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Made in us
Maddening Mutant Boss of Chaos





The Wastes of Krieg

I know that the Praetor and Manticores used to have Missiles designed for anti-aircraft use but those were taken away. That leads the Hydra alone to provide AA defense. But wouldn’t it be more practical to have missiles than flak cannons for this purpose?

I guess I’m just wondering if such a vehicle does or has existed?
   
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Exalted Beastlord




It doesn't really fit as well.

Hydra batteries can be reloaded by hand, which fits the guard aesthetic (and the time period they're aiming for aping), and 'typical logistics' of guard armies.

Dedicated SAMs require a much more sophisticated technological base as well. Far more than they'd hand out to guard regiments- they'd much rather just spray the air with autocannon rounds.

As to whether or not something is buried in some FW book somewhere, I couldn't say. But it seems at odds with the fluff construction of what the guard is supposed to be and how its supposed to work.

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Longtime Dakkanaut




I'm sure there's passing mention of something to that effect out there somewhere. If nothing else, I imagine there are gun servitors with missile launchers that sort of count. It's a big galaxy. If we can have elves riding dinosaurs and gravity guns, I'm sure we can have SAM vehicles.

That said, I think there are some pretty good logistical reasons for them to not necessarily be all that popular. Mostly just in terms of ammo supply. If you want to defend a base against aerial attacks, you probably just build SAMs into the base itself rather than carting them around on vehicles. If you were to put them on vehicles, you'd need to figure out where the enemy flyers will be so that you can deploy the vehicles to a useful location. Then you need the enemy to *not* realize that you've deployed a ton of SAM vehicles in the middle of their planned flight path (so they don't just swing wide and go around). Then you need be facing enough aircraft that mass-producing the SAM vehicles and their ammo was worthwhile. At which point, the size of a SAM probably restricts how much ammo your SAM vehicle can actually carry around.

So you have to be facing aircraft great enough in number to warrant a highly-specialized weapon, but not in so great of number that your SAMs will run out of ammo despite the size of the ammo somewhat limiting the total possible number of shots. And you need all that to be true while also not fighting near a base that has (easier to reload) SAMs or other anti-air defenses already in place.

And then you have to consider that hydras probably do the AA job roughly as well while also being flexible enough to be effective against ground targets too.
   
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Wise Ethereal with Bodyguard







SAMs have a much greater threat envelope than guns though. And the technology is basically the same as that required for the air to air missions deployed on imperial aircraft.

Basically Wyldhunt, I respectfully disagree with you

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

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Watch Fortress Excalibris

I agree that ammo logistics is the most plausible reason. A hypothetical SAM vehicle would need specialized missiles for its exclusive use (you could theoretically adapt existing air-to-air missiles, but the IG doesn't have any of those either, as aircraft are supposed to be exclusive to the Navy). An IG army is already going to be lugging around loads of autocannon ammo, though, so it makes sense to just use more autocannon (albeit quad-mounted and with better targeting systems) as your solution to enemy aircraft.

There's also the related issue that different parts of the Imperial war machine are deliberately intended to be weak in certain areas and to rely on each other for support, to avoid another Horus Heresy situation. So, for the IG, the 'proper' solution to enemy aircraft is to call in some interceptors from the Imperial Navy. Hydras aren't supposed to be ideal, they're supposed to be a stopgap measure until the Navy turns up or for situations where the enemy air threat isn't enough to justify the Navy's involvement.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/03/25 08:42:28


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The separation of responsibilities makes more sense. However, imperial logistics for both fleet and Guard are the responsibility of the Departmento Munitorum, so I don’t think it’s valid to say that logistics of the Guard itself would preclude packing SAMs.

Guard already have guided missile tech in the form of hunter killer missiles.

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Unhealthy Competition With Other Legions





There probably would be some sort of SAM system in the background somewhere but the background follows the game and there's not really a need for more than one AA system per army. I've never even seen a Hydra used let alone used for its intended purpose.
   
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Wise Ethereal with Bodyguard







They used to be eldar vehicle killers and quite popular for a year or so. Then all the rules changed.

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Isn't the Praetor capable of being fitted with SAMs, plus couldn't they use a modified Manticore to carry missiles, seems like a very reasonable leap. The issue is that those assets are really beyond the scope of even most Apocalypse games. Most SAMs are not for frontline use.

I could see Hydras being very useful against most races the Imperium fights, plus being very useful at providing mobile tactical AA weaponry. But at the end of the day the AA weaponry of most races is really under par. Hydras make sense against orks, other Imperial esque factions and Tyranids, where the sheer number of aircraft (orks and Tyranids) make most SAMs under armed for the job but against Tau, Eldar and higher end Imperial Tech it makes a good deal of sense to have dedicated large SAMs.

But to fall back on real life, how many Patriot Missiles or Russian BUKs are used on the frontlines of a battlefield? I wish they'd show in the fluff more but they're really out of scope for the game as it stands.
   
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Note that the Praetor Armored Assault Launcher (a LoW) had the option to take Pilum anti air missiles in 8th edition but lost it in 9th

Edit: lol panzerfront14 was faster

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/03/25 18:40:46


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The Wastes of Krieg

 Pyroalchi wrote:
Note that the Praetor Armored Assault Launcher (a LoW) had the option to take Pilum anti air missiles in 8th edition but lost it in 9th

Edit: lol panzerfront14 was faster


I also pointed it out in the OP
   
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Mea culpa...

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panzerfront14 wrote:
Isn't the Praetor capable of being fitted with SAMs, plus couldn't they use a modified Manticore to carry missiles, seems like a very reasonable leap. The issue is that those assets are really beyond the scope of even most Apocalypse games. Most SAMs are not for frontline use. .


And neither are ballistic missile launchers, but you can get Deathstrikes, and even target stuff in the same board with them

Lexicanum has a reference to an AI book indicating that manticores can indeed be fitted with SAMs

https://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Manticore_(Tank)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/03/25 19:34:39


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

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 Duskweaver wrote:
There's also the related issue that different parts of the Imperial war machine are deliberately intended to be weak in certain areas and to rely on each other for support, to avoid another Horus Heresy situation. So, for the IG, the 'proper' solution to enemy aircraft is to call in some interceptors from the Imperial Navy. Hydras aren't supposed to be ideal, they're supposed to be a stopgap measure until the Navy turns up or for situations where the enemy air threat isn't enough to justify the Navy's involvement.
Exactly what I was going to say. The IG could have a SAM vehicle, but the Imperium is happy to have the IG depended upon the Navy to defend them from aerial threats. Hydras provide immediate support. Then there are the Valkyries, Vendettas, and Vultures providing close in support along with their other duties (transport and aerial attacks). Finally, the true fighters arrive to clear the skies.
   
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U.k

They don’t need one. They have the tanks you listed in the OP that do that job. Why have more?
   
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'A Manticore launcher is capable of firing a variety of rockets, from standard high explosive fragmentation warheads to oxy-phosphor incendiary warheads, from air gas to high altitude surface-to-air interceptor missiles.'
Imperial Armour Vol. 1: Imperial Guard & Imperial Navy, pg. 179; Imperial Armour Vol. 1 - Second Edition: Imperial Guard, pg. 180

They use a standard weapon platform with different ammunition, so there isn't really any need for another specialised chassis.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/03/28 20:40:21


 
   
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I would assume some sort of energy-weapon would be more effective than SAMs, particularly in terms of accuracy and ammunition. However I'm unaware of any in-game model besides what's mentioned in the OP.

OP, I'd recommend reading Double Eagle. It's one of my favourite 40k books and is based on aerial combat, including stuff never mentioned in the game or other fluff.

   
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Krieg! What a hole...

Forgeworld used to have rules for SAM manticores.

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 Duskweaver wrote:
I agree that ammo logistics is the most plausible reason. A hypothetical SAM vehicle would need specialized missiles for its exclusive use (you could theoretically adapt existing air-to-air missiles, but the IG doesn't have any of those either, as aircraft are supposed to be exclusive to the Navy). An IG army is already going to be lugging around loads of autocannon ammo, though, so it makes sense to just use more autocannon (albeit quad-mounted and with better targeting systems) as your solution to enemy aircraft.

That argument would make sense if IG didn't already have dozens of missile platforms of various kinds. One more is not really a problem.

As for autocannons, ammunition for anti-tank or anti-infantry is is going to be drastically different than proximity fused, expensive AA ammo unless IG uses autocannons as bad model of poor man's lascannon. Funnily enough, in real life it's done in the opposite direction - quad AA autocannons with cheap, ground attack ammo and turned off radar are terrifying fire support weapons that eat anything lighter than a tank alive, yet IG doesn't use them in that role despite having nothing equivalent, to the point of wasting an LR for just 2 autocannon platform. Go figure.

 Valkyrie wrote:
I would assume some sort of energy-weapon would be more effective than SAMs, particularly in terms of accuracy and ammunition. However I'm unaware of any in-game model besides what's mentioned in the OP.

Only in line of sight, that is directly overhead. It's going to suck against anything flying low or behind cover. SAMs, even today, can cover 20-400 km wide area, an asset something like IG regiment would really need at top command level to protect entire unit regardless of strategic position.
   
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Roarin' Runtherd




 Flinty wrote:
panzerfront14 wrote:
Isn't the Praetor capable of being fitted with SAMs, plus couldn't they use a modified Manticore to carry missiles, seems like a very reasonable leap. The issue is that those assets are really beyond the scope of even most Apocalypse games. Most SAMs are not for frontline use. .


And neither are ballistic missile launchers, but you can get Deathstrikes, and even target stuff in the same board with them

Lexicanum has a reference to an AI book indicating that manticores can indeed be fitted with SAMs

https://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Manticore_(Tank)


My point had more to do with IRL deployment of SAMs particularly those of large size. While an OSA or TOR would be deployed relatively close to the front line, a Shilka, Tunguska or Pantsir would be closer still. A SAM carrier makes little sense on 40k battlefields as they occur in the game. I however could see them used as mobile heavy aircraft protection for Titan battlegroups. I imagine Tau Manta strikes or Tigersharks would be significantly less effective against properly defended Titans. I never much got Deathstrikes being on the battlefield IMO but saw Manticores as analogous to a Smerch type vehicle, which wouldn't see the battlefield either. Guard is kinda tricky because their systems are counter parts to IRL systems.

I wonder if the got a Grad type unit, something to absolutely saturate an area in high explosive firepower. Give limited shot count but have it absolutely devastate hordes. Then again such a thing would have serious Wyvern role overlap. Reihenwerfer vs Katyusha type deal.
   
Made in ca
Heroic Senior Officer





Krieg! What a hole...

The Manticore is sort of that, with each missile dumping clumps of smaller missiles. the same Forgeworld source that gave us the SAM Manticore also had a variant where the large missile didn't break down, it had more AP and a much larger blast, if I remember well.

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 Lord Damocles wrote:
'A Manticore launcher is capable of firing a variety of rockets, from standard high explosive fragmentation warheads to oxy-phosphor incendiary warheads, from air gas to high altitude surface-to-air interceptor missiles.'
Imperial Armour Vol. 1: Imperial Guard & Imperial Navy, pg. 179; Imperial Armour Vol. 1 - Second Edition: Imperial Guard, pg. 180

They use a standard weapon platform with different ammunition, so there isn't really any need for another specialised chassis.


Indeed, the Imperial ground assets for Aeronautica Imperialis include a bunker mounted with a SAM launcher that looks identical to the launcher on the manticore.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/03/29 07:37:57


 
   
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Regular Dakkanaut




They 100% exist. Manticores can load Skyeagle rockets to engage aircraft. That was removed in the latest IA update.
   
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 Valkyrie wrote:
I would assume some sort of energy-weapon would be more effective than SAMs, particularly in terms of accuracy and ammunition. However I'm unaware of any in-game model besides what's mentioned in the OP.

OP, I'd recommend reading Double Eagle. It's one of my favourite 40k books and is based on aerial combat, including stuff never mentioned in the game or other fluff.


Icarus lascannons. They're not used on vehicles but are the standard IG replaced flak weapon, mounted on bastion roofs as singletons or in double-quad mounts on dedicated AA emplacements.
You're correct that there's no vehicle mounted version but I guess that for a non-astartes, non-mechanicus tech vehicle, powering a quad lascannon is a big ask, and hydras are just more cost-effective to build.

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Well, a chunk of it is down to your average Guardsman being dumb as a box of rocks.

This is the logic behind the Lasgun. Sure, in modern terms it remains a miracle weapon. Few if any moving parts, rechargeable power packs, very very basic maintenance. The sort of weapon where it’s most basic patterns just need the wielded to know which is the dangerous end, and when to pull the trigger.

This means limited training is needed to get a company into a theatre.

The Hydra is a largely similar principle. Point in roughly the right direction, pull the trigger, and you or one of the dozens in your company will probably hit something, eventually. Solid ammo, hard to go terribly wrong with, and suits a trigger happy lack of discipline as our armed forces might know it.

AA Missiles? Well now. You’ve a limited stock. When reloading they’ll need priming, and indeed careful loading to avoid upsetting their machine spirit. The loading also requires somebody to be trained in using a specific model of Sentinel - and indeed a specific model of Sentinel. The same resources needed for the more “roughly over there” Manticore platform.

They just need...more in every conceivable way. Knowledge, expertise, resources, logistics, compared to the really pretty simplistic Hydra platform.

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That’s one narrative. Another is that all the guardsman needs to do is sit there, and when the red light lights up red, press the magic button and the glorious gift from the omnissiah will reach out and blot the enemy aircraft from the sky.

The auto cannon variant on the Hydra seems to be fundamentally different to standard guard auto cannon. Much bigger, and may even have flak rounds. Is it easier to feed a belt of cannon rounds into a mechanical auto feeder, or clip a big metal thing to a launch rail?

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Honestly I am not a SAM Operator but I assume that you'd need a Techpriest with every vehicle to use such weapon efficiently, but it really depends on what sort of aircraft you're trying to fight off.

To fall back on real life vehicles, I think a Tunguska would fare much better than a Patriot against a Tyranid air swarm. Those SAMs make more sense against Tau, Eldar/Dark Eldar and heavy imperial craft than they do against Ork, Tyranid or the majority of Imperial aircraft.

To defend against such varied threats requires a number of weapons, but I guess that those more delicate AA vehicles are behind the front line where our battles occur. Hell WW2 Heavy AA guns make some sense against the heaviest flyers we see, like Mantas or Thunderhawks. Those are definitely robust enough to withstand the guns a Hydra. I'm honestly surprised the Guard were never given an 88/90mm AA counterpart. Plus Space Marines have SAMs which they use fine.

Still I wouldn't be surprised to see Guard having a tiered system of AA defense, with missile launchers acting as MANPADs, Hydras providing local defense, Icarus Las cannons providing farther out defense and finally a few SAMs to protect from large or high flying aircraft.
   
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panzerfront14 wrote:
Honestly I am not a SAM Operator but I assume that you'd need a Techpriest with every vehicle to use such weapon efficiently, but it really depends on what sort of aircraft you're trying to fight off.

To fall back on real life vehicles, I think a Tunguska would fare much better than a Patriot against a Tyranid air swarm. Those SAMs make more sense against Tau, Eldar/Dark Eldar and heavy imperial craft than they do against Ork, Tyranid or the majority of Imperial aircraft.

To defend against such varied threats requires a number of weapons, but I guess that those more delicate AA vehicles are behind the front line where our battles occur. Hell WW2 Heavy AA guns make some sense against the heaviest flyers we see, like Mantas or Thunderhawks. Those are definitely robust enough to withstand the guns a Hydra. I'm honestly surprised the Guard were never given an 88/90mm AA counterpart. Plus Space Marines have SAMs which they use fine.

Still I wouldn't be surprised to see Guard having a tiered system of AA defense, with missile launchers acting as MANPADs, Hydras providing local defense, Icarus Las cannons providing farther out defense and finally a few SAMs to protect from large or high flying aircraft.


You'd need a techpriest to perform an AA companies maintenance. Radar is incredibly sophisticated and I doubt your regular Guardsmen would never be taught on how to fix it should a problem occur. Guardsmen would definitely operate the vehicle though, that's evident on the model and in the lore.

As for larger calibre AA weapons. I don't think they're necessary due to things like flakk missiles (essentially stingers) and AA lascannons exist. Which presumably fill that role. Then anything further out is dealt with by skyeagle rockets or actual interceptor aircraft.

That's not to say things like that don't exist already in the lore. The Imperium is vast and nearly anything is possible. Their could be local patterns of vehicles with larger calibre AA weapons. One of the reasons we moved away from larger calibre AA weapons was because of the introduction of missiles and radar.

During WW2 AA operation was almost a science, it required teams of fire control operators on the ground to work out ranges, speeds and trajectories. Then to make sure the guns were putting flak into the air ahead of the aircraft. Nowadays it's all done by radar and smaller calibre AA weapons are there for local AA defence, anti-helicopter or drone artillery. While missiles do everything else.

It sounds like the Guard are aiming to do the same.
   
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Frankly in many ways I'd consiider Eldar holofields far more vulnerable to a Hydra's hail of bullets than a SAM. Remember the Stealth fighter lost over Serbia? While stealthing doesn't really apply to 40k designs too dumb to fool probably does.

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I actually was building an Air Defense Regiment and had a Manticore with Sky Eagle missiles.

I find the idea that the Imperial Guard are "too dumb to use SAMs" or whatever that narrative is is patently ridiculous - they are of average intelligence and have their own maintenance sections. Radar isn't mysterious and spooky.

The Sky Eagle Manticore clearly was the IG SAM and was removed from the rules for GW-mysterious reasons, not because the IG had a collective loss of intelligence in the lore or something.
   
 
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