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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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  #31  
Old November 21st, 2020, 05:15 AM
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That's because such trade ships do not play the PC scale trade game - they ship vast amounts of goods and make a significant profit for the megacorporations and their noble shareholders.

The trade minigame is not an economic model - it is for PC scale shenanigans only.

How much money does a megacorporation make on selling its manufactured goods? Enough to pay for the transport costs to get them to market, not to mention their manufacturing costs and their resource harvesting costs.
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  #32  
Old November 21st, 2020, 06:07 PM
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Jump One? Star clusters, just jammed together.

Micro jumps becomes an option, as well.

I think the Sword Worlds is the most prominent example of the tramp trolley.
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  #33  
Old November 21st, 2020, 06:27 PM
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The fundamental problem is that there should be shippers within the scale of the PC trade game that would pay more than Cr1000/ton/jump for J-2, might be some willing to pay for J-3, and perhaps even for J-4. At the very least, there would be non-ship-owners who buy goods within the speculative trade minigame and want to get their goods to a destination before someone else does, or before they spoil. PCs can do that! Why wouldn't NPCs?

But, again, the rules don't allow for that. The rules do strongly suggest that pretty much anything not being shipped by a megacorp as part of their integrated supply chain would move by a series of Jump-1s because that is all that the market supports.

One might get lucky and find a Far Trader (or Far Fat Trader) going your way so you can slip in a few tons of your stuff cheap as "filler" around their speculative trading loads, but that's not reliable enough to build an enterprise around -- if you need Jump-2 and have to wait more than a week for it, you may as well have sent it as two legs of Jump-1 each. And there won't be a lot of J-2 capable traffic, let alone anything higher, in those size ranges, because nobody's paying them enough to do it.

And that's how you get per-parsec pricing. Which, coincidentally, makes J-2 viable and J-3 almost so.

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  #34  
Old November 21st, 2020, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
The fundamental problem is that there should be shippers within the scale of the PC trade game that would pay more than Cr1000/ton/jump for J-2, might be some willing to pay for J-3, and perhaps even for J-4.
I don't think that should happen within the PC scale. Commercial exporters engage large, reputable shipping companies to move their goods, they wouldn't risk a dodgy free trader (more to the point, their insurers wouldn't). I see the cargo rate as being for people who are desperate to ship goods but can't afford real freight rates. Those are the customers who have no choice but go with free traders.
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  #35  
Old November 21st, 2020, 07:41 PM
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I don't think that should happen within the PC scale. Commercial exporters engage large, reputable shipping companies to move their goods, they wouldn't risk a dodgy free trader (more to the point, their insurers wouldn't). I see the cargo rate as being for people who are desperate to ship goods but can't afford real freight rates. Those are the customers who have no choice but go with free traders.
But that gets to the other side of what I was saying: If you're only using free traders, you're only going to have Jump-1 available because nothing else is profitable to operate. If you need to move your goods more than 1 parsec, it'll be as a series of Jump-1s.

Which, as I pointed out, means that freight costs become per-parsec pricing by default.

Per-parsec rates make higher Jn ships viable (to Jump-3), at which point they will enter the market and you get something other than the rules-as-written for rates beyond 1 parsec.
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  #36  
Old November 21st, 2020, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
The fundamental problem is that there should be shippers within the scale of the PC trade game that would pay more than Cr1000/ton/jump for J-2, might be some willing to pay for J-3, and perhaps even for J-4. At the very least, there would be non-ship-owners who buy goods within the speculative trade minigame and want to get their goods to a destination before someone else does, or before they spoil. PCs can do that! Why wouldn't NPCs?

But, again, the rules don't allow for that. The rules do strongly suggest that pretty much anything not being shipped by a megacorp as part of their integrated supply chain would move by a series of Jump-1s because that is all that the market supports.

One might get lucky and find a Far Trader (or Far Fat Trader) going your way so you can slip in a few tons of your stuff cheap as "filler" around their speculative trading loads, but that's not reliable enough to build an enterprise around -- if you need Jump-2 and have to wait more than a week for it, you may as well have sent it as two legs of Jump-1 each. And there won't be a lot of J-2 capable traffic, let alone anything higher, in those size ranges, because nobody's paying them enough to do it.

And that's how you get per-parsec pricing. Which, coincidentally, makes J-2 viable and J-3 almost so.

That's the rub. The Imperial gov't price setting ruined interstellar commerce. At least compared to what it could be.
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  #37  
Old November 22nd, 2020, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
The fundamental problem is that there should be shippers within the scale of the PC trade game that would pay more than Cr1000/ton/jump for J-2, might be some willing to pay for J-3, and perhaps even for J-4. At the very least, there would be non-ship-owners who buy goods within the speculative trade minigame and want to get their goods to a destination before someone else does, or before they spoil. PCs can do that! Why wouldn't NPCs?
Because the megacorporations and the government subsidised ships will carry it for 1000Cr per jump. They make their profits from their 'speculative trade', the freight haulage cost is fixed by that.
A PC scale jump 4 ship can make a profit - but only from speculative trade.

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But, again, the rules don't allow for that. The rules do strongly suggest that pretty much anything not being shipped by a megacorp as part of their integrated supply chain would move by a series of Jump-1s because that is all that the market supports.
The rules for such megacorp trade do not exist in the basic game. A megacorporation can make a profit shipping computer parts with a jump 4 ship no problem. There is a reason for all those free traders and subsidised merchants - the majority of 'Amazon deliveries' are for jump 1.
The rules are for a trading minigame where the PCs start with a jump 1 ship.

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One might get lucky and find a Far Trader (or Far Fat Trader) going your way so you can slip in a few tons of your stuff cheap as "filler" around their speculative trading loads, but that's not reliable enough to build an enterprise around -- if you need Jump-2 and have to wait more than a week for it, you may as well have sent it as two legs of Jump-1 each. And there won't be a lot of J-2 capable traffic, let alone anything higher, in those size ranges, because nobody's paying them enough to do it.
Actually it is, and there was an article in JTAS 5 about it - how to get rich from speculative trade without your own starship.

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And that's how you get per-parsec pricing. Which, coincidentally, makes J-2 viable and J-3 almost so.
I get it. You want per parsec pricing in your game. So do it.
But the rules as written and the trade minigame will not change.

Try getting a group of PCs to play in a trading game with per parsec pricing and see what happens - my guess will be that they will become ridiculously rich very fast, since they will get to the building their own ship sooner and engaging in a majority of speculative trade sooner.

To paraphrase - a spreadsheet never survives contact with the enemy
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  #38  
Old November 22nd, 2020, 05:03 AM
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I think that Megacorp GP Freighters would probably operate like Battletech jumpships. They'd have a dozen shuttles or big towships sitting out at the standardized target dropout point, quickly offload the cargo, refuel the boat, and reload it with the outgoing cargo before jumping again.

These ships would continually pop between high-value destinations, rarely seeing a port except for emergencies or manual maintenance. You never see this kind of thing with Free Traders because they need to deal with portside stuff: speculation and haggling, missions ashore - but in a corporate fleet you're just pinging into reality briefly between jumpspace dips. Shaving the average week in a solar system down to only hours or a day means 4 trips in 32 days versus 56 days, and the support craft handle all fuel dipping, cargo and personnel transfers, etc.

Not unlike the X-Boat net, really, but with large bulk cargo carrying.
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  #39  
Old November 22nd, 2020, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
Note also that a higher jump number allows more chance of getting more freight, since you roll for freight available to each world in range of your jump number.

Wouldn't that assume you roll the freight before and determine your destination after that datum point? THEN you issue the departure and destination for ticketing and take on passengers?
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Old November 22nd, 2020, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Clone95 View Post
I think that Megacorp GP Freighters would probably operate like Battletech jumpships. They'd have a dozen shuttles or big towships sitting out at the standardized target dropout point, quickly offload the cargo, refuel the boat, and reload it with the outgoing cargo before jumping again.

These ships would continually pop between high-value destinations, rarely seeing a port except for emergencies or manual maintenance. You never see this kind of thing with Free Traders because they need to deal with portside stuff: speculation and haggling, missions ashore - but in a corporate fleet you're just pinging into reality briefly between jumpspace dips. Shaving the average week in a solar system down to only hours or a day means 4 trips in 32 days versus 56 days, and the support craft handle all fuel dipping, cargo and personnel transfers, etc.

Not unlike the X-Boat net, really, but with large bulk cargo carrying.

Has to be a busy route, otherwise whatever you are saving in live profitmaking ship runs you are costing in contracted/bought support facilities/boats back to the world.
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