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Speculative Fiction Writer’s Guide to War, part 19: War Costs: Soldiers’ Pay

The Travis’ are back with another installment of our series on Warfare. We’ve been analyzing a writer’s perspective on calculating the cost of war, developing some tools and thumbrules you might start with when calculating the cost of war in your story, and seeing how this mundane task can yield helpful ideas for your writing. At the very least, your effort to make your warfare come across as thoughtful and realistic (by your story world’s gauge of consistency) will be appreciated by the discerning uber-fans your serving.  Travis C here. Last time we left off with a detailed approach to calculating how much food both human and non-human fighters might consume and began a illustration using those calculations to gauge the financial impact of war in a fictional world. Our purpose wasn’t to delve into all possible fine details, but to give you an example where doing a bit of math can provide some values for you to work from. This week we’re going to dive into another significant expenditu
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Speculative Fiction Writers Guide to War, part 18: War Costs Exercise–Food for the Army

Travis P. here. I'm continuing re-posting this old series with the intent of eventually finishing the entire thing. This week's post is based on my previous  post on how much food a combatant needs .  This week runs through the numbers as a practical exercise, giving you an example of how, if you ever chose to do so, to calculate what an army needs. My fellow Travis is lead the way for this post: Travis C here. As you saw last post, this topic is huge, and rather than try and combine informational content with illustration, we’re going to split things up for a bit.  Travis P introduced us to food supplies over the ages.  He covered a spectrum of periods and practices from ancient days till modern times and speculated upon futuristic scenarios in sciences fiction and fantasy environments. This week, I want to build an example calculation using data that he provided along with some other resources.  I’ll keep the story going as we discuss varying forms of supply and support, capi

Speculative Fiction Writers Guide to War, part 17: War Costs: Food per Fighter

Travis P here. Since Travis C did an excellent job giving an overview of the costs of war essential to providing for a military, I think it’s time to give the math-lovers out there some hard data that can actually be used in formulas to make generate specific data on what an army might need, starting with the most basic possible cost of war–the cost of putting food in the bellies of war fighters. Which starts with a look at how much food per day a war fighter needs. You as a writer may never need these resources, but if you ever do, we’ve compiled some data to indicate just how much food it takes to keep an army fighting in the field. ( Note this post wound up being longer than normal, but I’ve used bold text to highlight key ideas   for those who will skim   this article rather than read every word.) The place to start with this kind of analysis is based on historical data , what real world armies have already done and then to expand from there to discussion of imaginary armies compos