Thursday, July 15, 2021

Dark Nebula - Revised and Expanded Naval Budgets

Public Domain Art
Following comments I received on my original Trillion Credits Squadron Dark Nebula post, I have decided to revise this setting's naval budgets. First, all previous naval expenditure would be peacetime; the major powers (Solomani, Aslan, and Mizahni) began war preparation only recently. Second, I calculated 10-year naval budgets, as per Trillion Credits Squadron, for existing fleets.

I assumed that Government 7 has an average peacetime government multiplier of 1, and that all Aslan worlds, regardless of government, have a peacetime government multiplier of 1.1, warrior culture that they are.

So... What Are we talking about? How much budget for existing fleets do the various naval powers of the Dark Nebula have?

The powers' naval fleet worth is:

Maadin Confederation: Existing fleet worth Cr64,068,662,375,000.

Fastness Mutual Defense Pact (Mizah): Existing fleet worth Cr3,619,558,500,000.

Aslan Hierate: Existing fleet worth Cr44,861,676,750,000.

The independent world naval worth is:

Kindara Existing fleet worth Cr248,625,000,000.

Mir Existing fleet worth Cr20,400,000,000.

Enjiwa Existing fleet worth Cr132,000,000,000.

Rim Existing fleet worth Cr2,200,000,000,000.

Godoro Existing fleet worth Cr235,125,000,000.

Dno Existing fleet worth Cr19,337,500,000.

Drax Existing fleet worth Cr6,412,500,000.

Salan Existing fleet worth Cr277,875,000,000.

Irbev Existing fleet worth Cr2,565,000,000.

Kapros Existing fleet worth Cr24,500,000,000.


My initial concept for such procurement budget's distribution is as follows:

10% maintenance and overhead.

15% troop transports (depending on available Expeditionary Troops).

15% logistics ships/tankers.

20% System Defense Boats (SDBs) and Monitors (15% for Aslan).

40% offensive squadrons (45% for Aslan).

This assumes that the budget is after overhead and salaries/maintenance costs of past years.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Dark Nebula Troop Strength Calculation

To complement my
naval budget calculations, I calculated ground and expeditionary troop strengths for each world in the Dark Nebula. For this, I used the Troops In The Fifth Frontier War (History), article by Marc Miller, published in JTAS #10. That article gives troop strengths, in battalions, per population and tech level.

I have made a slight modification to the rules, noting that any world with at least population 4 (at least 10,000 inhabitants) has at least one defense battalion. I also renamed regular troops into "Defense Troops", and mobile troops into "Expeditionary Troops", and added troop strength in divisions as well.

The worlds with significant troop numbers (i.e., at least one division) are:
Kindara - 6 defense divisions, 1 understrength expeditionary division
Amani - 1 defense division
Vaxt (Aslan) - 80 defense divisions, 8 expeditionary divisions
Mir - 1 understrength defense division
Kuzu (Aslan) - 480 defense divisions, 20 expeditionary divisions
Blatta (Aslan) - 480 defense divisions, 20 expeditionary divisions
Enjiwa - 6 defense divisions, 1 understrength expeditionary division
Rim - 80 defense divisions, 8 expeditionary divisions
Godoro - 8 defense divisions, 1 expeditionary division
Dno - 1 understrength defense division
Drax - 1 defense division
Taanga - 8 defense divisions, 1 expeditionary division
Simba - 1 defense division
Mizah - 48 defense divisions, 5 expeditionary divisions
Gazzain (Solomani) - 80 defense divisions, 8 expeditionary divisions
Salan - 6 defense divisions, 1 understrength expeditionary division
Maadin (Solomani) - 480 defense divisions, 20 expeditionary divisions
Mechane (Solomani) - 480 defense divisions, 20 expeditionary divisions
Kamat (Solomani) - 6 defense divisions, 1 understrength expeditionary division
Bulan - 12 defense divisions, 1 expeditionary division

What do we learn from here?
Solomani (Maadin Confederation) and Aslan have equivalent expeditionary troops (48 divisions each, polity-wide). These are grossly insufficient for conquering Population 9 worlds (i.e., billions of inhabitants), but can conquer less populated worlds.

The Maadin Confederation has as many expeditionary troops as Mizah has defense troops. A ground invasion is possible, though this will be a difficult battle, as both are of the same tech level. Also note that even if it achieves orbital superiority over Mizah, the Confederation is unlikely to use heavy orbital bombardment, as they are interested in Mizahni infrastructure. This makes a total Confederation invasion of Mizah unlikely; a limited war to force Mizah to sign a non-aggression pact permitting free passage and refueling of Maadini ships on their way to fight the Aslan is much more likely. An alternative would be to encourage an insurrection on Mizah, then arrive to "intervene" and enthrone the rebels - another conspiracy ripe for players to get involved in!

Dark Nebula - Trillion Credits Squadron naval budget calculations

(Art by Jeff Kazmierski, used with permission)

I'm back to work on my Dark Nebula, variant-OTU (variant of the Official Traveller Universe) setting, published under Far Future Enterprises' Fair Use License in my Darkest Stars fanzine for Classic Traveller.

Today, I will start doing the math of the various fleets in this setting. Obviously, only polities with a Starport-A can produce their own navy, though well-off worlds with other starports can purchase ships for a local navy.

The three worlds with Starport-A's in this setting are Maadin (Maadin 0702), Mizah (Maadin 0304), and Kuzu (Kuzu 0207). This gives us the three naval powers of this setting - the Maadin Confederation, Mizah, and the Aslan Hierate, respectively. To improve its defenses against both Aslan and Confederation aggression, however, Mizah has entered a mutual defense pact with the other 5 Fastness worlds. While Maadinite media calls it a protection racket, this pact results from the Fastness worlds preferring indirect Mizahni leadership over direct Confederation control.

I will use the old Trillion Credits Squadron booklet to determine naval strengths. I took the liberty to roll each world's population multipliers.

The three powers have navies (obviously), as well as any independent world with a population digit of 5 or greater and TL8+.

The aforementioned Trillion Credits Squadron assumes a baseline Cr500 tax money per citizen per annum going to the naval budget. This is modified by a government modifier, which is further modified by whether the world is at peace or at war. I assume that due to the current political situations, all three powers - but not the independent worlds - are investing war-level budgets in their navies. All three powers anticipate war in the near future and prepare for it in earnest.

Note that the warlike Aslan have a wartime government multiplier of 1.5, regardless of Aslan government type.

Also note that I assume that balkanized worlds under Maadin rule have a wartime government multiplier of 1.3. Independent balkanized worlds have a peacetime government multiplier of 1.


Surprise! This back-of-the-envelope math produced BIG naval budgets even for such local powers!

The powers' naval budgets are:

Maadin Confederation: population of approx. 15,160,916,000 citizens; naval budget Cr8,161,622,277,500! (That's 8.1 trillion credits!).

Fastness Mutual Defense Pact (Mizah): population of approx. 983,615,000 subjects; naval budget Cr533,622,950,000.

Aslan Hierate: population of approx. 10,810,570,000 Aslan; naval budget Cr6,117,501,375,000.

The independent world naval budgets are:

Kindara Cr24,862,500,000

Mir Cr2,040,000,000

Enjiwa Cr13,200,000,000

Rim Cr220,000,000,000

Godoro Cr23,512,500,000

Dno Cr1,933,750,000

Drax Cr641,250,000

Salan Cr27,787,500,000

Irbev Cr256,500,000

Kapros Cr$2,450,000,000


Big ship universe it is! However, the navies still cannot be everywhere at once, as Aslan invest in large carriers and Solomani in large battleships, as well as massive troop/invasion ships.