Actually , the fact that the Battle of Earth essentially broke the covenant which then splintered into many different factions tells us a great deal about their size. Obviously their seat of power was the trio of san-shyum prophets. We are also told several times that the san-shyum are on the verge of extinction. They have a handful of semi-intelligent species enslaved (Kig-yar , Ungoy , Lekgolo [and their sub-species] ) and a couple of intelligent species as commanders (Brutes , and Sanghelii) , of which only Kigyar and Sanghelii had reached spacefaring tech before the San-shyum showed up.Any other races in the Hegemony are non military / noncombatants or the covenant would have used them. (Looking at hurogoks).
The battle of Earth wasn’t what broke the Covenant. The UNSC were just insanely lucky that the Covenant which had been stable for the past 3404 years suffered an ideological Schism completely unrelated to the human-covenant war, just days before the battle of Earth ended in the UNSC total defeat.
And the fact that the Great Schism resulted in a civil war tells us nothing what so ever about how large a force the Covenant Empire was in the Milky Way Galaxy at that time, it only confirms it was politically unstable. If anything, the biggest parallel to the Great Schism is the way the Galactic Empire descended into civil war between various warlords after the Emperor was killed at Endor in the original legends timeline.
In terms of the Covenant population, the following statistics may give you pause for thought.
The Sangheili are the backbone of the Covenant military and economy, and of all the alien races that comprises its members it was the first we know of to achieve FTL and begin establishing interstellar colonies as of 938 AD, if not many centuries or millennia before.
If we assume Sangheilios's total population was 8 billion as of 938 AD (very possible), and apply the same level of current day human population growth per year (anyone who thinks it would be less because ‘humans are awesome’ are kidding themselves), then as of 2552 the Sangheili’s total population would be;
First off, it’s already been established in prior debates that even if there was a minimum of one inhabited planet for every one of the Milky Way galaxies 400 billion stars, there still wouldn’t be enough room for every human represented by the above number to stand, let alone if they were Sangheili.
Despite this, the above mathematics shows that if the Sangheili alone really have had access to FTL since 938 AD, then as of 2552 they could have very plausibly established off-world colonies of equal population to their home-world in every star system of the Milky Way Galaxy by 2552. This alone would give the Covenant Empire a total population of;
This would mean that they outnumber the Galactic Empire at its height by a factor 0f 32,000 to 1 if my maths is right in terms of total population, war materials and shear number of ships and troops they could muster. And on top of that, the Galactic Empire and the Republic that preceded it had only been a space-faring interstellar power for approximately 25,000 years according to the old canon timeline. While the Covenant Empire had only been a space-faring power for only a fraction of this time, they have the benefit that they’ve reverse engineered much of their technology from an alien race who had over half a million years to perfect their own technologically. This is exactly why the Covenant have the technological understanding to equip the backbone of their ground troops with personnel energy shielding, whilst the Galactic Empire’s ground troops and their clone predecessors can only equip their troops with post-modern ballistic armour which I have yet to save actually save a troopers life from a directed energy blast.
As anyone who’s played Halo knows all too well, a Sangheili’s energy shielding can stand up to the better half of a clip from either a ballistic slug thrower or plasma rifle, Halo’s equivalent to blasters.
You really think the Empire could win without a shadow of the doubt against those odds?
Also , as for troopers who can't hit ; In A New Hope , we see stormtroopers blow a hole in a door , proceed to step into the kill box they just created and slaughter every rebel in the hallway. Only after this do we see them being horribly inaccurate on the Deathstar ; when Vader is actively herding our Heroes back to the Falcon ; they are ordered to miss so the Empire can track the Falcon back to the "Hidden Rebel Base".
Very true and yes, Operation Domino, the stormtrooper’s assault on the Rebel Blockade Runner and the battle of Hoth all indicates the Galactic Empire military is a force to be reckoned with. (My comment was intended to be more some light hearted humour, as both Stormtroopers and red-shirts are universally recognized as TV tropes due to their combat history and survival rate to date)
At the same time, the Imperial Stormtrooper’s and Navy’s performance during the Battle of Endor would given me serious concerns about the reliability of their equipment at least if you were expecting them to go up against a legion of battle-hardened Sangheili.
Put simply, if 10,000 Imperial stormtrooper’s with armoured support lack the armour necessary to protect them from being massacred by 3 foot tall Ewok’s with spears, bows and arrows, how are they going to perform against 10,000 Sangheili warriors equipped with plasma rifles, personnel energy shielding, tanks, scarab siege platforms and artillery?
The Imperial Starfleet didn’t fare much better either, and again if 30 Star Destroyers, 1 Super Star Destroyer, 1 Death Star and hundreds of TIE fighters couldn’t defeat a numerically inferior Rebel fleet consisting mostly on converted civilian vessels, what chance will it stand against a Covenant armada of warship of equal and greater size, led by a 30 kilometre long CSO-class Super Carrier?
The Imperial Stormtroopers, Imperial Navy and Imperial military in general were not organized or equipped to fight an external threat, their peacekeepers meant to keep rebellious worlds in check. The same can’t be said of the Covenant military, as we know Sangheili officers are promoted based specially on the number of enemies they had personally slain in battle, which suggests full scale interstellar wars are frequent if not a perpetual never ending occurrence for the Covenant Empire.
That’s what could be the descending factor in my opinion, but again without more information of the Covenant's history and position in the galaxy at large, we don’t know.
Also , if you look at the original thread , It was not supposed to be an argument about the whole of each universe , but a comparison of one thing against the other universes same things.
I.E. - ship to ship , Trooper on trooper , Small Moon vs space station.
Again this is correct, but in this case once again, it’s the Halo Universe which has the larger starship’s and space stations, if you take into account massive constructs like the Halo’s, Ark and Precursor creations. (A CAS-class Assault Carrier over 3 times the overall length and size of a Star Destroyer)
haha, love it! I totally agree with you! BFF...