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Magnus Grendel

Campaign Plot...er...Plotting

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To me still this whole operation, has problems:

#1, Unless the extended Hax clan is all kept close (in which case the attack on Scintilla solves this problem), those Deaths the PC are looking at could be spread across the sector.  Which can mean weeks/months in the Warp.  Once I started to off the "legit" heirs who could seize command the title, the clock is already ticking on Scintilla.  You shouldn't have that much time to investigate # of deaths and stop part 2.

#2, Stealing the Weapons from a Naval Ship.  Even if docked in drydock, should be nearly impossible without the help of the both the Admiral of the ship and the Lord Inquisitor who commands the team in charge of the weapon.  Now move the weapons to a storage locker while maintance is being done.  And given the bureaucratic nightmare that 40k can be, the security could be limited to "just" the Lord Inquisitor team and "limited dockside security" unless the PC team gets there in time.  Then you still have to transport the weapon from the naval yard to Scintilla, but we could have a Rogue Trader for that, one who family might have ties to Malfi, or even better ties to Severan Dominate space for the false flag while Malfi, assumes command of the sector.

As our group doesn't play Rogue Trader, what weapons are available to a Rogue Trader that could be used to "wipeout/put a serious hurt on" a planet or hive?

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Lynata said:

Huh, I suppose that does make sense. Though I'll always be biased regarding any alleged authoritative qualities of those novels on account of how they portrayed the Adepta Sororitas, but that's a different topic. I still like the idea just because the assumption sounds logical. :P

I know you have issues with one character specifically from the Ciaphas Caine novels, but (a) the other Sororitas even in this series (which is comparatively slapstick) are pretty accurately portrayed (in Duty Calls) and (b) the Faith & Fire/Hammer & Anvil series (which is more serious) and Legion of the Damned always seemed pretty well done.

It irks me a bit too that that one character (Juliene from Caine's Last Stand) gets held up a lot as an example when the whole point of her is that she is essentially as bad a Sororitas as Caine is a commissar, but - as with Caine - hadn't been caught at it. Saying she's a 'normal' sister is akin to suggesting heresy-era Fabius Bile is representative of a 'normal' apothecary*.

 

More significantly; for the Arbites there isn't a lot else out there.

Graham McNeil's Codex:Witch-Hunters, before he went off to write for black library, has pretty much all the collated Sisters of Battle fluff prior to that point, and the Faith & Fire series....fits in with it but doesn't really add too much to this.  But you've also got the Daemonifuge comic series, several minor codex issues since, all the fluff associated with Celestine's reappearance, the Strike Force citadel journal article and a Sororitas page in every core rulebook since Rogue Trader (admittedly, the rogue trader one was basically "They exist - look! One's shooting a Rainbow Warrior!" :ph34r:)

 

There has, by comparison, never been an all-up arbites codex. They lack any presence in the contemporary tabletop game, their last, best '40k proper' effort was a single squad in the 2nd edition Codex Imperialis, and even their last 'appearance' - in necromunda - specifically was local militia 'styled after the arbites' and not arbites themselves. The Inquisitor background on them was limited to a single character (Barbaretta, by comparison, was again an enforcer - this time inquisitorial - not an arbiter proper) and a couple of pages of fluff which spent more time explaining how awesome executioner rounds were** than anything else.

The only substantive  background sources for the arbites are the Enforcer novels, and the Book of Judgement, which pretty much follows the same background (the phrase 'Verispex' as the CSI-analogue, for example, and the organisational structure in the FFG sourcebook comes from Farrer's novels) which is not surprising as he's one of the background writers credited on the book.

Given that that's the only reasonably detailed source talking about the organisation's structure and philosopy, I'm happy to accept the usual 'everything is canon and nothing is' debate, but aside from occasional items or one-line references, the Arbites don't have much else to go on.

 

 

9 hours ago, Angel of Death said:

#1, Unless the extended Hax clan is all kept close (in which case the attack on Scintilla solves this problem), those Deaths the PC are looking at could be spread across the sector.  Which can mean weeks/months in the Warp.  Once I started to off the "legit" heirs who could seize command the title, the clock is already ticking on Scintilla.  You shouldn't have that much time to investigate # of deaths and stop part 2.

Correct. Which is why I'm rather pleased (as noted) that all the key 'places' involved are pretty close together. Remember, as noted, we don't need to threaten every single person with a vague blood relation to Marius Hax, just anyone senior enough and influential enough that the segmentum administratum might actually take them seriously. There's probably half a dozen to a dozen of them, tops, and it'll be rare for them to go off scintilla - it's essentially 'visit by the crown prince' territory - so there can't be that many targets.

Equally, if the Logician cell has only so many resources, there may be a traceable link between the two; if a list of eliminated targets recovered for an Ashen Tear assassin was "Marquis Galennis Hax, Lord Cothein Machenko-Hax, Lady Surenne Hax, and Munitorium Ensign Second Class Jim Swithins", then any acolyte with half a brain is going to ask "Who the heck was Jim Swithins, and why is he as significant as major members of the sector nobility?"

9 hours ago, Angel of Death said:

#2, Stealing the Weapons from a Naval Ship.  Even if docked in drydock, should be nearly impossible without the help of the both the Admiral of the ship and the Lord Inquisitor who commands the team in charge of the weapon.  Now move the weapons to a storage locker while maintance is being done.  And given the bureaucratic nightmare that 40k can be, the security could be limited to "just" the Lord Inquisitor team and "limited dockside security" unless the PC team gets there in time.  Then you still have to transport the weapon from the naval yard to Scintilla, but we could have a Rogue Trader for that, one who family might have ties to Malfi, or even better ties to Severan Dominate space for the false flag while Malfi, assumes command of the sector.

  • The captain of the ship won't necessarily know he has such weapons on board.
  • If the ship is receiving emergency repairs after an accident, it would be repaired at the closest moorings that can accommodate it, which won't necessarily be a full naval base - which is good for the heretics as it means no companies of naval security stormtroopers ready to intervene if things get noisy.
  • It also means the Inquisitorial agents wouldn't dream of moving the weapon off the ship, assuming they even have clearance to do so without consulting the Ordo Excorium.
  • If you have an accident in the torpedo-room such that you're vacating the prow of the ship, then security will pretty much just be limited to critical members of the crew (which will contain inquisitorial agents, and who will need to be taken out or contained - they're the main threat the logician's boarding party will have to deal with, and who any 'plant' will have to identify prior to things kicking off)
  • If the weapon is stolen and not 'manhandled' out of the yard but deadfall fired (essentially kicked out of the tube without igniting its engines), then it is hard or even impossible to track by a third party but has a predictable course known to the firer and can be snagged by a ship a safe distance from the yard.
9 hours ago, Angel of Death said:

As our group doesn't play Rogue Trader, what weapons are available to a Rogue Trader that could be used to "wipeout/put a serious hurt on" a planet or hive?

A planet - ecosphere destruction isn't easy. Taking out a hive....still not easy, frankly. Orbital gunfire is horrifically powerful and can make a fair mess of anything unprotected on the surface (using Deathwatch rules if you thing of a lance strike as a lascannon with a kilometre blast radius you're not going far wrong) but at the same time, planetary void shields and emplaced planetary defence batteries outgun anything that can be fitted to a starship by such a ludicrous factor that it's not even funny.

A planet which doesn't have imperial-standard orbital defences? A rogue trader -  especially one with a cruiser - can mess it up good and proper with just macrobattery fire. It'll take him a while, though.

 

 

 

* Okay....not that bad. Fabulous Bill is clearly no-one's realistic model of a representative, normal version of anything. But you get the point.

** They were not. A bonus to hit is all well and good but not at the cost of a penalty to hit up close when that's literally the point of a sodding shotgun. Dark Heresy did those things much more justice. But that's by the bye.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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2 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I know you have issues with one character specifically from the Ciaphas Caine novels, but (a) the other Sororitas even in this series (which is comparatively slapstick) are pretty accurately portrayed (in Duty Calls) and (b) the Faith & Fire/Hammer & Anvil series (which is more serious) and Legion of the Damned always seemed pretty well done.

I was actually referring to the Enforcer series in particular, not novels in general. I know it's just a minor detail, but it irks me a bit when rather important, faction-defining policies such as "raised from birth" simply go ignored by derivative works, in this case the mention of the convent on Calpurnia's world apparently recruiting adult girls into its ranks. Unimportant as it may seem at casual glance, such changes ultimately turn the Sororitas from a characterful organisation into a generic army of "some girls in power armour", and I wonder how much Black Library is responsible for cultivating this simplified view among some of the fanbase, considering how often I saw posts alleging there's nothing culturally special about them.

In the same vein, my beef with the example you thought I was referring to isn't that Julien is supposed to be a "bad Sister", it's how the author chose to go about it, ignoring all the established detail about how both the Schola Progenium (in organisation) and the Sisterhood (in policy) work in the original source material. It's not particularly difficult to write a "bad Sister" and still stick to GW's material if the author simply wanted to -- see Miriya from Faith & Fire. But Julien, in essence, is to the Adepta Sororitas what you'd get if you would write an Ultramarine Captain with the personality/mannerisms of Space Wolf Lukas Strifeson. Arguably, this would never happen, it only happens to factions that people don't really care and consequently know very little about. It's all the more telling that this includes Black Library writers, and that stuff like this gets through the editorial process. But ultimately, this is where Gav Thorpe's comment regarding authors having a "wobbly moment" comes into play.

But I don't think our positions are actually all that different. We both acknowledge how "canon" (or lack thereof) works in 40k, and we both have taken to cobbling together details from derivative material we deem a suitable addition to our interpretation of the setting, based on the original source material not being as all-encompassing and detailed as we'd like it to be. At most, we probably differ which details we add to our "headcanon", or whether we're adopting sources in their entirety or only select bits from them.

On a sidenote, Inquisitor actually had two characters, the other being hunt team leader Lucretia Bravus (notably, her listed equipment does mention a "full enclosed helm with rebreather and advanced auto-senses including bio-scanner") -- and I think when the material makes a point of how Enforcers like to replicate the look of the Arbites 1:1, it's okay to look at Enforcer models to picture the Arbites.

On another sidenote, reading back up on the Inquisitor material also has me spotting the mention of "Wards" as another Arbites derivative, basically being to the Inquisition what Enforcers are to the local government. Shame this was never picked up again anywhere; would have been perfect for Dark Heresy, too!

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12 minutes ago, Lynata said:

On a sidenote, Inquisitor actually had two characters, the other being hunt team leader Lucretia Bravus (notably, her listed equipment does mention a "full enclosed helm with rebreather and advanced auto-senses including bio-scanner") -- and I think when the material makes a point of how Enforcers like to replicate the look of the Arbites 1:1, it's okay to look at Enforcer models to picture the Arbites.

That was just a head-swap for Barbaretta (a good idea because dear god that was a fugly model), though. But yes, the point I was making was that she looks similar to but not exactly like a 'proper' arbiter - exactly the same thing which can be said about Hax-Orthlack clad Scintilla Magistratum or Necromunda Enforcers; in all cases people are going for the same broad aesthetic but there were some detectable differences between them and the judge. Certainly any model or artwork which has ever explicitely used the actual word 'arbites' has always had an 'open-mouthed' helmet, occasionally with a 'bolt-on' respirator.

16 minutes ago, Lynata said:

On another sidenote, reading back up on the Inquisitor material also has me spotting the mention of "Wards" as another Arbites derivative, basically being to the Inquisition what Enforcers are to the local government. Shame this was never picked up again anywhere; would have been perfect for Dark Heresy, too!

Indeed. It's basically who gets used as magistratum in any situation where the Inquisition has decided to temporarily take direct rulership of a world (or just doesn't trust the local magistratum or arbites). I guess they'd also get used on a world like Nemesis Tessera alongside more directly military Inquisitorial Stormtroopers.

I've used them occasionally in missions (or at least made reference to them) but you're right; I never registered they never were picked up by Dark Heresy. They'd have been quite an interesting elite advance for an arbites character.

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4 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

That was just a head-swap for Barbaretta

Wait, did she actually have an official model? I thought she was one of those that only had a character sheet.

(and I will always maintain the fugliest model was Anastasia -- shame, given how awesome her background was)

They'd have been quite an interesting elite advance for an arbites character.

I guess the Black Industries team and FFG just weren't aware. There's lots of Inquisitor stuff that just went ignored, largely because it was printed only there.

Material for a fan-supplement, maybe? :D 

Edited by Lynata

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On 5/31/2018 at 5:58 PM, Angel of Death said:

To me still this whole operation, has problems:

#1, Unless the extended Hax clan is all kept close (in which case the attack on Scintilla solves this problem), those Deaths the PC are looking at could be spread across the sector.  Which can mean weeks/months in the Warp.  Once I started to off the "legit" heirs who could seize command the title, the clock is already ticking on Scintilla.  You shouldn't have that much time to investigate # of deaths and stop part 2. 

14 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

 

Correct. Which is why I'm rather pleased (as noted) that all the key 'places' involved are pretty close together. Remember, as noted, we don't need to threaten every single person with a vague blood relation to Marius Hax, just anyone senior enough and influential enough that the segmentum administratum might actually take them seriously. There's probably half a dozen to a dozen of them, tops, and it'll be rare for them to go off scintilla - it's essentially 'visit by the crown prince' territory - so there can't be that many targets.

Equally, if the Logician cell has only so many resources, there may be a traceable link between the two; if a list of eliminated targets recovered for an Ashen Tear assassin was "Marquis Galennis Hax, Lord Cothein Machenko-Hax, Lady Surenne Hax, and Munitorium Ensign Second Class Jim Swithins", then any acolyte with half a brain is going to ask "Who the heck was Jim Swithins, and why is he as significant as major members of the sector nobility?"

Okay, I missed that, I was going with the few being "High Ranking Targets" and might have been off planet as I said before, yet be respected enough that they could make a legit claim to the title Lord Calixis:

#16 Lt. Commander Wynnie Hax whose died when her section was opened to the space because of "accident"

#24 Administrator Thomas Wooten-Hax died when "brain aneurysm" occured on Iocanthos

#30 Prince Serian Hax had "a hunting accident and died" on a hunting trip to Fedrid

because if the bulk of these "HRT" are in the Lucid Palace or elsewhere on Scintilla, then there is no reason for them to be target for assassination, as if this plan works they should be dead anyways. 
 

Quote

#2, Stealing the Weapons from a Naval Ship.  Even if docked in drydock, should be nearly impossible without the help of the both the Admiral of the ship and the Lord Inquisitor who commands the team in charge of the weapon.  Now move the weapons to a storage locker while maintance is being done.  And given the bureaucratic nightmare that 40k can be, the security could be limited to "just" the Lord Inquisitor team and "limited dockside security" unless the PC team gets there in time.  Then you still have to transport the weapon from the naval yard to Scintilla, but we could have a Rogue Trader for that, one who family might have ties to Malfi, or even better ties to Severan Dominate space for the false flag while Malfi, assumes command of the sector.

Quote

The captain of the ship won't necessarily know he has such weapons on board.

If the ship is receiving emergency repairs after an accident, it would be repaired at the closest moorings that can accommodate it, which won't necessarily be a full naval base - which is good for the heretics as it means no companies of naval security stormtroopers ready to intervene if things get noisy.

It also means the Inquisitorial agents wouldn't dream of moving the weapon off the ship, assuming they even have clearance to do so without consulting the Ordo Excorium.

If you have an accident in the torpedo-room such that you're vacating the prow of the ship, then security will pretty much just be limited to critical members of the crew (which will contain inquisitorial agents, and who will need to be taken out or contained - they're the main threat the logician's boarding party will have to deal with, and who any 'plant' will have to identify prior to things kicking off)

If the weapon is stolen and not 'manhandled' out of the yard but deadfall fired (essentially kicked out of the tube without igniting its engines), then it is hard or even impossible to track by a third party but has a predictable course known to the firer and can be snagged by a ship a safe distance from the yard.

 

So how are they arranging accident that forces the ship by causing enough damage to the prow of the ship to force it into the yard?  And to force the evac of the majority of the crew from area?  And lastly are you having this done in orbit of Scintilla?

Now if they done this they may also have "hurt" the Inquisitorial agents, in the accident.

Now not being an expert on how 40k WMD are handle @Cobramax76, and the "launch" rules I assume that at least 2 of the Inquisitorial agents of the Ordo Excorium must "agree" to launch/release the weapon to firing.  So the hostile force would need to keep them alive but captured, and Ordo Excorium would be fighting to death to keep from being captured?

 

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6 hours ago, Angel of Death said:

And lastly are you having this done in orbit of Scintilla? 

No, because you can't force the ship to be in scintilla orbit. It's a navy ship - at some point it will be on deployment but you can't garuantee where.

6 hours ago, Angel of Death said:

So how are they arranging accident that forces the ship by causing enough damage to the prow of the ship to force it into the yard?  And to force the evac of the majority of the crew from area? 

Hence the discussion about embedding an agent in the ships munitorium.

 

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On 6/1/2018 at 2:55 AM, Magnus Grendel said:

 

  • The captain of the ship won't necessarily know he has such weapons on board.
  • If the ship is receiving emergency repairs after an accident, it would be repaired at the closest moorings that can accommodate it, which won't necessarily be a full naval base - which is good for the heretics as it means no companies of naval security stormtroopers ready to intervene if things get noisy.
  • It also means the Inquisitorial agents wouldn't dream of moving the weapon off the ship, assuming they even have clearance to do so without consulting the Ordo Excorium.
  • If you have an accident in the torpedo-room such that you're vacating the prow of the ship, then security will pretty much just be limited to critical members of the crew (which will contain inquisitorial agents, and who will need to be taken out or contained - they're the main threat the logician's boarding party will have to deal with, and who any 'plant' will have to identify prior to things kicking off)
  • If the weapon is stolen and not 'manhandled' out of the yard but deadfall fired (essentially kicked out of the tube without igniting its engines), then it is hard or even impossible to track by a third party but has a predictable course known to the firer and can be snagged by a ship a safe distance from the yard.

A planet - ecosphere destruction isn't easy. Taking out a hive....still not easy, frankly. Orbital gunfire is horrifically powerful and can make a fair mess of anything unprotected on the surface (using Deathwatch rules if you thing of a lance strike as a lascannon with a kilometre blast radius you're not going far wrong) but at the same time, planetary void shields and emplaced planetary defence batteries outgun anything that can be fitted to a starship by such a ludicrous factor that it's not even funny.

A planet which doesn't have imperial-standard orbital defences? A rogue trader -  especially one with a cruiser - can mess it up good and proper with just macrobattery fire. It'll take him a while, though.

The first point is absolutely correct ( though most ships captain's WILL argue you right into the airlock to the contrary ) Knowledge with the Inquisition is limited to a need to know and only the Inquisitor involved thinks they need to know...

The second point is only half correct. Anytime you have an Exterminatus class weapon the cell team assigned to the ship carrying it ( and sometimes the Inquisitor IS onboard ) WILL have at least a contingent of Stormtroopers ( or suitable servitors in position...read as murder servitors positioned hidden within the bay containing the Weapon...Velox pattern would be quite likely since the Weapon would be contained in something else not just sitting out there for all to gawk at. Also quite likely would be a High or Arch Magos to oversee the handling and deployment ( if needed ) of the weapon itself. ( remember the Mechanicum dont trust anyone else to handle their babies right )

Point three is half correct. They will usually have backup plans within backups for emergency type situations...either they will have been given a dataslate to memorize or some memorance implant with the necessary plans to respond with that could include removing the weapon from the ship via predetermined stop-off points for the ship ( such as the times a ship must exit the warp to regain bearings...often in a known friendly system...the Inquisitor can and will arrange for assistance via contacts and holdings outside what the cell team knows about ( compartmentalization peeps ) but installed in the memorance implant so that if they run across the ship in question ( or simply the crew members who are cover operatives from another cell team sent to check in on the first one carrying the Weapon ) A good Inquisitor will have several assets ( read as teams or other resources ) in play to move any Exterminatus classed weapon to ensure it doesnt go missing from the books. ( That would seriously be the Inquisitors ( and most likely any families ) heads on silver platters by the end of the day )

The fourth point..difficult to pull of but not impossible as far as "accidents" go..Suffering a major coolant leak in the area OR breakout of a fire ( anyone ever had to deal with a Halon fire suppression system before?  I have...You NEED a full facemask with oxygen tank as Halon removes ALL oxygen from its immediate surroundings. Good way to get all but essential personnel out of the area ( and repair servitors ) If any areas had Halon it would be the Engine room and Torpedo room ( afterall dont want the core going critical from overheat or the entire stock of torps going boom now do we )

The fifth point..Oh it can still be tracked...the SIZE of it...They can track ( on station and close proximity to ANY ship ) something the size of a personal lander ( Aquila shuttle ) A torpedo is the size of a multi story house...that much metal...yes indeed it can most certainly be tracked...ALSO of note would be the FACT that they ( the Inquisition ) would have installed a powerful but hidden tracking device on it during transit as a final failsafe from "loosing it" in transport. THAT tidbit is HIGHLY UNLIKELY to be told to the operatives ( except via the memorance implant that WOULD be set to explode if hostile forces tried to get the Ordos Agent to reveal it or anything about it )

As for the Planetary defense voids....Yes they are a bit OP...BUT...if you are in spacedock in geostationary orbit above the area you want to blast...then you simply fake ( from the start when you haul the ship into the spacedock for repairs ) a test powerup of a lance array ( its ALWAYS gonna be done during repairs to see that they dont overload or simply fizzle and short out when turned on ) During those events ( that planetary defence command is informed of prior ) the void shields will NOT be turned on as no credible threat is present ( its just routine repair steps boys ) also they can can have a "system glitch" that has the targeting and tracking array ( again during routine repair testing informed prior ) suddenly target ( via preset coordinates ) the city and with the weapon already powered up to full.....BOOM!  No city shielding powered = very large damage from predesignated targeting coordinates..allowing more shots to be made if desired ( not saying you wont get blasted out of orbit for it but....it will take time for the orbital arrays to come online target track and fire on the ship....especially if the first shot was the CnC for the whole kit and kaboodle as it will jack up the entire defensive response.

Reality is if you fired a macro round ( just one ) into an Terran sized planet that it would be a near ELE ( Extinction Level Event ) The size of the round along with the velocity it was traveling at...would royally F up a continent and the fallout from the impact would be felt strongly around the rest of the planet ( Remember the size of the meteor that caused dinosaurs to become extinct...it didnt have the same velocity a macro round would have...let alone if you targeted several of them in full volley fire to multiple areas ( hint hint ) The impacts would create mega tsunamis when targeted in oceans not far from land and tectonic shifts highly likely if targeted into any active volcano and tectonic plate edges ( especially simultaneously  ) A hive is only as good as the ground it sits on....the easiest way to use geothermal energy production is also the most dangerous way...by utilizing active calderas and volcanoes. Destroy the powerplants by hitting the volcano or caldera ( or even nearby tectonic plate edge...think San Andreas fault line ) and watch the impact remove an entire Hives power and potentially make short work of some of its walls and supporting structures during tectonic shift ( read as 10+ on the Richter nearby ANY substantial hyper velocity impact...and fyi...a macro round fired from orbit straight down into a faultline is a guaranteed way to create a 10+ on the Richter and wipe out anything within a good few kilometers of the impact site and screw up anything alot further out....then there is the cloud of dust and debris ( same as any large volcanic eruption ) that can spew that debris across a continent and further...chocking out the sun ( which eliminates solar power options ) and killing any topside vegitation for food ( also doing the same to the animals that eat the plants and the animals that eat those animals...whole food chain breakdown ) It could seriously if not outright destabilize a hive in one well placed shot if the quake was strong enough when it hit the hive...it could cause it to fall ( fair chance but not what i would call high )

Am i evil...oh **** yes i am. My group never knows what to expect from me. I create faints within faints and triple blind scenarios...They enjoy using realism in the sessions so we do.

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On 6/1/2018 at 9:10 PM, Angel of Death said:

So how are they arranging accident that forces the ship by causing enough damage to the prow of the ship to force it into the yard?  And to force the evac of the majority of the crew from area?  And lastly are you having this done in orbit of Scintilla?

Now if they done this they may also have "hurt" the Inquisitorial agents, in the accident.

Now not being an expert on how 40k WMD are handle @Cobramax76, and the "launch" rules I assume that at least 2 of the Inquisitorial agents of the Ordo Excorium must "agree" to launch/release the weapon to firing.  So the hostile force would need to keep them alive but captured, and Ordo Excorium would be fighting to death to keep from being captured?

 

As far as the handling and launch protocols of them. Standard would be the Inquisitor must give the order and be present to input the launch / arming code ( the Ordos team leader ( and sometimes the entire team ) assigned to guard it during transit would ONLY have the weapons self destruct code as a final fail-safe to prevent its theft by forces unknown ...this method ensures that even the mind-scanned or those under extreme duress to turn traitor cant do anything with it as the team member(s) told the code will be told its the launch code...a final F-U to anyone that does manage to acquire one illegally...as soon as they go to try and use it...it detonates onboard their own ship and wipes them out instead.

Sorry for the delayed replies  Angel of Death but i didn't get messaged about being linked for a requested response...just happened to check online here...lol

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On 6/2/2018 at 4:45 AM, Magnus Grendel said:

No, because you can't force the ship to be in scintilla orbit. It's a navy ship - at some point it will be on deployment but you can't garuantee where.

Hence the discussion about embedding an agent in the ships munitorium.

 

So how do you "plan" where to place the hijack team?  And when to release the Ashen Tear assassin(s) to take the HRT who are outside the Lucid Palace or elsewhere on Scintilla who could able to grab the mantle of the title Lord Calixis.

And for most of my problems with the Hijacking, @Cobramax76, filled in the words I wasn't able to find for some of my objection

26 minutes ago, Cobramax76 said:

Sorry for the delayed replies  Angel of Death but i didn't get messaged about being linked for a requested response...just happened to check online here...lol

@Cobramax76

Edited by Angel of Death
because It sent before I finished ;-)

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On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 10:41 PM, Cobramax76 said:

As far as the handling and launch protocols of them. Standard would be the Inquisitor must give the order and be present to input the launch / arming code ( the Ordos team leader ( and sometimes the entire team ) assigned to guard it during transit would ONLY have the weapons self destruct code as a final fail-safe to prevent its theft by forces unknown ...this method ensures that even the mind-scanned or those under extreme duress to turn traitor cant do anything with it as the team member(s) told the code will be told its the launch code...a final F-U to anyone that does manage to acquire one illegally...as soon as they go to try and use it...it detonates onboard their own ship and wipes them out instead.

Sorry for the delayed replies  Angel of Death but i didn't get messaged about being linked for a requested response...just happened to check online here...lol

Never seen anything to that effect (there's remarkably little detail in most books on the employment of Exterminatus weapons). Certainly there have been in-canon occasions which wouldn't seem to line up with this; a crew carrying an 'armed' weapon deciding to launch it at a different target (Battlefleet gothic armada; cruiser intercepted en route to deliver virus warhead torpedoes employs them against the intercepting hive ship instead. No mention of an inquisitor involved in the decision), and in others of a weapon being employed whilst an Inquisitor is with the fleet but not on the specific ship doing the exterminating (Inquisitor). Whilst there is always reference to inquisitorial sanction to deploy exterminatus weapons, the sheer scope of their duties compared to the number of inquisitors (The Excorium has 100 inquisitors, Imperium-wide, according to Codex Inquisition) means that it's almost invariably inquisitorial agents, not an inquisitor themselves, unless you've given them a specific reason to get involved.

Meaning that an Ordo Excorium inquisitor attaching themselves as part of a response team to a theft or hijacking is not unreasonable, but one is unlikely to be in the guard force pre-attack, and any security protocol is unlikely to require their physical presence as apposed to a message indicating permission (with appended codes as required).

Also note that they're not planning to launch the torpedo as a torpedo; arming the warhead would occur in the right place for it to go off anyway.

On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 10:35 PM, Cobramax76 said:

The second point is only half correct. Anytime you have an Exterminatus class weapon the cell team assigned to the ship carrying it ( and sometimes the Inquisitor IS onboard ) WILL have at least a contingent of Stormtroopers ( or suitable servitors in position...read as murder servitors positioned hidden within the bay containing the Weapon...Velox pattern would be quite likely since the Weapon would be contained in something else not just sitting out there for all to gawk at. Also quite likely would be a High or Arch Magos to oversee the handling and deployment ( if needed ) of the weapon itself. ( remember the Mechanicum dont trust anyone else to handle their babies right )

I'm including bypassing autodefences in the 'break into the vault' task, but it's worth thinking about - it's both something the Logicians are going to have to deal with and something the PC may have to deal with as well (since bezerker-thorned murder-servitors - a likely way to deal with them - are either paralysed and useless or else a threat to absolutely everyone in the vicinity, other servitors, inquisition, crew or heretic).

Servitors are, functionally speaking, auto-defences. They can essentially be rigged into a nutrient web and charging port then locked into a cupboard not much bigger than they are. Hiding a stormtrooper force of meaningful size on a ship takes rather more doing. Seeding a few dozen crew members who are actually combat-capable agents is one thing but any sizeable body of dedicated troops stationed indefinitely on the ship somewhere close enough to the weapons vault to react is a lot harder to do when security measure #1 is no-one knowing the darn thing is there in the first place.

I agree a relatively senior tech-adept is also likely but anyone of Magos or Archmagos rank specifically is unlikely because the guys' job is (hopefully) to sit there and never do anything and someone like that is too important to the Cult Mechanicum (and the Inquisition if he's an Inquisitorial Agent) to sit on his augmetic behind for decades doing nothing. Enginseer Prime or Adept Prime is more than senior enough for the task, especially if they're a Reductor or Ballisticae specialist.

On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 10:35 PM, Cobramax76 said:

The fourth point..difficult to pull of but not impossible as far as "accidents" go..Suffering a major coolant leak in the area OR breakout of a fire ( anyone ever had to deal with a Halon fire suppression system before?  I have...You NEED a full facemask with oxygen tank as Halon removes ALL oxygen from its immediate surroundings. Good way to get all but essential personnel out of the area ( and repair servitors ) If any areas had Halon it would be the Engine room and Torpedo room ( afterall dont want the core going critical from overheat or the entire stock of torps going boom now do we )

I've fortunately never had to experience one in anger but I've had to do a maritime firefighting course and it's a moderately faeces-inducing experience. According to Rogue Trader, emergency firefighting measure of choice for a runaway fire is to depressurize the compartment rather than use inert gas extinguishers - which kind of makes sense, 'cold void' being a readily accessible resource for a starship....

The net effect is pretty much the same, though - all non-essential crew would be either evacuated or killed, depending on how rapidly the accident and emergency response occurs.

On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 10:35 PM, Cobramax76 said:

The fifth point..Oh it can still be tracked...the SIZE of it...They can track ( on station and close proximity to ANY ship ) something the size of a personal lander ( Aquila shuttle ) A torpedo is the size of a multi story house...that much metal...yes indeed it can most certainly be tracked...ALSO of note would be the FACT that they ( the Inquisition ) would have installed a powerful but hidden tracking device on it during transit as a final failsafe from "loosing it" in transport. THAT tidbit is HIGHLY UNLIKELY to be told to the operatives ( except via the memorance implant that WOULD be set to explode if hostile forces tried to get the Ordos Agent to reveal it or anything about it )

The effectiveness of 40k auspex systems is highly variable in the setting. 'Coffin ships' - powered-down starships have readily reached ship-to-ship assault range - even boarding range - on silent running.

I've always resolved it much in the same way as the 'stealth in space' argument - tracking an object is easy, pretty much regardless of size, but spotting something in the first place and tracking it once you've seen it are not the same thing. The comment is worth noting, though - fortunately the other thing to note is that the proximity auspex which would be best suited to track such a thing is in the bow of the ship; meaning that disabling in the same activity is not impossible.

Equally, a ship laid up for major repairs may not be maintaining a full auspex watch - instead you'd expect to see a halo of system defence fleet boats or orbital defences. They would, however, likely be far enough away not to see a deadfall torpedo, given that deadfall torpedoes are exceptionally hard to spot except at point blank range - hence why in a couple of novels (example; The Emperor Expects) a cruiser blunders into a spread of them, having seen them too late to do anything about it.

A tracking beacon is not something which should be a surprise to anyone, included in briefings or not. But that's a relatively short-range (on starship scale) asset, and if the weapon is being secured in a stasis vault (which is the imperium's preferred secure transport method for high-end valuable or hazardous items) then it doesn't matter what tech is attached to the item itself. It does mean any 'surgery' on the torpedo to remove the warhead needs to be done outside likely detection range of anything, though.

On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 10:35 PM, Cobramax76 said:

As for the Planetary defense voids....Yes they are a bit OP...BUT...if you are in spacedock in geostationary orbit above the area you want to blast...then you simply fake ( from the start when you haul the ship into the spacedock for repairs ) a test powerup of a lance array ( its ALWAYS gonna be done during repairs to see that they dont overload or simply fizzle and short out when turned on ) During those events ( that planetary defence command is informed of prior ) the void shields will NOT be turned on as no credible threat is present ( its just routine repair steps boys ) also they can can have a "system glitch" that has the targeting and tracking array ( again during routine repair testing informed prior ) suddenly target ( via preset coordinates ) the city and with the weapon already powered up to full.....BOOM!  No city shielding powered = very large damage from predesignated targeting coordinates..allowing more shots to be made if desired ( not saying you wont get blasted out of orbit for it but....it will take time for the orbital arrays to come online target track and fire on the ship....especially if the first shot was the CnC for the whole kit and kaboodle as it will jack up the entire defensive response.

You will not get to park close enough to do that. Battlefleet gothic specifically outlines that accurate orbital gunfire is only possible from low planetary orbit, which is much, much too close in for geosynchronous orbit (which is why you have to time and pre-plot the orbital 'pass' when using orbital bombardment in Epic Armageddon rather than being parked overhead firing multiple salvoes). If you're in a 'anchorage orbit' you're too far out to provide bombardment. You can certainly hit a planet, and probably hit a hive, but hitting anything specific enough to prevent return fire or take out a specific target is a no-no.

Equally, if you inform inner system command that your ship plans to run a test powerup of a lance broadside whilst it's pointed at the planetary capital I suspect the polite version of the response will be 'no'.  And the actual response will be longer and with a lot more swearwords.

On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 10:35 PM, Cobramax76 said:

Reality is if you fired a macro round ( just one ) into an Terran sized planet that it would be a near ELE ( Extinction Level Event ) The size of the round along with the velocity it was traveling at...would royally F up a continent and the fallout from the impact would be felt strongly around the rest of the planet ( Remember the size of the meteor that caused dinosaurs to become extinct...it didnt have the same velocity a macro round would have...let alone if you targeted several of them in full volley fire to multiple areas ( hint hint ) The impacts would create mega tsunamis when targeted in oceans not far from land and tectonic shifts highly likely if targeted into any active volcano and tectonic plate edges ( especially simultaneously  ) A hive is only as good as the ground it sits on....the easiest way to use geothermal energy production is also the most dangerous way...by utilizing active calderas and volcanoes. Destroy the powerplants by hitting the volcano or caldera ( or even nearby tectonic plate edge...think San Andreas fault line ) and watch the impact remove an entire Hives power and potentially make short work of some of its walls and supporting structures during tectonic shift ( read as 10+ on the Richter nearby ANY substantial hyper velocity impact...and fyi...a macro round fired from orbit straight down into a faultline is a guaranteed way to create a 10+ on the Richter and wipe out anything within a good few kilometers of the impact site and screw up anything alot further out....then there is the cloud of dust and debris ( same as any large volcanic eruption ) that can spew that debris across a continent and further...chocking out the sun ( which eliminates solar power options ) and killing any topside vegitation for food ( also doing the same to the animals that eat the plants and the animals that eat those animals...whole food chain breakdown ) It could seriously if not outright destabilize a hive in one well placed shot if the quake was strong enough when it hit the hive...it could cause it to fall ( fair chance but not what i would call high )

Not sure. Orbital bombardment is pretty devastating, but the times we've seen rules for it embodied it's not near that level of yield - a low orbit lance shot in Deathwatch, for example, being essentially a Kilometre-radius lascannon burst is still battle-altering but it's hardly ecosphere-wrecking. Ultimately, if 'generic warship guns' could do that sort of damage you wouldn't have exterminatus armaments as a separate class of weapon. Massed, sustained orbital gunfire can certainly wreck a world but we're talking hours or days for multiple salvos given the examples from novels, codices and Imperial Armour books, or else a truly ridiculous massed fleet.

On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 11:05 PM, Angel of Death said:

So how do you "plan" where to place the hijack team?  And when to release the Ashen Tear assassin(s) to take the HRT who are outside the Lucid Palace or elsewhere on Scintilla who could able to grab the mantle of the title Lord Calixis.

Because if you've got an agent embedded as an officer aboard the ship, even a relatively junior one, you know the ship's route (barring emergency diversions); you just don't have any ability to change it. If you know the route, then you can predict where it would put in for repairs if it suffered an accident at a given point in time.

Getting the embedded officer would be key first before sending ashen tear after Hax's relatives; you need to make sure everything is in place (as much as possible) before starting killing important people, because that's when you start making 'noise' that pops up on the Inquisition's radar.

I'm not sure they would really care about anyone on scintilla, in the Lucid palace or elsewhere, as theoretically they get barbequed when the warhead goes off. It's only off-world claimants who are an issue.

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On 6/18/2018 at 4:32 AM, Magnus Grendel said:

Because if you've got an agent embedded as an officer aboard the ship, even a relatively junior one, you know the ship's route (barring emergency diversions); you just don't have any ability to change it. If you know the route, then you can predict where it would put in for repairs if it suffered an accident at a given point in time.

Getting the embedded officer would be key first before sending ashen tear after Hax's relatives; you need to make sure everything is in place (as much as possible) before starting killing important people, because that's when you start making 'noise' that pops up on the Inquisition's radar.

I'm not sure they would really care about anyone on scintilla, in the Lucid palace or elsewhere, as theoretically they get barbequed when the warhead goes off. It's only off-world claimants who are an issue.

 

On 6/1/2018 at 3:55 AM, Magnus Grendel said:

Correct. Which is why I'm rather pleased (as noted) that all the key 'places' involved are pretty close together. Remember, as noted, we don't need to threaten every single person with a vague blood relation to Marius Hax, just anyone senior enough and influential enough that the segmentum administratum might actually take them seriously. There's probably half a dozen to a dozen of them, tops, and it'll be rare for them to go off scintilla - it's essentially 'visit by the crown prince' territory - so there can't be that many targets.

Okay, which is it.. that they assassin team will be hunting on Scintilla, or off world??  Which was a point I raised before.  Off Scintilla and out of the system you have to deal Warp Traveling time to investigate their deaths.  And only because well loosing 2 or more heirs in a short time might have got people attention, even if off planet.  Of the 3 I posted below and before only the last will require a Ashen Tear Assassin the other 2 should be able to be done by agents.

I was going with the few being "High Ranking Targets" and might have been off planet as I said before, yet be respected enough that they could make a legit claim to the title Lord Calixis:

#16 Lt. Commander Wynnie Hax whose died when her section was opened to the space because of "accident"

#24 Administrator Thomas Wooten-Hax died when "brain aneurysm" occured on Iocanthos

#30 Prince Serian Hax had "a hunting accident and died" on a hunting trip to Fedrid

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Off World. Once the initial team on the ship is in place.

And yes, the players will have to deal with travel times - meaning that they'll be arriving to a cold case. Exactly as you say; the trigger for the investigation (from their perspective) will be "one of Hax's heirs is dead in vaguely suspicious circumstances, go check it over" *and mid-investigation, reports of other deaths also catch up with them.

*because as noted, if it's off Scintilla, it's not the Magistratum's job and if they're not Adeptus Terra themselves it's not the Arbites' job, so to get someone competent, Hax leans on the Ordos Conclave, and the Conclave leans on the players

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