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Madmongo
06-02-2013, 11:41
Bit of a double question really:

a) Why does Chaos not have access to Nova Cannon tech? Relatively new vessels of the Imperial fleets have surely gone over to Chaos, and Chaos clearly has shipyard repair/construction capability.

b) Secondly considering that ships (as I understand it anyway) generally have to be built around a Nova Cannon from the outset, why is it not possible to mount more than one? I realise this could be a large drain on power etc to power the magnetic fields etc (depending if the cannon is a rail gun etc), but surely it would be useful for a 'dreadnought' type siege vessel? Torpedoes are useful, but the ability to throw a huge quantity of hyper velocity ordinance at a target is arguably better (consider battleship employment for naval assaults during WW2).

WarsmithFarrus
06-02-2013, 11:44
Im not sure if im honest I would have thought the Dark Mechanicum and the Iron warriors would have Nova tech if any of the chaos forces were to have any

Madmongo
06-02-2013, 11:54
Actually as a further follow up question, does anyone know what the standard ammo is for Nova cannons?

I seem to recall they are macro shells, plasma warheads etc, but are nuclear warheads employed?

totgeboren
06-02-2013, 12:09
Well, chaos does have access to them. The fleet lists presented in BFG is really just "old ships list" and "newer ships list". There are rules for quite a few ships that are sort of in-between the old style and the new style, available to both fleets too.
For example, the backstory for the Vengeance class grand cruiser says this "Today, the Vengeance remains part of the Imperial fleet reserve, regarded by most admirals as an old warhorse, past its best days. Vengeances have also been identified as part of Traitor fleets, dating back to the mass mutiny that split the Imperial fleet in half during the Great Betrayal.
The same goes for the Avenger, Exorcist, Retaliator and Executor really.

The split is based entirely on the design choice that the two forces should behave differently on the tabletop. I think I even remember reading that one of the designers said as much.
The Nova was given to the Imperials to give them something to force enemy ships close, whilst at the same time, their ships generally have less range on their broadsides than the Chaos vessels.
Giving Chaos a Nova would just put a slow ship with a long range gun in a fleet packed with fast ships with long range guns. Imperial players should feel free to include say a 'chaos' vessel as a reserve choice vessel, maybe give it a -1 Ld penalty for balance/it being an untrustworthy design. Same with Chaos, they could include some newer ships, to represent recent traitors. Same thing here though, a -1 Ld penalty could be used to represent the reduction in officers and experienced crew that often follows mutiny.

Or people could just play them as is, but balance can be a bit upset if people just pick the best ships for each role. Newer imperial ships don't often defect, and the older designs have been phased out because of many reasons. But as the backstory for the Infidel class escort shows us, that design is actually new, it's just that Chaos forces stole it before the Imperium could start mass production.

Polaria
06-02-2013, 12:12
The basic problem for Chaos might not be access to Nova Cannons, but access to Nova Cannon ammunition. If its something produced in only a few Imperium-held Forgeworlds then any Chaos vessel sporting a Nova Cannon might find itself in bit of a trouble.

A.T.
06-02-2013, 12:24
... why is it not possible to mount more than one?If you have the space and power to fit two small nova cannon, then the Imperium would rather fit one big nova cannon.

They are also considered inaccurate and clumsy by the standards of the IoM - they cannot be used to saturate and area like macrobatteries nor are they (relatively) rapidly targetting and firing speed of light weapons like lances.



Actually as a further follow up question, does anyone know what the standard ammo is for Nova cannons?Varies, sometimes simply a solid shell the size of a skyscraper fired at close to the speed of light, other times warheads designed to create singularities and similar at the target point.

m1acca1551
06-02-2013, 13:21
Ships that have nova cannons are generally awarded to veteran captain who have proved their courage and loyalty time and time again, this is not really an awnser but unfortunatly that is the best i can give. Building a ship with a nova cannon requires capturing 1 intact, something that is very hard to do as they represent such a threat they are usually destroyed or scuttled by the commander of the vessel. An imperial admiral would be more than happy to destroy a stricken vessel rather than risk losing it to the enemy.


Another awnser would be that chaos already has heaps of weird and wonderful weapon, so the good guys get something new :P

Battleship employemet during WW2 was a very fical affair, as there wasnt that many grand engagements like Jutland apart from the battle of the river plate and the bismarck, most naval battles involved air planes or an engagment was a submarine or u-boat. The naval engagments between capital vessels where often a few shots then 1 side would back out not willing to risk the ship.

The Imperial navy act in a manner similar to napoleonic vessels, close with enemy and simply out shoot your opponent reducing his ship to slag, the english navy were the best at this due to the discipline aspect you would find in a naval vessel in the imperial fleet. Nova cannons simply allow the imperial navy the ability to force the engagment to where it's on their terms and they have the advantage of training.

Madmongo
06-02-2013, 13:58
Tot thanks for that so it largely comes down to game balance?

In background terms I would not imagine ammunition supply as being a major problem for Chaos fleets, they do after all own several forge worlds, have the dark mechcanicum, and are capable of producing unique weapons/ammo of their own.

Considering that Primarchs, high lords and admirals have turned traitor often with entire legions/armies/fleets with them (as much the same way in real history) I imagine that a large number of Nova warships are in Chaos possession (just not represented due to game balance).

Despite my original query as to whether a 'dreadnought' type bombardment ship was feasible, I don’t think one can use WW2 naval analogies (Jutland was 1916 WW1 not WW2 and there was actually more Battleship on battleship/destroyer engagements in WW2 than carrier to carrier) to far in a futuristic SPACE engagement. Doctrine wise fine... but even short engagement distances in 40K are measured in tens of thousands of Km (and that’s bloody close).

Plus I am very happy to take all the 'good guys' stuff/training/crew/vessels/souls/blood and use it against them....

carlisimo
07-02-2013, 00:43
Yes, it was mostly a matter of balance and giving each fleet a character of its own. But it could be doctrinal. Nova cannons are used more to force the enemy to maneuver in a certain way than for the direct damage (that’s one reason they only have one). That’s not Chaos’s style. Well okay, that’s a potentially controversial statement, but in BFG the Chaos fleet is depicted as being very direct and unsubtle. Given the choice between a nova cannon or more weapons batteries, most Chaos warlords would choose the latter.

El_Machinae
09-02-2013, 17:08
A Nova Cannon needs to be in the midline of the vehicle, because firing it would cause a huge torque otherwise. In fact, this torque would ruin the delicate alignment of the second gun and thus make it much harder to fire or even maintain.

NemoSD
09-02-2013, 17:35
Battleship employemet during WW2 was a very fical affair, as there wasnt that many grand engagements like Jutland apart from the battle of the river plate and the bismarck, most naval battles involved air planes or an engagment was a submarine or u-boat. The naval engagments between capital vessels where often a few shots then 1 side would back out not willing to risk the ship.

The Imperial navy act in a manner similar to napoleonic vessels, close with enemy and simply out shoot your opponent reducing his ship to slag, the english navy were the best at this due to the discipline aspect you would find in a naval vessel in the imperial fleet. Nova cannons simply allow the imperial navy the ability to force the engagment to where it's on their terms and they have the advantage of training.

I gotta step in here...

Sinking of the Prince of Wales and Repulse
Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle of Midway
Battle of Komandorksi Islands
Battle of the Phillipine Sea
Sinking of Yamato...

Battle of Eastern Solomons
Battle of Santa Cruz
Battle of the Bismark Sea
Battle of the Kula Gulf
Battle of Vella Gulf
Battle off Horaniu
Battle of Vella Lavella
Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
Battle of Cape St. George

Those are just two campaigns in which fleets engaged each other... I have not even started into the Guadalcanal campaign, the Java Campaign, or the Leyte Campaign. This is just the pacific, although admittedly the conflict in the Atlantic was much more subdued at sea.

What you described as typical of World War II is more accurate in the Napoleonic era your referenced. The reason Nelson was as effective as he was, was that he changed the rules. Prior to St. Vincent, and later Nelson, Ships would line up broadside to broadside and pound away until the side with the wind pulled away resulting in nearly EVERY sea battle being a tactical draw. St. Vincent and Nelson decided that winning a fleet battle at sea required more aggression, and they adopted formations which would approach the enemy line, bisect it, then engage each ship in individual combat with a hopefully matched ship in terms of cannon weight. This tactic shocked and stunned the French at the Battle of the Nile, resulting in Villanueva never even bringing his fleet into action, and getting himself a promotion by default as the Admiral of the French fleet was in the half the British engaged.

Villanueva would then move on to fruitlessly chase Nelson until Nelson finds him at Trafalgar and beats the living daylights out of the combined French and Spanish fleet. Discipline played into the British victories, but it was the break from standard maritime warfare traditions that did the French in.

Drive by history lesson gone now...