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Amazing Larry

Landing Barges

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So far as I know there aren't any established profiles for vehicles useful for getting your other vehicles to the surface of a planet. This is kind of a problem, sure the core rulebook has the Halo Barge but from reading the entry you get the sen that the stupid thing can maybe fit what? One or two Rhinos into it? That wont do. So I decided to make up a vehicle for deploying proper batlleforces


My idea for how these things interact with your starship is that rather than be inside a lighter bay they would more sort of dock with some servo-arms and get pulled up into specific cavities in the hull. I figure you could bull it and just say that you automatically have somewhere between one and six of them on a given ship depending on the size class. Or alternatively you could come up with a ship componant with space and energy costs that incorporates entire squadrons of the things letting you drop full armies on planets below.


I consider myself knowlegable about 40k but I'll admit I haven't even read 10% of everything that's ever been put out there so I apoligise in advance if these barges contradict some established cannon. Yet the process by which the Imperial Navy actually deploys Guard armies seems to be pretty glossed over in everything I've ever seen. My primary inspirations here are probably an illustration from one of the splats where some ratings are herding xeno animals up a ramp and that one from the cover of the Guard codex where swaths of guardsmen pour from a big metal box.


So I just got to fooling around and this is what I came up with, it's a work in progress please give constructive feedback.


Heracles Pattern Landing Barges

Type: Spacecraft
Cruising Speed: 1,400 KPH/4VUs per Strategic Turn in Space
Structural Integrity: 60
Armour:  Front and bottom 30, all others 24
Carrying Capacity: Either twelve “enormous” vehicles/objects or a full company of guardsman or an equivalent load with full supply capability for the assets it deploys.
Tactical Speed: 10m/5AUs
Maneuverability: -50
Size: “Titanic” (+60 to hit it with a ballistic weapon -60 to it’s dodge reaction)
Crew: Flight Lieutenant, Pilot, Co-Pilot, Egineseer, twelve loadmaster voidsmen and thirty six ratings for load and maintenance related labor. In total that works out to fifty two crewmen for normal operations.

Special Rules

Void Tug
In the void landing barges can be used as tugs, with crewmembers donning voidsuits and going outside to deploy and attach cables and void chains that can be used to drag large objects such as shipping containers, other craft or whatever else needs towing. When towing a load greater than “titanic” in size halve the barge’s movement speed, cannot tow any load greater than one equaling two “titanic” objects see pg249 core rulebook table 9-9 for size comparisons.

A Brick with Retractable Wings
These craft are not maneuverable and not even functional fliers when it comes down to it, after immediate entry into an atmosphere they deploy their airfoils and glide down to their landing approach altitude at which time they reverse thrust and approach a stall. Then they switch to vectored thrust to stay aloft while still arresting their forward momentum only ceasing it about one hundred meters above ground. Then simultaneously retracting airfoils while descending vertically onto their eight heavy duty landing struts. Egress is available from the barge’s twelve bays by way of their loading ramps. When landing a very large and mostly flat and even landing zone is obviously required.

Returning to the void involves more or less the same process except in reverse and consuming vastly more fuel. When landing on a planet without an atmosphere reduce the carrying capacity by half as without airfoils the barge is required to carry extra fuel and burn almost as much during landing as on the return trip.

These landings and takeoffs are the only maneuvers they are intentionally built to perform when functioning as fliers and assuming they’ve been properly plotted and planned ahead of time, and that the barge doesn’t have to avoid any terrain or land in strange or hazardous conditions no piloting roll is required to perform them. If landings or takeoffs must be performed in adverse conditions the barge's manueverability is considered to be +10 but only for those specific maneuvers and no others.

Giant Fireball
Due to it’s mass and huge fuel tanks crashing a landing barge is far worse than crashing most craft or fliers. Should the landing barge suffer an incident inflicting the 11+ Explodes results on table 5-2 pg 178 Into the Storm substitute the following result: 10 d10 explosive damage to all persons and objects both inside the barge and within fifty meters of it. After calculating that damage and the results of the initial damage everything and everyone within the barge is immediately then also considered to be on fire and everyone and everything outside within fifty meters must succeed an agility or manuever test or be lit on fire as well.

Edited by Amazing Larry

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It has already been proven that whoever wrote the values for cargo ships was high as f**k. Just assume that a Halo Barge is capable of carrying a Baneblade or two regular tanks.


As for others, well, Astra Militarum uses Devourer dropships . Long story short, those are "small" space ships that are mounted inside Cataceus class transporters for warp travel (this way you don't need a separate Gellar field and Warp engine for each of them).


Devourer Dropship:



Cataceus class transporter:







Now, since most Rogue Traders are quite unlikely to have access to an extra ship for carrying barges around, I'd say make Devourer dropship Extremely Rare, and make a component that's basically a standard Cargo Hold costing an extra SP but having half the normal power requirement for carrying one of those monstrocities around the space.

Edited by Elavion

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Considering the Devourer and Cetaceus have only one cited source and that needs citation, i would hardly consider those hard and fast in the canon of 40k. However sources regularly refer to 'dropships' and considering the myriad variants of ships, armour, weapons and gear that the Imperium uses its easy enough to just hand-waive and come up with whatever you need for the task.
Now personally the transport ships that ferry around dropships for planetary landings are so bulky that you couldn't just strap a dropship or two onto a non-transport, but i have no issue saying that you can swap 2 of the transports (shuttles, barges etc) that your ship carries normally to a smaller dropship for ferrying vehicles and troops planetside. And if you've got a cargohold or launchbays then you could feasily take a 'squadron' of dropships in place of something else. I'd probably say they come in squadrons of 4 and each can carry either 100 men (plus all their gear and supplies) or 3 leman russ sized vehicles or equivalent plus crew and maintenance gear. 

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While I wouldn't write the Devourer out of canon per se. I usually only relegate old stuff to the dustbin if there's direct or tertiary reasons why it should be, (IE: retconned, or doesn't mesh with current setting theme).


I'd say it's just not the standard Imperial method of landing troops, because it's not a cargo hauler (remember even the techiest of modern armies use regular ol' C-130's for transporting tanks around when speed is more important than economy) but a specialist assault lander, reserved for hard targets, assuming it's not some hard to replicate piece of archeotech.


Meanwhile the things they usually use to bring Imperial Guard forces to the surface of a planet are no different than the huge bulk shuttles that you'd see in an interstellar trading hub (which you can generally assume your ship has several of).

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I like it, in general, its actually quite similar (but the next 'step' up) to a barge I created for my game because of the same issue, even the largest barge in the book is to small to unload any reasonable amount of cargo. (Note, the RT in my game only has Compartmentalized Cargo, not a cargo & Lighter bay, which I feel should have a larger lander attached to it.)


That said, I do have a couple of issues/suggestions.

1) I feel like the cruising speed is just a little to fast, particularly the VU part.  I mean Aqualia landers are 4VU/Turn.  I would personally put it at 1 VU/Turn and maybe 900 or 1000 kph.  


2) I personally wouldn't include the Loaders or the Maintenance personnel in the crew unless they're need during the flight.  None of the other vehicles include the people required to support it on the ground or if its breaking, and loading crews in particular are typically part of the docking port rather then the aircraft.  If you are going to do this, I'd clarify flight crew vs. ground crew.


3) Some of your special rules seem superfluous, or at least superfluously written.  Brick with Wings is 95% description, The only part you really need is "The Halo is designed specifically for landings, and counts it's maneuverability as +10 for this action."  I wouldn't include Void Tug as a rule unless this craft was specifically designed to be a tug.  (Which seems unlikely as most tugs are small craft with oversized engines.)


4) Lastly, and this is more of a personal thing, although what you've done with the cargo is basically how Into the Storm does it, I prefer to give my cargo measurements in approximate volume and tonnage limits.  Given the number of odd things my players have transported, it becomes important.  The size itself seems ok to me, assuming the 12 tanks are the "filled" limit, and the company tends to have a little extra cargo room for gear and stuff.

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Thought I'd drop my own version in here.  As I noted above, its kinda "one step down' from the one Larry posted.


The Baum class cargo lighter, like it's smaller cousin the Arvus Lighter, is essentially a cargo container with thrusters. They have the distinction of having the largest cargo bay available to any landing craft on the Albion, while still not taking up significantly more room then the Volans or the Raptor, largely due to their distinct lack of any kind of wing structure, along side an interior fuel and maintenance design that allows them to be packed closer together.
The Baum's cargo bay is accessed by a full width drop ramp located on the back under the thruster array. The cargo bay itself is 18 by 10 by 4 meters, allowing for the transport four standard cargo containers (12x2.5x3), four tanks or over a hundred men (standing). It's combination of suspensor systems and powerful down-thrusters allow for a transport weight of just over 300 tons. The lighter is operated by a crew of four (Pilot, Co-pilot, Engineseer and Auspexer) who access the cockpit via ladder in the front section of the cargo bay, a design which often requires the crew to enter prior to loading, and exit after unloading.
Cruising: 1,000kph/1vu
Tactical: 20m/9au
Maneuverability -30
Size: Massive
Hull: 40
Aval.: Scarce
Front: 30 Side: 25 Rear: 25

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I also have thought there was something missing from both the cargo and landing auxiliary crafts.  I like yours, Quick; it's close to a standardized ISO intermodal container used everywhere today.  I think it would carry more people, though.  Each of the 4 containers is basically the size of a school bus passenger compartment, so at least 30 seated people with full military gear should be possible within each compartment.

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That's because I based the containers off ISO standard, but rounded off the numbers.  :D All the players have a feel for the size of one standard containers as well, making it easier for them to visualize. (And for me to use for in game descriptions).  I also liked the idea of some Tech-Priests on Mars finding a cache of them by an old spaceport in M29 and going "These are the ancient specifications! We shall build all containers at this size."


The "Over 100" people was based on a bit over a 1.5 sq. m. per person.  Enough for 1 solder with full backpack to stand in formation and not be totally running into each other/sardined.  (Which would be ~120 people).  When they had to evacuate refugees I allowed 250 to be subway-crushed in.  Should probably change it to full-geared infantry in the description.

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