Forum:Guesstimating Fleet Sizes

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Background: I'm trying to develop naval orders of battle for a non-Imperial state (Principality of Caledon) and perhaps some of its minor neighbors and constituent systems.

I used to have this written up (as in 25 years ago), but I've long since lost both those notes and my copies of Trillion Credit Squadron and High Guard.

So my question is this:

Question: Does anyone have any guidelines or rules of thumb as to how much naval tonnage a system, or group of systems, can pay for, at least on a general level? I'd hate to call out an absurdly large fleet.

I know it's a complex question, and that I really need to break down and find a copy of Trillion Credit Squadron. But until I do...

Thanks in advance.

Mitchberg (talk) 13:14, 6 September 2013 (EDT)

The TCS and HG rules end started with 0.5Kcr per person in taxes for the Naval (military) budget. So that forms the basis of your budget. You may want to subtract off 10% to 30% for the other military arms, and normal functions of the Navy. Depending on how militaristic your world was, that could increase by as much as 50%, plus 50% if you empire was in a real shooting war. You can spend 10x that amount on ships, given that the basic maintenance on ships is 1/10 their original cost per year. About 10% of the budget can be spent on new ships, the rest on older ships or older designs. Converting the budget into ship tonnage was never discussed. I've seen some estimates, but it widely depends upon the specific rules used for building the ships. Tjoneslo (talk) 15:28, 6 September 2013 (EDT)
That's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks. Mitchberg (talk) 15:37, 6 September 2013 (EDT)
However, Thomas is wrong. The Cr500 per man (modified by government type, BTW) is the naval budget alone, with the army paid for over and above that. It's also a simplification. Striker gives a more detailed scheme. GWP (Gross World Product) is calculated per person according to tech level and modified by trade classifications. Military spending is between 1 and 15% of GWP, with the highest figures reached in wartime and not sustainable in the long run. Peacetime expenditure probably has a maximum around 10% (The US reached 8% during the Cold War). Imperial worlds averages 3%. TCS worlds are pocket empires surrounded by hostile pocket empires, so their peacetime expenditure seems to be in the high end. Of the military budget, a world pays a certain percentage to the interstellar government if it is a member of an interstellar government (Imperial worlds pay 30% of their military budgets to the Imperium). The rest (or all if the world is on its own) is split between the army and the navy. The split depends on surface conditions; for worlds with breathable air the army gets 40%, for airless worlds the army gets 6%. Rancke (talk) 07:29, 7 September 2013 (EDT)
The issue here is there are several different, not entirely compatible, methods of calculating budgets and therefore fleet sizes. Per the Original post, the budget specified by TCS is Cr500 per person. This varies by government type by 20%. (TCS p. 31). In theory there is a larger table for transferring money from one world to another based upon TL and Startport type (TCS p. 32). As a rule of thumb, Cr500 per person for the naval budget in a pocket empire is a good starting place. It may be off by as much as 30% for the more detailed economic analysis, but it won't be radically wrong. Tjoneslo (talk) 16:28, 7 September 2013 (EDT)
Thanks, TJonesLo and Rancke. That's basically what I needed to know. Although I'm frankly amazed at how very very huge the fleets get to be under this system; I'm doing a generic OrBat for the Principality of Caledonia, and I'm over 3,500 ships (nearly 100 of them capital ships) and I've still only gotten through 1/4 of the budget.
BTW, in looking through some High Guard designs I've found on the web, the very rough rule of thumb formula seems to be about 1MCr/1,000 tons. Multiply by about .6 for capital ships, and by .3-.4 for tankers and storesships. That's what I'm using for my very rough "rule of thumb" OrBat, until I find a copy of TCS...
Again, thanks Mitchberg (talk) 12:02, 10 September 2013 (EDT)