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[RP] Cloudsville's Space Empire RP -- Ye Olde Rules

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[RP] Cloudsville's Space Empire RP -- Ye Olde Rules

Post by Harmony Ltd. on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:40 am

Introduction


The following is the complete ruleset of the game. It IS on the TL;DR side of things, I'll agree with that. So you don't have to read everything in it. However, before playing, you need to at least take knowledge of the “General Rules” part. Please do so.


Most of the following is straight-up copy-pasted from the source ( http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=154304 ), with only minor modifications done by myself. If you have any questions, please refer to the linked thread to see if it hasn't been answered already.


Credit of part 4 through 7 goes to Simon_Jester from bbs.stardestroyer.net
Credit of part 1, 2 & 8 goes to myself
Credit of part 3 goes primarily to Simon_Jester, with modifications done by myself.
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Re: [RP] Cloudsville's Space Empire RP -- Ye Olde Rules

Post by Harmony Ltd. on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:41 am



Last edited by Harmony Ltd. on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:57 am; edited 4 times in total
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Re: [RP] Cloudsville's Space Empire RP -- Ye Olde Rules

Post by Harmony Ltd. on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:41 am

General Rules


Rule Zero:

Root fact: We are all players here to enjoy the same game.

Corollary:

Don't act like an idiot. Don't sabotage other people's fun. Don't be that guy.

Don't bother other people for their roleplay if you don't like it, but instead interact with them in-game from an in-game, RP perspective. It will result in a net positive in enjoyment, and has also great chances of taking something you feel awful, and turn it into something you feel is awesome.

In game conflict is encouraged, but it is to be acknowledged that what happen in-game has only relevance in-game. Failure to do so will most probably create a bad atmosphere. It will also result in the guilty party to get a good kick in the head.

NEVER take other people's RPs and characters and interact with them without their owner's consent and approval. This is important. This is a COLLABORATIVE game, so this should be taken into account before doing anything involving other players.

Play WITH other players, not AGAINST them.

Read the following synthesis and understand:

You know, if there's anything I learned in 5+ years of playing this kind of game full of role-play and player interaction, is to Never Reject Someone Else's Role-play, however obnoxious or annoying it can be to you as a player, but to take it from an in-universe perspective and to make your own Characters/Empires interact with their RP in a manner most faithful to your own RP.

Trust me, if you just play the game and don't block yourself over your initial dislikes, you can take any shitty role-play and turn it into something grandiose. It only takes a bit of work and imagination.

In short, don't reject what is Different, and use it to inject life into the game. If not, well... I think Shroom and Stark and my humble person have ranted enough time about these "concentration camps of the mind" for you to see where would lie my objections... You'd condemn yourself to always play the same game, full of the same bland stereotypes of Space UN / United Federation of Planets / whatever.
Yeah.

If you really don't like what someone is doing with their stuff in the game, you can mock their nation's silly habits, or simply not interact with their nation because you can't think of a way to do it. But don't actively freak out and attack their nation simply for being strange. That way lies hypocrisy, stupidity, and narrow-mindedness.


Rule One:[/left]

Use your imagination. Be creative. Be original. Be unique.

Be flexible, imaginative, and creative, in describing what your nation and people do among the stars. Try to think outside boxes. Without any prejudice to the ships of NASA, I can at least partly agree with the spirit of:

I want magical entities, vibrating vehicles
To prolong to be to it abyss
Like fish of a timeless ocean. I want
Jewels, mechanics as perfect as the heart...

I want rockets complex and secret,
Humming-bird ornithopters,
Sipping the thousand-year-old nectar of dwarf stars... "

-Alejandro Jodorowsky

Of course, if what really fires your imagination is a bit generic, then such is life, but try to have something unconventional, some great question that your culture addresses, some conflict that makes your characters interesting.


Rule Two:

Communicate with each others. Don't play alone in your little corner of the game. Collaborate with each others, if not in-game, at least in building convergent storylines, grandiose roleplays, and interesting little stories.

An OOC chat thread will be put in place, as it is expected the ratio of OOC chat over story posts will be high.

If you have ANY grievance with another player, you are encouraged to air it by raising it in the OOC threads, rather than sitting on it and letting it fester, or grumbling only in private. We are all adults or reasonably mature adolescents here; we can talk about things like grown-ups.

For the sake of all that is good in mankind, PLEASE don't fucking act like assholes toward each others and be reasonable when it come to settling differences if such problems ever come out.


Rule Three:


Points are points are points.

The battlefield effectiveness of any military unit is measured in ‘points.’ It does not matter what the unit is, whether it is an Imperial Star Destroyer clone, a starship Enterprise clone, or a spacegoing oared galley. Points are points are points. Any arguments of the form “my X-point unit should beat your X-point unit because gigatons,” “because missiles are superior to beams,” “because beams are superior to missiles,” or any other such argument will have the moderator(s) landing on it like a ton of spherical masses of iron.

The role and goal of the point system is to provide a compatible, workable method for comparing all possible ways for your nation to impose its will or resist having others’ will imposed on it. It does not favor any country over any other country, or any way of doing things over any other way. The reason we use it is because we want freedom to follow Rule One when it comes to defining our nation’s defenses and weapons.

A military unit has a point value if it is risked in combat to a meaningful degree, and its military point value is proportionate to its own effect on the enemy's armed forces. Pieces of military hardware that are not risked in combat, or cannot inflict any harm on the enemy by being present and used on the field, do not have a point value, even if they are useful to the military at large.

“Points” can be assigned to things that an ordinary person might consider strange or ineffectual, well outside the norms of military science fiction. A shuttle full of enlightened space philosophers who telepathically communicate with attacking troops and convince them to lay down their weapons might have point value by their effect on a battlefield, for instance.

Ideally, combats should be resolved through narrative means. Thus: collaboration, back to Rule Two.

Point values should only be an indicator of the relative strength values of the various units on the board, not a hard-set gameplay mechanics.

If there ever was a point where players couldn't resolve through collaborative means a battle, it would be the moderator's role to use an axe and slice through the debate. And if, for one reason or another, the moderator couldn't be trusted to slice through the debate objectively, a simple dice rule will decide of the issue, without any recourse possible.

Ideally, we should never get to the first point, let alone the second.


Rule Four:


All the rules below, with [explicitly stated exceptions], are in some sense ‘guidelines.’ The advantage of following them is that you can design a nation for yourself with little difficulty, without having to pester game moderators, and automatically get something that is more or less ‘fair’ compared to what other people are doing. It gives us a baseline and standard of comparison.

However, if you have a cool idea that doesn’t fit within these rules, feel free to bring it up with the mods, bounce it around the OOC threads, and generally try and play with it. You are encouraged to be creative. The rules exist to make things easier for the average player, not to be a straitjacket for the extraordinary one.
[/left]


Rule Five:

Players will, barring strange things, be restricted to a single ‘major’ nation in the game.

However, ANYONE who wants to participate in the game is free to create for themselves a ‘micronation.’ This is a polity much smaller and weaker than a major nation, one which is confined to a single sector, and likely a single system. This offers more flexibility in storylines. People who already own a major nation can still invent micronations.

A micronation should have very limited military forces, especially in terms of power projection. Players are cautioned against making up micronations just so that they have allies in the event of a conflict- micronations should have their own independent and interesting existence, preferably one that can act as a backdrop for more than one player.

Normally, a micronation should be assembled using a few Nation Creation Points (NCP). A lot of good micronations will be worth 1 NCP or less- single-system or sub-planet polities of limited economic strength. If you don’t know what NCPs mean, you will in a moment.


Last edited by Harmony Ltd. on Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:08 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: [RP] Cloudsville's Space Empire RP -- Ye Olde Rules

Post by Harmony Ltd. on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:42 am

Nation Creation Rules



Nation Creation Points:


NCPs are meant to give you a tool for constructing an interstellar polity, outlining its strength in basic terms for later use. As you design your nation, you spend NCP to ‘buy’ territory and economic assets.

Typically, the NCP value available for nation creation at game start will be determined semi-randomly, by a roll of 25+2d6 *. If you want to create your nation with LESS than 27 NCPs, you are free to do so.


The number of NCPs you have to build a nation with really only matters at game start. Once you’ve laid out how you want your country to look, you can forget about it.

* These rolls can only be accomplished by the moderator.



Gross Domestic Product:


Your nation’s annual GDP is used as a convenient substitute for overall economic, productive, and military strength. Nations with exotic economies (such as an organic hive mind or an ‘elder race’ of psychically enlightened philosophers) might not actually have “GDP” in the conventional sense of the term, being above (or beneath) such silly abstractions as ‘money.’ But any nation will have some kind of limits on its resources, and using GDP as a bookkeeping convention works as well as anything else I can think of on short notice.

You get GDP from the territories and other valuable assets your nation controls. You get those by spending NCPs.

GDP is measured in “$” and “$/year.” The $ is an arbitrary unit of wealth, need not represent any actual currency, and need not even be internally consistent from one nation to another.

If for some reason you want to keep your nation’s GDP a secret, possibly so that you can hide a portion of your military strength, please contact a moderator. It is advised that you have a good and compelling reason to convince the moderator that it will be better for the game for you to be able to keep that secret.


I don't expect to hear a good reason why the GDP should be a secret to other players. You can try and come up with one if you want to, tho'.



Things to Spend NCPs On: Sectors

The main thing most players will likely spend NCPs on is buying sectors- tiles on the map, which are less but not enormously less than 100 light years across. The NCP cost of a sector is proportionate to its contribution to your nation’s GDP.

Each sector represents a 3D volume of space claimed by your nation, extending some indefinite distance ‘above’ and ‘below’ the plane of the map (it is assumed that there is little of interest to be found if you go far out of the plane). It contains many stars, but only a small minority of them are well-placed, resource-rich, and otherwise desirable enough to attract major populations.

Your sectors are probably, but need not be, contiguous- they can be separated by open gulfs of space, though there are obvious problems with having big gaps in your empire.

For a generic nation, a single sector is assumed to contain about five major star systems, with varying levels of economic development that depend on the value of the sector. Each system is assumed to contain roughly one habitable planet: zero or two are acceptable, three is probably a bit much. Or the system might be populated by a constellation of space habitats, or a combination of planets and habitats.

For the sake of giving people a starting point, I have outlined a description of each type of sector. This is based on the assumption of five systems per sector, each containing at least one world with significant carrying capacity. If you wish to vary from the outline a bit, that’s fine; if you want to outline a lot, please contact me and we can talk it over.

The GDP value and NCP cost of a sector are not negotiable. You can add to them with GDP boosts, but it costs extra NCP, more on that later.

The suggested population figures are more or less arbitrary: change them if you like. You will probably need to revise upward if you want to create a “Trantor” feel for any of your planets; you may want to revise downward if your people need an unusual amount of living room.

The number of systems and planets can be revised, either up or down, if you feel it necessary, but there are two warnings.

One: I do not advise concentrating your sector down to a mere one or two heavily populated star systems. This practice has a bad history in SDNW4 and is not encouraged in SDNW5.

Two: If you place very large populations and numerous inhabited systems in a single sector, you may look rather silly compared to someone who uses the default numbers and manages to produce the same GDP from a far smaller population and territory. But it’s your call.

Now to list the types of sectors:

Home Sector: 7 NCP, 14000$ GDP, ~50 billion people

A “home sector” is the economic, political, and military ‘heartland’ of its nation, containing its seat of government and its longest-settled worlds. If your nation started out with people living on a single planet, that planet is probably somewhere in the home sector. Each of the five systems in the sector has a heavily developed ‘main’ world, terraformed to the standards of the species, with carrying capacity roughly equal to that of Earth, if not greater. Secondary worlds in the same system may be partly terraformed and inhabited (in Sol system, the obvious candidate is Mars), and may well be significant populations on space stations, barren moons, or asteroids.

Home sectors will usually have the highest tier of infrastructure, architecture, and a culture that is deeply typical of the national norm. If your country has megaprojects like space elevators, orbital rings, or giant hollowed out asteroid habitats, this is the most likely place to find them. A home sector system will also have strong, mature fixed defenses against military attack. Assaulting a system in a major nation’s home sector is a job for a tough, well prepared fighting force, and not to be undertaken carelessly.

You can only have one home sector. You don’t have to have any if you don’t want to.

Core Sector: 5 NCP, 10000$ GDP, ~35-40 billion people

A “core sector” is extensively developed, but less so than a home sector. Each of the five main systems in the sector has a heavily developed main world; there is probably not a near-terraformed secondary world. There may very well be space habitats or asteroid colonies in the system, but they are not so large and old as the ones you might see in a home sector.

By and large, a core sector will still enjoy all the major amenities and ways of life typical to the nation; the difference between core and home sectors is mostly one of degree, not one of kind.

Core sector systems will have strong defenses, reasonably impressive and costly infrastructure, and extensive, integrated economies.

Midrange Sector: 3 NCP, 6000$ GDP, ~20-25 billion people

A “midrange sector” is developed, but not extensively developed. The five major systems will all (on average) have a world with a significant population, but some of these worlds may be incompletely terraformed, or have less carrying capacity than Earth.

This being THE FUTURE (TM), the regional economy is sufficient to support a ‘mature’ lifestyle for the populace by the standards of your civilization. But the sector probably doesn’t have all that much importance to the national economy at large. A midrange sector’s economy may also be ‘enclaved,’ internally core-like but contributing relatively little to the overall national strength.

Defenses of a midrange system will be relatively light, but good enough to deter all but the most determined raiders.

Colony Sector: 1 NCP, 2000$ GDP, > 1 billion people (~6-10 billion? Lots more?)

A “colony sector” is not fully developed. It is likely that major worlds in this sector are still undergoing terraforming, with large tracts of wilderness or wasteland. If the colony worlds are more heavily populated, they probably live under conditions inferior to those of the core worlds.

Colony systems are lightly defended; any capital ship or raiding squadron presents a significant threat to the system. Major economic activities are limited- resource extraction is common, heavy industry is not, barring specific, concentrated exceptions.

This can also represent recently integrated conquests with a large population, but where the local economy was damaged by war or plundering- a ‘colony’ in the sense of Spanish Mexico, rather than British Australia.



Things to Spend NCPs On: Other

GDP Boost: 1 NCP, +2000$ GDP

This boost can be applied to any single sector to increase its GDP. Please don’t pile too many into one sector, unless you have a good reason. This can represent a sector with more inhabited major systems than usual, systems with more population, unusually wealthy worlds, deposits of unique, special resources, caches of Precursor artifacts, cosmic good vibrations, the summer palace-world of Space Bill Gates, magic portals that rain goodies, or any other thing you choose that tends to increase local real estate values.

Trade Route: 1 NCP, 2000$ GDP for you, 500$ GDP for ‘partner’

This is an optional mechanic for representing small, compact states which nonetheless have strong economies thanks to external trade. Whenever you buy a trade route, you must designate a ‘partner’ nation on the receiving end of the trade route. You cannot make another player’s nation a trading partner against their will, though they will usually be wise to agree unless they have a good reason not to. The ‘partner’ gets some free GDP.

A trade route represents a large-scale, routine movement of valuables from your nation to some other nation. Exactly what is being traded, and why, is up to you. The sale of these valuables enriches your nation, and slightly enriches the partner nation. Notably, a bilateral trade route (Nation A spends one NCP on a trade route to B, who spends one NCP on a trade route to A) is a good deal for both parties.

I ask that you not have too absurdly many trade routes, unless for some reason you want your nation’s export revenue to make up most of its GDP. Doing this can have bad consequences.

As in real life, enemies or random events can interfere with trade routes, which can cost a nation money if it’s allowed to get out of hand. Ships can be intercepted, competing markets can open up, and so on. A nation that relies heavily on trade will want to be careful about protecting its foreign interests. Nations with more tightly integrated, independent domestic economies (less reliant on trade) have fewer economic hostages to fortune.

Warp Gate: 1 NCP, 1000$ GDP for you, "BAMF!" special features

Warp gates are large, fixed, ridiculously expensive, power-hungry installations that let you teleport ships across multi-sector distances. Gates in normal operation are transceivers; there must be a gate on both ends of the warp transit.

A warp gate can transport nearly arbitrary volumes of cargo, including major battlefleets, over ‘short’ distances (~3 sector widths). This is expensive, but fast, compared to sending the cargo by hyperspace. Commerce through warp gates provides a significant source of revenue and economic opportunities.

In normal operation, warp gates cannot move nearly so much cargo over longer distances. Commercially, long-range warp travel is only used for high-value cargo, passenger transport, and the like. For military purposes, ships below XY points can be sent via warp gate.

It’s at least physically possible to move larger cargoes through a pair of distant warp gates, but this is a laborious, difficult thing to set up even with the owners of both gates collaborating. Obstacles can include extensive survey work, technobabble, alignment problems, technobabble, major gate downtime for specialized refits, and technobabble.

Bear in mind that while warp gates may look like an incredibly useful piece of military technology, and to an extent they are, they represent a single point of failure in your strategy. They can be blown up, and are ridiculously expensive to replace.
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Re: [RP] Cloudsville's Space Empire RP -- Ye Olde Rules

Post by Harmony Ltd. on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:43 am

Interstellar Travel Rules


Interstellar Travel

In the nation creation rules, we just covered how to travel through warp gates- but warp gates are the fast, expensive option. What’s the normal option?

What kind of engines a ship uses to move slower than light doesn’t really matter for game purposes. For that matter, exactly how a ship moves FTL isn’t important, but for the sake of uniformity, we’re better off with some kind of standard for ship speeds and how well the ships can handle navigational hazards. If you want your ships to be a special exception to the general rules, please contact a moderator.

Exact operating principles of a drive are largely up to you; what matters is how they work, and that ships from different nations are on a roughly equal footing when it comes to their ability to travel and interact with each other.

Heim-Droscher Drive

This is the first form of FTL drive to be developed by typical intelligent species. For humanity, the process of development took well over a hundred years. The original 20th century Heim-Droscher theory contained numerous quackeries and mistaken assumptions, but some portions of the mathematical approach were later salvaged and combined with the more advanced and reality-based techniques of later eras. Heim drive permits theoretical speeds of up to 53.4c in normal space; practical speeds are lower than this.

Heim drive is an incredible boon for the colonization of star systems near a starfaring race’s homeworld. However, by modern standards it is extremely primitive and slow, having been totally replaced by hyperdrive for long range travel.

The main advantage of Heim drive is its flexibility and that it can operate normally in sidereal space. Thus, while it is far inferior to hyperdrive for a trip from Sol to Sirius, it is very useful for a trip from Jupiter to Neptune.

Heim drives behave strangely in close proximity to sharp gravitational field gradients. The fields around a star at significant fractions of an AU are safe. But getting too close to an Earthlike planet is inadvisable, especially on an approach trajectory.

It is possible to equip the same vessel with both Heim drive and hyperdrive. But both drives are bulky enough, and have enough conflicting engineering requirements, that ‘dual-drive’ ships suffer a high mass penalty. The norm for modern shipping is to use the much faster hyperdrive for interstellar travel, while relying on sublight engines for interplanetary travel.

Hyperspace

As noted above, Heim drive has long since been replaced in all but the most primitive parts of known space by hyperdrive. Related in some ways to the magnetogravitic theories behind the Heim drive, hyperspace theory uses stronger fields and more complex apparatus to allow movement at right angles to the three-dimensional universe, opening up access to ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ dimensions (depending on frame of reference) which permit extremely rapid FTL travel.

(If you want to use different terms or technobabble, that's fine; what matters is that ships should be able to interact with each other on equal terms and no one should have a huge speed advantage or disadvantage without their consent)

After injecting itself into hyperspace, a starship may travel through the newly entered dimension much as it would through normal 3D space, but using the hyperdrive as a source of motion instead of conventional engines. Ships can see each other, can start or stop more or less at will, can change course, and so forth, though conventional weapons and shielding do not work in hyperspace, and actual combat in hyperspace is difficult if not impossible.

The main difference between hyperspace and normal space navigation is that objects moving in hyperspace do not reliably stay in motion unless protected by a hyper-field generator. Instead, they tend to explode, implode, unplode,* replode,* or ricochet off at right angles to the known universe.

*If you don’t think those are words, wait until you learn hyper physics...

Modern hyperdrive speeds average at around one day per sector-width under typical operating conditions. In the distant past speeds were slower, but still faster than Heim drive by an order of magnitude or more. Ships designed for unusual speed may improve on normal travel times by a modest margin; ships which are especially slow or badly maintained will underperform.

Certain paths or ‘lanes’ through hyperspace permit relatively faster and smoother travel than others. These paths are popular for navigation, and often play an important role in defining settlement patterns and (in wartime) invasion routes. They are particularly useful for the low-budget starship design; military drives do not rely on them so heavily.

Ships moving through hyperspace create characteristic ‘wakes’ of radiation which are detectable in principle. The canny captain and naval engineer may reduce or mask their ship’s signature by a variety of stratagems and design features.

Hyperdrive ships suffer from problems with gravitational field gradients similar to those experienced under Heim drive, but to a greater degree. The unsafe zone for hyperdrive travel around a star varies depending on a number of parameters; nearly without exception, it extends well outside the habitable zone of the star, with a radius measured in hundreds of millions of kilometers. In general, ships must abandon hyperspace before making final approach to centers of habitation by normal means.

Hyperwave

The ‘default’ method of FTL communication uses methods related to hyperdrive travel to transmit signals known as ‘hyperwave.’ There is a degree of overlap between the equipment needed to navigate hyperspace, to detect FTL signals, and to observe ships moving through hyperspace. There are analogies to the uses of radio waves in sidereal space- long range communication, passive and (sometimes) active sensors all operate off broadly related hardware and are to some extent related.

Concepts like jamming, signals intercepts, emissions control can all be applied, if this is useful to your purposes as a story-maker and player.

How fast is hyperwave? Very fast, thank you for asking.

(Calling it “hyperwave” is not obligatory, something like “subspace” or any other technobabbly term works, and if you want another means of communication based on entirely different principles like carefully modulating the ability of bad news to travel faster than light, that’s OK. I’m just laying this out as a widely usable option)

Shoals

Certain volumes of hyperspace known as “shoals” present barriers to navigation and (to a lesser extent) communication.

Shoals are correlated with certain distributions of interstellar magnetic fields in the sidereal universe, although theorists still disagree about which way the causal relationship runs. Shoals are hard to travel through in hyperdrive, due to high energy density, technobabble, unpredictable curvature in the higher dimensions, and technobabble.

For the same reasons, sensor resolution, reliability, and range is decreased, and hyperwave communications are difficult, especially communication from or to mobile platforms- fixed antenna arrays can compensate more effectively.

On average, travel through shoals proceeds at half normal speed. Wear and tear on drives will be significant, requiring more frequent maintenance and refurbishment. Random accidents can happen to ships moving through shoal space at speed, especially without excellent navigational charts. Good charts help because there are passable routes through shoals in which space conditions are closer to normal, but these routes are usually complex three-dimensional curves that shift over time. These ‘whisker lanes’ are usually the best way to pass through shoals, if you know where to find them and can negotiate them safely.

Shoal density varies- some regions are merely bad for navigation, while others are practically suicide to navigate anywhere except a handful of chokepoints.

Heim drives work perfectly well in shoals, but remain excruciatingly slow, taking over a year to cross a single sector. Thus, their uses are limited.

Hyperspace Interception

You may not take kindly to the idea of people flitting about freely in hyperspace, especially if they are murderous pirates, unscrupulous tax-dodging merchants, or invading battlegroups. There are two major ways to do something about it: interdiction fields, and ship-to-ship interceptions.

Interdictor fields are generated by large, effectively stationary arrays- there is no way to create a militarily significant interdiction zone from a mobile platform. When activated, the interdictor projects a spherical or conical volume of interference in which hyperspace travel is dangerous if not impossible, similar to the unsafe zone around a stellar body. The zone is limited in size- the main applications are to control access along favored navigation routes (‘checkpoints,’ which are enforced more by the owner’s fleet than by inability to fly around the checkpoint) or to further impede enemy access to a defended star system.

As to how a fleet can enforce anything on hyperdrive ships, the key is that one hyper-capable vessel can be used to intercept another. This requires a close-range rendevous, in which the attacker forms some kind of interaction with the target ship. The interaction can be force-field based, a combination of tractors and/or pressor beams, an interlocking of hyperfields, or even physical brute force grappling systems.

Once this is done, the attacking ship or ships attempt to force themselves and the target both out of hyperspace. This is difficult and hard on all hyperdrives involved. The more massive and energetic side usually wins the struggle, with rare exceptions when one ship is especially designed for interceptions.

After forcing the target out of hyperspace, the attacker may proceed with business as usual (shooting the target, being shot by the target, threatening to shoot the target, etc.)

Hyperspace interceptions are important for a variety of purposes, including customs inspection, interstellar policing, convoy warfare, and piracy. Most deep-space warfare involves interceptions.
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Re: [RP] Cloudsville's Space Empire RP -- Ye Olde Rules

Post by Harmony Ltd. on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:44 am

Military Stuff


The military and war should not make up the entirety of your nation. Culture, politics, the escapades of individuals from your country, and so on are just as interesting if not more so as fawning over military hardware. Players who obsess over hardware at the expense of healthy participation in the game will draw unfriendly attention from the moderator(s).

However, because warfare involves competition between players in which different players will have totally different ideas about what ought to happen, the great majority of the rules in the game are there to resolve what happens in the event of war. If I honestly thought we could remove these rules and make the military side of the game better, I would be willing enough to go along with it- the carrier rules have already been simplified nearly out of existence in this way, and the troopship rules were simplified to match them.

However, for those of you who dislike rules governing your actions in-game, please try to be understanding. This ruleset is sincerely meant NOT to become a straitjacket, to enable flexibility while preventing the old “I shot you!” “I dodged!” “No you didn’t!” “My spherical mass of iron can beat up your phaser!” arguments that we all know and loathe. Simplifying the rules much further would, in my own opinion, make this kind of problem more likely rather than less, and would not benefit the player base on average even if it benefits a few exceptional individuals.

So, again, I can only ask that those individuals be understanding, and that they contact the mods if they have any questions or want to do something that stretches or ignores the rules for the sake of the fun.



Fixed Defenses

Every planet is presumed to have a planetary defense of some form. There may be reservist formations or literal town militias in the colony sectors. On any world, there may also be paramilitary gendarme forces, caches of weapons to enable the citizens to fight a guerilla war against an oppressor, 'coast guard' aerospace forces whose normal responsibility is patrolling planetary orbital space, fortress troops manning strongpoints on the planetary surface, and the like.

In much the same way, a planet may also have emplaced defense batteries or fortifications that can control both ground and space around themselves, STL fighter squadrons on standby, theater shields to cover important parts of a planetary surface from orbital fire, space-based orbital weapon stations, minefields deployed to deny certain volumes to a spacefaring attacker, defense installations on conveniently placed asteroids or moons, or any combination of the above. There may also be other kinds of defenses not envisioned in the above paragraphs, depending on your imagination.

These forces are not available for offensive war, and have no strategic mobility- they cannot be moved from one system to another. They mobilize and deploy when a planet (system) is faced with invasion. They act as a permanent point value attached to the planet or system, which will be fielded against an attacker but cannot be mobilized to attack someone else.

The quality and quantity of these forces varies by the type of sector. Home Sectors have the best defenses and Colony Sectors have the least. A nation's richest sectors will have the highest priority for quality defenses, and also be best able to pay for some of the cost of maintaining those defenses.

Space Defenses

Any given system has a value of space defenses related to sector GDP. Given the typical "five major systems per sector" figure, the point value of the space defenses in a single system is equal to one tenth the sector GDP. Thus, a core sector has a GDP of 10000$/year, and a core system has 1000$ of space defenses in it.

Putting all your assets into one or two systems per sector to concentrate defensive strength is strongly discouraged, but it is not unreasonable to vary the number of defended systems per sector slightly, and vary the strength of the defenses accordingly.

Ground Defenses

If there is a well defined ‘planet’ or massive inhabited structure where most of the people in a system live, the system also gets an extra allotment of fixed ground defenses, equal in point value to the strength of the space defenses. So in a core system with 1000$ of space defenses, the major planet (or other large inhabited object) will have 1000$ of ground defenses.

‘Conquering’ the planet in any permanent sense will require a commitment of ground troops. A swift, easy conquest will require a large commitment of ground troops- a good guideline from history is that winning a decisive victory takes an attacking force three times stronger than the defense.

Bombarding planets does not require a ground troop commitment, but does require bringing ships close enough to the planet to be threatened by surface-to-space weapons. Gratuitous genocidal bombardments may draw hostile international attention, or bad karma in the form of random events.



Military Budget

As for the mobile military, your nation gets a starting military with a point value equal to its annual GDP. Thus, at game start, if you have a GDP of 60000$/year, you have 60000 points to allocate to your starting military. This point value is divided as you choose among spacecraft and ground forces.

If practical (it may be too much work, if you don’t care about nailing down an exact list of everything), you should try to work out an “order of battle,” a list of what you’ve got and how many points it’s worth, and make it publically available early in the game- ideally, before game start (or before you start, if you’re joining after we begin).

If for some reason you want to keep your order of battle a secret, please contact a moderator. It is advised that you have a good and compelling reason to convince the moderator that it will be better for the game for you to be able to keep that secret.

Space Forces

Obviously, it will be difficult to prosecute a successful war, or even control your own nation’s borders, without combat-capable spacecraft. There are an infinite variety of forms these craft can take. Examples may include but are not limited to: tiny one-man fighters, humanoid robots with energy swords, giant extremely non-humanoid robots with enough weapons of mass destruction to obliterate entire fleets, dragonflies with laser eyeballs, suspiciously nautical-looking turreted dreadnoughts, big spheres with beam emitters that flit around on inertialess drive, clones of Imperial star destroyers, giant starfaring squids that eat spaceships for breakfast, clones of the battlestar Galactica, big empty boxes full of missile racks, mutant-looking skinny things with around ten million cubic meters of armor plate ‘round the bow, clones of Romulan warbirds, passenger liners full of combat psychics and psi-amplifiers, dangerously radioactive masses of steel and concrete with engines and missile launchers precariously bolted on, and starfaring FTL oared galleys. All but two of these made prominent appearances in SDNW4, and so even have the strength of precedent behind them.

As you may have inferred, this is an invitation to use your imagination to its very fullest extent.

Your armed spacecraft will probably play a big role in many of the stories you tell; be creative. Imagine what you think would work, or what would be glorious to imagine, and implement it as best you can.

What poses the greatest challenge is matching up one person’s dream to another in a fair-minded way. That’s what the naval guidelines are for. Below, we have a list of ship weight classes, ranging from miniscule small craft up through massive dreadnought-monsters. However, you can build ships of pretty much whatever point cost you choose. Your nation’s idea of a ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ ship may be different in point cost from mine, or someone else’s.

Note that I am not trying to assign permanent names to any of these weight classes. I might call my “medium” weight ships “cruisers,” but that doesn’t mean you have to, if your idea of a cruiser is bigger or smaller than that. Or if you don’t like the whole faux-naval thing, and want to name your medium-weight ships something entirely different, such as "aggressor," "defender," "hippopotamus," "polychromatizer," or "gazorninplat."

I use certain words for myself, but that's a choice I make for myself. It doesn’t mean you should have to, or that you should expect anyone else to do so.

Please be open-minded. With that said, here’s the list of weight classes:

Shuttlecraft: < about 0.05 pts

Shuttlecraft are unarmed or poorly armed small craft. They do not have a hyperdrive and thus lack interstellar mobility. Heim drives are optional- they might be used for interplanetary vessels, but would not be very helpful for craft designed to operate in planetary orbit.

It is probably unwise to build carriers loaded down with shuttlecraft, but one might imagine using shuttles as aerospace bombers or ‘dropships’ for troop landings. The point value of shuttlecraft really isn’t very important; an armed starship can be safely assumed to have a few shuttles as ‘landing boats’ or escape pods without any need to make a note about how this affects its point value.

Fighter: 0.1 to 0.5 pts

A ‘fighter’ is an armed small craft with no FTL drive. It may have zero, one, or multiple crew, it may be armed with light weapons for space superiority, heavier munitions for antiship strike, glorified propaganda speakers, or whatever else you choose. How you choose to equip a fighter affects its point value, or should- a fighter worth 0.25 points might be more better equipped and boast modifications not found on a 0.1 point fighter.

Obviously, fighters will not be a match for armed starships except in large numbers.

There is no obvious reason to have an STL fighter worth more than 0.5 points, but I won't stop you from doing so.

Gunboat: 0.5 to 3 pts

A ‘gunboat’ is a combat-capable small craft with FTL drive. Its hyperdrive capability is limited in range and endurance, so it cannot cover inter-sector distances on its own power unless it piggybacks on a mothership, carrier, or tender of some kind. Gunboats are typically larger and more powerful than fighters, but may be modeled as large, heavy fighters if you wish.

The obvious advantage of gunboats over fighters is that they let carrier operations extend over interstellar distances- the mothership never needs to get within light years of the target.

Tiny: 3 to 10 pts

This is an (optionally armed) hyper-capable starship. It has point value, which means it must be able to contribute meaningfully in a fight- that might mean weapons, or it might mean something else. Unlike even an expensive and powerful gunboat, its endurance is great enough for long voyages (refueling stops optional, depending on how you feel about stopping for gas). Note that this applies to all larger starships as well.

The Tiny ship will be protected well enough to resist attacks by small craft, up to a point; whether it has antiship weapons of enough force to be a threat to larger starships is an open question. Courier-type vessels are often in this size class, since they don’t need to be heavily armed or especially tough, and do need to have light, pared-down hulls optimized for speed and endurance.

It is certainly possible to have a long-range hyper-capable ship worth less than 3 points in combat, but such vessels would be restricted to the role of pure transports, lacking enough muscle to be significant in combat except as targets and victims.

Small: 10 to 30 pts

These ships can start to carry more noticeable and effective weapons, while still being easy for a major nation to turn out in vast quantities.

Light: 30 to 60 pts

Like Small, only bigger.

Medium: 60 to 100 pts

Like Light, only bigger.

By this point, you’re getting up into a size range that can fight safely against fairly strong opponents, even if it won’t be able to beat them alone- ships that can probably cross swords* with a battleship without being obliterated instantly, or which can assault minor enemy bases without being in too much danger. You may still need to group Medium ships in squadrons for them to win against planetary defenses or battleships, mind you- points are points are points.

A Medium ship is the largest thing that can easily and safely land on a planet.

*Literal crossing of swords is permitted, but not required. Most starships in the game will not have swords. If your starship sword fights last more than four hours, please contact a physician.

Heavy: 100 to 200 pts

Like Medium, only bigger. Heavy ships cannot, as a rule, land on planets, except possibly in custom-built docking facilities designed to accomodate their size and weight. Heavy-weight ships are getting up into the scale that I anticipate will be typical of ‘line combatants:’ ships large, strong, and tough enough to be used as your fleet’s big bruisers and sent into combat against any opponent without too much fear of them getting swatted out of hand.

(This is only an anticipation on my part, and the game is not guaranteed to bear out this assumption)

Superheavy: 200 to 400 pts

Heavier than Heavy. I predict that a lot of nations’ largest typical “line combatant” will fall into this range.

Ultraheavy: 400 to 700 pts

Even more heavierer than Heavy. I predict that some nations’ largest typical “line combatants” will fall into this range, and that other nations will often have at least a handful of large ‘flagships,’ ‘monitors,’ ‘superhypermetatransturbodreadnoughts,’ or whatever in this weight class.

Ludicrousheavy: >700 pts

...

...

OK, there.

In general, given the size of the available naval budgets, I tentatively suggest that you should plan for a fleet of hundreds of ships, with sizes ranging from a few dozen points for escorts, up to several hundred points for capital ships. If you want lots of small ships, or a relatively small number of very powerful ships, that is fine; my tentative suggestion is tentative and a suggestion. If everyone starts going towards one or the other end of the scale, away from my suggestion, that’s fine too. Individual choice is important here.

As a caveat to that, a lot of people seem to like building really big ships, with point costs near to or greater than 1000 points. This is often somewhat impractical, and usually comes with a bit of disagreeable chest-beating about the ULTIMATE POWER of the extremely large ships. Since that’s an unbecoming habit, ships with strength around 1000 points or higher merit some extra scrutiny. You ought to have a good reason for building them, though I for one think there are lots of possible good reasons just waiting for you to discover them, so don’t worry about it too much as long as you have some reason other than strutting up and down and beating your chest about how big your gun is.

Non-Negotiable: Any order of battle containing spacegoing vessels of 1000 points or more should be checked with a moderator. There may be a very good and logical reason for it, and the mod(s) will be flexible about allowing such superships if there is such a reason. But a bit of thought is called for.



Special Types of Combat Space Units

Now, people might ask, well what if I want to play a ship that carries smaller things into battle, but does not itself fight? Or that fights and carries smaller fighting units into battle?

Carriers
Spaceships that carry smaller spacegoing combat units such as ‘fighter’ craft are one of the classics of the genre. Many of you will probably want to have some, and this is certainly allowed. The SDNW4 rules had a rather cumbersome way of handling carriers, which is now streamlined in light of Rule Three:

Anything contributes usefully to battle has a point value proportionate to its contribution, so long as it is risked in battle so that it can be shot back at.

Track the point value of the small craft a carrier brings to battle. The carrier itself only has a point value and cost if, even after all its small craft have flown away, it still increases your odds of victory to bring the carrier along.

Basically, when thinking about carriers, keep track of the point value of the small craft (fighters or gunboats) carried on the larger mothership. Carriers are not, or are not necessarily, ships with a point value, because of Rule Two: the carriers themselves don’t actually do any real harm to the enemy, and aren’t necessarily brought close enough to the enemy for the enemy to shoot back.

So your fleet can contain zero-point carriers to haul your small craft into battle. They simply exist as an excuse for you to bring small craft to places they otherwise couldn’t go, and even if they participate directly in battle, they don’t improve your chances of victory by doing so.

They may be fragile and meant to keep out of battle. Or they can be rugged, but still worth zero points because they don’t directly contribute to a battle once their small craft are launched.

Or they can have actual point value independent from their small craft, which makes them “hybrid” ships- more on how that works later. This usually happens if the carrier is physically rugged, and participates in combat alongside other assets even if it’s only providing intangible support and drawing fire off other units. Or the carrier can have actual weapons of force with which to fight back at the enemy, other than their fighters- think ‘battlestars,’ and more on that concept later.

Troopships

Any armed spacecraft of significant strength can safely be assumed to carry a ground combat detachment- armed naval infantry or dedicated marines. But this detachment would usually have extremely limited point value, probably much less than one point even for a large battleship unless you have preposterously good marines.

Your military gets, for free, a reasonable number of troop transports that can move soldiers and their weapons from one world to another. These transports are also suitable for an opposed troop landing, using some built-in means to get the ground forces onto the planet in the face of enemy opposition.

However, the “free” troopships fall under the “have no points” category. They cannot fight offensively, and lack heavy bombardment weapons or effective weapons for fighting other spacecraft. Like certain carriers, bringing them along with you in battle does not influence the odds in your favor. So if you want to use them offensively against a defended world, you will probably want to send along a naval escort of normal warships to fight any space battles. Indeed, you’d want to send in warships first, to clear out the space defenses so that landings can begin.

If you wish to design an armed troopship that is tougher and more durable, fit to operate in close proximity to a still-ongoing naval battle, it should be worth points. These ships will be “hybrids,” on which more later.

I advise you to consider the physical size of your troop transport, before you decide that you have it. A transport for a hundred thousand soldiers would be extremely large, and yet theoretically a hundred thousand soldiers might not be worth that many points, requiring only a low-point ship to carry them. If that's all right by you, OK. However, I for one intend to have my armed troopships carrying only small numbers of elite troops, while the bulk of the army rides in troopships of negligible combat power, worth 0 points each.

Multirole/Hybrid ships

Some of you may want to build ships that have a fighter detachment, but can still fight effectively in direct combat, improving the fleet’s chances of victory by bringing that ship along into battle. For this purpose, you may designate ‘multirole’ or ‘hybrid’ ships which have some small craft capacity, and some direct combat effectiveness. This gives the carrier a point value in its own right, separate from any cost the fighters may have, which you will have to pay for.

Construction time of a carrier is determined by combining the point values: an X point carrier which sustains Y points of fighters will have the same construction time as a normal (X+Y) point ship. More on construction times later.

You may also ‘hybridize’ between a normal direct combat ship and a troopship (a ship which is worth 40 points in a naval fight and carries 20 points of ground troops). Here too, construction times will be figured for the combined point cost of the ship and the troops it’s meant to haul.

You may even, if you are utterly mad, hybridize all three. For example, you might have a ship which is worth 40 points in a direct fight, carries 20 points of ground troops, and carries 20 points of small craft. Its construction time will be typical of an 80-point ship.

Speaking of ground troops...



Ground Forces

Your nation will probably also need some kind of... soldier-like things. Beings or devices, which are designed to fight on planetary surfaces, or in mazes of tunnels, or space habitats, or just up close and personal in general. If you want to subjugate planetary populations, this is a must-have unless you get really lucky with threats of genocidal bombardment.

To describe how powerful and dangerous these soldier-like things are, we can assign them point costs, just like starships. However, since the typical starship is going to be a large, shielded platform with nuclear missiles or the like, ground troops are individually worth a lot less than starships- orders of magnitude less, as a rule. We will typically speak of ground troops as being worth “X per $,” where X is some number, most likely up in the thousands.

If you simply want to say “I have a type of ground troops where I can buy X of them per $ I spend,” that is fine. For the sake of some guidelines, I’d like to outline some possible ways to think about troop cost in terms of equipment and training levels. Skip it if you want to just say “I want my troops to cost 1 $ per X thousand.”

BLAH BLAH BLAH

Training provides a base cost for a given (large) number of troops per point spent on them. Equipment provides a multiplier to the cost, but also to the quality.

Training

>200000 troops/$: “Screaming Horde”
These troops are in some way... inadequate. Perhaps their training came from watching action movies. Perhaps a significant fraction of them do not, in point of fact, have weapons. Perhaps their officers are donkeys. Perhaps they fight among themselves at the drop of a hat. Perhaps they are not, strictly speaking, sentient lifeforms.

Screaming is strictly optional, coming in hordes is less so.

<200000 troops/$: “Conscript”
These troops are basically adequate, and are at least capable of most types of warfare. However, esprit d’corps is poor, manpower quality is mediocre, officers are uninspired, training is limited, or some combination of the above. Relying on them to carry out complex plans can be iffy. Important support arms may be handled poorly, limiting the troops’ strategic endurance or mobility. Or important equipment may be spread too thinly (heavy weapons at the platoon level where a normal army might have them at the squad level, to take a human-infantry-centric example).

<100000 troops/$: “Regular”
These troops represent some highly generic ‘average,’ roughly corresponding to a roughly baseline human soldier with adequate training, leadership, doctrine, motivation, and equipment.

<50000 troops/$: “Guards”
These troops have some extraordinary qualities- years-long training, excellent officers, very good support arms, indoctrination in special academies, a do-or-die mentality sustaining individual or collective heroism, or some similar strengths.

<20000 troops/$: “Elites”
These troops are almost absurdly competent. It is difficult to achieve this level of quality in the basic military stock of your forces without making the troops in some way superhuman.

Equipment Modifiers

This reflects the level of effort that goes into equipping the troops. Good equipment is usually given to good troops in real life, but in an SF society with high productive capacity this might not always be true. Note that ‘normal’ is defined relative to the technological milieu of the setting- the mere fact that your troops have ray guns doesn’t give them a super-high equipment quality if everyone else has them too.

x0.5 or less: “Excruciatingly Poor”
These troops are armed with weapons so inferior that it makes them almost totally ineffective in intense combat. Against even mediocre enemy armies, they are likely to fare as badly as native armies with swords and spears would against a Victorian expeditionary force armed with rifles and machine guns. To have weapons this bad, an army must usually be totally lacking in combined arms. Or they must be almost totally lacking in some vital counter-weapon needed to deal with a particular class of common enemy equipment- having no AA weapons or antitank weapons could put your troops at this kind of disadvantage.

x0.5 or more: “Bad”
These troops are inadequately armed. Their weapons are significantly sub-par, compared to the median standard of what you can get in the galaxy by making it yourself or buying it from your neighbors. This is either because the industrial base supporting them is unusually primitive, or because their masters couldn’t be bothered. However, they at least have weapons, theoretically capable of doing most of the things an army would want to do, and can pose a credible threat to normally-equipped armies as long as their inferior equipment is available in enough quantity.

x1 or more: “Average”
These troops are armed reasonably well. Their weapons represent the average of what ‘modern’ galactic civilizations can provide on a large scale for their armies. They have the full range of combined arms equipment available, at least in theory.

x2 or more: “Pretty Darn Good.”
These troops are armed with weapons at or near the upper limit of what an average ‘modern’ galactic civilization can mass produce for its armies, and this production is quite expensive. Troops will be extensively equipped with gear that is more powerful, ‘smarter,’ tougher, or otherwise better than average, and this will present a significant advantage when compared to conventional forces.

x5 or more: “Who Are These Guys, And Where Did They Get All These Bazookas?”
These troops are armed with weapons that are probably difficult to mass produce, and are most likely available only in limited quantity. On the other hand, each individual fighting unit has firepower comparable to a squad of normal soldiers: in general, this requires heavy weapons and excellent protection for every soldier.

x10 or more: “Walking Tank”
These troops are armed with extraordinarily powerful personal weapons, each of them probably being comparable to an armored vehicle of a normal army. In general, no one will equip an army like this without a good, specific reason to give superheavy weapons to a handful of individuals. There may of course be exceptions.

x20 or more: “Increasingly Ridiculous”
You get the idea...

So, for example, I might construct a ground army that looks like:
5000 points spent on 200000/$ “conscript” training, x1 modifier “Popularitarian Glourious Socialist People’s Justice Militia”
5000*200000/1 =
one billion soldiers.

2000 points spent on 100000/$ “regular” training, x1 modifier “Line”
2000*100000/1 =
three hundred million significantly better soldiers.

2000 points spent on 50000/$ “guards” training, x2 modifier “Imperial Marines”
2000*50000/2 =
fifty million soldiers, considerably better than the last group.

1000 points spent on 30000/$ “guards” training, x15 modifier “Kaboom Commandos”
1000*30000/15 =
two million soldiers, comically superior to all the previous groups man for man, but incapable of defeating any of the previous groups in an ‘all of X versus all of Y’ match, because of inferior total point cost.

Total cost: 10000 points for 1.352 billion troops, of wildly varying quality.

END OF BLAH BLAH BLAH

Okay, quit skimming.

Superheavy Ground Units:

It will probably please some of you to include in your ground forces units of extreme combat power, equal to entire regiments or armies of normal troops, and/or capable of winning gunnery duels with armed orbiting starships. Examples include, but are not limited to: walking killer robot gun platforms, rolling killer robot gun platforms, killer robot gun platforms on treads, flying killer robot gun platforms, Space Marine primarchs, tame Godzilla clones, extremely powerful psychics who wander around blowing up mountains by flexing their eyebrows, Superman, and probably some other stuff I haven’t thought of.

I choose, for my own nation, not to have any of these things. That doesn’t mean you can’t have them.

It’s okay for there to be individual units in your military that just have a cost, in points, which happens to be relatively large. 1$ is very expensive for a ground unit- recall that this is equivalent to a hundred thousand ordinary soldiers! 10$ is powerful enough that such a ground unit could array itself against a million men equipped with (for this setting) basic modern weapons, and win, or at least die very hard in the process of trying. It is honestly hard to imagine that kind of firepower concentrated into any one thing, at least for me.

Personally, I advise that you stick to point values more like 1, 2, or 5$ for even your most powerful superheavy ground units. But you don’t have to take that advice if you don’t want to. If you want to go much beyond that, though, please talk to a moderator.
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Re: [RP] Cloudsville's Space Empire RP -- Ye Olde Rules

Post by Harmony Ltd. on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:45 am

Military Construction Rules


Military Construction

Ships take a certain amount of time and effort to create. Some of this comes out of the ongoing operating budget, which is basically abstracted away in this game. New soldiers are constantly recruited to replace retirees. You can safely assume continuous production of spacegoing small craft sufficient to replace routine losses. The same goes for ground combat hardware like artillery pieces and atmospheric fighter jets. Ammunition, spare parts, and so on, all these things are being made by your nation all the time, assuming you need them.

You don’t have to keep track of this. Seriously, it’s fine.

Therefore, small-scale losses compared to the overall strength of your military are not a big deal. But when your losses become noticeable, you really ought to pay for them somehow. It’s only fair.

Limits to Construction Rates

The limit of your construction budget is defined as a percentage of your GDP- this is the other reason why GDP is the main measure of national strength. The EXACT percentage you spend on military expansion and replacements is up to you, within reason.

If you allocate too much GDP to military construction, there will be mod-enacted penalties for excessive construction, because it’s poor form to force a ridiculous arms race on the neighbors.

As a rule, nations in a relatively peaceful and secure state of affairs (i.e. little chance of a major war breaking out) would likely have military construction budgets of 5% or less of GDP. Nations which have unusually state-controlled economies or which are highly militarized might go as high as 10% of GDP for construction, as might ordinary nations which have special reasons to arm themselves- and I expect that given the sort of game this will be, most countries will have such reasons.

As a general rule, consider 10% of GDP to be an upper bound on allowable peacetime construction budgets, unless you have an extremely good reason.

Wartime construction rates will of course be higher; a country in the grip of total war mobilization might be able to sustain military construction of up to 20% of GDP, if its citizenry is willing to organize and sacrifice for the sake of the war effort. Of course, this construction boom will be offset by wartime casualties.


Naval Construction

So here’s a tentative table of ship construction times, where X is the point cost of the ship...

3 < X ≤ 240: 1 month per 20 points of unit cost, rounded up
240 < X ≤ 250: 12 months
250 < X: 12 months, plus 3 months per 50 points of unit cost, rounded up

Thus, a 120-point ship takes six months. A 170-point ship takes (170/20 rounded up) nine months. A 300-point ship takes 15 months, a 400-point ship takes 21 months, a 750-point ship takes 42 months, and a 1000-point ship takes 57 months- they’re hard to replace.

Please don’t do anything silly like having all your ships cost X-1 points, where X would be just enough to tip you into the next construction time class. We all know what you’re doing, and it makes us sad inside.

If you want to argue that a ship which falls ‘in the middle’ of two categories (such as a 375-point ship) takes X-and-a-half months to build, that’s fine, I’m not going to split hairs.

You should also pay out of your budget for any massive-scale small craft losses (fair is fair; I can lose a 100 point ship shooting down 100 points of fighters, so it should cost you to replace the fighters, as it cost me to replace the ship). The losses should be replaced at a reasonable pace, rather than all materializing at once the day after the battle. Exactly what a reasonable rate is will depend on details.

Related Question: Hybrid Ships

To reiterate, construction TIME for a ship that has some combination of X points of direct-combat-utility, Y points of small craft capacity, and Z points of troop capacity, is the same as for a normal ship with point cost (X+Y+Z). However, you pay for the small craft and the troops separately. Thus, if I wish to build a ship with 40 points of direct combat utility, which carries 20 points of gunboats and 20 points of ground troops...

I pay 40$ for the ship, 20$ for the gunboats, and 20$ for the troops. The ship will be ready in four months’ time.

Related Question: Naval Repairs

On a related note, a warship might well be damaged, but not destroyed, in a battle. I can’t be bothered to estimate monetary costs for fixing reparable damage to a ship, so as far as I’m concerned, you can do so without spending money from the construction budget. However, the repairs should take a decent amount of time, commensurate with the size, expense, and complexity of your ships. The ship should not be good to go the next day, unless the damage was light enough to be repaired entirely using spackle, space tape, and elbow grease.

Related Question: Upgrades

This came up in SDNW4 several times and we never agreed on an answer. Upgrades to a ship that increase its point value take either:

A) The same time it would take to build a ship of point value equal to the upgrade from scratch,

or

B) 25% of the time it would take to build the original ship from scratch,

whichever is longer.


Ground Force Construction

First of all, we look at each ‘force’ within your overall ground army separately. Accounting for the Peopleitarian Militia is handled separately from that for the Kaboom Commandos, since each organization will need its own training and logistics establishment, appropriate to its manpower and equipment needs.

To make up for small losses to your armed forces (say, fifty thousand troops out of an army of hundreds of millions), no real change in policy needs to be made- as noted earlier, stop-loss orders and a few extra recruitment programs can solve your problem. Even relatively serious losses- a few percent of the total size of the force- are nothing really out of the ordinary. Up to a limit, recruitment is very simple.

You’ll have to allocate money from the construction budget to pay for raising and equipping the new troops, but that’s it. The extra ground forces are integrated into your army at a reasonable, moderate rate (a roughly equal number per month, spread over a year, or possibly more or less depending on your own assessment of the circumstances).

For Elite troops, this limit is 5% of the current size of a force per year. For Guard and Regular troops, it is 10% of the current size of the force, for Conscripts, 20%, and for Screaming Hordes, 50%...

If you wish to undertake a major expansion of the armed forces, or begin assembling an entirely new category of troops (say, a new mass-numbers army recruited by conscription during wartime), then things take a little longer. Training and/or production facilities have to be set up, to create a faster-flowing pipeline. In that case, you can continue recruitment at the usual (slow) expansion rate described above, but to begin recruitment of the really large extra army, you need to wait for them to start coming out of the pipeline.

The first troops trained under the accelerated program start appearing some months after the initial investment. TYPICAL but nonbinding numbers, for human-ish troops that have to be trained in order to fight effectively, might be:

Screaming Horde: 1 month
Conscript: 3 months
Regular: 4 months
Guards: 8 months
Elites: 12 months

Related Question: Superheavy Ground Unit Construction

Superheavy ground units (ones worth a meaningful fraction of a point in their own right) are a thorny question when it comes to build rules. The best I can come up with is to default to a “no rules rule:” If you have them, build them at a reasonable rate, consistent with some concept of ‘production lines’ and prototyping. Don’t just pull tons of stuff out of a hat in an instant as soon as you decide to spend the money on it, and everything should be fine.
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Harmony Ltd.
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Re: [RP] Cloudsville's Space Empire RP -- Ye Olde Rules

Post by Harmony Ltd. on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:45 am

Creating a Nation Step-by-Step


So, all of this being said, you want to create a Nation? Very well!


But, huh... That's a lot to take in, isn't it? Don't worry, I'm here to help.


First you've got to ask yourself a few questions: What do I want to play? What kind of stories do I want to tell? Answering those question will already help you come up with a number of ideas.


By this point, you've probably come up with a concept. Good. When you have one, refine it.


In parallel, ask the Moderator to throw a dice roll for you, to tell you how many Nation Creation Points you have at your disposal.


When your have the first draft of a concept and know how many NCPs you have at your disposal, start thinking about translating your concept into concrete territorial realities, by spending you NCPs on territories, trade routes, and other things you can spend NCPs on. Put all of these territories on the map – this part is usually accomplished with the help / supervision of the moderator.


Further refine the concept with the updated, concrete territorial data. Usually, this mean working your Nation's history with its neighbors. This is more often than not interesting, and creates a number of interesting dynamics or the game that'll follow.


When this is done, it's time to think about what kind of military your Nation has. The galaxy is a dangerous place.


You'll need ships. You'll also probably need troops. Define what you have, in which numbers, and come up with some kind of Order of Battle (OOB), listing all of this. Take inspiration from the “Military Stuff” part of the rules to come up with the relevant ideas.


During all of these phases, if you have a doubt, a question, or need to ask something, don't hesitate to ask the moderator or bring it up in the OOC thread with other players.


Once all of this is said and done, you're ready to start playing.


Enjoy.
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Draconequus

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Re: [RP] Cloudsville's Space Empire RP -- Ye Olde Rules

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