To be fair to Kerr, her article isn't rules heavy. Indeed, there's scarcely a rule to be found anywhere in its many pages. And unlike many other Silver Age Dragon articles, this one doesn't focus on how D&D's rules are wrong so much as how the reasoning behind them is unclear and needs to be teased out so that gamers can understand them and thus be able to roleplay them better. Looking back in hindsight, I think it says a lot that this article was written and published. Most fundamentally, it reveals that, by 1985 at least (though probably much earlier), the hobby had fewer and fewer participants in it who knew much about wargaming or medieval warfare. When I entered the hobby in late 1979, I was on the young side and had only the barest minimum education in wargaming, thanks in large part to teenagers and older guys who'd been roleplaying for several years beforehand. I suspect that those who entered the hobby after me had even less of an education in these matters, hence articles like Kerr's.
The other thing the article suggests to me is that the Silver Age's drive toward ever greater "realism" was in fact fueled by a desire for greater dramatic coherence rather than the mere anal retentiveness toward which so many gamers seem prone. That is, the need to know about how many calories a warrior needs to consume each day to stay in fighting trim or how much grain a given acreage of land can produce in a year isn't driven by a desire to know these things for their own sake but rather to present adventures that allow for more "realistic" and believable roleplay. What's interesting, too, is that articles like this confirm my feeling that the early Silver Age began, at least in part, by ruthlessly applying the logic of Gygaxian naturalism to a wide variety of topics, all in the effort to make settings and adventures that provided greater scope for roleplaying. As Kerr herself puts it in this article:
Including logistics in a campaign does more than add a certain sour note of realism to play. Gamers forced to operate within the limits of their armies will have to make fascinating strategic decisions, while gamemasters can add those extra touches that keep campaigns dangerous to the overbold and rewarding to the clever.I find this perspective fascinating, even though I've never found it particularly compelling. It's not far removed from the argument made by some that "realistic" falling damage actually leads to better roleplaying because it forces players to make decisions based on real world considerations of life and death. I can certainly see the logic of it, but it's not something that's ever mattered much to me.