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Ilkhan
05-07-2010, 06:21
It seems to me that the only way the Imperium can really have any success against the Tyranids is to refuse to let them make landfall. Once they hit a planet they're damnably hard to dislodge without losing the planet itself along with them. If the Hive Fleets could be intercepted and destroyed in the void of space, though, safely away from any biomass to consume other than their own, it seems to me that they could be eliminated with relative ease. Their methods of FTL travel provide warnings to the ensnared planet in the form of disastrous omens, at the fastest their movement is said to be slower than Imperial Warp travel, and once they get within a certain range of a planet they have to slow to sublight speeds. While a few fringe worlds might have to fall before one managed to get word into the right ears that another Hive Fleet is coming, and a couple more might fall before the proper response teams arrived, there's no reason (in my mind) why interceptor fleets couldn't be dispatched to deal with the 'nids while they're still lightyears away from the nearest planet of significant value to the Imperium.

I can forgive the Imperium for being caught off guard so far; the 'nids are still a new and relatively unknown threat compared to Chaos, Greenskins, and the like, but enough is enough. They've seen three fleets, they now know the Tyranids' general modus operandi well enough. Here the line should be drawn.

I suppose it could be argued that the Tyranids would just get better at space combat if this approach were taken, since they're so adaptive, but I'd still wager a Tyranid without anything organic to consume is far less dangerous than a Tyranid on a planet full of life, whether the 'nid's better specced for space combat than a Marine Battle Barge or not.

[I suppose the easy explanation would be that GW's trying to push Tyranids in standard tabletop, not Battlefleet Gothic, but I'm bringing this topic to the background forum in search of not-so-easy explanations.]

FarseerMatt
05-07-2010, 06:55
Well, the way I see it Imperial ships could probably take Nid ships 2 or 3 to one (as in BFG), but when engaging a hive fleet you're not outnumbered 2 to one by ships of comparable size, your outnumbered hundreds to one. It's like the English fleet vs the Spanish armada in 1688, all they can really do is hit and run, hoping to chip away at the hive fleet, and before they've worn it down it's almost impossible to stop.

Iracundus
05-07-2010, 08:33
While I agree entirely that the Imperium really needs to win in space against the Tyranids to prevail against their threat (and in fact every major Imperial victory at some level has involved winning against the hive ships in space), the greatest obstacle is the scale of space.

Most Tyranid fleets aren't being detected until they attack a system. In the time it takes for an Astropath to send a message through the Shadow in the Warp and for the Imperium to process the message and mobilize a response, most worlds will have already been invaded and possibly stripped.

The Imperium is stuck on this defensive posture because the Tyranids have no planets or other fixed targets of value to strike against. The scale of space precludes the Imperium just finding Tyranid fleets easily as even star systems are tiny against the void of interstellar space. Furthermore Tyranid ships are described in the 3rd edition Tyranid Codex as entering a system very far out and drifting in while they awaken. This means they have low sensor profiles and would be hard to detect.

There is also the secondary obstacle of the organization of the Imperial Navy. As detailed in BFG, the largest operational unit really is the sector level battle fleet. Even that exists more in theory than everyday reality as the ships are often divided into various patrols and squadrons to keep local piracy and show the flag to sometimes widely separated worlds. To mass a significant concentration of ships will require planning due to the travel time and organization involved. Furthermore, such concentrations would be difficult to maintain due to the issue of leaving other worlds and routes unprotected and unpatrolled.

MagosHereticus
05-07-2010, 14:03
all the major hive fleets have been defeated or diverted

Askil the Undecided
05-07-2010, 16:24
Virtually nobody is ever intercepted on purpose in space, especially if they never tell anyone where they're going.

mob16151
05-07-2010, 17:31
I have a question. Why couldn't the imperium take a ship, put some servitors in it, and have it suicide run into the center of the Hive Fleets. Have it self destruct when it takes a certain amount of damage? That might even the odds a bit, at least in space.

ryng_sting
05-07-2010, 18:16
A few points for consideration:

1. The Imperium rarely gets advance warning that the Tyranids are coming; and tracking their ships, which don't use conventional fuel, is difficult.

2. By the time the Tyranids attacked, the Shadow in the Warp has cut the affected area of space off from Astropathy, and probably ballsed up warp travel too. Therefore, mustering a counter attack and figuring out where to send it is even harder than usual.

3. When Tyranids attack in numbers, only a gruelling war of attrition will break them. When Behemoth's second wave attacked, even Battlefleet Bakka and the the remnants of the Ultramar fleet put together were still outnumbered. That means stripping worlds of defenders and sectors of naval ships elsewhere, and high casualties are certain. The best the Imperium can hope for is to fall back to the most crucial and heavily defended sectors, and leave the rest to their fate.

Morty
05-07-2010, 18:32
ya fergot 4
4. The gravitaional Eddies caused by there propulshion system would mean that any sizable fleet in position to attack them as they arive on the egde of a system who have alredy have take critical damage due to being afectivly compresed into each other and those on the boundry of the affect would be slung all over the system if they where lucky enoght to avoied a critical colision with a planet or other lump of rock......

pies
05-07-2010, 19:38
No they wouldn't, space is big and any sizable battlefleet is going to be stretched out over hundreds of light minutes, they all are armored against gravitational weapons and they won't be thrown around by the edges of a gravitational force centered way far away from them. (the ship's drives are more powerful)

In addition the Imperium will know where the hive fleet will strike next because they have years to decades of warning.

The only thing that makes the hive fleets hard to beat in space is their huge numbers, which is where Kryptmanns gambit comes in.
It's even been shown that the Imperium can take a hive fleet in a single battle, namely the battle of Macragge.

Farseer Dave
05-07-2010, 19:55
The only thing that makes the hive fleets hard to beat in space is their huge numbers, which is where Kryptmanns gambit comes in.
It's even been shown that the Imperium can take a hive fleet in a single battle, namely the battle of Macragge.

Well this was the very First Hive Fleet and they won partially becouse an imperial battleship self destructed in the middle of their fleet , as shown from the ''ultramarine'' book series the same trick doesnt work on the nids twice. I assume the Hive Mind has prob adapted to the point that the Imperials cant engage the newer (and larger) hive fleets in a Single Space Engagement and hope to win without sustaining cripelling losses/ diverting too much resources. that is why Kryptmanns has been forced to develop his dangerous new Strategy.

Farseer Dave.

Morty
05-07-2010, 20:05
@Pies read the BFG fluff.
1. The imperum us Ion engins and Reaction jets for steller navergation. AG drives are unkown Both are good old action=reaction drives and as such VERY suseptable to incerses in grevity feild.
2. The imperum Hasnt a clue where the the tiranind fleats are, they can make educated gesses from SitW and from reports of devestated worlds but when you factor in the vageries of warp travle and pyonic mesages wich can both arive befor there sent and the vast distsnces those mesages must travel they can plot a aproxamte path but that could cover. and (as a tak planer will tell you) the rediction cones get wider and longer the older the info is. that could leave a hundred worlds at risk and with only 1 or 2 fleets available to protect them. so where you gona place the ships?
3. The battle for Macragge space battle started AT Macragge the marine watch ships at the edge of the system RAN FOR IT. also it took the sacrafice of 2 Imperal fleet CAPITOL ships to even dent the tyanid force. the marines where then forced to sacrafice there own capitol ship to win a piric victory as the ground forces on Macragge had been ANNIALATED. Do you think that ether the marines or the imperal fleet can afford that level of losses and still call it a win? aspeshaly when it takes the imperum 100 years to build a single capitol ship and thats discounting the thousands of other ships that where lost.

Logan_uc
05-07-2010, 22:31
Because it would make nids a lot less interesting.

for ex:

Governor Inacius transmiting:

Planet Kazandora is under the influence of genestealer infestation.

High risk of Tyranid invasion. requesting Imperial navy to stand by.

Astrophant communication will be made 24/7. if communications go down send sector fleet to the edge of the sistem in intreception rout to attack tyranid fleet when still dormant.

Governor Inacius out.


See this would make nids a lot less scary.

Askil the Undecided
05-07-2010, 23:02
I have a question. Why couldn't the imperium take a ship, put some servitors in it, and have it suicide run into the center of the Hive Fleets. Have it self destruct when it takes a certain amount of damage? That might even the odds a bit, at least in space.

The Imperium doesn't view ships as expendable assets but as sacred relics of nigh-irreplacable technology. Which considering the deplorable decline in the state of technology is understandable.

Clockwork-Knight
05-07-2010, 23:18
Most big ships like cruisers and above are sacred relics with nigh-irreplacable technology.
Everything classified as escorts, like frigates and destroyers are relatively cheap and mass-produced expendable assets.

Rabid Bunny 666
05-07-2010, 23:25
I have a question. Why couldn't the imperium take a ship, put some servitors in it, and have it suicide run into the center of the Hive Fleets. Have it self destruct when it takes a certain amount of damage? That might even the odds a bit, at least in space.

Because an Imperial ship, even on the escort level, takes up alot of resources in both time and materials to construct, it'd be put to better use shooting at the incoming Tyranids rather than flying in and hoping that an explosion would take out a ship.

mob16151
05-07-2010, 23:31
Because an Imperial ship, even on the escort level, takes up alot of resources in both time and materials to construct, it'd be put to better use shooting at the incoming Tyranids rather than flying in and hoping that an explosion would take out a ship.

I understand that. When I say suicide run, I mean go in guns blazing for the "synapse" ships. But once it sustains a critical amount of damage then hit the self destruct button.

Rabid Bunny 666
05-07-2010, 23:40
It could work, but that poor ship would be on the receiving end of hundreds of vessels trying to protect the Norn queen, some designed to pin ships down (In one of the older books, there was a tyranid ship with tentacles that had punched right through a Cruiser), and even if that dies, the death of the Norn queen will cause the remaining ships to calve several more, causing the large fleet to fragment into splinter fleets, meaning that in the future the Imperial Fleet will be thinly spread to cover all angles, which wouldn't help the outnumbered thing.

El_Machinae
06-07-2010, 00:19
The Shadow in the Warp is easily the main ruin of this plan. It greatly ruins the ability to engage in short-time tactics: while there's warning about the incoming fleet a great distance away, getting the fleet into the affected planet is slowed.

As well, a Shadow can encompass more than one system, so you don't know which system will be attacked.

Ilkhan
06-07-2010, 05:51
Well, fair enough. I didn't really expect it to be easy, just relatively easy, and far more sustainable than Kryptmann's Exterminatus solution (which, I might note, also requires massing a fleet in the affected area). I guess I should've expected more and more problems with the idea to crop up. I really hate the idea that the endgame of 40k is going to be Tyranids vs. Necrons after everything else in the galaxy is eliminated, but GW seems pretty set on depicting them both as absolutely unstoppable tides set to utterly destroy everything once their actual forces mobilize. Meh.

massey
06-07-2010, 07:04
It should work. The Narwhal thing is dumb. You are right, their method of travel is supposed to cause tectonic problems on the planets they target. So especially if you knew nids were in the vicinity (and by that, I mean within several thousand light years), you would have anywhere from a couple months to a few decades of lead time. It wouldn't be too hard to determine where the gravitational "pull" was coming from. That would tell you exactly where the nid fleet was. Leave a couple billion space mines in between them and the planet, you're good.

musical
06-07-2010, 08:11
I understand that. When I say suicide run, I mean go in guns blazing for the "synapse" ships. But once it sustains a critical amount of damage then hit the self destruct button.

Sorry mate, that would never work. In BFG the fluff stats that each tyranid ship is surrounded and protected by clounds of thousands spore mines in addition to being sandwhiched side all the escorts and capital ships. The spores acts as shields absorbing long range shots and also intercepts any ordinances (such as bomber and torpedos).

As for the blowing yourself up thing, so 40K take some liberties with real world physic, but you realise an explotion in space don't cause any damage ? ;)

Clockwork-Knight
06-07-2010, 08:14
What gravitational pull? Even a few hundred thousand hive ships don't generate any kind of noticeable gravity that would betray a hive fleet from several thousand light years away.

TrooperTino
06-07-2010, 10:57
the gravitational pull is their new/old travel method. IIRC its a special ship in the tyranid fleet that detects gravitation from solar systems over long distances and produces some kind of gravity-well the fleet travels on to said solar system. The mentioned bad omens and earthquakes planetside are a result of the gravitational pull on the targeted planet/solar system by the travelling tyranidfleet.

I think the imperium should adapt to the tyranid threat by now, too. Their travel method should make it a lot more easy and reliable to predict the arrival of their fleets or to become aware of their incomig at all. gravitation sensors don't sound to high tech for the admech to me and its a lot less esoteric than interpreting evil dreams of mad psykers. You even have the foreboding earthquakes that are out of the natural pattern...
The exact direction of the arriving tyranids could be difficult to track and space is big, so catching the fleet while still awakening might be near impossible, but to provoke space battles before they make planetfall or laying minefields in their path, prepare fireships to sacrifice and take lots of bioships with them, there should be enough time and a prepared strategy by now, even in the slow beaurocracy of the imperial warmachine.

Polaria
06-07-2010, 10:59
The Shadow in the Warp is easily the main ruin of this plan. It greatly ruins the ability to engage in short-time tactics: while there's warning about the incoming fleet a great distance away, getting the fleet into the affected planet is slowed.

As well, a Shadow can encompass more than one system, so you don't know which system will be attacked.

This. Shadow in the Warp is much larger than the distance at which anything can detect the actual Tyranid ships. Thus the first warning you get is while the 'nids are still far, far away and it will come as vague dreams of astropaths... once the Shadow comes so powerfull that the psykers realize what is happening it will be impossible to send any kind of psychic message out. And as the area of Shadow is easily several lightyears across the problem is that you can't know which system is being attacked. Remember that due to the problems inherent to warp-space moving a significant fleet of ships even to nearby system can take several weeks or months. So unless you have a whole sector fleet present at the very system which is being attacked you'll probably arrive a bit late.

mob16151
06-07-2010, 11:08
Sorry mate, that would never work. In BFG the fluff stats that each tyranid ship is surrounded and protected by clounds of thousands spore mines in addition to being sandwhiched side all the escorts and capital ships. The spores acts as shields absorbing long range shots and also intercepts any ordinances (such as bomber and torpedos).

As for the blowing yourself up thing, so 40K take some liberties with real world physic, but you realise an explotion in space don't cause any damage ? ;)

I'm not a scientist, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that shrapnel moving at terminal velocity does damage in space.

El_Machinae
08-07-2010, 00:13
Well, it's more that the distances in space battles are pretty large, and so very little of the explosion's initial strength reaches the victim. And, I think you should look up what 'terminal velocity' is :)

IvanTih
08-07-2010, 19:27
Could the warp drive overload trick work again as it did during the Battle of Maccrage.
A lone ship would go to the Hive Fleet and try to get into the place with the greatest concetration of ships and then it would overload the drive.
This tactic can be used if the engagment isn't too close to the planet.

I've read a story where an Imperial Oberon class Battleship engaged a Chaos Battleship(donít think it said what class) near a Chaos infested planet. The two ships battled it out for at least a week.
Just continuously pounding the cr** out of each other. It ended with the heavily damaged Imperial Oberon ramming the Chaos ship and overloading her Warp engines.
The resulting explosion obliterated both ships and completely devastated the nearby planet, wiping out all life and turning it into a Dead World.