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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!
Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Mon May 25, 2015 3:52 pm

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Peter Z

That policy is consistent with the Calirath House oath --

I stand between

I stand between evil and its victims,
between the darkness and the light.

I stand between right and wrong.

I stand between my people and their enemies...

...and between the people I am sworn to protect and death.



The Calirath leaders have to think -- their gift gives them no choice -- of the long term consequences of letting loose the darker demons of human nature in their people in war.

This is why I like this series so much.

Weber has worked in real humanity in the 'do-gooders', not Plaster of Paris saints.


PeterZ wrote:Your suggestion is much better than mine.

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

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 4:49 pm

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MTB,
I agree on your estimate of RFC's characters. They are rich, complex people that carry his interesting stories.

Your posts on the capabilities of Sharona technology has been illuminating. I would like to start speculating on Arcana magic.

We know that:
Magic can be stored in crystal accumulators. Spellware can be created to be usable for mundanes. That utility is limited.
Charging those accumulators seems like a bottleneck in powered tools.
Powering the crystals as well as mining/creating them is the second bottleneck.
Magisters can create genetically engineered animals. These animals can be further augmented by spelled crystals. Such augmentation requires some amount of Gift to use.

That's not much. I am not sure where this leads besides most of the cutting edge Arcanan industry is focused on that small Gifted part of their society.

Anything to add? Anyone?
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Astelon   » Mon May 25, 2015 7:51 pm

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First a serious problem with your estimation of Sharon's claimed universes. From chapter 21 of Hell's Gate:

"How is it that this Portal Authority has spent eighty years exploring new universes, finding one every two years or so, yet this upstart, brash little fly-by-night Chalgyn Consortium is about to lay claim to twelve-twelve, curse them!-in less than six months?...


If the one every two years is an average that means that Sharona has forty universes plus the twelve discovered by Ghalgyn Consortium, minus the one of those clearly claimed by Arcana. So about fifty one, before combat started. Many of these universes are sparsely settled, some only have portal forts and troops, no real settlements.

Arcana's number of universes isn't stated anywhere I recall. The distance from Hell's gate to Arcana was mentioned

I have been trying to assemble my own comparison of Sharona and Arcana military and industrial might, but unfortunately we know to little about Arcana economic practices to make any real estimates about the ability of their industry. Shaylar and Jathmar were impressed by the one shipyard they saw, specifically with how much work was being done by how few people and tools, but that is only the end process of their industry, and tells us nothing about the cost of manufacturing and powering the tools. (Cost in money, labor, time, and materials.) Nor can we make any real judgments on how going to full war footing will effect their economy.

The only information of value we have is that most Arcanan equipment must either be run by, charged, or trained by someone with some gift. This seems that there very well may be a point when gifted individuals are stretched to thin to increase fighting capabilities.
Also of note is that it is very likely that Arcanan "bio machines" will cost more to raise, train and field than Sharonan machines

The problem with dragons, unicorns, and heavy horse comes from the cost (again money, labor, time, and materials) to raise and train, along with the fact that they need to be fed even when not in use (no wars or in transport), and that they need to be rested on occasion. When not in use Sharonan machines will cost little (just minor maintenance requirements), will consume no fuel, and when in use can keep running as long as it lasts (fuel permitting and assuming you have separate shifts).
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Tue May 26, 2015 12:47 am

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Interesting Astelon.
I reviewed the passage. Given the 48,000 miles between Hell's Gate and Sharona that suggests 41-42 universes in the chain. The six at Hell's Gate and parallel chain approaching Hell's Gate are all there are. There are no other tripple gate universes. Assuming similar distribution of universe types in the Sharona chain and Arcana chain, Arcana approximately 100 universes not counting Hell's Gate. This suggests Arcana controls 2.5 times the resources of Sharona.

Personally I believe the discussion you cited refers to this chain that Chalgyn has found success in. That opens the possibility of other tripple portal universes and other chains. Otherwise the Arcanans would have been more surprised at discovering the tripples that are so shockingly rare.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by SCC   » Tue May 26, 2015 1:48 am

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Interesting analysis, unfortunately it's WRONG. From Hell's Gate, chapter 21: "The mention of Hayth had turned it into rapt attention, and he smiled as he pulled down a rollup map at the front of the room, showing the beads-on-strings tracery of the forty-odd universes Sharona had explored."

So Sharona only has 40 something universes, and I've got this itch that says Arcana has 200, but that could be me confusing that with the years they've been exploring
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Tue May 26, 2015 9:27 am

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Peter, you are taking your computations of
"average distance between Portals in each Universe"
too seriously.

You have not considered that shorter distances might
be more useful for storytelling than longer distances,
hence are likely to be given "out of proportion."

You are ignoring data that has been given.
Does your "average" include the ten thousand (10,000)
miles between Salym-Traisum and Traisum-Kelsayr
that we were just given in R2H Snippet #3?

Worse, you are ignoring that at least most (possibly
all, but certainly most) of the Sharona-Hells Gate
links have been given to us.
I copied them here:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1673
That List includes
these Worlds, and possible gaps between them:
0 Sharona; 1 NewSharona; 2 Haysam; 3 Reyshar; 4 Hayth;
possible gap; 5 Faryika; possible gap; 6 Jyrsalm;
7 Salym; 8 Traisum; 9 Karys; 10 Failcham; 11 Thermyn;
12 New Uromath; 13 Hells Gate.
This totals 13 certain,
plus one or two more possible,
most likely one or zero.

No more than fifteen, more likely thirteen,
definitely not forty-one!

Howard True Map-addict
reminding all of the folly of reasoning ahead of data.

PeterZ wrote:Interesting Astelon.
I reviewed the passage. Given the 48,000 miles between Hell's Gate and Sharona that suggests 41-42 universes in the chain. The six at Hell's Gate and parallel chain approaching Hell's Gate are all there are. There are no other tripple gate universes. Assuming similar distribution of universe types in the Sharona chain and Arcana chain, Arcana approximately 100 universes not counting Hell's Gate. This suggests Arcana controls 2.5 times the resources of Sharona.

Personally I believe the discussion you cited refers to this chain that Chalgyn has found success in. That opens the possibility of other tripple portal universes and other chains. Otherwise the Arcanans would have been more surprised at discovering the tripples that are so shockingly rare.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Tue May 26, 2015 11:56 am

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Yes, the estimates are off. Yes, the analysis misses some of the data buried in text. The principal idea wasn't to see what the actual size of the areas under control, but to find a better idea of what the relative sizes are. By using common constraints for my analysis we can get an idea what the relative sizes are even if the actual sizes are off significantly.

I used the map of universes included in Hell Hath No fury. That shows 16 known universes and the distances between each. Did I focus too heavily on average distance? Perhaps, but those are important constraints. More important is sped of exploration and that I did ignore. I don't believe we can assume that Arcana and Sharona explore at comparable speeds. Further, we don't know what sorts of incentives apply to exploration on the arcana side. Are there incentives to explore quickly or explore thoroughly?

Text is unclear about the number of universes Sharona has explored or discovered. Twice text asserts or implies 40 over 80 years of exploration. Once it tells us that Chalgyn has discovered 12 in the past 6 months on top of that 40 over 80 years. If we assume that Hell's Gate represents 7 of those 12, then they also discovered New Uromath and one of the parallel universe strings leading from Traisum. This argues that Sharona has discovered 51-52 universes.

If we assume equally rapid exploration, then over the 200 years of exploration Arcana will have discovered approximately 100 universes. If we assume that the augmented mounts available to Arcanan explorers expedite the process by 50 percent, we can see Arcana discovering about 135 universes. If the speed is doubled, Arcana could have discovered about 200 universes. Again, this assumes that the average distance between the universes is randomly distributed and is approximately the same on both sides of Hell's Gate. This assumption might be in error. This also assumes that communication times between the explorers and headquarters does not hinder exploration speeds or beginning the exploration of new universes.

When all is said and done Arcana has between 2x-5x the number of universes that Sharona has based on various assumptions. Estimating relative populations depend on a great many more variables than has been given. This gives some perspective to this conflict.

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:Peter, you are taking your computations of
"average distance between Portals in each Universe"
too seriously.

You have not considered that shorter distances might
be more useful for storytelling than longer distances,
hence are likely to be given "out of proportion."

You are ignoring data that has been given.
Does your "average" include the ten thousand (10,000)
miles between Salym-Traisum and Traisum-Kelsayr
that we were just given in R2H Snippet #3?

Worse, you are ignoring that at least most (possibly
all, but certainly most) of the Sharona-Hells Gate
links have been given to us.
I copied them here:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1673
That List includes
these Worlds, and possible gaps between them:
0 Sharona; 1 NewSharona; 2 Haysam; 3 Reyshar; 4 Hayth;
possible gap; 5 Faryika; possible gap; 6 Jyrsalm;
7 Salym; 8 Traisum; 9 Karys; 10 Failcham; 11 Thermyn;
12 New Uromath; 13 Hells Gate.
This totals 13 certain,
plus one or two more possible,
most likely one or zero.

No more than fifteen, more likely thirteen,
definitely not forty-one!

Howard True Map-addict
reminding all of the folly of reasoning ahead of data.

PeterZ wrote:Interesting Astelon.
I reviewed the passage. Given the 48,000 miles between Hell's Gate and Sharona that suggests 41-42 universes in the chain. The six at Hell's Gate and parallel chain approaching Hell's Gate are all there are. There are no other tripple gate universes. Assuming similar distribution of universe types in the Sharona chain and Arcana chain, Arcana approximately 100 universes not counting Hell's Gate. This suggests Arcana controls 2.5 times the resources of Sharona.

Personally I believe the discussion you cited refers to this chain that Chalgyn has found success in. That opens the possibility of other tripple portal universes and other chains. Otherwise the Arcanans would have been more surprised at discovering the tripples that are so shockingly rare.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue May 26, 2015 3:42 pm

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PeterZ wrote:If we assume equally rapid exploration, then over the 200 years of exploration Arcana will have discovered approximately 100 universes. If we assume that the augmented mounts available to Arcanan explorers expedite the process by 50 percent, we can see Arcana discovering about 135 universes. If the speed is doubled, Arcana could have discovered about 200 universes. Again, this assumes that the average distance between the universes is randomly distributed and is approximately the same on both sides of Hell's Gate. This assumption might be in error. This also assumes that communication times between the explorers and headquarters does not hinder exploration speeds or beginning the exploration of new universes.

When all is said and done Arcana has between 2x-5x the number of universes that Sharona has based on various assumptions. Estimating relative populations depend on a great many more variables than has been given. This gives some perspective to this conflict.
Disclaimer, it's been a little while since I've read these and I might be misremembering. But I though that (until the prototype spellware that was being tested at the beginning of the 1st book) Arcana had no way to remotely detect portals - they had to be within visual range to find them. That implies a fairly lengthy search process on each new world though their size does give you visual detection ranges out to over a hundred miles for the bigger ones.

In contrast the Sharonans had at least a few people with the portal hound Talent which could provide a bearing and at least a guesstimate on the distance to the next portal. Their straight line speed was lower, but given the correct Talents they could basically follow that straight line to the next portal to extend the chain. (Was there a max range on Portal Hound detection? Even if so, if it's several multiples of visual range that cuts down on the amount of exploration you have to do to find the next portal)

With transport dragons and augmented mounts Arcanans can cover ground faster, their need to do a blind search pattern means on average they need to cover ludicrously more ground to find the next link in the chain. (It also implies, now that I think about it, that they're much more likely to have had undetected chain splits. Where they didn't find a 2nd distant portal on a given world).


And in either case, once they figure out where on the world the portal sits they don't really need to explore to find natural resources, its more a matter of pulling out their existing reference maps and seeing what's close enough to be economically exploited. (There are minor differences, but the major resources seem to be near identical across the multiverses)
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by brnicholas   » Tue May 26, 2015 3:46 pm

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I want to pull this to the front because it seems to be a common perception but I think it is in error. I think you are vastly underestimating the importance of Talents in Sharonan society.

Yes, train engines run without a talent but I'm pretty sure the Sharonans couldn't make the trains run on time without Voices to coordinate their movement. I also strongly suspect that your average rail signal is changed by a flicker, especially in a yard where you would have many many signals within a flickers 20-30 mile range. The flicker probably knows what signals to change by talking to the distance viewer who stands next to him and monitors the yard. Remove those two people and the whole thing stops until an alternative can be developed which will take lots of time and money.

Then there are the Sharonan machines. Teleportation is apparently one of the more common talents, flickers are fairly weak and thus common. The rare strong versions of this talent work for the governments' ETS system, which we saw in Hell's Gate, those talents can teleport six to seven hundred pounds over intercontinental distances. How many machines do you think have parts which can only be replaced by a flicker or another teleportation talent? I will bets lots, it would make design much much simpler.

The centrality of voices to the whole society is glaringly obvious and some of the hints about healers imply they are just as central. In expect Sharona will face the same constraints regarding civilian verses military needs for Talented as Arcana will face for Gifted.

Nicholas

PS - As a second issue, from what we have heard about Mythalan society I expect the local caste Lord gets to have sex with any Garthan girl he wants and if she gives birth to a gifted child, the child is lured, or taken, away from her and raised as Shakira. It wouldn't surprise me to if many Caste Lords have large numbers of adopted gifted children in their household who, for reasons no one will talk about publicly on account of Ransaran sensitivities, look like them.

PeterZ wrote:...snipped...

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.

...quote snipped...
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by SCC   » Tue May 26, 2015 7:28 pm

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brnicholas wrote:I want to pull this to the front because it seems to be a common perception but I think it is in error. I think you are vastly underestimating the importance of Talents in Sharonan society.

Yes, train engines run without a talent but I'm pretty sure the Sharonans couldn't make the trains run on time without Voices to coordinate their movement. I also strongly suspect that your average rail signal is changed by a flicker, especially in a yard where you would have many many signals within a flickers 20-30 mile range. The flicker probably knows what signals to change by talking to the distance viewer who stands next to him and monitors the yard. Remove those two people and the whole thing stops until an alternative can be developed which will take lots of time and money.

Then there are the Sharonan machines. Teleportation is apparently one of the more common talents, flickers are fairly weak and thus common. The rare strong versions of this talent work for the governments' ETS system, which we saw in Hell's Gate, those talents can teleport six to seven hundred pounds over intercontinental distances. How many machines do you think have parts which can only be replaced by a flicker or another teleportation talent? I will bets lots, it would make design much much simpler.

The centrality of voices to the whole society is glaringly obvious and some of the hints about healers imply they are just as central. In expect Sharona will face the same constraints regarding civilian verses military needs for Talented as Arcana will face for Gifted.
-snip-

*BIG twitch*
Your Flicker idea MIGHT be workable on Sharona, but not on the out colonies, how many Flickers would be needed for the average thousand miles of track? And while the Porters of the ETS do seem to have long range ability, they also seem to need electronic support to make it work, so why not just use electronics to begin with?

As for machines being assembled with teleportation powers like you describe, not going to happen, the idea is unworkable, how would you make the design to begin with. And the two survivors view of Arcanian ship construction disproves it
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