Friday, 25 March 2011

New Byzantinomics, cloaks and daggers....

I published a bit of research I did today on army size vs population size on Emperor & Elector - in essence it showed that a "peacetime" army of the period was typically c 1 % of the population (give or take +/- 33% anyway) and of that about 1/3rd is the "tail". I also found that "European" Turkey in c 1810 was about 8m people. In my mind I had New Byzantium as carving out about 10% of the land, ie (on average) c 800,000 people - or an army of about 8,000.  Unfortunately, the army structure I designed is about 16,000 strong in peacetime.

Now all is not lost, as it was already made clear that the 1st battalion of the 6 Line regiments were mainly mercenaries, as were the bulk of half the heavy cavalry (the Latinikon) as well as 2 mercenary regiments (the Varangian Guard and Biscotins) and some of the artillery - so I know where the extra people come from.

However, the next issue is paying for them - population is a largely function of land productivity in this period, except if you have a trade hub (it being a bit early for the Industrial Revolution) - which of course Byzantion is. It is a port city and a good stopping off point to and from Istanbul.

But the city's real asset is the Byzantion - Klow road, as this allows goods to be unloaded at Byzantion and sent over the to the Adriatic by road, as from Klow its a short hop to the Syldavian ports, thus totally removing the need to travel around the whole of Greece by sea.

The one problem with this road is that it passes through Trans-Syldavia, a wild, forested and hilly land ruled over by a few semi autonomous Duchies etc before reaching Syldavia. Ever since the depradations of "Don" Dharko and his bandits in the Trans-Syldavian hills, robbery of traffic has been increasing and merchants are starting to complain to the Basileos - and more worryingly, threatening to go sailing around Greece thus cutting Byzantion off from all sorts of revenues, which go to pay for a larger than normally affordable army, which in turn is necessaryy to keep greedy Balkan neighbours and Johnny Turk at bay.

A pretty pickle indeed.

What no-one is clear about is just why Darko et al are starting up now, and - more suspiciously - is anyone putting them up to it, are the Trans Syldavian statelets sponsoring this, or is it just normal Balkan banditry that has found a new sweet spot? Enquiries to the various statelets about protecting their bits of the road have been met with "not our problem, we're fine here" responses, along with coldly polite suggestions not to send Byzantine troops to protect the traffic on the road.

At a time like this, there is only one person the State can call on - Diogenes Orczy, who some call the Crimson  Paeonia (others call him the cuck(old)ing fop)...... He is to join the second mapping expedition (the first one disappeared about 2 years ago in the Trans-Syladavian winter), which is due to set off to AplTrnova within weeks as Spring is a-coming in...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for publishing that work, it is quite useful. I left a comment over at EvE.