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View Full Version : Servo skulls underrated by the Imperum.



Marsekay
24-04-2005, 17:35
I was messing around on the nigh on impossible space hulk game again, and i thought, why ever dont these termiantors take up servo skulls with them on the hulk? then they will know EXACTLY whats "around the next corner" none o these genestealers popping outta walls.

Then i thought, why dont they use them to Recon' a LOT more in all sorts of theatres?

malika
24-04-2005, 17:43
Because surprise attack by Genestealers are cool!

Strikerkc
24-04-2005, 18:03
+++Search Program: Initiated+++
+++Temperature: 14 Degrees Centigrade+++
+++Ambient Light: 23%+++
+++Motion: Detected+++
+++Investigate+++
+++Life Forms: Detected+++
+++Accessing Organism Classification Tables+++
+++Lifeforms Characteristics: Claws...+++
*Static*......

That's why servo skulls don't go into the space hulks ;)

Brother Othorio
24-04-2005, 18:03
meta-game reason: i dont think servo skulls were invented until after Space Hulk
in game reason: because it didnt occur to them? that said when i knock together some space hulk boards i think i hall be including some servo skulls! (any ideas for stats? maybe give them 4 or 5 AP and have them move like blips, but have it cost them 2 or even 3AP to open a door?), i'm also planning on using hunter-skulls to represent auspexes when i get round to doing an SM 40k army (should the plural of auspex be auspi?)

edit: sod, Strikerkc's reason is brilliant..

Rich
24-04-2005, 18:16
I would say that generally speaking the reason why terminators are deployed on Space Hulks is to fight their way through to a certain objective, either to destroy the ship or possibly to initiate some mechanism by which it can be cleansed. Either that or undertaking a full scale cleansing operation. Either way, subtlty is unnecessary, and terminator armour doubtless includes motion scanners, auspex and all that anyway, so the use of servo skulls would be limited. Its probably just a good way of loosing yourself a hell of a lot of servo skulls.

Morgan Keyes
24-04-2005, 18:22
Naww...it's because the Marines have something even more cheap and disposable then servo-skulls,...Scouts!

Yes, because only the Adeptus Astartes is stupid enough to leave the critical job of recon, and thus the saftey of members of the chapter, not to seasoned vets but instead to a bunch of newbies!

"Okay, you'll know we've actually found something by our blood-curddling shrieks. The target itself will be marked by liberal amounts of our bodily fluids."

Brother Othorio
24-04-2005, 18:27
I would say that generally speaking the reason why terminators are deployed on Space Hulks is to fight their way through to a certain objective, either to destroy the ship or possibly to initiate some mechanism by which it can be cleansed. Either that or undertaking a full scale cleansing operation. Either way, subtlty is unnecessary, and terminator armour doubtless includes motion scanners, auspex and all that anyway, so the use of servo skulls would be limited. Its probably just a good way of loosing yourself a hell of a lot of servo skulls.

i take it you've never actually played Space Hulk then? (is it a scanner malfunction? is it just a single stealer? is it half a dozen?)

malika
24-04-2005, 18:39
Rules and background are two totally different things. The rules contradict the background!

Morgan Keyes
24-04-2005, 18:42
Well, all my tongue-in-cheek aside, it is an interesting notion. The question is, how this would come into effect in a game mechanics way. Something like the Inquisitorial retinue where a Familiar gives a +1 to Initiative? And of course we have a couple of different servo-skulls listed in Inquisitor; med-skulls, gun-skulls, combat-skulls, and hunter-skulls.

As for why they are not more prevelant? Maybe a mix of lack of technical expertise to maintain coupled with a macho-warrior perception of not needing such autonomous aids to fight? It may not make total sense, but cold logic sometimes doesn't carry through in the setting. For instance (and this is an example, not to de-rail threads...), Marines have Rhinos while the Guard have Chimeras. Of course in most comparisons the Chimera seems a far superior troop-carrier. Yet when all is said and done, the Marines still use the "dumpster on treads".

Sojourner
24-04-2005, 19:15
Note that though the junior members of a chapter are scouts, they certainly aren't n00bs. You have to have some forty years of training ebfore you're even sent out in a scout squad. I'd happily trust recon to a soldier of today who'd been in the loop for that long - at least, the theory.

Rich
24-04-2005, 20:00
i take it you've never actually played Space Hulk then? (is it a scanner malfunction? is it just a single stealer? is it half a dozen?)

i have played space hulk, but as servo skulls essentially incorporate scanners which are no more, and probably less, efficient than those that terminator armour is equipped with, I can't see any real advantage in their use - they would be just as prone to the 'blip' problem as the terminators themselves.

Morgan Keyes
24-04-2005, 20:20
i have played space hulk, but as servo skulls essentially incorporate scanners which are no more, and probably less, efficient than those that terminator armour is equipped with, I can't see any real advantage in their use - they would be just as prone to the 'blip' problem as the terminators themselves.

Though this adds a bit more technical thought then one would expect for the WH40K setting, the analogy you apply could be looked at with an example of today. Take a carrier group. Certainly the Arleigh Burke destroyers and the Ticonderogo cruisers have better sensors then an E-2 Hawkeye AWACS. So why use them? They extend the sensor coverage for the parent group. Thus, even with weaker sensors, the potential exists to widen the detection range for a group with hunter-skulls. But that's just play Devil's Advocate right now.

As a sidebar:

Note that though the junior members of a chapter are scouts, they certainly aren't n00bs. You have to have some forty years of training ebfore you're even sent out in a scout squad. I'd happily trust recon to a soldier of today who'd been in the loop for that long - at least, the theory.

Not sure where the fluff bit that these scouts get 40 years of training (alot of other fluff shows them getting inducted alot sooner then a couple of decades), but even so if one has the option of "neophyte with alot of book knowledge and field exercises" versus "veteran who's actually combat and then some", one would expect for the critical role of recon to leave that to a vet. Now, game mechanic wise it makes little differance since baring a lower armor save they are the same as a Tac Marine, but background-wise it's more then a little silly and non-sensical when you consider the role of a scout not so far as a tabletop game goes but compared to modern contemporaries such as battalion scout units, Long Range Survelliance Detachments of divisions and corps, and various other professional organizations.

But, this is a tangent and digression from thread. Chalk it up to low-level wrankle it gives me since I do soldiering for a living and my just being a cranky old sergeant and Army "Lawn Dart". :D

Talkie Toaster
24-04-2005, 20:28
I thought the idea behind scouts scouting was to see heavy combat without having to participate in a way that'd get them killed, and allow them to see action on their terms (attacking convoys, fuel dumps etc.).

Getz
24-04-2005, 20:33
Unfortunately, scouting is potentialy the most dangerous form of activity for a soldier. Generally you are under equipped and at the Vaguard of your army. You do not have immeadiate tactical support and you don't know what you are about to run into.

Then you find a Tank Battalion advancing in the other direction...

Do you want rookies or vets in the field in that situation?

Morgan Keyes
24-04-2005, 20:58
<nods to Getz> Exactly. Not to mention you also want individuals that have practical knowledge when doing your scouting work. There's only so much a book can teach you, and even only so much field exercises can teach too. Every unit will likely have the "new guy" to break in, but...

<newbie looking at tread marks> "Well this has got to be a unit of Ork tanks. Lungbursters I think."

<vet scout shakes his head> 'Too wide for Lungbustas. Wartraks though...'

"But Wartracks are nowhere near that heav..."

'They are if you slap a Lobba on them and a whole load of ammo. Not common for Orks, but Crinius V...' <shakes head> 'Pass on to the Brother Captain that we got artillery in the area. Be ready for a push on the left flank. Least if I was a snaggled tooth bruiser with an honest bit of tactical sense, that's where I'd place my arty in support.'


That's what you want out of scouts.

But servo skulls...and scouts... Got me thinking of something just on a lark to toy with stats for some kind of hunter-skull upgrade for either Scouts or some other element. Also just getting this image of a Land Raider moving with an escort of Gun-Skulls and Hunter-Skulls, like a WH40K -equivilent of a OGRE/Tactical Datapulse (http://www.goingfaster.com/ogre/datafiles.html)heavy panzer and it's escort constellation of drones (http://www.goingfaster.com/ogre/warnotes.html).

Strikerkc
24-04-2005, 21:13
'They are if you slap a Lobba on them and a whole load of ammo. Not common for Orks, but Crinius V...' <shakes head> 'Pass on to the Brother Captain that we got artillery in the area. Be ready for a push on the left flank. Least if I was a snaggled tooth bruiser with an honest bit of tactical sense, that's where I'd place my arty in support.'


And that is why you have veteran Sergeants. Seriously, Marine scouts are going to be far superior to any sort of IG scout, and the IG gets along just fine with the human versions, So marines will get along just fine with an even more superoir version.

Scouts are initiats works fine for the 40K universe, so many people seem to forget that a space marine recruit is superior to any thing a human could do. They're simply on totaly different scales.

Incognito
24-04-2005, 21:22
I think in the grand scheme of things, considering how fast paced your typical Space Hulk mission was/is supposed to be...The auspex scanner is /far/ more effective then trying to direct some neural linked servo-skull through the twisting passageways, getting lost and whatnot...while only ever being able to search in one direction. And then of course, there is the incredible pain of it being severed by the skull being destroyed.

It just isn't tactically feasible fluffwise or ruleswise.

Morgan Keyes
24-04-2005, 22:16
It just isn't tactically feasible fluffwise or ruleswise.

Maybe, or maybe not. I was just looking at the two Inquisition Codices and something like a set of servo-skulls could have a simple rules solution and be bought as augmentive wargear no different then picking up grenades or an auspex. Say something like "for X points a squad gets +1 to Initiative from Hunter-Skulls" or "gets +1 to WS or each member for the cumulative effects of gun- and combat-skulls involved in a melee". The Inquisitorial Henchmen section in either Codex Witchhunter or Daemonhunter could provide many ideas on such lines.

Incognito
24-04-2005, 22:27
Well. I'm coming from a Terminator Space Marine/Space Hulk assault perspective. Nearly all of the old SH missions literally took place in like 2-5 minutes of time that the turns encompassed.

That said...I'm sure that Inquisitors have access to plenty of interesting gadgets that they make use of. But then, Inquisitors don't engage in very many full frontal assaults inside Space Hulks.

Morgan Keyes
24-04-2005, 22:54
Actually, I was just looking at the rules for an Inquisitor's retinue in general, not servo-skulls in particular. Though the +1 to Initiative does come from the "Familiar" entry, whether it is a servo-skull, psyber-eagle, cherubium, the spunky precocious sidekick yelling "Lookout Ba..."...ehh, nevermind. You get the point.

Not saying it was right or wrong, just that it may be do'able easily in the rules and is,...intriguing.

Sir Charles
24-04-2005, 23:14
Hm, I was under the impression that the first post was suggesting that the thing could just look around the corner for the marines , instead of the marines taking the risk. That should be fairly easy to incorporate I would think, Skull modle moves to the corner if it sees something or is killed than there is something there ;)

Getz
25-04-2005, 03:00
And that is why you have veteran Sergeants. Seriously, Marine scouts are going to be far superior to any sort of IG scout, and the IG gets along just fine with the human versions, So marines will get along just fine with an even more superoir version.

Scouts are initiats works fine for the 40K universe, so many people seem to forget that a space marine recruit is superior to any thing a human could do. They're simply on totaly different scales.

Hang on a moment... Who exactly are the scouts in the IG.

Well, aside from Sentinels, which are mechanised recconaisance vehicles, quite a different beast from an actual scout squad, the IG scouts are Hardened Veteran squads...

And what (fluffwise) makes them effective? Years and years of experience...

Aside from refusing to subscribe to this "marines are teh RoXXors!!!!!11!!" attitude, the basic fact is that a soldier with little or no experience will not make as effective a scout as a soldier with a great deal of experience. The IG selects it's forward scouts from the most experienced men available to it. The Marine Chapters select theirs from the least experienced men within it's ranks. That simply makes no sense.

Marsekay
25-04-2005, 06:11
Hm, I was under the impression that the first post was suggesting that the thing could just look around the corner for the marines , instead of the marines taking the risk. That should be fairly easy to incorporate I would think, Skull modle moves to the corner if it sees something or is killed than there is something there ;)

This is exactly what i meant in the first post ;)

Khaine's Messenger
25-04-2005, 06:26
Quite; you'd think it would be a Really Good Idea (tm). Indeed...one wonders why Space Marines don't have bendi-straw corner-peaking devices (see these used all the darn time in Stargate SG-1), or integral bolter-mounted optics to sweep around corners like the proposed Land Warrior suite of gizmos has (...or they could just be as "1337" as Vash the Stampede...firing with super-accuracy in the blind), or any number of goofy gizmos (like installing either of the former in the end of a bionic digit on a hand, say). Swarms of servo-skulls would just be fun (especially if they're gun-skulls or backed up by oddly equipped cyber-cherubs--ghastly, but a good laugh).

To be honest, I think the first and foremost reason is that servo-skulls use antigrav tech, and making antigrav tech ubiquitous on any battlefield serving a purpose beyond serving as the eyes of Big Brother (cue 1984 references) or serving as a familiar would be Bad for the Image of 40k. Although really, sweeping around corners is already a maneuver that Space Marines should be capable of exercising with precision (as there should be worthy foes beyond all corners! ;) ). I guess such maneuvers would be difficult for termies, though.

Oh well. There's always the Tau and their drones....

Incognito
25-04-2005, 11:47
Aside from refusing to subscribe to this "marines are teh RoXXors!!!!!11!!" attitude, the basic fact is that a soldier with little or no experience will not make as effective a scout as a soldier with a great deal of experience. The IG selects it's forward scouts from the most experienced men available to it. The Marine Chapters select theirs from the least experienced men within it's ranks. That simply makes no sense.

The Space Wolves take that approach...They have only their most veteran troopers scout out, while all the most inexperienced are formed into Blood Claw packs.

And really, I think its best to point out that your average Codex space marine scout, does seem to as experienced and battle-hardened as your most grizzled IG veteran. If you look at Blood Claw and Neophyte stats, and compare them to usual 10th company stats (3/3 as opposed to 4/4) and that alot of veteran sergeants are ussually attached to 10th company, its not that out of whack...

And in the grand scheme of things, the Scouts are doing a far less dangerous job. Which is typically a reversed role.

Typheron
27-04-2005, 00:00
Indeed...one wonders why Space Marines don't have bendi-straw corner-peaking devices (see these used all the darn time in Stargate SG-1),
they have auspex scanners, a device that allows you to get a good idea of whats near by without even having to go near the corner.

I would think that servo skulls would be used in the inital stages of checking out a space hulk before anyone sets foot on it, at least to take a look at the area being used for boarding the thing. Wanna make sure the area is clear and relativly safe before sending those terminators in, no good if they all fall through the floor on arrival.

A problem with servo skulls is that the signal to control them is limited by how far into the space hulk it can penetrate. If the scanners of an imperal ship cant see into the heart of a hulk, getting the video link to the skull is gonna be a problem.

Also are servo skulls not semi-rare as there the skull of an imperial servant allowed to continue to serve the Imperium after death. Also i dont see many space marines going arround with servo skulls as there equipment, there normally a tech adept or Inquisitor toy.

Khaine's Messenger
27-04-2005, 00:34
they have auspex scanners, a device that allows you to get a good idea of whats near by without even having to go near the corner.

Yes, they most likely have IR, UV, motion-tracker, etc. scanners built into their power armor (most likely active and passive versions) and boosted with handheld or backpack-mounted devices (or horrifically amplified with things like "terrorsight" circa Angels of Death), but few of those will really give as good a view of what's around the corner as a good peak. ;)


A problem with servo skulls (...) getting the video link to the skull is gonna be a problem.

Rapidly deployable infrastructure/recon devices should never be out of contact range; the easiest way to fix this is to let them "talk" to each other and hope that they're always in range of each other and/or the "main base." Of course, this might require more equipment/programming than the Imperium is capable of stuffing in a servo-skull


Also are servo skulls not semi-rare as there the skull of an imperial servant allowed to continue to serve the Imperium after death.

This is true (in fact, on one Abnett-world, there are servo skulls and similar devices flitting all over the place being used as couriers for powerful mercantile corporations, but then this was a world that had a ton of antigrav tech anyways), but they also incorporate antigravity technology....

Aquila
05-05-2005, 07:45
I think the Scout Company idea works fine, not just because MARNIES IS TEH r0xx0rs!!!1!1!11eleven.

Every scout squad has a veteran assigned as the Sergeant. Often, the sergeants are veterans from the 1st Company as well. There are two reasons for this. First, the veteran can train the younger scouts in the ways of war, teach them all there is to know about the enemy and how best to kill it, and yadda yadda yadda.
And secondly, this experience also trains the sergeant in the ways of tactical command. If a scout sergeant can prove his worth in the 10th company and keep his wussy scouts alive, he's an excellent candidate for command of the more valuable Marine squads. After all, he's already demonstrated his ability to command respect and keep his men alive.

I just have to hope that Marines don't really use their scouts the way most Marine players do on the tabletop. Scouts just don't belong in a pitched firefight at all! It's a complete waste of their strategic value.

hood_oz
14-06-2005, 00:20
I just have to hope that Marines don't really use their scouts the way most Marine players do on the tabletop. Scouts just don't belong in a pitched firefight at all! It's a complete waste of their strategic value.

I certainly dont, they arent dedicated moving ablative meat shields for my tanks and SM squads.

Mine are used as snipers (mostly with vet sarge and auspex with the sniper rifles)

Occasionally I use them to deploy to deny enemy infiltration areas, and as a chance to get into the rear of the enemy lines to distrupt their withdrawal and so on. (and to cheaply take table quarters and VPs of course)

I wouldnt waste them in a firefight, as I know their strengths and it isnt in an open firefight. ;)

Morgan Keyes
14-06-2005, 07:56
I think the Scout Company idea works fine, not just because MARNIES IS TEH r0xx0rs!!!1!1!11eleven.

Every scout squad has a veteran assigned as the Sergeant. Often, the sergeants are veterans from the 1st Company as well. There are two reasons for this. First, the veteran can train the younger scouts in the ways of war, teach them all there is to know about the enemy and how best to kill it, and yadda yadda yadda.
And secondly, this experience also trains the sergeant in the ways of tactical command. If a scout sergeant can prove his worth in the 10th company and keep his wussy scouts alive, he's an excellent candidate for command of the more valuable Marine squads. After all, he's already demonstrated his ability to command respect and keep his men alive.

Which goes to show how many that play, or those who wrote the background, actually understand how to soldier beyond watching B-movies. To be an effective scout is have the knowledge already to read the signs and make the connections, not running up to the "Boy Scout Leader" to ask questions a scout should already know. Using newbies as scouts...you may as well hire the local village idiots to move ahead and know you have contact from the explosions and screams. Okay, so the average Astartes Initiate has move training then a Guard recruit. Logic, and especially military logic by line troops (and if you have snide remarks, then you haven't been there), would dictate you place those who have "been there, done that" and have the demonstanted knack for it as your scouts, not the ones that are still trying to match lecture and exercise to reality.

But this thread is about servo-skulls and there other possible uses, not about Marine Scouts. Since I inadvertently and unintentionally got the thread side-tracked I will make the appeal to bring it back on-topic. But I after 16 years with light infantry and airborne troops I have to voice to practical experience one last time.

(And if you want to take issue with me on this then PM me or start a new thread. Then we can keep this on-topic)

Rövhalt
14-06-2005, 09:41
The reason for scouts being newbies in an SM army is because it probably says so in that overexalted handbook, Codex Astartes

CauCaSus
14-06-2005, 19:17
Either way, subtlty is unnecessary, and terminator armour doubtless includes motion scanners, auspex and all that anyway, so the use of servo skulls would be limited. Its probably just a good way of loosing yourself a hell of a lot of servo skulls.

As opposed to losing a hell of a lot of bio-engineered super-human warriors with the best armor and equipment the Imperium has to offer? :rolleyes: :p

Correct me if I am wrong, but are not servo-skulls mostly used by the AdMech their associates (Iron Hands, SM-techies-I-have-forgotten-the-name-of)? Maybe they just arent that common other places or that the servo-skulls that are used by non-AdMech personell are not advanced enough to be of any real use in the battlefield? It would suit the AdMech fine to keep the most high-tech equipment for themselves if they thought it would give them an edge in an inter-Imperial conflict.

Hideous Loon
16-06-2005, 08:42
SM-techies-I-have-forgotten-the-name-of

That would be the Tech-Marines, who, I believe, do not use Servo-Skulls all that much. (They are mostly depending on their own bionic abilities and Servitors, if my memory isn't failing.) Iron Hands, on the other hand, are using Servo-Skulls all they can.

I'm not sure whether there are any uses for Servo-Skulls inside a Space Hulk, due to their 'control devices' having such short range and them getting lost and all, and the scanner equipment built into Tactical Dreadnought armour is probably superior anyway.

+++edited for spelling. Have a nice day+++

Lostanddamned
16-06-2005, 19:40
Weren't servo skulls sent into the pylons on cadia?

Wiseman
17-06-2005, 09:32
are servo skulls all that easy to produce? with the anti grave field and everything, it would probably take a while, because then they would also have to bless each one (just imagine a huge cathedral with all these skulls sitting there as if it was the middle of a church service:))

CauCaSus
17-06-2005, 09:40
In the original Space Hulk game, the SM sent in a C.A.T., a small self-propelled robot to scout the hulk. Granted, this was probably before servoskulls where invented in the game and it was pretty slow-moving and not very intelligent, so one of the missions was based on going in and picking it up before it was destroyed by 'stealers.

Nazguire
18-06-2005, 04:57
Weren't servo skulls sent into the pylons on cadia?



Yeppies, they did.


Got lost I believe due to how extensive the tunnels in them were. :rolleyes: :eyebrows: