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Author Topic: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere (K-Verse)  (Read 19350 times)

Colt Ward

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #30 on: 04 February 2021, 19:49:51 »
The actual named DroST IIa model might not be, but the fluff indicates it had plenty of knock off makers and was floating around in the thousands IIRC.

Not a big critique, but yeah my head canon has a lot of 'missing' freighters out there to make the universe work- like the 3 civvie converted ones I mentioned.
Colt Ward
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #31 on: 05 February 2021, 09:03:07 »
I am at a bit of loss now about what to talk about. Any requests?

If not will likely do something concerning warships pocket and otherwise all the way up to Fleet logistics in a different thread. Likely with many fan designs in their appropriate place. If jumpships were this expensive to operate then it is no wonder that the Clans are constantly just barely scrapping by with their huge fleets. Lum and Hellgate probably have huge factory moons just dedicated to spare parts.

truetanker

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #32 on: 05 February 2021, 09:10:43 »
Recharge stations and various other niche units that are suppose to be, but never really talked about?

Factories
Yards
Habitats
Tugs?

TT
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Colt Ward

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #33 on: 05 February 2021, 10:24:31 »
I am at a bit of loss now about what to talk about. Any requests?

If not will likely do something concerning warships pocket and otherwise all the way up to Fleet logistics in a different thread. Likely with many fan designs in their appropriate place. If jumpships were this expensive to operate then it is no wonder that the Clans are constantly just barely scrapping by with their huge fleets. Lum and Hellgate probably have huge factory moons just dedicated to spare parts.

I always liked WEG Star Wars' rating spaceports . . . BT would/should have something like this but that gets into RP and more of the naval/support story and it was just never something developed for BTU b/c it is not a story of smugglers.  But with how often spaceports were objectives of ground armies you think we would have at least gotten a bit of a classification system.
Colt Ward
Clan Invasion Backer #149, Leviathans #104

"We come in peace, please ignore the bloodstains."

"Greetings, Mechwarrior. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Daoshen and the Capellan armada."

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #34 on: 05 February 2021, 13:47:39 »
Depths of Black
Space comes in two depths, shallow and deep. Shallow Black is less than two months away from a populated world. This includes planet-moon systems, orbital facilities, and most of the dropships and jumpships that ply these areas.

Deep Black is beyond that. Truly massive star systems exist around Blue-White Giants and other large stars with stable jump points and planets above these stars that far away from one another. The space between stars is rife with conspiracy theory concerning Secret SLDF or Word of Blake facilities and House military bases, lost colonies, private and experimental science stations, HPG and dead drop satellites, black sites, and bolt-holes can be anywhere in space completely inaccessible without the right jump coordinates.

Space Stations and Closed Habitats
Once these were thought of as the future of humanity until the invention of the KF FTL Drive and the resulting planetary colonization of the Inner Sphere and Periphery. They come in a limitless variety but boil down to several different classes. Closed Habitats are often built underground to protect their inhabitants from debris and radiation. Space Stations use water and ‘storm shelters’ for security and health as well.

Their operations are very similar to any other spacecraft. Someone has to make sure air, water, food, and power keep flowing while keeping people and equipment healthy. The Reactor is often of a Nuclear Fission type (typically Gas Cooled) rather than Fusion as a space station doesn’t need the extra power for thrust or require much fuel bunkerage. Fuel Cells provide backup power and in some very small versions are the primary source of energy.

While the Inner Sphere is full of habitable worlds (or close enough for Star League era terraforming to work) there are enough that are outright hostile to permanent habitation. Whether it is an icy moon, inside a rocky asteroid, or a remote station far in the Deep Black there are people that want or need to live there. As you go further from the primary population center the drop off is however exponential as costs increase dramatically as more resilience needs to be built in.

Modern Habitats rarely have more than 15,000 people aboard and these are only to support truly massive undertakings. The old Star League’s DoME made extensive use of these for its megaprojects and even created some that could be transported aboard a docking collar like an overgrown dropship (folded up). Only the Clans retain the ability and desire to create these. Most are instead assembled from in-system resources for in-system needs and abandoned or scrapped when their useful lives end.

These Habitats are well-equipped to care for and maintain their populations with grav decks, aeroponic gardens, and everything one might expect to find in a small town. Most are closed to outsiders and treated as corporate or government property. Those that do allow outsiders to come in subject them to extensive searches, often an interview, medical tests, and assign a security minder ensuring they are not ill or arrive with ill intent. Cleanliness is taken incredibly seriously as any disease will rapidly overtake the station and has potential to become a serious issue.

Often a system inhabited only by orbitals is to small for COMSTAR, or before and after it The Star League (1st or 2nd), to note on maps. These are effectively remote mining operations based out of a more populous world nearby. Jumpships are thus their only link to the outside world and corporations pay to put them on a circuit hoping that whatever they yield is worth it in the end. When the operations go bust the stations are left behind while the people return to their homeworld. There is no census as they are regularly shifted but assume that these small operations number in the thousands.

While space is open fortresses still have a place protecting planets like Gibraltor protected the Mediterranean. In the modern era they are more widespread as capital and sub-capital weapons become more available increasing their capabilities. A fortress station is either equipped with these weapons or used as a launch platform for aerospace fighters and gunships rarely both. They are located around state and regional capitals along with major industrial worlds always in close orbits.

Capable of mounting thick armor (or being deep underground) they are still relatively fragile and immobile limiting tactical options. They are however strategic assets potentially allowing a world or facility to resist a small invasion force long enough for relief to arrive unless the enemy brings overwhelming firepower. Many shipyards are protected by these platforms ensuring the many billions spent to modernize them from raiders were not wasted.

Aphrodite Station, the last M-9 Pavise, was one of the largest of this type and took the combined efforts of the Hellions and 2SLDF to bring down costing the clan almost all their Warships in order to compromise the Sol SDS network.

Jump Ports are the most common station a Free Trader will find themselves on, located above (or below) a medium income planet they provide essential services that incentivize travel to their world. These range from the standard triple R (Repair, Resupply, Rest) to communication, accommodation, and representation for corporate officers and shipping brokers. Often these services are subsidized by the planetary government to drum up trade volume and it always seems to work. The largest of these the one megaton Olympus Recharge stations are always hopping with business (and pleasure).

Factory stations are uncommon while industrial closed habitats are more so. This is particularly true in Clanspace where the worlds were less hospitable to human life.

Major aerospace industrial worlds still use ground-based facilities for almost all major construction, shuttling the components up in sub-kiloton transporters (SKiTTers) before conducting final assembly in space. Of the few that require stations are the Core Forge which manufactures compact or regular cores for Warships or Jumpships respectively and an Endo-Steel Foundry which uses microgravity to create a unique crystal structure into the metal which is then formed into shapes. Vessels are constructed (and repaired) in a facility known as The Cage, a metal cage with high tensile fabric around it. This protects the workers from outside harm and the space around from stray parts.

The most common is a Refinery/Smelter Station processing ice, gases, and ore gathered from asteroids and moons into more concentrated and economically useful forms. Many orbital version are copies of the Taurian Concordat’s Snowden Mining Station and operated by huge industrial firms within the same system. Closed Habitats use rovers and temporary camps to harvest materials taking them back to a central facility for processing just like the orbital version.

Oddballs
SKiTTers (Sub-Kiloton Transporters) – These small dropships are uncommon outside of specialized roles as they are limited in payload and not worthwhile to transit. Small craft are more widely produced, less expensive to maintain and operate, and easier to transport, but cannot carry more than 70 tons in payload. SKiTTers fill the void between a K-1 and a Manatee or the similarly ancient Saturn. This class is becoming more interesting as planets look toward new threats above and sub-capital weapons that can be mounted aboard become more widespread. Despite being dropships, they are relatively quick and easy to assemble and comparably inexpensive to operate.

Almost all however are produced and used internally by Shipyards transporting components from ground stations to orbital assembly platforms or as small tugs and working platforms in space. This typically means they are aerodyne to increase safety for the crew and make it easier to load oversized pieces.

Tugs – There are a number of Tugs in service throughout the Inner Sphere. Most operate with fleet supply ships to rescue crews and salvage damaged military vessels. Civilian ships operate in Jumpship yards and aboard recharge stations pushing much lighter civilian vessels or space stations around.

What all three types in common use have are large engines, ample fuel, a solid pushing plate, reinforced nose, and grapple attachment to disperse the force. Like all dropships Tugs dock nose to nose with their target, unlike all dropships though they have thrust vectoring for more complex turnovers rather than relying on RCS which they also have lots of.

Military Tugs are principally attack ships when not serving tender duty their job is to close with enemy spacecraft latch on and take control. The Clans have modernized versions of the Type 96 Elephant while 2SLDF and Inner Sphere House Fleets uses the Type 97 Octopus. Both mass 15 kilotons and can push a destroyer sized craft at decent fractional gees.

The most common civilian type is the Burro, a Mule variant whose cargo is replaced with a tug adaptor, more powerful engines (to 4/6), and shop space. Normally at least one Burro is available at an Olympus recharge station to push ships toward a recharge station for a cable charge (or docking) or for servicing a vessel in distress. For larger jumpships like the Monolith and Leviathan two are needed to make much progress but they are handy enough for Liberty(or Invader) ships.

To service the massive Mjolnir Battlecruisers Archon Katherine Steiner-Davion commissioned the Gargantuan class of super tugs. Gargantuans are Behemoths with massive engines (an extra Mjolnir engine actually), big fuel bunkers, and a reinforced structure capable of wrestling with the 1.25 megaton ship. With the loss of all megaton plus Warships post Jihad and no plans to restart production on the crushingly expensive Mjolnirs the class is mothballed and looking for a purpose. Several investment groups were looking into the viability of using them to push asteroids around for mining but after the Eriynes’ bombardment of Taurus and Alshain with an asteroid the risk is simply to great that no one was willing to underwrite them.

idea weenie

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #35 on: 06 February 2021, 12:43:40 »
I always liked WEG Star Wars' rating spaceports . . . BT would/should have something like this but that gets into RP and more of the naval/support story and it was just never something developed for BTU b/c it is not a story of smugglers.  But with how often spaceports were objectives of ground armies you think we would have at least gotten a bit of a classification system.

The Spaceport guide from Traveller could also have details.

Each system could have a rating for each of the following:
* total tonnage it can handle
* number of landing sites/storage sites
* available recharge slots (previously booked recharge slots are not counted, so even if the system has 16 recharge slots, if 15 of them are always booked then only 1 would be listed)
* Passenger throughput capacity
* Refueling types (process your own, spaceport process, full tank inspections, etc)
* Orbital station/surface station/both/neither (Orbital station means you often have Behemoths docking at the station to transfer cargo, with Unions/Leopards/Mules shuttling cargo up and down)
* Repair capacity (armor patches all the way to reactor replacement
* Refit Capacity (change out the Mech Bays for cargo bays, or able to add on extra weapons)
* armament allowed for arrivals (i.e. no more than X tons of weapon per Y kilotons of vessel, all the way to peace-bonded gunships parked next to you), plus fees depending on how much you exceed the limits

Even more fun, these codes can change based on your allegiance/purpose.  A free Trading ship might only be allowed at the ultra-safe port where few weapons are allowed, and there are few/no recharge slots available in their database.  A House-owned Trading vessel in that House's territory might be allowed to park at the more restricted locations while fees are waived, since they are trusted.  A mercenary unit working for that House might be able to see that there are more recharge slots available, since some of them are allocated to help move troops around.

The codes can also change if your neighbor decides to park a can of instant sunshine on the landing pads

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #36 on: 06 February 2021, 15:58:56 »
Feel free to add on if you'd like. Having crunched the numbers I doubt that outside of State Capitals there is any shortage of spaces available on world. Perhaps major hiring hall worlds, other than that it is likely a short ferry or plane ride to the capital city

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #37 on: 10 February 2021, 22:32:43 »
Found out I messed up some of the numbers. Multiplied by 1.2 rather than 1.2%. Will update sheets tomorrow. The preliminary numbers are far closer to canon now and begin to honestly approach real life cost of shipping.

Sheets now updated to reflect the actual numbers according to Campaign Ops

DOC_Agren

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #38 on: 30 March 2021, 22:23:42 »
Thank you a very interesting read
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #39 on: 16 May 2021, 18:54:43 »
Astrogation
Do you ever look up at the black velvety darkness and wonder what all the stars are doing?

Of course you do. We all do. It is hard not to be amazed at the size of the universe from the observation deck of your jumpship or dropship.

Our little slice of the universe known as the Inner Sphere is but one of many sectors in the Milky Way, even Clanspace is relatively close and it takes almost a year to get there via jumpship. To get from the former Rim World’s Republic world of Megiddo, among the most Anti-Spinward worlds on a map, to the world of Randis on the edge of the Orion Rift, and very Spinward, is a distance of 1321 Light years. Almost 44 jumps which would also require almost a year to traverse in a single jump ship. We mentioned before the Exodus Road to Earth is almost 2100 Light Years from the Clan Homeworlds but from Earth to Hellespont the furthest Rimward colony of the principal Taurian Concordat, not including some of the Far Looker colonies beyond, is another 560 Light Years or nearly 19 more jumps.

Beyond these points you fall off the map and into ‘here there be dragons territory.’ The Deep Periphery is a realm of mystery, wonder, and danger. Signs of human colonization, viable colonies, and even small nations outside the HPG network exist thousands of light years beyond the furthest extent of the Inner Sphere. Some such as the Delphi Compact, Hanseatic League, and Jarnfolk maintain contact through intermediaries. Each is reliant on tramp freighters running routes far beyond the border for vast amounts of wealth. The life of a Deep Periphery free trader can be worth it but going out that far is not for everyone. You need a sharp mind, quick trigger finger, and backup to survive out there, not that those aren't nice to have anywhere you go.

You don't have to range very far outside the core worlds to notice that some jump routes are rather sparse. Big pockets of empty space exist in every Successor State according to COMSTAR maps. Many abandoned worlds settled during the Star League era still exist and some even having thriving yet isolated communities. Being removed from the map doesn't mean they are unoccupied, off-limits, or otherwise but be very careful if there are satellite beacons in place to warn off visitors, many of those are there for good reason. The Order leaves off many worlds too small for regular HPG service or off the routes of its chartered carriers. Still it provides the best value for its navigational data subscription.

Other sources such as government archives, navigator guilds, or organizations specializing in such works, such as Interstellar Expeditions, can help fill out your jump computer's catalog with new potential customers. Some particularly enterprising trade groups buy and jointly operate small dropships, often a Manatee or Danais/Unity, to serve as a resupply node giving out the coordinates to friends willing to take a shortcut through such voids of settled space.

Speaking of the jump computer the mathematics behind KF jumps is simply baffling to the outsider and even some crew. It a decade for a gifted individual to become proficient in the multidimensional equations that the computer does for you. Of course you don't want to rely on the computer as they limit it to the Zenith and Nadir points and any computer can be fickle, particularly if you haven't maintained or updated it in a while. If you want to use pirate or non-standard points, you need to do it long hand then check it through the jump computer. These non-standard procedures are where the navigator really earns their healthy salary.

Pirate points are very interesting, formed when gravitational forces neutralize one another at Lagrange points. This neutralization allows for a brief window to execute a successful jump translation but can be very dangerous to jump into. You are at the very least looking at a military patrol sent out to board your ship at worse; you enter a trojan asteroid cluster. Pirate points are thus too high risk for an average free trader unless you know the system well and clear it with the orbital protection teams ahead of time.

Non-Standard points are far more useful for an average free trader. These points are any valid jump point outside of the standard Zenith and Nadir and form a sphere beyond the stellar proximity limit. Many of these fall where gas giants are common in solar systems at least on the planetary horizon. However, they put you out of position for common services and spaceborne infrastructure. I would only recommend you only use them if you are meeting someone there to conduct 'legitimate business' in private or are seeking out icy colonies or mining concerns in these areas.

Stellar Classes
There are six main star types that are occupied in the Inner Sphere. Astronomers subdivided them into colors based on their surface heat despite all looking white in visible light they are M–Red, K–Orange, G–Yellow, F–Yellow-White, A–Blue-White, and B-Blue. There are others such as neutron stars, pulsars, and other oddities along with multi-star system but none of these interests a Free Trader as most are uninhabitable. Therefore, unless you have a group of Niops Astronomers or Interstellar Expeditions onboard, avoid them as they are a greater liability than asset. These stars are further divided into different sizes and intensities identified by numbers with 0 being the hottest and frequently largest stars and 9 being cooler, smaller ones.

These roughly break the distinct classes of stars with a G0 yellow star closer to an F9 yellow-white star than a G9. As stars increase in size their jump proximity limit and thus dropship transit time increases dramatically from two days for a tiny M9 to months for a giant B0. The most habitable stars are from K3 to F8 taking from 5 to 12 days in transit from the standard points.

M-type stars often have tidally locked worlds or large belts of planetoids that might make for viable subterranean colonies. What they often do have is a fuel station as the weak light from these small stars slows the jump core recharge cycle when using a sail. So you have to use the power plant or wait several more days until the core recharges when transiting.

Lower F, A, and B-type stars often have high radiation flux that makes for a greater number of non-habitable planets with long transit times. These stars often serve as resupply and rally points with many House military or Exodus Road staging areas positioned around such stars. Their higher light intensity allows a jumpship to recharge faster than it normally would. A stop at a lower order B class star can achieve the same efficiency as using your engines to recharge the jump core at no cost of fuel. At the proximety limit there is a reduced exposure to the flux and intense solar winds but still they are elevated and be certain your radiation shelter is stocked in the even of a solar storm.

This sometimes leads to colonies forming on the outer edges of these systems beyond their proximity limit so that non-standard points become the usual rather than the normal Zenith and Nadir which are used for transiting vessels. Of course the inhabitants likely only share this information with those they trust as they could easily see their moon colonies invaded by pirates hoping to prey on unsuspecting merchant ships.

Planing your route is thus fraught with quandaries. Sticking to bright stars ensures you don't have to use fuel to recharge your engines and can make better time but at the cost of potential customers. This may be worth it if you are in a hurry or operating an older poorly maintained jumpship in the Deep Periphery.

However, the smart move is to follow the map drawing as close to a line between your destinations as possible. This may leave you slowed occasionally but as long as you have fuel you can use the engines to recharge around some dim star. What you will be doing however is working a route with cargo to be picked up and delivered, and that is the goal of a Free Trader.

Daryk

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #40 on: 16 May 2021, 19:25:50 »
Hmmm... looks like a straight line calculator, not that that's a bad thing...

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #41 on: 18 May 2021, 10:44:23 »
Hmmm... looks like a straight line calculator, not that that's a bad thing...

Yeah its a relatively simple design but it works for fanfic.

Think I am going to write something about the people you meet along the way. Any requests for mildly made up or researched groups?

zulf

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #42 on: 11 September 2021, 21:19:05 »
I'd like to hear your opinion on Command Circuits. I've been doing some thinking about them and want to try to model them.  Since I think a well constructed set of Circuits could massively simplify IS logistics.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #43 on: 11 September 2021, 22:57:15 »
I'd like to hear your opinion on Command Circuits. I've been doing some thinking about them and want to try to model them.  Since I think a well constructed set of Circuits could massively simplify IS logistics.

I'm curious why you think that way. The ideas expressed actually show a reasonably simple, efficient, and predictable logistics chain with contingencies for unforeseen events.

My opinion on Command Circuits is that unless a dropship needs to be on a planet within a month they wouldn't be done for non-military traffic. Command Circuits are a high level military strategy. They wouldn't be used by common military or merchant traffic. The factions within the Inner Sphere are rarely in a hurry to tie up more of their precious Jumpships.

Speed of delivery is at best a tertiary concern compared to Jumpship availability at a certain time and cost per collar. Time critical supplies (combat equipment, food, ammo, water purification, fuel, etc...) would be regularly dispersed during peacetime by military Jumpships who would then be operating in a fairly small area of concern (PDZ, Province, etc...) unless something big was being planned.

During a war these would be replenished and moved around by regular merchant traffic who are likely paid some kind of war reserve bonus. Military jumpships would be carrying combat troop transports and supplies drawn from a strategic stockpile closer to the enemy which would be refilled from nearby reserves. However, this is getting into more of a combat planning treatise and I already have one of those (Second Star League Fleet, link below). We will eventually go into more detail there

zulf

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #44 on: 12 September 2021, 02:03:41 »
So there's many questions that need to get answered such as what's getting shipped, where ,why, how much, and lots of questions about ownership. The answers to those questions can radically change how interstellar transport is structured.

I think the shipping container is the primary unit to concern ourselves with. There are other things to worry about but 90% of cargo probably fits in a standard box. I think you likely agree with that.

So if we look at current logistics chains we see hub and spoke is dominant. Either with major online retailers, airfreight/passenger travel,  or large container shipping ports/train lines for long distance then moving to trucks for regional. And I think the right analogy is JS = container ships and DS = trucks. Also just in time manufacturing probably hasn't died out in 1000 years....

For dropships most probably never leave the system they operate in simply moving cargo to and from jump points. And the dropships that do jump are probably constantly jumping.

As for the command circuits it's not just about speed. You have a known fixed path with regular traffic. For example the round trip from Robinson to New Avalon to New Syrtis is aprox 30 jumps.  So with 30 jumpships you have a once a week round trip conveyer between the 3 most important worlds (plus12 others) in the FedSuns and many others are only one jump from that main artery. Most of the time you aren't rapidly sending a dropship anywhere it would be normal slow movement with the addition of centralized hubs to move  containers between dropships for faster movement on the container level.

Now if you want or need rapid movement it's already set up and the premium can be paid. Your crews are ploting the same jumps with know return dates for leave. you have an alternative communication path that doesn't need comstar reading your mail or data caps. Then if you increase the JS per route the volume and speed goes up. And if you add secondary lines off the main you bring the benefits to more world's, which grows your economy.

Small craft could be major players in moving people, info, and critical supplies rapidly.

From a military standpoint your military jumpships can be closer to your borders and localized waiting for troopships that can be fast tracked, your supply lines are in place and can be surged.  Your communication is as secure as a BattleTaxi with a flash drive. And If you need extra jumpships you know how many are in a given region.

This is totally against the setting of BT but if interstellar movement or commerce are actually a big driver I think it would wind up looking more like this than just ships plotting their own course.
« Last Edit: 12 September 2021, 02:55:03 by zulf »

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #45 on: 12 September 2021, 07:33:33 »
I think you misunderstand what a command circuit is in the fiction compared to my previous mention of defined Lines and Circuit in the second entry where I described jumpships that would likely do that duty. Hub and spoke is already the optimal way of arranging interstellar trade. Direct Lines will run along heavily trafficked routes. Space stations would be used as hubs to store and allow transloading between dropships

A command circuit in the fiction is a line of Jumpships specifically positioned to transport one or more dropships as rapidly as possible. The only delay should be how long it takes the dropships to undock and dock to the next Jumpship.

This can potentially reduce the time to target to a number of hours = jumps needed, assuming everyone is charged up.

This requires an incredible number of Jumpships staying idle with empty collars and on station for potentially a long (relative) time. This ties up a huge amount of shipping potential. Even a relatively short Circuit of five jumps assuming it was on Invaders (the most common jumpship) would tie up 15 collars for that recharge period for those 3 dropships. There will always be a few weeks of delay to a planet as the dropship still takes around two weeks to transit to and from the jump point. Unless it was stationed aboard a space station near that point already with a Jumpship immediately available.

However Interstellar just in time manufacturing is almost certainly dead. The Succession Wars were not kind to such vulnerable supply chains. Factories probably maintain healthy inventories of goods that must be shipped interstellar for months of continued production. Just the efficiencies of scale due to reduction in cost per jump for a larger dropship make it reasonable

Daryk

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #46 on: 12 September 2021, 08:59:07 »
At what point does transloading at the lump point become more profitable than sending the DropShip to the planet?  Unless there are DropShips on standby to receive the cargo directly, you're handling it twice more than necessary before it gets to the planet.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #47 on: 12 September 2021, 09:29:41 »
Since each Circuit can be run in reverse, my definition of Lines already goes both ways, transloading would be used to change the direction of travel. Dropships aboard two jumpships heading in opposite directions can leave behind and pick up some cargo meant to go in the opposite direction. The breakpoint on that would be a moving target but it would be time efficient. The five or so days a dropship is waiting for a jumpship's recharge cycle provide plenty of time to transfer some cargo between space stations (which hold them at a minor cost) or other dropships while picking up routine supplies.

Additionally a smaller dropship, say a Buccaneer, can come and pick up cargo meant for a planet from a jump point station. This allows a larger more cost/cargo effective dropship, like a Mule or Mammoth, to continue on a jumpship's collar. Its the difference between a tractor trailer and a box truck.

Daryk

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #48 on: 12 September 2021, 10:33:38 »
No argument on there being time to do it, it's just that the labor to make it happen isn't free.  With Behemoths that have to transload anyway in the mix, it certainly makes sense for them.  But with DropShips that can land on a planet, it would seem to be more cost efficient to just unload once (on planet).

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #49 on: 12 September 2021, 10:58:51 »
No argument on there being time to do it, it's just that the labor to make it happen isn't free.  With Behemoths that have to transload anyway in the mix, it certainly makes sense for them.  But with DropShips that can land on a planet, it would seem to be more cost efficient to just unload once (on planet).

Which would be true if you intended to unload the whole cargo bay or establish services on a world and had another dropship in place or en route to take over an empty jumpship collar. The time for a dropship to transit to a planet, unload its cargo, load additional cargo, and return to a jump point far exceeds any recharge cycle so that jumpship would have exited the system by that time, assuming they were constantly in motion and there were no problems of course.

By transloading portions of their cargo bays to a space station you cut out planetary transit times while reducing maintenance costs on larger dropships as they don't need to be under acceleration as often. Smaller planet based dropships then make those transits taking a portion of the larger dropship's cargo with each trip and dropping off whatever the planet intends to trade next as it is made.

Labor costs are relatively small in comparison to the capital and ongoing costs of maintaining interstellar shipping. Check my excel sheets, sending stuff across the stars can be incredibly expensive. Keeping that machine oiled and in motion is necessary to ensure it is even viable. We are talking fifty to three hundred c-bills of extra costs per week for each ton of cargo sent via jumpship (including the dropship).

Daryk

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #50 on: 12 September 2021, 11:05:33 »
Hmmm.... seems that Behemoths are overengineered at 2/3, then.  Heck, it would seem to be better to have 100,000 ton Space Stations with drop collars at that rate.

Paladin1

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #51 on: 12 September 2021, 13:02:58 »
This is incredibly interesting and I'm glad to see someone put this kind of thought into the logistics side of things.  Well done!

DOC_Agren

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #52 on: 12 September 2021, 17:36:35 »
Hmmm.... seems that Behemoths are overengineered at 2/3, then.  Heck, it would seem to be better to have 100,000 ton Space Stations with drop collars at that rate.
Yes but that what happens when in the "good old days" rules were "fast and loose" and now we have structure for Aerospace designs....  It one thing to change sizes to make the rules work..Leopard and Unions but full redesign so Behemoth are nothing but a space station...  Besides this way in a bad bad day they can land and become the center of a new colony....  :thumbsup:  Don't recall space station having the ability.

Now don't mind me, I'm going to go sit on my porch in a rocking chair and yell at the kids to get off my lawn and turn down their music   ;D
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

zulf

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #53 on: 12 September 2021, 21:36:49 »
Well aware of the cannon use of the term Command Circuit. I used it because I didn't want to add extra jargon. I  have read your posts another time and I still can't find where you define LINE so thats on me. But it's awesome you are possibly considering the same thing as I.

My reasoning is that the cost per/ton is around 2-100 CBills per jump. Just for the collar and the true cost with the dropship and profits worked in is 3x to 10x that price (6-1000  CBills per ton per jump). The numbers in your sheets suggest that as well. To minimize that cost you would want to funnel the cargo through central arteries as you have economys of scale. So you can subsidize the less profititable routes or routes that are mostly one way.

But the fact that you have fixed routes that can act like a command circuit allows you the option of up selling the service. A dropship has a critical cargo well just drop one other the big bulk DS off and take it on for the big surcharge.
Also mostly command circuits are used to move VIPs well that can be done with a small craft for the jumps then board a dropship once in system.

As for bulk cargo I agree you want to do as much bulk shipping as possible. But look at something like a Vlar 300 it's 20 tons if you ship 100 of them that's only 2000 tons maybe you'll  get a bit of a discount. But the real problem is the factory probably only produces 100 mechs a year so now you are sitting on a years worth of inventory..plus  how long did it take to make those engines and most were sitting around waiting for the shipment to be filled before they could start moving. And you are paying 120- 20,000 cBills per jump per engine. So at some point you may have to consider just building them on site.

Personally I think interstellar transport is either mostly non existent or at massive volumes (potentially localized) the middle ground would only be temporary. If there isn't the economic need for millions of tons of  cargo a year through my example route then what really are jumpships doing besides just moving troops. Which is fine but then interstellar trade isn't a thing.

« Last Edit: 12 September 2021, 22:56:17 by zulf »

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #54 on: 12 September 2021, 23:26:08 »
NOTE - Since this has come back to the top I looked over my numbers and found terrible mistakes in the crew salary and maintenance calculations for space stations and dropships. Now that is fixed and with some formatting changed more options become apparent. I have changed the calculator to give just the cost per ton and passenger of each jump. They are now fixed and a new table has been added detailing the cargo transfer rates for some popular options. Additionally the jump point calculator has been added to the first jumpship spreadsheet.

The 300cb/ton was really more of a worst case scenario such as all the collars not being filled. The least efficient cargo dropship, a Manatee, on the least effective jumpship, a new Merchant utilizing fast recharge stations, adds roughly 200cb/ton of shipping cost per jump. A Mule on a normal Invader using its jump-sail adds around 30/ton which is low enough to keep a collar open for incoming dropships. Heck with how cheap a space station tonnage is now I'd advise making the Accumulator station even smaller its cost per ton each week is only 1cb.

Adjusting for faster service is actually built in, jumpships would normally use their sails around decent stars but they can accelerate the recharge cycle by using the reactor instead at a minor premium in fuel usage. I agree that small craft would be used to fast shuttle VIPs or precious cargo if sufficient jumpships were available.

Wereling

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #55 on: 13 September 2021, 07:35:42 »
Has anyone incorporated this into their fiction? This is fantastic.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere
« Reply #56 on: 10 December 2021, 23:24:03 »
Has anyone incorporated this into their fiction? This is fantastic.

I very much appreciate it but as far as I know no. Except for me of course.

The History and Traits of the Belters
Since the 20th century humanity has had at least a transient population of people who choose not to live their whole lives on a habitable rock. Since the late 21st century there have been permanent populations living in the narrow passages of spacecraft, rendering megatons of asteroid rock into space stations, or burrowing deep into ice to make it their home. The life of a Spacer (for those that live aboard spaceships obviously) or Belter (those that live within asteroid habitats or distant, dark space stations) is not an easy one but like any niche people and their organisms have exploited it to their own benefit. Centuries of divergence, isolation, and no small amount of genetic engineering has created a population that has adapted to this alien environment as much as any of the Clan phenotypes but so much more.

Many of the original Belters were recruited from populations on Earth with promises of hazardous but high paying jobs by the Terran Alliance. The ones from high altitude areas as diverse as the South American Andes, Swiss Alps, and the Himalayas of Southern Asia thrived through a complex series of cultural and biological factors. Although these are the oldest populations, they are not alone, and others were or have been supplemented by the same germ line genetic engineering first employed in the 23rd century. Some were even incorporated into the Clan’s Aerofighter phenotype and found in the native Tanite populations prior to the Clan’s conquest of them.

This engineering increased resistance to radiation induced cancers and reconfigured some genes related to vitamin and salt processing, reduced hair formation, better cardiac and blood health, and fine-tuned muscle, and bone formation for zero-g. Belters ingest a wide variety of supplements to augment their otherwise very healthy diet of aquaponically grown fish, fruit, algae, and vegetables and mandated exercise. Some of which is shared with the fruit bats they keep as pets and to trigger proper immune development in an otherwise very clean environment. Among these is a bioavailable form of strontium which replaces some of the calcium, also heavily supplemented, in their bones artificially increasing their density and reducing the risk of breaks.

Artificial selection on such a wide scale and some engineered solutions such as the expanded use of grav decks for pregnant women dramatically improved the viable birthrate and lifespan among Belter populations. The Belter population rapidly expanded, increasing the manpower their TA sponsors could call upon. Other supplements are used in their small security forces to ensure the small but mighty Belters, who maintained the Warrior traditions of their native populations particularly the Gurkha, can serve as an equal to the ‘Common Dirtbag.’

Some Belters served in the Terran Alliance’s Colonial Marines and alongside their Spacer counterparts in Alliance Global Navy. They were rarely incorporated into the feudal mostly ground-bound militaries of the Great Houses. With the Free World League’s Clan related expansion of Aerospace production, they found a place as pilots and marines equal to any among the Clans. Though none fought the Clans directly instead fighting alongside the Nova Cats and 2SLDF in limited numbers. Post-Jihad the 2SLDF prefers the more reliable Belters and Clanners for operations finding the new groups of Post-Warlord era Great House soldiers ‘troublesome.’

The Age of Exploration was not kind to the Belter populations as new virgin worlds were constantly being settled and their resources exploited at lower cost. With access to so many resources their mineral extraction and processing industries suffered. The engineering and artisan craftsmanship they would later be known for were still restricted by the Terran Alliance.

The Ryan Ice Ship Cartel, formed by a Spacer entrepreneur, grew rich and cut into the Belter’s profitable ice mining operations that fueled colonization and terraforming drive. Spacers enjoyed the advantage of gravity and natural sunlight and required no major adjustments to retain normal human function. Spacers ferried colonists and soldiers throughout the ever-expanding Human Sphere growing rich enough to begin purchasing their own ships and investing in shipyards to expand their number.

When the Terran Alliance fell to be replaced by the Terran Hegemony Belters were further reduced in prominence as Hegemony troops were more numerous than even the growing population of Belters. Belter crews served on the early Warships of the Hegemony but rapidly found themselves sidelined by higher prestige colonies.

With little need for terrestrial resources or a drive for growth with all of space at their fingertips Belter populations faded into the background forming Communities among themselves while the Star League rose to power aided by its vast fleet of Warships. These Communities formed greater Confederations that existed principally as medium to exchange culture, information, and ‘genes’ and lacked any kind of supreme executive. This was particularly true in the Outworlds Alliance that resisted Star League aggression only to be occupied by AFFS troops under the orders of the SLDF.

Stephan Amaris’ coup created a crisis for the Hegemony’s Belter Confederation. Amaris had been working with groups of Belters in the Periphery. These would interestingly form the nucleus of what would later become the Canopian Pleasure Circus and contribute to the Taurian Far Looker movement principally among the Adaptor, Inheritor, and Arcologist faction. However, there was no mistaking his intentions were not in their Communities interest. Lacking any kind of native defense industry or a large military they remained neutral and hiding along the system edges far from the recently activated Caspar SDSs.

When Kerensky liberated Terra and cut a deal with the Minister of Communication Jerome Blake to form COMSTAR there was finally some hope for the Terran Belters. It was only during this period when Terra was restricted but before it was fully locked down that the Confederation covertly acquired and spread its engineering skills.

With the breakdown of the Star League and its associated industries the Scavenger Days and Succession Wars came. Interstellar and Interplanetary craft were abandoned or mothballed in droves more valuable as sources of spares than functioning machines. Planetary industries were destroyed along with the once great shipyards that had enabled humanity’s expansion beyond its initial pale blue dot. This suited the Belters just fine who were mostly self-sufficient and with their support of the Blessed Order safe from ROM.

Many Belters served COMSTAR over the centuries of its existence although few fully brought into the Toyama mysticism that gradually expanded among its ranks. It is likely, though unconfirmed, that they operate a limited but parallel HPG network to communicate among themselves as they rarely come within thirty light minutes of a settled world. Whether this was disabled during the Blackout is equally unknown and Belter Captains are not forthcoming with any answers. Much Belter history among the Succession Wars is unknown as no one bothered to travel out to the outer planets they congregated at and those that did often reported that Belter’s were uncharacteristically unwelcoming.

Sporadic reports of diseases spread from and hostilities with fellow scavengers turned them off to outsiders. That is not to say that Spacers were not rescued and treated well by their Belter counterparts if they suffered a system failure in the deep black. This mutual respect is observed between those in extreme environments throughout history regardless of ethnic or national differences. Those cultures and the Belters are not exempt and often share gifts between groups even something as small as new holovids is greatly appreciated.

Belter craftsmen create the finest specimens of precision metalwork (the Hyades Community) and delicate jewelry (the Trznadel Community) in the Inner Sphere due to sheer access and to gain foreign currency enabling further expansion. The liquidity crisis post-Jihad was a huge boon to the Terran Community as large stores of silver, gold, and platinum rounds stockpiled over centuries and hidden from Amaris and ROM could be quickly made available to the Second Star League.

What they received in exchange remains unknown, but because of this the Second Star League was able to prevent the complete collapse of the Inner Sphere’s economy. With the future of the C-bill (now Communications) in doubt until every HPG can be brought online other Belter communities have been providing banking services with their very secure and increasingly well-guarded, by surplus Power Armor, Assault Dropships, Aerospace Fighters, and curiously a few Celestial LAMs, metal stores.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere (K-Verse)
« Reply #57 on: 31 March 2022, 12:51:21 »
Touring and Traveling among the Stars, Passenger Transport in the Inner Sphere and beyond

Although less common than its height during the 3060s the Inner Sphere is once more on the move in the 3080s. The Word of Blake’s Jihad, resultant HPG system collapse, along with local and regional instability caused the economic depression of the 3070s. This in turn disrupted commercial transport due to wartime demands and then during the winddown commercial trade could not resume while clean up and rebuilding operations were underway.

However, except for most of the Trinity Alliance and the Clan Home Worlds travelers once more ply the space lanes alongside freight. Since many HPGs are still inoperable and local COMSTAR Adepts are absent there has been a massive increase in demand for in person travel needs for technical experts and businesspeople. Additionally planetary emigration is at an all-time high and even a decade after the war demobilized soldiers are still being returned to their home worlds.

Many of these needs, particularly to more remote worlds, are settled with onboard “Coach” accommodations aboard dropship freighters already plying trade lanes. Freighters happily charge the premium rates these fares can generate and can easily carry an equal number of fares to crew (hardly more than a few dozen) without worry. Any idle rooms merely provide extra space for the onboard crew when not in use. These barebones tickets don’t offer any additional accommodations but are very quiet and good for more introverted or slower paced travelers. Because of this it is recommended you bring your own entertainment, catch up on your reading list, or find work to stay out of the crew’s way.

Passenger Liners operate on normal trade lanes where they can reliably generate enough fares to remain profitable. Five different dropship types are typically used to this task, but their standard configuration is the only one presented below. No two liners are configurated the same, crew per passenger and passenger class distribution are highly variable depending on local needs. This uniqueness is part of their inherent charm and important for ship branding. Like most Free Traders passenger liners are often flagged in the Outworlds Alliance or if traveling within the Trinity Alliance The Magistracy of Canopus. Commercial interests within the Successor States will often pay for the right to brand themselves as one of that realm’s Flagship lines.

The Magistracy of Canopus along with the Free World’s League produce most commercial passenger liners used in the Inner Sphere. The Federated Suns has been muscling into their territory leveraging Federated Boeing’s technical prowess to begin serial production of the Cargo King inspired CK-800 Super-Liner. While not widely distributed have attracted rave reviews from those that have traveled along the Federation Riveria. Super-Liners were recently sold to Isesaki Lines in the Draconis Combine who are using them to expand access to their Core-ward worlds.

There are three common types of passenger classes, the distribution of which help determine final ticket cost. Liner operators assign weighted values to the ticket price with small numbers of First Class (or “Premier”) passengers being responsible for the majority (often 45-50%) of operating expenses. This premium ensures they enjoy a privileged stay with unfettered access to every accommodation because of it.

Second (or “Coach”) and Third (or “Steerage”) Class passengers enjoy roughly the same experience with the principal difference being the crowding of their assigned decks, included luggage space, and whether they can access some high-end accommodations without additional charges. Typically, a fifth of Steerage or Coach quarters are reserved for double occupancy with Children, Youths, and Single men and women (although never mixed unless family) occupying these more economical rooms.

Since ticket fares maintain the vessel, its operators can use any leftover cargo space for premium (and up-charged) goods and accommodations.

Malls and high-volume commercial interests are beyond the scope of these vessels which must charge a premium for their enlarged crews and distribute the high cost of Jumpship travel to the passengers. These are instead the purview of the space stations they frequent while waiting for said Jumpships to recharge. Space Stations along common passenger routes are filled to the brim with experiences that would be cost prohibitive to integrate into the smaller mobile vessel. Certain ones exclusively cater to tourists with expansive hydroponic gardens, large open chambers for spacewalking, and other thrilling experiences making themselves as destination worth traveling to for intra and interplanetary tourists.

Due to long travel durations along the Exodus Road The Clans particularly Diamond Shark, Snow Raven, and Goliath Scorpion, have added large numbers of passenger berths to the Carrack, Potemkin, and Volga Warship Auxiliaries that commonly use that route. These are almost entirely Coach accommodations and require frequent transfers between different way stations en route to the Home Worlds like any other piece of cargo.

Individuals can be rapidly transferred via shuttle trips from Jumpship to Jumpship as necessary and this means of travel is common throughout the Inner Sphere, for Successor States and Clans alike as it is cheaper though less comfortable overall.

Since Liners typically operate on a standard trade lane such layovers rarely last more than a few days. This heterogeneous jump traffic forces Operator’s to charge the average and pocket any difference. Since most trade lanes have been reconnected via HPG Jumpship collars for a Passenger Liner might even be partly or fully paid for by a space station in exchange for a longer duration port call.

Meals are served four times every 24 hours with Breakfast and Dinner being the largest meals for passengers. Each Class maintains their own dining space, but all share a common Galley. The food differs mostly in quantity and options between classes with Premier Class having more courses available. Leftovers and simpler fare such as soup, cereals, and sandwiches are served to passengers during Lunch and Supper (midnight meal). Lunch and Supper are also the crew’s largest meals ensuring the Galley is evenly utilized throughout the day. Coach and Steerage passengers attend meal service in anywhere between three to five waves which are rotated every other day. Vending machines are distributed throughout the ship for those unwilling or able to attend dining service.

Onboard accommodations are highly variable, but we will focus on some of the common ones. All Liners operate semi-automated entertainment such as arcades, casinos, and movie theaters continuously though their voyage as they provide some of the best return on investment, are reasonable compact, and do not require anything but maintenance from the crew. Crew often engineer talent or game shows are common in larger multi-purpose rooms with the winners given a chance to perform to the Class above them (and all of it recorded and broadcast on the ship’s internal TV station). Performers can even be extended a contract and nicer suite (although rarely better than a Double Occupancy Coach) becoming “resident artists” for as long as they can offset their (steeply discounted) ticket price with revenue.

Additionally every passenger liner has some kind of bar or lounge which is often integrated into their mess or entertainment deck. These are staffed at all hours or employ robots or other machines capable of serving drinks to customers if a Crew member isn’t present. Shower and Toilet (or Head) facilities are normally shared between passengers in a similar class (<5 for 1st, <10 for 2nd, <20 for 3rd) but are kept clean and tidy by Crew members. Abundant hot water is available as a side effect of the vessel’s thermonuclear power plant although it is typically limited by crew to prevent excess humidity buildup in the compartment.

Security will intervene if someone has too much to drink or engages in an altercation with another passenger. All personal weapons are kept in a safe and being caught with a weapon will result in ‘cooler’ time (so named because it is typically near the ship’s heat exchangers) in the brig or expulsion at the next port of call for the local authorities to deal with. The Ship’s Surgeon and their staff are responsible for any health problems among the passengers or crew.

Some models are renowned for certain accommodations. The Monarch’s sauna and spa facilities are widely regarded as top notch. Meanwhile the Princess Class has its famous Earth and Pool decks with larger rooms than even normal Premier Class for its exclusive passengers. A Princess’ crew are squeezed into smaller quarters than usual. Although they don’t seem to mind as serving aboard a Princess is highly desirable and profitable enough to offset personal discomfort.

Unfortunately, the military surplus nature of the Condor and Colossus Liner conversions don’t provide the same level of experience for their passengers. The Condor is infamous for its unpleasant passenger accommodations with many of the steerage quarters being subdivided into double occupancy berths to combat high ticket prices at further cost in service and comfort.

Federated-Boeing’s Super-Liner has yet to decide which accommodation it is going to specialize in. The fuselage’s internal diversity and Federated-Boeing’s marketing have encouraged open floorplans (with appropriate bulkheads) allowing independent operators flexibility to respond to customer demand. This has attracted the attention of the Outworld’s Alliance and Clan Snow Raven who sense an opportunity to build relations with First Prince Peter through non-military means.

If you would like to book your next interstellar adventure, contact your planetary HPG representative or a licensed travel agent for more information.

Get out there and explore!

The Inner Sphere is a big place, and you can’t see it all in one lifetime so don’t waste any of it.


The preceding message was published along with a collection of other marketing materials by Gold Star Travel inc., a joint venture between Interconnectedness Unlimited and Interstellar Explorations. All views and opinions expressed are those of Gold Star Travel Inc and its affiliates and do not necessarily reflect those of IU or IS Unlimited or associated individuals and trusts.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere (K-Verse)
« Reply #58 on: 18 April 2022, 22:44:50 »
The Tale of Two Condors – False Economies of Scale?
The following is an excerpt from the internal training video ‘False Economies of Scale?’ by Isesaki Shipping

OOC - The Skylark has 200 Steerage quarters and the Condor IQ has the 12 Troop Bays of the normal type. Both have removed the tank deck with the Skylark turning it into the quarters while the IQ returned it to general cargo.

Two well-dressed businessmen sit cross-legged around a comfortably upholstered table. One of them an Azami by his traditional robes and Yatagan sword at his side studies the other dark skinned and gray suited man across from him with a wakizashi at his.

“Sheik the IQ model of our Condor series is what you need to cycle crews to your mining outposts. It can transport two hundred and forty workers or even up to two hundred and eighty while carrying twenty-six hundred tons of cargo.”

“In sardine cans perhaps. I will not have my workers crowded together like the Eta of Luthien’s slums. Breathing air that smells like soap from the cee-oh two scrubbers and sponging themselves with water from the jugs with no privacy.”


Sheik Mamoud took a sip of his tea, “Irian has pitched their own (Condor) Skylark equipped with proper quarters and an enhanced life support system. It’s far more comfortable”

A graph appeared behind the businessman, “You will transport twenty percent fewer workers and thirty six percent less cargo on average.”

“But I will save quite a bit of money by operating the closed life support and my cargo is valuable I don't need to worry about cheap goods costing more to ship to the core.”

“But you will lose out on all that cargo space that could be making you even more money. If you only take the same number of people; Yes, they will be a little crammed, but they have a big cargo deck to stretch their legs and you will save a few percent each trip per ton and passenger.”


“I do not worry about a few thousand c-bills like your Okurasho do. I consider that difference a false economy.”

“But it is a very real economy. Our Condor has more cargo capacity than a Beacon (Buccaneer) and can compete in interplanetary cargo markets with those Outworlder Free Traders.”


“It is a passenger transport though?”

“Yes, but ours is a far more versatile one. The Skylark can only transport people economically not cargo. Ours can do both, the Burden of that design is almost fifty percent higher.”


“And the Condor IQ is almost fifty percent higher than a Beacon. My berths are easily serviced with passengers. Shogun Sakamoto is opening the Draconis Combine to business again, and people are on the move. I will not have trouble filling them and catering to my customers for added services beyond the essentials to make up the difference.

I want more discerning passengers than ones looking for the lowest fare.”


Mahmoud rose followed by the salesman and off-screen attendant businesspeople joined in as both sides bowed slightly to one another before exchanging cards.

“I have closely listened to your pitch however Hiraski and you will get my final decision before I reach Hachiman in three weeks’ time. Arigato”

“Arigato Sheik”


EDIT: Updated the spreadsheet with small craft and a better UI

AlphaMirage

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Re: Free Trader's Guide to the Inner Sphere (K-Verse)
« Reply #59 on: 23 November 2022, 09:04:11 »
The Terran Transfer Trunk, Great Circle, and the Jump Routes that connect the Inner Sphere

Term Definitions
Circuit – Visit each world on a circuit only once before returning ‘home’
Line – Visit each world more than once alternating between two ‘homes’
Trunk – A high-capacity Line which efficiently accumulates many intersecting ones
Coreward - 'North' on the Map | Rimward - 'South' on the Map
Spinward - 'East' on the Map | Anti-Spinward - 'West' on the Map

Even through the dark days of the Succession Wars the Great Houses engaged in trade with other realms. Typically, this was under COMSTAR’s neutral banner but with their fall other powers have begun to rebuild trade routes ravaged by the Jihad. The most crucial link between the five Successor States remains the Terran Transfer Trunk and the Core-Rim Trunks that branch from it.

It was through this vital route hat the Word of Blake rose to prominence and control of which was so hardly fought over during the Succession Wars. Throughout the Jihad the FEDCOM Third Fleet and Tikonov Republican Guard endlessly fought the Capellan Confederation and Word of Blake leaving many worlds devastated. Tikonov’s prominent role along this route is only equaled by Solaris, the control of which has been fiercely contested between the Lyran Commonwealth and Free World’s League throughout their existence.

Solaris and Tikonov serve as anchors to the Terran Transfer Trunk and its Core-Rim equivalents facilitating trade in all directions throughout the Inner Sphere. During the Federated Commonwealth’s dominion of these worlds each saw massive investments in jumpship repair and service facilities, recharge stations, and technical training for their population. It is because of this that the Tikonov Free Republic’s referendum on whether to stay a Star League Protectorate or join either the Trinity Alliance or Federated Suns is so consequential.

However, there are other worlds that serve a similar purpose. Retired Commanding-General of the 2SLDF Photon Brett’s home world of Tamarind occupies such a position in the Free World’s League as does the capital Atreus. Andurien anchors two major routes servicing trade from the Federated Suns and all three Trinity Alliance partners. Kalidasa home of Kali Yama Weapons and many other industrial concerns exports nearly as much materiel as Hesperus II and has for decades. It was particularly important to the Draconis Combine during the Clan Invasion era. Although highly developed trade links proved disastrous during the latest Civil War/Jihad Corine Marik continues to invest in them to rebuild the economy and trust within the League. She remains rightfully wary of the Trinity Alliance's ability to interdict trade and has grown increasingly interventionist particularly along the Andurien front fearing that realm might fall under Trinity's sway.

The Federated Suns world of Marlette functions as the main customs and transshipment point within that realm. New Avalon, seat of First Prince Peter Davion’s Federated Suns, has continued his sisters’ legacy by spending billions of Pounds to increase the trade links between the Crucis March and Suns’ Outback. This investment paid off during the Jihad as these robust links prevented interdiction of supplies by hostiles , ensured timely resupply to all three fronts, and allowed a fast response to the Hellions’ Offensive during that time resulting in the return of Crofton to Federal control.

Gram, a small world in the Draconis Combine, possesses the most modern and high capacity Starport in the realm as it collected core-ward trade from the Free World’s League during the Clan Invasion. New Samarkand, the Draconis Combine’s original and present capital, is a crucial link in the transfer of information and materiel throughout the realm and always has been.

Similarly, Sian, the capital of the Trinity Alliance and Capellan Confederation before it, anchors trade routes in all directions allowing Chancellor Sun-Tzu incredible control over the network just as it did his ancestors.

Zanzibar, a backwater world in the Capellan Confederation, remains a popular stopping point for illicit trade and espionage due to lax enforcement by the planetary authorities and its location on the Trinity-Suns border. For similar reasons the same is true on Lapida on the Combine-Suns border.

To better understand The Great Wheel and other jump routes the attached document includes a selection of worlds most commonly associate with each route. Many of these planets once possessed or continue to possess jumpship recharge stations. Underlined planets are those that often serve as homeports for Lines and frequently have Circuits branching off to other locations. Bolded worlds house transshipment facilities to direct traffic along at least one other common route. Following these routes allow a dropship to visit each of the Successor State capitals and many others as well.