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Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Manhattan

It seems that everyone only talks about ground battles but in a sci-fi setting where it is fought over space and planets (that you have to get to in ships) it seems that Abandon going on a rampage or Space Marines wrecking face with chainsaws is much more important then say a giant battleship crewed by thousands blowing apart another giant ship crewed by thousands (which is more than a space marine chapter) or even a massive fleet nuking an entire planet wiping out say billions of inhabitants.

Listen to my logic here. Say if Chaos had the most unstoppable ground force of spikey space marines ever led by abandon ready to launch their 14th crusade but only had dinky slow transport barges to launch their crusade in wouldn't they be screwed? They could be the most awesome ground force ever with daemon princes and plague engines and chaos titans but if 10 Nova cannon shells went through Abandon's transport wouldn't he be toast? Or say Chaos landed on the planet wrecked face and took it over but then the Imperial fleet arrived blew the Chaos ships out of the sky and made the others retreat couldn't they just bomb Abandon from space until 75-90% of his force is dead, broken, or at the very least hiding in caves taking cover from the 50 ton shells and nukes coming down at supersonic speeds from orbit because you know... awesome chainsaws and daemon melee weapons can't fight giant battleships in orbit.

Logic goes to containing Tyranids and Orks, sure they might be unstoppable on land but if you kill their space-travel ability the very least you could contain their infestation and probably nuke the planet to kill 70%+ of their "awesome wreck face" land force. Sure you'll lose the planet but you lost it anyway at that point. So shouldn't the Imperium focus on their Space Navy with at least 80% of their defence budget instead of wreck face superhuman chainsaw melee warriors that look super cool. Because um... this is space and um... the future??

I understand the literature around the 12th black crusade was mostly in space with fighting around the blackstone fortresses but that was a sheer fluff promotion by GW to promote their battlefleet gothic boardgame that they since dropped all support for. In more recent fluff there's been little to no mention of fleet battles outside of ForgeWorld publications and it seems in this universe ground battles matter 10x more then space battles and one could even ignore space combat and focus on chainsaw warriors.

How does this make sense? Who feels the space marines get too much of the defence budget instead of the Imperial Navy? Their small numbers of space battlebarges aren't enough to make any difference in any sizable space fleet battle and its well documented in the fluff they tend to avoid space battles and focus on ground combat (cuz losing that 1 barge = bye bye entire chapter).

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2015/07/29 22:24:31


 
   
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The Conquerer






Waiting for my shill money from Spiral Arm Studios

It may seem that way since GW cut Battlefleet Gothic out of the game lineup and not much fiction is written about the space battles.

However, they are a very common occurrence and they are extremely important. I do love all the fiction that does exist in their space battles.

Maybe when the computer game comes out interest will get revived.

Self-proclaimed evil Cat-person. Dues Ex Felines

Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Tons of space battles are mentioned and often even detailed all the time in Forgeworld books, both 40k and 30k, and up to and including the most recent ones..

The main GW codexes stick mostly to just talking about the ground battles, though.
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran





Space Battles are pretty drab.
Face to face combats are much more exciting, the closer the better. It's why even in action movies today despite the wealth of guns or drones or tanks or whatever the climactic fight usually boils down to a bare knuckle brawl.
   
Made in us
The Conquerer






Waiting for my shill money from Spiral Arm Studios

Depends on how they are depicted. I think space battles are awesome. But then again the game does focus on ground battles, so naturally they aren't going to mention all the battles which went like the following.

M39.382: Battle over Subsector Alpha3-09. Force of the Archenemy defeated by ships of the Imperial Navy. No vessels were lost.
M39.383: Gothic Class Cruiser Righteous Vengence engaged and destroyed pirate vessels which were harassing commerce near the Orar system.
M39.385: 5 Ork vessels entered the Poraarus system. System Defense Monitors engaged and destroyed the ork vessels within 83 hours of detection losing only 3 Monitors.

Self-proclaimed evil Cat-person. Dues Ex Felines

Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

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Made in us
Been Around the Block




I'm guessing 99% of all intergalactic conflicts are resolved by space battle and orbital bombardment.

The massive dogpiles of ground combat that happen in 40k are exceptional scenarios where no faction can attain orbital superiority or the planet is too strategically important to bombard into oblivion.
   
Made in us
The Conquerer






Waiting for my shill money from Spiral Arm Studios

Probably. Of course most of those conflicts will be so exceptionally minor they don't bear mentioning.

If a planet is getting attacked by an enemy fleet, the ground battles will only be of note if the space above the planet is still contested by enemy fleets OR the planet has sufficient ground-space defenses to give the ground defenses cover from orbital bombardment OR the planet has some asset that would make orbital bombardment not an option if you wanted to seize the assets.

Much like when the Empire attacked Hoth in Empire Strikes back. Orbital bombardment was not an option due to the energy shield.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/07/29 23:04:15


Self-proclaimed evil Cat-person. Dues Ex Felines

Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

MURICA!!! IN SPESS!!! 
   
Made in gb
Drop Trooper with Demo Charge




Somewhere between England and New Zealand.

They wanted to bomb Vraks, but the anti-orbital laser defences shot down any ship onea that side of the planet.

Anyway if you want to take over a planet, you don't just bomb the crap out of it otherwise there'll be nothing to take over. Orks can be contained and exterminated, Tyranids can be starved and exterminated, Chaos cultists can killed by Guardsmen, etc... you don't need to panic and just press the big red button when you can send in Guardsmen and keep the planet once the fight is over.

Abbadon has some of the biggest, baddest ships around, he's even had command over 3 Blackstone fortresses.

Imperial ships can takeover a century to buildin some cases, mass production just isn't possible. What if Chaos marines land on the ship building yard, you gonna destroy it?
   
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Painlord Titan Princeps of Slaanesh





If they can tell an intense, tragic and thrilling story like Homeworld Cataclysm, then space combat in wh40k would be awesome!
   
Made in us
Consigned to the Grim Darkness





USA

Space Battles are pretty vitally important. They just aren't covered by the lore as much. You can see Space Battles during the various Cain books being pivotal to the plot, including thee Battle of Perlia, for example.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Filch wrote:
If they can tell an intense, tragic and thrilling story like Homeworld Cataclysm, then space combat in wh40k would be awesome!
Eeeh. The original Homeworld was better.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/07/29 23:25:03


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Nihilistic Necron Lord





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The Imperium doesn't like bombing worlds. They only do that as a last resort. Bombs and spaceships are expensive and valueable. Cheaper to send in a few million Guardsmen.

А сегодня, что для завтра сделал Я?
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Rough Rider with Boomstick




Guelph Ontario

Sabbat Martyr discusses why space battles aren't usually mentioned. The only reason that the Archenemy forces landed on the planet was to kill Saint Sabbat and prove a point. They could have wiped out the Imperials from orbit after smashing through the defense fleet and killed the Saint, but the forces of Chaos made it personal. The wanted the Imperials to see their saint strung up before them.

Most of the time, a battle occurs if one side wants to take something from the other. You don't hear about the planetary bombardments so much because there is nothing left. The Imperium will exterminatus planets as a last resort, there's a million worlds, but they will hold onto them as long as they can.

Think of something clever to say. 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





It's just because 40k the game is about land battles and GW pretends BFG doesn't exist anymore. so the fluff has to act accordingly.

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Regular Dakkanaut




I think it's just a case of "don't think too much about it".

It's the same with people carrying melee weapons. It makes sense for the mechanics of the game, and the coolness of the setting, but it doesn't really stand up to the logic of a futuristic battlefield.

In reality, the vast majority of battles would be space-bound, and as a result, the Orks, Chaos Marines and Tyrannids would be of little to no threat due to a lack of anything resembling a modern, organised fleet for the first two, and an inherent need to conduct land battles with the latter, who would simply be nuked out of existence from orbit.

The Imperium has by far the largest fleet in the galaxy, meaning the only real threats would be surface populations from surprise attacks on lightly defended worlds, or the Necrons and Eldar, due to their superior technology making up for a lack of numbers. I realise the Tau also have superior technology, but not to the level of the aforementioned races, and not enough to even out a battle against a much bigger force.

Wouldn't make for much of a game though, so we just suspend disbelief.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/07/30 00:04:36


 
   
Made in ca
Rough Rider with Boomstick




Guelph Ontario

 Harriticus wrote:
It's just because 40k the game is about land battles and GW pretends BFG doesn't exist anymore. so the fluff has to act accordingly.


Though I am looking forward to the BFG video game.

Think of something clever to say. 
   
Made in ca
Stalwart Dark Angels Space Marine





From recent GW material there was a page maybe in the Shield of Baal and Exterminatus about the space battle for the system between the Astra Millitarum and the Tyranids. it wasn't detailed like the ground engagement on each planet, but it they gave enought information to it since it had important consequence for the world now isolated in the aftermath of the space battle.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/07/30 01:36:07


 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





West Michigan, deep in Whitebread, USA

Hierophant wrote:
I think it's just a case of "don't think too much about it".

It's the same with people carrying melee weapons. It makes sense for the mechanics of the game, and the coolness of the setting, but it doesn't really stand up to the logic of a futuristic battlefield.

In reality, the vast majority of battles would be space-bound, and as a result, the Orks, Chaos Marines and Tyrannids would be of little to no threat due to a lack of anything resembling a modern, organised fleet for the first two, and an inherent need to conduct land battles with the latter, who would simply be nuked out of existence from orbit.

The Imperium has by far the largest fleet in the galaxy, meaning the only real threats would be surface populations from surprise attacks on lightly defended worlds, or the Necrons and Eldar, due to their superior technology making up for a lack of numbers. I realise the Tau also have superior technology, but not to the level of the aforementioned races, and not enough to even out a battle against a much bigger force.

Wouldn't make for much of a game though, so we just suspend disbelief.


Actually, some of the nastiest space battles in the fluff are against Chaos, Orks, and Tyranids. The third Armageddon war happened because of the power of the Ork fleet.

The loss of the Ultramarines 1st company followed a gigantic, epic battle against the Tyranid fleet.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2015/07/30 01:43:06




"By this point I'm convinced 100% that every single race in the 40k universe have somehow tapped into the ork ability to just have their tech work because they think it should."  
   
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Stealthy Space Wolves Scout






I remember reading Starship Troopers -- whatever you think of Heinlen's political agenda, it's still an excellent military sci-fi novel.

In it, Robert A. Heinlein described three (3) battles, with the good majority of the first third of the book about Rico's bootcamp experience (the movie eh... was somewhat faithful in depicting that). Of the three battles, it focuses on the MI's drop and ground battle, with the most famous space battle described in a short flashback, for both atmospheric and historical build up.

40K codices generally follows this formula: ships come in, shots fired, troops dropped on a planet. And then the space battle rages on, possibly as some flashes the sky while the grunts do their things.

I find this most effective as space battles are harder to describe on paper than ground battles, since virtually every single Black Library author, and sci-fi authors in general, for that matter, never even flew fighter jet let alone a space shuttle. Writers write what they know, that's just it.

Space battles still gets described in 40K codices, 5E codices, probably the Tau ones briefly describes a few cases where the Tau fleet had to play hit & run against the far larger imperial fleet. And I believe there are still cases where space battles are mentioned in the latest codices, but all of them quickly ended up a one-sided curb stomp and eventually become a grueling ground battle. But I can't think of a specific example right now.
   
Made in gb
Battleship Captain




There are a hell of a lot of space battles in the Horus Heresy novels - I think every legion has had at least one important naval engagement, from the World Eaters over Armatura to the Raven Guard's 'sub hunt' escape from Istvaan.

The Heresy rules also includes 'boarding action' mini-campaigns, which are good fun.

Big naval battles in the rules sadly went out with Battlefleet Gothic, but I'd dearly love to see them come back.

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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





To elaborate more seriously, in the fluff the emphasis on ground combat is mainly because the Imperium will rarely just pummel a world from orbit. The Imperium has essentially unlimited manpower but words are finite, and it's considered acceptable to lose 100 million people to secure a planet intact.

The Eldar meanwhile only tend to intervene on planets on Maiden/Exodite worlds which they also want intact, the Tau want to colonize planets/races and seem to dislike the idea of genocide anyway, while the Orks will scoff at simply relying on planetary bombardment as not being a very good fight. The Tyranids want to harvest the planets organisms so also will abstain from simply raining death on a world. The Chaos fleet isn't really well organized, but there are examples of them simply destroying planets with ships (Gothic War they did this a few times)

The only faction whose absence of simply using a fleet to blast everyone from orbit are the Necrons, given that in 5th edition onwards they don't want to harvest souls anymore. Perhaps because Newcrons are "honorable" warrior types instead of souless machines, they simply find the idea too mean.

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Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Manhattan

Imperial Guard cant beat Tyranids hive fleets or Orks on the ground. its a losing proposition just fething nuke it.

Its like in Vietnam how you have to destroy the village in order to save it.

So space marines arent saviours of humanity? without big space ships?
   
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Lit By the Flames of Prospero






Idaho

wasn't there a massive fight where an entire chapter smashed into a necron ship, and they were awesome and all died?

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Mekboy Hammerin' Somethin'




Kapuskasing, ON

Space battles would be interesting. I'd like to recreate, for the Orks, that looted Tau flagship they renamed to Tau Killa. Epic little piece of fluff. So much for you advanced tech XD.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




DorianGray wrote:
Imperial Guard cant beat Tyranids hive fleets or Orks on the ground. its a losing proposition just fething nuke it.

That's not strictly true. Both Orks and Tyranids have been defeated multiple types on-world. Of course, you generally have to take out their ships anyway.
Brennonjw wrote:wasn't there a massive fight where an entire chapter smashed into a necron ship, and they were awesome and all died?

The Astral Knights Chapter piloted their battle barge into the World Engine. As the name suggests however the World Engine was vast beyond any other ship other than, perhaps, the Necron one which rewrote time. The Astral Knights died to a man but only after crippling the World Engine, allowing other Imperial ships to destroy it (with cyclonic torpedoes if I recall correctly).


In general Space Marine ships aren't adapted for naval warfare but the Space Marines themselves, with multiple methods of boarding and high force concentration, are adept at boarding actions.
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Manhattan

True space marines can make decent whoa.... Space Marines... In boarding enemy ships and fighting in SPACE.
   
Made in us
Wing Commander





The Burble

 Signet-Powers wrote:
They wanted to bomb Vraks, but the anti-orbital laser defences shot down any ship onea that side of the planet.

Anyway if you want to take over a planet, you don't just bomb the crap out of it otherwise there'll be nothing to take over. Orks can be contained and exterminated, Tyranids can be starved and exterminated, Chaos cultists can killed by Guardsmen, etc... you don't need to panic and just press the big red button when you can send in Guardsmen and keep the planet once the fight is over.

Abbadon has some of the biggest, baddest ships around, he's even had command over 3 Blackstone fortresses.

Imperial ships can takeover a century to buildin some cases, mass production just isn't possible. What if Chaos marines land on the ship building yard, you gonna destroy it?


Somewhat true, for the battleships. Far and away the most common (and battle effective) ship is the Lunar Class cruiser, which can be built in less than a decade with very primitive orbital docks. They are probably the single most cost effective weapon that the Imperium has.

Two big things (besides this being a ground based game and it being considerably more difficult to write about space battles) are at play here.

1. Space is big. Like, really, really big. If you are a pilot or a radar operator, you know how challenging getting a cued intercept on an enemy aircraft can be. Magnify that problem by about a hundred orders of magnitude, and you have the problem confronting the Imperial Navy. Usually bad guys will try to slip in and out before the Navy can show up and batter them. If the enemy is really stuck in for the long haul, one of their first priorities is going to be to take over orbital defense facilities or install their own. That makes it costly for the Navy to engage planetside.

2. Space battles are rare because most forces, besides the Crons and Nids, will do just about anything to avoid a run in with the Imperial Navy. Nowhere is the human military more dominant than in space. So a lot of their strategy is based around getting around a Navy response, rather than just trying to go head to head, which is generally suicide.

Abadabadoobaddon wrote:
Phoenix wrote:Well I don't think the battle company would do much to bolster the ranks of my eldar army so no.

Nonsense. The Battle Company box is perfect for filling out your ranks of aspect warriors with a large contingent from the Screaming Baldies shrine.

 
   
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Nihilistic Necron Lord





Look I make balloon animal

 ProwlerPC wrote:
Space battles would be interesting. I'd like to recreate, for the Orks, that looted Tau flagship they renamed to Tau Killa. Epic little piece of fluff. So much for you advanced tech XD.

Yeah, I also remember a bit of fluff about an advanced Tau ship (named 'Da Big Dakkaship' by the Orks) absolutely wrecking any attempted Ork attack on a Tau world. Not being able to take the Tau head-on, a group of Kommandos boarded and captured a small Tau freighter and used this to get past all the security (which was lax because the only thing out there was Orks (whom the Tau believed incapable of any kind of sophisticated plan) and board with the Tau space station that the Dakkaship required for refueling and resuplying (as the Tau can't make long Warp jumps). They went on to blow up the space station's reactor, thus stranding the powerful Tau ship and allowing the Orks to pillage the Tau world.

There is some amazing fluff about space battles in 40k (especially when it involves Orks )

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/07/31 01:27:36


А сегодня, что для завтра сделал Я?
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Disguised Speculo





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Battleship Captain




So space marines arent saviours of humanity? without big space ships?


Exactly. Part of the reason Astartes get involved in every fight that matters, despite there not being many of them, is that they have their own warships - the guard doesn't. So Astartes can relocate quickly - because their ships are organic to the chapter, and (at least compared to the big-ass transports the guard and titans use) they're fast. Plus, their ships give the marines the 'high ground' which lets them fight deeply unfair battles where their existing advantages (body armour, superior personal weapons) become overwhelming - orbital strikes and drop pods, for example, are only meaningful if you have a warship to deploy from. If they had to deploy on the ground and fight their way through battalion after battalion of enemies, then even a couple of battle companies wouldn't do that much. Drop pod them in on top of the enemy's command HQ, or to a narrow choke point like a gulley or bridge, however....

I refer you to a quote from Armada from a Night Lords captain, Gorsameth:

“What is a Space Marine without a ship to carry him? He is an insignificant insect crawling in the mud of a single world. But what is a Space Marine with a fleet to carry him? He is death from above, a harbinger of the gods who walks the stars seeking battle.”


Termagants expended for the Hive Mind: ~2835
 
   
Made in us
Focused Fire Warrior



Rockwood, TN

You can't take out Ork and Tyranid fleets in space due to target saturation. The idea is great don't get me wrong, but you simply do not have enough bullets. If you read the second Ultramarine novel written by McNeill a large portion of the book is the Imperiums attempts to fight and stall the tyranid fleet before they make it to the world they are trying to defend.

Then they show the space battle around the world they are trying to defend and they simply DO NOT have the numbers to counter a fleet that the hive mind can send out. If you want a visual example, go watch the battle for Zion in the third Matrix movie (I wasn't a fan of the movies after the first, but hey it had some good special effects). In the movie the machines break into zion with a drill and start pouring robots into it, the humans just start dumping every bullet they have into the hole, but there are just SO MANY TARGETS they could not hold them back.

Thats why you end up fighting a ground war, and with tyranids and orks both, once they are on the ground, they will form an army until you exterminate every last one of them due to their abilities to rapidly reproduce.
   
 
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