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Old 06-30-2017, 01:41 PM   #1
JMason
 
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Default [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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A cheap ship costs half as much as usual, but requires maintenance equal to 1% of its value per month ...
Does "value" in this context mean the cost AFTER it is halved, or before?
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Old 06-30-2017, 02:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
Does "value" in this context mean the cost AFTER it is halved, or before?
After, I think. That makes a Very Cheap ship cost more than a Cheap ship to maintain, but not vastly more.
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

The intent was that you made up for the reduced financing costs with increased operating costs; I don't recall the intent right now, but 1% of reduced cost sounds reasonable.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
After, I think. That makes a Very Cheap ship cost more than a Cheap ship to maintain, but not vastly more.
Well it makes cheap ships 6x more expensive to maintain (half price, but monthly maintenance, so 1/2*12), and Very Cheap over 10x more expensive (1/5*52).

Which is pretty significant (in my game, anyway).
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
Well it makes cheap ships 6x more expensive to maintain (half price, but monthly maintenance, so 1/2*12), and Very Cheap over 10x more expensive (1/5*52).

Which is pretty significant (in my game, anyway).
That's kinda the point; they're being sold cheap because they're either old, or have a lot of problems, or are just plain poorly manufactured and/or were poorly maintained previously. Hence the current owners are willing to let them go at a reduced price, but the tradeoff for that is the new owner is going to incur substantially increased long term ownership costs until it's run into the (space) ground or finally gives up the (space) ghost (coast to coast).
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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Originally Posted by Krinberry View Post
That's kinda the point; they're being sold cheap because they're either old, or have a lot of problems, or are just plain poorly manufactured and/or were poorly maintained previously. Hence the current owners are willing to let them go at a reduced price, but the tradeoff for that is the new owner is going to incur substantially increased long term ownership costs until it's run into the (space) ground or finally gives up the (space) ghost (coast to coast).
I get that, it just seems a bit excessive. I mean with the current numbers the maintenance on a very cheap ship will exceed it's purchase price in less than 2 years!

Tack on bank payments, and a group that couldn't afford to buy a new ship, can't really afford to maintain a used one.

Quote:

| ______________________ |_____Maintenance_____ |___________Loan____________|
| ___Ship___| ___Price___| Frequency| _$ / year_| ___Amt.____| Payments/year| Cost / year| Cost / month
| New_______| $50,000,000| _____1___| __$500,000| $42,500,000| ___$5,100,000| _$5,600,000| _$466,667|
| Cheap_____| $25,000,000| ____12___| $3,000,000| $21,250,000| ___$2,550,000| _$5,550,000| _$462,500|
| Very Cheap| $10,000,000| ____52___| $5,200,000| _$8,500,000| ___$1,020,000| _$6,220,000| _$518,333|
(Edit: Actually, I don't even think that Spaceships lists an annual maintenance cost for new ships. That's something I got from T:IW)

And... working out the trade details on my current game... it looks like there is no way (without fudging the numbers) for my group to make a profit. I'm still trying to figure out how to best tweak things to keep the feeling of a run-down old ship, barely making ends meet... but still not going bankrupt in a single month.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

Yep, it sucks to be broke when you have to buy things that matter.

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The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socio-economic unfairness.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
I get that, it just seems a bit excessive. I mean with the current numbers the maintenance on a very cheap ship will exceed it's purchase price in less than 2 years!

Tack on bank payments, and a group that couldn't afford to buy a new ship, can't really afford to maintain a used one.
I think the rules do exactly what they set out to do, to wit:
"Thus the total operating cost, including financing, should be roughly constant regardless of original condition." - Spaceships 2, p. 27

If you run the numbers... lets assume a $100M spacecraft base price. This requires a ~20% down payment (Financing, p. 27), or roughly $20M. The other $80M is financed at 1% per month for 12 years (Financing, p. 27), or $800k/month. Thus the total cost per month is $800k.

Take that same ship as a used ship, at cheap it has a base price of $50M, down payment is $10M (cheaper to start), $40M financed at 1%, or $400k/month. Monthly Maintenance is also 1% per month, so that's $500k/month, making the total cost per month $900k.

Now make that ship Very Cheap. Base cost is now $20M with a $4M down payment and $16M financed at 1% per month, for an expense of $160k/month. Monthly Maintenance is now 4%, so that works out to $800k, which makes monthly costs to operate $960k.


Now, you may say that that doesn't make a lot of sense, but in reality it actually does. If the monthly operating costs of an older Cheap or Very Cheap ship were dramatically reduced then nobody would buy new ships if they didn't have to, and they'd just let their ships fall apart because maintenance costs are less than finance costs of new ships. At the same time, the value of a used ship will rise to the point where the total cost of buying or financing it roughly balances out with the cost of operating new ships. It's basic supply/demand curves, the price curve tends to move to the point where all the costs balance out.

The main difference between the Very Cheap, Cheap, and New ship is that the initial investment cost is much lower for the cheaper ones - a down payment of $4M or $10M instead of $20M is required.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JMason View Post
And... working out the trade details on my current game... it looks like there is no way (without fudging the numbers) for my group to make a profit. I'm still trying to figure out how to best tweak things to keep the feeling of a run-down old ship, barely making ends meet... but still not going bankrupt in a single month.
Nobody says that real life bulk shipping is a cheap business to be in. On top of the required maintenance and financing costs, you've also got port fees, fuel fees, registration fees, taxes, and a myriad of other costs. To make a profit you either have to make a lot of short runs stuffed to the gills with cargo or fit some very expensive cargo in there and charge an exorbitant price for shipping it.
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Last edited by ericbsmith; 07-06-2017 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
And... working out the trade details on my current game... it looks like there is no way (without fudging the numbers) for my group to make a profit. I'm still trying to figure out how to best tweak things to keep the feeling of a run-down old ship, barely making ends meet... but still not going bankrupt in a single month.
I haven't done the analysis, but it's entirely possible that SS2's basic balance isn't set so that you can keep flying on the proceeds of typical legitimate trade while paying for a ship loan. Thus impelling the PCs into hopefully-higher-paying adventure or at least adventurous corner-cutting.

(It's also worth asking if you've over-designed the players' ship and they could make ends meet in something with a higher payload ratio or cheaper components.)

If you don't want to change the overall numbers, you can fudge the running costs pretty well just by shrinking the debt on the ship. Say that they got a great (and probably skeevy) deal or had some way of making a bigger down payment. If (as is typical) the ship procurement is in the backstory this is particularly easy to slip by.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Spaceships 2] Maintenance on Cheap Ships

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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
And... working out the trade details on my current game... it looks like there is no way (without fudging the numbers) for my group to make a profit. I'm still trying to figure out how to best tweak things to keep the feeling of a run-down old ship, barely making ends meet... but still not going bankrupt in a single month.
From what I recall, the numbers were set up so that an efficiently designed freighter will be marginally profitable running as a liner. This means that ships with PC-like features (such as weapons) or schedules are generally unprofitable in routine trade.

The solution is non-routine trade: you can assume that jobs that actually require a PC-like ship will have commensurate pay.
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