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Mobius One
27-05-2005, 06:15
So I watched Kingdom of Heaven the other day (please don't hijack this into a discussion of that movie), and there's a sequence in which the Christian army, cut off from water supplies, basically falls apart due to heat exhaustion and dehydration, and is eventually cut down by the Muslim armies under Saladin.

So this got me to thinking; how important is water to the armies of the Imperium, particularly the Imperial Guard? Clearly, every human needs water in some form or another to survive. Sure, the Cadians and Catachans have canteens modelled onto their bat utility belts, but surely one canteen isn't enough to sustain a soldier for any protracted length of time. Assume for the sake of argument that a soldier needs one canteen a day. Multiply that by the number of guardsmen in an average IG army (which is only a fraction of what makes up an army in the fluff, if it is to be believed). Then multiply that by the thousands (if not millions) of armies fighting on thousands (if not millions) of worlds. Then take into consideration the Imperial Navy. The Inquisition and its many branches. Even the Adeptus Astartes need water. And the myriad of other human personnel, military or not. Oh, and the billions upon billions of civilians.

That's a lot of water.

I would think that a large amount of resources would be dedicated to water and the distribution thereof. I'm picturing massive spacecraft dedicated purely to water, harvesting it from water-rich planets and then transporting them to the troops and civilian population. I would assume that the various enemies of the Imperium would recognise this as a weakness, and that military security around water would be pretty tight indeed.

Then the relative rarity of water in the galaxy must be taken into consideration. How many planets have water? I would assume that every newly discovered world which has water on it is immediately designated for water harvesting. Perhaps the Imperium has a way of synthesizing water. But then again, most Imperial technology is barely understood and held together by purity seals and the chanting of a techpriest with fingers crossed. The Imperium can barely stitch Terminator suits together. I would think technology as complex as water synthesis would be extremely rare if not completely lost.

On a side note, Battlestar Galactica (the revisioned series) has an episode in which the Galactica's water supplies are nearly lost due to a terrorist attack. In the episode, it's explained that the ship has the technology to "recycle" water to the point where it can run for several years before requiring a refill of h2o. Even if every Imperial ship had that kind of technology... that's still a lot of water, and there are the technological issues I've already discussed.

Water (or any kind of resource, for that matter) is a topic rarely touched upon in the fluff and I think it deserved a discussion.

Comments?

-Mobius One.

Morgan Keyes
27-05-2005, 06:32
One canteen a day? Your average troop is going to go through at least 2-3 liters in a day, and that's just garrison-type operations in a sedentary/cool setting. Alot more patrolling or in the field, 5-10 liters in active/warm conditions. But the answer is the same as done by most modern armies, you bring in the support personel. Today that is in the form of ROPU units, Reserve Osmotic Purification Units, which set up equipment to filter potable water out of local sources. The IG would have such units as well as more esoteric things like condensation units to pull water directly from the atmosphere. While not seen in the fluff and certainly not in game play, it's rather certain that the Guard has alot of "tail" to support the "tooth". Even with advances in tech, even little understood tech, the support fuctions normal outnumber the bullet/las-bolt launchers.

Lord of ???
27-05-2005, 07:37
They probably do similar recycling as the Starships use just on a smaller scale.

So every sourse of water aslong as it can be purified will be used.

Methods of Purificaton would vary wildly from boiling the water. To collecting steam to sophisticated laser arrays or something.

Castigator
27-05-2005, 07:43
Well, to be honest.. it ain't just water.

40K (or fantasy battle) has never given much thought to supply lines (water, food, shelter, ammunition, fuel, etc..) and the like, and quite frankly it isn't the most exciting part to replicate on a table top game.

Historically, there's quite a few military campaigns that failed (mostly, partly, among others) because the supply was either inadequate (like the Hitlers invasion into Russia) or supply was cut from the fighting troops.

Infact.. siege warfare (on planetary scale n 40K) more often than not is a "game" of cutting off/smuggeling in supplies between the two opponents.

Avenging Dentist
27-05-2005, 07:49
Also, don't forget that most battlezones are on inhabited worlds, so some kind of water supply likely exists already on those worlds. As a result (and for the reasons Morgan has stated), water wouldn't be too much of a problem for military personnel. However, this doesn't say anything about where the water is coming from.

Ideally, inhabited worlds would have their own water source, but I'm sure a sizeable number of worlds have no water natively (esp. mining worlds, etc). This wouldn't be such a problem, but the fluff has a tendency to give worlds only one climate (desert worlds, jungle worlds, etc). Presumably, water is imported to terraform the world in these cases. Likely sources would be comets or the rocks forming planetary rings, which (I believe) contain quite a bit of water. Of course, I don't think most planets have rings as substantial as Saturn's, but these would provide some water.

Finally, water appears to be pretty common in space:

Inside gas clouds where new stars are forming, temperatures soar to several thousand degrees, setting off chemical reactions favoring production of water, said Melnick, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

This chemical churning, he said, results "in water being one of the most abundant molecules in these clouds." (link (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/water_space_010220.html))
The above quote suggests that plenty of earth-like worlds exist out in space, and that in cases where they aren't habitable, they at least have water (or their asteroid belts, planetary rings, etc. do). This would probably be enough water to sustain human (and alien) life in the 41st millennium, since there's an awful lot of water in this solar system (on Earth, Mars, planets' ring, a bit in asteroids). The water consumption for hive worlds would be pretty severe, though. Hopefully the Imperium has reasonably good water-recycling capabilities.

Speaking of asteroids, these would also give more than enough materials to make the massive battlefleets in the 41st millennium. Even small M-type (metallic) asteroids contain enormous amounts of raw materials. For example, a relatively small (2km-diameter) M-type asteroid has $20 trillion worth of metals, more than humanity has mined in its entire history so far. So basically, there's an awful lot of stuff in this universe!

taer
27-05-2005, 07:59
There was actually some fluff, somewhere or other, where a hive cities water and food supplies were cut off and the populace rebelled leading to civil war. I think it was about that time the Chaos marines showed up, or something along those lines. But it has been mentioned, and there are entire fleets and planets dedicated to the production and transport of said liquid.

athamas
27-05-2005, 09:33
Most hive worlds rely on a constant stream of supplies form agri/water worlds to keep functioning!

Barbarossa
27-05-2005, 09:34
Wasn't there even a battlezone on Armageddon centered around this? Huge water purifiers at the coast of one of these incredibly polluted oceans where the water was recycled and then pumped to the nearest hive via massive pipelines.

Dakkagor
27-05-2005, 18:01
Yeah, the ice wastes in the south. the white scars and the admech gave the orks a bit of a beating in that region. They had tanker lines and pipelines, the tankers where converted in huge landing subs. . . and disgorged thousands of ork boyz into helsreach docks, the exact opposite way the hive was attacked last time around. Only the rushed redeployment of several storm trooper regiments and a company or three of Space marines prevented the hive going down immediatly.

Tastyfish
27-05-2005, 18:27
Course if the space craft have to take masses amount of oxygen as well as the hydrogen then need for fuel (plasma = fusion reactor) then having enough to synthesise water isn't as much as an issue compared to storing the masses of gas you need to power a 3 kilometer starship.

Water could easily be a storage form for plasma fuel, lot easier to transport than gas

Xhalax
27-05-2005, 21:48
While on planet....each trooper is supplied with a number of water purification tables. So theotrically they will be able to drink from any water source and more or less continue on uneffected.

sulla
27-05-2005, 22:09
Then the relative rarity of water in the galaxy must be taken into consideration. How many planets have water? I would assume that every newly discovered world which has water on it is immediately designated for water harvesting. Perhaps the Imperium has a way of synthesizing water. But then again, most Imperial technology is barely understood and held together by purity seals and the chanting of a techpriest with fingers crossed. The Imperium can barely stitch Terminator suits together. I would think technology as complex as water synthesis would be extremely rare if not completely lost.



-Mobius One.

Don't mistake theory for practice. The imperium doesn't need to understand it's technology, it just has to maintain it. Thanks to STC fragments, there is a lot of tech floating around the imperium which is not fully understood but as long as it is properly maintained, understanding is irrelevant.

Besides, most of the knowledge we have today is false knowledge anyway. You or I might know 'how' a laser beam or a compact disc player works, but we could never build one from scratch. In the imperium they just don't bother learning this false knowledge. There would be some top level scientists in the AdMech, inquisition and possibly military organisations that have a great deal of theoretical knowledge but the lay person/marine wouldn't burden himself with it.

Also, don't forget that the imperium can maintain warp drives, teleporters and space marines... is it really such a stretch thatthey could recycle/synthesise water?

Morgan Keyes
28-05-2005, 03:27
While on planet....each trooper is supplied with a number of water purification tables. So theotrically they will be able to drink from any water source and more or less continue on uneffected.

Ask an actual Ground Pounder how practical that is in the long term. It's fine for a patrol perhapes, but it is the backup when other supplies of potable water go down. And certainly not to maintain an army in the field long-term.

Logistics is certainly outside the realm of the wargame, normal WH40K or Epic-scale (unless as part of the overall scenario background). But while it's not seen in most gameplay or in fluff, it would still be a factor. As are the rest of the logistical elements. It's fairly safe to assume that Guard forces are backed up by plenty of Service & Support elements from the Munitorium to include units to do water purification and transportation to the line units. While you may be able to purify water from the ships in orbit or an advanced portable ROPU, you still need to get it to the units. Forge World even did some support trailers (http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/acatalog/IMPERIAL_GUARD_SUPPORT_VEHICLES.html) to be towed by the Trojan prime mover.

Delicious Soy
28-05-2005, 07:10
Course if the space craft have to take masses amount of oxygen as well as the hydrogen then need for fuel (plasma = fusion reactor) then having enough to synthesise water isn't as much as an issue compared to storing the masses of gas you need to power a 3 kilometer starship.

Water could easily be a storage form for plasma fuel, lot easier to transport than gasPower and fuel aren't really issues on starships, Plasma reactors are self sustaining. The only fuel needed on Imperial starships is the fuel for atmospheric fighters.

Avenging Dentist
28-05-2005, 07:58
Power and fuel aren't really issues on starships, Plasma reactors are self sustaining. The only fuel needed on Imperial starships is the fuel for atmospheric fighters.
Wait... how does that work? I could see plasma reactors working for a long time, but self sustaining? I mean, the law of conservation of energy pretty much excludes that. I know starships use plasma reactors, but I don't remember ever reading that they were self sustaining.

Of course, this all makes me wonder what exactly the plasma is reacting with. Is it just a spiffed-up name for nuclear fusion? Or is it something entirely different?

TomKamakazi
28-05-2005, 15:56
A nifty idea for more compact/portable water I remember reading about a while ago was to have a hydrogen-compound based powder that you could burn. Anything that is burnt is combined with oxygen, so presto, H2O and the rest of the powder floats away as exaust.

I'm sure there are reasons this idea wouldn't work, but hey, we're in the world of duterium filled bolt shells :)

Cloudscape_online
28-05-2005, 17:24
All forces in the 40K universe have Unlimited resources. Have you ever noticed that the battles in the 40K universe are never about controlling a resource, but about having total domination and being the sole entity in the universe. None of the armies are after resources (except Tyranids), and yet they still fight. The game is based upon a battle of principles, no-one is trying to steal each others technology or gain access to a resource that is limited or controlled. The 40K universe is static, and nothing we do as players will change that, not even games day events will cause a shift in the balance of that story. We play out historical battles in a sci-fi universe, whereby the result has no effect upon game world.

Sojourner
28-05-2005, 19:02
And certainly not to maintain an army in the field long-term.

Not a modern army, no. But these are Imperial guardsmen. You can treat them like cattle if you please.

Talkie Toaster
28-05-2005, 19:31
Of course, this all makes me wonder what exactly the plasma is reacting with. Is it just a spiffed-up name for nuclear fusion? Or is it something entirely different?
It seems to be a regular hot fusion reactor, but judging by the whole 'containment failure explosion' presumably it has a secondary fission reactor to start up the magnetic fields when turning it on.
Either that, or The Rule Of Cool is to blame. Again.

Morgan Keyes
28-05-2005, 22:22
Not a modern army, no. But these are Imperial guardsmen. You can treat them like cattle if you please.

Sure, if you want to make your whole army like the old Iraqi military. Honestly, even with mass numbers you get diminishing returns if you treat them totally like a convict force and throw-away suicide troops. Even treating them like cattle, without a logistics system a Guard force will overuse the land they occupy in no time flat. While the Guard uses weight of numbers by and large, if you leave a unit to exist solely on forage and don't keep them supplied then they go from an asset to something bunden. If the Imperium wants the Guard to be effective then they have to supply them and do it well. While many seem to love the Adeptus Astartes, it's pretty clear that the main force that fights and wins the battles of the Imperium is the Guard with the Space Marines being a combat multiplier. Personal view, I would rather picture the Guard more in keeping with Abnett's work then just a cattle-like las/bolter sponge. But then I've been with the Poor Bloody Infantry m'self.

Avenging Dentist
28-05-2005, 23:05
Most likely, the logistical concerns vary from regiment to regiment. Some regiments (e.g. Gaunt's Ghosts) take relatively good care of their men and so would be much more concerned about adequately supplying their troops. Other commanders clearly believe that Guardsmen are just cattle to be sent to the slaughter (these commanders are usually the ones who order direct frontal assaults against a well-emplaced enemy). I doubt these commanders would provide any but the most basic supplies for their men. In these situations, as Morgan Keyes points out, the troops would become a burden in the long run.

Abnett's works support this, showing Gaunt's Ghosts triumphing with fewer men and fewer casualties than other regiments who just try to hammer their foes into submission. Admittedly, the main reason for this is tactics, but I think in the 41st millennium, a commander who tries to conserve his men would also take the time to supply them adequately. After all, a well-fed soldier with fully operational gear will fight better than a half-starved one with shoddy equipment.

DantesInferno
29-05-2005, 00:40
You have to remember that efficiency is not one of the Imperium's highest priorities. The one thing they have oversupply of is human bodies, so huge losses of Guardsmen isn't a large problem in the long run. After all, plenty more where they came from.

Of course they are probably going to make sure that their troops have enough basic supplies to fight adaquately, but I can't see many regiments getting really anything beyond that.

Delicious Soy
29-05-2005, 01:56
Wait... how does that work? I could see plasma reactors working for a long time, but self sustaining? I mean, the law of conservation of energy pretty much excludes that. I know starships use plasma reactors, but I don't remember ever reading that they were self sustaining.

Of course, this all makes me wonder what exactly the plasma is reacting with. Is it just a spiffed-up name for nuclear fusion? Or is it something entirely different?Fine. Self sustaining in any human measurement of time. At some stage it will expend its fuel, but I doubt even something fired up in the heresy would have run out yet.

Morgan Keyes
29-05-2005, 02:30
You have to remember that efficiency is not one of the Imperium's highest priorities. The one thing they have oversupply of is human bodies, so huge losses of Guardsmen isn't a large problem in the long run. After all, plenty more where they came from.

Of course they are probably going to make sure that their troops have enough basic supplies to fight adaquately, but I can't see many regiments getting really anything beyond that.

I never argued this wasn't the case, but while in games and background the logistics system is transparent, it doesn't mean it does not exist. And on the specific case of water, you simply just can't give every Guardsman a bottle or six of iodine tablets and say "good luck!". Trust me on this, I've been a soldier and with light infantry-type units for sixteen years. Any significant army in the field, even if in someplace like a nice wet jungle, is not going to survive even as las-bolt sponges purifying water on the spot. There are enough historical examples of militaries, crack and crap both, that have gone right down the tubes when logistics get shattered (for example, WWII Germany and Iraq on the two ends of the scale).

The original question getting this thread going was:


how important is water to the armies of the Imperium, particularly the Imperial Guard?

The answer is, "very important". To expound upon it, "even for throw-away units, the Guard needs to make efforts not only to produce a supply of potable water, but move it along with other 'beans & bullets' to the troops on the line". Certainly the Imperium spends the lives of the Guard freely, but even the most callous warmaster will know that they can't waste them without purpose, else they may as well open the holds to space bringing them in and just drop the bodies on the enemy for all the good they will do.

Mobius One
29-05-2005, 03:18
Don't mistake theory for practice. The imperium doesn't need to understand it's technology, it just has to maintain it. Thanks to STC fragments, there is a lot of tech floating around the imperium which is not fully understood but as long as it is properly maintained, understanding is irrelevant.

Besides, most of the knowledge we have today is false knowledge anyway. You or I might know 'how' a laser beam or a compact disc player works, but we could never build one from scratch. In the imperium they just don't bother learning this false knowledge. There would be some top level scientists in the AdMech, inquisition and possibly military organisations that have a great deal of theoretical knowledge but the lay person/marine wouldn't burden himself with it.

Also, don't forget that the imperium can maintain warp drives, teleporters and space marines... is it really such a stretch thatthey could recycle/synthesise water?

I would agree fully, sulla, with your statement that the Imperium is interested only in maintaining, and not understanding or (gasp!) improving their technologies, save in rare cases (ie, the Black Templars creating the Crusader variant of the Land Raider, but even then, it's just a variant). But then again, I'm not debating that point, and I never stated that the Imperium did anything more than maintain their technologies. I merely wanted to stress the point that much Imperial technology that was invented during the Golden Age is now extremely rare, if it still exists at all. In the Golden Age, afterall, the Imperium was churning out Terminator suits, but now production of new components is barely measureable and your "new" Terminator suit has likely been worn by dozens of warriors before yourself. Who knows what common technology the Imperium had during the Golden Age, but has now been completely lost?

Moreover, the "rule of rarity" still applies there, even with the technologies you have used as examples. Not every ship has warp drives or teleporters, and not every Imperial soldier is genetically modified or is wearing a suit of power armor. Water synthesizers, which one would assume are just as complex if not more so than teleporters, warp drives or power armor, would be just as rare. Sure, the Imperium may be able to maintain a water synthesizer here or there without much of a problem, but it's hardly enough to handle the massive amounts of water required by the Imperial armies, which as we've established is a lot of water.

Thank you, Morgan Keyes, for adding so much to the thread and in particular for returning it to the topic of water. That is, after all, the topic of the thread. :D

Thank you one and all for your responses.

-Mobius One.

Brother Loki
29-05-2005, 13:08
As I understand it, most modern armies have a support to combatant ratio of somewhere between 3 and 5 to 1, so for every infantryman, tank crewman or artilleryman, there are at least 3 and probably 5 people whose jobs are geared to getting the shooters where they need to be and keeping them supplied once they're there. Every fighter pilot will have a ground crew of half a dozen or more mechanics, let alone all the cooks, quartermasters, clerks, truck drivers etc.

I should imagine the Imperium is much the same. The Departmento Munitorum will be absolutely vast, and have enormous resources. I should think that there are whole fleets dedicated to moving food and water, as well as ammunition and other battlefield supplies, to support military forces in the field on various planets.

Adept
29-05-2005, 16:59
I don't imagine there would be much in the way of water sythesization. As far as I know, it's practically impossible at the moment. We can get Hydrogen, and we can get Oxygen, but no matter how hard you push, the little blighters just don't stick together.

Water recycling though, is another matter entirely. While not as effiecient as those suits from Dune, I imagine that water recycling equipment would be fairly bog standard for the IG, as well as water extractors. I mean, your car Air Conditioner extracts water from the air. It's not exactly sophisticated technology.

And yes, water is extremely important in terms of logistics. And as Morgan Keyes pointed out, there is no point to wasting the lives of guardsmen. You might as well have not bothered recruiting them in the first place. If you've got them, you might as well do something with them.

And the IG are, without doubt, the most important planetary warfare tool the Imperium has. I mean, a Marine chapter has, what, one thousand fighting men? Now look at the trouble the USA has keeping Iraq, one tiny country, under control with more than a hundred thousand soldiers.

Now imagine 1000 Marines attempting to control an entire planet...

No, you simply need the numbers. And the numbers need the water, as well as the beans and bullets.

Sojourner
29-05-2005, 17:23
We can get Hydrogen, and we can get Oxygen, but no matter how hard you push, the little blighters just don't stick together.

It's called fire.

Flame Boy
29-05-2005, 19:48
but even the most callous warmaster will know that they can't waste them without purpose, else they may as well open the holds to space bringing them in and just drop the bodies on the enemy for all the good they will do.

I must be very twisted to find that as amusing as I did...

I cant just imagine the heretics' cries now... "Run! I see a bulk transporter! It's another bombing run!"

Sorry, not very practical in the thread, but it struck me as funny.

It must require an absolutely staggering amount of resources to keep the Imperial Guard, and therefore the Departmento Munitorum rolling. It must eventually result in ocean worlds being drained over years of over-harvesting. Bearing in mind how often a resource convoy is attacked... You could lose several million tons of water into the void... and I doubt jumping out into space with a vacuum cleaner to suck it all back up again will help much.... :p

Sojourner
29-05-2005, 19:59
I don't see why it all has to be transported across space - the vast majority of worlds being attacked will have water in their biosphere, all you need is heavy equipment to purify it and some planetary craft to transport it. Land a desalination ship by the coast and suck up all the seawater you want.

Avenging Dentist
29-05-2005, 20:08
It must require an absolutely staggering amount of resources to keep the Imperial Guard, and therefore the Departmento Munitorum rolling. It must eventually result in ocean worlds being drained over years of over-harvesting. Bearing in mind how often a resource convoy is attacked... You could lose several million tons of water into the void... and I doubt jumping out into space with a vacuum cleaner to suck it all back up again will help much.... :p
Actually, water is pretty common in space (or so the theory goes - we haven't actually been able to check much of anywhere outside the solar system), so I doubt that you'd need an ocean world. Also, remember that most Guard operations involve taking territory from the enemy. As long as a campaign is going well, it should be possible to replenish water from local sources (though I wouldn't advise it if you're attacking a Chaos homeworld. Their water would probably be made of maggots or something.)

If a campaign is failing, however, the Guard may lose vital water sources and could be forced to import from other worlds. I think this is kind of unlikely, though, since most planets have an awful lot of water. It would only be an issue on non-terraformed worlds where water is very limited in the first place. Of course, given the Rule of Cool, plenty of battles take place on volcano planets and other uninhabitable places, so water importing would probably be more likely in these cases. Why anyone would want a volcano planet is beyond me, though...

Flame Boy
29-05-2005, 20:44
Why anyone would want a volcano planet is beyond me, though...

According to the rule of cool, because death-worlds create tough soldiers, rather than unfortunate blighted and stunted individuals as a result of food being almost non-existent or set on the notion of pre-emptive dinner invitations.... :D

Incognito
30-05-2005, 01:18
And the IG are, without doubt, the most important planetary warfare tool the Imperium has. I mean, a Marine chapter has, what, one thousand fighting men? Now look at the trouble the USA has keeping Iraq, one tiny country, under control with more than a hundred thousand soldiers.


Actually...

Were it not for our exquisite 20th century moral principles combined with mass media, the Iraq occupation would be considered a cakewalk.

Afterall...Look at how the Nazis subjugated all of Europe. A Europe considerably more inclined to resistance unlike in Iraq where it is only a tiny fraction of a fraction of the populace. I.E, 80% of the population being the Shiites and Kurds are perfectly happy, and it's estimated only 1-5% of the 20% Sunni majority are Baath loyalists.

Granted, this is still like a 50 thousand people and they can still cause trouble. But even the highest estimates of actual insurgents at work in Iraq aren't more then a tenth of that.

Now...If the Imperium was occupying Iraq, it would have encouraged the Shiites and Kurds to take their revenge on the Sunnis and then gone about wholesale slaughtering everyone. And really, not even the most rabid liberal socialist can claim that the American occupation is one of the most gentle in human history. Which is why it's been such a pain in the ****.

If the Imperium was in Iraq, it'd already be gone by now and there'd be another ruthless dictatorship in place, this time Shiite and just as hostile in the long run. Fostering democracy in the real world is hard work!

Adept
30-05-2005, 02:22
If the Imperium was in Iraq, it'd already be gone by now and there'd be another ruthless dictatorship in place, this time Shiite and just as hostile in the long run. Fostering democracy in the real world is hard work!

Well, I don't actually believe the Imperium to be all that bad. It would take a much higher expenditure of resources to rule through fear than it would to rule through a democracy, especially once you take into account the increase in productivity.

Anywho, my point was that the Marines really lack the numbers to be able to do anything other than strong-point assaults.

The IG could operate wiithout the assistance of the Marines.

The Marines need the IG to wage war.

TomKamakazi
30-05-2005, 02:59
I don't imagine there would be much in the way of water sythesization. As far as I know, it's practically impossible at the moment. We can get Hydrogen, and we can get Oxygen, but no matter how hard you push, the little blighters just don't stick together.



Sojourner beat me to it, but have you heard of the hindenburg?

Mobius One
30-05-2005, 06:22
Guys, let's not turn this into a discussion on Iraqi politics, shall we? You bring up some well informed opinions there, Incognito, but this is about water and the Imperium. Feel free to start up another thread on Iraq and the Imperium, if you so wish.

I hate to sound like thread police, but I've seen too many threads hijacked by politics over my years on various message boards.

-Mobius One.

Incognito
30-05-2005, 07:06
Well, I don't actually believe the Imperium to be all that bad. It would take a much higher expenditure of resources to rule through fear than it would to rule through a democracy, especially once you take into account the increase in productivity.


:wtf:



I hate to sound like thread police, but I've seen too many threads hijacked by politics over my years on various message boards.

-Mobius One.

Fair enough. ;)

Castigator
30-05-2005, 10:09
* cough *

No politics I guess


:rolleyes:

Adept
31-05-2005, 05:38
Sojourner beat me to it, but have you heard of the hindenburg?

Yes indeed. Which was rather my point, in that simply coimbining oxygen and hydrogen doesn't make water. Shouldn't water, technically, be highly flammable? You've got the fuel and the oxygen, all you should need is the ignition and away it goes. Must be something to do with the way the covalent bonds work. I never did pay too much attention in chemistry class.

Incognito:If you rule through fear and domination, you need lots of soldiers on the ground. If you keep the people happy, not only does it lessen the need for martial law, but increases productivity. Without trying to get too political, look at modern day China and the USA. My point was really that 1000 soldiers, or an entire Marine chapter, have absolutely no chance of controlling an entire planet. You would need over 100 marine chapters to take and hold a single continent. Without the Imperial Guard, the Marines and the Imperium would collapse very quickly. You really need those bodies on the ground, and those bodies need at least two litres of water every day. Each. For a million men, that's a lot of water.

Delicious Soy
31-05-2005, 06:03
Actually if you have a fire hot enough, the bonds break and putting water on it simply fuels it. But really, if the Russians and Germans could do it in WWII then I'm sure the Departmento Munitorum can do it, especially with the advantage of bulk lifters and increased water recylcing capabilities.

Avenging Dentist
31-05-2005, 07:47
Yes indeed. Which was rather my point, in that simply coimbining oxygen and hydrogen doesn't make water. Shouldn't water, technically, be highly flammable? You've got the fuel and the oxygen, all you should need is the ignition and away it goes. Must be something to do with the way the covalent bonds work. I never did pay too much attention in chemistry class.
Well, the main reason that oxygen and hydrogen don't just form water when put together is that both are diatomic (i.e. they always come in pairs of H's and O's). Since water has just one atom of oxygen and pure oxygen is already paired, they can't very well combine. In the process of combustion, however, the bonds can break, letting the oxygen combine with whatever is combusting.

At least, I think that's how it works. It's been a while since I've taken a chem class.

athamas
31-05-2005, 09:37
yesm you need to ignite a 2:1 mix of H2 and O2 to make water!

Sai-Lauren
31-05-2005, 09:48
We can get Hydrogen, and we can get Oxygen, but no matter how hard you push, the little blighters just don't stick together.

Never heard of hydrogen fuel cells? :)
Basically, get a catalyst (platinum IIRC), pass hydrogen and oxygen gas over it, and lo and behold, you get water vapour and electricity. IMO, that's what we should all have in our cars, else we'll be mining landfill sites for plastics in fifty years time.


Sojourner beat me to it, but have you heard of the hindenburg?
Main reason that went up is because the waterproof doping they used on the skin just happened to be the same kind of chemicals they use in the shuttles solid rocket boosters :eek: , and the skin built up static electrical charges which because of the design, weren't uniform. The moment the tie cables on the bow earthed the majority of the vessel, a current was set up between one part of the skin and another, which sparked, ignited the doping and the rest is history. The hydrogen itself only added to the fire, it wasn't the cause of it.

Brusilov ran a marvellous thread on guard logistics on the old portent, and was writing some articles on it for the Oracle. He may still have the thread.

Easy E
01-06-2005, 00:32
I suppose not all guardsmen who are tithed are las/bolter bait. Some of those tithed units could be logistical regiments. These regiments could come supplied with trucks, bulk haulers, tankers, and specialist equipment for water supply.

I think it is a good point someone made earlier that most worlds that are the sight of large scale battles have been terraformed to make them habitable. Thus they would need to have a relatively large and accessable source of water.

However, in the background you often hear only about the battles in the extreme climates. I would argue that battles in this locations would be "relatively" small scale so would not require the same scale of logisitics.

Morgan Keyes
01-06-2005, 15:51
I suppose not all guardsmen who are tithed are las/bolter bait. Some of those tithed units could be logistical regiments. These regiments could come supplied with trucks, bulk haulers, tankers, and specialist equipment for water supply.

Or directly by the Departmento Munitorium. Likely tithed/levied units as well, just under a different name and not normally recognized as "Guard". But that's splitting hairs.


I think it is a good point someone made earlier that most worlds that are the sight of large scale battles have been terraformed to make them habitable. Thus they would need to have a relatively large and accessable source of water.

However, in the background you often hear only about the battles in the extreme climates. I would argue that battles in this locations would be "relatively" small scale so would not require the same scale of logisitics.

Even in good climates where water is around, normally you just can't walk on down to the river and dip in your canteen with abandon. There's still plenty of stuff in "nice" climates to deadline a unit that did that. And in a fight, particularly a protracted one, you could be within sight of a water source but the "Bad Guys" cut you off from it. Example: Battle of the Ia Drang Valley and LZ X-Ray in Vietnam. Unit is cut off from the main body, fixed and pinned by Vietnamese forces. They ran out of water, in the jungle, and by the time they were relieved were suffering from dehydration. It doesn't need to be deserts or wastelands to have you sucking wind when logistics falls through.

Avenging Dentist
01-06-2005, 18:24
Even in good climates where water is around, normally you just can't walk on down to the river and dip in your canteen with abandon. There's still plenty of stuff in "nice" climates to deadline a unit that did that. And in a fight, particularly a protracted one, you could be within sight of a water source but the "Bad Guys" cut you off from it.
That's true, but it's a heck of a lot better than fighting on some inhospitable volcano world. Even though you might not have access to water, it's there, and I'm sure whoever's in charge would organize an operation to get a viable water source (though this doesn't appear in the fluff very often, if at all). This way (assuming you managed to take and hold the water source), you wouldn't have to continually import water from other worlds to keep your troops hydrated, which is generally a good thing.

Speaking of "take and hold", an operation like this might be interesting in a campaign-level game. The defenders hold the primary water source, and the attackers have to take it or risk importing their water. If the defenders keep the water source, they could try and hassle the water convoys to try and weaken their foes.

El_Machinae
04-07-2005, 20:04
In fact, with advanced technology, it would be possible to use fusion to eventually give oxygen as a by-product (deriving energy the whole way down from hydrogen all the way to oxygen).

This means that all of the CHNOPS (with advanced technology) could be derived from the orbit of a gas giant, and their production would infact give off energy.

A little advanced for the AdMech, but these technologies could have been produced in the past.

FutureEmperor
05-07-2005, 07:13
Acctually water is very common through out the universe. (i believe its the single most common molecule if i am not mistaken.) In our solar system alone you can find water/ice/steam on 8 of the nine planets (although pluto only has suspected ice crystals(and frozen methane....)) but anyways, the only planet that doesnt contain any water is mercury (it being to hot, and having no atmosphere.). Not only to mention the planets but there are also asteroids, comets, and moons which may have water, (look at Io, its a massive ocean...) Water synthesis would probably not be that hard as you can "synthesize" water by just burning wood, this produces the carbon/water vapour which we usually just call smoke...

logistics is a complicated thing and even if you have the transportation of water from one world to another (which would probably be uneeded) there is the much more complicated case of transporting the water, food, and supplies to the soldiers on the front. Even logistics during peace time can give most people headaches.

What probably would cause the Imperium more trouble would be food, (as most imperial soldiers would probably have to eat what thier used to(a cadian wouldnt eat bugs from catachan.) and most food cannot be found in the field (while water can). Food also is very bulky.

El_Machinae
05-07-2005, 19:08
That's a good point. Transporting calories is wickedly expensive. One way around the massive expense is to 'bulk up' the troops when they're on a planet and allow them to store fat around their middle. That way, they can be fed a deficit calorie diet for an extended period of time, and the shipping costs for food would go way down.

Feeding all your fat troops 2500 calories a day is a lot cheaper than feeding your lean troops 3500 calories a day. And the extra cost of shipping 'heavy' troops is a lot less than shipping the necessary food.

FutureEmperor
08-07-2005, 02:36
But then you have troops that will most likely die of a heart attack (especially when fighting some of the more greusome badies out thier (i.e. orks, chaos) :p )
or these troops wont be able to fight as effectively, but it sounds like a plan, and i like plans...

BorisGT
09-07-2005, 03:49
Well, whatever the logistics of the Imperium's water situation is, this thread made me automatically think of the film Ice Pirates... Anyone else get that?

Sir_Lunchalot
10-07-2005, 06:17
Not only to mention the planets but there are also asteroids, comets, and moons which may have water, (look at Io, its a massive ocean...)

Actually Europa is the giant frozen ocean, Io is the one covered in volcanoes due to the plaet getting squished by Jupiter's gravity.

but as for supplying large armies with water, the Imperium (or whoever holds the planet) probably has to supply even larger numbers of civilians with water, I would assume soldiers get supplied in a similar manner, using local resources when possible.

FutureEmperor
10-07-2005, 06:53
sh17 i messed up, i call myself a member of spacesim, i should of checked in my space reference resources (to bad im to damn lazy to do that.)
but this issue reminds me of a book i read. (psychohistorical crisis) in which there is a planet that is practically a hive world (just a massive city), and while it used to have a massive ocean, because of all the pipes and water needed elsewhere, there was no natural souces of water left, it was all ways in the pipes, in use or in the atmosphere.

Morgan Keyes
11-07-2005, 00:53
but as for supplying large armies with water, the Imperium (or whoever holds the planet) probably has to supply even larger numbers of civilians with water, I would assume soldiers get supplied in a similar manner, using local resources when possible.

When you talk about supplying troops in the field, it's alot more difficult. Civilians have some kind of permenant infrastructure where they reside. The military needs to bring it with them wherever they go, and move it from pumping/purification/storage to the units themselves. Kind of hard to supply plumbing for that in a timely manner. Having potable water is only part of the solution for the Guard. You can have all the potable water you handle, but if you can't move it too the Guardsmen then it may as well be mud. And moving it is as great a feat as just getting it in the first place. So it's not really the same thing.

Sojourner
11-07-2005, 09:29
I'd go for purification where available. It isn't too much of a stretch to have a mobile purifier or desalinator on a chimera chassis or towed by a Trojan. Now it's just a matter of hand-waving to put a ballpark figure on how many men a typical unit can supply.