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View Full Version : how many imperial guardsman are there in the entire galaxy?



Anvils Hammer
14-10-2005, 17:51
just interested really..

if you know off any fluff reguarding the number of worlds, population, rates of militarisation. number of regimetents on a typical world, numbers in a regiment etc etc...

please post it here.

i want to combine all known knowledge to get a reasonably accurate gess as to the number of individual Imperial guarsdmen in the imperium.

thanks for your help.

GamesmasterZ
14-10-2005, 17:53
Kazillions. --- Exact Number

shutupSHUTUP!!!
14-10-2005, 18:00
Not every world in the imperium is highly populated, tithed for guard or capable of producing regiments. Some worlds at any point in time may be considered untrustworthy for past heresies and unsuitable for raising regiments from, regiments are retired and destroyed all the time in the flames of war. Adeptus mechanicus worlds don't have to raise regiments and neither do adeptus astartes worlds.

I would say the number of guardsmen would probably not exceed a billion at most, considering the imperium needs to support these armies and transport munitions, manpower is obviously not the only concern here. If too many regiments are raised the entire imperial war machine may grind to halt or collapse.

Of course all guard issue equipment is built to be as rugged and hassle-free as possible, not requiring too much in the way of resources to function. Transporting and protecting such massive convoys of supplies and equipment in space and then war zones, though, much be a taxing strain on the imperium in itself and probably accounts for most of the adeptus munitorums woes.

Planetary defences forces should make up a large portion of the armed forces of the imperium since they never really go anywhere, and don't fight very much overall, so their logistical needs are less than that of the guard. The Imperial Guard is the reactionary and offensive element of the Imperial forces while PDF are concerned with garrisoning worlds. I would say PDF are probably comparable in number to the guard but far less potent, so combined probably not exceeding 2 billion guardsmen at any one time.

I have no real fluff to back this up currently, its just my opinion on what would make sense.

Anvils Hammer
14-10-2005, 18:01
its not kazillions, there must be a reasonable upper limit, we can gess there must be trillions, (thousands of billions), but thats not that accurate.
as a rough intitial gess-

minimum reasonable number of planets- MORE than 1 million (less than one marine per planet, and a million marines)
average number of soldiers- perhaps a minimum of 5 million average????

low estimates minimum of... 1,000,000,000,000
or 1 trillion guardsmen, so its definatly in the trillions.

edited for shutups response-
1 billion gaurdsmen would allow only 1000 per world, even a very small world would have a platoon of guardsmen, i remeber a fluff peice in WD about a platton of a few doezen guarsdmen defending a scarcly poulated outpost.
if you then consider that many forge worlds raise BILLIONS of men by themselves.
itmust be far more than a billion in the entire galaxy.

GamesmasterZ
14-10-2005, 18:04
Well...

We're not talking about the trooper estimate are we?

We have to count Conscripts, Skirmishers, PDF's, and stuff like that...right?

So, you'd have well over a trillion.

Anvils Hammer
14-10-2005, 18:12
Well...

We're not talking about the trooper estimate are we?

We have to count Conscripts, Skirmishers, PDF's, and stuff like that...right?

So, you'd have well over a trillion.

only members of imperial guard regiments, so that excluded PDF's milita etc.

however, we should come up with an estimate that included PDF as well.

shutupSHUTUP!!!
14-10-2005, 18:17
As stated, I think PDF handle most of the imperiums defensive concerns garrisonging planets. Against small enemy attacks and un-named alien empires the PDF should be enough. I don't thin k there are that many guardsmen, fluff sources state (from memory) that guardsmen number in the millions, but I can't remember the exact sources...

Trillions is just too much I feel, not every world in the imperium produces such prodiguos amounts of guardsmen and armour like armageddon for instance. An agri world may periodically ship out a few regiments, a hive world many more, but as well as sending the supplies over the the regiments being formed there are the logistical needs of every guardsmen in the field.

Imperial offensive actions like those documented against the tau involve tens of thousands of guardsmen, this is considered a small crusade, millions of guardsmen is considered pulling the free weight of an entire sector into a mightier crusade I believe, an uncommon event, I think billions rather than trillions makes sense, and ends up with there being about enough guardsmen to hold the imperium together while giving enemy forces a chance. Casualties are rarely low in war zones too.

Slazton
14-10-2005, 18:40
I am afraid its impossiable as GW has said the Galaxy has a million plus planets in the Imperium.

Thats alot of planets and if lets 6 billion live on one, then that could produce like 3-4 regiments maybe even 8-10 pending on the nessecity of the situation.

So that alone is a small number, so think about Hiveworlds etc.

Its a very impossiable task I am afraid.

GamesmasterZ
14-10-2005, 18:49
Let's say that each planet raises three regiments.

How many Guardsmen in a regiment?


After we figure this out, we can think of how many planets there are.

Anvils Hammer
14-10-2005, 18:55
i think another thread gave the figure of about 8000 men per regiment. makes sense.
there are about 3 million soldiers on earth, so on an imperial world of 6 billion, they could perhaps raise ATLEAST 100 regiments, or 1 million guardsmen.

if you assume a million worlds in the imperium all producing a million men, which seems perfectly reasonable ,seeing as we KNOW many worlds produce many time that.
there are atleast a trillion men, possible far more.

considering that cadia alone has over one billion active guardsmen

shutupSHUTUP!!!
14-10-2005, 19:00
But then there is the supply nightmare, I wasn't suggesting the imperium couldnt drum up the manpower, there is no real upper limit. I think the real question is how many can the imperium support?

acme2468
14-10-2005, 19:03
This is truly unstatable considering the nature of warp travel. Consider, at any given 'moment' numerous IG regiments are traveling through the Warp as part of Invasion fleets or simple troop deployment. Now given the fluid and unpredictable nature of time lapse during warp travel some of these will arrive at their destinations before they were even formed as a unit on their origin world! (of course this is dependent on a unreachable perspective able to simultaneously observe, in the same time frame, events occuring billions of miles apart in real space.)
Suffice to say the number can only be expressed :Lots (hopefully enough) and equal to a tiny fraction of the Number of Orks in the Galaxy WAAAAGGGHH.

Commissar Vaughn
14-10-2005, 19:34
back durng the eye of terror campaign i tried to (very roughly) estimate the number of guardsmen committed to the campaign from the number of regiments that took part (according to all those lists that turned up on the EOT campaign discussion boards and in the fluffy bits)
the number was huge. 14 digits long, consider a billion has a mere 10 digits, i cant recall the exact number of course!

and that was one warzone.

a billion over the galaxy? so thats one guardsmen to every 5 sectors or something? u sure your not on about marines?

there are a lot of guardsmen in the galaxy. simple as.

Slazton
14-10-2005, 22:09
Tis crazy that you could even think of how many battles there are going on, then there are casualties and then there is the fact that we still have no idea how many Regiments the Imperium can captialise too, and then we have to think roughly how many planets there are.

IMHO, its best left alone. Its too difficult to compute in that we are missing some hardcore facts to even estimate.

Sgt John Keel
14-10-2005, 23:10
considering that cadia alone has over one billion active guardsmen

Cadia planet, Cadia sub-sector or Cadia sector?

/Adrian

shutupSHUTUP!!!
14-10-2005, 23:30
Cadia itself has several hundred million, being the exception of the rule it is a garrison world. The cadian gate has drawn pretty much all the spare guardsmen there are in the imperium I believe. I think several billion guardsmen makes more sense than 1 billion then, but trillion still seems off to me.

Buddha777
14-10-2005, 23:59
Cadia alone has over a billion menin the guard. Why is a couple of trillion out of the question? There are MILLIONS of worlds, and thousands of similar garrision worlds, that alone counts for hundrededs of billions of men. I think GW even tries to encourage this idea of seemingly limitless men at arms, so why not have trillions upon trillions of men.

Puffin Magician
14-10-2005, 23:59
I'm thinking in terms of members of the Imperial Army, not only Imperial Guard Infantrymen. Medics, Headquarters, and even they poor guy driving the Powerlifter Sentinel. If we're taking all that into account, I'd say the number easily climbs into the Billions, but probably no more than 100 Billion.

You'll have one hell of a time finding an accurate "average" for how many regiments there should be if you're basing your calculations on the number of planets; many worlds in the Imperium's fold don't produce regiments for several reasons: Prison Worlds, Weapons-testing Worlds, Agri Worlds, Gas Giants, etc. Then there are planets like Cadia who militarize close to 70% of their population so have many hundreds of millions of guardsmen. [800 Million IIRC?].

Remember a Trillion is an awful lot, 1 Million Millions! There's easily 200 Billion humans on all the Hive Worlds, then throw in Civilized & Industrial Worlds [probably another 50-350 Billion] and the leftovers; maybe 10 Billion.

So we'll say the total Imperial population is somewhere between 300 and 800 Billion people.

For a comparison, I Wikipedia'd some facts about current militaries and their enlisted numbers. China is at the top, unsurprisingly, but because of it's huge population the ratio is only 1.7 Active Troops for every 1000 Citizens. The United States has 4.8, France has 4.3, the UK has 3.5, and Russia has 6.7.

North Korea is crazy-militarized, with a 44.6 Active Troops for every 1000 Citizens. This is actually a good comparison with 40k. Back to our population number.

700 Billion [we'll aim high] × [44.6 / 1000] = 31.2 Billion Active Troops in the Imperium. A lot lower than you [and quite a few other people] assume, but more realistic. Calculating that with Red China's ratio would result in a mere 1.2 Billion Active Imperial Guard Troops.

If we go by the "1000 men per Regiment" organization, that's still over 30 Million Regiments out there, more than enough to satisfy every Imperial Guard player on Earth and then some!

gLOBS
15-10-2005, 01:39
It's like asking how many fish are in the sea.

Lord Balor
15-10-2005, 02:19
First things first, GW have never, ever been any good with numbers. That aside, i'm using the 3rd Ed Planet descriptions and spreading them evenly amongst the million worlds of the Imperium (note: Dead Worlds not included as they are the fewest and account for the worlds past the 1 million mark). This is very, very,very,very rough, but gives us a point to discuss.

Number of Worlds in the Imperium: Roughly 1,000,000
Most Common Types: 8
Number of each Type: 125,000

Hive Worlds: 100,000,000,000-500,000,000,000.
Avg:300,000,000,000
Total: 37,500,000,000,000,000 (:eek: )

Civilised World: 15,000,000-10,000,000,000.
Avg:5,007,500,000
Total: 625,937,500,000,000

Agri World: 15,000-1,000,000.
Avg:507,500
Total: 63,437,500,000

Feral World: 100,000-5,000,000.
Avg:2,550,000
Total: 318,750,000,000

Death Worlds: 1,000-15,000,000.
Avg: 7,500,500
Total: 937,562,500,000

Research Worlds: 100-500,000.
Avg: 250,050
Total: 3,125,625,000

Feudal Worlds: 10,000,000-500,000,000.
Avg:255,000,000
Total: 31,875,000,000,000

Forge Worlds: 1,000,000-15,000,000,000.
Avg:7,500,500,000
Total: 937,562,500,000,000

Total Imperial Population: 39,096,697,875,625,000
Avg Per Planet:39,096,697,875.625

Total Soldiers (Using USA's Soldier per 1000 Civilians) : 187,664,149,803,000
Total Soldiers (Using N.Korea's Soldier per 1000 Civilians) : 1,743,712,725,252,875

Remeber This is all based on the following things and therefore is far from even vaguly accurate:

There are 1,000,000 Worlds in the Imperium
There is an Even Spread of Worlds across the 8 most common Types
GW Still goes by its Planet Population from the 3rd Ed RuleBook
Each World Gives an Equal Number of Troops based on the Soldier per 1000 Citizens Ratio

Colonel Kebab
15-10-2005, 08:32
I think that with the Imperium's size Lord Balor's numbers seem justified. I would go with the North Korean for IG+PDF. I think that would be a reasonable number. Some of these would probably be untrained militias only responsible for guarding their home world in their spare time.

Centurion Cajun
15-10-2005, 08:54
I think this is all a case of their being numbers invovled that we can't possibly begin to imagine. Although there are undoubtably worlds with only a few thousand people you'll also have hive worlds with billions. Also, take into account that not all planets are the same size. You're bound to have some that are larger than Earth and thus able to support more people. It's really all just beyond impossible to accurately predict the numbers Imperium wide. I doubt even the Administratum knows numbers for sure.

Now, we might be able to predict semaccurately on an individual world basis but that's about it in my mind.

Anvils Hammer
15-10-2005, 10:10
Total Soldiers (Using USA's Soldier per 1000 Civilians) : 187,664,149,803,000
Total Soldiers (Using N.Korea's Soldier per 1000 Civilians) : 1,743,712,725,252,875



perfect, thank you very much, this seems like a reasonable assumption..
39 million billion human beings
1,743,712,725,252,875 gaurdsmen

1.7 million billion soldiers..... including PDF and local militas

that means there could be one thousand billion regiments!!!

does anyone else feel that more accurate numbers would be produced by halving the number of hive worlds (how many are there??)
and doubleing the number of agri worlds.

that could make a more realistic assumption of about 1/2 to a 1/3 of what lord balor suggests.

lets aim down, half of lord balors number is.. 871,000,000,000,000
assume that of that, about half are guardsmen.
43500,000,000 guardsmen... round down...
43 thousand million regiments

that means for every ONE space marine, 43 thousand IG guard the imperium...

Puffin Magician
15-10-2005, 11:45
this seems like a reasonable assumption... 39 million billion human beings
Even though Balor did the number crunching [kudos for that], I think the average population is impossibly high.

The low- and high- figures for populations isn't an accurate way for representing averages. I very highly doubt that the average Death World population is more than 7 Million. I think it would be maybe 10% or even 1% of that.

There is certainly not an even spread of all World types [125,000 Hive Worlds?], for every Hive there would probably need to be at least 10 [and possibly closer to 50] Agri Worlds just to feed everyone. Agri Worlds, I think, should be outnumbered only by "Dead" Worlds that wouldn't raise regiments for reasons I mentioned earlier [Gas Giants, lifeless worlds, etc]. This would definitely bring the average down.

Having a total Imperial population of nearly 40 Quadrillion would mean, going by the modern-day Ecological Footprint (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_footprint) average of 1.8 HA/person [Calculate yours here (http://www.earthday.org/Footprint/info.asp)], would mean needing 72 Quadrillion Hectares, or more than 5 Billion Earth-sized planets covered in crops [Earth has appx. 14,830,000 Hectares of total land area, nevermind about arable land]. There's simply not enough planets to feed everyone.

A total population of "only" 700 Billion would need nearly 85,000 Earth-sized Agri Worlds, which is very reasonable.

Anvils Hammer
15-10-2005, 11:51
humm.. fair enough, so total food production can be used as a way of estimating totall population.

what about food replication technology? presumably the imperium doesnt rely entirly on normal crops and foodstuffs, there must be an STC for rapid food producing machines.

how many agri worlds could the imperium support, given the figure of a million human inhabited wordls (where is this figure confirmed???) how many of those would likly be agri worlds?
i think more than 85 thousand of them, and also, food isnt just produced on agri worlds, i think that many civilised worlds, feral worlds, etc would be self sufficient to a reasonable degree.
its only really hive worlds that need the massive food production.

Puffin Magician
15-10-2005, 12:01
But nearly every Civilized World would need to import food. Compare it to the Developed World [Europe, North America, Australia, etc] who still need to import a lot even though they have huge self-supporting agricultural infrastructures. I'd imagine that the more self-sustaining a World is, the lower it's population. Using that as a basis for our calculations is somewhat counter-productive.

The "Million World Imperium" is just a nice and round number that rolls off the tongue easily... and sounds impressive.

Anvils Hammer
15-10-2005, 12:41
earth is still self sufficient over all in terms of food production.

so its reasonable to assume that an earth sized worlf could support atlest 6 billion people.

Puffin Magician
15-10-2005, 12:51
Yes, but remember the difference between rich & stabalizated nations, and the under-developed nations that are starving to death which are the majority.

Sure the Imperium is callous, but I doubt that allowing 70% of your citizens to live in squalor & starvation is a Galaxy-wide trend.

You need to think in terms of how much a planet can comfortably support. I stick by my line of thinking that a planet's population has to be small [less than a Billion for worlds similar to Earth in terms of arable land and global temperature, I'd think] in order to be self-sufficient.

Remember that only planets with the proper radiation, temperature, atmospheric composition, and orbit can comfortably support plantlife. An important factor in that is that the planet has to orbit in the Habitable Zone around their parent star, which depends on spectral type and size. Many, many planets do not lay in this Zone and so extremely non-traditional agricultural methods would need to be employed to grow enough food, or the population has to get it from off-world, and not be self-sustaining.

Robot 2000
15-10-2005, 16:11
I think that puffin and shutupx2 are estimating too low. Remeber, we're talking about entire WORLDS here, which have had tens of thousands of years to get populated. It's taken England only a couple of thousand years to go from about 3-5 million inhabitants to 60 million. I think Balor's numbers are fairly compelling.

Puffin Magician
15-10-2005, 17:27
You think in a galaxy filled with constant war and the destruction/cleansing of entire worlds by humans and xenos alike that there will be an unending climb in population? You can't simply stick current population figures into a calculation and scale it up to cover the whole galaxy. I believe I've shown that to be impossible.

Remember that Balor's calculations depended on this:

There is an Even Spread of Worlds across the 8 most common Types
...being true, when it is most certainly not. I'd guess that maybe <1% of the "million worlds in the Imperium" are Hives, which would drastically reduce the estimated population.

I don't think you can [abeit naively] assume that 6 Billion people per planet is not only reasonable but actually possible, simply because that's the current population of Earth. We're not just spouting pessimism, we're providing facts and crunching numbers.

Saying that there are billions upon billions of Guardsmen makes good propeganda but the "rule of cool" doesn't apply here.

shutupSHUTUP!!!
15-10-2005, 18:41
This goes back to my initial point, though, that it's how many guardsmen the Imperium can support that matters rather than how many men they can sign up.

The Imperium's got the manpower, of course it has. But there has to be more "feeder" worlds (agri worlds, forgeworlds, manufacturing etc) than worlds that can be recruited from. Hive worlds cannot make up 1/8th of the Imperium, you can't feed that many people. I concur with puffin that you will need many agri worlds for each hive world, you will need a surplus of agri worlds in fact at all times producing a surplus of food, considering any agri world can be attacked and razed at any time.

Number of humans isn't the limiting factor, material supplies etc are.
*Recruitment/conscription
*Training
*equipment
*food
*ammo
*transporting equipment and supplies from several worlds to the newly raised guard regiment.
*transport the guard regiment to battle, there is no point raising 100 imperial guard regiments consisting of over 1,000,000 soldiers on a single hive world, just because you can, only to find the transport ships you've been alloted don't have the space to take most of them anyway. :rolleyes:
*fuel for transport, repair/construction facilities for transport and escort vessels.
*food and supplies during transit in warp
*Incessant transport and escort vessels for food and supplies to most war zones to resupply guardsmen in the field. This single effort would be of a monstrous scale that is unimaginable almost.
*massive beurocrasy to keep this monster together
etc
etc
etc...
:chrome:

I think the number of actual frontline guardsmen is capped at several billion (if that) because there only so much that can be handled, the imperium is not terribly efficient in the first place. PDF could account for several billion in themselves as they require less supplies and probably outnumber imerial guard.

Robot 2000
15-10-2005, 19:45
I don't think that you'd necessarily need to have hundreds of agri-worlds feeding each hive world. Surely that's just inviting disaster if supply lines are cut for whatever reason. They'd probably have developed some kind of hydroponics system for growing much of the staple food they need if you ask me.

kotetsu
15-10-2005, 22:25
I would say the number of guardsmen would probably not exceed a billion at most, considering the imperium needs to support these armies and transport munitions, manpower is obviously not the only concern here.

BAHHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHEOOHOEOHEHEHHEEHAHHAHA HA

Puffin Magician
15-10-2005, 22:31
Perhaps we can't agree because we're thinking about this differently. I see it as similar to the cities, industrial, and agricultural areas of today. You won't find many farms in Chicago or Berlin; that's where all the big businesses and transport centers are, and where most of the people live. They rely on food, water, fuel, and all sorts of commodities from being shipped in from elsewhere; be it outside the city limits or outside the country.

So, Hive Worlds, even if they have fake-biospheres to grow things in [which is likely] it won't be nearly enough to feed the total populace, merely adding a helping hand. Forge Worlds are just as bad [if not worse], industrial wastelands & warzones [Krieg, Armageddon, etc] are a total write-off, but most Civilized Worlds would have large agricultural facilities. The low number of Fuedal Worlds [if they are a part of the Imperium at all] would probably be wholly self-sufficient, just so the populace doesn't go insane ["Who are these mysterious crusaders from the sky?"].

Remember that space is very big, but still mostly empty. If you think there has to be a high number of Guardsmen on every world at any given time, then yes there should be Trillions if not Quadrillions of Guardsmen. But it's not like that; armies don't have to attack or defend every place at once, so they're mostly and only moved to a location when battles are taking place there. Obviously the defensive forces will remain behind, but more than half of the numbers will be moved to the battlezone and leave the rest of their territory fairly naked. I can't see how 32 Billion soldiers isn't enough for some people... 3,200 soldiers for every world [on average], but distributed extremely unevenly.

Think of it simply as army recruitment. The US Army recruits from every state, but the personnell aren't spread out evenly over all the states; they're located either in hot zones; Iraq, Afghanistan [Agmageddon system, Cadian system] or on military bases where they are ready to react at a moment's notice [systems surrounding the Cadian Gate].

Using Cadia as a reference point is insane, it's probably the most heavily defended world in the entire Imperium besides Earth.

shutupSHUTUP!!!
15-10-2005, 22:40
And thats why invaders enjoy any success at all against the imperium; they often attacks planets where the imperial guard isn't stationed there, with only a few thousand PDF to defend the planet. The PDF have to hold out until the imperial guard can be shipped out to relieve them. There aren't hundreds of thousands of guardsmen on every world.

Robot 2000
17-10-2005, 08:40
fake-biospheres to grow things in
I was thinking more of big vats of yeast cultures since the Imperium probably wouldn't care how WELL people were fed as long as they're able to work ;)


Remember that space is very big, but still mostly empty. If you think there has to be a high number of Guardsmen on every world at any given time, then yes there should be Trillions if not Quadrillions of Guardsmen. But it's not like that; . . .
Think of it simply as army recruitment. The US Army recruits from every state, but the personnell aren't spread out evenly over all the states; they're located either in hot zones; Iraq, Afghanistan [Agmageddon system, Cadian system] or on military bases where they are ready to react at a moment's notice [systems surrounding the Cadian Gate].
The thing is that individual IG are so inadequate compared to many of the enemies that they're expected to defend against that you need numbers which seem ridiculous to someone brought up on modern sensibilities, where soldiers fight other soldiers. I'll agree that 32 Billion seems like a more reasonable number to me than the 1.2 Billion you postulated given China's recruitment statistics.



Using Cadia as a reference point is insane, it's probably the most heavily defended world in the entire Imperium besides Earth.

Agreed.

Colonel Kebab
17-10-2005, 15:36
Modern day Earth is not a good example for an Imperial world. Much of our planet's agriculture is poorly equipped and requires much work for small harvests. Imagine a world which looks like the American Midwest. Enormous farming complexes with some industrial cities to produce some industrial goods. That would probably be the best example of an Agri World.

All the worlds can really be found to some extent here on earth. Sure, a hive world doesn't produce any food(at least not the natural way) but the standard citizen is not well. They have no access to fresh air and I do believe that they eat recycled food. The Imperium's citizens are not Americans or Western Europeans. Some worlds might be likened to China with rich cities but still plenty of poverty. I doubt John Doe eats ice-cream and drinks coke when not working in a mine that is even more dangerous than a Chinese coal mine.

The size of the worlds in the Imperium would probably vary, a lot. Take Jupiter. If it could sustain a population similar to that of Earth it would be rougly 7 800 000 000 000. If one percent of those belong to the PDF it numbers about 7 800 000 000!!! And remember, Earth still can sustain more people on a "livable" basis.

Of course those worlds would be few but nevertheless could exist. Imagine the amounts of corn it could produce if it has an ideal climate...

Ivan Stupidor
17-10-2005, 21:19
Of course, there is no such thing as an "ideal climate". Even the most productive agri-worlds will have hot zones, cold zones, mountains, canyons, and other places where it is difficult or impossible to harvest effectively for off-world transport. However, with most if not all arable land turned over to agriculture, they would produce a damn lot of food. (I seem to recall that we're producing three times the food we need, even though we're encumbered by cities and inefficiency and other things the few million farmers on an agri-world wouldn't have to worry about.)

Spangley Special
19-10-2005, 12:15
LOTS! and LOTS!

Sai-Lauren
19-10-2005, 12:57
So, Hive Worlds, even if they have fake-biospheres to grow things in [which is likely] it won't be nearly enough to feed the total populace, merely adding a helping hand. Forge Worlds are just as bad [if not worse], industrial wastelands & warzones [Krieg, Armageddon, etc] are a total write-off, but most Civilized Worlds would have large agricultural facilities. The low number of Fuedal Worlds [if they are a part of the Imperium at all] would probably be wholly self-sufficient, just so the populace doesn't go insane ["Who are these mysterious crusaders from the sky?"].

What about having harvest festivals, where food is "sacrificed" en mass to the god-emperor (meantime the governors clerks get ready with the shipping crates and high capacity freezers).

How many guardsmen are there? Put it this way, if they all stood shoulder to shoulder, some commissar would come up and execute them all for dereliction of duty.:D
Ahem, sorry, IMO there's billions of them. Ranging from infantry, tank crews, commissarial stormtroopers and military police and artillery gunners to regimental support staff and general staff bodyguards and adjutants

I can easily see hive worlds constantly recruiting regiments - raise one or more, train them, ship them out and start on the next load so they're ready to go when the ship comes back to pick them up.

Puffin Magician
19-10-2005, 13:17
The size of the worlds in the Imperium would probably vary, a lot. Take Jupiter. If it could sustain a population similar to that of Earth it would be rougly 7 800 000 000 000. If one percent of those belong to the PDF it numbers about 7 800 000 000!!!
I very seriously doubt there are any Jupiter-sized terrestrial planets in the Galaxy, let alone any that could recuit a comparable number of Guardsmen. Terrestrial planets are generally small because of the way they're formed. Even if you disregard that, the planet would have to be of a habitable climate [and all the other things I mentioned] in order to raise & support many regiments.


IMO there's billions of them.
Well yes, we know that already. The question is how many Billions? Billions of Billions or merely hundreds of Billions?

Psycho_Laughs
19-10-2005, 16:17
in the necromunda rule book they mention that a census was attempted in one of their hives (one of many), and they quit after the number reached 200 billion. thats just one hive in a hive world. even though a good number of planets are not populous enough to provide regiments, the hive planets more than make up for that. sending armies away is almost like a drastic population control. the guard codex mentions that the numbers of the guard are impossible to know for sure since there are so many, and they have guys that do nothing but calculate that stuff, so i'm guessing it might be above the one trillion mark just a tad.

Robot 2000
19-10-2005, 23:00
LOTS! and LOTS!

I think this is the best answer yet :D

El_Machinae
20-10-2005, 17:54
and they quit after the number reached 200 billion.

That would mean, however, that the hive is not being properly tithed with regards to the PDF and Imperial Guard. I'd assume only the "registered" (ie., taxpayers or prisoners, etc.) citizens are properly inducted into the armies, and that's only a small portion of the populated.

OTOH, I'd imagine that the number of "inducted" slaves (to crew ships and whatnot) are extremely high, relatively. We do know that sometimes gangers and the impoverished are kidnapped and forced into labour/servitor status.

Ivan Stupidor
20-10-2005, 19:47
That would mean, however, that the hive is not being properly tithed with regards to the PDF and Imperial Guard. I'd assume only the "registered" (ie., taxpayers or prisoners, etc.) citizens are properly inducted into the armies, and that's only a small portion of the populated.


Aren't the Necromundan 8th tradrationally members of the Spider gang, who are rounded up and legitimatized as a regiment every once in a while? That seems to imply that gangers get into the Guard...

Or did the Spiders go legit a few millenia ago and patrol the Hives as PDF? Curse this being away from my WD collection...

jimbo034
21-10-2005, 00:48
What about having harvest festivals, where food is "sacrificed" en mass to the god-emperor (meantime the governors clerks get ready with the shipping crates and high capacity freezers).

it seems to me that it would much more efficient for an agri world to produce one crop which could be turned into a super high caloric value block molded to fit persisely into the cargo hold of a standardized bulk transport.

Puffin Magician
21-10-2005, 09:46
A Company-sized bouillon cube? :p


in the necromunda rule book they mention that a census was attempted in one of their hives (one of many), and they quit after the number reached 200 billion.
That's obviously the "rule of cool" overriding common sense; 200Bn+ in a single Hive? Which would mean Necromunda alone has a population in the Trillions? I'd only accept that if it was the most heavily populated planet in the Imperium, and you can't use extremes as the 'average' for calculations.

Just as ludicrous as using Cadia as an example, then.

Commissar Vaughn
21-10-2005, 11:34
the best way to figure out the number of guardsmen is probably to pick a number. any number. no matter what you pick, at some point in the imperiums history it will have been right. probably

Sai-Lauren
21-10-2005, 12:06
it seems to me that it would much more efficient for an agri world to produce one crop which could be turned into a super high caloric value block molded to fit persisely into the cargo hold of a standardized bulk transport.
But if they have a crop blight or something similar that causes the crop to fail, they've lost an entire planets worth of food stocks. Far better to produce several different kinds of food - grain, livestock, fruit and veg - so if one fails, the chances are the rest won't.

He Who Laughs
21-10-2005, 12:28
At least eight.

Always a safe bet :D

Psycho_Laughs
21-10-2005, 16:29
That's obviously the "rule of cool" overriding common sense; 200Bn+ in a single Hive? Which would mean Necromunda alone has a population in the Trillions? I'd only accept that if it was the most heavily populated planet in the Imperium, and you can't use extremes as the 'average' for calculations.

Just as ludicrous as using Cadia as an example, then.

not necessarilly. some of the hive planets have been hive planets since the times of the heresy, necromunda being one of them. if you think about how fast human population grows when the conditions are right (what was it? 3 billion in less than a century?) and you get ludicrous heavilly populated planets. add to it special instances of "baby boom" style but in 40k scale (which is usually way big), and you get a massive upsurge of population every now and then. in the necromunda rule book it mentions that all their food is off world produce or recicled. the sole purpose of the planet is to house people. not that hard to imagine. even if necromunda is one of the more populous planets i don't think it's a total exception. it also adds to the feel of desperation and the need to constantly expand the human domain.

Puffin Magician
21-10-2005, 16:37
A massive surge in planetary population is just as likely as a massive [i]purge of the populace as well, either because of war, accident or famine.

I doubt the Imperium would allow insane bursts in population [like the tenfold jump that Earth experienced], since it would mean many worlds simply starving to death. "We only have enough food for 10 billion of you, have another child and you'll go without", etc.


In the necromunda rulebook it mentions that all their food is produced off-world recycled. The sole purpose of the planet is to house people. not that hard to imagine.
I mentioned that already; a Hive World would need tens if not hundreds of individual Agri Worlds just to keep food on every table. This means less worlds with insanely high populations and more with very little populus and a whole lot of farms, which brings down the Galactic Population average significantly.


it also adds to the feel of desperation and the need to constantly expand the human domain.
Responding to the Rule of Cool with the Rule of Cool?

Psycho_Laughs
24-10-2005, 02:47
A massive surge in planetary population is just as likely as a massive [i]purge of the populace as well, either because of war, accident or famine.

I doubt the Imperium would allow insane bursts in population [like the tenfold jump that Earth experienced], since it would mean many worlds simply starving to death. "We only have enough food for 10 billion of you, have another child and you'll go without", etc.


they recycle their food. thats right they reprocess their waste to produce edible food. in necromunda they even mention that food that has been overly recycled turns into spook (psychic stymulant drug). they also mention that the only people that get fresh produce offworld are the higher strata of the hive, and the spyre. also in various pieces of fluff, the imperium is know to use crops and livestock that produces the most nutrition by the least amount. a grox for example is not bred for taste, but because their nutritional value is off the charts.



I mentioned that already; a Hive World would need tens if not hundreds of individual Agri Worlds just to keep food on every table. This means less worlds with insanely high populations and more with very little populus and a whole lot of farms, which brings down the Galactic Population average significantly.


in the fluff they do mention that the majority of the 1 million worlds of the imperium have populations on the hundred of thousnads or less. i'd imagine that most of the imperium exists to sustain itself. but the hive worlds are still hugely populated, even if the average of population is lowered by having few hive world, the population is still on the hundreds of trillions if only 1% of those million worlds has populations like necromunda. you're also thinking in terms of well nurtured people. i wouldn't be surprised to find that a good 90% of the imperium's population eats from hand to mouth, with hundreds of thousands dieing of starvation every day, only to be quickly replaced. human life is stated to be the cheapest commodity to the imperium, because there are so many, and no matter what you use someone for it's probably not as bad as the day to day life the person had.


Responding to the Rule of Cool with the Rule of Cool?
well, yeah, but not to the same extreme as you. reality can still be grotesque and intense, and still be cool.

Puffin Magician
24-10-2005, 09:16
they recycle their food... the only people that get fresh produce offworld are the higher strata of the hive, and the spyre. Grox are not bred for taste, but because their nutritional value is off the charts.
I agree with this, and it's not surprising. We're still trying to solve the question as to how much is recycled; knowing that would tell us just how important Agri Worlds are.


the population is still on the hundreds of trillions if only 1% of those million worlds has populations like necromunda
I have no doubt of that; what I do doubt is that 1% of the Imperial planets have a population in the Trillions. It's probably closer to 0.2% if not even lower. 1,000 Necromundas on top of the other Hives would mean a Galactic Population rising into the hundreds of Quadrillions.

I have no problems with Necromunda or other famously huge Hives having a population over a few Trillion, but saying that's the "Hive World average" is too much. I'd say that less than 50 planets in the Imperium have a population close to a Trillion; the majority are <1,000,000.


reality can still be grotesque and intense, and still be cool.
I was merely suggesting that saying 40k worlds have populations in the trillions [RoC] because it's depressing and tragic [RoC] is more of a circular fluff reasoning/definition rather than an actual answer.

Hellebore
24-10-2005, 16:48
For a start, they say that there are a million worlds in trhe imperium, but that does not actually mean a million INHABITABLE worlds.

Considering that there are ~200-400 billion stars in the galaxy and that the modern estimate of the number of planets is about 10% of those (so 20-40 billion) and the number of EARTH sized planets is about 1% of that (200-400 million) and the number of inhabitalbe and life sustaining planets is 1% of THAT (2 million- 4 million) I suppose it is possible that EVERY planet in the imperium is able to sustain human settlements but I doubt it.

In reality probably only about 1/3 of all imperial planets are oxygen atmosphered and inhabitable without domes and such. That still leaves 333,333 planets like earth that humans can live on without problems.

However, the majority of imperial planets are like mars, so are mining planets/penal/death worlds that do not have high populations.

Also, there are dozens of sentient races throughout the galaxy that each take up earth equivalent planets so the number could be less.

Orks still need oxygen and an ecology to survive (even if they bring it with them) and as they occupy most of the galaxy I think humanities planetary aquisitions are a little generous.

THe best example was given earlier in the regiments that took part in the EoT campaign, as that is CANON fluff that tells you how many people actually took part.

The armageddon 3 website also details the number of regiments in that conflict and it gives the following:

~300 (depending on the sizes of companies, battalions and legions).

The number of troops in Lord Castelan Ursarkar E. Creed's only personal regiment the Cadian 8th, is 8000.

8000X300= 2.4 million troops, on ONE planet, from approx 25 different planets.


I agree that the number of densely populated planets is probably pretty low, and I am sure I have read that the GD's said the majority would have a small PDF and/or a garrison, and not millions of troops.

However, a trillion is probably TOO many, and I would most likely believe this to be the population of HUMANITY in general, rather than its armies.

So I see the Guard consisting of no more than 100-200 billion troops, but no less than 50 billion. That is between 200,000 and 50,000 guardsmen per planet within the imperium.

REmember also that the imperium would not still HAVE 1 million planets if they did not have the man power to actually PROTECT them all.

PS agri worlds are one of the less common ways to produce food stocks, as most hive worlds eat vat grown algaes and products produce in similar ways.

Geneered bacteria will grow most anything so huge vats churning out protein past is much more efficient then planets covered in grox herds.

Has anyone thought to determine the birth rate of the imperium? THe number of children being born every second must be HUGE, and I suppose the death rate must also be pretty big, but as the imperium is not shrinking, the birth rate must outweigh the death rate.


hellebore

El_Machinae
24-10-2005, 18:58
Remember, though, that the galaxy of 40k has been inhabited for a long time, and planets have been terrarformed and abandoned. This means that there could be many inhabitable (but not resource rich) planets that would be suitable to dump colonists on. Colonists might die out slowly or maybe just adapt to tough and poor conditions.

The Imperium is a lot more desperate and brutal than we're used to, and so would put people in locations that were less than optimal. Way back when, the STC could have made many "mars-like" planets survivable, and over the course of millenia, moved them to become more habitable (but more resource poor).