Zinegata wrote:If you had any common sense, then you'd realize that you need to compare the supply requirements of a tank, and the supply requirements of an infantryman, if you are actually going to address this argument.
NOT just quote "This is how much water an infantryman needs!". That's the supply requirement of the infantry. And again, with mechanized infantry, you have to add their fuel requirements on top of that (and note I'm not even counting spare parts yet)
So, to review:
Let's accept that an infantryman requires 3 litres of water a day. I argued that you can reduce this in some terrain by foraging, but let's ignore that for now.
A US Army M1 Abrams tank has a fuel tank that has a capacity of 500 gallons, and this is enough fuel for roughly 8 hours of driving at full speed.
Again. That's 500 gallons of fuel for 1 tank. That translates to about 1,850 litres (assuming 3.7 liters per gallon).
In short, the amount of fuel consumed by an M1 Abrams in 8 hours is about the same volume of water that can supply more than 600 soldiers in a single day.
This is why I asked Simon Jester if he knew of Warhammer 40K tank fuel efficiency stats. Because maybe in the Grim Darkness of the far future they don't have such gas-guzzlers. But the above should already demonstrate that the vehicles in a mechanized formation consume a HUGE amount of supplies even if you account for fuel alone (and not other stuff like spare parts), which could instead be used to supply a greater number of infantry.
Now do you get it?
So again: The logistical requirement to supply a mechanized infantry regiment is higher than of an infantry regiment. To the point it may be possible to supply two, three, four, or even five infantry regiments using the logistics tail to supply ONE mechanized regiment. Show some actual numbers to show it ain't the case if you're sore about it.
1. You can't forage for water in a battlefield environment, especially not Wh40k which features lots of pollution and other dirty situations. Especially when your strategy disperses troops to defend the territory, so that the Tau has to fight a pitched battle.
Just how far do you want your soldiers to walk everyday to collect water? How much time do you want to spend? Also, just how far away from water supplies are you going to station yourself? Whatever happened to the I will cover my supply lines with fire strategy?
2. You're compensating for the firepower,mobility and speed of an armoured unit with LARGER numbers of infantrymen, which you state that you will disperse to defend your supply lines. Just how far do your water trucks have to go and how many trips? Or have you forgotten the point I made twice already, that you still need fuel for your logistics needs?
I'm not Simon Jester, who stated that a smaller force has smaller logistic needs. I pointed out that your dispersion and large numbers of men will have a large logistic train with the corresponding larger supply burden...... all items which you magic away and claim that infantry will need miminal supply, or even no supply on certain days since lasguns.
We haven't talked about batteries for the radios and personal communicators. Lubricant for your lasguns for your vastly larger force, which you scattered every sixty hexes to defend your supply lines and your defensive line, which would have to be thick and broad to absorb an armoured attack.
Hell. We haven't even talked about sanitation needs and the logistic burden that means too, such as toilet paper. You're not talking about swapping 1 mech+1 armoured regiment for 5-8 large infantry regiments. On the scale of operations you're talking about, it could be 10 oversize regiments just to cover the ground thick enough and have enough men for an attack.