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Offline Scrasamax

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Economic Model Generator
« on: February 16, 2009, 03:59:22 PM »
I have an idea, I would like to create some charts and tables for creating large functional militaries of mechs, tanks, power armor, infantry, warships and aerospace fighters.

It is no big deal to create a list of gear, and from there cobbling together battalions and regiments and brigades. But there is an element of realism missing, the You Can't Have That Factor.

How many mechs can a planet support? How many planets does it take to support a kilometer long warship?

These are questions I have and the idea is so embryonic I have no idea even where to start.


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Offline valadaar

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Re: Economic Model Generator
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2009, 06:09:19 PM »
I think you just need to decide on what scale you want to see and adjust it to fit. All being equal, your planet's GDP is most likely your limiting factor - or its population.  Productivity per person is up to you since there are so many factors which can go into it, especially if robots are very common.





   
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Offline Dragonlordmax

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Re: Economic Model Generator
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2009, 07:59:28 PM »
Well, what do you need to support a kilometer-long warship?

This website says it costs about $235.4 million to support a Nimitz-class carrier for a year. Apparently, this carrier is about 300-some odd meters long. So say that it's 1/3 the size of a kilometer-long warship in all three directions, and it's 1/27 the size.

So $4 billion / year / super-warship is a very rough estimate.

The US has a GDP of $13.84 trillion, according to Google. The world has a GDP (GWP) of $54.62 trillion. Wikipedia says that we have 10 commissioned Nimitz-class carriers, as well as a few of other classes. If we assume that we can support about a 7000th of our economy in carriers, and that the world has about the same ability, then the world could support almost 2 kilometer-long warships.

Futuristic societies probably have higher GDPs, but then a futuristic ship probably costs more to maintain (weird fuels and hyperdrives and all that).

I am almost certainly overlooking huge things, but that is about where I would start.
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Offline Loz

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Re: Economic Model Generator
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2009, 10:49:23 AM »
Science-Fiction rules apply here : If it's plausible and you want it it works. Ressources and productivity is the key if one person can run a robotic factory that churns out parts in orbit amongts and asteroid belt you're golden.... and into space-opera territory.
So basically you have to analyse (or dictate!) the technology available to find the productivity available.

Don't forget though that you have to *crew* your space-ships. AI-directed ships? Nuh-huh, not in MY backyard! It always ends badly. So... Space-navy academies (whats the budget of annapolis, anyone know?) logistics support. How badly does your society want/need those dreadnoughts? What level of sacrifice will the populace put up with?

Maybe some forums for space-conquest games will have a few useful details. me? I'm just top-of-my-heading, here. Interesting question, though :)

Offline Pariah

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Re: Economic Model Generator
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2009, 12:27:16 AM »
Really loose system:

Earth Standard planet has roughly 80 points it can devote to building, equiping, and maintaining its military, with variations based on the culture of the planet.  IE the Klingons, with a similar planet might be able to support closer to 100 points.

Ships

Dreadnought (and her complement of fighters) ~ 9 points
Destroyer type ships (for both Planetary Bombardment and Antiship Defense) = 2 points
Supply ships = 1 pnt

So...  A battle group would consist of Ddngt (9) 6 ASD Destroyers 4 PB Destroyers (16) 3 Supply (3) = 28 points.  Earth would thus be able to support 2 of these in addition to some sort of occupational army, and some sort of planetary defense fleet/system wit the remaining 24 points.

Is this sensical in any way shape or form, I can't tell right now, kinda tired...
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Offline RGTraynor

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Re: Economic Model Generator
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2009, 03:59:17 AM »
Beyond that, you have the classic problem with nations bankrupting themselves to make superdreadnoughts: now you have immense resources invested in a ship that probably isn't actually invincible and indestructible, and your admiralty will be deeply reluctant to commit it to any battle which isn't a sure thing.  Loss of the vessel will cripple your navy, whereas putting the same resources into 10x or 100x warships gives you a far more flexible fleet and one where the loss of a ship isn't fatal.

Sure, a Death Star is a big, scary terror weapon.  But space doesn't have landlocked bays, you can't actually trap an enemy fleet in it, destroying planets only destroys the terrain over which you're fighting, you've stopped building capital ships because of the diversion of resources, the d**n thing can be in only one place at once, and the opposition gets an immeasurable morale boost if they actually knock it out.
It's not that I don't understand what you're saying.  It's that I don't *agree* with what you're saying.

Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Economic Model Generator
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2009, 07:55:39 PM »
In space, despite what BattleStar Galactica wants you to think, it is all about the power plant.  The Power Plant determines your speed, your manuverability, the power of your guns (missles different story), your shields, and the number of computers and people the inside of the thing can support.  Once you are far enough outside a gravity well, power alone determine your speed and manuverability (after certain basic design considerations are in place).   That two billion ton displacement dreadnaught, with its several city sized power plants, will be the fastest thing out there, with the most powerful weapons (able to "wave motion gun" anything smaller than it out there ... Even without beam weapons, the power behind their mass drivers will literally rip targets apart. And in space, really, you almost always hit.. like with submarines), and able to turn and stop on a dime (relatively speaking).  If your defense can be powered, like force shields, then they are at an advantage. 

And that thing can savage a battlefield.. from orbit (or activate a volcanic interaction) . After they take out their ship production facilities, they then ask...    Rebel City 1, do you surrender. No? ZOOOORRRT!!!!!  Rebel City 2 do you surrender?

So yes, you want to build the largest darn ship you can afford.  OR a dozen good sized ones, depending on what your military objectives are and what enemy is flying.

....

Folks, the economics to run the thing isn't the issue. It is a tagnetal one really.  It is can your system/ planet spare the materials?  After all, once those pieces of metal, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are gone from your planet, it is hard to get back.  Can your economy and ecology handle it being gone?

One or two, maybe okay... 12-20... things start getting dicey as your consumers can no longer get exactly what they want and builders are unable to get supplies they need to build.  Sure you might be able to replace some of it with trade, but how expensive will that be in the long run?


« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 08:05:18 PM by MoonHunter »
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Economic Model Generator
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2009, 11:16:17 PM »
Several excellent points.

Still, the idea I'm looking at isn't the deployment of space fleets, or their tactics and strategy. I'm looking to make some sort of chart or table you can reference.

This is a G type agro-world, it provides X many points. This other world is a dictatorial industrial world and provides 10X points, so with 11X points, the two worlds could support this many ships, be it for example, one gargantuan Megabattleship, or a squadron of nine or ten destroyers and a couple of cruisers. Of about 1200 aerospace fighters and small interceptor craft


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Offline RGTraynor

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Re: Economic Model Generator
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2009, 02:23:34 AM »
A lot depends on economics.  We can, with reasonable accuracy, figure out how much a warship costs: heck, how many space RPGs don't have costs for such things? 

What is far harder is a number of other factors that you need to decide:

1)  Are we talking about a pre-Washington Naval Treaty arms race where the various nations are obsessed with Second Best Navy theories?  A WWII situation where most of the resources of society are bent towards war?  Or, say, an 1820s environment where there are more warships than the nations feel like operating and budgets are tight?  Political considerations as to whether a planet is willing to commit X resources to shipbuilding are almost more pertinent than its ability to do so.

2)  Is your campaign in a large flux of technology, where a very expensive capital ship might be obsolescent in ten years (or five, or by the time it's out of the yard ...), or is science and naval tactics relatively stable and static?  A planet would be more secure in committing resources to dreadnaught construction in the latter instance.  Are obsolete (but still flyable) ships available, such as the pre-WWI warships which were still used in WWII?

3)  What kind of operating expenses do your ships have?  Are they manpower intensive?  Is fuel expensive and/or hard to come by?  Are we talking five-year missions or are these system defense ships operating off of bases?  There are many instances in history where ships have been laid up for lack of enough skilled naval personnel to man them, or have had greatly constricted roles or patrol circuits due to economies of fuel and stores.

4)  What's the lead time required to build a ship from the keel up?  I was in a Star Fleet Battles strategic-level campaign once where the GM assigned multi-turn building times to ships, and there were nations which built almost nothing but light craft - especially when open war broke out, and shipyards were at risk - on the grounds that two frigates a turn over the next three turns were worth more than a battleship three or four turns from now.  A number of instances in that campaign saw players suspend work on capital ships to get something in space now, be it interceptor squadrons or patchwork destroyers.

5)  Does the system you use have a jobs table?  What does the average blue collar worker make?  Does that value change much between agricultural, industrial or colony worlds?  Can't calculate your planetary GPPs without it.
It's not that I don't understand what you're saying.  It's that I don't *agree* with what you're saying.

Offline Pariah

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Re: Economic Model Generator
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2009, 06:13:17 PM »
To steal an idea directly from Dead Space; IE Planet Crackers, a mining ship whose mission is to strip-mine an entire planet.  With something like that, an invention I would expect of the human race, such trivialities as resources disappear, the only problem remaining is transport of the materials to a ship-yard and the building/manning of the ships.

Depending on what kind of FTL you're using, because you most likely are using some sort of it in these kind of games, I don't see very many battles taking place outside of a gravity well of some sort, the exception being if you ambush a well-established trade route, and even then, the odds are against you being able to successfully catch up to a ship that is moving at +.5c, let alone +c...

IMO the two main factors are A how many resources are available in your system, including anything the planet crackers bring in, and how industrially established is your system.  You can have enough resources in your system to build 100 dreadnoughts, but if ship building is a cottage industry, you'll probably never build one, where as if you don't have the resources for one, but you're a industrial super-power, you'll probably be producing frigates for the other planets and using the profits to buy the raw materials for your fleet of 101 dreadnaughts.

There are anywhere between 200 and 400 billion stars in our galaxy, for the sake of argument I'll assume all of them have some sort of space trash floating around them.  All you'd need for a 'quick' game of conquer the galaxy is about 100...

The fist dice I pulled outta my desk was a d20, so I'm going to make my imaginary resource determination system off of that.  2d20*1d20 gives an average amount of system minerals at about 220, meaning that it'll last for a while, but not forever. (the max per system is almost 4x that: 800)

The speed at which you can harvest and turn into a finished product is based entirely on how industrialized you are, a scale from 1-10, the downside being that the more industrialized you are, the more it costs to maintain the standard of living your people expect.  Every turn you produce however many units as your lvl, and mine an additional lvl-5 point from your system, to a minimum of 0, IE a lvl 1 system produces 1 point a turn and subtacts 1 pnt from the system a turn, a lvl 10 system produces 10 but subtracts 15, it also costs the next lvl^2 to design, develop, and implement the next lvl of industry on your planet, lvl 2 cost 4 points and lvl 10 costs 100.

Planet crackers always produce half of the systems remaining minerals, and have minimal upkeep, but they can not produce anything on their own, they only boost your resources.

Ships have both an initial build cost and an upkeep cost, which includes the cost of sporadically re-equiping them with new weapon-systems and replacing broken equipment and staffing them.

Arbitrarily assigning numbers...

Dreadnaught: 50 build and 10 maintain
Frigate: 20 build 4 maintain
Transport: 10 build 2 maintain
Carrier: 20 build 4 maintain (hold 6 fighter squadrons)
Fighter Squadron: 5 build 1 maintain
Army: 2 build 2 maintain
Mech Squad: 5 build 1 maintain
Droptroops: 2 build 3 maintain
Planet Cracker: 50 build, 3 maintain

Of course all these numbers are BS, so please tear me a new one as you see fit... :D
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 06:15:28 PM by Pariah »
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Offline manfred

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Re: Economic Model Generator
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2009, 04:24:21 PM »
To me, it is all magic numbers you can assign as you see fit.

Just one note re: "Can your system/planet spare the materials?" Given the chance, most civilizations would probably build their large ships in space. With ample building material from an asteroid or comet, you should have enough to construct a fleet of hulls. Metals, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen - you can get all the basics for cheap. The rest, microchips, superconductor and warp core will likely come from different places anyway.
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