WH40K/BFG analysis thought

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Ted C
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WH40K/BFG analysis thought

Post by Ted C » 2008-06-18 09:58am

Calculating ranges for ships and weapons of the Imperium was always pretty easy. From the planet templates, we could calculate that 1 cm on the board is roughly 1000 km in space.

Determining speed, though, was never easy because we never knew how much time a combat turn takes.

I just had a thought. Using an Exterminatus weapon against a planet takes one turn. The Chaos battleship Planet Killer is such a weapon, and when it used its planet-destroying main gun to destroy a planet, it fired continuously for 20 minutes (if I recall my "fluff" correctly). That would suggest that a turn takes at least 20 minutes, giving us a ball-park figure for time in speed calculations.

Thus, a ship with a game speed for 30 cm is moving at approximately 25 km/s.

Of course, the idea of fixed speeds in space instead of acceleration makes little sense, but I'm just going with what we've got. Is there any use for this tidbit of data?
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Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2008-06-18 10:52am

I'd much prefer to use Connor's calculations from the fluff than some twisted game mechanics that leave a lot to be desired. As you've even pointed out, in BFG, ships don't accelerate.
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Post by Maxentius » 2008-06-18 11:49am

Using game mechanics is just vapid.

If we scale by planet templates, conversely, 40k ships would be hundreds of kilometers in length. The fighter templates would yield strikefighters somewhere in the vicinity of 1/10th-1/20th the overall length of their mothership.
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Post by NecronLord » 2008-06-18 01:21pm

Maxentius wrote:Using game mechanics is just vapid.

If we scale by planet templates, conversely, 40k ships would be hundreds of kilometers in length.
There's a specific notation that they are not to scale, and that the actual ship is somewhere within the spike on the base. There is no such note regarding other aspects of the game.
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Post by Maxentius » 2008-06-18 01:23pm

NecronLord wrote:
Maxentius wrote:Using game mechanics is just vapid.

If we scale by planet templates, conversely, 40k ships would be hundreds of kilometers in length.
There's a specific notation that they are not to scale, and that the actual ship is somewhere within the spike on the base. There is no such note regarding other aspects of the game.
Really? Was that printed in the original rulebook or somewhere else?
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Post by Keevan_Colton » 2008-06-18 01:26pm

Maxentius wrote:
NecronLord wrote:
Maxentius wrote:Using game mechanics is just vapid.

If we scale by planet templates, conversely, 40k ships would be hundreds of kilometers in length.
There's a specific notation that they are not to scale, and that the actual ship is somewhere within the spike on the base. There is no such note regarding other aspects of the game.
Really? Was that printed in the original rulebook or somewhere else?
It was in the copy I had which was the last printing before it got moved over to specialist games. The whole area of the base represents the close engagement range for point defense weapons etc and the ship itself is at the point in the middle.
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Post by Ted C » 2008-06-18 03:01pm

Maxentius wrote:Using game mechanics is just vapid.

If we scale by planet templates, conversely, 40k ships would be hundreds of kilometers in length. The fighter templates would yield strikefighters somewhere in the vicinity of 1/10th-1/20th the overall length of their mothership.
They plainly state the the scale of the ship models is not the same as the scale of the "battlefield". The ships scale to 1 cm = 1 km (approximately).
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Post by Maxentius » 2008-06-18 03:09pm

Ted C wrote:
Maxentius wrote:Using game mechanics is just vapid.

If we scale by planet templates, conversely, 40k ships would be hundreds of kilometers in length. The fighter templates would yield strikefighters somewhere in the vicinity of 1/10th-1/20th the overall length of their mothership.
They plainly state the the scale of the ship models is not the same as the scale of the "battlefield". The ships scale to 1 cm = 1 km (approximately).
Right. If we were to utilize such a calculation, what would also need to be discussed is if this derived figure is optimum speed, or simply 'combat' velocities utilized in ship-to-ship engagements. Sabbat Martyr shows an Imperial vessel accelerating at a decent fraction of c, if I recall correctly, I can't remember the exact figure, but it was quite high.

The other problem is the pigeonholing of speeds. Eldar ships are not, in game, significantly faster than those of other races (maneuverable, yes; faster, not so much), when there are in-universe and narrative comments indicating that the Eldar can vastly outpace anything the Imperium can field.
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Post by Steel » 2008-06-18 03:29pm

Ted C wrote:
Maxentius wrote:Using game mechanics is just vapid.

If we scale by planet templates, conversely, 40k ships would be hundreds of kilometers in length. The fighter templates would yield strikefighters somewhere in the vicinity of 1/10th-1/20th the overall length of their mothership.
They plainly state the the scale of the ship models is not the same as the scale of the "battlefield". The ships scale to 1 cm = 1 km (approximately).
Theres no way that the ships can be 1cm =1km as they have been said to be in the range of 3-5km for cruisers, and the models are not 3cm long...

Using the battlefield is dodgy at best, seeing as we can see that ships are actually moving at large fractions of the speed of light, as even during the longest engagements there is no motion of moons relative to planets or asteroid fields relative to other celestial phenomena etc.

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Post by NecronLord » 2008-06-18 04:05pm

Maxentius wrote: The other problem is the pigeonholing of speeds. Eldar ships are not, in game, significantly faster than those of other races (maneuverable, yes; faster, not so much), when there are in-universe and narrative comments indicating that the Eldar can vastly outpace anything the Imperium can field.
You may want to reconsider that. Eldar move twice per turn. The values printed on their sheets thus go from equal to their Imperium equivalents to vastly faster.

This, oddly, doesn't seem to be the case for Dark Eldar, who use a different engine technology. But craftworld and corsair fleets are faster than everything but necron ships using their inertialess drives for tactical movement.
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Post by Maxentius » 2008-06-18 04:06pm

NecronLord wrote:
Maxentius wrote: The other problem is the pigeonholing of speeds. Eldar ships are not, in game, significantly faster than those of other races (maneuverable, yes; faster, not so much), when there are in-universe and narrative comments indicating that the Eldar can vastly outpace anything the Imperium can field.
You may want to reconsider that. Eldar move twice per turn. The values printed on their sheets thus go from equal to their Imperium equivalents to vastly faster.

This, oddly, doesn't seem to be the case for Dark Eldar, who use a different engine technology. But craftworld and corsair fleets are faster than everything but necron ships using their inertialess drives for tactical movement.
I'll freely admit that I'm only familiar with the first edition rules of BFG, but as I recall, the Eldar system of movement was that they had the ability to move, turn, and then move again, or utilize any excess movement during the firing phase, but they essentially only had their card printed speed, not double it.

It's entirely possible I could be remembering incorrectly, however.
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Post by andrewgpaul » 2008-06-18 04:22pm

Nope; they move twice. Once before firing, once after.
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Post by Maxentius » 2008-06-18 04:24pm

Well, ignore that silly notion of mine, then.
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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2008-06-19 04:25pm

Bob the Gunslinger wrote:I'd much prefer to use Connor's calculations from the fluff than some twisted game mechanics that leave a lot to be desired. As you've even pointed out, in BFG, ships don't accelerate.
Well, I do use some aspects of game mechanics (like the ammo counters or even some of the range comparisons of weapons in Dark HEresy, they seem pretty striaghtforward.) Usually though only in a "relative" sense (IE lasguns have a range of 100 m, long las 150 meters, thus indicationg a long las has 50% more range than a lasgun.)

The problem with game-stats based analysis is always one of interpretation. analysis is always frought with numerous (and sometimes/often complicated) Variables, and games may not so much ignore them as fudge or streamline them for simplicity, and that can make deriving precise stats difficult..

of course, sometimes game balance is also an issue/problem.

It IS possible, but often its difficult and requires more knowledge and hard judgement. I ran across alot of probelms with analysis of Bablyon 5 Wars RPGs on this basis, as well as WEG.. but sometimes I could usualyl derive something useful from stats. (sort of.)

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Re: WH40K/BFG analysis thought

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2008-06-19 04:32pm

Ted C wrote:Calculating ranges for ships and weapons of the Imperium was always pretty easy. From the planet templates, we could calculate that 1 cm on the board is roughly 1000 km in space.

Determining speed, though, was never easy because we never knew how much time a combat turn takes.

I just had a thought. Using an Exterminatus weapon against a planet takes one turn. The Chaos battleship Planet Killer is such a weapon, and when it used its planet-destroying main gun to destroy a planet, it fired continuously for 20 minutes (if I recall my "fluff" correctly). That would suggest that a turn takes at least 20 minutes, giving us a ball-park figure for time in speed calculations.

Thus, a ship with a game speed for 30 cm is moving at approximately 25 km/s.

Of course, the idea of fixed speeds in space instead of acceleration makes little sense, but I'm just going with what we've got. Is there any use for this tidbit of data?
If you want to do ship based analysis based on the stats, I'd have no problems. If youw aned to collaborate, that's fine too (since you know how to get in touch.. I am just not sure how involved you thought of getting to this.)

Points on your analysis:

The Planet killer weapon took one turn, and took anywhere from between an hour or half an hour of active activity. Small problem with this though is that other forms of exterimantus can vary. The stated time in the BFG blue book is "hours", and there are some (virus bombs or cyclonics mainly) that might last days. Hell the Planet Killer's effects lingered long after the initial bombardment itself.

Secondly, in reading BFG I always noticed that the game stats never gave much thought to "power allocation" ina ny real tangible sense. The assumption I gathered is that ships have a bit of power allocated to all systems: Some to weapons (further divided into various turrets, prow, broadsides, etc.), engines, etc. So in that sense the ship was not operating a particular systme at MAXIMUM capacity. this is further reinforced by certain orders (the "all ahead full" one IIRc, which boosts speed some 4d6 inches IIRC, but reduces firepower, and vice versa) and modifications (some ship variants had modifications that increased firepower but made ships slower.. the most immediate ones to my mind were the lance heavy ships or the Armageddon War variants.) Which must also ve accounted for

I'm also leery of range. We also know starships can engage/target at hundreds of thousands of kilometers, even if that IS long range.. even from BFG tiself (75,000 leagues being "just outside" of weapons range for Orbital weapons platforms, save torpedoes) which would skew those figures some (something like 1000-2000 km per inch.) There is also some fudge factor for planet sizes I imagine.

I also recall that "point blank range" was the base of the miniature, and measured around the ship "several thousand km IIRC - 2000-3000 km.. however many inches that the bases were)

Lastly.. do we know they "constantly" accelerate for the entire turn, much less in a single direction? I always got the impression it might involve course changes, orders given, delays in routing/rerouting power, starts, stops, use of retros, etc. That could fudge things some.

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Post by Keevan_Colton » 2008-06-19 05:48pm

Just a quick note, BFG is the only metric friendly one of the GW tabletops, it uses cm rather than inches for everything unlike 40k and fantasy ;)

Trivia really.
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Post by andrewgpaul » 2008-06-19 06:48pm

Well, so does Epic, and Lord of the Rings.
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Post by Keevan_Colton » 2008-06-19 07:11pm

andrewgpaul wrote:Well, so does Epic, and Lord of the Rings.
Epic is a whole other kettle of fish, those arent minatures they're left over bits of sprue! And LotR's...bah, that aint no real GW game, I'd rather they re-released bloodbowl than it! ;)
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Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2008-06-19 07:30pm

Keevan_Colton wrote:
andrewgpaul wrote:Well, so does Epic, and Lord of the Rings.
Epic is a whole other kettle of fish, those arent minatures they're left over bits of sprue! And LotR's...bah, that aint no real GW game, I'd rather they re-released bloodbowl than it! ;)
I thought they just did a release for Bloodbowl. Or am I just thinking of another BL book?

According to one of the rumor sites, Jervis Johnson has said that they are planing to support Specialist Games with more releases soon, but the only game he mentioned was Necromunda.
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