Author Topic: Bad population numbers for the OA?  (Read 2130 times)

Korzon77

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Bad population numbers for the OA?
« on: 12 January 2018, 08:50:42 »
Looking at the population numbers for the outworlds alliance, I noticed that most of the "core" worlds, have tiny populations--Alpheratz stands at 3,200,000, which, to use an example, it about the size of orange county. Or to make things even worse, Lushann, a world that is: "Lushann has a semi-arctic global climate, but due to its former geologic past, it enjoys an abundance of oil deposits, of which the planet's primary industry -the petrochemical companies- take full advantage. Close to two-thirds of the population works for the industry, and Lushann is the largest source of petrochemicals in the Outworlds Alliance.[2] The second largest industry is weapons manufacturing, as represented by Lushann Industries, which employs almost the remaining one third.[52]"  has a population of... under 33,000. 

It gets worse when you realize that if this is true, Wynns Roost and Quatre Bell have a population substantially larger than just about every other OA world combined, and given that the fluff says the OA grew during the period after the reunification war, we must assume that either Forlough was the most incompetant leader ever, or the whole story was invented to disguse the fact that teh SLDF corps of boy scouts actually was the power that invaded the OA--most of the time spent wandering around nearly empty worlds trying to find the populuation they were intended to conquer.

But in all seriousness, to even begin to work as an interstellar polity, I think most of the worlds of the OA, need to see their population uppsed by at least 10 or more times. (which mind you, leaves Alpheratz smaller than most European nations, which would make most of their world so empty that pirates could land and wander around for months without running into anyone). 


Frabby

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #1 on: 12 January 2018, 09:47:59 »
The OA never wanted to be a political entity in the first place, and they're not even trying to get their act together. Think of an ultra-FWL. They're a bunch of planet-sized hippie communities, and most if not all OA planets want to be left alone.
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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #2 on: 12 January 2018, 10:28:09 »
I believe you are running under a number of misconceptions.  Two large ones are:

1)  Where did you get the 3.2 million from?  31st century numbers can't really be used it as a measurement for a Reunification War era discussion given the fallout from the Succession Wars (raiding, warfare, loss of technology, loss of trade, etc).  As far as Lushann is concerned, it has an arctic climate with most of its population living underground.  That doesn't exactly sound like a planet people gravitate to.  Just look at Hesperus II.  One of the most valuable planets in the Inner Sphere and yet there are plenty of planets in the Periphery whose population dwarves Hesperus II's.

2) Why wouldn't the OA grow "during the period after the reunification war" when it was under the control of the Star League who would bring terraforming, agricultural and medical technology into the OA?  They were the only Periphery realm to be able to negotiate a peace treaty with the SL rather than have terms forced upon them.  Forlough was transferred to the Taurian theater before the end of the war and never returned to the OA so I'm not sure what effect you are thinking he could have had.

3) The biggest factor that limited the OA's growth was the fact that the OA's federal government had very little power and very little funding to get anything done.  It is comparable to the early years of the United States where the states were extremely reluctant to give the federal government any power whatsoever.
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Korzon77

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #3 on: 12 January 2018, 18:07:45 »
I believe you are running under a number of misconceptions.  Two large ones are:

1)  Where did you get the 3.2 million from?  31st century numbers can't really be used it as a measurement for a Reunification War era discussion given the fallout from the Succession Wars (raiding, warfare, loss of technology, loss of trade, etc).  As far as Lushann is concerned, it has an arctic climate with most of its population living underground.  That doesn't exactly sound like a planet people gravitate to.  Just look at Hesperus II.  One of the most valuable planets in the Inner Sphere and yet there are plenty of planets in the Periphery whose population dwarves Hesperus II's.

The 3.2 million number has been more or less consistant from the first periphery field manual to the most recent books.  Also, the reunification war OA was specifically fluffed as being smaller, with much of the immigration occuring later, and in addition, as was said, the OA managed to get a negotiated treaty, avoiding some of the devastation that hit say, the TC.  For Lushann, you're making my point-- Hesperus II is a factory--one that is more or less supported by a large, intersteller polity. We can say that yeah, there's production at Hesperus, because you have the Lyran's shipping material to it, because again, it's a factory. But the OA doesn't have that capability-- it has the organization of a particularly passive amoeba.  So every world, more or less has to survive on its own, and 33K would barely be able to support itself, let alone an industrial facility AND a petrochemical extraction plant. 
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2) Why wouldn't the OA grow "during the period after the reunification war" when it was under the control of the Star League who would bring terraforming, agricultural and medical technology into the OA?  They were the only Periphery realm to be able to negotiate a peace treaty with the SL rather than have terms forced upon them.  Forlough was transferred to the Taurian theater before the end of the war and never returned to the OA so I'm not sure what effect you are thinking he could have had.

If the OA grew after the period of the reunification war, then during the war it didn't need Forlough to conquer it; it needed a boyscout troop. It wouldn't have enough economic power to support a platoon of technicals, let alone regiments of infantry and armor.
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3) The biggest factor that limited the OA's growth was the fact that the OA's federal government had very little power and very little funding to get anything done.  It is comparable to the early years of the United States where the states were extremely reluctant to give the federal government any power whatsoever.

The capital world of the OA had a smaller population than the united states--circa 1800. And yet, this is with A. An agrarian life style that we know tends to produce dramatic populuation growth, on a world that has avoided general war for hte last three hundred years (sure, we can assume pirates cruise by and lob salted nukes at the world, but that's never stated).  B.  on worlds with little technology and as you said, a desire for self-sufficiency, which means that by definition, the worlds are more or less habitable; ones that were not would have gone the way of all such worlds, or more likely would never have been settled in the first place.

To show how bad it is, the population of the capital and most of the other listed worlds would be under the *prehistoric* population of Terra.

The problem gets worse when you look at Praxton, Ferris and Quatre Belle--worlds with higher populations, ranging from 14ish million for Quatre Bell to over 150 million for Praxton. You wouldn't have laser manufacturers at Lushan, because A. Lushan's population couldn't support an auto-shop, let alone a major industrial manufacturer, B. the OA doesn't have the political organization or logistics capability to handle a Hesperus style industrial world, C. if the OA doesn't, as has been said, have decent political organization, then only the higher population worlds are likely to have the banking and support industries that make weapons manufacturing possible.

Economically, Even given fasanomics the OA makes little sense.

Ntoe that upping the population doesn't change the character of the OA. If you say, change Lushann to 10 million people, and Alpheratz to 30 million people... well, you still have worlds that are emptier than earth was in 4,000 BC (by some estimates. Less optomistic estimtes would have the population equivelant to earth in 2500BC).  Or to put it differently, you'd have a planetary population that would for Alpharetz be equivelent to the US population in 1860.   Tiny-- tiny enough that finding land would still mean "drive three days away from wherever you live."   But at least large enough to support the industries that were stated to exist in the OA.

TL: DR, I've taught Fourth Graders who know more about demographics than FASA did.

Edit, now looking at the publication history, there may be some "soft" retconning going on. The worlds with higher populations-- Quatre Belle, Wynn's Roost, etc, are mostly worlds that have been published after the origional FASA run, while the current low population worlds are all worlds that were either published in 1E Periphery handbook or at roughly the same time. I forget that the policy was on actually changing previously published hard numbers.

« Last Edit: 12 January 2018, 18:42:04 by Korzon77 »

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #4 on: 12 January 2018, 20:03:08 »
Something to keep in mind is that those tiny populations could also be highly concentrated in a relatively small area. Prehistoric man had to spread out simply to find and follow enough pre-agriculture food sources. Colonists with all the advances of civilization have every reason to stick close for mutual support and comfort.

Its entirely possible that Alpheratz is home to a relative handful of major cities surrounded by fairly small inhabited area, and the rest is just empty.

This also ties in to the idea of planets being short on certain resources. They don't necessarily have the population to go out and find and exploit resources the way we do.
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snakespinner

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #5 on: 12 January 2018, 21:22:00 »
Basically Fasa screwed up completely when it came to populations.
Worlds with 33,000 population would not even be considered to be inhabited by their standards, so go figure. ???
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idea weenie

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #6 on: 12 January 2018, 21:28:45 »
One fun idea assuming you have those sparsely populated worlds - claim-jumper mining rigs.  Send a prospecting team to the planet, and identify useful mineral sources on-site that are away from the locals.  Then send a Dropship with enough mining gear down to there to mine the location of the easy stuff, and lift off with your profit.

The other idea would be pirates using the empty terrain as a temporary resting point for getting food, fresh water (dumping wastes). 

The locals try to stay near the local cities, so there would be vast stretches of land where nobody even cares about what you are doing.

Korzon77

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #7 on: 12 January 2018, 23:55:26 »
One fun idea assuming you have those sparsely populated worlds - claim-jumper mining rigs.  Send a prospecting team to the planet, and identify useful mineral sources on-site that are away from the locals.  Then send a Dropship with enough mining gear down to there to mine the location of the easy stuff, and lift off with your profit.

The other idea would be pirates using the empty terrain as a temporary resting point for getting food, fresh water (dumping wastes). 

The locals try to stay near the local cities, so there would be vast stretches of land where nobody even cares about what you are doing.

"Arrrrgggghhh! I be Black Jack Ryan, the deadliest pirate in t4he periphery and I claim this continent for my band."
"Who is he talking to? WE're the only ones on this continent?"
"Shhh... remember the last time you brough tthat up and he had us attack the locals? The squirrel incident?"
"Oh. Right. Yeah. Yep, we're the deadliest. Nobody, ah-heh, dares contest our power..."

jklantern

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #8 on: 13 January 2018, 14:44:00 »
"Arrrrgggghhh! I be Black Jack Ryan, the deadliest pirate in t4he periphery and I claim this continent for my band."
"Who is he talking to? WE're the only ones on this continent?"
"Shhh... remember the last time you brough tthat up and he had us attack the locals? The squirrel incident?"
"Oh. Right. Yeah. Yep, we're the deadliest. Nobody, ah-heh, dares contest our power..."

Things like this are why I love the Periphery.
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Øystein

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #9 on: 14 January 2018, 13:36:26 »
Basically Fasa screwed up completely when it came to populations.
Worlds with 33,000 population would not even be considered to be inhabited by their standards, so go figure. ???

Except they would be.

There are are at least a dozen smaller published worlds that constantly shows up on the maps, like Sabik, Sirius and Necromo.
Sabik had 2000 inhabitants in 3028.

A lot of the OWA worlds dropped off the maps due to leaving the OWA since the central government couldn't protect them against pirates and other predations.

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #10 on: 15 January 2018, 12:26:00 »
A population of 33,000 could be concentrated into a single city of 25,000 and a handful of scattered villages of 1000 or so people.  That city would be sufficient in size to have a few small industries, especially if they were heavily automated from the SL era and merely supplied with raw materials by the locals.  It would inevitably be economically dependent on other worlds for more than half of its manufactured needs.

That's about the extreme limit to how far you can push the population figures and still have it even half make sense.  At 10x that population, it might be mostly self-sufficient, and might barely be able to support the relatively major industries it's supposed to have.

A population of 3.2 Million compares with a smaller modern "state" or a very large county: large enough to be relatively self-sufficient and even export a few manufactured items (to places like the one with 33K people), but not much beyond that.  If you figure on half the population living in urban centers, that's 1.6 million, enough for nearly a dozen modest sized "cities" and some semblance of a culture.  Granted, you're going to see a lot of open space on the planet without an inhabitant for 50 miles in any direction, but it's enough population to be economically viable.
« Last Edit: 15 January 2018, 12:36:15 by Kovax »

Korzon77

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #11 on: 19 January 2018, 15:59:09 »
Well the problem is with small populations--well, let's take a look at Remora. According to the sources I have, it's population is 81,000 (3079). But it is also listed as:

"A warm, semi-tropical world, in 3025 Ramora was host to one of two United Outworlders Corporation major factories and was a prime target for raiders and pirates. The UOC factory on Ramora manufactured the LTN-G15 Lightning and the SYD-21 Seydlitz fighters, as well as machine guns. Between the joint Draconis Combine/Outworlds Alliance AeroSpace Fighter project running through the UOC factory and the other weapons factories and facilities located on this world, Ramora was the site of the largest weapons producing facility in the Outworlds Alliance in 3025. Up to 15,000 technicians and specalists worked on Ramora at the time, and Ramora was the engineering site for space parts and machinery vital to the long-term defence of the Alliance.[43][44]

In addition to it's importance to the Alliance as a military production world, Ramora is also the nexus of the Taoist faith within the Alliance[44] as well as being the birthplace of Herodias Ap Gwynn, founder of the Pan-Humanist faith,[45] although Taoism remains the dominant faith on Ramora.[46]"

You have a world with sub-100K population that builds two ASF's, plus machine guns, plus having 15,000 *workers*, oh, and it's also a major religious center.

All on a population smaller tahn Corona, California.

In comparison--the Boeing assembly line for 777s, not all the subcontractors, just the assembly plant, employees more than 30,000 people.

So even if you assume parts are being shipped in, which mind you, makes no sense given the utter catastrophe that is the OA's infrastructure (thanks Omniss), the population of hte world is utterly insufficient for pretty much everything listed in its description.  If for no other reason, you can't support 15,000 workers on a population of 80 odd thousand, not unless you consider the living standards of Stalin's Russia to be the height of decadence. 



epic

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #12 on: 26 January 2018, 22:15:49 »
In comparison... Hesperus II only has 55000 people. 
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Korzon77

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #13 on: 27 January 2018, 02:16:43 »
In comparison... Hesperus II only has 55000 people.

Which is also a terrible number, when you consider that individual airline manufacturing centers use up more than that, even ignoring support network and all the subcontractors.

However, it has the (very minor) caveat that the Lyran Commonwealth has more in the way of transport assets, so you can assumed that a fair chunk of the subcomponents are being shipped in. But yeah-- Hesperus II should have a population in the millions, at the very least.

To use an example:

Quote
The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), will be christened on Saturday, and Ward Leonard CT LLC in Thomaston, CT is celebrating the company’s contribution to the ship’s construction. With a workforce of 140 men and women, Ward Leonard supplied motor controllers, automatic bus transfer switches (ABTs), pushbutton stations, and a variety of motors which drive pumps and fans to the construction of the largest, most powerful, and most technologically advanced ship ever built.

Ford’s christening marks the accomplishment of years of construction and design and countless man hours. Ward Leonard is part of a vital defense industrial base consisting of more than 2,000 small, mid-sized, and large businesses from 46 states that provides parts and services for Ford-class carriers.

So if those 2,000 companies average say 50 employees, then the total workforce needed for a single ship is 100,000, not counting families, janitors, coffee shop workers, etc, etc.

Edit: The biggest problem seems to be tha tmost of the really bad numbers come from the first edition FASA btech, and really should have been scrapped. remember, that 1st edition was essentially "Mad Max with robots."  Hardly anyone actually understood robots, and the general implication was that even industrial plants like Hesperus were more or less "Black box affairs" being run by rote--and you can justify smaller workforces if your concept is "magic box that we put stuff into and get mechs out of." But that changed--only the numbers were never changed.
« Last Edit: 27 January 2018, 02:22:08 by Korzon77 »

NeonKnight

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #14 on: 27 January 2018, 02:24:10 »


To use an example:

Quote
The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), will be christened on Saturday, and Ward Leonard CT LLC in Thomaston, CT is celebrating the company’s contribution to the ship’s construction. With a workforce of 140 men and women, Ward Leonard supplied motor controllers, automatic bus transfer switches (ABTs), pushbutton stations, and a variety of motors which drive pumps and fans to the construction of the largest, most powerful, and most technologically advanced ship ever built.

Ford’s christening marks the accomplishment of years of construction and design and countless man hours. Ward Leonard is part of a vital defense industrial base consisting of more than 2,000 small, mid-sized, and large businesses from 46 states that provides parts and services for Ford-class carriers.

So if those 2,000 companies average say 50 employees, then the total workforce needed for a single ship is 100,000, not counting families, janitors, coffee shop workers, etc, etc.

And all those companies are not located in the same area. The computer components come from elsewhere, the bunks/kitchen fixetures etc, come from somewhere else, on and on.

I like to think of the Inner Sphere/Planets not so much as planets but individual cities. The factories are largely automated (just like most modern factories), and not 100% of all materials needed in whatever construction is produced on site, but rather brought in from elsewhere? Just like your example, is the 2000 various business existing solely for this ship's construction, or are they also producing materials/services for other projects that may be located on the opposite side of the country?
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Korzon77

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #15 on: 27 January 2018, 03:46:52 »
So if those 2,000 companies average say 50 employees, then the total workforce needed for a single ship is 100,000, not counting families, janitors, coffee shop workers, etc, etc.


And all those companies are not located in the same area. The computer components come from elsewhere, the bunks/kitchen fixetures etc, come from somewhere else, on and on.

I like to think of the Inner Sphere/Planets not so much as planets but individual cities. The factories are largely automated (just like most modern factories), and not 100% of all materials needed in whatever construction is produced on site, but rather brought in from elsewhere? Just like your example, is the 2000 various business existing solely for this ship's construction, or are they also producing materials/services for other projects that may be located on the opposite side of the country?

True, but one of the explicit factors in the Btech universe is that dropships and jumpships are in short supply.  The post Helm-core era had the production of one or two jumpships in a year heralded as a major development.

Which gets into the problem that shipments are likely to only be of very small, light equipment, or completely finished goods, due to the transport bottleneck. The US works with interstate and international transport because it's both cheap, and abundant, a situation that hasn't existed (in intersteller terms) since the first succession war.   

NeonKnight

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #16 on: 27 January 2018, 03:50:08 »
True, but one of the explicit factors in the Btech universe is that dropships and jumpships are in short supply.  The post Helm-core era had the production of one or two jumpships in a year heralded as a major development.

Which gets into the problem that shipments are likely to only be of very small, light equipment, or completely finished goods, due to the transport bottleneck. The US works with interstate and international transport because it's both cheap, and abundant, a situation that hasn't existed (in intersteller terms) since the first succession war.   

True, and that's the whole issue of FASAnomics. Of course, if one simply sits down and thinks of actual 'Mech numbers, and then thinks further on the actual sheer number of conflicts and number of losses, well, doesn't take  amth genius to realize that soon the 'Birth rate' of new mechs is greatly over shadows by the self same 'death rate' ;)
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kato

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #17 on: 27 January 2018, 17:37:53 »
In comparison--the Boeing assembly line for 777s, not all the subcontractors, just the assembly plant, employees more than 30,000 people.
A better comparison would be Dassault Aviation, which produces two lines of aircraft and various odds and ends in the aerospace industry - and wholesale* has under 12,000 employees: 8,200 in France in production, 3,100 in two subcompanies that do sales, individual fittings, fleet management and maintenance contracts on their line of civilian jets for customers and the remaining 400 in a subcompany that builds simulators. If you want you can further include SABCA as a component producer belonging to the company with an extra 1,000 employees, although most of those also do maintenance contracts on military aircraft instead.

* That's for Dassault Aviation. Dassault Group further includes Dassault Systemes, a software company with 14,000 employees (and no, that's not a typo, apparently half of that defense company is working to bring us SolidWorks and Catia... okay, and they kinda bought the entire PLM sector of IBM, which doubled their employee numbers).

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #18 on: 28 January 2018, 11:22:02 »
If it helps, modern day Greenland has/had a population of 56,187 in 2016.

IIRC, was not most of the OA agrarian?  I can envision a John Deere farming 'Mech establishment set up on Alpheratz, with sending out a dropship or two (or maybe just buying berth space) hitching rides on jumpships as they ply their routes.  Their target customers would be farmers with farms spanning 1,000's or tens of 1,000's of acres.   

Korzon77

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #19 on: 28 January 2018, 15:58:49 »
They are, but some of the worlds are explicitly called out as having major industrial concerns--and yet doing so with sub-100K populations.

Again, I think it's a hold over-- Lushann for example is listed in the 1E periphery book as having a population of 28,000 with 6,000 techs and scentists and also HQ for an air regiment--numbers that are completely unrealistic. 

On the other hand, Mitchella, which appears later. has a population of    250,311,000--still small compared to the total population of the earth, but equally, more than large enough to support a large and diversified industrial base (Russia, in 2017 has a populatoin of about 144 million).  Another latecomer is Praxton, with a population  of    157,000,000[. Finally, a curious case population change occurs with Dante, listed as having a populatoin of 5,000 in the origional sourcebook, but later appears as having a population of 52,630,000 in 3079, which indicates truly impressive fails in recordkeeping or somehow Dante became important enough to use half the transport assets in the Inner Sphere.

The same occurs with other worlds in the periphery and to a lesser extent the IS-- the first edition worlds often have population numbers wildly inappropriate for their stated industrial plant/importance, while later introduced worlds have more reasonable numbers.  As I said, I think it's A. the original FASA writers really weren't thinking about what the numbers meant when they wrote them down and B. the original setting was "Mad Max" with giant robots, as opposed to the modern setting where many "backwards" worlds are actually sitting at 21st century tech levels, with the cavaet that it's the *1980s* 21st century they're sitting at, not the real 21st century we're living in.

idea weenie

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #20 on: 05 February 2018, 05:37:36 »
On the other hand, Mitchella, which appears later. has a population of    250,311,000--still small compared to the total population of the earth, but equally, more than large enough to support a large and diversified industrial base (Russia, in 2017 has a populatoin of about 144 million).  Another latecomer is Praxton, with a population  of    157,000,000[. Finally, a curious case population change occurs with Dante, listed as having a populatoin of 5,000 in the origional sourcebook, but later appears as having a population of 52,630,000 in 3079, which indicates truly impressive fails in recordkeeping or somehow Dante became important enough to use half the transport assets in the Inner Sphere. 

Maybe a form of planetary nobility, with plenty of serfs?  The upper nobles get to vote, and their retainers/serfs don't.  Unfortunately one person didn't get the memo and let a pirate raid get through because 'it's only 5,000 people, we don't need to put as much defense as a world with 250,000 people'.

Or 5000 cities and towns, someone got the numbers backwards when entering the data, and there was no error checking (no code to ask why is the planetary population smaller than the number of cities and towns).

(Yes, I'm trying to go for the sort of error that would occur in WH40k with the Administratum, where they lost a sector due to a rounding error)

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #21 on: 06 February 2018, 10:10:42 »
The OA is probably the place where you'll find the least "serfs", as opposed to free farmers.  Most of the original settlers were very independent-minded, and there's a strong resentment about government and rules in general.  I can't picture the very concept of nobles and serfs fitting in at all in the OA, and even the "ruling" House (saddled with a task probably akin to herding cats) has to tread lightly to avoid a public outcry against it.

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #22 on: 06 February 2018, 19:05:31 »
Incidentally, I was very aware of the population numbers of prior OA planets when I wrote up Wynn's Roost. My theory was that some of the OA drop outs, like Wynn's Roost, figured they could do better on their own than dealing with the almost-foreign notional capital because they had the population and industry to survive. They were often wrong in those thoughts and suffered badly. (Other drop-outs, less germane to this discussion, had small populations and did not survive.)

The other part of my thinking is that we didn't have population numbers for all OA planets and at least SOME had to have larger populations than, say, Alpheratz. A lightly populated capital is fine - Albany is much smaller than NYC, for example - so long as you had some other planets with enough taxpayers to explain the OA's minimalist interstellar government. So, giving Wynn's Roost more people than Alpheratz wasn't an issue.

The light population of the 31st Century OA is also very handy for partly explaining its Succession Wars collapse: its population was too small to be viable and it lost most of its territory for lack of resources.

Quote
Dante, listed as having a populatoin of 5,000 in the origional sourcebook, but later appears as having a population of 52,630,000 in 3079, which indicates truly impressive fails in recordkeeping or somehow Dante became important enough to use half the transport assets in the Inner Sphere

Or it was a blunt retcon. ;)
« Last Edit: 06 February 2018, 19:14:56 by cray »
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**"A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything." --Wash, Firefly.
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Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.

Baldur Mekorig

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #23 on: 07 February 2018, 11:35:05 »
Or it was a blunt retcon. ;)

Retcon, Comstar not doing their job correctly. It makes me remember of Randis IV and its 3000-5000 inhabitants in 3025 and 12 millons in 3076.
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jklantern

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #24 on: 07 February 2018, 11:58:39 »
Retcon, Comstar not doing their job correctly. It makes me remember of Randis IV and its 3000-5000 inhabitants in 3025 and 12 millons in 3076.

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Korzon77

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #25 on: 07 February 2018, 16:33:00 »
Acolyte Steve strikes again.

To be fair, that's a form of protection in and of itself. 5,000 people on an entire planet would be nearly impossible to find, let alone worth a raid. Given that most surviving worlds are self-supporting, artificially reducing the population in Comstar records makes it less likely that they will find themselves being attacked.

kato

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #26 on: 10 February 2018, 12:27:58 »
The real problem with small population numbers on a full planetary level is diversification in scales for farming.

To support 5,000 people you only need around 2,150 hectares of land - about 5,300 acres. Before thinking about vertical farming or the like. And most of that - as in 90+% - will be pasture and feed fields in crop rotation, whereas most dedicated fruit or vegetable production will be too smallscale to even be worthwhile. That number of 2,750 hectares it means that the entire farming land of a colony will fit within a 3 km / 2 mile radius of the rather small town that can house those 5,000 people. Bunching all of that together however also means that any sort of disaster, disease, bad winter, nuke or similar will kill off the entire local agrarian production, and thus the colony; meanwhile the sizes required are not sufficient for a colony to employ physical spacing for protection against that.

glitterboy2098

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #27 on: 13 February 2018, 03:28:56 »
actually, with Dante being a centerpoint for the Omniss movement, and being rather anti-industrial in general i could see it growing fast. not only would you have a semi-regular influx of pilgrims looking to settle there as part of the Omniss movement, pilgrims that would arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs and a few personal effects (allowing them to to packed in pretty tight on a ship), the planet rejects most forms of technologies aside from those meant to save lives. that is, they reject most industry, but not proper medicine.

as a result they'd have societal pressures to have lots of kids (lots of hands needed in the fields with no machines to do the work, lots of craftsmen needed to make and maintain the lower tech tools, etc).. much like less industrialized cultures in real life. but since they don't reject proper medicine, you aren't going to get the high child mortality rates most less industrialized cultures IRL have. they've pretty much set up a situation similar to the later stages of a developing nations.. when the populace is still having lots of kids because of the social traditions.. but medicine means most of those kids survive. tailor made for population booms.

50 years is too fast for that sort of growth.. but it is possible that the OA, with no regular communications with the world and limited direct contact, never was able to (or was actively prevented from) perform a proper census there. that 5000 might just be the medical and life sciences related people on the world (something that would require paperwork and registration with the OA as a whole), and until the Ravens took over, and they did one as part of their anti-WOB efforts.
« Last Edit: 13 February 2018, 03:31:09 by glitterboy2098 »

kato

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #28 on: 13 February 2018, 12:53:33 »
50 years is too fast for that sort of growth..
It's not that un-doable, as long as you import half a million people every year and grow them at Clan levels over those fifty years.

However, high growth rates also generally mean that a large(r) proportion of your population is not useful in production yet. That means that to maintain even the barest of anything beyond individual subsistence farming - and you'll need e.g. a quite powerful construction industry for the new arrivals - you need to bring your labor intensity in farming to below 1 person per hectare (so your employment in farming is under ~43% of the population). Which means you better settle those farms in highly beneficial locations, as that particular figure is roughly where subsistence farming ends and farm industrialization begins.

Farnsworth

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Re: Bad population numbers for the OA?
« Reply #29 on: 18 February 2018, 16:41:39 »
A census means meddling bureaucrats are coming, along with their laws, regulations and worst yet, taxes. The people of the OA have had a long history of self sustaining agrarian, do-it-yourself, rugged individualism. I could easily see some OA or COMSTAR census taker bugging out after one or two "Get off my land" incidents. As for a Clan census taker, I don't think that would work as well.

Yes, I could easily see population growth rates 10 to 100 times over the norm...