5.0.0 Resource Points & Economics

 

Resource Points (RPs) are the universal monetary unit used in Fire On The Suns. RPs come in three categories, standard RPs, strategic RPs (SRPs), and special strategic RPs (SSRPs). Standard RPs are automatically generated by any colonized planet in a randomly determined amount.

 

There are 22 types of strategic RPs. These are,

 

Food/Agricultural Products

Drugs/Medicinals

Wood/Construction Materials

Iron/Steel

Aluminum

Unrefined Fuels

Power Generation/Focusing Crystals

Armor Materials

Explosive Materials

Abrasive Materials

Lubricant Materials

Acids/Acidic Materials

Magnetic Materials

Magnetic Monopole Source Materials

Gravitic Source Materials

Radioactives

Volatiles

Organics

Oil/Plastics Sources

Fuel/Energy Sources

Antimatter Sources

Gasses/Life Support Materials

 

Any world that is a source for strategic RPs produces 50% of its total standard RP value in strategic RPs in addition to the number of standard RPs the planet generates. In Fire On The Suns SRPs are converted into RPs at the rate of 3-to-1 (thus, a planet producing 100 RPs and the SRP Iron/Steel would produce an additional 50 SRPs which would convert to 150 RPs for a total world production of 250 RPs)

 

There are also 14 different types of special strategic RPs. Special strategic RPs are extremely rare, but are also extremely valuable. Certain special strategic RPs may be necessary for certain Research & Development projects (e.g. neutronium might be necessary to develop certain types of hulls or armor, etc.). The 14 types of special strategic RPs are,

 

Neutronium

Special Armor Materials

Special Gasses

Synthetic Materials Sources

Naturally Explosive Materials

Special Electronic Applications Materials

Special Abrasive Materials

Special Lubricant Materials

Special Acidic Materials

Naturally Refined Fuel/Energy Sources

Naturally Magnetic Materials

Natural Magnetic Monopoles

Natural Gravitic Materials

Extraordinaries

 

Special strategic RPs may be converted to regular RPs at the rate of 9-to-1. Standard, strategic, and special strategic RPs may be freely traded between players.

 

Economics is abstracted in Fire On The Suns, but is never the less extremely detailed in scope and somewhat complicated. Players do not have to transport RPs between locations in order to build things. All the RPs for an empire are accumulated into a "pool" which may be used to build anything on any inhabited world that has the appropriate facilities for such construction; location of origin of RP’s is not normally important.

For example, a particular player has 2210 RPs being produced by his worlds every turn. For all practical purposes that player can spend 2210 RPs at any point in his empire that he controls. He is not limited to spending only a few RPs here and a few RPs over there. There are, however, some specific limitations as to where RPs for some specific applications, notably R&D and ship construction, can be spent.

 

A player that wishes to colonize a new planet, build a base in deep space or at a location that does not have a factory, shipyard, or other construction facility capable of handling that construction, or send foreign aid (in the form of RPs or technology) must send a freighter that can transport the RPs necessary to build these new things.

 

Example 1: A player wishes to build a new colony within an area of his empire that is currently surveyed and within his empire's com/supply grid. He must send a freighter or freighters to the location of the new colony with the necessary RPs needed for the new colony's construction.

 

Example 2: A player wishes to build a factory on a previously colonized world. The player does not have to send a freighter to this location. He simply pays for the new construction.

 

Example 3: A player wishes to build another colony within a system he has previously colonized (on another planet within that system presumably). He does not, in this case, have to send a freighter loaded with RPs to the site of the new colony.

 

Each turn, each player will be expected to submit a report of his empire's expenses, expressed in RPs in the areas of Ship Construction, Base Construction, New Colonization, Ground Forces Construction, Research & Development, Repairs, Refits, and any other area the player wishes to expend RPs in. Following a tally of these expenses, the GM will report back to the player his total production in RPs for the next turn.

 

On the Economics page of a player’s workbook expenses for each turn are shown as follows,

 

Turn Expenditures

Shipping

Infrastructure

Shipyards & Bases

Ground Forces

New Colonization

R&D

Total Expenditures

RPs Remaining/Deficit

 

With the exception of pre-game build RPs, RPs are never lost (though they may be destroyed) and may be accumulated from turn to turn in a player's treasury. This treasury is assumed to be a part of the empire's economic "pool". Conquered, devastated, or destroyed colonies and worlds will deduct points from the turn-to-turn pool of RPs available to a player. By the same token, if a player conquers an enemy's planets, he will gain RPs from it through his occupation of the planet.

 

Deficit spending is allowed, but discouraged (as in real life) as the deficit will continue to grow from turn to turn and accumulate “interest” until it is paid off. The Gmmacro program processes spending and calculates the RPs available for the next turn, deficits, total expenditures, etc. automatically (see rules section 20.0.0).

 

5.1.0        Income

Normally, a player receives each turn RP’s for expenditure. The largest single income source is generally taxation. Taxes in FOTS represent the regular, sustainable diversion of resources from the national economy for use by the government for certain expenditures, i.e., those modeled in the game, such as starship construction, colonization, R&D and so on. These may well not represent all the government’s actual functions, and may have only a complicated correspondence with literal, simple tax collection.

 

Taxes range from 0% through 100%. That percentage, times the RP value of the state’s colonies, determines the player’s RP income for that turn. There is also, every six turns, a bonus quantity of RP’s in case the taxes of the previous six turns have been 60% or less, and an RP penalty in case of taxes of 61% or higher. The RP bonus in case of lower taxes is equal to (100%-[highest tax rate]) times 3, times the empire’s base RP production. In effect, half of what you denied yourself for having a tax rate less than 100% is given back to you at that point. The RP penalty in case of higher taxes is one turn’s income based on the highest tax rate during the period.

 

Tax rates have a major impact on a state’s Satisfaction Rating, discussed in rules section 19.

 

5.2.0        Deficit Spending and Debt

Spending in a normal FOTS economy can exceed the RP’s normally available. Put another way, deficit spending of RP’s is possible. This represents public sector demands on resources outside normal channels: sudden forced work periods, nationalization of private assets, cash levies, and the like. Unlike taxes, these can cause progressive economic breakdown, in addition to even worse effects on public content (see Government and Society, section 19.0.0).

 

Deficit spending causes a national debt. (Note that states may or may not have cash budget deficits and national debts; these are not strictly represented in game mechanics and will not necessarily correspond to this RP deficit spending and debt.) The debt grows by 20% each turn. Game mechanics do not force a state to pay off the debt, but this debt will eventually kill an economy if it grows unimpeded.

 

Each turn, a state with a debt over 200% of its RP production total incurs a permanent RP production penalty according to the following table:

 

Debt as a percentage            Permanent RP

of RP production                   Production penalty incurred:

201%-250%                      -1% to RP production

251%-300%                      -2% to RP production

301%-350%                      -4% to RP production

351%-400%                      -8% to RP production

401% or more                   -16% to RP production

 

This is applied cumulatively each turn; seven turns spent with 401% or more debt will eliminate effective productivity of a nation. RP production cannot be reduced below 0% by penalties.  Accumulated debt RP production penalties may be reduced or eliminated through Development stage research projects – representing various clever public financing and economic recovery initiatives – at 5% production penalty removed per success.

 

5.3.0 Freighters

Freighters are necessary for new colonization, military repairs, and supply. They are also needed to move RPs from one location to another for specific purposes (i.e. for repairs, foreign aid, etc.). Freighters are specifically required for the colonization of planets in systems that do not already have a colony in them. Freighters are not necessary the colonization of planets in systems that already have one or more colonies, or for regular commerce between planets; this is handled by civilian traffic. Freighters, in this definition, are specialized ships configured for use by the military only.

 

Freighters are not required for the ordinary accumulation of RPs by an empire or for the regular conduct of its economy; this is considered a function of an “invisible infrastructure”. Freighters are required for military use in the following areas,

 

1) Transport of fuel, supplies, and material (in the form of RPs) required for repairs,

2) Transport of crated and/or uncrated fighters from fighter factories to carriers at other locations,

3) Transport of foreign aid (in the form of RPs) to other empires,

4) Transport of mines and minefields to and from locations outside of colonized systems or outside of his com/supply grid, minelayers, and minesweepers,

5) Transport of component parts (in the form of RPs) to any installation being constructed in deep space,

6) Transport of supplies and material (in the form of RPs) for the establishment of new installations on uncolonized worlds and/or the establishment of new colonies in uncolonized areas (i.e. new worlds)

7) Transport of missiles, crated fighters, ground forces, and various other items such as supplies, in the form of RPs from factories, supply depots, and other facilities to various locations including fleets and individual starships.

 

Freighters may be of 2 specific types, regular military freighters (F# where the # denotes a number designation corresponding to hull size (i.e. F10, F12, F4, etc.)) or fast freighters (Ff# where the # denotes a number designation corresponding to the hull size (i.e. Ff10, Ff8, Ff12, etc.).

 

Standard freighters may not move faster than the cruise speed for the engine generation they were constructed under. Such freighters get a 25% discount for their low maximum speed. Fast freighters may move at normal starship speeds, but do not receive such a discount.

 

The cost for constructing military freighters is calculated as per the normal cost of a starship.

 

Cargo bay storage capacity is 20 RPs or 12 crated fighters or 1 size point worth of ground forces mechanized units (i.e. tanks, IFVs, artillery pieces, etc.). Freighters may also trade hull points for additional cargo bays at a 1:1 rate (i.e. it is theoretically possible to have a 2nd Gen BC-sized freighter (13 hull, 19 weapons, 10 shields spaces) with stats of 0,0,0,1 with 41 cargo bays (storage capacity of 820 RPs or 328 crated fighters). Hull points may not be reduced below 1 point. Freighters gain a cost savings of 25% from their base price. Fast freighters gain no cost savings due to their increased engine speed.

 

Freighters may be constructed from any type of hull and to any hull size a player can currently build.

 

Multiple freighters may be used to supply the number of required RPs for repairs, supplies, colonists, etc. (i.e. if a cargo will not fit on one freighter then two or three or more may be used to haul that cargo). These "convoys" must move together as a single fleet. Individual freighters and convoys may be attacked and destroyed by enemy starships that encounter them or are "hunting" them. Some empires begin the game with a few freighters already attached to their fleets. Any additional freighter needed by the empire must be constructed during the game.

Anything may be transported by freighters provided there is a sufficient number of cargo bays available, with the exception of starships and bases that have already been constructed. In theory, a sufficient number of freighters could transport a planet if the player wanted to take the time to build them all (and pay the cost). Colonies may be evacuated by freighters.

 

5.4.0 Types of Facilities & General Rules

Colonization is fairly simple in the standard game of Fire On The Suns. However, colonization and industrialization are entirely different things. While non-industrialized colonies will produce RPs, industrialization enables them to conduct a number of other operations. Until a colony has Heavy Industry purchased for it, it is a non-industrialized colony.

 

Non-industrialized colonies are limited in what they can construct. They are assumed to have orbital capabilities and that is all. Non-industrialized worlds may construct only ground or orbit-based facilities, ground forces, and minefields. They may not construct starships, shipyards, or non-ground or orbit-based defenses.

 

Non-industrialized colonies must construct heavy industry before they can construct shipyards or shipyard bays aboard bases which can then construct starships.

 

Industrialized colonies may construct anything.

 

There are several different types of facilities that will boost the production of a planet. These facilities are Agricultural Stations, Core Taps, Heavy Industry, Light Industry, Medical Centers, Mining Stations, and Refineries.

 

Agricultural Stations

Agricultural Stations increase the base Food/Agri-cultural Products SRP output of a world that pro-duces the SRP Food/Agricultural Products by 10%. Agricultural Stations cost 400 RPs. Agricultural Stations can only be constructed on previously colonized worlds.

 

Core Taps

Core Taps increase the base RP output of a world by 10% reflecting expensive and massive, deep-crust mining methods that increase the amount of ore recovered during a turn. They may also be used on the SRP or SSRP output of worlds producing Wood/Construction Materials, Iron/Steel, Aluminum, Armor Materials, Magnetic Materials, Magnetic Monopole Source Materials, Gravitic Source Materials, Radioactives SRP's, or Neutronium, Special Armor Materials, Naturally Magnetic Materials, Natural Magnetic Monopoles, Natural Gravitic Materials and certain Extraordinaries SSRP's. Core Taps cost 400 RPs each. Core Taps can only be constructed on previously colonized worlds.

 

Heavy industry

Heavy Industry facilities are required before a planet can begin producing any actual physical constructions such as shipyards and starships. Heavy Industry consists of factories, machine shops, power plants, and the personnel to operate these facilities. Heavy Industry supplies the steel, plastics, computer chips, cable, and all the actual physical materials needed to build things. Players’ homeworlds are assumed to have heavy industry complexes to start. Heavy Industry costs 400 RPs to place on any world. Additional Heavy Industry facilities (i.e. more than 1) can be installed on any world. These extra facilities count as 1 additional planet for Heavy Industry purposes.

 

Light industry

Light industry costs 200 RP’s and functions as heavy industry, with the following exceptions. The RP potential of the colony acts as a cap on the amount of construction a light industry complex can support per turn. For example, a 250 RP colony with light industry can use it to build no more than 250 RP’s of spacecraft, bases, etc. each turn. In addition, light industry cannot support the construction of mobile units requiring more than one turn to build, or bases requiring more than two turns to build.

 

Medical centers

Medical Centers increase the base SRP output of a world that produces the SRP Drugs/Medicinals by 10%. Medical Centers cost 400 RPs each. Medical Centers can only be constructed on previously colonized worlds.

 

Mining Stations

Mining Stations increase the base RP output of a world by 10% reflecting massive strip-mining operations. They may also be used on the SRP or SSRP output of worlds producing Wood/Construction Materials, Iron/Steel, Aluminum, Armor Materials, Magnetic Materials, Magnetic Monopole Source Materials, Gravitic Source Materials, Radioactives SRP's, or Neutronium, Special Armor Materials, Naturally Magnetic Materials, Natural Magnetic Monopoles, Natural Gravitic Materials and certain Extraordinaries SSRP's. Mining Stations cost 400 RPs each. Mining Stations may be positioned on any type or class of planet (exception: only gas giant native Mining Stations may be placed on gas giants, at least initially) regardless of whether or not that planet has been colonized. It would require 10 Mining Stations to bring the output of a planet up to its maximum RP potential. An additional 10 Mining Stations could then be emplaced to double the planet's RP output. For each Mining Station emplaced on a planet above the maximum RP output potential of the planet, 2.5% of the planet becomes devastated (i.e. with 12 Mining Stations operating on a planet, the planet suffers 5% devastation per turn (giving the player only 20 turns of mining value from this planet before it is completely devastated and therefore worthless)). Populations or Mining Stations left on devastated worlds are destroyed the turn following the turn in which devastation occurs (e.g., if a planet becomes devastated on Turn 16, the colony and Mining Stations are destroyed if not removed on Turn 17).

 

Refineries

Refineries increase the base SRP or SSRP output of a world that produces Unrefined Fuels, Power Generation/-Focusing Crystals, Explosive Materials, Abrasive Materials, Lubricant Materials, Acids/Acidic Materials, Volatiles, Organics, Oil/Plastics Sources, Fuel/Energy Sources, or Gasses/Life Support Materials SRP's, or Special Gasses, Synthetic Materials Sources, Naturally Explosive Materials, Special Abrasive Materials, Special Lubricant Materials, Special Acidic Materials, Naturally Refined Fuel/Energy Sources, or certain Extraordinaries SSRP's, by 10%. Refineries cost 400 RPs. Refineries can only be constructed on previously colonized worlds.

 

Loss of any facility reduces the production of a planet by the appropriate amount.

 

All facilities are constructed in 1 turn – this is the rate of construction of any facility. The number of facilities that may be constructed on any planet during a turn is limited by the planet's current production level (e.g., a world that is producing 200 RPs per turn may only have 200 RPs worth of facilities constructed on it during a turn) – this is a limit on the number of facilities that may be constructed at a time on a given planet. Planets that do not have production (such as a planet on which a player wishes to place an Early Warning Station) must have all of the RPs necessary for the construction of the installation transported to the location by freighter.

 

 

 

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