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Old February 24th, 2014, 12:22 AM
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Update on Liftwood Costs. In the basic rule book, there are TWO mentions of liftwood costs. One is under "Synthetic Liftwood" on 67, which gives a cost of 150 per ton of lifted mass or 7500 per hull size if using the Sky Galleons of Mars ship-building rules. The other is on page 82, where it is stated that liftwood costs 200 per ton of lifted mass for Ether Flyers.

Sky Galleons of Mars does not show ANY cost for liftwood in its ship design sequence. Cloudships and Gunboats simply repeats the design rules for Sky Galleons. However, when you look at the ship costs shown in Cloudships, there is no way that a 7500 per hull size in included in the cost of the ship. Example, the HMS Aphid, hull size 2, cost 23,220. Per the design sequence, the steel hull would cost 10,000 per hull size, and another 7500 per hull size for liftwood, so 17,500 per hull size, so for a ship of hull size 2, the base cost for hull and liftwood would be 35,000. Looking at the rest of the ships, there is no factor for liftwood costs in the construction cost.

Cloud Captains of Mars has a 20-ton Aerial Scout, powered by a petrol boiler, and costing 2000. No liftwood cost in that one either.

As for Ironclads and Ether Flyers, the costs for Aerial vessels is $10,000 per hull size, rams cost $1000 per hull size, engines cost $1000 per engine size, and armor is $10 per ton. For surface naval vessels, the costs are in British pounds. For Ether Flyers, Liftwood hulls cost 20,000 per hull size (includes hull structure and liftwood), steam engines cost 2000 per engine size, and armor costs 100 per ton. I assume that the Aerial Vessel costs should be in Pounds Sterling, not Dollars, but why the doubling in cost of steam power plants and increase in armor cost by a factor of 10 for Ether Flyers is beyond me.

So, based on all of that, what is the cost of liftwood? For Ether Flyers, it is either 200 per lifted ton or 10,000 per hull size (100 per lifted ton). From Sky Galleons of Mars, Cloudships and Gunboats, and Cloud Captains of Mars, cost is Zero. From Ironclads and Ether Flyers, the cost for Aerial Vessels is Zero. Base rule book, under "Synthetic Liftwood Cost" is 7500 per hull size, or 150 per lifted ton. Given the range of costs, the only option I see is make a house rule for cost while trying to keep the costs of Aerial Vessels within the range of the existing ship design sequence in Sky Galleons, which appears to be the basis for the other rules.

Therefore, the cost to the British of Liftwood on Mars is 1000 per hull size of 100 tons, with ships of less than 50 tons costing 20 per lifted ton. The British government sells liftwood to private individuals on Earth for 1500 per hull size of 100 tons, or 50 per ton of lifted mass for vessels of less than 50 tons. Liftwood is normally shipped from Mars in lots sufficient for 5 to 10 hull sizes.

That would mean the costs to the U. S. of liftwood at Thymiamata would be $5000 times 1.5, so $7500 for liftwood for a 100-ton hull. That reflects the following supply chain: High Martians sell to Hill Martian traders, Hill Martian traders sell to caravan traders, traders sell to brokers in Thymiamata, brokers sell to the U. S. Thymiamata receives $250 export duty on every hull-size lot of liftwood. The U.S. Liftwood Consortium will sell to private individuals in the U.S. lots of liftwood for $12,500 per lot, with the U.S. receiving an import duty of $2500 per lot, duty going to fund to purchase additional liftwood. A "lot" of liftwood is defined as the quantity of liftwood needed for a ship of 100-ton hull size.

Your party's objective is to establish trading connections directly with the Hill Martian traders at the least, and the High Martians if possible, to reduce the cost to the U.S. to close to that of Britain.

Note: To get an Ether Flyer to at least 24,000 feet requires twice as much liftwood as is needed to reach Very High Altitude. As the Aerial Flyers are not carrying oxygen, and their steam engines are operating at atmospheric pressure, unless of forced draft design, that would put an operating limit of between 8,000 and 12,000 feet on the Aerial Flyers.
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Last edited by timerover51; February 24th, 2014 at 01:25 AM..
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