Sunday, September 3, 2017

ImagiNations - Working on a Gazetteer and problems due to (current) map scale - part 2

As I continue to ponder the problems of scale, here's what I'm currently looking at.

36 mile hexes must be rejected.
72 mile hexes must be minimum, but a larger size is preferred.

Here's why.

72 mile hexes (flat to flat) equates to  62.352 square miles.

If I am to attain a 15,000 man army for the Grand Duchy of Khornwallistein, the current largest nation of 85 hexes giving us a land area of 5300 square miles, I'll need a base population of 1,500,000 people.

This means that the population density must be slightly over 283 people per square mile.

This is just far too dense, especially since this does not take into consideration areas that are heavily forested or mountainous or otherwise uninhabitable, meaning the actual density of habitable space will be over 500.

This would place it at 70 out of 246 countries and dependent territories of our own world.

This is impractical at best.

The concept of the ImagiNations here are that they are independently capable of recruiting and maintaining reasonable armies without crippling their economies, standards of living, or growth rates.

Now, I could probably fudge things a little, perhaps accept a 5% ratio of manpower to total population. In this case, the population of Khornwallistein could be reduced to 300,000, giving a population density of 56.6; a perfectly reasonable number.

However, there still remains a problem. If the army meets with disaster, the economy of the country will take a significant hit as it cannot then recruit enough replacements without pulling able bodies out of necessary industries, especially food production and military manufacturing.

Also, as Khornwallistein is the largest nation, I am going to need to look at the smaller nations.

Saving the trouble of posting all of the calculations, this means that the Free City of Passant (which is more than just the city) can support a bit more than 1920 men. The Earldom of Mysterae can support 3352. The Nurglundian Marches would be able to field an army of 8470, with the Princedom of Slaavia mustering another 7587. Tzeeberg's army comes in at 9880.

It may be that I need to adjust the map slightly, to give the Nurglundians and Slaavians more land area, and thus greater populations to recruit from, or develop a reason for a much greater population density than "normal." As these two nations are the primary antagonists towards Khornwallistein, having them weaker militarily just does not make a lot of sense to me.If they were each capable of fielding armies roughly equal to Khornwallistein, then conflicts would appear reasonable instead of like small dogs yapping at big dogs.


  1. Dear Justin

    Goodness me! You are cutting out a lot of work for yourself.! I don't even use a map, let alone worrying about population densities and map scale. I ONCE did this but found it completely irrelevant to the game. No one cared, no one followed it and it was perfectly useless. As I said, I assumed anyone could get to anyone they had to fight with.; After all if the War of the Polish Succession was fought in Northern Italy with absolutely no Polish troops in it, anything was possible. Did you see that beautiful map I sent you? Guess what. That was the base of a campaign game once with 11 players. NOT ONE of them ever assembled the map. I understand you want it for yourself and in that I support you, but I fear you are doing a lot of work for nothing. Second, I saw your post on TMP asking for populations. I'm sorry to say this is another irrelevant factor. "Nations organized for war where population was a factor were non-existent in this time and only came about with the total wars of the twentieth century. In the 18th most sovereigns did not even know how many people they had, and all were riven with unuseable minorities or classes "excused duty." But if this floats your boat go ahead.

  2. Once I have this sorted out, it really becomes a non-issue. I will have a good basis for future nations as they appear, including the numbers of men they can maintain in a standing army.

    The hex map is for my storytelling. The idea is that the borders of the nations will change over time, due to the wars, with the victors obtaining lands under treaty and so forth.

    I do not expect anyone but myself to play a nation in this campaign. I will invite players to participate in resolving the battles, but beyond that it's all me, really. If a friend really wants to create a nation and run it, then I will provide the foundations for doing so, but if their interest peters off, as it inevitably will, then I can easily deal with their lack of attention to carrying on, with an nice little invasion.

  3. Next to consider will be animal population densities, horses for one but also food animals. Capturing or being handed a royal stud by treaty can be a major boost to one's cavalry arm as the French found when they stripped the Prussian stud farms bare. Useful to know what food an army could expect to find in a campaign area, routes of March are often chosen purely on that basis and more importantly they can also be ruled out. And agriculture is one of the essential building blocks of an economy, populations facing starvation are often populations in search of new leadership.

    1. As I continue working on the map, slowly, and I look at the problems/issues you mention, I am considering simply abstracting everything and basing it all according to the population density in the hex.

      As my map is actually quite small, at least the area I've shown to my readers, I expect it will be a simple matter to establish an average population density and then extrapolate individual hex densities to determine possible invasion routes.

      Thank you for the suggestions, they are helpful.

  4. Khornwallistein could be highly urbanized, with half a dozen or more large cities, and with the rest of the country being the pastoral farm land to feed those cities. A large, despondent Capitol city in the dreary William Blake mold of several hundred thousand (maybe 250,000), and maybe another five cities of 75,000-100,00 each specializing in a part of the economy. Cities of that size would cast a large food shadow on the country side, necessitating all sorts of wagon trade for food, but the farmland hexes would only have smaller towns and villages.

    1. Yes, I am looking at what percentage is urbanized versus rural and also what what is exotic or hostile enough to have a very low population density, all after I begin with the reasonable and acceptable average density. I imagine Khornwallistein's capital city can be roughly the size of Paris in the early 1700s, with the Free City of Yahoo being about 1/3 that size.

      I am putting together some spreadsheets this week to assist me in determining economic resources beyond food, timber, metals. Gunpowder production, foundries for casting artillery, manufacturing of firearms, horse breeding, etc.

      These will likely never be used in any capacity other than to drive the story.

      Thank you for your comment.