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Old 10-07-2010, 12:13 AM
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Default Poland population and farming model

Hi all,

As mentioned elsewhere, I have been working for a while on a Poland population model. I was also doing this to get a handle on farming needs (specifically land), to use this to help me create a credible view of the world the PCs would be venturing within. So this is what I came up with.

I started with the 2006 populations by voivoideship, powiat, and gmina.
Wikipedia: "The territory of Poland is divided into voivodeships (provinces); these are further divided into powiats (counties), and these in turn are divided into gminas (communes or municipalities)."
Although the current division of Poland in this way was done in 1999 and would probably not have been done in the T2K timeline, for the sake of finding current information this seemed to be the easiest way to go about it.

After getting the 2006 pop data, I had to pick some baselines for the T2K world. As some canon sources disagree on how many people are where, I used my main source to be the East Europe Sourcebook (#2017). This listed (on page 18):
"Before the war, Poland's population was 38,300,000."
"... the country barely boasts 9 million people now."
The first figure was close enough to the number I got for Poland's population in 2006 to ignore the difference there, and so I then used 9/38.3 = 23% as my baseline for population effects.
Page 18 also listed the populations of several cities: from Warsaw with 152,000 to Czestochowa with 18,000. I used these as some starting points, and also assumed that no other city not on this list was over 18,000 population (on the basis that it would have otherwise been included in this list).

From there, I started generating post-war populations down to the gmina (commune) level. I used pre/post-war ratios and population densities per square km as a guide, and randomly generated the last three digits of each population (so I didn't have to decide the minute stuff). Then I matched up all the figures to make sure the totals came out right. That finished the population run.


For farming, I made some assumptions, based on previous ideas I had seen (Grae's & Antenna's). The basic assumptions and model were:
(1) It takes 1 square km to feed 100 people. I got this rough figure from a UN report (I think it was) that said about 1.2 acres = 0.5 ha is needed to sustain 1 person - and then I doubled it as a margin of safety factor.
(2) 1 person producing food can support 2 people. Note that not all these people are farmers, but also bakers, grocers, butchers, ploughing teams, fertilizer merchants, etc.... I figured 50% of the food production people are actual farmers.
(3) Out of every 8 people, 6 are work-capable, 1 is partially capable (young teens, elderly, etc.) and 1 is incapable (very young or old, invalids, etc.). This produced "surplus population" and "partial worker" figures that could be used for other work.

Points (1) and (2) above I made alterable in the file, so that an area (e.g., the Margravate of Silesia) could have greater or lesser efficiency in these two areas. But for the base file, I made everything the same.

A secondary assumption here is that not all of the assigned farmland is actually in crops, etc. Some could be forage land, some fallow, some only for grazing, etc. However, it just gave an idea of what sort of area was being utilized. In terms of cropland, I figure about 1/3 of the assigned land would be in crops at any one time.

Finally, from all this, I generated the surplus population and partial worker figures. This I intend to use as a starting point for generating communities. Of course there is now way I intend to detail all of Poland, or even all of a single voivodeship, but even just the numbers as presented are giving me ideas. More on that below, with an example.

(The file below I made using OpenOffice Calc, converted to XLS. It should be readable in Excel.... if not, let me know.)

Oh, PS: the yellow cells in the file are the ones that are editable to affect the final calculations. Everything not a yellow cell on the right side (last 3 columns) is a calculation based on the yellow cells.

*** updated file posted below in post #10

*** updated file again, posted below in post #12
Attached Files
File Type: zip Poland population and farming 2010.10.07.zip (353.3 KB, 102 views)

Last edited by atiff; 11-21-2010 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:31 AM
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Example 1:

Sieradz City (Sieradz County, Lodz Voivodeship)
2006 pop: 44,045
T2K pop: 7,166
Pop ratio: 0.16 = 16% of "pre-war" population
Area in square km: 51
Pop density (people / sq km): 140
Farming factor: 0.500 = 0.5 food producers to make 1 person's food
Farmland factor: 100 = 100 people fed per sq km of farmed land
Area farmed (sq km): 15
Food production surplus: -5,666 (i.e., a shortfall)
Surplus population: 4,625 (these are the people potentially employed outside of food production)
Partial workers: 896 (could be used to partially offset people in other areas, etc.)

Based on this, Sieradz has a huge food shortage, and so will be needing to import food from other places (likely the gminas nearby). They have a relatively large "surplus population" that can be used to produce goods or light industry, or as a militia, etc. (assuming they can be fed). Alternatively, this city could be seen as unsustainable, and population could be redistributed to another area by the GM.


Example 2:

Gmina Sieradz (Sieradz County, Lodz Voivodeship)
2006 pop: 9,788
T2K pop: 2,573
Pop ratio: 0.26
Area in square km: 182
Pop density (people / sq km): 14
Farming factor: 0.500
Farmland factor: 100
Area farmed (sq km): 33
Food production surplus: 727
Surplus population: 280
Partial workers: 322

Gmina Sieradz has a food surplus and it is likely that this is being traded with Sieradz city for goods. The "surplus population" is quite low, and from this pool would need to come the dedicated militia to protect the area. As only around 1/4 of the pre-war population is present in the gmina, it is possible that some villages are abandoned, and the populace concentrated at the best farming land in the area. Only 33 of 182 sq km of land is being farmed, so as GM, a choice could be made to move some people from Sieradz City to the gmina to produce more food. Alternatively, some of the "partial workers" could be employed in the farms (at perhaps 50% effectiveness) to produce more food, etc. However, this could perhaps have other consequences (lack of schooling of young teens leads to lack of other skills down the track?).

Potential storyline options here include PCs being hired as food caravan guards between these locations, getting involved in a food riot, the local council trying to find ways to help improve the area's farming efficiency (machinery, stealing experts from elsewhere, etc.), or the arrival of a military unit tipping the already-bad situation even worse (with attendant violent consequences).

Last edited by atiff; 10-07-2010 at 12:32 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:23 AM
Dog 6 Dog 6 is offline
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Very good work !
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:26 AM
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Wow Atiff. Impressive. Nice job.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:36 PM
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What Targan said. Wow.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:27 PM
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Something tells me that when Atiff posts from now on, people listen
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:58 PM
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Thanks guys.

I found a bug in one of the formulae; have fixed, and will post the updated file later (on another computer right now). Basically, it didn't recalculate the numbers properly if you changed the efficiency of the farming from '100'.

My next project is detailing Kepno County (south of Kalisz) using some of these numbers as a baseline. I want to do this for Krakow and environs in the longer run, but want to tackle something smaller first
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:02 PM
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Thats some awesome detail! One thought, your assuming that all the area in Poland is free to farm no? I doubt that Soviet Tank Division is going to allow your city to farm and keep the food...

Just trying to add another layer of realism to this FINE FINE WORK!
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalos72 View Post
Thats some awesome detail! One thought, your assuming that all the area in Poland is free to farm no? I doubt that Soviet Tank Division is going to allow your city to farm and keep the food...
Yes, that is part of it too. This "first pass" was just working out the civilian population's ability to feed itself. The second step is working out how troops are supported. E.g., the area around Kalisz has a food shortage, although not a bad one (perhaps 5% short of 'OK'). But then you add in the Polish TD and Soviet MRD that attacked the 5th Division, and you can see why they might end up fighting each other over food that is there (as there isn't enough to go around) once they have reorganized from the attack.

One thing I like about the outcome of this model is that, by and large, it matches the idea that the greater part of Poland is starving. IMO, this helps to create conflict and helps lead to the breakdown of the nation and the military commands. I.e., I think the basic model matches the basic storyline at a large scale. But within this, there are regions and communities that are in very different situations, and this helps create more story ideas at the smaller scale.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:30 PM
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Default Updated file

Latest file version

Updated a dodgy formula, and added in "number of food producers" column.

Note that "number of food producers" is only the number that are producing and preparing local food. You can see in bigger population centers that not very many people are "producing food". Imported food probably also needs "produced" by people in the location (e.g., grocers, bakers, etc.) unless you assume the "food producers" from the source location are traveling and selling the food themselves. (I.e., this is one point where the model breaks down a bit.)
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File Type: zip Poland population and farming 2010.10.09.zip (392.5 KB, 49 views)
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:00 AM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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Nice...
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:46 AM
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Default Updated again

Hi,

Updated this again, if anyone is interested. Things changed include:

- Added a "max farming area" column for each location down to gmina level. I built this by hand/eyeball, using Google Maps satellite pics and assuming about 80% of the non-forested land is farmable. There will be things that are "off" in doing this, but it's a reasonable baseline, I think.

- Added an "imported food producers" column, showing a number of people assumed to be working within a city/town to help import and distribute food within a location (in addition to the producers who actually make it at the source).

- Roughly updated all the population figures in the yellow columns to show the "maximum population" needed to farm that location. In many rural places, this is larger than the pre-war population (manual labor replacing machines).

From this, I intend to down-grade these population numbers to reflect the specific setting I am working on. But I thought I would provide this as the "max population" file for others, if they are interested, so they can play with it on their own.

Any comments, let me know!
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File Type: zip Poland population and farming 2010.11.20 XLS.zip (431.6 KB, 74 views)
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atiff View Post
...the relative lack of children; both the old and the young were the ones least likely to survive the harsh years that have followed the nuclear exchanges. And while a parent can survive beyond the death of a child, the reverse situation has not generally been true.
The above is taken from atiff's rpol game.
Reading it I found it rather depressing if entirely true. A very sad state of affairs and something every last person is likely to have witnessed countless times since the outbreak of the war, particularly since the nukes dropped.

I think we all tend to forget that it's the children who suffer the most, the children who end up doing the majority of the dying in a total war.

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Old 08-10-2012, 06:57 PM
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Default farming force multiplier, or, tactical popcorn

The text of Ruins of Warsaw mentions scythes as farm implements--that's a fairly labor-intensive method of harvesting the grain.
Anybody have an idea how difficult it would be to cobble together a couple of McCormick Reapers to bring the Warsaw harvest in while allowing most of the hand labor to go to shoring up the fortifications? And about how many would be needed to bring their harvest in within 2-3 days? Nothing really fancy, don't need the machines to thresh or bind the stalks just to cut them down. If the city's jackleg mechanics have been scrounging the debris for useable metal, I am sure they would have come across a few bicycle frames by now. Or perhaps Adam Rataj has some part of a consignment of bikes on board the barge from the Krakow industries. The grumpy genius ship's mechanic could use the Krolowa's machine shop to transform the bikes into harvester frames. Research at the New/Old City library could provide essential details as to how to make the frames strong enough to function correctly. Disinformation can be spread that the frames are designed to help people take their belongings out of the city when the Baron("who will surely be the victor") assaults the city. Lots of adventure potential here.

I've been toying with the idea of trying to harvest just the tops of the cereal stalks, leaving the rest of the plant upright. When the Baron's forces come a-marchin' through the rye, so to speak, lob some WP rounds into the dry stalks, creating a ring of fire around the units. Troops, by the numbers, _PANIC_!!!!!! You could probably leave the corn on the stalks--it would cook the ears and provide a meal post battle. THen again, marching through a cornfield with lots of downed ears underfoot is like dancing on rolling pins (something we found out at the 135th Antietam ACW reenactment).
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Last edited by WallShadow; 08-10-2012 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:15 AM
Graebarde Graebarde is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallShadow View Post
The text of Ruins of Warsaw mentions scythes as farm implements--that's a fairly labor-intensive method of harvesting the grain.
Anybody have an idea how difficult it would be to cobble together a couple of McCormick Reapers to bring the Warsaw harvest in while allowing most of the hand labor to go to shoring up the fortifications? And about how many would be needed to bring their harvest in within 2-3 days?
Johnny come lately here. A hay mower can do the job of the reaper. Fabricate a pan of sheet metal behind the sickle head and a person with a rake pulls it off for the bundlers. Power for the mower might be a problem unless you have old horse drawn mowers which are ground driven. The typical horse mower had a five foot cut. Moving at 2 mph, walking speed for the horse pulling the mower, you cut about 1.2 acres/hour. A ten hour day, which is not all work, so figure about 80% efficiency (which is still too high problably) leaves about 1 acre/hour. Ten hours = ten acres cut. It would take a crew of one driver, one raker, and probably 3-4 bundlers at least per machine. There would be more as shockers come along gathering bundles to place in shocks (small stacks) unless the bundles are hauled right away to the barn. The grain is cut a bit on the green side to cut down shattering (grain loss), and needs to cure in the shock for several days before threshing begins. Weather plays a big part in this. But assuming field shocks are made, 2-3 shockers might be needed per machine to get the grain off the ground. So your looking at a crew of 7-9 persons to cut 10 acres/day.

You can figure the math as to how many are needed for three days work as I don't know how many acres you're talking about. I would say a typical field though is probably no more than 20 acres if it's all done by muscle power, probably smaller in the range of 5-10 acres.

In days of old one man with a scyth could cut about an acre a day so I've read. He needed a bundler or two with him, and another to shock, so there were 3-4 persons cutting an acre a day...

Hope this helps some, and not too late.
Grae
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