Setting up a new Colony

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Greater Spotted Mongoose
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Re: Setting up a new Colony

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:05 pm

That is an excellent concept. Nice. I will be using that. :P
Cosmic Mongoose
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Re: Setting up a new Colony

Postby phavoc » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:32 pm

Hakkonen wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:06 am
phavoc wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:50 pm
So... whether you are King of Ashire, or President of Bshire, both forms of government can claim to be a government. Both can ban internal warfare, etc, etc. And both forms of government can get small parties to stop fighting through a variety of means, including force. And both can govern. And both can push their governed people into a violent overthrow of the current government.
Now I'm dead certain that you didn't actually read my post. In this scenario, I am not the ruler of Ashire OR Bshire, but of Ashire AND Bshire, both provinces of Ctania. Once more: if I can't get Ashire and Bshire to stop fighting each other, whether by legal means, diplomacy, or military force, then in what sense do I rule either of them?

Put another way: if the Spinward Marches goes to war with the Trojan Reach, and the Imperial military and/or government lacks either the ability or the will to stop them, then for all practical purposes there is no Imperium. There may be a guy who calls himself the Emperor, but if nobody recognizes his authority, or if he lacks authority in the first place, he's just a guy with a fancy hat.
I missed the unified as part of Ctania. However my point still stands. To your point, yes, if you cannot enforce the law or governance on a rebellious province, then by definition you no longer rule over them. If we look back at history we see areas that rebelled and were independent for a while, and then some were later re-conquered and re-integrated. So for this particular discussion we'd need to timebox it before providing a penultimate answer. Technically, once an area throws off the yoke of the government they are no longer being 'ruled' by them. But if that time period is a week, or a month, till the primary government forces can be moved and crush the rebellion, then they are still not ruled. Or, do we need to consider something like Germany ruling over parts of Europe for 5-6 years until they were crushed and some of those nations were freed. Conversely, how do we consider nations like Poland, or the Ukraine, that were ruled for decades by the Soviet Union until they were eventually granted independence and become free nations again?

To your other point, about the Spinward Marches & Trojan Reach - I would counter with the Solomani Rim. They declared independence and were, for a time, independent until Imperial fleets invaded Terra and took their capital. At that point the Solomani could not take back their homeworld and the Imperium was satisfied with the status quo. Do you consider it a must that the Imperium re-conquer every system in order to say they exist? Or can they do what they did and call it a day?

There is an article in the old Dragon magazine, called Exonidas Spaceport ( that discusses what happens when a world immolates part of itself, taking the Imperial starport with it. The world is balkanized, and a fleet appears to rescue survivors, put the planetary economy back on track, and to punish anyone left alive who may be guilty. In this example the Imperium is easily able to assert control for a variety of reasons. Reading up on the Solomani war and it's outcome would be more towards the discussion.
Chief Mongoose
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Re: Setting up a new Colony

Postby Condottiere » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:27 am

I'd say the Solomani Rim is closer to the Korean peninsula situation.

Both sides exhausted each other, the Imperium satisfied itself by taking the Solomani capital and not risking a fight with the newly arrived frontier fleets that the Solomani had decided to finally make available to Wolfe.
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Re: Setting up a new Colony

Postby Aycaramba » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:10 pm

Reynard wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:07 pm
"Bribe the right nobles and you can do almost whatever you want?"

Sounds very.... familiar. Reality stranger than fiction?
Ain't that the truth👍

I'm new to the setting but imagine that like any empire, intervention will depend on its interests with the low tech world. If the world is rich in resources and strategically located and the invader can be overcome quickly, then I'd say intervention will be swift. High resources but a tough war means intervention will take time and perhaps imperium will recruit client worlds to help. If the low tech world is poor then I see no intervention unless it is politically expedient. I would propose that It's all about strategic interests.
Cosmic Mongoose
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Re: Setting up a new Colony

Postby Reynard » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:54 pm

In the best of times, the Imperium relies on subsector and especially colonial elements to police the local neighborhoods. Imperial fleets are just too high maintenance. That's the best of times, however, the Imperium is literally surrounded by opposition. The big fleets are constantly monitoring and preparing for any trouble on big scales. To that end, it's far more economical to leave beat patrol to the locals. That often means your funds are low, resources are less and your tech is closer to average. Without gigantic Imperial Flag shows of force, war can be more inevitable and a drain on the surrounding region if they try to intervene unless it escalates to the worst case scenario such as genocide or scorched earth. Our old friend - drop rocks on a world - can be the kick in the pants for massive intervention.
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Re: Setting up a new Colony

Postby steve98052 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:54 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:30 pm
. . .
I like to play with the Balkanized government code (GOV 7) and consider most of them to be "double-colonized".
This is definitely a useful idea. But there are typically a lot of entities that can maintain control over a colony that is viable as a nation state on a balkanized world, so that sort of balkanized world would likely have only a few nations. Another model might be for there to be many nations, a few of which are colonies, client states, or allies of outside entities, and many others that are not aligned with outsiders. Such a world might resemble Africa before colonialism has placed most of the continent under control of an assortment of European colonial powers, or Africa during the decline of colonialism.

Possible colonial powers are Imperial nobles whose home fiefs are smaller than they might like, who don't have room to expand within the boundaries of the Imperium itself, expansionist regional powers, and Aslan clans. One might see strange bedfellow alliances such as a smaller Aslan clan's outpost, a distant Imperial marquis financing a Vargr artists' retreat with revenues from a plantation that grows pharmaceutical raw materials, and an otherwise aggressively anti-outsider independent nation facing off against the threat of a rival Aslan clan and human soldiers from a different Imperial noble's prisoner colony -- all while most of the other independent nations stand aside from the offworlders' conflict and profiteer by selling arms to both sides.
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Re: Setting up a new Colony

Postby mac40k » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:57 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:43 am
On a low tech world out in the wilds, what is to prevent a higher population world from setting up a colony on a lower population world in some unpopulated corner of it?

Look at Drinax and Asim. There are just 200 000 Asim citizens on a planet. Drinax could open up a colony city/province on another continent, or other side of the world and start extracting resources or growing more food.

Who would stop them?

In Imperial space how is the flow of people controlled from planet to planet?
The short answer is that there really is nothing preventing a higher population world for setting up a colony on a lower population world in some underpopulated corner of it. The section of the core book on TL says that higher tech stuff is often found on lower tech worlds and specifically calls out secret research bases as an example. Elsewhere we are told that many travellers never set foot outside of the main starport on most worlds. I would hazard to speculate that many lower TL worlds lack a planetary government since that’s not very realistic; however, that has little bearing on the Imperium. As long as trade and resupply are available at the starport and other governments on the planet don’t pose a threat to it, the Imperium could care less about them, whether they are “native” to the planet or a colony of some other world.

In the specific case of Drinax and Asim, my take is as follows. First of all, we don't have population figures for Drinax. All we know is that when the planet was glassed 200 years ago, the population of the Floating Palace numbered in the scant thousands. The map provided has no scale and we can only speculate what size population it can potentially sustain and whether or not a combination of longevity of the survivors due to access to analgathics or if limitations of the Palace potentially restrict population growth; however, it wasn’t overpopulation that drove the King to annex Asim; it was only the failure of the hydroponics systems that forced him to go to Asim to prevent starvation.

Asim is a non-industrial TL6 world with a population of around five million (PoD book 2, pg 22), but we have no idea how dispersed or centralized the populace is. Even assuming there are unsettled parts of the planet, Drinax’s immediate need of obtaining an alternate food supply would not have been solved by colonization anyway and since they now have that, they would have little reason to attempt colonization since they lack the manpower to do so.
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Re: Setting up a new Colony

Postby phavoc » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:04 am

It's actually in the best interest of the Imperium to poke, prod and coddle world's into being not only self sufficient in many ways, but to have decent economies as well. Better economies means more trade. The current system makes importing bulk food rather expensive, but manufactured goods and luxurise always have a market.

Also, the Imperium would not want to aleave to worry about hostiles randomly attacling their starport because they have so angered the locals. That means more expense for security and more risks for traders. Starports by themselves aren't going to be enough to generate trade and taxes. You need large populations for that. And the more advanced and succesdful a world is the better off everyone is.

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