The military of the Nivenian Empire has, over recent years, become a quite streamlined, but nevertheless still complicated affair, consisting of a central power core, but also of multiple unreliable non-governmental organizations with similar capabilities to the empire itself (which of course turns war into a largely political struggle - if all of the factions within the Nivenian Empire were to cooperate, its military might would likely be augmented twenty-fold. However, even in its normal, reduced, state, the Nivenian military is a force to be reckoned with. This is not due to particularly advanced technology, or particularly good tactics, or even particularly effective recruitment procedures (the reality is actually quite the opposite), but just their massive numbers.

The Nivenian military is also interesting in that it is concentrated solely in the Nivenia System, with very few, if any, defense forces affiliated with the main body of the Nivenian Empire in these areas. Instead, other systems, which are partially independent, are left to their own devices in growing and maintaining a military. As the vast vast majority of the Nivenian Empire is located inside the Nivenia System, this does not pose too much of a problem in terms of either colonies explicitly revolting (they would need a comparatively massive military buildup to mount a successful revolt, which would collapse their economy afterwards), or really affecting politics in the main system in any major way.

The formal Nivenian military itself is governed by the Nivenian Department of Stability (NDS), which is named for "stability" instead of "defense" or "war," since the Nivenians have been to some degree a semi-unified race since the thermonuclear war on Nivenia Prime, and then had close to seven hundred years to develop afterwards. While there were two periods, each admittedly lasting decade, when multiple similarly-sized factions existed, there has usually been a single, more-or-less self-consistent government ruling over more than three-quarters of the Nivenian People. Thus, most of the operations of the NDS have been largely concerned with stability, with self-defense providing another important role to play in some, more desperate circumstances, such as those leading to the Nivenian-Thadian War of Annexation and the Third Nivenian War of Reunification recently. Having two wars that large in the span of two decades is rare for the Nivenian Empire, but not entirely unheard of, as the period was still less anarchic than the first two Nivenian wars of re-unification, even if the wars involved were larger, and fought with far more fearsome weapons.

The military itself also interestingly does not have a formal ground branch on the Imperial level, instead the various planets, habitats, and colonies of various types are all responsible for their own ground defense, which is usually not heavily focused-on. The reason for this has always been that orbital bombardment could usually do much more than actual planetary battles towards swinging the loyalty of a planet, as orbital bombardment does much more damage. For example, even in the early days of space exploration, a ship crashing into a planet at twenty kilometers per second, and weighing a hundred million tons, would create an explosion of almost five gigatons TNT equivalent, enough to burn anything within nearly five hundred kilometers, which could have killed millions at least during the early period of space exploration. In contrast, state-of-the-art warships such as the Hydra-class Titan have the ability to blast out nearly a quarter teraton of TNT equivalent from their engines alone, all in the form of high-energy gamma rays, with a mean energy of seventy teraelectron volts. Four of these ships, arranged in a tetrahedron around a planet, could nearly completely obliterate the biosphere by subjecting the entire planet to hundreds of greys of ionizing radiation. All of this would be entirely possible in just one second, with the insane output of these engines. As such, ground combat is rarely ever used or considered, when the threat of sterilization would work just as well.

Military Organizational Structure[]

Nivenian military organization structure largely consists of breaking the military into several major branches - four of them dominate the capabilities of the Nivenian Department of Stability, although their functions may surprise many. First, it should be noted that the most active part of the Nivenian military system, and what would be regarded by most in the Nivenian Empire as the most important is actually the spacial equivalent of a coast guard - the Nivenian Anti-Piracy and Contract Enforcement Team (NAPCET).

The second-most important branch of the military, for Nivenians, is the organization that governs the organization and management of the defense rings - excessively huge megastructures at about three times the radius of the ringworlds around each star, which are tasked with the destruction of particularly dangerous pirate fleets, or, in the worst-case scenario, actual invaders, from either inside of outside the Nivenian Empire, though the former is more likely by far. However, the defense rings also offer convenient ship refit and cargo storage locations, which is one of the few ways the small government in the Nivenian Empire can actually generate revenue. The organization responsible for the management of the defense rings is knows as the Defense Ring Administration (DefRA).

The last, least important (to the Nivenian Empire) branch of the military is their actual attack fleet. Although they have billions of ships in their fleet, the sheer size of the empire means that only a very tiny percentage of the population actually work in these ships, or even contribute towards their maintenance - with an empire of over a quintillion inhabitants, a billion ships is nearly nothing. This is considered by most to be the actual navy of the Nivenian Empire, but they are the equivalent of a brown-water navy[1] by most of the rest of the the first Gigaquadrant due to their inability to travel faster than light, and use almost entirely as an in-system force. This organization is termed the Imperial Navy, and is notable for its opulent and tradition-loving, yet somehow also moralistic hierarchy, along with its lack of a pleasant acronym to be called by.

However, there is another branch of the Nivenian Department of Stability, that, when observed closely, is the most influential, essential, and powerful of the entire group - the Department of Military Politics (DMP). This organization is tasked with attempting to affirm the motivations and loyalty of the massive non-governmental organizations inside the Nivenian Empire. As a large coalition could potentially take down the entire empire, such a coalition cannot be allowed to form out of organizations with coherent and anti-imperial goals, or, if such an organization forms, the current imperial goals would have to be changed as much as would be necessary to alleviate the difficulty. As such, this organization is perhaps the most important out of the four to the stability of the empire, even if it is not as well-known.

Nivenian Anti-Piracy and Contract Enforcement Team[]

The Nivenian Anti-Piracy and Contract Enforcement Team, while not an overtly prestigious position to be in, as part of an organization that has largely dispensed of ritual, actually offers some of the best jobs in the Nivenian Empire, at least from the perspective of career advancement, business and personal connections. NAPCET ships, typically smaller than a kilometer, but can withstand high accelerations of up to thirty meters per second squared (not that the crew would find that pleasant), and are armed with state-of-the art precision weapons and shields, leading to a low casualty rate on both sides in most engagements they are involved in. These forces, while spread very thin, tend towards informing, reporting, and courier duties more than actual fighting, and are thus more a cog in a large problem-resolution system more than an actual fighting force. If the issue is forced, their ships can certainly hold their own in a fight, but any sufficiently large operation (e.g. a criminal organization with more than a couple hundred medium-sized warships) could take down a patrol in a head-to-head battle. The genius in the system is that any criminal force that gets too large usually needs to siphon money and/or resources from the large corporations, which of course have private armies, and can amply defend and police themselves. If a problem were to get really out-of-hand, though, the duties of NAPCET would be scouting out the situation and informing the NDS to allow them to take more drastic measures. After that, in the event of a war, NAPCET would be tasked with maintaining domestic stability outside of the planets and ringworlds.

In any case, individual patrols of NAPCET are usually at least a light-hour away from the nearest command post, as the closer areas are not quite as ripe with criminal activity. As such, individual commanders in NAPCET are usually able to lead their fleets with a lot of personal freedom - to the point where the entire organization's guidelines are viewed as little more than suggestions. Relations with NAPCET depend heavily for any enterprise on the individual relations with either a fleet commander who has been assigned with patrolling the area, or one of their higher-ups. This is of course all based on bribery - anyone who is wealthy and skimps on their bribe may be labeled a "smuggler" or "pirate" in a "clerical error," which of course is usually not discovered until after they have been arrested.

Only about forty percent of the military complement of NAPCET is ever on the actual fleet, and they still only have about half the ships many would expect them to, even considering this fact. The forty percent figure is mainly due to administrative costs - there are supply ships, bureaucratic duties, and the political scene behind any successful police force, which absorb attention from actual patrols. Still, NAPCET is as efficient as it gets, being one of the least bloated and most well-managed departments in the Nivenian Empire. The extra crew in the ships is mainly due to NAPCET's non-combat-oriented goals - they typically do not blow up ships, but send in boarding parties (which comprise similar numbers to the actual crew of the ship in most cases) to evaluate cargo or locate stowaway criminals. Sure, they have the capability to defend themselves if need be, but they, like many police departments, rarely bring their full force against an enemy, preferring to use only the amount of force necessary to complete a mission. In accordance with this, they almost exclusively use Protector-class Corvettes in their forces, and units larger than at most a squadron are rarely ever seen together - larger units are only necessary in the most extreme of circumstances.

Officer Rankings and Pay[]

Naval Rank Pay (kilocredits per year) Credentials requirements Total subordinates Approximate number Boarding Party Rank Pay Credentials requirements Total subordinates Approximate number
Grand Admiral (★★★★★★★) 300,000.0 PhD or better, Military school, Great political connections 100 Trillion 1
Fleet Admiral (★★★★★★) 30,000.0 to 50,000.0; avg. 40,000.0 PhD or better, Military school, Great political connections 45 Billion to 900 Billion; avg. 200 Billion 500
Admiral (★★★★★) 8,000.0 PhD or better, Military school, Great political connections 2 Billion 50 Thousand
Vice-Admiral (★★★★) 2,500.0 PhD or better, Military school, Good political connections 200 Million 500 Thousand
Rear-Admiral (upper half) (★★★) 1,000.0 PhD or better, Military school, Good political connections 50 Million 2 Million
Rear-Admiral (lower half) (★★) 480.0 PhD or better, Military school 10 Million 10 Million
Commodore (★) 260.0 PhD or better, Military school 400 Thousand 250 Million
Captain 260.0 Master's degree or better, Military school 80 Thousand 1.25 Billion
Corvette Captain 160.0 Bachelor's degree or better, Military school ~4,878 10.25 Billion Colonel 160.0 Bachelor's degree or better, Military school ~4,878 10.25 Billion
Lieutenant 100.0 Bachelor's degree or better, Military school ~1,281 39 Billion Major 100.0 Bachelor's degree or better, Military school ~1,281 39 Billion
Subsystem Lieutenant 60.0 Bachelor's degree or better, Military school ~199 250 Billion Captain 60.0 Bachelor's degree or better, Military school ~199 250 Billion
Midshipman 40.0 Associate's degree or better, Military school ~98 500 Billion Lieutenant 40.0 Associate's degree or better, Military school ~98 500 Billion
Chief Petty Officer 22.0 Significantly more competent than average ~44 1.1 Trillion Sergent Major 26.0 Significantly more competent than average ~44 1.1 Trillion
Petty Officer 13.0 Noticeably more competent than average 15 3 Trillion Sergent 19.0 Noticeably more competent than average 15 3 Trillion
Leading spacer 8.0 Slightly more competent than average 4 9 Trillion Corporal 12.0 Slightly more competent than average 4 9 Trillion
Spacer 5.0 Not committed theft, conversion, battery, or worse N/A 35 Trillion Private 7.0 Not committed theft, conversion, battery, or worse N/A 36 Trillion

Command Structure[]

Unit Name Symbol (if applicable) Parent (if applicable) Children (if applicable) Approximate mass of ships Approximate number of ships Approximate required crew Approximate number in empire Rank of commanding officer
NAPCET Command NDS Administration Fleet - five hundred 20 Quadrillion metric tons 2 Billion 100 Trillion 1 Grand Admiral (★★★★★★★)
Fleet NAPCET Command Task Force - thirty to three hundred 9 Trillion to 180 Trillion metric tons; avg. 40 Trillion 900 Thousand to 18 Million; avg. 4 Million 45 Billion to 900 Billion; avg. 200 Billion 500 - one per major habitat or habitat group Fleet Admiral (★★★★★★)
Task Force Fleet Divisions - usually about ten 400 Billion metric tons 40 Thousand 2 Billion 50 Thousand - one per 20 Trillion imperial citizens, on average Admiral (★★★★★)
Division Task Force Sub-divisions - usually about four 40 Billion metric tons 4 Thousand 200 Million 500 Thousand - one per 2 Trillion imperial citizens, on average Vice-Admiral (★★★★)
Sub-division Division Flotillas - usually about five 10 Billion metric tons 1 Thousand 50 Million 2 Million - one per 500 Billion imperial citizens, on average Rear-Admiral (upper half) (★★★)
Flotilla Sub-division Squadrons - usually about ten 2 Billion metric tons 200 10 Million 10 Million - one per 100 Billion imperial citizens, on average Rear-Admiral (lower half) (★★)
Squadron Flotilla Patrols - usually about five 200 Million metric tons 20 1 Million 100 Million - one per 10 Billion imperial citizens, on average Commodore (★)
Patrol Squadron Individual ships 40 Million metric tons 4 200 Thousand 500 Million - one per 2 Billion imperial citizens, on average Captain*

Defense Ring Administration[]

The Nivenian Defense Ring Administration (DefRA) is the largest branch of the Nivenian military forces, at least in terms of employment. This is largely due to the nature of the defense rings themselves - instead of some nebulous entity that is supposed to cover the entire Nivenian Empire, each specific planet or habitat will (if large enough - one must have a population on the order of hundreds of trillions at least to qualify) have its own defense rings, usually supplied with population from that specific planet. Thus, many see it as an actual, visible program instead of a random, nebulous waste of money like the other branches of the armed forces are seen.

The defense rings themselves are essentially the logical extensions of more conventional massive defense platforms - as populations grew, the number of defense platforms around Nivenia Prime grew as well, with many simply in different positions in the same orbits. As this buildup process went on, neighboring platforms eventually began to touch each other, eventually merging into orbital rings focused on defense as construction continued. Although contemporary defense rings are usually built all at once, as single (if enormous) units, a degree of modularity is still highly present in all designs.

Defense rings exist around anything sufficiently important, and have existed in various forms for long enough that their presence is considered entirely normal to most. As they are only useful when enemy forces are approaching population centers, though, (itself a rare occurrence), they partake in very few battles, and are all-around the safest branch of the NDS, another factor contributing to their growth, as anyone who wants the benefits of being part of the NDS has the least likelihood of dying if they join DefRA, and most of its positions are not influential enough to require political connections or large-scale bribes to obtain.

DefRA is also probably the most reputable of the branches of the NDS, as they are seen by most as "stalwart defenders of the innocent" (or at least, that is what their public relations experts say - it might actually be the case that they just have a good reputation due to their sizable public relations budget, but talking about that tends to get you abducted by shady characters on the DefRA payroll), instead of the "corporate-sponsored overbearing cops" that NAPCET is seen as, the "war hawk lunatics" of the Imperial Navy, or the "backstabbing political leeches" that the DMP is seen as (again, descriptions courtesy of the DefRA public relations department).

Also, unlike NAPCET, DefRA is composed of seven distinct organizations all reporting directly to NDS. Each of these organizations governs a different facet of the defense ring structures, with the seven major heavily-defended locations (where the defense is affiliated with the imperial government instead of the local government) being Nivenia Prime (obviously), Planet:Nivenia Secondus / A4 (Nivenia System) (also obviously), the entire system of ringworlds around the Nivenia A subsystem (where the majority of Nivenians actually live), the entire system of ringworlds around the Nivenia B subsystem (where the majority of Nivenians lived during a century-long period several hundred years ago), Planet:B3 (Nivenia System) (as it has the Empire's greatest shipyards, and thus must be protected), and the two most recent additions, Nivenia A12.1 (now an Ecumenopolis), and [Reductor Four] (which is as populous as the entirety of the Nivenia B Subsystem).

Each of these organizations is also organized in a very different manner to how NAPCET or the Imperial Navy is organized, simply due to the structure of the defense rings. Ordinary ships, which are (relatively) small compared to the totality of their fleets, making their fleets very fluid objects capable of many subdivisions and various tactical maneuvers, and making each captain essentially the king of his own ship, as each ship itself is almost always indivisible. On the other hand, defense rings work nothing like this. Organizations of defense rings

Officer Rankings and Pay[]

Command Structure[]

Unit Name Symbol (if applicable) Parent (if applicable) Children (if applicable) Approximate mass of ships Approximate number of ships Approximate required crew Approximate number in empire Rank of commanding officer
DefRA Regional Command NDS Administration Orbital Tactical Command Unit (OTCU) 9 Trillion to 180 Trillion metric tons; avg. 40 Trillion 100 to 1000; avg. 500 rings* 1 Trillion to 200 Trillion; avg. 50 Trillion 7 Grand Admiral (★★★★★★★)

Imperial Navy[]

Department of Military Politics[]

Strategic Readiness[]

Nivenian Flag.png

total mobilization time: 1 year
total mobilization time: 6 months
total mobilization time: 3 months
total mobilization time: 1 month
total mobilization time: 2 weeks
total mobilization time: MOBILIZED

recruitable population: 1,068.77709 Trillion (0.1%)
recruitable population: 2,671.94273 Trillion (0.25%)
recruitable population: 5,343.88547 Trillion (0.5%)
recruitable population: 16,031.6563 Trillion (1.5%)
recruitable population: 42,751.0837 Trillion (4.0%)
recruitable population: 106,877.709 Trillion (10.0%)




Build your own Nivenian Fleet![]

(under contruction)

Here, anyone will be able to find a definitive guide to building a medium-large Nivenian Non-Governmental Organization, and building their own military using a combination of ingenuity, hard-ish science, and surplus Nivenian tech. Also, do not be surprised if everything is fusion-powered.

General Information
Nivenian History after Dekemurios 32, 20 NE
Nivenia Space Core Systems (within 3.2 light-years)
Nivenia Space Rouge Planets