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Daemonic Dreadnought




The dark hollows of Kentucky

Vatsetis wrote:
Yep Astartes seem to be very good at dealing with unprepared crews when they have the surprise advantage....

Yes, they're very good at picking fights on their own terms. Fighting battles they know they can win is a particular trait of the Night Lords, instead of fighting battles where their abilities and talents would be wasted. I call this "Not being morons". It's generally a good method of military strategy. I guess you prefer less intelligent strategies? Maybe running at a prepared enemy while screaming "For the Emperor", or "Blood for the Blood God"? Should they have announced their time of arrival and given their opponents a couple of days of preparation during a running space battle?
   
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I mean it would be mighty unsporting if they didn't. Very un-gentlemanly.
   
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Regular Dakkanaut




... I mean that SM are portrayed as being unstoppable precisely in situations in which any military force will be able to manage an easy victory... It has almost no merit, but it is framed as a transhuman feat.

Its amazing how Adeptus Astartes are the supermodels of the setting.

   
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The dark hollows of Kentucky

Vatsetis wrote:
... I mean that SM are portrayed as being unstoppable precisely in situations in which any military force will be able to manage an easy victory... It has almost no merit, but it is framed as a transhuman feat.

Its amazing how Adeptus Astartes are the supermodels of the setting.


I'm sorry, what other military force in the 40k universe is specifically outfitted with ship to ship assault craft designed to be guided by advanced AI to the closest available breaching area of their target, burn through heavily reinforced armour and bulkheads, and then take off again after the mission is accomplished (Dreadclaws)? And has soldiers specifically engineered to survive the impact of those assault craft hitting the ship, unfazed and in complete control of their facilities? With armour that lets them effectively ignore the small arms carried by the ships defenders and the ability to deal with those defenders with mostly close combat methods in order to conserve their limited ammunition for greater threats when needed? Armour specifically designed to survive in a vacuum in the case of a hull breach, or if they need to make their way across the outside of the ship? Survive wounds that would require medical attention in other troops, while still continuing forward towards their objective?

Could other military forces/species conduct hit and run ship to ship boarding actions? Sure. Could they do it as well as veteran Heretic Astartes? No.
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut






 Gert wrote:
The Blood Ravens weren't canon until Deathwatch: Overkill had a Blood Raven model.

They had an Index Astartes, and Chapter traits in the 4th edition Codex!
   
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Ship's Officer





The Shire(s)

Gert wrote:
 Haighus wrote:
Yeah, but when you have an absolute paucity of published info to go on for the Imperial Navy, the FFG stuff is generally the best we've got. In addition, many of the writers have written for GW proper too, and not a lot contradicts previous lore. Is FFG products not being canon stated officially anywhere?

It's one of those things where GW says "licensed material is made with our product but isn't necessarily canon within the product". It's not stated explicitly but more of an unwritten rule that's known amongst staff. It's cool and whatever but it's not "Core GW" so it's not "verified" as such.
Fair enough, so semi-canon unless directly contradicted.

That aside. Assuming your Terminators won't become casualties is how you will loose Terminators- they are not invulnerable. They will be incredibly hard to stop but there will be plenty of tools and weapons that could harm them if they become complacent- Naval crews will have access to meltaguns, lascutters, breaching charges, welders etc. Naval troopers still need to be able to conduct assaults on enemy vessels, which include armoured bulkheads and the like, and they need to be able to perform damage control on their own vessels- that all requires cutting or breaching thick plate.

Using breaching weapons on your own ship is a surefire way to lose said ship. If you miss a shot with a Laslock or Shotgun you might chip the paint or dent the walls. If you miss with a Meltagun or a Breaching Charge, you've blown a hole in the ship which might allow the invaders access to other parts of the ship. That or you depressurise a compartment and your entire unit is sucked into space while the Terminators with maglocked boots laugh at you. The idea of repelling boarders is to limit damage to your vessel not do more damage.
Yes, that missed meltagun shot is going to immediately burn through the metres-thick warship armour designed to resist fire from house-sized guns and expose the place to void...

Sure, the ships crew don't want to damage their own ship, but if you are fighting attackers like Astartes they will do a hell of a lot more damage if they reach their target. Also, Imperial warships are built like fortresses, they won't be flimsy on the inside. Missed shots are going to damage stuff, but are very unlikely to cripple the ship unless the fighting has already reached a critical area.

Navy Armsmen are going to be able to fight in void too, albeit not as effectively as Astartes- they must be able to to assault enemy vessels.

If you want to be precise with these weapons you need to get close which is something you absolutely don't want to do with a Terminator or even normal Astartes.
Everything is already close, it is onboard a ship! None of this is ideal for the defenders except having prepared ground, they are fighting Astartes.
You're not factoring transhuman dread into your argument at all here and it plays a significant role. I'm not saying Terminators are invincible because that would be wrong, I'm saying that Naval Armsmen are unlikely to come even close to fending off such an action without divine intervention playing a part. I'm not talking about BFG where Marines get a +1 to boarding actions, I'm talking about the background where it's been shown time and time again that the boarding actions Astartes excel at are 9/10 times victories against mortal forces.
I totally agree that Marines are exceptional at boarding actions and regularly successful. Equally, large Imperial warships don't get immediately captured by heretic Astartes during boarding actions, showing they can resist effectively. Large warships being captured is a rare, noteworthy event. If Marines were that unthreatened by large warships, they would not limit themselves to mainly carrying out hit-and-run attacks and would instead capture entire vessels more often.

Ammo is a concern too- the Space Hulk game includes background about how the Terminator forces aboard are being regularly resupplied to maintain their beachhead (voidhead?) on the hulk, with a perimeter surrounding a safe zone. All of this combined means Terminators will need to be careful to avoid being damaged or even killed. Are they massively advantaged against those they face? Yes. But they are attacking into prepared defences manned by crew with heavy weaponry intended for breaching ships. A good strategy could be to use explosives to immobilise and mission-kill a Terminator by dropping them through the floor, for example.

Space Hulk is not an accurate way of depicting a normal boarding action. A Hulk is a colossal monster comprised of ships of all types and races, debris, asteroids, starbases, and god knows what else. Mapping a Hulk is an impossible task because of this. Not only that but Hulks only have a set time in realspace before they translate back into the Warp. There are unknown and varied enemies on board from Genestealers to Chaos Space Marines. You can't teleport easily into a Hulk because of intense radiation and the aforementioned lack of interior knowledge.
A normal boarding action has none of this. You know who/what you'll be fighting with a good degree of certainty, where vital systems are, an unlikely chance of random Warp jumps and an ability to use a variety of boarding methods (teleportation, torpedoes, assault boats, etc.).
Yeah, Space Hulk is an unusual situation, but the Blood Angel force has still developed a capability for resupplying boarding forces, showing it is a capability that is sometimes needed and that ammunition capacity can be a concern. I have no doubt other Chapters have this logistical capability.

Why do you assume arming crew members means a ship is already in dire straits? Obviously in an all-out boarding action between two vessels, all hands will be engaged, but even against hit-and-run attacks there will be surplus crew available as a back up. Ships run multiple watches to maintain 24 hour service, so in a battle stations scenario there will be excess crew to replace casualties, perform damage control, and repel boarders. In addition, a locally threatened area is going to be better off taking up weapons than just being shot whilst manning their station.

Sure you could arm the galley staff or offshifters but what use are they going to be? They aren't going to be well trained or worthwhile for anything but stalling and if you do manage to drive off the boarders then you might have half your crew dead in just the attempt, which means you're pretty screwed.

Well, the 40k ship combat is modelled on the Age of Sail, where the entire crew was drilled for combat in boarding actions. They were trained, although the heaviest fighting was carried out by the Marines. Ships would carry many times more crew than were needed for running the ship, so casualties could be replaced, crew could participate in boarding, and spare crew could crew captured prizes. During intense combat, the off-duty watches would be called into duty.

As 40k is based on this premise, and must use a watch system, there will be a lot of extra crewmen on hand during an action- that is how Naval ships operate. Some of those duties will be supporting the Armsmen against boarders, and maybe in the ship's own boarding actions against enemies. They will definitely be the cannon fodder and support troops for the more elite Armsmen, but they are not just going to be untrained masses except on poorly commanded vessels.

A ship can probably function entirely adequately at half crew, at least to escape a battle. If it looses the main bridge or main reactors it will be a lot more screwed, so the crew are an acceptable loss in battle. Half would be unusual anyway- a hit-and-run attack will be much more localised.

To be honest, I suspect an Imperial ship is combat capable at a third of its crew complement, but it would be very vulnerable following the battle with a skeleton crew in each watch.

Gadzilla666 wrote: Astartes don't try to "hold ground" in a ship to ship boarding action. They get in, hit their targets, and get out. As quickly as possible, before the ships defenders can properly react. In Soul Hunter, the Night Lords assault on the Sword of the God Emperor takes 30 minutes, from the time their Dreadclaws hit the ship until they left the same way they came in (well, except for 1st Claw, but that's another story). In that time they destroyed the bridge and secondary enginireerium deck, enough to cripple the ship and leave it ineffective in the ongoing space battle. Then the Traitor ships cut it to pieces. The Night Lords lost five Astartes in the attack, and that wasn't during the boarding action, it was from their Dreadclaw being destroyed on the way in. The ships defenders didn't have time to assemble an adequate defense in that short time frame, and their ship died. Remember, Astartes are shock troops.

I agree with this in general, prolonged actions are not going to be the norm outside special cases like trying to capture the entire vessel/space fortress, which will probably require support from mortal troops to occupy the vessel.

 ChargerIIC wrote:
If algae farm paste with a little bit of your grandfather in it isn't Grimdark I don't know what is.
 
   
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London

And of course we have the Astartes video where a squad goes to their objective in a ship. Of course there the crew are making themselves very scarce. Possibly have already surrendered.
   
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It’s almost as if shock assault troops are intended for….shock assaults.

How…..shocking.

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Defending against Astartes boarders in particular, you'd probably depend on sealed-off compartment doors and armed crew to slow them down, things like IED style explosive traps to soften them up, and the more hardened defenses around your ship's critical control centers to drive them back or defeat them. Places like the bridge or main engineering deck are more likely to have well-armored bulkheads, limited access points, and emplacements for heavy weapons, rather than the kilometers and kilometers of ordinary corridors.

If you're in ship to ship combat, you probably aren't going to worry about a team of Terminators trying to kill your entire crew in hand to hand combat; you need to keep them from throwing blasting charges in the ammo magazine or crippling your targeting sensors. And in 40k's universe, ship designs are going to include consideration for defending sensitive areas against boarders or (maybe even more likely) mutineers.
   
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In theory, it makes sense but the reality is that the Imperium is running its Navy with ships that are sometimes hundreds if not thousands of years old. A newer design might have everything in place to repel a boarding action but less so a ship that's been around since M.38 and has been retrofitted 50 times. That's not even considering the anti-innovation dogma practiced by the Mechanicus. A different layout or new system might be superior but it could also be heretical.
Another important thing to remember is that the Imperial Navy mostly fights pirates or runs as a convoy escort or system patrol. The chances of a Navy Cruiser actually running into something that can kill it are pretty rare unless it's on combat duty in a larger fleet.
   
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For a Terminator based teleport attack, you’re probably going to more concerned with them tearing up your Bridge and Bridge crew….

If your Enginarium is already wrecked and non-functional, and your support ships driven off? No bulkheads are going to stop those teleport attacks. Terminators zap in, smash everything they can. Terminators zap back, reload/rearm. Zap back over to smash up the next useful system.

There’s also the important thing to bear in mind that when it comes to fleets and indeed any military? The Imperium is the single, largest, organised force. It’s that organisation that is the hurdle all others need to cross.

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 Gert wrote:
In theory, it makes sense but the reality is that the Imperium is running its Navy with ships that are sometimes hundreds if not thousands of years old. A newer design might have everything in place to repel a boarding action but less so a ship that's been around since M.38 and has been retrofitted 50 times. That's not even considering the anti-innovation dogma practiced by the Mechanicus. A different layout or new system might be superior but it could also be heretical.
Another important thing to remember is that the Imperial Navy mostly fights pirates or runs as a convoy escort or system patrol. The chances of a Navy Cruiser actually running into something that can kill it are pretty rare unless it's on combat duty in a larger fleet.


Remember also that it’s often the older stuff that is better designed and more powerful.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

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A good point.

One of the interesting things for me about 40K is that old doesn’t mean outdated, because the setting is inherently regressive.

For instance, the Legions of old had Gloriana Class ships, which are frankly monstrous opponents. Those that remain are at least 10,000 years old, yet still outclass pretty much anything else they might encounter.

The Phalanx? Frankly, eff knows how old that is. It’s bigger than a Ramalese Star Fortress, and I think is independently Warp Capable.

In 40K, new does not mean better, at all. And that’s because of just how advanced mankind got before The Dark Age of Technology.

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 Flinty wrote:
Remember also that it’s often the older stuff that is better designed and more powerful.

What I meant by that post was that while a normal Navy might take steps to innovate and create new ways of keeping boarders from doing excessive damage, the Imperium just goes "Meh, if we lose the ship we'll just build five more anyway". It doesn't really matter if the old thing is a bit rubbish because they can just drown their enemies in them until the Imperium wins.
Kind of like how in DS9 where there is a discussion between a Cardassian scientist and Starfleet Officer (The most important person in Starfleet history Chief Miles Edward O'Brien) the Cardassian notes how Starfleet has backups upon backups upon backups for its systems, while the Cardassians just wait until something breaks before they fix it if they fix it at all. Similar to how Starfleet phasers have special optics, 22 beam settings, modulating ROF, and Cardassian phasers have stun or kill.
   
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 Gert wrote:
 Flinty wrote:
Remember also that it’s often the older stuff that is better designed and more powerful.

What I meant by that post was that while a normal Navy might take steps to innovate and create new ways of keeping boarders from doing excessive damage, the Imperium just goes "Meh, if we lose the ship we'll just build five more anyway". It doesn't really matter if the old thing is a bit rubbish because they can just drown their enemies in them until the Imperium wins.
Kind of like how in DS9 where there is a discussion between a Cardassian scientist and Starfleet Officer (The most important person in Starfleet history Chief Miles Edward O'Brien) the Cardassian notes how Starfleet has backups upon backups upon backups for its systems, while the Cardassians just wait until something breaks before they fix it if they fix it at all. Similar to how Starfleet phasers have special optics, 22 beam settings, modulating ROF, and Cardassian phasers have stun or kill.



I always saw a bit of the US tech vs tradtional soviet tech in those comparisons
"In soviet cardassia stun Phasers you!"

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/09/13 19:44:49


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 Gert wrote:
 Flinty wrote:
Remember also that it’s often the older stuff that is better designed and more powerful.

What I meant by that post was that while a normal Navy might take steps to innovate and create new ways of keeping boarders from doing excessive damage, the Imperium just goes "Meh, if we lose the ship we'll just build five more anyway". It doesn't really matter if the old thing is a bit rubbish because they can just drown.


But that is missing the point. The older technology is venerated and much more valuable than newer kit, because the older stuff is better, and cannot be replaced. If the brand new Lunar goes down, not that much problem because there will be another one along In a minute. If the 10,000 year old battleship goes down, a crusade will be launched to retrieve it in a vain hope that some of it won’t be totally beyond repair.

The contemporary differences in ship design that are described in the lore doesn’t tend to go into detail regarding internal defensive layout, but it’s a fair bet that the older stuff will be better laid out and have better internal security compared to later ships. In my mind because earlier ships were based on higher technology and would be better integrated wholes, compared to later when lesser equipment is shoehorned into existing hull layouts.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

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 Flinty wrote:
But that is missing the point. The older technology is venerated and much more valuable than newer kit, because the older stuff is better, and cannot be replaced. If the brand new Lunar goes down, not that much problem because there will be another one along In a minute. If the 10,000 year old battleship goes down, a crusade will be launched to retrieve it in a vain hope that some of it won’t be totally beyond repair.

That's hyperbole and while funny, not actually true. The Mechanicus might send an expedition to secure it or it might be a secondary objective but a whole crusade for one ship isn't close to true, unless that ship is an Ark Mechanicus or a pre-Dark Age vessel that could have STCs on board.

The contemporary differences in ship design that are described in the lore doesn’t tend to go into detail regarding internal defensive layout, but it’s a fair bet that the older stuff will be better laid out and have better internal security compared to later ships. In my mind because earlier ships were based on higher technology and would be better integrated wholes, compared to later when lesser equipment is shoehorned into existing hull layouts.

Better tech doesn't mean better design automatically though. And just because a ship is an older variant doesn't mean its automatically better than a newer one. The Excorcist Grand Cruiser is a good ship but the Mars Class was a newer design and was far more popular with fleet Admirals. The Gothic War also saw a wave of innovation where older classes of ships were found to be obsolete and in drastic need of improvement.
   
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 Gert wrote:
 Flinty wrote:
But that is missing the point. The older technology is venerated and much more valuable than newer kit, because the older stuff is better, and cannot be replaced. If the brand new Lunar goes down, not that much problem because there will be another one along In a minute. If the 10,000 year old battleship goes down, a crusade will be launched to retrieve it in a vain hope that some of it won’t be totally beyond repair.

That's hyperbole and while funny, not actually true. The Mechanicus might send an expedition to secure it or it might be a secondary objective but a whole crusade for one ship isn't close to true, unless that ship is an Ark Mechanicus or a pre-Dark Age vessel that could have STCs on board.

The contemporary differences in ship design that are described in the lore doesn’t tend to go into detail regarding internal defensive layout, but it’s a fair bet that the older stuff will be better laid out and have better internal security compared to later ships. In my mind because earlier ships were based on higher technology and would be better integrated wholes, compared to later when lesser equipment is shoehorned into existing hull layouts.

Better tech doesn't mean better design automatically though. And just because a ship is an older variant doesn't mean its automatically better than a newer one. The Excorcist Grand Cruiser is a good ship but the Mars Class was a newer design and was far more popular with fleet Admirals. The Gothic War also saw a wave of innovation where older classes of ships were found to be obsolete and in drastic need of improvement.


Why is it hyperbolic? I have read loads of extracts along these lines since the early days of 40K. Utilitarianism and pragmatism are bother secondary to the primary religious approach to technology in the imperium. Pre dark age may be the most valuable but technology from the time of the emperor and the great crusade would considered a holy relic. The imperium hadn’t managed to retain all their knowledge even from 30k let along pre dark age. It exists in perpetual stagnation, progress is heresy and loss is inevitable.

   
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Yes the Imperium isn't known for its pragmatism but if anyone can provide me with an extract where an entire crusade, and I'm being very specific here with crusade not just a normal expedition, then I'll be happy to concede the point.
There is also a distinct difference between crusading for things like Dark Age colony ships or Space Hulk remains than a single ruined Apocalypse Class Battleship.
   
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But it also depends on an individual character’s perspective within the setting. Over time GW have created an inconsistency in the setting where some senior people in the ad mech or eclisiarchy (spelling) would launch a crusade and sacrifice 10k loves to recover a pen if it was a newly discovered STC for a pen or if it was used by the emperor to sign a document or something. And then they introduce characters like Cawl that make new stuff cos it’s better than old stuff, simple.

It’s literally and figuratively all true
   
 
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