2300AD Buying Starships

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aiglos63

2300AD Buying Starships

Postby aiglos63 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:59 am

In 2300 can you only buy new starships in the Core, or do some of the colonies produce new starships and which ones? Likewise do any of the colonies have a thriving market in used starships and which ones?
aiglos63

Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby aiglos63 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:57 pm

Double post, please ignore!
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Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby rgrove0172 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:28 pm

I dont guess a private purchase of a starship ever entered my mind. Sort of like someone attempting to buy a super frieghter or destroyer today. Unless your character owns a mega corporation or something, its just not plausible. I imagine it involving mountains of certifcations and licenses on top of the exuberant cost.
aiglos63

Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby aiglos63 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:18 pm

What about all the Libertine traders then. They own a majority of the Anjou class traders, 116MLv a pop. How do they finance those kinds of purchases? The Commercant class Transports are mostly in private hands and there are hundreds of them. It must be readily possible.
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Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby CosmicGamer » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:38 pm

aiglos63 wrote:How do they finance those kinds of purchases?
There are over a thousand billionaires in the world. According to Capegemini and Merrill Lynch, there are 10's of millions of people with investable assets of $1 million or more. I find more than one in a hundred (based on world population) people with millions to invest a bit high. Maybe I'm associating with the wrong people.
aiglos63 wrote:Transports are mostly in private hands and there are hundreds of them.
Companys, even Megacorps can be private or public. Toys R Us, Cumberland Farms, WaWa, Hilton, Kingston, Perdue, Levi's and so on are private companies. Not sure exactly what the point is when aiglos63 and rgrove0172 use the term. You'd have to clarify for my understanding. Individuals would probably not purchase a ship, other than one for pleasure or personal use, without insulating themselves to personal liability by making the purchase through a private or public company.
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Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby Colin » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:54 pm

No one actually knows where most of the Libertine hulls come from. Some of them appear to be old surplus hulls, while others appear to be copies (ripoffs) of older designs. None of them are stolen. Many of them use commercially purchased drives that are shipped up the Chinese Arm somewhere, and come back on Libertine ships. However, many of them use stutterwarp drives from an unknown source, all of them Old Commercial (TL10). The drives are definitely human-built, or very convincing copies.
Personal ownership of starships is rare. Even used ships are uncommon, as the stutterwarp drives are pulled and the ships sold for scrap.The tantalum is then reused.
Assume that a used starship loses 1% of it's value for every 5 yeras of age.

There are starship construction facilities at Nibelungen, Beowulf, and Beta Canum on the French Arm, and Hermes and Ellis on the American Arm. There may be others, my notes are not complete.
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Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby kermit » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:51 am

Sorry Colin, I don't really buy that. "We don't know where all those Libertine drives come from." seems to be a bit of a cop out. Given that with King we know America and Australia have a large star drive grade tantalum surplus and there are thousands of other extra-solar bodies to mine in human space, there must be an open market for tantalum and star drives. If there are individuals wealthy enough on our own Earth to afford 126 meter long super yachts, than there are individuals in 2300AD who can afford a starship.

Furthermore there are numerous mentions in 2300AD source material of ship designs that are often owned by small businesses or the like.

I see starships more like tractor trailer trucks. Yes, the majority of them are owned by large corporations but there is a healthy segment of the trucking industry that is independent. Sure its not cheap and most owners form a small LLC to cover their butts, but they aren't government or megacorps. I think if a GM wants to allow the players to get a starship, then by all means let them get one. Disallowing this sort of adventure eliminates a large segment of the playable sci-fi genre (especially for those wishing to play something similar to Firefly).

Benjamin
Give me a Kennedy class fast missile cruiser and I'll give you an irradiated hulk that used to be a Kafer warship. -- Captain M. Reynolds Fletcher USAF
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Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby rgrove0172 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:07 am

I wont argue with you Ben, each GM and his players should play their game their way but in my opinion independent, swashbuckling, rogue starship privateers is just counter to 2300s feel. Its aimed at (and you can argue if it hits its mark) hard science fiction, not space-opera. Space travel is still a science, a complicated, risky and expensive science. No, its not quite a NASA space shot anymore but its closer to that than "making the kessel run" by far.

You compaired starship ownership to a yacht purchase. I would say the equivalent to a yacht in 2300 space terms is a conventional rocket powered shuttle, used to gain orbit or perhaps visit a nearby moon. An interstellar craft is supertanker, not a tramp steamer. I dont see many individuals owning one out of pocket. It just doesnt 'feel' very 2300.

Just my $.02
aiglos63

Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby aiglos63 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:47 am

rgrove0172 wrote: I dont see many individuals owning one out of pocket. It just doesnt 'feel' very 2300.
The only problem with that is the relative cheapness of unarmed starships in 2300AD compared with the regular Traveller universe. Also the frequent references in ship descriptions to many of them being owned by private or non-megacorp concerns is telling. I would agree that most of these ships would be registered under LLC's much like individual truckers today, perely for legal reasons.

All this suggests that it is possible to make a reasonable living shifting goods and / or people between the stars, even on a small scale. Obviously having an armed or armoured starship is very costly so it is not like the regular Traveller universe.
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Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby Hopeless » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:42 am

What was the name of that movie I think it was "Space Truckers"?

The main cast had an old freighter ship of the sort described above and was destroyed when they had to burn off some combat robots being sent by one of the bad guys to avenge the betrayal inflicted by a former sponsor of his.

The former sponsor paid off the main cast with a new ship to replace their old one and a suitcase full of cash to keep them quiet but it hid a bomb which one of the main cast who didn't know threw said case out of the window and it landed inside the limo owned by the former sponsor who had just triggered the bomb only to have it land in his lap as he does so...

Thst movie ends with them blasting off in their new ship which had been arranged so its paid off as far as they know (it is a movie after all!) and it turns out the girl who hitchhiked with them has a mother who quite likes the older of the two ship's crew and all four launch into space...

The mad scientist villain is an old british actor if only I could remember his name about all I do remember is that he has a beard and red hair... sorry if he's reading this! :roll:

Sorry the comment above reminded me of that movie... :oops:
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Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby Captain Jonah » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:13 pm

The mad science cyborg was Charles Dance.

Good funny film and fairly Traveller (2300) with its lack of gravity on the ships and general tech.

Re private ownership of starships.

The background is that Tantalum is insanely rare and needs to be recycled so old ship drives are scrapped. However we also have nations with undeclared but large reserves of the stuff, it is common enough to be thrown away in missiles and it is used in such tiny amounts in a stutterwarp drive that the drives are dirt cheap to buy.

A stutterwarp drive for a small player ships costs about as much as a pair of cheap lasers. It is the hull that costs the money and that is the item most likely to be refurbished and upgraded and still in use a 100 years later. If you drop streamlining, go for a pure space design, a distributed hull and go for slow and steady it is easy to build a 200Dton player ship for under 10Mlv.

This is a new build, buying an old hull and putting in a new drive and electronics or power plant can bring in a 300-400Dton ship for the same price. Relative to the income levels starships are dirt cheap in comparison to Traveller. It is the interface craft that are costly to own and run, ships that operate on the shelf or go inter system are cheap and plentiful.

It is, of course, up to each ref as to how many non nation state owned ships there are around. In my verse there are thousands of them and aside from warships which are ALL state owned 90%+ of all civilian shipping is company owned. The libertine traders are family companies, the crew are the family and all hold shares in the company that is the ship.

The ship numbers given for even a handful of the most common designs puts over a thousand small and medium civilian ships in space. This is just the most common few, it does not include the scores of older designs, limited runs, special designs built in the arms, the counterfeit designs etc etc.

In terms of the “I’m a player and I own this ship” situation this should be rare but not impossible. Banks, investment funds, colonies, nation states etc are all going to be in the business of keeping the trade flowing. Subsidy agreements with the nations or the colonies would be fairly common. Groups like the ESA would have fingers in many pies and there is nothing like holding 50% of someone’s ship to pull strings on the crew, or a stroppy colony.

Colin roughly half of the libertine fleet is made up of Anjou class freighters, either genuine makes, licensed copies or counterfeits. I strongly doubt that there is a shipyard somewhere capable of making scores of 2000Dton hulls and no one knows where it is, how does it do business, who ships those engines to it etc? It would surely be safer to say that the libertines are not prepared to admit that their ship is a bootleg copy made by a Chinese shipyard and since they never visit the core worlds they are unlikely to ever be subject to the sort of inspection that would reveal the ship to be an illegal design rip off. The Libertines avoid the core worlds like the plague and the significant number of rip off designs is likely to be one reason why.

Any colony with a decent industrial base and access to an orbital construction facility can make starship hulls. They would need to import stutterwarps but they are fairly cheap, in fact I suspect that the majority of ships outside of the core use imported drives and local built hulls.

To give you an idea of what amounts to a player owning a ship.

The Anna Marie Colbert is an old (65 years old) ex French colonial transport. Built to rival the British York class and long since sold off. The civilian owner aboard holds 11% of the ship outright, he is also CEO of AMC trading which owns another 49% of the ship via finance from banks. The remaining 40% is owned by the ESA colonial administration authority who take 30% of the net profit but do not charge interest on their 40%. The ship operates on a subsidy region covering the French arm from Earth to Beta canum and back.

As far as the player (me) goes, it’s my ship. Ok I need to make runs up to Beta Canum and back steadily as part of the ESA subsidy agreement and only have enough time a year to make a half dozen side trips and I need to pay the mortgage on 49% of the ship and the ESA takes a chunk of my profit after the bills have been paid but it’s still my ship and with adventures cropping up in the places I visit rather than me needed it go to the far reaches to find adventure everything is fine. The bug invasion will shake things up and getting called up as an ESA auxiliary is going to be a certainty.

But it’s MY ship :wink:
Traveller: Nonsense, those rumours about me and crashes, no truth in them at all. I never had a landing I didn't walk away from!

ACTA-SF: Who are we, GORN. What do we want, Cruisers that can turn.... Wait, OK Escorts... Wait. I'll get back to you !
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Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby Hopeless » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:02 pm

Captain Jonah wrote:The mad science cyborg was Charles Dance.

Good funny film and fairly Traveller (2300) with its lack of gravity on the ships and general tech.

Re private ownership of starships.

The background is that Tantalum is insanely rare and needs to be recycled so old ship drives are scrapped. However we also have nations with undeclared but large reserves of the stuff, it is common enough to be thrown away in missiles and it is used in such tiny amounts in a stutterwarp drive that the drives are dirt cheap to buy.

A stutterwarp drive for a small player ships costs about as much as a pair of cheap lasers. It is the hull that costs the money and that is the item most likely to be refurbished and upgraded and still in use a 100 years later. If you drop streamlining, go for a pure space design, a distributed hull and go for slow and steady it is easy to build a 200Dton player ship for under 10Mlv.

This is a new build, buying an old hull and putting in a new drive and electronics or power plant can bring in a 300-400Dton ship for the same price. Relative to the income levels starships are dirt cheap in comparison to Traveller. It is the interface craft that are costly to own and run, ships that operate on the shelf or go inter system are cheap and plentiful.

It is, of course, up to each ref as to how many non nation state owned ships there are around. In my verse there are thousands of them and aside from warships which are ALL state owned 90%+ of all civilian shipping is company owned. The libertine traders are family companies, the crew are the family and all hold shares in the company that is the ship.
Just wanted to mention this all but screams "Vatta's War" a series of books regarding a merchant family whose daughter is abruptly kicked out of the academy and ends up in charge of a ship supposedly being sent to be scrapped but as her own family nods to each other there's evidently a pool as to when she decides to find a way to keep the ship... I believe the ship's engineer won it rfrom what I remember...

Its only at the end of book 2 I believe that she ends up singlehandedly capturing a pirate ship and then in book 3 becomes a privateer... should I spoiler any of that? :twisted:

Have the Dauntless book in my bag to reread on the way home tonight... hmm the Last Fleet meets T2300?

Unlikely but have a copy of Space Truckers on order thanks for the reminder and the clarification... the ship reminded me of an anime series Zone Enders i think it was called. :D
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Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby Colin » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:56 am

This is what I get for replying off-the-cuff rather than from my notes. Call it "some" Libertines get their drives and/or hulls from an unknown source off the end of the Chinese Arm. The Manchurians are registering them without much hassle, though, so they, at least, seem to be aware of what is going on. However, the vast majority of Libertine hulls are surplus, and while they may purchase drives, they are never the latest and greatest. Where the Libertines originally came up with the money to purchase these hulls is another question. Nearly 30% of Libertine families are of Romani origin, and 15% are of Irish Traveller ancestry, neither a group known for having much in the way of money.

Of course, all of this brings up an issue in 2300, one that has existed since Traveller:2300. Tantalum and star drives are supposed to be rare and expensive, but they aren't. One can handwave part of this with the requirement that stutterwarp drives require the Ta-180 isotope of tantalum, but it doesn't help explain why the drives are so cheap, relatively speaking.
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Re: 2300AD Buying Starships

Postby Somebody » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:09 am

I must admit I always used the "missiles have a different type of drive coil" variant IM2300U. Most missiles for me use a coil that is easy to bring online but has a short lifespan once active, can not be discharged and the missile can not be retrieved/reused (The laser-equiped and bus missiles use classic coils as do fighters). So the decision to "spin up the missile" is a critical one.

As for privatly owned ships - why not. 100+ million SOUND a lot but ships are paid of over long time IRL. Most 2300AD units are "space only" so there is little stress on the hull, similar to the large channel barges in continental europe today. These ships easily have 30-40 years with minimal overhauls since they are "old commercial" tech.

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