25 June 2012

Metagame: On the Imperial Economy and War.

So, again it appears I have a couple of new followers. Greetings to you. And of course my old hands.

I have been thinking about a few things regarding the Permatic Imperium.

First off, I think I mistakenly had said something about an Old Empires Depot at Permatic [FS 1725], yeah, well, disregard that. There is not a Depot there. There is a Way Station, Research Station Alpha, and a Naval Base, but no Depot. My bad, I was tired.

Second, off to the Markets. The Fuel markets to be exact. I was thinking about the antimatter creator that HI&RM Vlad II has at the NB at Permatic. Now an AMC does not just magic up a/m, it is created using starship fuel. That led me to thinking about why most planets with water or gas giants probably have laws against "free skimming" the local raw fuel supply. Sure you have to purify it and screen it for the stray solids or semi-solids, but it saves on the credits. Problem being it takes the natural resources of the system. Which by Imperial Charters, Treaties and Laws is very strictly regulated by several different agencies. (This is where an Imperial Noble or Functionary does a lot of their real work, keeping the flow of resources going and according to the agreements with the locals.) If Travellers can just refuel for free, then the local and thus the Imperial economy suffers. Many TL-9+ systems make a good chunk of their revenue from selling fuel not just to the occasional passing Travellers, but mostly to the megacorps, Imperial starship fleets, and desert systems with no gas giants.

Recently the Imperial Starforces have begun increasing their purchases of available fuel. They have also been grabbing up a stockpile of other supplies. This was noted in game when Baron von Ryer of Bohen complained to Count Interhaus that an Imperial Navy Task Force had recently swept through his system and requisitioned all the recent harvest of this agricultural world putting him in danger of not being able to fulfill his previous contracts. What he also didn't mention was that if Captain Hawk was not Baron himself, but also the Count Interhaus not aboard the ISS Sexy, he might have charged them an additional "resource use fee" to cover his losses. He also didn't mention (and I as Referee didn't, but will) to either Baron Hawk or Count Interhaus is the recent Request for the current service rolls of the Household and Guard Units of the Nobility and Peerage of the Worlds (both Members and Clients) of the Permatic Imperium (date and origin: 001-0200, Melnauka, Permatic.) that is being carried across the Imperium via the various information networks.

Basically, there are groups in the Imperium who are going to want and need a steady supply of purified fuel ready, waiting or even in transit most, if not all the time. Right now the demand is up because the IAF are scooping it up for what most people think is an upcoming war with the Parthian Remnants to the coreward of the empire. Is this true? Perhaps, or maybe the Imperium is going to war with some of the spinward states. Another is that HI&RM maybe raising forces to enforce his disputed claim on the worlds claimed by the Thersis Confederation. Some speculate that the increase is actually going to support the movement of Imperial control to the trailing subsector and off back into the wilds of the unknown stars. This would mean fuel for the Scouts, the Imperial Armed Forces, Imperial Chartered Company (ICC) Forces and Mercenary Units, and of course Colonists. Which could use up fuel pretty quick. Also the AMC is going to eat a lot too. But that is a different story for a later time.

So, now I am wondering what do the rights to skim or otherwise collect raw, refined or purified fuel of a system translate to in Resource Units (RU)?

The empire is either gong to war with one or more of its neighbors or it is about to put physical claim on the systems in the Kylin Subsector, possibly both. It is doubtful that it is both going to war and expanding into Kylin as well. Another thing to take into account is the public boast of the Admiralty's Naval Architecture and Armaments Board PROJECT: 200X Committee which claims that all new production Armed Forces starships at the Imperial and Royal Navy Yards will be fitted with new antimatter power plants and upgraded 10 parsec interstellar drives. Plus there is the refitting the current fleet to the new navspec.

In general the technological base of the Permatic Imperium's warfighting complex is about to increase. There has been an increase in the sales of plasma weapons to non-Imperial or Royal forces. Mercenary Units and ICC Forces are suddenly getting access to something better than the standard laser of the last two centuries. So, where are all those now surplus laser weapons going?

Also, there are rumors of true ten thousand ton battle class starships being tested in the deep between stars, but the Admiralty's Lord Appleton denied these rumors pointing out that "...the last battle class ships built are the so called 'worldships' of the Lords of Parthia and since those so called interstellar vessels have not moved from their home since the last centuries of the Sixth Imperium one can put that down to wild speculation..."

So, is the market for purified starship fuel going to collapse? Probably not for some time. It may take a dip once the navies get all their starships running on antimatter, but on the whole they will still need it make more a/m and it may take some time, perhaps half a century or more for the whole empire to be running on antimatter. Another offset is being able to move older fusion powered vessels and infrastructure to the frontiers of the Imperium helping to raise the TL of the empire as a whole. TL-9 systems that used to be stops for passing starships becomes the home system of those old ships as they are phased out. Often they will be seen in the hands of Travellers who have mustered out of some service such as a Navy, the Scouts or perhaps a Merchant Line or by elevation to nobility.

Now, I really should get back to cranking out the rest of the system of Colony A and checking some of the stuff already done.


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