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Space Marine Battle Barge?


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#21 Radwraith

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 01:46 PM

Alasseo said:

Radwraith said:

 

Umm… Per BFG; The Battle Barge only carries three companies and the Strike cruiser only One. This explains why the fluff mentions that the Strike cruiser may deploy it's entire compliment in just over twenty minutes! (The above mentioned Storm drop pod ;) ) Also; I remember somewhere, (Might have been Tactica Aeronautica) that a Squdron of Thunderhawks consisted of 3 ships. (Remember, Thunderhawks are actually pretty BIG). This would fit with the Strike Cruiser carrying two squadrons: One of Thunderhawk Gunships and the other Transports. This would still allow the above mentioned Rapid Insertion/Extraction techniques! The Battle Barge per BFG only sports a Single Launch bay (Though it would be full sized and thus support three squadrons).

As per the Other poster's comment about SM always having superior tech: Battlebarges and Strike cruiser were designed and built during the great Crusade with the same engine designs of the ships of the time (Which are now what is typically considered the Chaos fleet.) An astute player will note that these ships are also typically faster than a comparable Imperial ship of the line. Also, The Battle Barge is very vulnerable to long-range lance fire once it's shields are down! Having played them in BFG I can tell you that they must be carefully managed to get close enough to an enemy to bring their Bombardment cannons and boarding parties to bear. In a running gunfight with another Battleship the Battlebarge typically gets pasted!

 

 

I'm pretty sure I mentioned the actual complements, but yeah, it does bear repeating. (There's probably plenty of extra space aboard the ships to carry more than the 3 and 1 companies fluff dictates, but it apparently isn't used for such in canon. Except possibly by Space Wolves and/or Black Templars, with their potentially larger, non-Codex formations).

And Thunderhawks… actually aren't all that big, compared to Starhawk Bombers and Shark Assault boats. Stormbirds were, but they were being phased out during the Great Crusade. A Thunderhawk is comparable in length to a Marauder bomber (which is of course Aeronautica), although it is chunkier (the Thunderhawk Transporter is, iirc, half-again the length). Per BfK, anything Aeronautica can be assumed to be roughly half the size of a void craft for the same role. If Sharks are bigger than Starhawks and have a smaller squadron size on that basis, then they're bigger than Thunderhawks.

There's no reason, of course that Thunderhawk squadrons couldn't be limited to 3 birds per squadron for some other reason, but it certainly isn't due to size limitations.

Also remember that per BfK (and even in BfG, particularly directly after release), the Launch Capacity of a particular bay was not the sum total of attack craft it could support, just the most it could launch at once. (Later revisions of the BfG rules limited the maximum squadrons of attack craft in play to a fleet's total Launch Capacity, justifying it as the max number of C3 links the fleet could support). Per BfK, a Launch Bay can fit up to 3 squadrons of small craft per point of Launch Capacity.

The Thunderhawk is listed as a Spacecraft in DW and is Size Massive Just like the Starhawk Bomber and Shark Assault bomber in BfK. This makes them (Very) approximately the same size. I've never really thought of the Thunderhawk as Aeronautica anyway!

As to the size of the Battlebarge I would contend that their is not a lot of unused space! Instead; I would instead suggest that a lot of that space is used for bigger engines and Lots of extra armor!



#22 Lynata

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 04:09 PM

When I first read the BFG stats and fluff, I too thought it was weird that Marine ships have such small troop carrying capacity, given the general size of starships in 40k. Yet over time, I came to realise that it could well have to do with a simple strategic decision meant to ensure the survival of the Chapter.
 
Think about it: A Chapter has ten companies. Losing one hurts a lot. Losing three hurts a lot more. Losing more than three … well. Hence, it is tactically sound for a Space Marine Chapter to disperse its companies on many ships rather than risking to lose a large number of them to a single vessel being blown up. Battle Barges are very risky and perhaps "unwise" already, but I suppose at some point they just have to balance their resources, and whilst some planets may be so well defended that Strike Cruisers are not enough to safely deliver their cargo of Marines through the defense perimeter, they just can't afford to give every company their own Battle Barge.
 
In this sense, perhaps Battle Barges are constructed with the thought in mind that they're not even supposed to ever carry more than three companies, hence they couldn't support more. Instead, more space is committed to structural reinforcement, backup generators and other redundant systems all meant to improve the ship's survivability, not to mention huge engines and massive reserves of fuel, consumables, spare parts and ammunition to prolong independent operation.
 
I also really like that idea of decoy drop pods. :)

current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#23 Radwraith

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 05:40 PM

Lynata said:

When I first read the BFG stats and fluff, I too thought it was weird that Marine ships have such small troop carrying capacity, given the general size of starships in 40k. Yet over time, I came to realise that it could well have to do with a simple strategic decision meant to ensure the survival of the Chapter.
 
Think about it: A Chapter has ten companies. Losing one hurts a lot. Losing three hurts a lot more. Losing more than three … well. Hence, it is tactically sound for a Space Marine Chapter to disperse its companies on many ships rather than risking to lose a large number of them to a single vessel being blown up. Battle Barges are very risky and perhaps "unwise" already, but I suppose at some point they just have to balance their resources, and whilst some planets may be so well defended that Strike Cruisers are not enough to safely deliver their cargo of Marines through the defense perimeter, they just can't afford to give every company their own Battle Barge.
 
In this sense, perhaps Battle Barges are constructed with the thought in mind that they're not even supposed to ever carry more than three companies, hence they couldn't support more. Instead, more space is committed to structural reinforcement, backup generators and other redundant systems all meant to improve the ship's survivability, not to mention huge engines and massive reserves of fuel, consumables, spare parts and ammunition to prolong independent operation.
 
I also really like that idea of decoy drop pods. :)

Additionally; The full effect of the Bombardment Cannon outside of Naval engagements is not adequately addressed in RT. I remember in some fluff (I believe it was one of the novels) that the Bombardment cannon is noted as Hyper accurate in a Naval gunfire support roll as well as sporting variable yield warheads! In game terms this would apply when using the support rules from Deathwatch: Rites of battle… The Bombardment cannon would always have the same accuracy as a torpedo strike without the vulnerability to interception. Additionally, The warhead could be set to strike with the Yield of a torpedo or a Lance Strike (Although this would need to be set prior to firing!). The only Drawback would be that the weapon could only fired once per RT turn (30 minutes). That is a very LONG time if your unit is in danger of being overwhelmed! The reason I mention this is that the Naval support of the Space Marines is probably a BIG reason they are not more commonly overrun! (A pinpoint accurate Lancestrike can do a lot of damage to a relieving army before they even get close to engaging the Astartes!) This would also explain why the Imperium even bothers mounting Bombardment cannons on anything since they are inferior to most Naval weapons in every other respect!



#24 Alasseo

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 11:49 PM

Radwraith said:

The Thunderhawk is listed as a Spacecraft in DW and is Size Massive Just like the Starhawk Bomber and Shark Assault bomber in BfK. This makes them (Very) approximately the same size. I've never really thought of the Thunderhawk as Aeronautica anyway!

As to the size of the Battlebarge I would contend that their is not a lot of unused space! Instead; I would instead suggest that a lot of that space is used for bigger engines and Lots of extra armor!

 

I stand corrected- per Imperial Armour Vol I, p230: a Marauder is 19.2m long (with a wingspan of 24.6m), while the Thunderhawk is 26.6m long with a wingspan of 25.65m  and the Thunderhawk Transporter is 28.8m long with the same wingspan (Imperial Armour vol II, pp156-157). I haven't found lengths and actual sizes for the Starhawk or the Shark, but I'm looking (not with much hope of success, I'll admit. They're not designed for atmosphere at all, AFAIK, so I suspect no-one has bothered to put a concrete size to them. I do recall the Shark is supposed to be bigger than the Starhawk, but by how much I don't know).

And there's plenty of unused capacity, if only for infantry: Astartes vessels are relatively under-officered for their size, especially compared to IN ships, and normally only the senior officers are Marines. I'd remember that Marines assigned to the Fleet arguably* don't count against the Codex's notional 1000 battle brother limit, so one could add an extra layer of "company" and "field" grade "officers" to the ship's troops without straining the officer's quarters, or the Codex's limits, and so have effectively an extra couple hundred Marines if you needed them.
I know, there's no evidence that any chapter has done that, and it is purely speculation on a possibility on my part, but I'd still say the capacity is there, whether or not it's used.

 

And the whole concept of the decoy pods goes back to the codification of the power armoured space marine concept- Heinlein's MI from Starship Troopers (not the films, obviously), although there, admittedly, the majority of decoys were produced by the ablative outer layers of the MI drop capsules, although I'm pretty sure there were dedicated decoy capsules mentioned a couple of times.

I'm not sure I'd call the Bombardment cannon inferior to other naval weapons in most respects- not in BfG, anyway (I haven't had much of a chance to play with them in RT). They were basically weapons batteries that treated armour like lances- if it weren't for the range, I'd've happily traded half the weapons in my IN fleet for them, even at strength 1 or 2.

 

*On the grounds that if you actually count how many space marines the Ultramarines chapter (whose Primarch wrote the Codex, after all) has, you reach 1000 well before you start to estimate officers assigned to the Chapter Fleet, and the Uriel Ventris series (among others, I believe) establishes that the majority of Fleet astartes are not simply drawn from Battle or Reserve companies.


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#25 Lynata

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 03:10 AM

Alasseo said:

*On the grounds that if you actually count how many space marines the Ultramarines chapter (whose Primarch wrote the Codex, after all) has, you reach 1000 well before you start to estimate officers assigned to the Chapter Fleet, and the Uriel Ventris series (among others, I believe) establishes that the majority of Fleet astartes are not simply drawn from Battle or Reserve companies.
Ouphhh, this is a topic all by itself, and every second book - especially the novels - will tell you something different. I've always run with the simplistic and easy-to-memorise GW fluff about the 1k Marines just being the 10 squads in 10 companies, and anything else is just part of the supernumaries / headquarters staff (the various codices even gave explicit listings of what this means), whereas drivers and pilots for the Battle Company-led strike forces tend to get pulled from the Reserve Companies, usually the Tactical Squads. It all works out this way, at least for me.

Never heard of "Fleet Astartes" before (except the Master of the Fleet - and even this is just a part-time job for the Captain of the 4th Company), but at the same time I won't discount the possibility that each capital ship may have its own Astartes CO. As every so often with 40k, such details boil down to a matter of interpretation. complice


current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#26 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:50 AM

Lynata said:

In this sense, perhaps Battle Barges are constructed with the thought in mind that they're not even supposed to ever carry more than three companies, hence they couldn't support more. Instead, more space is committed to structural reinforcement, backup generators and other redundant systems all meant to improve the ship's survivability, not to mention huge engines and massive reserves of fuel, consumables, spare parts and ammunition to prolong independent operation.

Another matter worth remembering is that even the transports used by the Imperial Guard give over a lot of room to allow for training and drilling while in transit - vaulted cargo bays repurposed with fake warzones are a real possibility. Consider, by comparison, the amount of space you can give over to all manner of useful support roles in a Strike Cruiser… give each squad their own quarters arming chamber, meditation chambers, chapel, training facilities and more besides… a munitions forge to allow the manufacture of ammunition and repair of weapons, armour and of vehicles, an extensive apothecarion to treat battlefield injuries and safely store recovered geneseed, a company temple and reliquary, an extensive librarium and fully-equipped strategium, all with assorted complements of serfs and servitors to serve those functions in addition to those crewing the ship…

…in essence, everything that an Astartes Battle Company would logically need for independent operation for months or years (or maybe more) without returning to home - vital for Chapters operating in multiple theatres across the galaxy. And Battlebarges would be moreso… a literal home away from home.


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#27 Amazing Larry

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 03:41 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Lynata said:…in essence, everything that an Astartes Battle Company would logically need for independent operation for months or years (or maybe more) without returning to home - vital for Chapters operating in multiple theatres across the galaxy. And Battlebarges would be moreso… a literal home away from home.

In many cases it is just home, spaceborn chapters like the Blood Ravens have a handful of the things containing between them every single thing the chapter owns… and that's alot of stuff when you're as theiving devoted to the recovery of holy relics as the Blood Ravens are.






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