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2300AD & 2320 Discussion of the original 2300AD from GDW, the revised 2300 from Mongoose Publishing, or QLI's 2320AD.

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Old March 19th, 2014, 01:47 PM
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Default Privateers in Space

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladika View Post
In questions of Prize Money:

Under US Constitution Article 1 Section 8, it is still theoretically possible for Congress to authorize Letters of Marque.

The United States continued paying prizes to naval officers in the Spanish-American War, and only abjured the practice by statute during World War I. The U.S. prize courts adjudicated no cases resulting from its own takings in either World War I or World War II (although the Supreme Court did rule on a German prize - the Appam - that was brought to and held at Hampton Roads).

Russia, Portugal, Germany, Japan, China, Romania, and France followed the United States in World War I, declaring they would no longer pay prize money to naval officers.

November 9, 1914, the British and French governments signed an agreement establishing government jurisdiction over prizes captured by either of them.

The Russian government acceded to this agreement on March 5, 1915, and the Italian government followed suit on January 15, 1917.

Shortly before World War II France passed a law which allowed for taking prizes, as did Holland and Norway, a prospect to which the Nazi invasion quickly put an end. Britain formally ended the eligibility of naval officers to share in prize money in 1948.

Under contemporary international law and treaties, nations may still bring enemy vessels before their prize courts, to be condemned and sold. But no nation now offers a share to the officers or crew who risked their lives in the capture.

The British paid out (commonwealth nations shared in this):

...more than £20,000,000 ..., but the sharing, out took ten years. Payments varied from £3000 to-admirals to £25 to able seamen. This time admirals would receive less and able seamen more. (based on Napoleonic precedents)

This was "across the board" men who did the actual sinking or capturing of enemy ships would not be paid "extra". Conditions of modern' war had rendered that custom' obsolete.



Last US Navy prize money awarded.

The USS Omaha (CL-4) and the German commerce raider Odenwald, prior to the US entry into World War II, on 6 November 1941.

An admiralty court ruled that since the ship was illegally claiming American registration, there was sufficient grounds for confiscation. A legal case was started claiming that the crews of the two American ships had salvage rights because Odenwald's crew attempting to scuttle the ship was the equivalent of abandoning her. The court case - settled in 1947 - ruled the members of the boarding party and the prize crew were entitled to $3,000 apiece while all the other crewmen in Omaha and Somers were entitled to two months’ pay and allowances. This was the last prize money awarded by the US Navy."

In this case it was less "prize" and more "salvage"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drakon View Post
I had thought that the issuance of such letters was forbidden by treaty. However my wikifu says that the US was not a signatory to the Paris Declaration of 1856. which tried to outlaw the practice.
As a spin-off of those reasonings, how do you envision this would affect 2300AD setting?

Specifically:
  1. Will the Paris Declaration be extended to space (as it seems most naval laws are)?
  2. Wich contries would be signataries of this extension?
  3. Would it be honored?
  4. Would it be enforced?

See that in the description of Grosshiddenhafen (DM +35 2436) in the Invasion Sourcebook (page 49) it's told that both Manchurian (during the Central Assian War) and German (during the War for German Reunification) raiders opperated from it, but it's not specified if they were privateers or military ships.

Also in the same book (page 62) privateering is told about, but being against Kaffers I guess the Declaration would not apply even if it was in force (after all, the Kaffers would not be signataries of it ).
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Last edited by McPerth; August 2nd, 2017 at 01:13 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old March 20th, 2014, 11:28 AM
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IMTU/ATU...

I thought about this in thinking about a 2350 setting and an emergence of a new UN. Since there is effectively no forum for complaining or prohibiting such practices, the nations are on their own when it comes to policing this.

Basically, my thought is that privateering requires a mass of available ships so it depends on your interpretation of the availability of space vessels.

If FTL ships become common, then privateering is a valid practice and a likely tool of nations. Instead of deploying fleets and committing military resources (likely stretched already), the commissioning of privateers is a viable strategy. Colonies are isolated and, in many cases, dependent on trade/support. So a commerce raiding campaign would have significant effects on colonial survival. The added bonus is being able to project a measure of "power" into regions where the nation may not have assets or logistical means to do so.

For example, perhaps the French are in low conflict with the Chinese. Unable to project power into the Chinese Arm makes the hiring of privateers a valuable strategy since such independent operators would be able to traverse and raid along the Chinese Arm without a French fleet movement that lacked logistical support and was observably hostile.

The flip-side is that disruption of those chains could cause serious loss of life and bad PR. For example, the effect of blocking supplies to a colony that is dependent on them would result in massive deprivation and loss of life, this could be catastrophic on a PR basis. However, it would be very effective as a cheap means of warfare.

In addition, the actions of such privateers could cause considerable difficulties for Libertine/Free Traders since the actions of privateers would make nations and colonies very aggressive towards vessels that are not authenticated friendly trade or diplomatic parties. System defense forces would become far more vigilant and hostile.

In musing further, the same could be said for mercenary organizations/commando raids. A single small raid on a colony's power plant or seed storage could cause massive disruptions to a rival.

Happily, this provides an in-game basis for the plausibility of small (character parties) skilled mercenaries and privateers to be involved in low-intensity conflicts and commerce raiding in 2300 era. The lack of an over-arching diplomatic body also contributes to this environment since we have no investigative authority or court on war crimes, space/maritime jurisdiction etc.

Canon 2300 does have a limited amount of "wild space" so the routes are likely to be more patrolled. The stutterwarp in-system capabilities also make it very difficult to entrap targets and isolate them long enough to be effective.

A tidbit picked up from MongTrav and Honorverse is also the concept of "jumpcussers." Basically, tramp traders or other groups that are opportunistic pirates but primarily merchants.
---
In my Project_SN, which is highly emulative of 2300, the above has all come to the fore due to the rapid expansion of humanity (further than in 2300AD) and the many players in the stars.

My FTL drive has a down-time which makes for a better scenario of raiding. I'm still working on the in-system aspects of it but I'm keeping an eye on ensuring that piracy and privateering remains viable.

As noted, it also creates a great setting for small parties of individuals to have impact and take part in such operations (ie. adventures).
-------
A real-world analogy that bears mention is the discussion of Private Military Contractors. The ban against mercenary units is largely held by the global community but groups like Blackwater and the like appear to skirt under the radar because they are bona fide employees of a nation engaged in "support" and "security" operations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_military_company
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Old March 20th, 2014, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgs View Post
My FTL drive has a down-time which makes for a better scenario of raiding. I'm still working on the in-system aspects of it but I'm keeping an eye on ensuring that piracy and privateering remains viable.
For in-system opperations I'd suggest you to take a look (if you have access to them) to the Challenge articles Lone Wolf (Challenge 33) and Three Blind Mice (Challenge 37). Both are Star Cruiser campaigns with quite in-system opperations, reated quite in detail on them.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 03:44 PM
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It's a different system not really ATU. Using Silhouette system which has fairly standard thrust movement for in-system space. It's not a stutterwarp FTL either. I want to come up with a hybrid allowing more rapid travel but without ruining the piracy scenario and avoiding the stutterwarp boring space combat issue. Haven't really bent my head to it yet since I'm still working on the setting/mechanics.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 03:54 PM
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If what you intend is to merge conventional and stutterwarp drives in combat, I suggest you to read this thread, where this possibility was discussed. As you will find there, I personally don't believe it would work...
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Old March 21st, 2014, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgs View Post
It's a different system not really ATU. Using Silhouette system which has fairly standard thrust movement for in-system space. It's not a stutterwarp FTL either. I want to come up with a hybrid allowing more rapid travel but without ruining the piracy scenario and avoiding the stutterwarp boring space combat issue. Haven't really bent my head to it yet since I'm still working on the setting/mechanics.
It all depends on how much you care about making your FTL and/or maneuver drives "believable". I don't like the issues that stutterwarp brings to space combat, so I just handwave a drive that behaves a lot like stutterwarp (fast in systems, FTL outside system gravitic influence) but without the warping.
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Old March 23rd, 2014, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
It all depends on how much you care about making your FTL and/or maneuver drives "believable". I don't like the issues that stutterwarp brings to space combat, so I just handwave a drive that behaves a lot like stutterwarp (fast in systems, FTL outside system gravitic influence) but without the warping.
I'm with you. I think I saw your post earlier and agree wholeheartedly. My system is limited by the mass of the ship and speed. I built it on wild imagination about the Alcubierre.

I'm still monkeying around with how to make a low-powered in-system version of it that doesn't screw combat to all bejeezus. I have a few ideas but haven't fleshed them out yet.

This summer I'll be posting more about it... Project_SN. I'm building the setting ala Great Game style with VBAM and Astrosynthesis. But it's 2300/HeavyGear/JovianChronicles. Hard candy sci-fi...
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Old March 24th, 2014, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgs View Post
I thought about this in thinking about a 2350 setting and an emergence of a new UN. Since there is effectively no forum for complaining or prohibiting such practices, the nations are on their own when it comes to policing this.
See that most of the rules of war (Paris Declaration included) were agreed before UN, and so, where no such forum as you tell existed. So were the Melburne Accords in 2300AD setting...

So, I guess they could apply (or not apply) even if UN was disoved in the twilight, more depending on the political will of most nations than the fact of a discussing fórum exists.
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