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Author Topic: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare  (Read 9605 times)

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Offline TDB

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #20 on: April 9, 2009, 08:20:06 PM »
Quote
All I am going for is some consensus on A) whether or not its a cool idea for fluff and modeling (both of which appear to be a resounding yes), and B) whether or not it makes any sense in the context of the 40k universe (which it appears, with at least a little artistic license it could).

A) Yes, it is a good idea for modelling and for fluff (since it is not really covered).

B) It makes perfect sense in the 40k universe.  I don't think it will be used too often in the actual invasion (but it could be depending on the planet) but later on?  Sure.
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Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #21 on: April 9, 2009, 08:53:33 PM »
Agreed with the above.

However, when it comes to fluff keep in mind that once you go beyond a certain scale of vehicle (be it sea based or not) you're well into the realm of the Adept Mech and thus they'd either be extremely rare and therefore very valuable (for instance - the Imperium could invade just to capture said vehicle and to hell with the rest of the world) or very restricted as to how they'd come about or even be located.

Call it the Titan scale. If your proposed sea fortresses/battleships are up there in combat ability and/or survivability as titans you've gone too far. Contemporary warships in ability are easily PDF in build and availability. Massive void shielded death dealing devices capable of fighting off an orbital landing - far less so.
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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2009, 08:05:02 AM »
If I'm not entirely incorrect, astronomers have found exoplanets they suspect are entirely covered by water. On a planet like that, the only sound alternative in fighting, transporting and whatnot is[/is] ships. (yes, planes could do it faster, but I suspect their construction is highly sophisticated with the superior tech mentioned)

As others have mentioned before, there could be underwater hive cities, floating cities and platforms for orbital ejection, artificial islands, underwater mine-systems, coral defense positions, volcanic vents for energy production, huge floating plancton farms, etc. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Offline Benis

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2009, 09:04:01 AM »
As others have mentioned before, there could be underwater hive cities, floating cities and platforms for orbital ejection, artificial islands, underwater mine-systems, coral defense positions, volcanic vents for energy production, huge floating plancton farms, etc. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Makes me think of the mostly water covered maps in Total Annihilation. :)

Such a world would be a very good example were employing naval vessels would be better but on planets similar to Earth or with smaller oceans were military targets aren't hiding underwater or in the middle of a sea drop ships from space would probably be better, of course it is a big galaxy so you can always go nuts ;)

Offline XCrusaderguy01

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2009, 11:05:26 AM »
@Rummy

At first I was inclined to agree with you, but after a little bit of analysis I'm not so sure anymore. Given the vastly inflated scale (both in weight and armament) of 40k vehicles to begin with, I don't think that "Titan Scale" ships are all that far out. In real life, comparing a main battle tank to a battleship in terms of size and firepower is an awful lot like comparing your average 40k tank with a Titan. We build titans today in a manner of speaking.

I often find it useful to compare 40k (especially Imperial technology) to World War II era equipment, as it seems to follow that theme. Some of the largest, most heavily armed and armored tanks of the era are dwarfed by the battleships of the time:

King Tiger PzKfw IV Ausf. B
    Main Weapon: 1x 88mm
    Armor: 25-180mm

Bismark
    Main Weapons: 8x 380mm
                           12x 150mm
                           16x 105mm
    Armor: 110mm - 360mm

Yamato
    Main Weapons: 9x 460mm
                           6x 155mm
                           12x 127mm
    Armor: 200mm - 650mm

In a sense, battleships were real-life titans. We just needed to use water to get them to move around. I was imagining Imperial battleships that would make Baneblades look silly, but it seems that even real-life warships (more than within the reach of PDF forces) make baneblades look silly, and give titans a run for their money.

So lets scale up real life warships to a more impressive 40k scale.

WWII Era Medium Tank (Sherman, Panzer 4, T34) ~25-30 Tons
WWII Era Heavy Tank (Tiger, Pershing, IS-2) ~ 40 - 60 Tons
Modern main battle tanks (Abrams, Leopard 2, Merkava) ~ 60 Tons

Larger tanks have been built, e.g the Panzer VIII Maus (Largest tank ever, 2 Prototypes, never saw combat) ~190 Tons. This is a very strange outlier however, as no tank over ~70 tons has ever seen meaningful combat.

40k MBT (Leman Russ) ~ 66 Tons
40k Heavy Tank (Macharius) ~ 190 Tons
40k Super Heavy Tank (Baneblade) ~ 350 Tons

So your average 40k tank weights as much as the heaviest true land combat vehicles ever made. A somewhat less common heavy tank weighs 3x as much, and the relatively rare superheavy variety weights almost 6x as much.

WWII Era Battleship (Bismark, Yamato) ~50-70k tons, ~800ft
Modern Supercarrier (Nimitz) ~90k tons, ~1100ft
Largest ship ever built (Sumitomo Heavy Industries' Seawise Giant Supertanker) ~600,000 Tons, ~1500ft

If we use tanks to scale these real ships to 40k scale, you'd have 800ft Cruiser Class ships at 70k tons, heavier 1200ft battleships and carriers at 200k tons, and "super heavy" battleships, carriers, and various voidshield/defense laser-toting 2000ft behemoths at 600k tons.

Money. 8)

I do see what you're saying though about the AdMech restricting access to these larger vessels. But I think its perfectly reasonable for PDF forces to have some of the "smaller" ships, while important campaigns and warzones get the massive leviathans.

Offline Benis

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2009, 11:12:44 AM »
Quote from: XCrusaderguy01

I do see what you're saying though about the AdMech restricting access to these larger vessels. But I think its perfectly reasonable for PDF forces to have some of the "smaller" ships, while important campaigns and warzones get the massive leviathans.

I would say this would depend a lot on the technology level of said vessel. If you keep it low tech (by 40k standard) I see no reason why PDF couldn't build/maintain them with as little Adeptus Mechanicus influence as their tank companies/air cavalry have.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 11:38:14 AM by Benis »

Offline rax

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2009, 11:33:37 AM »
Re: OP
Ignoring for a moment what sort of sea-based weapon systems are appropriate for 40k, I certainly think that the sea will be a major battleground in many cases. Even on Earth the seas are a vital and resource-rich environment and, therefore, worth fighting over. For example, they provide food (fishing), fuel (oil) and easy access to most parts of the world (sea transport). In many near-future and sci-fi novels/games, it is also assumed that exploitation of the seas will increase as underwater mining becomes economical and increasing populations lead to the creation of floating or underwater habitats.

In 40k, I think it's safe to assume that anything that exists or may exist on Earth in the near future also exists in a great many places in the Imperium. Therefore, the seas will be at least as important as they are on Earth and it will be equally important to control them or deny access to an enemy. This will apply in many planetary invasion scenarios as well. For instance, even with advanced technology making air transport much more economical and effective, bulk transport will probably still be by sea (unless you make anti-gravity commonplace) simply because it's an easy and relatively cheap way to move large numbers of men and material. This is especially important for the defender, who may be forced to move troops from one continent to another as an invasion progresses, and is unlikely to have full command of the air/orbit if the invader has managed to land large numbers of troops.

Other reasons for fighting on the high seas may be to destroy the defender's ability to strike back against an invading space fleet. In the role-playing game Traveller, it was postulated that a great many system defences would be based underwater because this made them harder to detect and combat from orbit. System defence boats were built to be able to operate both in space and to take refuge underwater, from where they could continue to strike at the invaders. In 40k, underwater planetary defences and military bases could easily be made to play an even bigger part.

Finally there's the classic sci-fi reasons for making control of some or all the seas important - hidden underwater research facilities, raw materials that come from the planet's oceans, planets where the majority of the population lives on or underwater, and so on. There's no shortage of reasons why combat in the 40k universe couldn't include everything from fleet actions to underwater commando raids.

And just for fun, here's an Eldar aspect dedicated to fighting on- and underwater I developed a few years back. There's some good discussion as the thread progresses.


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Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2009, 12:05:16 PM »
I would say this would depend a lot on the technology level of said vessel. If you keep it low tech (by 40k standard) I see no reason why PDF couldn't build/maintain them with as little Adeptus Mechanicus influence as their tank companies/air cavalry have.

Indeed. I was referring to scale as an over all metric rather than one merely based on size. A fortress may be larger than a titan yet easily constructed if over a long period of time. They may be shielded and equipped with titan scale weapons all without being considered overly sacred by the Adept Mech. As Benis states, it's more to do with the complexity of the vehicle itself. Forge Worlds are required to build titans. If your sea based vehicle is as complex as a titan you've got issues as to how they were built unless they're very old and very rare.

Not that floating fortresses are out of bound themselves. Describe it as you will as anchored to the sea floor or even literally floating but you could have cities themselves rather than mobile vehicles.
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Offline Quasarcq

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2009, 04:59:04 PM »
There definitely seems to be a blind spot with the naval technology with the imperium, let alone anyone else in the 40k realm. There isn't really any clue what sort of STC designs there would be for naval craft. I suppose for me that was the appeal to me when designing my space marine chapter. I have a level of creative license when developing my personal fluff for the chapter and their practices.

Rax, you pointed out a lot of logistical reasons for the importance of sea power. Detectability would be a huge issue and a platform for planetary counter-assault. And the submersibles I picture in 40k would be like small strike cruisers able to deploy large numbers of troops and equipment. Also if a planet has a large contingent under the sea than an enemy force attempting to assault the planet may grossly underestimate the planet's force strength.

So will we see naval tactics in the new planet strike supplement? Probably not. I suppose there isn't a lot you can do with a 6x4' table. However I would love to see a mission for a beach assault. To me that would be an awesome attacker/defender scenario. In apoc games I have thought of special rules for my Sea Stallions such as my vehicles ignoring water as dangerous terrain (as a vehicle upgrade it would be an amphibious conversion, 5 points) and my infantry getting move through cover in water terrain. I don't play apoc too often so I really haven't had the chance to play around the the idea a whole lot.

So far I have only really done paint scheme and bases when it comes to the modeling aspect. For my land raider I gave it water streaks like you would see on the side of a ship: white with algae stains. I also themed the bases of my assault marines. I may still gloss them up with water effects.

Here are my super-beakie 2nd Co. 7th Sqd. "Sea Hawks" They are perhaps the only part of my chapter that holds strong traditional ties to the Mercurial Osprey's, their founding chapter, and to the Raven Guard, their original progenitors.

Offline Gornon

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2009, 10:35:17 PM »
If you all want GW-supported text that naval warfare exists, look at the Battle of Phoenix Island in the 4th Edition Rule Book, starting on page 250.  It talks about gigatankers shipping valuable ores across Armageddon to the factories there and there is a naval base that supplies the gigatankers with military escorts.  Not much, admittedly, but there is proof of naval warships and shipping convoys in the 40k universe.
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Offline Redjive35

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #30 on: February 8, 2018, 01:12:50 PM »
In all honesty, an entirely air/space based navy is not, even by 40k technology standards, feasible. Someone above posted an example of why: A 70% water world, where the resources and power centers are spread across multiple continents, or upon the water themselves. While I can accept that the Astra Militarum maintains mainly landing craft, missile/gun platforms and carriers, and relies on the PDF for the majority of it's other surface vessels, it is simply not efficient to try an entirely airborne campaign when you can use the ocean instead. Anti-Air batteries are far more effective than anti-surface batteries, and cheaper; A Thunderhawk is a far more lightly armored target than a WW2 vintage Newport News-class heavy cruiser, and would require far less ordnance to be disabled, with a single krak missile, more likely 3, from a man portable launcher to take out the gunship, whilst a  landing craft of comparable capacity would require anywhere from a large caliber artillery shell (an LCVP, with a full load of 32 assault troops) to 3 or 4 8-inch naval shells (LCT sized vessels), and that's assuming they all hit (for both scenarios). In addition, it's a lot easier defend a give section of beach from a sustained airborne assault than it is to defend it from a sustained amphibious assault. Void capable ships are either too big or too vulnerable from too many angles when a naval task force could serve a similar purpose at lower cost. The air power of the Imperial Guard and Navy is indeed both mighty and versatile, but it is also expensive and vulnerable. The mobile task forces based around a void shield carrier would be mighty indeed,and more secure than a ground based shield generator, in the same fashion of the ballistic missile subs of today. While I can understand why GeeDubs hasn't added models or rules for this into the current game, I certainly can't forgive a complete lack of reference to any sort of amphibious or surface combat.

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Offline magenb

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #31 on: February 8, 2018, 03:40:41 PM »
Sure naval battles are possible, but yeah, just going to be rare. Since most of the tech has been lost, it not like the imperium just setups a brand new factory to churn out ships to fight naval battles. Logistically it would not seem like a great idea to take up a lot of space to transport destroyer class naval ship through space on every ship just in case. I would imagine marines having small scale craft, probably amphibious vehicles they might carry just in case, but mostly I would expect they would have existing tactics to cover smaller scale battles to deal with water craft using what they have, such as nuking a destroyer from space.

It would however seem unluckily that the imperium would not be prepared to tackle water worlds, so it would seem logical they would have specialists units/chapters for this scenario. These guys are most likely called in, rather than simply being out there exploring the galaxy.


Eldar still know how to build their stuff, so could certainly build ships, but its only really the exodites that stay planet side. Eldar also have skimmer tech, so small scale battles could be fought with falcons/prisms, even jetbikes. Eldar's Cobra's and Scorpion super heavy tanks seem like a good fit for going up against destroyer class ships. So sounds like they will generally have things covered.


Nids would have the genetic material for aquatic life.

Tau are probably a similar scenario to the imperials except they can still build their stuff and have skimmers. The probably have a water caste lol.






Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #32 on: February 8, 2018, 05:49:30 PM »
Guys. 2009 was a long time ago.

Tau are probably a similar scenario to the imperials except they can still build their stuff and have skimmers. The probably have a water caste lol.

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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #33 on: February 8, 2018, 11:44:57 PM »
Wow, this was a blast from the past. :P

Welcome to 40konline, Redjive.

And I still maintain that 40k-style boats would be cool as heck.

Offline Saim-Dann

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #34 on: February 8, 2018, 11:58:45 PM »
G'day, XCrusaderguy01!
Haven't read all the comments in this thread, so forgive this reply if it has already been brought up.

Am pretty sure Warhammer Fantasy had a navel game back in 2nd ed. Use the same rules with kitbashed models and you've got what your after. 

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #35 on: February 9, 2018, 12:04:13 AM »
1 - Read before posting. Not a long thread. You're not Trump.  ;)

2 - You mean Man'O'War? While fun it's nothing like we're talking about. There's a video game as well that's almost completely awful.

3 - No-one wants to hear about your navel.
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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #36 on: February 9, 2018, 12:15:39 AM »
1- Have more responsibilities than time to read all replies.

2- Yes! Man'O'War was what I was thinking of. (See, mate. Haven't even the time to google to get my
   facts straight.

3- I have an impressive navel thank you very much.

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Re: Warhammer 40k and Sea-based naval warfare
« Reply #37 on: February 9, 2018, 11:42:49 AM »
2009 was full of hope, youth, and promise.  2018 is anything but, and since we can neither be champions of hope (Globals are the bringers of malign portents after all) nor thread necromancy, this topic is locked.  If anyone would like to discuss the subject here further, please start a new thread :).
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