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Relative size of combatants

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Mon May 25, 2015 12:46 am

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I tried to wag the size of each side in this conflict.

Data points:
Of the 16 known universes there are 2 with 3 portals or an average 1 universe with three portals for every eight in a chain.
The average distance between Arcanan universes is 2,200 miles. That average for Sharona is 1,206. The average for all known universes is 1,641 miles.
Sharona is 48,000 miles from Hell's Gate. Arcana is approximately 100,000 miles.
Sharona has a population of 10 billion with 20% having some amount of Talent. That's 2 billion talented Sharonans.
Arcana has significantly fewer Gifted per capita than Sharona has Talented per capita.

Assumptions:
Sharona and Arcana each have one portal, not two for ease of calculation.
The average distance between all universes is 1,641 and for every 8
universes, there is one with 3 portals to create a fork in the chain.
Besides Sharona and Arcana no universe has only 1 portal.

Putting all this together I estimate that Sharona as 10 chains of universes totaling 150 and Arcana about 50 chains totaling 750 universes. The population depends on the productivity of each society's industry and agriculture. Mythal is best at spellware and Ricaithans are best at genetic modifications. Mythal still need their garthans to produce food for their Mythal overlords. Ricaithans are wealthy creating biomachines. Using spellware requires the Gift and biomachines are bred and trained like dragons. Both these potential labor saving methods have limitations that make expensive compared to Sharonan technology. The R&D on spellware is inversely proportional to the number of people who can use it. The more powerful and complex the spell the more Gifted the individual needs to be to use it. The customer base for complex spells is smaller.

Biomachines like dragons take time to create and train. Time means money to develop and support before the units are sold. I am sure there are animals designed to make agriculture more productive. Those animals take more resources to develop that a steam tractor. Almost anyone can be trained to participate to build a tractor but very few can design and train a biomachine.

These two factors limit how quickly Arcana can expand into new territories. The colonization process would be very low tech without many labor saving biomachines at first. That means population growth would be slower due to requiring more people per capita to grow food.

So even though the numbers suggest that Arcana can have up to 5 times the population of Sharona's 10 billion, I suspect that Arcana's population is approximately 30 billion with a Gifted population between 1.5 billion and 4.5 billion. This wag of an estimate suggests that Sharona's economy has a larger potential than Arcana's. The unGifted can use the simplest biomachines but not the ones assisted by the more complex spellware. The combination of more limited utility of Arcana's tools to their entire population and their greater expense relative to Sharona's tech means Sharona can accommodate both a higher population growth rate and a greater per capita productivity. I suspect that the per capita productivity advantage for Sharona is great enough to support a higher overall economy at this time. This and the higher population growth rate means Sharona is in a better position to win a war of attrition.

That's my guess. I welcome critiques or elaborations.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Randallw   » Mon May 25, 2015 9:38 am

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Where do you get the figure of 10 billion for Sharona's population? Earth's population only reached 2 Billion by 1927, roughly the same time as the series is set. My understanding is that most of the population still resides on Sharona. Arcana on the other hand hints at large colonies "off world".
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Mon May 25, 2015 9:59 am

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The issue is that Sharona's can far more readily and quickly trade material wealth for human (or Arcanian biomachine) blood.

NB: Consider the implications of Sharonan train delivered, multiple rail car mounted, 12 inch battleship naval rifles for punching through or defending a gate.

The leveler seems to be the Arcanian, and particularly the Mythalan's, penchant for weapons of mass destruction.

Dragon delivered poison gas is the very least of it.

Mythalan magical biomachine disease vectors were strongly implied in the Arcanian world government founding back story.

Whether those magical disease WMD would be effective on the Sharonans or a damp squib strongly depends on the interaction of Sharonan healing talents and Mythalan magically engineered disease.

Healing talents work by getting the body's own healing and immune system to work better.

I'd bet that such Sharonan healing talents are far more effective on stopping disease and even cancers than fixing gross physical wounds.

A Sharonan home world population of 10 billion, with a general 1902 level Europe physical rail net technology world wide, implies something medical other than vaccines in dealing with really bad highly communicable disease.

Arcania getting into siege warfare anywhere with the Sharonan's may be a very, very, bad idea.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Mon May 25, 2015 10:50 am

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Randallw wrote:Where do you get the figure of 10 billion for Sharona's population? Earth's population only reached 2 Billion by 1927, roughly the same time as the series is set. My understanding is that most of the population still resides on Sharona. Arcana on the other hand hints at large colonies "off world".


Chapter 5 of Hell's Gate
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Mon May 25, 2015 11:15 am

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MTB,

Excellent points on dragons and their riders. Sniping dragon riders might prove more beneficial that killing dragons. I wonder if captured dragon riders will keep their hands? If Arcana practices killing voices, Sharona can destroy a dragon rider's ability to control his dragon without killing him in reprisal.

I hadn't considered weaponized diseases or the implication of the healing talent. That argues for a smaller disparity in total population between the two sides or at least supports the less extreme possible disparity based on territory controlled.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by brnicholas   » Mon May 25, 2015 11:32 am

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Interesting analysis. I don't have time to look it up right now but if memory serves we also know that Arcana has been exploring the Multiverse for 200 years while Sharona has been doing it for only 70. Since the multiverse makes resources unlimited I would expect exponential population growth starting from the beginning of the exploration. But rate and starting populations are really hard to know. That points to Arcana having a much larger total population unless their last war caused massive population loss. Which is possible given reports of significant WMD usage.

As a nitpick, snippet two said Sharona has only found about a half dozen triples and I think the conference in HG where the Hell's Gate cluster was announced to the PA board said Sharona had only explored about 70 worlds.

Nicholas
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Mon May 25, 2015 12:56 pm

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Nicholas,

Both Civs would grow exponentially in the new universes. The rate of that exponential growth would differ based on how effectively those resources can be turned into food, shelter and other infrastructure. My point is that Sharona uses fewer resources to build the tools and infrastructure to support a more rapidly growing population.

Your point about the large scale war on Arcana does play into any calculation. Also the number of core universe emigrants wanting to colonize the new universes plays a roll. Sharona can build industry using any interested member of their society. Arcana requires a core group of their Gifted to seed their colonies. Furthermore your assertion assumes that Gifted individuals procreate as vigorously as mundanes. That might not be the case. After all our experience suggest that the better educated delay having children. Gifted require more education to train their Gift. True expansion for Arcana, then depends on the number of children Gifted couples have on average. The more a Gifted woman mothers children the less she can contribute with her Gift.

Sure there are ways mitigate this but the underlying dynamic still holds. The more children on has the more distractions a Gifted couple has from the practice of a Gifted profession.

brnicholas wrote:Interesting analysis. I don't have time to look it up right now but if memory serves we also know that Arcana has been exploring the Multiverse for 200 years while Sharona has been doing it for only 70. Since the multiverse makes resources unlimited I would expect exponential population growth starting from the beginning of the exploration. But rate and starting populations are really hard to know. That points to Arcana having a much larger total population unless their last war caused massive population loss. Which is possible given reports of significant WMD usage.

As a nitpick, snippet two said Sharona has only found about a half dozen triples and I think the conference in HG where the Hell's Gate cluster was announced to the PA board said Sharona had only explored about 70 worlds.

Nicholas
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Mon May 25, 2015 1:22 pm

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As far as this idea --

PeterZ wrote:MTB,
I wonder if captured dragon riders will keep their hands? If Arcana practices killing voices, Sharona can destroy a dragon rider's ability to control his dragon without killing him in reprisal.


I'd simply have Emperor Zindel announce that as a matter of Sharonan retaliatory policy that all Dragon pilots, Griffin handlers and anyone involved in the torture of Sharonan prisoners in Sharonan territory (defined as Hells Gate and everything Arcania has captured) are under a Sharonan sentence of death.

A sentence of death can can only be commuted through complete cooperation with Sharonan intelligence and the providing of worthwhile information to same.

If you have a low level know nothing torturing Sharonan prisoners and he sings. You execute him anyway...after telepathically showing him that killing all voices meant the Arcanian chain of command ordered the execution of voice gifted children.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Mon May 25, 2015 2:02 pm

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6 tripples and 70 universes suggests that my calculation ate right except tripples are half as frequent. The implication is that Arcana has 25 chains and 350 universes.

brnicholas wrote:Interesting analysis. I don't have time to look it up right now but if memory serves we also know that Arcana has been exploring the Multiverse for 200 years while Sharona has been doing it for only 70. Since the multiverse makes resources unlimited I would expect exponential population growth starting from the beginning of the exploration. But rate and starting populations are really hard to know. That points to Arcana having a much larger total population unless their last war caused massive population loss. Which is possible given reports of significant WMD usage.

As a nitpick, snippet two said Sharona has only found about a half dozen triples and I think the conference in HG where the Hell's Gate cluster was announced to the PA board said Sharona had only explored about 70 worlds.

Nicholas
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Mon May 25, 2015 2:23 pm

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Your suggestion is much better than mine.

Mil-tech bard wrote:As far as this idea --

PeterZ wrote:MTB,
I wonder if captured dragon riders will keep their hands? If Arcana practices killing voices, Sharona can destroy a dragon rider's ability to control his dragon without killing him in reprisal.


I'd simply have Emperor Zindel announce that as a matter of Sharonan retaliatory policy that all Dragon pilots, Griffin handlers and anyone involved in the torture of Sharonan prisoners in Sharonan territory (defined as Hells Gate and everything Arcania has captured) are under a Sharonan sentence of death.

A sentence of death can can only be commuted through complete cooperation with Sharonan intelligence and the providing of worthwhile information to same.

If you have a low level know nothing torturing Sharonan prisoners and he sings. You execute him anyway...after telepathically showing him that killing all voices meant the Arcanian chain of command ordered the execution of voice gifted children.
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