[Archive] Sizes of cities and areas?


If you were to compare to a real world area/ country how big would you say the plain of zharr is?  Also the zorn uzkul.

Any ideas what sized cities you could compare the major DZ ones to?

No doubt each of us would do this for the area of the world we live in, but it might still be a useful discussion (as long as someone in the UK answers ;))

I seem to recall an estimate of the current Dwarf population around 4m if that helps, so maybe close to 1m?


If you work on the theory that the warhammer world is basically just a version of our own world I would say the plain of Zharr is about the size of Spain, Zorn Uzkul maybe slightly smaller.

Around the time of the Norman conquest England only had a population of about a million, so I think a Chaos Dwarf population of 4 million is absurdly high. Even a million is probably excessive bearing in mind that the CD are just a lost tribe of normal Dwarfs, who aren’t that prolific to start with.

You might be able to get a population of 4 million if you start factoring in Slaves and Hobgoblins.

I would guess that Zharr Naggrund is the equivalent of London, Rome or Tenochtitlan as a major Imperial centre, and as such might reasonably be expected to have a quarter of the national population. In other words maybe a quarter million CD plus however many slaves and Hobgoblins they have in there.


I had a look around.  Giladis over on what was asur.org.uk was the one who did that calculation those years ago.  As they changed the site I won’t be able to find the old thread ;(


Bear in mind this is all only the guesses of one person, but is as good as any I guess:

Summary is that Dwarf population pre war of vengeance was around 8m.  So considering this is AFTER the coming of chaos, and after the CD left, we could probably add at least 2.5m.  So if we said the starting figure for Dwarfs was around 10,600,000, and 6% of them came into the Dark Lands (using the amount that turned into Dark Elves and survived sundering as the only possible comparison I can get even guessed numbers for).  That gives the starting base number around 630,000 for the CD to build cities around.  

Hypothetically if the CD were decimated as much as the Dwarfs were (using that guy’s numbers), that would give a current CD population of around 81,000…  Then again, the Dwarfs fought the war of vengeance and the goblin wars, and their empire is spread in such a way as to make a safe escape very hard.  The CD on the other hand have very few cities, and as far as we know there is little that could cause such decimation over successive millennia.

Beyond that there is very little to work on.

If we stuck to the 81,000 figure, and gave a hypothetical 50 slaves for each CD, that would give a total population of around 4m.  I guess the slaves would have to live somewhere, but there is no reason why some couldn’t live in caves/ mines.  

So that would mean we’d be looking at Zharr Naggrund/ plain of zharr taking say 75% of the population, around 60,000 Chaos Dwarfs and around 3,000,000 slaves.  That would mean we’d be looking at an industrial city with a population around 2.5-3m.  Or if you want to put 25% in there; around 20,000 CD and 1m slaves.

Another thing to consider is the physical size of the city is probably not linked to the population in the normal way.  Depending on how you see Zharr Naggrund the land area may not be as big as a real world comparison (i.e. one massive ziggurat/ fortress built underground).  In the real world it just sprawls out on the surface, with some towering apartment blocks.

Just thoughts :wink:

Kera foehunter:

i say it as big as death valley in California as for cd 1!!! ( me ) the rest are here to keep the world from spinning out of orbit

Thommy H:

You know you could just look at the scale on the map, right? The Plain of Zharr is about 600 miles across and 500 miles from top to bottom. It’s roughly eliptical in shape, giving it a total area of some 235,000 miles - about the size of Ukraine.


Forgot about that…  Anyone have the warhammer world map to compare, is it the same?

So an area the size of ukraine, with a population the size of new zealand!  No wonder the old world forgot about us, they can’t find us!

That’s only the plain of zharr as well, the area I think we could justifiably call our empire.  Makes me think that the zones of control outside of this must be extremely limited.  Certainly would make it easier to draw an empire map…  I could just have arrows to everything else outside the plain of zharr and imply the spaces between are not ‘safe’, so not 100% part of the CD empire.

Forgot to say on the population thing that if you want to go by stone and steel you could halve the estimates for dwarfs (and my CD calculation).


Using your example of ukraine is a very good example of an industrial region.  I have done some research and I may be able to extrapolate a population density map of the plain of zharr by treating the Karkiv region as representative of the whole of the ukraine.  It’s not exactly even remotely useful to anyone else, but it may help me to draw a map of how I see this area, how many towns and regions etc we’d need to support a population of 3 million.

Thommy H:

My belief is that the Dark Lands are not in any practical sense under Chaos Dwarf control. It’s a wasteland, and you can’t actually rule over a wasteland, except by influence. Chaos Dwarfs undoubtedly exert their power over a stretch of thousands of miles, but they don’t go from Greenskin village to Greenskin village extracting taxes, or patrol anything but the trade routes. Remember that there’s actually no official “Chaos Dwarf Empire” - it’s used as a generic term in all the background, not as an absolute label for their territory. The Chaos Dwarfs just rule the Plain of Zharr and then all their fortresses across the Dark Lands. They don’t have towns and cities everywhere, just some distant outposts in strategic locations so they can take slaves when they need them.


I’d agree with that.

I’ve done a long spreasheet splitting down the population within the plain of zharr into 28 regions, if anyone is interested I’ll load it up.  These would be administrative, political, economic and military zones, ruled over by the ruling class from each clan nominally, but by a central authority (a Coven) in Zharr Naggrund.

I’ve done a basic plan for a map as well, which I’ll try and do properly on A3.  For the moment I’m aiming to do 3 locations of interest within each region, plus some interesting terrain features.  These will probably be 1 major regional capital, and either 2 large towns or 1 town and a named stronghold etc.  It doesn’t make any sense to do anything smaller than a large town on the outskirts, maybe as you get nearer Zharr Naggrund I’ll put some in.

The road plan is very basic at the moment, as I don’t know where all the small towns are.  I’m not sure whether to put in a railway line or not?  Perhaps just leave that to the capital?

I’ve added a tributary of the river ruin, though seeing as the river ruin itself would be MASSIVE I will probably add a couple more smaller ones.

I’ve also added a forest area to the north, and some hills in the middle.

It would be nice eventually to be able to pick each region on the map, see what’s within it and have enough ideas to write some fluff.  If only I were skilled enough to do a flash map.


I'd agree with that.

I've done a long spreasheet splitting down the population within the plain of zharr into 28 regions, if anyone is interested I'll load it up.  

Yes please... I would imagine even if people have their own ideas about this topic your stuff might help spark some new ideas too.



I don’t know. The biggest problem is that I feel populations are too small, with the attrition rate in novels and fluff there’s no way a comparable historical population can be used as a base. Populations must be larger than one would expect from a comparable historical period/region.

The best example I feel is the Empire, with all the ravaging going on it would be impossible to recover year after year. There can’t be that good a nativity under basically medieval conditions. Not to mention you can read how during SoC they sacked this and that and only a few years before they already sacked that and this.


I’ve always been under the the theory it’s geographically the same, but the populations greatly inflated. Coupled with the detail of very long Dwarf life spans… I could seem them starting a “have as many children as you can” campaign after the big greenskin rebellion.

I’ve always assumed it’s somewhere in size between Iraq and Iran.


Here is the basic map I’ve done, I need to do more work on the smaller locations and roads.

Almost all of the locations are made up


The plain of Zharr looks about the same size as Estalia (the Iberian peninsula) to me: