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geldedgoat
26-10-2010, 05:18
I'm currently reading Storm of Iron, and my eyes just kinda glazed over with the description of the siege of Tor Christo. Can anyone help explain how the Iron Warriors' trenches, saps, and everything else were able to advance with impunity towards the fortress? Were the Imperials' mortars and other heavy weapons just incapable of landing direct hits?

(Diagrams would be most appreciated! :))

FlashGordon
26-10-2010, 09:57
Alot of slaves and building threnches and tunnels. Trenches are quite effective against artillery. Suggest you look up Trench warfare and 1st world war on wikipedia.

Col. Dash
26-10-2010, 12:04
Sand and dirt make extremely good bullet sponges. It sounds like their trenches are extremely deep and unless artillery makes a direct hit in the trench pretty much it is nullified. Whoever wrote Storm of Iron did quite a bit of research into trench warfare all the way up thru the middle-ages and anti-castle warfare to WW1.

Polaria
26-10-2010, 12:54
A little example from Battle of Somme 1916 when the British thought they could crush German trenches with simple artillery and mortar barrages:

Before the infantry moved, the artillery had been called into action. Barrages in the past had depended on surprise and poor German bunkers for success; however, these conditions did not exist in the area of the Somme. To add to the difficulties involved in penetrating the German defences, of 1,437 British guns, only 467 were heavies, and just 34 of those were of 9.2" (234 mm) or greater calibre. Of the 12,000 tons of explosives fired, two thirds of it was shrapnel and only 900 tons of it was capable of penetrating bunkers.

The end result was the despite several days (!) long barrage the German fortifications survived and the Brits were slaughtered into to no-mans land by machinegun fire.

geldedgoat
26-10-2010, 13:23
Er, it seems a little clarification is required, as I'm not sure any of you have read the relevant text.

I get how trenches work and are effective for infantry against artillery. What I don't get is how a trench system can advance directly forward under constant bombardment and then establish counter artillery of its own at its extreme forward perimeter capable of demolishing enemy artillery and heavy defenses. Would the opposing basilisks, mortars, lascannons, etc just be too inaccurate to handle such an advance?

Easy E
26-10-2010, 14:00
So, here is how it works.

First you have your main trench system. On the other side is the enemy wall. It is important to remember that the enemy is stuck inside their wall.

You build a series of small sommunication trenches outwards (or Saps) from the main trench towards the enemies wall. These trenches are smaller than a normal trench , and you put them at all sorts of odd angles.

Once you reach a set point, you stop digging out, and start digging across. These form into small redoubts, or firing pits. Depending on how far you are from the enemies wall, you can either expand this into another, new trench line, or maintain them as redoubts. Either way, you will need to expand the communication lines to allow the easy movement of troops, guns, and ammo to the new positions.

Rinse and repeat until you are close enough to bring your siege guns to bear on the target and dearly point blank range to knock down the enemies wall.

Keep in mind this is a slow and deadly process, but tha tis how it is done. Typically, your enemy knows exactly what you are doing, and trying their hardest to keep you from getting any closer. Meanwhile, your troops and artillery in your main trench line are doing their darndest to keep the enemy from stopping you from getting any closer with counter-battery fire and diversionary attacks.

So, yes. Essentially you keep digging lines closer and closer and get more and bigger guns closer and closer to the fortress wall until it breaks. Provided you have enough bodies and time, you will eventually crack the fort.

Edit: this gives you an idea of a defensive trench. Now imagine using communication trenches to build it outward through the wire...

http://www.pap-to-pass.org/Nature.htm
http://www.harris-academy.com/departments/history/Trenches/GillianR/layout.jpg
http://www.harris-academy.com/departments/history/Trenches/danielh/daniel7.jpg

RBLFunk
26-10-2010, 17:48
First, you need to ensure the defender has a WW1 level of technology or worse.
It doesn't work, fortresses themselves were already more or less obsolete by WW1.
Space Marines besieging a technologically advanced adversary with an encroaching trench network is absurd. The scenario would rely on the defenders having short ranged, inaccurate, ineffective weapons in small numbers, in which case there's not much need to besiege in the first place. If the defenders are weak enough that you can get away with building a trench around them, then you don't need to build a trench around them. Astartes would have infinite superior options for breaching fortifications or subduing a target. Cruise missiles have a pretty long range and carry a pretty impressive warhead.

The visual is probably similar to a guy with a pointed stick running 50 metres over open ground towards a guy with an assault rifle who empties two magazines worth of rounds at him, but the guy with the stick inexplicably gets there and stabs him to death.

Col. Tartleton
26-10-2010, 18:08
Which has led me to believe that these "trenches" and "siegeworks" are on a scale we can't really compare to world war one tactics.

This is 40k. Take your wimpy wimpy wimpy World War I and replace it with HEFTY HEFTY HEFTY World War XL [40,000].

Those trenches are miles long and a hundred feet deep filled with German rail cannon lobbing atom bombs and filled with hundreds of thousands of malformed mutants in ragged uniforms clambering over ramshackle catwalks and using massive teetering cranes to load 7 ton shells into V3 cannons while power armored strategoi debate battle plans a mile beneath the earth in massive bunkers. The defenders holding their a mile high fortress with massive ordnance weapons blasting kilometer sized craters and enormous plasma fueled shield arrays making a mockery of even the most devastating weapons of mass destruction. Skies filled with fighter craft making daring bombing runs through a million pivoting flak cannons and massive multilasers filling the sky with something between a search light and tracer fire. Superheavy tanks collapsing siegeworks and riding down the thousands of enemy crew in their man made valleys before being blown to bits by enraged sappers. Diamond edged razor wire hewing through Leman Russes and men alike with equal disregard...

Why anything less then that would be... underwhelming.

Lowmans
26-10-2010, 18:14
Let's not forget massed infantry assaults performed purely to sight enemy guns!

Mmmmm Darling!

NightrawenII
26-10-2010, 19:05
Er, it seems a little clarification is required, as I'm not sure any of you have read the relevant text.

I get how trenches work and are effective for infantry against artillery. What I don't get is how a trench system can advance directly forward under constant bombardment and then establish counter artillery of its own at its extreme forward perimeter capable of demolishing enemy artillery and heavy defenses. Would the opposing basilisks, mortars, lascannons, etc just be too inaccurate to handle such an advance?
Try this.Linky (http://www.fortified-places.com/sieges.html)
Or google Vauban and/or Coehorn. Wikipedia is no good.

Stomer70
26-10-2010, 19:27
Which has led me to believe that these "trenches" and "siegeworks" are on a scale we can't really compare to world war one tactics.

This is 40k. Take your wimpy wimpy wimpy World War I and replace it with HEFTY HEFTY HEFTY World War XL [40,000].

Those trenches are miles long and a hundred feet deep filled with German rail cannon lobbing atom bombs and filled with hundreds of thousands of malformed mutants in ragged uniforms clambering over ramshackle catwalks and using massive teetering cranes to load 7 ton shells into V3 cannons while power armored strategoi debate battle plans a mile beneath the earth in massive bunkers. The defenders holding their a mile high fortress with massive ordnance weapons blasting kilometer sized craters and enormous plasma fueled shield arrays making a mockery of even the most devastating weapons of mass destruction. Skies filled with fighter craft making daring bombing runs through a million pivoting flak cannons and massive multilasers filling the sky with something between a search light and tracer fire. Superheavy tanks collapsing siegeworks and riding down the thousands of enemy crew in their man made valleys before being blown to bits by enraged sappers. Diamond edged razor wire hewing through Leman Russes and men alike with equal disregard...

Why anything less then that would be... underwhelming.

I feel like this needs to be the next WH40K movie...

Lars Porsenna
26-10-2010, 19:37
Let's not forget massed infantry assaults performed purely to sight enemy guns!


Don't know if this was in jest, but that's called Recon by Combat: send forward troops and then observe the positions that shoot at them. IIRC a tactic used by the Soviets in WWII, and by US Air Assault in Vietnam (send the light choppers in, and then roll up the gunships on whatever took shots at them).

Damon.

Luisjoey
26-10-2010, 19:55
How cool that situation is!

i love IRON WARRIORS! iīm about assemble them :D

clOne
26-10-2010, 22:19
Which has led me to believe that these "trenches" and "siegeworks" are on a scale we can't really compare to world war one tactics.

This is 40k. Take your wimpy wimpy wimpy World War I and replace it with HEFTY HEFTY HEFTY World War XL [40,000].

Those trenches are miles long and a hundred feet deep filled with German rail cannon lobbing atom bombs and filled with hundreds of thousands of malformed mutants in ragged uniforms clambering over ramshackle catwalks and using massive teetering cranes to load 7 ton shells into V3 cannons while power armored strategoi debate battle plans a mile beneath the earth in massive bunkers. The defenders holding their a mile high fortress with massive ordnance weapons blasting kilometer sized craters and enormous plasma fueled shield arrays making a mockery of even the most devastating weapons of mass destruction. Skies filled with fighter craft making daring bombing runs through a million pivoting flak cannons and massive multilasers filling the sky with something between a search light and tracer fire. Superheavy tanks collapsing siegeworks and riding down the thousands of enemy crew in their man made valleys before being blown to bits by enraged sappers. Diamond edged razor wire hewing through Leman Russes and men alike with equal disregard...

Why anything less then that would be... underwhelming.

Finally, someone who understands.

bluemage
26-10-2010, 23:34
The point is most of the warfare in 40k doesn't make any sense. We're supposed to believe that 1,000 soldiers can conquer a planet. I mean really, if the soldiers are that good, each one would just be targeted by a ballistic missile and they wouldn't survive that.

Trench warfare doesn't exist anymore because its just a waste of resources. Really they should just bombard the instillation until the defenses are broken and then drop pod or teleport in combat squads.

Leave logic behind for this is GRIMDARK 40k and trench warfare is a grimdark way of fighting.

SimonL
27-10-2010, 00:03
This is 40k. Take your wimpy wimpy wimpy World War I and replace it with HEFTY HEFTY HEFTY World War XL [40,000].

Those trenches are miles long and a hundred feet deep filled with German rail cannon lobbing atom bombs and filled with hundreds of thousands of malformed mutants in ragged uniforms clambering over ramshackle catwalks and using massive teetering cranes to load 7 ton shells into V3 cannons while power armored strategoi debate battle plans a mile beneath the earth in massive bunkers. The defenders holding their a mile high fortress with massive ordnance weapons blasting kilometer sized craters and enormous plasma fueled shield arrays making a mockery of even the most devastating weapons of mass destruction. Skies filled with fighter craft making daring bombing runs through a million pivoting flak cannons and massive multilasers filling the sky with something between a search light and tracer fire. Superheavy tanks collapsing siegeworks and riding down the thousands of enemy crew in their man made valleys before being blown to bits by enraged sappers. Diamond edged razor wire hewing through Leman Russes and men alike with equal disregard...



This is one of the greatest things ever posted on Warseer! :D 40k in a nutshell...

Bluemage has it quite right...I love when the "it's so unrealistic" argument is applied to warfare in 40k. Remember, this is the universe where the ideal anti-armour strategy is to punch tanks to death with a giant electro-boxing glove.


Edit: Post number 666! Muahahahaha

Ron Burgundy
27-10-2010, 00:08
Don't know if this was in jest, but that's called Recon by Combat: send forward troops and then observe the positions that shoot at them. IIRC a tactic used by the Soviets in WWII, and by US Air Assault in Vietnam (send the light choppers in, and then roll up the gunships on whatever took shots at them).

Damon.

And also actually used by the Iron Warriors in the book under discussion.

The only thing I think remaining to be mentioned is that your approach trenches have to be made at an angle that the enemy can't see down and fire along. Fairly obvious, but thought I should mention it.

The siege tactics in Storm of Iron don't really make sense, which is a shame. The Iron Warriors trench system reads like something out of Bernard Cornwell, and then the battles fought in/near it are very WWI.
Then it goes all Sharpe again when the IW attack the fortress.
Difficult to reconcile with Earthshakers and Titans and the like.

In fact, I find it hard to get over the Titans not just walking over and blasting the fortresses' walls apart...the weight of fire presumably required to keep them away by stripping voids and inflicting constant damage doesn't seem to be very well described.

geldedgoat
27-10-2010, 09:14
Okay, now I can see how the trench system could advance towards the fortress. However, I still don't get why the Imperials were unable to target the forward-placed Iron Warriors artillery pieces that blasted their walls to hell and back.


In fact, I find it hard to get over the Titans not just walking over and blasting the fortresses' walls apart...the weight of fire presumably required to keep them away by stripping voids and inflicting constant damage doesn't seem to be very well described.

This I can answer. The Imperial titans (along with a horde of tanks) marched out to engage before the enemy titans were finished deploying and were apparently able to critically damage every last one.

Lowmans
27-10-2010, 09:37
Don't know if this was in jest, but that's called Recon by Combat: send forward troops and then observe the positions that shoot at them. IIRC a tactic used by the Soviets in WWII, and by US Air Assault in Vietnam (send the light choppers in, and then roll up the gunships on whatever took shots at them).

Damon.

Lol! Yes it was/is a real tactic and also present in the book.
Also, a BlackAdder Goes Forth reference!

Baaaaaaaaah! Darling!

:)

NightrawenII
27-10-2010, 14:32
Don't know if this was in jest, but that's called Recon by Combat: send forward troops and then observe the positions that shoot at them. IIRC a tactic used by the Soviets in WWII, and by US Air Assault in Vietnam (send the light choppers in, and then roll up the gunships on whatever took shots at them).

Damon.
Well, the Red Army also used its infantry to clear a minefields.


The point is most of the warfare in 40k doesn't make any sense. We're supposed to believe that 1,000 soldiers can conquer a planet. I mean really, if the soldiers are that good, each one would just be targeted by a ballistic missile and they wouldn't survive that.
The problem is, that these soldiers land in the middle of you missile-base and blast everything what moves with their automatic-rocket-launchers and then blast everything what does NOT move. Better sure, rather than sorry.


Trench warfare doesn't exist anymore because its just a waste of resources.
Trench warfare doesn't exists because assault means outperform defensive means. Just wait few years.

mob16151
27-10-2010, 14:59
[QUOTE=geldedgoat;5079802]Okay, now I can see how the trench system could advance towards the fortress. However, I still don't get why the Imperials were unable to target the forward-placed Iron Warriors artillery pieces that blasted their walls to hell and back.


Could be any of a number of reasons.

*The Iron Warriors weight of Fire was just to heavy for the Imperials to deal with.

*The IW's Counter battery fire was so good, that if the Imperials opened Fire with a Battery they'd only be able to get a few rounds off before they we're targeted and destroyed by the IW's artillery.

* Ineffective(poorly trained perhaps?) Imperial Artillery spotters

*Imperials shot themselves out of Ammo.

*Imperials we're ordered to save their shells for higher priority targets

*IW's were issued Mark V plot Armour before hand. :D

In other words there's a whole bunch of potentially different scenarios to describe this.

AlphariusOmegon20
27-10-2010, 15:04
Don't know if this was in jest, but that's called Recon by Combat: send forward troops and then observe the positions that shoot at them. IIRC a tactic used by the Soviets in WWII, and by US Air Assault in Vietnam (send the light choppers in, and then roll up the gunships on whatever took shots at them).

Damon.

LOL I've always called it "Recon by Newbie". ;)

mob16151
27-10-2010, 15:05
LOL I've always called it "Recon by Newbie". ;)


Recon by Force is good clean family fun. Besides, it's really hard to sneak up on someone in a Bradley.

bluemage
27-10-2010, 19:13
The problem is, that these soldiers land in the middle of you missile-base and blast everything what moves with their automatic-rocket-launchers and then blast everything what does NOT move. Better sure, rather than sorry.


Then respond to that threat by self destructing the base. If there are too many marines to repulse then self-destruct the base and kill them all. Also nuclear weapons. The technology level is high enough.

Also China has an army of a million soldiers. That would be 1,000 soldiers for every space marine in a chapter. China would have an easy time killing a chapter.

Lupe
27-10-2010, 19:53
Which has led me to believe that these "trenches" and "siegeworks" are on a scale we can't really compare to world war one tactics.

This is 40k. Take your wimpy wimpy wimpy World War I and replace it with HEFTY HEFTY HEFTY World War XL [40,000].

Those trenches are miles long and a hundred feet deep filled with German rail cannon lobbing atom bombs and filled with hundreds of thousands of malformed mutants in ragged uniforms clambering over ramshackle catwalks and using massive teetering cranes to load 7 ton shells into V3 cannons while power armored strategoi debate battle plans a mile beneath the earth in massive bunkers. The defenders holding their a mile high fortress with massive ordnance weapons blasting kilometer sized craters and enormous plasma fueled shield arrays making a mockery of even the most devastating weapons of mass destruction. Skies filled with fighter craft making daring bombing runs through a million pivoting flak cannons and massive multilasers filling the sky with something between a search light and tracer fire. Superheavy tanks collapsing siegeworks and riding down the thousands of enemy crew in their man made valleys before being blown to bits by enraged sappers. Diamond edged razor wire hewing through Leman Russes and men alike with equal disregard...

Why anything less then that would be... underwhelming.

You forgot the chainsaw bayonets...

The Highlander
27-10-2010, 20:53
Okay, now I can see how the trench system could advance towards the fortress. However, I still don't get why the Imperials were unable to target the forward-placed Iron Warriors artillery pieces that blasted their walls to hell and back.

The Iron Warriors started digging their trenches beyond the range of the imperial guns. As they dug forwards they made their trenches 3 meters deep with angled walls to protect them from overhead impacts and built earth rampart on top. The breaching batteries themselves were placed too far forward for the imperial guns to hit them. In addition, the batteries would have protective gabions in front of the guns themselves, which would only be removed when the guns fired, protecting them at all other times.

Quetch
27-10-2010, 23:30
lso China has an army of a million soldiers. That would be 1,000 soldiers for every space marine in a chapter. China would have an easy time killing a chapter.

Thatís not how marines fight. They donít deploy their whole army and allow themselves to be out manoeuvred. They send a squad to tactically important locations (enemy HQ's, missile bases, communication networks etc...) to blind and deafen the enemy forces, leaving them leaderless and confused. The enemy army should never have the chance to engage them in open combat. Once thatís done, the guard move in and mop up the remnants.

mob16151
27-10-2010, 23:43
The Iron Warriors started digging their trenches beyond the range of the imperial guns. As they dug forwards they made their trenches 3 meters deep with angled walls to protect them from overhead impacts and built earth rampart on top. The breaching batteries themselves were placed too far forward for the imperial guns to hit them. In addition, the batteries would have protective gabions in front of the guns themselves, which would only be removed when the guns fired, protecting them at all other times.


So the Imperials only had 1 type of artillery piece? :wtf:

Polaria
28-10-2010, 05:59
Trench warfare doesn't exists because assault means outperform defensive means. Just wait few years.

Trench warfare doesn't exist because at the current moment we haven't a single war on this planet where the other participant isn't technologically, numerically and economically superior to the other participant by at least a factor of 10:1. Trench warfare simply cannot exist when the other side is hugely overpowering its opponents in all facets of war.

The closest we come to equal warfare is Kashmir conflict between Pakistan and India. India is hugely overpowering but unable to bring that power to bear in mountains with bad infrastructure. The conflict has been grinding on with regular fighting for tens of years now and both sides pretty much live in trenchlines and fortifications dug out by their fathers regiments three decades back. There is regular artillery bombardments and infantry assaults of battalion size but neither side has found enough resources or will to end it.

Easy E
28-10-2010, 20:19
There is also the possibility, taht ones you get the trenches to a certian distance, the big Imperial anit-artillery guns can not traverrs (I don;t think that is the proper word, perhaps depress?) enough to fire at the forward IW guns?

mob16151
28-10-2010, 20:25
There is also the possibility, taht ones you get the trenches to a certian distance, the big Imperial anit-artillery guns can not traverrs (I don;t think that is the proper word, perhaps depress?) enough to fire at the forward IW guns?


Yea but, at that point you should be in range of the Imperials mortars.

Culgore
28-10-2010, 21:19
If you want to read siege warfare in the 41st millennium try the siege of Vraks. Pretty awesome. One element in trench type warfare that is overlooked is tunneling. This occurred quite famously in the American Civil War. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Crater One instance(which I think is portrayed in the siege of Vraks) in which Union forces tunneled under Confederate lines and blew a massive hole in it with explosives... Union forces rushed into a huge hole which didn't actually provide a way through Confederate defenses... and they were massacred.

Col. Dash
28-10-2010, 22:50
Yeah Culgore, there is a good view of the scene you describe in the movie "Cold Mountain."

Easy E
29-10-2010, 00:34
That is in the Siege of Vraks.

If I recall, a similar incident occurred in WW1. The battle escapes me at the moment.

TheMartyr451
29-10-2010, 00:59
That is in the Siege of Vraks.

If I recall, a similar incident occurred in WW1. The battle escapes me at the moment.

Paschendale, if I recall correctly.

Phoebus
29-10-2010, 08:29
Which has led me to believe that these "trenches" and "siegeworks" are on a scale we can't really compare to world war one tactics.

This is 40k. Take your wimpy wimpy wimpy World War I and replace it with HEFTY HEFTY HEFTY World War XL [40,000].

Those trenches are miles long and a hundred feet deep filled with German rail cannon lobbing atom bombs and filled with hundreds of thousands of malformed mutants in ragged uniforms clambering over ramshackle catwalks and using massive teetering cranes to load 7 ton shells into V3 cannons while power armored strategoi debate battle plans a mile beneath the earth in massive bunkers. The defenders holding their a mile high fortress with massive ordnance weapons blasting kilometer sized craters and enormous plasma fueled shield arrays making a mockery of even the most devastating weapons of mass destruction. Skies filled with fighter craft making daring bombing runs through a million pivoting flak cannons and massive multilasers filling the sky with something between a search light and tracer fire. Superheavy tanks collapsing siegeworks and riding down the thousands of enemy crew in their man made valleys before being blown to bits by enraged sappers. Diamond edged razor wire hewing through Leman Russes and men alike with equal disregard...

Why anything less then that would be... underwhelming.
Now, if only that's how it was described in said novel.

Instead, and as much as I enjoy Graham McNeill's writing, we got yet another instance of forgetting that artillery pieces today are capable of engaging enemy targets with near-pinpoint accuracy from kilometers away; that artillery pieces from the 1960s were designed to fire atomic shells.

By contrast, what the Iron Warriors routinely do evokes WWI with reduced gun ranges...




Also China has an army of a million soldiers. That would be 1,000 soldiers for every space marine in a chapter. China would have an easy time killing a chapter.
Sorry, no. It would be logistically monumental for China to put a million people in the same place for any amount of time. It would be even more impressive to make them a mechanized force capable of communicating and coordinating movements and tactics in real time.

By contrast, it would be nothing special at all for 1,000 men to work in concert against a common objective.

At best, at any one time, several tens of thousands of people with substandard weapons and armor would have to deal with as many as a thousand superhuman warriors they are culturally and religiously indoctrinated to be afraid of, armed with machine-gun rocket launchers.

Everything else being equal, of course. Obviously aircraft, artillery, armor, orbiting spaceships, etc., would skew the balance.

Cheers,

P.

Polaria
29-10-2010, 08:52
One more reason why artillery could not destroy the trenches might have something to do with one inherent weakness of using conventional artillery in massive way. The barrels of artillery pieces heat up tremendously when fired and if they are not let to cool in peace after each shot the heat-stress will eventually deform the barrels, making the artillery piece increasingly inaccurate over a large number of shots. Once the deformation starts there is no real way to stop or reverse it.

WWI, WWII, Korean War and even Vietnam War all have seen this problem with artillery and no amount of training to the forward observers will fix the problem that the artillery becomes increasingly inaccurate after as few as hundred shots per piece. So if you have enough time and materail to rebuild the trenches the enemy will shoot their artillery to the point where it is simply unable to hit the trenches anymore.

Tehkonrad
29-10-2010, 09:04
A good description of the devastating effect that can have on artillery (causing it to hit their own troops, destroying morale etc.) can be found in All Quiet On the Western Front.

Yresk
29-10-2010, 10:45
havent read the book. and the AA (even the bad guys) have huge abilitys to take out the enemy and not bring them to a bad siege sutation. Sundji wrote over 2200 years ago:

For every ten men you send against the walls six will die before they reach them and another three will die before they can take the wall

seiges are horrible things both for the attacker and defender, and should never be used as a standard tactic. the entire point of WW2 is that sieges where useless against blitzkrieg and other modern tactics. its not viable to use such a tactic on the offense.
on the other hand. Being on the defensive, trenches if you have time to dig them. from what ive read the big cities have huge walls and a mother of a sheild up to defend them from attacks from orbit and bombing. it is a very hard nut to crack.

Iron warriors are siege specialists but that does not mean thats all they use. droppods make hitlers blitzkreig look like a toddler with a toothpick.

if i was up against a city with shield and walls, i would use trenches, its hell to build but its better than crossing nomans land.

i would use the trenches to get into a better position and if i have the trenches i would be more able to take damage and counter attacks. if ive had time to build good trenches i cant stress that enough.
from a better position i would punch holes in the defences, litteraly have a PA snipe the enemy artillery on the wall, and then use a Vin to blast a hole, back off and let the enemy try to conter attack, beat that down and repeat several times before charging in with a main attack.

when it comes to how effective space marines are in trench warfare. i would stay with my common quote: to big to be damaged by shrapnell, to small to be hit by laser guided munitions.

cevval
29-10-2010, 14:45
Chechens and other groups have used trenches against Russians very affectively. I remember reading in a book about a Turkish volunteer saying that "Russians have shelled us with their Grad rockets for days and our trenches have nullified their effect."
The projectile has to land in the trench or the splash damage is nullified. So if things don't go horribly wrong and unless a lucky missile just hits 30cm in length trench, you are safe.
He also said they would just set traps if the Russians planned on infantry charge and retreat back and dig another line of trenches.

Warfare isn't still as advanced as we believe .

MarshalFaust
29-10-2010, 15:13
I'm a huge fan of the iron warriors but the trench warfare aspect always bothered me a little and would always ask myself why would they fight in a trench when they can just drop pod into the enemy lines? But drop pods are extremely vulnerable to any sufficiently advanced anti air defense system. I would assume any air defense missiles would make short work of a drop pod insertion and marines really can't sustain those types of casualties.

So really it does make some sort of sense in the universe we have been presented to use slaves to advance your trench system until your inside the enemies artillery minimum range. Knock a few walls down with sappers or your own guns and then send your genetically modified walking tank super soldiers through the breach. That have a much better chance of surviving return fire from small arms than anyone else and even just one marine would make a huge mess of a defending guard squad in close combat.

Lupe
29-10-2010, 16:04
I'm a huge fan of the iron warriors but the trench warfare aspect always bothered me a little and would always ask myself why would they fight in a trench when they can just drop pod into the enemy lines?

Because Iron Warriors fight smart. They could drop pod in the thick of it, but that would mean not sticking to their usual, favorite MO, not to mention pointless casualties*

The whole reason they're such big fans of big guns is that they like to destroy their enemies before they even get a chance to fire. And if that's not a realistic option, then they pound and pummel their enemies mercilessly until they're no longer in any shape to put up a fight when the assault comes.

The advantage is clear. They're safe in deep trenches in the ground.
The loyalists are above ground, very NOT safe, in a fortress made of solid ferrocrete/plasteel/rockcrete/whatever.

Imagine how an artillery shell hits the ground, causes a small shockwave, sprays some dirt and shrapnel but leaves the trenches intact and the guys inside them in pretty good condition.

Now, imagine an artillery shell hitting a solid wall, breaking a solid chunk of it. The guys on the wall are screwed. The guys directly behind the wall are now crushed by the falling chunk of wall. And there's now a big gaping hole in your wall.

* slaves, cultists, traitors, loyalist guardsmen, loyalist marines, and pretty much everyone NOT clad in gunmetal gray power armour do not count for the purposes of determining casualties



That have a much better chance of surviving return fire from small arms than anyone else and even just one marine would make a huge mess of a defending guard squad in close combat.

Except the fact that the Imperial Guard typically has a lot of nasty things that don't fall under the category of small arms. Autocannons. Flamethrowers. Frag grenades. Heavy Bolters. Multilasers.

Then there's the Hellhounds. And Basilisks. And Leman Russ tanks. And let's not even mention the Titan legio stationed to guard that facility.

Lars Porsenna
29-10-2010, 16:12
Comparing drop pods to blitzkrieg is not a good one. Drop pods are more along the lines of air assault: WWII examples would be the Germans at Crete, Eben Emael, and Allies in Sicily, D-day, Low Countries, and across the Rhine. Therefore, they would be used to either insert a force behind enemy lines, or to conduct vertical envelopment operations (FREX, IW are engaged in a pitched battle, steadly pushing back their enemies, but not actually destroying their capability to continue to fight; drop pod a blocking force behind the enemy, and now you can prevent their escape and crush them piecemeal).

Why didn't the IW droppod into the fortress? A lot of reasons I could think. What is the CEP (circular error projection) of a drop pod? A few meters? Several dozen/hundred meters? It might be sufficient to put marines into the rear area of an enemy army, but not enough to reliably get enough inside the fortress.

Also consider that even if you get your guys into the fortress, what now? Do you have sufficient forces to then take a wall? The Gate? Or even survive long enough to make that a tactical possibility? No doubt IW marines are awesome individually, but if they still lack sufficient combat power compared to the imperials, it will still end badly...

Damon.

HK-47
30-10-2010, 06:22
Comparing drop pods to blitzkrieg is not a good one. Drop pods are more along the lines of air assault: WWII examples would be the Germans at Crete, Eben Emael, and Allies in Sicily, D-day, Low Countries, and across the Rhine. Therefore, they would be used to either insert a force behind enemy lines, or to conduct vertical envelopment operations (FREX, IW are engaged in a pitched battle, steadly pushing back their enemies, but not actually destroying their capability to continue to fight; drop pod a blocking force behind the enemy, and now you can prevent their escape and crush them piecemeal).

Why didn't the IW droppod into the fortress? A lot of reasons I could think. What is the CEP (circular error projection) of a drop pod? A few meters? Several dozen/hundred meters? It might be sufficient to put marines into the rear area of an enemy army, but not enough to reliably get enough inside the fortress.

Also consider that even if you get your guys into the fortress, what now? Do you have sufficient forces to then take a wall? The Gate? Or even survive long enough to make that a tactical possibility? No doubt IW marines are awesome individually, but if they still lack sufficient combat power compared to the imperials, it will still end badly...

Damon.

Also would like to add that there was also a couple of Warlord titans inside the fortress, dropping into it wouldn't have gone to well, the Red hunters tried dropping onto a fortress that had Reaver Titian support and they got mauled.

FabricatorGeneralMike
31-10-2010, 19:50
Trench warfare doesn't exist because at the current moment we haven't a single war on this planet where the other participant isn't technologically, numerically and economically superior to the other participant by at least a factor of 10:1. Trench warfare simply cannot exist when the other side is hugely overpowering its opponents in all facets of war.

I think most people forget that not every army in the world has the US level of tech, stealth bombers/fighters, cruse missles, laser guided bombs etc etc etc. About 80% of the worlds armies are about WWII level.

I really liked this book, I thought the story was rather well done and Honsu is one of my fav charactors altho hes got mk VIII plot armour. Col Dash's views of what 40k seige warfare is is right on the money IMHO. Just dont forget about the chainsaw warriors of death ;).

All 40k has to have the suspenson of disbelief, if you don't have it or are thinking of writing to the joint chief's of staff with your awsome idea of how to create a Titan, or how planetary assaults should be used, you might need to take a break. :angel:

intercepta
01-11-2010, 23:59
IMHO the trenches.... there would of been alot of them, there would of been alot of cultists in them, alot would of died, no one would of cared, the titans had already been seriously damaged hadnt they? also the anti fortress guns the IW brought had to fire MASSIVE shells to breach the fort, therefore a lack of range so they had to get close

the IG heavy weapons arent VERY accurate, weapons still arent, i believe the most effective weapon against trenches is Mortars, the Basslisks cannon although massive would of just put up a smoke screen and after awhile they wouldnt of been able to shoot 'down' enough. then the griffons would of taken over, and lacked acuracy

geldedgoat
02-11-2010, 07:35
I had some free time to read today, so I got quite a bit further in the book. Now I'm even more convinced that the success of the initial siege was bogus.

When digging the last row of saps and trenches to break through the last bastions into the main citadel, the Iron Warriors are described as having to dismantle every non-essential vehicle to create more machines to excavate the last of the trenches. Why are they forced to do this? Because the Imperial barrage is too successful at destroying these machines, so they're constantly being replaced.

How is it that these machines are so vulnerable, yet the gigantic artillery pieces were able to be moved into forward position while fighting back at the siege crew (daemon-possessed artillery, one of which actually managed to rampage through the Iron Warriors lines before being restrained again) and apparently dodging bullets, mortars, lasers, other AV weaponry?

madd0ct0r
03-11-2010, 08:36
Because the gigantic artillery is gigantic daemon-possessed artillery?

Particularly with the IW, we shouldn't assume the artillery is fragile compared to a a piece of earth moving equipment.

Born Again
03-11-2010, 11:19
Remember, this is the universe where the ideal anti-armour strategy is to punch tanks to death with a giant electro-boxing glove.


Such a nice and succinct summary of 40K :D

intercepta
03-11-2010, 16:05
well if big guns wont penetraate armour, pounding it with a big hammer or fist would make sense

for example in the dark ages hitting plate armour with sharp swords didnt help but hitting it with hammers and stuff did :p