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Author Topic: JumpShip classes and ratios  (Read 934 times)

Frabby

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JumpShip classes and ratios
« on: 01 July 2018, 16:35:43 »
I've written an "Essay" type Sarna article regarding the proliferation and ratios of known JumpShip types in 3025 and later:

JumpShip distribution

In this thread I'm looking for peer review and feedback. Have I missed any relevant information/quote?

Edit: Essay uploaded to Sarna & link added
« Last Edit: 02 July 2018, 04:42:26 by Frabby »
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Nebfer

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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #1 on: 03 July 2018, 17:10:39 »
Humm interesting an interesting an informative article. Though for the most part I generally figured that the stated production is by in large state run manufacturing (I.e. government or military contracts) Rather than purely civilian manufacturing, as such theirs a number of extra slips out their that are not listed, though many of them are perhaps small facility's that run with small out puts so to speak but thats just me.

To put the numbers in perspective and using the order of magnitude from strat ops in; so if theirs some 30,000 jumpships in the 3050s with your breakdown this would run to

~13,800 Invaders: (some 7,000 are used by the House militarys, 2,350 by Mercs, rest (~4,450) by every one else)
~9,600 Merchants: (The Lyrans has over 3,800 of the total, A mainstay of house merchant fleets, as such perhaps at lest 50% are in civilian hands)
~3,300 Scouts: (majority are house owned and not in civilian hands)
~1,500 Star Lords: (600 are in use with the FWL), the Clans seem to have more, or at lest a higher ratio.
~900 Monoliths: (Most are military owned, some Merc and civilian use, ~400 in use with the Draconis combine, the Mariks and Davions have a equal but lesser number between them (perhaps 150-200 each?), and the Lyrans and Capellans having a also equal share at a perhaps distant(?) third place (perhaps 50-75 each?))
~900 For all others, some 300 are Tramps, the remaining 600 are comprised of all other classes (of which is comprised of perhaps more than 6 different classes -if the 3025 era statement of their being more than 12 different classes in use).

Some thoughts on these numbers, I believe these numbers should only count for the Innersphere and not the Clans or other factions. Obviously the numbers for the Monoliths ~50 in the Innersphere military's only works using the 2-3000 jumpship numbers, even then it's off by about half. Also considering that if the Fed suns where building them at the rate of one every 1.5 years and all the others one every 2 years that's over 250 Monoliths in a century, further more the FWL is mentioned to have 10 jumpship sites building on average 3 ships per year each.

The amount of military owned jumpships is interesting.
Personally I view that the Scout to be some what unsuited for major military deployments, as such I view it being primarily used as a courier, scout unit, raider, training ship and even a logistical support ship (like carrying replacement units to a combat element) or issued to units that need a jumpship but are more static in their deployment, as such rapid mobility is not as needed.

Humm at some 2300ish ships theirs a lot of Merc units running invaders, considering that theirs only a few hundred named units, so theirs either way more merc units running jumpships or theirs far fewer in their hands than it seems.
« Last Edit: 03 July 2018, 17:43:30 by Nebfer »

Frabby

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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #2 on: 04 July 2018, 02:45:20 »
Though for the most part I generally figured that the stated production is by in large state run manufacturing (I.e. government or military contracts) Rather than purely civilian manufacturing, as such theirs a number of extra slips out their that are not listed, though many of them are perhaps small facility's that run with small out puts so to speak but thats just me.
The sources make it quite clear that there are no "minor" JumpShip manufacturers. JumpShip manufacturing is a big deal and the shipyards are strategic assets for their respective home states. It is explicitly stated that by the 3rd Succession War the Draconis Combine had only two JumpShip yards left, both in the Pesht district (those would be Stellar Trek at Chatham and Dharma HyperSpace at Schuyler). The Altair yards where the Chimeisho was later built were specifically restored with state grants, as were Davion't Kathil yards.

Some thoughts on these numbers, I believe these numbers should only count for the Innersphere and not the Clans or other factions.
The Clans are not included, as the reference year was 3025. I may add a chapter about changes since then to the Essay.

But my pet peeve, the ComStar fleet, would be included in these numbers:

ComStar has a dedicated JumpShip operator service branch, operates several shipyards, equipped and staffed the Explorer Corps, created and built a custom design for use with the Explorer Corps, and created and built a WarShip class in the late Succession Wars era just to keep their skills sharp. My conclusion is that ComStar owns and operates a JumpShip fleet matching or even surpassing any Great House fleet, and operate them on "bus lines" linking the major Inner Sphere worlds.
This is a good way to explain oddities in the JumpShip distribution ratios. For example, I've come to the conclusion that this ComStar fleet must include most of the existing Monoliths. If we assume ComStar excluded their own fleets from the reported numbers, less than fifty Monoliths remaining in the Inner Sphere may be true after all - because the remaining 850 are ComStar-run.

(Given the stated production figures and the oft-quoted fact that ample spare part supplies keep the existing Monoliths in operation clearly show that the number of operable Monoliths should increase by at least one per year. This is impossible to reconcile with the stated numbers existing in the Successor States unless you assume ComStar operates the vast majority of existing Monoliths.)

Similarly, if you feel too many Invaders are stated to be in mercenary hands then perhaps a share of those is actually owned by ComStar.
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Nebfer

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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #3 on: 04 July 2018, 23:05:25 »
Of course most of the in service numbers are predicated on their being only about 2-3000 jumpships in existence.

skiltao

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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #4 on: 05 July 2018, 13:31:36 »
Expanding JumpShips by an order of magnitude also introduces the problem that, relying only on Scouts and the designated fraction of Invaders, there's almost enough capacity to transport all of the Inner Sphere's militaries twice over.

Frabby, Page 17 of Explorer Corps describes the 26 Rose-class vessels (19 under the aegis of the Corps, 7 detached from the Combine Admiralty) as "common" in the Corps. Using the JumpShip percentages from that same page, and the logic you use in your article, how many JumpShips does the Rose's "common" rating imply the Corps operates in 3058? Considering how ship counts increase Sphere-wide from 3025 to 2058, and remembering that the Admiralty isn't yet helping them, how many JumpShips would you estimate the Corps operates in 3025?
« Last Edit: 05 July 2018, 13:42:52 by skiltao »
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Frabby

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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #5 on: 06 July 2018, 04:06:13 »
Expanding JumpShips by an order of magnitude also introduces the problem that, relying only on Scouts and the designated fraction of Invaders, there's almost enough capacity to transport all of the Inner Sphere's militaries twice over.
My working theory is that upward of 90% of all available JumpShips - House, ComStar, or private - are tied up on fixed schedules ("bus lines") to keep the transport infrastructure across the entire Inner Sphere up and running. This would presumably involve round trips that see core systems getting dozens of JumpShip arrivals per day and fringe systems one JumpShip every other month.
Then there's a tiny percentage of privately owned vessels and free-roaming traders who don't follow regular schedules (but may still have their routes mapped out months if not years in advance).

Only the remainder would be available to stand by for military deployment. Of these, many will be kept on standby for quick redeployments (at the jump points of key garrison systems) and a number will be on pony express/command circuit duty at all times. Some are busy for training purposes, and then there's maintenance downtime.

And while yes, you can dragoon civilian JumpShips, bad things happen when you do.

Frabby, Page 17 of Explorer Corps describes the 26 Rose-class vessels (19 under the aegis of the Corps, 7 detached from the Combine Admiralty) as "common" in the Corps. Using the JumpShip percentages from that same page, and the logic you use in your article, how many JumpShips does the Rose's "common" rating imply the Corps operates in 3058? Considering how ship counts increase Sphere-wide from 3025 to 2058, and remembering that the Admiralty isn't yet helping them, how many JumpShips would you estimate the Corps operates in 3025?
The overarching notion is that the Corps uses "a wide range" of vessels, so even those types commonly used wouldn't make up a large percentage individually.

Also, the text is ambiguously written. The paragraph begins with the statement that the Corps uses "relatively few attack or carrier DropShips" and then goes on to state the Leopard, Union and Rose are common. The curious thing is that these are all military vessels - especially the Rose, which was designed to look like an inconspicious merchantman but is in fact a dangerous fighter carrier.

Given that all three of these "common" vessels are unsuitable for serious exploration and that a "wide range" of vessels is used (and given the rather large number of DropShip types that are available to chose from), I think it's reasonable to assume that the Unions and Leopards outnumber the Roses by a wide margin and that none of them makes up more of, say, 10% of the Explorer Corps fleet. By gut feeling, perhaps 5% for the Rose.
That computes as ~380 DropShips in Explorer Corps service.

How many JumpShips might the Corps field?
The percentages given suggest there to be low hundreds, primarily because if it were less than 100 then you'd probably be counting JumpShips individually instead of citing percentile ratios. Also, "a wide range of designs" are crammed into a mere 15% that don't belong to the five major types.
And finally, even with a huge ComStar JumpShip fleet a given, it's hard to imagine they could divert more than a few hundred JumpShips for the Explorer Corps.

It is noteworthy that the Explorer Corps apparently eschews JumpShips with more than 3 collars. The Invader is still the yardstick design, but all other classes known to have served in the Explorer Corps (Scout, Merchant, Magellan, Explorer) have fewer hardpoints, or even none at all. I think it's reasonable to assume the 40% non-Invader vessels have no more than 2 hardpoints on average.
That comes out as around 1 JumpShip for every 2.6 DropShips, or 146 JumpShips (probably more, if JumpShip types with less than 3 hardpoints are more prevalent) for full docking hardpoint coverage. Here I'm assuming a DropShip will only be registered as an Explorer Corps vessel if it is actually docked to an Explorer Corps JumpShip and going on a mission, otherwise it would retain its normal ComStar registry if it merely served in a support role.

There's a lot of conjecture, guesses and gut feeling going into these numbers. But I think they're at least ballpark, though I suspect the actual number of Explorer Corps JumpShips is a bit higher (around 200).

Edit: I read the Explorer Corps sourcebook to mean only 19 Roses serve in the Corps. When you assume the 7 under DCA aegis should also be counted, it's 26 vessels. If you assume these are 5% of the DropShip fleet, that's 520 DropShips altogether. Divide that number by the 2.6 average hardpoints, and you get... exactly 200 JumpShips!
The plot thickens...  ^-^

I don't think the number of Explorer Corps ships - JumpShips and DropShips alike - changed much after the Corps was initially set up in 2059, with the exception of Magellans being added as fast as they could be built - but perhaps these replaced other ships instead of adding to the overall numbers.
The number of ~200 JumpShips allocated to the Corps wouldn't decrease much as you count the years back from 3058 until you get to really close to the Corps' inception. Personally, I imagine the curve looks like an exponential curve turned to the side, so that it goes up very quickly at first but then essentially levels off.
« Last Edit: 06 July 2018, 06:00:15 by Frabby »
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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #6 on: 06 July 2018, 12:10:33 »
Its hard to say since as time has gone on the writers have diliberatly left the figures merky to prevent a repeat of the mathematical flux pass of the early figures.
« Last Edit: 07 July 2018, 12:02:05 by Starfox1701 »

skiltao

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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #7 on: 06 July 2018, 15:01:17 »
Frabby, why are you choosing numbers arbitrarily?

Explorer Corp provides you with two starting points: the Corp's JumpShip distribution, and the size of the Drac contribution (less than fifty vessels of any type). My intent was to examine the "commonality" logic you used in your other essay.

My working theory is that upward of 90% of all available JumpShips - House, ComStar, or private - are tied up on fixed schedules ("bus lines") <snip> Only the remainder would be available to stand by for military deployment.

DS&JS splits the Invader 51%/17%/32% between House/Mercs/Merchants. If you're ignoring those ratios, why not also ignore the Scout's "uncommon" rating? Why make the Scout such an incongruously large part (11%) of your expanded JumpShip population?

Quote
The overarching notion is that the Corps uses "a wide range" of vessels, so even those types commonly used wouldn't make up a large percentage individually.

Incorrect.

That "wide range" statement refers to the 15% of JumpShips which are less common than Scouts. Invaders make up 60% of the fleet, while Scouts and Merchants make a combined 25%. The book later (page 24, the Drac contingent) describes a number of classes which are present in very small numbers.

How do you divide the Merchant % from the Scout %, and do either of them (using your ratings from the other essay) qualify as "common" in the Corps?

Quote
the text is ambiguously written. The paragraph begins with the statement that the Corps uses "relatively few attack or carrier DropShips" and then goes on to state the Leopard, Union and Rose are common.

The text is not ambiguous.

"Attack ships" would be things like the Avenger and Achilles. Leopards and Unions are transports, and the book chooses to describe the Rose as a cargo ship - these all have or can be made to have the supplies an expedition would need, and an expedition into Clan space may need their armor and weapons.

Quote
if it were less than 100 then you'd probably be counting JumpShips individually instead of citing percentile ratios.

Not so. DropShips and JumpShips has less than 100 Monoliths, and it apportions them with fractional ratios instead of by counting them individually.

Quote
all other classes known to have served in the Explorer Corps (Scout, Merchant, Magellan, Explorer) have fewer hardpoints, or even none at all. I think it's reasonable to assume the 40% non-Invader vessels have no more than 2 hardpoints on average.
That comes out as around 1 JumpShip for every 2.6 DropShips

This is a good point.

Quote
JumpShips allocated to the Corps wouldn't decrease much as you count the years back from 3058 until you get to really close to the Corps' inception.

Why wouldn't ComStar's fleets grow along with everyone else's?

Itsxhard to say since as time has gone on the writers have diliberatly left 8th ed figures merky to prevent a repeat of the mathematical flux pass of the early figures.

Murky math makes flux pass more likely, not less.
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Frabby

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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #8 on: 07 July 2018, 08:50:56 »
Frabby, why are you choosing numbers arbitrarily?
Just to get this out of the way first:
Yes, the relative numbers are definitely arbitrary. But they are still based in what data we have - and where that data is contradictory, I have tried to draw conclusions that reconcile as much information as possible. This is the best I could come up with.
I'm fully aware that my numbers are mostly guesswork an conjecture. All I'm trying to do is to interpret the many bits of unclear data into a plausible picture of the situation.

Critical feedback is very welcome, I am fully prepared to adjust my analysis if you can make a better argument.

Explorer Corp provides you with two starting points: the Corp's JumpShip distribution, and the size of the Drac contribution (less than fifty vessels of any type). My intent was to examine the "commonality" logic you used in your other essay.
The "commonality logic" is straight from DropShips and JumpShips, where every ship class has a relative "Frequency of sighting" rating stated in its stat block. The tiers are "Common", "Uncommon", "Rare", and "Unique". No further explanation is given in the book, not even how these tiers compare relative to each other. But evidently this is the most important sorting lead we have besides the Invader's explicit 46% share.
I've explained in the Essay how I came to the conclusion that - at least for JumpShips - each tier must be around three times as common as the next lowest tier for the whole system to make any sense.

But this "commonality" tier system is only found in the DropShips and JumpShips sourcebook. It is not applicable for a quote from Explorer Corps; there is absolutely no indication that the text reference of "common" here has anything at all to do with the "Frequency of sighting" tiers from DS & JS.

DS&JS splits the Invader 51%/17%/32% between House/Mercs/Merchants. If you're ignoring those ratios, why not also ignore the Scout's "uncommon" rating? Why make the Scout such an incongruously large part (11%) of your expanded JumpShip population?
I don't follow you here. Where am I ignoring the Invader ratios?
Also, when
- 46% of all JS are Invaders,
- Invaders and Merchants are "common" while Monoliths and Star Lords are "Rare" and Scouts are "uncommon",
how does an estimated 11% Scouts constitute an "incongruously large part" of the JS population?
What do you estimate to be a reasonable ratio for the Scout given their relative commonality as stated?

Incorrect.

That "wide range" statement refers to the 15% of JumpShips which are less common than Scouts. Invaders make up 60% of the fleet, while Scouts and Merchants make a combined 25%. The book later (page 24, the Drac contingent) describes a number of classes which are present in very small numbers.

How do you divide the Merchant % from the Scout %, and do either of them (using your ratings from the other essay) qualify as "common" in the Corps?
There is no way to tell the Scouts and Merchants apart in their combined 25% share. But from the way the information is presented I deduce that both classes are the #2 and #3 most numerous classes operated by the Corps.
According to p. 17 "JumpShips and DropShips", "the remaining fleet consists of a wide range of other designs, including the purpose-built Magellan". This paragraph is talking (only) about the JumpShips, so "a wide range" of designs makes up 15% of the EC fleet while 85% comprise of Invaders, Merchants, and Scouts. It's unclear if the "more than forty" Combine vessels quote refers to DropShips only or if it includes the JumpShips. In any case, we're told there's a few Tramps, at least one Chimeisho and one Uma there. That's perfectly in line with my assumptions.

As I've written above, I don't think the DS & JS "Frequency of sighting" tiers are even applicable to the Explorer Corps.
As a thougth experiment though, clearly the Invader is so dominant that it would be the only "Common" design; the Scout and Merchant are on the next tier ("Uncommon"); the Magellan and Tramp are "Rare", the Chimeisho and Uma would have to be rated as "Unique". There's no information about other classes, but the Explorer-class Sacajawea was formerly operated by Interstellar Expedition, the Explorer Corps' successor organisation, which to me suggests the Explorer class would also have been present in the Corps' fleet, in "Unique" or "Rare" numbers.

It's important to remember that there are far fewer JumpShip classes than there are DropShip classes, so "common" may not mean the same ratio at all when comparing a "common" JumpShip class to a "common" DropShip class.

The text is not ambiguous.

"Attack ships" would be things like the Avenger and Achilles. Leopards and Unions are transports, and the book chooses to describe the Rose as a cargo ship - these all have or can be made to have the supplies an expedition would need, and an expedition into Clan space may need their armor and weapons.
I've called the text ambiguous because at face value it seems like total nonsense to me. The passage first states there are "relatively few attack or carrier DropShips" - and then the very next sentence names two military deployment vehicles and a Q-Ship fighter carrier as common vessels in the EC fleet. For this to make sense I think you have to interpret "common" not in the sense of a primarily used type, but instead as "not totally uncommon".

Neither the Leopard nor the Union are typically regarded as cargo ships. They are higgins-boat style deployment vehicles. Cargo carrier refit variants exist for both, but those are sub-variants. I think the book means armed military vessels - that may or may not be refitted as cargo carriers - when it says "attack ships". The usual terminology for the ship classes you mention is "assault ship", not "attack ship."

I'm not even saying you are wrong. In the end your interpretation is as valid as mine. It doesn't make much of a difference when it comes to the JumpShip ratios we're discussing.

Not so. DropShips and JumpShips has less than 100 Monoliths, and it apportions them with fractional ratios instead of by counting them individually.
I'd argue that the numbers given for the Monolith are demonstrably incompatible with the stated ratios, the stated production numbers, and the fact that Monoliths stay in service (do not suffer from maintenance shortfalls) because of their excellent spare part supply situation.
To make sense of the numbers, I've suggested to interpret the available data to mean the stated numbers ignore the Monoliths in ComStar service which outnumber all other Monoliths combined several times over (a whooping seventeen to one from my own suggested numbers), for a total of several hundreds existing.

Why wouldn't ComStar's fleets grow along with everyone else's?
I'm not talking about ComStar's fleet, I am only talking about the Explorer Corps fleet. Given that the Corps has a very specific mission that doesn't really change in scope, its ship requirements don't change in scope either.
But even if you assume the Explorer Corps is assigned a certain percentage of the entire ComStar fleet, it will only grow porportionally over time, and not by leaps and bounds. With the exception of the initial creation of the Corps, of course.
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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #9 on: 08 July 2018, 16:04:00 »
Nice break down on the ships. Dont know if 30k jumpships is a lot or a little compared to the size of the IS.
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Frabby

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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #10 on: 09 July 2018, 05:33:39 »
Nice break down on the ships. Dont know if 30k jumpships is a lot or a little compared to the size of the IS.
Sarna currently has 3233 entries in its "Category: Planets". Not all of these are systems, and not all of these are in the Inner Sphere... but it still comes out as an average of 10 JumpShips per system at any given time. And that's the lower end of the numbers suggested by StratOps. It could be 10 times as much.

Obviously, though, these JumpShips are not evenly distributed across the systems. Core systems have huge fleets moving through, while unimportant fringe systems won't see one for months.
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Frabby

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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #11 on: 18 July 2018, 05:06:51 »
To demonstrate how much the non-common classes (i.e. all except Invader and Merchant) are marginalized when differentiating the relative commoness by an order of magnitude, here's a distribution based on a tier factor of 10 instead of 3:

Variant A: Factor is per tier (across ~30,000 JumpShips)
  • All Common designs together: 90% (Invader, Merchant)
  • All Uncommon designs together: 9% (Scout)
  • All Rare designs together: 0.9% (Star Lord, Monolith)
  • All other designs: No individual class above 0.09% (which would have been "Unique")
Comes out as:
46% Invader (13,800 vessels)
44% Merchant (13,200 vessels)
9% Scout (2,700 vessels)
0.45% Star Lord (135 vessels)
0.45% Monolith (135 vessels)
0.09% or less Tramp and other classes (no more than 27 vessels per class, and no more than 30 total)

Variant B: Factor is per individual design (across 30,000 JumpShips)
  • Two Common designs (Invader, Merchant) at a distribution factor of 1 each;
  • One Uncommon design (Scout) at a distribution factor of 0.1;
  • Two Rare designs (Star Lord, Monolith) at a distribution factor of 0.01 each;
  • All other designs (around a dozen) at a distribution factor of no more than 0.001 each
gives a total distribution of 2.132 factors and comes out thusly:
~46.9% Invader (14,070 vessels)
~46.9% Merchant (14,070 vessels)
~4.69% Scout (1,407 vessels)
~0.47% Star Lord (141 vessels)
~0.47% Monolith (141 vessels)
~0.05% or less Tramp and other classes (no more than 14 vessels per class, no more than 171 total)

Mind that the Invader ratio is set at just short of 46%, with the caveat that this only applies to "registered" vessels (whatever you want to read into that), and that it is explicitly more numerous than the Merchant. I've disregarded this for Variant B for simplicity, but the overall numbers would change only slightly.

The numbers for Star Lords and Monoliths are now much closer to the wonky numbers given in their fluff. But those numbers in turn were written for a universe with ten times less JumpShips overall, and they demonstrably clash with the production numbers and maintenance situation stated in the same sources to the point of being, imho, impossible to reconcile.
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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #12 on: 22 July 2018, 10:00:10 »
The numbers thing in Battletech have always been off. 75 Regiments of Mechs in each house makes for about 8000 mechs for a population of billions of people. Just seems really low but 30000 jump ships seems really high and low at the same time. 
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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #13 on: 22 July 2018, 10:19:18 »
Frabby, I really appreciate the work you're doing here.  It all seems to make sense to me, and supports one of the core assumptions I made for my campaign (that the EC left only one Scout in the Rimward Periphery after Tukayyid).  Thanks!

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Re: JumpShip classes and ratios
« Reply #14 on: 22 July 2018, 12:22:20 »
The numbers thing in Battletech have always been off. 75 Regiments of Mechs in each house makes for about 8000 mechs for a population of billions of people. Just seems really low but 30000 jump ships seems really high and low at the same time. 

Think about how many container ships are in the world's oceans.  That is what you should compare the number of Jumpships to, since they can only handle 1 load of 'cargo' every week, and some cargoes need to get to locations over 30 ly away.

Part of that is Dropships delivering refined metals to industrial locations, Dropships providing long-life meals to mining locations, high-profit cargo being moved around (i.e. deliver the microchips, not the computer frames), responding to pirate raids, and just moving people around to where they are needed.

Real-life data