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Scaling the Imperium


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#41 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:11 AM

 

 

Yeah, I actually agree with you (more or less) in terms of gross availability of hulls and crews (although I suspect there are far more hulls than there are officers and specialists to crew them, given the existence of the Reserve fleets). I was more quibbling over terminology. I guess it's like the arbites being used as a generic term for law enforcement, despite the fact that most of the organisations and persons so described are not members of the Adeptus Arbites. With that in mind (and while there is some extrapolation from canon - Passage Watch 27-Est for example - I must admit this is guesswork), a Battlefleet is not technically a Battlefleet unless set up to combat a specific threat, but any formation of warships may be colloquially referred to as a battlefleet, even if they technically have their own permanent designation.

 

I forgot about the reserve fleets! My thinking on reserve fleets is that they don't so much consist of ships that the Navy doesn't have crew for, (but that's a possibility) but to a greater degree consist of ships that are not economic or safe to operate except in cases of dire emergency. A lot of the Mid M35 "chaos cruiser" and grand cruiser patterns are heavily implied in a number of sources to be inherently flawed designs that tend to warp and corrupt their crews, and as such are not well regarded. Grand cruisers are only slightly more powerful than battlecruisers, but require disproportionately large crews to operate. Plus, reserve fleets in space don't operate like reserve fleets in the modern, planet bound world: spaceraft don't decay in a vacuum. They don't rust or fall apart. Kept in deep space reserve yards, they are effectively immortal. So it's probably more trouble to attempt to dismantle a ship than it is to just leave it sealed up in a naval yard for centuries.

 

er...so where was I going with this again? Sorry, got carried away... Ah yes. Ship numbers. I'd completely forgotten about reserve fleets. What do you think represents a reasonable size for a Sector reserve fleet? 10% of the size of the rest of the "active" fleet? 20%? Somewhere between those two sounds about right... so in the case of a 200 strong Sector Fleet, this would mean 20-40 mothballed ships of various classes, probably with a higher percentage of capital ships than the fleet proper... Any thoughts?

 

There will be escort squadrons too; albeit ecclectic ones. This will be the source of a lot of the frigates and destroyers operated by rogue traders - "c'mon, you're not using it, are you?" -  and will get topped up in that any ship the Navy buys in as a prize from its frigate captains (which would mostly be raiders operated previously by pirates), that can be mobilized as an expendable reserve in time of war.

 

But yes, about 1/4 again as a stood-down reserve sounds fine.

 

Equally, of the 'active fleet', you can probably work on 1/4 of the fleet stood down for resupply, refit and maintenance at any one time



#42 Lightbringer

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:55 AM

Cool. So to summarise:-

 

  • Roughly 1,000,000 inhabited human worlds in the Imperium, precise number unquantifiable
  • The Imperium is divided into 4,000-5,000 Sectors, precise number probably also unquantifiable
  • Sectors have on average roughly 200-250 worlds, though this will vary tremendously 
  • The Imperium probably tries to operate a 1:1 Imperial Navy ship:Inhabited world ratio, with an additional 10-25% of this total additionally kept in reserve fleets. This will also vary tremendously.
  • Each Sector operates a merchant fleet that is probably 2000-2500 strong, though again this will vary tremendously.      

I mean, I know I've plucked these numbers largely from the air, without real canon sources, but it's gratifying that the majority of people agree that they feel about right. This doesn't mean that GW won't change things so these numbers become incorrect in the future, though. 

 

One thing on Sectors that just occurred to me is the existence of "mini sectors". I seem to recall that the Badab War books described at one point an area of space where the Mantis Warriors recruited their neophytes. I don't have the book to hand, but I think I remember that this was a grouping of a few dozen worlds that was too small to be a Sector proper, and too distant to attach to another Sector as a Subsector, but which did consist of loyal Imperial worlds.

 

Mulling this over, I guess logically there might be quite a few of these "mini sectors"; consisting of groups of worlds too small to amount to a sector proper, and too remote geographically to add to an existing sector. Given that there's only one example of these from the canon, it's hard to guess how many Imperial worlds fall into this nebulous middle ground category, but one imagines that if the "1,000,000 worlds" is a relatively fixed point of reference, the existence of "mini sectors" would serve to drive down the total number of "normal" sectors. However, it's hard to tell by how much.     

 

EDIT: one point that's concerning me is that if I'm right about the 1:1 Imperial Navy ship:Imperial planet ratio, this means that there's about 1,000,000 Imperial navy ships. Does this figure feel right to people? It didn't sound too bad to me at first, but then I just thought "Hold on, that means one Imperial Navy ship for each space marine." It also means that (assuming an average marine crew complement of 50-250 per Astartes ship) Imperial Navy ships outnumber Space Marine craft about 50-250 to 1. Is that about right in your view? I'm unsure if that means my figures are wonky or not... :wacko:


Edited by Lightbringer, 03 February 2014 - 05:01 AM.

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#43 Nameless2all

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 07:22 AM

I remember reading somewhere there are about 1,000 SM Chapters (give or take a few dozen that die off and/or have been replaced every so often).  So, with 1,000 SMs allowed per Chapter you get roughly 1 mil SMs.  Obviously, this does not include serfs, neophytes, Tech-priests, servitors, slaves, inductees, men-at-arms, tag-a-longs, etc., residing in the Chapters.

 

Anyhoot, yep, your summary sounds about right....  I mean, I concur with your assessment.  :)

 

And it goes without saying (though I'm going to say it for those who skipped to the end here) the 1 mil Navy ships don't include Admech Ships, RT privately owned vessels, PDF Fleets, etc. etc. 


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#44 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 10:25 AM

Cool. So to summarise:-

 

  • Roughly 1,000,000 inhabited human worlds in the Imperium, precise number unquantifiable
  • The Imperium is divided into 4,000-5,000 Sectors, precise number probably also unquantifiable
  • Sectors have on average roughly 200-250 worlds, though this will vary tremendously 
  • The Imperium probably tries to operate a 1:1 Imperial Navy ship:Inhabited world ratio, with an additional 10-25% of this total additionally kept in reserve fleets. This will also vary tremendously.
  • Each Sector operates a merchant fleet that is probably 2000-2500 strong, though again this will vary tremendously.      

I mean, I know I've plucked these numbers largely from the air, without real canon sources, but it's gratifying that the majority of people agree that they feel about right. This doesn't mean that GW won't change things so these numbers become incorrect in the future, though. 

 

One thing on Sectors that just occurred to me is the existence of "mini sectors". I seem to recall that the Badab War books described at one point an area of space where the Mantis Warriors recruited their neophytes. I don't have the book to hand, but I think I remember that this was a grouping of a few dozen worlds that was too small to be a Sector proper, and too distant to attach to another Sector as a Subsector, but which did consist of loyal Imperial worlds.

 

Mulling this over, I guess logically there might be quite a few of these "mini sectors"; consisting of groups of worlds too small to amount to a sector proper, and too remote geographically to add to an existing sector. Given that there's only one example of these from the canon, it's hard to guess how many Imperial worlds fall into this nebulous middle ground category, but one imagines that if the "1,000,000 worlds" is a relatively fixed point of reference, the existence of "mini sectors" would serve to drive down the total number of "normal" sectors. However, it's hard to tell by how much.     

 

EDIT: one point that's concerning me is that if I'm right about the 1:1 Imperial Navy ship:Imperial planet ratio, this means that there's about 1,000,000 Imperial navy ships. Does this figure feel right to people? It didn't sound too bad to me at first, but then I just thought "Hold on, that means one Imperial Navy ship for each space marine." It also means that (assuming an average marine crew complement of 50-250 per Astartes ship) Imperial Navy ships outnumber Space Marine craft about 50-250 to 1. Is that about right in your view? I'm unsure if that means my figures are wonky or not... :wacko:

 

 

There are regions which don't qualify as a sector (as you say, the Maelstrom is a good example), or are otherwise exempted from normal sector constraints. Ultramar is another good example.

 

However, there are also inter-sector worlds, which are perfectly loyal imperial worlds in the arse end of nowhere. Damaris in Rogue Trader is a perfect example; there are no other "proper" imperial worlds nearby it might form a 'sector' or 'subsector' with; so it's theoretically an imperial world, and would be registered as such with the Segmentum authority, but have no intervening lord sector to report to. References to worlds which see imperial traffic once in X centuries or whatever (adn there are plenty in the stories) are probably like this; if they were part of a sector with reasonable interstellar traffic they'd see reasonably regular patrols even if the world itself is fairly primitive, if only to make the point that the navy and lord sector is watching. Inter-sector worlds, however, might be several years warp travel from the nearest navy base that gives a damn about their existance....



#45 Errant Knight

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 09:56 AM

 

 

 

To sum up a milion worlds Imperium is imho just a rhetorical figure just like a thousend year reich.

 

You know, that's kind of how I've always seen it, too! A rhetorical boast about the size of the Imperium, with no real idea as to the actual number.

 

As an aside, is anyone able to provide canon sources on the "Imperium of a million worlds" phrase and where this concept first appeared?     

 

 

I don't have the page number handy, but I know it goes back to at least the 3rd ed. Warhammer 40k minis rules.  It might go back even further.



#46 Errant Knight

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 10:21 AM

You need to consider more than just grain in food transportation.  Through most of human history grain accounted for 90% of bulk cargo, but that changed drastically in the 20th century with the advent of tankers, then container ships.  Someone already pointed out the problem with spoilage, hence the reason why grain had always dominated the bulk carrier market.  Grain might spoil, but at a far lesser rate than other foods.

 

Those people on Scintilla demanding better food rations are going to need a nice refrigerator ship to bring them fresh produce, and that ship is going to have to be on a dedicated run because refrigeration has its limits, too.  I guess that brings up the notion of a cryogenic agriculture industry.

 

I'm seeing transport ships with container sections, tankage, bulk grain storage, cryogenics storage, cold storage, wet storage, and myriads other cargo-carrying capacity, since as it was pointed out, a single transport could carry enough wheat to feed 600 million people.

 

Ores are not going to be carried.  It really drives me crazy to see that in some fluff.  Bulk-reducing industries, such as metals, are going to have smelters, and probably foundaries, on the spot to reduce the bulk.  Ingots and such would be shipped instead, or cold rolled and drop forged sheets of immense size.

 

I'm sorry I missed this thread earlier this year.  I love talking logistics.



#47 Robin Graves

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 10:52 AM

I agree that the numbers are (literally) astronomical, Austin. This is why I think that a 1,000,000 world Imperium seems a little small to me. But this 1 million number does seem to crop up again and again.

I like Erathia's point about the apparent relative dearth of inhabitable worlds in the Imperium possibly being due to the Fall of the Eldar and the Horus Heresy. That has to be true. Plus many of the Great Crusade era Legions (Death Guard especially) seem to have been quite trigger happy when it came to using exterminatus class weaponry.

Maybe its the number of habitale worlds with enviroments similar to earth, and the rest is made up of gas giant mining colonies, dead worlds, death worlds, planets without atmosphere where people live in domed outposts... Stuff like that.



#48 Decessor

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 05:37 PM

As a possible counter to spoilage, what about cyro-storage? Or stasis chambers?

 

Lightbrighter, your values do indeed "feel" right, or at least not so far off. Losing a sector would be a sad thing, but if it isn't even one tenth of one percent of your total holdings it is hardly a crippling loss.



#49 Blood Pact

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 08:00 PM

One thing I've always considered with the Imperium and the "1,000,000 Worlds" statement is that they're only referencing those worlds that are actual colonies of significance (even if they're only feral or feudal worlds).

 

That is to say, every lonely research station, outpost, or mining camp, isn't counted among the figure.

 

It still leaves a lot of untouched worlds in the galaxy, but it's one more way to eat up some of that space (not to mention the Eye of Terror, Maelstrom, and the ragged edges of the galaxy).



#50 Errant Knight

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 09:06 PM

I think 1 million stellar systems feels about right.  That's 1 million systems with 1 decently habitable planet and numerous stations, colonies, outposts, installations, etc.



#51 Egyptoid

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 07:42 AM

Here's the Imperium Census.

 

this is the latest Administratum data we have fully compiled.

 

11 Quadrillion Citizens

 

Now this is from the Official archives of the Adeptus Terra, it is not subject

to discussion, argument, or alteration.

It is fully researched, and will stand alone without scrutiny or revision.



#52 Errant Knight

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 09:03 AM

While my tongue-in-cheek-humor detector is sounding off wildly, I'd say that your numbers are easily within an order of magnitude.  Your spreadsheet demonstrates the significance of hive worlds.  They are the vast concentration of humanity.  I still adhere to the interpretation that the Imperium contains 1 million systems.  Each of these inhabited system contains an habitable and inhabited world of some notable potential.  All of the hive world systems are going to have people living on every rock in the system big enough to hold a mansion, and maybe even pay-toilet.  There are way more than 1 million "worlds."

 

How many "worlds" would Sol system contain?  I'm guessing that aside from the 4 rockballs planets, all of the gas giants' moons (save maybe Io) are colonized, as are Pluto, Charon, every asteroid currently "discovered" (well, maybe not the 20 ft. ones).  I guess it boils down to the definition of a world.  Worlds, then, is highly subjective.  Of course, the sum population of all those worlds pales next to the sum of the main world, let alone Hives.  There are always exceptions, of course.



#53 Zoombie

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 12:43 PM

I always figured that hive worlds have other planets in the same system that produce food. Hell, it isn't that hard to hollow out asteroids and turn the insides into near perfect farming territory - self contained, climate controlled sphere. Combine that with specifically bread plantlife to produce large amounts of calories, and you can sustain a loooooot of people without having to preform the dubious activity of shipping grain through the Warp. 



#54 Egyptoid

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 12:52 PM

It is totally a WAG.  :lol:  but here's some of my assumptions:

 

Modern Day Earth-like planets are the baseline, 5-8 Billion people,

as Class M, that's the bulk of the Million Worlds.

 

Even some people live on a Cemetery world, or Forbidden World.

 

Maybe Death worlds could hold more people.

Maybe Penal Colonies should be lesser or smaller.

 

I played with it. Now its a Millions worlds, and still 11 Quadrillion People.


Edited by Egyptoid, 19 September 2014 - 02:36 PM.


#55 SpoonR

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 12:55 PM

The earliest number-related quote I remember is something like 'there is less than one space marine for each planet in the imperium, but that is still enough" . So 1000 chapters, 1000 marines per. Don't know which book I saw that in unfortunately.

 

As far as ships, since WH uses a age of sail model, I checked out 'Rating System of the Royal Navy' on Wikipedia.  Translating into warhammer terms, the RN had about 10 to 20 Battleships (1st & 2nd rate), 100 Cruisers (3rd rate), and another 100 or so Frigates (4th & 5th rate).  No good counterpart to Raiders. So for every BS, there are 5 cruisers & 5 frigates. 

 

But, comparing that to Patrol Group Retaliator, it looks like the Imperium has about 3 or 6 frigates for every larger ship. 

 

Assuming 5 battleships and 200-odd ships total:

5 Battleships

25 Cruisers

100 Light Cruisers or Frigates

75 Destroyers



#56 Cifer

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 03:41 PM

I’ll pull one of my cargo transports out (the Imperial Providence), since I think it’ll serve as a good stand-in for a generic hauler in the Imperium.  She’s a Jericho-class Transport, with Gellar field, Void Shield, Warp Drive, Commerce Bridge, M-100 Augurs, 2x Thunderstrike Macrocannons, 1x Mars-pattern Macrocannon, and 2x Main Cargo Holds.

 

In a quieter part of the Imperium than the Koronus Expanse, I could see the shipyards only putting on a single Mars-pattern or Thunderstrike Macrocannon array, giving it one more Main Cargo Hold.

 

With 3 Main Cargo Holds, that brings the total cargo area to 78million m3 storage space.

 

Taking out 10% for things like load equipment, bracing, servitor storage, and giant statues of the God-Emperor, that leaves a ‘typical’ Jericho-class Transport with 71million m3 of storage space. How much is that?

Say, how do you arrive at the 78 million m³? I haven't yet found a way to calculate the storage space of a ship.



#57 Egyptoid

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 04:58 PM

not all the inhabitants of Space Marine Homeworlds are Marines, they have servants, serfs, workers, adepts, etc.



#58 Alasseo

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 09:11 PM

How many "worlds" would Sol system contain?  I'm guessing that aside from the 4 rockballs planets, all of the gas giants' moons (save maybe Io) are colonized, as are Pluto, Charon, every asteroid currently "discovered" (well, maybe not the 20 ft. ones).  I guess it boils down to the definition of a world.  Worlds, then, is highly subjective.  Of course, the sum population of all those worlds pales next to the sum of the main world, let alone Hives.  There are always exceptions, of course.


Apparently, you can probably exclude Ganymede (according to Grimm the Squat, there was/were accident(s) with early Warp Drive technology, which resulted in it getting "buggered up"). I'd probably exclude Mercury as well, as you'd have less than 30 days to set up something that can withstand the heat on the day side. Likely possible, but I'm not convinced. I suppose you could set up moving cities that kept pace with the planet's rotation...
I'd also be surprised if every possible asteroid was exploited (even if we ignore all the tiny ones- say, under 1km in mean diameter), simply thanks to how many there are out there (and how many are in useless orbits). Granted, if we assume 38 millennia of constant activity out there, then the majority should be built on or disassembled, but I would expect at least some left, even before we start looking beyond the outer reaches of the Kuiper Belt to the Oort-Hills Cloud (and let's face it, once Warp travel becomes commercially viable, there's very little reason to head out past the Kuiper Belt, as even raw materials may well be cheaper when shipped in from another system than laboriously hauled in from beyond Neptune's orbit)

There is no right, and no wrong, but having the bigger stick makes it so...


#59 Errant Knight

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 09:18 AM

I think 40k science is up to shielding a colony from 800 degrees (F), and since Mercury is assumed to have an abundance of heavy metals, I'm assuming it's a mining world.  IIRC, it has a rotational period of around 6 months and a circumference of about 3000 miles, so yeah, they could probably have some type of mobile mining equipment that could stay on the dark side if they couldn't handle the heat.

 

Didn't know about Ganymede.  Thanks for that bit of info.

 

And while you're probably correct about outer reaches not being used commercially in most systems, there'd always be belt miners ekeing out a living there, and Earth's were probably all colonized before Warp was discovered.



#60 venkelos

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 12:34 PM

I figure AdMech vessels can mount good enough shields that they can approach the corona of a star, and collect plasma for fuel-manufacture, on a somewhat fragile ship, mind you; it doesn't seem too hard to imagine something similar being mounted on a structure, and used to shield it from the comparably farther away rays of Sol, especially with Mercury being relatively safe; nothing attacks the Sol system, and they certainly aren't going to pass Terra, if they aren't supposed to. I doubt anyone "lives" on Mercury, but I am rather certain that, like everything else, anything on it that the Imperium COULD exploit, they probably are, or did, and it's all played out. During the Golden Age, they already had distant colonies, and so reaching Mercury, and mining it, was probably well underway before the Emperor even rose to power. It's not very big, so it might already be tapped out, as well, with only a small Inquisitorial base there, "in case Terra falls." Not like that's likely, but they hid Titan in the warp, so I won't say that the Inquisition doesn't try to have three backup plans for every eventuality.






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