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Sgt Biffo
19-09-2007, 13:57
I've always found it interesting that there are many threads on Warseer that deal with some players "This stuff is junk! There are better technologies available today!!!" mind sets. Then there follows the patient reiterations of techno-religion etc...

One thing that is not touched on often is the need for the Imperium to produce amounts of war materials that would boggle the minds of even the most experience modern logistical expert.

I was recently reading Gwynne Dyers "War" when he made mention of the difficulty of producing what we consider to be modern war materials when I saw an interesting comparison to this.

When the equilibrium of nuclear arms was being reach between the Soviets and US in the late 1970's and the prospect of M.A.D. was generally accepted as the outcome of nuclear exchange the Reagan administration thought it prudent to equip for conventional war.

This meant that armies of the Soviets and NATO forces in Europe (each about 1,000,000 fight personnel) were to be equipped with the most modern equipment available to ensure technological superiority. The problem was the massive cost and extended production time of modern weapons.

Dyer gives the example of the US air craft production which, at its hight during the Reagan defense build up, had almost exactly the same amount of resources allocated to it as Germany in 1944, was producing 50 aircraft a month compared to 3000 in Germany in 1944.

During "Total War" circumstances (a everyday matter for the Imperium), in which the crippling of industrial and agricultural means of equipping a fighting force is targeted as much as the combatants, the "conventional" WWIII would have lasted for about 3 weeks and could have been dragged out to a possible 3 months before total economic collapse. This was a moot point because nuclear exchange would have been initiated by the losing side well before that.



So perhaps the Imperium is knocking out Chimera's with AV10 sides because they can produce 1500 times as many than a design with AV11 sides.

Because in industrialized war; its numbers that count. Quality is a luxury.

Ktotwf
19-09-2007, 14:05
Well...yeah, exactly.

The reason Leman Russes and lasguns are so popular is because they are cheap and mass produceable. It doesn't matter how good they are when you outnumber your opponent 10 to 1.

Nargrakhan
19-09-2007, 14:08
Because in industrialized war; its numbers that count. Quality is a luxury.

Sherman tanks anyone?


The M4 Sherman tank was a winner by numbers, not by quality. When the US entered World War 2 it did not have a modern tank, even the latest existing designs were obsolete compared to the modern German tanks.

Read moar here: http://www.2worldwar2.com/sherman.htm :)


If you have more units than the enemy has ammo, and those units are willing/forced to die in hordes until the enemy runs out of ammo... well... the enemy is kinda screwed. :p

Orion Vargus
19-09-2007, 14:27
As a side note does any one have any idea how many forge worlds are in operation around the imperium??
Cus they really do use a shed load of stuff?

mistformsquirrel
19-09-2007, 14:33
Hit the nail on the head you did. Good post, good sources.

Honestly I really can't say much else, except that I'm glad you took the time to explain it. Some of us already know, but a huge quantity have little/know real understanding of history beyond who won what war; rather than why certain things happened for the reasons they did.

And yeah, the Sherman is a great example Nagrakhan.

Of course, there's always a chance you'll come up with a design that has both quantity AND quality - namely the Russian T-34. Not the greatest tank ever built, but a very solid design. And there were /tons/ of them too.

That's kinda how I view the Leman Russ to be honest - its a solid tank, not fantastic, but solid, but its also simply made, rough, and able to be easily mass produced. Combine those traits and its no wonder the IG is so scary in a fluff sense. <x.x> Being outnumbered by TANKS is a scary proposition I think!

Rotten
19-09-2007, 14:46
This is actually a quite interesting topic you've brought up. The problem is (as always with these "Warhammer vs real life"-threads) that one of the two societies is fictional and made up by people who don't have the skills or resources to make a coherent, plausible universe. That means for starters that alot of concepts loose their meaning when transferred from real-life to 40K, because they are defined by completely different standards.

To take your example of total war. Total war in 40K is not bound by prinsciples of economy or social order, to take two of probably the most influental factors on total war in real-life. The Imperium is totalitarian to such an extreme degree that resources are produced, distributed and consumed at the leisure of any high-ranking official, and any and all forms of protest or opposition are ruthlessly squashed.

When the German war effort during WWI was hampered by rising domestic disturbances and food shortage, the generals and politicians eventually realised that they were not going to win (very simplified version, of course). An Imperial crusade is never slowed down by domestic disturbances, because anyone who questions the will of the Emperor is branded heretic and slaughtered, even if whole cities rebel.

Whereas a real-life army might be hindered from upgrading its equipent due to rising steel prices or a shortfall in the national budget, the Imperial forge worlds churn out endless amounts of arms and equipment on the orders of the Munitorum.

Of course, the Imperium too has its difficulties, and I'm not saying that it's an ultra-efficient, unstoppable war machine. The Imperium is vast, so alot of errors and difficulies is bound to happen. But to compare it to a real-life military power, try to fit it into any real-life restrictions or to apply any real-life prinsciples to it and its warfare is pointless.

Nargrakhan
19-09-2007, 15:04
And of course it's the vast size and seeming limitless resources that makes the Imperium so fearsome. Mankind is handicapped on so many fronts by other races in terms of technology, innovation, psychic control, understanding, and dealing with the Warp. What makes Mankind so truly horrific to others, is the sheer bulk and mass of the Imperium itself. Bloated, rotting from the inside, and schizophrenic perhaps - but the number of everything is so vast.

It's the 800 pound gorilla of the Galaxy.

In a huge generalization - the IG basically just "Zerg Rushes" everyone they encounter. Eldar and Tau have better technology, moral, and training - but for every machine you cripple and every man you kill, dozens more just rise up (often unwillingly) to take his place. Eventually you run out of ammo, your supply lines get stretched, reinforcements stop coming because there are none, enemies begin surging on formerly empty fronts, and you're in that nasty war of attrition the Imperium will inevitably win if it refuses to give up.

That's why Tyranids and Orks make the Imperium uneasy on a grand scale... those two are the only races they can't use their number and bulk against - because they equal or exceed it... and one of Mankind's greatest advantage is gone. :eek:

Adra
19-09-2007, 15:21
Was a recent 40k book (forgotten what it was called) where an ork warboss is thinking about humans. he muses that humans are great because no matter how many you kill, always more turn up in there ships. Seems that ork sees humans much like we see orks, but without the horror.

Yes the galactic size of the imperiums wars are scary but then the idea of dedicating an entire world to manufacture fits nicly into that scale. Also planets often have manufacturing systems in place to support troops and domestic use as well as IG and other forces.

Quentin
19-09-2007, 15:27
That's kinda how I view the Leman Russ to be honest - its a solid tank, not fantastic, but solid, but its also simply made, rough, and able to be easily mass produced. Combine those traits and its no wonder the IG is so scary in a fluff sense. <x.x> Being outnumbered by TANKS is a scary proposition I think!

Chaos Marine: "My Lord! The pathetic servants of the False Emperor have us surrounded, three men to one!"

Chaos Lord: "Hah! Only three to one?! A single Chaos marine amongst our band can obliterate nine men each, grinding thier skulls into the ground! Death to the False Emperor, Blood for the Blood Go... What is it now, whelp?!"

CM: "They are all tanks."

CL: :(

Cultist: "Cheese!!!"

Iracundus
19-09-2007, 15:38
Despite its huge size, the Imperium does have its limits as evidenced by its need to strip its frontiers to reinforce the Cadian Gate. This is mentioned multiple times in recent codices.

Though it has brutal means of suppressing dissent, again there is a limit to how far it can go, though this limit is incredibly high compared to today's scale. By stripping worlds of their protection and also levying higher tithes (as documented in the IA Taros campaign), the Imperium is going to trigger widespread unrest on its Eastern border that will lead to more worlds rebelling, or defecting to other factions like the Tau. At the very least it will require the already strained Imperium to divert forces to pacify these worlds, and at worst these worlds will slip from the Imperium's grasp.

Nargrakhan
19-09-2007, 15:47
Despite its huge size, the Imperium does have its limits as evidenced by its need to strip its frontiers to reinforce the Cadian Gate. This is mentioned multiple times in recent codices.

You are right. But such threats the Imperium faces, still promote it's might. The Imperium is not infinite, but whatever makes the Imperium quake is a danger few - if any - of the other races could bear the brunt against as Mankind does. Whatever "conventional" military power the Tau or Eldar can muster from their entire civilizations, is only a fraction of the equivelent might the Imperium can call down... or at least on paper it seems so (discounting long sealed Eldar super weapons that can destroy the Galaxy and whatnot).

Look at it this way... if the Imperium was suddenly and soundly defeated in quick manner - almost as if it just vanished or fell into useless disarray (each solar system for itself) - how would the rest of the Galaxy fare? Not very well I'd imagine. The Imperium is a cushion from danger, as much as it is a threat...

Unless you're the Tyranids or C'tan... then you'd be happy. :p

Mechanicus
19-09-2007, 15:54
As a side note does any one have any idea how many forge worlds are in operation around the imperium??
Cus they really do use a shed load of stuff?It is possible, given the 3rd edition rulebook's planet list, that there are a hundred thousand Forgeworlds, but that's only by multiplying the total figure they give for all worlds by a hundred to account for the "million worlds" thing.

Mr Zephy
19-09-2007, 16:29
In contrast, the Tau Empire has a comparatively small population but a good manufacturing base based on robotic factories. This allows them to use Crisis Suits and the Devilfish chassis, much more resource intensive vehicles.

Ktotwf
19-09-2007, 17:34
Well, the Imperium is surrounded by many enemies, but it always has the advantage of either quantity or quality over every one of them.

I think the Imperium as we see it in 40k now is really on a "peacetime" footing so to speak...I don't really think it is mobilized to its extreme, simply using the forces that it has to meet its challenges. If the larger Tyranid menace shows up, the Imperium will REALLY go to war.

The Emperor's Faithfull
19-09-2007, 18:07
They say the Imperium can field way more than it already can right now but with each part of anything having to be blessed and all the other ritual stuff that they "have" to do makes production slow...which is why I believe the Tau can manufacture as they do.

Nargrakhan
19-09-2007, 18:35
They say the Imperium can field way more than it already can right now but with each part of anything having to be blessed and all the other ritual stuff that they "have" to do makes production slow...which is why I believe the Tau can manufacture as they do.

I believe that square foot for square foot, Tau production facilities are far more efficient and can produce far more than Imperium versions. However here is where the Imperium's vastness comes in: where the Tau have huge factory facilities that cover miles and miles of land - the Imperium has ENTIRE PLANETS that are entirely devoted to being factories. Add to the fact that the Imperium has more factory worlds than the Tau have planets altogether, once again makes the efficiency issue of the Tau not all that significant in the grand scheme of the Galaxy.

It shows how more advanced the Tau are - but mere drops in the bucket to the Imperium.

A pity the Emperor had died and his plans for a Golden Age for humanity never came true... what the Imperium of Mankind could have been, would have been incredible. :(

Temmy
19-09-2007, 18:42
There is another reason beyond logistics for the way the Imperial guard is organized and equipped.

Technology is a force multiplier. Its also an equalizer. A man with a a few hours training with a gun can easily kill some guy who has trained with his sword for decades.

Now take the Imperium of Man. Its a loosely organised collection of a million worlds, many of which are difficult to get to. This makes it much easier for ambitious or corrupt governors to revolt and gain independence. So you do what many third countries do to control their armies. You deliberately hobble them. You under equip them, starve them of training and organise them in such a way as to make independent thinking and large scale coordination difficult. This way its much harder for ambitious people to use them against you.

Since you have no lack of men, and no lack of simple equipment, when you are forced to use them you simply overwhelm your enemies.

Then you have a smaller body of elite troops who are much more loyal, have all the finest training and gear, and these guys are used to keep your main army in line.

Who are the most mobile and hard hitting troops the Imperium can call upon to put down these rebellions?

The Space Marines of course.

Highly trained, equipped and organized guard armies will stand a much better chance against the Space Marines than the cumbersome cannon fodder guard that currently exists. Would be rebels must always contend with the reputation of the Astartes. Keeping guard armies underequipped and undertrained ensures the supremacy of the Space marines and helps keep the systems in line.

There is also another factor. Who was it that put the Imperium back together after the heresy? It was the Primarchs lead by Guilliman. Guilliman had the integrity of the Imperium in mind, but he also had another agenda, and that was the integrity and independence of the Astartes. By hobbling the guard, he ensured that the Imperium would have a very difficult time threatening the independence of the Space Marines.

Nargrakhan
19-09-2007, 19:02
I don't quite agree with you. :)

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the predecessor to the IG was still far more vast than the Space Marine Legions. Even under the best circumstances: training and equipping a single Space Marine is far more resource intensive, time consuming, and difficult than training a single Guardsman. Indeed there is quality difference between Space Marines - I'm sure the High Lords of Terra would pee on themselves, if every Space Marine could be like the Grey Knights: who are among the cream of the crop.

The IG are given the best training a man can get within an alloted time span of several months, that the "average" human physical conditioning can allow.
His gun, equipment, and vehicles are the best that the Imperium can mass produce with reasonable performance to Imperium standards - which may not be high to the Tau or Eldar, but are far from useless or unreliable. The IG is not end user of the Imperium's cutting edge technology, but they're not obsolete either - taking Mankind's technological stagnation into account of course.

Of course Space Marines are cutting edge, high tech, and super equipped from our prospective - but then the standard Infantry soldier in real life armies, doesn't get all the cool toys, training, and dollar for dollar spending that a special forces warrior gets. IG are generic infantry: getting the best you can get from the lowest bidder. Space Marines are ultra-uber SEAL/SAS warriors: no expense is denied, no price too high to pay.

Also Guilliman didn't totally trust the Space Marines either... that's why they went from Legions to Chapters. To prevent another Heresy from being as massive and crippling as it was to begin with.

Another point: the IG is far better equipped and trained than PDF's... which probably outnumber the IG, as the IG outnumbers Space Marines...

Quentin
19-09-2007, 20:38
I think the Imperium as we see it in 40k now is really on a "peacetime" footing so to speak...I don't really think it is mobilized to its extreme, simply using the forces that it has to meet its challenges. If the larger Tyranid menace shows up, the Imperium will REALLY go to war.


I disagree. The Imperium actually seems to be under a terrible strain to contain Abaddon's on-going 13th Crusade to prevent a break-out from the Cadian gate and a subsequent massive strike against Segmentum Solar not seen since the Heresy.

There's been a significant withdrawal of manpower and resources from Segmentum's Tempestus and Ultima. A sudden massive Tyranid incursion could very well break the Imperium's back.

Nargrakhan
19-09-2007, 20:55
I disagree. The Imperium actually seems to be under a terrible strain to contain Abaddon's on-going 13th Crusade to prevent a break-out from the Cadian gate and a subsequent massive strike against Segmentum Solar not seen since the Heresy.

Aye. The Imperium has turned it's attention away from everything else, to deal with the latest crisis that threatens it's survival... and it ain't the Tau. ;)

However it's this very kind of "mood" that makes 40K the universe that it is - in that even the most powerful civilization is ever endanger of collapsing from within and without at the same time.

I find it interesting how when the Old Ones fell: dead (or pretty damn close to it) When the Eldar fell: slowly dying. However when the Imperium fell: it got back up... and boy was it ever pissed. :p

Some might argue that the Imperium has been slowly dying ever since the Emperor sat on the Golden Throne - Mankind is just too stupid and stubborn to die with dignity. But I argue back that the Imperium has been holding the status quo - sloppily, but holding. The Imperium takes a huge beating over and over, but beats it's enemy back just as hard. It refuses to die... even when death still laughs that it will win.

Inevitably the Imperium will fall again... there's just too many enemies. Even the Galaxy's previous rulers, didn't have so many threats from so many places But in a strange sense, the Imperium can take strange satisfaction know that when it falls and the candle for humanity goes out, it will be a very dark Galaxy for everyone else...

Unless the Tau win... :p

Witchfire
19-09-2007, 21:13
I'm just waiting for someone to do a -''the science of warhammer 40,000'' book, like the LOTR and harry potter ones

Ktotwf
19-09-2007, 21:50
I disagree. The Imperium actually seems to be under a terrible strain to contain Abaddon's on-going 13th Crusade to prevent a break-out from the Cadian gate and a subsequent massive strike against Segmentum Solar not seen since the Heresy.

There's been a significant withdrawal of manpower and resources from Segmentum's Tempestus and Ultima. A sudden massive Tyranid incursion could very well break the Imperium's back.


Not if the Imperium mobilizes as recommended by the High Lords.

I am not saying that the Imperium is not "strained" but that it is strained because it has not fully mobilized.

Iracundus
19-09-2007, 22:07
The recommendation for mobilization in the Tyranid Codex was not just shifting from peacetime to wartime. Read it again carefully. It was to mobilize every last person from the civilian population, and that's simply not going to happen. It's scraping the bottom of the barrel for every last person and shoving a weapon in their hands. Demanding such levies is not going to happen on any practical level because it would trigger massive revolts, and just as importantly it'd collapse the civilian infrastructure that allows the Imperium and its war machine to function.

Ktotwf
19-09-2007, 23:06
Are you trying to imply that an Imperium of 1,000,000,000 worlds can't put more manpower out there to do battle?

500% mobilization may be impractical, but I doubt the Imperium is mobilized to the best of its abilities as of now.

Considering that Farming is done by a sparse few with technology on Agri-worlds, and production is done by the Adeptus Mechanicus (which is not normally considered a pool for IG/Navy recruitment anyway) I'd say that the Imperium can mobilize a lot more of its population, and keep things running, assuming that they are in a Kill or Be Killed situation, and that they are fighting a war which is fought in such a way that it pushes back onto their supply lines, and is not an offensive action.

I mean, it might be all nice and pretty to suggest that the Imperium is "strained" to its maximum, but c'mon, we're talking about material and manpower reserves unparalleled by anything else in the galaxy - to suggest that when its nest is seriously disturbed the Imperium won't be able to mobilize further is just anti-Imperial bias quite frankly, and silly.

If we are talking a Life or Death situation, where its either take up a gun and fight the Tyranids or die, why wouldn't the Imperium be able to conscript nearly everyone? History tends to show that when the choice is either Death or Fighting, and not merely "regime change", every last meatshield possible gets thrown out there.

Outlaw289
19-09-2007, 23:21
In a huge generalization - the IG basically just "Zerg Rushes" everyone they encounter. Eldar and Tau have better technology, moral, and training - but for every machine you cripple and every man you kill, dozens more just rise up (often unwillingly) to take his place.

I think the average Imperial Soldier is quite willing. Take into account a violent, martyr-centric religion that makes Wahhabi Islam look like child's play, totalitarianism on a scale that would even Heinrich Himmler cry brutality, and leadership provided by brainwashed political officers, and you get soldiers who are quite fanatical.

Imperial Citizens are raised like this from birth. Imagine the most ignorant, indoctrinated people you can find here on Earth, multiply it by 10, and then imagine those people have been given (A. military experience (anywhere from 1 to 18 years depending on the world and Schola Progenium training) and (B. just cause for their beliefs (after all, its not like the Imperium has no reason to hate slavering daemons and warmongering xenos). Thats what you find in Imperial Soldiers.

mistformsquirrel
20-09-2007, 00:47
Chaos Marine: "My Lord! The pathetic servants of the False Emperor have us surrounded, three men to one!"

Chaos Lord: "Hah! Only three to one?! A single Chaos marine amongst our band can obliterate nine men each, grinding thier skulls into the ground! Death to the False Emperor, Blood for the Blood Go... What is it now, whelp?!"

CM: "They are all tanks."

CL: :(

Cultist: "Cheese!!!"

Precisely haha <,< That's exactly how I imagine an IG Armored company being in fluff against most opponents honestly. Which is why they're described as such incredible steamrollers - there are just too many tanks to kill all of them, and at the same point they're hitting you back almost as hard as you're hitting them.

What a freaking nightmare the IG would be to face in reality <x.x>;

Ktotwf
20-09-2007, 00:55
What a freaking nightmare the IG would be to face in reality <x.x>;

Its pretty safe to say that, of all the organizations and forces in the 40k galaxy, the Imperial Guard is the most powerful when things are taken in on a grand scale.

icegreentea
20-09-2007, 01:06
sure, they could probably double the IG and PDF with no real problem. it's just time consuming, and since all of the 'superthreats' arised at the very very end of the M41, there hasn't been time for all to come into effect, and we won't see it until GW gets around to M42... which would seem to be a very very long time. maybe once they wrap up HH, they might go on to Reign of Blood.

Iracundus
20-09-2007, 01:25
The fact the Imperium shipped troops from its frontiers and with the frontiers staying stripped instead of raising emergency levies closer to the Gate suggests raising troops isn't as simple as suggested. The strategic report said 500% and said it was mobilizing every man, woman and child, meaning it is a drastic mobilization not just a shifting of the economy to wartime or a minor increase in levies. That is what we're talking about and what the report itself talks about, not minor increases which the Imperium can afford, but essentially gutting the civilian infrastructure to put more bodies on the front lines.

The Imperium isn't a modern nation state with nationalism. It is a feudalistic theocracy, where worlds can exist as members of the Imperium only in name for years or generations so there isn't the same sense of nationhood. The Imperium is like medieval Chirstendom. Theoretically they are one unit but in practice, they are not. A life or death situation for the Imperium isn't going to necessarily mean life or death for the population of an individual world, and certainly it's not going to have the same urgency. Populations can and would object to mass levies impacting on their economy or infrastructure for the sake of another world they have likely never heard about nor care about. The Imperium doesn't have an educated population that pays attention to "current affairs" in the Imperium so demands for more troops above and beyond the normal amount aren't going to be perceived as reasonable.

Yes, the Imperum can crack down with harsh measures but again that saps resources if you're expending time and troops to put down rebellions sparked by raising troops.

GreenDracoBob
20-09-2007, 02:27
But also like medieval theocracy, the High Lords say, "It's a Crusade, everybody!" and people jump up to go fight enemies of the Emperor. Add in a bit of reward from obvious payment (and promises of relics) and you have a surge of galactic proportions. It worked three times in Europe, I'm sure it could work in the more zealous Imperium.

Iracundus
20-09-2007, 03:43
There is a difference however. A Crusade for an area of obvious religious significance, which in 40K might perhaps be Terra as analogous to Jerusalem, is one thing but simple mass mobilization for the sake of fighting aliens is another. That would have been equivalent to someone trying to declare a Crusade to save a minor European state, like the Kingdom of Hungary, from foreign invaders like the Mongols. You will get some minor response but for the most part, the people in other kingdoms (even if nominally part of the greater community of medieval Christendom) would have shrugged and used the excuse of "Not my problem." This in spite of the fact that if unchecked, the threat could in the future impact them. Human nature is rather short sighted that way, particularly when a population is uneducated and has no nationalism or other emotional tie to the area threatened.

The areas the Tyranids are attacking so far have all been unimportant on an Imperium wide scale (even if important on local scale), with the possible exception of the Gryphonne forgeworld but again that's industrial importance not religious importance to anyone except the AdMech. That lack of perceived relevance or identification is why any Imperium wide or Segmentum wide scale mobilization is a drastic measure and not as easy as just issuing a proclamation.

Green-is-best
20-09-2007, 05:44
I think Rotten makes a great point. Much of the difficulty in trying to tease out the actual capabilities of any sci-fi universe (but particularly 40k) stems from weaknesses in the writing and the limitations of the writers’ imaginations. In 40k, the setting is designed to reinforce the gothic neo-dark age motif rather than designing a neo-dark age motif that fits into a given setting.

In that regard, I think the Imperium is ridiculously underpowered given its place in the 40k universe. For instance, many of the technologies employed by the Imperial Guard, Space Marines, and the atmospheric components of the Navy will be met or exceed by real world equipment in our life times. Experts say that man-portable energy weapons, autonomous robotic fighter-bombers and genetically enhanced war-fighters will all be a reality in the second half of this century. Yet, we’re to believe that 37,000 years from now, mankind is still rolling around in tracked vehicles that fire projectile weapons? That’s a little silly, if you ask me.

If the Imperium of Mankind were real and existed in the 40th millennium, its technological, economic, and demographic power would be nearly impossible for us to imagine today.

Chilltouch
20-09-2007, 05:52
I can imagine that in 37,000 years, we're still rolling about in track vehicles, firing projectile weapons. However, in those 37,000 years, they should've definately discovered superior alloys, superior designs and so on. I am one of the crowd who finds the fact that the incredibly rare Marauder manufactured in a few limited forgeworlds has absolutely crap bombs. If we've managed to produce quite a few high-tech tanks on our world surprisingly easy, then why the hell couldn't we mass produce them with a thousand worlds that are dedicated to the job? Are the Imperium's resources that limited?

Shiakou
20-09-2007, 06:39
I think it's more to do with the mindset of the writers: they aren't aiming to write the Fluff realistically, but rather dramatically. It makes it more exciting to say that the Imperium is in danger of collapse. If they based it on a real world case, where each planet in the Imperium had anywhere from 500 million to 7 billion people, multiplied by a million worlds, well. . . anybody who fights the Imperium is screwed.

And if the people are reluctant to fight for allies they don't even really know, just tell them that of their allies fall, Holy Terra will be "almost next in line". Watch as the fanatics start chanting, and anyone who doesn't fight becomes is called a coward, especially with promotional videos of Whiteshields valiantly holding the line.

Rotten
20-09-2007, 07:31
I think it's more to do with the mindset of the writers: they aren't aiming to write the Fluff realistically, but rather dramatically.

Exactly. I rest my case.

Sgt Biffo
20-09-2007, 07:32
If we've managed to produce quite a few high-tech tanks on our world surprisingly easy, then why the hell couldn't we mass produce them with a thousand worlds that are dedicated to the job? Are the Imperium's resources that limited?

Time is also a resource.

The 3,000 air craft produced in Germany in 1944 (in my original example taken from Dyer) were being shot down at about that rate.

A modern air defense fighter like the Tornado cost around x172 that of a Spitfire after inflation. The personnel that build modern air craft have to be of a higher level of training than those that built the Spitfire, and with the same production allocations WWII aircraft production produced a 60-1 ratio.

But why discount the modern air craft even if WWII production techniques produced vastly more inferior air craft.

Modern weaponry is far more destructive! A Tornado fighter can engage an enemy target at ten times the range and is 300% more likely to cause pilot fatality than the Spitfire.

This increase destructive capacity coupled with extended production times (material resources entirely discounted) the number of modern war materials consumed in conventional warfare is far more voracious than in the past and the time it takes to replace them is far longer.

The sum of all this means; High tech equipment is not a sustainable method of warfare. It does seem extremely effective in short wars against technologically and numerically inferior opponents and losses in minimal combatant "Guerrilla" wars can be replaced. All out wars between two super powers would be comical short however.

Perahps this is why the Eldar are a dying race...


Exactly. I rest my case.

If you go back to my original post; I was more making the point that I came across a real life example that could be applied to 40k, not the other way around.

Rotten
20-09-2007, 07:54
If you go back to my original post; I was more making the point that I came across a real life example that could be applied to 40k, not the other way around.

So was I. :p

I would very much like to discuss the prinsciples of warfare and analyze military and social phenomenas. However, it can only be done if we detach the discussion completely from the 40K universe. Real-life military prinsciples can't be transferred to 40K without demolishing the entire fictional structure upon which that universe has been built. And military prinsciples of 40K can't be transferred to real-life because...well, because it's a fictional universe, obviously.

If you want to discuss real-life military prinsciples and warfare, I would love to join. But then perhaps we should move this to the Random Musings or something, as it will have nothing to do with 40K. ;)

empireguard
20-09-2007, 08:50
In that regard, I think the Imperium is ridiculously underpowered given its place in the 40k universe. For instance, many of the technologies employed by the Imperial Guard, Space Marines, and the atmospheric components of the Navy will be met or exceed by real world equipment in our life times.

For starters the Imperium had better technology in the time of the emperor 30k. man has become paranoid and superstitious about technology.

secondly do you know how high tech a plasma gun is. Your basicly firing the inside of a sun at some one.

GreenDracoBob
20-09-2007, 13:56
In regards to projectile versus energy weapons: I could definitely see the use of them in 37,000 years. Why? As much as energy weapons can deal damage through burns and melting and such, a projectile weapon deals similar, if not more, damage because of the momentum. A laser may punch a hole in a guy, but the wound instantly cauterizes, increasing survival rates, and also fails to phase him except to say "I have a burning hot hole in me."

Beyond which, ammunition isn't much of a factor, as energy weapons require tremendous amounts of energy, produced by using resources (in most cases). Ammunition uses resources, but in the end, so does an energy weapon.

Iracundus
20-09-2007, 15:06
Remember, humanity had a dark age after the age of technology. A lot of knowledge and tech was lost or only partially understood. That's why people shouldn't assume that just because 40K is in the future things necessarily have to be more advanced.

If you look at the performance data for various Imperial vehicles, put out by FW for example, you will see that a lot of Imperial vehicles have performance that is significantly worse than modern day vehicles. One should look at data then form conclusions, not form a conclusion of "The Imperium must be advanced so I'll purposefully ignore any data that doesn't match my preconceived assumption." The Imperium is a mix of advanced tech alongside primitive, and oriented around mass quantity production, endurance, durability, and ease of maintenance or replacement rather than high quality performance so modern day First World conceptions of military equipment shouldn't be used to judge what the Imperium "should" be. Those ideas are better fitted to the Tau or the Eldar than the 40K Imperium.

Mr Zephy
20-09-2007, 16:21
Even if the Imperium does have untapped manufacturing capabilities, the system/subsector/sector political system prevents them from being used unless they are being threatened.

Green-is-best
20-09-2007, 20:01
Remember, humanity had a dark age after the age of technology. A lot of knowledge and tech was lost or only partially understood. That's why people shouldn't assume that just because 40K is in the future things necessarily have to be more advanced.

If you look at the performance data for various Imperial vehicles, put out by FW for example, you will see that a lot of Imperial vehicles have performance that is significantly worse than modern day vehicles. One should look at data then form conclusions, not form a conclusion of "The Imperium must be advanced so I'll purposefully ignore any data that doesn't match my preconceived assumption." The Imperium is a mix of advanced tech alongside primitive, and oriented around mass quantity production, endurance, durability, and ease of maintenance or replacement rather than high quality performance so modern day First World conceptions of military equipment shouldn't be used to judge what the Imperium "should" be. Those ideas are better fitted to the Tau or the Eldar than the 40K Imperium.

Hence my comment about the setting being created to fit the motif rather than creating a motif to fit a setting. The whole idea is absurd.

Let me put it this way: 10,000 years ago, humans were still struggling with agriculture and animal husbandry. Today, we're incorporating human plasmids into livestock so they produce human insulin for diabetics. 500 years ago, people believed that the moon was destroying the sun during an eclipse. Today we're unraveling the secrets of the universe at the sub-atomic level. 150 years ago, people still believed that fungi and bacteria spontaneously appeared on rotting food. Today, we're modifying bacteria to clean up oil spills and harnessing fungi to fight disease. My point is, that in the equivalent time between the Horus Heresy and contemporary 40k, the whole of human civilization has come into existence. In the time that would elapse between now and the 40th millennium, we've moved from living in hunter-gather tribes to exploring the stars. Given that, the idea that we're still using what is essential modern technology in the year 39,000 and that nobody has made any improvements on said gear in 10,000 years is a little ridiculous.

I love 40k background, but its a lazily written amalgam of sci-fi memes created for the sole purpose of reinforcing the neo-dark age motif.

Green-is-best
20-09-2007, 21:03
For starters the Imperium had better technology in the time of the emperor 30k. man has become paranoid and superstitious about technology.

secondly do you know how high tech a plasma gun is. Your basicly firing the inside of a sun at some one.

Hey, take it up with DARPA, buddy. I'm just repeating what they're saying.

Green-is-best
20-09-2007, 21:07
In regards to projectile versus energy weapons: I could definitely see the use of them in 37,000 years. Why? As much as energy weapons can deal damage through burns and melting and such, a projectile weapon deals similar, if not more, damage because of the momentum. A laser may punch a hole in a guy, but the wound instantly cauterizes, increasing survival rates, and also fails to phase him except to say "I have a burning hot hole in me."

Beyond which, ammunition isn't much of a factor, as energy weapons require tremendous amounts of energy, produced by using resources (in most cases). Ammunition uses resources, but in the end, so does an energy weapon.

Not to be snide, but that is like a cro-magnon man saying "Oh yeah, spears, I could definitely see people still using them in 40,000 years. I mean just look at the effort it takes to find a good rock to put into a sling and then you've gotta practice to make sure you can get a kill shot with it. Just give me a spear, they're so much easier to work with."

MadDogMike
20-09-2007, 22:38
First off the weapons of war the Imperium uses are for the most part based off STCs of colony-level vehicles with some conversion for military usage. This means they aren't designed to be uber-weapons, colonies don't generally need those. What they are designed to do is be durable, reliable, and easy to make, and in that regard Imperial stuff WAY outperforms anything modern. Lasguns make an AK-47 look like fragile junk, and for ammo supply it's hard to beat reusable energy clips that recharge from sunlight. Think about it; apart from the cases where a clip gets damaged (and a replacement can't be salvaged from the dead) you can basically issue a Guardsman with all the ammo he'll ever need for his CAREER at the start of his tour with just a few clips. That's a hell of an impressive reduction in logistics compared to a modern army. Vehicles that can be refueled with just about any liquid that burns and (going from Imperial Armor 2) can be tough enough to last EIGHT THOUSAND YEARS and still start every century? Show me the M1A2 that could manage THAT. And all of this can be put together by a bunch of chanting priests of somewhat questionable scientific training leading truly ignorant workers. So the tech may not be impressive from a military level, but when considered in light of what its original function was intended to be, it's vastly superior to any equivalent modern technology could field.

Another thing to consider is by looking at what those few designs the Imperium have that come from STC templates that were specifically intended as military vehicles. Take the Land Raider; the thing has the armor of a ******* Necron monolith and almost the same firepower. Heck of an achievement to near match the performance of an ancient race of super-scientists. It also transports troops too, which might even suggest it's not intended as a true MBT and instead was an armored infantry fighting vehicle like the Bradley :eek:. Then you've got Titans and superheavies, which would laugh hysterically at anything modern thrown at them below cruise missiles and nukes, and we don't even know that THESE were the height of the Dark Age of Technology.

The thing with the Imperium is that they are the post-post-apocalyptic remains of humanity at its height, pretty much what a Mad Max level society might achieve with time and stability. They have what tech info they've scavenged, most of which was most likely paramilitary at best (Coast Guard helicopters, not Harriers) because their ancestors wouldn't casually leave lots of copies of sensitive military info lying around, and the things they themselves banged together. Then you throw ANOTHER apocalypse onto said society with the Horus Heresy. With all that factored into the mix, the Imperium's level of tech seems very plausible; it's a mix of the primitive and the fantastic, which makes perfect sense for the ill-educated superstitious folks using the remnants of a more advanced society many times removed now.

Ktotwf
20-09-2007, 23:53
Why can't people just freaking accept 40k as it is, and not try to compare it to history?

It really is essentially a compilation of cool ideas and imagery put together to provide the setting for a wargame - it isn't based on science, and it isn't a prediction of what humanity will look like in 38,000 years.

The people who really seem to have problems with the setting are the ones who try to had to apply "real world" ideas to this gothic sci-fi setting.

40k can't be all things to all people, believe it or not.

Shiakou
21-09-2007, 00:05
Why can't people just freaking accept 40k as it is, and not try to compare it to history?

It really is essentially a compilation of cool ideas and imagery put together to provide the setting for a wargame - it isn't based on science, and it isn't a prediction of what humanity will look like in 38,000 years.

The people who really seem to have problems with the setting are the ones who try to had to apply "real world" ideas to this gothic sci-fi setting.

40k can't be all things to all people, believe it or not.

I think you're missing the point. I don't want W40K to resemble the real world, I just want it to make sense. It just so happens that the real world is the easiest sensible thing to compare it to, because in the real world, things make sense or they screw up.

To "accept it as it is" is to accept a product with an extraordinary level of gaming competence but the storytelling ability of a Bible channel.

If they would only release more sensible, less contradictory information, we wouldn't be bitching about Imperial War technology.

We'd be bitching about other things about W40K. :D

Ktotwf
21-09-2007, 00:10
I think you're missing the point. I don't want W40K to resemble the real world, I just want it to make sense.

What doesn't make sense? I don't really get the problem? Imperium tanks tend to be poorly protected, but to have huge guns. This makes a good amount of sense for a regime that couldn't give less of a crap how many people die in its service.



To "accept it as it is" is to accept a product with an extraordinary level of gaming competence but the storytelling ability of a Bible channel.

I think the "storytelling" ability is what is highly enjoyable - what you are complaining about is the nerdy Trekkie details.



We'd be bitching about other things about W40K.

Too true.

Shiakou
21-09-2007, 00:12
What doesn't make sense? I don't really get the problem? Imperium tanks tend to be poorly protected, but to have huge guns. This makes a good amount of sense for a regime that couldn't give less of a crap how many people die in its service.

I think the "storytelling" ability is what is highly enjoyable - what you are complaining about is the nerdy Trekkie details.



The God-Emperor is in the details, my friend.

Such as the concept of manpower being a resource; even if you have a huge amount of it, a wise mind will not be so reckless as to throw it away lest you run out of it sooner rather than later.

And yes, I enjoy the story too, or rather I enjoy the potential I can sense between the broad strokes. But the issue of having a game based on small tactical skirmishes ensures that I pay attention to such Trekkie details (ironically, I've never been interested in Star Trek).

Ktotwf
21-09-2007, 00:14
The God-Emperor is in the details, my friend.

But you said its about storytelling?

What you seem to want to be able to do is say "Omgzorz! teh leman russ coudl totally destroi a abrams tank hahahaz" and that is a side of sci-fi wargaming geekdom that I hope stays away.

The story is there - the details are unimportant, and when the details DO become important (example SW EU) things get lame.

Shiakou
21-09-2007, 00:30
But you said its about storytelling?

What you seem to want to be able to do is say "Omgzorz! teh leman russ coudl totally destroi a abrams tank hahahaz" and that is a side of sci-fi wargaming geekdom that I hope stays away.

The story is there - the details are unimportant, and when the details DO become important (example SW EU) things get lame.

It's about everything. I told you that even if they got the story perfect, I'd be bitching about one thing or another. I can't help it. The God-Emperor is in the details; the details of the story, the mechanics, the physics, the science and the psychics. I want to know if a Terminator could stand up to a Warboss, if a Farseer could beat the Emperor in knowing the future, and yes, if a Leman Russ could totally destroy an Abrams. There is no such thing as too much information to me. I want to know what Horus planned to do to free Fulgrim from daemonic possession. I want to know if Taldeer survived Kronus. I want to know if the God-Emperor still has the ability to defecate and if his Custodes help him with the use of a 40K-era plasma-powered sanitizer or just a sponge. I can enjoy a story even without those, yes, but extreme attention to detail in all things, never fails to impress me, if only for the thoroughness involved.

So yes, I can enjoy a story without the need for details or perfection. But if it were possible? Damn right I'd choose to have both. I'd choose to have everything I liked if possible.

Ktotwf
21-09-2007, 00:33
Extreme detail takes away the power to decide and imagine things for yourself: ambiguity, while frustrating to Trekkies such as yourself, is necessary for a creative enterprise such as a wargame.

Outlaw289
21-09-2007, 00:36
Not to be snide, but that is like a cro-magnon man saying "Oh yeah, spears, I could definitely see people still using them in 40,000 years. I mean just look at the effort it takes to find a good rock to put into a sling and then you've gotta practice to make sure you can get a kill shot with it. Just give me a spear, they're so much easier to work with."

Thats not exactly a fair comparison. If you were talking about 40,000 years from now and NOT about warhammer, I could see your point. But in 40k, most weapons are portrayed as improved/larger caliber versions of stuff we have today, and lasguns in the fluff usually seem about as effective as a .30 cal assault rifle.

Shiakou
21-09-2007, 00:37
Extreme detail takes away the power to decide and imagine things for yourself: ambiguity, while frustrating to Trekkies such as yourself, is necessary for a creative enterprise such as a wargame.

If you say so. For myself, I can always add more, even if the current information was complete; it's the same as extending the cap level.

One more thing, may you please stop refferring to me as a Trekkie? It makes me nervous because I don't know the first thing about Star Trek other than a couple of movies I've seen over cable.

Ktotwf
21-09-2007, 00:37
Thats not exactly a fair comparison. If you were talking about 40,000 years from now and NOT about warhammer, I could see your point. But in 40k, most weapons are portrayed as improved/larger caliber versions of stuff we have today, and lasguns in the fluff usually seem about as effective as a .30 cal assault rifle.

It always cracks me up how FPS games always seem to show that the faster a gun shoots, the weaker it is.

Like, in goldeneye, you could be shot by an M16 like 10 times before you died, but if you got hit by a colt .45 you like died instantly.

Outlaw289
21-09-2007, 00:41
It always cracks me up how FPS games always seem to show that the faster a gun shoots, the weaker it is.

Like, in goldeneye, you could be shot by an M16 like 10 times before you died, but if you got hit by a colt .45 you like died instantly.

Yea, I hate how weapons are tiered like that: Like in Halo, where rifles are kept deliberately weak to make other weapons like brute shots and plasma guns seem stronger.

RedStompa
21-09-2007, 01:26
I think bolters are a plausable idea, if you could make them more turret then bolter.......

now congradulate me on my chaplaincy.

Twisted Ferret
21-09-2007, 01:44
I think bolters are a plausable idea, if you could make them more turret then bolter.......

now congradulate me on my chaplaincy.
Congratulations on your devotion to the God-Forum, brother-chaplain. For the Warseer!


As for all of the discussion in this thread... MadDogMike's post seems to sum up my thoughts, except in a more awesome manner. :)

RedStompa
21-09-2007, 02:05
Thank you librarian, your applauise means much to me. FOR THE...EH...ummm... ICE BLUE THRONE AND THE WARSEER!

legio mortis
21-09-2007, 02:26
Imperium tanks tend to be poorly protected, but to have huge guns.

This actually isn't the case. Leman Russes are supposed to be stupidly durable and infamously hard to kill. This is represented in Epic by giving the Russ a 4+ rerollable save.


This makes a good amount of sense for a regime that couldn't give less of a crap how many people die in its service.
Sure, the regime itself doesn't care, but you sure can bet that Guard commanders do.

GreenDracoBob
21-09-2007, 02:30
Well, I would have made a response, but Outlaw289 did a much better job than I can think of now. I guess I'll try anyway.

In any case, if you count it as just energy versus projectile, and both were developed relatively equally over the 37,000 years, it could end being similar to the conflicting ideas today. If we abandon the development of one, or one reaches its limit, then of course one would be a better choice. Otherwise, it's Railgun versus Lascannon. It isn't always a necessarily linear evolution.

Sgt Biffo
21-09-2007, 07:36
Real-life military prinsciples can't be transferred to 40K without demolishing the entire fictional structure upon which that universe has been built...

...But 40k isn't based entirely in fiction. If it was Gav Thorpe would be unable to have anything to publish:D.

Seriously though; All concepts involved in 40k have grounding in the real world, history and mythology. Why would one need to demolish the fictional extensions of these grounding to compare it to other realistic cases.:confused: Its a very extreme and nihilistic view. Nietzche would be proud of you.

Lucas used pretty much the same principles to justify the change in designs in Star Wars... The Adeptus Titanicus aren't knocking out legions of Titans by the hour for similar reasons too.

Uh-oh- Looks like I just destroyed the 40k and Star Wars fictional worlds; clumsy me!


Why can't people just freaking accept 40k as it is, and not try to compare it to history?

Moaha haaa!... My plan to irritate you specifically has come to fruition. You could not see the conspiracy until it was too late. Perhaps I can use this on others instead of specifically targeting you... But I must away to plot and scheme for further irritation of your (and yours alone) pet hates...:rolleyes: