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[Star Army] Fleet Plan

Wes

Founder & Admin
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🌸 FM of Yamatai
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I've started working on a new fleet plan for the Star Army of Yamatai. The intent to create and implement plan was ICly announced here. The idea is that instead of a lot of fleets, we'll stick with a smaller amount of fleets and create task forces from them that are more tailored to the size that GMs need for their plots. So the idea is to shed the "extra fleets" that we created based on player requests and go back to having 5-6 stable fleets.

Some factors in this:
  • A lot of Taisho NPCs have been abandoned by their creators (who may no longer be active on the site), these will probably be retired. Example: Shizuka Endo and 5tar
  • The Star Army is setting up for larger ops in the Kuvexian war and in the Kagami Galaxy at large, it needs more organization.
  • Yui's kind of using this to push increased control/quality control on fleet composition.
  • I don't have enough fleet managers to run all these fleets
Suggested reading:
  1. http://bluemaxstudios.blogspot.com/2014/12/building-space-navy.html
  2. http://bluemaxstudios.blogspot.com/2014/12/building-space-navy-ii-stategic.html
  3. http://bluemaxstudios.blogspot.com/2014/12/building-space-navy-iii-strategic-goals.html
Suggested listening:
  1. http://www.adventuresinscifipublish...-building-a-navy-with-david-weber-and-bunine/
Stuff I need feedback on:
  • What do you see as the strategic goals of the Star Army?
  • What roles should our fleets have?
  • How many fleets do we actually need?
  • Should we ditch the term "expeditionary fleet" and just have some regular fleets that do expeditions?
  • Should logistics' fleet get a number? What about SAINT's?
 

Fred

Retired Staff
I won't get too much in the specifics of this, but here's my input:

- I'm turned off by a lot that happens fleet-wide because some of it has not made sense to me in the past. Like the conversion of every 2nd Draconian Fleet ship into Super Eikan cruisers when they were a mix of Yuis, Irims, Ayames and Yuumis. This was important to me, but you just handwaved me away. It makes it hard to care faceless Super Eikans now. If possible, it's a change I want reversed, and perhaps motivation to introduce more recent refits of each of the above ships.
- I kind of want to see signs of the 3000 warships assimilated by the Second Draconian Fleet still be present. Perhaps two 1000ish fleets. Still multiracial. Still not quite adapted to the current year (used to older uniforms, more recent gear mostly military surplus since it's harder to replace oldstuff en-masse when the older stuff probably still decently functions).
- Kasami Erika was the ranking NPC leader of the Second Draconian Fleet. Would be nice to see her name somewhere. She was a Chujo back in YE 34.

- I think it'd be a shame to lose 'Expeditionary fleets'. Markedly, the X1 has been representing Yamatai's vanguard, a mobile forward taskforce that tended to be in the thick of the trouble at the frontiers of Yamatai. At least, don't lose the nomenclature.
- Reading the Eucharis plot, I kind of don't feel Hanako's Shosho rank. It shows in medal giving and is occasionaly taken into account with token appearances from other ships in her squadron, but I don't think the PCs feel that their commander is really a Rear Admiral. She seems to have little interaction with her immediate squadron, the players don't seem to have a face for each captain of the other ships in her squadron, and they don't seem to see at least the leading officers of each other squadron in the strategic strike pool Hanako commands. That being said, for what the X1 is most roleplayed as - its strategic strike pool - I have no trouble believing this could be a taskforce.
- Maybe the X1/X2/X3 nomenclature can be given to taskforces now? It seemed kind of nebulous (and when not, just not that cool) otherwise.
 

raz

SAINT Director
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Some factors in this:
  • A lot of Taisho NPCs have been abandoned by their creators (who may no longer be active on the site), these will probably be retired. Example: Shizuka Endo and 5tar
  • I don't have enough fleet managers to run all these fleets

I think part of these factors is not giving people enough leeway with "grand strategy" roleplaying. Running a fleet essentially just means updating its numbers every once in a while and maybe running a plot. As I said in chat, though, this reorganization does help a lot with that, though, since people interested in actually running plots will just get a cool task force with exactly what they need instead of having this big, cumbersome organization to deal with.

It'd be nice to have a Star Army Command RP for Taisho who get to stay, though. Interaction with Yui and stuff. I know I'd like to RP using the SAINT Director more often, and most of their job is advising other commanders.

Stuff I need feedback on:
  • What do you see as the strategic goals of the Star Army?
  • What roles should our fleets have?
  • How many fleets do we actually need?
  • Should we ditch the term "expeditionary fleet" and just have some regular fleets that do expeditions?
  • Should logistics' fleet get a number? What about SAINT's?
  • Strategic Goals: To provide stability and security for the YSE and greater Kikyo Sector. To fight the Empire's enemies abroad. To secure colonial resources and garrison new territorial acquisitions. To search out and explore the universe at large (this is included because of the old XF mission statements).

  • Roles: I really like the ones you've got outlined in the fleet plan. The idea of a logistics fleet is great, but as I'll explore in the final question, it may not be necessary. 1st and 2nd Fleet's missions seem to overlap a lot. Maybe the 2nd Fleet should be "The Replacement Fleet," or something, meaning that it is a standing navy where a lot of training happens; it'd garrison the Kikyo Sector but be focused on constant exercises and updating of doctrine while the 1st Fleet actually patrols Kikyo. Idk, just an idea.

  • Fleets: Five seems good, imo (Vanguard 1st, Reserve 2nd, Marines 3rd, Expeditionary 4th, Commerce Guard 5th).

  • Expeditionary Fleets: I like the term because it's traditional and historical. If, say, the long range operations were the "4th Fleet (Expeditionary)," it'd just be shorthanded to the 4th Expeditionary Fleet, anyway.

  • SAINT/Logistics: SAINT has ships and does things, but is already its own separate command according to the Star Army page. Same with logistics. I think having a numbered fleet for the latter makes more sense since you'll need a warship escort to protect all of those cargo ships. You've posted in the past that each fleet has its own SAINT personnel, and several fleets have a designated intelligence element, so I don't see a reason to change this. Why would SAINT suddenly list all of its secret scout ships? But ultimately, if you want a cool black ops fleet, I think that's a really rad idea.
I honestly don't know what Fred's talking about with regard to the 2nd Draconian Fleet. Was under the impression that their stuff was mothballed, scrapped and converted, and its personnel assimilated into other fleets. Since the SAoY's organization wiki hasn't listed that fleet for a looooong time ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

Navian

Well-Known Member
I can probably try to answer the questions even though I have no idea.

The Star Army's main goal seems to be to establish and protect a frontier. To me, it seems to be overextended a wee bit already, not due to lack of personnel or resources, but just because the borders have expanded much faster than the development of the worlds within them. So, gaining territory doesn't seem to be a good goal, unless there's something to be annexed in that territory already. The Kuvexian War seems to demand forward bases regardless.

Following from that, the goal of most fleets would be to protect the frontier. Others can fight the war and control commerce (police squadrons... not sure if a whole fleet is needed for that.) Because the empire is so big, I think 8-12 fleets is still a good ballpark figure, although more consolidation is a good idea if those fleets aren't large enough to repel an attack. It's bad if a fleet arrives after an invasion has already started, it's worse if the fleet is defeated and another one has to be sent.

I haven't really looked at how long it takes to invade a star system compared to how long it takes to fly there, though. If the former takes hours while the latter takes less than one, then fewer fleets are needed, though there still have to be enough to defend against multiple attacks while fielding some at the same time, so at least 6-8. I said '8-12' because I figured the empire's big enough that sometimes a fleet couldn't respond in time, or at least not without leaving a large area undefended in the meantime. Some reserve fleets could also be a possibility, though that seems extravagant when the Star Army isn't routinely repelling major invasions, and doesn't seem to have to worry much about opportunistic attacks on other fronts when they do happen.

Since the needs of the Kuvexian War are different from anything else the Star Army does, with it being possible that fleets end up days, weeks, or months away from home, there seems to be more of a need for specialized 'Expeditionary Fleets' than ever. I'd expect most fleets to be focused on quick response and overwhelming counterattacks, but trying to use those tactics on the Kuvexians could result in the fleets being chronically tired and low on ammunition. On the other hand, a design that avoids those problems, while better at fighting a big war, would be remarkably less effective for chasing pirates and raiders or repelling a surprise invasion. So, I think it makes sense to distinguish the two.

I'd find it confusing for the logistics or SAINT fleets to be listed alongside the others, since they'd never be able to replace one of the other fleets while the others are at least somewhat interchangeable, but stuff like fleet numbers is often intentionally meant to confuse enemies, so I wouldn't object to it, either.
 

Wes

Founder & Admin
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1st and 2nd Fleet's missions seem to overlap a lot.
I disagree, the First Fleet's role is for doing whatever missions pop up on a daily basis, the Second Fleet's role is to topple other Yamatai-level nations. It's there to be a big, obvious strategic threat to those people who want to scheme against Yamatai. The first fleet will constantly be busy doing tactical stuff. The second fleet will not stay busy because it needs to be available. It will sit around waiting for the red phone to ring.

More comments later when I have time.
 

raz

SAINT Director
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I think we're basically saying the same thing, Wes. I just thought they seemed really similar based on the fleet plan page because both are about defending Yamataian territory in the Kikyo Sector. Also wasn't personally considering that Nepleslia is an existential threat to Yamatai's security, lol.
 

HotelKilo

Well-Known Member
With the onset of the Kuvexian War, I'd say it would be a good idea to keep at least one of the expeditionary fleets around to manage the Task Groups and Task Forces involved. Considering the distance.
 

Zack

Well-Known Member
Maaaan, I miss doing fleet stuff. 188604 isn't there yet, but Wazu is loosely associated with Yamatai so I'm gonna weigh in.

---

Starting from the very beginning, Yamatai (wes) has explicitly stated a few objectives.

1- Do stuff in the Kyoto Sector, day to day empire running, impregnating alien princesses, ect.
2- Be ready to Defend Yamatai against a large scale attack
3- Be ready to launch a large scale attack against an enemy (kuvexian operations)

Since Yamatai wants to organize its fleets to do all three of these activities at once (Meaning they have enough forces to go attack someone's homeworld, fight a large scale battle at home, and still deal with the other smaller empires) it makes sense to have 3 fleets minimum.

---
Logistics Fleet

Organization of the fleets starts at the logistical level, so I'm going to have to talk about the logistics fleet and the 3 numbered fleets at once. To me it makes sense that the logistics fleet doesn't have a number and is just called 'the logistics fleet' but really there is no reason why logistics couldn't be its own numbered fleet as it will need the same high level of organization as the other fleets. Not just ships, but offices, officers, and procurement specialists as well as an entire division to handle testing of new equipment.

What is important, is how they interface with the three fleets.

Fleets 1 and 2 should be based on Yamatai. That is where all the production is so it makes sense for these fleets to be based there. Each fleet would be its own mini-government with everything from military courts to military food courts in the cities of Yamatai. These fleets wouldn't need their own full RnD section because Yamatai is right there and they can work very interchangeably with the logistics fleet. The 3rd fleet will be more mobile, but will still need to be supplied. So they would have a more long-range relationship with the logistics fleet as they can't always pop over to Yamatai. This raises the question of why have the logistics fleet at all, and what would their role be when compared to the logistics arm of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd fleets?

Yamatai produces a lot of stuff, and since each fleet would need a lot of common materials. Each fleet would also need a lot of fleet-specific stuff. so I would sum up the role of the logistics fleet as such:

L- Provide most of the material required for the fleets of the SAoY

Mostly this would be soldiers, food, new ships, ect, but it also gives some autonomy to the individual fleets themselves. The majority of the day to day stuff would be maximizing production of bulk goods (like food) and making sure that the Fleets are receiving any large orders requested of the Logistics fleet. They would handle mail and other small things sure, but mostly the logistics fleet is who you call when you need 50tons of food fast. If a ship needs a single pair of workout shorts, then they go to their fleet depot.

---
1st Fleet

Or, basically everything in the Kyoto sector.

The 1st fleet would be the one that has small bases all over the Kyoto sector. The bulk of the fleets that just deal with one area would be folded into the 1st. Generally anywhere you go in the Kyoto sector it is the 1st fleets job to have a base there and ships patrolling the area. Otherwise it basically acts like fleets normally do. It supplies its own bases, runs its own mail, does its own RnD when needed and handles any of the small stuff that ships might need such as area-specific modifications for gear.

---

2nd fleet

Yamatai itself.

This is where things start to diverge from the usual. The 2nd fleet is based entirely at Yamatai. All bases, shipyards, ships, ect are there. This also means there is a lot of down time so crews are kept busy with drills and wargames. You likely won't see much use out of this fleet in RP because it is always near Yamatai, but this does make the fleet fantastic as a training / reserve fleet. All the retired Taishos and captains could end up here. When other fleets need ships they can be sent from the 2nd fleet. When new crews need training, 2nd fleet. When you need a new officer that has a specific skill set that you don't have? Call up the second fleet.

--

3rd fleet

This is the one that should be considered the 'expeditionary' fleet. Since its stated mission is to be able to take a war to the enemy, it needs to have all the same stuff as the 2nd fleet, (large numbers of ships, starbases, factories, neko cloning facilities, ect) but all of that stuff needs to be mobile. In addition to having a lot of combat-capable ships, it is also going to need a large on site procurement division responsible for producing, purchasing, or pillaging the needed supplies from the area of operation.


---

Everything else, like the Rikugun should just be its own thing. No real need for a fleet number.
 

Fred

Retired Staff
I thought Zack was on to something, though it would kind of knock on my suspension of disbelief to have the whole second fleet only in the Yamatai system. I simply don't believe the Yamatai system has the intrastructure (or should) support an entire 3rd of the Star Army's warship assets there. I thought some more on it.

I felt it devalued the other locations in Yamatai that can serve as hubs for that. (I'm not counting the 1st fleet in that - to me, the first fleet is equal to in-system garrisons spread all over so that each system has something like an active squadron of ships in readiness to defend it)

In my eyes, Yamatai had at least few hub regions those could be spread over: Central Yamatai, Samurai Sector, Bard Cluster, Ketsurui Military Sector.

However, I wouldn't call them 'second fleet' when it's divided in four. I'd number different fleets after them: 2, 3, 4, 5.

But then, I realized that if you're going to have your garrison from one fleet already present in each system, and then the personnel from the other 'response' fleets - isn't it kind of a strange overlap? In that case, I'd chuck out the notion of the first 'garrison' fleet and just keep it to these fleets in those hubs. They can just have reserves within those fleets that would serve to guard them (and, for example, if the 2nd Draconian Fleet's older ships were still in the equation, they might have been favored as reserve vessels since they aren't the state-of-the-art stuff Yamatai would want to send after active opposition; basically, second-line units).

Otherwise, in my opinion, it would get convoluted pretty fast. The fleets right now are many things - too numerous, perhaps - but convoluted isn't really a problem at the moment.
 
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Gunsight1

Potato Salad
Personally, Id like some of the fleets to stick around, the ones that are plot populated for example and the ones that have had a lot of work put into their history n stuff (like my Tenth fleet) :eek:
 

Doshii Jun

Perpetual player
Retired Staff
I can see how folding out fleets and numbers appeals. It puts the Army in Star Army.

It might be worthwhile to take the patches from obsolete fleets and apply them to new task forces, flotillas, squadrons, etc. 10th Flotilla, 1st Expeditionary Fleet. That sort of thing.

At least then you aren't losing art, and unit history can carry on into the future.
 

Gunsight1

Potato Salad
Phasing out the Tenth bugs me quite a lot, seeing as it's been one that has had a lot of creative effort put into it over the years and has a long history of plots taking place in it's setting, and still has 2 plots actively operating in it, the YSS Sakishima and the open RP YSS Takamagahara, in addition that I know others are utilizing Tenth's assets such as Leo Star Fortress. I am biased towards the Tenth as those are 2 of my plots and I am the current Fleet Manager for the fleet, as well.

I can see phasing out fleets that are not currently in use maybe, but I'd really suggest keep ones that are still inhabited and active. Also keeping the existing numbers is not an issue too. If you look at the US Navy, it has gaps in it's fleet numbers, there are currently 6 fleets in the USN, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 10th fleets out of the 12 historic fleets that have operated in the USN.
 

Navian

Well-Known Member
It'd be possible to do some of the mergers in reverse, in cases where higher-numbered fleets have more prestige than lower-numbered ones, which may well be the case if there's still plots for the former, but none for the latter. At least as long as the SAoY is okay with idiosyncratic numbering.

If not, it might still be possible for the artwork and other conventions from the higher-numbered fleet to take precedence even while a high-numbered fleet is nominally being subsumed by a low-numbered one.
 

Gallant

Praise the Sun!
Phasing out the Tenth bugs me quite a lot, seeing as it's been one that has had a lot of creative effort put into it over the years and has a long history of plots taking place in it's setting, and still has 2 plots actively operating in it, the YSS Sakishima and the open RP YSS Takamagahara, in addition that I know others are utilizing Tenth's assets such as Leo Star Fortress. I am biased towards the Tenth as those are 2 of my plots and I am the current Fleet Manager for the fleet, as well.

+1 on Gunny's reservation. 100% behind him there.

Kim, Dakota and I put a lot of effort into the 10th Fleet specifically to make it a fun and plot-easy fleet. I still use it peripherally in my other plots - Leo Star Fortress, particularly. Those setting elements, and that fleet, has and have a lot of work and love behind them.

Gunsight and I talked when I came back about the fleet's management and I love he's got it, because he's keeping the spirit of the thing going, and running plots in it. When it was mentioned to me earlier that the 10th fleet was going to be cut out of the fleet roster, I decided I'd weigh in on this decision.

Like sure, switch the numbers around, do the shuffle dance, but the 10th's theater of operation is specific enough that folding it into a central fleet doesn't make a lick of sense unless you're just going for another bureaucratic step in the process of operating forces out there. It deals directly with the Lorath and with that section of the Frontier. Its struggles are NOT the struggles of the central systems, and as a background element to the plotships that are currently a part of 10th, the Fleet actually plays an important role in those plots, rather than just being some arbitrary numbering system like the 2nd Expeditionary - did you know the Junpu's part of 2XF? No? That's because like the majority weight of setting fleets, it's just background fluff.

By contrast,
the 10th was written to provide GMs with a 'nonstandard fleet'. A fleet for ships that didn't quite fit the prim, pretty, lockstep picture that the central fleets painted for Star Army ships. It's a maverick fleet. It's run with a slightly different philosophy. It's small enough that you can still, as a GM, write that it faces real issues. Because it can face real issues, the actions of its plotships matter to it, and players, from what I have found, really enjoy that.

The Tenth's got story, not just fluff. I don't see any problems with getting rid of some of the fluff fleets that nobody uses, but the Tenth? You're cutting the Tenth? While it's still got active plots and setting elements in periodic use? Why?
 
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Fred

Retired Staff
I don't see a problem with keeping fleet numbers while just trimming out the fleets that are no longer active. The Star Army can consolidate for their war effort but keep defined assets as is to not disturb their operation.

Best of both worlds.
 

Navian

Well-Known Member
Consolidating the fleets isn't the same as disbanding the excess ones; merging them together is not a destructive process. Changing a fleet's number doesn't destroy everything that fleet's managers have built, and might even give it (and anyone who's attached to it) a wider purview than before. What number ends up being assigned at the end is immaterial, describes nothing, and has only sentimental value. If necessary, the one that its members are most attached to could be kept for just that reason.

The current proposal isn't to put the 10th fleet into one of the fleets that defends the core systems, anyway--it's to put it in one that engages in offensive operations. If dealing with the Lorath was the previous assignment of the tenth fleet, my understanding is that the demand for that is disappearing along with the Lorath themselves, so some reassignment is necessary already.
 
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raz

SAINT Director
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I like the current fleet layout because I made one of them and it was such a 10/10 rad concept that two different people took over during my absences. Still, I don't mind it getting folded into a new fleet. This sort of thing is what happens in the military during periods of modernization and by the time Wes/Yui's new plan even begins to be implemented, it'll have been 10(!) years. From an OOC standpoint, I like the idea, too, because it reduces the number of weird little OOC fiefdoms that nobody really does anything with because their managers disappear.

If there's some super special attachment to the name "Tenth Fleet," then, sure, keep it. But I can't really see it mattering much, since a reorganized Tenth Fleet under the new Fleet Plan will look nothing like the existing Tenth Fleet. Is Yui really going to just say "hmm, okay, we're going to keep this tiny group of ships supported by military contractors while the rest of the Empire gets a modern TO&E"?
 

Wes

Founder & Admin
Staff Member
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Based on feedback, I am considering keeping the tenth fleet, but it'd have to have a clear role and Raz is right, it would probably look very different in terms of assets.
 

Gunsight1

Potato Salad
@raz names are important in militarys. It's why there's Always been an Enterprise, Hornet, Wasp in one form or another the USN since the revolution, An Ark Royal and Queen Elizabeth in the RN, why squadron names get saved and reused (Jolly Rogers and Sundowners for example, were retired and brought back), even fleet numbers are kept and used again (The US Navy Tenth fleet for example was a WW2 fleet that still functions today!). Be it that they are good luck, or that it's tradition, you look at any military in the world and there are names that are important and just do not go away.

@Navian, changing the name does make a difference. After it's changed it's no longer directly attached anymore, it looses that association.

@Wes, I would be beyond grateful if the Tenth were to remain! Even if changes are made to it, it still would be a direct evolution of the same entity, rather than a new creation and it's long history would still continue on
 
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