Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
HalC
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Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby HalC » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:23 pm

Rather than go deep into Maintenance, Repairs and/or Construction rules in the megafreighter thread (thereby potentially derailing it), I figured it best to break the thread off into its own and take it from there.

Groundwork for this thread


It is suggested that if one is going to quote rules from any game system, that you give page references and underline key bits of the relevant wording when making a post. For instance...

AnotherDilbet made a very precise quote in which he quoted:

The general rule in CT was:
LBB5'80, p20 wrote: Technological Level: Technological level is important in the design of a ship because it governs where the ship may be produced, and how well the crew can operate and maintain it. The technological level of the building shipyard determines the technological level of the ship being constructed (a class A starport on a tech level 14 world constructs a tech level 14 ship).
While he didn't underline the section about operate and maintain (I did that), the words "and maintain" didn't seem to have any impact on the discussion.

So, can a TL 12 population operate a TL 15 ship, or do you need to educate your operators to a TL 15 level in order to operate or maintain a TL 15 ship? Putting this into real world terms, would you take someone who had the education consistent with American Civil War Era of the early 1860's decade and place such an individual in charge of the sensors of a modern USN warship? I largely suspect the answer is no. Note too, that AnotherDilbert made it a point to present both issues in the sense that the rules from High Guard 2nd edition do not quite match those of the rules from 1st edition (and he did a good job of arguing the merits and letting the readers draw conclusions instead of presenting the data that supports his conclusion and excluding mention of anything contradictory).

Here is the problem if you will...

Early Traveller specified for the bulk of its printed editions, that the TL of the world coupled with its port type, determined what the capabilities of the ships produced at the world were. I always wondered that if the only difference between a class A starport and a class B starport was whether or not it could manufacture jump drives and install them - why one couldn't simply transport an entire jump drive in a ship's hold, jump from a class A starport to a B starport, and then manually install the entire completed jump drive into a "Boat" hull (thereby making it a Starship). But, I accepted the fact that this might not be possible. Then I got to wondering - can a Class B starport repair a damaged Jump Drive? If a class B starport can't install a completed jumpdrive carried in a ship's hold, how can it repair battle damaged ship drives?

So - argue the merits of Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction in this thread. Use any game system rules you care to mention (but insure that you clarify the rule system being used so that people can say "I don't allow rules from GURPS TRAVELLER in my games" or "I don't permit rules from TRAVELLER: THE NEW ERA in my game" or what have you. But one can at least point out possibilities and share concepts/ideas that may or may not enrich another GM's game universe going forward.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby HalC » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:48 pm

so - having set this in motion, the next question for me to ask is this...

"What is a Starport precisely?"

If you go with the idea that it is a location, with buildings, people, tools, etc - required to build a ship, perform repairs, and perform maintenance - then I would agree with you. But here is the thing...

If you go with the rule set that specifies that maintenance has to be done at a Starport - the concept it implies is that you need something the facility has, that other non-starport locations lack.

So what are those "things"?

Is it a specially constructed "Shed" with heavy support beams built into its construction, permitting hoisting systems to lift heavy weights out of the ship? We have grav technology that can negate gravity to the extent that one should be able to simply ignore the need for lifting cranes right?

Is this "Thing" necessary - a set of tools that are specialized?

Is this "Thing" a well trained crew that specializes in the task to the exclusion of all other more detailed skill sets? For instance, one does NOT need to be a fully trained mechanic to be able to handle an inspection of a car. One does not need to be a fully trained mechanic to do an oil change. So, can a maintenance crew simply be a set of people with a highly specialized but incomplete mechanic style skill to get the task done?

These questions are not directly addressed in material that I own or can remember that I own (got too many books to have them all memorized by heart darn it!). That is why I picked up books detailing starports in other game systems. That is why I paid attention to what was in T5 and such.

GURPS TRAVELLER has a rule that states that lacking proper facilities, an ordinary starship crew can perform its own annual maintenance if it has the supplies required at hand, plus 8 weeks. This is spelled out page 106 of GURPS TRAVELLER STARSHIPS (what was to GURPS what HIGH GUARD is to other TRAVELLER rules sets). If you go with that concept - then an ordinary crew can handle their own annual maintenance taking 4x longer than the starport crew. If you don't go with that concept, and the maintenance must be done by a starport crew - then there is something at a class A or B starport that facilitates the process.

In any event. How many crew does it take for a annual maintenance to be performed? Does that information exist anywhere? Even GURPS TRAVELLER does not really say how many manhours are required to handle the two week job. Presumably, a full crew for an Empress Marava class ship nominally handled by 4 crew, needing to work 8 weeks to handle its maintenance, would require roughly 160 manhours x 8 or 1280 man hours without specialized tools or specialized sheds etc.

So, maybe MgT did detail that information somewhere. Since I don't own all of the MgT material (just some 10 titles thus far) - maybe that question is answered.

So - what happens when a ship comes in for repairs? A repair bay/facility is assigned to the ship and it takes up space within that location. How is that any different for a maintenance operation? What is the difference between a repair bay and a construction bay?

In the end? This level of detail may never be specified. <shrug> It would be nice if it were. But it seems to me that some of the Starport based material at least tried to take partial steps in that direction.

If we can point to rules from any approved game system that points towards what is involved in Repairs, Maintenance, or Construction, I hope that readers share that within this thread. :)
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:58 pm

HalC wrote: So - what happens when a ship comes in for repairs? A repair bay/facility is assigned to the ship and it takes up space within that location. How is that any different for a maintenance operation? What is the difference between a repair bay and a construction bay?
We don't really have rules for Sim Starport, but:

I assume shipyard handles construction, repair, refit, and maintenance all taking up the same yard capacity, hence the same type of bays:

Construction:
A5 TCS, p33 wrote:Each planet's shipyards have a maximum capacity expressed in the number of tons of ship they may work on at a time (including repair and refitting operations: see later rules).

Refit:
A5 TCS, p34 wrote:Refitting takes up shipyard capacity equal to the refitting ship's tonnage.

Repair:
A5 TCS, p35 wrote:Starport Repairs: Full repair may be done at any A or B starport, but j-drive repairs require double cost and time at B starports, and no starport may repair a ship system of higher tech level than the starport's tech level. Repairs require shipyard capacity equal to the ship's tonnage.

Maintenance:
A1 Kinunir, p41 wrote:General Shipyards: The largest stanhip manufacturer in the Regina subsector, with yards at Regina, Efate, and Pixie. Originally a military contractor, General no longer produces ships for military use, instead concentrating on the more lucrative commercial market. The yard a t Regina is capable of producing ships up to 5000 tons, while the subsidiary yards at Pixie and Efate are limited to 600 tons per ship, and devote most of their attention to annual maintenances.

(The quotes from CT TCS are basically repeated in MgT1 TCS.)
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby HalC » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:15 pm

Thank you AnotherDilbert...

That quote you mentioned above - specifically:

Maintenance:
A1 Kinunir, p41 wrote:General Shipyards: The largest stanhip manufacturer in the Regina subsector, with yards at Regina, Efate, and Pixie. Originally a military contractor, General no longer produces ships for military use, instead concentrating on the more lucrative commercial market. The yard a t Regina is capable of producing ships up to 5000 tons, while the subsidiary yards at Pixie and Efate are limited to 600 tons per ship, and devote most of their attention to annual maintenances.
That quote seems to imply that maintenance does actively take up berthing space.

Hypothetically speaking? If you have a pit/pad or what ever you want to call it - dedicated to producing say, 200 dton hulls, having a ship occupy that pit for two weeks would seem to imply that in lieu of production, that same facility can handle 26 hulls for maintenance (assuming 2 weeks per hull, no unusual circumstances warranting delays or what have you).

Mind you, based on what you've listed, the mentioning of maintenance doesn't seem to have gone mainstream anywhere. One would think that the TCS module would have gone into more details on it if the intention had been to use some rule of thumb for maintenance taking up production facilities.

I wonder why the limit on tonnage for hulls in Kinunir? It can't be TL based in the sense that computer size limits hull size (see pg 26 of High Guard for CT). Unless the rules from TCS support it, one would suspect it was simply writer's license rather than anything else.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:16 pm

HalC wrote: In any event. How many crew does it take for a annual maintenance to be performed? Does that information exist anywhere?
The crew is generally not involved:
LBB2'81 wrote:3. Routine Maintenance. Annually, a starship should be given a complete overhaul in order to insure that it is kept in good working order. Such maintenance costs 0.1% (1/1000th) of the cash price of the ship, and requires two weeks at a class A or B starport. The owner must make provision for payment of the maintenance fee when it comes due. Crew members generally take their vacations at this time, but must still be paid.

Optional rules say:
JTAS#24, p33 wrote: In the cases where a crew plans to go out beyond the limits of civilization, allowance is made to stock up on the supplies that the engineering staff will need to perform preventative maintenance.
...
If the ship has been crewed as greater than 1000tons, any flat spot on a world with a habitable surface will do.
...
Such preventative maintenance will take 4-6 weeks in any event.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:26 pm

HalC wrote: Mind you, based on what you've listed, the mentioning of maintenance doesn't seem to have gone mainstream anywhere. One would think that the TCS module would have gone into more details on it if the intention had been to use some rule of thumb for maintenance taking up production facilities.
I agree that it is just implied, not explicitly stated. We can use it as a hint.

TCS streamlined maintenance to just a cost.

HalC wrote: I wonder why the limit on tonnage for hulls in Kinunir? It can't be TL based in the sense that computer size limits hull size (see pg 26 of High Guard for CT). Unless the rules from TCS support it, one would suspect it was simply writer's license rather than anything else.
That is library data for those specific yards, not a general rule.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:29 pm

HalC wrote: Hypothetically speaking? If you have a pit/pad or what ever you want to call it - dedicated to producing say, 200 dton hulls, having a ship occupy that pit for two weeks would seem to imply that in lieu of production, that same facility can handle 26 hulls for maintenance (assuming 2 weeks per hull, no unusual circumstances warranting delays or what have you).
Agreed, but I wouldn't bother keeping track of the number or size of yard bays, or their occupancy.

If the players need annual maintenance or their ship, a bay will be free unless I have special plans...

In a TCS campaign we need to track total capacity and usage of the yard.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby HalC » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:03 pm

The only real reason to be concerned with "Sim Starport" (nice catchy title!) is for one of three reasons...

1) give details to what a starport can or can't do. MgT's STARPORTS goes some distance towards this goal.

2) give role playing situations, one could for instance, determine that the port only has x number of facilities, and traffic to and from that star port is sufficiently high that the GM rationalizes that a player character captain has to reserve his spot in the maintenance queue at least 6 weeks in advance.

3) discussing the implications of what is involved with any given subsector's ability to service the ships within its confines. In all rational endeavors - trying to discern just how many hulls are present in space is probably on par with determining how many angels can dance on a pin head. None the less - if using the rules from STARPORTS, we find that the combined capacity for hull activity (be it construction, repairs, or maintenance) exists, something as simple as:

Pit capacity = determines how many dTons of ship can be produced in that specific facility, or determines how many dTons of repairs can be handled, or 26x capacity for annual maintenance activity. Construction crew required is already detailed per TCS, Repair is also detailed per TCS, while (for example) Maintenance is done by a number of individuals equal to the engineering department required for the ship in question.

Something like that above, would be nice (and thanks to JTAS 24, I might actively go that route - man hours required equals that of the engineering department). But in reality, that's a house rule, not sanctioned as official (and probably never will be).

One thing I keep hearing is that TCS is not canon. It exists solely as a set of wargame rules - little more. But I also find it ironic that shipyard building capacity is only discussed in TCS (that I'm aware of). So, which is it - TCS can be useful for at least ship building rules, or it is not canon and useless for ship yard discussions?
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:14 pm

HalC wrote: Something like that above, would be nice (and thanks to JTAS 24, I might actively go that route - man hours required equals that of the engineering department). But in reality, that's a house rule, not sanctioned as official (and probably never will be).

Actually, I found this:
TNE, p222 wrote:This maintenance can be conducted by the crew themselves at a B or C starport at twice the normal time (four weeks), provided the maintenance parts have already been purchased at an A or B starport (at a cost of 0.05% [1/2000] the cash price of the ship, and taking up a volume of 1/200 the ship's displacement tonnage). There is no additional cost above the crew salary, but they obviously get no vacation. At a D or E starport, this do-it-yourself maintenance takes four times the regular time, or eight weeks.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:23 pm

HalC wrote: One thing I keep hearing is that TCS is not canon. It exists solely as a set of wargame rules - little more. But I also find it ironic that shipyard building capacity is only discussed in TCS (that I'm aware of). So, which is it - TCS can be useful for at least ship building rules, or it is not canon and useless for ship yard discussions?
As far as I know TCS is canon, it's only the economic sub-system (GDP, Exchange rates) that is de-canonised.

The actual wargames, such as Imperium and FFW, are also canonical.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby HalC » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:31 pm

For what it is worth, I'm taking the time to go into more depth reading STARPORTS by Mongoose. One of the things put forth in the book allows that most starports in the Traveller universe are at TL 12 regardless of the world's supporting TL. If a starport is rated at a higher TL than the world, the cost for the "modules" in creating the Starport gets increased by 100% per TL difference.

I am going to have to see if building ships at a higher TL than the supporting world's TL increases the cost of constructing the ships, or if that cost has already been paid by upgrading the star port itself, and is no longer an issue.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby HalC » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:54 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:46 pm
CT 77, CT 81, TTB and ST had no restriction limiting ship construction to a worlds TL in the ship building section.

Then within the setting we have examples of TL15 ships being constructed at TL10 planets and TL15 merchants operating a long way from TL15 worlds. And finally there is Kinorb A663659 5, a type A starport on a TL5 world...
Some things to consider when quoting the original black books or the The Traveller Book, etc - is that if you look carefully at the ship construction rules - there is nothing in them to suggest that Jump 1 technology is limited to a given Tech level, nor is Jump 2 limited to a given tech level etc.

For that, you'd have to go to subsequent publications in the form of the Libraries, High Guard 1st or second edition, etc. For example, per the rules in Book 3, page 15, it states that at TL 9, Drives A through D can be manufactured. In theory, one can design a 200 dTon ship using Book 2 rules, specifying Jump4, Powerplant 4, Manuever 1 - with 120 dtons of fuel for both powerplant 4 and jump 4 - four staterooms, plus a 20 dton bridge - and still have 5 dtons of cargo space available. This design does not include a ship's computer, so it appears at the very least, we need a Model 2 computer, Model 2 BIS or possibly a model 3 to run the software required. This in turn drops cargo carrying capacity to 3 or 2 dtons. None the less, as courier style ship, it would seem a viable design (not commercially viable that's for sure!)

That is a Jump 4 ship designed at TL 9.

Does it mesh with the history of the Third Imperium or subsequent published material about what jump technology can do what at any given TL?

So, it would appear that we have to forego the use of the main books as far as tech level and ship production capabilities in as far as the Third Imperium is concerned, especially given the history outlined in subsequent publications.
Technological Level: Technological level is important in the design of a ship because it governs where the ship may be produced, and how well the crew can operate and maintain it. The technological level of the building shipyard determines the technological level of the ship being constructed (a class A starport on a tech level 14 world constructs a tech level 14 ship).
So, first mention of an Imperium is in Book 4: Mercenary. The references are limited to only a few lines. Book 5: High Guard also references an Imperium, and largely doesn't get into too much detail - but mentions it a little more often than Mercenary does. Not much to go on right? None the less, that line is very specific in its intent. Note too, that this is a revision of the first edition rule with states
Availability: Starships can be constructed at the shipyard of any class A starport; non-starships may be constructed at the shipyard of either class A or B starports. The technological level of the world holding the shipyard governs the construction capabilities: the tech level of a ship may not be more than 3 greater than the tech level of the shipyard. All higher tech level equipment must be imported, at 50% sur-charge.
As others have noted, design rules 1st edition was used for publications up to a certain year, and subsequent publications after the 2nd edition was published, followed those rule guidelines. Oddly enough, some of those later publications included formats for both versions of the rules.

So - quoting prior publications is fine, as long as it is understood that those who want to use a given rule for their own campaigns are welcome to do so. Others using subsequent publications that in theory, supplant the earlier edition(s) - are free to disagree with your assessment. Even if the disclaimer in High Guard published in 1980 states that it does not supplant the material in book 2, the sad fact is - subsequent publications of Traveller Material links the Jump drive limitations to specific tech levels - something that was clearly intended to supplant the material in Book 2. MegaTraveller goes further to state WHEN given Tech Levels were achieved in the grand history since year zero of the creation of the Third Imperium. Milieu Zero for T4 goes even further. The trend is well established such that despite the disclaimer in book 5, we're still dealing with a deliberate adoption of standards.

We can't just quote one book published earlier in the series - we'd have to look at later publications and then retroactively apply them to those books involved. Why did High Guard 5 impose the limitation of TL of main world limits the TL of the ship for anything larger than say, 5,000 tons, but not those ships which can be produced by CT book 2? That's largely a matter of interpretation.

I'm trying to not be disagreeable in my disagreement, and it may not come across that way as my intent. So, take it for what it is worth (and since no one paid for me to write this, I largely suspect is value is close to zero *teasing grin*)
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:19 pm

It's a discussion, disagreement is all part and parcel of discussions. And it is nice to be able to discuss this stuff with people who know their stuff - which you do and so does AnotherDilbert.

My main point in these various posts has been that the setting does not make use of the rules as written. Look at the HG stats for the x-boat in Traders and Gunboats and again in Fighting Ships for example, it is TL10. That does not fit the paradigm for drive progression that HG brings to the table and yet it does fit with CT letter drives.

Later authors chose to change the setting to the HG drive TL paradigm and we are stuck with an 'anachronistic' xboat (I'm using that word in the sense that the x-boat is out of its time).

MWM plays fast and loose with drive TLs in his Agent of the Imperium novel - jump 5 scouts a couple of centuries before the MT date for the Imperium achieving jump 5 and jump 6 couriers by the 700s, three hundred years prior to the 1000 date given for Imperial TL15 adoption.

Little details like these make me wonder if we are correct to stick with the HG drive paradgim, or the HG linking of TL to ship construction. What I am arguing for is that for a polity like the Imperium that has been TL15 for so long now that the technology is well understood, then any shipyard should be capable of building the letter drives with bought in components, and that all A class starports within the Imperium have to be TL15 regardless of their world TL.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:42 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: MWM plays fast and loose with drive TLs in his Agent of the Imperium novel - jump 5 scouts a couple of centuries before the MT date for the Imperium achieving jump 5 and jump 6 couriers by the 700s, three hundred years prior to the 1000 date given for Imperial TL15 adoption.
Perfectly acceptable in T5 and MgT2 with prototype drives a couple of TLs early.

Sigtrygg wrote: What I am arguing for is that for a polity like the Imperium that has been TL15 for so long now that the technology is well understood, then any shipyard should be capable of building the letter drives with bought in components, and that all A class starports within the Imperium have to be TL15 regardless of their world TL.
That is reasonable, but then all reasonably advanced worlds would all be TL15 by now (~1105) and they are demonstrably not.

The OTU with lots of different TLs implies somehow limited tech transfer.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:21 pm

Does every country here in the real world manufacture:
nuclear power plants
microchips
stealth fighters
rockets for their space programme
satellites
Does the knowledge base exits to do these things?
Could they if they were willing to spend the money on building the infrastructure?
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby Condottiere » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:31 pm

In a Trillion Credit Squadron campaign, construction of spaceships is very much dependent on the local planet's technological level, and other modifiers.

I'd say that starports most probably have spare parts of at least technological level twelve available, since that's probably the minimum operating base of the Imperium, and if not in inventory, probably can order them relatively quickly.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:22 am

If there is an IN base also present there has to be TL15 capacity present too...

and any civilian ship of any TL can have its annual maintainance at any A or B starport regardless of the world's TL. There are worlds in the SM with type B starports that as per the rules as written can perform annual maintenance of civilian TL15 ships, and yet have a world TL of 5 (they can build mom-starships and smallcraft at TL5 lol)

My contention remains that within the 1105 Third Imperium setting all A and B starports are effectively TL15
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby steve98052 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:15 pm

Perhaps the reason that shipyards under the Trillion Credit Squadron campaign rules is that the various worlds in the Islands subsectors are more or less at war with each other, and thus not willing to trade military components. The Imperium, by contrast, is a giant trade confederation with a military.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby Condottiere » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:41 pm

The Imperium Navy can and does construct auxiliaries and secondary warships at lower technological levels.

Certain important ship systems might be upgraded.
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Re: Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:28 pm

No it doesn't, in the same way that the US Airforce doesn't build WW2 era aircraft for the transport or refueling role, and the US Navy doesn't build WW2 era transports for auxiliary duty - everything is state of the art because that's what the enemy does.

It has auxiliaries and secondary warships at lower TLs due to not building replacements yet.

There is nor evidence in FFW for regular IN assets being anything less than TL15.

The only advantage the Imperium has over the Zhodani and the Solomani is TL, to field warships that do not match their adversaries is idiotic.

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