Missiles the size of "skyscrapers", though this seems to imply torpedoes rather than the "Weapons battery" missiles. These also must represent the battleship torpedoes, because cruiser grade are usualyl around 30-60 meters (100 meters at most.). Some have been smaller. the Retribution in Dark Disciple had 40 meter diameter, 80 m long torpedoes.The term ordnance is used to describe all kinds of weapons that are launched from ships and then travel independetnly to their target. This includes everything from missiles the size of skyscrapers to swarms of small attack craft such as fighters and bombers.
It's also implied that fighters are smaller than torpedoes, so its likely torpedoes mass more than fighters (hundreds of tons at least per torp, in other words, going by fighter masses from the Rennie BFG novels. It is implied that a torpedo may qual a whole squadorn of fighters, even... which would be thousands of tons itself.) Fighters manned nature do make them more effective long-range strike weapons, ,and more reusable ones at that. We know from Let the Galaxy burn that torpedoes are 10x more massive than macro cannon shells (and Fallen angels mentions bombardment cannon shells being 5x more massive than macro cannon shells, so we're getting approximate benchmarks there) - suggesting hundreds or thousands of tons for torpedoes again (Assuming a macro cannon shell equal to one or more batlte tanks, as often hinted at in aformeentioend sources.)
Not totally true. Torpedoes don't seem to be shielded (consistnetly at least), but fighters are in some manner (Execution Hour mentions it) Given that some superheaveis as well as titans are "Shielded" even partly (LEviathans, etc.) and the existence of smaller scale shielding this isn't unreasonable. Apart from differences in guidance this may be yet another benefit of fighters (being quite durable despite a smaller size.)Ordnance weapons are not shielded like larger ships, so they may be destroyed i fthey pass through any Blast markers.
Though a power field/refractor field type defense would not be impossible (they can be used not just for protecton, but for offense in penetrating, akin to a macro weapon. We know Kriegs employed muntions with power field heads in the IA Siege of Vraks supplements.) Or those small scale "void" shields mentioned in stuff like Guns of tanith or Ravenor.
Point defense against ordnance. As much of it iwll be proximity kills as direct hits, though (as depicted in BFG.) It's hard to hit, but the proximity effect (or sustained fire ability) of weapons batteries or lances can offset that some (even if it is wasteful. Eg using a nova cannon as point defense.) Such weapons will also be powerful if they hit, and have longer ranges than dedicated point defence turrets.Ordnance may be fired at in the shooting phase with direct fire weapons. Weapons batteris firing at ordnance use the ordnance column on the gunnery table. This is because ordnance is small and relatively fast-moving.
If an ordnance marker is hit it is removed from play. Any Ordnance markers caught in a nova cannon detonation are also removed form play.
One obvious example of direct fire weapons in point defence mode is in the various Armageddon sources already cited where Ork fighta-bommas were shot down with lance fire.
"typical" anti-ship torpedoes are around 60 meters long. They are also "plasma bombs", lending credence to the idea that nova cannon (at least the explosions) are equal to about a double salvo of torpedoes. Funny enough the old Rogue Trader mentions plasma torpedoes as ship to ship weapons and gives them ranges of millions of miles, possibly even usable from the edge of the system against a stationary target.The term "torpedo" has always been used ot describe any long-range missile carried by a spaceship. A typical anti-ship torpedo is over 200 feet long and powered by a plasma reactor, which also acts as a sizeable portion of its warhead, turning it inot a devastating plasma bomb. The area of a ship given over to the torpedo tubes is a massive space criss-crossed by lifts, hoists and gantry cranes for moving the huge missiles from the armoured magazine silos where they are stored to the launch tubes.
Once a torpedo is launched, the plasma drive propels the torpedo forward at high speed, whilst beginning an energy build up which will culminate in its detonation. torpedoes have a limited ability to detect a target and will alter course to intercept if they pass within a few thousand kilometres of a vessel.
The torpedo is a "multi-stage" weapon, the plasma reactors themselves acting as a major part of its "warhead" (but not the only one.) Most sources will even suggest more stages (last second "boosters" to add more velocity, shaped charges designed to facilitate penetration of the hull, etc.) The torpedo can add its own kinetic energy and momentum to the attack as well, as torpedoes are designed to penetrate before detonating under most cases. There may be tradeoffs in this (more explosive/thermal potential the more fuel remains in the engine, but the shorter the range and lsower the missile. And some enemies coudl be more vulnerable to a physicla impact prior to detonation anyhow.)
Torpedoes are apparently massive enough that they need lifts and cranes to help lift the torpedo in (unlike some guns, even nova cannon. Although one imagines there are SOME nova cannon that have such loading methods. Presumably the larger varieties of macro cannon need it also.)
The "intercept within a few thousand km" bit is interesting. How do they normally home in? Andy Chambers inferred they were manually guided in (some sort of wire guided bit) until they got closer, but novels tend to vary in this regard (some of them, and not at all uncommon, seem to be quite self guided and have little problem trackingships). The "telemertry" bit may not work givne such torps were considered "specialist" ammo latter on (they become an explicit kind, like short burn torpedoes, or melta torpedoes.)
The range bit of the intercept quote also matches with the base ranges as described earlier and mentioned below, which holds interesting implications for torpedo speed and point defnese range.
Assuming a torepdo masses between 200 and 2000 tons (size of large macro cannon shell or as outlined in Let the Galaxy Burn short story) at 1-6 kt per kg a torp woudl be worth between 200 and 12,000 megatons. Allowing for the 1000x modifier from spacefleet.. 200 to 12,000 gigatons. If that was just the warhead and the plasma reactor was included, double it.
If we go by space hulk torpedo yields it could be single digit TT range (allowing for plasma reactor and ignoring spacefleet 1000x factor) or single petaton./triple-digit TT range (allowing Spacefleet 1100x factor)
Assuming a 60 meter torpedo was 12 m diameter, and density of water, the torp masses 6.8 thousand tons.. yield would be a bit over 3.5x the yield I established already for 2000 ton torps.
We can also try to guess at yields from engine performance. We know torpedoes rely on a plasma engine, and that the engine forms a not-insiginificant part of the destructive capability of the torpedo (at least half, ideally.) as does any possible kinetic impact (which can be KE and/or momentum, both are significant for torpedoes.) The warhead, in any case, ought to be potentailly as powerful as the engine's total (sustained) output.
This can be calced relatively simply. Generally we know that the "per second" output would be based on mass times acceleration and the velocity of the propellant, but we can simplify it somewhat. Since we're measuring total output over time, we can skip over acceleration and just use velocity. Known torpedo velocities (as noted) can range from tens to hundreds of km/s, depending on source. We'll stick with between 20 km/s and 200 km/s. Assume the 2000 ton torpedo mass. (It can scale down with mass, if all other assumptions remain the same) Momentum is around 4e10-4e11 kg*m/s,
The tricky part, however, is exhaust velocity, and we don't really know that. It could be (conceivably) quite low if a substantial portion of the torpedo mass is propellant. Ironically, a larger torpedo mass actually would mean that the velocity could go down quite a bit more for a given thrust - a not-unreasonable conclusion. More room for more propellant, which means you can trade mass for velocity and save energy. This has limits, though. Beyond a certain point (say 10-20% of the overall mass) the propellant mass will contribute significantly to the momentum (1.5-2x for example, if we assume the pre-fired torpedo's mass was 30-50% reaction mass.) although this won't be as significant a change as, say, a 1.5-2x increase in velocity. In any event, exhaust velocity should be far higher than torpedo velocity itself, so tens/hundreds of km/s is the lowest it could go, and it would likely be several times that figure due to inefficiencies in translating thrust to forward momentum (EG if 50% of the torpedo is mass, the velocity will have to be roughly 2x greater to account for that difference, if I'm doing the math right.) At that velocity, the engines would put out roughly half a megaton to several megatons of KE (depending on how fast you figure - call it single digit MT) AT higher exhaust levels, the velocity goes up considerably (and the propellant mass goes down, at least for mometum to stay equal it has to) single to double digit Megatons with an exhaust velocity of hundreds of km/s. At thousands, you get tens to hundreds of megatons, and so on.
Really, this approach is more of an approximation for support purposes than anything. We lack alot of knowledge about the composition of torpedoes to do more than make a rough estimate. On one hand, whilst the warhead probably isn't significantly greater (at least for BFG definition torpedoes.) by an OoM of the engine output (if that), I basically treated the torpedo like a dumb projectile. I didn't account for any manuvers that might have to be taken. And without knowing the design it is hard to say how much of the internal volume is propellant regardless (torpedoes are depicted as heavily armoured. Guidance, warhead, and the armouring could take up quite a chunk of internal volume. Hell if the engines are anything like on starships, that could too.) There are of course short burn torpedoes as well. For all we know there may be torpedoes designed to trade propulsion for greater warhead as well - you do not neccesarily WANT a high velocity exhaust for your torpedo. Higher the exhaust, the more energy needed (wasted).
Lastly, I should point out torpedo sizes can vary quite a bit, from the light torpedoes some strike cruisers (Soul Drinkers) and torpedo bombers (BFG armada) can carry, to the ones the largest battleships might pack (which are probably the "skyscraper ones.) REtribution-class torpedoes, for example, were 40 meters in diameter in "Dark Disciple", whilst "Legneds of the Space Marines" featured a 10 metre long, 100 ton torpedo teleported in by the Black Templars. The above calcs are more guidelines and general values, rather than absolute figures (pretty much liek all the figures I generate. Precision is rare and difficult to achieve.)
I'll be interested to see how Battlefleet Kornous (when released) treats with torpedoes (and Nova cannon, for that matter.)
Siome (smaller) torpedoes have been used as broadside weapons, although these probably are more accurately missiles. Or guided shells. Hell by this point distinctions have blurred all to hell.Torpedoes may be launched by a ship with torpedo tubes. These are normally fitted to the prow of a ship.
A bit peculiaur, since changing course or turning would by definition mean changing speed... unless torpedoes always accelerate to maintain a set speed. Probably best to just infer an abstraction here.Unlike shps, torpedoes may not vary their speed and must make their full move in each ordnance phase.
Remember that earlier in the analysis the "base" represented a range of a few thousand km or so around the ship (point blank range) basically. This infers a potential range for the point defnese turrets against such weapons, attack ranges for fighters (or at least the ranges they begin attack runs.. though Avenger torpedo bombers can attack beyond this range so it suggests that other bombers can engage at this range while the Avnegers can from further away. May depend on payloads, or the need to get under shields.) It also implies torpedoes travel fairly quickly, but exact velocities cannot be derived cuz we have no exact timeframe.If the torpedo marker hits the ship's base (friend or foe) it attacks.
Torpedoes will pass through shields before they impact, so ignore any shields when applying damage. The torpedo salvo continues moving after the attack but its strength is reduced by one for every hit it inflicted. Replace the amerker with a smaller one as neccessary.
Torpedoes (and fighters for that matter) also have an inconsistent record getting through shields. The exact mechanism, as has been discused many times before, is not ever specified, so we must simply be aware that it is not a foregone conclusion that void shields can be penetrated by "slow moving" munitions (however you want to define slow). As I noted with the flares though, the velocity/penetration relationship need not be a well defined threshhold. It could vary with probability ( EG the slower it moves, teh better the chance to penetrate), trading off sheer velocity for other factors (increased chance of interception, for example) Tacticla situations can naturally dictate many changes in how torpedoes are deployed, so stats like speed, range, etc, can all vary.
Another thing to account for is abstraction. Just being able to hit something doesn't mean you hit it accurately (2000-3000 km may be a potential range, but it may not have a good chance of scoring. In point defense, a low chance is better than nothing if it means saving your ship from a hit.) The kinds of torpedoes and how they approahc (velocity etc.) an the nature of the point defence weapons can also affect this,a s can the quality of the targeting systems. Again, like most things, the variables can allow for variaiton, and like in all things, its ultimately a matter of tradoeffs.
If one torpedo goes up.. it seems they all do. Again, probably a gaming abstraction, although it is possible if they are closely spaced together.A salvo of torpedoes can be triggered prematurely by the following circumstances:
On a D6 roll of 6 if it komves through any Blast Markers.
If the Salvo is fired on by direct fire weapons and any hits are scored.
If it hits another torpedo marker.
Boaridng torpedoes (basically shuttles) can penetrate the hull and are more manuverable. It's worth noting they have been clocked at hundreds of km/s (Iron Hands novel) so regualr torps could move that fast at least. If we knew the mass of a boarding torp we might figure out something about penetrating the hull (hundreds of tons? Thousands of tons?) Tenatively we might say a multi hundred/thousand ton boarding torp travelling at upwards of hundreds of km/s can peentrate unshielded ship hulls to allow troops onboard (whether it does so on brute force or technomagical assistance is unresolved. it coudl go either way.)Boarding torpedoes are designed to punch through the outer hull of an enemy vessel and plunge a squad of hgeavily armred troops inside ot sabotage the target ship's systems.
These torpedoes are manned, so they can turn up to 45 degrees at the start of the ordnance phase.
Attack craft described. I recall hearing Andy Chambers saying they're as large as a 747 or some other large cargo carrying plane, which amkes them many times larger than many SW fightes (opr hell, even the smaller IA fighters.) Size may influence carrying capacity (nubmers of fighters) -hell it probably does.Attack craft are tiny vessels that normally enter battle carried aboard warships. In combat they are launched to assist their mother ship or make long range stirkes agianst the enemy.
Attack craft can vary from sleek one man fighters to lumbering heavy bombers. Attack craft make difficult targets for warships: their small size and high speed enables them to evade the worst fire. However, all attack craft have an extremely limited endurance and can only operate away from their mothership for a short time before they must return to rearm and refuel.
Mass wise, what we know from Let the Galaxy Burn and the BFG novels suggests the "big" fighters (not the IA inspired micro fighters that fairly often pop up) also mass hundreds makign them roughly Titan mass/scale and presumably with similar firepower and durability. Indeed, many known Titan scale weapons (Deathstrikes) seem to be nuclear level weapons (with multi thousand km ranges, EG deathstriek), and we konw the Atlas ground attack nukes (From the Blood Angels omnibus) are also titan killer weapons. Hell some fighters (like in IA Apocaylpse/Apocaylpse I) are noted as being capable of titan killing firpeower explicitly. We don't know an exact upper limit, as some sources hint that the upper limits of what constitutes a "fighter" could overlap the starship definition (a possible throwback ot the sublight parasite "destroyers" of Space Fleet, perhaps.) Meaning some "fighters" could mass thousands of tons (or more) as well. Some might even be warp capable if they're large enough (also hinted at) but I wouldn't consider that very common or numerous if true.
Smaller masses do exist too, although most of the 10-20 ton ones (for example) are strictly atmospheric attack. The smallest possible hybrid I recall is the 60 ton fighter from Emperor's Mercy, and that was a stripped down/stealthed craft for insertion purposes.
Dictator class cruisers have 4 bays and 4 squadrons. Fighters are more agile than torpedoes. This varies depending on source. I'd say that we could ascribe this to abstraction as well, but also to the fact (in-universe) that the definition of "fighter" is so variable. A carrier might carry lots of smaller, lower mass fighters, or fewer, individually more massive ones, or a combination of both. Again, tradeoffs.Launch bays are rated by the number of squadrons they can launch at once, for example a Dictator class cruiser with four bays can launch four squadrons.
Unlike torepdoes, attack craft can move in any direction, up to the distance indicated by their speed on the ship's characteristics. Any attack craft that come into contact with Ordnance markers or ships may attack as explained in their relevant sections that follow.
Main armaments cannot track at "close range" (thousands of km?), but can at longer ranges (though lances have to do the tracking beam thing, and braodsides use proximity kills more often than not.) Hence, the turrets. THe actual makeup of turret defence isnt specific (could be manned, automated, or a cobmination of such guns. up to and including a Phalanx like automated defence as described in Execution Hour.) Much of this really dpeends on how you define "close" ranges - it could mean tens or hundreds or even a few thousand km, at least with regards to "small" targets.Most fighting ships mount numerous weapon systems and turrets for shooting down torpedoes and attack craft during their final attack run. A ship's main armament is too huge and slow to track ordnance at close ranges.
A ship's turrets can fire against every torpedo salvo that attacks in an ordnance phase. Alternatively, the turets may fire at every attack craft wave tht attacks in an ordnance phase. Note that turrets can be used ot defend against torpeodes or attakc craft but not both in the same phase. This makes it possible to overhwlm a target with combined attacks.
This may seem gameplay, but it actually makes some sense. When you consider the probable size/mass of a turret or even a broadside weapon, they aren't very good at tracking due to sheer mass and momentum (it takes alot of effort to move a more massive turret, but that will cost you precision. And recoil issues can further complicate precision/tracking speed.)
Longer ranges will actually help heavy weapons in this regard, as the further away something is, the less of an arc turret has to turn to track it (the ship has to cover a greater arc.) Of course, long ranges can impose their own targeting problems (especially with visual targeting - the need for magnification, etc.)
Figthers are designed to damage/destroy other ordnance (attack craft and torpedoes.) Rather interesting insight. Potentially implies that fighter weapons are less than "gigawatts" (if contrasted to earlier statement about armour resisting "gigawatts" of energy" but it is not definite.Figthers are small, fast and extremely agile. They are only armed with weapons suitable for destroying ordnance, including other attack craft. In combat, the fighter's job is to protect the vulnerable bombers and assault craft on their way to and from their target.
The fighter squadron's puny weapons make no impression on the ship at all.
Bombers, they have variable payload As I recall.Bombers are slower, heavier craft with destructive anti-ship weapons. Though vulnerable to enemy fighters, bombers can be a serious threat to ships.
Assault boats.. I'm not sure what difference they hav betwee these and boarding torpedoes. Largely capture/sabotage weapons.Assault boats are designed to clamp on to a target vessel and breach its outer hull, allowing squads of elite warrios to storm on board. Once aboard the boarders plant demolition charges, massacre the crew, poison the air and generally cause as much damage as possible before retreating.
Again, blast markers seem a persistent phenomenon, even allowing for abstraction.Some of the blast markers are removed from the table, as the energy and debris they represent is naturally dissipated [by the end phase.
Damage control parties described. the rerouting bit implies the redundancy speculated to exist on Imperial ships. Given their long-range, potentailly independent operations, a greater emphasis on durability and redundancy (trading off more specilization for things like firepower) makes some sense.Repiar crews will be working continuously ofc ourse, welding up hull breaches, re-routing power conduits, putting out fires and generally trying to keep the ship functioning.
Again, Blast markers (including shock waves) persist and dissipate slowly (relatively speaking). This would tend to suggest that most warheads are nothing like conventional nuclear or HE (or even antimatter) warheads, unless they're firing off a literal shit-ton of them.With time, the debris and shock waves represented by Blast markers will dissipate sufficnelt yot be of no further impediment to ships or their weapons.
The Imperials as a rule do not seem to favor ramming as a viable tactic except in extreme circumstances. Chaos, however, can quite enjoy it, as can orks (who have a whole ship dedicated to ramming tactics.) And quite likely the 'Nids. the fact it is possible goes hand in and with the knowledge that Starships have considerable momentum and tends to argue against the existence of "mass lightening" as many think of it (lensman inertialess drives or Trek style "mass lightening" as is traditionally understood) Hell Orks have a dedicated ramship that is virutally a solid mass attached to rocket engines, and it has been used against imperial starships (EG warp storm, Armada.)For example ships ramming and boaridng are both viable tactics but don't happen that often.
More on ramming. The interesting bit is that ramming is not stopped by shields. This suggests that shield "breaching" (EG fighters or torpedoes) may in some way have osmething to do with mass prmomentum, but it is not sure (a starhsip has vastly more momentum, even more than a fast moving fighter or torpedo). If a void shield acts like a barrier against impacts, then having too high a velocity (but not enough mass or gneeral defense to handle that impact) could be more destructive to the impactor than the target.A ship moving at All Ahead Full may attempt to ram an enemy vessel as it moves.
Obviously, its easier for an escort to ram a battleship than the other way around.
Damage form rams is not deflected by shields..
The ramming ship may well suffer damage too...
The idea also seems to be that momentum is an "effective" attack, so any sort of impactor could, with sufficient time or abuse, breach shields. OF course, its still a relative thing, but may go some way to explaining the use of physical impactors (maybe momentum allows "lucky" hits to bypass shields via momentum or something? Alternately, even if the void shields can indefinitely dissipate the energy of an attack, they cannot do so with momentum and could eventually be worn down that way.)
Another possibility is that starships are to big for shields to deflect/damage/destroy/turn aside at the probable velocities they could achieve before impact (which is unlikely to be more than thousands of km/s, unless we assume a target sits in place while the ship literally accelerates for hours over a long distance. Heck, hundreds of km/s can be problematic in that regard depending on how you define a ship's max acceleration.)
Likely, it is a combination of various factors I've already alluded to. I wouldn't try to ascribe it to just one thing.
Except as commony alluded to.. there isn't really any significant stealth in space.. at least not at system level ranges. This suggests that BFG ships (imperial and otherwise) rely on a combination of cutting emissions and some sort of shielding capability to prevent detection. Possibly a dual role for void shields.The classic approach to disengaging is to make a sudden course alteration and then cut all pwoer so that the sip cannot be detected by its energy emissions. With luck teh vessel will simply drift out of the immediate battle area dn can set couse for home once its clear of the fighting.
In BFG it seemed, teleporter attacks were not restricted technically to space marines. apparently even normal crews could do them. (preusmably you could beam over other stuff too.) These may be different than the "warp based" teleporters we know that the Space Marines and AdMech oft employ. Less versatile perhaps, but safer. Even allowing for this possibility, I will state that it does not make teleporters commonplace, or a reproducible tech or anything like that. There are lots of "old" ships in reserve fleets, in active service, recovered from Spacehulks, etc. (Of course there are examples like Ravenor where even nonmilitary, non-astartes types have teleporters.)The boarding vessel manoeuvres close to an enemy ship and sends a wave of armed crewmen across via teleporters, shuttles, life pods and in pressure suits to grab a foothold on the otuer hull fo the enemy vessel. The attackers then blow breaches in the hull and swarm in to try to overcome the defending crew in viscious fistfights and hand-to-hand combat.
As I said, teleport seems to have limitations.A ship may attmept a boarding action if it's in base contact with an enemy vessel in the end phase before damage control has been attmepted or Blast markers are removed.
Sabotage, basically.In a hit-and-run attack, a select force of warrios is dispatched to attempt to attack a specific location on an enemy ship, platning charges to take it out of action. An enemy vessel can be left helpless form damage inflicted by a hit-and-run raid, leaving it ot be finished off with conventional gunnery at leisure.
Again, contact with the ship's base represents ranges of a few thousnad km.. and assault boats (arguably) can be engaged out to this range.Assault boats attack by clamping onto the outer hull of an enemy ship and then cutting their way through to allow their crew to attack isnide.
If an assault boat moves into contact with a ship's base, it can be shot at by turrets in the same way as bombers.
I'm guessing the difference between boarding torps and assault boats is largely in speed and violence (the same as the dirfference between drop ships/shuttles and drop pods.)Boarding torpedoes carry dedicated assault troops and can be partially guided while in flight. They punch through the armour of the target, disgorging their cargo of warriors into the midst of the enemy. Boarding torpedoes are launched like ordinary torpedoes...
Again, teleporters seem to be less rare in BFG than suggested elswhere. This may infer that some Navy ships may posses teleporters of some kind. The need to drop shields and the large energy requirement may limit its use tactically, of course. (nevermind the crew numbers, but I suspect that this would be less important if you, say, beamed over a bomb or some such. Teleport attacks of that type have been done before.) Again, this says nothing about teleporters suddenly becoming more commonplace in the Imperium, because we still have all those examples citing how unusual and rare they usually are, but we can (like certan other cases of supposedly "lost" technology, like 3 dimensional holographic viewers) take it with a certain grain of salt.Ships which are close to their enemies may attmept ot initiate a small-scale boarding action using their teleporters. However, active shields interfere with teleport beams, so such attacks can only be made against an enemy whose shields have been knocked down. Onmly the largest ships have the teleport capacity ot move enough men onto their target to inflict the neccessary amount of damage and such teleport attacks require prodigious amounts of energy form the ship's reactors.
A ship may make a teleport attack in the end phase against an enemy ship, that has no shields, within 10cm.
Escorts can in theory make teleport attacks. This explanation makes more sense too if you realize that Andy Chambers figured on a starships "hits" representing a certain amount of crew. Generally suggesting boarding actions involve beaming over hundreds or perhaps thousands of crew in a short time period. Keeping in mind the caveats above, I would doubt that many escorts have this ability built in, so they would probably be very large, and very venerable/veteran starships to have that. (And very lucky not to have been destroyed yet,, at that.) Although its not impossible for even escorts (Say frigates) to be recovered the way capital ships often are.As you can imagine it takes alot more manpower to disable the weapons battreis of a batlteship than it does a destroyer's. Therefore, escorts and defences with only one damage poitn left cannot make teleport tatacks. In addition, a ship can't make a teleport attack against a target with more hits at the point in the battle than it has itself.
Description of planetary defences.All races use some equivalent ot planetary defences to form networks of armed satellites and ground installations to keep enemy ships at bay. Planetary defences also include system ships (vessels which have no warp drives and so are incapable of leaving the system they are stationed in), minefields, etc.
Difference betwene ground and space weapons. Note that anti ship weaponsa re explicitly stated to be below ground ( as we see in Macragge battle descriptions, Execution hour, etc.) This differs from exposed, turreted, and smaller defence lasers, which seem to serve a more point defense role. Being aware of this distinction is important, I should add (WRT titan descriptions or the capabilities of various lasers.)Satellite units may not move as they are stationed in orbit around a planet or moon, or occasionally in deep space.
Ground units protect planets form spaceships getting close enough to sned troops down to the surface. These anti-ship weapons are unable to move because they are concealed in deep underground silos for protection.
Game mechanics, but may be useful at some point.Some large defensive platforms, such as spce staions and the huge Blackstone Fortresses, have multiple hits. When it ocmes ot taking damage, these work just like capital ships.
Defence system has stationkeeping thrusters, but apparently can also survive atmospheric reentry (implied)Orbit Lost. The defences' thruster assembly is disabled. The defence falls D6cm towards the plnaet's surface in each of its movement phases until either the damage is repaired or it hits he planet and is destroyed.
Escorts and other smaller ships need to be in squadrons to have a chance to damage larger ships. A tactic which apparently can benefit even larger vessels too (though battleships can get along without it it would seem.) This I believe is tactics based on how void shields supposedly work. It alos suggests the disparity between larger and smaller ships's firepower isn't as great (defenses may be anotoher story.) although there is still leeway there, depending on how that firepower manifests.Small ships, such as escorts, stand little chance of damaging larger ships on their own, so they are normally grouped into squadrons. A squadron will manouevre closely together and mass its weaponry to attack more effectively. Although cruisers and battleships normally operate alone, they can also be grouped into squadrons for major battle, where their awesome firepower can be put to good use.
As I noted in my "CAves of Ice Battleship bombardment" analysis, 40K "squadrons" for ships go by other names, including flotillas and whatnot, but they mean the same thing (a certain number of ships.) This is useful for analysis involving such terminology (again, like the "Caves of Ice" analysis.) This still gets disputed because supposedly other references "contradict" this with metnions of larger "flotillas", but it is silly to assume that it's an "either/or" situation. The above quote is more an indication of the general rule rather than an absolute, within limits. (It's doubtful you'd call a fleet or battlefleet sized formation a "squadron" for example.) It is also quite possible one or more other supposedly "contradictory" examples are more informal. Context DOES matter.Squadrons may have all sorts of different names, such as formations, flotillas, packs, groups or forces, but they all work in the same way.
If we incorporate the 1000 km = 1 cm ratio provided by Andy chambers, this means squadron ships can operate up to 15,000 km away from each other in a "chain." With six ships, this could mean the entire squadron is spread across some 90K km, but (in theory) can still combine fire on targets. (problem being though that the 1000 km = 1 cm works with weapons ranges too, and that wouldn't mesh, hence the "in theory" bit)A squadron can contain up to six ships which must all be of the same type - ie, you can have an escrot squadron, a cruiser squadron, or (yikes!) a battleship squadron.
To count as being part of a squadron, ships must remain close to at least one other vessel from the same squadorn during battle. Each ship must be no more than 15 cm from another ship in the squadorn so that the whole squadron forms a continuous chain with "links" of up to 15cm between each ship.
Secondly, depending on interpretation this could provide evidence of "squadrons" exceeding their stated sizes (you might have a double or triple strenght battle cruiser squadron, assuming sufficient numbers of battleships existed within reasonable distance to amass that force. Such a force almost certainly repreesnts all or nearly all the total battleship strength of a sector, if not more than that, so I doubt they would be "common" formations at all. Of course, if someone wants to argue a sector battlefleet has dozens of battleships, I won't argue.)
"twenty thousand" is apparetnyl a range, but we aren't given an identifign unit. Presuambly it refers to kilometres, which fits with the "tens of thousands of km" bits in the book. We certainly know form lots of other sources that engagements can happen at that range (or greater.) and that "kilometres" is the standard unit used for ship to ship battles (sometimes miles, or other more esoteric units like "leagues")"Opticon reports enemy squadrons closing to starboard."
His lectern flared into greenish light, showing the starboard view from the opticons. Predatory outlines of Chaos ships appeared, scrolling numbers and ltters giving their estimated course and speed
"Then hail Fury squadron. Have them close up to twenty thousand and engage the enemy when they begin their attack run on us.
Factors affecting combat locales and "terrain". I have to say for dust clouds to be a danger a 40K ship would have to be travelling pretty damn fast (and the same for an asteroid field, iunless we're talking TESB type dense.) same thing for alot of terrain really, space is BIG after all.For example, dust clouds and asteroid fields are enough to force a ship to slow down as it passes through the area, making it an ideal spot for an ambush. Equally, caputring or raiding worlds will always be an bojective of enemy ships, ensuring that space combat will often happen in close proximity ot planets.
With a large proportion of hive worlds and mining colonies, the Quinrox Sound ws a major source of materials for building and repairing ships, and both sides took heavy casualties attempting to control the sub-sector. In the Corilia system alone, known to amny as the Hulk's Graveyard, there were the remains of at least thirteen Imperial and Chaos capital ships, and two dozen or more escorts, creating a field of debris and shattered hulls spreading across the inner system.The hulk's Graveyard itself became a focal battlezone, as Imperial and Chaos forces tried to salvage as much as they could from the derelict vessels to be found there. Quinrox Sound became the scene for daring raids to capture prize ships and a gathering place for pirates and other renegades to steal whatever resources they could find.
Salvaging hulks to rebuild, and holding the territory during the Gothic War for building as well as repairing. That suggests starship consturction did continue (possibly even completed) during the Gothic war, since only replacement of lost ships would make sense.
Flare region is basically being close enough for planets to get hit by eruptions from the surface of the sun (radiation and gasses). The mercurial region (EG mercury distance presumably) is more survivable, although it requires either constant movement or subsurface installations (either of which the Imperium could do.)The flare region is closest to the system's sun. It is an area scoured by incandescent flares of super-heated gas from the surface of the sun and fierce radioactive winds. Planets this close to the star are almost always death worlds, places too ravaged by the sun's heat to be habitable to life.
At the mercurial zone the sun's ferocity is still awesome to behold but solar flares less frequenlty reach out to burn everything in theri path. Occasionally a planet can be found in the mercurial zone which can sustain limited life dee p underground or constnatly moving aroudn its darkside to shelter from the sun's x-rays.
"biosphere" regions seem to still have some variation, suggesting it encompasses are moe than just the immedate 1 AU (orso) range for a "habitable" planet (nevermind an Earthlike one.)As the inner biosphere is reached, planets become more hospitable, though often their atmospheres are a noxious soup of harmful gases. Nonetheless colonies and hive cities occur in the inner biosphere of certain systems.
In the primary biosphere a balance is struck between the burning heat of the suna nd the icy cold of the void. Most inhabited worlds lie within this biosphere and it's here that the bulk of a system's defences are built.
Gravity is speficied here as the primary reason that prevents ships from dropping from the warp in-system. Earlier sources give specific explanations (which will be covered as they come up), but we can draw certain conclusions form this fact:The outer reaches of a system are the realm of gas giants and worlds generally too cold and harsh to support life. Many battles between ships occur here as the system's defenders attempt ot prevent enemy ships reaching the primary biosphere.
Ships coming out of the warp must appear some distance away in deep space or risk destruction among the graviton surges in-sysem. many civilised worlds have specific jump points marked by beacons to assist navigation. An ambushing fleet will often lurk near a jump point in teh hope of catching an emerging foe unaware.
First, a sufficiently strong gravity well will interfere with the transition to warp.Gravity is not strong enough to physically "harm" the ship, so the danger must be in gravity fouling up the warp transition in some manner (and the forces/energies in the transition destroying the ship itself.) It is implied though that a ship COULD emerge in-system from the warp unharmed, but that it's gambling the ship's destruction. Daemonic/warp tainting of a habitable planet is another possible danger, as is the "truly stellar levels of energy" needed to open a warp portal. That ships can come out at high velocity is also a danger if the portal can be disrupted or thrown off course by hundreds of thousands or millions of km (and that is possible even at the edge of the system. Probably worse in system.)
Second, while the vast majortiy of sources suggest that a ship must arrive "out system", this source implies that the ship must only appear "some distance away". Given the inconsistent distances given in some sources (tens of millions of miles in Eye of Terror as opposed to billions of km in Chaos Child, for example), ,its possible the "Warp limit" is not always a fixed quantity, and may vary according to the system (how strong of gravity wells it has, number and type of planets, etc.) and other factors (orbits and whatnot.) Perhaps, for example, "gaps" in gravity may appear where emergencee from the warp in-system is possible. But since detection of realspace from the warp (and vicee versa, save by psychic ability) is not possible in 40K, it would be virtually impossible to detect such without some sort of assistance or planning. The best example is Rynn's World, where orks appear a mere 100-150 thousand km from the surface of a planet. More commonly, ranges of 1-2 AU (Ravenr novels, Rogue Star novel) or a mere tens of millions of km (sons of Fenris implied it, explicit in Horus Rising and Eye of Terror novels.) On the other hand, they can get iup to billions or tens of billions of km out for various reasons (50 AU or more implied in Flight of the Eisenstein, and also in Chaos Child.) The recent novel "Savage Scars" suggests that the closest "Safe" distance is some 2 million km, and even then only Inquisitorial (or comparalbe) craft can do that.
In all probability the main factor determing emergence distance will depend on the route and the gravitational conditions of the system (size of the system, orbits, number of heavenly bodies, type of star, etc.), the quality of the engine system and the navigator, and other factors. Hell, safety and the fact you'r eopening a hole into realspace (osmething you don't want to do around vunlerable planets or stations) is going to be enough reason to warrant playing it safe and emerging outsystem. It doesn't necceairly mean closer isn't possible if the situation warrants the risk.
We do know that a number of smaller "warp-capable" devices (displacement devicecs like the dispalcement shields or Eldar Warp Spider packs.) as well as weapons (Warp missiles and vortex grenades/warheads.) as wlel as the Eldar Webway can work within a gravity well, so emergence within a gravity well should be possible. (perhaps they have to counteract the gravitational field.)
"basic shielding" can protect ships during passage through dust clouts (at unknown velocity), although for unspecified reasons velocity is reduced (either friction or deliberately slowed for safety reasons - it does not specify but the former seems more in context.) They also seem to exist thick enough to exist as a dense space fog of some kind, affecting targeting (which seems to be a common sci fi "trick") and threaten fighters and torpedoes (although again, for that to be a danger one would imagine the speed has to be very high.) I really want to scream gameplay here, though.Gas and dust clouds represent areas of space with a notably greater density of (mostly) hydrogen gas or tiny particles of matter. These cloud smay be fragments left over form the formation of stars and star systems, the outer fringes of nebulae or protostars, or even gasses ejectd by solar flares. They represent a moderate navigational hazard to shipping: basic shielding is sufficient to prevent damage occuring but ships are slowed somewhat passing through them. Gas and dust clouds impair targeting by weapon batteries and may destroy ordnance which passes through them, making them potentially useful areas to exploit in ship to ship combat.
Asteroid fields . Another sci fi staple. Again probably best to assume gameplay influences this more than anything.Asteroid fields orbit most stars at varying distances. They are generally thought to be debris fragments left over from collisions between planets during the formation of a star system. Asteorid fields may also be left over after the destruction of a planet or moon, or represent an area of wreckage reuslting from a space battle.
A realspace/warpspace interface apparently is a distinct risk in space travel or space combat, especially when accompanied by the aforementioned large disturbance. And, predictably, it can be dangerous for starships in its vicinity.Occasionally, a temporary rift can occur between normal space and warp space, particularily during a powerful warp storm or fter a large fleet has dropped out of the warp. Moving into such a rift is highly dangerous, but may well provide an edge for a desperate or foolish captain.