Monday, June 09, 2008

Frontier Trade Patterns

I'm still hashing out the details, but I'm working a few things with "Zones." Red zones are pretty self-explanatory, and indicate an interdiction of a world by somebody. In the Festrian Empire, Fester does the interdicting; also, to a lesser extent, Fester interdicts worlds on its frontier... there's a couple of recent conquests that the Navy keeps a tight lid on... Some worlds interdict themselves. And other Duchies interdict, as well.

Amber zones are a little more flexible. When they show up on a map, it's because either the Scouts or the TAS classed it as such. But I'm thinking that frontiers in the Old Empire are not safe for strangers: For a Festrian ship travelling the frontier, every world should be an Amber zone, both in terms of passengers & cargo, and overall risk; Same for members of any interstellar polity outside of their domain, unless there were well-established treaties... and sometimes even then.

I think it makes merchanting a little riskier, and a little more exciting - both when actually in the frontier and when near it. Just because it's 200 tons and sailing at 1G doesn't make it a friendly...

Frontier trade - that is, foreign trade - will be different than when at home. Fewer passengers by a long shot, and much less in the way of paid cargo. Virtually all speculation. There is more need as well for long-jump ships because there are fewer J-1 links. Because of the difficulty of securing financing for such vessels, and because no lender will be happy to make loans to ships doing frontier trading, such craft tend to be owned by larger companies, by groups of investors, or by very successful merchants able to pay off a ship or buy it up front. Surplus or DD scouts will be found; and the occasional yacht. Some stolen craft, as well - it's harder to chase down skippers in the frontiers.

This is another time I wish I had an easy way on the MAC to put up my subsectors. I'd be able to show you where things are...


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