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Gurkhal

Being struck by a drop pod

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I have a question. If an individual enemy, like a Fire Warrior or an Ork would get struck by a drop pod that lands ontop of them, I recon they would be dead. But if the drop pod landed on a tank, a huge freaking Ork Warboss or something else that one can't be sure to be auto-killed given the extreme de-acceleration of the pod before it strikes the ground, what would the effects be? For the thing being hit by the drop pod, and the drop pod itself and the marines within it?

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I would say that the effect of "powerful retro-rockets... "slowing" the pod to crushing, but survivable, landing" (RoB p.170) will be deadly even for the super-heavy tank. But you can use Ram mechanichs (RoB p.167): drop pod deals AP+1d10/2d10 damage and receives enemy AP+1d5 damage.

 

Leaving the forum, singing: "We were sitting with my girlfriend, we were drinking a compote, I distracted for the second - she was squashed by drop pod..."

Edited by Jargal

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The void shield most Titans have would prevent major damage from drop pods, I'd say. For smaller vehicles, instakill. Maybe a Land Raider wouldn't be flattened out like a Chimera, but it would suffer major damage, leaving it a smoking wreck.

 

Happy Easter, folks!

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Even the smallest Titan has double void shields.

 

Fair enough. But since we're at his topic, what about Chaos ones? I'm not very well-versed in Dark Mechanicum lore - do they have proppa void shields, or some Chaos-god-protection equivalent?

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Fair enough. But since we're at his topic, what about Chaos ones? I'm not very well-versed in Dark Mechanicum lore - do they have proppa void shields, or some Chaos-god-protection equivalent?

 

They are proper. Given how huge major Titans are, they would be a free kill for any fleet that keeps space dominance unless they have some kind of "armor of awesomeness" that allows their completely inefficient design to work: In this case void shields.

 

Instead of Aiming a Drop Pod at a Titan just do is Lysander Style and drop the Titan Hammer.^^

 

As for the actual question: Everything besides a super-heavy should get some serious damage - the same goes for the Drop Pod too. There is a reason the machine spirit normally targets a safe LZ.

A super-heavy might get some damage but besides maybe its primary top mounted gun being put out of action it should still be more or less functional - as being not completely obliterated.

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A drop pod is approximately 14 tonnes of metal moving at a descent speed of up to 12,000 kph down to the ground. A few seconds before impact though there are often retro jets kick in to slow them down a short period before landing. This is because even the resilience of the pod would see it totalled hitting the ground.

 

Using this against units though is an interesting question. If we went on rules of tabletop I believe even hitting anything used to be a deep strike mishap for the pod or that it would land and make everything shift around it. For this though I'd apply the rule of common sense.

 

Heavy infantry - Dead

Light infantry - Very dead

Light vehicles - Scrap metal

Heavy vehicles - Scrap metal

Titans/Super Heavy Tanks/Gargantuan creatures - Damaged but not dead.

 

There are some items in 40k which suggest that drop pods can penetrate through a void shield and continue on which means at the end of it the result is probably similar to firing a dud macrocannon round at the target (at least in terms of relative size/speed of shell based on 40k guess work). A big target would be brutalised but probably not wrecked.

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 A Drop Pod is nowhere near a Macro Cannon Dud.

 

Why not take the numbers we have:

- A RT Torpedo travels at ~56km/s. (Given the 10 VUs it travels within a strategic turn of around 30 minutes and the estimated length of a VU of 10.000 km)

Macro Cannons are obviously much faster than that but to not make it hilarious we will stick with that.

- A Drop Pod travels at ~3km/s. (Noted in IA)

- Macro Cannons have projectiles that are said to be the mass of a tank. Lets take a Leman Russ for that with its 60 tons. (Noted in IA)

- A Drop Pod has a mass of 14 tons (Noted in IA)

 

Macro Russ

E(K)=1/2mv²
E(K)=1/2x60.000x(56.000m/s)²

E(K)=94080000000000 J

~ 22,5 Kilotons

 

Drop Pod

E(K)=1/2mv²
E(K)=1/2x14.000x(3.000m/s)²

E(K)=63000000000 J

~ 0.01 Kilotons

 

(Let just hope I did not screw up somewhere)

 

We can see that here is a tiny difference, though this comparison is highly in favour of the Drop Pod, between the kinetic energy of these two, so don't compare them. Ever. ;)

 

Yet a Drop Pod without its brake-thrusters would still hit with 15 tons TNT equivalent. That is a rather impressive “phump” with not much of the Pod left - and the thing below it up to a heavy tank. So imho a Pod brakes rather hard and looses the majority of its kinetic energy.

 

If it makes a brake I would say this:

Light Infantry (GEQ) - Sploosh

Medium Infantry (SEQ) - Sploosh

Heavy Infantry (MEQ) - Sploosh / Minor Damage to the Pod

Super Heavy Infantry (TEQ) - Sploosh / Medium Damage to the Pod

Light Vehicle (Sentinel) - Sploosh / Medium Damage to the Pod

Medium Vehicle (Chimera) - Out of Action / Medium Damage to the Pod

Heavy Vehicle (Leman Russ) - Out of Action / Heavy Damage to the Pod

Super Heavy Vehicle (Baneblade) - Isolated Damage / Fatal Damage to the Pod

Titans (Reaver+) - No Damage / Fatal Damage to the Pod

 

My thinking is that the heavier the vehicles become, the better its super structure is and hence more energy gets absorbed by the Pod. As for for heavy infantry, they pretty much become dangerous Terrain below the Pod for they create an uneven surface out of rather resistant materials like ceramit and may even have small nuclear reactors on their back. There is a reason the Machine Spirits of these Things normally Aim for a Safe LZ.
 

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So imho a Pod brakes rather hard and looses the majority of its kinetic energy.

 

 

 

Don't forget that it uses "retro-rockets" for braking. Reactive exhaust may not be focused, but it is a cumulative jet analogue in a certain sense. F1=-F2, F2=M*a... you need a lot of energy to brake the drop pod...

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The amount of energy that has to be unleashed in that short time frame, yet alone the heat generated by the way the Pod entries atmosphere is kinda absurd if we try to calculate everything. Yes.^^

The same would happen if I had calculated the kinetic energy of the macro cannons with somewhat "more accurate as portrayed in fluff" measurements. Its kinetic energy might surpass the actual payload of the warheads by far.

 

Thing is WH40k suffers from the Trope that Sci-Fi authors tend to have no Idea of numbers and even those that might check or or another thing up will clash just the more with others. I mean we already do have ships that need constantly running engines to keep their speed and break without reverse thrusters or turning maneuvers.

 

Clarke's third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

 

In the end it boils down to how much physics you want to allow for your plot to work out and if that requires your drop pod to take a monumental fart to slow down its "landing approach" or controlled crash straight into the ground then be it so. Maybe make the reverse thrusters sound like the Jericho Trumpet Sirens of WW2 StuKas and discribe them that way. Makes an awsome "Rain of Steel" intro, even more so if you work with audio bits.

 

WH40k: Style over substance. ;)

Edited by FieserMoep

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 A Drop Pod is nowhere near a Macro Cannon Dud.

 

Why not take the numbers we have:

- A RT Torpedo travels at ~56km/s. (Given the 10 VUs it travels within a strategic turn of around 30 minutes and the estimated length of a VU of 10.000 km)

Macro Cannons are obviously much faster than that but to not make it hilarious we will stick with that.

- A Drop Pod travels at ~3km/s. (Noted in IA)

- Macro Cannons have projectiles that are said to be the mass of a tank. Lets take a Leman Russ for that with its 60 tons. (Noted in IA)

- A Drop Pod has a mass of 14 tons (Noted in IA)

 

Macro Russ

E(K)=1/2mv²

E(K)=1/2x60.000x(56.000m/s)²

E(K)=94080000000000 J

~ 22,5 Kilotons

 

Drop Pod

E(K)=1/2mv²

E(K)=1/2x14.000x(3.000m/s)²

E(K)=63000000000 J

~ 0.01 Kilotons

 

 

Huh, I must have been reading a different set of numbers for that. Comparable size wize I guess but I shall withdraw on that. Effect is still the same though:

 

Stuff gets smashed :P

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Stuff gets smashed :P

 

There is a slight difference for a not decelerated drop pod just makes... poof and most likely vanishes with what ever it made contact with.

On the other hand tho, given that numbers a Macro Cannon Dud, with no warhead of its own, would be comparable to Fat Man, the Nuke that hit Nagasaki.

So what ever kind of retro-thrusters these things have, they should weaponize them and blow the opposition of the table instead. xD

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This has come up on threads previously, those pods are designed to avoid landing on things so will pilot themselves out of the way of vehicles. Infantry, probably not so much. The marines inside are more valuable than the vehicle you are landing on for the most part.

 

In general, if you are deploying Space Marines there's a reason for them being on the ground and it's not just to blow up some tanks, if this needs to be done from space the Astartes have bombardment cannons for that and could even get the Navy to do it. Of course Deathwatch don't always have the benefit of full support like other marines so maybe you have to make do, of course you'll have to explain why your relatively expensive drop pods have been used to bombard a planet.

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