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McPerth April 6th, 2013 04:34 AM

Fleet sizes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BMonnery (Post 428280)
It includes fighters. Remember, the French have 60-70 military starships, the British 40-50, the Germans and Americans in the mid-30's each and that's it for substancial fleets. Japan have six military ships, and they're French built and replaced a French squadron at Joi and so can be viewed as extensions of the MSIF. The same for Ukraine with 13 obsolete ex-French ships. There are probably not much more than 200 military starships in human space, with the rest being starfighters.

While I accept starships in 2300AD environ are quite rare, I guess there are some more than you tell here. I guess your main source is Invasion Sourcebook's military Situation in pages 6 and 7.

To give an example, according to your post it seems all the Japanese fleet is in Joi, while I'd expect them to have some more military ships along the Chinese arm, as there are not too friendly colonies there.

Same can be said about other Nations, as I'm quite sure there are some more ships in Tirane, not told about in Invasion Sourcebook, and Germany has some other colonies where I'd expect to have some fleet presence (I was surprised to see no reference about Neubayern in IS, as it is told in Colonial Atlas to be a major shipbuilding place for Gremany), or about Australia, whose colonial effort is in the American Arm.

And also I'd bet there are more US ships along the American Arm, aside from the 33 (fighters excluded) listed in IS . It's said In the Referee's Manual that they have among 10 and 20 Kenedy class, and IS talks about one in Eta Bootis, one in Vogelheim and 9 CGs (unknown class) at Earth, for a total of 11. Do you really believe they have none along their other colonies (and/or their extra-solar state)?

I'd also expect some nations not mentioned in Invasion Sourcebook to have some military Fleet (Argentina, Azania, Brasil, Canada, Canton, Manchuria, Mexico, Texas) in their respective arms. Argentina's aggresive policy makes me be quite sure they should have some military fleet, and Manchuria is told in page 49 of the same IS to have activated the base in Grosshiddenhafen while the Central Asian War, so they must have the ressources to do it, just to give you two examples.

BMonnery April 6th, 2013 06:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McPerth (Post 428556)
While I accept starships in 2300AD environ are quite rare, I guess there are some more tan you tell here. I guess your main source is Invasion Sourcebook's military Situation in pages 6 and 7.

To give an example, according to your post it seems all the Japanese fleet is in Joi, while I'd expect them to have some more military ships along the Chinese arm, as there are not too friendly colonies there.

E/CS say the force at JOI is THE fleet:

"Today, the nation's military forces include a small fleet of starships which are currently deployed in the French Arm in order to protect Japan's colonies against the invading Kafers. This force has already seen action against the Kafers at Kimanjano and 61 Ursae Majoris. While the former action resulted in serious damage to the Japanese fleet, the latter was a combined effort with German forces resulting in the destruction of a Kafer Delta-class battleship. As a move to better protect her colonies, Japan has mobilized her imperial marines and has begun sending them, along with their sophisticated hardware, to the threatened worlds."

Quote:

Same can be said about other Nations, as I'm quite sure there are some more ships in Tirane, not told about in Invasion Sourcebook, and Germany has some other colonies where I'd expect to have some fleet presence (I was surprised to see no reference about Neubayern in IS, as it is told in Colonial Atlas to be a major shipbuilding place for Gremany), or about Australia, whose colonial effort is in the American Arm.
There are no German colonies outside the French Arm, and Invasion is explicit that there were no warships between QAS and Sol, hence the "leakers" which made it to Earth. The implication of that is that since the fighters that reached Earth never had their baseship found it's still there, lurking in the solar system somewhere (/adventure hook).

Quote:

And also I'd bet there are more US ships along the American Arm, aside from the 33 (fighters excluded) listed in IE . It's said In the Referee's Manual that they have among 10 and 20 Kenedy class, and IE talks about one in Eta Bootis, one in Vogelheim and 9 CGs (unknown class) at Earth, for a total of 11. Do you really believe they have none along their other colonies (and/or their extra-solar state)?
10 Kennedys. The damn things are built at Mars in plain sight. No amount of changing the nameplates creates additional ships.

Of the 9 surviving Kennedys, 1 is unaccounted for, assuming USS Reno (an antiquated Providence class light cruiser) remains flag at Earth.

In fact the ASF is the most defined force in canon, consisting of:

1 BBL (Columbia, with two more, Intrepid and Hornet, under construction)
9 CGL (Kennedy class, Kennedy, Jefferson, Reagan, Roosevelt and Kostek named in canon, plus Sanchez, destroyed at Arcturus)
3 CL (Providence class, Reno (flag, Earth Fleet), Scranton (flag, King Fleet) and Bangor (flag, Ellis Fleet)
9 DD ("close escort", Cayuga class, 3 under construction or planned)
20 FF (Hampton class)

The size of the US merchant marine is known, 120 ships, whilst the civilian colonial agency, AECA, has 29 colonial transports and 5 couriers.

Quote:

I'd also expect some nations not mentioned in Invasion Sourcebook to have some military Fleet (Argentina, Azania, Brasil, Canada, Canton, Manchuria, Mexico, Texas) in their respective arms. Argentina's aggresive policy makes me be quite sure they should have some military fleet, and Manchuria is told in page 49 of the same IS to have activated the base in Grosshiddenhafen while the Central Asian War, so they must have the ressources to do it, just to give you two examples.
We know the French Arm is far more militarised than the American and Chinese Arms due to lingering tensions between France and Germany and the Kafer threat (intro to SoFA).

I'm sure Argentina etc. have military fleets, but are they necessarily large ones? The Europeans have massive offworld populations and trade interests. The same isn't true for most other nations.

If I may post something I wrote:

BMonnery April 6th, 2013 06:53 AM

Starship fleets, some thoughts
Now, we've a bit hamstrung when deciding the strength of our fleets of combat starships by the numbers in "Invasion", and also the reference in "Ships of the French Arm" (SotFA) about the French Arm being far more militarised than the others due to the standoff between Germany and the Conservative Powers (France, Japan, maybe Britain) and the ongoing Kafer threat which pulled very significant fleet elements onto the arm to defend themselves against an alien invasion (which they did in Invasion, after a fashion).


Combat starships aren't in the same price bracket as a modern wet navy frigate, and indeed prices in 2300AD are deceiving. I'll expand on this.


2300AD gives us three sets of data. The first is a general conversion of cost of goods vs the 1980's USD (then $3 = Lv1, now on the order of $6 = Lv1). It also gave wages, and the very high end skilled workers are earning on the order of Lv10,000 per annum. Finally E/CS (Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook) says employment levels are very low, as most jobs are automated. When we sum these together national incomes are surprisingly low, typically on the order of MLv100,000's. a MLv100 frigate/destroyer is an investment on the level of a Nimitz class Supercarrier to the US. Only truly rich nations can afford the things at all, and then not many.


This isn't that surprising. The primary long range weapons used are miniature automated starships with nuclear warheads. Consider this quote from the 2300AD core rules:



Missiles and Drones are, of course, miniature stutterwarp ships in their own right. As such they are extremely expensive pieces of equipment.
The two tend to be used in conjunction with one another in combat. A vessel will send out drones to detect the enemy at a distance so that it can send its missiles to attack without having to approach the enemy itself.
This means that drones are often targeted during combat. Sometimes this is because they are mistaken for missiles, but more often the enemy simply wants to deprive the missile ship of the information the drones transmit, forcing the ship to close distance itself.
When considering the fact that every time a detonation missile explodes or a regular missile or a drone is destroyed by fire, another small stutterwarp engine is lost, it becomes obvious that such battles are very expensive, even if the main military vessels themselves are never hit.
- Page 78, 2300AD Directors Guide, 2nd edition

This is why nations built non-detonation missile weapons, however the probability of them surviving multiple rounds in close contact with is pretty low since any hit is an automatic disabling hit. Apparently the rules were written with the expectation of armoured missiles. Nothing really stopping armouring of missiles except their low surface area: volume ratio meaning the mass of armour to get reasonable protection is large compared to the missile mass (armour 5 would typically more than double the missile mass and slow it down). Hence the apparent supremacy of detonation missiles.


Possibly one way of stopping this being such a problem would be adding a rule giving a to hit penalty vs fast moving targets. Regular missiles would act as fighters, making fast passes. Anyway, enough digression.


When designing our fleets we have to think about what we want them to do. Arguably there are only two functions we need to worry about, the battle fleet and trade warfare. Planetary defence is very much the province of fighters, minefields (in wartime) and a battle fleet (if available).


The battle fleet is entirely relative. There are no concerns about areas of space to be patrolled or absolute minimum numbers to cover colonies and trade routes. It simply has to be capable of taking on and defeating the enemy fleet. If a nation has no hope of building a battlefleet capable of defeating the projected foe then there is no logic in trying. Why should, say, Argentina spend vast resources building a couple of capital ships (cruisers say in 2300AD terms) for a potential war with Britain when the British have over a dozen such heavy ships and will simply defeat them in no time flat. The resources would be better spent on trade warfare. Even the USA has gone down this route, none of the ships presented in canon (which are pretty exhaustive) are designed for a fleet to fleet encounter. The Kennedy is definitely a high end trade warfare ship. In canon only three nations seem to possess full battlefleets, France, Britain and Germany. The Japanese and Ukrainians have a few capital ships but both are solid French allies, and the ships are French built. This is an example of French burden sharing rather than Japanese or Ukrainian imperialism.


The lack of battlefleets works because of the French Peace. The French say "no-one can drop nuclear warheads on Earth from orbit" and have their battlefleet there to prevent it. Their allies Britain, Bavaria (before the German annexation), Japan* and the Ukraine backed them up in this. Invasion gives 19 heavy capital ships (exc/ German, who whilst being one of the revisionist powers may still contribute here) in Earth space. Even if only a third are in Earth defence orbit at any one time then any starship approaching to deliver a nuke will be smashed, and any ballistic missile launches will be shot down (and conversely they can deliver nukes without challenge should a nation contrive to drop a rock on another). If the French peace broke down then a totally different power dynamic would occur, with the great powers preparing for a massive melee in the area of Earth, but this would push the powers to deploy large numbers of "Sentinels" (nuclear mines) in Earth orbit. Assumidly the conservative powers do the same at Tirane (which stops an Argentine-Brazilian arms race in Tirane orbit).


This means warfare conducted between great powers is restricted to trade warfare. These need more ships, and smaller ones suffice. As far as a colonial planet is concerned if a nation has a single reasonable frigate/ destroyer standing off it then it is blockaded. They can mount self-defense quite cheaply with sentinels, and might be able to drive off a frigate with a group of starfighters, but such vessels are more vulnerable than full starships, and liable to destruction if pulled away from a planet (for example, a frigate could bait patrolling starfighters into Sentinel fields quite easily). Earth is highly dependent on imports from the colonies (4 tons imported for every ton exported), mainly minerals and even foodstuffs and so denying an opponent access to imports is a good war strategy, but blockading Earth is complicated by transshipment (what if colonial produce is shipped to a neutral nation on Earth on neutral shipping?). Thus blockading an enemies colonies and taking their merchantman is probably the main effort between great powers off Earth (unless full blown invasions of each others colonies is possible).


To accomplish this we need large numbers of reasonably sized ships with sufficient armament, protection and endurance (which means having a large cargo bay, "life support" in SC is atmosphere only). This means prettymuch a typical trade warfare ship (either defensive or offensive) needs either a MHD turbine and a really big gastank (and solar arrays) like the small US ships, or a nuke plant (with ~ 50 MW being the high end, at 75 MW a 150 MW fusion plant takes over as more mass and crew efficient, and you've got a different beast). The ultimate expression of the trade warfare type are the "light cruisers" of the Kennedy or Ypres class. It's no coincidence that many smaller colonial nations (like Australia) have a Ypres as their "flagship".


At the very bottom end merchantman may be fitted for their own self defense. Installing combat systems on a starship isn't a huge issue (although the electronics is more problematic). At the high end longhauller merchantmen like the Shenyang is armed would make a pretty darned effective frigate. These ships are shown to be quite common in the scenarios in SC.


Hence, outside of the major battlefleet nations there is no need of big capital ships. Unless critical mass is achieved (which involves challenging the French and allied conservative powers) a big cruiser or battleship is an absolute waste. The leading non-battlefleet power, America, is now building extremely powerful trade warfare raiding ships like the Kennedy. These can overwhelm any smaller cruising ship and (hopefully) outrun heavy units but will come to no good if they accept battle with a heavy unit (as USS Sanchez found out). When designing fleets not detailed in canon (say Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Manchuria etc.) the need to stick to a raiding strategy should be emphasised.




* By canon the Japanese force at Elysia is the bulk of their force. Looked at from another PoV it is essentially a French fleet by the backdoor as a counterweight to Germany in a place where the French can't legitimately deploy forces.

McPerth April 6th, 2013 08:00 AM

All of them good points.

I must first say I don't have Access to Earth/Cyberpunk sourcebook, so I must trust you about it (and don't have any reason not to, anyway).

I agree in your analysis, but, even if the French arm is the most militarized of all, that does not mean other branches are not.

I don't expect the American arm to be too militarized, as the few powers present on it are mostly in good terms, and, being a dead end, there is no reason to keep there more than a few light units for custoums and anti-piracy duty (at least until Operation Back Door, Challenges 48-52, is conducted).

This does not apply, though. to the Chinese arm, as there are many not so friendly nations there:

The Argentinan/Mexican block, along with the Inca Republic is in unfriendly terms with Brazil, and both have colonies in the arm. The tree Rio de la Plata wars have left bad feelings, and I guess not many people rule out the possibility of a fourth war. So I guess there should be some naval presence in both blocks to look after their interests.

Similar situation is among the Manchus, the Cantonese and the Japanese. The Central Assian war put Manchuria and Japan in unfriendly terms, and the Manchus and Cantonese have been rivals for long time. So I also expect some Naval presence from the three nations to keep their national interests protected.

I'd also expect Texas to have some naval elements, even if for custoums and anti-piracy duty, and because, as the last phrase in Colonial Atlas, page 52 says: (...) the Texans' because they feel military facilities whould always be available when needed. My guess is they think the same about troops (ships in this case).

I don't expect Incas or Arabs to have significant naval force (if any), as they are poor nations for spacefaring ones. Not sure about Canada, who will have at most some light units for custoums and anti-piracy duty.

I agree most of those naval presence will be in form of light ships, as I agree in your analysis of the naval needs of most nations, but are mainly those light whips what are fighting the Kafer ships, that are nearly all in the capital ship category, and keeping them at bay, and the ones that finally win over them in the Battle of Beowulf (the description of the battle in the sidebar in page 52 of the Invasion Sourcebook tells about two CVs, four BBs, 1 BC, 14 CGS and 47 DDs/FFs, so only 7 capital ships, as I understand you put the CGS in he category of heavy non capital ships; against 14 BBs and 10 CGS on the Kafer side).

One of the things that confused me about the Kafer war is that neither the Argentinean/Mexican block nor Brazil contributed to the war effort. I had expected them to send some fleet elements as a matter of prestige, and even to try to "outbid" each other in this race for prestige (and influence).

McPerth April 6th, 2013 08:14 AM

Previous posts were moved from the thread communications in 2300.

BMonnery April 6th, 2013 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McPerth (Post 428569)
All of them good points.

I must first say I don't have Access to Earth/Cyberpunk sourcebook, so I must trust you about it (and don't have any reason not to, anyway).

I agree in your analysis, but, even if the French arm is the most militarized of all, that does not mean other branches are not.

I don't expect the American arm to be too militarized, as the few powers present on it are moslty in good terms, and, being a dead end, there is no reason to keep there more than a few light units for custoums and anti-piracy duty (at least until Operation Back Door, Challenges 48-52, is conducted).

Absolutely. By various articles the US keep two "fleets" on the American Arm, each based around an old CL. One based at King and one at Ellis. Hampton's and Cayugas make escort sweeps and probably are the workhorse of shuffling US personnel and minor equipment around.

The opposite extreme seems to be Australia. Lacking warships it was forced to arm an Anjou transport for colonial defence.

Quote:

This does not apply, though. to the Chinese arm, as there are many not so friendly nations there:
True.

Quote:

The Argentinan/Mexican block, along with the Inca Republic is in unfriendly terms with Brazil, and both have colonies in the arm. The tree Rio de la Plata wars have left bad feelings, and I guess not many people rule out the possibility of a fourth war. So I guess there should be shome naval presence in both blocks to look after their interests.
How would such a war be fought? One can argue the Battlefleet might be of use when facing each other in an allegory of the early 20th Century Argentina/ Brazil/ Chile arms race that saw these nations acquiring small numbers of modern heavy ships. The proposed use of such a force would be in the core however, contesting control of Earth/Tirane space.

On the arms themselves the important thing to note is Procyon (Brazil's Paulo colony) is downarm from Ormicron Eridani (Argentina-Mexico's Montana colony), and so the Brazilians are immediately cut off from that colony. However, Paulo (and Montana) aren't worth a lot beyond pride. The conflict in the Latin Finger is a sideshow compared to Sol and AC. Both sides may attempt to interdict trade with light forces, but the best way of doing this ultimately is to destroy the orbitals of the other colony, which means both probably would rather fortify heavily (with massive Sentinel fields etc.) rather than invest in mobile forces which need to stay close to their base for fear of "trading Queens".

Quote:

Similar situation is among the Manchus, the Cantonese and the Japanese. The Central Assian war put Manchuria and Japan in unfriendly terms, and the Manchus and Cantonese have been rivals for long time. So I also expect some Naval presence fro the three nations to keep their national interests protected.
True, but the French are on Japan's side. It's likely the French base a squadron at Beta Hydri, which is nextdoor to Delta Pavonis and these two system constitute the bulk of the population and wealth of the Chinese Arm. Quite possibly the Japanese and French squadrons at Joi/ BH simply swapped.

The Manchus are problematic. In the CAW they were reduced to nuisance raids, and they are heavily dependent upon minerals from offworld, which used to be from the French Empire but the expansion of offworld mining on the Chinese Arm after 2250 changed the power dynamic. The CAW was a Manchu landgrab for mineral rich Siberia. France only intervened when Russia collapsed and the Manchus were threatening Moscow itself (in the second year of the war). Space combat in SC is all raids by a few frigates, then an offensive by France in 2287 that isolates the Chinese colonies which, combined with the Japanese coming in against Manchuria forces Manchuria to negotiate a way out.

Quote:

I'd also expect Texas to have some naval elements, even if for custoums and anti-piracy duty, and because, as the last phrase in Colonial Atlas, page 52 says: (...) the Texans' because they feel military facilities whould always be available when needed. My guess is they think the same about troops (ships in this case).
By Ranger Texas has no ships, but hires commercially as needed, mainly from Manchuria.

Quote:

I don't expect Incas or Arabs to have significant naval forcé (if any), as they are poor nations for spacefaring ones. Not sure about Canada, who will have at most some light units for custoums and anti-piracy duty.
The Arabs have a fairly decent Ypres class light cruiser ("frigate") supplied by the French. It would not surprise my if the crew is "ex-French". It seems to be French strategy.

Quote:

I agree most of those naval presence will be in form of light ships, as I agree in your analysis of the naval needs of most nations, but are mainly those light whips what are fighting the Kafer ships, that are nearly all in the capital ship category, and keeping them at bay, and the ones that finally win over them in the Battle of Beowulf (the description of the battle in the sidebar in page 52 of the Invasion Sourcebook tells about two CVs, four BBs, 1 BC, 14 CGS and 47 DDs/FFs, so only 7 capital ships, as I understand you put the CGS in he category of heavy non capital ships; against 14 BBs and 10 CGS on the Kafer side).
Cruisers are definitely heavy vessels. A 22,000 ton Suffren or 16,000 ton Konstantin is a "battleship". Unlike 20th century wet navies there is no compromise in gun calibre or the like for a "cruiser" - they're simply the main battleship like an 18th century 3rd rate, with "battleships" etc. being the bigger 1st and 2nd rates.

Quote:

One of the things that confused me about the Kafer war is that neithr the Argeninean/Mexican block nor Brazil contributed to the war effort. I had expected them to send some fleet elements as a matter of prestige, and even to try to "outbid" each other in this race for prestige (and influence).
That assumes they have capability and will. I don't necessarily see it. They ma have simply protected their territory (including Earth) as they have no interest in French imperial pretensions.

McPerth April 6th, 2013 11:18 AM

First of all, let me warn you once more I have no access to most 2300 matrial. While I played it (in fact T2300) briefly back when it was published, little arrived to Barcelona, and at this time I couldn't afford to buy much of it, and I concentrated on other games.

So, as a late comer to the game, I own Colonial Atlas, Invasión and Kafer sourcebooks, and have had recently access to T2300, but little else.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMonnery (Post 428574)
How would such a war be fought? One can argue the Battlefleet might be of use when facing each other in an allegory of the early 20th Century Argentina/ Brazil/ Chile arms race that saw these nations acquiring small numbers of modern heavy ships. The proposed use of such a force would be in the core however, contesting control of Earth/Tirane space.

On the arms themselves the important thing to note is Procyon (Brazil's Paulo colony) is downarm from Ormicron Eridani (Argentina-Mexico's Montana colony), and so the Brazilians are immediately cut off from that colony. However, Paulo (and Montana) aren't worth a lot beyond pride. The conflict in the Latin Finger is a sideshow compared to Sol and AC. Both sides may attempt to interdict trade with light forces, but the best way of doing this ultimately is to destroy the orbitals of the other colony, which means both probably would rather fortify heavily (with massive Sentinel fields etc.) rather than invest in mobile forces which need to stay close to their base for fear of "trading Queens".

But a war on Sol or Alpha Centauri systems could have interfered on other powers' interests, so had to be more contained.

In any case, AFAIK there are no orbital stations destruction in the wars told in 2300 history. It seems that fear to PR in earth has precluded wars to be fully exported to colonies, where they can be even more devastating than on Earth.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMonnery (Post 428574)
True, but the French are on Japan's side. It's likely the French base a squadron at Beta Hydri, which is nextdoor to Delta Pavonis and these two system constitute the bulk of the population and wealth of the Chinese Arm. Quite possibly the Japanese and French squadrons at Joi/ BH simply swapped.

The Manchus are problematic. In the CAW they were reduced to nuisance raids, and they are heavily dependent upon minerals from offworld, which used to be from the French Empire but the expansion of offworld mining on the Chinese Arm after 2250 changed the power dynamic. The CAW was a Manchu landgrab for mineral rich Siberia. France only intervened when Russia collapsed and the Manchus were threatening Moscow itself (in the second year of the war). Space combat in SC is all raids by a few frigates, then an offensive by France in 2287 that isolates the Chinese colonies which, combined with the Japanese coming in against Manchuria forces Manchuria to negotiate a way out.

And after the war they declined to have a naval force not to antagonize France (what they had already done), or they would have tried to build one just in case?

After all they have the ressources, and, as the dominant power in the Chinese arm, they're likely (IMHO) to be interested in having it to keep this dominance.

And this will (again IMHO) be even more true after the first contact with Kafers and the kafer ocupation of Aurore, as they can not rule out a similar event in their arm, and they will not be willing to depend on outside help should this occur.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMonnery (Post 428574)
Cruisers are definitely heavy vessels. A 22,000 ton Suffren or 16,000 ton Konstantin is a "battleship". Unlike 20th century wet navies there is no compromise in gun calibre or the like for a "cruiser" - they're simply the main battleship like an 18th century 3rd rate, with "battleships" etc. being the bigger 1st and 2nd rates.

Even so, there are some SC scenarios in Invasion Sourcebook where Kafer BB/BC are confronted by frigates. Not sure how balanced they are, but I guess they are if they were published.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMonnery (Post 428574)
That assumes they have capability and will. I don't necessarily see it. They ma have simply protected their territory (including Earth) as they have no interest in French imperial pretensions.

From the moment people on Earth recognized the Kafer goal is the destruction of humaniti as a whole, I guess both blocks will have gone into a grab for prestige by sending (or at least offreing) whatever forces they thought they can afford (or they need to outbid the other), even if for support roles (as Argentina did in the war against Iraq in 1991).

epicenter00 April 7th, 2013 04:45 AM

There's actually a serious problem in 2300AD with the number of warships, and honestly the number of ships in general.

1) One is the infamous "Tantalum Question" thing in the game. Tantalum isn't that rare on Earth. I mean, it's rare but it's not that rare. So why are ships, let alone warships, so rare? Tantalum on Earth is so rare that people fight wars over it. The rarity is supposed to explain the lack of ships in the universe. But it's not that rare. I mean we make all kinds of stuff using Tantalum today. If it was that rare, would they make detonation missiles from it? Colin in MgT2300 tries to explain it that it's an isotope of Tantalum, but it still doesn't quite make much sense. I think there should be more ships or there has to be some other hold-up that keeps ships from being really common.

2) Another "laugh out loud" bad breaking of canon is in the Invasion sourcebook itself. There's all kinds of hints that BMonnery's fleet strengths are generally considered accurate as printed. So you have like Japan with like six ships or something total in their space fleet. Then you have Kimanjano with the French Foreign Legion with 50 fighters there.

Say what? 50?!

Yes, 50 fighters. The Star Cruiser scenario suggests they're Martels. These things are like armor 10 (yes 10) monsters. 50 of those monsters could probably fend off the Kafers by themselves, no matter how many ships the Kafers send. But more seriously, even if that's the entirety of the Foreign Legion's fighter strength (it somehow seems unlikely) ... 50 fighters in 2300 could pretty much take the fleets of any other power listed in the game without even calling in the rest of the French fleet.

To me, that the French can just base 50 Martels in Kimanjano suggests that even if the French the biggest power in 2300, the other powers have to have pretty large fleets, especially the Manchus.


Quote:

Originally Posted by McPerth (Post 428578)
is the destruction of humaniti as a whole.

Humanity. ;)

McPerth April 7th, 2013 04:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by epicenter00 (Post 428641)
Humanity. ;)

Sorry. In fact, I learned more English by playing Traveller than to attending clasees, and I guess I'm too used to Traveller vocabulary, where (MT:IE page 27) it's spelled humainti (it seems I forgot the note saying former spelling humanity) :o.

In any case, thank you for helping me fixing my English.

BMonnery April 7th, 2013 08:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by epicenter00 (Post 428641)
There's actually a serious problem in 2300AD with the number of warships, and honestly the number of ships in general.

1) One is the infamous "Tantalum Question" thing in the game. Tantalum isn't that rare on Earth. I mean, it's rare but it's not that rare. So why are ships, let alone warships, so rare? Tantalum on Earth is so rare that people fight wars over it. The rarity is supposed to explain the lack of ships in the universe. But it's not that rare. I mean we make all kinds of stuff using Tantalum today. If it was that rare, would they make detonation missiles from it? Colin in MgT2300 tries to explain it that it's an isotope of Tantalum, but it still doesn't quite make much sense. I think there should be more ships or there has to be some other hold-up that keeps ships from being really common.

2) Another "laugh out loud" bad breaking of canon is in the Invasion sourcebook itself. There's all kinds of hints that BMonnery's fleet strengths are generally considered accurate as printed. So you have like Japan with like six ships or something total in their space fleet. Then you have Kimanjano with the French Foreign Legion with 50 fighters there.

Say what? 50?!

Yes, 50 fighters. The Star Cruiser scenario suggests they're Martels. These things are like armor 10 (yes 10) monsters. 50 of those monsters could probably fend off the Kafers by themselves, no matter how many ships the Kafers send. But more seriously, even if that's the entirety of the Foreign Legion's fighter strength (it somehow seems unlikely) ... 50 fighters in 2300 could pretty much take the fleets of any other power listed in the game without even calling in the rest of the French fleet.

To me, that the French can just base 50 Martels in Kimanjano suggests that even if the French the biggest power in 2300, the other powers have to have pretty large fleets, especially the Manchus.

The rarity of tantalum and the lack of massive behemoths of war are self-consistent. Ta-180m is the rarest naturally occurring isotope in the universe*, and has IRL physical properties that can explain some stutterwarp phenomena.

All known and projected stocks of Ta-180m are about 4,200 tons (including extremely marginal deposits), and right now enriched Ta (about 5% 180m, 95% 181) goes for thousands of dollars a gram. More was discovered but only 74 "points" of Ta was found on Earth which scales at about 7,400 tons.

Hence the decision to use genetically engineered "slave labour" on King to obtain tantalum.

Manchuria had 2 points of stardrive tantalum on Earth and fought the Central Asian War to get the last unexploited Ta on the planet (which they didn't, France probably got the lions share). They have a small deposit found on Chenghu.

Calculations and canonical writings show Manchuria can't even provide the normal transport needs of her colonies, let alone massive starfleets.

Japan subsists entirely on the tantalum they cut a deal with Mozambique for two centuries ago and the small lode exploited on Tirane. They are mainly recycling old material and getting whatever they can on the open market, which in practice means Ta from King sold b the American-Australian company that exploits King with artificially grown slave labour.


* I proposed the idea it was Ta-180m ca. 1998-9 which Colin incorporated later.


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