Part 76: Outpost Growth Mechanics
The actual formula for town growth seems to be a % roll every turn to grow, with chances that you can gain or lose a growth point based on the positive modifiers of the selected location. The growth of an outpost is factored on the base max population of the town + any special tiles (with various bonuses depending on how powerful the special tile is) +/- that races' population growth. Since Dwarves don't grow quickly, towns that aren't in extremely good locations can take some time to "pop".
Correct; as usual, look behind the spoiler tags for precise mechanics info on outpost growth~
Outposts always begin life with a population of 3/10 houses. Each turn, the outpost has a chance to grow by 1d3 houses, and a chance to shrink by 1d2 houses. (Both chances are rolled every turn; they aren't mutually exclusive.)
The base chance of an outpost to grow each turn is 1% per point of maximum population (as reported by the surveyor), plus modifiers based on the outpost's race, mineral access, and active enchantments. Coal and silver both give +5%; all other mineral resources give +10%. Stream of Life gives +10% and Gaia's Blessing gives +20%. Finally, the racial modifiers are +15% for barbarians, +5% for gnolls, +15% for halflings, +5% for high elves, +10% for high men, +5% for klackons, +10% for lizardmen, +10% for nomads, +10% for orcs, +5% for beastmen, +2% for dark elves, +5% for draconians, +7% for dwarves, and +3% for trolls.
The base chance of an outpost to shrink each turn is a flat 5%, only modified by a number of enchantments; Chaos Rift gives +10%, Evil Presence gives +5%, Famine gives +10% and Pestilence gives +10%.
If the outpost shrinks to 0 houses, the settlement has died out and it disappears from the map. When it grows to 10 houses, it becomes a full-fledged city of population 1.
Outposts cannot be captured in battle, only destroyed. Strangely enough, destroying an unguarded outpost owned by an AI player incurs no diplomatic penalty whatsoever.