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Depots of the Imperium

A non-canon white paper on the formation, development, history and future of the Imperium Depot
      by Scott G White

What is a Depot?
One could consider them to like castle/ fortresses of the Imperium, establishing control for a region.  Depots will have many of the benefits for the Navy and weaknesses to higher technology assaults. For example, the rumored Darrian StarTrigger would've been able to decimate a sectors asset management and support by destroying a single star.  For this reason and logistics Depot's mutually coordinate activities and have Naval assets at starport military bases.

The Imperium Depot is the core and pride of sector defenses and offense. A location to organize, train, test, store, transition and modify Imperium Navy assets.  The Depot would coordinate research projects throughout its sector, and in war times contruct vessels of any type or refit an entire fleet within months.   Traveller canon describes it as such but has also attempted to display one facility on one planet as the Depot, and describes the Depot through a UWP which is essentially flawed, since, a Depot is also defined as a system-wide base with minimal distinction between internal facilities.  The only description sumarizing all of the Depots was in MT Rebellion sourcebook. This is not a classic timeline interpetation of the state of the Depot systems but during the Rebellion.

Each individual Imperium sector asset whether it be fleet, squadron, divisions has a presence at the sector Depot. Local representation for decimination of information to system navies is also common.  System Navy personnel can be Imperium trained at a Depots "System Support" Base.  Imperium Fleets assigned to a Depot and various naval units will usually have a base presence at the Depot specifically developed to coordinate their activites. Most depots are managed by the navy, with approval of the Emperor, in support of a Sector Duke. The system is often a Duke owned system.

It is not widely know that Depot's do support commercial traffic.  It varies from Depot to Depot but commonly a particular base, near a fuel source, will be a singular point for commercial traffic.  Deliveries are offloaded and transported to primary or specific facilities throughout the star system.  When needed in other locations, commercial traffic can be escorted through the system. Usually their sensors will be masked and a Naval Officer, System Pilot, will be assigned to guide the commercial ship(s) into and out of the system along pre-determined traffic paths.
It is widely known that active scans by a commercial vessel within a Depot can result in prison time.

Depot's will have several types of starports, and bases within the system;


Building a Depot
Depot construction is a long-term commitment to naval infrastructure and enormous contracts to megacorporations and sector businesses. This development stretches back to the early centuries of the Imperium and the need to build a commanding naval presence. Projects for Depot upgrades were lucritive and desired significant resources.  In some situations these contracts turned corporations into megacorporations. In all cases, they were visible to the Admiralty, Moot, and the Iridium Throne.  The Throne itself could utilize Depots for not only expansion and defense but also a financial reward to loyal noble houses, corporations and neigboring worlds. There are 3 types of Depots; 1) Smaller depots are focused in a well defended sector and have a support focused mission on ship system replacement and decommissioning but not ship design or fabrication, 2) Construction depots are system wide and have the ability not only support but build fleets with a specified mission to turn around “fleets” for battle and have unlimited support abilities. 3) a third mission for depots is the main body of the Imperium Maginol Line Depots (IMLD) focused on border fleet logistics and communications. These depots interface communications and awareness along the out sectors to the Imperium. Intelligence information from exterior sources is also routed to these locations and spread to further improve awareness.

The analysis stage for considering the location of a Depot is more than military implications. It was also necessary to considering the of impacts on trade routes, regional economics, and even the systems environment.  When the Imperium determines it will be constructing a Depot, it is planning the development of many starports, including downports, orbital facilities, mining operations, bases and test-training regions.  It requires 10 years, to construct a starport of any tech level and we could extrapolate an additional 10 years to change the tech level of a pre-existing starport, given the tech level is within the reach of modern science.  The architectual effort is not minor, would cost tens of trillions of credits and keep workers busy for lifetimes.   Some Depots will have significantly different needs than others, yet they must all achieve their defensive/offensive objectives.  If locations are not readily available, a Depot could rely heavily on highports and space stations to fullfill its function and remain semi-mobile.  Realistically this is very difficult to accomplish but was theorized in the design of two early Depots.

Using a Depot
While other systems briefly describe Depots, MegaTraveller's Rebellion Sourcebook details the Imperium Navy and describes the usage of the Depots during the 1116 Rebellion against and for the Imperium. Essentially, Depots needed to be responsive to navy needs, very defendable and far more effective than local bases.  Historically, two Depots were utilized in the 5th Frontier War, Deneb and Corridor, which indicates that a Depot could impact activities in neighboring sectors or interact to support a single effort.  For Example four Depots, Solamani Rim, Daibei, Diaspora, and Old Expanses, would've been utilized in pushing back the Solomani Confederation and dictating the future of  Terra under the 3rd Imperium.
Missions like the “Maginol line” depots commonly result in Depots have similar design, procedures and direction. In the case of the Imperium the historic Maginol Line was successful in detering agressors. However, Naval planning and Mission Statements are generally not released to the public so these facilities are not clearly understood.

Capability of a Depot

Although support capacity may vary greatly, during peace or a state of war, the depots maintain basic abilities. At war time they should be able to support an entire fleet, build and crew at minimum 1000 tons of small ships per day, 1,500,000 tons of medium ship and 10,000,000 tons of capital ship per year. Facilities must include a scout base, a marine base, army staging base (for reuse of any planetary forces), at least 3 naval facilities of B or better. Depot's may have missions that alter their primary abilities. For example, extensive ship architect Depots include Core, Corridor, Deneb Alpha, Vland and Diaspora. Maginol Line Depots are oriented to empahasis Border Defense. Unless specifically stated all Depots operate at Tech Level 15 of the Imperium.

Managing a Depots Future
For the Throne, Depots are an extension of might (comparable to to medieval castles) and not an item of casual conversation. There have only been several major upgrades for all Depots in the history of the Imperium and each impacted political changes, more growth and power for the Imperium. Most upgrades would be completed individually and the useful changes eventually rolled out to other Sectors.  The more generic the facility, the cheaper and easier it is to make alterations.
The Imperium Navy and Iridium Throne would agree to long-term development projects years in advance unless needed immediately by urgent situations.

Depots during the Rebellion against the Imperium

The Depot network provided a ready source of military supplies. Any force without one Depot would soon loose all hope of success. Two or more Depots we're pivotal to surviving the engagements, refitting and putting the fleet into production again. Depots have enough resources for crews to work on their own vessels when necessary and frequently that occurred during the Rebellion. Stripping the excess became an easy solution to forifying local navy bases in a Duke's territory.

Virus and the Depots

By the end of the Rebellion and the emergence of Virus (the Aware), the Depot network was virtually in ruin. Some resources survived and be certain that there are treasures buried in the rubble: A replacement part, a shattered hull with wiring and instruments, a weapons cache under a crumbled building. That being said, extracting these treasures is extremenly dangerous from the act of salvage to the perils of jealousy.

New Depots

Antares saw the need for a Depot and developed a portable base prior to the outbreak of war which went into production in 1117. Deneb Alpha was destroyed and rebuilt. A secondary Depot Beta was built as well. The Regency had also planned a third Depot between Regina and Mora. Reemergence of Depot Corridor into the Corridor Commonwealth. The Black Imperium quickly started a rebuild program on the borders of several captured but destroyed Depots. It also started a program to produce a new Depot or two along its Coreward borders (Ushipaale, Uudmi). Vland Depot kept most of the processes and technology replicated in several locations. It was not long before the Depot was rebuilt to a portion of its former self and the Restored Ziru Sirka stretched out to rebuild Gashemege Depot and Lushun Depot. When it reached for Dagusdashaag Depot it was quickly punished by the Black Imperium. Depots are a matter of pride and military might. Even the Aware Lilith, after killing Duke Bzrk, restored and occupied some functionality in the new Antares Depot after replicating a smaller version of herself in the Depot.

New Depots of the post-3rd Imperium should not be directly compared the their well thought out predessessors. After centuries of modifications and building the Imperium Depots we're extremely efficient, well designed and effective fortresses. Only the Corridor Depot Prime remained at reverely reduced efficiency, every other Depot was stripped and flattened. Vland and the Regency we're in the next best situations. They had prepared extensive disaster knowledge about their infrastructure.

Former Depots

Depots have been in existance since the first Imperium. Many we're built at the same location of their earlier versions resulting in the loss of any historic evidence. Formerly Depots that we're not lost in war we're shutdown and sold to commercial interests for ship construction as a new location was developed. On occasion explorers will run across an old bunker. The storage of large ships in underground facilities with gravitics is relatively new with the 3rd Imperium. It is a direct relation to the improved quality of TL15 Gravity Sleds/Tugs. At TL16 mishaps are very, very avoidable and risk is as low as moving a car with a car carrier.

Additional Archdukes with 2 Rebellion Depots - in the wilds

Lishun was held by the Vland during the Rebellion and used as a forward operations base.

Zanrushagar was held by the Duke of Ilelish during the Rebellion and was used for forward operations.

The Imperial Depot Reference

Originally, established during the 1st Empire this has always been a naval base of some sort with the exception of the Long Night when it held the wealth of Vland knowledge. Vland Depot is not only the most well established of the facilities but also the most efficient naval training center. It is possible that it now maintained the largest Security Fleet as well.

Rebellion: Vland Depot performed to glorious perfection during the Rebellion. The facilities we're expanded.

Virus: Assaulting Vland Depot was easy for Virus. Many of the soft elements had been backed up and protected from destruction at the outbreak of the Rebellion. Rumor has it that the 4th Imperium has found an Ancients Dreadnaught and left it at the restored Depot.

Coreward (Antares)

3rd Imperium: One of the 7 “maginol line” depots along the trailing access to the Imperium. It is smaller and does not appear on Most maps. More a collection of specific Starports the Antares Depot is unique and completely planned by the Dukedom with support of the Emperor. This base consists of 4 permanently interlocked 10Mdton Mobile Starports. Capable of moving through the starsystem at 1G it normally maintains orbit around the habitable planet. The planet does maintain a Navy and other bases surrounding the starport with additional naval facilities in system. The only Depot built from a spacecity it was an expansion prototype. It's mobility was considered positive if war broke out with the K'kree.

Rebellion: Antares cesseded from the Imperium during the Rebellion. Efforts to hold off Vargr and Lucan invaders failed resulting in looting and colapse. The Depot became headquarters to the Star Legion providing the last line of defense. Regardless of several battles the Depot was not blown to pieces by any of the invaders, all hoping to possess it eventually.

Virus: The seat of Antares military power was swept away at Depot by the Virus fleets. Severely, damaged the Mobile Starport operates at a restored 1% capacity, tech level 12. The formation of the the Azanti Empire of Antares stretches from Depot (Antares 2021) to the sector capital Antares (2421) and Irale (2315). Presently, Azhanti Queen, Onara, has established brutal control over 14 systems (half of the Gimgir subsector) but is pressing for control of 4 subsectors placing the depot in the Middle. She intends on regaining control of most of Antares and moving coreward along the rift, where AE patrol cruisers already scout for opposition. The Azhanti obtained a Virus “mother” strain battleship, Lilith, that sees to their needs. So far the relationship is very effective. The Humaniti and Vargr populations have quickly submitted.


Virus: As with everything, Virus was appeared in the Archdukes Cornation Fleet. Failures meant returning to navy bases or the Depot for repair. The Depot collapsed killing staff and sending out suicidal ships. Eventually two Kokirrak starships in orbit raced to see which could hit the Base facilities first. It was a holocaust.

3rd Imperium: The heavy weight of the regional depots. Traffic moves through Masilla or Zanrushagar to reach coreward or rimward. Zanrushagar is the larger of the two depots but is clearly in the repair business. Its keeping the naval life line open.

Rebellion: During the rebellion it sided with Illelish which tried to hold onto the depot but it was eventually sacked and abandoned by the Duke with the naval personnel. The event re-inforced Illesh but spelled disaster for the infrastructure of regional economics and any opportunity to rebuild the Imperium.

Virus: Crushed any resistance, and burned the air.

Alternate Traveller Universe

The Imperium Grand Depots and an Emperor

With the stagnant nature of the Imperium in the 1100s, we might assume an extended peace was Stephon's only plan. But it was clear that an unstable Vargr Extents would eventually cause problems for the Imperium.  As an Imperium protectorate sector the Vargr Extents would stabilize and become economic boom. Stephon's Navy determined that concentrated strength would be required to grow across coreward sectors.  It was determined that a third type of depot, the Grand Depots, would be the next wave of Depot deployment. Historically, the logistics of multiple Depot involvement in a batttlefront were also a problem for the Imperium.  But Depots utilizing extensively replicated facilities, the latest cutting-edge technologies, heavy defenses and extensive resources could be utilized to manage other Depots and groups of sectors. These Grand Depots would eventually have support facilities in Jump 1 surrounding systems.  Such Grand Depots could support multiple fleets and even command incursions into neighboring Empires with greater ease.

The next question is "When a Depot has unlimited construction abilities, what makes a Grand Depot so great?"  Grand Depots expand their defensive and offensive rolls dramatically improving the survivability of the facilities, recovery during wartime, and improved efficiency. A Grand Depot could easily support construction or restoration of multiple fleets.

An Alternate Rebellion History IMTU
Stephon was not on Capital during the Rebellion asassination of 1116, nor was he reviewing activities at Core Depot as was suggested by Arrival Vengeance. Had he been at Core Depot it would've been easy to return to Capital with the firepower to retake the homeworld from Dulinor or Lucan.  Stephon had just finished reviewing the first set of upgrades to Corridor Depot, with Duke Criston Rehman, creating the first stage of the Imperium's First Grand Depot.  Deneb Depot would soon begin the upgrades and would become the 2nd Grand Depot.  With these upgraded military sites, the Imperium would work with Vargr allies on incursions into the balkanized Vargr Extents and extensions of 5-Sisters for the Rim.

It was soon discovered, at the Moot level, that Illelish and the inner sectors were not slated for this significant update. That 6 Depots would become Grand Depots (Corridor, Deneb, Core, Lishun, Solomani Rim and Ley) and change the military dynamic of the Imperium. This provided excessive motive in attempting to seize the Throne and why the non-allied Vargr states would risk unifying the Imperium factions in a bloody war re-directed at them.

Initially it was useful for the Emperor to “continue the Core Depot review” story to save Corridor for future efforts.  But the tales the Arrival Vengeance tells of the Emperor being at Gushemege. This underlying theme supports the believe that no-changes had occured at Corridor and it was rumor at best. The Emperor believed the Vargr had utterly destroyed Corridor Depot before the completion of the extended facility...the rest was history.