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System Ships

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#1 Kraken



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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:44 AM

Is there much information out there on system ships (non warp capable) in the source material.

I assume one could design a system ship much like a normal void ship but not install a warp drive or gellar fields. But I am interested in any material, stats or simply narative, on the dedicated system ships.

How large should they be? My assumption regarding the massive ships of the 40K universe is that there is a minimum size needed to pack a warp drive, sos sytem ships may be considerably smaller in size.




#2 Iku Rex

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:51 PM

From The Frozen Reaches adventure: 



These are small, non–Warp-capable ships that patrol the Forsellis system for pirates and raiders. Their main role is to support the Bulwark station. Use the stats for the Wolfpack Raider, on page 209 of the ROGUE TRADER core rulebook.

#3 Kahadras



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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:58 AM

I would assume that system ships come in all shapes and sizes but I reckon that most of them would come in the transport/raider/frigate class. A system defence craft logicaly should be able to trade punches with the type of ships that raiders and pirates employ. If I was to stat up a standard system ship I'd take a standard hull from the above classes. I'd then drop the space by 10 and then build the rest of the ship using very basic componants (no fancy weapons, enchancements or archeotech) and wouldn't purchace a warp engine or gellar field componant.


 I don't think there would be larger system ships unless they were purely there to haul huge amounts of cargo between various planets.



#4 ranoncles



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Posted 12 April 2013 - 01:17 AM

Battlefleet Gothic has some more information on system ships (page 144). And on orbital defence platforms too….


The system defence monitor seems especially appropriate as a companion to the wolfpack raider cum system patrol ship.

BFG states that Defence Monitors do not need much speed or maneouvreability. This allows Defence Monitors to link most of their power generation systems to armaments rather than engines, including a Lance and a Battleship-caliber weapons battery with enough firepower to threaten even a capital ship.

#5 Kasatka



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Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:17 PM

Actually system ships are often up-gunned and up-armoured versions of regular ships as they can trade all the space of the warp drive and gellar field etc for more armour plating and weapon systems, however they are slow as sin so only useful in a defensive or blockading action.
In an RT campaign we once went up against an advanced human civilisation that had a trio of system defence ships - they were small frigates or large raiders but with good armour and  prow lance each - we took a pounding and had to fall back in our frigate.

http://wh40k.lexican...or#.UWkUhDWKlJs sums them up quite well.

Only the insane have strength enough to prosper.

Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane.

#6 Vandegraffe



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Posted 13 April 2013 - 07:55 PM

The published adventure that comes with the GM's screen has an entry for system ships.  The Svard system had a dozen or so of them kicking around the system.  They're not very big, or very good, as I recall, though they were specifically mentioned as short range cargo haulers.

Besides that, I'd like to second what the other posters have said.  System ships tend to be smaller than warp capable vessels.  They don't need a warp drive or gellar field (which take up a lot of space), and probably have much less in the way of fuel and provisions as well.  But, if they're a monitor, and use the extra space for weapons, they can hit harder than their size…


- V.

#7 RobOut



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Posted 16 April 2013 - 04:21 AM

Rogue Trader: Hostile Acquisitions includes stats for a 'Bastion' class system defence monitor under the 'Adversaries' section. Frigate sized ship with 2 voids, 2 dorsal Macro batteries abd a prow Lance. All round armour of 22. 

Quite a nasty beast given the size!

#8 Alasseo



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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:04 AM

As far as I'm aware, there's no technical reason not to build even bigger system ships (think cruiser/battlecruiser/grand cruiser sized, if not even bigger), it's just that no-one seems to bother. Perhaps because once you start to reach that hull size, you may as well build starships; or maybe once they start getting that big you run into the point of diminishing returns (if they get too big, you may as well just turn them into a space station, rather than watch them embarrass themselves trying to maneuver).

All that said, I have some thoughts on a BC SDS… I'm going to have to run up a trial build and test it now. I'll let people know how it turns out…

There is no right, and no wrong, but having the bigger stick makes it so...

#9 Lightbringer



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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:45 AM

One interpretation that I always have in mind is that system ships and warp capable ships are constructed to very different standards, because they must be used in very different environments.

While the vacuum of deep space is an extremely hazardous environment, it is nothing compared to the nightmare realm of the warp. Although the Gellar field should be able to protect the ship from the majority of daemonic interference, a warp capable vessel must still be constructed to such an astonishingly high standard that it can survive just about anything, even if the field fails. All we see in Battlefleet Koronus about the construction of warp-capable vessels hints at the degree of over-engineering inherent in their design. Imperial vessels that are kilometres long have been recorded as landing on planets, or crashing and being recovered after spending centuries buried underground.

while you could theoretically bolt a warp engine to a system ship, I feel this is a bit like attaching an outboard motor to a child's toy dinghy. I see the vacuum of deep space as travel on a pond, whereas warp travel is the open ocean.

so while a Bastion class system ship might be well armoured and survivable in combat, it lacks the structural integrity inherent in the designs of true warp capable ships.

That's a very personal and subjective view, though! :-)

#10 RobOut



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Posted 20 April 2013 - 09:17 AM

Thats actually a very good point, one I hadn't considered.

It also explains why system ships would be built at all. If a warp capable escort takes years to build, why would you take years to build a escort size system ship instead?

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