There are three methods of acquiring ships: capturing them, buying them and building them yourself.
Capturing Ships: If a battle goes right, you may be able to capture ships relatively intact. It is possible for crews to scuttle ships provided they have a working powerplant or jump drive, but unless they have escape options most crews are not fanatical enough to do this. If you capture a world where ships are docked, say for repairs or something, you may capture them just as they are.
Buying Ships from The Consortium: The Consortium sells ships to anyone who asks. They sell them at the standard price for a “First model” which is 20% higher than their build price. They only sell for Washington Dollars or the equivalent in credits at the exchange rate from your world. They don’t make deals on prices. They also sell Tech Level 14 and Tech Level 13 ships that they maintain in a mothball fleet.
Consortium ships come at the price given and do not include any sub-craft. If you buy a carrier from the Consortium you need to
buy fighters to go on it or you can build your own. They also do not come with any crew or troops, those are supplied by you. Typically they are delivered by a skeleton crew that then returns to Washington on an accompanying craft. Delivery time varies with your distance from Washington.
One drawback to purchasing ships from the Consortium is that you may be unable to repair them at your tech level. Normal damage can usually be repaired but a critically damaged unit cannot usually be replaced by a unit of lower tech level. The Consortium will sell spare parts at their usual premium price.
“Consortium vessels are superior to all other vessels in space.”
-The back of the Consortium Catalog
Buying Ships from Another Power: Another power may be willing to sell you a ship or build one at your request or you could send out a general message that you’re willing to buy a certain type of vessel.
Ships are built by issuing build orders to your Shipyard to construct knock off Consortium designs or to design new ships.
Cost: There are two costs listed for each ship. The first is the cost of the first model built. This is also the price the Consortium charges (in Washington Dollars) to purchase the same ship. The second cost is the amount of the second ship of the class, even if they are laid down at the same time. The cost is lower because more efficient construction techniques are established with the subsequent ships.
Time: The time it takes to build a ship is entirely based on its hull size. Note that larger ones take years to build. A new design takes four weeks of paperwork and design planning before it can be laid down, and then the longer period of construction elapses. Just like the cost is reduced for subsequent ships, they also take less time to build. This means the subsequent ships will launch while the first is still being built.
Rush Construction: Construction may be rushed in two ways:
- Assigning double yard capacity reduces the time by 30% of the first ship’s build time.
- Paying more for the ship in 10% increments reduces the time required in 10% increments of the first ship’s build time.
Both of these can be done, but nothing can reduce the time below one-fourth the build time of the first vessel. Fractional weeks round up at the end to a full week.
For example, a 5000 ton ship takes 96 weeks to build the first model. If the first model is given 10,000 tons of yard space it would take off 28.8 weeks of that leaving only 67.2 weeks. If an additional 40% of the cost was paid it would reduce the time by 38.4 weeks and come in at 29 weeks.
Second example, the second ship of class takes 68 weeks, when double shipyard tonnage is assigned it takes 39.2 weeks. An additional 10% of cost paid reduces that to 29.6 weeks. An additional 10% should reduce that to 20 weeks but the minimum is 24 weeks
because that’s one-fourth of the original build time.
Third example, the third ship of the class takes 68 weeks, but now shipyard tonnage is scarce, so 20% more cost takes off 19.2
weeks leaving 48.8 weeks which rounds up to 49 weeks.
Desigining New Ships: If none of the Consortium ships meet your needs you can request a new design and give specs for what you want to a naval architect on your world. He will work up some plans and you can decide if you want to purchase it or not. The architect will charge for his work about 1% of the cost of the ship. But if a ship can’t be designed with those specs he will tell you and not charge anything.
Getting Rid of Ships
Sometimes you may want to get rid of a ship, usually because it’s too expensive to maintain.
Paying Off: The ship is just abandoned, set adrift in a safe place or destroyed for target practice. It’s gone and no longer in the game.
Ordinary: Ships in Ordinary are set aside and parked in orbit at a naval base. Other terms for this include Reserve Fleet, Ghost Fleet, Boneyard Fleet or Mothball Fleet. Ships in ordinary cost one tenth their normal maintenance. The recommissioning cost is one tenth the ship’s cost and requires full shipyard capacity for one tenth construction time. All time modifiers found in the shipbuilding rule may be used.
Selling Off: The most lucrative way to get rid of a ship is to try to sell it either to a specific power or by posting a general for sale notice. Some worlds that cannot build their own starships are eager to acquire vessels in this way at a negotiable price. Note that not all powers will appreciate you selling warships to their neighbours.