At the moment, I am leaning towards groups of six for the various allies, enemies, neutrals and predators that the ants could encounter. The ladybugs, crickets and beetles outlined a few days ago would end up in the allies section – the core rules assume (unlike previous editions) that you are going to play an ant. If you want to play something else, the allies and neutrals sections will have rules for player characters of those species. The allies and neutrals sections are likely to include:
Allies: Aphids, Beetles, Crickets, Ladybugs, Potato Bugs
Neutrals: Butterflies, Dragonflies, Fireflies, Grasshoppers, Moth, Stone Fly, Water Strider
However, for enemies, the list (and the accompanying complexity) is bigger.
Enemies: Ambush Bugs, Ant Lions, Assassin Bugs, Bumblebees, Centipedes, Cockroaches, Fleas, Flies, Fruit Flies, Gnats, Hornets, Horse Flies, Lice, Mantis, Millipede, Mosquito, Scorpion, Spider (Black Widow), Spider (Daddy Longlegs), Stink Bug, Termite, Tick, Yellojacket
The organization of this section becomes the trick… for example, the Wasp Empire. The empire consists of wasps, bees, hornets, yellowjackets; an affiliated network of insects that work together. Does each get a separate listing? Do I create one section for the Wasp Empire? The other issue is the idea of larger infrastructure: the wasp empire includes not only the servants of the empire, but the vast technological war effort of tanks, planes, fortresses and weapons. These things must at least be granted an overview.
Really, the wasps and the flies, as the two major powers, need their own sections (maybe 6-8 pages for each of these ‘groups’ of species) while the minor species then get a page apiece. Hmmm. There’s probably a third logical grouping, which is the shadowy brotherhood of centipedes, various spider races, and assassin bugs. These guys should probably be grouped together. Then, I can have a one page overview of the various ‘minor species’ like gnats, mosquitoes, termites, etc… most of the minor species end up with fly technology anyway. After the fall of the Fly Kingdom, a huge quantity of military hardware fell into the black market, and into the hands of a wide range of would-be-armies and minor warlords.
So, this becomes a 6-10 page overview of the wasp empire, a 6-10 page overview of the Fallen Fly Kingdom, a 6-10 page overview of the Order of Shadows, and then each minor species gets its own page.
Whew… this book is growing quickly! It’s going to be a challenge to get it in under 200 pages!