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Types of Supply (General Supply and Ammunition)

There are two types of supplies: General Supply and Ammunition. Both are produced and distributed in similar fashion but are accounted for separately. General Supply represents items used by military units to maintain their manpower in good fighting order (i.e. food, water, clothing, etc.) Ammunition represents the supply of munitions that military units expend in combat (i.e. bullets, gunpowder, cannon shot, etc.)

Supply Requirements

Military units (including naval vessels) require General Supply each turn to maintain their operating efficiency. Ammunition is required only when military units engage in combat. Units that are unable to satisfy their General Supply requirements are considered ‘Out of Supply’ and operate at a reduced level of efficiency (in addition to suffering other ill-effects). Units that are unable to satisfy their Ammunition requirements are considered ‘Out of Supply’ for combat purposes and participate in combat at a significant disadvantage.

Supply Sources and Production

Each turn, supply points (both General Supply and Ammunition) are produced and stored in friendly-controlled cities, ports, fortifications, and depots. The amount of supply points produced by a structure depends primarily on the level of the structure but other factors are involved in modifying the actual amount of supply points that are created. Supplies are produced and distributed on the first day of each game turn.

Supply Production Modifiers

The base production of countryside (Regions) is modified by the following factors:

  • Military Control (MC). Basic region supply is modified by the %MC of the region
  • Loyalty.
  • [Advanced Supply] Supply production is multiplied according to the Loyalty percentage of the region plus 50%. The equation is: [Loyalty + 50%] X [base # of supplies produced]. For example, if a region is completely loyal (i.e. 100% loyalty) the base supply production in the region would be multiplied by 1.5.
  • [Simple Supply] If loyalty is <50%, then multiply by 0.5
  • National Morale. [Advanced Supply games only] For every two NM above 100, the amount of supplies produced by a supply source is increased by 1%. For every two NM below 100, the amount of supplies produced by a supply source is reduced by 1%.
  • Development (applied only to the regions inherent, terrain-basic supply generated)
  • Wild = 50%
  • Cleared = 100%
  • Developed = 200%
  • Rich = 300%
  • Transportation Level (added to basic region supply value)
  • None = +0
  • Track = +0
  • Road = +1 (in AJE, is coded as Track)
  • Major Road = +3
  • Bonus to AI if difficulty set on "Hard"

The supply generated by Structures is modified by:

  • Besieged Structures. Structures that are besieged by enemy forces do not produce supply points. Supply points previously accumulated are retained (and consumed by the friendly forces being besieged).
  • Blockade. Ports that are blockaded by enemy naval vessels do not produce supply points. Supply points previously accumulated are unaffected by naval blockade and may be distributed (by land) normally.
  • AI difficulty level

Supply Wagons

Supply Wagons are special units which act as mobile stockpiles of supplies (both General Supply and Ammunition). They are represented in the game as regular units and are allowed to move independently. Supply wagons consist of one or more supply elements as indicated on the Element Display panel. Supply Wagon elements have a supply capacity of 20 General Supply points and 20 Ammunition points. Since there are usually four (4) supply elements to a Supply Wagon, Supply Wagons usually have a capacity of 80 General Supply and 80 Ammunition. These supply points may be used to provide supply to any force located in the same region as the Supply Wagon.

  • Supply Wagon elements are able to fully distribute their supplies during a game turn and are replenished in the same manner as other units.
  • Supply Wagons are usually slower than other types of units and tend to hinder the movement of forces they are grouped with. Otherwise, they are subject to the same movement rules as other units.

Supply Wagon Special Features

  • A Supply Wagon provides a +10% Fire bonus during combat (provided it has Ammunition points available). This feature is not cumulative if multiple Supply Wagons are present.
  • Supply Wagons shield friendly units from the effects of adverse weather by trading General Supply points over Attrition hits. One (1) Attrition hit is negated for every five (5) General Supply Points expended in this manner.
  • Supply Wagons reduce the effect of Attrition on Forces they accompany by 10%.
  • A besieged force will rarely surrender as long as a Supply Wagon (with General Supply points remaining) is located inside the besieged city. Once its General Supply points have been consumed, however, this special feature is lost.
Commander’s Note: Supply Wagons operating with friendly forces in forward areas are often quickly depleted.
An effective use of Supply Wagons is to send depleted Supply Wagons to the rear for replenishment close to
sources of supply with large capacities. Supply Wagons should be protected at all times, however, as they
make tempting targets for marauding cavalry units.


No matter how good a supply network is, the vast distances involved in campaigning in Europe or North America means that at some point, troops will have to fend for themselves and ‘live off the land’ (i.e. forage for supplies).

Units which cannot satisfy their General Supply requirements through regular supply means must forage. Units may never satisfy Ammunition requirements by foraging.

Foraging Procedure

Each unit that is required to forage undergoes a Foraging Check to determine if it is able to find enough supply to satisfy its supply needs for the turn. Foraging Checks are handled automatically by the computer and require no input from players. Foraging Checks are modified by the type of terrain and civilization level of the region in which the foraging unit is located. Other modifications include Weather effects and certain Special Ability leadership attributes. (As you might expect, your chances of finding adequate supplies in a Wild region in the middle of winter (snow or blizzard) are remote.)

Looting and Recovery

A region is considered ‘Looted’ (or 'Pillaged') once a unit located in a region fails its Foraging Check. (Looting means that a region has been essentially stripped of useful supplies.) Looted regions are designated with a Looted icon on the game map. Regions designated as ‘Looted’ cease to produce supplies until such time as the ‘Looted’ designation is removed. Looted regions have a chance to recover their normal production (i.e. remove the Looted designation) each turn. The chance of recovery is modified by the current weather. Fair weather increases the likelihood that a region will recover.

Irregular Units and Looting

Irregular units such as Cossacks and Guerillas automatically Loot enemy regions they enter unless an enemy force is present. (The enemy force must be located outside of any structure in the region and not be adopting a Passive Command posture.)

Penalties for Lack of Supply

There’s an old saying among veterans that an army travels on its stomach. Soldiers need adequate food and water to maintain the good physical condition necessary for military operations. Therefore, small forces that are kept supplied are usually able to defeat larger enemy forces without supplies. While a good commander will make every effort to see that his forces remain supplied, extraordinary circumstances can occur in which a force will find itself ‘Out of Supply’.

Attrition Due to Lack of Supply

Units that are unable to satisfy their General Supply requirements during a turn (either through regular supply means or failure to forage) suffer Attrition hits

Loss of Unit Cohesion

Units that are unable to satisfy their General Supply requirements during a turn (either through regular supply means or failure to forage) suffer a loss of Cohesion.

Loss of Combat Effectiveness

Units that are unable to satisfy their General Supply requirements during a turn (either through regular supply means or failure to forage) suffer a loss of combat effectiveness when participating in combat. This loss of effectiveness is separate from (or in addition to) combat penalties assessed due to a lack of ammunition.

Lack of Ammunition and Combat

Units that are unable to satisfy their Ammunition requirements during a turn suffer a loss of combat effectiveness when participating in combat. This loss of effectiveness is separate from (and in addition to) combat penalties assessed due to a lack of general supply. Note: The penalty for participating in combat without adequate ammunition is quite severe (as you might imagine).

Naval units supply

Fleets can replenish food & water from adjacent land regions just as armies do, but they can only replenish ammo in ports. Ships also tend to use up ammo faster than ground units.

Simple Supply (As used in BoA and WIA)

In general, Simple Supply systems do not "forward" or "transport" supply and ammunition automatically. Supply is available only where generated, and is NOT accumulated (built up) turn to turn.

Calculating Supply Levels in Simple Supply

The examples are taken from the first turn of the Pequot Indian War scenario.


City Lvl. 2
Harbor Lvl 2
Weather: Frozen
CivLevel: Cleared, Road
Supply Level = 15


Settlement Lvl 1
Harbor Lvl 1
Depot Lvl 1
Weather: Frozen
CivLevel: Cleared, Track
Supply Level = 27


Settlement Lvl 1
Weather: Frozen
CivLevel: Cleared, Track
Supply Level = 5


How much supply do the structures give? You can learn this by checking the files which define the structures. They can be found in ...\GameData\Structures\.

For example the file 3City.str (an excerpt from WIA):

IsCity = 1
Supply = 5
FillAmmo = 1
MoneyCost = 50

The interesting line is Supply = 5. This means the city provides 5 Supply Level (in the manual also called Supply Chips). FillAmmo means that a city also produces ammo (which means that the city provides "full Supply Chips")

Please note: The tooltip in the unit panel tells how much Supply Points a force needs and stores, the city and region tooltip tells you how many Supply Chips = Supply Level the region provide.

1 Supply Chip = 5 Supply Points and, if the structure can provide it, 2 Ammo Points.

According to the definitions, structures (Lvl 1) provide supply (Supply Levels):

City: 5 + Ammo
Harbor : 2 + Ammo
Fort: 10 + Ammo
Depot: 20 + Ammo
Settlement: 5

Terrain and Weather:

Additional to what the structures produce, the regions itself can offer some supply too. This is defined in the terrain definitions. These can be found in ...\GameData\Terrains\

Lets for example check the supply level of clear terrain for different weather. Again, the line "Supply =" gives the answer.

An excerpt of the file:

Harshness = $Harsh
FatigueLevel = $NotHarsh
Supply = 0
HideBonus = 0
MaxRange = 4
[...]So this means in frozen conditions a region of clear terrain gives no supply! 

All supply levels for clear terrain (Supply Level):

Clear: 4
Mud: 2
Snow: 1
Frozen: 0

Civ Level:

The infrastructure has some impact on supply too.

A road adds for example 1 Supply Level.
In wild regions the Supply Level is reduced by 30%.

Examples Explained

Lets go back to the examples:


City Lvl. 2 = Supply Lvl: 2 * 5 = 10
Harbor Lvl 2 = Supply Lvl: 2 * 2 = 4
Weather: Frozen = Supply Lvl: 0
CivLevel: Cleared, Road = Supply Lvl: 1
If we add the numbers: Supply Level = 15


Settlement Lvl 1 = Supply Lvl: 5
Harbor Lvl 1 = Supply Lvl: 2
Depot Lvl 1 Supply Lvl: 20
Weather: Frozen = Supply Lvl: 0
CivLevel: Cleared, Track = Supply Lvl: 0
If we add the numbers: Supply Level = 27


Settlement Lvl 1 = Supply Lvl: 5
Weather: Frozen = Supply Lvl: 0
CivLevel: Cleared, Track = Supply Lvl: 0
If we add the numbers: Supply Level = 5

Other items of note

  • Every crate in the supply map filter stands for 3 supply level.
  • If needed supply can also be drawn from adjacent regions.
  • Both the tooltips & crates in the filter refer to the total gross general supply points in the region. Any forces you have that use this supply are ignored by both the tooltips / crates calculations. To check whether your forces in any particular region have enough supply you have to look at the forces info, neither the tooltips or crates will tell you that. In effect the tooltips / crates are a 'GROSS' total of all supply available in the region, not a 'net' total once useage has been subtracted.
  • In the supply filter the color coding shows 'NET' supply. Eg. How much surplus supply is left in a region after subtracting current useage by forces present.
  • While forces can draw supply from adjacent regions this additional supply DOES NOT show up on either the tooltip or crates calculation for the central region that you are looking at. Eg. there is NO consolidation of multi-region supply in the tooltip / crates calculations.

Advanced Supply (As used in AACW, NCP, RoP, RUS)

The supply system represents the means by which supplies are broadcast forward from their point of production through a series of intermediate staging areas to the point of consumption (i.e. troops in the field). In game terms, supply points are produced (and accumulated) in various map locations, moved as needed to friendly structures and storage units within range, then delivered to combat units (again, within range). This chain of supply (from production to consumption) is handled automatically and requires no input from players. However, there are limitations to the amount of supply points that can be distributed along a single link in the supply chain and lengthy (or poorly protected) supply chains are susceptible to enemy interruptions.

Supply Distribution

The distribution of supplies is handled automatically by the computer during the game turn and is not visible to the player (i.e. Supply distribution is handled by supply columns which are not represented by actual units), using a complex algorithm that take into account needs and wants, within the constraints of your supply network and the availability of supplies points (each supply point being physically present in a region, there is no abstraction here). This abstract handling of supplies is done by computer so as not to burden players with unacceptable levels of micromanagement.

There are a few importants concepts to understand about how supply is distributed to military units: Military Units can only use supply in their region or the region adjacent to them. The supply distribution, where supply points move up to 15 regions per turn, is a distribution and repartition toward structures and supply wagon, BUT NOT military units. Military units are 'terminal', i.e they will consume supplies in wagons and structures, once the distribution is done. They ARE NOT able to call for supply distantly, and supplies points WON'T move up to 15 regions toward them, directly. Supplies points will only move in such way toward structures or supplies wagons (or transports ships).

Corollary: It is possible to have a stack without a supply wagon starve 2 regions away from a huge stockpile.

Limitations on Supply Distribution

There is no specific limit on the amount of supply a structure can deliver in a single turn. Nor there is a limit on the amount of supply that can transit through a given structure. Even a low level structure could, theoretically, see the transit of a vast amount of supplies, except that it won't happen in practice. As there is a series of pushes, one step at a time, supplies will only be sent to a structure in an amount proportionate to its need (mostly factored by the structure level, with a big bonus for depot). As the amount is proportionate, a low level structure will in effect acts as a bottleneck between a huge source and a huge need. To circumvent that, you'll need to build a depot in the said region.

Transit Distance for Supply Distribution

The maximum distance that supply points may travel from a supply source to a requesting unit or structure is three (3) to five (5) map regions, depending on the game. Overall, as there are 2 or 3 pushes (supply sub phase) per supply turn, a given point of supplies could at most move 15 regions. However, this distance is affected (i.e. often reduced) by the type of terrain being transited, inclement weather, and the presence of enemy forces. Important: Supply may only transit through regions in which a player has a minimum of 25% Military Control. (Enemy light cavalry units acting as Raiders automatically block all supply from transiting a region in which they are located.)

Blocking Riverine and Naval Supply

For riverine supply distribution, which uses the riverine pool, distribution is blocked in water regions which have either an enemy naval unit, or are under the guns of a fort (with artilleries) or troops with positionned artillery (lvl 5+ entrenchments).

For oceanic supply distribution, the harbors won't be able to receive supply if it is blockaded, but forts alone, without some ships, won't blockade the harbor (you get an icon if the harbor is blockaded). __________________

Supply Consumption

Supplies are consumed by military units (both land and naval). General Supply points are consumed by units each game turn in order to maintain themselves (regardless of whether the unit engages in combat). Ammunition points are consumed by units only if the unit engages in combat at some point during the turn. General Supply is consumed during the first day of each turn. Ammunition is consumed at the moment of combat. Units that have expended their inherent supply and are unable to draw new supplies are designated as being ‘Out of Supply’ Players can check the supply consumption of each of their units by holding the mouse over the unit. A unit’s current stockpile of inherent supplies is displayed on the tooltip along with the estimated amount of General Supply needed for the turn. The amount of Ammunition expended by the unit (if it were to engage in combat) is also displayed. Normally, multiple units will be grouped together into forces under the command of a leader. In this case, the tooltip displays the total number of supplies required by the force (and total amount of ammunition required for the force to engage in combat without penalty).

Inherent Unit Supply

Each military unit has an inherent capacity for storing supplies (both General Supply and Ammunition). This storage capacity is roughly equal to the amount of General Supply needed to maintain the unit for two (2) turns and Ammunition enough for two (2) battles. Each turn, units attempt to draw supplies from the supply network in order to replenish their inherent supply up to its maximum capacity. These supplies must be located in the same or an adjacent region to the unit. Therefore, in order to have their supplies replenished, units must be co-located with a supply producing/storage structure (that possesses the necessary amounts of supply points) or located adjacent to a region with an unbesieged supply producing/storage structure.


Depots represent extremely large storage areas for both General Supply and Ammunition supply points. In addition to depots depicted on the game map at the start of each scenario, players may also build depots in regions they currently control (a minimum of 51% control is required). As a practical matter, depots tend to bridge gaps in the existing supply network and allow on-going operations deep in enemy territory by extending the reach of supply chains. On-map Depots have a limited ability to produce supply points as well.

  • Depots have an enhanced ability to distribute supplies. It is often necessary to build a chain of depot in order to supply properly a big army. In some cases, where your troops are very numerous, even a chain of depot won't suffice. You'll then want to make a double chain, i.e depots are build in 2 nearby regions at a time. Even that could not be sufficient, and you'll then have to use supply wagons, manually shuffling them back and forth between the rear and the frontline. In the end, you have to understand that it is simply not possible to maintain huge armies concentrated for a long time.

Supply Rule Hints

As seen at start of turn execution with Advanced Supply games

  • Supply Rule: Each unit can carry an innate stock in food & water (also known as General Supply or simply Supply) and Ammo. Most units will use General Supply each turn and Ammo in battles.
  • Supply Rule: A valid supply source during the supply distribution phase is a one of these three structures types: City (any level), Depot, or Fort.
  • Supply Rule: A valid location to stockpile General Supply during the Supply Distribution Phase is a City (level 3+), Depot, Fort or a Supply Wagon. Towns (level 1-2 'city') never request General Supply.
  • Supply Rule: General Supply is only generated by structures which is then distributed to others structures or nearby units.
  • Supply Rule: Having enough rail points and river points in the Transport Pool helps greatly when it comes to distributing supply, but only if there is a controlled network in the area where the supply moves though.
  • Supply Rule: The Supply Distribution Phase is split into three Distributions Segments. Each segment allows the spread of the supply from sources to nearby stocks. Rail and River points will help this distribution.
  • Supply Rule: When a supply point is given to a supply stock which is also a source during one Distribution Segment, it can be pushed forward further in Distributions Segments #2 and #3.
  • Supply Rule: Ideally, you will want to establish Supply Depots (supply lanes) so that your supply points can spread smoothly and intelligently without bottlenecks and gaps.
  • Supply Rule: Beware of having major gaps between two parts of your supply network. Supply can't move farther than five regions during a given Distribution Segment (Each Supply Phase has three such Segments). It is advisable to create Depots every three to five regions.
  • Supply Rule: Supply Wagons have the unique ability to attract supply in the Supply Distribution Phase several regions away from any supply stockpile (only structures can stockpile).
  • Supply Rule: Supply Wagons can't establish a supply lane themselves. This means that a chain of wagons won't be able to transmit supply at the end of the chain. For that you need a chain of structures (Depots generally).
  • Supply Rule: Supply Wagons never give back their stock to structures. This means that you can manually move your depleted wagons to your rear area stockpiles, have them replenish, and then move them back to the front (by train ideally).
  • Supply Rule: When the Supply Distribution Phase is done, military units will seek to be replenished from structures or Supply Wagons. They can be replenished even if adjacent to such points of supply.
  • Supply Rule: Ships with a Cargo Capacity in the Atlantic Blockade Box will try to reshuffle supply between the Union-controlled ports and Depots on the coast.