Limits on Laborers or Suppy Carts?

Is there a limit to how many Laborers or Supply Carts the Legion can have? On the character sheet there’s only room for up to 3. It’s not clear whether that’s an implicit limit, or whether that’s just what was put there? I have a Quartermaster who is very hungry to get the biggest mass of Laborers they can.

Does he really have the time and resources to get more than that? If he doesn’t, a limit won’t matter…

He wants 4 of his starting Materiel to be Laborers. In part because then they can complete one Supply Cart per Campaign Phase as a Long Term Project. So by the time they get to Plainsworth and need food, the Food procurement actions can be very efficient. Etc.

(Stras answered before I finished typing!)

So there are blank lines on the QM’s sheet, and the rulebook doesn’t say…so? I suppose the QM could spend actions to create and fill a long-term project to open a line for an additional Laborer. However, it’s doubtful existing Laborers would be able to work on that project, so a Specialist would have to be assigned to recruit them, taking the Spec out of play (and you don’t have many to start).

It also just might not be possible on the Western Front – it has an Assets rating of 0. By the fictional constraints on actions, there’s unlikely to be a lot of potential Laborers hanging around to hire: per the QM actions, page 137: “Laborers…are fine quality and their availability may be subject to the location.” This would crimp your QM’s plans to build all sorts of carts before reaching Plainsworth.

(Also, by experience, the Legion never spends more than 1-2 campaign phases on the Front. There are no resources and the Time penalty for staying there can be brutal that early in the game…you lose the chance to spend more time in areas with actual resources.)

If you still decide to allow the attempt, it might require an Exceptional roll for the Specialist to find any. Another thought is you could rule that having more Laborers than the Legion can normally support will strain their limited resources, and is going to increase the Legion’s Food expenditure every cycle. Suddenly the Legion is spending 2 Food every cycle to support the extra help… are those extra Supply carts really worth it? So you’re letting the players decide if it is a worthwhile trade-off.

Or you go by the book and it’s a hard limit. :sweat_smile:

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@greyorm there’s a note on the sheets literally above the carts that explains that max food is 6. So I guess you can make more carts… just not sure why. I suppose it lets you carry more supply - but that’s not usually the limiter. Remember that it’s not 1 cart but a unit of carts, with spare parts, people to drive, stock, and maintain them, etc.

Remember that long-term projects let you break the rules of the game though, so maybe you can extend stuff, just realize it’s not as simple as “make an extra cart out of a few planks of wood”.

Most LTPs I’ve seen are things people pick as problems, then think about how to solve using labor. And sometimes you need special resources to make the labor possible.

Forex: The QM in one of my games wanted to “craft” horses. Obviously you can’t do that, so he asked if he could get some orite alchemy to make primitive drive trains to help move goods and troops faster. Not exactly a car, more like a steam-cart or carriage. I told him he’d need a master engineer, and some sort of fuel source. They found an engineer actually on a mission in plainsworth I think, and he spent time making the carts, and having his alchemists refine the fuel, and got them operational in the last leg of the game.

So it’s not impossible to overcome limits or problems, but it’s often not as simple as “just make a thing you could just acquire more efficiently”. A good QM focuses mostly on figuring out what’s a problem (say only 3 stress per liberty?) but how to overcome it with resources and personnel (let’s build a still… that’ll get us some booze that’ll help the soldiers be happy).

And if your QM is dead set on having more carts - awesome. Work with them to imagine what that looks like, or how. Set the appropriate goals and set them loose.

As a general rule, I try not to say no (unless they’re asking something impossible or easier to do a different way) but to find a cool set of objectives and puzzle pieces that can be fun to try and hunt down on the journey.

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there’s a note on the sheets literally above the carts that explains that max food is 6.

Right: “Carry up to 6 food per Food Stores with Supply Carts.” Not 6 food maximum for the Legion, correct? Especially since you normally have three Food Stores for 9 food without Supply Carts, or is there errata I’ve missed?

I’m sorry, I may have misunderstood the initial question in which case my apologies. I’m not sure where the confusion is.

There’s a few things at play here.

A Food Store (box) has 3 uses (circles) normally.
If you get 1 supply cart (box), the food store now has 4 uses if it’s full.
If you get 3 carts, it has 6 now.
If you get 4 carts… it still has 6 (up to 6 as per text there).

If you have 2 full food stores and 3 carts, you have 12 uses of food.

Does that make sense? Did I confuse things more? Did I answer the wrong question? In which case… again sorries.

Heh. Don’t worry, I am also confused! I didn’t have a question about carts and food, so I wasn’t really certain what you were responding to of mine re: food/carts? I was mainly riffing on possibilities for Alexander regarding gaining Laborers on the Western Front or gaining more than 3 Laborers (as an LTP).

In fact i don’t thing Alexander is really asking about getting Laborers at the Western Front, or through a LTP.

He’s saying that his QM wants to get as many Laborers as possible during initial configuration (Quote : “He wants 4 of his starting Materiel to be Laborers.”), as part of the 5 “additional boxes of Materiel” that the QM can choose.

Since this initial choice is constricted by nothing in the rulebook, the only question is if the three squares for Laborers on the QM sheet represent a hard limit.

Personally I would say go for it if you want. After all the Legion was much bigger before Ettenmarks Fields, so it probably had many Laborers, and those didn’t take part in the fight (or not all – one could say that many died working as field engineers, etc). So the meaning of the initial choice of the QM is : “Among those vast supplies that the Legion had before the fight, what can I reasonably take with me now we are down to 35 fighting men ?” If the choice is laborers instead of black shot or whatever, it’s their choice.

Thanks. I think Stras’ answer is quite clear that the boxes on the sheet are intended to be limits without a LTP to change them!