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 Post subject: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-12 05:20pm
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Sith Apprentice
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And back to Imperial armour, this time covering books 5-7, also known as the Siege of Vraks. Basically its what might be commonly thought of as 'classical' Imperial guard: attrition, trench warfare, bayonets, and the like. The opposition is at first Heretics, but it quickly becomes an 'Imperium vs Chaos' war for the rest of the books. In terms of scale its much bigger than most other IA conflicts except perhaps Badab, but it's still not quite of the scope of say, Armageddon, or the Sabbat worlds Crusade (or Jericho Reach) or the Black Crusades. If anything it helps emphasize the sheer scope of the Imperium - that 'millions can die and noone notices' sort of thing, although less grimdark would be nice (but it wouldn't be Forgeworld if it wasn't Imperial grimdark, would it?)

It is a strictly average conflict all told. Not the best (If there is one) but its not as stupidity-laden as Taros or (the following) Kastorel-Novem fiasco (which perhaps makes Taros look competent.)

Anyhow, here we go! This inset will cover the background leading up to the war, and the preparations. The war itself begins next time, and is far longer lasting (and comprehensive.)

Page 4
Quote:
Since Imperial ARmour volume 3, it has always been our intention to cover siege warfare in the 41st Millenium...

..

After the small-scale actions of Imperial Armour volume 4, we decided that htis book would involve war on an entirely different scale, a massive conflict in which millions die over the course of a war that lasts decades. Here is the type of war that I always imagined the Imperium fought, and was so often depicted in the artwork; thousands of men marching to battle amidst massed taks and artillery. It is war prosecuted by the uncaring hand of the Imperium's bureacracy, endlessly grinding on.


Forge world is addicted to WW1 and WW2 trecnh warfare stuff. GRIMDARK! Interesting as it pretty much sets the scale for the next series of analysis. That said, its hardly the most 'epic' 40K can get - the Deathwatch RPG does better all around than Vraks does.

Page 4
Quote:
This book also contains an army list for siege regiments. Again this is a specialised Imperial Guard list, much like the Armoured Company or Drop troops.

..

Not every regiment from Krieg is a siege regiment (although none are Drop troops.


Siege warfare regiments are specialists like a number of other kinds of regiments. Also, Krieg doesn't do paratroop stuff.


Page 6
Quote:
Segmentum: Obscurus Sector: Scarus Sub-sector: Kerak
System Vraks. four planets (Prime, Secundus, Tertius and Uryx). One inhabited (Vraks Prime.)
..

Summary: Vraks is a Departmento Munitorum armoury world. A vast storage facility for supplies and equipment for use by newly raised Imperial Guard regiments and as emergency war reserves.


Armoury worlds defined. Presumably this isnt the sole armoury world in the Segmentum, since as I recall they have armoury worlds set up at segmentum navla bases as well, for example.

Note that the conflict is taking place in the Scarus sector.

Page 6
Quote:
Size Equatorial distance - 6300 miles
Gravity 1.05G

Population is 8 million (human and abhuman)

Rotation speed: 1100 mph.

Orbit: Mean orbital distance 172 million kms from the star

Mean surface temperature: 11C


Vraks stats. May or may not become useful. 55% of the planet's surface is covered by shallow, sulphur rich seas.

Pag 6
Quote:
Economy: None. All import and export is regulated by Departmento Munitorum officials.

Society: As an Adminstratum facility, Vraks' society is organised with the same hierarchy as the Daeptus Adminstratum on Terra.

..

The millions of labour corp indentured workers are guarded by Departmento Munitorum garrison troops. Vraks' also has its own planetary defence force militia, organised from within the work force.

There is a substantial Ogryn population amgongst the labour corps.

There is a transitory population of pilgrims, visiting the shrine of St Leonis, ranging from approximately 1 million to 5 million. Exact figures are unknown.

Imperial Guard regiments arrive for arming and equipping before being transported to their next destination. Barracks are provided at the star port.


More on Vraks' role as an armoury world, as well as the organization and purpose of its populace.

Curiously, it also has a rather significant transient population from off-world, giving us a rather interesting indicator how extensive off world travel amy be (even if its just for religious purposes.)

Page 6
Quote:
Principle Imports: Muntions, Arms and weapons of all types. foodstuff. Fuel Manufactured goods.

food supply: All food is supplied from off-world. Huge reserves of rations are stockpiled on Vraks, and a proportion of those are designated for use by the native work force.


The kinds of stuff Vraks stockpiles.

PAge 7
Quote:
Located in Segmentum Obscurus, to the galactic north-west of the Eye of Terror, Vraks' importance lies in its strategic position as part of hte Imperium's defenses against attacskf rom the Eye of Terror.

Vraks forms part of a network of Armoury worlds across Segmentum Obscurus used to stockpile arms and munitions for the Imperial Guard forces that would be needed in the event of a major incursion from the Eye of Terror.

Forge worlds across the Imperium produce huge amounts of munitions, and these are often shipped to Armoury worlds, and placed into mothball storage until the Departmento Munitorum administrators require them. Where they are then removed frrom storage, until being shipped in huge quantities to the required warzone or Imperial Guard regiment.

Vraks' location means it can quickly supply Imperial Guard forces committed to defend worlds close to the Eye of Terror, especially in the Scarus sector. As such it forms a strategically important link in the chain of the Imperium's defences against major Chaos incursions (such as a Black Crusade.)


Location of Vraks and its particular importance as a defnece against the Eye, as well as more on th epurpose of armouy worlds in general.

Page 7
Quote:
A supply base was established to stockpile materiel used for future expeditions around the rim of the Eye of Terror.

As the supply base grew in size the stockpiles needed protecting, and thus Vraks' uses as an Armoury world began in earnest. A fortress was built to protect the stockpiles from raiding pirates or aliens. A star port facility was constructed to allow easy acess for freighters and transport vessels.

...

Great underground bunkers and hangars were constructed for the arms, ammunition, fuel, uniforms, etc, ,flowing onto the planet to be stored.

..

OVer thousands of years Vraks has grown into a huge armoury. The spaceport has been expanded to service the largest Imeprial landing craft, capable of ferrying huge shipments of arms, vechiles, and munitions to the bulk carriers waiting in orbit.


The historical evolution of Vraks prior ot its rebellion. Curiously as we'll learn, the defences do not include much in the way of space based assets or aeriel forces.

Page 7
Quote:
Within the Departmento Munitorum it is now believed that Vraks is an impregnable fortress. Its walls are protected from orbital bombardment by void shield generators. It has an extensive curtain wall protecting it from direct assault. It is surrounded by a large network of defence laser batteries, making an assault from orbit suicidal for any star ship. These lasers can also be used against ground targets, and all approaches to the Citadel are covered by interlocking fields of fire. Three defence rings run for miles out into the wastes. These protect the storage bunkers from raiders and include trenches, defence lines, bunkers and strong points as well as pre-prepared artillery positions. The defence lines are further protected by lines of razorwire, tank raps and thousands of minefields.

..

In the event of a major attack, the Citadel's large garrison protects the citadel itself, whislt the planetary defence force militia, raised from the labour corps and given only basic training, are expected to man the static defence lines.


Vraks has void shields for defence sa well as a huge number of defence lasers that can double as ground and air/space based defenses. It is never clearly stated whether the defence lasers are all of one kind, or multiple kinds. Also the defince lines extend for "miles.

Page 8
Quote:
The astropathic communications node on Vraks, where astropathic messages were gathred from across Scarus sector, checked, encrypted, and re-routed by the cadre of astropaths... had stopped working.

..

Itwould take the Master of the Departmento Munitorum many months to hear news of the disaster that had beset his Armoury world.


Vraks seems to be a semi-important FTL comm node in and around the Eye as well as its role as an armoury world. Even despite the warning by the loss of the astropath comms, it took months before the head of the Munitorum found out.

PAge 8
Quote:
At 366804M.41 Cardinal-Astral Borja died. He was a very old man. He was old beyond the comprehension of most mere mortals. His body had been kept alive for over four hundred years by the arcane arts of the Adeptus Mechanicus Biologis, with daily blood transfusions and the application of rare and expensive chemicals.

...

Bells tolled across the sub-sectors under his rule - although the old man had not left his Ecclesiastical palace on the CArdnial World of San Artorus for the past two hundred years.


Ecclesairch needed some pretty extensive stuff to live 400 years, which suggests for whatever reason living to that age does not seem to be common (possibly why for 200 fo those years he was in one place.)

Page 8
Quote:
Xaphan was enthroned in his new rank as the Cardinal-Astral Scarus on San Artorus...

...

He would conduct a grand tour of his new diocese (for he had never seen the places he must now rule), and this pilgrimage would take in the many shrines and cathedrals of the Scarus sector. At each location he would preach the Imperial Creed and see that all was beign doen to protect the souls of the billions now under his charge.


Xaphan seemed to be responsible for the whole Xaphan sector, which as I've mentioned before owuld seem to confirm the approximate size of a Diocese (hundreds of worlds, which is about what ocmprises your average sector) Then again this isnt hard and fast since there are some inconsistencies (and then again there are more insane numbers, eg "billions of hive worlds" in the Imperium as per Heart of Rage.)

Also implication that the combined population of the Scarus sector numbered in teh "billions" Probably more than single or double digit, since most civilised or Hive worlds will be that alone (nevermind triple digit)

Page 8 -
Quote:
The pilgrimage would take five years, and along with CArdinal Xaphan would travel his full entourage. A thousand preachers, deacons, chatelaines, servants and menials, along with a personal bodyguard of the Adeptus Sororitas. These warriors were a gift from the Order of the Argent shroud, to celebrate Xaphan's entrhonement.


It is worth notinh the Cardinal had a "bodyguard" of Sororitas.. we might assume there are at least a couple or aunit (4-5 troops) if not an entire squad. This suggests hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Sororitas potentially, scattered across the Sectors.


Page 8
Quote:
The Cardinal's arrival had been like a spark that had ignited the fires of faith across the Scarus sector.

..
With a leader to unite the any cults of the Imperial Creed, Xaphan's pilgrimage oculd become a war of faith across the Sector.


Again suggestion that the Cardinal's diocese spanned only the Scarus sector.


Page 9
Quote:
The Cardinal's pligrimage should visit the shrine and take up residence in the palace attached to the Basilica. The Palace already belonged to the Caridanl as part of the estates that accompanied his position.


The Ecclesiarchy, predictbly, has territory belonging to his position (which no doubt explains much of the politicking in the Ministorum)

Page 9
Quote:
The [Vraks] system itself was a highly sensitive location, and only those ships with permission could enter the system.


And yet it has a sizeable transient population. Whose bright idea was that?

Page 9
Quote:
Vraks would be the seat of the Cardinal's power in the Scarus sector until he was reay to resume his pilgrimage and begin his holy war.
..

The sisters of the Order of the Argent Shroud took up residence in the small priory attached to the Basilica of St Leonis and formed an honour guard to the revered saint's remains and relics.


Again Sector = diocese it seems, and the mention again of the Sisters of Battle honour guard.

Page 9
Quote:
On Vraks there were millions of indentured workers, poro souls dressed in ragged overalls, chained together and under constant guard.


Again mention of "millions" of indentured workers on Vraks.

Page 10
Quote:
The sniper--assasin had been lying in wait for his chance for many days.


Its a vindicaire but for some reason they never come out and say it here. He is perhaps one of the most inept Vindicaire assassins ever. I wonder where the Forgeworld forces find these guys - the Assasinorum bargain bin (Slightly used, missing some parts! GREAT DEAL!)

Page 10
Quote:
.. [Assassin] climbed to the highest tower above the basilicia - from where he could see most of the Citadel grounds...

..

And on a narrow ledge, camouflaged by his stealth suit, the sniper patiently waited his chance to strike.


stealth suit and high advantage point, again.. Vindicaire.

PAge 10
Quote:
The heavy penetrator round punched clean through a decorative pillar before hitting the Cardinal. In a bright flash of energy Xaphan fell backwards, but his rosarious-mounted refractor field had saved his life.


penetrative ability of Vindicaire rifle and penetrator ammo. Should have used shield breakers though. Interesting that the Cadinal had access to a rosarius too (but it makes sense - unlike the Vindicaire not preparing for this or having shield breaker ammo.)

Page 10
Quote:
His [the Assassins'] mask compensated for th enear darkness...


More vindicaire gear

Page 10
Quote:
It was the last thing he saw as the Exitus rifle fired from the hip hit him through teh chest.
..

Firing blind ogver his shoulder two guards fell bleeding.


The sniper's weapon is described (here) as an Exitus rifle. The most dead giveaway that its Vindicaire. Also an indication of the sniper's marksmanship skills and reflexes.

Page 10
Quote:
Rolling across the corridor he found another sealed doorway, and blasted away the hinges..


Exitus pistol can blow away hinges. Suggests a fairly high powered round.

Page 10
Quote:
The Arbites precinct house was soon besieged by an angry mob, and would hold out for several weeks before being evnetually overrun.


Arbites always seem to last out for several weeks when this stuff happens. I think the same was true on Taros.

Page 11
Quote:
It took a long time for the news of the Vraks uprising to be confirmed and then for it ot reach the ears of the Officio of the Master of the Departmento Munitorum for Segmentum Obscurus. Even then the Officio was unable to act without first contacting the Administratum on Terra. Months of inactivity passed as the bureacracy at the heart of the Imperium slowly processed the new information.


Again months pass before some become aware of what happens on Vraks. at least at the highest levels of the bureacracy anyhow.

Page 11
Quote:
Whilst a small world with just eight million souls was of little consequences when compared to the great crusades and the Tyranic Wars now raging on the Eastern Fringes, it was Vraks' strategic position in the Departmento's logistical chain that made its loss so important. Who knew what future damage would be caused if Imperial Guard regiments in the Scarus sector, and further afield, found themselves running short on the munitions and equipment they needed to fight their own battles.

Vrak's strategic position in the Munitorum's logisitcal chain made its loss important, and it was feared that that loss might have indescribable damage to Guard regiments in the Scarus sector (or beyond) if they were short of supply.


Actually they panicked a bit, thinking that the loss of Vraks would lead toa weakening of the Sector's defenses and leading to Chaos forces leaping to attack in a moment of weakness, thereby losing more worlds, attracting more Chaos troops, etc. leading up to a potential new black crusade. Such is Munitorum thinking.

This tends to suggest that there is at least one (major) armoury world per sector, possibly in addition to the ones at Segmentum naval bases. Given how most things in the Imperium go, the stockpiling goes from Segmentum to Sector to sub-sector to some degree as well (Same with guard troops and garrisoning, for example.)

Page 11
Quote:
The Order to retake Vraks was issued ot the Imperial Guard high command of Segmentum Obscurus, situated on Cadia.


POLITICS! Also, it seems that the IG have their own segmentum level HQs like the Navy and other branches of the Adeptus Terra, although they do not seem to correspond to the naval bases as a rule (EG the Segmentum fortress is on Cypra Mundi in Segmentum OBscurus.)

PAge 11
Quote:
Any battle for Vraks would be a huge undertaking. Vraks was a world designed to withstand attack. Its defences had been constantly improved upon since ancient times. Vraks was a bastion world, impervious to direct assault - it had never fallen.


I wonder if this is by adminsitratum/munitorum thinking or actual miltary thinking?

Page 11
Quote:
Some commanders even argued that the entire scheme was folly, teh sheer wastage of men and mateirals would mean other systems would fall; Vraks was gone, and the Departmento should turn its attention to avoiding such a disaster in the future, not planning a hopeless campaign to recover a situation brought about by their own lack of foresight and judgement. The stockpiles of Vraks were lost. Why not write them off and concnetrate on increasing production across the Segmentum to replace them

The sceptical voices on the war council held little sway ove rthe High Commander and his staff. The order to retake Vraks had come dirctly from Terra, under the seal of the Prefect of the Master of the Admiistratum's office - a high rankign servant of a High Lord of Terra could not be ignored. Failure to act was likely to be met with swift retribution from the Inquisition.


Note that some argued that the planet should be written off because "the sheer wastage of men and mateirals would mean other systems would fall" and that the loss should be compensated for by "increasing production across the segmentum" for replacement. This gives us an idea of just how important the stockpiles on Vraks were (potentially equivalent to the output of thousands, perhaps millions of worlds.)

But as we see, politics again shafts the Imperium military. The Munitorum/Adminsitratum want their world back, so the damn military is expected to get it back.


Page 12
Quote:
It was the council's job to decide how to conduct the war. The first option considered was the obvious one, a swift direct assault. This would involve an attack from orbit by a powerful Imperial Navy fleet, spearheaded by a forcee of the Adeptus Astartes.


Note this key fact. They did NOT opt right away for WW1 style trench warfare.

Page 12
Quote:
Since its first constrruction it had always been known that the Citadel and star port on Vraks would be vulnerable to an orbital assault. The defences had been deisgned to repulse just such an attack. Batteries of planetary defencee lasers ringed them, maybe as many as a hundred operational guns. There was enough firepower on the surface of Vraks to fight an entire fleet in low orbit. The Imperial Navy's battleship sand cruisers were hugely powerful starships, but no ship can fight a planet. With batteries buried deep to withstand orbital bombardment, the ships would be at a massive disadvantage in a straight fight. to land troops the ships would need to approach in low orbit and they would be vulenrable as they manoeuvred into position to launc their landing ships. The landing ships themselves would be targeted, and a single hit from a defence laser would tear a landing craft apart. Below the defence lasers was a network of high and low altitude anti-aircraft defences that could engage any craft that got through. The conclusion drawn from the Logis' calculations was that the risk of a direct attack was too great. The probability was high that a planetary assault would be repulsed with great loss. Troops that did reach the surface would not do so in sufficient numbers to capture the citadel. Even the mighty Space Marines would not attempt such an attack. No Chapter Master was foolhardy enough to risk the destruction of his valuable battle barges and worse still, his battle brothers, for the slim chance of victory. If they pursued this plan they would do it without the aid of the Space Marines and would be walking into a disaster. The fastest and most obvious solution was discarded.


What follows is the reasoning why option one (above) was not pursued. Note the estimated number of defence lasers.

Also "high alittude" air defences suggests at least some defences capable of reaching in excess of 10,000 ft (deinifion of high altitude on Earth I believe)

PAge 12
Quote:
Atlernatively, a long term strategy could be taken. some suggested that they use the Imperial Navy to blockade the system, isolate it from reinfrocements, then, over the course of, say, the next hundred years, launch repeated raids against the planet. Land small, well-equipped forces and strike hard at the defenders, in parrticular target the planetary defence batteries. WEar the defenders down, battery by battery. Perhaps after a hundred years of isolation and raiding, the defences would have been so thinned out a direct assault would be possible. Again the logis calculations were not encouraging. Such a plan might work if executed over a period of five hundred years.


Again, note that with option two they did not consider trench warfare or attrition warfare. Politcs quashed this one however (the munitorum wouldn't wait 500 years, they wanted it NOW.)

I wonder if it owuld have been possible to do a compromise... use raiding forces and blockading to weaken the planet and strip some of its defences in one area, then go with the direct assault (like with Taros)

PAge 12
Quote:
The third option considered in detail was to plan and execute a siege on a massive scale. Land an army big enough to sustain the siege over the years required to pulverise the defenses. Remorselessly and mercilessly grind the defenders down. If they could turn the recapture of Vraks into a war of attrition then, with the vastly superior resourcees available to them, they must eventually win. If the Departmento Munitorum was willing to match the defenders casualties at a rate of two to one, then how long, and how many men would it take to recapture the planet?

The human-computer logis began their calculations. Taking everything into consideration, replacement rates, supply requirements, the vagaries of warp travel times, the known stockpiles of arms on Vraks, the manpowera vailable to the defenders, they estimated it would take twelve standard Terran years, including preparation time, until Vraks was back under the Emperor's rule.


It perhaps stands as a possible indicator of just how massive the defenses of VRaks must be if the most viable option is siege warfare. Then agian, they didnt consider any other options so this is also a bit silly. I mean, considering how ultimately destructive a decade+ long trench war is, preserving assets wasn't much of a concern. They could have just been plastering the defences from the get go (if not orbital bombardment, then carpet bombing from air attacks, indiscriminate damage or no. Hell once the defenses were surpressed send in the conventional assault from orbit.)

But politics, stupdiity, some combination of factors or whatever lead inevitably to attritional trench warfare. So thats what we get. I still say it says something they didnt leap on this option right away, though, contriance or not.


Page 12
88th Imperial Guard (Krieg) Siege army - OOB

1st line Korps
3rd, 6th, 15th, 19th Krieg Siege Regiment

12th Line Korps:
143rd, 149th, 150th, 158th Krieg Siege Regiments

30th Line Korps
261st, 262nd, 263rd, 269th Kriege Siege Regiment

34th line Korps
291st, 308th, 309th, 310th Krieg Siege Regiments

8th Assault korps
7th, 11th, 14th Krieg Tank regiment
179th Krieg Siege regiment
231st Siege artillery regiment

11th Assault Korps
61st and 66th Krieg Tank regiment
10st Krieg siege regiment
40th Siege artillery regiment.

19th Bombardment korps
3rd, 4th, 8th Siege artillery regiments

21st bombardment korps:
19th, 22nd, 23rd Siege Artillery regiments.

Independnet artillery companies:
4th, 6th, 8th, 27th, 31st, 33rd 224th 226th, 227th, 230th artillery companies
61st, 67th, 70th, 71st heavy mortar companies.

Page 12
Quote:
All the men for the new siege army would be supplied from the planet of Krieg. Krieg was a world already in the highest tithe band for supplying manpower to the Imperial guard. only a few worlds in the entire Imperium produced more men for the Emperor's service.


Given some of the tithing levels annually from the 5th edition codex, this really says something. The scale of the war and casualties over the decade or so (nevermind the wounded and the intial forces deployeD) tend to corroborate this (millions of troops just for this one conflict, nevermind resupply or krieg troops deployed elswhere.)

Page 12
Quote:
Known as the Death Korps, the men of Krieg were grim warriors who had developed their particular doctrines of warfare during the planet's bloody five hundred year civil war.


Translation: They know and like trench warfare better than anyone else.

PAge 12
Quote:
During the Krieg civil war, the loyalists had attempted to destroy the rebels using atomic purging. the planet had been wrecked as the mushroom clouds of ancient and forbidden weaponry erupted over Krieg.


atomics are "ancient and forbidden weaponry", because if you really want to kill a planet nothing beats a cyclonic warhead or virus bombing (no radioactive fallouet!)

This fact highlights what grim fanatical bastard the Krieg are, as well as their penchant for using WMDs of any kind at the drop of a hat.

Page 13
Quote:
For long periods the civil war had been a stalemate, but it meant that for fifteen generations the fighting men of Krieg were raised and trained into a tradition of attritional trench warfare. When it came to these bloody and slow battles (eg : attritional trench warfare), the Death Korps of Krieg excelled. Unlike other Imperial Guard regiments, the moral character of the men of Krieg, forged by the civil war, was one of selfless sacrifice. They could withstand the horrific psychological damage caused by prolonged wars of attrition. In the past other regiments had cracked under the strain of such campaigns and mutinied. The Death Korps would never break, they would fight on, regardless of their losses. They knew no other way.


This must be stressed: The Krieg specialize in trench warfare. They're perfectly suited to it, far more than other regiments are. It may be expected that other regiments MAY be employed in that style (especially if under the command of a Krieger) but this particular doctrine is indicated to not be a generalist philosophy but that of a specialization, much like drop troops or mechanized forces (like the Steel Legion or Elysians.) This fits perfectly with the oft-stated fact that the Tactica Imperialis defines Guard doctrine in no specific terms - it encompasses many different doctines that are left up to individual commanders to decide from (for good or ill.)

Page 13
Quote:
Planning to overwhelm the defence lines, destroy the planetary defence batteries, and eventually storm and capture the citadel and star poart was reduced to a mathematical forumla. Everything in the 88th Siege army was an expendable resources. how many men to dig a trench and how many shovels? How many men would be needed to capture a hundred metres of ground, or storm a strongpoint? how many guns to pulverise an enemy trench line? How many tows, crews, shells, replacement barrels, ration packs, water supplies? The lists were endless. List upon list was compiled, all of it pre-calculated. Before a single guardsmen had been assigned to a regiment, or a single weapon manufactured, the 88th Siege army existed on thousands of data-salbs as lists.


Logical and assholish about it. That's the Krieg!

Page 13
Quote:
Within the Death Korps regiments the men were not named, just numbered, so they could quickly be tallied-up and counted off the lists. The regiments would be ordered into battle already knwoing how many would be expected to die. By meticulous logis calculations the 88th Siege army could precisely predict the outcome of each battle. What was to be gained, and for how many losses. The lives of Krieg guardsmen were no more important than the daily fuel consumption rates or the expenditure of artillery shells. The formulae would decide where battles would be fought, and by how many. It also assured them ultimate victory in twelve standard Terran years.


And I thought Death worlds and Hive Worlds were hellholes. Of course this sounds like Munitourm type military thinking, all mathematical and precise. The reality (as Vraks shows) is that this plan, like many others, falls apart on contact with the enemy (especially Chaos.) Which leads to results both sad, predictable and hilariously failtastic.

Page 13-14
Quote:
The Cardinal issued instructions that Vraks should be turned into a slaughterhouse.
...

The labourers were soon put back to work, improving the defence lines, moving minefields or laying new ones and rolling out miles of razor-wire. Artillery crews practicsed ranging shots and pre-sighted their guns.


Naturally, the defenders on Vraks decide to make their defences even more killtastic. And since they have oodles of military equipment and machines to work with, that probably means they can do quite a bit (more tanks, gun emplacements, artillery, etc.) Already you can tell this is going to be a good idea.

Page 14
Quote:
Although no exact figures were available, it was estimated that Vraks population was eight million souls, and all of these now had to be considered as traitors and probable manpower for the heretic Cardinal's army. It would be made up of various quality of troops, ranigng fromwell-trained, well equipped and fanatically loyal, to an undisciplined mob.


- exact army figures for the Vraks rebels wasn't known, but they assumed all 8 million were probable manpower and traitors. Much like with Taros we see that intel proves to be a weak point in Imperial planning for this war. Won't be the last time either. Still, I am a bit impressed by their ability to speculate.

Page 14
Quote:
Vraks' best troops would be the Disciples of Xaphan.

..

After the Disciples of Xaphan there was the garrison auxilia. Due to its location and strategic importance Vraks had been guarded by a huge force of garrison auxilia. These were broadly equivlalent to a planetary defence force, the Imperium's second line of military forces behind its Imperial Guard reigments. The auxilia did not have the training or equipment of a regular Imperial guard regiment, but access to Vraks' stores would have rectified any equipment shortages and given the garrison access to vast amounts of heavy equipment, Leman Russes, Chimeras and Basilisks.

..

..tbut the garrison's fighting strength had been built around a backbone of veteran Imperial Guardsmen and officers drawn from disbanded regiments that could not be rebuilt.


Breakdown of the potential enemy forces facing the Vraks invasion force.

Page 14
Quote:
The Departmento Munitorum labour corps on Vraks was large and included many Ogryns. The labour corps were indentured workers doing routine work such as constructing and repairing roads, pouring ferrocrete bunkers to strengthen defence lines, digging and blasting out new underground storehouses, and transporting goods to and from the star port.


Labour corps defined, sort of.

Page 14
Quote:
Many of the labourers had already been given some basic military training. As well as workign, the labour corps aslo supplied manpower for Vraks' militia. In the event of an attack the planet's garrison was not large neough to man the defence lines, instead this would be the job of the militia.

..

although only rudimentary training was given, Vraks' militia was a massive force. One in four labourers either volunteered or were conscripted into the militia. Lacking any sort of heavy weapons, artillery or vehicles they were a third line force, but, again, their lack of equipment could be quickly rectified and once armed from the stores and with additional training, they would be capable troops whilst holding static defensive positions.


Labour corps seems to double as military forces. Which will be the case in the actual fighting, even if they're poor quality troops (not that that has stopped Chaos before...)

Page 14
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The fourth source of manpower for the Cardinal's army was the itinerant pilgrims and the Departmento Munitorum's own workforce of administrators and bureacrats.

..

Many [piglrims] volunteered for the frateris militia in the belief they were defending the shrine of St Leonis against heretic forces...


A force even worse than the labour corps. I almost always forget them.

Page 15
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Added to the renegade's ranks were the dangeorusly insane or psychopathic, as well as individuals who had shown signs of developing psychic powers. Dangerously unprotected psykers were easy prey to warp entities, and there were several hundred such individuals in Vraks' deepest dungeons awaiting transportation to Terra on the next Inquisitorial Balck Ship to arrive.


- there were several hundred psykers on Vraks awiating the Black Ships and these were released/unleashed on the Imperium's forces in defense of Vraks. Things just keep getting better for the Imperium, don't they? Just wait until part two.


Page 15
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These [Krieg] would be amongst the best Imeprial Guard regiments available to the Imperium. The men of Krieg were loyal, dutiful and superbly disciplined. They would fight with an almost inhuman disregard for the cost, seeing death in battle as their ultimate goal, sacrificing themselves to the Emperor.

The 88th Siege army's morale could not be doubted, that was the very reason they had been chosen in the first place.


"best avaialble" to who? In alot of sources you tend to see that ascribed to the Cadians or the Elysians or similar high end forces. But the Krieg? Something tells me they're the 'best' in the sense of 'fights in the way that makes a Departmento Munitourm clerk jizz himself.' Then again, considering their view on some equipment, maybe not.

Page 15
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For this campaign most of the regiments would be siege regiments, ,equipped for a long static war, with a special reliance on artillery. The artillery lay at the center of the plan for besieging Vraks, it would be a gunner's war frfom the start.


Siege regiments again, are a specialist force, rather thatn what every Imperium infantry brigade is trained to do. Some are trained to even worse standards (napoleonic era tactics., or worse).

Page 15
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Each regiment would comprise of its own atrillery companies, with weaponry ranging from small mortars used on the frontline, to medium artillery of hheavy mortars and quad launchers. There would be heavy artillery in the form of medusa siege guns and Earthshaker cannons - the work-horse of the 88th Siege army, to the heaviest guns of all, the mighty Bombards. To augment each regiment's own artillery, the 88th Siege army's commanders could also turn to a variety of independant artillery companies and regiments, including heavy siege artillery regiments, which would be positioned to strengthne the artillery available for attacks.


Siege regiments defined, especially in the artillrey department. Very gun happy. On the other hand, this makes them rather resource/material heavy, and dependent grealty on supply lines (much the way mechanised or armoured forces would be.) so one can see why they would be considered specialist.

PAge 15
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Other regiments would be equipped as more mobile armoured regiments, but for a siege campaign these would be used as breakthrough and exploitation forces, ,and would not expect to be spending long periods manning the lines. The tanks would be used to support infantry attacks, there would be no mass tank battles and the plan intended to stifle the enemies' chance for mobile warfare. Still, Leman Russes, Baneblades and Gorgons would have their part to play in assaulting the enemy.


Even though we dont see it very much on Vraks, in theory some of the Krieg forces had mobility on their side. (It won't amount to much though, as we see in Volume 2.) Just thought I'd mention it though.

Page 15
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All of them had been raised in Krieg's underground hive cities, where they had become used to overcrowded conditions and breathing recycled oxygen. They had trained for battle on their planet's surface, amongst the bitter cold of a nculear winter...
..

They braved the rad-zones...



Krieger training conditions.

Page 15
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They were now entering the crucible of battle, most regiments for the first time - even though they bore regimental numbers with a long tradition and history, these were reconstituted regiments brought up to strength with many new recruits.


Krieg seems to follow the pattenr of recruimtnet and regimental nubmering that hte Vostryoans do - regiments continuing long time traditions, but under many new faces. AS we'll see, they get steady reinforcement from Krieg directly (rather than forces being raised from nearby worlds and thrown into Vraks en masse. Which probably would have been as bloody, but not nearly as drawn out.)

Page 15
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The battlefield itself would encompass almost the whole of the Van Meersland Wastes, five thousand square kilometres of barren emptiness..[
..

It was almost featureless, but it was terrain the enemy already knew well. The Departmento Munitorum had supplied maps for the Krieg officers, but many contained no featuresof note. The enemy knew where the high ground was, where to position his guns with the best fields of fire. All of this intuitive understanding of the battlefield would have to be learned by the attackers as the campaign progressed.


Scope of our uber-trench warfare conflict to come. Again, lack of intel proves to be an ongoing problem (Yet again.) This becomes a Forge World trademark for the Guard, trust me.


Page 16
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The standard issue Mark IX helmet is made of plasteel, has an adjustable cradle for fit around the head, flares to allow a good fit for the gasmask and is ventilated via the top spine. This ventilation has an internal filter to keep out chemical or biological agents. THere are many variants of the standard mark IX helmet issued to specialists and officers

The shoulder pads are of plasteel construction and buckle to teh greatcoat.


No other (solid) armor than helmet and shoulder pads? fuck. I imagine the greatcoats are armoured as hinted in other books and codexes. Maybe they have inserts like the uplifting manual suggests, or they have that "stiffening on impact" material from the munitorum manual. The rest of this book (or the others) has failed to provide any substantiating detail in this regard.

Page 16
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The great coat provides limited protection, but is also heavily chemically impregnated against chemical and biological attack...

The greatcoat is completely waterproof and very warm, useful when deployed to colder climates.

...

The Guardsman's trousers are constructed of the same hardwearing material as the coat. Leg-bindings are used to hold the trousers close to the legs and limit the worst effects of muddy conditions.

..
Boots are standard issue low marching boots with hob-nailed soles for grip. As part of their kit, guardsmen carry an anti-vesicant dubbing which is rubbed into the boots to seal them against chemical attacks.

When fully equipped, a Krieg guardsman is completely sealed against a contaminated enviroment by the layers of his uniform and his respirator unit.


Well, at least they give them some sort of NBC and enviromental protection. And they will need it.

Page 16
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The Guardsman's main weapon is his Lucius pattern, no. 98 lasgun. This wepaon is standard issue to Krieg regiments, and stockpiled in vast numbers in Krieg's armouries. It takes a standard power pack unit, operating in the 21 megathule range. This is a higher charge than many of the more common lasgun patterns, and causes the pwoerpack to drain more rapidly than in other lasguns. The powerpack is good for 25 shots. This lasgun is a single shot weapon, and the weapon's internal fast-discharge generator is placed under extra stress by the larger charrge, reducing its recharge rate and slowing the weapon's rate of fire whilst increasing maintenance time. This is compensated for by teh charge's increased impact upon hitting the target.

The weapon's barrel includes additional heatsink rings to dissiapte the heat of the barrel, which infamously gets very hot during sustained firing. The lasgun also includes a bayonet lug and a basic back sight.


They also get one frag grenade. This lasgun for the most part seems to be less assault rifle or battle rifle and something more along the lines of the lasgun version of the M1 Garand (semi-automatic, very powerful shot, less ammo.) The megathule value is essentially useless but perhaps refers to the energy capacity (21 megajoules) Since a normal powerpack is betwene 40-60 shots and if we assume the Krieg powerpack is comparable we might figure that the rifle is more than 1.5x more powerful but less than 2.5x more powerful than a "standard" lasgun, at the cost of a lsower rate of fire and making it more unwieldy.

The tradeoff in rate of fire for increased punch says alot about the nature of the weapon as well. I would gather from the context that they achieve it through modifying the weapon so that the discharge capacitor can 'hold' a larger quantity of energy drawn off the power pack, which translates into a more powerful discharge, and creates the cooling/maintenance problems (the gun is handling a larger quantity of energy than it normally does.), the reduced number of shots (although the 21 Megahule pack might suggest it uses a different powerpack than the 19 Megathule. Perhaps it carries more energy total? That might mean the shots are even more powerful than I suggested if so.) The slow refire may seem odd, but it points to limitations in the rate at which powerpacks discharge - it's not enough to just store a given quantity of energy - the rate at which they release that energy to the capacitor matters and will dictate rate of fire. So if you increase the output but the rate of discharge from the capacitor remains the same, the rate of fire will drop because the gun must 'charge' longer between shots.

This also makes the Krieg lasguns basically a 'bolt action' laser or Garand analogue, for all intents and purposes.

If we assume "thule" is "joule" that means the powerpack is 21 MJ, which over 25 shots would be bout 840 kj per shot (or a about as powerful as a stick of dynamite.) but like all "thule" based analysis its purely conjectural and should not reflect a concrete measurement.

Also note the extra heat sink rings and the back sight (no scope like device or anything like other lasguns.) This suggests at least some models of lasguns work on heat sinks or radiators (which cannot be very large or radiate much heat, though.) That says lasguns as a rule are quite highly efficient, since noone cooks from the cooling effects (unlike with plasma weapons.)

This does show us that lasguns can vary in design from regiment to regiment and world to world, depending on doctrine, training, and what they're used for.

Page 16
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All Krieg soldiers carry a 45cm long sword-bayonet. This heavy bladed, razor-sharp knife is the Guardmsan's only close combat wepaon, and bayonet drill is practised frrom a very young age. All Krieg Guardsmen are highly proficient with the bayonet, so much so that some commanders have remarked that hte bayonet seems to be the regiment's main weapon..

The Bayonet charge remains a preferred tactic of Krieg commanders.


It wouldn't be trench warfare if the Krieg didn't have a hardon for bayonet charges with something nearly as long as a sword.

Page 16
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All Krieg guardsmen are issued with their distinctive respirator units. The respirator comprises of three elements; the gasmask, the hose, and the respirator regular unit, which is worn on the chest.

The regulator unit is easily a Krieg guardsman's most complex piece of eqipment. IT contains partticle filters, a battery powered fan which draws air into the regulator, through the filters and then forces it up the breathing pipe. The advantage of this being that the breathing apparatus works via 'positive pressure', blowing clean air into the gasmask. Should the system be compromised, tehn the constant flow will force air out of any hole, and not draw it in, thus helping prevent toxic particles entering the system.

As well as particle filters, the regulator also samples the air for toxic agents, and will automatically introduce antidote chemicals into the air supply to be inhaled by the soldier. The regulator's satchel also contains a water flask which feeds into the gasmask. The water supply is supplemented by soluble stimulants and nutrient tablets, which allow the guardsmen to operte beyond normal physical norms.

The respirator unit has no oxygen suppply, so oxygen must be present for the soldier to breathe. The exteroir display pane allows officers to see how hwell the regulator is functioning and other guardsmen to see how toxic the atmosphere is.


Krieg respirators. SEems to be one of their more sophisticated bits of gear.

PAge 18
Quote:
The entire regulator unit is carried inside a leather satchel, which buckles onto the webbing's shoulder straps.

The heavy exterior hose actually surrounds and protects two narrower pipes: an air pipe and a water pipe. The hose screws into the end of the gasmask via the breather valve. This brass fixture contains an additional filter and a non-return valve, so the air flow is one way. The breather valve allows expelled air to escape via small holes on the inside of the brass ring.

The gasmask consists of a bag, a screw attacment for the breather valve and eye pieces. The eye pieces have a double layer of toughened glass and are treated with an anti-fogging compound.
[/quote]

More on the Krieg gas mask.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-12 06:56pm
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Deliberately planning and training poorly for protracted attritional frontal assault warfare when you already have the enemy isolated on a planet as well as access to anti gravity and the resources of billions of people. It’s so brilliantly retarded it’s almost beyond words.

I guess nobody ever told them that a sword bayonet is incredibly bad for trench fighting unless you happen to have incredibly big trenches. Its too bad 40K is so often so poorly thought out, this is a situation just begging for bayonets on SHOTGUNS to support whole armies of 500 ton flamethrower tanks with fire truck style aerial snorkels so you can poke the flamethrower into hard to reach places… but no can’t have stuff that’s both cool and practical like that. Let’s invent a way to have advanced bolt action lasers instead! Probably a side effect of trying to keep stuff manageable in the table top game and the fiction too close, as a generous explanation. Bad sign when the advanced gas mask is nothing we don't build today, minus the questionable idea of only employing antidotes on detection instead of having a filter coated in them all the time.

High altitude BTW has no civilian or military definition on earth. If you used the way they mean it in say the THAAD name, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, they mean the edge of space which its engagement envelope straddles. On the other hand Zeppelin bombing was considered to have shifted to high altitude when they began going over 13,000 feet.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-12 07:32pm
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Connor MacLeod wrote:
More on Vraks' role as an armoury world, as well as the organization and purpose of its populace.

Curiously, it also has a rather significant transient population from off-world, giving us a rather interesting indicator how extensive off world travel amy be (even if its just for religious purposes.)
If getting in to see the shrine, or arranging transport back off the planet, involves long waits, then the flow of population may not be that huge: for example, if there are on average two million pilgrims on the planet at one time and the average time a pilgrim spends on the planet is about one year, then the flow of passengers could be handled by a facility no larger in scale than any urban area's airport- really major airports process fifty to seventy million passengers a year, if not more.

Compared to the freight traffic, it's a drop in the bucket.

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Page 9
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The [Vraks] system itself was a highly sensitive location, and only those ships with permission could enter the system.
And yet it has a sizeable transient population. Whose bright idea was that?
They may be worried about warships with heavy ordnance, not individual people being dropped off on a cargo freighter who can be searched by the Adeptus TSA-icus for any suspicious materials inconsistent with their stated nature as pilgrims.

Quote:
It perhaps stands as a possible indicator of just how massive the defenses of VRaks must be if the most viable option is siege warfare. Then agian, they didnt consider any other options so this is also a bit silly. I mean, considering how ultimately destructive a decade+ long trench war is, preserving assets wasn't much of a concern. They could have just been plastering the defences from the get go (if not orbital bombardment, then carpet bombing from air attacks, indiscriminate damage or no. Hell once the defenses were surpressed send in the conventional assault from orbit.)

But politics, stupdiity, some combination of factors or whatever lead inevitably to attritional trench warfare. So thats what we get. I still say it says something they didnt leap on this option right away, though, contriance or not.
The same air defense that made a direct assault from orbit into the port impractical would make it equally impractical to carpet-bomb the place from the air: a bomber is no more immune to sufficient concentrations of AA fire than a drop pod. Trying to smother the defenses- the smartest thing I can think of would be massed artillery bombardment to suppress the anti-orbital weapons from over the horizon (and out of the line of sight of those big lasers), followed by orbital strikes to permanently destroy the lasers. The problem being that this, by itself, requires an effective encirclement and siege, to the point where you can move artillery batteries into position to suppress the surface-to-space weapon installations, even though they are heavily dug in.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-12 11:31pm
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Sea Skimmer wrote:
Deliberately planning and training poorly for protracted attritional frontal assault warfare when you already have the enemy isolated on a planet as well as access to anti gravity and the resources of billions of people. It’s so brilliantly retarded it’s almost beyond words.


Well there goes my faint praise for Vraks... okay I'll bite. how retarded exactly is it?

Not that I find this surprising mind, since they decided that they were going to run the logistics nearly halfway across the Imperium rather than doing the usual thing and employ forcs from nearby sectors to deal with Vraks. When it comes to the Munitorum/Adminstratum deciding things, they manage to fuck it up spectacularly (EG just like with Taros and foot-marching people through a desert across continental distances.)

Quote:
I guess nobody ever told them that a sword bayonet is incredibly bad for trench fighting unless you happen to have incredibly big trenches.


Just wait. We haven't gotten to the tunnel fighting (which I think is IA6) or other stuff. There's three full books of this, mind.

Quote:
Its too bad 40K is so often so poorly thought out, this is a situation just begging for bayonets on SHOTGUNS to support whole armies of 500 ton flamethrower tanks with fire truck style aerial snorkels so you can poke the flamethrower into hard to reach places… but no can’t have stuff that’s both cool and practical like that.


I don't think they have 500 ton tanks anymore, but they probably do have a 300 ton flamethrower baneblade variant type. There is this horrid design, however....

And I havent heard about shotgun bayonets yet, but they probably do have those, since we do have Krieg troops that use shotguns (in the tunnels.)

As far as 40K design its an entirely mixed bag, depending on your source. Stuff like Forge world and Codexes tend ot be worse off than others (like the novels or RPGs) which is why vs debators will split up along those lines when it comes to sources (against 40K will pick forge world or Codex examples, particularily the drawings which make the IG look horrible) and those wanting to make it look better

Then again, is that really unique to 40K? STar Wars is not exactly stellar on the 'militarily practical' field either.

Quote:
Let’s invent a way to have advanced bolt action lasers instead!


Well they never call it bolt action, that's just my own inference. And as I said the idea of there being limits on how quickly the power pack can discharge the energy it stores is not exactly ludicrous, since real life batteries can vary in terms of both storage and the rate at which they charge/discharge their stored power. I mean fuck, for all I know 'slow rate of fire' means it fires only at 1-2 shots per second instead of 3-4.


Quote:
Probably a side effect of trying to keep stuff manageable in the table top game and the fiction too close, as a generous explanation.


More like thematic factors in the codexes and stuff taking precedence over practicality. In the case of the IG it's always been that they borrow 'themes' from different eras and types of armies. Thats why you have your Space Desertmen, your Space Jungle fighters, your Space Russians, Space Trench Warfare, etc.

Quote:
Bad sign when the advanced gas mask is nothing we don't build today, minus the questionable idea of only employing antidotes on detection instead of having a filter coated in them all the time.


You're kidding right? I consider it a victory of sorts if the gear the IG gets is COMPARABLE to what it might have IRL. Things can always get worse....

Quote:
High altitude BTW has no civilian or military definition on earth. If you used the way they mean it in say the THAAD name, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, they mean the edge of space which its engagement envelope straddles. On the other hand Zeppelin bombing was considered to have shifted to high altitude when they began going over 13,000 feet.


Thanks for pointing that out.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-12 11:43pm
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[quote="Simon_Jester"If getting in to see the shrine, or arranging transport back off the planet, involves long waits, then the flow of population may not be that huge: for example, if there are on average two million pilgrims on the planet at one time and the average time a pilgrim spends on the planet is about one year, then the flow of passengers could be handled by a facility no larger in scale than any urban area's airport- really major airports process fifty to seventy million passengers a year, if not more.

Compared to the freight traffic, it's a drop in the bucket.[/quote]

Possibly. Although usually in such cases there are provisions for accomodation and other related industries. In a way, pilgrimmages represent the closest things to vacations that the common man has in 40K (bread and circuses, but even the vacations have a religious/propoganda angle to the,) and like most things that means it also has an economic factor to it (eg another way to swindle money out of the commoners, just like any true Space America.)

Hell for the Ministorum this seems to be something of an economic way of life for them and one reason there are Shrine worlds and they support the idea of Pilgrimmages - it gives them even more money and it allows them to further indoctrinate people to their way of thinking (which gives them greater power and influence.)

Quote:
They may be worried about warships with heavy ordnance, not individual people being dropped off on a cargo freighter who can be searched by the Adeptus TSA-icus for any suspicious materials inconsistent with their stated nature as pilgrims.


That could be, but recall that (with good reason) unauthorized people can also either carry alien taint (genestealers, for example) or they may bring seditious or chaos-motivated trouble with them (which is, point of fact, what happens WRT Vraks.) The Munitorum is also, by nature, a close-minded, paranoid organization jealous of its power and territory (liek any good Imperial organization) so they would, if they could, probably restrict access. In this case however, I suspect politics enabled the Ministorum to force concessions out of them to let pilgrims in, and it represented a gap in the security. Which leads to this entire fiasco.

Quote:
The same air defense that made a direct assault from orbit into the port impractical would make it equally impractical to carpet-bomb the place from the air: a bomber is no more immune to sufficient concentrations of AA fire than a drop pod. Trying to smother the defenses- the smartest thing I can think of would be massed artillery bombardment to suppress the anti-orbital weapons from over the horizon (and out of the line of sight of those big lasers), followed by orbital strikes to permanently destroy the lasers. The problem being that this, by itself, requires an effective encirclement and siege, to the point where you can move artillery batteries into position to suppress the surface-to-space weapon installations, even though they are heavily dug in.


Or just raw firepower. Dropping kinetic strikes on them is not going to be terribly difficult and accuracy does not need to be a big issue. WE learn in Planetkill taht the Orks can drop asteroids accurately enough to demolish cities, so the Imperium should be able to as well. This isn't (for example) an Agri world so fucking up the climate (temporarily or otherwise) is not going to be a serious concern. Politics maybe (the Ecclesiarchy not wanting to damage valuable holy relics or whatnot) might, but if that were the case then they shouldn't have gone with trench warfare either. And they supposedly modelled and planned out all the details so precisely and mathematically that the entire encounter woudl run like clockwork (HAH!) so they probably owuld have known the level of destruction caused or might be caused, and were hoping they'd be able to take back their planet with a minimum of damage to the stockpiles and infrastructure (Again HAH!).

We can charitably call it gambling, but there's a fair bit of stupidity in them for expecting things to go perfectly for them. Again, like Taros this is 'Bureaucrat' thinking driving things, and it just means the Imperium acts even more stupidly than they might normally in this sort of setup.

The real question is just how 'impossible' orbital bombardment is, which is an entirely 'up for debat'e sort of thing since the capabilities of bombardment vary from author to book (including the ranges involved as well as the weapons.)



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-13 01:09am
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Connor MacLeod wrote:
Well there goes my faint praise for Vraks... okay I'll bite. how retarded exactly is it?

Not that I find this surprising mind, since they decided that they were going to run the logistics nearly halfway across the Imperium rather than doing the usual thing and employ forcs from nearby sectors to deal with Vraks. When it comes to the Munitorum/Adminstratum deciding things, they manage to fuck it up spectacularly (EG just like with Taros and foot-marching people through a desert across continental distances.)


Logistics in WW2 had to start planning two years in advance while reacting to the enemy in real time, compared to deliberate 40K stagnation, sympathy is limited. You've got massive resources vs. a limited area of a single planet. Even with incompetence it can't be that hard when the enemy is using line of site weapons to keep your fleet away. So your own forces should be able to unload rather close. This would also in all reality mean that fleet attacking from a very low angle should in fact be able to engage only a very small portion of the fixed defenses at a time. Might be time consuming but when plans 500 years long are being considered... yeah not going to take THAT long.

Quote:
Just wait. We haven't gotten to the tunnel fighting (which I think is IA6) or other stuff. There's three full books of this, mind.


Sounds painful. I assume we WONT get any nuclear powered tunnel melting machines, the tunnels of which are then back filled with thousands of tons of explosive slurry so as to blast a tank sized trench right though enemy lines. Hopefully if they spent a lot of time on tunnel fighting they at least went so far as to specify this super fortress had prepared counter mines.

Quote:
I don't think they have 500 ton tanks anymore, but they probably do have a 300 ton flamethrower baneblade variant type. There is this horrid design, however....


So they take some of the ideas possible that were forced by adaptions of existing designs, and turn them into something supposedly being fielded by Empires which have done the same style of combat supposedly for hundreds or thousands of years. I wonder if the people who make this stuff up have ever sat down and thought about that. You can have really decorated weapons that still make sense.

Quote:
Then again, is that really unique to 40K? STar Wars is not exactly stellar on the 'militarily practical' field either.


No but then you don't see me doing for this star wars novels, I started working on my own stuff. Also Star Wars does at least acknowledge use of its anti gravity tech in a somewhat rational manner, and doesn't act like every battle is one of total apocalyptic doom when you have zero reason to hold back any weapon. This is an endless problem I have with 40K. Constantly it seems to have this theme of everything is life or death, and then excuses start being generated about why this or that isn't being used and why nothing can change. In any case once you have anti gravity even in a purely transport role so many problems would go away its kind of silly. Suddenly it'd be okay that this super huge land monitor cant even turn can work, because our anti grav transport can just plop it down slightly over the horizon along with some shielded bulldozers to make the attack.

Quote:
Well they never call it bolt action, that's just my own inference. And as I said the idea of there being limits on how quickly the power pack can discharge the energy it stores is not exactly ludicrous, since real life batteries can vary in terms of both storage and the rate at which they charge/discharge their stored power. I mean fuck, for all I know 'slow rate of fire' means it fires only at 1-2 shots per second instead of 3-4.


I suppose, the one grenade comment however does not inspire one to believe they expect high individual rates of fire. Grenades are kind of cheap, and the reason to carry lots of them is shear volumes of gunfire making it impossible to expose yourself at close range. If they wanted an endless WW1 theme then it'd make more sense if people got into multiple day long hand grenade battles fighting from opposite sides of a ruined house. This actually happened.

Quote:
More like thematic factors in the codexes and stuff taking precedence over practicality. In the case of the IG it's always been that they borrow 'themes' from different eras and types of armies. Thats why you have your Space Desertmen, your Space Jungle fighters, your Space Russians, Space Trench Warfare, etc.


Yeah but the problem is you could do all of that and have all the colorful uniforms without being as stupid as 40K seems to want to be. The VC were excellent jungle fighters but it didn't require that they actively make themselves dumber or intentionally ill armed. Instead of thinking of what would be the optimal weapons for these specialist powers, the thinking seems to go what would be as impractical to paint as possible.

Quote:
You're kidding right? I consider it a victory of sorts if the gear the IG gets is COMPARABLE to what it might have IRL. Things can always get worse....


Yeah I was surprised they didn't specify that each one has a bag of fullers earth for a gas mask, because that actually works and then they could be all RAR WE BREATH DIRT! HOW EXTREME! Also why do I not see aliens riveting repair patches on tanks with fist punches and skulls? Do the 500 year mega fortresses replace all top soil with compacted blast furnace slag to make up for the fact that advanced technology doesn't give you stronger dirt? Big problem for fortifications. Also offhand, and not directly related it just seems to me that the whole premise of stagnation would actually make a lot more sense if FTL was fast then slow, just because it'd make it much easier to rule and Empire and prevent someone from building a supercomputer on a remote world that suddenly makes them act not smart no more.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-13 02:19am
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Sea Skimmer wrote:
Logistics in WW2 had to start planning two years in advance while reacting to the enemy in real time, compared to deliberate 40K stagnation, sympathy is limited. You've got massive resources vs. a limited area of a single planet. Even with incompetence it can't be that hard when the enemy is using line of site weapons to keep your fleet away. So your own forces should be able to unload rather close. This would also in all reality mean that fleet attacking from a very low angle should in fact be able to engage only a very small portion of the fixed defenses at a time. Might be time consuming but when plans 500 years long are being considered... yeah not going to take THAT long.


'incompetence' pretty much sums up the Munitorum, which is the 40K version of the United States Military Procurement/Military-industrial-complex with greed, corruption, bureacracy, and general ineffectiveness ramped up to eleven. Give that organization control over the officer corps and strategy/operational doctrine (in terms of trying to set policy at least) and you have a vague idea of the Munitorum in general.

In the case of Vraks my reading (relative to everything else I am aware of in the 40K Universe) is that we're seeing a war being micromanaged by bureaucrats (which is why they're using Krieg and krieg alone to execute the war, rather than drawing up forces to attack from closer to the world in question) and also being conducted by an officer picked by that same bureacracy (EG politics involved.) In 40K politics and bureacracy can be counted on to fuck things over, or at least make it difficult. This is especially true of the Imperial armour books which loves to push the grimdark to full.

This is perhaps the 'worst' in examples when it comes to 40K - which is why I cover it alongside the 'better' stuff. I'm not saying the 'better' showins instantly make them super-duper modern military competent, but its not nearly as bad as this. In the Ghost novels for example, trench warfare is considered something of a joke and outdated tactics, and the officers would prefer, if circumstnaces allowed, bombing the shit out of the enemy from orbit rather than just landing troops unless they had to. (Then again you do still get cases of trench warfare and bayonets, so...)

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Sounds painful. I assume we WONT get any nuclear powered tunnel melting machines, the tunnels of which are then back filled with thousands of tons of explosive slurry so as to blast a tank sized trench right though enemy lines. Hopefully if they spent a lot of time on tunnel fighting they at least went so far as to specify this super fortress had prepared counter mines.


Well IIRC the tunnelling machines have meltas attached, which might qualify as 'nuclear'. I don't recall anything like you described but its been awhile since I read it and by aroudn the midpoint of book 6 I was starting to get tired of all this.

On the other hand you'll probably love the description of the Krieg later in this book. They're so grimdark and faceless and worthless that Commissars are attached to their regiments to serve as a voice of reason. Fun huh.

I also have to add that the entire notion of this ludicrous trench warfare approach of theirs tends to also spit in the face of the idea that advanced technology/vehicles/equipment is rare and precious and irreplacable, because the Munitorum not only stockpiles massive amounts of shit to no purpose (which conveniently enables the Vraks renegades to field armour and vehicles at least equal to what the kriegers have.) but the Krieg forces expend shit-tons of tanks, munitions, etc. rather pointlessly and grimdarkly in their trench warfare.

Sufficed to say, if they fought the way they fought here routinely (against the Orks, the Tyranids, etc.) the Imperium would have been crushed long ago. 'Nigh limitless manpower' my ass.

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So they take some of the ideas possible that were forced by adaptions of existing designs, and turn them into something supposedly being fielded by Empires which have done the same style of combat supposedly for hundreds or thousands of years. I wonder if the people who make this stuff up have ever sat down and thought about that. You can have really decorated weapons that still make sense.


Well to be fair, the Malcador flamethrower tank was treated as a obsolete and rather uesless military design. In the book it was featured in they used it mainly to keep roads cleared, and it was only pressed into military service because of shortages (EG they had it, it was military, it would have to do.) It's still a silyl design though, regardless.



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No but then you don't see me doing for this star wars novels, I started working on my own stuff. Also Star Wars does at least acknowledge use of its anti gravity tech in a somewhat rational manner, and doesn't act like every battle is one of total apocalyptic doom when you have zero reason to hold back any weapon. This is an endless problem I have with 40K. Constantly it seems to have this theme of everything is life or death, and then excuses start being generated about why this or that isn't being used and why nothing can change. In any case once you have anti gravity even in a purely transport role so many problems would go away its kind of silly. Suddenly it'd be okay that this super huge land monitor cant even turn can work, because our anti grav transport can just plop it down slightly over the horizon along with some shielded bulldozers to make the attack.


Well technically they do have antigrav vehicles. Their helicopter gunship analogues (the Valkyrie and vulture) are both antigrav partially, for example. And their fighters are so silly looking they HAVE to have antigrav to even stay aloft. But in alot of novels we see local worlds that have antigrav vehicles - hell even MILITARY antigrav vehicles (one merc outfit in the Eisenhorn novels had military antigrav combat vehicles.) We also know that in the Heresy era the Imperial army (what the Guard grew out of) had antigrav vehicles aplenty. As to why they don't have them, it comes down to bureaucracy, corruption, and generally politics. Ostensibly they use Russes and shit because they're easy to maintain, durable and can be maintained/fuelled in virtually any tech level or enviroment, which you can't say for antigrav. Whether that's true or its just Munitorum bullshit is entirely up for debate, and either is possible, but thats the mentality that dictates their procurement. Although there are hints at some military units having antigrav so *shrugs*

Like most things, it depends ENTIRELY on the source you're digging into.

AS far as the crappiness of the myriad 'grimdark themes in 40K - no argument from me. But then again thats something you can usually ingore and a great deal of the RPG and novels tend to ignore it as well. At least the good stuff does. Again 'depends on where you look' Codexes - which the IA books tend to take after - are more likely to have the grimdark crap, but they also are the ones most likely to read as propoganda and exaggeration and generally just silly thematic shit that can usually be ignored.

I mean fuck, you've seen the Artwork of the Leman Russ - the fucking gun it has is supposed to be 120mm and carries 40 rounds. That isn't going to happen with that muzzle unless significant alterations to the english language and basic physics happen. And if the equipment and weaponry depicted were even vaguely realistic, your average IG would be a fucking superman and exist under completely different physical rules.

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I suppose, the one grenade comment however does not inspire one to believe they expect high individual rates of fire. Grenades are kind of cheap, and the reason to carry lots of them is shear volumes of gunfire making it impossible to expose yourself at close range. If they wanted an endless WW1 theme then it'd make more sense if people got into multiple day long hand grenade battles fighting from opposite sides of a ruined house. This actually happened.


Perhaps. I still think they make more sense than bolters do.

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Yeah but the problem is you could do all of that and have all the colorful uniforms without being as stupid as 40K seems to want to be. The VC were excellent jungle fighters but it didn't require that they actively make themselves dumber or intentionally ill armed. Instead of thinking of what would be the optimal weapons for these specialist powers, the thinking seems to go what would be as impractical to paint as possible.


This being Forge world stuff, you probably are right. In a more in-universe sense... it again comes to the way the Munitorum thinks and does things, which basically sums up as 'human stupidity'. Or if you want to be more charitable, they have only a passing familiarity with what we might call 'standardization' and why this is a good idea. I mean they have a million or more worlds, and they can't/won't impose even the most basic sorts of standards when it comes to language, training, armament, etc. Or rather they try, but it rarely works out as neatly as they hope. Blame it on the Warp (which is true, to an extent. if 40K has one upside to it saying 'a wizard did it' probably has a ring of truth to it.)

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Yeah I was surprised they didn't specify that each one has a bag of fullers earth for a gas mask, because that actually works and then they could be all RAR WE BREATH DIRT! HOW EXTREME! Also why do I not see aliens riveting repair patches on tanks with fist punches and skulls? Do the 500 year mega fortresses replace all top soil with compacted blast furnace slag to make up for the fact that advanced technology doesn't give you stronger dirt? Big problem for fortifications. Also offhand, and not directly related it just seems to me that the whole premise of stagnation would actually make a lot more sense if FTL was fast then slow, just because it'd make it much easier to rule and Empire and prevent someone from building a supercomputer on a remote world that suddenly makes them act not smart no more.


Funny about the rivets.. they have these things called 'molecular bonding studs..' :lol: I guess thats one way to explain why their multi-mile space Cathedrals can also be rivetted... either that or see 'a wizard did it.'

Out of universe its as you said, its theme BS... except they're taking seriously what is meant to be something of a joke (a throwback to the days of 40K being less serious, when you had sonic weapons shaped like guitars, Dwarven biker gangs, etc... Modern 40K takes itself far more seriously, which is why in many cases the theme is unintentionally retarded.)

The novels, as a rule, tennd not to take the same extreme tack the codexes do. Nor do the RPGs. For which I am devoutly grateful. Indeed if you look at those sources (And read between the lines alot of the 'GALAXY IS TOTALLY AT WAR' is a gross exaggeration, likely for propoganda purposes. Nothing unites an Empire like having an external threat, and if you can convince people the entire galaxy is out to get you.... so much the better?



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-13 05:51am
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What I find most amusing about the whole Vraks debacle is that the Munitorum don't consent to just bombarding the place to pieces because they want the infrastructure and stockpiles there back - and then go for a twenty-year campaign to retake the place that ends up destroying all that shit anyway, while racking up additional losses of some 14-15 million Guard troopers, a lot of their equipment with them, nine Titans (which so Forge World tells me can't be replaced), probably 500+ Astartes (200 Dark Angels (disposed of with nary a footnote), ~60 Red Scorpions during their first intervention (also, their own damn fault), & 150 Red Hunters confirmed), and a Navy cruiser.

While getting the place saturated with chemical and biological weapons and adding random Warp rifts to the local weather. Good going, guys; that was sure money well-spent. :lol:



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-13 09:58pm
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Connor MacLeod wrote:
'incompetence' pretty much sums up the Munitorum, which is the 40K version of the United States Military Procurement/Military-industrial-complex with greed, corruption, bureacracy, and general ineffectiveness ramped up to eleven. Give that organization control over the officer corps and strategy/operational doctrine (in terms of trying to set policy at least) and you have a vague idea of the Munitorum in general.


Seems like the field forces would just engage in a mass coup then. A system like that might persist in peacetime… but with aliens attacking on all sides for thousands of years?

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In the case of Vraks my reading (relative to everything else I am aware of in the 40K Universe) is that we're seeing a war being micromanaged by bureaucrats (which is why they're using Krieg and krieg alone to execute the war, rather than drawing up forces to attack from closer to the world in question) and also being conducted by an officer picked by that same bureacracy (EG politics involved.) In 40K politics and bureacracy can be counted on to fuck things over, or at least make it difficult. This is especially true of the Imperial armour books which loves to push the grimdark to full.


The grimdark is a lot less compelling when it’s the result of incompetence then actual threats. Probably a side effect of 40K endlessly trying to push this theme.

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In the Ghost novels for example, trench warfare is considered something of a joke and outdated tactics, and the officers would prefer, if circumstnaces allowed, bombing the shit out of the enemy from orbit rather than just landing troops unless they had to. (Then again you do still get cases of trench warfare and bayonets, so...)


Well any kind of warfare can involve trenches, positional warfare or warfare on a stabilized front is kind a better term to use, its what people called WW1 in the manuals ect… writing in the period. But in general the idea of customizing a force seemingly to be static, rather then break the deadlock, its hard to even put in words what is wrong with this thinking. I mean I use the concept of siege forces a fair bit myself in writing, but the whole idea is they have the equipment to defeat the worst situations, not ensure stabilization as they seem to be doing here.

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Well IIRC the tunnelling machines have meltas attached, which might qualify as 'nuclear'. I don't recall anything like you described but its been awhile since I read it and by aroudn the midpoint of book 6 I was starting to get tired of all this.

On the other hand you'll probably love the description of the Krieg later in this book. They're so grimdark and faceless and worthless that Commissars are attached to their regiments to serve as a voice of reason. Fun huh.


The grimdark for me is kind of killed by having the ones suffering basically evolved not to care at all. Is it really that grim if your generally engineered for the job? People who very much don’t like the situation having souls ripped out, eaten and turned into war plasma by giant monsters, that’s proper grimdark. 40K suffers moving away from this kind of thing.

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I also have to add that the entire notion of this ludicrous trench warfare approach of theirs tends to also spit in the face of the idea that advanced technology/vehicles/equipment is rare and precious and irreplacable, because the Munitorum not only stockpiles massive amounts of shit to no purpose (which conveniently enables the Vraks renegades to field armour and vehicles at least equal to what the kriegers have.) but the Krieg forces expend shit-tons of tanks, munitions, etc. rather pointlessly and grimdarkly in their trench warfare.


Yeah, WW1 kind of happened because both sides ran out of stuff, same problem is why the US was held up on Okinawa so long, we ran out of ammo. Trench warfare actually ended up proving that it was effectively impossible to hold fixed lines in the face of modern weapon. The advance might be really slow but you could always just annihilate all enemy forces within a given zone. That’s why literally stronger dirt, or digging into a giant iron ore deposit would become important with supposedly high power sci fi weapons. If they talked about trench warfare for a year or two, well, that’d be something like sense. Twenty years? Ugh. Bring up Little David; reduce all possible enemy positions to overlapping craters.

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Well to be fair, the Malcador flamethrower tank was treated as a obsolete and rather uesless military design. In the book it was featured in they used it mainly to keep roads cleared, and it was only pressed into military service because of shortages (EG they had it, it was military, it would have to do.) It's still a silyl design though, regardless.


Yeah, if it at least had a turret, towing the Churchill Crocodile in Space trailer of fuel would be at least a little less stupid in comparison. This is also true of some other common 40K features, like the endless sponson guns. The shear concentration of stupid, and lack of any clear logic is just endless as it is.

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Well technically they do have antigrav vehicles. Their helicopter gunship analogues (the Valkyrie and vulture) are both antigrav partially, for example. And their fighters are so silly looking they HAVE to have antigrav to even stay aloft.


I’m aware of them, the Thunderhawk is even something like that I’d actually expect, but what I’d expect is dozens and dozens of flying light cruiser like vehicles supported by massed artillery simply wiping out all enemy heavy weapons. Then all the light stuff is mopped up. Does anti gravity just not scale up or what?




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Perhaps. I still think they make more sense than bolters do.


Bolters would make much more sense if they were not used by powered armor guys who look like they weigh at least a ton and would have no problem handling the recoil of more conventional weapons. Hard to judge a laser rifle that doesn’t sound anything like a laser.

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This being Forge world stuff, you probably are right. In a more in-universe sense... it again comes to the way the Munitorum thinks and does things, which basically sums up as 'human stupidity'. Or if you want to be more charitable, they have only a passing familiarity with what we might call 'standardization' and why this is a good idea.


Actually they seem like they have lots of standardization, otherwise they’d be leaving room for much more logical stuff to appear all over given the number of planets involved. This is something I was kind of trying to get at before, the 40K mixture if bad administration, slow communications, various military factions being effectively independent, and military technology stagnation makes little sense.


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Funny about the rivets.. they have these things called 'molecular bonding studs..' :lol: I guess thats one way to explain why their multi-mile space Cathedrals can also be rivetted... either that or see 'a wizard did it.'


Rivets do have certain advantages for construction, as long as weight isn’t important.

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Out of universe its as you said, its theme BS... except they're taking seriously what is meant to be something of a joke (a throwback to the days of 40K being less serious, when you had sonic weapons shaped like guitars, Dwarven biker gangs, etc... Modern 40K takes itself far more seriously, which is why in many cases the theme is unintentionally retarded.)


Yeah, and that’s my problem. Way back when I know about the silly 40K and liked it, but was more interested in normal Warhammer, in part because the tech setting creates far fewer issues. Then I come back into know of 40K over a decade later and its just ugh. What did you people do with this setting?

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The novels, as a rule, tennd not to take the same extreme tack the codexes do. Nor do the RPGs. For which I am devoutly grateful. Indeed if you look at those sources (And read between the lines alot of the 'GALAXY IS TOTALLY AT WAR' is a gross exaggeration, likely for propoganda purposes. Nothing unites an Empire like having an external threat, and if you can convince people the entire galaxy is out to get you.... so much the better?


Well, that’d work for a while, very hard to see it working for protracted periods of time.



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— Field Marshal William Slim 1956

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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-14 01:26am
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Out of universe its as you said, its theme BS... except they're taking seriously what is meant to be something of a joke (a throwback to the days of 40K being less serious, when you had sonic weapons shaped like guitars, Dwarven biker gangs, etc... Modern 40K takes itself far more seriously, which is why in many cases the theme is unintentionally retarded.)

The novels, as a rule, tennd not to take the same extreme tack the codexes do. Nor do the RPGs. For which I am devoutly grateful. Indeed if you look at those sources (And read between the lines alot of the 'GALAXY IS TOTALLY AT WAR' is a gross exaggeration, likely for propoganda purposes. Nothing unites an Empire like having an external threat, and if you can convince people the entire galaxy is out to get you.... so much the better?


That's really the best way to pick the good 40K authors. There are the ones that get that it's silly and play along with the silliness like Sandy Mitchell. Then there are the ones who get the silliness and have their characters be audience inserts, looking on with a kind of bemused horror, Like Abnett (when he isn't writing space marines). And finally, there are the onses who take it all dead seriously, like Goto and Ward, and who make almost unreadable dreck as a result.

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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-14 01:51pm
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Sea Skimmer wrote:
Seems like the field forces would just engage in a mass coup then. A system like that might persist in peacetime… but with aliens attacking on all sides for thousands of years?


It probably does happen in some places periodically.. we've had mention of wars flaring up that can encompass worlds, systems, sectors and even whole Segmentums (the Imperium has been riven or divided by internal conflicts at least a good 3-4 times in its existence.) They actually fear/expect revolution (post Horus Heresy paranoia) so they tend to organize things in a way to limit the effects of potential revolts (Eg they probably can't stop it, so they make sure if it does happen it doesn't get very far.) This is partly to explain the break between the Guard and Navy, why the Guard tend to be formed into homogenous regiments (in theory at least - in practice it isn't nearly so uniform) - and they deliberately accept the inefficiencies it creates. That said, Chaos/the Warp, alien infiltration, general greed and politicking and power struggles within the Imperium all guarantee conflicts of some kind will happen *somewhere*

The problems with communication, travel, etc. can also be limiting factors in how big or dangerous revolts can get. The fact the Imperium proper controls key assets important to long range domination (Astropaths and navigators - thus they control FTL comms and the fastest and safest means of FTL travel) and technology (via the AdMech.) gives them something of a big advantage. The use of religion probably helps too. Even then though, certain organizations (like the MEchanicus) are so vital that if they decided to they could fuck over the Imperium and bring it to its knees (although they'd probably end up fucking themselves over in the process by this point - they're still independent, but they're greatly reliant on the Imperium for a great many things - manpower, military aid, resources, and the like.)

That said I suspect the actual intensity of warfare is not nearly as great (nor is the scope of it occuring throughout the Imperium) as implied. Many worlds (at least in the novels) go decades, centuries, millenia without seeing conflict or even internal strife - but there's always the danger/risk of it happening, and they try to play up on that. Honestly I think this is 40K trying to play into George Orwell '1984' elements or something (but forgetting its supposed to be parody.) I also wouldn't be surprised if 'a wizard did it' is seen as a legitimate means of keeping stability - given how the warp works (though and emotion influence magic, but magic also influneces it in turn and both can thus influence reality)

But as you say, the grimdark is dull when they keep pushing it in this way, and thats a big drawback of many of the Imperial armour books in general.


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Well any kind of warfare can involve trenches, positional warfare or warfare on a stabilized front is kind a better term to use, its what people called WW1 in the manuals ect… writing in the period. But in general the idea of customizing a force seemingly to be static, rather then break the deadlock, its hard to even put in words what is wrong with this thinking. I mean I use the concept of siege forces a fair bit myself in writing, but the whole idea is they have the equipment to defeat the worst situations, not ensure stabilization as they seem to be doing here.


I'd actually say their usage as Trench warfare is more a result of the fact they're supposed to be basically meat droids - they're conditioned/brainwashed to be totally loyal, fearless, zealous obey without question... which in the Munitourm thinking makes them reliable, ideal soldiers. That means that if they're ordered to do something they'll do what they're told, even if General Zapp Branigan tells them to charge and take that hill. Not unlike how Star Wars Clonetroopers or Stormtroopers are used, really. In defense they're bound to be useful in 'trench warfare' but as you say its retarded (I believe the book kept waxing about how the Krieg way was 'mathetmatical warfare' or some silly shit - basically they plotted and predicted every little detail of the war, from the men needed and losses that would be taken, the resources used, etc.)

The one bright spot in all this really is that a.) regiments like Krieg are treated as specializations, not as typical formations b.) Siege/trench warfare is pretty much a 'last resort' thing (or rather it can crop up because all the other options they try run out, for various reasons.) and/or c.) politics (in this case the Munitorum taking a hand and managing things rather than letting the normal procedures be followed - such as they are.)


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The grimdark for me is kind of killed by having the ones suffering basically evolved not to care at all. Is it really that grim if your generally engineered for the job? People who very much don’t like the situation having souls ripped out, eaten and turned into war plasma by giant monsters, that’s proper grimdark. 40K suffers moving away from this kind of thing.


Problems of a shared universe I suppose. Authors tend to come to 40K in different ways and approach the concept differently. IMHO the best were those authors who basically took a normal-seeming life situation. Something that wouldn't be out of place in real life - just replace your crosses with aquilae and god with a corpse on a gold toilet - and then throwing something so bizarre, horrific, and devastating that everything gets thrown into disarray and force the people involved to cope with it. Some books do this a little well, some do it very well, and some fail at it. And some completely fail to miss the point.

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Yeah, WW1 kind of happened because both sides ran out of stuff, same problem is why the US was held up on Okinawa so long, we ran out of ammo. Trench warfare actually ended up proving that it was effectively impossible to hold fixed lines in the face of modern weapon. The advance might be really slow but you could always just annihilate all enemy forces within a given zone. That’s why literally stronger dirt, or digging into a giant iron ore deposit would become important with supposedly high power sci fi weapons. If they talked about trench warfare for a year or two, well, that’d be something like sense. Twenty years? Ugh. Bring up Little David; reduce all possible enemy positions to overlapping craters.


Well fortifications as I recall usually aren't just dirt (They can be, but not always) - they use theatre shields, artificial building materials of various sorts, etc. to build fortifications or barricades or whatever. And for all we know since magic can literally be involved, it may involve some sort of magical enchantment. And there's always the fact that authors simply can't decide how lasers actually work. They burn things, they drill holes, or they may explode stuff. Sometimes all three in the same novel. Drilling a hole in dirt or melting a patch of it is not neccesarily going to be an effective damage mechanism, even against mere dirt.

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Yeah, if it at least had a turret, towing the Churchill Crocodile in Space trailer of fuel would be at least a little less stupid in comparison. This is also true of some other common 40K features, like the endless sponson guns. The shear concentration of stupid, and lack of any clear logic is just endless as it is.


Not every tank has sponsons or uses them. They tend to be options more than anything - they build their tanks for the specific purpose of modification, adaptation, and customization. One chassis may serve as an APC, artillery, a light tank, or a medical wagon/first aid vehicle, or a supply vehicle. Sponsons are one option amongst many, and this plays into the 'lack of standardization' I mention.

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I’m aware of them, the Thunderhawk is even something like that I’d actually expect, but what I’d expect is dozens and dozens of flying light cruiser like vehicles supported by massed artillery simply wiping out all enemy heavy weapons. Then all the light stuff is mopped up. Does anti gravity just not scale up or what?


It may not. most antigrav vehicles tend to be fast and ligth but not really heavily armored like a tank - hell the Imperium is the only one who really builds or uses anything resembling a tank at all - the rest are more like heavily armored helicopter gunships. What you're describing is more akin to Eldar and Tau means of warfare. Logistics and politics seem to be the primary factors dictating the Imperium not using AG vehicles of any kind (or at least, restricting their use.) - in the faint chance that the regiment winds up on a world far away from a high technology base, they might not be able to get parts for their fancy tech, and thus be ineffective.

Antigrav can have its problems though. Aside from the line of sight/altitude issue, I imagine varying gravitational fields an be a problem (does it automatically adapt to gravity or does it have to be altered to adjust with lighter gravity or heavier?) It could be a detectability issue - for Star Wars and renegade legion missiles can be designed to home in on 'AG' drives. I imagine it would also cause some armoring problems (You have to worry about armoring the underside of the tank far heavier.) And what if the AG tech can't be armored (I dont recall all the schematics but I think at least eldar and perhaps tau have exposed or semi exposed antigrav units) - blasting it makes an easy way of soft-killing such vehicles.


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Bolters would make much more sense if they were not used by powered armor guys who look like they weigh at least a ton and would have no problem handling the recoil of more conventional weapons. Hard to judge a laser rifle that doesn’t sound anything like a laser.


It may not be a laser. But they really don't specify how the IA lasers work, which is one of the things about 40K books. Lasguns tend to be about as 'diverse' to put it charitably as SW blasters are as far as nature and what they do. The Krieg lasguns could have a slow rof (2 shots a second) but I also dont know beam duration - for all we know the beams fire for something like a quarter second per shot.

Or they may be designed with a capacitor that can fire a fixed number of shots before the capacitor needs to recharge for a brief period. They may be able to fire off a short, powerful volley immediately to drain the capcaitor, or they may space out their shots to balance energy use and recharge rate (hence slower rate of fire.)

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Actually they seem like they have lots of standardization, otherwise they’d be leaving room for much more logical stuff to appear all over given the number of planets involved. This is something I was kind of trying to get at before, the 40K mixture if bad administration, slow communications, various military factions being effectively independent, and military technology stagnation makes little sense.


'seem to'. The thing about 40K is that if you only look at the surface, or just go by the artwork or some of the more 'flavor' text, it can 'seem to' be alot of things. 40K is good at saying one thing in one case, and then contradicting itself by having other (often multiple) examples depict something else. Like Space MArines being so uber that a single company or Chapter can conquer a planet/systme, and yet that same company can take horrible losses facing down a few thousand troops, or Space Marines also being said to be 'equal' to ten or a hundred vaguely defined wariror types, ro whatever. In the case of logistics they try to say 'STC allows for alot of standardization' but in reality they have a certain number of 'types' of things that also have a shit ton of modifications, variations, and different designs.

For example, every trooper might get a lasgun, but the lasgun they get might use differnt kinds of powerpacks (this has caused problems in at least one novel) it may have different rates of fire, sighting arragnements, firing options (power setting, variable focus of the beam, etc.) The vehicles are even worse. There's like fifteen billion different Leman Russ tank variants (out of universe: to sell more models) and they all vary in terms of armament, mass, engine performance (or engine type!), armoring, construction method, internal equipment, and so on.

And then you get the fact they use so many different kinds of weapons, both small arms and heavy. Lasers of varying types (from antipersonnel to anti-tank), plasma weapons, flamethrowers (magical and otherwise), heat rays, machine guns of varying types, variable grades of bolters, autocannons, rocket and missile launchers, mortars, grenade launchers.. etc. That's not exactly 'standardizing' on equipment either, is it?

Organizations are 'separate' both as a sort of checks and balances against revolution or conspiracy to topple the Imperium, politics (one organization trying to gain supremacy over the others), tradition, or just an attempt to impose internal security. Communication is slow.. sometimes. bureacracy plays a role in this, but the inconstant nature of the warp is the real problem. Its not so much that it can be 'slow' as it is unreliable. In certain respects it can be made 'more reliable' but even then there's always the dangers of losing ships, people, supplies, etc. Some of this may even be deliberate - Chaos and Daemons can influence warp travel to make it more dangerous or even slow down/hinder the Imperium - its been done a good many times before. They can also futz with warp communication to slow it down or screw with the message.

Does it make perfect logical sense? No, probably doesn't. But it does make a sort of sense. I find that its not really a whole lot differnet to things I experience in real life.

As for what we did to the setting, dont ask me. i only got into this a few years back and I stay as clear from the game as I can. I hear the modelling side of things is even worse.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-14 02:24pm
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Alkaloid wrote:
That's really the best way to pick the good 40K authors. There are the ones that get that it's silly and play along with the silliness like Sandy Mitchell. Then there are the ones who get the silliness and have their characters be audience inserts, looking on with a kind of bemused horror, Like Abnett (when he isn't writing space marines). And finally, there are the onses who take it all dead seriously, like Goto and Ward, and who make almost unreadable dreck as a result.


Everyone has their own tastes and appeals when it comes to 40K. The shit I think thats stupid (Forge World books) has its supporters just as much as the Ghosts and Cain novels have theirs. I know people who hate Abnett because he doesn't really write proper grimdark, or Cain because he's too over the top or 'silly.' Everyone has there tastes, their pet factions, their likes and dislikes of the writing styles of authors. 40K seems to be trying to cater to all of that (admittedly pandering to the Space Marine fans more, for obvious economic reasons, but meh.) and again more power to them. It does make the shared universe rather convoluted, but there's part of the challenge in trying to make sense of it, if one can.

It does help that being a literary medium its easy to take a different approach than with visuals. Things like historical revisionism, bias, propoganda all become factors, and artwork can be as bad if not worse. Of course even 'visual' media had its share of flaws (scaling problems were always a problem for Suspension of disbelief.) In the case of 40K, visuals probably aren't worth much because if we believed visuals uniforms and armour would be unrealisticaly heavy and bulky (even the cloth ones!), weapons would be unbelievably heavy and bulky (meaning even your humble guardsmen has to be superhuman to heft his rifle, much less wear his armour) and Leman Russ battle tanks would have to have a pocket dimension to store ammo in and your loader would be Hercules in order to fit 300+ mm diamter shells into the breech. Nevermind how such a tiny turret (which often has a guy sitting out of it) manages to load and fire the gun without pulverizing his crotch....



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-14 09:55pm
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Connor MacLeod wrote:
That said I suspect the actual intensity of warfare is not nearly as great (nor is the scope of it occuring throughout the Imperium) as implied. Many worlds (at least in the novels) go decades, centuries, millenia without seeing conflict or even internal strife - but there's always the danger/risk of it happening, and they try to play up on that. Honestly I think this is 40K trying to play into George Orwell '1984' elements or something (but forgetting its supposed to be parody.)


It would seem so.

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I also wouldn't be surprised if 'a wizard did it' is seen as a legitimate means of keeping stability - given how the warp works (though and emotion influence magic, but magic also influneces it in turn and both can thus influence reality)


The warp at least seems to have been worked out in some detail, with something like known limits for the magical aspect. Its also integral to a lot of the overall story. Endlessly making humans more confused, not so much.

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I'd actually say their usage as Trench warfare is more a result of the fact they're supposed to be basically meat droids - they're conditioned/brainwashed to be totally loyal, fearless, zealous obey without question... which in the Munitourm thinking makes them reliable, ideal soldiers.


Given that, and detailed planning, it still doesn’t really make sense to have this deliberate deadlock going on. They should have just been able to break down the enemy defenses with relentless attacks, instead of having whatever long pauses were involved to make it drag out 20 years.

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That means that if they're ordered to do something they'll do what they're told, even if General Zapp Branigan tells them to charge and take that hill. Not unlike how Star Wars Clonetroopers or Stormtroopers are used, really. In defense they're bound to be useful in 'trench warfare' but as you say its retarded (I believe the book kept waxing about how the Krieg way was 'mathetmatical warfare' or some silly shit - basically they plotted and predicted every little detail of the war, from the men needed and losses that would be taken, the resources used, etc.)


Clearly that planning was a bunch of bullshit or else they would have arrived properly prepared and been able to take the place in a remotely timely fashion, considering they don’t even have to fight land, and no requirement for either side to mobilize industry first. The story would make more sense if the entire plan was to do the job quick, and they miscalculated somewhat, leading to exhaustion of the initial landing force and a long wait for unplanned war material and reinforcements to arrive.





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Well fortifications as I recall usually aren't just dirt (They can be, but not always) - they use theatre shields, artificial building materials of various sorts, etc. to build fortifications or barricades or whatever. And for all we know since magic can literally be involved, it may involve some sort of magical enchantment. And there's always the fact that authors simply can't decide how lasers actually work. They burn things, they drill holes, or they may explode stuff. Sometimes all three in the same novel. Drilling a hole in dirt or melting a patch of it is not neccesarily going to be an effective damage mechanism, even against mere dirt.


Well the issue simply being, no matter how strong the fort and its shields, unless the fortification floats on anti gravity and the shields protect it from below, underground explosions and near misses from superheavy artillery are going to destabilize it. I suppose if you go nuts enough you could mitigate this with deep foundations, but it doesn’t seem likely that miles of trenches are set on top of underground towers of concrete. This would also be an ideal place to use nuclear weapons, the supposed ban on them is completely illogical when clearly nobody cares about the landscape. Plus you could just explode them deep enough that no serious amount of gas would leak to the surface as underground nuclear testing was done, and still get the desired effect of collapsing anything on the surface into a crater. 40K siege warfare really should be a duel of hundred kiloton class nuclear sapper charges and much smaller say half kiloton nuclear camouflets.

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Not every tank has sponsons or uses them. They tend to be options more than anything - they build their tanks for the specific purpose of modification, adaptation, and customization. One chassis may serve as an APC, artillery, a light tank, or a medical wagon/first aid vehicle, or a supply vehicle. Sponsons are one option amongst many, and this plays into the 'lack of standardization' I mention.


Well, just about everyone I ever see seems to have them. I’m aware that chassis serve more then one role, that actually makes sense.

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It may not. most antigrav vehicles tend to be fast and ligth but not really heavily armored like a tank - hell the Imperium is the only one who really builds or uses anything resembling a tank at all - the rest are more like heavily armored helicopter gunships. What you're describing is more akin to Eldar and Tau means of warfare. Logistics and politics seem to be the primary factors dictating the Imperium not using AG vehicles of any kind (or at least, restricting their use.) - in the faint chance that the regiment winds up on a world far away from a high technology base, they might not be able to get parts for their fancy tech, and thus be ineffective.


Lack of supplies seems to be a running theme, yet at odds with the idea that they aren’t actually engaged in a massive war. It’s not like all the stuff should break spending lots of time in transport; unless the warp also acts like seawater did to WW2 cargo shipments and corrodes the crap out of anything improperly sealed.

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Antigrav can have its problems though. Aside from the line of sight/altitude issue, I imagine varying gravitational fields an be a problem (does it automatically adapt to gravity or does it have to be altered to adjust with lighter gravity or heavier?) It could be a detectability issue - for Star Wars and renegade legion missiles can be designed to home in on 'AG' drives.


Given the signatures of typical 40K vehicles, I can’t see home on AG being any worse then the situation already is. Adjusting to gravity would depend on if the anti gravity is repelling gravity, or neutralizing its effects.

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I imagine it would also cause some armoring problems (You have to worry about armoring the underside of the tank far heavier.) And what if the AG tech can't be armored (I dont recall all the schematics but I think at least eldar and perhaps tau have exposed or semi exposed antigrav units) - blasting it makes an easy way of soft-killing such vehicles.


Put some tall side skirts on and use proper armor sloping and you’d only be vulnerable to shots directly from below, if you in fact cannot armor over the belly. It’d still work fine for what I’d want it for, long range heavy caliber direct fire. Once major threats are eliminated some belly gun turrets can take care of any random guy with a rocket launcher.


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'seem to'. The thing about 40K is that if you only look at the surface, or just go by the artwork or some of the more 'flavor' text, it can 'seem to' be alot of things. 40K is good at saying one thing in one case, and then contradicting itself by having other (often multiple) examples depict something else. Like Space MArines being so uber that a single company or Chapter can conquer a planet/systme, and yet that same company can take horrible losses facing down a few thousand troops, or Space Marines also being said to be 'equal' to ten or a hundred vaguely defined wariror types, ro whatever. In the case of logistics they try to say 'STC allows for alot of standardization' but in reality they have a certain number of 'types' of things that also have a shit ton of modifications, variations, and different designs.


They’ve also got so many worlds that shouldn’t be a big deal. Earth has gotten to have fairly standard weapons, but we still have thirty kinds of assault rifle in production. Space really should make life easier since everything goes long distance on large transports that can hold lots and lots of stuff. Logistics complexity doesn’t necessarily scale with distance, if distance doesn’t create a fuel problem for the transports, and no transshipment and repacking is required.


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Organizations are 'separate' both as a sort of checks and balances against revolution or conspiracy to topple the Imperium, politics (one organization trying to gain supremacy over the others), tradition, or just an attempt to impose internal security. Communication is slow.. sometimes. bureacracy plays a role in this, but the inconstant nature of the warp is the real problem. Its not so much that it can be 'slow' as it is unreliable. In certain respects it can be made 'more reliable' but even then there's always the dangers of losing ships, people, supplies, etc. Some of this may even be deliberate - Chaos and Daemons can influence warp travel to make it more dangerous or even slow down/hinder the Imperium - its been done a good many times before. They can also futz with warp communication to slow it down or screw with the message.


That would force decentralization then, as was typical of empires in the age of sail when you had people like the various East India companies carving out Empires with the rulers in Europe having little clue what was going on until after it was done.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-14 10:08pm
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Sea Skimmer wrote:
Well the issue simply being, no matter how strong the fort and its shields, unless the fortification floats on anti gravity and the shields protect it from below, underground explosions and near misses from superheavy artillery are going to destabilize it. I suppose if you go nuts enough you could mitigate this with deep foundations, but it doesn’t seem likely that miles of trenches are set on top of underground towers of concrete.
In Straight Silver, one of the Gaunt's Ghosts novels, the two sides of a planetary civil war are locked in trench combat, and there are theater shield generators covering the airspace over (one side's? both sides'?) actual trench lines- so any high-angle or high-arc projectiles will hit the shields instead of the ground. At least, that's how I remember it.

In general, it wouldn't necessarily be that hard to extend the lip of a theater shield far enough forward to cover all the ground immediately around your positions from ballistic fire, out to a large enough distance that you'd basically need something like nuclear land mines (or tunneling machines) to destabilize the ground meaningfully.

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Not every tank has sponsons or uses them. They tend to be options more than anything - they build their tanks for the specific purpose of modification, adaptation, and customization. One chassis may serve as an APC, artillery, a light tank, or a medical wagon/first aid vehicle, or a supply vehicle. Sponsons are one option amongst many, and this plays into the 'lack of standardization' I mention.
Well, just about everyone I ever see seems to have them. I’m aware that chassis serve more then one role, that actually makes sense.
Yeah. I think if you could really translate the tabletop sponson stuff, you'd find it as an optional modification on the tanks, designed for fighting enemies that come in ridiculously large numbers like orks. The best way to fight orks is to hose their personnel down with lots of heavy automatic weapons and antipersonnel artillery, while saving a handful of heavy antitank weapons for their vehicles. Because they do charge in human waves and are so absurdly tough that they can just shrug off many gunshot wounds from weapons below .50 caliber or so equivalency. Gratuitously bolting extra heavy bolters onto your tanks is arguably a good idea against them. Sponsons aren't a good way to do it, granted.

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Organizations are 'separate' both as a sort of checks and balances against revolution or conspiracy to topple the Imperium, politics (one organization trying to gain supremacy over the others), tradition, or just an attempt to impose internal security. Communication is slow.. sometimes. bureacracy plays a role in this, but the inconstant nature of the warp is the real problem. Its not so much that it can be 'slow' as it is unreliable. In certain respects it can be made 'more reliable' but even then there's always the dangers of losing ships, people, supplies, etc. Some of this may even be deliberate - Chaos and Daemons can influence warp travel to make it more dangerous or even slow down/hinder the Imperium - its been done a good many times before. They can also futz with warp communication to slow it down or screw with the message.
That would force decentralization then, as was typical of empires in the age of sail when you had people like the various East India companies carving out Empires with the rulers in Europe having little clue what was going on until after it was done.
Which is pretty much exactly what happens. The Imperium is quasi-feudal in nature, and a huge number of issues are resolved entirely at the planetary or sector level. The machinery of the imperial government can take months or years to get its ass into gear and respond to a given crisis; in the short term all decisions are being made at the local level.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-14 10:44pm
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I think you are underestimating the stranglehold the Munitorium has on this campaign and what it means Skimmer. They do logistics. They are likely to have been born into a family that has done logistics for generations, and it is the be all and end all of their existence. Lasguns, tanks, living or dead soldiers are all just numbers on a screen to them and their only real purpose is knowing all of the numbers, nothing else. That's why the like the Kreig, because they don't have to worry about the difference between quality of soldier or training, no one will ever say to them they want 500 Kreigers replaced by another 500 Kreigers because of quality or something equally silly, a lasgun is a lasgun and a man is a man right?

The fact that using their political influence to secure the soldiers and the commanders they wanted for this campaign is extraordinarily inefficient in a military sense isn't important to them because they were informed beforehand by their chosen commander precisely what it would take in terms of lives, time and equipment. Naturally this was wrong and the commander they chose was an inept fool, as evidenced by thinking he could provide an expenses sheet for a war before he fought it but that sort of thing is the Munitoriums wet dream, so they went with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-14 10:59pm
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I'd like to see Skimmer's reaction when they get to the part of the Vraks campaign where they relive the first day of the Somme several times in a row. :D

Because for supposedly "Siege/Trench Warfare" experts, the Kriegers don't seem to have progressed their tactics beyond 1916 with few rare exceptions.

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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-14 11:29pm
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Sea Skimmer wrote:
The warp at least seems to have been worked out in some detail, with something like known limits for the magical aspect. Its also integral to a lot of the overall story. Endlessly making humans more confused, not so much.


Well I wouldn't say Warp is an instant 'no limits' fallacy sort of thing - but it does allow some more flexibility in things than otherwise might be allowed. I mean, praying to 'god' or some other divine entity for assistance in battle or a victory probably won't work in real life, but in 40K it can actually have a tangible effect. They'd probably view it as a miracle, but its been known to happen.

The warp is actually one of the more trickier aspects to 40K, because of how goddamn insidious and pervasive it is. Chaos cultists can actually use it as a 'suitcase nuke' type terrorist weapon just by arranging for particular phrases/arrangements of words or symbols or geometric patterns ot be used at a particular place and/or time, for example. OR there's how certain ship designs are believed or meant to facilitate Chaos corruption, or shit like that.

Hell maybe one of the purposes of the Emperor is to radiate magic 'obedience rays' through the warp to influence the Imperium's populace towards being more complaint and agreeable - his power is at least partly sustained through worship (like any warp god) and having the Imperium fall apart constantly would be counter-productive. Hell, I've even speculated he is the true controlling force holding it together and guiding it (albeit indirectly and subtly.) - thats what he did when he was active and moving in the galaxy.

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Given that, and detailed planning, it still doesn’t really make sense to have this deliberate deadlock going on. They should have just been able to break down the enemy defenses with relentless attacks, instead of having whatever long pauses were involved to make it drag out 20 years.


Are we assuming an 'all out, gloves off, no holds barred' war? You mention nukes later so I assume so.

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Clearly that planning was a bunch of bullshit or else they would have arrived properly prepared and been able to take the place in a remotely timely fashion, considering they don’t even have to fight land, and no requirement for either side to mobilize industry first. The story would make more sense if the entire plan was to do the job quick, and they miscalculated somewhat, leading to exhaustion of the initial landing force and a long wait for unplanned war material and reinforcements to arrive.


Bullshit planning is something of a trademark for Forge world, actually. In Imperial armour 8 for example they're supposed to assassinate an Ork scientist type to prevent a potential invasion (or at least cripple its ability to wage war.) The forces utterly fail because the combined Astartes/Guard force decide to deploy independently and outside of mutual support of one another. And they also utterly fail to realize the Big Ork Scientist What Designs Mechs might be found over by the Big Mech being built that they see.

Much like with IA3 and Taros, IA5-7 represent something of an unusual (probably atypical even) deployment of military forces and resources compared to what we know from other sources. That it might be totally insane/retarded from the get go is probably part and parcel of that - things might have gone much differently had they operated according to SOP (EG raising Guard forces from nearby planets surrounding the rebel planet and deploying them.)

For all we know this was basically some REMF or Armchair general seeing a chance to make himself look good and score points with the Munitorum, and politicked to have the war handled the way he wanted.

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Well the issue simply being, no matter how strong the fort and its shields, unless the fortification floats on anti gravity and the shields protect it from below, underground explosions and near misses from superheavy artillery are going to destabilize it. I suppose if you go nuts enough you could mitigate this with deep foundations, but it doesn’t seem likely that miles of trenches are set on top of underground towers of concrete. This would also be an ideal place to use nuclear weapons, the supposed ban on them is completely illogical when clearly nobody cares about the landscape. Plus you could just explode them deep enough that no serious amount of gas would leak to the surface as underground nuclear testing was done, and still get the desired effect of collapsing anything on the surface into a crater. 40K siege warfare really should be a duel of hundred kiloton class nuclear sapper charges and much smaller say half kiloton nuclear camouflets.


Funny enough, nuclear weapons are 'forbidden' weapons because of radiation and fallout and shit (This will get discussed later when Krieg is mentioned). And yet they'll use chem and bio warfare weapons (which we will also see on Vraks...) So.. go figure. I imagine they could use melta and plasma weapons as well - those seem to be 'pocket nukes' for the Imperium in most cases.

Assuming that the 'ban' isnt in effect in this case (or they decided not to employ it) it's also possible they just didnt have any nukes stockpiled near enough (or weren't aware of it), or they had no effective means of delivery. Considering that some sources have flat out noted that tactical orbital bombardments can reach the kiloton/megaton range (as well as a few examples of ground weaponry) they probably do have the means. Or its the Munitorum being assholes and figuring they don't want the paint scratched on their precious fort and they have no concept of the weapons they actually employ.

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Well, just about everyone I ever see seems to have them. I’m aware that chassis serve more then one role, that actually makes sense.


As I noted, artwork and diagrams/drawings are good examples of what probably should be ignored in 40K. you know those exaggeratedly huge gun barrels that you could stick your head in without even touching the sides? They're supposed to be 120mm smoothbores (at least in some sources. In others they're rifled. :lol:) And they carry 40 rounds per load, and a single human can load them... well you get the idea.

I actually have toyed with this idea that some of the 'fluff/novel' battle tanks actually look different than what is seen in the artwork. Particularily the ones wiithout sponsons.

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Lack of supplies seems to be a running theme, yet at odds with the idea that they aren’t actually engaged in a massive war. It’s not like all the stuff should break spending lots of time in transport; unless the warp also acts like seawater did to WW2 cargo shipments and corrodes the crap out of anything improperly sealed.


'lack' probably isn't the best description for it, since 'lack' can encompass bad 'space weather' interfering (warp storms flaring up, for example), political misfortune or infighting (rivals sabotaging your efforts, or the commander/general on the ground lacking the clout or influence to get the Munitorum to actually listen to him rather than their own bean counters.), or

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Antigrav can have its problems though. Aside from the line of sight/altitude issue, I imagine varying gravitational fields an be a problem (does it automatically adapt to gravity or does it have to be altered to adjust with lighter gravity or heavier?) It could be a detectability issue - for Star Wars and renegade legion missiles can be designed to home in on 'AG' drives.


Given the signatures of typical 40K vehicles, I can’t see home on AG being any worse then the situation already is. Adjusting to gravity would depend on if the anti gravity is repelling gravity, or neutralizing its effects.

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Put some tall side skirts on and use proper armor sloping and you’d only be vulnerable to shots directly from below, if you in fact cannot armor over the belly. It’d still work fine for what I’d want it for, long range heavy caliber direct fire. Once major threats are eliminated some belly gun turrets can take care of any random guy with a rocket launcher.


That could work for certian models of AG, but of course it depends on how it works. If its exerting a directional force (like some purported tractor beam devices) that might limit it in some ways for manuverability. That's the pesky thing about AG - its a completely black box technology, so its limitations and such may not conform to what we might expect or predict. (same thing in the Honor Harrington novels - its magic AG drive systems rely on highly exposed, vulnerable to damage drive nodes to project the magic drive/defense wedges, which means they are prone to damage and destruction in combat.)

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They’ve also got so many worlds that shouldn’t be a big deal. Earth has gotten to have fairly standard weapons, but we still have thirty kinds of assault rifle in production. Space really should make life easier since everything goes long distance on large transports that can hold lots and lots of stuff. Logistics complexity doesn’t necessarily scale with distance, if distance doesn’t create a fuel problem for the transports, and no transshipment and repacking is required.


And again you have a point but... 'should' does not neccesarily mean is, even in real life. Hell, does that neccesarily apply in real life militaries? Maybe not to the magnitude it might in 40K but still.. we're talking degrees of 'logic' here. I mean really if they were fighting at all logically they wouldn't even be using human troops at all. They can make cyborg combat zombies (and even rebuild recycle them in the field) so they have better options.

I can also be oversimplifying things to one degree - the things I mention are not 'singular' factors that explain every little inconsistency.. things tend to be rather variable and differ from world to world or region to region.. the Imperium in some wys is not really as stagnant (or unified) as they present it.. as Simon says its pretty decentralized and with good reason.

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That would force decentralization then, as was typical of empires in the age of sail when you had people like the various East India companies carving out Empires with the rulers in Europe having little clue what was going on until after it was done.


That's probably the analogy I should have used from the get go. They're not really an Empire in having one single, controlling force directing everything (except perhaps the Emperor, and that only to a limited extent.) The High Lords and various organizations at the highest levels (Administratum, munitorum, etc.) mainly exist to set policies and broad directives at the highest levels. AT the more local levels (Sectors, subsectors, systems and planets) they tend to delegate authority to various officials who are responsible for overseeing their territiories and ensuring that the guidelines are (broadly) adhered to. They also rely on indirect control through various other means (control over long range travel, starships, technology, and long distance communications) as well as through controlilng information, education, and indoctirnation via religion and other means. The individaul organizations also tend to have their own represenatives to oversee one another and ensure that things are done as they should (Arbites, Administratum, eMunitorum, etc. all have their sector/subsector/system level officials to handle things.) and step in if the situation requires it. And then you have various 'free agents' who act as workarounds and shortcuts for the large, complex and messy setup I outlined above (Rogue Traders, Inquisitors, the occasional WArmaster when they need it, etc.). Add in the Astartes (who are effectively an independent military force allied to the Imperium at large, but also can have certain levels of control over certain regions of space - at least in emergencies.) and there is a fair bit of redundancy involved. It tends to make decisive action on any large (galactic) scale rare to nonexistent (and if it does appear its slow) but things can also be more flexible at the lower levels (eg at the sectors, and such - which basically represent self contained 'islands' of humanity nowadays, instead of having every world isolated and separate.)



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-14 11:36pm
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Alkaloid wrote:
I think you are underestimating the stranglehold the Munitorium has on this campaign and what it means Skimmer. They do logistics. They are likely to have been born into a family that has done logistics for generations, and it is the be all and end all of their existence. Lasguns, tanks, living or dead soldiers are all just numbers on a screen to them and their only real purpose is knowing all of the numbers, nothing else. That's why the like the Kreig, because they don't have to worry about the difference between quality of soldier or training, no one will ever say to them they want 500 Kreigers replaced by another 500 Kreigers because of quality or something equally silly, a lasgun is a lasgun and a man is a man right?

The fact that using their political influence to secure the soldiers and the commanders they wanted for this campaign is extraordinarily inefficient in a military sense isn't important to them because they were informed beforehand by their chosen commander precisely what it would take in terms of lives, time and equipment. Naturally this was wrong and the commander they chose was an inept fool, as evidenced by thinking he could provide an expenses sheet for a war before he fought it but that sort of thing is the Munitoriums wet dream, so they went with it.


I don't think he's underestimating it. I suspect he just can't believe they'd do it that way deliberately. Because in a way it is pretty stupid. Its very large and cumbersome and it hampers coordination and efficiency (moreso at the segmentum levels and higher) and it represents a massive amount of corruption and inefficiency inherent to the system - all those resources that are wasted or lost in infighting, politcking, personal agendas, rivalries and all that other inefficienct shit that can't be blamed on the warp would probably solve a great many of the Imperium's problems. When we get into the Horus HEresy we'll see a massive difference in how things are done that just underscores how inefficiently the Imperium runs things. But given the situation they are in, and the galaxy as it stands, I'm not sure there is any perfect option.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-14 11:48pm
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I was going to add:

When you really get down to it, the way the Imperium fights, or the way its run, is basically summarized by 'lots of different approaches taken, but no unifying guidelines to get everyone working in harmony". There literally hasn't been since the Horus Heresy and the Emperor died - he basically WAS what they had as a centralized, unifying force (well him and hte Primarchs) and there literally is/was noone to replace him. He's still 'around' in a sense of course, but he can't really make his feelings and wishes known in any direct manner (he has to do it through shit like the Tarot, which is much more indirect.)

In the case of the military, it's not quite as bad (they can still appoint warmasters if they really need to, which gives a centralized authority) - if you get a strong, charismatic and competent leader with good connections, they can create a very effective military force (Slaydo or Macharius are examples.) But if they don't have such a figure, things are much more up in the air, and may even suffer. That's why things in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade were never quite the same after Slaydo died, for example: Macaroth was not his equal, and the inevitable politicking and power plays only hampered things. In Macharius' case, the aftermath was even worse (The Macharian heresy.) The Jericho Reach stuff from Deathwatch is still a third example.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-15 12:13am
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Yeah.

Arguably, that's one of the things that makes the long-term cultural stability of the Imperium remotely plausible- it's actually not all that centralized; there's a chain of command but so much power is delegated that you can have huge shifts in culture and style of government on the local level without the lords of Terra knowing or caring that anything's ever changed.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-15 12:57am
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Alkaloid wrote:

The fact that using their political influence to secure the soldiers and the commanders they wanted for this campaign is extraordinarily inefficient in a military sense isn't important to them because they were informed beforehand by their chosen commander precisely what it would take in terms of lives, time and equipment. Naturally this was wrong and the commander they chose was an inept fool, as evidenced by thinking he could provide an expenses sheet for a war before he fought it but that sort of thing is the Munitoriums wet dream, so they went with it.


It is the essence of logistical planning that you are tallying up requirements before they are requirements. Otherwise you aren’t planning anything, you’re purely reactive. Thus my point about WW2 being planned on a 2 year schedule, involving meeting requirements for numerous units whose very existence and deployment were in many cases only projected. The exception to this would be Overlord which was planned on a three year basis, though it also kept expanding in scope as it went along. Detailed operational and tactical planning for specific amphibious operations took 4-6 months normally but the planners were working with material already planned for me. Having predictable troops and a predictable, static enemy with known technology should in fact make these methods rather effective. That they were not means its just absurd incompetence.

Going by the book can actually cause major problems with excess too, and artificially delay operations while you wait for it to all arrive. For example in the Gulf War the US stocked ammunition for 21 days fighting, including over 350,000 120mm sabot rounds. Now…. Iraq had a lot of tanks but this was still 70 sabot rounds per Iraqi tank! As it was no US tank fired off one single load of ammunition.


Connor MacLeod wrote:
Hell maybe one of the purposes of the Emperor is to radiate magic 'obedience rays' through the warp to influence the Imperium's populace towards being more complaint and agreeable - his power is at least partly sustained through worship (like any warp god) and having the Imperium fall apart constantly would be counter-productive. Hell, I've even speculated he is the true controlling force holding it together and guiding it (albeit indirectly and subtly.) - thats what he did when he was active and moving in the galaxy.


Seems like he’d more or less have to be actively holding it together like that.

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Are we assuming an 'all out, gloves off, no holds barred' war? You mention nukes later so I assume so.


Even in limited war, an underground nuclear detonation isn’t really doing anything carpet bombing wouldn’t, but the idea of limited war in this environment is rather ludicrous. It’s not like it’s the only planet you’ve got! Earth is doing okay after near two thousand nuclear tests.


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Bullshit planning is something of a trademark for Forge world, actually. In Imperial armour 8 for example they're supposed to assassinate an Ork scientist type to prevent a potential invasion (or at least cripple its ability to wage war.) The forces utterly fail because the combined Astartes/Guard force decide to deploy independently and outside of mutual support of one another. And they also utterly fail to realize the Big Ork Scientist What Designs Mechs might be found over by the Big Mech being built that they see.


That sounds like incompetent small unit leadership, as much or more then a failure of planning up high but I have no idea of how big a force you are talking about.

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For all we know this was basically some REMF or Armchair general seeing a chance to make himself look good and score points with the Munitorum, and politicked to have the war handled the way he wanted.


People in the rear area controlling too much tends to be a problem because conditions at the front can change rapidly from what’s in the textbooks… but 40K is obsessed with stuff not really changing. That’s the problem that I’m seeing. WW1 for example happened because the last big war anyone closely paid attention too was 40 years and two generations of weapons earlier; anyone who paid attention to more recent wars more or less completely predicted what was going to happen. Lots of stuff on Google books utterly confirms this. Lack of war also does facilitate incompetents taking root in command, but once more this tends to be linked into them remaining aloof of change and trying to protect turf from change. If the tech don’t change, that isn’t such an issue. Course, that part has never made any sense to me anyway. They can’t replicate technology they have, and they have a million planets of people to work on it? HUN? How the hell was it ever supposed to have been invented?

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Funny enough, nuclear weapons are 'forbidden' weapons because of radiation and fallout and shit (This will get discussed later when Krieg is mentioned). And yet they'll use chem and bio warfare weapons (which we will also see on Vraks...) So.. go figure. I imagine they could use melta and plasma weapons as well - those seem to be 'pocket nukes' for the Imperium in most cases.


Well even if they have a rational reason for a ban, which I doubt in a universe in which at least one major enemy has to be wiped out to the last spore, tunnels full of ammonia nitrate work. This is what WW1 tunnel warfare was all about, dig under and blow up the other side, I’m getting the impression that 40K tunnel warfare is constant chainsword fights.

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Assuming that the 'ban' isnt in effect in this case (or they decided not to employ it) it's also possible they just didnt have any nukes stockpiled near enough (or weren't aware of it), or they had no effective means of delivery.


Place nuke in tunnel, make explode. Not a very tricky delivery system. Failing that, the bigger an area the enemy shields protect, logically the weaker they should be. Use every heavy weapon you have to blast them down bit by bit.

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Considering that some sources have flat out noted that tactical orbital bombardments can reach the kiloton/megaton range (as well as a few examples of ground weaponry) they probably do have the means. Or its the Munitorum being assholes and figuring they don't want the paint scratched on their precious fort and they have no concept of the weapons they actually employ.


I’m pretty certain they have the means given reports of bombardments that wipe out all life on planets. Even if it takes a vast number of ships to do so, you only need such a tiny fraction of that firepower for this.

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I actually have toyed with this idea that some of the 'fluff/novel' battle tanks actually look different than what is seen in the artwork. Particularily the ones wiithout sponsons.


No idea on that, most of my exposure, and virtually all real world exposure, is to the model work.

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'lack' probably isn't the best description for it, since 'lack' can encompass bad 'space weather' interfering (warp storms flaring up, for example), political misfortune or infighting (rivals sabotaging your efforts, or the commander/general on the ground lacking the clout or influence to get the Munitorum to actually listen to him rather than their own bean counters.), or


Well if the Munitorum operates as claimed, they should have a billion formulas for operational losses. If people are just sabotaging the entire operation that’d be a problem, but then it feeds back into the idea that they really should be having some kind of civil war or just completely bypassing those idiots.

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That could work for certian models of AG, but of course it depends on how it works. If its exerting a directional force (like some purported tractor beam devices) that might limit it in some ways for manuverability.


I’d kind of assume the anti grav would just hold you in the air, and agility would come from some jet engines that can also provide your required electrical power.

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And again you have a point but... 'should' does not neccesarily mean is, even in real life. Hell, does that neccesarily apply in real life militaries?


Well, Japan, one of the most incompetent military powers of the 20th century in planning and logistical terms also orchestrated the largest and most rapid imperial expansion ever on a very tight shipping budget. The biggest problems with fighting at long distances are usually in the detail planning for combat loading and unloading, and no opposition on landing evaporates those issues. Just pack crap in any way possible and sort it out on arrival. Remember, lack of standardization means you have more items in your logistical tables. However those tables already have many thousands of items, and the problem then becomes shipping enough of each one to the combat zone. Historically that has been a problem because means of transport are subject to multiple limits, the worst of which is shear weight. Having enormous spacecraft that can’t capsized if loaded wrong and can transport enormous weights goes a long way towards mitigating the problem.

Very long lead times in planning also create problems, because you have more uncertainty but that can be dealt with by sending more of everything. For a niche operation launched in the absence of a wider war, that shouldn’t be a big deal. The writers should really have the Munitorum sending out vital fuses packed under eight billion pairs of cold weather socks to planet desert sun never sets rather then just not doing its job at all. If it simply cannot administer the problem at all then first of all one must ask what on earth they actually exist for, secondly what’s all this supposed living for the job about, and thirdly how have they not already been overthrown.

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Maybe not to the magnitude it might in 40K but still.. we're talking degrees of 'logic' here. I mean really if they were fighting at all logically they wouldn't even be using human troops at all. They can make cyborg combat zombies (and even rebuild recycle them in the field) so they have better options.


These trench warriors sound like they more or less already are zombies; I thought that was the point. Once you have someone emotionally detached from trench fighting for protracted periods I don’t think they much count as human whatever the DNA might or might not say. Actual humans WILL break in heavy combat. It is purely a matter of time.

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I can also be oversimplifying things to one degree - the things I mention are not 'singular' factors that explain every little inconsistency.. things tend to be rather variable and differ from world to world or region to region.. the Imperium in some wys is not really as stagnant (or unified) as they present it.. as Simon says its pretty decentralized and with good reason.


Well decentralized can solve many problems, but then you’d think that groups like the Munitorum would have already been massively undermined as each regional military force sets its own requirements and contracts directly with the million whatever planets of factories. Plus this would mean its just unlikely that supplies are flowing across the entire empire.

Quote:
That's probably the analogy I should have used from the get go. They're not really an Empire in having one single, controlling force directing everything (except perhaps the Emperor, and that only to a limited extent.) The High Lords and various organizations at the highest levels (Administratum, munitorum, etc.) mainly exist to set policies and broad directives at the highest levels. AT the more local levels (Sectors, subsectors, systems and planets) they tend to delegate authority to various officials who are responsible for overseeing their territiories and ensuring that the guidelines are (broadly) adhered to. They also rely on indirect control through various other means (control over long range travel, starships, technology, and long distance communications) as well as through controlilng information, education, and indoctirnation via religion and other means. The individaul organizations also tend to have their own represenatives to oversee one another and ensure that things are done as they should (Arbites, Administratum, eMunitorum, etc. all have their sector/subsector/system level officials to handle things.) and step in if the situation requires it. And then you have various 'free agents' who act as workarounds and shortcuts for the large, complex and messy setup I outlined above (Rogue Traders, Inquisitors, the occasional WArmaster when they need it, etc.). Add in the Astartes (who are effectively an independent military force allied to the Imperium at large, but also can have certain levels of control over certain regions of space - at least in emergencies.) and there is a fair bit of redundancy involved. It tends to make decisive action on any large (galactic) scale rare to nonexistent (and if it does appear its slow) but things can also be more flexible at the lower levels (eg at the sectors, and such - which basically represent self contained 'islands' of humanity nowadays, instead of having every world isolated and separate.)


Well, it sounds like we shouldn’t expect standardization in the first place, but that precisely because the various military forces are independently operating any given campaign wouldn’t have the full mix of weapons and spare parts and ammo thrown in together anyway. Makes life a lot easier, and suggests that indeed supplies should be coming from distributed locations.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-15 01:02am
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Zinegata wrote:
I'd like to see Skimmer's reaction when they get to the part of the Vraks campaign where they relive the first day of the Somme several times in a row. :D

Because for supposedly "Siege/Trench Warfare" experts, the Kriegers don't seem to have progressed their tactics beyond 1916 with few rare exceptions.


Nothing really wrong with that happening against massive defenses at least loss wise, as long as it was several quick days in a row like the early Japanese attacks at Port Arthur. Weapons only get more deadly in general. But then anyone even remotely rational shifts tactics as occurred on the Somme, with attacks shifted to much shorter frontages with much heavier scales of fire support.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-15 01:35am
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Skimmer, you are still being rational. Thats not going to work. Guard generals will be planning operations and campaigns on that sort of timescale, yes, but the Munitorium is not responsible for managing a campaign. They are responsible for managing the military logistics of an entire segmentum, the people pushing for this particular style of campaign probably more than that, and all they care about is that the numbers have to add up. Every time a general comes to them to requestion supplies for a campaign in two years, thats two years they have to find more spare numbers somewhere. Then, two months later, this other general comes to them and needs the same sort of supplies, but in 18 months, thats even more spare numbers we have to find. Production isn't likely to change much, because forge worlds are normally running at more or less full capacity anyway, so we have to start dipping into our armoury world reserves, which means those numbers are falling below the minimal threshold, so we need to find even more numbers to make those up! This guy from Kreig, though, he can give them exact numbers for the next two decades, thats so much better, much more efficient. He guarantees it will be exactly that, because he has accounted for every yard of his advance. It doesn't make any sense from a military perspective, it's not supposed to. All it's meant to do is make things easier for the guy with the abacus.

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Failing that, the bigger an area the enemy shields protect, logically the weaker they should be. Use every heavy weapon you have to blast them down bit by bit.


Keep in mind this is a setting where multi km battleships have shields that withstand bombardments considerably stronger than most nukes as a matter of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-15 02:16am
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Alkaloid wrote:
Skimmer, you are still being rational. Thats not going to work. Guard generals will be planning operations and campaigns on that sort of timescale, yes, but the Munitorium is not responsible for managing a campaign. They are responsible for managing the military logistics of an entire segmentum, the people pushing for this particular style of campaign probably more than that, and all they care about is that the numbers have to add up. Every time a general comes to them to requestion supplies for a campaign in two years, thats two years they have to find more spare numbers somewhere. Then, two months later, this other general comes to them and needs the same sort of supplies, but in 18 months, thats even more spare numbers we have to find. Production isn't likely to change much, because forge worlds are normally running at more or less full capacity anyway, so we have to start dipping into our armoury world reserves, which means those numbers are falling below the minimal threshold, so we need to find even more numbers to make those up!


That shouldn't be a problem if they have all the factories working full time and you're all telling me they are not in fact involved in a constant mass war. You can't pull resources out of a million worlds to assault one, you've got a serious problem going on. Of course your numbers have to add up, you'd be completely irresponsible to promise people weapons and equipment you know you won't have. That would imply they actually do plan in a realistic fashion. So which is it??

Quote:

This guy from Kreig, though, he can give them exact numbers for the next two decades, thats so much better, much more efficient. He guarantees it will be exactly that, because he has accounted for every yard of his advance. It doesn't make any sense from a military perspective, it's not supposed to. All it's meant to do is make things easier for the guy with the abacus.


As I was saying, given the situation they very much should be able to reasonably predict requirements, and reasonably met them. The system is basically predicated on being unable to function at all, which umm, yeah stuff like that tends not to last long. If only because the many enemies would notice it and exploit it and make all humans go squish. Problems like that motivate people to take counter actions.

Quote:
Keep in mind this is a setting where multi km battleships have shields that withstand bombardments considerably stronger than most nukes as a matter of course.


So they plainly have weapons which can breach them since I don't recall those battleships being immune to each other. But of course, thus the logic of exploding the nuke underground to undermine them anyway. The shield can't protect you from being tossed in the air and then dropped into a crater unless the fortification is not actually anchored in the ground at all, which would seem to imply a lot more advanced technology then is otherwise being portrayed. Especially if ground warfare isn't being dominated by low altitude aerial battleships. I mean... if you can make bunkers float via anti gravity or magic while waves of soil splash over them, surely you can do the same with a 100 foot ceiling ultra armor gunship.



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 Post subject: Re: Imperial armour: Siege of Vraks analysis PostPosted: 2012-03-15 05:38am
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Sea Skimmer wrote:
Nothing really wrong with that happening against massive defenses at least loss wise, as long as it was several quick days in a row like the early Japanese attacks at Port Arthur. Weapons only get more deadly in general. But then anyone even remotely rational shifts tactics as occurred on the Somme, with attacks shifted to much shorter frontages with much heavier scales of fire support.


I'm not simply talking about the casualties unfortunately. I'm saying they're literally following the "1st Day of the Somme" game plan over and over again.

Essentially...

1) The Kriegers will lay down a week/month-long bombardment of the entire front.

2) At the designated hour, all Corp will send their infantry out to walk over no man's land across a broad front - without tank support despite the Kriegers having them.

3) The infantry predictably get massacred by heavy MGs and pre-sighted arty.

4) The generals send in more waves of infantry over the exact same ground where the first wave died. And they keep at it until the attack regiments are all but wiped out.

The only thing that makes this plan less retarded than the Somme plan is that they don't expect the arty to wipe out the enemy. They instead expect the infantry to find weaknesses and punch holes in the enemy defense line, and then the follow-up armor and mounted cavalry will breakthrough. In reality, the infantry simply wiped themselves out by attacking on too broad a front, and the few breakthroughs they achieved were often undone by enemy counter-attacks that overran other sectors that spent themselves dry launching suicidal assaults.

The rational choice - changing tactics - is simply not done except in a few rare occassions. Sometimes it doesn't work, other times it does - i.e. a sudden assault by an entire regiment without artillery preparation launched from no-man's land that resulted in a foothold, then a breakthrough.

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