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Month 3

The continuing saga of Example Ernie's Earthling Empire.

Month 3

Ernie is guided through a month by the Strategic Turn Sequence of J2. This month, Ernie begins a colonization push and accelerates an R&D project.

Economic Phase

Population Growth

Ernie first calculates the growth of his various populations, which grow at 1% per month as per L1.04.1. No colonization PTU were added last month.

System Body Type Habitability PU New PU Max PU
Terra ST Benign 2040.2 2060.6 3500.0
Mars B Desolate 51.0 51.5 180.0
Phobos mB Desolate 25.5 25.8 60.0
Deimos mB Desolate 25.5 25.8 60.0
Luna mB Desolate 5.1 5.2 60.0
mB Extreme 5.1 5.2 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 2: those 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 2060.6 101 Gov 2625.1
Sol Mars B Desolate Rich 51.5 0
Sol Phobos mB Desolate V. Rich 25.8 0
Sol Deimos mB Desolate V. Rich 25.8 0
Sol Luna mB Desolate V. Rich 5.2 0
Sol Nereid
mF Extreme V. Rich 5.2 0

Total 2174.1 101

Ernie has 2752.3 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 (24.4, which earned 0.4 MCr in 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 2945.1 MCr, plus the 24.4 MCr remaining in the treasury from the previous month. The Earthlings have 2969.5 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 550 H and 275 Qv of capacity. Last month's totals were 545 H and 272 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 275 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. Ernie's fielded forces are unchanged from last turn. 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 11
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
System Body Survey ESf
29.2 29.2
Qt 32
0.05 1.6

Total: 1252.5

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 3 8.9 53.4
st 11
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
System Body Survey ESf
29.2 29.2
0.05 1.6

Total: 1238.9

The Earthlings, therefore, devote 1238.9 MCr to maintenance.

GEV 2752.3
Leasing 192.4
Other 24.8
Total 2969.5

Maintenance 1238.9

Remaining 1730.6

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 (2752.3 MCr).

Ernie continues his EL advancement research. Each EL RP costs 65.0 MCr (N6.01), and Ernie wants to pursue EL R&D at the maximum rate, so he buys 10 EL RPs for 650 MCr. No R&D facilities are needed for the EL R&D project. He has 20 RP from previous months, but 30 RP accumulated are substantially less than the project's RP target of 110 RP. No completion roll will be made this month.

Last month, Ernie got a positive result on his breakthrough research. He did not break a knot, but he is allowed to then use the breakthrough to accelerate R&D on a project: for three months, he may buy an additional RP Rate of RPs for one active project at normal RP cost (by default, acceleration RPs cost 400% of normal cost) (N11.04 B, N9.02). Ernie would very much like to accelerate his Lb/SL2 project, but combined projects are heavily restricted on acceleration (N9.06); it is ineligible. Ernie opts to accelerate his Y project so that he can pursue Yc capital sensors as quickly as possible.

Ernie 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 30 RP against a target of 30 RP (a 0% chance of completion), and so no completion roll will be made.

Updating the Y project with the allowance for breakthrough acceleration, Ernie purchases another 10 RP at list cost (another 30 MCr total). Y SL2 will now be at 40 RP against a 30 RP target, and so will roll against a 10% chance of success (N8).

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 tends to rise month-to-month. These RPs cost 11.5 MCr each, so Ernie pays 115 MCr for max-rate R&D. This project will have accumulated 30 RP against a target of 30 RP (0% chance of completion), and so no completion roll will be made.

Finally, Ernie discontinues random breakthrough research this month at (SA) #3; he reserves his money for colonization efforts


Maintenance 1238.9
EL R&D 650.0
SL/Item R&D 265.0
Bkthru R&D 0.0

Remaining 815.6


Ernie has completed his habitable world survey of Eden and received its results at his capital; he launches mass colonization efforts. Appendix CC notes that colonizing a Benign Normal world at 1 StMP (as in this case) has a 9.1% return on investment, much higher than anything else Ernie can presently invest in.

First, Ernie considers the cost to colonize 1 PTU (L5). He must pay 6 MCr for emplacement, but the CFN hiring costs are halved for being colonization (L4.09.7) and the quantities required are halved for the colonization distance (Terra to Eden) being 1 StMP (L4.10.3). Each PTU therefore pays 1 MCr for using 2 H of shipping and 4 MCr for using 5 Qv of shipping. All told, each PTU will cost 11 MCr to colonize on Eden. Ernie checks the ROI from Appendix CC: each PTU will become 1 PU at sufficiently low populations, and each PU will earn 1 MCr / month on a Normal richness habitable world. 1 / 11 = 9.1% ROI, exactly as predicted by Appendix CC.

Next, Ernie considers his CFN capacity. Restricting himself to the Base and Government Pools (the portion of the CFN for which the above cost estimates hold) gives him 592 H and 369 Qv available; Qv is the limiting factor (higher usage by colonization and lower availability in the CFN). Ernie can ship 73 PTU (146 H and 365 Qv) before exhausting the Base and Government Pools. That much colonization would cost 803 MCr (73 * 11). Conveniently, this is just less than he has available in the treasury (815.6 after maintenance and R&D), and so he decides 73 PTU is a good number and elects not to run a detailed analysis of how many PTU he could conceivably afford to colonize — though, as it happens, that number is also 73 PTU without resorting to IU sales.

73 PTU will begin producing growth and income on Eden next month. The population will immediately be of Settlement class, skipping Outpost and Colony. Settlements are still 1 PTU to 1 PU, and so the new population will begin at 73 PU.





Ernie has effectively exhausted his cash for the month, and so orders no new construction. He continues to track progress on his CL prototype, which starts the month with 14 of 90 HS of work completed (it will progress to 28 of 90 HS this month).

Ernie’s income and expense report is now complete:


Maintenance 1238.9
R&D 915.0
Colonization 803.0
Construction 0.0

Remaining 12.6

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 System Body Survey ESf with its complement of st. He assigns it a new fleet designation, Survey Flotilla Planet.

Write movement orders

Survey Flotilla 1 continues surveying Centauri for warp points. It will collect 45 SP this month to add to the 31 SP previously collected. This survey is expected to complete at the end of Month 6.

Survey Flotilla 2 continues surveying Eridani for warp points. It will collect 45 SP this month to add to the 86 SP previously collected. This survey is expected to complete after StMP 2 of Month 5.

Survey Flotilla 3 continues surveying Pavonis for warp points. It will collect 45 SP this month to add to the 86 SP previously collected. This survey is expected to complete after StMP 2 of Month 5.

Survey Flotilla Planet is ordered to transit to Centauri (1 StMP) and conduct a Survivable Bodies survey (50 SP required, 34 SP will be collected this month over StMP 2 and 3). Next month it will complete the Survivable Bodies survey and transition to an Asteroid Belt survey in the same system.

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

No surveys were completed.

No new systems were explored.

None of Ernie’s R&D projects have completed. He can use Breakthrough Acceleration on the Y SL2 project for two more months.

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 third 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 12, 2014, 2:51 PM
unit design record.zip
Stephen Rochelle,
Oct 12, 2014, 12:10 PM