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Myrion

Basic Tools (and Compasses)

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In the Standard Regimental Kit there is a "Set of Basic Tools" which I haven't found defined anywhere.

We're making a regiment for our game, and noticed that apart from the quite rare multicompass there don't seem to be any in the game. 

What does the basic set of tools include and would it be reasonable to assume that at least every sarge has a compass?

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I'd guess that the 'set of basic tools' is supposed to represent a multi-tool, entrenching tool, weapon maintenance kit, firestarter, compass, and similar devices, rather than things like hammers and wrenches and so on.

 

Everyone should have a compass, yes.  Though maps may be in short supply.

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I want to stress that compasses might be rare, considering that there's no guarantee that a planet will have a magnetic field mirroring that of Terra, or even anything remotely close. Thus the Imperial Guard would need something that can be used on multiple worlds, perhaps always pointing at a geographically chosen "North", or perhaps always pointing you flatly back to base.

I honestly have no idea how this would work, and as far as I know, there's no precedence; it just occurred to me as I saw the thread. I might be spouting nonsense, who knows?

If it's a basic solution, compasses might be widely available, but there's also an argument to be made that digital compasses, programmable tools capable of accepting data in order to supply guardsmen with relevant information that is useful (such as a regiment-wide accepted "north" or frame of reference) is exceedingly rare, or at least so rare that only a single person in a squad might receive one.

It is also possible that various regiments have widely varying kinds of solutions to this problem.

That being said, returning more closely to topic, I'd assume that a Set of Basic Tools would be pliers, knife, a multi-tool, a full weapons maintenance kit, etc. I do not think that it would contain a compass or entrenching tool, or at least these are not the things I think of when someone says "a Set of Basic Tools".

I'd say that it would be reasonable to assume that your Sergeant (or whomever you designate) has access to some kind of Compass, yes. At least some kind of very basic Multicompass, if nothing else. Display directions, compass bearings and arguably indicate altitude, but no built-in maps, topographical data, etc.

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They might have to rely on something like a GPS system, set up by the Navy when arriving on planet.

That was my thought too, for a moment, but if there's a GP-System, it would require many satellites (or equivalent), and wouldn't that be a bit fragile? I mean, even for the most basic GPS, you need at least three points of reference by satellite, and the Imperial Guard often deploys millions of troops at once.

The ships of the Navy may have some kind of automated GP-System that is auto-coordinated, but considering how useful this is, you'd think that it would've been mentioned somewhere by now, especially in Rogue Trader.

Unless someone can source anything at all on the subject, I'm personally just going to houserule it (if it ever crops up for me) that the Imperial Guard Enginseers sets up Geomagnetic Relays that are auto-coordinated via HQ, creating a regiment/theater-wide arbitrarily agreed-on "North".

Arguably, you could probably make compasses that analyze the magnetic field (if any), and readjusts to always point in a direction chosen on planetfall. This might actually be more flexible, since it would allow any Squad to re-adjust their maps and compasses in the field.

"See that ridge? On the map, it is in this direction. *points with arm and then on map* This is the Primary Geolocation Line. Recalibrate your compasses, check your maps. Move out."

Actually, I think I'll go with that instead.

Edited by Fgdsfg

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We've thought of the problems with magnetic north as well, but we didn't come up with such fancy solutions. I particularly like the 'choose an arbitrary geolocation point' variant but the basic multi-compass is also a good idea.

As for the set of basic tools, thanks, we were wondering what items it could contain that weren't already listed seperately, like the multi-tool.

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You might also find that the 'compass' is actually an inertial navigation system.

 

If it gets clicked to "this is the north pole, you are facing bearing XX" and told the planet's radius at a given point on calibration, then it can track its movement by changes in attitude, acceleration and time by a set of gyros.

 

This also gives a good reason for a sufficiently big, chaotic shock to knock it out of alignment (say, being in a chimera when it's flipped end-over-end by an orky tankbusta mine).

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