# Thread: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

1. ## imperial navy ship and crew sizes

on another forum i frequent, discussion about IN ship and crew sizes has started. some believe a rule of thumb put forth by FW is how it should be accepted. '1000 crew for every structure point.' putting a capital ship at around 8000-1200 crew members. at first 8000 people sounds to be a lot, but even a light cruiser an escort is generally considered to be just about a kilometer in length, and capital ship can be over 4km long. 1200 people in in 4km is not that many when you consider a modern US carrier is 1100ft long (1/3 a kilometer), and carriers over 5000 sailors, but FFG has said that a capital ship can have up to 65,000 crewmembers. while this seems to be on the other side of the extreme, i believe that a good way to figure it out, would be to take 5000x3 (15000) crewmembers per kilometer, and multiply that by how many kilometers the ship's length is.

any way, what do you believe to be a realistic crewing for a IN ship?

2. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

Originally Posted by aldo_milo
on another forum i frequent, discussion about IN ship and crew sizes has started. some believe a rule of thumb put forth by FW is how it should be accepted. '1000 crew for every structure point.' putting a capital ship at around 8000-1200 crew members. at first 8000 people sounds to be a lot, but even a light cruiser an escort is generally considered to be just about a kilometer in length, and capital ship can be over 4km long. 1200 people in in 4km is not that many when you consider a modern US carrier is 1100ft long (1/3 a kilometer), and carriers over 5000 sailors, but FFG has said that a capital ship can have up to 65,000 crewmembers. while this seems to be on the other side of the extreme, i believe that a good way to figure it out, would be to take 5000x3 (15000) crewmembers per kilometer, and multiply that by how many kilometers the ship's length is.

any way, what do you believe to be a realistic crewing for a IN ship?
I figure FFG's figures are pretty good- if anything they start well below your figures- though they scale up to figures larger than yours- maybe because a ship is three dimensional so its total volume will go up much faster than its length does:

Viper 0.95 km 7500 crew
Cobra 1.5 km 15000 crew
Sword 1.6 km 26000 crew
Firestorm 1.8 km 25000 crew
Dauntless 4.5 km 65000 crew
Lunar 5 km 95000 crew
Mars 5.4 km 107000 crew
Avenger 7.5 km 141000 crew

3. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

I have my personal views on the matter, but there's no real consistency to this, and I believe everyone is free to make up their own mind about this particular piece of background, since there's nothing conclusive to suggest what the "official" size and crew of a starship would be (please don't come dragging with the Andy Chamber's thing AGAIN...). I, for example, prefer the version where a cruiser has a crew numbering above a million, so I just imagine that whenever I'm thinking about it as well as imagining the ships being bigger. But I'd hardly begrudge anyone for having another view on the matter.

I'd say the FFG figures are also a pretty solid alternative.

Also, I foresee a massive flamewar as they inevitably occur whenever this topic pops up and a massively meaningless discussion ensues as to the merits of peoples personal views on the matter in some sort of imagined game of "internet nerd prestige".

But on an interesting note of your post - for rough figures I'd say an upscaling would work, but since we're talking about something occuring 39k years into the future, with ships at that time as old as 10k years still being used it's perfetly plausible that different types of ships or different classes, even if based on the same design has vastly differing numbers of crewmen.

Anyway, live and let live I say.

4. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

The problem with Fantasy Flight's huge crew sizes (apart from being wildly out of whack with those stated in the past) is that you're faced with absurd situations like transport ships having crews vastly in excess of the number of troops they'd be expected to transport.

5. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

Originally Posted by Lord Damocles
The problem with Fantasy Flight's huge crew sizes (apart from being wildly out of whack with those stated in the past) is that you're faced with absurd situations like transport ships having crews vastly in excess of the number of troops they'd be expected to transport.
It's the 41st millennium. The ships might be hundreds or thousands of years old. And new numbers keep cropping up in different books. I wouldn't worry about or attempt to apply logic to any of it.

6. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

Originally Posted by Lord Damocles
The problem with Fantasy Flight's huge crew sizes (apart from being wildly out of whack with those stated in the past) is that you're faced with absurd situations like transport ships having crews vastly in excess of the number of troops they'd be expected to transport.
not necissarily. if you take out the fighting systems ships' crew sizez decrease dramatically. my own ship has nearly 400 people in just over 500ft in length, where as a super tanker ship will have maybe 60people on a ship over 1000 feet. for transport ships i think a 1km long ship with a standing crew of 1000 would be perfectly acceptable, especially when you consider that not being a warship, even more jobs can be done by servitors than you may necissarily want humans to do on a combat ship.

7. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

Originally Posted by Lord Damocles
The problem with Fantasy Flight's huge crew sizes (apart from being wildly out of whack with those stated in the past) is that you're faced with absurd situations like transport ships having crews vastly in excess of the number of troops they'd be expected to transport.
If anything, they end up wildly out of whack on the low side when the 5e rulebook's taken into account.

Biggest transport ship in FFG-

Universe class: 12 km, crew size 60,000, potential passenger capacity 500,000.

Page 127 of 5e rulebook- Troopship Emperor's Faithful, crew size 200,000, passengers 5 million.

8. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

Originally Posted by aldo_milo
not necissarily. if you take out the fighting systems ships' crew sizez decrease dramatically. my own ship has nearly 400 people in just over 500ft in length, where as a super tanker ship will have maybe 60people on a ship over 1000 feet. for transport ships i think a 1km long ship with a standing crew of 1000 would be perfectly acceptable, especially when you consider that not being a warship, even more jobs can be done by servitors than you may necissarily want humans to do on a combat ship.
The Rogue Trader core rulebook lists the The Jericho class transport (2.25 km long x 0.3 km abeam, 9 mTon - about half as long again as a sword class Frigate; so not huge, and roughly the same scale as a BFG Imperial transport ship) as having ~20.000 crew (pg.194).

Yet a typical Imperial Guard Regiment numbers ~3000 men - a size specifically chosen so that a single regiment could be accomodated aboard a single transport ship (Codex: Imperial Guard (4th ed.), pg.4).

Even if we assume that the Jericho is massively over-crewed for some reason, and halve the numbers, that's still a crew:cargo ratio of more than 3:1!

9. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

Originally Posted by Lord Damocles
The Rogue Trader core rulebook lists the The Jericho class transport (2.25 km long x 0.3 km abeam, 9 mTon - about half as long again as a sword class Frigate; so not huge, and roughly the same scale as a BFG Imperial transport ship) as having ~20.000 crew (pg.194).

Yet a typical Imperial Guard Regiment numbers ~3000 men - a size specifically chosen so that a single regiment could be accomodated aboard a single transport ship (Codex: Imperial Guard (4th ed.), pg.4).

Even if we assume that the Jericho is massively over-crewed for some reason, and halve the numbers, that's still a crew:cargo ratio of more than 3:1!
It also points out that it is a "pilgrim ship" that can "hold many thousands of the faithful"

Maybe the 3000 figure assumes a massively mechanised regiment with a Chimera for every squad?

10. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

Originally Posted by Iron_Lord
It also points out that it is a "pilgrim ship" that can "hold many thousands of the faithful"

Maybe the 3000 figure assumes a massively mechanised regiment with a Chimera for every squad?
Most of those pilgrims are just dumped in the hold(s) though. Guard tend to be depicted travelling in slightly more style than bulk cargo, and don't have to eat 'corpse rations'.

Even if the figure assumes a mechanised regiment, 3000 men is/was still typical ('...typically producing three thousand man regiments which can be carried by a single transport vessel or cruiser').

11. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

Originally Posted by Lord Damocles
The Rogue Trader core rulebook lists the The Jericho class transport (2.25 km long x 0.3 km abeam, 9 mTon - about half as long again as a sword class Frigate; so not huge, and roughly the same scale as a BFG Imperial transport ship) as having ~20.000 crew (pg.194).

Yet a typical Imperial Guard Regiment numbers ~3000 men - a size specifically chosen so that a single regiment could be accomodated aboard a single transport ship (Codex: Imperial Guard (4th ed.), pg.4).

Even if we assume that the Jericho is massively over-crewed for some reason, and halve the numbers, that's still a crew:cargo ratio of more than 3:1!
ever think that some one might have the bright idea to use a ship to transport more than one regiment at a time? certain requirments must be filled when crewing a ship. 1. there must be enough people to keep all vital systems running 24/7 2. must be enough crew to meet #1 and do other day to day work. 3. damage control. there has to be enough people on board to meet #1 as well as create repair parties. inspectors, repair locker leaders, fire hose teams etc. so a ship that size would still need a massive crew just to fulfill crew requirements 1&3. but where does it say only one regiment is all that is transported, not to mention when a regiment goes some where all of it's supplies go with it. so your crew:cargo ratio is upped to at least 3:2 at the very least.

12. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

Originally Posted by aldo_milo
ever think that some one might have the bright idea to use a ship to transport more than one regiment at a time?
Sure, some transports have been shown to carry more than one regiment (and some regiments are more than 3000-strong), but there would be no need to make the typical regiment size 3000 men if standard practice was going to be to lump several regiments together in each ship - it would make more far more sense to make each regiment larger.

Having to transport supplies is neither here nor there - the non-FFG smaller crew sizes would still be transporting all of a regiment's equipment along with the soldiers.
(and a 3:2 ration (after arbitrarily halving the crew numbers) is still crazy).

In the interests of perhaps not going round and round the usual points of this topic (again ), here's some search-fu:
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showth...56#post4594256
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showth...02#post4466502
Then we can all go off and live productive lives, or something...

13. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

Lots.

In the case of Ork ships, zoggin' lotz and lotz.

14. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

As to escort ship size- the frigate Eisenstein is two km long in the Flight of the Eisenstein novel- which may suggest that FFG's elevation of ship lengths (5 km cruisers instead of the old 3 km cruisers) may in fact be a reflection of GW's own background changes.

15. ## Re: imperial navy ship and crew sizes

Originally Posted by Monospot
Lots.

In the case of Ork ships, zoggin' lotz and lotz.

Back in the day, Andy C. said that, in BFG, for Imperial ships, it was roughly 1000 crew member per damage point or whatever it was called. So, Battleships had a crew of around 12,000.

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