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Peter Ebbesen

the Conqueror
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Mar 3, 2001
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Manpower Maths Unplugged: Now 1.06 compliant

  1. Province Manpower Factors UPDATED
  2. Province Manpower Equation
  3. Conclusions
  4. Total Manpower UPDATED
  5. Army support limit NEW!
  6. Manpower Myths Laid to Rest
  7. Manpower and Colonisation
  8. Manpower and Conquest
  9. Province Manpower Tables UPDATED

Peter Ebbesen.

1 Province Manpower Factors

First let us consider the manpower of individual provinces. This figure can easily be obtained by reading the ledger (13:Taxation & Production Breakdown and 31:Non-Colonial Provinces), though all figures are rounded up to one decimal precision, or inspecting a given province, in which case the number is rounded down to integer precision.

Given the findings below (that the manpower fraction is always 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, or 0) this means that the ledger will always read a whole number plus a decimal which is one of {0, 3, 5, 8}, such as 1.3, 0.5, 2.8 and so on and so forth.

1.1 Capital location

The provinces in which you can potentially receive manpower are based on the location of your capital. There are two rules determinining which provinces you are eligible to gain manpower from:

  1. You will gain manpower from any provinces you own on the same continent as your capital, the continent of a province being defined in province.csv
  2. You will also gain manpower from any province you own with road access to your capital

In other words, capital location is paramount in determining province eligibility for receiving manpower.

Rule: A nation is eligible to receive manpower from any province which is either on the same continent as its capital or has road access to its capital

Continents by regions
  • Africa (East Africa, North Africa, and West Africa)
  • America (Central America, North America, South America, and the Carribean)
  • Asia (Central Asia, China, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Japan, Middle East, and Siberia)
  • Europe (British Isles, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, HRE, Scandinavia, Southern Europe, and Western Europe)
  • Oceania (Australia, Pacific)
In other words, the border between Europe and Asia runs (North to South, European provinces): Orenburg - Astrakhan - Daghestan - Kurdistan - Sivas - Adana.

Thus, if your capital is on an island in Europe, like England, Scotland, Eire, Wales, Corsica, Sardinia, Cyprus, the Knights, or any of that crowd, you won't really gain any manpower from colonisation - except for the Azores and the Canary Islands, which count as European. Don't count on Greenland, since it is lumped as part of the American continent.

Anyways, more about colonisation and manpower in part 7.

When talking about province manpower from now on, it is assumed that the province is one that the country is eligible to receive manpower from. Otherwise it is a flat zero.

1.2 Basic manpower

Every province has a basic manpower defined in province.csv (fifth number before the type of good produced in the province). It is a positive integer (except for Terra Incognita which has manpower 0), and is the base for all that is to follow. This figure cannot be found anywhere but province.csv, since it isn't listed in any ledger or shown when inspecting a province, which is a shame. I'll denote the basic manpower mBase.

1.3 Events

The basic manpower is modified during play by the random events 'new land claimed', 'agricultural revolution', and 'establish cantonments' (1.06), and a very few nation specific events. I'll denote the modifier by events mEvent.

Note that once a province has had its manpower modified by an event, you can read the modified manpower mBase + mEvent in the save file as part of the province information.

1.4 Population size

The population of a province has an enormous impact on the available manpower applying a percentage modifier to mBase + mEvent. I'll denote this percentage pPop. The modifiers are as follows:

[font=courier new][color=white]
[color=skyblue]Population       pPop[/color]
     0-   699    0.00
   700- 20000    0.25
 20001-200000    0.50
200001-999999    0.75

1.5 Culture

Manpower is also affected by culture. Arguably, culture is the single strongest component in determining the manpower of a province - at least if the province in question has the wrong culture :D Following multiplying the base manpower by the population percentage modifier, one should add the culture modifier. I'll denote the culture modifier mCul, and it is defined as follows:

[font=courier new][color=white]
[color=skyblue]Culture            mCul[/color]
State culture       0.0
Non-state culture  -2.0

1.6 Conscription center

A conscription center in a province usually has a huge impact on the manpower of a province. Experiments reveal that the province manpower modified for events, population, and culture is subjected to a simple linear transformation in provinces with a conscription center, irrespective of whether it is one of your core provinces or not. If the transformation returns a negative number, which is possible in non-state cultured provinces with low population and/or base manpower, a result of zero manpower is substituted. In other words, a conscription center is not guaranteed to increase your manpower.

State cultured provinces with a high population, high base manpower, and a conscription center can supply immense amounts of manpower.

Note that the effects of conscription centers changed from 1.05 to 1.06. In 1.05, you could only build conscription centers in your core provinces, in 1.06 you can build them in any province in which you are eligible to gain manpower. To counterbalance this, each individual conscription center is less effective in 1.06

[font=courier new][color=white]
[color=skyblue]                ---1.05---  ---1.06---
Conscription    pCon  mCon  pCon  mCon[/color]
Present          3.0   1.0 | 2.0   0.0
Not present      1.0   0.0 | 1.0   0.0

E.g. Assume a province has manpower modified by population and culture of 2. In 1.05, a conscription center would improve the manpower to 7 (3*2.0+1.0), in 1.06 it would only improve manpower to 4.0 (2*2.0+0.0).

1.7 Nationalism

As of 1.05 manpower is also reduced by nationalism. Experiments show that nationalism reduces manpower by a constant, which I will denote mNat.

[font=courier new][color=white]
[color=skyblue]Nationalism       mNat[/color]
No nationalism     0.0
0-10 years left    0.0
10-20 years left   0.0
20-30 years left  -1.0

2 The Province Manpower Equation

To summarize. The following factors affect the manpower of a province:
  • mBase, the base manpower, from province.csv
  • mEvent, modifications from events, additive
  • pPop, a multiplier dependant on population size
  • mCul, a modifier based on culture
  • pCon and mCon, two modifiers depending on the existence of a consciption center
  • mNat, a modifier for nationalism

Thus, and without further ado, I present the province manpower equation:

manpower = pCon * ((mBase + mEvent) * pPop) + mCul) + mCon + mNat

If the calculated manpower is negative due to non-state-culture, a low mBase + mEvent, or nationalism or whatever, it is set to zero.

As is clear to the observant reader the only fractions possible are fourths, since pCon, mBase, mCul, and mCon are natural numbers, and pPop is either 0, 1/4, 2/4, or 3/4.

The manpower equation has been applied to the most typical situations, and the results can be found in the tables in section 8.

3 Conclusions

A state cultured province for which a nation is eligible to receive manpower will always supply some manpower.

However, a non-state cultured province will only add to your manpower from a certain base manpower modified by events,
[font=courier new][color=white]
[U]Without conscription center:[/U]

   700- 20000: mBase + mEvent >= 9
 20001-200000: mBase + mEvent >= 5
200001-999999: mBase + mEvent >= 3

[U]With a conscription center:[/U]
                               -1.05-  -1.06-
   700- 20000: mBase + mEvent >=  7       9 
 20001-200000: mBase + mEvent >=  4       5
200001-999999: mBase + mEvent >=  3       3


Given that outside Europe manpower greater than 3 or 4 is uncommon, it is no wonder that colonising is the way to prosperity for Asian minors with quaint few-province cultures - though there are exceptions. Isfahan with a Centre of Trade, high population, and a base manpower of 10, is a prize for anyone. With a conscription center, Isfahan can supply Persia with a whopping 23.5 manpower (1.05) or 15.0 (1.06) once it passes 200,000 people, and without it is still worth 5.5 manpower to total strangers that can draw manpower from the Middle East.)

4 Total Manpower

The manpower and the sum of province manpower can be read in the ledger. Let us denote the sum of province manpowers the total manpower.

4.1 Manpower gain per year

According to the documentation and tooltips (hovering over the manpower figure in the main display), the total manpower should be modified by the domestic policy quality setting to give the manpower gain per year. However, it does not.

BUG: Quality dp-slider does not affect annual manpower/year

Thus the number of recruits added to the manpower pool per year is the total manpower unmodified by the quality setting. Quantity or quality, there are the same number of bodies ready to be recruited each year.

4.2 Manpower pool

The size of the manpower pool is twice the size of the total manpower modified by the quality domestic policy setting. and is also added directly to your support limit (beyond your support limit, seen on the army screen, you pay extra for support of your troops). No matter how small your manpower is, however, you will gain at least 1,000 men for your manpower pool per month if the manpower pool isn't full. Thus no matter how small your nation is, you'll be capable of recruiting at least 12,000 soldiers per year, assuming you remember to recruit the soldiers before the pool is full.

In effect, full quantity allows you to recruit three times as many soldiers per year as full quality, and at a reduced price for infantry and cavalry, making quantity attractive both for nations with high manpower who can afford to send neverending waves of soldiers at their enemies and for smaller nations that desperately need manpower to replenish losses.

5 Army Support Limit

The army support limit is found by adding the following factors.
  • +5,000 Base
  • +1,000 for each 5d monthly income in economic resources
  • +10,000 for each conscription center
  • +5,000 for each weapons manufactory
  • +1,000 for each point of manpower pool depth
  • +1,000 for each 100 units of grain produced
  • +1,000 for each 100 units of grain traded
To see the grain production and trade, choose any province that trades grain and click on the grain icon. E.g. if 633 units of grain are produced, grain production provides 6,000 to the support limit.

6 Manpower Myths Laid to Rest

Experiments have now shown, that

  1. There is no manpower bonus for the capital province.
  2. Religion has no influence on manpower whatsoever (except that converting pagans gives them your state culture, but that is a different matter)
  3. Core/noncore status has no effect on manpower
  4. Manpower is independent of difficulty level and aggressiveness setting
  5. The location of a province being on the same continent as the capital is a sufficient, but not necessary, condition for supplying manpower

7. Manpower and Colonisation

Most colonisable provinces supply the bare minimum manpower of 1. Since a province of 7,00 men supplies as much manpower as one of 19,999 one should definitely go for many small provinces rather than keep building up a few, with the possible exception of a CoT likely or enormously wealthy province like Jakarta. (Throwing excess settlers at Jakarta as well as a manufactory and a mayor will yield one very high income province a century or two down the road - but shouldn't be done at the expense of colonising virgin territory.)

For European nations colonisation supplies very little manpower unless they gain road access to India or Siberia and begin colonising. That being said, there are an awful lot of Siberian provinces, and it does add up. And for 'It All Belongs to the Dark Side' Russia, there is no excuse for not colonising the corridor.

For Asian nations, gaining an early foothold in Southern India and Indonesia will do wonders for their manpower, and they can then colonise the Siberian corridor later on.

Incas and colonisation. As any Inca player will know, once you've killed off the Chimu by 1421, you've got at least seven decades of loneliness ahead of you - no neighbours, no explorers, no conquistadors, no nothing. Spend these decades colonising the two uncolonised provinces and adding settlers to your own non-gold provinces. You will want to raise the population and thus the non-gold tax and production income as soon as possible, and it will help your manpower as well in a few centuries. You can colonise up to 5,000 inhabitants and at an average 6 percent growth rate per decade, they will cross the 20,000 manpower boundary approximately 240 years later - which is very nice (by that time you should, hopefully, have colonised at least two thirds of the Americas, and you might be facing some stiff fights). The provinces near Cuzco will grow much faster, of course. Go naval and crank out those settlers - and get more explorers (vital).

The uncomplete list of colonisable provinces:

Within each region the provinces are sorted first by manpower, then alphabetically within manpower equivalence classes.
  • Africa: If you can colonise it, it is probably manpower 1.
  • The Americas: Who cares. If you're living here you should be colonising every single province from the coast inwards to keep out those pesky Europeans rather than worry about manpower. There are a large number of manpower 2 provinces in Eastern North America - from the Mississippi eastwards, and a few in Western North America, and rest of the colonisable Americas is, with a very few exceptions such as Pampas del Sur(3), all manpower 1 provinces.
  • India: Bombay(2), Cochin(2), Goa(2), Kerala(2), Palakimedi(2), Pondicherry(2)
  • Indonesia: Bandung(3), Jakarta(3), Bandjarmasin(2), Flores(2), Jambi(2), Mindanao(2), Palawan(2), Palembang(2), Salabanka(2), Sarawak(2), Selatan(2), Sulawesi(2), Sumbawa(2)
  • Siberia: Surely you are joking. Manpower 1 across the board

8. Manpower and Conquest

These target lists assume that you fulfill the requirements for receiving manpower from a province.

Very High priority targets:
  • Any state cultured province
  • Any province with a conscription center and positive manpower
High priority targets, sorted by location:
  • England, specifically Anglia(8)
  • Russia, specifically Moscow(12 !), Novgorod(8), Vladimir(8), Nizhgorod(6), and a boatload of five manpower provinces
  • Southern and Western Europe - more high manpower provinces than you can shake a stick at. Especially in Italy, France, and Germany
  • Persia, specifically Isfahan(10), Tabaristan(10), Baluchistan(5), Fars(5), Hamadan(5), Hormouz(5), Mekran(5), Tabriz(5). Note to the various hordes: Move south to gain manpower :D
  • India, specifically Hyderabad(6), Maharashtra(6), Mysore(6), Rajputana(6), Awadh(5), Delhi(6), Malwa(5).
  • Nippon, actually not that high base values, a single fiver and some fours, but the high population size is enough to put them on the hit list - if your capital is in Asia
  • Egypt, Alexandria(6), Delta(6), Egypt(6), Nile(6)
  • Songhai, a few five and six manpower provinces. For the truly desperate.
  • Kongo, Benin, and most importantly, Zimbabwe - if you can link up with them. Once converted they provide sizable manpower. (E.g. Zimbabwe has three manpower six provinces and several manpower two.

Medium priority targets:

Whatever remains of Europe that wasn't covered above :D

Low priority targets:

The rest of the world (*), including China, which warrants an explanation. While China has a large total manpower pool in the hands of China or Manchuria, it is of little help to foreigners since it is caused by a lot of manpower 3 and manpower 4 provinces, which will only supply manpower to foreigners when the provinces pass 200,000 population. This will happen eventually, but for a large part of the game they will supply zero manpower to a conqueror.

(*) That is, low priority with respects to manpower. Feel free to conquer the rest of the world for other reasons. Manifest destiny or megalomania comes to mind.

9 Province manpower tables

Using the equation derived above, I have made the following tables showing the results of the manpower calculations for mBase+mEvent of 1 to 10. They assume that nationalism has died down to the level than mNat=0

SC means State Culture and NSc means non-State Culture.

[font=courier new][color=white]
[U]Population 700-20000:[/U]

[color=skyblue]              -1.05- -1.06-         -1.05- -1.06-
mB+mE | SC    SC/Con SC/Con | NSC  NSc/Con NSc/Con[/color]
  1   | 0.25   1.75   0.50  | 0.00   0.00   0.00
  2   | 0.50   2.50   1.00  | 0.00   0.00   0.00
  3   | 0.75   3.25   1.50  | 0.00   0.00   0.00
  4   | 1.00   4.00   2.00  | 0.00   0.00   0.00
  5   | 1.25   4.75   2.50  | 0.00   0.00   0.00
  6   | 1.50   5.50   3.00  | 0.00   0.00   0.00
  7   | 1.75   6.25   3.50  | 0.00   0.25   0.00
  8   | 2.00   7.00   4.00  | 0.00   1.00   0.00
  9   | 2.25   7.75   4.50  | 0.25   1.75   0.50
 10   | 2.50   8.50   5.00  | 0.50   2.50   1.00

[U]Population 20001-200000:[/U]

[color=skyblue]              -1.05- -1.06-         -1.05- -1.06-
mB+mE | SC    SC/Con SC/Con | NSC  NSc/Con NSc/Con[/color]
  1   | 0.50   2.50   1.00  |  0.00   0.00   0.00
  2   | 1.00   4.00   2.00  |  0.00   0.00   0.00
  3   | 1.50   5.50   3.00  |  0.00   0.00   0.00
  4   | 2.00   7.00   4.00  |  0.00   1.00   0.00
  5   | 2.50   8.50   5.00  |  0.50   2.50   1.00
  6   | 3.00  10.00   6.00  |  1.00   4.00   2.00
  7   | 3.50  11.50   7.00  |  1.50   5.50   3.00
  8   | 4.00  13.00   8.00  |  2.00   7.00   4.00
  9   | 4.50  14.50   9.00  |  2.50   8.50   5.00
 10   | 5.00  16.00  10.00  |  3.00  10.00   6.00

[U]Population 200001-999999:[/U]

[color=skyblue]              -1.05- -1.06-         -1.05- -1.06-
mB+mE | SC    SC/Con SC/Con | NSC  NSc/Con NSc/Con[/color]
  1   | 0.75   3.25   1.50  |  0.00   0.00   0.00
  2   | 1.50   5.50   3.00  |  0.00   0.00   0.00
  3   | 2.25   7.75   4.50  |  0.25   1.75   0.50
  4   | 3.00  10.00   6.00  |  1.00   4.00   2.00
  5   | 3.75  12.25   7.50  |  1.75   6.25   3.50
  6   | 4.50  14.50   9.00  |  2.50   8.50   5.00
  7   | 5.25  16.75  10.50  |  3.25  10.75   6.50
  8   | 6.00  19.00  12.00  |  4.00  13.00   8.00
  9   | 6.75  21.25  13.50  |  4.75  15.25   9.50
 10   | 7.50  23.50  15.00  |  5.50  17.50  11.00
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