@caliger_reborn said in Ship Profiles: Feedback and Discussion:
@kadaeux The reason I don't buy that explanation, and I have heard it before, is because Imperial Industry seems so capable of spitting out ships. Using the very same scenario of a feral world turning out a Lunar Line Cruiser in 11 years as an example of how efficient Imperial ship-building can be, and the fact that Forge Worlds can churn out a capital ship every hour if the new codex is to be believed as a true representation of a forge worlds production capabilities.
Escorts are used for pretty much everything, true, but the Imperium produces hundreds (possibly thousands) of them every second. I blame the lack of fleet numbers in particular due to the particularly high rates of attrition compared to Scout, Skirmish and convoy actions. A problem only made worse by the appearance of ever-more ships that makes mince-meat out of Imperial escorts. And the fact Imperial logistics is likely to struggle to keep up with its own production quotas and either send reinforcements very late or to the wrong place.
What they can do is not necessarily what they actually do. There is no evidence of particularly high rates of attrition for escorts. You read the majority of material which covers fleet actions (and there is precious little of it) and escort class ships simply aren't present in large numbers, nor are they destroyed in particularly imbalanced numbers compared to cruisers. (Of special note however is that Cruisers and above seem to have spectacular lifespans, until they're written about.)
But back to what I was saying with the first sentence. Mechanicus Production facilities aren't necessarily operating at capacity until they need to be. The age of Cruisers, Battleships and even some escorts (The Navarre was described as being centuries old, but Abnett couldn't seem to decide whether it was a Cruiser, Light Cruiser, Frigate or Destroyer.) suggests that most actions are not decisives ones, as such if the Mechanicus sustained production, then there should be VASTLY more ships than are ever demonstrated.
Assuming Mars produced 1 Cruiser every hour using your number above that's 8'760 Cruisers a year. Giving us a total of 87 Million, 600 thousand Cruisers over 10'000 years. Now we'll just assume they're all Lunar class and have 65'000 Crew. That gives us a crew requirement of 5'694'000'000'000.
So one Forgeworld, only producing 1 cruiser per hour for 10'000 years, would by the time of 40k, need 5.7 TRILLION in crew. Now, there is an explicit figure saying the Imperium has 32 thousand Forge Worlds in it. So, there's a crew requirement of 182'208'000'000'000'000. So, 182.2 QUADRILLION in crew. So yes, a Forgeworld may very well be capable of producing a cruiser an hour. But it's not a sustainable production rate. With 32 thousand forgeworlds, each producing 1 cruiser an hour for 10'000 years thats 2.8 Trillion Lunar class cruisers.
Factor in that the Imperial Guard itself is estimated to have only tens of trillions to low quadrillions of men, and that is where most of the manpower goes, then you can see that it's far from sustainable. (Ignoring the fact each cruiser requires 28 million tonnes of material to produce, (78 Trillion tonnes of material for 2.8 Trillion cruisers). Earth itself is just under 6 Sextillion Tonnes, (6'000 Trillion) so all those cruisers would weigh 1/77th of the Earth's mass. (Of course, also note, the 28 megatonnes figure is for Rogue Traders super-light mathematics...)
The Imperium's industry is certainly capable of these massive feats of engineering. But when you look at the numbers, it's perfectly clear that the resource, ironically, the Imperium would fall shortest on first, is manpower. Of course, don't assume i'm trying to lowball things. I am quite firm in my thought that the Imperium has no fewer than 5 million Capital Ships and twice as many escorts. (and no higher than 20 million capital ships and twice as many escorts) Including Astartes and Mechanicus warships
And probably 1000x that in escorts since a single blink of the astronomicon lost millions of ships without causing the Imperium to collapse.
(Also. My numbers above the last two paragraphs do not account for the fact many Hive Worlds also produce ships)
So while the Imperium may full well have the capacity to produce a cruiser every hour. It isn't feasible or sustainable, and much of that shipbuilding capacity is likely utilised in a maintenance role or in producing transports to maintain the galaxies logistic network. (For example, note that while almost every character jokes about the bureaucracy and logistical inefficiencies, you almost never actually see any sort of logistical issues unless they've been cut off from orbital support.
Eg: The Ghosts were issued the wrong mark of Lasgun pack for their weapons in one of the books. They had it sorted and corrected before making drop.