In Thread Skein, numbers start getting tossed around a little. I had to pause and consider what I was writing to make sure it made sense. In building Niya-Yur, I estimated the world population at roughly just under one billion for all the continents and races. Population density has been slowly falling or holding steady for the last ten thousand years.
Looking back at book two, Thread Strands, I had done some notepad calculations before I said Duke brought “65,420 Daggers to Gracia with 9,632 support staff, butlers, groomers, cooks, maids, clothiers, armorers, smiths… you know the basics.” Unfortunately, even though I meant to take those number scribblings and turn them into a proper report page for my Niya-Yur files, I actually lost them.
This morning, I was working on the casualty reports for a battle, and it struck me that the numbers I had just dropped into the story out of the air might be off. So, I had to go back and reconstruct my original line of thinking. Just to make sure I don’t lose these notes, I’m giving them to you, especially since I know many of you are interested in this level of detail.
Each nation has a unique name for their warriors, some broken down into dozens of specialties and ranks. For the purpose of keeping this readable, I’m going to simply break the warriors down into three distinct groups, specifically guards (regular military), officers (regular military commissioned officers), and Daggers (military special forces).
Starting with the individual nations, Karakia has the highest guard to population ratio with about 384.6 per 1000 capita active guard and an additional reserve of 182.1 per 1000 capita for a total of 566.7 per 1000 capita total available for their national guard (meaning more than half the population counts as ready to serve warriors). The problem with Karakia is that they are spread out in tribes roaming a vast grassland terrain, and they have a relatively sparse population. Also, Duke never made it there as that would involve ships and time he didn’t have.
Turning our attention to the northern alliance realms that would provide Daggers, we have the urban dwelling nations of Aelargo, Nasur, Oslald, Yalthum, Laeusia, and Duianna. (No, the elves of Nae-Rae do not leave home to become Daggers, go figure.) Click on the map to help get the big picture.
Guards: The northern alliance realms are all about the same with an average of 24.2 per 1000 capita in active Guards, with another 18.1 per 1000 capita in retired or inactive Guards that could be called to action for a total of 42.3 per 1000 capita or 4.23% of their populations in the Guard.
Officers: Across the board (except for Yalthum and Karakia, but we’ll just blend them in) Officers, in general, make up 8.7% of the Guard.
Daggers: The various populations produce Daggers at the representative rate of 1.3% of the active Guards.
Support Personnel: Any mobile force requires support in the form of supplies, repairs, and general services. Every military force has a pretty even support need of 15% (throughout most of history oddly enough). However, getting that level of civilians to support is problematic. Therefore, all armies have solved this problem by recruiting (or kidnapping) civilian experts in the support tasks and giving them some junior warriors to perform the grunt work. These experts are usually considered officers, but as they are not military, they are called non-comms (non-commissioned officers). The ratio of non-comms to grunts is the same as the officer ratio for the main forces. Therefore, there is a need for 8.7% of the support units to be non-comm officers.
Duke scrapped the majority of Daggers for the fight at Gracia. He left roughly 20% behind to provide some cover. Working backwards that puts the total number of Daggers at roughly 81,775 in the Alliance northern realms (remember Duke couldn’t get to Karakia in time).
Taking the number of Daggers Duke assembled, I worked backwards through the ratios to confirm I wasn’t getting “out-of-hand” with my grandiose battles.
If all of the nations called out every guard they could, the reserves would mostly be left to defend the cities. Meaning the Imperial Armies would end up with seven million warriors in mobile divisions with another three million warriors left to guard the civilians.
Seven million guards being divided into four divisions of 1,750,000 warriors each would need 262,500 support staff. The support would require expert civilians overseeing military personnel assigned to various support tasks. That means there would be roughly 22,837 civilian support non-comms overseeing the work.
Here is a neat table summarizing these numbers.
Daggers with Duke at Gracia
80% of available Daggers in Aelargo, Nasur, Oslald, Yalthum, Laeusia, and Duianna
Active Daggers in northern realms
Roughly 1.3% of the Active Guards
24.2 per 1000 capita
8.7% of forces
Support Staff Needed
15% of Active Forces
Same as officer ratio
Estimated Imperial Armies – total size with reserves
42.3 per 1000 capita
Full Army Support staffing (from ranks, non-comms, etc.)
15% of Army size + Non-Comm
Full Army Non-comm Officers
Same as officer ratio applied to Full Army Support Staff.
Civilian population of northern realms
Reversed out from the per capita ratio. Voila a perfect score of roughly 25% of the total world population (aka bingo!).
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