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!

2 comments:

  1. I saw a comment on the Traveller Facebook page about these numbers being 10-times too high; but I think they "feel" right. Earth (TL7, Pop 9) has a lot more than 80 divisions between all the countries of the world. so this number seems right. 8 would certainly be too low for the entire polity.

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