Friday, August 4, 2017

Bandit Kings (part 2): Year Founded vs. # Worlds

P1e doesn't say how many worlds the Taurians or Canopians have. It does say the Outworlds Alliance has 38, and it also gives the year each of the three was founded.

Remember how the size of the mid-sized kingdoms corresponds to the size of their armies? I didn't really think it would work for the three big Periphery states. But it does. The Canopians have six 'Mech regiments (see fourth paragraph here) which corresponds to 31 worlds; and the Taurians have ten regiments, which corresponds to 49 worlds.


The Outworlds Alliance: Their four 'Mech battalions account for 6 of their worlds, and 4 worlds are free, leaving 28 for the fourteen air wings stationed within the Alliance. (A fifteenth air wing is stationed at "Grondass," which--given the book's inconsistent spelling of other worlds--is probably the Taurian "Girondas" struck by Cassandra's Volunteers in 2940.)

Looks like half an air wing (an air wing is about twenty fighters, so half would be ten) is as good a defense as two-thirds of a 'Mech battalion (based on a 128-'Mech regiment, that's about 28.44 'Mechs, plus 4.9 fighters in air support). Or in other words, four average fighters can scare off a Union and its two fighters.

Tiny Kingdoms:  The single-world armies (the kingdoms marked in red) are simple enough. The gaps between them get longer as they get older, which is what you'd expect if a steady fraction of them were getting overthrown every year.

Mid-Size Kingdoms:  The Oberon Confederation (founded circa 2855, per MW1e) lies at the crux of three trends:
  • As the largest and most civilized of bandit kingdoms, it falls in line with the three big Periphery states, a line which zeroes out near 3028 (the year P1e is set). It's a rate of one world every sixteen years, and probably represents the growth of non-predatory alliances.
  • Almost perpendicular to that trend is another which passes through Circinus, Tortuga, New St. Andrews and the defunct Rim Worlds Republic. No doubt it represents the tendency for nations to fragment or be absorbed into larger neighbors.
  • About halfway through the Second Succession War, Oberon starts a new trend--with the Marian Hegemony and Morgraine's Valkyrate--growing at a rate of one world every thirty-two years. I guess that's when the Successor States stopped expanding into the Periphery.
I notice that kingdoms which are young for their size--Morgraine's Valkyrate and the Marian Hegemony--also happen to be over-armed for their size, while kingdoms which are old for their size--Circinus and Tortuga--happen to be underarmed.

I don't know if the four Illyrian worlds bucks these trends or not. They were settled in the 24th century (exact year not given), but that isn't necessarily when they formed the Palatinate. P1e doesn't give a founding date for the Elysian Fields, either, and it wouldn't surprise me if that were timed to make the thirteen-world Oberon-Elysian combo align with the big three states.

This is all more highly structured than I expected, and I'm not sure how to translate those structures to other eras. The number of worlds is probably a combination of the nation's infrastructure and the rapaciousness of the era; and army size probably combines the size of the nation with the era's technological level. I'll be curious to see how the 20 Year Update colors things.

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