Hive Primus volumes

timdp

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Was thinking about how small (in area) the Underhive is. Scaling from the illustration in the original rulebook, the Underhive varies from 6 miles (at the top) to 8 miles (at the bottom) in diameter. This is marginally larger than the city of San Francisco (7 miles square) and seems really small for the vastness portrayed in the background and novels. From the center of the Underhive its only four miles to any other Underhive location (not counting vertical travel). The Underhive is about 1.25 miles (6600') deep, so there will be some distance added for vertical travel, but its still going to be less than a days walk from any point in the Underhive to any other point in the Underhive. Seems a bit small...

A side effect of looking at the size of Hive Primus ended up being the calculation of various volumes of the hive and wondering how many billions of people could live in a hive...
Underhive: 303 cubic miles
Hive City: 374 cubic miles
Noble Houses: 38.3 cubic miles
Imperial House: 3.3 cubic miles
Total: about 643 cubic miles

A discussion of living space for 10 billion:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=233922


edit: corrected Hive City volume
 

The Castle

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that is a lot more thought than i've ever put into anything. that said, very interesting numbers indeed.
 
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nooker

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Going back to the source material (Confrontation), I think they are working off the original specs for hives. Hive Primus is the derivative of The Palatine which is at lest 30 miles across. It is also part of a hive cluster that is at least 200 miles across, with a good chance there is an Underhive under all of it or at least a series of connected Underhives. Given that, the grand sounding aspects of the stories make sense.
 
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timdp

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Went back and read the old WDs and yes, that makes a LOT more sense.

I also like the old fluff that each hive had more than one major spire. Visually much cooler than a single spire...

I wonder if my KPT Bryce program will still work with my current OS...
 

Ross

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It's good to see I'm not the only one that wonders about this sort of thing! I obsessed about this same problem for about a week. ???

Do you know if that Confrontation stuff is available online anywhere? it's good to see I'm not the only one that wonders about this sort of thing! Everything I'm about to say could be contradicting the source material. I'd love to get a read of it but those White Dwarfs are probably older than me!

Looking at the Planetary Empires Hive City tile http://goo.gl/sc5J2 it would seem that at least some people in GW feel the same about the multiple spires thing.

So tried to work out the actual space inside one the spires, or to be more precise, inside one of the domes, (I wanted to see if I could justify flyers) and I came to the same conclusion as yourself, namely that the illustration of the spire in the rulebook is waaaay smaller than the background suggests.

Before I dive into this, I have a data sheet with 3D models that I made that do a far better job of explaining what I'm about to say. PM me your email address and I'll send you a copy. It's too big to attach to this post.

My first problem was figuring out exactly how a structure like a spire could support itself. Your figure of 643 cubic miles, I assume, is just the external wall with empty space inside it, but a structure like that could never support itself. The highest we can build at the moment is half a mile (the Burj Khalifa), and a spire is supposed to be 10 miles high! It got me thinking that a hive city, like pretty much everything else in the Imperium, was originally built from super technologically advanced STC data, and that structure now has had lots of extra stuff added on top of it over the millennia by the Imperium (things like the exterior wall), so much so that it doesn't really resemble the original structure at all anymore. This is the angle I started looking at 'domes' from. The way I see it is that all these domes rest on top of each other in a type of bee-hive-pyramid type thing, with all these connected supports maintaining the structural integrity of the hive, like a big molecular model. Now in the case of a bee-hive, hexagonal prisms work fine in two dimensions, but when you try and expand them into a cone or pyramid shape it falls apart. That got me looking at regular polyhedrons, and which ones would stack the best and provide the most structure, while still maintaining the concept of a 'dome'. I settled on icosahedrons (20-sided, like a D20) because (from what I could tell) they fit the most snugly together. I decided these were roughly a mile high (to make my maths easier) and that they would stack on top of each other in the shape of a regular tetrahedron (4-sided pyramid, like a D4). On top of this basic shape the Imperium would have been able to build all their extra bits and pieces, like the exterior wall, the top of the spire, things like that.

So I worked out that there'd be 120 of these icosahedrons in an STC pattern Hive City, and each of these would have a midradius of 0.5 miles, giving them a volume of 0.514 cubic miles each, for a total space of 61.68 cubic miles. Now my calculations don't take into account the top 5 miles of the spire (it becomes too thin at this point to continue the tetrahedron shape), or the space in between the individual domes, or the space between the outside domes and the exterior wall, which could double that figure again. This is certainly a lot smaller than your figure of 643 cubic miles and because we've no way of knowing how exactly a hive is built, the actual usable space inside a single spire could be any number between our two, or any other number for that matter.

I figured that the living conditions were probably pretty cramped in moat areas of the hive, certainly in the Hive City and the Underhive at least. For my domes, I decided that the top half (half a mile high) would have all the housing/factories/space ports or whatever else that particular dome was dedicated to, and this would be separated by a 'ground level' floor from the bottom half, which would contain all the sewers, power infrastructure, transport tunnels, ventilation etc. I based my population density on Kowloon Walled City, which was the most densely populated place on Earth while it still stood. I estimated that number to be 270,750 people per sq mile per floor. Conveniently the Burj Khalifa, as I said before, is half a mile high and has 209 floors. This makes 56,586,750 people per half dome (if it's all taken up by accommodation and services) x 120 = 6.7 billion inhabitants. When you take out space for factories and space ports and the like, and add in the space made available by the extra space I didn't account for, you're still looking at population figures in the 5+ billion per spire range.

I could go on but I realise this is a bit of an essay already. Like I said though, I can send you a PDF of some 3D models which explain what I'm talking about a lot better.
 
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nooker

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I think that you have thought about this waaaaay more than anyone else, including the developers. It is fascinating though. I'd like to see the images that you're talking about.
 
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Ross

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Haha yeah... I think more of it is in my head that is written down on paper, so there's not a whole lot to look at, but I emailed you the PDF plus a few links that inspired me as I was coming up with it.

I hadn't really thought about it at all until GW released that Stormtalon. I thought it would make a sweet Enforcer helicopter type thing, but I'd previously always thought of the Underhive as lots of tight walkways and low roofs. This was really an exercise in being able to justify how/if a flyer could move around inside a hive. Turns out it can, according to me anyway ;D
 
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nooker

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You should pick up the books. They're available as omnibuses over at the Black Library. I got them all for myself & right now shipping is free. They're nice books.

Of course Kardikus could have read about flyers in the Enforcer Shira Calpurnia books which also look very good.
 
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nooker

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Other hive related fiction available at the black library:
  • Bloodspire: Blood Angels attack a hive. Only problem, way too short! Only 30 min.
  • Hive of the Dead: Fun Choose-Your-Own-Adventure type book about a zombie outbreak in a hive.
  • Army of One: A short story that takes place in a hive during the Horus Heresy.

It'll be interesting to see what you do with the new info.

nooker
 
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Kardikus

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Hmmm may have to purchase that hive of the dead and the novels iv read are Survival Instinct, Flesh works and the one with massive zombie outbreak cant remember the name also read the short stories and now i come to think of it i remember it might have been in a battlefleet gothic novel i read about arbite flyers which is slightly different but i cant see any problem with enforcer flyers.
 

nooker

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Well, I can certainly recommend Hive of the Dead. I really feel I've gotten my 20 American dollars out of it.

I've read Survival Instinct and Salvation and I'm reading Space Marine which starts in the Underhive of Confrontation. I really liked Salvation. The opening scenes with the deletion team were quite well done and I liked the overall story.

Arbites and Enforcers are the same. Arbites is the old name and Enforcers is the new name. I like Arbites better.
 
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timdp

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nooker said:
Arbites and Enforcers are the same. Arbites is the old name and Enforcers is the new name. I like Arbites better.

Pretty sure that Enforcers were added to the background as the "local" police force as opposed to the Arbites which are "Imperial" police forces (national/federal, FBI in the case of the USA) charged with enforcing Imperial law (planetary tithes, rooting out psykers, stealer cults etc. Adding the enforcers allows the Arbites to not get drawn into every petty underhive squabble.

The initial article on enforcers says that they are equipped similarly to the Necromunda Arbites indicating that they exist alongside the Arbites and do not replace them.

Tim
 
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Ross

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nooker said:
Arbites and Enforcers are the same. Arbites is the old name and Enforcers is the new name. I like Arbites better.

Yes and no. Jes Goodwin's original idea for the Adeptus Arbites was pretty much a rip off, or at least his take, of 2000AD's Judge Dredd, right down to the costumes. Heck, they were even called Judges. (I'm totally cool with all that mind you because Judge Dredd is awesome!) In order to distance themselves from the 2000AD's IP, they later decided that the Adeptus Arbites was more concerned with upholding and enforcing Imperial law on a galaxy-wide level, but took no part in lawmaking below planet level. When they came back to Necromunda, they created the Enforcers as a way to get back the judge, jury and executioner style lawman of the original Arbites, but at the same time allowing themselves to create some distance from the original Judge Dredd influences.
 
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timdp

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rossbrimstone said:
Looking at the Planetary Empires Hive City tile http://goo.gl/sc5J2 it would seem that at least some people in GW feel the same about the multiple spires thing.

Good point!

My first problem was figuring out exactly how a structure like a spire could support itself. Your figure of 643 cubic miles, I assume, is just the external wall with empty space inside it, but a structure like that could never support itself.

Correct, just figured internal volume.

As much as I love icosahedrons (and Buckminster Fuller), I was thinking that the domes would be stacked, overlapping hemispheres in a 3D honeycomb pattern with the supporting structure centered between the lower domes. This does not work perfectly as the domes are said to be built in different sizes with a smaller dome being a mile in diameter.

Hivedomes1.jpg


From the fluff it appears that the domes grew incrementally over millennia starting with a single or just a few domes. Later domes were built on top of the first ones, so each dome would need it its own integral support as it was built.
 
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Ross

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Yeah I did come at it from your direction initially, where it was just actual domes sitting on top of one another but I felt there was a lot of wasted space, and that they weren't structurally sound. There are really only three points of contact for the base of each dome; where the outside edge touches the apex of the three domes that it rests on. Also there's no central support, so I'd imagine the floor caving in.

That led me to the icosahedrons. I basically took the dome idea and expanded it into spheres resting on each other instead, like pool/snooker balls in a triangle. I then tried to find the best shape that would provide the most contact points on the outside edges/faces and also the least wasted space in between the shapes. That's when I stumbled upon Fuller's geodesic domes, which provide great structure for one dome, but not much for multiple domes resting on top of one another. I had to reduce the number of faces, which brought me to the icosahedrons.

Now I'm no structural engineer, so all that could be nonsense, but it sounded good to me! As it turns out, that's not at all how a hive is built, according to Confrontation, so I'm going to go back to the drawing board tomorrow and see what I can come up with.
 

timdp

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rossbrimstone said:
Yeah I did come at it from your direction initially, where it was just actual domes sitting on top of one another but I felt there was a lot of wasted space, and that they weren't structurally sound. There are really only three points of contact for the base of each dome; where the outside edge touches the apex of the three domes that it rests on. Also there's no central support, so I'd imagine the floor caving in.

The gray areas in the cross section would be the structural support structure for each dome, serving to transfer the loads away from the tops of the lower domes, as well as housing the utilities infrastructure, factory space and probably some low rent housing as well. From my reading is seems that the domes are not directly connected (tunnels from dome to dome), so that would add additional space for structural support.
 

Ross

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Fair enough. That's kind of the same direction I came from, where the top half of dome (I can't be bothered typing out icosahedron every time any more!) is where the factories, hab block etc. are, and the bottom half is where the tunnels, trains, ventilation, sewers, electric cables, and all that other infrastucture goes.