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The Emperor
30-11-2013, 00:45
According to the 2nd edition Codex: Imperial Guard...

182514

The aforementioned transports, then, can cover 1,000 Light Years every one to four days. It was in a section describing the standard Imperial response to invasion, and since standard response times are built around the lowest common denominator, my assumption is that that's the speed of your average transport and not your fastest, top of the line ships. So I was wondering if there were mentions anywhere in the fluff about the speeds of any ships in particular? Have any of the novels or other sources made any mentions from which one could extrapolate how many Light Years that particularly ship class can cover in a single day? I'd be interested in knowing the answer to that question.

Nkari
30-11-2013, 01:33
I doubt there is any real diffrance between a battleship and a destroyer in the warpspeed they can come to, since to me the warp drive is just there to rip the fabric of realspace open. And once inside the warp.. the warp decides how fast the ship will travel.

Id rather say that the insystem speed diffrance is what matters.

Iron_Lord
30-11-2013, 10:14
In the FFG books, 5000 light years in one year, is the usual figure given for maximum single jump.

This is, however, very slow compared to speeds given in other sources.

The Emperor
30-11-2013, 11:29
In the FFG books, 5000 light years in one year, is the usual figure given for maximum single jump.

This is, however, very slow compared to speeds given in other sources.

Yeah, that is extremely slow. It's far slower than the quoted passage above from Codex: Imperial Guard 2nd edition. Nor is any of the other fluff make sense if that were true. For instance, how could reinforcements from the Eastern Fringe have arrived quickly enough to make a difference during the 13th Black Crusade? At 5,000 Light Years per year, it'd take about 15 years or so for a lot of that help to arrive.

Does it say that they can only do one jump per year, though? Because there's a big difference between a max of 5,000 LY per jump if you can do one jump per year, or dozens of jumps a year.

Idaan
30-11-2013, 11:44
I'm fairly sure that crossing the galaxy from one side to the other was always supposed to take several years, around 3-5 to be exact. I don't know where you got the 5.000 LY/year figure, as the table on page 184 of Rogue Trader rulebook gives 100 days for crossing a Segmentum at highest possible speed and no precautions about the perils of the Warp, while "several years" for an "odyssey across the galaxy". This is supported by several sources, off the top of my mind is the story of a Sororitas sister travelling to Sanctuary 101 from Terra, which takes 306 days subjective time with almost six years passing in the realspace.

Regarding the reinforcements arriving during the EoT campaign, they travelled at the speed of the plot. Otherwise it would be fairly problematic to have all the named forces, especially Ultramarines, be able to participate.

Also, the original length of the Horus Heresy which lasted 7 years was probably due to travel times. The Legions on both sides didn't really take detours, and this is why Word Bearers' delaying actions against the Ultramarines were so crucial. The Ultramarines didn't really need an excuse for not making it, because that's literally how long it took them to travel. Right now with them hopping around from Terra to Ultramar in no time it makes little sense. Alas, it was probably due to the writers not knowing their own fluff and wanting to milk the series for what it's worth that they started to make stuff up.

The Emperor
30-11-2013, 12:20
Unfortunately, measuring it according to time to cross a Segmentum is imprecise by itself, as not all Segmentums are equal size. The Milky Way Galaxy is about 100,000 Light Years across, so if it takes 3-5 years to cross that, then we're talking about a speed of 55-91 LY's per Day. That's drastically less than the above number, which is 250 to 1,000 LY's per Day, but it's also much, much faster than 5,000 LY's per Year (which is about 14 LY's per Day).

The speeds in Horus Heresy make more sense to me, though. After all, we're talking about a galaxy wide empire. Something like that can only function if the travel times from one end of the galaxy to the other are somewhat reasonable. 100-400 days to do so, if we go by those Codex: Imperial Guard numbers, makes sense. 3-5 years to get from one end to the other is still in the realm of reasonable. 20 years to do the same at a speed of 5,000 Light Years per Year, however, isn't. To put it another way...

Let's say the aforementioned reinforcements for the 13th Black Crusade are coming from Alsanta, in the vicinity of the Tau Empire. Eyeballing it, it's about 60,000 Light Years away from Cadia. Using the above three figures, reinforcements can arrive at Cadia in the following timeframe.

- 60-240 days
- 659-1,090 days
- 12 years

There's no way the Imperium could function if it were that last number, particularly with its massive bureaucracy slowing things down even more.

MarcoSkoll
30-11-2013, 18:07
There's no way the Imperium could function if it were that last number, particularly with its massive bureaucracy slowing things down even more.
I can see no particular reason why not. Slow space travel (but, in any case, I'd agree with Idaan, I'm not sure if that figure of 5000c has any valid source) is only really a problem when GW keep writing their background in a way that...


...makes the universe seem so small. This is an empire of a million worlds... why does everything keep happening on the same hundred or so?

A lot of 40K background reads like: "Necromunda gets attacked by Ahriman. So the Cadian 8th, Valhallan 597th, Salamanders, Imperial Fists and the Ultramarines turn up. Then Ursakar Creed beats Tzeentch at chess and Marneus Calgar punches a Lord of Change into orbit".
Quite aside from the fact this kind of writing frequently requires characters to be in about seventeen places at once (or are anachronistic), it makes these worlds all seem like they're around the corner from each other.

There's not a particular problem if the Imperium takes years to transport things from one side to another. It really only proves an issue if authors keep trying to involve famous planets and regiments by involving them in every conflict.

~~~~~

Still, my general opinion on the speed of warp travel is well summed up by something very weird I once said: "Time and distance flow like water [in the warp]. Seconds turn into years, years turn into hours, hours turn into centimetres, centimetres turn into walruses. It's a realm of no fixed rules, and as many or as few dimensions as it likes."

There are rough rules, but the warp is too gorram weird to be in anyway precise. Two thousand light years in the real world might be three millimetres in the warp - or fifty million giraffes instead.

Iron_Lord
02-12-2013, 11:03
I'm fairly sure that crossing the galaxy from one side to the other was always supposed to take several years, around 3-5 to be exact. I don't know where you got the 5.000 LY/year figure, as the table on page 184 of Rogue Trader rulebook gives 100 days for crossing a Segmentum at highest possible speed and no precautions about the perils of the Warp, while "several years" for an "odyssey across the galaxy".

It's in the text about making a warp jump, rather than the table.

Camman1984
02-12-2013, 12:07
Travel time is often ignored in scifi for story reasons. If the writers have a fetish for blood angels then dante will be appearing everywhere regardless of travel times. Its the same in lots of genres, like in star trek they completely ignore that it wouls take months/years to cross a system at non-relativistic sub-luminal speeds. Read some discussions on 'how fast is warp speed x?' And you will see examples of major incosistencies, retconning and handwavium.

Polaria
03-12-2013, 10:37
There's no way the Imperium could function if it were that last number, particularly with its massive bureaucracy slowing things down even more.

Why not? Plenty of real world Empires did... Like Roman Empire and the British Empire in the age of sail...


Besides, I don't think you can make any real assumptions about actual ships speeds based on singular examples of travel times. I mean lets take a real life example:

1) A road trip across the US from a well known landmark to another: Central Park, New York -> Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
2) A road trip across the Africa Sector from a well known landmark to middle of nowhere: Giza, near Cairo, Egypt -> Koulamoutou, Congo (Have fun!)

I dare to say the maximum road speed of the vehicle has less correlation with the actual travel time in either case than the size of your travel budget and the means of navigation (GPS, road map or asking directions) and even though the direct line between the start and finish points is approximately the same number of kilometers the actual travel time isn't even in the same ballpark.

Camman1984
03-12-2013, 12:32
I dont think that has as much effect in space, especially real space as its largely uniform and empty, i do see how that would apply to warp travel though as the warp has no real rules.

Harwammer
03-12-2013, 13:50
Sometimes astropathic messages are received before they are sent, which gives the imperium a bit of a heads up.

A.T.
03-12-2013, 14:35
Very very low - any time ships take a short trek out and turn up ten thousand years later a short distance from where they started.
Very low - IG codex 2nd edition - A thousand light years in 1-4 days, plus time to move into position before jumping.
Low - Rogue Trader - Thousands of light years in a few days.
High - Adeptus Titanicus - Hundreds of thousands of light years in a few hours.
Very High - The high end of warp speed is arriving as you leave, or before. It's literally faster than infinitely fast.

A day for a thousand light years seems to be one of the more common values. Regardless of how fast or slow the ship travels the time that passes on the ship itself is not tied to the rest of the universe.

You also have things like the entire Raven Guard chapter in the galactic south east (Deliverance, from the raid on Kastorel Novem) in late 999.M41 and then deployed over at the Cadian gate in the galactic north west before the start of M42 to fight the 13th black crusade. That's pretty damn fast :p

Theocracity
03-12-2013, 14:55
Why not? Plenty of real world Empires did... Like Roman Empire and the British Empire in the age of sail...


Actually my rubric for the behavior of Imperium ships is to equate them to 18th century ships, scaled up as appropriate. I don't try and calculate their exact speeds or anything, as it will often change depending on the needs of a story, but if you assume the same sort of expectations as those of 18th century sailing ships you won't go wrong.

El_Machinae
03-12-2013, 16:37
I think that the main issue is that it's highly and wildly variable. This is why so many responses need to be 'overwhelming', because there's no real way to know at what speed the different battle groups will arrive. So, some reinforcements will arrive before they're called. Some will arrive years too late.

mostlyharmless
03-12-2013, 19:07
They are as fast as they need to be to meet the requirements of the plot. If the plot requires the ships to arrive on time, they arrive on time. If not, well, the Imperium didn't need that backwater colony anyway. Their deaths will be avenged, and so on, and so forth.