Amber Zone - Seashells for Iphegina Nugget

Last Updated 2 April 2004.

1999 #3344

Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2000 08:04:35 +1100
From: "Ian Whitchurch"
Subject: Re: Trade volume heresy

> From: Timothy Little
> Subject: Re: Trade Volume Heresy
>> For a subsector with 30 systems, there are 465 calculations to be done
>> with the pairwise method used in GT:FT. My method typically takes 150
>> or so. In the best case, it takes 90. In a carefully-constructed
>> worst case (which looks nothing like a typical Traveller map), it
>> takes about 800.

I can't speak for anyone else, but when I did District 267 and Five Sisters in detail, I cheated like heck (mail me privately if anyone wants a copy).

The reason I did it was to crunch out the trade routes - the exact amount of trade was secondary, but I wanted to know who had regular service, who had a minor route connecting them to a bigger route, and who relied on Free Traders and the IISS.

The key is to do big worlds first. The biggest world in the District is Collace, so you calculate the Collace-Trin, Collace-Mora and Collace-Sword Worlds runs.

Then you work out the next biggest worlds, and so on, until you have done everyone important.

A world with minimal WTN some distance from a big world just doesnt get the calculations done, because they arent going to be material.

Of course, if you are centering a campaign around a world, you might do a bit more - it may only be BTN of 2.5 between Ochetate and Vland, but that BTN is actually Eneri Vashakigan's micro-business (he sends two kilos of hand-polished rock oyster shells each month to Naasirka, who bag, label and include them in their collector bags of 'Water Life of the Grand Imperium' ... and rumour is that a certain Grand Princess whose name starts with a letter between H and J is a keen collector who waits every month for an equerry to deliver her package).

> In a sector of 500 systems, the GT:FT system requires 125,250
> calculations. My method needs about 2,500 calculations for a typical
> Traveller map -- 50 times less. This makes is feasible to work out
> whole-sector trade routes by hand in a few hours. The "standard"
> method would take weeks just to get the raw bilateral trade numbers,
> and then you'd have to develop trade routes from that (and fix the
> original trade volumes where the routes dictate different numbers).

FWIW, Terry Mixon did the Spinward Marches, and I'm pretty sure he did less calculations than that.

Ian Whitchurch

"This post was brought to you by Mixon et Frere Reinsurance. Mixon et Frere - because we care"

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