Month 1

The continuing saga of Example Ernie's Earthling Empire

Month 1

Ernie is guided through a month by the Strategic Turn Sequence of J2.

Economic Phase

Population Growth

Ernie first calculates the growth of his various populations, which grow at 1% per month as per L1.04.1. This also illustrates a basic population record (K5.03).

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. This completes the K5.03 Population and Income Record.

Ernie has 2687.8 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. Payout rates and conditions are noted in L4.05.1, and are based on the current state of the CFN freighter (i.e. not player-owned) pools, which we have not yet calculated. We take as a given that leased freighters will pay out at standard rates (this will be borne out by later calculations). As noted in the Other Fund section, each CFN-Qv freighter earns 30.4 MCr / month in lease income, and each CFN-Mixed freighter earns 23.6 MCr / month. 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 in this case). He could sell IU (which sell for the same 30 MCr they cost to purchase), but he chooses not to. 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 2880.2 MCr, plus the 0.0 MCr remaining in the treasury from the previous month. The Earthlings have 2880.2 MCr to spend this month.

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 537 H and 268 Qv of capacity based on GEV calculated above (the PCM, or Pool Capacity Modifier, of a player race is always 1. Only NPRs use the PCM). This represents 1/10th of the actual size of the CFN, and is the portion that can be affordably hired.

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 268 H and 26 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 built during the pre-game month, Ernie must account for the maintenance cost of his starting shipyard space station. The Shipyard SS’s maintenance cost is non-standard because the (SY)s pay no maintenance for the cost of the (SY) system, though they do pay maintenance for the cost of the HS they are mounted in. The crated smcft pay no maintenance. Ernie’s maintenance expenses are:

However, systems with a sufficiently large population will pay some maintenance costs for their own defense (L7.06). This is not income; any portion of the System Defense Fund not used to reimburse relevant maintenance is lost. The SDF will cover PDCs, military SS modules, bases, asteroid forts, patrol boats, and small craft. Ernie’s Home Defense PDC, SS Defense modules (but not the non-military Shipyard SS), and WP Picket BS0s are covered, and Sol’s SDF covers the entirety of their maintenance:

The Earthlings, therefore, devote 1183 MCr to maintenance.

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 have many modifiers, but the primary three are the x and y cost of each RP, or Research Point (N6), and the SL vs EL multiplier (N6.05). x costs are usually related to the research project in question, but y costs are a function of TGI, which was calculated above (2687.8 MCr).

Ernie’s first major R&D effort is to raise his empire’s EL (Economic Level), the foundational measure of technological progress for an empire. Raising EL results in an income boost throughout the empire, new areas of science being opened, a reduced cost to R&D older areas of science, and more. Each EL RP costs 63.8 MCr (N6.01), and Ernie wants to pursue EL R&D at the maximum rate, so he buys 10 EL RPs for 638 MCr. No R&D facilities are needed for the EL R&D project.

Ernie next considers tech tree SL projects. New projects must have their first RP Rate (normally 10) RPs purchased at double cost; Ernie wants to push the pace of his R&D, and so all projects will be pursued at full RP Rate. He decides to begin work on Elec SL2, R SL2, and Y SL2 based on the presence of knots after SL2 along each path — those knots (Elec and R SL 3, Yc Branch at Y SL 2) cannot be broken by breakthroughs until all preceding SLs have been researched. He also starts I SL2 to begin progress towards faster engines. SL R&D costs do not generally vary across trees, and so all RPs purchased here will be the same cost (since they are all SL2). Ernie pays 6 MCr per SL RP (N6.02), including the doubled cost for the first month of the project. The four SL projects therefore account for 240 MCr. Ernie must place these in facilities. There are not many breakthrough targets yet (they will made available by these SL projects), so Ernie opts to place them in (SA)s that would otherwise be idle. He assigns Elec SL2 and R SL2 to (SA) #1 and Y SL2 and I SL2 to (SA) #2.

Ernie also wants to push towards better laser weaponry. The Lb weapon is available at L SL2, so Ernie wants to begin a Combined SL/item project (N9.06) for L SL2 and Lb. Such projects are more costly when combined than if they were run separately, and cannot be accelerated, but success finishes both projects. RP cost is found in N6.02, plus the modifier in N9.06, and the Lb/SL2 project costs 22.8 MCr (substantially more expensive than pure SL research projects), and so the full set of 10 RP costs 228 MCr. Any R&D project that results in a tech item must be assigned to an (RDS), so the Lb/SL2 project is assigned to (RDS) #1.

Finally, Ernie drafts up his Breakthrough Objective List (N11.03). For now, Ernie wants to break knots to open the AP Tree and to unlock T SL2, in that order of preference. Ernie also designates his third (SA) to work at maximum rate towards a random breakthrough, which costs 100 MCr. In total, Ernie has designated 1206 MCr to be spent on R&D:


Ernie wants to emplace imperial populations of 5 PTU each on some additional moons in Sol system so that they will provide some extra income and sensor coverage (D5.03.1.6). He intends to colonize Luna, the mB moon of Terra, and Nereid, an mF moon of an outlying ice giant. Worlds with sufficiently large populations (such as Terra) will provide colonization PTU that do not subtract from that world’s PTU (L5.03.1), and so Terra’s population will not be reduced by this process.

Colonization involves two major cost components: purchasing the equipment needed to keep the colonists alive (the emplacement cost), and shipping the colonists and their equipment to the end destination (Table L5.03). CFN costs to ship colonization efforts are halved (L5.01), but the emplacement cost is always full-rate.

The colonists bound for Luna face a Desolate environment, and so the empire pays 100 MCr for their emplacement. Because the colonists are shipping within a planetary system, there is no shipping charge, nor is any CFN pool capacity used (L4.11.1).

The colonists bound for Nereid face an Extreme environment, and so the empire pays 150 MCr for their emplacement. Per Table L5.03, they need a total of 120 H and 50 Qv of shipping capacity. They first use Sol’s In-System pool, which is free, and reduce the remaining need to 24 Qv, which must be taken up by the interstellar ICN. Since those freighters are operating in-system, their cargo requires only a fraction of its normal usage (reflecting the time available for multiple round trips), and so only 3 Qv must be leased — costing 2.4 MCr. In total, Ernie pays 252.4 MCr for the colonization.


Ernie wants to build a few more Baby Surveyors to cheaply expand his survey potential. He orders the construction of 3 (maintaining the one-per-flotilla symmetry) at a cost of 58.8 MCr each. At just 5 HS each, they are well within his build rate and will be available for use next month.

Orders to mothball or de-mothball units can be placed here, but Ernie is content with his current fleet status in that regard.

Ernie also decides to train 32 Qt troops at his (QTF) (F4.09). Troop cost is listed in the Con section of AppAA. Troops have a maintenance cost, but can be covered by the System Defense Fund.

Finally, Ernie builds 1 IU to improve on the 2% return of money idle in the treasury at the end of the month. Terra’s governor also produces 2 IU at no cost. Ernie must track the number of governor-produced IU, as they have additional restrictions on when they can be sold (S6.04) — normal IU can be sold on any month. Ernie’s income and expense report is now complete:

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

No units completed construction during the previous month (pre-game month units are assumed to have been active for longer, so that they can reach BG crew grade, qualify as in-system patrol boats, etc). Ernie will receive the Baby Surveyors he ordered construction of this month during this phase next month.

Write movement orders

Survey Flotilla 1 is ordered to transit to Centauri (0 StMP, as the flotilla is already at the WP), proceed to the planet Eden (1 StMP), and begin a habitable world survey of Eden (2 StMP). While the fleet can move at speed 4 (allowing 4 StMP), their science sensors have a maximum survey speed (MSS) of 3. Table C2.03 (pulsed movement) shows that once a speed 4 unit moves 1 StMP, only two StMP will remain available at speed 3. Survey Flotilla 1 expects to gather 16 SP per StMP spent surveying (1 SP per StMP per large unit, 2 SP per StMP per shuttle), for 32 SP gathered this month. This survey is expected to complete next month.

Survey Flotilla 2 is ordered to transit to Eridani (0 StMP) and begin a WP survey of that system (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, for 42 SP gathered this month. This survey is expected to complete at the end of Month 5.

Survey Flotilla 3 receives the same orders as Survey Flotilla 2, except for Pavonis: Transit to Pavonis (0 StMP), begin a WP survey of that system (3 StMP).

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

None of Ernie’s surveys completed.

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 unsuccessful.

Record CFN Shipments at Destinations

The new 5 PU populations on Luna and Nereid are recorded.

Economic Level Advancement

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

Ernie’s first 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.

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