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Sebastian Yorke

Can a voidship land on a planet?

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Can at least a raider class ship land on a planet?

 

Or a mass conveyor if the G is low enough?

 

HOW ARE TITANS OR ORE-SEEKERS DEPLOYED OR RETRIEVED GODDAMMIT

 

I can't find it the RT books anywhere and I couldn't find a clear answer in the forum, sorry.

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For the most part, I like to say no. These beasts were built in space, and for good reason. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, I believe the Enterprise was too large to take off from terra firma, and she is a bit on the small order, compared to the average void ship in 40K, where even their fighter craft are half-dozen crew each affairs. They often lack the necessary superstructure to support their bulk in gravity, and only the most reinforced surface facilities would be any less than flattened/cratered when a mile-long hunk of stuff comes to ground. The thrust needed to hoist her back into orbit would likely obliterate anything around it, like setting off a small? bomb, and there appears to be no such thing on the ventral surface, so either it's standing a mile tall, or the thrust-source is pointing so the wrong way.

 

Anything much larger than a transport, IMO, was never made to land on-planet, and never should. Of course, this is your, or your GM's call, but in a world where physics mean ha, every once in a while, they seem to fit in, again.

 

As an extra thought, one of the possible ship histories, Planet-Bound for Millennia, applies here well. Barring CATASTROPHIC damage, said ship would have just flown away, but her mass kept her firmly planted, and a small fleet of tugs was needed to drag her back into space. Gilleam from Outlaw Star also references ship repairs outside of zero-g to be problematic, so the reasons to land planetside continue to fall away.

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Thank you very much for the lore there guys.

Maybe we could design a component in the house rules forum for enabling ships smaller than frigates to land?

Some external component that uses as assload of power and burns anything in a radio of 2km around the landing site.

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Ore-seekers and titans would likely have their own specialized transports; some variant of a halo barge would likely do the job.

I haven't researched this, but I know that Titans have anti-grav struts and whatnot, to compensate for their enormous weight. So I think there's an argument to be made that they can be dropped "as-is" from orbit.

I am now imagining a massive, enormous mech slowly descending from the heavens, crushing houses under it's sanctified heel.

To get them up again, just have a bunch of Halo-Barges and a lot of Plasteel wires. I guess.

Thank you very much for the lore there guys.

Maybe we could design a component in the house rules forum for enabling ships smaller than frigates to land?

Some external component that uses as assload of power and burns anything in a radio of 2km around the landing site.

That's another issue you brought up right there: Landing space. Even for "small" ships, you'd need about a kilometer or two of flatland, and more importantly, something you wouldn't sink into, unless you're determined to run some kind of antigrav system at full power for what could be days.

But yeah, definitely doable. Especially with smaller ships.

Edited by Fgdsfg
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To directly answer the OP's question.

yes...once.

 

But on the more serious side, if it was a low gravity world I could see a raider doing it, if there was a cradle to hold it, or was specifically modified to land ( just the shapes of most ships would preclude landing on a flat surface.)

and if you need a description on what this looks like there is a blurb in battle fleet kronous about what happens when a kroot sphere lands and takes off. if I remember right it is somewhat earthshattering.

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Going by GW's Battlefleet Gothic game, Transports and Frigates are capable of landing on a planet. Anything larger, not so much. Their mass just becomes too much to resist the gravitic pull.

 

Or rather, only once, as the esteemed forumite above put it.  :lol:

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It is basically a case of yes, for smaller ships, or those specially designed to do so, assuming a specially prepared landing cradle, cleared and flattened landing ground or a sufficiently large body of water (assumes a ship with a particularly large surface area/mass ratio... probably only the smallest would fit- or possibly some empty transports).

The old Barrington Bayley novel Eye of Terror does tell us that full on starships do actually land on a regular basis... but it's a very old book, and an equally old conception of the fluff, with landed ships described as being maybe 30m-90m tall. This is obviously far smaller than we'd expect from 40k now.

The largest ship I can think of offhand that successfully and intentionally landed and took off again from a planetary surface was either a Strike Cruiser of the Grief Bringers Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes [in the short story Twisted Stars], or a titan transporter [in one of the later books of the Titan graphic novel].

And if they're not being landed/recovered in transports, the titan legions can (in some cases) be deployed by a skycrane-style orbital drop pack/drop pod [attested in the short story Battle of the Archeosaurs, iirc]. I can't remember if it was deploying Emperor titans, or "just" battle titans like Warlords and Reavers.

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Kroot Sphere (Battlefleet Koronus), which is quite huge  can land so I think its not a matter of how big it is but internal construction. Going by planet-bound and few salvagable ships from fluff I'd say it about thursters (and aerodynamics... and internal construction) pointing wrong way.

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In those novels where we've seen it happen, Titans are deployed to the surface either in Mass Conveyors (huge cargo barges which - whilst smaller than a warp-capable starship - are still bloody huge, carrying half a dozen titans or more*), or in some cases deployed solo in single, huge drop pods**.

 

As noted, smaller starships can enter atmosphere but anything capital ship sized can't - but a transport of that size will carry a whole fleet of lighters, drop-ships and heavier interface craft.

 

 

* See the Graphic Novel Titan and the Audio-Book Honour The Dead.

** See Galaxy In Flames and the short story Battle Of The Archeosaurs.

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Universe

 

In those novels where we've seen it happen, Titans are deployed to the surface either in Mass Conveyors (huge cargo barges which - whilst smaller than a warp-capable starship - are still bloody huge, carrying half a dozen titans or more*), or in some cases deployed solo in single, huge drop pods**.

 

As noted, smaller starships can enter atmosphere but anything capital ship sized can't - but a transport of that size will carry a whole fleet of lighters, drop-ships and heavier interface craft.

 

 

* See the Graphic Novel Titan and the Audio-Book Honour The Dead.

** See Galaxy In Flames and the short story Battle Of The Archeosaurs.

 

An universe-class mass conveyor? That's larger than even a grand cruiser.

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In the Gaunt's ghosts series, Cruisers enter the atmosphere to disgorge transport craft like Valkyries. I would assume Dan meant something like a Dictator class cruiser. Also true of the Black templar's which landed what looked like a cruiser to pick up their new recruits. In the Video game "Space Marine" the Orcs are operating the Warboss' flagship in the lower atmosphere in the beginning of the game. Point is; Their are plenty of examples where it can happen. I have always ruled that it is not so much inability to fly in an atmosphere and/or land but rather, that it takes very extensive facilities (Massive Docks similar to those seen in Star wars III revenge of the Sith) to land one or a ship designed to do so (Much like an LST was designed to run aground.). Very few worlds have these facilities and even those that do also have large orbital docks. It is also very risky and takes a good deal of preparation for a Voidship to configure itself for atmospheric transition. One doesn't just point the nose down and go! ;)  Once in the atmosphere a voidship doesn't move terribly fast (I use a guideline of 50kph cruising speed per thrust point) and doesn't maneuver well at all! (Still operates in 30 minute turns.) Compared to a Voidship a marauder bomber looks pretty agile! Anyway, Just some thoughts on the way I handle it. The fluff will support you either way!

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Indeed, the fluff changes depending on where you look. For example, GW's own website says that Valkyries have limited spaceflight capability specifically because the ships that carry them have to launch them from low orbit.

 

Cherrypick how you think it best suits your idea of the setting - or rather, try to get an idea of how your group thinks about such details so as to avoid turning people off by conflicting their ideas, if they have any.  :)

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There are lots of references to Titan Landers or Titan "Dropships" in the fluff, strangely enough, noone ever talks about how they get them back on a ship... 

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Here you go, here's my version of the Devourer. (because halo barges are stupidly small) I do have titan landers as well, but this is a rough idea of 'where' an assault lander should be in terms of 'how much' stuff it dumps out. Plus I can use it in Only War and Black Crusade for similar levels of planetary invasion-y type of things.

 

Devourer Drop Ship
Weight 4000T  
Length 140metres 
Width 55metres 
Height 25metres 
Ground Clearance 2metres
Type: Spacecraft   
Size: Titanic (+60 to be hit)
Armour:  55 (All)
Shield: 1 x titan class void shield (AV50, penetrating shots have a 5% chance to overload, enginseer: -10 tech use test to restore)  
Structural Integrity: 120 
Tactical Speed: 20m/2  
Cruise Speed:  700km/h/2VU's (Standard) 1400km/h/4VU's (Entry into 1 standard gravity well)  
Handling Modifier: -15  
Crew: Commander, Pilot, Co-Pilot, 4 x Gunners, 6 x Load masters, Comms Operator, Engineseer
Access Points:  Sides (x2 man sized) Forward-main entry ramp 
Traits
Super-Heavy:
Cause Fear (1) in enemy infantry and vehicles smaller than themselves.
They cannot be stopped by Adverse conditions (no handling modifiers up to a -10) but will instead be slowed by one half
When it receives a critical hit, the result is Halved down to a minimum of Glancing Blow   
Armaments:  
360deg Turret: Manticore Launcher
Port 180deg Turret: Twin Las Cannons
Star 180deg Turret: Twin Las Cannons

Devourers are a heavy dropship designed to punch through the atmosphere of a planet and disgorge 100's of infantry, vehicles and survive long enough to get the job done with some support armaments to pacify the immediate area. They are generally terrible at any kind of actual airborne combat and rely on support from fighters to see them through any kind of interdiction attempts and do prefer a relatively clear landing area free of very large objects or risk damaging the belly of the dropship or having the main door hung up on terrain. In a pinch they can 'self-clear' an area with a Manticore missile if they have to but only have 4 missiles to do it with which can be impractical to reload under combat conditions or outside of a starship hanger (need a crane)

They are split into three decks.
Control Deck where the crew operate and maintain the machine along with 3 gun-bays to operate the las cannons and launcher.
Troop Deck, a large open arrangement of rows of seats and drop harnesses to hold 300 Imperial Guard, their officers and personal arms & armour
Cargo Deck, featuring heavy, reinforced flooring and multiple anchor points there is room for up to 1500tonnes of cargo or, combinations of the following:
1 Disassembled Warhound titan + room for 2 heavy assembly vehicles
3 vehicles of Monumental Scale (Baneblade sized)
6 vehicles of Immense Scale (Battle Tank/Landraider)
10 vehicles of Massive Scale (Chimera/Truck)
20 vehicles of Enormous Scale (Sentinals, Jeeps)
Ad-hoc transport refit-
500 tonnes of cargo and an additional 300 Imperial Guard and their officers

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Here you go, here's my version of the Devourer. (because halo barges are stupidly small) I do have titan landers as well, but this is a rough idea of 'where' an assault lander should be in terms of 'how much' stuff it dumps out. Plus I can use it in Only War and Black Crusade for similar levels of planetary invasion-y type of things.

 

Devourer Drop Ship

Weight 4000T  

Length 140metres 

Width 55metres 

Height 25metres 

Ground Clearance 2metres

Type: Spacecraft   

Size: Titanic (+60 to be hit)

Armour:  55 (All)

Shield: 1 x titan class void shield (AV50, penetrating shots have a 5% chance to overload, enginseer: -10 tech use test to restore)  

Structural Integrity: 120 

Tactical Speed: 20m/2  

Cruise Speed:  700km/h/2VU's (Standard) 1400km/h/4VU's (Entry into 1 standard gravity well)  

Handling Modifier: -15  

Crew: Commander, Pilot, Co-Pilot, 4 x Gunners, 6 x Load masters, Comms Operator, Engineseer

Access Points:  Sides (x2 man sized) Forward-main entry ramp 

Traits

Super-Heavy:

Cause Fear (1) in enemy infantry and vehicles smaller than themselves.

They cannot be stopped by Adverse conditions (no handling modifiers up to a -10) but will instead be slowed by one half

When it receives a critical hit, the result is Halved down to a minimum of Glancing Blow   

Armaments:  

360deg Turret: Manticore Launcher

Port 180deg Turret: Twin Las Cannons

Star 180deg Turret: Twin Las Cannons

Devourers are a heavy dropship designed to punch through the atmosphere of a planet and disgorge 100's of infantry, vehicles and survive long enough to get the job done with some support armaments to pacify the immediate area. They are generally terrible at any kind of actual airborne combat and rely on support from fighters to see them through any kind of interdiction attempts and do prefer a relatively clear landing area free of very large objects or risk damaging the belly of the dropship or having the main door hung up on terrain. In a pinch they can 'self-clear' an area with a Manticore missile if they have to but only have 4 missiles to do it with which can be impractical to reload under combat conditions or outside of a starship hanger (need a crane)

They are split into three decks.

Control Deck where the crew operate and maintain the machine along with 3 gun-bays to operate the las cannons and launcher.

Troop Deck, a large open arrangement of rows of seats and drop harnesses to hold 300 Imperial Guard, their officers and personal arms & armour

Cargo Deck, featuring heavy, reinforced flooring and multiple anchor points there is room for up to 1500tonnes of cargo or, combinations of the following:

1 Disassembled Warhound titan + room for 2 heavy assembly vehicles

3 vehicles of Monumental Scale (Baneblade sized)

6 vehicles of Immense Scale (Battle Tank/Landraider)

10 vehicles of Massive Scale (Chimera/Truck)

20 vehicles of Enormous Scale (Sentinals, Jeeps)

Ad-hoc transport refit-

500 tonnes of cargo and an additional 300 Imperial Guard and their officers

Hmmm...Interesting! Did you design this yourself or is it referenced somewhere?

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They've been around for a while, but there's never been a tabletop model for it or description much beyond that it drops a company or so's worth of IG on the surface, armed with some las cannons and a launcher.

The rest is mine and during my time as a Rogue Trader some time ago, there really wasn't anything like it or even civilian type of heavy-lift vehicles for moving serious cargo.

 

A civilian equivalent type of vehicle I'd imagine would be much the same, just drop 20 off the armour, get rid of the guns, shields and a few crew, then upgrade the carrying capacity up to around 2-2200 tonnes. Sort of going off something like a dedicated lift aircraft like a C-5 or something similar, they can carry about 50-55% of their total weight.

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The Devourer-class was mentioned in...I think it was one of the illustration panels in the Inferno comic?

 

The other bulk lander mentioned in the background for guard is the Tetrarch-class. This is a much boxier thing compared to the rounded hull of a Devourer (which is so called because boarding it through the nose ramp looks uncomfortably like being eaten), and has several gun turrets and huge side and prow-ramps. Specifically, it's the thing in the background of the front cover of Codex:Imperial Guard.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Yep, you can find it on one of the 40k wiki pages. It seems fine for dropping a Company, which might be ok having a few of these to secure a landing zone, but you're not going to fight much of an actual war with just a few companies of troops unless the locals are armed with sharp sticks or don't have any numbers what so ever.

 

The Tetrarch heavy lander I have in 'Tactica Imperialis', it sort of looks like a big 'aircraft' of sorts with about 5 battle cannon (one on the chin and the other 4 on each quarter) and what I'd presume is a really siege cannon/mortar on a top mounted turret. From it's description:

"These units where deployed via heavy lander, each company being delivered from orbit aboard a Tetrarch, an armoured interface vessel deisnged to carry heavy unit such as these into a contested warzone."

 

So it seems to do the same thing, drops a company, but its far more 'angry' about projecting force into the immediate area and the company's it was deploying where mechanised infantry, so it probably has more internal room, storage and lift capacity.

It still doesn't really solve the issue of deploying forces on proper war footing (ie- regiments of troops 10,000+) unless the Imperial protocol is to deploy them a company at a time to avoid having eggs in the one basket shot down... but it'd be pretty slow process.

 

The reason I'd say its slow is that if we look at an actual battle front like the Eastern Front in WW2.

Soviets 250 and Germans 200 actively deployed front line fighting Divisions at around its peak.

Each division is somewhere between 10,000 to 30,000 soldiers and comparatively speaking in IG terms, their divisions are roughly the equivalent of 1-3 Imperial Guard Regiments. The Imperial Guard does also deploy in those kinds of numbers if its sufficiently fighty... like the Siege of Vraks

You aren't dropping 2-4mil people on a planet with just landers, that's around 7-14000 individual drops  :)

 

So going by that, actual troop-ships are the way to get stuff done. Get a full cargo ship, put as many barracks as you can into it and then land them on the planet, or going really big and ugly, a Universe Mass Conveyer with some Space Dock Piers and massive amounts of barracks, so the smaller troop ships can dock, fix themselves up, move mountains of people and vehicles, then just dump millions of angry IG all over someone's planet.

(Hey its Rogue Trader, getting big and ugly is what its all about!)

Edited by MKX

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As a potentially useful link, I've put up what I did to solve the problem in the play thread my signature links to. Basically the idea is that the Guard has dedicated landing transports fitted out with specialty docks for company-sized landers. As an example, landing 10,000 companies of soldiers, at 6hr per landing (2 down, 2 to unload, 2 back up), it would take just over a month of constant landings if you had 25 landers at your disposal. That sounds pretty reasonable, especially once the fleet starts carrying multiples of that 25 number around.

We found that with 3 dedicated bridge-ships, it took a couple weeks to land a force large enough to control a planet of a couple billion people as long as the fleet had a really good logistics officer in charge.

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But is this one a Tretarch?

 

Might be a scratchbuilt someone's had a go at?

 

Here's the one I'm looking at from the book.

 

mfed.jpg

 

It has some 'debatable' artistic scale by the artist in terms of the turrets size, but gives you an idea of the shape at least.

 

I'll have to have a read through Capt Remi's Frozen Reaches notes, be interesting to see how his group handled it, was one of the better adventures I'd ever played through in this series of games. It was heavily modified by our GM of course to have a much longer timeline and more realistic numbers... ork invasions aren't over in a week put it that way :)

 

I think our game was on around a 6 month timeline (been a few years since we stopped playing it) and my RT had to pull in a few carefully constructed favours from previous games to get the necessary reserves (some elite infantry from a cousin) while her own forces (a mechanised regiment, few companies of light infantry and many companies of tanks) gave them the staying power. All the while the rest of her transport and escort fleet was flying in resources to bolster the local yokels.

We sort of got 'lucky' with the Battlecruiser's firepower, the conditions negated a lot of its ranged Hecuter batteries but the torpedo's + power ram utterly wrecked pretty much any Ork silly enough to pop its head up and punished the crap out of their Roks. So after the fleet engagements where done they didn't have as many on the surface, still had a lot, but it could have been worse.

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 As an example, landing 10,000 companies of soldiers, at 6hr per landing (2 down, 2 to unload, 2 back up), it would take just over a month of constant landings if you had 25 landers at your disposal. That sounds pretty reasonable, especially once the fleet starts carrying multiples of that 25 number around.

 

Whilst the size of 'invasion fleets' might want tweaking for 'proper' invasions rather than worlds where in several millenia they've apparently only built a planetary capital and three outlying villages), the ships in 40k background are fair enough. Generally the 'default' munitorium transports are portrayed as regimental transports - one ship carrying one or two regiments - and having enough landers to put a whole regiment on the ground in a couple of days.

 

Using the shorthand of ~ 300 per company (yes, I know that's not right but it's close enough for a back-of-a-***-packet - assume 4 full platoons and some heavy weapon nurks) and 3000 for a regiment, you've got ~ 10 companies for a 'division-style' regiment.

Assuming a tetrarch can land a 300 man company and it's immediate gear in one go, then 2 mass landers can put the entire force down in just over 24 hours, and then spend the following day hauling pallets and containers of supplies (of which there is going to be at least the same volume as there was troops!)

 

300px-Amphibious_Ivan_Rogov_class.jpg

 

This is an Ivan Rogov-class, which is a landing ship capable of hefting about 500 troops and twenty-odd tanks. If one assumes that this number is slightly reduced, the ship flattened, but more armour and gun turrets slabbed on the sides, that puts it probably at about the same scale as the Tetrarch, at about 150m by 25m (US assault ships tend more to be baby carriers with a troop capacity than pure troopships so are probably not as good to use as an example). Certainly those dimensions wouldn't sound stupidly out of place for a dedicated starship landing bay.

 

Although, as noted above, I always go on the Battlefleet gothic ruling that sub-cruiser transports can land, albeit a distinctly slow, vulnerable and noisy process that could only be done once a 'beachhead' is secure.

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