Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Mega Trade

A neat ship I found on two blogs on the Internet, so I have no idea who created itI started thinking about the J-3 haulers running the Anthorann/Gamelea – Anar/Lymethius route and about the sheer amount of cargo involved in the trade between star systems.

The Bryak – Anthorann Run has a Bilateral Trade Number of 10.5. The Anthorann – Anar Route has a BTN of 10, as does the Rimward Run from Gamelea to Gaidon and from Gamelea to Miazan. The 10.5 BTN-rated Spinward Run from Bryak doesn’t actually end at Anthorann. It doglegs Rimward via Kalar-Wi and then Spinward to Yuakteisye in the Huiha Esoyatre. After downgrading to a BTN of 10, the route then turns Coreward for ten parsecs before terminating at Lysarnor in the Geithurian Republic.

So, what do these numbers mean? According to GURPS: Traveller Far Trader, a route with a BTN of 10.5 generates 5 – 10 million tons of cargo per year, or 100,000 – 500,000 tons per week. A BTN 10 trade route has 1 – 5 million tons of cargo per year, or 50,000 – 100,000 tons per week.

If a standard Type A2 200-ton J-2 freighter, such as the Empress Marava from Supplement 7 - Traders and Gunboats, has a 46 ton cargo bay, then we would need between 2174 and 10,870 ship movements per week to move all freight on a BTN 10.5 route, or 1087 – 2174 ship movements per week on a BTN 10 route.

Now most of the routes I described above are Jump-2, and so could be serviced with multiple small ships, but there are a couple of J-3 gaps which either have to be bridged or weeks added to shipping times. It’s this necessity to bridge the Anthorann – Anar Gap, or the Gamelea – Rimbaud II Gap, that opens the door to higher Jump capable freighters. And if one is already paying for Jump-3 on a high-traffic route, then one might as well move as much cargo as possible at one time – so, enter the Megahauler.

These ships were built using High Guard Shipyard 1.13.

Ship: Karuthara
Class: Daiishaluur
Type: Megahauler
Architect: David Billinghurst
Tech Level: 12











USP AH-L431343-090000-60000-0 MCr 11,348.91620 KTons
Bat Bear 1 A Crew: 144
Bat 1 A TL: 12



Cargo: 7,402.000 Passengers: 150 Low: 100 Fuel: 6,600.000 EP: 600.000 Agility: 1 Shipboard Security Detail: 20 Craft: 5 x 200T Mechamaarii Lighter
Fuel Treatment: On Board Fuel Purification

Architects Fee: MCr 108.603 Cost in Quantity: MCr 9,176.865

Detailed Description

HULL
20,000.000 tons standard, 280,000.000 cubic meters, Close Structure Configuration

CREW
17 Officers, 127 Ratings

ENGINEERING
Jump-3, 1G Manuever, Power plant-3, 600.000 EP, Agility 1

AVIONICS
Bridge, Model/4 Computer

HARDPOINTS
70 Hardpoints

ARMAMENT
50 Triple Beam Laser Turrets organised into 10 Batteries (Factor-6)

DEFENCES
20 Triple Sandcaster Turrets organised into 1 Battery (Factor-9)

CRAFT
5 200.000 ton Mechamaarii Lighters (Crew of 5, Cost of MCr 97.732)

FUEL
6,600.000 Tons Fuel (3 parsecs jump and 28 days endurance)
No Fuel Scoops, On Board Fuel Purification Plant

MISCELLANEOUS
294.0 Staterooms, 100 Low Berths, 50 High Passengers, 100 Middle Passengers, 100 Low Passengers, 7,402.000 Tons Cargo

USER DEFINED COMPONENTS
None

COST
MCr 10,968.859 Singly (incl. Architects fees of MCr 108.603), MCr 8,688.205 in Quantity, plus MCr 488.660 of Carried Craft

CONSTRUCTION TIME
172 Weeks Singly, 138 Weeks in Quantity

COMMENTS
Tech Level 12 Mega Merchant ship with 5 x 200 ton lighters

Each Daiishaluur carries five 200-ton non-jump capable Mechamaarii Class Lighters for both fueling and surface-to-space cargo lift.

Ship: Number 7
Class: Mechamaarii
Type: Lighter
Architect: David Billinghurst
Tech Level: 12









USPWY-2202311-050000-00000-0MCr 97.732200 Tons
Bat Bear 1 Crew: 5
Bat 1 TL: 12



Cargo: 64.000 Passengers: 10 Fuel: 6.000 EP: 6.000 Agility: 2
Fuel Treatment: Fuel Scoops and On Board Fuel Purification

Architects Fee: MCr 0.977 Cost in Quantity: MCr 78.186

Detailed Description

HULL
200.000 tons standard, 2,800.000 cubic meters, Cone Configuration

CREW
Pilot, Engineer, Steward, Medic, Gunner

ENGINEERING
Jump-0, 2G Manuever, Power plant-3, 6.000 EP, Agility 2

AVIONICS
Bridge, Model/1 Computer

HARDPOINTS
2 Hardpoints

ARMAMENT
None

DEFENCES
2 Triple Sandcaster Turrets organised into 1 Battery (Factor-5)

CRAFT
None

FUEL
6.000 Tons Fuel (0 parsecs jump and 28 days endurance)
On Board Fuel Scoops, On Board Fuel Purification Plant

MISCELLANEOUS
17.0 Staterooms, 10 Low Berths, 5 High Passengers, 5 Middle Passengers, 64.000 Tons Cargo

USER DEFINED COMPONENTS
None

COST
MCr 98.709 Singly (incl. Architects fees of MCr 0.977), MCr 78.186 in Quantity

CONSTRUCTION TIME
57 Weeks Singly, 46 Weeks in Quantity

With a cargo capacity of 7400 tons, only 14 – 68 movements by a Daiishaluur Class vessel are required each week on the 10.5 BTN routes, or 7 – 14 movements on the 10 BTN routes. With a Daiishaluur and its five Lighters costing MCr 9,176.865, some 138.7 times more than the MCr 66.175 for a Far Trader, but a Daiishaluur’s cargo capacity of 7400 tons massing 160.9 times the A2’s 46 tons, one would hope for a saving on these routes by shifting cargo in mega bulk. When you factor in the Daiishaluur’s J-3 range against the A2’s J-2, then on the longer hauls, the Daiishaluur should begin to pull ahead.

I opted for a basic TL12 build for the Daiishaluur Class as, given the average Tech Level of the Border Worlds, I surmised that the Daiishaluurs could be serviced at most Class A or B ports, much like Type-S Scouts and the ubiquitous Type-A2 Merchant ships. Upon checking system Tech Levels against Starport types and Yard capacity, I found that very few TL 12 systems in the Border Worlds had an A-Class Starport (required to build jump-capable starships), and of those that did, only Miazan/Miazan possessed enough capacity to build a 20, 000 ton ship. In fact, given that Miazan has a Yard capacity of 6.3 million tons; it is more than likely that several Daiishaluurs are building at any one time to claim the discount for quantity.

It would seem, then, that the Daiishaluur Class Megahauler would be seen operating the Miazan – Exxilon – Tonivar – Celephais – Rimbaud II – Gamelea Run and it’s possible that some might do a grand circle from Miazan out into Cabria Subsector via Lo Taisang – Yuar – Brol – Gyffd – Tonivar – Exxilon – Miazan, which scoops up most of the 5,000 tons – 10,000 tons of trade a week from Lo-Taisang – Yuar and a chunk of the 10,000 tons to 50,000 tons going between Yuar and Brol. While most of the Grand Circle is beyond the Imperial Border, the Gyffd – Tonivar leg neatly over-jumps Kalar-Wi space in the event of tensions in that region. Alternatively, a savvy ship-owner could offer an alternate run from Gyffd to Yuakteisye in the Huiha Esoyatre that would cut at least two weeks off the standard J-2 route through Atlasiykh.

While messing around with High Guard Shipyard, I reran the Daiishaluur Class design parameters for a TL15 ship. The result is the High Veenoir Class Megahauler:

Ship: Masasanaii
Class: High Veenoir
Type: Megahauler
Architect: David Billinghurst
Tech Level: 15










USPAH-L431343-090000-70000-0MCr 7,493.110 20 KTons
Bat Bear1 ACrew: 132
Bat1 ATL: 15



Cargo: 8,749.000 Passengers: 150 Low: 100 Fuel: 6,600.000 EP: 600.000 Agility: 1 Shipboard Security Detail: 20 Craft: 5 x 200T Calurmajurii Lighter
Fuel Treatment: On Board Fuel Purification

Architects Fee: MCr 72.542 Cost in Quantity: MCr 6,042.272


Detailed Description

HULL
20,000.000 tons standard, 280,000.000 cubic meters, Close Structure Configuration

CREW
16 Officers, 116 Ratings

ENGINEERING
Jump-3, 1G Manuever, Power plant-3, 600.000 EP, Agility 1

AVIONICS
Bridge, Model/4 Computer

HARDPOINTS
70 Hardpoints

ARMAMENT
50 Triple Beam Laser Turrets organised into 10 Batteries (Factor-7)

DEFENCES
20 Triple Sandcaster Turrets organised into 1 Battery (Factor-9)

CRAFT
5 200.000 ton Calurmajurii Lighters (Crew of 5, Cost of MCr 47.784)

FUEL
6,600.000 Tons Fuel (3 parsecs jump and 28 days endurance)
No Fuel Scoops, On Board Fuel Purification Plant

MISCELLANEOUS
282.0 Staterooms, 100 Low Berths, 50 High Passengers, 100 Middle Passengers, 100 Low Passengers, 8,749.000 Tons Cargo

USER DEFINED COMPONENTS
None

COST
MCr 7,326.732 Singly (incl. Architects fees of MCr 72.542), MCr 5,803.352 in Quantity, plus MCr 238.920 of Carried Craft

CONSTRUCTION TIME
172 Weeks Singly, 138 Weeks in Quantity

COMMENTS
Tech Level 15 Mega Merchant ship with 5 x 200 ton lighters

Much like the Daiishaluur Class, the High Veenoir carries five 200 ton non-jump capable lighters to fuel or lift cargo for the ‘hauler.

Ship: Number 4
Class: Calurmajurii
Type: Lighter
Architect: David Billinghurst
Tech Level: 15










USPWY-2202311-050000-00000-0MCr 59.730 200 Tons
Bat Bear1Crew: 5
Bat 1 TL: 15




Cargo: 95.000 Passengers: 10 Low: 10 Fuel: 6.000 EP: 6.000 Agility: 2
Fuel Treatment: Fuel Scoops and On Board Fuel Purification

Architects Fee: MCr 0.597 Cost in Quantity: MCr 47.784

Detailed Description

HULL
200.000 tons standard, 2,800.000 cubic meters, Cone Configuration

CREW
Pilot, Engineer, Steward, Medic, Gunner

ENGINEERING
Jump-0, 2G Manuever, Power plant-3, 6.000 EP, Agility 2

AVIONICS
Bridge, Model/1 Computer

HARDPOINTS
2 Hardpoints

ARMAMENT
None

DEFENCES
2 Triple Sandcaster Turrets organised into 1 Battery (Factor-5)

CRAFT
None

FUEL
6.000 Tons Fuel (0 parsecs jump and 28 days endurance)
On Board Fuel Scoops, On Board Fuel Purification Plant

MISCELLANEOUS
13.0 Staterooms, 10 Low Berths, 5 High Passengers, 5 Middle Passengers, 10 Low Passengers, 95.000 Tons Cargo

USER DEFINED COMPONENTS
None

COST
MCr 60.327 Singly (incl. Architects fees of MCr 0.597), MCr 47.784 in Quantity

CONSTRUCTION TIME
57 Weeks Singly, 46 Weeks in Quantity

COMMENTS
Non-Jump Capable fuel and cargo lighter for a megahauler.

This was quite an interesting little exercise. At TL15, the 20,000 Megahauler is about MCr 3,000 cheaper, has 12 fewer crew, 1,300 extra tons of cargo, and the laser batteries are more effective. Also, the Lighters are MCr 31 cheaper and can lift 31 more tons of cargo. Gamalea/Gamelea has a Yard capacity of over 35 million tons and so could pop these out like melon seeds. The Bryak – Anar Run is the most obvious place to encounter these ships and they could also make the three parsec jump from Anar to Jul’ni in the Geithurian Republic and pick up the major trade route running Coreward towards Lysarnor.

It is unusual for merchant vessels to have centralised fire control and their turrets organised into batteries. Given the strategic value of these megahaulers; the fact that some of the routes they travel – such as Celephais/Miazan – Tonivar/Cabria – are creations of Imperial Policy, and that the Imperial Army relies upon seconding these vessels to provide heavy lift capacity in wartime, then the provision of limited end-user certification for Navy surplus centralised fire control systems is a mutually beneficial action on the part of BuShips (the Imperial Navy Bureau of Shipping). And so, with the TL12 Daiishaluur Class Megahaulers coming out of Miazan and the High Veenoir Class Megahaulers coming out of Gamelea, the major trade routes are quite adequately serviced, trade is protected, and Ground Force Lift capacity is ensured.

The next step, for me, was to work out how much it costs to run these monsters and whether the freight hauling business could actually sustain ships of this size.