fuel-cargo hybrid space

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phavoc
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby phavoc » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:11 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:34 am
Reynard wrote: Drop tanks incur a penalty to the Engineering (J-drive) check and not every ship is automatically TL 15.
Yes, but at TL-15 that is DM-0. Using drop tanks is most attractive with high jump range which implies high tech drives anyway.

But, agreed, I would not really want to use drop tanks at TL-10 or so...

Reynard wrote: Also they make your ship unstreamlined.
No, partially streamlined, like many ships tend to be anyway. They can still land and scoop.
Average Imperial TL is 12, which would suggest that the average freighter plying Imperial space would also be TL-12 (or lower for tramp freighters).

There shouldn't be any issue with this for freighters, as larger ones would never waste the time to go to a gas giant to scoop fuel, so I don't see that as being much of an issue. The only people who would scoop would be those who have no other recourse. It's much cheaper in time costs to purchase unrefined fuel and refine it while you are on the ground unloading your cargo, finding new cargo and loading it up. The time you'd save would more than offset the costs.
Old School
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby Old School » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:16 am

Never used them, so didnt pay attention to how fragile they are. Yes, at that failure rate, they arent worth the trouble or expense.
Reynard
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby Reynard » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:43 am

I realized most large freighters will rely on orbital stations, where available. Streamlined designs are normally the forte of trader class vessels that are a staple of frontiers and places reliant on downports.
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:31 am

What annoyed me about demountable tanks was their storage cost, and how long it took to install them.

That didn't seem kosher.
baithammer
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby baithammer » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:35 am

Demountable tanks are for use in designs that don't use drop tanks or modular hulls, so are effective for temporary installation without buying a new hull.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:02 pm

phavoc wrote: Average Imperial TL is 12, which would suggest that the average freighter plying Imperial space would also be TL-12 (or lower for tramp freighters).
Given that major trade route tend to follow the J-4 X-boat routes and go between the HiPop, HiTech worlds that actually carry the Imperial economy, I find that unlikely. J-4 implies TL-13 minimum.

Note that the average Imperial citizen enjoys a TL of about 13, of even nearly 14 in the better parts of the Imperium. The Spinward Marches is notably primitive and not representative.

Tramp freighters operating in fly-over country are probably low-tech.

phavoc wrote: There shouldn't be any issue with this for freighters, as larger ones would never waste the time to go to a gas giant to scoop fuel, ...
Completely agree.
phavoc
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby phavoc » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:24 pm

Reynard wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:43 am
I realized most large freighters will rely on orbital stations, where available. Streamlined designs are normally the forte of trader class vessels that are a staple of frontiers and places reliant on downports.
Very much so. For busier systems, especially hubs, one should see the freight hub(s) of the system right at 90 - 99D limit to minimize their dwell time. They would arrive, drop their cargo off, pick up the new set and be on their route. Cargo lighters could do the hauling to/from the stations. Though this model would only work for the busier systems since the cost savings would be lost for smaller cargo runs.
phavoc
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby phavoc » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:31 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:02 pm
phavoc wrote: Average Imperial TL is 12, which would suggest that the average freighter plying Imperial space would also be TL-12 (or lower for tramp freighters).
Given that major trade route tend to follow the J-4 X-boat routes and go between the HiPop, HiTech worlds that actually carry the Imperial economy, I find that unlikely. J-4 implies TL-13 minimum.

Note that the average Imperial citizen enjoys a TL of about 13, of even nearly 14 in the better parts of the Imperium. The Spinward Marches is notably primitive and not representative.

Tramp freighters operating in fly-over country are probably low-tech.
The two are similar, but not necessarily the same. X-boats are an anomaly in that they exist only to transmit data. Go back to the early days of the pony express and you'll see that it was optimized for one thing and one thing only. People and freight plodded along at much slower speeds.

In the early days of cargo shipping, Sealand was one of the biggest players in the container shipping market. In the late 60s they launched a fleet (8 ships) of fast container ships that had a speed of 31 knots - unheard of for cargo vessels. The thought process was that people would pay to get cargo their faster. Sealand was wrong. They lost money on these ships because of the high cost of operations. 10 years later they sold them all to the US Navy, who actually sometimes had a need for high-speed transports. Everyone else plodded along at 20 or so knots.

It's the same as the Concorde. People who could afford it paid the premium, everyone else travelled on 747 at more than double the trip time. NY - London is one of the busiest international air routes and it couldn't sustain the business due to costs. And the US and UK are two of the most industrialized and wealthiest economies in the world.

Commerce always comes down to moving the most stuff for the fewest pennies. Merchants haven't changed since trade began.
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:21 pm

I agree, but canon says silly things sometimes. E.g.:
Xboat links are represented by grey lines showing the established communications routes. Generally, these routes are also the major freight and passenger carrying lines.
The cheapest way to ship things a long way is by J-3 or possibly J-4 depending on route (and edition).

TL-12 ships are not cheaper to build and operate than higher tech ships, rather the opposite.

Under current rules hi-tech jump tugs that carries cargo externally are cheap and flexible.

Together this leads to hi-tech freighters, as long as hi-tech shipyards are reasonably close, which they are in most of the Imperium.
phavoc
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby phavoc » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:55 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:21 pm
I agree, but canon says silly things sometimes. E.g.:
Xboat links are represented by grey lines showing the established communications routes. Generally, these routes are also the major freight and passenger carrying lines.
The cheapest way to ship things a long way is by J-3 or possibly J-4 depending on route (and edition).

TL-12 ships are not cheaper to build and operate than higher tech ships, rather the opposite.

Under current rules hi-tech jump tugs that carries cargo externally are cheap and flexible.

Together this leads to hi-tech freighters, as long as hi-tech shipyards are reasonably close, which they are in most of the Imperium.
Fair enough. I was looking at Travellermap.com on the routes and there are many jumps that are J-1, J-2, or J-3 in length along the X-boat route. I'm not aware of a list anywhere that details out the X-boat route (it's a big map...).

And there is the idea that the X-boat route is for the flow of information only. At least in a tracking/graphical format. But there are many planets that are HT and Hi-pop that won't be on the direct route. The flow of information does not necessarily follow the flow of goods. The ports of LA/Long Beach in the US take a lot of trans-pacific cargo, but major ports are spread throughout the US - the Port of Houston is the 2nd largest port in the US by total tonnage, and it's smack dab in the middle of the southern US.

You make a valid point about cheaper shipping with the TL-13 ships and their jump drives. One question that I've never seen any canon material about is concerning the merchant network. So we are both making (probably valid) assumptions with little to no game information. All we can do is extrapolate from reality and history. The "answer" is probably somewhere in the middle.
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby AndrewW » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:47 pm

phavoc wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:31 pm
It's the same as the Concorde. People who could afford it paid the premium, everyone else travelled on 747 at more than double the trip time. NY - London is one of the busiest international air routes and it couldn't sustain the business due to costs. And the US and UK are two of the most industrialized and wealthiest economies in the world.
British Airways did a survey of Concorde flyers and most actually thought they where paying a lot more for the fare (typically business travelers who didn't handle their own reservations) and they raised the fare considerably. There was more then one factor in the demise of the Concorde but part of it was parts, they had trouble even getting the parts for it. After the fatal accident at Charles de Gaulle airport (wheel problem) that was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:17 pm

phavoc wrote: So we are both making (probably valid) assumptions with little to no game information. All we can do is extrapolate from reality and history.
Agreed.
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby steve98052 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:05 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:21 pm
TL-12 ships are not cheaper to build and operate than higher tech ships, rather the opposite.

Under current rules hi-tech jump tugs that carries cargo externally are cheap and flexible.
Does this hold true even with the technology level adjustment for Credits in Trillion Credit Squadron (and the similar rules in Far Trader)?
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby Reynard » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:10 pm

The thing that constantly confuses me is the tech level of starports. It seems every starport run by an empire is at the maximum tech achieved by the empire and it's those starports that build. repair and service ships so really there should be no ships other than at maximum tech level. The average TL of Imperial worlds is 12-13 yet their ports are TL 15. Why build anything less if a lesser TL ship isn't as cost effective?
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby PsiTraveller » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:22 am

A TL 14 based Jump Station merchant route can be very profitable. Moving externally mounted cargo with a drop tank equipped ship is very cost effective. (blatant plug) there is a module called Jump Station Echo on Drive thru. (end blatant plug).

The TL required to prevent the occasional destruction of the drop tank is important, otherwise it gets too expensive to replace.

The only thing more profitable is a small scale ship that uses a psion as the Jump system. Those numbers get crazy.
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:32 am

Reynard wrote: It seems every starport run by an empire is at the maximum tech achieved by the empire and it's those starports that build. repair and service ships so really there should be no ships other than at maximum tech level.
After a millennia of mostly peace, trade, and prosperity the Imperium should have a common tech base with most systems having the same TL, but it does not.

Most editions insist that TL-12 systems can only build TL-12 ships, so starports use local TL.
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby Condottiere » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:43 am

There's a rumour going around that super sonic airliners might be reintroduced, with less restrictive noise pollution requirements, and improved engineering that mitigate said noise pollution and improve fuel efficiency.

At least, for megacorporation class.

As regards to starports, I'm pretty sure that starports are constructed at minimum technological level twelve, but all have (easier) access to higher technology, including spare parts.
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:19 am

steve98052 wrote: Does this hold true even with the technology level adjustment for Credits in Trillion Credit Squadron (and the similar rules in Far Trader)?
I don't know, I haven't checked since CT (where the exchange rate did not make up for the massive power plants at lower TL).

In MgT2 there is not all that much difference between merchant ships of TL-12 and TL-15 so I suspect a 15% rebate at TL-12 (TCS) would make a significant difference.


Take a simple TL-15 freighter with 1 kDt payload:
Image

Make something similar at TL-12:
Image

The TL-12 ship is slightly bigger and more expensive with a slightly bigger crew using slightly more fuel, so is slightly less profitable.


Give it a 15% rebate in Imperial Credits:
Image

The TL-12 ship is now clearly cheaper to operate, so slightly more profitable.

Note that this exchange mechanism from TCS has been specifically de-canonised as far as I know.


Far Trader seems to use a very different mechanism where hi-tech factories and yards can build lower tech items much more cheaply. The J-3 drive in a TL-15 ship would cost next to nothing and the TL-15 ship would be much cheaper.
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby Condottiere » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:24 am

For commercial ships, the jump drive is the most expensive component.

Current ship design only allows a single budget variant.
baithammer
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Re: fuel-cargo hybrid space

Postby baithammer » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:08 am

TL 15 yards are a rarity and tend to handle Navy shipbuilding rather than commercial building, which is standard at TL12. ( TL 13 tend to be system government yards.)

Further, the pricing for high tech options on TL 12 power plants are rather light compared to a standard power plant at TL 15.

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