Switch Theme:

Why ranged combat is impractical  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Annandale, VA

We had nuclear land mines ready for deployment in the Fulda Gap. We were fully prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons in the event of a non-MAD-exchange WW3.

The Imperial Guard would have a lot less trouble with hordes of Orks, Tyranids, and other massed adversaries if they issued Davy Crocketts en masse. Sure, there'll be a radioactive crater that people will need to steer clear of for a few years, but the Imperium doesn't strike me as too concerned about mildly elevated cancer rates in the area once all the hot isotopes burn themselves out. Even if there are exclusion zones for a few decades, that's a blink of an eye for the Imperium.

40K runs entirely on pretending that there is no intermediate between conventional artillery and strategic nuclear weapons, and then concocts flimsy justifications for why those strategic nukes are so rarely used.

It's fine. I'm not complaining. This isn't a setting to go looking for realism in. But if we are going to have a realism argument, well, hordes of pretty much anything are off the table.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/23 18:59:50


 
   
Made in us
Rampaging Carnifex



Mexico

In the context of 40k, there other issues regarding strategic weaponry.

For example any of you played Space Marine? In the intro of the game the Imperials consider the deployment of capital weaponry to deal with the Ork invasion on a Forgeworld. They discard it because the forges of the world are considered strategic priority.

The IoM most of the time is the defender, and you cannot nuke yourself to victory.

Also Titans are pretty much strategic weapons on legs, with how often they are stated to have enough firepower to destroy hive cities. Similarly, the Blood Angels used capital weaponry to bombard the Tyranids on Baal, but the whole point of Tyranids is that they have practically infinite troops.
   
Made in ca
Revving Ravenwing Biker




Vancouver, BC

Tyran wrote:
In the intro of the game the Imperials consider the deployment of capital weaponry to deal with the Ork invasion on a Forgeworld. They discard it because the forges of the world are considered strategic priority.

That's why, in a more realistic setting, you'd have massive orbital defenses and blow the Orks up before they reach the planet. Our entire hobby, the actual boots of the ground action, should be a sideshow compared to the real battles waged in space.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

 Canadian 5th wrote:
Tyran wrote:
In the intro of the game the Imperials consider the deployment of capital weaponry to deal with the Ork invasion on a Forgeworld. They discard it because the forges of the world are considered strategic priority.

That's why, in a more realistic setting, you'd have massive orbital defenses and blow the Orks up before they reach the planet. Our entire hobby, the actual boots of the ground action, should be a sideshow compared to the real battles waged in space.


They are sort of.

It's just that Imperial Fleet cannot be everywhere at once and even when it is protecting a world it might not have sufficient power to stop all ships from landing. Plus lots of armies can rise up.

Genestealer Cults and Chaos Cultists can both infiltrate and rise up from the planet itself. Ideally both would work toward compromising any planetary defensive system if they can.
Meanwhile if Ork spores infest a world its very hard to burn out all the orks forever.


Plus there are loads of worlds far from the front lines. It's like playing Stellaris without movement lanes and with free movement. You can protect every world with ships, but each fleet will be smaller and a combined larger enemy fleet can destroy any single world protective fleet. Leaving them free rein to invade the world below. Even if your own fleet than re-unites to come and protect that world the ground forces are already entrenched.
Or you keep your fleet in one place and have to play catch-up. A chaos fleet might strike a world at one end of the Empire; draw your fleet over; then another fleet hits a world at the other end. Again more than ample time to make landfall.

Plus you're not against one opponent.



The Imperial fleet does engage in huge epic space battles; it does stop worlds getting invade and put a halt to crusades and vast hive fleets. But when it fails we get the ground game.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut



NE Ohio, USA

 Canadian 5th wrote:
Tyran wrote:
In the intro of the game the Imperials consider the deployment of capital weaponry to deal with the Ork invasion on a Forgeworld. They discard it because the forges of the world are considered strategic priority.

That's why, in a more realistic setting, you'd have massive orbital defenses and blow the Orks up before they reach the planet. Our entire hobby, the actual boots of the ground action, should be a sideshow compared to the real battles waged in space.


Who says it isn't?
It's just that the camera is focussed on the bit of the fight that made it to the surface. And as most of our battles occur on a 4'x8' or less table top, it's zoomed WAAAY in on a tiny segment of that fight.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




 Canadian 5th wrote:
Tyran wrote:
In the intro of the game the Imperials consider the deployment of capital weaponry to deal with the Ork invasion on a Forgeworld. They discard it because the forges of the world are considered strategic priority.

That's why, in a more realistic setting, you'd have massive orbital defenses and blow the Orks up before they reach the planet. Our entire hobby, the actual boots of the ground action, should be a sideshow compared to the real battles waged in space.

That exact game has you destroying orbital defences so reinforcements can get on the planet. Every time I see people complain about how the fight in orbit matters it's like they forget the invaders can win that.

tremere47-fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate, leads to triple riptide spam  
   
Made in ca
Revving Ravenwing Biker




Vancouver, BC

 Overread wrote:
It's just that Imperial Fleet cannot be everywhere at once and even when it is protecting a world it might not have sufficient power to stop all ships from landing. Plus lots of armies can rise up.

Static defenses on the planet and surrounding moons, spaced stations, minefields, an array of mirrors around the system's star to burn enemy ships like ants, disassembling the entire planet into a fleet of habitat ships and jumping away at the first sign of an enemy... It should be almost trivial to stop most enemies from ever landing.

Genestealer Cults and Chaos Cultists can both infiltrate and rise up from the planet itself. Ideally both would work toward compromising any planetary defensive system if they can.
Meanwhile if Ork spores infest a world its very hard to burn out all the orks forever.

3 exceptions, 4 if you count tomb worlds.

Plus there are loads of worlds far from the front lines. It's like playing Stellaris without movement lanes and with free movement. You can protect every world with ships, but each fleet will be smaller and a combined larger enemy fleet can destroy any single world protective fleet. Leaving them free rein to invade the world below. Even if your own fleet than re-unites to come and protect that world the ground forces are already entrenched.

Who needs a fleet when fixed defenses are cheaper and easier to armor?
   
Made in us
Rampaging Carnifex



Mexico

Fixed defenses were already proven to be ineffective by WW2, warfare is all about movement, fixed defenses are just fixed targets.

A ship can dodge attacks, fixed defenses cannot. With some simple math the enemy could hit you from outside the range of the defenses.

There is a reason why modern military doctrines are not only based on range, but also mobility.
   
Made in ca
Revving Ravenwing Biker




Vancouver, BC

Tyran wrote:
Fixed defenses were already proven to be ineffective by WW2, warfare is all about movement, fixed defenses are just fixed targets.

Except for shore defense batteries, minefields (both land and sea), ICBM silos in the cold war... Those things are all sure 'useless' right?

A ship can dodge attacks, fixed defenses cannot. With some simple math the enemy could hit you from outside the range of the defenses.

A fixed defense is also more accurate as it knows its range tables and approach vectors. You can also hide them in silos, as just another asteroid or orbital habitat, build an office complex around one. Unless your enemy has already surveyed your system well they won't find every trick you've got.
   
Made in us
Rampaging Carnifex



Mexico

 Canadian 5th wrote:
Tyran wrote:
Fixed defenses were already proven to be ineffective by WW2, warfare is all about movement, fixed defenses are just fixed targets.

Except for shore defense batteries, minefields (both land and sea), ICBM silos in the cold war... Those things are all sure 'useless' right?

A ship can dodge attacks, fixed defenses cannot. With some simple math the enemy could hit you from outside the range of the defenses.

A fixed defense is also more accurate as it knows its range tables and approach vectors. You can also hide them in silos, as just another asteroid or orbital habitat, build an office complex around one. Unless your enemy has already surveyed your system well they won't find every trick you've got.



ICBM silos are really not defenses, considering their whole purpose is to start nuclear apocalypse. Also ballistic missiles are not optimal to target mobile forces, you want cruise missiles for that.

As for the other two, one is pure area denial, the other is a combination of area denial and mobile artillery. They are not going to win a war by themselves and are meant to support naval forces, not replace them. ICBMs can and will pretty much end any war, but MAD is a construct of our current sociopolitical situation and does not necessarily apply to interstellar warfare.

And space makes it even harder because thermodynamics. You need heath to operate and there is no way to hide that heath in space (unless technobbable is involved, and to be fair 40k has a lot of technobbable), so that discards minefields or hiding weapons in rocks.

Planet bound defenses have to work against gravity, which makes them slower and inefficient. To misquote Obi-Wan, space has the high ground. They can work to give the attackers a nasty surprise, but if you lost control of orbit, you already lost the war.

Sure I was wrong at calling them useless, but you cannot replace a fleet with static defenses.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/03/24 17:30:19


 
   
Made in us
Ancient Ultramarine Venerable Dreadnought






Also, filling the system with defenses might just be prohibitively expensive for many systems. Probably most worlds have defenses commensurate to the value of the world. A major Forge or Hive World probably has lots of system defenses and a fleet to patrol local space. An agri-world probably has some meager orbital defenses and ground based defenses around any population centers, but the Imperium figures any major invasion will be a temporary loss of the world and then they can repopulate in 100 years time.

And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

Tyranid Army Progress -- With Classic Warriors!:
https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/743240.page#9671598 
   
Made in us
Morphing Obliterator



The dark hollows of Kentucky

 Canadian 5th wrote:
an array of mirrors around the system's star to burn enemy ships like ants, disassembling the entire planet into a fleet of habitat ships and jumping away at the first sign of an enemy..

Not taking anything away from your other points, which are good, but I think these might be just a little bit beyond the Imperium's current capabilities.
   
Made in ca
Revving Ravenwing Biker




Vancouver, BC

Tyran wrote:
ICBM silos are really not defenses, considering their whole purpose is to start nuclear apocalypse.

MAD, or even just AD, certainly seems to be an effective defense for nuclear-armed nations.

Also ballistic missiles are not optimal to target mobile forces, you want cruise missiles for that.

Missing the forest for the trees my friend. Any missile that's getting to space will need an ICBM sized (or larger) silo.

As for the other two, one is pure area denial, the other is a combination of area denial and mobile artillery. They are not going to win a war by themselves and are meant to support naval forces, not replace them.

Yes, but naval gun emplacements and minefields have prevented landings IRL. That's the aim here, make a landing too costly to attempt or to slow it down so the navy can arrive. The exact purpose it served in WWII.

And space makes it even harder because thermodynamics. You need heath to operate and there is no way to hide that heath in space (unless technobbable is involved, and to be fair 40k has a lot of technobabble), so that discards minefields or hiding weapons in rocks.

It does, as a point of fact, not make it impossible. That asteroid could well hide a hab, or a mining operation. Those mines hide as communications relays, satellites moved to a high orbit to run out their remaining fuel, the ruins of a hulk transport. There may not be stealth in space but there is room for a lot of deception.

Planet bound defenses have to work against gravity,

Not for laser or particle weapons which the Imperium has loads of. They also seem to do just fine with surface mounted macro cannons.

Gadzilla666 wrote:
 Canadian 5th wrote:
an array of mirrors around the system's star to burn enemy ships like ants, disassembling the entire planet into a fleet of habitat ships and jumping away at the first sign of an enemy..

Not taking anything away from your other points, which are good, but I think these might be just a little bit beyond the Imperium's current capabilities.

You'd be wrong. They're within the grasp of our current tech except for scale and the infrastructure to build them.

All you really need are satellites that can keep in formation and rotate to point the sun towards a single point on an enemy ship. It's basically a very large multi mirrored telescope. The best part is that it would be made up of thousands, if not millions, of satellites making it next to impossible to kill before it gets you.

The other best part is that it also works as an engine for your entire star system if you want it to. Picture the IoM planets all burning towards Holy Terra using harnessed starlight; literally reshaping the galaxy for the defense of mankind.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/03/24 18:02:40


 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

Just a point but note that early in assault campaigns the Imperial Guard is likely landing in D-Day equivalent numbers against planets held by the enemy. Ergo static defences are all well and good until you soften them with bombardment and then throw MANY troops at them until you either lose or overwhelm them.

Essentially its a battle of arms - eventually you run out of resources for building planetary defences. Especially when there are worlds in the Imperium that never see invasion for generations. Worlds that you just wouldn't bother building defensive systems along until a vile xenos or traitor comes a knocking.


Even if you can build everything there's always a support chain. Weapons need maintaining, crewing, arming, upkeep etc.... Again you eventually hit barriers. And that's before we hit the massive bureaucratic nightmare that is the Imperium. They've missplaced whole systems in their archives more than once. Heck in the lore Tau only exists because of an administrative blunder that lost the paperwork!

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in us
Member of the Ethereal Council




USA

 Excommunicatus wrote:
And the fact that your conclusion is in fact the complete opposite of the facts on the ground gives you no pause for thought at all?


I don't know. Lets ask the the Takeda cavalry, Ottoman Janissary corp, Zulus, and and anyone who plays a melee centric 40k army what they think. They may have insights about the viability of melee infantry vs gun lines .

   
Made in ca
Revving Ravenwing Biker




Vancouver, BC

 Overread wrote:
Just a point but note that early in assault campaigns the Imperial Guard is likely landing in D-Day equivalent numbers against planets held by the enemy. Ergo static defences are all well and good until you soften them with bombardment and then throw MANY troops at them until you either lose or overwhelm them.

That's the point. They slow the enemy down until help can come.

Essentially its a battle of arms - eventually you run out of resources for building planetary defences. Especially when there are worlds in the Imperium that never see invasion for generations. Worlds that you just wouldn't bother building defensive systems along until a vile xenos or traitor comes a knocking.

Then they aren't protected by the guard and likely just have some local PDF troops with stubbers and that's not really what this thread is about.

Even if you can build everything there's always a support chain. Weapons need maintaining, crewing, arming, upkeep etc.... Again you eventually hit barriers. And that's before we hit the massive bureaucratic nightmare that is the Imperium. They've missplaced whole systems in their archives more than once. Heck in the lore Tau only exists because of an administrative blunder that lost the paperwork!

Or ditch planets, build a dyson swarm of small habs around a star, and manufacture what you need in house. It's not beyond what 40k can do it's just too logical for a setting that wants to have its cake and eat it too.
   
Made in us
Rampaging Carnifex



Mexico

 Canadian 5th wrote:

MAD, or even just AD, certainly seems to be an effective defense for nuclear-armed nations.

The same could be said as any military, the best defense is a good offense and all that.

Yes, but naval gun emplacements and minefields have prevented landings IRL. That's the aim here, make a landing too costly to attempt or to slow it down so the navy can arrive. The exact purpose it served in WWII.

That is fine but you original stated "Who needs a fleet". Turns out static defenses really need fleet support to properly work.

It does, as a point of fact, not make it impossible. That asteroid could well hide a hab, or a mining operation. Those mines hide as communications relays, satellites moved to a high orbit to run out their remaining fuel, the ruins of a hulk transport. There may not be stealth in space but there is room for a lot of deception.

That is assuming the enemy doesn't simply blows those up, communication relays and satellites are basic targets.

Not for laser or particle weapons which the Imperium has loads of. They also seem to do just fine with surface mounted macro cannons.

Both do have issues with atmospheric interference, and we have seen their enemies counter them somewhat.


You'd be wrong. They're within the grasp of our current tech except for scale and the infrastructure to build them.

All you really need are satellites that can keep in formation and rotate to point the sun towards a single point on an enemy ship. It's basically a very large multi mirrored telescope. The best part is that it would be made up of thousands, if not millions, of satellites making it next to impossible to kill before it gets you.

The other best part is that it also works as an engine for your entire star system if you want it to. Picture the IoM planets all burning towards Holy Terra using harnessed starlight; literally reshaping the galaxy for the defense of mankind.


The scale and infrastructure is putting it lightly. We are talking about a full dyson swarm. While technically low tech, that is still beyond the industrial capacities of the IoM.

Also vulnerable to FTL, which means everyone in 40k.
   
Made in ca
Revving Ravenwing Biker




Vancouver, BC

Tyran wrote:
That is fine but you original stated "Who needs a fleet". Turns out static defenses really need fleet support to properly work.

That fleet may be a fleet in being. The enemy knows you have defenses, knows you have a fleet, and doesn't even try to attack.

It could be using your systems star as an engine so the enemy comes out of the warp only to find your planet isn't there.

It might be dispursing your population into smaller habs so the enemy has nothing to mass assault.

That is assuming the enemy doesn't simply blows those up, communication relays and satellites are basic targets.

So why is only the enemy getting to shoot? They drop out of the warp blind, after all, so you have the defenders advantage.

Both do have issues with atmospheric interference, and we have seen their enemies counter them somewhat.

IRL they do, in 40k many of those issues seem solved or otherwise unimportant.

The scale and infrastructure is putting it lightly. We are talking about a full dyson swarm. While technically low tech, that is still beyond the industrial capacities of the IoM.

Is it though? Realistically it's just a matter of time and raw materials both are resources that any habitable system has in abundance. From there it's just actually starting the process which is easy when you already know how to build things in space and have SSTO spacecraft.

Also vulnerable to FTL, which means everyone in 40k.

I'm not sure how astronavigation to an actively moving system would work. Also, forcing a second warp jump after the first is off-target means more chances your enemy's fleet arrives piecemeal if at all.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/24 18:50:33


 
   
Made in us
Battlefortress Driver with Krusha Wheel




Douglasville, GA

That space mirror idea is super impractical and basically worthless. For a few reasons. 1) it takes time for that light to reach a target (light from our own sun takes 8 minutes to reach us). So you'd have to aim and focus those mirrors not at where the ship is, but where it's going to be in the future. 2) it takes time for that light to heat up an object. Ants get popped by magnifying glasses because they're incredibly tiny. Ships, especially on 40k, are enormous. Not only are you going to have to adjust your mirrors a good 10 minutes in advance to keep them focused on the ship, but you'd have to hope the ship follows the exact trajectory you planned for. 3) as that light passes through electromagnetic fields, dust and debris, and gravity wells, it would be distorted and the focus would weaken. Which means that even if you can perfectly plan all of the above, you'd still have issues getting it to do what you want.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

Also one torpedo or gunshot or grot through the lens of the glass and its shattered.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in ca
Revving Ravenwing Biker




Vancouver, BC

 flandarz wrote:
1) it takes time for that light to reach a target (light from our own sun takes 8 minutes to reach us). So you'd have to aim and focus those mirrors not at where the ship is, but where it's going to be in the future.

The same as any weapon in common use in 40k and much faster than a macro cannon battery or missiles.

2) it takes time for that light to heat up an object. Ants get popped by magnifying glasses because they're incredibly tiny. Ships, especially on 40k, are enormous. Not only are you going to have to adjust your mirrors a good 10 minutes in advance to keep them focused on the ship, but you'd have to hope the ship follows the exact trajectory you planned for.

You do realize that lascannons are lasers and they work just fine, right? The sun has more power almost any 40k ship and properly focused won't need a ton of time or target. Aiming is handled via servitors linked into a targeting system so the mirrors that need to move do so in sync with each other.

3) as that light passes through electromagnetic fields, dust and debris, and gravity wells, it would be distorted and the focus would weaken. Which means that even if you can perfectly plan all of the above, you'd still have issues getting it to do what you want.

40k fires lasers from the ground to space without issue, this is a solved problem in-universe.

Also, we plan to use lasers to push things to Alpha Centauri with modern tech. So aiming and focusing over those distances is already plausible, why would things be worse in 40k?

 Overread wrote:
Also one torpedo or gunshot or grot through the lens of the glass and its shattered.

Yes, because this is going to be a single glass lens and not thousands or millions of polished metal mirrors... Try looking up the concept before critiquing it.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/03/24 19:18:23


 
   
Made in us
Morphing Obliterator



The dark hollows of Kentucky

 Canadian 5th wrote:
Gadzilla666 wrote:
 Canadian 5th wrote:
an array of mirrors around the system's star to burn enemy ships like ants, disassembling the entire planet into a fleet of habitat ships and jumping away at the first sign of an enemy..

Not taking anything away from your other points, which are good, but I think these might be just a little bit beyond the Imperium's current capabilities.

You'd be wrong. They're within the grasp of our current tech except for scale and the infrastructure to build them.

All you really need are satellites that can keep in formation and rotate to point the sun towards a single point on an enemy ship. It's basically a very large multi mirrored telescope. The best part is that it would be made up of thousands, if not millions, of satellites making it next to impossible to kill before it gets you.

The other best part is that it also works as an engine for your entire star system if you want it to. Picture the IoM planets all burning towards Holy Terra using harnessed starlight; literally reshaping the galaxy for the defense of mankind.

I'll not address the mirrors, as others have done so already, but disassembling an entire planet and using it to construct a fleet of basically craftworlds would take extreme technology, resources, and time. I don't believe even the eldar are currently capable of that anymore. Plus you'd be losing the planet's resources which are needed for the Imperium's war efforts. I think you have the IOM confused with Pakk Protectors.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




You're seriously asking why something we can do can't be done in 40k? Because we have scientists and they have cultists who memorised a manual. They can put things together but no idea how it works.

tremere47-fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate, leads to triple riptide spam  
   
Made in us
Battlefortress Driver with Krusha Wheel




Douglasville, GA

You specifically said "an array of mirrors around the system's star". There's a big difference between a few hundred to maybe a couple thousand meters (ground and space warfare distances) and the 150 MILLION kolometers between the Earth and Sun. One takes, at most, seconds to cross. The other, literal minutes.

We shoot lasers to the moon now, and yeah. That's fine. It still ends up diluted, but we can do it. But, again, you aren't talking about maybe a few kilometers. A focused mirror array would need to pass though millions of kilometers. Even in-universe, there's a lot that can stop that before it reaches the target. As foe the Alpha-Centauri thing, aiming at something (and accounting for all the variables that go into that) that isn't actively trying to evade you is easier than trying to hit a target that doesn't want to be hit.

Of course, in universe stuff just works because GW and the writers want it to. They could say "the Dark Eldar build a gun that turns stars into candy" and it would work in universe because GW says it does. But I was under the assumption part of the discussion was based in some kind of realism. And, realistically, a solar mirror array is an awful idea

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/24 20:04:11


 
   
Made in us
Rampaging Carnifex



Mexico

The issue with a dyson sphere, beyond the scale required, is the absurdly complex orbital dynamics required.

The easiest design is a ring of satellites around the star, but such configuration only harnesses a negligible amount of energy of the star. More complex orbits will collect more energy but you start hitting efficiency issues as the satellites start shadowing each other.

And the less efficient, the more satellites are required.
   
Made in ca
Revving Ravenwing Biker




Vancouver, BC

Gadzilla666 wrote:
I'll not address the mirrors, as others have done so already, but disassembling an entire planet and using it to construct a fleet of basically craftworlds would take extreme technology, resources, and time.

We could do this with modern tech. The issue is time and a lack of spaceborne manufacturing which isn't an issue in 40k. Also, these just need to be habs with solar panels on one side, a mirror on the other, and some way to turn when needed and station keep when not. If you can build a 40k shuttle you can build these.

Plus you'd be losing the planet's resources which are needed for the Imperium's war efforts. I think you have the IOM confused with Pakk Protectors.

Mining a planet for its resources removes those resources now? I was unaware that this was how mining worked, thanks for enlightening me!

----

Also, the math for using 1% of the suns per second output as a weapon:

The sun releases energy at a mass–energy conversion rate of 4.26 million metric tons per second, which produces the equivalent of 38,460 septillion watts (3.846×10^26 W). 1% of that is 3.846x10^24 W which is roughly 908,000 Gigatons of energy.

Some calculations put the output of a typical macro cannon battery at ~44 Gigatons per 12 gun battery. Even at the high end, where a macro canon shell is assumed to fly at 0.5c this beam is equal a 275 macro cannons if it stays on target for a full second.

 flandarz wrote:
You specifically said "an array of mirrors around the system's star". There's a big difference between a few hundred to maybe a couple thousand meters (ground and space warfare distances) and the 150 MILLION kolometers between the Earth and Sun. One takes, at most, seconds to cross. The other, literal minutes.

We shoot lasers to the moon now, and yeah. That's fine. It still ends up diluted, but we can do it. But, again, you aren't talking about maybe a few kilometers. A focused mirror array would need to pass though millions of kilometers. Even in-universe, there's a lot that can stop that before it reaches the target. As foe the Alpha-Centauri thing, aiming at something (and accounting for all the variables that go into that) that isn't actively trying to evade you is easier than trying to hit a target that doesn't want to be hit.

You're making an assertion about beam diffraction, so do the math.

Just above I did the calculations for a beam that focuses 1% of the sun's energy into a weaponized beam. Assume that the ideal spot size is 1 meter at 1 light hour and work from there.

Tyran wrote:
The issue with a dyson sphere, beyond the scale required, is the absurdly complex orbital dynamics required.

The easiest design is a ring of satellites around the star, but such configuration only harnesses a negligible amount of energy of the star. More complex orbits will collect more energy but you start hitting efficiency issues as the satellites start shadowing each other.

And the less efficient, the more satellites are required.

Yes, this is all true and all solvable with modern methods. Do I really need to go over to atomic rockets and start slinging those calculations around?

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2020/03/24 20:47:56


 
   
Made in us
Morphing Obliterator



The dark hollows of Kentucky

 Canadian 5th wrote:
Mining a planet for its resources removes those resources now? I was unaware that this was how mining worked, thanks for enlightening me!

It does if you use them to construct these habitat ships of yours. The Imperium uses planets for other resources besides raw materials as well. Like food production.

And this is still a lot to ask of a society that can't remember how to manufacture certain marks of tanks.
   
Made in us
Rampaging Carnifex



Mexico

 Canadian 5th wrote:

Yes, this is all true and all solvable with modern methods. Do I really need to go over to atomic rockets and start slinging those calculations around?


Yes, I would like to see the math of how such orbital mechanics are solved.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/24 21:05:42


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut



NE Ohio, USA

Tyran wrote:
 Canadian 5th wrote:

Yes, this is all true and all solvable with modern methods. Do I really need to go over to atomic rockets and start slinging those calculations around?


Yes, I would like to see the math of how such orbital mechanics are solved.


I want to see him do the math on disassembling a planet.
I'm particularly interested in how he'd even come up with #s concerning the psychics & magic the setting contains.
   
Made in us
Morphing Obliterator



The dark hollows of Kentucky

ccs wrote:
Tyran wrote:
 Canadian 5th wrote:

Yes, this is all true and all solvable with modern methods. Do I really need to go over to atomic rockets and start slinging those calculations around?


Yes, I would like to see the math of how such orbital mechanics are solved.


I want to see him do the math on disassembling a planet.
I'm particularly interested in how he'd even come up with #s concerning the psychics & magic the setting contains.

I want an explanation on how we could do it and then assemble it back together as ships using modern technology. After that maybe we can do cold fusion or cure cancer.
   
 
Forum Index » 40K General Discussion
Go to: