Interstellar Web Map TN 1948

Greg Heavy Gear Universe, RPG, Timeline 16 Comments


Here’s a little work in progress from the pages of the Heavy Gear Universe core rule book, the interstellar web map.

GregInterstellar Web Map TN 1948

Comments 16

  1. Jeremy

    This is definitely more attractive than its mid 90s predecessor. It was a good idea to ditch the colony logos. I like the extra information with the Black Talon logos and the red and blue circles. How about “underexplored” instead of “unexplored” anomalies? I am sure more than one gateship checked out TN-01 in the 1300 Earth years since its discovery.

    Is the big reveal here (vs. the Blitz timeline) the red circle around Eden? In Blitz Eden is supplying troops to the War on Terra Nova. In Shattered Peace, it is stated “The CEF has crushed Eden in its iron fist.”

  2. Jacob Yarce

    I like this new map, it is far more clear and understandable than the old ones. Besides its an awesome piece of Art.

    My only piece of concern is that this map only gives us the already known type 1 gates, that is the ones that where explored and known by the Concordat and which are part of the cannon, they do not include the later discovered (though not sure if explored) type 2 gates or the newly discovered type 3 microgates that make up so much of the efforts of the CEF to infiltrate Terra Nova undetected and by the Black Talons to infiltrate the other colonies without being detected by the CEF in turn.

    1. Post

      Interesting points!

      I think that if we introduced that much more information to the general interstellar web map that it could become overly dense and difficult to read. I could see adding other anomalies in the more specific planetary system maps.

      1. Jacob Yarce

        Hello Greg.

        I think that another option would be to create separate maps for each of the other two types of gates. Since we already have the type 1 gates mapped (Old and new maps), all that would be necessary would be to use the same planetary images and locations, but with different gate destination information and the legend that clearly states that the gates that you are presenting are type 2 or type 3.

        That way we can finally have a more clear view of the interconnections in the Heavy Gear universe and how they are exploited by the various factions (especially the type 3 microgates, which are the gates of choice for both the CEF and Terra Nova for covert insertions and pick ups)

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          Hi Jacob,
          I’ve had several discussions about these other gate types that you’re referring to. But as far as we can tell there are only two classes of Tannhauser anomalies, the large ones that require massive amounts of energy provided by gateships to be opened, and the micro-gate anomalies used by smaller shuttles like the Fury for limited strategic strikes.

          1. Jacob Yarce

            Hello Greg.

            I was reading your comment and it got me wondering on whether my information was inaccurate or I had somehow misread the passages I was taking my information from.

            Furthermore your and your group as current holders and guardians on the most detailed lore, not available to the public, would of course have more accurate details on this aspect, on which I have only been able to gather information from one clear source. That source being “HG Spaceship Compendium: Ships of Terra Nova” which is the only one that has a clear passage on the history of the Gate Drive, the singularities that allow for space travel and most of the vagaries of interstellar transportation in the Heavy Gear Universe.

            Now on page 11 of said book, they talk about the early days of space travel, specifically when the first Tannhauser anomalies where discovered and used and how difficult and complicated it was to do so, especially with the first generation drives designed mostly to prove the theory correct. Note that these first drives could only access the most energy intensive anomalies and where also the least capable of interstellar transportation as they where also the least precise and shortest of the anomalies.

            It wasn’t until the development of the second generation of gate drives that semi-cost-effective space travel was possible and this is where the first gateships as have been described came into being. These gateships could also access smaller anomalies that where also apparently further reaching as well as more precise. The universe of Heavy Gear would be built on these second type of anomalies. Thus you are right that there are only two type of important anomalies.

            Thus the current map shows primarily the second type of anomalies that where discovered as well as some of the first type that where the original but significantly more limited ones. The energy requirements necessary to open the type 1 the original anomalies discovered was humongous and effectively limited space exploration to gate ships and dedicated gate drones. The type 2 anomalies had significantly lower energy requirements and at the same time could be accessed with the new (for the time) second generation drives (which are the ones currently used by the great majority of gate ships, even the newer Tortoise Class gate ships of the CEF) and so the current map was eventually developed.

            The recent advancements are the microgates (or type 3) which have the lowest yet known energy requirements, but are also the hardest ones to detect (thus why both the CEF and the Black Talons use them so effectively for covert ops).

            Now the question that is important is how these new microgates relate to the known stellar map. The type 1 gates, had gynormous energy requirements and where very limited in accuracy and range. Type 2 on which the current stellar map are built, still have large energy requirements but nowhere near as high as type 1 anomalies and have significantly longer ranges and are far more accurate (or the drives are more accurate in any case).

            The type 3 or microgates have in comparison to even the type 2 anomalies, very low energy requirements and apparently even longer ranges than type 2 anomalies, as well as are far more accurate than type 2 anomalies (again maybe its the new drives) furthermore from at least one excerpt from blitz, in relations to Black Talon group 10, it appears that these new micro-anomalies are far more abundant that the type 1 or 2 and that they can access apparently unrelated systems as dictated by the above stellar map.

            So in conclusion. I admit my error, and you are of course correct, there are only 2 primary anomaly types of importance in the Heavy Gear universe. The Type 1 and 2, that relate directly to the stellar map you just recently remade and the new microgates or Type 3, which are significantly more recent and for which exist no known maps, but which apparently more easily and directly connect the Heavy Gear universe.

            In which case only one more map would be needed and that would be a map of type 3 anomalies or microgates, which will finally answer how the CEF and the Black Talons are currently playing their infiltration and counter-infiltration games and how they relate to the current interstellar map.

          2. Rhoderic

            If microgates indeed do “more easily and directly connect” the nine or ten systems of the Web Map, I would very much like to know how this will be explained without having there be literally billions of microgates in each of the systems, connecting them to literally billions of other systems as well.

            The only solution I can think of is that, due to some made-up eccentricity of spatial-temporal physics, there are extremely few star systems that have Tannhäuser gates at all, but the ones that do have them, have lots of them. Thus, one could find dozens if not hundreds of microgates connecting – for instance – Helios and the system of Eden, but not a single gate of any type in Alpha Centauri system (or Vega, or Sirius, or Tau Boötis, or 55 Cancri, or HD 178911, etc etc ad infinitum). But that could dilute the intended hard sci-fi feel of the HG universe.

            I still don’t take for granted that microgates do connect the systems more directly. Some bits of the source material may give that impression, but other bits give the conflicting impression that microgates only run parallel to the larger gates – in other words, for example, to get from Helios to the system of Atlantis, whether by microgates or the larger gates, one must do so by way of Loki.

            More than anything, I hope Arkrite will put this issue to bed by concretely defining the conditions and faculty of microgates, whatever those may be.

  3. Rhoderic

    Any chance the Black Talons will reach the other colonies between TN1948 and the beginning of the War for Terra Nova? You guys said you’re planning sourcebooks for all the colonies, after all.

    Also, Terra Nova is still described as the most populous colony, same as in the old Web Map. However, the old Life on Caprice sourcebook put the number of Gomorrans at 315 million (311 million in Gomorrah, 2 million in Bastille Alpha, and another 2 million “scattered across Caprice” – and I’m interpreting those last 2 million to be Gomorran workers and not include Liberati, though I may be wrong on that point), whereas the Terra Novan population has consistently been stated to be 250 million. It’s a piddly thing, but something should be done about that inconsistency. I don’t think it will hurt Terra Nova’s pride much, to be moved down a peg to second most populous.

    1. Jason

      Terra Nova’s going to be seeing a population explosion due to some retconning. Considering the time the colony has existed, even with the Concordat withdrawal and St. Vincent’s plague, it should be substantially larger. I’m going to be looking at some demographic material to figure out what a reasonable growth rate would be and adjust the population accordingly.

      1. Rhoderic

        This sounds like a pleasant surprise. I never fully embraced the notion of Terra Nova’s population being no larger than that of Earth in the times of Julius Caesar and Charlemagne.

      2. Jeremy

        The Heavy Gear setting creators did the demographic modeling you talk about with an assumed high birth rate (if I remember, six kids per woman or something like that) to get at the current population figures. The unknown issue (to me) is the initial population of immigrants from Earth that this growth rate is applied to. How many people would come on a ship and how many ships landed immigrants? But they put some modeling effort into the 250 million figure.

        The DP9 guys were Canadians, so that small populations in huge land areas are considered normal. The populations of California and Canada are about the same. Canada’s population is about the same as the 12th most populous state in India, Kerala. Meanwhile, Canada has the second largest land area in the world, after Russia. I don’t think it is crazy to think of Terra Nova as more like Australia or Canada than like India or China.

        My issues with demographics and geography:

        1. Terra Novan society (in the leagues) as described in the league books is quite urbanized. Therefore, the sum of each league’s city states’ populations should be a higher percentage of that league’s total population. Some of the city state are described as already quite spread out and semi-rural. Also, the political system of leagues seems to give much more emphasis to city states than to hypothetical undescribed, smaller cities in blank spots on the map. The name of the northern alliance, the Confederation of Northern City States, definitely implies that city states are the main focus of the political systems, not merely the largest in a long list of cities. Also, the smallest city states mentioned have relatively small populations (in the low hundreds of thousands), suggesting that there are few unmentioned cities of similar sizes.

        2. The ESE league book retconned the population of Strathclyde to be 6.5 million, the largest on Terra Nova. This contradicts earlier references suggesting that Valeria-Port Arthur has the higher population. It is cool to think of Strathclyde as a huge urban slum, but references to other cities as being large need to be adjusted.

        3. The land area for the Cat’s Eye Trench should be much, much smaller, to explain why there need to be huge towers for people to live in. Hong Kong has a very high population density by Earth standards but it still lacks super tall residential towers. Maybe the trench should be four times the land area of Hong Kong to have a reason for the 311 million residents to be in super tall towers?

        4. This isn’t about demographics, but in 2009 I started a DP9 forum thread about called the “Official dumbest setting element on Terra Nova”. It is about a 5285.916 km underground train line. If you delete the underground train from the setting, I will be quite happy. Here is the thread..

        1. Post

          The really interesting thing about that, is how much population growth can vary.

          Looking at past growth rates from 1950 onward and the estimated future growth rates, we could be dealing with a growth rate on a curve rather than an average growth rate. The lower the density of the population, the higher the growth rate. I think it’s worth investigating because the early growth rates could drastically increase the population over time, even with blights and plagues.

          The other thing we should look at is the carrying capacity of the different worlds.

          1. Jeremy

            Interesting link to the analysis by Gambit, Albertorius. For Greg’s ideas, I don’t think post-WWII growth rates have much to do with growth rates on Terra Nova. The post-WWII population growth rate is driven by women in very poor countries having many children (and presumably a decline in death rates) while Terra Nova has a higher standard of living. The number of children per woman decreases a lot with income. For Iraq, which is still disrupted by internal conflict, the average number of children per woman is 4.6. For neighboring Iran, which has the same traditionalist religion but is more stable, the average child per woman is 1.6.

            The world population will peak around 2100, according to UN projections. Until then, expect massive growth in sub-Saharan Africa but not much in any other continent. The population of Asia will peak in 2055.

            I am not sure land area is a concern. Without oceans, the land area on Terra Nova should be far higher than that on Earth. The leagues are presumably bigger than Earth continents, with the NLC alone being 2/3’s of a hemisphere, which is on Earth includes a lot of three oceans (Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic). One way to rationalize this is to say that there is tons and tons of empty land even in the temperate areas of the poles (like Canada and Australia).

            Having said all this, I definitely want Terra Nova to have a reasonable population. Some sort of religious fervor or frontier cultural traits could be invoked to get the birth rate up to get to the current 250 million figure or even a bit higher.

  4. Justgeo

    Looks good!
    Found two typos: In CAPRICE there is a ( : ) in the word Expeditionary, fifth line up from bottom. And in EDEN, sixth line down, the word “the” has been cut off.

    Now, what’s behind some of these anomolies??

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