"An army without its baggage train is lost; without provisions it is lost; without bases of supply it is lost."
— Sun Zi, Art of War (Ch VII)
Very important logistics unit that protects nearby friendly units from Attrition, and increases attack speed of Arsenal units.
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The Baggage Wagon is a quintessential unit on the field that serves three purposes (two usually). First, it helps to protect troops within its radius from Attrition damage caused when walking in enemy territory. Secondly, it also ensures that siege weapons will not suffer a -66% reload time when firing outside friendly territory. Last but not least, it is also capable of healing friendly units if the Versalilles wonder is acquired. This last ability is a very powerful ability that can make Baggage Wagons a powerful asset, since they are then capable of stiffening resistance rallied around them, and also means that people can choose to forgo the need to research Consensual Government and/or Popular Front just to obtain the Patriots' healing powers. When used in formations, Baggage Wagons line up behind infantry, along with Generals and siege weapons. Baggage Wagons are unarmed and cannot withstand many attacks before being destroyed. They do benefit from a General's defensive aura, but even with increased armor they still remain extremely vulnerable to most enemy attack, particularly by ranged cavalry, as these unit types get damage bonuses when attacking Baggage Wagons. Additionally, adding in a small rearguard of heavy infantry and light infantry can help in defending the 'support' section of the army without detracting too much from the overall assault. However, Baggage Wagons can be effective, albeit expensive, decoys. Send in a small force of light infantry to escort the Baggage Wagon while attacking somewhere else. However, this tactic is expensive and should only be used when resources are abundant.
In contrast, when being invaded by an enemy army, their Baggage Wagons should be a priority target (along with Generals). A way to respond to an invading army is to set aside a small group of four to six Light and/or Ranged Cavalry units (early ages) or armored fighting vehicles (late ages) in their own hotkey group. Use this group to flank the enemy's army and directly attack Baggage Wagons and Generals (such flanking attacks may receive a +50% to +100% damage bonus). This greatly decreases the effectiveness of the army and may even force them to retreat. Such a counter strategy becomes even more effective, when the defending nation has large attrition modifiers on its side, such as from being Russian or owning the File:IconColosseum Small.png Colosseum.
Logistics make it possible for military units to be ready to fight, and have the materials to conduct and sustain the fight. Sometimes, in very informal military discussions, someone will offer a toast: "Amateurs talk tactics. Dilettantes talk strategy. Professionals talk logistics."
Obviously, the toast was offered by someone with a bias toward logistics, but there is much truth to it. Strategy determines why to fight, the form of one's forces, and where to fight. Tactics defines how the fight is conducted once begun.