Author Topic: How big are ship crews?  (Read 575 times)

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Offline StoBo

  • 23
How big are ship crews?
Is there canon material describing the average crew complements on the various Terran ship classes? In particular I'd like to know how many people are on board a Fenris.

The only in-game info I have been able to find is the following:
* Colossus- length 6166m, crew 30000
* Aquitaine- length 2174m, crew 10000
* Carthage- length 2030m, crew 10000
* Largest bomber (Ursa)- length 41m, crew 1
* Hermes escape pod- length 14m, crew 20

Apologies if this has been asked and answered but "crew" isn't an easy thing for my search-fu to handle.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 01:45:51 pm by StoBo »

 

Offline Antares

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  • Author of The Shivan Manifesto
Re: How big are ship crews?
The Freespace Reference Bible states that a Fenris (and presumably a Leviathan) is 260 meters long, but doesn't give a crew complement. Since this is roughly one-tenth the size of a Hecate or Orion (both of which have crews of 10,000), you could say that a Fenris has a crew of about 100.

EDIT: The math alone suggests the actual number might be even smaller, as based on our known figures, ships seem to have an average of one crewman for every 4.5-5 meters long the ship is (which would give the Fenris a crew of 52-58). However, this might not take into account other personnel, like troops and pilots; we know for a fact that the original FS1 pilot was stationed aboard the Orff. Also, there's plenty of room to fudge the numbers; for comparison, the Constitution-class starship Enterprise, a heavy cruiser about the same length as the Fenris, had a crew of 400.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 11:12:23 am by Antares »
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: How big are ship crews?
They're very small compared to the absolute volume of the ship, suggesting that maybe the life support spaces are just a small part of the hull.

The Freespace Reference Bible states that a Fenris (and presumably a Leviathan) is 260 meters long, but doesn't give a crew complement. Since this is roughly one-tenth the size of a Hecate or Orion (both of which have crews of 10,000), you could say that a Fenris has a crew of about 100.

Your math here is a little funky; one-tenth of 10,000 is 1000, not 100.

Length isn't volume, though; one-tenth the length is not one-tenth the volume, it's smaller.

Also I believe we get corvette and cruiser crew numbers in various failure debriefs. Let me check.

 

Offline Antares

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  • Author of The Shivan Manifesto
Re: How big are ship crews?
Quote from: General Battuta
The Freespace Reference Bible states that a Fenris (and presumably a Leviathan) is 260 meters long, but doesn't give a crew complement. Since this is roughly one-tenth the size of a Hecate or Orion (both of which have crews of 10,000), you could say that a Fenris has a crew of about 100.

Your math here is a little funky; one-tenth of 10,000 is 1000, not 100.

I freely admit that as a writer, I cannot math.  :p
« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 11:22:43 am by Antares »
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: How big are ship crews?
Fenris and Deimos crews are both referred to as 'thousands'. The Fenris might be a particularly old and inefficient design and have a bunch more crew-per-volume than the Deimos does.

I think for BP we said 1000 on a Fenris and 3000 on a Deimos, though that's just off the top of my head, not sure. These crew numbers are still very small on a per-volume basis compared to modern blue water warships.

One reason to keep crews low would be salaries, which are a really big cost factor in operating vessels!

 

Offline Antares

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  • Author of The Shivan Manifesto
Re: How big are ship crews?
The failure text for the first mission indicates that the Orff has a crew of "dozens," suggesting that a figure of 100 or less might be accurate. Maybe Freespace crews are just better at their jobs than we are.  :v:
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: How big are ship crews?
Oh, good catch. FS2 says the Fortune in 'Endgame' has thousands aboard but that could just be a copy-paste from the reference to the Monitor, which is a Deimos.

 

Offline DefCynodont119

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Re: How big are ship crews?
Huh, the low crew-count-to-ship-volume ratio makes me wonder just how many systems aboard these vessels are automated, could be a good opportunity for worldbuilding. . . ;7
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Offline StoBo

  • 23
Re: How big are ship crews?
Interesting discussion! I was sure there must have been canon material about it, but it seems not.

I guess the best answer to my question about the Fenris is "a few dozen", so about 50. Without fighter pilots and their attendant support crew, and without a science team as on a Faustus, I suppose a cruiser doesn't need a very big crew.

 

Offline 0rph3u5

  • 211
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Re: How big are ship crews?
An absolute figure might be really unintersting. More to the point might be the question what fraction of the total population each would represent.
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Re: How big are ship crews?
Just a quick note, a modern Nimitz class aircraft carrier is 333m long and has a crew of six thousand.

Although important questions are: just how much of the ship's function is automated, how many more people beyond the bare minimum you can place in it until you stop benefitting from it, and how many people can such a ship carry inside, even if for a very short term (like an evacuation). Which are questions that aren't really answered anywhere, so you can make your own decisions on that front.
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You starve it to death.

 

Offline Kie99

  • 211
Re: How big are ship crews?
The debrief for A Lion at the Door puts the crew of the Dahshor, a Sobek, at 6,000.  That seems incredibly high given that there's so much less volume than a destroyer and no fighter complement, but it's what we've got.  I doubt the writers put a huge amount of thought into it, I love the story of FreeSpace, but world-building isn't one of its strongest aspects.
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Re: How big are ship crews?
I'm more curious about how many personnel are onboard the Shivan ships.  Shivans are much larger than the Terrans and Vasudans, but so are their ships.  Just how many of those things inhabit those vessels

 

Offline EatThePath

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Re: How big are ship crews?
well, lets assume that all the ships are perfect cubes. They're not obviously, but it might be good enough. Someone could probably use the models to get exact numbers, but I'm not going to divert that much time to this.
In any case, this gets us:

  • Ursa, 69k cubic meters
  • Sobek, 225m cubic meters
  • Hecate, 10b cubic meters
  • Collosus, 234b cubic meters


I'm ignoring the escape pod for hopefully obvious reasons.

Now having both volume and crew counts, we can use the true first and last resort of this kind of highly accurate analysis, shove those numbers in an excel(or openoffice calc) spreadsheet, graph them, and get a trend line! Of the different types of equation available, this is the one that gets the best fit: Crew = 0.00114556*(length^3)^0.6947614

That gives us crew numbers of:

  • Ursa: 3
  • Sobek: 727
  • Hecate: 10,347
  • Collosus: 90,879
  • Fenris: 117


Do with that what you will, I suppose.
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