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Month 2

The continuing saga of Example Ernie's Earthling Empire

Month 2

Ernie is guided through a month by the Strategic Turn Sequence of J2. This month, Ernie will complete his habitable world survey of Eden and design some new ship classes, including a prototype-hull light cruiser.

Economic Phase

Population Growth

Ernie first calculates the growth of his various populations, which grow at 1% per month as per L1.04.1. The populations that colonized and arrived at their destinations last month now grow and will produce income.

System Body Type Habitability PU New PU Max PU
Terra ST Benign 2020.0 2040.2 3500.0
Mars B Desolate 50.5 51.0 180.0
Phobos mB Desolate 25.2 25.5 60.0
Deimos mB Desolate 25.2 25.5 60.0
Luna mB Desolate 5.0 5.1 60.0
mB Extreme 5.0 5.1 20.0

All new populations are below the max PU thresholds for those worlds, and so Ernie updates the population numbers.

Calculate Revenues

Next, Ernie applies those new population numbers to determine the income they generate for the imperial treasury. IU on Terra grew by 3: 1 that Ernie purchased and 2 that Gov created for free due to his "Industrialist" specialist power.

System System Body Type Habitability REI PU IU Governor Income
Sol Terra ST Benign Rich 2040.2 103 Gov 2602.2
Sol Mars B Desolate Rich 51.0 0
Sol Phobos mB Desolate V. Rich 25.5 0
Sol Deimos mB Desolate V. Rich 25.5 0
Sol Luna mB Desolate V. Rich 5.1 0
Sol Nereid
mF Extreme V. Rich 5.1 0

Total 2152.4 103

Ernie has 2728.1 MCr of revenue from his populations and industries. Each line of the table is a GPV (Gross Planetary Value) from L3.01. Summed, they represent the GSV (Gross System Value) of the Sol system. The sum of all GSVs represents TGI (Total Gross Income), which is used in R&D calculations. TGI plus any income from trade treaties represents the GEV (Gross Empire Value), which is used in CFN calculations.

Another source of revenue is from imperial freighters (i.e. player-owned) that are leased to the CFN. We take as a given that leased freighters will pay out at standard rates (this will be borne out by later calculations), as this was easily the case last month and no new freighters are being leased. Ernie’s total leased freighter revenue is therefore 192.4 MCr.

There are other sources of wealth that Ernie needs to consider. He earns 2% interest on any funds remaining in the treasury from the previous month (0.2, which earned no interest). He could sell IU (which sell for the same 30 MCr they cost to purchase), but he chooses not to at this point. Other sources of wealth include scrapping units, (CC) revenue, pillaging invaded worlds, and monetary transfers from other empires — none of which are currently relevant.

So, Ernie’s total revenue for the month is 2932.5 MCr, plus the 0.2 MCr remaining in the treasury from the previous month. The Earthlings have 2932.7 MCr to spend this month. It bears noting that sources of wealth, such as IU sales and scrapping, do not factor into TGI or GEV. As such, Ernie can work his way through his plans for the month and sell IU or scrap units to have more cash on hand without altering his shipping or R&D numbers (which depend on GEV and TGI, respectively).

Transfer Freighters

Ernie doesn’t want to transfer any freighters to or from the CFN, but this is a good place to note the sizes of the CFN pools, which are found in Table L4.02.

Ernie’s Base CFN pool has 545 H and 272 Qv of capacity. Last month's totals were 537 H and 268 Qv. This growth comes from the Extra Pool if available, and otherwise is abstractly constructed by civilian industry. The Extra Pool is empty and so these gains represent new construction.

The Commercial CFN pool represents the other 90% of the CFN, and so its H and Qv sizes are 9 times those of the Base CFN pool. Costs to hire capacity from this pool are tripled.

The Extra CFN pool starts out empty. It only gains H or Qv when the Base or Commercial pools shrink. As those pools are tied to GEV, the Extra CFN pool typically only accrues H or Qv when an empire is at war and losing systems or population.

The Government pool are imperial freighters leased to the CFN — Ernie’s government pool has 42 H and 94 Qv, per the leasing arrangements above. As noted in the Calculate Revenues section, these values are well below those of the H and Qv values of the Base CFN pool, and so they generate full lease income.

Dangerous System pools are established on a case-by-case basis to account for systems that the CFN will not transit. See section W for such terrain types. They can also be established if Ernie wants to ensure that only imperial freighters service a particular route, such as a trade circuit with another race.

In-System CFN pools exist on a system-by-system basis and are based on the GSV of that system rather than on the overall GEV. They are used for in-system colonization or other such shipping, and cannot transit WPs (though they can serve all components of a multiple-star system). The Sol system has 272 H and 27 Qv available this month.

Maintenance Payments

Maintenance represents the first functionally-fixed expense that Ernie needs to account for. It serves as a de facto cap on the size of a military that any empire can field. In addition to all of the units that paid maintenance last month, Ernie must pay for three new Baby Surveyor FT0s that left the shipyards last month and the Qt he trained (which are maintained in H consumed rather than in MCr, though this distinction can be ignored on sizable worlds in peacetime). Ernie’s maintenance expenses are:

Class Qty Maint Total
Shipyard SS 1 48.0 48.0
Planetary Surveyor CT 3 29.2 87.6
WP Surveyor ES 36 17.7 637.2
Baby Surveyor FT0 6 8.9 53.4
st 3
0.0 0.0
gig 0
0.0 0.0
LRW DD 4 64.8 259.2
Home Defense PDC 1 4.5 4.5
SS Defense 2 0.6 1.2
WP Picket BS0 3 2.1 6.3
Cheap Tug FT2 1 7.0 7.0
4 18.9 75.6
CFN-Mixed FT4
3 13.9 41.7
Qt 32
0.05 1.6

Total: 1223.3

As last month, Sol’s SDF covers the entirety of the maintenance for the PDC, SS Defense, and WP Pickets based in that system, as well as the Qt troops:

Class Qty Maint Total
Shipyard SS 1 48.0 48.0
Planetary Surveyor CT 3 29.2 87.6
WP Surveyor ES 36 17.7 637.2
Baby Surveyor FT0 6 8.9 53.4
st 3
0.0 0.0
gig 0
0.0 0.0
LRW DD 4 64.8 259.2
Home Defense PDC 1 4.5 4.5
SS Defense 2 0.6 1.2
WP Picket BS0 3 2.1 6.3
Cheap Tug FT2 1 7.0 7.0
4 18.9 75.6
CFN-Mixed FT4
3 13.9 41.7
0.05 1.6

Total: 1209.7

The Earthlings, therefore, devote 1209.7 MCr to maintenance.

GEV 2728.1
Leasing 192.4
Other 0.2
Total 2920.7

Maintenance 1209.7

Remaining 1711.0

Spend Available Resources

Ernie can spend the rest of his funds in a variety of ways, but another near-constant expenditure is R&D.

Research and Development

R&D costs are a function of TGI, which was calculated above (2728.1 MCr).

Ernie continues his EL advancement research. Each EL RP costs 64.6 MCr (N6.01), and Ernie wants to pursue EL R&D at the maximum rate, so he buys 10 EL RPs for 646 MCr. No R&D facilities are needed for the EL R&D project. He has 10 RP from previous months, but 20 RP accumulated are substantially less than the project's RP target of 110 RP. No completion roll will be made this month.

Ernie next continues his tech tree SL projects. He has Elec SL2 and R SL2 assigned to (SA) #1 and Y SL2 and I SL2 assigned to (SA) #2. All four projects have purchased an RP Rate's worth of RP (10) at double cost, and so all remaining RP in each project will be at normal cost. All of these SL RP cost 3 MCr each, and so maximum rate R&D will cost 120 MCr total for these projects. Each project will have accumulated 20 RP against a target of 30 RP, and so no completion roll will be made.

The next project to consider is the Lb/SL2 combined project assigned to (RDS) #1. It has also purchased an RP Rate's worth of RP, and so subsequent RP will be at normal cost. Tech Item project RPs, like EL RPs, are tied to TGI, and so the RP cost for this project rises against last month. These RPs cost 11.5 MCr each, so Ernie pays 115 MCr for max-rate R&D. This project will have accumulated 20 RP against a target of 30 RP, and so no completion roll will be made.

Finally, Ernie continues random breakthrough research this month at (SA) #3.

GEV 2728.1
Leasing 192.4
Other 0.2
Total 2920.7

Maintenance 1209.7
EL R&D 646.0
SL/Item R&D 235.0
Bkthru R&D 100.0

Remaining 730.0


Ernie elects not to colonize this month. Eden will be available for colonization next month, and should be a higher rate of return than any colonization opportunities in Sol, and so he will concentrate his efforts there.


Ernie wants to get development of light cruisers underway. As he has not yet constructed a CL hull, it will have to be built as a prototype (M1.03.4). Ernie drafts the below unit as a WP assault craft:

SRW+-class CL            45 HS / 32 TS
[2] S×6 A×7 Qa×3 (iIca) (Ica) La×4 (Ica×2) La  [3/3]
Trg: 1      Def: 0      Cost: 457.3 / 68.6      SL 2
26 HTK      S×6 A×7       SRW×5

Ernie isn't certain that this is really the unit that he wants, and he also doesn't want to pay for it all up front. To that end, Ernie opts to build a prototype with Late System Install (M1.03.4.2). For now, Ernie will pay double the hull cost (standard for prototypes) and the cost of life support, for a total of 502.5 MCr. When the project is 2/3rds built, Ernie will finalize the system design, pay for all of the systems (including repurchasing the life support), and pay an extra 20% of the unit's list cost as a new class fee. This is a 90 HS project, and so that second payment will be due the month the project reaches 60 HS. Assuming Ernie's build rate of 14 HS/month does not change, that will occur in Month 6, and the cruiser will be complete in Month 8. Ernie will be able to build other CL or FT5 hulls at non-prototype rates beginning in Month 9. (SY) #1 holds this project.

Ernie has also been reading up on dedicated planetary survey craft, and decides he wants one of his own. He develops this minimalist take on the concept:

System Body Survey-class ESf            12 HS / 7 TS
[2] (Bsa)×8 Xa Qa (Ica)  [3/3]
Trg: 1      Def: 0      Cost: 194.2 / 29.2      SL 1
11 HTK

Ernie will pay 233.1 MCr for this vessel (including the 20% new class fee) and uses 12 HS of shipyard capacity; he assigns it to (SY) #2. He also needs 8 shuttles for it. Two st are crated at the shipyard (from the initial pre-game spending) and can be uncrated freely; they require 1 HS of shipyard capacity total. The other six st are built for 90 MCr and need 12 HS of shipyard capacity. Ernie assigns all st work to (SY) #3; it can schedule these two projects consecutively.

Ernie adds up his construction numbers and finds that he's at 825.6 MCr — more than the 730 MCr remaining at the R&D stage! He doesn't want to give up any of his planned builds or R&D efforts, so he sells 4 IU to make up the difference. As noted above, the money from IU sales does not impact GEV or TGI, and so this sort of late-stage accounting does not alter any earlier work done on the CFN or R&D costs. As such, we will not retroactively adjust the numbers above in this tutorial, though we will note the additional income in the "Other" portion of the income and expense report here.

Ernie must continue to track the quantity of "normal" IU vs Gov's IU (which have sales restrictions). Terra now has 97 normal IU and 2 Gov IU (with 2 more Gov IU constructed at the end of this month). Ernie’s income and expense report is now complete:

GEV 2728.1
Leasing 192.4
Other 120.2
Total 3040.7

Maintenance 1209.7
R&D 981.0
Colonization 0.0
Const - Ships 825.6
Const - Qt 0.0
Const - IU 0.0

Remaining 24.4

Remaining Tasks

Still remaining in the Economic Phase are three steps: supplying Qt (only during invasions), recording economic changes (such as trade treaties coming into force), and making/paying for political offers with other races. Ernie needs to do none of those things this month, and so his Economic Phase is complete

Information Phase

Ernie has no intelligence data to evaluate this month. His Information Phase is complete.

Monthly Activities Phase

Ernie now manages his various units, issues orders, and responds to messages that have arrived during the prior month.

Receive new units

Ernie receives the Baby Surveyors he ordered construction of last month. He assigns one to each Survey Flotilla and orders them to join their fleets at best speed; it will be 1 StMP before each of them can do so. Ernie will receive his System Body Survey ESf, with its complement of st, next month. The CL will take much longer to complete.

Write movement orders

Survey Flotilla 1 requires complex orders for optimization. It is presently surveying Eden, with 32 of 50 SP conducted. On StMP 1, it will continue that survey, gathering 16 more SP (48 total). On StMP 2, all units except the Planetary Surveyor CT will transition to a WP survey of Centauri (15 SP per StMP for two StMP, for 30 SP total). The Planetary Surveyor will continue the survey of Eden for StMP 2 (3 more SP, for a total of 51), completing it. It will transmit the survey results via CFN to Terra and then join the WP Survey during StMP 3 (1 additional SP, for 31 total). This WP survey is expected to complete at the end of Month 6. Eden will be available for colonization next month.

Survey Flotilla 2 is ordered to continue its WP survey of Eridani (3 StMP). This flotilla’s speed is constrained by the MSS of its sensors for the entire month. It expects to gather 14 SP per StMP in StMP 1 and 15 SP per StMP thereafter (reflecting the arrival of the new Baby Surveyor), for 44 SP gathered this month, added to the 42 SP previously gathered. This survey is expected to complete after StMP 2 of Month 5.

Survey Flotilla 3 receives the same orders as Survey Flotilla 2, except as applicable to Pavonis: Conduct WP survey, for 44 SP gathered this month, with 42 SP previously gathered.

First Fleet is ordered to conduct training maneuvers in Terra’s sH (2 StMP). There is no particular benefit for conducting training maneuvers at this time (all units are BG, and Adm’s LG grade is not high enough to further train units in peacetime), but it demonstrates how units will be trained in the future.

Other imperial units remain idle at their current positions.

Interlude: SM Feedback

At this point, events pass from Ernie’s control to Steve the SM’s. Steve implements Ernie’s orders and notes what information passes back towards Ernie’s capital. What response Ernie receives from Steve can depend on things like Ernie’s SOPs (does a fleet regularly report its status, or is it operating under radio silence?) and distance/time (a message may be generated this month, but not received by anyone with authority to act on it this month — in which case Ernie will not be notified yet). Steve will also note whether any tactical combats occur, and consult Ernie on those as appropriate. This month Steve reports that nothing has gone amiss.

In-month Resource Adjustment

This is an opportunity to adjust resources (personnel, wealth, ammunition, maintenance, etc) that arrive (or fail to arrive) via freighter during the middle portion of the month. This might represent wealth that must be convoyed across a dangerous system (thus not being part of the regular CFN, which assumes an instantaneous distribution of wealth production throughout the empire) or wealth lost to enemy raids. Mid-month adjustments are comparatively rare.

Respond to Alerts and Communications

SM feedback that occurs sufficiently early in the month may allow Ernie to provide some mid-month order updates, based on Steve’s determination of the time scales involved. No alerts are received this month.

Political Phase

As Ernie has not made contact with any other races, no political phase activities occur this month.

Record-Keeping Phase

Based on Steve’s feedback, Ernie finalizes his records for the end of the month.

Record Unit Losses

Ernie lost no units this month.

Record Population, CFN, etc Losses

Ernie lost no other resources this month. Note that CFN losses may trigger government liability (L4.10.4.3).

Record Survey, Exploration, and R&D Discoveries

Ernie's survey of Eden was completed. It is an ST world with HI 10 (Benign) and Normal REI.

No new systems were explored.

None of Ernie’s R&D projects have accumulated enough RP to even attempt completion. Ernie’s attempt to generate a random breakthrough was successful. His rolls to open knots (AP Tree and T SL2, N11.04) were unsuccessful (for AP Tree, roll of 7, needed 1-4; for T SL2, roll of 5, needed 1-4), so Ernie can accelerate R&D on one active project next month.

Record CFN Shipments at Destinations

No CFN shipments were made.

Economic Level Advancement

EL did not advance, so no adjustment is made (L1.04.3).

Ernie’s second month is complete.

Final Records and Forms

Much of what Ernie needs to report is already laid out above, but should be re-organized by report.

  • Ernie's Master Astrogation Chart is in the attached files below.
  • Ernie's Empire Summary and Treasury record is mostly shown above; the final report is attached below.
  • Ernie's Populations and Income record is shown above. The current values are in Calculate Revenues; the final report is attached below
  • Ernie's Communications and Reports record is blank this month (survey report was incorporated into the astrogation chart above).
  • Ernie's CFN record is shown above. Pool calcuations are in Transfer Freighters; the final report is attached below.
  • Ernie's Construction record is shown above in Construction; the final report is attached below.
  • Ernie's Fleet Organization record is shown above. Initial positions are in Month 1's report, and updated locations are in Write Movement Orders; the final report is attached below.
  • Ernie's Master Orders and Movement record is shown above in Write Movement Orders; the final report is attached below.
  • Ernie's Maintenance record is shown above in Maintenance Payments; the final report is attached below.
  • Ernie's Research and Development record is shown above in Research and Development; the final report is attached below.
  • Ernie's Espionage and Intelligence record is empty this month.
  • Ernie's Diplomacy and Foreign Relations record is empty this month.
  • Ernie's Standard Operating Procedures record is empty this month. This is a Bad Thing for Ernie, but detailed SOPs are beyond the scope of this tutorial. See K4.02 and CC4 for examples in the Solar Starfire rules.
  • Ernie's Unit Design List as updated this month is shown above, in Construction. The full complement is attached below.
Stephen Rochelle,
Oct 17, 2014, 8:36 AM
unit design record.zip
Stephen Rochelle,
Oct 11, 2014, 5:43 PM