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Old August 31st, 2020, 04:59 PM
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Default CT Subsector Navies

I'd like to flesh out the "subsector navy" for an adventure and to add some details to my CT OTU.

From the description in HG it appears the Subsector Navy operates under the purview of the Subsector Government. I like that as it allows me to add some colour to each subsector I detail.

Is there any more discussion of the role of the Subsector Navy in CT? I'd like to know how far I am veering from the published CT universe.

As an example, I imagine, in say 1105, Norris feels a war is imminent and has his Subsector Navy looking for Zho agents and sympathizers, while the Imperial Navy, under the Sector Duchess is more focused on, say, the Ine Givar. or some other perceived threat.

The Imperial Navy considers the Subsector Navy as a lesser arm of the military, and comprised of people who could not make it to the Imperial Navy.

The Subsector Navy considers themselves to be the front line on a frontier war, and since they come from the subsector, their families and homes are at risk. They view Imperial Navy as filled with outsiders, and bullies, who are more likely to retreat in any serious frontier battle as their homes are scattered around the Imperium.

I could have completely different uniforms and colours and fleets etc. All of this could be a backdrop while the characters deal with their own problems. Being "pulled over" by a red-uniformed naval officer could produce sighs of relief, as they are mostly looking for psi-capable and zhos. Unless one of them is psi, in which case you would rather not run into them etc.

I did notice in MT subsector fleets are considered explicitly part of the Imperial Naval and are called The Reserve. I am less fond of that idea for my purposes.

Has anyone seen anything else written on the topic, especially in CT?. I imagine my take is not a common one, and that is OK, but I would be interested in knowing if/where I might be contravening something that has already been written.
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Old August 31st, 2020, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Bartleby View Post
As an example, I imagine, in say 1105, Norris feels a war is imminent and has his Subsector Navy looking for Zho agents and sympathizers, while the Imperial Navy, under the Sector Duchess is more focused on, say, the Ine Givar. or some other perceived threat.
While the Subsector Navy reports directly to the Subsector Duke (though the Subsector Navy belongs to the subsector proper and are not the Duke's "personal" forces - the latter would be termed Huscarles), the Imperial Navy chain of command goes directly to the Emperor - the Sector Duchess as the local civilian Imperial Sector Governor works with the Imperial Navy Sector Admiral to get things done. So while the Sector Duchess does give direction to the Imperial Naval forces in her sector, they are not technically "under" her in the same way the Subsector Navy is under a Subsector Duke.

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I did notice in MT subsector fleets are considered explicitly part of the Imperial Naval and are called The Reserve. I am less fond of that idea for my purposes.
Remember that in MT, due to the Rebellion, the Imperium is on a war-time footing, meaning that the Subsector Navies have been "Imperialized" and made part of the Imperial Reserve.
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Old August 31st, 2020, 11:28 PM
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Thank you Wayne. I think I understand the specifics better.

While I would never let the OTU details get in the way of a good narrative, it sounds like there is some leeway I can leverage.

The general priorities of the two navies are set by the two rivals, and they can exist as two separate entities with separate cultures and perspectives.

I imagine I can have the attitudes/earnestness/approach of each subsector navy reflect the priorities of their respective Duke or Duchess.

I am imagining something like, to use Dune-phrases, a subsector navy ruled by a Duke Harkonnen might treat probable threats and upstart adventurers differently than one commanded by a Duke Atreides.
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Old September 1st, 2020, 04:20 AM
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There is very little evidence of the existence of a subsector Navy tier within the Third Imperium.

The navy is organised as the regular IN and then in times of war they take command of the planetary navies which are then termed colonial forces.

Looking at The Fifth Frontier War boardgame initial set up you have the regular IN units and the planetary fleet units, but no subsector Navy tier.

When reserve forces finally enter the field after several turns the units are regular IN and numbered rather than named colonial fleets, these are the ships that have been conscripted and probably belong to the off board worlds.

Note also that there is no such official position as sector duke - every duke is appointed to rule a subsector in the name of the Emperor. The sector duke position is a first among equals position that exists only because of the tremendous economic and political might of the incumbent.

My own personal opinion is that subsector dukes with sufficient resources would operate a subsector Navy.
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Old September 1st, 2020, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post

(snip some excellent information)

My own personal opinion is that subsector dukes with sufficient resources would operate a subsector Navy.
I agree. I admit I am pushing a design I arbitrarily decided would make a colourful backdrop, not necessarily the original intention of MM.

But HG does discuss Subsector Navies, and while I don't need any OTU source to design my own campaign, if I am playing in the OTU I prefer to color inside the lines, so to speak. I see more benefits to me as a referee with two ostensibly cooperating navies who are motivated with different priorities.

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Note also that there is no such official position as sector duke - every duke is appointed to rule a subsector in the name of the Emperor. The sector duke position is a first among equals position that exists only because of the tremendous economic and political might of the incumbent.
Wow. I have had CT in my possession for 30+ years, and never really grokked that. Re-reading it carefully now I see that the books explain what you describe above.

That is good to know. So I guess, in my hypothetical 1105 Spinward Marches, I could have Norris run his Subsector Navy, ruthlessly hunting Zho agents and sympathizers. Meanwhile the Imperial Navy is being essentially commanded by a de facto Sector Duchess, who really has no de jure mandate.

After working 25 years in the corporate world, that feels more realistic. De facto influence is a common powerful thing and does not show up on any org charts.

Thank you both.
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Old September 1st, 2020, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
My own personal opinion is that subsector dukes with sufficient resources would operate a subsector Navy.
To what end?

Why have a subsector navy?

And what do the planetary navies do? I would think they'd be more like a Coast Guard. Local forces for inner system policing.

Even historically, I don't think things like coastal batteries here in the US were ever controlled locally by guard forces, but were nationalized under the federal system.

Mind, the US is not the Imperium.

I rather think that there would be named fleets assigned to subsectors at the Imperial level for local force projection, not sure why the Imperium would cede such control to the local Dukes. Did the Imperium actually trust the Dukes to manage high end firepower? Why would the Imperium allow a subsector to raise forces loyal to the Duke, and not, necessarily, the Imperium?
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Old September 1st, 2020, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by whartung View Post
To what end?

Why have a subsector navy?

And what do the planetary navies do? I would think they'd be more like a Coast Guard. Local forces for inner system policing.

Even historically, I don't think things like coastal batteries here in the US were ever controlled locally by guard forces, but were nationalized under the federal system.

Mind, the US is not the Imperium.

I rather think that there would be named fleets assigned to subsectors at the Imperial level for local force projection, not sure why the Imperium would cede such control to the local Dukes. Did the Imperium actually trust the Dukes to manage high end firepower? Why would the Imperium allow a subsector to raise forces loyal to the Duke, and not, necessarily, the Imperium?
There all kinds of reasons. Certainly, a strong central Imperium might do exactly as you say, and shut down any local military.

If your Imperium is slightly more decentralized, the Emperor might leave certain responsibilities to the Duke to fund and raise his own local navy to handle.

In my particular example, and one I think I will use, the Imperial Navy in the Marches is running things BAU. Duke Norris feels the Zhos are up to something and is making demands that the Imperial Navy DO MORE. The local admiral, taking direction from a de facto sector duchess, is instead squashing false Ine Givar leads and claiming to busy doing lots when they appear to be doing nothing. So the Duke, who commands the local navy, has them focusing on finding spies. Both priorities (spies vs the Ine Givar) are the mandate of the Imperium and serve the Emperor.

I am not American, but I've noticed the dramatic tension in crime films or shows where a local law enforcement and federal law enforcement do not have the same priorities, but both claim to be upholding the same law.

I think subsector navies either fit or do not fit in your OTU depending on how you see your Imperium running.
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Old September 1st, 2020, 12:25 PM
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They already allow dukes to raise household troops, a few ships to go out and patrol in the duke's name is an extension of that.

I also think there is a lot more conflict between subsector dukes than is realised. A duke becomes a sector duke by political manoeuvring, developing the largest economy, and brow beating his/her peers. I think a bit of trade war between subsectors would fit right into the setting - which is one of my explanations for how piracy can exist within the Third Imperium, how pirates have a custom built ship class, and how they have a rank structure and pension benefits

Planetary navy ships belong to their home planet, not the subsector duke. The duke of Regina doesn't actually rule Regina, and the planetary navy ships of the Regina Navy answer to the Regina government, not the duke.

Going by the events of the FFW Norris, even as a duke, could not give orders to IN fleets beyond his IN rank until he got hold of the Imperial Warrant to take over as sector admiral.
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Old September 1st, 2020, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
There is very little evidence of the existence of a subsector Navy tier within the Third Imperium.
Huh? I think there is pretty strong evidence in B5. For example

Quote:
Originally Posted by B5 p2
The Navy is the primary star-faring armed force; its duties include the maintenance of peace and order throughout the spacelanes of the Imperium. Subsector and planetary forces assume such part of this burden as they are capable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by B5 p2
The naval forces within the lmperium are divided into three general categories lmperial forces, devoted to the central ruling lmperium and answering only to it; subsector forces, which patrol their individual subsectors, filling the gaps that the lmperial forces cannot handle;...
These quotes are then reflected in CharGen where you roll to see which type of navy you enlist in: Imperial, Subsector, or Planetary navy.

If you want to use FFW board game as Traveller canon, probably best to explain how subsector fleets are integrated in the FFW naming convention rather than trying to say they don't exist in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. (For example, subsector fleets take the subsector capital as their name, or they get a number so you cant easily distinguish them from Imperial fleets, or maybe they split up and lead/stiffen the planetary fleets - you choose which approach you like.)

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The general priorities of the two navies are set by the two rivals, and they can exist as two separate entities with separate cultures and perspectives....
@Bartleby, IMHO this is right on and good fodder for some conflict/drama.
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Old September 1st, 2020, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
There is very little evidence of the existence of a subsector Navy tier within the Third Imperium.
I just re-read "The Battle Fleets of the Marches" from JTAS 9 and it is striking that there's only limited discussion of organization beyond regular and colonial squadrons. Squadrons can be organized into fleets, "the basic maneuver unit for naval action," but I'm not sure the article uses the familiar High Guard terms of planetary, subsector, and sector navies. Strange since Marc wrote both sources.
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