond making sure they are kept well-supplied with energy. Your extractors require power and replacement drillbits to keep them harvesting at peak efficiency, and if your power distribution has bottlenecks in it production and work in the affected area will slow to a crawl. While conveyor belts require no power and cannot be damaged, they can get infested by Mynocks, which will steal resources, and Camobots can leech power from your distribution grid. You'll also need to invest in good storage so your resource mining is not disrupted because the output hoppers are stuffed full.
  • In Foxhole, the game's real meat is in Averting this trope. Resources must be collected in the battlefield and must be transported to facilities that produce actual war material. The weapons, equipment, and vehicles must then be taken to the front lines or otherwise distributed to your army. Crippling the enemy supply line is critical for victory, they can't fight without weapons and armor, and these convoys are vulnerable to attack. Capturing certain towns can flat-out deny the enemy the production facilities to produce vehicles or medical supplies—in the case of vehicles, a lack of supply trucks will further hamper the enemy's ability to move what resources they have.
  • Averted in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. Supplies and vehicles can be ordered and are usually airdropped. If there is heavy enemy anti-air defense in the area, the planes and helicopters carrying your supplies can be shot down, which will usually destroy your supplies. Also averted in Mercenaries 2. You even need to supply your own fuel for air drops and missile strikes. You do not, however, have to pay any fuel for your helicopter guy to pick up any fuel canisters, though.
  • Simultaneously averted and played straight in [PROTOTYPE], which puts the player in a Manhattan being fought over by the US military and an outbreak of a zombie virus. Although any military hardware that's stolen has limited ammunition, whether it's a tank or a helicopter or an assault rifle, the military never runs out of these things. Underscoring the silliness of this is that the game keeps tabs on the dollar value of any damage inflicted during an engagement with the military. It's downright simple to rack up trillions of dollars in damage, but somehow the money and materiel keeps flowing in. Just for comparison's sake, as of 2011 the War on Terror was estimated to cost about 5 trillion.
  • In Star Traders: Frontiers, the only thing you need to keep your ship running is fuel, which is available for purchase at most planets and space stations. You can also get fuel by stealing it from defeated enemy ships or finding it on patrol runs. You don't have to worry about other ship supply issues like ammunition or provisions.

  • For Honor goes into the logistics of medieval warfare several times in the story campaign. Apollyon's initial attack on the Vikings was initially believed to be an extermination war targeting the Vikings' seed storehouses. However, she left just enough food intact that the Vikings would instead turn on each other to fight over the scraps to survive. Later on, the Warborn Vikings begin their march for revenge, but don't have the resources to wage a war on the Blackstone Legion, so instead launch a raid on the Dawn Empire to get the food and loot to rebuild their armies for their invasion, which draws the Samurai into the war.


Video Example(s):


To Send an Army

Time travelers, posing as a prince and the tsar, send the tsar's army on campaign. Less than three minutes pass between the decree getting signed and the army leaving, complete with weapons, horses, and artillery.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / EasyLogistics

Media sources: