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Scaling the Imperium


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#41 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:11 AM

 

 

Yeah, I actually agree with you (more or less) in terms of gross availability of hulls and crews (although I suspect there are far more hulls than there are officers and specialists to crew them, given the existence of the Reserve fleets). I was more quibbling over terminology. I guess it's like the arbites being used as a generic term for law enforcement, despite the fact that most of the organisations and persons so described are not members of the Adeptus Arbites. With that in mind (and while there is some extrapolation from canon - Passage Watch 27-Est for example - I must admit this is guesswork), a Battlefleet is not technically a Battlefleet unless set up to combat a specific threat, but any formation of warships may be colloquially referred to as a battlefleet, even if they technically have their own permanent designation.

 

I forgot about the reserve fleets! My thinking on reserve fleets is that they don't so much consist of ships that the Navy doesn't have crew for, (but that's a possibility) but to a greater degree consist of ships that are not economic or safe to operate except in cases of dire emergency. A lot of the Mid M35 "chaos cruiser" and grand cruiser patterns are heavily implied in a number of sources to be inherently flawed designs that tend to warp and corrupt their crews, and as such are not well regarded. Grand cruisers are only slightly more powerful than battlecruisers, but require disproportionately large crews to operate. Plus, reserve fleets in space don't operate like reserve fleets in the modern, planet bound world: spaceraft don't decay in a vacuum. They don't rust or fall apart. Kept in deep space reserve yards, they are effectively immortal. So it's probably more trouble to attempt to dismantle a ship than it is to just leave it sealed up in a naval yard for centuries.

 

er...so where was I going with this again? Sorry, got carried away... Ah yes. Ship numbers. I'd completely forgotten about reserve fleets. What do you think represents a reasonable size for a Sector reserve fleet? 10% of the size of the rest of the "active" fleet? 20%? Somewhere between those two sounds about right... so in the case of a 200 strong Sector Fleet, this would mean 20-40 mothballed ships of various classes, probably with a higher percentage of capital ships than the fleet proper... Any thoughts?

 

There will be escort squadrons too; albeit ecclectic ones. This will be the source of a lot of the frigates and destroyers operated by rogue traders - "c'mon, you're not using it, are you?" -  and will get topped up in that any ship the Navy buys in as a prize from its frigate captains (which would mostly be raiders operated previously by pirates), that can be mobilized as an expendable reserve in time of war.

 

But yes, about 1/4 again as a stood-down reserve sounds fine.

 

Equally, of the 'active fleet', you can probably work on 1/4 of the fleet stood down for resupply, refit and maintenance at any one time



#42 Lightbringer

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:55 AM

Cool. So to summarise:-

 

  • Roughly 1,000,000 inhabited human worlds in the Imperium, precise number unquantifiable
  • The Imperium is divided into 4,000-5,000 Sectors, precise number probably also unquantifiable
  • Sectors have on average roughly 200-250 worlds, though this will vary tremendously 
  • The Imperium probably tries to operate a 1:1 Imperial Navy ship:Inhabited world ratio, with an additional 10-25% of this total additionally kept in reserve fleets. This will also vary tremendously.
  • Each Sector operates a merchant fleet that is probably 2000-2500 strong, though again this will vary tremendously.      

I mean, I know I've plucked these numbers largely from the air, without real canon sources, but it's gratifying that the majority of people agree that they feel about right. This doesn't mean that GW won't change things so these numbers become incorrect in the future, though. 

 

One thing on Sectors that just occurred to me is the existence of "mini sectors". I seem to recall that the Badab War books described at one point an area of space where the Mantis Warriors recruited their neophytes. I don't have the book to hand, but I think I remember that this was a grouping of a few dozen worlds that was too small to be a Sector proper, and too distant to attach to another Sector as a Subsector, but which did consist of loyal Imperial worlds.

 

Mulling this over, I guess logically there might be quite a few of these "mini sectors"; consisting of groups of worlds too small to amount to a sector proper, and too remote geographically to add to an existing sector. Given that there's only one example of these from the canon, it's hard to guess how many Imperial worlds fall into this nebulous middle ground category, but one imagines that if the "1,000,000 worlds" is a relatively fixed point of reference, the existence of "mini sectors" would serve to drive down the total number of "normal" sectors. However, it's hard to tell by how much.     

 

EDIT: one point that's concerning me is that if I'm right about the 1:1 Imperial Navy ship:Imperial planet ratio, this means that there's about 1,000,000 Imperial navy ships. Does this figure feel right to people? It didn't sound too bad to me at first, but then I just thought "Hold on, that means one Imperial Navy ship for each space marine." It also means that (assuming an average marine crew complement of 50-250 per Astartes ship) Imperial Navy ships outnumber Space Marine craft about 50-250 to 1. Is that about right in your view? I'm unsure if that means my figures are wonky or not... :wacko:


Edited by Lightbringer, 03 February 2014 - 05:01 AM.

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#43 Nameless2all

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 07:22 AM

I remember reading somewhere there are about 1,000 SM Chapters (give or take a few dozen that die off and/or have been replaced every so often).  So, with 1,000 SMs allowed per Chapter you get roughly 1 mil SMs.  Obviously, this does not include serfs, neophytes, Tech-priests, servitors, slaves, inductees, men-at-arms, tag-a-longs, etc., residing in the Chapters.

 

Anyhoot, yep, your summary sounds about right....  I mean, I concur with your assessment.  :)

 

And it goes without saying (though I'm going to say it for those who skipped to the end here) the 1 mil Navy ships don't include Admech Ships, RT privately owned vessels, PDF Fleets, etc. etc. 


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#44 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 10:25 AM

Cool. So to summarise:-

 

  • Roughly 1,000,000 inhabited human worlds in the Imperium, precise number unquantifiable
  • The Imperium is divided into 4,000-5,000 Sectors, precise number probably also unquantifiable
  • Sectors have on average roughly 200-250 worlds, though this will vary tremendously 
  • The Imperium probably tries to operate a 1:1 Imperial Navy ship:Inhabited world ratio, with an additional 10-25% of this total additionally kept in reserve fleets. This will also vary tremendously.
  • Each Sector operates a merchant fleet that is probably 2000-2500 strong, though again this will vary tremendously.      

I mean, I know I've plucked these numbers largely from the air, without real canon sources, but it's gratifying that the majority of people agree that they feel about right. This doesn't mean that GW won't change things so these numbers become incorrect in the future, though. 

 

One thing on Sectors that just occurred to me is the existence of "mini sectors". I seem to recall that the Badab War books described at one point an area of space where the Mantis Warriors recruited their neophytes. I don't have the book to hand, but I think I remember that this was a grouping of a few dozen worlds that was too small to be a Sector proper, and too distant to attach to another Sector as a Subsector, but which did consist of loyal Imperial worlds.

 

Mulling this over, I guess logically there might be quite a few of these "mini sectors"; consisting of groups of worlds too small to amount to a sector proper, and too remote geographically to add to an existing sector. Given that there's only one example of these from the canon, it's hard to guess how many Imperial worlds fall into this nebulous middle ground category, but one imagines that if the "1,000,000 worlds" is a relatively fixed point of reference, the existence of "mini sectors" would serve to drive down the total number of "normal" sectors. However, it's hard to tell by how much.     

 

EDIT: one point that's concerning me is that if I'm right about the 1:1 Imperial Navy ship:Imperial planet ratio, this means that there's about 1,000,000 Imperial navy ships. Does this figure feel right to people? It didn't sound too bad to me at first, but then I just thought "Hold on, that means one Imperial Navy ship for each space marine." It also means that (assuming an average marine crew complement of 50-250 per Astartes ship) Imperial Navy ships outnumber Space Marine craft about 50-250 to 1. Is that about right in your view? I'm unsure if that means my figures are wonky or not... :wacko:

 

 

There are regions which don't qualify as a sector (as you say, the Maelstrom is a good example), or are otherwise exempted from normal sector constraints. Ultramar is another good example.

 

However, there are also inter-sector worlds, which are perfectly loyal imperial worlds in the arse end of nowhere. Damaris in Rogue Trader is a perfect example; there are no other "proper" imperial worlds nearby it might form a 'sector' or 'subsector' with; so it's theoretically an imperial world, and would be registered as such with the Segmentum authority, but have no intervening lord sector to report to. References to worlds which see imperial traffic once in X centuries or whatever (adn there are plenty in the stories) are probably like this; if they were part of a sector with reasonable interstellar traffic they'd see reasonably regular patrols even if the world itself is fairly primitive, if only to make the point that the navy and lord sector is watching. Inter-sector worlds, however, might be several years warp travel from the nearest navy base that gives a damn about their existance....






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