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Naval Combat - that is, sea & oceanic warfare.

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#1 Fgdsfg



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Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:25 AM

I was going to ask this at my more regular homestead, the Rogue Trader section, but I figured that since we now have the Only War forum, it might be more appropriate here. It doesn't deal specifically with Only War, but rather with an aspect of the universe that I have been thinking about for a while, that definitely fall within the purview of the Imperial Guard/Imperial Navy.

Simply put, what about Oceanic Warfare?

The galaxy is a pretty big place, with literally millions of habitable worlds. Many of those worlds, while adhering to the regular trope of "There is only one colony, one culture and one dominant climate zone", should be relatively close to - or at least relatable to - Earth. Our Earth, not the Terra of the 41st millennium. That means lots and lots of seas and oceans.

Hell, even Cadia has huge swaths of water.

Armageddon? Check.
Catachan? Check.
Macragge? Check.
Tanith? Check.
Vostroya? Check.
Tallarn? …not so much.

The planet that is entirely covered in water is practically a sci-fi trope. It there's multiple planets like this is almost every major sci-fi franchise. While I don't know of any in WH40k, I think that, going by "The galaxy is a pretty big place" and the cultural influences on WH40k, it just has to exists.

But how does this work? Clearly there needs to be special regiments dealing with these kinds of planets or areas. All those tanks we've seen are useless. Hell, we don't even know if hover technology or skimmers works properly over water (but let's assume that they do, because water is pretty dense). Why have we never heard of these regiments or regimental detachments? Where's the cruisers, destroyers and transport vessels? Where's the oceanic equivalent of the Baneblade?

Or the enemies for that matter. Where's the underwater eldar cities of an oceanic maiden world? Where's the massive sea-beasts and leviathans of the forces of chaos? Tau nuclear submarines? Necron.. nevermind, the Tyranids and the Necrons probably work "as is". But for all the rest, I want more.

And if there is nothing to have, I'm calling for official supplements on the issue. I don't even know what to call oceanic regiments or specialists. "Navy" is clearly taken by the actual navy, and in WH40k, it is unlikely that anyone even remembers the days when "Navy" had anything to do with water.

And in the absence of that, let's make **** up.

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#2 Musclewizard



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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:02 AM

Hmm, what an interesting proposal.

I think the easiest way to handle this would be to use the rules for space combat from Rogue Trader, change a bit here and there (specifically distances, the existance of void shields, the length of a turn and some other variables) and you should have a working system that would serve as a base.

The problem would be the interaction beween smaller ships and larger vehicles.

#3 Radwraith



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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:21 PM

Maritime forces represent a sort of primitive "titan" scale warfare. A 20th century battleship is about the same size as a battle titan but of course does not "stand" rather it floats on it's back (Keel). The capital scale weapons it dploys are smaller than a Voidship's but are still quite a bit more powerful than "mere" tank weapons. In 40k; I would surmise that Maritime forces would use Titan scale weapons and employ voidshields in the same fashion as an actual titan. Additionally, larger vessels could carry actual Anti-Voidship weapons designed to aid in planetary defence. Imagine if you will; A nuclear ballistic missile submarine that carries void torpedoes or a Battleship that carries Lance batteries used to fire on ships in orbit! The nature of naval (Maritime) warfare would necessitate  a fairly mechanized approach but it is not unachievable! 

#4 Nomad_Druid



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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:58 PM

Henry Zou wrote a novel called 'Flesh and Iron'
There were giant naval ships called Argonauticals. Owned by the Persepians (or Caliguans?). The ships had anti air, missles and some torpedoes, but they were mostly used to transport soldiers. They used naval ships instead of flying ships because of a large canon shooting down flyers. So having these large ships is kind of pointless, even though sci-fi oceanic battles seem cool. 

#5 Lightbringer



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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:53 PM

 I had the same thought (40k maritime combat)  a while back:-



#6 Face Eater

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:46 AM

I did a couple of sample regiments aquatic regiments in this thread:


They were still mostly infantry regiments, focused more on water based attacks on land to form beechheads for other forces. 

In general I imagine it's more the PDF that will be employing sea power and the Imperial Navy will be engaging with aircraft but specialist guard regiments opne up a lot of tactical options. With the Imperial guard having a lot of amphibious transports being able to drop into the see and hit land could be vital if the land is heavily defended against air attacks.

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