Corsair Question

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Re: Corsair Question

Postby GypsyComet » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:31 am

phavoc wrote:
GypsyComet wrote:Every world in the Imperium is an Imperial member. If a world can project power through the whole system, its SDBs are deputized, as it were, to serve Imperial Law in areas beyond the legal reach of their homeworld. That this is also serving their homeworld as protection from hooligans in the outsystem is a bonus.

This is the only way to make law enforcement work, since the subsector and sector fleet elements can't be everywhere at once. In Imperial space the default Imperial Officer is the Portmaster. Important worlds may have more, and real backwaters (E ports) may not have even that, but the Portmaster or his Security Chief are where you start.
I thought that worlds within the Imperium were not required to be full members, but travel throughout the Imperium essentially required the worlds to obey all laws and to not be a threat to the Imperium?
Think of the Imperium as a large city, and systems as city blocks. Some blocks are many small buildings, and some are one big building. Some blocks (or buildings within those blocks) hire security guards, others do not. The Imperium is the city's Police force, tasked with traffic control and occasional big problems on a block. The security guards can be friendly and cooperative with the Police, or they can be indifferent or even hostile. They can even cross the street and play rough with the security guards of other blocks, as long as they don't do something stupid like burn down the building.

Pirates are like street gangs, roaming from block to block making trouble for the residents and hoping they've picked a block the cops aren't about to drive past.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby GypsyComet » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:35 am

mr31337 wrote:
Greylond wrote:In the OTU, war is permitted if it doesn't involved Nukes and/or doesn't stop Interstellar Trade.
Sure, but is that only within the 100D? ...is my question.
Pretty much, but 100D is not a political boundary. War occurs between *worlds*. Their fleets might meet in open space, and the Imperium might even allow it, but the worlds themselves are the prize. The fastest way to end a local war is to poke the local Imperial fleet in the nose or break one of the Imperial Rules of War. If the Imperial Navy becomes involved in your little local war, that war is about to be *over*.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby Greylond » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:08 am

mr31337 wrote:
Greylond wrote:In the OTU, war is permitted if it doesn't involved Nukes and/or doesn't stop Interstellar Trade.
Sure, but is that only within the 100D? ...is my question.
I'd say that depends on the local Subsector or Imperial Commanding Officer. Technically, probably not, if it wasn't bothering Trade Ships, but I could see some Officer who had a connection to one world or another that decided that it was about to Interfere and run interference for one side or another.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:17 am

I don't use the 3rd Imperium.... but like the Romans, I wouldn't post troops anywhere near where they were raised. Cuts out the largest cause of local favouritism.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby phavoc » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:53 pm

mr31337 wrote:
Greylond wrote:In the OTU, war is permitted if it doesn't involved Nukes and/or doesn't stop Interstellar Trade.
Sure, but is that only within the 100D? ...is my question.
No. Planets can engage in warfare beyond 100D, or even outside of their system. But no matter what, they still fall under the laws and regulations of the Imperium.

So if one planet wanted to raid the interstellar traffic of another, they could do so. Up to the point that an Imperial authority decided that it was interfering with interstellar commerce, and then they would put an end to it.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby mr31337 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:12 pm

phavoc wrote:
mr31337 wrote:
Greylond wrote:In the OTU, war is permitted if it doesn't involved Nukes and/or doesn't stop Interstellar Trade.
Sure, but is that only within the 100D? ...is my question.
No. Planets can engage in warfare beyond 100D, or even outside of their system. But no matter what, they still fall under the laws and regulations of the Imperium.

So if one planet wanted to raid the interstellar traffic of another, they could do so. Up to the point that an Imperial authority decided that it was interfering with interstellar commerce, and then they would put an end to it.
Is this just your opinion or is this established as canon somewhere?

I was pretty sure that any attack on ships in Imperial Space was considered an act of piracy, but I can't cite anything to support that belief.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby phavoc » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:36 pm

mr31337 wrote:Is this just your opinion or is this established as canon somewhere?

I was pretty sure that any attack on ships in Imperial Space was considered an act of piracy, but I can't cite anything to support that belief.
I can't cite the pages that establish the Imperial rules of war, but they are out there in some supplement.

And warfare <> piracy. A planet raiding another planet's shipping as part of an armed conflict doesn't fit the definitions of piracy. But as was mentioned before, the Imperial authorities might take a dim view of it, as it may cause ripples elsewhere. And of course there are going to be mistakes, and 'oops, my bad.' that can get the authorities involved.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby mr31337 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:16 pm

phavoc wrote:I can't cite the pages that establish the Imperial rules of war, but they are out there in some supplement.

And warfare <> piracy. A planet raiding another planet's shipping as part of an armed conflict doesn't fit the definitions of piracy. But as was mentioned before, the Imperial authorities might take a dim view of it, as it may cause ripples elsewhere. And of course there are going to be mistakes, and 'oops, my bad.' that can get the authorities involved.
If anybody has a reference for "Imperial Rules of War" I'd love to hear it please.
travellerwiki wrote:<snip>The rules of war are an accumulation of unwritten concepts established on a case-by-case basis. They have not been officially codified to prevent formal precedent from preventing Imperial intervention. The main aim of the rules is to maintain the economic and military well-being of the realm.</snip>
The travellerwiki doesn't go on to clarify if warfare is permitted outside the 100D. While I don't accept traveller wiki as the definitive word on the matter it is usually reasonably accurate.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby phavoc » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:56 pm

I'll try to take a look at my GURPS references, like Ground Forces. I just don't recall which supplements had the best definition.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby phavoc » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:05 pm

Using my Google-fu, I found some references.

Here's something from Adventure-7 Broadsword from classic Traveller:

Imperial Rules of War

To mitigate the potentially most disastrous aspects of armed conflict, the "rules of war" have evolved as an accumulation of unwritten concepts on a case-by-case basis. The rules of war have never been officially codified, both to prevent them being seen as an Imperial endorsement of war and to prevent formal precedent from preventing Imperial intervention whenever the Imperium deems it necessary. The main aim of the rules is to maintain the economic and military well-being of the realm, and the Imperium will intervene only when military action threatens this. The primary causes of instability, as viewed by the Imperium, are long-term economic dislocation and excessive extra-planetary influence.

Long-term social or economic dislocation is suffered when a region suffers some permanent or semi-permanent loss in its ability to carry on at its pre-war level of economic activity.

The excessive extra-planetary influence concept is even more vague. The Imperium tolerates the use of force as a necessary outlet for built-up political and social pressures. In such cases, a short war is deemed preferable to continuing tension, sabotage, political agitation, and so on. However, attempts by extra-planetary forces, such as off-world governments or large commercial interests, to seize control of a world's affairs are beyond the scope of the "safety valve" rationale. "Assistance" is tolerated, so long as it is deemed appropriate to the level of legitimate interest in the affairs of the world held by the extra-planetary organisation.

For example, the Imperium tolerates mercenary forces which have been hired by local governments or other on-planet powers. It has even tolerated the provision of training cadre, arms, equipment, and so on (on a limited scale) by megacorporations , and even of fully-equipped striker units to local forces. However, when it has appeared that the primary burden for the conduct of the war has been carried out by an extra-planetary power, the Imperium has intervened, claiming the power is using the misfortune of a local dispute as a pretext for aggression.

Unlike the above rules, one prohibition is clear and firm throughout the Imperium: use or possession of nuclear weapons, if discovered, and regardless of size or type, will almost certainly trigger Imperial intervention. The Imperium alone retains the rights to such weapons.

Here's a shorter, but essentially similar explanation:

The Laws And Customs Of War: The Imperial Rules of War, which are an unwritten guideline as to how Imperial vassals will settle difficulties between them. Basically they boil down to, "Have fun boys, but don't make to much of a mess because The Emperor has means to punish you."

The Imperium acts as Combat Referee between its substates. There are a number of guidelines to when an imperial intervention will be launched. War crimes, or the use of WMDs on the ground (in space it is different), being too obviously the aggressor, trying to grab too much power or to disturb too great an area and so on are likely to attract an Imperial intervention. The general rule though is "be unnoticeable and you won't be noticed".

Client planets are pretty much allowed free play so long as a war doesn't go on too long or cause too much death and destruction. There are a few hard and fast rules, however, which all local warmongers should bear in mind: Do not harm Imperial officials, soldiers or nobles; don't throw around nukes and other WMDs (the Imperium reserves that privilege to themselves); and don't ever interfere with trade.

And I see that GURPS: Star Mercs has additional info regarding this. But I don't have a digitized copy of it handy.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby Greylond » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:10 pm

Imperial Rules of War are on page 176 of the MgT Mainbook. It only deals with warfare on a world. As a GM, I'd say that war between worlds would be stopped by the Imperium unless there was a real good political situation why it would be allowed.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby dragoner » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:16 pm

Traveller assumes a remote centralized government (referred to in this volume as
the Imperium), possessed of great industrial and technological might, but unable,
due to the sheer distances and travel times involved, to exert total control at all
levels everywhere within its star-spanning realm. On the frontiers, extensive home
rule provisions allow planetary populations to choose their own forms of governrnent,
raise and maintain armed forces for local security, pass and enforce laws
governing local conduct, and regulate (within limits) commerce. Defense of the
frontier is mostly provided by local indigenous forces, stiffened by scattered
Imperial naval bases manned by small but extremely sophisticated forces. Conflicting
local interests often settle their differences by force of arms, with Imperial
forces looking quietly the other way, unable to effectively intervene as a police
force in any but the most wide-spread of conflicts without jeopardizing their
primary mission of the defense of the realm. Only when local conflicts threaten
either the security or the economy of the area do Imperial forces take an active
hand, and then it is with speed and overwhelming force.

The combat environment of the frontier, then is one of small, short, limited
wars. Both sides must carefully balance the considerations of how much force is
required to win a conflict with how much force is likely to trigger Imperial intervention.
At the same time, both belligerents will generally be working with
relatively small populations, with only a negligible number of combat experienced
veterans. In this environment, the professional soldier will find constant employment.
Small, poor states faced with Invasion or encroachment will hire
professional soldiers as cadres to drill and lead their citizen militias. Larger states
will be able to afford to hire and equip complete mercenary contingents as strikers,
or spearhead troops. Small commando units will be in demand as industrial
espionage is waged between mega-corporations virtually nations unto themselves.
In addition, the hired soldier will always be in demand as security or bodyguard
troops, as force remains the only true protection against force.

CT Book 4, pgs 1-2, 1978
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby Greylond » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:29 pm

Yea, that's how I see it would happen. World A and B hate each other and so World A hires Merc Regiment Z to invade World B in the guise of helping out poor, oppressed Dissatisfied Faction B1 and make a "Change of Government." So Regiment Z ships in in a small convoy of Freighters and Chartered Liners and they are dirtside before the Imperium takes interest. Once dirtside there's either a short/sharp surgical strikes to force said Change of Government or there's a protacted Siege. In a Siege scenario the Mercs had better make themselves look like they really are working for Dissatisfied Faction B1 or the Imperium Nukes everyone and installs their favorite puppet.

World B's System Defense Force comes into play either in the beginning phase detecting the Mercs(and the real reason why they are landing) and stopping them OR in later phases in "Surgical" Orbital Strikes. But those Orbital Strikes had better not interfere with the Downport or Trader Traffic in orbit.


And of course the "Mercs" could very well be include some "Advisors" seconded from World A's military....
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby rust » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:57 am

mr31337 wrote: The travellerwiki doesn't go on to clarify if warfare is permitted outside the 100D.
Since letters of marque and privateers do exist in the Third Imperium setting,
acts of war outside of the 100D limit are obviously permitted.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby phavoc » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:33 pm

Excerpted from GURPS - Star Mercs. It's out of print (you may still find some hard copies lying around), but it's only like $8 from SJGames e23 shop. I highly recommend you pick up a copy. It's full of useful and interesting info.

It is occasionally in the best interests of the Imperium as a whole to intervene in a local crisis. In these situations, it is usually the Navy that is first on the scene, deploying armed naval personnel and whatever Marines may be available to hold things together. Marine task forces are next, followed by deployment of major Imperial Army units if necessary. Planned interventions may be the province of the Army or the Marines, depending upon scale and force availability.

The goals of any intervention are:
• The safety of Imperial officials.
• The safety of loyal citizens and innocent bystanders.
• The security of vital installations.
• The restoration of order.
• The restoration of legitimate local government and resumption of home rule.
• Capture of guilty parties.
• Orderly withdrawal of Imperial forces.

These goals are open to local interpretation. For example, there is some debate as to what constitutes a vital installation, or exactly when local governments are ready to resume control of their affairs. But the ultimate goal is usually to restore a legitimate local government to power and then withdraw.
The decision to intervene in a world’s affairs is a weighty one. There have been many cases in history when peace was given “one more chance,” until bloody war broke out with the diplomats still at the table, millions dead in a conflict that could have been headed off by a timely airstrike or commando team. But once the troops go in, people die. At what point does the benefit of intervention outweigh the danger? This is the decision faced by Imperial politicians, and it is never an easy one. Certain conditions require intervention; the use of nuclear weapons in ground
combat, defiance of Imperial treaty obligations or interference with free trade.

Intervention may also be requested. For example, if rioting mobs have overwhelmed local security forces and are attempting to enter the government buildings in order to lynch the president, the captain of an orbiting Imperial Navy destroyer may be asked for help. The captain has the right to refuse such help under certain conditions, but had better have a good explanation ready.

The actual nature of the intervention depends upon the local commander’s initiative and judgment. In the example above, a shore party would probably be sent, consisting of armed Naval personnel and whatever Marine complement the ship might have, to secure the palace and evacuate the endangered personnel. If matters were not quickly resolved then the ship would send to the nearest Naval base for instructions while attempting whatever measures the captain thought best to contain the situation. Once the situation reached this point, a crisis team would be placed in charge and this team would decide upon appropriate action. Measures taken by the crisis team depend upon circumstances. Interventions may take the form of a fine or sanctions against the perpetrators, the dispatch of a few diplomats and mediators to find a compromise, or a Marine task force dropping from orbit to smash the agitators. In rare cases Army troops are deployed to the troubled world for a protracted campaign to restore Imperial rule.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby Nathan Brazil » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:19 am

From the Mongoose Traveller Supplement Sector Fleet p.43

Each world of the Imperium is responsible for its own defense, and makes whatever provision it can afford. However, some systems (such as Navy Depots) are owned by the Imperium and therefore defending them is the responsibility of the Imperial Navy. In addition, some systems are critical to the security or economic well-being of a region yet cannot make sufficient provision for local defense due to a weak economy or low tech level. In this case the Imperium either assigns a system defense force of naval assets (normally crewing non-Jump capable ships just like any other system defense force) or provides support in the form of tax breaks or actual funding.
Whatever the source of such forces, they are known as ‘System Squadrons’ to the Imperial Navy, though some are more properly flotillas or even full fleets. The system squadron of an Imperial member world has jurisdiction to enforce Imperial Law throughout the system just like any Navy unit would, and can also enforce its own world’s laws close to the world itself. This is normally defined as within the 100-diameter shared jurisdiction zone, but in many cases a system squadron is granted the courtesy of being allowed to conduct customs checks and so forth at greater distances from the homeworld.
System squadrons are not part of the Sector or Subsector command chain unless they are regular Imperial Navy units – and not always then. For example, the Subsector Admiral is not automatically permitted to transfer fighters from the security force assigned to a naval base within his jurisdiction to replace losses among his carrier force. He can request such a transfer and may receive it if he can persuade the base commander of the necessity. The Sector Admiral could also order such a transfer since he has jurisdiction over all naval forces in the sector. Yet even he could not order the Planetary Navy of Ohasset to hand over its fighter squadrons to serve aboard his carriers.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby Nathan Brazil » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:42 am

So Imperial policy concerning System Fleets is this:

1.Mission of System Fleets
To enforce Imperial Law AND local law.

2.Range of Authority
Jurisdiction proper extends up to 100 diameters from the world they are commanded by.
Granted the courtesy of being allowed to conduct some types of operations (primarily customs) beyond the 100 diameter limit. I "presume" this means the Imperium itself. Please don't make me look up the quote of ruling "the space between the stars".

2.Interaction and chain of command with the Imperium.
System Fleets (composed of SDB's and so on) are not an integral part of Imperial Navy command on a daily basis. The example points out some of that ability that system fleets have to deny orders from "high command".
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby Nathan Brazil » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:11 am

rust wrote:Since letters of marque and privateers do exist in the Third Imperium setting,
acts of war outside of the 100D limit are obviously permitted.
I would agree with you. The Imperial Navy, meaning specifically High Command, Sector Fleets, and Subsector Fleets are concerned with the stability of the Imperium as whole. Their mission is not to protect the individual worlds from each other normally. Two worlds slugging it out over resources or dominion over one another is not the part of the Imp Navy to intervene. As long as both sides in the conflict don't fight the Imp Navy directly or imperil the Imperium, they can have at it.
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby Nathan Brazil » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:29 am

Finally, my favorite. From Book 2, page 43 of the original Striker miniatures game:
Rule 78: The Imperial Rules of War
...Although the lmperium is, in principle, opposed to 'armed conflict within the realm, it realizes that there is no practical possibility of totally eradicating force of arms as a means of resolving disputes within and between the various member and client states. To mitigate the potentially most disastrous aspects of armed conflict, the rules of war have evolved as an accumulation of unwritten concepts established on a case-by case basis. The rules of war have not been officially codified, both to prevent them being seen as an lmperial endorsement of war and to prevent formal precedent from preventing lmperial intervention whenever the lmperium deems it necessary. The main aim of the rules is to maintain the economic and military well-being of the realm, and the lmperium will intervene only when military action threatens this. The primary causes of instability, as viewed by the Imperium, are long-term economic dislocation and excessive extra-planetary influence.
Long-term social or economic dislocation is suffered when a region suffers some permanent or semi-permanent loss in its ability to carry on at it's pre-war level of economic activity. Major causes of this include large-scale civilian casualties, contamination of agricultural land or raw material deposits, wide-spread destruction of industrial facilities or transportation systems, etc. For example, the destruction of merchant shipping engaged in the transport of strategic materials is an acceptable military tactic as it is directed at choking off industrial output by denying it required raw materials. Mass destruction of merchant shipping, regardless of it's cargo or use, has a good chance of triggering lmperial intervention due to such an action's long-term effects.

So that would mean privateers with letters of marque are just spiffy to the Navy... :!: I can just imagine the communications. "You're from where? You're hear to take what? Well then, carry on. We'll be watching..."
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Re: Corsair Question

Postby locarno24 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:42 pm

So that would mean privateers with letters of marque are just spiffy to the Navy... I can just imagine the communications. "You're from where? You're hear to take what? Well then, carry on. We'll be watching..."
Essentially, yes.
A ship with a letter of marque is, to most legal intents and purposes, a warship of the issuing polity.

If the imperium recognises that polity as legally able to have a navy and recognises it as a 'legal' war, then as long as the privateer sticks to legitimate targets (i.e. not 'neutral' imperial shipping), then it's a legitimate combatant and they have to wind their necks in.

I can imagine unscrupulous privateers being the sort of activity likely to cause imperial intervention, though...
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.

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