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Sigis
23-03-2011, 21:28
Even intrasystem travel could take a long time without using FTL drives so do Imperial starships in 40k have FTL drives besides warp related travel?

Kurisu313
23-03-2011, 21:33
No, they don't but if you assume that a ship has a max speed of 0.8c, then it could travel anywhere in the solar system in about 4-6 hours, so it's not exactly a big problem.

AndrewGPaul
23-03-2011, 23:29
Depending on which sources you read, sometimes ships drop out of warp at the edge of a system and travel inward, taking weeks or more, and sometimes they drop in right around planets.

FarseerMatt
23-03-2011, 23:29
Even intrasystem travel could take a long time without using FTL drives so do Imperial starships in 40k have FTL drives besides warp related travel?

No, and neither does anyone else because in the 40K universe the Warp is the only way you can break the laws of physics and go FTL (with the exception of the Necron inertialess drives, which are never really explained, and the Tyranid narvhal, which a lot of people prefer to ignore as an inconsistent fluff oddity).

As Kurisu313 says you can exit the Warp with a fair bit of momentum (some ships in Sabbat Martyr come blazing out at 0.75 c) and use the trip in-system to slow down, so it takes a lot less time. On the outbound journey, you can enter the Warp pretty much as soon as you've left orbit (although some ships, and most big convoys/fleets, prefer to use the most reliable jump points on the edge of systems) so again this cuts down on travel time.

I can't think of any specific examples of ships Warp-hopping between planets in the same system, but I'm sure it's possible. You don't even need a navigator, as cogitators are sufficiently accurate for short jumps ("short" being a few lightyears or less). I can imagine most of the mundane interplanetary trade happening this way.

AndrewGPaul
23-03-2011, 23:44
It used to be that you had to travel to the edge of a system to enter the Warp, because you needed to be clear of the local star's gravity. That's certainly the case in the Inquisition War, and also, I believe, in the space battles depicted in the Ciaphas Cain novels and various Imperial Armour books; no "micro-jumps" allowed.

El_Machinae
24-03-2011, 00:48
Having slow transit to-and-from systems actually helps the setting with its slow sense of scale.

FarseerMatt
24-03-2011, 01:42
Indeed. As AndrewGPaul says, it varies from author to author, and there's nothing implicitly wrong with that.

Sai-Lauren
24-03-2011, 09:31
Basically, they've borrowed the Star Wars "mass-shadow" excuse. :)

However, you wouldn't have to get outside of the system, only away from the mass of the star and planets - as the outer ones orbit the star on relatively long periods, it means that certain parts of the system become more advantageous for ships to translate from the warp than others.

It could even be the case that planets have periods of economic growth and recession depending on the orbits of planets in another, more populous, system - for example, if Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune etc are on the side of their orbits closest to Alpha Centuri, then Alpha Centuri becomes a worse choice (as the freighters have to leave the warp earlier and slowly travel in system) than say Sirius or Wolf 359, where freighters can get a lot closer in before exiting the warp.

theunwantedbeing
24-03-2011, 09:52
No, and neither does anyone else because in the 40K universe the Warp is the only way you can break the laws of physics and go FTL (with the exception of the Necron inertialess drives, which are never really explained, and the Tyranid narvhal, which a lot of people prefer to ignore as an inconsistent fluff oddity).

Can't eldar also pull the same trick the tyrannids use?
Gravity rubber bands :)

Thirst
24-03-2011, 10:22
It could even be the case that planets have periods of economic growth and recession depending on the orbits of planets in another, more populous, system - for example, if Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune etc are on the side of their orbits closest to Alpha Centuri, then Alpha Centuri becomes a worse choice (as the freighters have to leave the warp earlier and slowly travel in system) than say Sirius or Wolf 359, where freighters can get a lot closer in before exiting the warp.

This is the sort of thinking that really helps to flesh out the setting in my head. Little details like this help us go beyond GW's over-simplified handwavium descriptions.

I think the tendency is to think of the 40K universe as being full of planets of hats, and that most things are constant across all imperial worlds. Individualising and differentiating situations on different worlds helps build realism into the universe in the mind, and helps bring that much more realism into it.

Tamuz
24-03-2011, 11:09
I am not a fan of the 'mass shadow' excuse for needing to get to the edge of a solar system, but rather favour an alternate explanation for why you cant jump closer to your target planet:

Emerging from the warp is far from an exact science, and even emerging 'on target' has a huge margin of error. The further within a cluttered solar system you emerge, the more likely you are to accidentally find yourself materialising within a planet, moon, or even just an asteroid cloud - none of which is especially healthy for your starship. It is therefore much safer to emerge on the edge of a system.

Warp travel is unreliable for short in-system journeys for a similar reason - you are likely to scatter off course by far enough to render the jump pointless, along with the dangers of emerging within a system as above.

Entering the warp can be done within a system, however it is probably much easier to pick up stable warp routes from the edges of a system, where they drop off incoming ships.

AndrewGPaul
24-03-2011, 11:15
I am not a fan of the 'mass shadow' excuse for needing to get to the edge of a solar system

From White Dwarf 139, courtesy of The Pangolin Saloon:


A TYPICAL VOYAGE
A typical interstellar voyage might begin with a cargo ship lying in orbit around an Imperial world. Tiny shutflecraft busily transfer precious minerals, foodstuffs, crew and manufactured items from the world below. The loading procedure may take weeks or months, as the shuttles return time and time again to the huge ship. Once loading is complete, the colossal craft slowly accelerates out of orbit under the power of its main drives.

The ship heads outward towards the rim of the solar system, carefully increasing speed by tiny increments as it does so. Although the vessel's engines are capable of terrific acceleration, the risk of collision with interplanetary debris is high if the ship accelerates too quickly or too much. As the sun shrinks in the ship's wake, the density of debris lessens and the ship's speed reaches approximately 1% that of light.

After several weeks travel, the ship arrives at its first destination. This is the jump-point lying around the star system like the circumference of a circle. This delineates the point at which inter-planetary debris falls below maximum warp density. Once this invisible line has been crossed it is safe to activate warp drives. A crew careless or foolhardy enough to prematurely activate warp drives would be lucky to find their ship hurled thousands of light years off course. More likely, the ship would be torn apart and destroyed, never to be heard of again.

With the safe activation of its warp drives, the ship is plucked out of the real universe and enters the dimension of warpspace. Its true interstellar journey has begun. Ships travelling in warpspace do so by means of jumps varying in length up to five thousand light years. While in warpspace, the ship is piloted by its Navigator, one of the rare human mutants who are able to see into the warp with their Third Eye.

Only a long journey would involve more than a single jump. Even so, almost two weeks pass on board ship before the craft is ready to end its jump. Meanwhile, because of time shifts in warpspace. over a year has passed in the real universe.

The ship re-enters real space just beyond the jump-point of its destination solar system. If it is lucky the ship will come out close to the jump-point, otherwise it may take many extra weeks to reach the inner planets.

It is always wise to allow a safe margin when jumping towards a star. The results of re-entering space within the jump-point would be the same as prematurely activating warp drives on the outward journey, and would almost certainly end in disaster.

The ship is now ready for its final haul, beginning by broadcasting to its destination and establishing a new time co-ordinate. Time in warpspace is so different from time in normal space that the crew has no idea whether their journey has taken a few months or years.

Initially, the ship travels at approximately 1% of light speed, decelerating gradually through the denser inner regions. Eventually, the ship reaches its destination, where swarms of tiny shuttles once more make themselves busy loading and unloading cargo and passengers in preparation for the ship's next journey.

From this, at least, it appears it's stuff that's the issue, not mass as such. I'm not qualified to say whether this is more or less plausible than the "gravity well" argument.


This is the sort of thinking that really helps to flesh out the setting in my head. Little details like this help us go beyond GW's over-simplified handwavium descriptions.

To be fair, leaving out something like this isn't a failing. GW is in the business of selling miniatures for wargames. Obscure details about how orbital mechanics periodically affect interstellar trade are basically irrelevant. If anything, you should address your ire towards Fantasy Flight Games for not considering it in Rogue Trader. :)

Iracundus
24-03-2011, 11:20
I am not a fan of the 'mass shadow' excuse for needing to get to the edge of a solar system, but rather favour an alternate explanation for why you cant jump closer to your target planet:

Emerging from the warp is far from an exact science, and even emerging 'on target' has a huge margin of error. The further within a cluttered solar system you emerge, the more likely you are to accidentally find yourself materialising within a planet, moon, or even just an asteroid cloud - none of which is especially healthy for your starship. It is therefore much safer to emerge on the edge of a system.

Warp travel is unreliable for short in-system journeys for a similar reason - you are likely to scatter off course by far enough to render the jump pointless, along with the dangers of emerging within a system as above.

Entering the warp can be done within a system, however it is probably much easier to pick up stable warp routes from the edges of a system, where they drop off incoming ships.

It is not merely a matter of just navigation within a system. Even entering the warp within the gravity well is not advisable.

The destruction of the bulk of Hive Fleet Behemoth is precisely because the Imperial Emperor class battleship Dominus Astra activated its warp engines deep within the gravity well of a gas giant. The resulting spatial distortion and realspace side effects caused the destruction of numerous Tyranid ships, and the Dominus Astra was never seen again.

Boris_Quarta_Jaw
24-03-2011, 11:34
Would these common warp jump sites be home to some space station to monitor the incoming traffic, and if need be sent warning to the system. I would think that any industrialized world would have a few of these stations floating around to keep unwanted ships away without needing to have a huge fleet that is split up to check out all the little ins and outs of a system.

Sai-Lauren
24-03-2011, 12:37
This is the sort of thinking that really helps to flesh out the setting in my head. Little details like this help us go beyond GW's over-simplified handwavium descriptions.

I think the tendency is to think of the 40K universe as being full of planets of hats, and that most things are constant across all imperial worlds. Individualising and differentiating situations on different worlds helps build realism into the universe in the mind, and helps bring that much more realism into it.

Thanks.



Would these common warp jump sites be home to some space station to monitor the incoming traffic, and if need be sent warning to the system.

Theoretically yes, but they'd be more likely to just have various monitor stations on planets.

Sticking a station close to a jump point carries it's own issues (defence, power, supplies, mass effects), and may be hazardous if warp jumps cause the barrier between reality and the warp to weaken - it's possible that system traffic control may have to route vessels to different parts of the system so that space can "heal" itself.

MagosHereticus
24-03-2011, 13:15
It is not merely a matter of just navigation within a system. Even entering the warp within the gravity well is not advisable.

The destruction of the bulk of Hive Fleet Behemoth is precisely because the Imperial Emperor class battleship Dominus Astra activated its warp engines deep within the gravity well of a gas giant. The resulting spatial distortion and realspace side effects caused the destruction of numerous Tyranid ships, and the Dominus Astra was never seen again.

ok, ive read quite a few descriptions of that battle and ive never seen anything more than "the warp drive blew up" as an explanation, where did you read that?

Iracundus
24-03-2011, 13:19
From the original source and first and most detailed description of the battle in Epic: Hive War:



A black globe crackled and flared into existence over the spot. Real space rippled visibly and then shuddered back before the groaning warp drives of the Dominus Astra as it hurled itself into the warp. Reality contorted under the strain: mass and warp energy collided in a cataclysmic implosion of black light and impossible sound. All of the closest Tyranid ships were dragged into the Astra's displacement and were lost with it. Those further away were smashed in the swirling storm of dust, rocks, and other detritus swept into the ship's wake. Great flares of incandescent gas gouted up from Circe to incinerate the handful of surviving ships that remained in a holocaust of flame.

The Dominus Astra disappeared into the warp never to be seen again.
p. 15-16, Epic Hive War

Corvussanctus
24-03-2011, 13:43
In the Enforcer-Omnibus there's a lot of details about warptravel and system defenses, although it's set in the hydraphur-system, an imperial Navy-Command. Every entrypoint is overseen by monitoring-stations and battlestations, the so-called "gates".
Besides this the system is mined with everchanging minefields, hidden defense positions and other nasty suprises.
You can only maneuver these system when they give you permission and navigators (the normal ones, not the genetic engineered) enter the ships and maneuver you through it.

I think an unauthorised jump directly into such an systems inner core would be suicide.

Sai-Lauren
24-03-2011, 15:01
As said, Hydraphur is the home of a major Imperial Naval base and therefore at the upper end, maybe only Terra and 1st founding Marine homeworlds beat it for defences, whilst most systems don't have anything like that level.

eldargal
24-03-2011, 15:38
Though if you think about the amount of space junk a system would accumulate over thirty nine thousand years since manned spaceflight began, I'm not sure I would want to warp into even a relatively unimportant system.

El_Machinae
24-03-2011, 16:03
Would these common warp jump sites be home to some space station to monitor the incoming traffic, and if need be sent warning to the system. I would think that any industrialized world would have a few of these stations floating around to keep unwanted ships away without needing to have a huge fleet that is split up to check out all the little ins and outs of a system.

It would make a lot of sense! Firstly, you could congregate the trade goods/inspection teams out there, to speed up trade efforts. As well, it would be a sign of non-hostility to 'dewarp' in the designated zones (and then be inspected, etc.) and a sign of hostility to go elsewhere.

Sai-Lauren
24-03-2011, 17:03
Though if you think about the amount of space junk a system would accumulate over thirty nine thousand years since manned spaceflight began, I'm not sure I would want to warp into even a relatively unimportant system.
Close orbit probably gets cleaned fairly regularly to facilitate atmospheric insertion/ egress, and considering the likely cost of even non-warp capable vessels, people would probably make a decent living salvaging/ scavenging such stuff.

If they find a warship or a loaded bulk freighter, they can basically retire.

And insert your version of "The thing they didn't want to scavenge" or "It's salvage because everyone's dead because we killed them" story line here. ;)

Emperor's Grace
25-03-2011, 17:35
The problem with stations of any kind out by the jump point is that they would be navigational hazards themselves for ships entering at speed.

shadowhawk2008
25-03-2011, 17:42
Not to mention when entire fleets or battlegroups exit warpspace.