Central War Gaming Blog

Central War Gaming Blog


Monday, April 4, 2022

What's a Ready Bag, and How Do I Use It?

Central War Gaming events lean hard into "light infantry" methods, for several reasons. "Light" is a reference to the weight and bulk of the total lifting and logistics tail required to move and support a unit. An APC is a lot heavier than the troops inside, and need ammunition, fuel, parts and repair centers; but the end result is the old joke that individual light infantry soldiers carry the heaviest packs. 

We also allow for a "ready bag," and it has been very helpful for many of us, but seems to still be a point of confusion for many participants. For many units at Swift Fox 23 this will be even more important than usual.

There is going to be a supply point, for each faction. It may be at your basecamp, or near (but not quite colocated with) the aid station, or it may be somewhere else entirely. 

It will be a pallet with your resupply ammunition, at least one 5 gallon water jug and maybe other things. 

It will also have room for you to put your ready bag. Another bag, or box, with extra stuff. 

The backpack/ruck/bergen is required for the Arden and Kitoy — and strongly suggested for the GDL. In it you should carry everything you know you will need for sure in it, and some specific required things like water, first aid, rain gear, a sleep system and shelter, food and so forth to survive.

But you don't have to carry literally everything you might need. Say, the spare uniform. If you think one is good enough, put the spare in the ready bag. If it seems nice, and dry, you can put some of your more extreme cold weather gear in the ready bag instead of the ruck. Then, if you fall in a creek and get wet, or the weather changes, you have to ask your CoC if you can hike over to the supply point and get your spare stuff. 

Or, it's airsoft, so the guns are fragile. If you want to bring a spare, you don't ruck it around, but leave it in the ready bag. You can bring all sorts of stuff into the field, have it available, but not have to carry it with you.

(Remember, there's no going back to the car for something you forgot once the game starts. If you want it, put it on the ruck or in the ready bag).

Also remember reloads. You can carry ammunition into the field, but cannot make more on your body. A 40 mm shell, or rocket, can be loaded into the launcher, but to recharge it with gas, and load a new projectile is something that can't happen. 

We pretend you are going back to the supply point to get more ammunition, but you may instead use supplies you left there to to recharge them all. 

(Yes, if your stuff leaks, you can bring spare gas into the field to top off. We're not monsters). 

The supply point and your ready bag is often near the aid station because then it's close to you when you are dead and recovering. I also have some spare snacks, a water bottle, and anything else I might want for comfort in my ready bag for these rest cycles. 

When killed, I can go rest in more comfort than I might otherwise. For example, in the aid station I'm static so a warmth layer just for this location is useful to not get cold. You may choose to even have a spare meal and the required heating and eating gear, so you can fully replenish yourself even if your ruck is far away, or just to avoid using the portable ones. 

If any of this seems a little unrealistic, remember: it is a game. Not in the sense that it doesn't matter, but that it is compressed in time and space, and that other resources are imaginary. You can't attack enemy aid stations not for game rules alone, but because they are supposed to be actual aid stations, with medics, and guards with machine guns. 

Likewise, the resupply point is not really just a pile of stuff, but there are logistics staff, and maybe even — depending on your scenario — vehicles moving in and out of there bringing you more supplies through the event. That's why you can have a rocket launcher with three reloads only, but go get three more reloads as many times as you want. 

Technically the ready bag is not required. If you want to ruck in everything, go for it. And, we say "ready bag" but if you want to put your stuff in a giant Hardigg case (as I have) that's fine also. Don't overdo it, as we all have to move it in and out of the field, and maybe for you. A bag not bigger than an A-bag (though we suggest waterproof as it'll be unattended and outside) is good because if needed you can have someone else go get it and bring it back to base for you. 

For the GDL, there's even more room to maneuver. You will have a basecamp so as far as we're concerne you can carry ONLY the ready bag of stuff, and use LBE or assault pack for what's needed in the field. 

As always, talk to your chain of command and ask what else they require of you, and plan for other team gear you may have to carry before you decide what to pack, and how. 

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