Here's something i've wondered about for quite some time.
Suppose that the Cybertronian civil war is a world-spanning conflict, more like Earth's Second World War than the American Civil War. The conflict spread to regions all over the globe, rather than being confined to the territory of just one or two nations (assuming Cybertron even has nation-states or whatever).
Now think of the Transformers shows as being similar to a movie about World War II. A movie about World War II has far fewer actors/characters than the actual war had soldiers, and the actual war had far fewer soldiers than there were non-combatant/civilians in the world.
In WWII, not every member of the United States Army knew the names and faces of every other member of the U.S. Army, much less the names and faces of every Nazi, or every Japanese pilot, or every civilian (American or otherwise).
So. While there are hundreds of Transformers warriors we know and/or have toys representing, how many more TFs do you think were involved in the Cybertronian civil war(s)? How many TF non-combatants haven't we seen? How many TF civilians? What do you think the total population of Cybertron might have been, during the war? before the war? (Maybe a better way to ask these questions would be, "What percentage of Cybertron's population became soldiers, and what percentage of the soldiers got into the shows, comics, toylines, and so on?") And, do you think TFs are any better (and how much better, or worse) than Humans at being able to look at someone at random and know that individual's name, face, abilities, personality? (TFs have a definite advantage of having COMPUTERS FOR BRAINS, so they can probably just download a bunch of dossiers for reference "just in case"... so maybe a better question would be, how common do you think it is for a TF to encounter some other TF for the first time and have no clue whether the other TF is a friend, foe, threat, asset, or what?) ((This thread is partially inspired by wondering about the plausibility of characters maintaining undercover aliases like G1 Counterpunch or Animated Longarm Prime without arousing suspicion, or the plausibility of G1 Impactor's first encounter with the Autobot Triple Changers.))
Many TFs have body types very similar to other TFs. In G1, for example, we have Prowl, Bluestreak, and Smokescreen; Rumble, Frenzy, and Enemy; Inferno, Grapple, and RoadHauler; Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Sundor, and Garboil; Scrapper, Scoop, and Groundpounder; the Seekers; the Minicars; etc. By contrast, some TFs have unique toys--G1's Shockwave, Mirage, and Wheeljack are a few who come to mind--but does that mean such TFs were the only ones with that body type, or simply that no other TFs with those body types made it into the show? How many body types do you think Cybertron has total (not counting minor variations, like Starscream versus Ramjet)? Do you think there are any TF body types used only by TFs who have never become soldiers (or otherwise made it into the shows/comics/games/etc.)?
A few months ago, while thinking about this subject, a wrote a kind of fan fiction thing. i'll post it in a bit and edit this thread with a link.
EDIT: Here it is.