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jma037
06-02-2006, 09:34
Let's discuss the practicality of using warp drives as weapons.
(To clearify, My idea is to park the warp capable ship next to a planet and then switch on the warp drive right there......Think of it as a suicide attack.)

What kind of damage will it do?

What's the area effected?

If I park a warp drive in orbit around a planet what will happen?

If I park a warp drive close to a star what will happen?

How long does it take to start a warp drive? and is it noticable?

If a warp drive capable ship is used as a weapon, can the ship survive and be reused?

This brings about many new tactical possibilities. ie sneaking a cargo ship to terra or cadia...etc

Discuss!

Ikkaan
06-02-2006, 09:58
A) What kind of damage will it do?
B) What's the area effected?
C) If I park a warp drive in orbit around a planet what will happen?
D) If I park a warp drive close to a star what will happen?
E) How long does it take to start a warp drive? and is it noticable?
F) If a warp drive capable ship is used as a weapon, can the ship survive and be reused?
G) This brings about many new tactical possibilities. ie sneaking a cargo ship to terra or cadia...etc
Discuss!

As far as i know warp-capable craft need to get outside of the systems debris field of a star system to make a safe jump. Its nowhere stated, but i also remember that warpships also dont land on planets. This may be because they are too big. Maybe there are smaller ships that can land.

A: Unknown. In "Traitors Hand" (Ciaphas Cain Novel) a Navigator describes that Planets are centers where Warp-Channels are connecting. Maybe because emotions of living beings are generating a movement in the warp. It may be difficult to "hop on the right stream" when very near to a system. Navigating the warp is similar to navigating a seaship with a sail.

B: I think it is only dangerous for the Ship trying to jump when near a planet. If it would be dangerous to other matter it would be used as a weapon. Since we know it isnt used as a weapon it is not dangerous to a large area. Misjumping SM-Terminators dont do area damage,or ?

D) People will empty your pockets for the parking fare. Later it is going to be stolen or the paint is scratched ;-)

D) The ship will melt like ice in the sunshine ;-)

E) Starting is a matter of seconds (rule of cool). Calculating the Jump, preparing the incense, having servitors carry out the nessesary rituals to the warpdrive, preparing the altar of the machine-god...this all takes a weeks. I cannot comment if the jump is optically fancy, never read about it in any novel.

F) My opinion is that it cant. If it misjumps...donīt know. Maybe its ripped in half...or stays in the warp for a few hundred years...or it is reduced to a billionst of its original size...maybe the crew vanishes and the ship reaches the destination safely...

jma037
06-02-2006, 10:03
You miss understood my point.

My idea is to park the warp capable ship next to a planet and then switch on the warp drive right there......
Think of it as a suicide attack.

The resulting rip in warp will Funk the planet up.

Example like the way they stopped the second tyrinid fleet at Ultmar(?)

Reread the questions now with this in mind.

Typheron
06-02-2006, 10:27
i dont actually think that a warp drive opened in a gravity well, in this case of a planet, will actually do anything other than distroy the ship.

A planet is a massive thing, a ship is tiny in comparison, it may damage the area nearest to where the ship goes boom but it would have to be a big boom.

Also from what fluff i can remember i dont think you actually can open a stable warp portal in a gravity well, somethign to do with space being bent already and colapsing the thing.

The Ultimer thing was i think one of the capital ships going in a overloading their warp drives, which is basically the "warp core breach" senario ala star trek, they blew themself up in one big explosion. Cant remeber any mention of them openign a hole into the warp.

That said a piece of old wargear from 2nd ed was the infamous Vortex grenade (or its missle brother). It has the capacity to open a portal to the warp and suck anything it touched into it, destroying or killing everythign as it went. It even took out scenery it came accross.

McMullet
06-02-2006, 10:36
Battle for Macragge: There was a Battleship (whose name eludes me temporarily) that destroyed most of the Tyranid fleet by detonating it's Warp engines or somesuch thing...

LostTemplar
06-02-2006, 11:39
Detonating Warp Engines isn't turnign them on at the last moment. ;)

Basically, every vessel is assumed to work like a nuclear-powered submarine of today. if somethign goes wrong, they'll either drop silently into the sea bed, or explode. Isf they explode, it isn't generally pretty. :P

However, I fear that engaging a warp drive near a planet wouldn't result in anything (Unless you mean like in Halo 2).

The planet probably wouldn't suffer anythign but the debris from the ship and the corresponding shck wave. It'd probably damage a large area, but not enough to make this a viable tactic. Bombing it with torpedoes would be better, or batteries.

Ikkaan
06-02-2006, 11:46
jma037, your question was in respect of switching on the warp drive, and as Typheron said: It wont open a stable warp portal. The ship will experience some unpredictable effect (as described in fluff like the ship being destroyed, lost or some other malcurrence), but the environment will be left untouched. My answer was not false in this regard. If warp-drive activation in orbit would rip the world in half it would be used as a weapon. But as we can see by reading fluff-sources it was never used this way. Ergo warp drives as weapons does not work. Neither Space Marines nor the IA nor the Navy ever did this.

Vortex Grenades seem to be an exception to this, as are Eldar Warp-Portals. Both work in a gravity well, dont know why, maybe they work on a other principle. Vortex Grenades arenīt widely used and dont exist in battlecruiser-size. I guess they are hard to come by, probably difficult to produce without getting sucked into warp. Any accidents with munitions in the factory could set back the production by years.

Detonating a ship is something completely different (reminds me of the "Stackpole-Maneuvre" in Battletech, detonating the Reactor to harm the enemy). Using a starship in this way is not cost efficient and therefore only used when no options are left.

Moi Dix Mois
06-02-2006, 12:04
Battle for Macragge: There was a Battleship (whose name eludes me temporarily) that destroyed most of the Tyranid fleet by detonating it's Warp engines or somesuch thing...

The Warp drives didn't detonate, they did overload which opened a massive warp rift and dragged the whole Hive fleet into the immaterium.

I don't think activating warp engines 'next' to a planet will do jack ****. Even in low orbit the distance from ship to surface is going to be over 80km. At that distance you'll certainly see the ship vanish, implode, explode or whatever. But actual damage to the planet would probably be minimal.

Thinking about it though. Do planets exist in a physical sense in the warp? We know the effects of their gravity are still present, but are the planets actually 'there' as anything other than ghost images?
I know there are planets in the Eye, but that's a bleeding of the warp into real space, not a ship transferring over to the other side.

Typheron
06-02-2006, 12:05
i think that eldar warp portals work more like the jump gates in bab 5, that the open a "tunnel" and it does not matter if space is being bent as the effect is to extensivly bend space to its extreme, also given that eldar tech is more advanced they can probbaly compensate for fluctations caused by a gravity well.

The warp grenade ripps a small hole in real space allowing stuff to be sucked into the warp, it is so small that a gravity well probably would not effect it as its basically a mini black hole and acts as such untill the power cell of the grenade is expended at which point the field generating it colapses. In this case its a very crude (well compared to the eldar tech) warp portal which is highly unstable (thus its random amount of time open in rule terms) and mianly works on a brute force approach to opening warp portals, although in this case its more of a tear.

the warp grenade is probably the best example of what happens to stuff that enters the warp unprotected, its converted to warp energy and effectivly destroyed. So if you were able to open a planet sixed tear, and shove the planet through the whole, then you could destroy the world. However the energy required to do so would be massive and its probably more efficient to just virus bomb the place if you wanted rid of it so bad.

*EDIT* going by what Moi Dix Mois said then overloading your warp engines would probably be what your after, although i would think that som,ethign as massive as a planet would not entirely vbe destroyed by such a event, perhaps the surface area closest to the ship would be dragged into the warp but something like that has to be short lived as the element creating the tear will be destroyed by said tear itself, and its gonna take a while to swallow a planet whole.

Kage2020
06-02-2006, 12:47
What kind of damage will it do?
Ship destroyed, more than likely (small possibility that it would enter the warp, I would argue), and if you believe some of the older 'fluff' a 'catastrophic warp breach' would open. Indeed, going on the older 'fluff', I have a hazy memory of them saying that this was really bad, having the potential to destroy the system. :rolleyes:


What's the area effected?
Volume? Anything from the size of the ship up to the system, if that hazy memory is correct. Generally the volume of effect is going to vary depending on the narrative requirement, in much the same way that the science or emphasis in any given piece of 'fluff' varies as a function of this.


If I park a warp drive in orbit around a planet what will happen?
It's in orbit around the planet. Might burn up, depending on the orbit in question.


If I park a warp drive close to a star what will happen?
It's in orbit around the star. Might burn up depending on how close it is.


How long does it take to start a warp drive?
There is no information on this, to memory. I would personally argue that it takes a few minutes to charge the 'warp drive' from the power plant.


and is it noticable?
To the crew, yes, at least if you believe the new 'fluff' or, at least, the novels. I would also personally say have pyrotechnics associated with the transition, but that's a preference gig.


If a warp drive capable ship is used as a weapon, can the ship survive and be reused?
Only in munckin-verse.

Kage

panda
06-02-2006, 12:48
the warp grenade is probably the best example of what happens to stuff that enters the warp unprotected, its converted to warp energy and effectivly destroyed. So if you were able to open a planet sixed tear, and shove the planet through the whole, then you could destroy the world. However the energy required to do so would be massive and its probably more efficient to just virus bomb the place if you wanted rid of it so bad.

Not necessarily. In many instances of fluff, planets get sucked into warp storms and the like only to reemerge hundreds or thousands of years later intact but altered due to their time in the warp (think also of the crone worlds that are reemerging from the EoT).

Typheron
06-02-2006, 13:15
ah but the EoT is a warp space overlap, and thats the difference.

A warp space overlap is like a beach, the tide goes in and out. The same thing happens in the EoT, warp space overlaps real space thus allowing deamons to physically manifest.

Pure warp space is a realm of energy only, where anything not protected by a geller field or by the chaos gods is absorbed into its energys and effectivly distroyed.

Also in the fluff a planet can be engulfed by a warp strom, this does not mean that its physically overtaken by the warp (although it can do if its in somewhere like the EoT or the Malestrom) but the warp space that co-exists with it is in turmoil/storm state. Standing on the planets surface you would see nothing out of the ordinary, but trying to fly a ship into warp space near by would be something else entirely.

Khaine's Messenger
06-02-2006, 16:57
Let's discuss the practicality of using warp drives as weapons.

It would be pretty fun, there's no doubt about that. Unfortunately, I don't think the AdMech would be very pleased.


What kind of damage will it do?

Likely destroy the ship and then do something nasty. Really, I don't think it even has to be near a planet, although the closer the "better"...esp. after the Dominus Astra affair. But since it by and large has been unexplored (for reasons of which I'm unaware; perhaps for the same reason void and vortex weapons are so "rare"), weaponizing warp-engine defects is an unlikely prospect in the near future...by the Imperium at least. I doubt Orks would bother, the Tau wouldn't be all that willing, the Eldar probably have the capability but would only barely contemplate it...the only faction that I can think of that would take it seriously would be Chaos, and you'd think that they would have figured this out well before they had bothered to capture the BSFs, so there's probably some limitation there....


What's the area effected?

Potentially "the system."


This brings about many new tactical possibilities. ie sneaking a cargo ship to terra or cadia...etc

Well...it'd be interesting. Since apparently no one has tried it yet, one would expect there to be something of a reason...presumably the same reason Horus didn't glass Terra the first time around. But you'd think someone would have tried, given ten thousand years....

damz451
06-02-2006, 17:18
In one of the old wd issues (was reading it last night) an Emperor class battleship from the tempestus fleet was reletivly undamaged (compared to other ships) when fighting the 2nd nid fleet in Hive fleet behemoth and the captain announced he was going for a suicide attack.

The ship flew straight into the hive ship and as it was being insared by the ships tenticles the captain started an unstable warp jump which tore the ship apart aswell as the majority of the hive fleet.

so it would be a fairly effective weapon however the ship would have to be of a fairly large size to create a large enough warp jump to drag along a fleet or even a planet which would be pretty costly.

Moi Dix Mois
06-02-2006, 17:23
In one of the old wd issues (was reading it last night) an Emperor class battleship from the tempestus fleet was reletivly undamaged (compared to other ships) when fighting the 2nd nid fleet in Hive fleet behemoth and the captain announced he was going for a suicide attack.

The ship flew straight into the hive ship and as it was being insared by the ships tenticles the captain started an unstable warp jump which tore the ship apart aswell as the majority of the hive fleet.

so it would be a fairly effective weapon however the ship would have to be of a fairly large size to create a large enough warp jump to drag along a fleet or even a planet which would be pretty costly.

We all know this story - it was probably what inspired this thread in the first place.

damz451
06-02-2006, 17:25
We all know this story - it was probably what inspired this thread in the first place.

it also answers the question as a single ship took out a hive fleet

Kage2020
06-02-2006, 17:28
It was commanded by a Space Marine? :roll:

Kage

Moi Dix Mois
06-02-2006, 17:32
It was commanded by a Space Marine? :roll:

Kage

No, was a regular Navy vessel, though it was the fleet flagship captained by an admiral.
The name keeps escaping me and it shouldn't, since it's one of the more memorable bits of fluff.

Kage2020
06-02-2006, 17:37
Erm, I was joking. Being facetious, etc.

Kage

Typheron
06-02-2006, 22:33
i think part of the not using a warp drive as a weapon is not so much the stuff thats going into it, bnut what may come out of it.

You just opened a hole into warp space, theres all manor of nastities hanging out in there and keep that one open for long enough im sure something would try to get out.

The other thing is, assuming your gonna build one to wreck a planet, your gonna be opening a massive hole using a lot of energy. Theres always the chance you over do it and a warp space overlap occurs making another mini EoT, basically handing chaos the planet.

Like someone said, good for chaos, bad for everyone else.

Does a Wraithguard wraithgun not do something involving a warp portal as a weapon?

Ardathair
06-02-2006, 22:47
For the original question I would have to say the ship gets cruched in the warp and the planet would be unaffected.

Instead of in orbit around a planet, what would happen if a warp drive were activated by a landed ship or one flying low over a city or enemy rally point? Would be a suicide move, but sucking an enemy army into the warp as you 're being overrun would be a preffered way to go in many 40K battles.

How far from the ship does the effect extend?

Why hasn't it been used before?
Why haven't chaos cultist tried this with ships docked at hive cities?
(devils advocate)

With the mention of the vortex grenades and missles, I'm surprised no one mentioned D-Cannons or Wraithguns, both open holes into the warp. Small instantanious open and close and Eldar tech, but seams like a similar consept.

Ardathair
06-02-2006, 23:00
Not necessarily. In many instances of fluff, planets get sucked into warp storms and the like only to reemerge hundreds or thousands of years later intact but altered due to their time in the warp (think also of the crone worlds that are reemerging from the EoT).


A warp storm is a storm in the warp. It does not cross over into real space. A planet does not get sucked in. Warp storms do prevent warp travel to a system. Races not traveling through the warp (ie. Tau, Tyranid) or even human ship traveling in real space can reach a planet cut off by "warp storms" but take far longer to get their. Astropathic communication is also stopped.

Flame of Udun
06-02-2006, 23:38
Just digging out my old and tatty BFG manual, "a Warpdrive implosion on the Catastrophic Damage Table had the effect that every ship within 3d6 cm would recieve damage equivalent to being struck by lance shots with a strength equal to the ship's starting Damage capacity". So say a blast radius in real terms of between 15 and 50 miles in radius.

Moi Dix Mois
07-02-2006, 01:05
A warp storm is a storm in the warp. It does not cross over into real space. A planet does not get sucked in. Warp storms do prevent warp travel to a system. Races not traveling through the warp (ie. Tau, Tyranid) or even human ship traveling in real space can reach a planet cut off by "warp storms" but take far longer to get their. Astropathic communication is also stopped.

I think people are confusing a warp storm with... what are the Maelstrom and the Eye of Terror actually classified as?

I suppose they're gigantic versions of a 'regular' breach in realspace which allows daemons to manifest on the material plane, since they were caused by psychic disruption.

Ardathair
07-02-2006, 01:58
Warp drives use a considerable amount of energy to take a ship safely into warp space. An uncontroled release of that energy (what is in most of the fluf) would be more destructive destroying the ship first, what's around it second.

jma037
07-02-2006, 03:46
Just to get the discussion a bit more organise

-From the fluff I've read, a ship will jump to the edge of a system and then move in to the inner planets by conventional power as to avoid damaging the planet. So I think a warp jump will do damage to the area near it. Or why can't I move the ship to a area between terra and mars and jump it?

-ONE ship can take out a hive fleet. That's a pretty good weapon in my opinion.

-This should be seriously considered by Chaos. It's one the cheapest, most effective way to screw with the imperials. I think every chaos cult should attempt to activate a warp drive on their home planet.

-Could this be a MAJOR fluff loop hole/mistake by GW?

-Could we have a consense on what damage it'll do? Some think it could take out a system, some think it won't even damage a planet while in orbit. I think it's a matter in between.

Comments?

Typheron
07-02-2006, 07:12
before we have a concencus on what will happen, we need to be sure that they can actually be activated in a gravity well as ive seen no fluff where someone did a warp jump from orbit or within a gravity well.

Im talking a simple wrap jump and not the warp overload which its clear would probably ripp the material universe a new hole for a while.

Flame of Udun
07-02-2006, 11:54
No warp jumps inside gravity wells, even in Dark Adeptus (The latest Grey Knights novel) both the Imperial and Chaos Fleets arrive further out in the system and use their conventional engines to get deeper in system. Having reread most of the BFG rules again (it's been a while since I played) the model ship was just a representation of what the ship looked like and not to scale with the rest of the board. The ship to scale with the board would be the size of the head of a pin, so that 3d6 cm blast radius I mentioned earlier would now be more like 750-2500 miles quite easily taking out a concentrated fleet like a hive fleet and causing some damage to a planet if in low orbit. Unfortunately it wouldn't take out a planet , let alone a system for that you'd need the Planet Killer or a couple of Blackstone fortresses (see the Gothic War : The destruction of the Tarantis system).

Typheron
07-02-2006, 12:13
I think its safe to say that a warp engine cannot be fully engaged within a gravity well to the point of traveling through it into the warp, i wonder what does happen if you were to try?

Khaine's Messenger
07-02-2006, 12:17
The "system" guesstimate is from old background, the "warfleets" article if anyone can find it (used to be on critical hit and such). Something about it being bad for people in the system if a warp drive is activated within the system. It notes the ship will be destroyed and the interaction of gravitational forces will not be pretty...and will be rather unpredictable. Of course, it's probably only "unpredictable" because no one's quite prepared to test it. But given the rather...insane...nature of some factions, you'd think someone would have done it.

However, as has been noted, best case it can be used as a massive fire ship. The Dominus Astra affair was most definately in the Macragge system (even if at the edge), and the Ultramarines really haven't complained of anything besides Tyranids, Orks, and Tau for quite some time, so one might very well assume that there was little noticeable effect on the system as a whole.

C. Langana
07-02-2006, 12:18
I think its safe to say that a warp engine cannot be fully engaged within a gravity well to the point of traveling through it into the warp, i wonder what does happen if you were to try?
I always thought high gravity (as opposed to outside a system) would impede the opening of the warp envelope, resulting in the ship imploding, much like a coke can eating itself. With a noise like phhllssrrrrrp*pop*

Inquisitor Maul
07-02-2006, 12:29
Just to get the discussion a bit more organise

-From the fluff I've read, a ship will jump to the edge of a system and then move in to the inner planets by conventional power as to avoid damaging the planet. So I think a warp jump will do damage to the area near it. Or why can't I move the ship to a area between terra and mars and jump it?

-ONE ship can take out a hive fleet. That's a pretty good weapon in my opinion.

-This should be seriously considered by Chaos. It's one the cheapest, most effective way to screw with the imperials. I think every chaos cult should attempt to activate a warp drive on their home planet.

-Could this be a MAJOR fluff loop hole/mistake by GW?

-Could we have a consense on what damage it'll do? Some think it could take out a system, some think it won't even damage a planet while in orbit. I think it's a matter in between.

Comments?

Why the obscesion with warp drives destroying planets? :confused:
I thought it was pretty clearly stated that a planet won't get sucked into the warp by simply activating the Warp drive. And destroying both Terra and Mars in the same activation? :wtf: You have any idea of the distance betwean the planets?

I think the only thing you'll get from activating a warp drive so close to the suns gravity well is a very risky warp-entry that'll probably destroy the ship and anyone unfortunate to be in close proximity. If you want to destroy a planet you'll have to go get a Planet Killer or a Blackstone fortress or two.

Flame of Udun
07-02-2006, 12:43
yeah, a gravity well would probably distort the ships warp field and make a warp entry very risky at best.

Ikkaan
07-02-2006, 14:14
As a major part of the forum users seem so fixated on blowing up ships i have a different point to be included: Cost. Ships are not cheap, not aim-and-throw-away items and most of all not expendable (at least not in 40K where it takes a long time to build something most people dont understand)

A small ship will make a *pop* sound and (im-) explode in/from the warp, maybe doing damage in a small radius if the warp drives overload. You can have this effect with explosives in a more cheaper way AND have a ship left over to fly home. Even chaos understands this and will use ammo or bombs...they can use the ship in a better way than blowing it up.

A big warship (we are talking freaking huge flagships here) would go *boom* and take a part of a fleet with it. Nice. It took a hundred years to build it for...what ? Doing exactly that ? Yes. But it was supposed to use its weaponry to achieve this goal and after that to achieve it a bazillion times over and over again. Now its gone in one big flash. Not good because this was expensive, involved a lot of steel and complex machines, not to forget generations of miners, engineers and workers wasted in the process. If the guy who made the choice fled the ship in a capsule he will live long enough to be executed for treason.

Ships are not ammo, so if someone plans this he better makes sure it is the last thing he can think of and also that he dies in the process so this superiors wont get him. Because its like throwing secured grenades at the enemy in the hope that the casing will knock his lights out.

Flame of Udun
07-02-2006, 14:26
Yeah I agree with that. I mean unless there would be a way of stopping the warp core breach I can't see any imperial (or chaos for that matter) using their ships as flying bombs. I mean Orks mights do it but only if they were completely mad, but than again orks will build ships out of tin cans and twiglets if thats all they had to hand.

Sai-Lauren
07-02-2006, 16:20
I think its safe to say that a warp engine cannot be fully engaged within a gravity well to the point of traveling through it into the warp, i wonder what does happen if you were to try?
I think that's more to do with someone in GW reading some of the Star Wars novels, with hyperspace mass shadows, Interdictor cruisers and everything else.

But anyway, what would happen? At best, nothing. You might alternatively overload some energy conduits, blow the fuses, burn out a few coils, utterly trash your engines, wreck every single bit of wiring in a power feedback that means you have to abandon ship before you suffocate, or rip your ship apart, creating a small warp rift that would allow creatures from beyond access to the galaxy, allowing them to spend the rest of eternity playing with your soul.

What would happen to a planet or star nearby? Not a lot, the starship simply wouldn't be able to generate enough power to create a warp rift big enough to affect even a small moon, or it it did, the rift would likely be so unstable it would collapse in upon itself almost immediately.

As for intra-system warp jumps, perfectly possible, all you need to do is go out of the systems plane until you've got out of the gravity effects, then hop to wherever.
Space is three-dimensional after all ;)