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Tamuz May 6th, 2017 12:45 PM

Composition of armed forces in pocket empires
I have been reading pocket empires with a view to using it to simutate empires as a solo project (although using mgt rules).
My sticking point is the abstract nature of the military rules. I would like to be able to figure out how many men/ tanks / aircraft are represented by the army stats, and especially the tonnage of the ships represented, and the amount of credits available to make a fleet through high guard.

If anyone could help, either with thoughts they have had on this problem previously, or with suggestions on where to start then I would be highly appreciative.

aramis May 7th, 2017 03:37 AM

You want the Battalions table to cross reference, I think.

The MT Rebellion Sourcebook gives the battalions of forces by TL and World.


Note that an infantry Bn is 1 factor; Armor is 2.

Tamuz May 7th, 2017 04:19 PM

Thanks. I have this, and other ways of determining battalions from tech level and population from various traveller sources but I am trying to find a way to directly convert the resource units and armed forces ratings in PE into actual units.

The PE book has a way to convert resource in its into credits, but the problem is that it concerts into local credits which essentially removes the production advantages of more advanced world's.

I have decided instead to use a common conversion factor to convert all planetary resource units into a common currency. Imperial credits make sense for this as they should fit well with the costs in the traveller books.

The PE book says 1 resource point in the year 0 when the book is set is worth 5000Mcr. This is a good starting point although it creates budgets measured in trillions of credits.

This isn't too bad for starship (although it results in much larger fleets than other sources would suggest, but it results in HUGE numbers of soldiers.

Magnus von Thornwood May 8th, 2017 02:08 PM

Logistics wins wars.
Something to consider is that those RUs don't just buy combat troops or units, they also pay for manufacturing the gear, the grub, the whole supply tail that supports a much smaller scale of combat forces.

From what I have gathered there is a tooth-to-tail ratio of 1:3 at the slimmest and like 1:10 for the fat end.

Now the people to really speak up on this would be Robert and Timerover. Those two plus Aramis ought to get you headed in the right direction.

McPerth May 8th, 2017 03:11 PM

I don't own PE, nor Imperial Squadrons, but for what I've read in this board, I understand in Imperial Squadrons those forces are presented in FFW like squadrons...

Maybe this thread may help you or give you some hints...

timerover51 May 10th, 2017 11:08 PM


Originally Posted by Magnus von Thornwood (Post 565686)
Now the people to really speak up on this would be Robert and Timerover. Those two plus Aramis ought to get you headed in the right direction.

I assume that I am the Timerover referred too.


Originally Posted by Tamuz (Post 565621)
The PE book says 1 resource point in the year 0 when the book is set is worth 5000Mcr. This is a good starting point although it creates budgets measured in trillions of credits.

This isn't too bad for starship (although it results in much larger fleets than other sources would suggest, but it results in HUGE numbers of soldiers.

I have purchased the Pocket Empires book, and read it. I will not comment further on it.

As for your 5000MCr resource unit. Assume that will pay for the total number of men, both tooth and immediate supporting tail, for ONE division of troops, a mixture of infantry, armor, and artillery, comprising about 15 battalions or so, when adding the supporting tail, you will have about 50,000 troops. Note, this does not in any way account for the number of persons involved in supplying all of the needed food, shelter, housing, and transport of said troops. Nor does it buy the combat, combat support, and combat service support equipment which would be roughly another Resource Unit.

That is for Tech Levels circa 7 to 9. Higher Tech Levels are going to be worse when it comes to expensive equipment and less combat numbers compared to support troops. Lower Tech Levels will be roughly the same because of the inflation factor in those Tech Level 7 to 9 Credits. At Tech Level 15, your 5000MCr might buy you only a regiment with supporting troops.

As for transport, assume that of your 50,000 troops, you will need to take about 40,000 per division to the combat area.

I take a dim view of planetary invasions.

timerover51 May 11th, 2017 02:30 AM

Looking at the lower Tech Levels, from 1 to 4, forget things like Resource Units, as at that level, it is strictly dependent on population. A really hard-nosed militaristic ruler might get away with 5 per cent of the population in military units in peacetime, but he is hurting his economy by doing so. Frederick the Great managed almost 10 per cent of his Prussian population in peacetime, but roughly half of his troops came from somewhere besides Prussian, which led to his Non-Coms raising prevention of desertion to a fine art, and he had a very long list of exempt occupations who were not to be enlisted under any circumstances. Ten per cent is the max you can expect from a lower Tech Level, as long as you do not have too much cavalry or equivalent animal-using units. Horses or the equivalent are expensive, not just to breed and train, but to feed. Ten per cent is borderline breaking your economy, as you do need people producing the necessary food for all of your troops, and at Tech Level 4 and lower, that is not the easiest thing to do. More than 10 per cent, and you are breaking your economy, war weariness is going to set in pretty fast, and you will be the ex-government, and likely buried.

At the lower Tech Levels, do not think that you are going to put all of your manpower is one spot. At Tech Level 4, you do have railroads, so can get away with concentrating 100,000 men or so at one spot. Try that at a lower Tech Level, or at Tech Level 4 without access to a railhead, large navigatable river, or well-equipped ocean port, and your 100,000 man force is going to be starving in short order. Animal-powered transport is a totally different subject for discussion. You want to get an idea on how hard it might be to supply a Tech Level 3 army, read about the experiences of the French in Spain from 1809 to 1814. The Spanish guerillas feasted figuratively and literally on French supply columns. Read about the problems the Union Army had at Chattanooga following the defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga.

And an aside for supplying horses with food. Thirty horses will eat an acre of grass a day in good pasture land, if subsisting strictly on grass. Feed it 10 to 12 pounds of oats a day, and the acre will last 3 days. However, you do have to grow the oats somewhere, and then get them to the horses. There are 32 pounds of oats in a bushel, and Garnet Wolseley has oats raised in England at 40 to 50 bushels an acre, being a cold-hearted Quartermaster Officer, I would hesitate expecting more than 25. Regardless, your 30 horses are eating about 10 bushels, or 320 pounds of oats a day, every day. You have to deliver that to them, possibly using other horses, also eating oats, every day. Your 100,000 men are also eating, about 3 pounds of food per day, so 300,000 pounds or 150 short tons, every day, needs to be delivered. Then there is the matter of water for everyone, a minimum of one gallon per day per man for drinking, and about 6 gallons per day per horse for drinking. Always have to remember water supply along with food. Men and horse die of thirst before they die from hunger.

And if you think that is bad, an Air Force is much, much worse. A base figure for a 75 aircraft wing is 5,000 men directly supporting the aircraft, without about the same number in indirect support. Using current jet aircraft as a basis, your 5000 MCr Resource Unit might, repeat might, support 250 single-seat jets. It will not support more than that.

To get some ideas on how different types of governments like to spend money on defense, check out the CIA World Factbook. Germany is currently spending less that 2 per cent of its GNP on defense. Using that as an example, to get 1 Resource Unit for defense, you need the planet producing 50. Most countries, unless involved in a direct shooting war, do not like to spend money on defense.

Condottiere May 11th, 2017 06:52 AM

Invent or import bicycles.

jec10 May 11th, 2017 02:44 PM

You've got Imperial Squadrons as well?

Have you read the rules from page 17 to 43? Do they help at all?

Tamuz May 13th, 2017 04:26 PM

Yes I have read imperial squadrons. It is interesting, but again too abstract for my intentions.

Thanks for the information time rover. Very useful

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