PDA

View Full Version : Air power in the Imperial Navy



Kandarin
12-11-2007, 02:30
Since the wargame is based on pushing around toy soldiers, it's understandably based around the infantry aspects of warfare in the 41st Millenium. With this in mind, I'm curious about one other aspect: Aerial warfare. I know that most of this is no doubt covered in detail in Imperial Armour, but I don't have any reliable way of getting my hands on that, so I've got a gaggle of questions.

How rare (and thus, used in battle) are Imperial fighters? Are they ancient venerated machines, like warships, or mass-produced equipment, like Leman Russ tanks, or somewhere in between? Can a warmaster count on having many on hand?

What about the human aspects of air combat? Are fighter pilots respected like Navy officers, or thrown away like Guardsmen? Does the AdMech or the Navy handle ground-crew duties?

Are fighters and bombers a reliable substitute for their cost in conventional warships? Does the Imperium have 'carriers'?

Templar Ben
12-11-2007, 02:57
Is this a question about Aeronautica Imperialis? Given the low cost of the units I would say that they are rather common. I haven't seen a lot about the ground crew but they do get into a bit about the pilot life. There is a novel sitting on my nightstand called Double Eagle but I haven't read it yet. Perhaps someone who has can say if they get into such details.

Argastes
12-11-2007, 04:09
How rare (and thus, used in battle) are Imperial fighters? Are they ancient venerated machines, like warships, or mass-produced equipment, like Leman Russ tanks, or somewhere in between? Can a warmaster count on having many on hand?

Based on Epic 40K, IA, and other sources, they are probably closer to the mass-produced end of the scale, although probably not QUITE as mass-produced as tanks (in real life, a fighter jet is considerably more expensive than a tank, and it's probably the same in 40K). But they're definitely not ancient venerated machines; when they get shot down, it's not a big deal. Replacements are readily provided, so apparently they are produced as “mundane” items rather than blessed artifices.


What about the human aspects of air combat? Are fighter pilots respected like Navy officers, or thrown away like Guardsmen?

I'd guess the former, given that they ARE Navy officers ;). Just like modern-day fighter pilots, Imperial fighter pilots are all commissioned officers, and their training is much lengthier and more complicated/technical than that of infantrymen (and thus more expensive), and they must demonstrate very high aptitudes in certain skills, and they must meet more stringent selection criteria. Basically, they are more valuable than Guardsmen because they have officer's rank as well as special skills and training, so they aren't regarded as expendable.


Does the AdMech or the Navy handle ground-crew duties?

Naval personnel handle ground crew duties.


Are fighters and bombers a reliable substitute for their cost in conventional warships?

That depends entirely on the situation. What role are you talking about? Air/space support for ground troops? Defense of a planet against enemy warships in, or attempting to make, orbit? Attacking enemy warships in a deep space battle? In space battles, "aircraft" (dunno if you can call them that in a space battle...) are not an alternative to warships, but rather a method by which warships attack each other. It's not a question of "fighters/bombers OR warships", because you can't have fighters and bombers on their own. They need a ship to operate from, unless they are based on a planet.


Does the Imperium have 'carriers'?

No, not dedicated ones (at least not in BFG and any fluff I've read), although some warships are configured with a higher proportion of hangar space and launch/receiving equipment in exchange for a smaller proportion of conventional armaments.

Chilltouch
12-11-2007, 05:49
Actually, BFG does have the Dictator Class Cruiser for the Imperial Navy which was designed originally to contain vast amounts of Lightning Class Fighters and Marauder Class Bombers and deploy them in low orbit, but they were swapped for more space-capable fighters and bombers.

But, that's about the only official concept.

RexTalon
12-11-2007, 06:18
Pick up a copy of "Double Eagle". It will answer all of your questions without having to sift through the piles of generally rubbish hearsay and conjecture you'll find on message boards.

That is, unless you're too lazy to read a book, in which case, don't expect someone to summarize the whole story with intricate character analogies for you.

Samurai33
12-11-2007, 08:09
Basically think WWII, both in the way the pilots were viewed and the availability of aircraft (mass produced, repairwise etc.). As has already been said "Double Eagle" gives you a wonderful fluffwise look into the lives of pilots and and example of 40K air combat (themed like the battle of Britain)...and it is a brilliantly written book too...btw is it just me or does Dan Abnett seem to theme most of his books (at least covering the Sabbat campaign) after historical war events?

LexxBomb
12-11-2007, 08:32
dont forget the Emperior class battleship.

what was that WD arial combat game from 10 years ago. it was cool itr had ork and imperial fighers adnd bombers have dog fights and it could be used along side your normal 40k game.

basicly arial fighting is very common upto tyuhe point inwhich one side has total air superiority.

Iracundus
12-11-2007, 08:37
You need to first understand there is a difference between the aerospace fighters and bombers (Thunderbolts and Marauders) vs. their true spaceborne counterparts (Furies and Starhawks). The former may launch from spaceships and return to low orbit to land but they fight in the atmosphere. The latter are much larger, with the fighters being the size of 747's and having a crew of multiple people, and are meant for actual space combat.

Andy Chambers, who designed BFG, has said he was aiming more for a Age of Sail + Jutland feel rather than WWII Midway. In other words, aircraft have a role but do not render the old direct fire battleships obsolete. The game system of BFG went through some revision as a result since originally attack craft were threatening to dominate the game.

LexxBomb
12-11-2007, 09:28
and yet a full squadron of 12 bombers is a very scary prospect for even a battleship. also marauders can be used for to bomb other space ships. see "ravens claw" in which a flight is used to take out an ork Hulk

downundercadet07
12-11-2007, 14:55
If you are thinking about picking up Double Eagle, be aware that it isn't about Navy pilots but this weird other organization that exists outside the conventional air power establishment.

MadDogMike
12-11-2007, 16:09
If you are thinking about picking up Double Eagle, be aware that it isn't about Navy pilots but this weird other organization that exists outside the conventional air power establishment.

More specifically the pilot protagonists come from a water world where everyone learns to fly, so the Imperial Guard levies from the world are actually fielded as aircraft instead of the usual army. So while they work the same way as Navy pilots (who you do see a lot of since the protagonists are of course fielded with them) they are technically under IG control rather than Navy. This becomes something of a plot point once, but other than that doesn't really affect things a ton.

Captain_Ardias
12-11-2007, 21:12
and yet a full squadron of 12 bombers is a very scary prospect for even a battleship. also marauders can be used for to bomb other space ships. see "ravens claw" in which a flight is used to take out an ork Hulk

I can't find any information about this one (haven't heard of it and I can't figure out who wrote it) so a link would be nice to see what its about.

However, on the topic of marauders attacking any starship -let alone and ork hulk- seems kinda unbelievable. As was pointed out earlier, starships are massive and the strike craft used to attack them are as large or larger than a 747; on top of that, a marauder is a dedicated atmospheric craft and can't maneuver for long periods in space.

Elcampbello
12-11-2007, 22:02
Just on the topic of aircraft, do the Navy have a ship assault craft for arms men to do boarding actions and whatnot?

Puffin Magician
12-11-2007, 22:24
Pick up a copy of "Double Eagle". It will answer all of your questions without having to sift through the piles of generally rubbish hearsay and conjecture you'll find on message boards. That is, unless you're too lazy to read a book......or you're attentive and realize there are massive inconsistencies with fluff regarding what's been printed for decades and what BL thinks is cool. There's official fluff somewhere, it's just hiding.

what was that WD arial combat game from 10 years ago. it was cool itr had ork and imperial fighers adnd bombers have dog fights and it could be used along side your normal 40K game.Are you thinking of Bommaz on da Sulfur River? or something to that effect? That's the only aircraft-oriented 40k I can remember.

Do the Navy have a ship assault craft for arms men to do boarding actions?Yep, these are known as Shark Assault Boats. I'm not sure on specifics of weapons or how many troops they carry, but it's something like 20-50 and they're probably protected by a few defense turrets, and the obligatory melta-charges for blasting through starship hulls.

There's also the luxurious boarding torpedo [ie: one-way rocket-propelled bus]. :)

Bretonnian Lord
12-11-2007, 22:26
There's a short story in Let The Galaxy Burn about a group of Marauders taking out the gun turrets on an Ork Hulk in space while another group of Marauders takes down the engines, leaving the Hulk idle and allowing the Imperial warships to take it out easier.

There's also two short stories in the book that feature small vessels used to transport squads of infantry onto enemy ships. In one story, a squad of Space Marine scouts board a "torpedo" which is fired from their ship onto a Tyranid super organism, which the scouts enter and engage some 'nids before retreating back to the torpedo (so obviously it can be used for ship assault and retreat).

The other story featuring boarding craft is when Chaos forces use multiple boarding vessels on an Imperial ship. The story describes some of the fighting as the Imperial forces try to repel the assault.

LexxBomb
12-11-2007, 22:37
There's a short story in Let The Galaxy Burn about a group of Marauders taking out the gun turrets on an Ork Hulk in space while another group of Marauders takes down the engines, leaving the Hulk idle and allowing the Imperial warships to take it out easier.

There's also two short stories in the book that feature small vessels used to transport squads of infantry onto enemy ships. In one story, a squad of Space Marine scouts board a "torpedo" which is fired from their ship onto a Tyranid super organism, which the scouts enter and engage some 'nids before retreating back to the torpedo (so obviously it can be used for ship assault and retreat).

The other story featuring boarding craft is when Chaos forces use multiple boarding vessels on an Imperial ship. The story describes some of the fighting as the Imperial forces try to repel the assault.

yep the one i was thinking of. got the name wrong its called "Raptor Down" and was written by Gav Thorpe. it was in the book "words of blood" published 2002

Inquisitor Maul
13-11-2007, 06:41
One should also remember that Marauders, Lightnings and Thunderbolts are not made for Deep Space combat. Though they can be used for it there are other crafts that do it better.

Marauders lack the firepower to take out Starships the way a Starhawk can (being the size of a jumbojet and having tons of Plasma missiles (wich my guess would be rivaling Tactical Nukes in terms of firepower since they need to punch a hole in starship armour). Marauders would only be good for taking out turrets and other subsystems (wich isn't bad in itself, but they might lack the staying power a Starhawk has).

Oh, and everyone should get their hands on the book Execution Hour. It is great for anyone who wants a closer look on the Spatial Warfare of the Imperial Navy :D

LexxBomb
13-11-2007, 07:03
actually maruders were originaly the size of jumbo jets. and i dont care about the mechanics of bfg because it was designed to focus on the capital ships. if 40k space battles were to be taken seriusly then the strike craft would be the nasiest weapons in space. just look at trying to shoot in space. 99.9999999999999% of all shots would miss because the firing angles would be so tight to be humanly impossible. the answer to that problem would be strike craft (by that i mean fighters and bombers) they could close the gap and fire Accuratly. and because of their size they would be even harder to hit. in bfg the barrages are basicly being used as flak trying to hit anything.

and as far as maruaders not having the firepower to take out a battleship, they dont need to. just the engines. make it so that it cant manuver and close in behind it and hit it with repeated broadsides. hell the best example of this in historu has to be the sinking of the bismarch.

Commissar_Sven
13-11-2007, 07:06
More specifically the pilot protagonists come from a water world where everyone learns to fly, so the Imperial Guard levies from the world are actually fielded as aircraft instead of the usual army. So while they work the same way as Navy pilots (who you do see a lot of since the protagonists are of course fielded with them) they are technically under IG control rather than Navy. This becomes something of a plot point once, but other than that doesn't really affect things a ton.

Actually Phantine is not a water world. It is covered with a dense layer of pollution that makes only the tops of mountains suitable for humans to live in. Also not all Phantine regiments are are fielded as aircraft squadrons they also field Skyborn regiments which operate as drop infantry similar to Elysians(sp?) or Harakoni warhawks.

RexTalon
13-11-2007, 17:17
If you are thinking about picking up Double Eagle, be aware that it isn't about Navy pilots but this weird other organization that exists outside the conventional air power establishment.

Don't listen to the lies!

There are several organizations mentioned in the book. It just happens to center around IG that fly, rather than navy.
There is still a very colorful look into a navy organization in this book.

RexTalon
13-11-2007, 17:19
was written by Gav Thorpe

All you need to know in order to disbelieve.

VanHel
14-11-2007, 03:25
Isn't there mention of some pdf prop-planes in Double Eagle?

LexxBomb
14-11-2007, 06:46
All you need to know in order to disbelieve.

so yourt saying disbelieve anything wqritten by a games designer. fine according tpo you all the fluff in the game can be disbelieved. therefore anything you say about the fluff is wrong.

not having a dig at you its just that people tend to choice what fluff they accept and what ther ignore. I personlty chose to accept all fluff publised by GW (and Black library is part of GW) even if does contradict something they chose to add later.

RexTalon
14-11-2007, 08:05
so yourt saying disbelieve anything wqritten by a games designer. fine according tpo you all the fluff in the game can be disbelieved. therefore anything you say about the fluff is wrong.

not having a dig at you its just that people tend to choice what fluff they accept and what ther ignore. I personlty chose to accept all fluff publised by GW (and Black library is part of GW) even if does contradict something they chose to add later.

And I choose to believe only the game designers who have the respect for their fellow games designers and not recon everything just because they don't think it sounds cool enough, or doesn't match the current (read:hyped up) rules.

Nothing makes my way, or your way better. We just have a difference of opinion. And please don't try to define my perspective by saying that I "disbelieve anything wqritten by a games designer."[sic] Since that's obviously a complete misinterpretation of what I said.

LexxBomb
14-11-2007, 08:24
didn't mean to offend... i was mearly putting forward my opinion that im tired of everyone picking and choosing what official fluff isn't.

[Glory] Wulf
14-11-2007, 08:45
Are you thinking of Bommaz on da Sulfur River? or something to that effect? That's the only aircraft-oriented 40k I can remember.

Yes, Bommerz over da Sulphur River was that game. But I would hardly call it 40k. They were totally different rules and used epic minis. Although you could blow it up and use 40k scale models. You can download it for free on specialistgames.co.uk iirc.

It's worth it, the fluff bit is funny.