Forum:Astrography - Mains... and such

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Notes (2018)[edit]

I am in the process of trying to map out some of the Mains within Charted Space, and I have several questions...Bear with me….

I might point out, Steve, that there is a lot of overlap in routes. That's ok. Just be aware that some routes might have multiple different names to different cultures and races. Just the usual Trav chaos.

- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 19:32, 30 January 2018 (EST)

  • Yes, I have noted that already. Having said that and looking at the great amount of data that has already been generated within published data and my own efforts there will certainly be a great amount of overlap. 09:02, 2 February 2018 (EST)

Thanks. Great job.

- 10:02, 2 February 2018 (EST)


Lishun Sector lists the Lishun Main, but when I look at TravellerMap I would like to rename this to the Lishun-Gashikan Main because it spans 10 sectors…

  1. 25+ systems in Amdukan,
  2. 118 systems in Antares – this is an accurate count-
  3. 75+ systems in Gashikan,
  4. 20+ systems in Gzasfueg,
  5. 20+ systems in Trenchans,
  6. 237 systems in Lishun, – this is an accurate count-
  7. 75+ systems in Mendan,
  8. 30+ systems in Meshan,
  9. 2 systems in Vland, – this is an accurate count- and
  10. 7 systems in Windhorn,

Lishun Sector also lists a Greater Annililik Run as well as the Annilik Triangle, but I can't seem to find any reference in my library to any of these.

A search for the Greater Annililik Run gives you Trojan Reach, Reft, Deneb, Corridor, Vland, Lishun as well as Core sectors. Since this is a “Run”, I suppose it wouldn’t be a J-1 Main, but rather a J-2 route (run). Does anyone have a published reference to this term?

A search for the Annililik Triangle gives you, Vland, Lishun as well as Core sectors, with no relevant Main that hits those sectors. Could we suggests that this is a combination of j-1 mains? Does anyone have a published reference to this term?

I am aware of Annililik Run, the book, but I can’t seem to locate my copy right now. So any help would be appreciated.

My primary reason to post this in the forum, rather than on the Lishun Sector page is because I anticipate further questions as I work way way through Charted Space.

- Ssteve (talk) 15:29, 11 January 2018 (EST)

I just did a search through the Annililik Run book, but it contains no other references. The book title really refers to the main ship (The Annililik: 600 Tons, J4, M2) and it's travels from Vland to Core. The book itself contains no astrographic data, just a collection of worlds to visit and have adventures on. It makes exactly one reference to "Annililik Run", with the implication it is the trip between Vland and Core.
The book makes no reference to the Annililik Triangle. Tjoneslo (talk) 18:47, 11 January 2018 (EST)

It's not in the regular material. It's in the unpublished material.

  • Will have to dig out the citations.
  • One of the authors, not Ward, also mentions it on his web site.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 23:07, 11 January 2018 (EST) -> has a better synopsis of the book, and a clearer description of the Run itself missing from the book. This entry was written by David Burden, and it's his website. He may have more information directly. Tjoneslo (talk) 06:40, 12 January 2018 (EST)

Thank you.

- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 09:09, 12 January 2018 (EST)

Greater Annililik Run

  • Every 4 years a competition, synonymous with the Run, is held in which competing teams have to travel as quickly and profitably as they can from Vland to Capital. Played either as a competition between PCs, or as PCs against referee run adversaries ( Wacky Races in space? ) the PCs keep those deals and jumps coming fast.

Annililik Triangle

  • Ships have been disappearing for years, but recently so may have gone that traders are afraid to complete the Run. The PCs are recruited by a world desperate to see trade restored to find out just what is going on.
    • Thinking about the "tail end" of the run as the point of the triangle, widening to about 6 hexes in width at the border between Core and Lishun.; at the rimward end of the Vilani main.

Ssteve (talk) 21:59, 29 January 2018 (EST)


Planning on going through Trojan Reaches to Ley Sector (Trailing to Spinward)

  • Done!
  • Over 4,000 systems so far, with associated mains, clusters etc.... getting to be quite a long list...
- Ssteve (talk) 21:59, 29 January 2018 (EST)

Through Delphi Sector (6926 systems so far....)

- Ssteve (talk) 16:01, 7 February 2018 (EST)

Looks great. Thanks.

- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 22:06, 7 February 2018 (EST)
  1. Antares
  2. Core
  3. Corridor
  4. Dagudashaag
  5. Delphi
  6. Deneb
  7. Empty Quarter
  8. Fornast
  9. Glimmerdrift Reaches
  10. Gushemege
  11. Ilelish
  12. Ley
  13. Lishun
  14. Massilia
  15. Reft
  16. Spinward Marches
  17. Trojan Reach
  18. Verge
  19. Vland
  20. Zarushagar

So far; Hinterworlds is next...Ssteve (talk) 11:41, 11 February 2018 (EST)

Hinterworlds is done; 9000+ plus systems; updated the spreadsheet with the "current" names for clusters; posted to G-drive.

Set up arbitrary size parameters with matching map colorization and updated all sector maps completed:

  • Large Main = 250+
  • Medium Main = 100-250
  • Small Main = 45-100
  • Large Cluster = 25-45
  • Medium Cluster = 10-25
  • Small Cluster = 5-10

14 sectors to go, if I want to include the Solomani Rim into the Second Survey Atlas; planning on printing a couple of coffee-table sized (11x17) limited editions and planning for legal sized (8.5x14) final product at about 90 pages.

- Ssteve (talk) 22:07, 26 February 2018 (EST)

Ssteve, I used this page for designating my arbitrary size parameters:

Which rendered out these parameters:

  1. Pliabriebl Sector
    1. Greater Mains (Blue & Cyan Lines: 51+ destinations)
    2. Lesser Mains (Green & Yellow Lines: 11-50 destinations)
    3. Micro Mains (Red & Pink Lines: 0-10 destinations)

Thomas put the kibosh on it at the time and I acceded, later updating all sectors except those on the fringes of Charted Space.

I think a system of trade route differentiation is important and I like your work. It's something that needs to be done, but it will require being ready to defy the grognard naysayers.

It's important to differentiate the astronomic (naturally occurring scientific groupings) systems and the socionomic (sophont-derived trade routes) groupings. There is overlap and that's hard for some to grasp.

Two other I might consult are:

No one has really considered the full affect of jump bridges although Mongoose is on the way towards integrating the ideas.

- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 07:41, 27 February 2018 (EST)

I put a kibosh on this because you were conflating two unrelated things in a way that was ultimately totally confusing for everyone involved.

  • The colors and routes generated by the trade map generator are economic in nature, and depend upon the number of sophonts existing on the worlds.
  • The Trade Map key shows the volume of trade and passengers, hence the number and size of ships, traveling between two worlds. There is no relation to the number of system connected.
  • The Mains and clusters are astrographic, hence physical, in nature. These would exist even if there are no sophonts in the area of charted space.
  • Trade routes do not follow the mains or clusters, and have not since the invention of the Jump-2 drive.
  • Clusters and Mains do not determine the where the trade flows or occurs. They are only an interesting astrographic feature of the maps.
  • I really don't mind the idea of having sizes to the mains, and giving them colors based upon their size or importance. That is an important aspect of generating useful maps.
  • Please don't use the Trade map key as a reference for the size and scope of the Mains and clusters. They're not the same thing.
Tjoneslo (talk) 17:33, 27 February 2018 (EST)

Oh, I almost forgot; the Vilani Main is the biggest one so far...1,000 plus system; is anybody up for a possible source book style write-up (not me!).

- Ssteve (talk) 22:07, 26 February 2018 (EST)

The Spinward Main is the largest well documented main. None of the other large ones have even close to any canon documentation. And no one has ever fully routed or documented the Spinward Main.

- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 07:43, 27 February 2018 (EST)

I hadn't planned on using the Trade Key Map, primarily because it is economically driven and would (or at least could) have changed since the publication of the Second Survey.

Ssteve (talk) 21:11, 27 February 2018 (EST)

Tjoneslo, there is overlap in the two measurements, the economic and the astrographic. They overlap. They are not mutually exclusive.

  • I've spoken with most of the Inner Circle about this and you are one of the only folks, a distinct minority, who finds it confusing.
  • And Steve has come across a very similar grouping on his own. So have dozens of other fans. It makes sense to a majority of the demographic.
  • Of course, Clusters and Mains do not determine trade flow, but they are almost a precondition for strong economics since the cost of constructing Jump Bridges is quite high. A bigger connected network makes it possible for greater, more prosperous interstellar economy. And what isn't settled will be filled in by explorers. The Terran-Vilani Wars are a vibrant example of that. Sophonts fill in habitable space. And even uninhabitable space if there is a draw, especially a nexus world (crossroads) draw.
  • This is agreeable with AOTI, the novel, and multiple conversations with MWM.
  • While clusters preexist sophonts, familial names often come from sophonts. There is a relationship that overlaps the astrographic and the socioeconomic. It's just not absolute or well-defined like most of Traveller.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 00:13, 28 February 2018 (EST)

I seem to have explained myself poorly. Let me try again.

  • The Trade map key defines a specific set of terms describing the symbology used on the trade maps, which show an economic relationship between pairs of worlds.
  • In the Pliabriebl Sector example above, you link to the Trade map key and then redefine the terms. It is this specific thing I'm objecting to.
  • Now Ssteve's definitions of mains and clusters is awesome and I heartily endorse the incorporation of them into the wiki.
  • Finally if you have any insight into how Mains and clusters influence trade and economics I would be really interested. The only discussions I've ever seen describing the link does so in most vague handwaviest terms.

Tjoneslo (talk) 07:32, 28 February 2018 (EST)

Tjoneslo, thank you for dedication in helping me to understand your point.

  • I showed Steve what had occurred before. What Steve has done isn't much different than what I did.
  • What do you see as the key differences?
  • What is the specific thing that you are objecting to?
  • What are the handwavy things that you believe should be better designed? No argument, just communicating.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 21:29, 28 February 2018 (EST)

There is a subtle but important difference between your description and Steve's.
The Trade map key, as I stated above, describes in detail the economic relationships between worlds. It defines terms (like "Cyan Line Main Route"), and and map icons for these details. By linking to the trade map key page and using terms from that page (like "Blue & Cyan Lines") you are proposing, or at least strongly implying, a discussion about the economics, and relations between worlds.
Conversely, if you were linking to a page like Main, and using terms like main or cluster, you are proposing, or implying, a discussion about the physical relationship of the system in an area.
Since these two things are orthogonal concepts, that is related in only the loosest terms if at all, combining the two into one place causes confusion. Adding to the confusion would be your use of the "Blue & Cyan Lines" to describe a "Greater Main". The only map on the Wiki which uses blue and/or cyan lines are the trade maps. Indeed, none of the available Traveller maps use blue and/or cyan line to show mains or clusters. The trade maps used lines of those colors to indicate specific volumes of trade between specific worlds. So using one thing (trade map line colors) for another (mains and clusters) makes people confused.
You understand the differences because you came up with it. But you should take a minute to approach this from the idea of someone who has never see this before.
Finally, the canon definitions of the Mains only make reference to the abilty to travel along them with Jump-1 ships. There are no references, in any version of Traveller rules, in any of the extended published canon, or in the real world economics, that the mains serve as trade routes, and that trade routes follow the mains. If you have any evidence to the contrary I'd really like to see that quoted chapter and verse.
tl;dr -> Trade routes != mains
Tjoneslo (talk) 21:44, 1 March 2018 (EST)

You are reading a lot into this. I am starting to understand why some of the older contributors told me the stories that they did.

  • Yes, tl;dr -> Trade routes != mains
  • However, there is overlap between them. The color coding is not the entire line, but it does represent significant portions of it.
  • Ever heard of triangular trade?
  • I recommend not making assumptions about implications, propositions, guesses, or other things that haven't been said. You are reading a lot into this that hasn't been said. It's the same with your interpretations of T5 that aren't set in stone one way or another. What confuses you does not confuse all or even significant numbers of others.
  • (Thomas Understanding) tl;dr -> Trade routes ! [does not] = (Other Confusion)
  • Yes, the canon definitions of the Mains only make reference to the ability to travel along them with Jump-1 ships.
  • Yes, we are tasked to explore what J-2 mains are called or even J-6's...
  • At J-1, a main or cluster basically is a trade route. It changes after J-1...
  • TJL: I'd really like to see that quoted chapter and verse.
  • Of course, there is very little, in the big picture, that we can quote chapter and verse. Traveller is often veneer when it comes to the nuts and bolts of worldbuilding.
  • MWM has tasked us to experiment with these things. He even appointed someone to work on these things and changed out leadership in connection with it.
  • TJL: But you should take a minute to approach this from the idea of someone who has never see this before.
  • MS: I've learned that I simply don't have the ability to explain things to someone in a heavy-duty engineering or computer programming mindset. They have to be able to redefine their constants to see new code. Otherwise, it's all wasted effort. C+ avails me not at all explaining matters to older PASCAL and BASIC programmers. New ideas necessitate open-minded approaches to changes. Insisting on defining all concepts of Russian into English doesn't work. Some things don't translate.
  • Thomas, when you really want to understand instead of your current state of perennial confusion, break down and call me. We will speak voice to voice as two people making a connection, not two faceless and voiceless beings, trying to make an impossible connection, that necessitates a different communications medium. I'll even meet you one of these days and buy your a beer. Your call.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 10:09, 2 March 2018 (EST)


Planning on going through Verge to Glimmerdrift (Trailing to Spinward)


Planning on going through Reaver's Deep to Hinterworlds (Trailing to Spinward)

Not going as well as I had hoped..

- Ssteve (talk) 23:06, 15 April 2018 (EDT)

No worries. It's not a race. Appreciate what you do.

- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 23:57, 15 April 2018 (EDT)


Planning on going through the remainder of the Imperium


"Publish" a new Annotated Atlas of the Imperium - Second Survey hopefully.


Had to put the effort to the side for the last few months. I do however want to get it done...

  • I recently started back up again, and am looking through reference material for additional information as I write up the text pages.
- Ssteve (talk) 18:43, 13 July 2018 (EDT)

Welcome back. Missed you.

- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 20:45, 13 July 2018 (EDT)
I suppose that means that I'll have to crack that cover as well...Ssteve (talk) 22:08, 13 July 2018 (EDT)

2018 08[edit]

Started on getting the overlap on the cluster and mains pages, looking at a bunch of data to add to the spreadsheet... over 17,000 systems so far. The most recent spreadsheet is on Google drive.

Ssteve (talk) 17:30, 2 August 2018 (EDT)

Thanks for all of your hard work, Steve. It's really coming together.

- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 17:52, 2 August 2018 (EDT)