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La'mour Le Breton
22-09-2006, 03:47
i know nukes are used in the 40k universe, (Gaunts ghosts necropolis) but why arnt they used more often? is the technology lost or to hard to recreate? i wouldn't think so. or are they not considered powerful enough? or is the nuclear fallout thing the problem? it would seem to me that the best way to kill an army of nids or necrons would be to drop a thermonuke on their asses. or a neutron bomb for the nids, the emp from any nuke would totaly **** the necrons.

Chem-Dog
22-09-2006, 04:14
If we are to take Necropolis' example, Nukes are the weapon of suicidal maniac who regard the long lasting effects of nuclear fall out as a bonus rather than a drawback.

I can't think of a sound reason why Nuclear weaponry isn't used (other than the fact it's a bit large scale for most 40K games) but it dos seem to be something of a Paupers bomb in comparison to some of the weapons the Imperium can unleash upon a planet (Lance Strike or even Exterminatus) so it might be a simple case of cost effectiveness, for the effort in containing and keping a nuclear armament secure and not irradiating anyone nearby before it's deployed you could probably juggle half a dozen plasma warheads with no fear whatsoever.

So my vote goes to Too expensive and not destructive enough. combined with the fact nobody likes their home to be heavily radioactive.

paddyalexander
22-09-2006, 04:16
I think they've been superceeded by reusable weapons(Lances, Nova Cannons etc.) that don't irradiate their own forces.

Nazguire
22-09-2006, 04:17
i know nukes are used in the 40k universe, (Gaunts ghosts necropolis) but why arnt they used more often? is the technology lost or to hard to recreate? i wouldn't think so. or are they not considered powerful enough? or is the nuclear fallout thing the problem? it would seem to me that the best way to kill an army of nids or necrons would be to drop a thermonuke on their asses. or a neutron bomb for the nids, the emp from any nuke would totaly **** the necrons.

Well, nukes are used, but past any scope of 40k battles. Which is why you don't see Imperial Guard players rolling a dice for the "Nuclear Obliteration for all foreseeable landscape" rule.

I suppose one reason that nukes aren't used is the utter devastation they cause. Can't use that area again for a long, long time. And plus, once they are used by one side, the other side will start using them, and pretty soon, no one can use the planet due to how radioactive and wasted it is.

I can think of a reason you don't hear about the Tyranids being nuked: They could become immune to the intense radiation. There's a reason.

The Necrons are the pinnacle of living metal and nano-technology. Do you really think the C'tan would have built soldiers that could be disabled by a micro-wave oven being pointed at them?

Chem-Dog
22-09-2006, 04:24
I can think of a reason you don't hear about the Tyranids being nuked: They could become immune to the intense radiation. There's a reason.

I think Tyranids, having to travel across vast interstellar voids, would be incredibly resilient to radiation in the first place.

Nukes would be fairly useful in space though wouldn't they? nobody cares if space is radioactive... ;)

Nazguire
22-09-2006, 04:30
I think Tyranids, having to travel across vast interstellar voids, would be incredibly resilient to radiation in the first place.

Nukes would be fairly useful in space though wouldn't they? nobody cares if space is radioactive... ;)

In space they have far more powerful weapons than a 'mere' nuclear weapon I'm guessing. Lance strikes would have far more concentrated power then a nuclear weapon for example. Also more accurate weapons are a bit of a must, considering that your opponents would often be hundreds of kilometers apart. In order to really hit anything, you'd have to saturate the area.

Sarge
22-09-2006, 04:42
And thus you'd have a very large EMP knocking out any unprotected systems. Would be useful against the Orks if you think about it.

Insta_AxE_Toast
22-09-2006, 04:47
The nids may be immune to the radiation, but I doubt they are immune to the blast =D

Buddha777
22-09-2006, 04:51
Well understand that nukes arn't as teriibley effective as much of the high tech space weaponry that the immperium uses. I belive, to the best of my knowlege, that a modern nuke has something like a ~15% matter/energy ratio but I would asume that something like a lance or plasma battery would immensley higher, not to mention reusable.

Sarge
22-09-2006, 05:05
Yes, but no other weapon would have the EMP blast either.

Psycho_Laughs
22-09-2006, 05:58
i forget where but there is a mention that the emperor outlawed the use of nuclear weapons. this came after seeing the results of those weapons being used by the many tribes of terra before he rose to power.

Sarge
22-09-2006, 06:08
Yeah, get your sources together first, than we'll think about considering it.

Sakura
22-09-2006, 06:42
I think you dont see nukes used in 40k because GW liked creating their own thing.
game wise youd blow the crap out of the whole table
lance strikes game wise are just a pistol shot from a space ship, they can rain those things over the whole table if they like but game wise thats just unfair.

a nuke would clense a flock of nids quite well, radioactive or not the blast is going to disintergrate anything including necrons, the emp maybe wouldnt effect the necrons as they may not be wired that way... A monolith would probably be taken out by a nuke, a ctan probably would be too, or at least loose that special skin they have.

The real reason you dont see them is it really ruins the whole story.

in the grim dark future their was nukage everywhere and had no need for space marines.

They gotta have a story and if you nuke everything then their is none.

You can exchange the word 'nuke' for any big bomb, im ure Eldar have their own special pixie bomb.

Also, who cares if the planet gets nuked, unless its an agro world people live in hives and have a pretty ****** life, chernobal would be a paradise compared to some hives.
Hell ive I could choose to be a chernobal baby or live in a hive Id be off to russia in no time.
And the amount of time it takes the planet to recover from a nuke is neglegable, Hiroshima may no yeild crops but people live there and drink coke and watch anime pron.. saaall good.

ankellagung
22-09-2006, 06:45
Aren't there mentions of nuclear warheads being used in BFG for ship to ship combat?

Sarge
22-09-2006, 06:45
Exterminatus Extremus, what do you think that is? It's the total annihalation of an infected planet through the means of orbital strikes, biological containiments, and nuclear bombardments. After all once a world falls to the demons, there is no saving it.

Sai-Lauren
22-09-2006, 09:18
Yes, but no other weapon would have the EMP blast either.

Really? That's what a Haywire grenade does ;).

Anyone else remember Rad grenades?

There's probably many reasons why they don't appear - one is that they are game ending weapons - even if you drop one on an epic battlefield, there wouldn't be a lot that would survive, maybe not even Titans.

Secondly, I think there's a reluctance to put them in the fluff due to public opinion - anyone ever play the game Nuclear Profileration? When it was released CND managed to get a banning order on it's commercial import into the UK (and some people who flew to the US commercially was bringing multiple copies back on every trip to get around it :p ). Throwing nukes in as an established weapon would probably give the same people the same kinds of arguments, and why bother fighting something when you don't have to?

Thridly, there are more powerful and more accurate weapons - lance strikes, fusion bombs, vortex weapons, even Exterminatus.

That's not to say they don't get used, I can easily see the imperium taking a long term view where necessary, dropping them on some ork horde on a desert world, with the intention of eliminating a threat now that it can't currently supply troops to either attack or defend against, and shipping new colonists in later - once it's cooled down a bit.

Gen.Steiner
22-09-2006, 09:20
I believe Krieg was destroyed in a "500 year campaign of atomic purging" - sounds like nukes to me! :D

Fish&Chips
22-09-2006, 11:11
I know they are not 'true' nukes, but where would neutron weapons fall in? Apparently they would be quite useful, considering their effects on organic matter (i.e., destroying molecular bonds, leaving behind a basic paste like substance.)

Doomclaw
22-09-2006, 12:40
the emp wouldn't be a real problem, many modern devises are protected against it, they have to have maintained that protection in 40k, otherwise it would become too easy to defear mechanised forces.

lord_blackfang
22-09-2006, 12:56
Nukes are simply redundant. You can't use them if you want to keep living on the planet being fought over. But once you give up on the planet and just want to kill off the enemy, there are far more destructive weapons than mere nukes to destroy a world utterly.

wascloud
22-09-2006, 12:56
nukes arent used because they were outlawed. the effects were considered by the pre heresy imperium to be too catostrophic to be used against anything. bad guys use them of course, necropolis being an example, and im sure orks use them cos they make a really big bang. also the tech priests keep some on mars cos they basically do what they want there, but they dont use them
wascloud

jfrazell
22-09-2006, 13:11
A lance is just a concentrated laser strike.

Orbital bombardments are frequently mentioned (the Sabbat history is an excellent example including "pics" of a strike). Some of the orbital weaponry deployed is on the order of fusion or higher in explosive potential, but I do see your point. Don't forget the joy of vortex missiles in earlier fluff :)

If I am faced with a chaos titan legion coming my way I'd worry about the lasting effects of radiation later and nuke the CENSORED out of it. Similar battlefield potential is there. If invading an enemy homeworld, there's definitely a midlevel use of power between exterminatus and common napalm, er promethium. I could see heavy use of low yield nuke equivalent weapons, be it fusion bombs, plasma, or vortex equivalents.

Besides it sthe one thing that would permanently clear an area of orky spores :eek:

The Laughing Gods Avatar
22-09-2006, 13:35
If I am faced with a chaos titan legion coming my way I'd worry about the lasting effects of radiation later and nuke the CENSORED out of it.

This is why widespread use of nuclear weapons doesnít occur by rank and file troopers in the galaxy, one frightened regiment that is going to get killed by a titan or some such decides to nuke it, fall out be damned. In the process they make the land unusable and harm further troops due to fall out. If the Imperium has one thing to spare, it's troops for the meat grinder, better that squad die than make the campaign more difficult due to radiation sickness/fall out.

Iíd also believe that it boils down to cost at heart, while a nuke may be powerful it also requires dangerous mining of radioactive material, then having that material processed to a weapons grade, then the construction of a bomb and delivery system. All of that for a less than 100% kill ratio, true that not a lot will survive a blast, but some personal, tanks, fortified structures can survive a nuclear detonation. Better to use a reusable laser based weapon that causes less collateral damage, is reusable, has a higher kill ratio in proportion to its smaller blast radius.

Besides, if killing a planet is your goal, they have virus weapons for that. 100% effective and I would guess a whole hell of a lot cheaper.

Gen.Steiner
22-09-2006, 13:40
Besides, if killing a planet is your goal, they have virus weapons for that. 100% effective and I would guess a whole hell of a lot cheaper.

Actually, cyclonic torpedoes are more generally used. Nothing quite like setting fire to a planet's atmosphere!

Zzarchov
22-09-2006, 13:41
well, couple of things here.

Bigger blast weapons then nukes DO exist. Even still, things in 40k can live through them (Titans, even Carnifexes can survive an exterminatus).

Once you start getting energy shields nukes just aren't that great. They have alot of punch, spread over way too wide an area..anything shielded turns out fine, thats why they have weapons like lances..to punch through shielding.

LarryS
22-09-2006, 14:10
Nukes are a little too "middle of the road" to be properly effective. That is, they are too imprecise for close work - lance strikes work better for pinpoint strikes. For larger targets, a battle barge's bombardment cannons or similar weapons are more appropriate. If nothing else, you wouldn't want to contaminate a world you want to capture w/ radiation for thousands of years. The imperium has enough dead planets already...;)

If you want to destroy a world, break out the virus bombs and cyclonic torpedos and be done with it...:skull:

That said, if you're about to lose a world, don't have orbital or fleet based weapons available, and have a few nukes lying around, well...:evilgrin:

cherubaul
22-09-2006, 14:28
wasn't there something in gorka Morka about a nuclear fallout when the Orks arrived. this could either be a nuke power source or the detonation of the weapons onboard the hulk?

Tastyfish
22-09-2006, 15:07
They are also pretty crappy in space, there isn't any shockwave other than whatever is in the bomb itself to act as a medium. Setting one off inside the ship would be pretty catestrophic though, but other than wierd things like that they would primarily be used to cover the trail of a ship - chuck out a fusion bomb behind you just before you make your course change and then turn off the plasma reactor once your out of the cloud. Be very difficult to track your change in direction - similarly, you might find that nuclear warhead equiped torpedoes are sent off in advance of a 'conventional' (i.e mindshatterly powerful) salvo and set to explode as the torpedos enter close range - the explosion blinding the more sensitive detection systems (or forcing them to 'blink' into their protective bunkers) allowing the torpedoes a better chance of penetrating the targets defenses.

Gen.Steiner
22-09-2006, 15:09
wasn't there something in gorka Morka about a nuclear fallout when the Orks arrived. this could either be a nuke power source or the detonation of the weapons onboard the hulk?

It was the nuclear engines of the Hulk combined with the destruction of the Imperial ship (and its plasma reactors) which fooked Angelis.

jfrazell
22-09-2006, 15:29
There's a false paradigm here. Its strategically better to use tactical nukes or tactical nuke equivalents on large scale opponents. Orbital bombardment is not always available. When it is the WMD's need to have an area equivalent weapon to be effective.

Its just the NATO European strategy in practice. Hit your opponent with everything on the battlefield, destroy his massed formations. I'd submit the Imperium wouldn't greatly care about the land either. They just want to win. Winning with a surface that has hotzones is still winning, and the vast majority of the surface is still intact, no worse than the average hive world (would they even have noticed in a place such as Armageddon?).

My argument is not for nukes per se' just the need for tactical sized weapons to hit large formations in the multiple MT range.

The Laughing Gods Avatar
22-09-2006, 16:16
My argument is not for nukes per se' just the need for tactical sized weapons to hit large formations in the multiple MT range.

The problem with this is that in hands of Imperial guard troopers it would prove so effective that it combined with the guardís conventional weapons would become the default attack of the guard, and one small tactical nuke becomes 100 or 1000 and thus ensues nuclear winter and the planet dies a slow death rather than a quick death at the hands of whatever enemy.

However itís not to say that it isnít a viable tactic should it be deployed sparingly, be it at the hands of some branch of the inquisition, or by the Astartes.

Sarge
22-09-2006, 17:03
Yeah, after all the Imperium nuked Kreig until the heretical inhabitants surrendered, and pledged themselves to the Imperial cause, thus the Kreig Death Korps.

jfrazell
22-09-2006, 17:04
I think if you'll notice the fluff, when invading enemy worlds it is the default tactic of both the guard and marines. Orbitally bombarding the planet, then invading (certain pictures in the Sabbat book reflect a continental shelf prior to bombardment, and after when the crust was cracked and a portion of the continent subsided-now that is firepower). Orbital weapons continue to be used when available by both marines and guard (see EPIC), and are lethal when used by Tau.

Minister
22-09-2006, 17:22
Actually, cyclonic torpedoes are more generally used. Nothing quite like setting fire to a planet's atmosphere!So do the Exterminatus virus bombs. Total breakdown of everything produces an awful lot of flamable gas, which generally causes a fireball that kills anything the virus didn't (oh, and the atmosphere becomes unbreatheable too). If you REALLY want to shift entrenched forces, it's targeted magna-melta bombardment to split the planet.

I would also say that one fo the worlds in the Cadian system (Korolis) is
an exporter of atomic weapons, and that the garison on Purgatory (the location of the Hand of Darkness) detonated its nuclear arsenal when Chaos forces overwhelmed them.

It seems that nuclear weapons are used mainly by the Guard and/or PDF rather than the Navy (who have better weapons, both for space combat and for bombardment) as a weapon of extreme measure. As any major offensive campaign is supported by the Navy, and (almost) any planetary governor is going to be reluctant to deal with the damage to his planet, their use is going to be rare.

Sarge
22-09-2006, 17:49
Very true.

cailus
23-09-2006, 05:40
In regards to radioactive fallout, I doubt this would bother the Imperium unless it was an agri-world. Most hive and forge worlds are too polluted to be habitable. This is why people live in enclosed hives. Exposure to the polluted atmosphere will probably result in a relatively painful death. So radioactive fallout would probably not be a concern.

Sarge
23-09-2006, 05:45
Another very true statement

Lancaster
23-09-2006, 07:29
Very true.


Another very true statement

Trying to up your post count I see....:rolleyes:

Anyhow, I always figured, you nuke the planets you don't want, and fight tooth and nail for the ones you do.

Also, in the 3rd edition rulebook, it had a section for 'preliminary bombardment' and it seemed pretty weak... the reason they gave was that the defenses and entrenchments would protect the troops enough...:wtf:

So, really this leads me to the conclusion that there is no reason they aren't used more, and if you take the game for what it is, a achronistic medieval war game, you can see there is no reason for nukes.

millward
23-09-2006, 08:25
if i remember rightly they do have nukes, i'm not sure where i saw it but i'm pretty sure they do. They are huge in comparison to nodays nukes (they are 38k years ahead so that makes sense). If i remember rightly they are about 600 gigaton nukes (compared to th largest test on earth (nowadays) which is only 56 megatons). I'll try and find a link.

Pilgrim
23-09-2006, 12:50
Another thing to bear in mind is that this modern fixation on nuclear weapons being the all-killing weapon of doom is because we simply do not have anything better yet. As a result, whenever people need a seriously destructive weapon in fiction, they automatically think of nuclear weaponry. The Imperium is a society where technology has vastly advanced compared to the present day, which has likely resulted in nuclear weaponry losing its pre-eminence in terms of weapons of mass destruction.

A number of these alternatives have already been mentioned in this thread, including highly advanced bio-weaponry (such as virus bombs) which can be used where the objective is simply death, not destruction (in a similar fashion to neutron bombs), fusion explosives (as opposed to the fission weapons that are the classic 'nuke') which have comparable destructive power without so many detrimental side-effects, large scale conventional weaponry (such as the plasma batteries, and macro-cannons mounted on starships) which have high destructive yields.

There are also high firepower platforms, such as titans, which are capable of making assaults on hardened positions, which today would be considered too well defended. There are also ways to bypass defences such as teleport assaults and drop pods, which mean that defensive positions can be rapidly assaulted from within. As a consequence of these developments in comnbat equipment, the role of nuclear weapons as the destroyers of hardened positions and installations is lessened, because there are other tools to do the job. There are also alternatives to nuclear bombardment if an assault is impractical.

In the case of large concentrations of enemy troops, which would be the other main target of nuclear weaponry (in this case tactical) there are once again the Titan Legions which can provide ultra-heavy fire support to break enemy formations. Additionally, should the enemy be sufficiently strong to resist direct assault, they are ultimately limited in the damage they can do by the issue of space superiority. In the Age of the Imperium, space superiority is a very important factor in warfare. It grants a huge mobility and logistics advantage, similar to the way air superiority was important in World War 2. Modern military thinking is shaped by the fact that Earth consists of nations with clear borders, where transport is difficult, and largely land based (especially in combat). As a result, people are used to being able to set up blockades and defensive barriers in warfare. This is much harder to do on a planetary scale in the Age of the Imperium, because of the ability to deploy using sub-orbital craft.
As a result, I would imagine warfare to be rather more based around maneuver (on a strategic scale) which would de-emphasise concentration of force in a single 'front-line' as seen today. That is to say that an enemy who remains concentrated is easy to contain, being able to only keep power over their local area, meaning the rest of the planet falls out of their control (as well as making them prime targets for bombardment). A side which is cut off on a planet will be cut off from supply, and will face the problem of remaining concentrated for defence, and thus limiting their impact to a small area, or spreading out and thus being destroyed in detail by an enemy who can orbitally drop on isolated elements at will.

Basically, there are a large number of alternatives to nuclear weaponry available, should you need a target eliminated, furthermore, a number of these (such as teleport assault) do not obliterate the surrounding area. Even a warship's main batteries, assuming they are using their lasers and other beam weaponry (rather than ballistics) will cause less collateral damage than a strategic nuclear weapon (unless my physics knowledge is really bad), with most of the collateral damage coming from inaccurate shots, rather than anything else. Nuclear weaponry does not really offer any significant advantages over other weapon systems, as well as which, it has a number of significant drawbacks, which would make it undesirable. It is only so popular today, and so ingrained in the public consciousness, because it is the best we have. By the Age of the Imperium this is no longer the case, and nuclear weaponry would seem to have become somewhat obsolete by then.

Adrian

Sarge
23-09-2006, 18:03
Not at all, I refer to the IG codex, near the back where the different fluff based army traits are located, under the title of Krieg Death Korps, it refers to the homeworld of Krieg being bombarded with nuclear weaponry.

It is my beleif that they chose the humble nuke to bombard the planet over the more destructive weapons for the sole reason that most inhabitants of Krieg lived underground, and the purpose of the campaign against Krieg was to bring them back into the Imperium as they were a valued millitary resource.

lapis_lazuli
23-09-2006, 18:20
Krieg was subjected to atomic purging by loyalist elements of its own population, and as we know technology levels vary among planets in 40k. So it may simply be that nuclear weapons were the most destructive available on Krieg (given its primitive WW1-inspired style). It doesn't necessarily follow that nukes are used by the much better equipped Imperial Navy.

Sarge
23-09-2006, 19:01
Never thought about that, but Krieg is a good example of a planet being purged by nuclear means.

lapis_lazuli
23-09-2006, 19:16
I certainly agree that there is room for nukes in 40k, simply because of the widely disparate tech levels as I stated above. I just think you'd see them used by planetbound rebels as a last resort or a terror tactic on a less advanced world, rather than by the Imperial Guard, Navy or Space Marines (which represent the top end of Imperial military technology and logistics, and have access to "better" weapons).

Lancaster
23-09-2006, 20:40
fusion explosives (as opposed to the fission weapons that are the classic 'nuke') which have comparable destructive power without so many detrimental side-effects,

Actually the term "Atomic Bomb" refers to Fission weapons. Nuclear bomb refers to the "Fission-Fusion-Fission" variety, such as the Hydrogen bomb.

Nuke is a misnomer when refering to weapons such as the Neutron bomb, salt bomb, etc... as the term was coined merely to refer to the Hydrogen bomb, and its variations.

However, all bombs that have a nuclear reaction are refered to commonly as nukes.

You see, I thought I had a point when I started writing, but I guess it turns out I didn't.

La'mour Le Breton
23-09-2006, 21:24
there are micro nukes the government ahs develouped for destroying deep underground bunkers. minimal radiation, if i were facing off against a huge mob of nids or orks, i would think that nuking all their troops off the face of the planet would be a good idea. Nuke technology isn't really that complicated either, vortex missles and plasma weaponry are rare and not understood.
I can understand if the Emperor himself outlawed nukes, but i still think they'd be useful,

would a neutron bomb **** up orks? i would think so, them being just living plant matter.....

PS i wasn't talking about game rules with nukes, just fluff, this is a backround forum.

Lancaster
23-09-2006, 22:07
would a neutron bomb **** up orks? i would think so, them being just living plant matter.....


A neutron bomb destroys organic chemicals by busting up molecular bonds, smaller and inorganic ionic bonded chemicals are not harmed so much.

Every living or non-living thing with organic compounds would be toast, even motor oil.

Therefore, the orks would be done

Outlaw289
23-09-2006, 23:23
I don't think the thread creator meant nukes per se but Weapons of Mass Destruction. Why does the Imperium bother to fight horde enemies on the ground when they can hit 'em with WMDs (of any type)

Sarge
23-09-2006, 23:34
Because like today, if you want the land your enemy is on, it's better to attack them with an army, however if you just need to destroy the enmy than WMDs do work. AND if you knew anything about the fluff you'd notice that is what the Imperium does just that, they save the worlds they need, and use Exterminatus Extremus to wipe out the enemy on worlds they don't need, but prefer to use them on enemy worlds like Demon worlds, Tyranid infested worlds, and even Necron death worlds.

SLeepy
24-09-2006, 07:14
Nukes are used in 40k, and regularly. What do you think nova cannons fire? While they don't go out and say what the fire, they do give examples, and it sounds to be a fusion bomb in the gigiton range.

Nukes are great at destroying buildings and things with a high surface area. So MC's would be affected much more from the pressure wave and any building on the map would be destroyed. This would be a great way to burry and heavily disrupt an opponent that has complete control of buildings that you don't really need. Would you rather use one nuke from high orbit (away form planetary defenses), or get shot the CENSORED up getting into range so as to fire an accurate volly from low orbit?

Plasma missiles are really not all that powerful. It takes three charges just to effectively use one (one to melt the armor, another to push the second charge into the ship, and then the second charge denotes) and they are useless against other ordinance markers (fighters and the like). A nuke would be cheaper to produce, safer (little-to-no chance of premature detonation... namely inside your ship), and the second charge (using the plasma torps way of entry) would utterly scrap a ship of extreme size when it goes off inside (ok, so the chances of a critical hit goes way up).

Lances are not the most accurate thing around, but they put down a highly destructive beam of energy for an extended time (say 3-5 seconds... also depends on the ship (meaning that it will trace a mark on the world, unless it dose not rotate)). They really won't get the job done in most cases, great for bunkers, and leave the ship vulnerable to planetary defenses. Batteries are extremely indiscriminant; remember that these things can miss an immobile space fort 7km long. The planet is rotating, has a bunch of targets, friendly forces can easily be hit, and collateral damage will be great (though not as bad as a nuke). I still wonder if those shells could survive re-entry into a planet with an atmosphere (they are explosive, right?). A bombardment cannon is the way to go for any fight, as they are specially designed for it. Unfortunately only space marines have bombardment cannons.

Virus bombs cannot be controlled.... at all. The only thing that controls them is the amount of stuff to eat. Once everything in contact of the surface is devoured the world is effectively dead, and the only thing left to do is set is ablaze from the viruses by-products. Of course tyranids can survive this, so people with a contained environment low enough underground are safe from it. Thus if you are safe from a virus bomb, the only thing that can root you out is concentrated fire on that position.

Nukes can be made smaller and safer than plasma. The great shock wave is wonderful for destroying reinforced buildings and any air burst can take out that entire air force that comes in a great wave (like in that one book focusing on air combat). They can be controlled via blast radius (or amount of fusionable/fissionable materials) and placement. While it isn't a great people killer, it can put forces into disarray and MC's will be more affected by it. Also, a division of imperial guard can be effectively gutted in one bomb, even more so if they are in bunkers and the EMP would fry electronics like voxs (no more leadership bonus), starter engines, and any booby traps that arenít hardened. The ship doesnít have to get into range of planetary defenses to effectively place one and the target that is hit directly will take very heavy damage. Fusion bombs can also be used and are easier to make more destructive. Nukes can also be used to great effect as an ambush weapon. Simply plant one underground where a convoy will be going (like in a great retreat) and you have a large amount of vaporized, welded, and out of commission vehicles, not to mention the psychological effect and radiation burns troops will get (loosing a fourth of a division to blindness is bad for moral).

Why the imperium of man dose not use them, probably people thinking they are all powerful answers. GW would think they would kill off all the forces on the map, but if you use titans you should be able to fit in a tactical nuke or two. Maybe a larger one would fit into large battles.

Oh, you want to know why a melta bomb (in game) is only as big as a large blast marker, it is concentrating its blast down. The lance has only a large blast marker because that is how big the beam itself is. I have no idea why the bombardment cannon dosn't use a larger blast marker.

DoomedDiceThrower
24-09-2006, 10:30
Cudos Pilgrim and Sleepy, I like it when people take their time when writing arguments.

I won't write as much, I just think that Nukes are used at least partially.

I'm not sure, but in an old WD battle report with Schaeffers Last Chancers against Black Legion, the Last Chancers had to prevent the Chaos Forces to lower a tactical Nuke deep into the planets surface with an elevator.

Nukes make still a far too good "Armageddon-Devices" in storys to be totally excluded from 40k. I'm very sure we can all make up an argument that proves why they're still used, be it that a certain imperial planet doesn't have better technology like maybe Krieg.

Thinking about the old, cool StarCraft-cutscene where the Marines are transporting a tactical nuke (along with beer) in a box inside an Zerg-infested space-station to blow it up, I really don't want to miss Nukes in 40k. It's just a too classical theme imo.

There are more powerful things out there, but sometimes I dig Nukes, probably because they're not as abstract as the other Science-Fiction stuff. (No offense against Plasma-Ultra-Vortex-Magma-AlbertEinstein-#%§!ing- Sci-Fi-bombs!)

bertcom1
24-09-2006, 10:53
There might be a religious prohibition against fission weapons, due to radiation and mutants/deformities. Mutations could be mistakenly attributed to Chaos, creating the impression that fission weapons spread the taint of Chaos. The Adeptus Mechanicus would know that that is false, but the Ecclesiarchy would not, and the Ecclesiarchy has a much bigger voice in shouting down the opposition, since the Imperium is so religious.

There are other weapons that could be considered.

There was an article in New Scientist a while back, mentioning some kind of "nuclear" weapon, involving an element changing from one isotope to another, when stimulated by something. It had very high yield, in theory much, much greater than any fusion or fission weapon, but had no radioactive products, meaning fallout would be inert dust, not radioactive. It could also be theoretically miniaturised to a device no larger than a hand grenade, as there is no lower limit to a practical device, unlike fission weapons. It was also very destructive, with around 10 grams of it having the same explosive power as something like 50kg of C4 plastic explosive. So, although the Nuclear Grenade is possible, it is unlikely to be practical.
The explosive would also be expensive to produce.

Explosives like that might feature in 40k for large scale destruction.

Philip S
24-09-2006, 11:12
There might be a religious prohibition against fission weapons, due to radiation and mutants/deformities. Mutations could be mistakenly attributed to Chaos, creating the impression that fission weapons spread the taint of Chaos. The Adeptus Mechanicus would know that that is false, but the Ecclesiarchy would not, and the Ecclesiarchy has a much bigger voice in shouting down the opposition, since the Imperium is so religious.
Random mutations that have random effects isn't chaos?

Considering the universe set up and internal logic is would seem the idea that nukes cause chaos/ and or serve the purpose of chaos is valid. The origins of the mutations may be physical, but to get these materium components to act in this way requires knowledge and means chaos had a hand Ė after all who inspired the theories behind nukes, and the facilities and need for them, knowing mankind has a propensity for self destruction and lashing out in fear?

And who would know that humans would resist using it out of greater fear, but at the same time accept the unacceptable under this immense stress?

I would say Tzeentch would be at the top of my list.

Philip

La'mour Le Breton
25-09-2006, 02:26
Kind of a different topic, but what about anti matter? i think the dude who posted on this page about the really small, non radioactive nuke thingy might have been talking about anti matter/matter bomb. I guess an anti matter bomb could easily take out the world, blow us all to little pieces no prob. and if enough were to be made, we could destroy the universe, big bang style. that would be some sweet stuff in 40k, but the tech is probably considered way to far out. ad mech probably doesnt have the tech or understanding to untilize anti matter. it would be cool in 40k fluff though. trying to stop a renegade super ad mech from blowing the whole universe to nothingness. good idea for a book

scwolf
25-09-2006, 03:32
There might be a religious prohibition against fission weapons, due to radiation and mutants/deformities. Mutations could be mistakenly attributed to Chaos, creating the impression that fission weapons spread the taint of Chaos. The Adeptus Mechanicus would know that that is false, but the Ecclesiarchy would not, and the Ecclesiarchy has a much bigger voice in shouting down the opposition, since the Imperium is so religious.

When I read this thread this morning, I wanted to make that point, but had to go to work. I'm glad to see someone else brought it up.

Mutation. It's a lot more common in the 40k setting than in RL. A large portion of this can be attributed to the effects of the Warp, but it's probably a safe bet that other mutagens would be handled large amounts of due care, given the fact that expressing mutation is considered a heresy of the body, and like all heresy, a capital crime against mankind and the Emperor.

As for the AdMech's view of radiation/contamination and the mutations it can cause, they would probably be just as fanatical as the Ecclesiarchy, in their own special way. The Real Life nuclear industry is already highly proceduralized to start with; converting this into the fanatical science-as-ritual methods of the AdMech wouldn't take much at all.

AdMech facilities that manufacture nuclear weapons would necessarily be staffed by only by those Tech Priests most slavishly devoted to following the prescribed rites of manufacture as precisely as possible. Even so, given the grim & gritty nature of the Imperium, I would imagine that accidents would be common. Unlike the Real Life nuclear industry's nuclear handling procedures, AdMech rituals would not be subjected to repeated peer review for the purposes of continous improvement of safety performance.

This would result in nuclear manufacture earning a reputation as something of a "Dark Art" among the general populace of the Adeptus Mechanicus. On one hand, it's an elite segment of the AdMech, only accepting the most fanatical and detail-oriented of Tech Priests, but on the other hand, it has a track record of accidents where there's incontrovertible proof (spread of mutations afterwards) that one of those fanatical, detail-oriented Tech Priests must have committed a heresy by deviating from their rituals.

After all, whenever an accident happens the Tech Priests involved will always be the lightning rod for the blame in the eyes of the general AdMech populace, since no AdMech would admit that there could be a problem with the rites themselves. The only reasonable explanation for why catastrophic, mutation-spreading accidents happen is that Tech Priests who perform nuclear work are just at a higher danger for becoming heretical in their thinking.

Given the a view by the AdMech that the nuclear field is a potential breeding ground for heresy against the perfected rituals of the Machine God, I would imagine that despite the obvious demand, nuclear manufacturing facilities would be rare, and as a result, so would the weapons they manufacture.

Khaine's Messenger
25-09-2006, 04:53
Kind of a different topic, but what about anti matter?

Anti-matter is energy-intensive to make and store (making sure it doesn't annihilate its containment vessel is top priority)...ridiculously so when compared to conventional explosives or batteries, never mind nuclear devices; its primary bonus is its energy density and compactness, and while you might be able to devise an antimatter weapon to destroy the planet, creating one for the purpose of destroying the universe would be a bit silly.

All in all, antimatter is likely avoided, ignored, or marginalized precisely because it is too hard/costly to produce/harvest/contain by comparison to a galaxy's wealth of fissionable elements or hydrogen for fusion, whose industries hit their economies of scale and best efficiencies a long, long, long time ago in the 40k universe.

And who's going to argue with Big Hydrogen? :chrome:

Lord Hjamlar
25-09-2006, 10:23
According to Codex:IG Krieg was a subject to 500 years atomic purging... After some kind of heresy... But I don't know when did it happen...

El_Machinae
25-09-2006, 11:19
Knowing the world of 40k, mutations caused by nukes are more likely to be blamed on the victim than the aggressor. "Despite our Holy Pounding 80 years ago, the planet of Massive Suffering still chooses to truck with Chaos, as evidenced by their rampant stillbirths!"

With regards to anti-matter; I cannot imagine the Imperium maintaining the infrastructure required to produce the stuff in any type of viable manner. The Tau certainly could, since they probably can afford to build and maintain colliders. But not the Imperium.

Gen.Steiner
25-09-2006, 11:39
With regards to anti-matter; I cannot imagine the Imperium maintaining the infrastructure required to produce the stuff in any type of viable manner. The Tau certainly could, since they probably can afford to build and maintain colliders. But not the Imperium.

Um. Tau 'empire': How many worlds? 15? 20? Lots of them first and second generation colony worlds?

Imperium of Humanity: Millions of worlds, including Mars, the original and best Forge World. They also don't really need to worry about things like 'wages' and 'payment', because servitors don't need wages, and what would you rather do - hand over all your raw materials for free, in praise of the Machine God, or be taken away, tortured and burnt as a heretic... and have your raw materials taken as well?

The Imperium of Humanity has a bigger economic and industrial base than, well, anyone else.

Sai-Lauren
25-09-2006, 12:09
Um. Tau 'empire': How many worlds? 15? 20? Lots of them first and second generation colony worlds?

Imperium of Humanity: Millions of worlds, including Mars, the original and best Forge World. They also don't really need to worry about things like 'wages' and 'payment', because servitors don't need wages, and what would you rather do - hand over all your raw materials for free, in praise of the Machine God, or be taken away, tortured and burnt as a heretic... and have your raw materials taken as well?

The Imperium of Humanity has a bigger economic and industrial base than, well, anyone else.

Yep, but they do still need to worry about finances, wages and so on - whether it simply be a form of barter like food for the miners digging out the ore or the freighter crews transferring it to the Forge World and so on, or an actual hourly wage or shipping fee that they can then spend on what they like - especially if all of that fee then comes back in taxes, church tithes, voluntary donations - say the workers of a factory unit "buy" a tank for the regiment that's being founded on their planet, war bonds, VAT/sales tax on purchased goods (plus taxes on the vendors) and so on.

And besides, if you cart everyone away and burn them as a heretic, who's going to dig the ores out of the ground?;)

Anti-Matter - Tau probably don't play with it yet and the Imperium seem to rely on fusion, so it's unlikely they would either.

Maybe the Eldar and Dark Eldar use anti-matter in some things, Necrons possibly could as well (they must get their power from something, and the warp's out of the question).

scwolf
25-09-2006, 14:23
And besides, if you cart everyone away and burn them as a heretic, who's going to dig the ores out of the ground?;)

That's easy. The servitors that you construct from their charred corpses.

Minister
25-09-2006, 23:54
Servitors must be alive for the creation. Preferably mostly intact too.

Outlaw289
26-09-2006, 01:58
AND if you knew anything about the fluff.

:rolleyes:

**** you Captain High horse. I meant why don't we ever hear of the Imperium dropping thermobaric bombs or cluster bombing things, when they usually send a less effective horde of Guardsmen or drop-pod some heroic group of Space Marines into the thick of it for no good reason.

Minister
26-09-2006, 10:58
Because a campaign history along the lines of:

3241987.M40: Arrived in-system with task group.
3250987.M40: Achived high orbit. No resistance encountered. Pickets dispersed.
3251987/M40: Achieved low orbit. Began bombardment of designated targets and targets of opportunity.
3264987.M40: Bombardment complete. Enemy presence neutralised. Broke orbit and headed for transition point.
3259987.M40: Entered warp bound for sector command.

Is, frankly, boring.

bertcom1
26-09-2006, 11:14
i think the dude who posted on this page about the really small, non radioactive nuke thingy might have been talking about anti matter/matter bomb.

Nah, it wasn't antimatter, it was something different.

Leave gratuitous use of antimatter to Star Trek.




3264987.M40: Bombardment complete. Enemy presence neutralised. Broke orbit and headed for transition point.
3259987.M40: Entered warp bound for sector command.


Is the chronology right? Should the numbers not be the other way round?

DoomedDiceThrower
27-09-2006, 01:29
Antimatter. Hmmm...

I think it is mentioned in the 40k fluff. As far as I remember the "Dark Lances" and such weapons that are used by the race known as Dark Eldar, are somehow working with antimatter.
I hope I don't mix things up. It's been a while since I read through a friend's DE codex.
Nevertheless, , even if I should be wrong, I think antimatter would suit them fine.

Lord Dante
27-09-2006, 10:55
Virus bombs - thek kill all living matter on the planet without destroying the world u want to inhabit.

Also, on the subject of why do they send in troops - the crusade was about bringing alien nations into the Imperium - this means u need to crush the other side into surrender, and then bring it into the Imperium - nuke'n em all wont leave u anyone left.

Kegluneq
27-09-2006, 11:02
No, it was about destroying native populations, and leaving worlds fit for the inevitable human habitation. Nukes do the first well, but not really the latter at all.

Lord Dante
27-09-2006, 11:34
I think you will find that it was about bringing native populations into the Imperium - you are either with the Imperium or against it. If you are against it you will be 'Illuminated' as Horus would like to say.

thats the basis for all 3 HH books.

lapis_lazuli
27-09-2006, 12:20
Kegluneq, I think Lord Dante means independent human populations when he says "alien nations", not xenos.

And certainly the Imperium regards uniting the human race as a sacred duty, so exterminating human populations when it's still possible to assimilate them is a religious taboo, even it seems more resource-efficient to us secular types.

Also, GW have incorporated the "to nuke or not to nuke" strategic dilemma into some recent fluff. Off the top of my head, I recall the account of the Damocles Gulf Crusade in the old Codex: Tau. IIRC, the Imperial fleet bombarded an ice world in the Dal'yth system, flooding its settlements and wiping out the population, precisely because it was of no strategic value. But the Imperium launched a costly campaign to capture Dal'yth Prime because it was an advanced, valuable world.

Lord Dante
27-09-2006, 12:37
theres also another option - perhaps they just forgot how to make nukes in favour of other tech?

Minister
27-09-2006, 13:07
Is the chronology right? Should the numbers not be the other way round?

See? It's so boring that even the officer filling in the report couldn't be bothered checking it over before submitting it! That's how boring it is!

Ahem. Yes.

Voronwe[MQ]
27-09-2006, 16:20
Hm, could be so...

Voronwe[MQ]
27-09-2006, 16:24
theres also another option - perhaps they just forgot how to make nukes in favour of other tech?

...or perhaps nukes are relatively low-level tech compared to other things like fusion reactors and Geller fields. I do suppose 'nids have been nuked occasionally, but 'nids are tough and probably beats scorpions with horse's lenghts when it comes to radiation resistance.

The by-effects is not worth it, just look on Krieg (Although I think they went a bit over top with that: a barren wasteland? Sounds like a challenge on nature's extreme life force to me)

Lord Zarkov
27-09-2006, 18:59
The imperium do have nukes, look at all the references to 'fusion' or 'melta' which work by the process of nuclear fusion, in a simmilar way to an H Bomb (but it seems with something betetr than just a fission bomb to trigger it and without they extra fission afterwards)

Minister
27-09-2006, 22:04
Melta weapons have more in common with microwave technology than anything else, and have nothing to do with nuclear weapons.

DoomedDiceThrower
27-09-2006, 22:13
;971450']I do suppose 'nids have been nuked occasionally, but 'nids are tough and probably beats scorpions with horse's lenghts when it comes to radiation resistance.


Scorpions are resistant to radiation?

...

Cool.

Alsiaie
27-09-2006, 22:21
I can think of far better weapons. Like driving a Grand Cruiser class battleship into the surface of a planet nose first. (lance striking first of course) BOOM! Or just invest in a Planet Killer... :skull::chrome::skull::chrome:

Minister
27-09-2006, 22:31
Or just lob asteroids at people.

How long, do you think, before someone posts the article of which I think?

Nazguire
28-09-2006, 00:36
Or just lob asteroids at people.

How long, do you think, before someone posts the article of which I think?

Ala Ghazghkull of the Orks.

Perhaps the Imperials can't do that though... Ork gravitic technology is meant to be more advanced then Imperial apparently.

Zzarchov
28-09-2006, 01:36
No, Imperials do it, Lord Solar Macharius had to pull it off to waste a human world that held them off with its Hyperdrive (ala Necrons) tech.

Pilgrim
28-09-2006, 10:29
No, Imperials do it, Lord Solar Macharius had to pull it off to waste a human world that held them off with its Hyperdrive (ala Necrons) tech.

Indeed, Adrantis V, which is claimed to have been destroyed by a redirected comet. Knowing very little of astronomy I have no idea which is more plausible, a comet or an asteroid. Either way, though, Macharius' forces hit the planet with a large object directed into a collision.

The technology is never mentioned as hyperdrives or similar though. The quote from Codex: Imperial Guard simply mentions 'hyper-technology' which I take to mean simply very highly advanced technology (reading 'hyper-technology' in the same way as 'hyper-active' or 'hyper-intelligent').

This technology was of a kind that was able to thwart, or at least severely hamper attempts at orbital bombardment and/or landings, it may also have included improvements in ground warfare and defence, given that the campaign stalemated for 5 years. The fact it took so long implies that there was a lot of fighting, if Adrantis V were capable of keeping Imperial forces off-planet altogether, I suspect the bombardment would have come sooner. (the other possibility, of course, is that they did drive the fleet out of orbit almost immediately, and that the 5 year figure is simply how long it took for the redirected object to hit the planet). Once again, my lack of astronomy knowledge means I have no idea what a plausible timeframe for conducting asteroidal bombardment would be.

Adrian

jfrazell
28-09-2006, 12:27
Or just lob asteroids at people.

How long, do you think, before someone posts the article of which I think?

Right but if you're Lord General Bob and you're trying to smash the center of an enemy counterattack you probably don't have access to mass drivers.

There is a middle ground between having nothing and wiping the entire planet. I definitely see a place for tactical nuke equivalents (not necessarily nuke just some nasty 40K WMD) Again the only effects of a surface strike I've seen (other than the Sabbat camaign book) fluffwise shows a torpedo strike which has a similar effect to a nuke in firepower (Storm of Iron). In EPIC utilizing orbital bombardments in an engagement is a common practice.

lapis_lazuli
28-09-2006, 17:54
Bombarding planets with celestial objects is only used in exceptional circumstances. IIRC WD ran an article that explained that lobbing an asteroid is too time consuming and expensive a process for the Imperium.

Minister
28-09-2006, 18:16
Over 24 hours. I appear to have underestimated the time somewhat.

Rocks, after all, are free...




Rocks are NOT “free”, citizen.

Firstly, you must manoeuvre the Emperor’s naval vessel within reach of the asteroid belt, almost assuredly sustaining damage to the Emperor’s ship’s paint from micrometeoroids, while expending the Emperor’s fuel.

Then the tech priests must inspect the rock in question to ascertain its worthyness to do the Emperor’s bidding. Should it pass muster, the Emperor’s Servitors must use the Emperor’s auto-scrappers and melta-cutters to prepare the potential ordinance for movement. Finally, the tech priests finished, the Emperor’s officers may begin manoeuvring the Emperor’s warship to abut the asteroid at the prepared face (expending yet more of the Emperor’s fuel), and then begin boosting the stone towards the offensive planet.

After a few days of expending a prodigious amount of the Emperor’s fuel to accelerate the asteroid into an orbit more fitting to the emperor’s desires, the Emperor’s ship may then return to the planet via superluminous warp travel and await the arrival of the stone, still weeks (or months) away.

After twiddling away the Emperor’s time and eating the Emperor’s food in the wasteful pursuit of making sure that the Emperor’s enemies do not launch a deflection mission, they may finally watch the ordinance impact on the planet (assuming the Emperor’s warship does not need to attempt any last-minute course correction upon the rock, using yet more of the Emperor’s fuel).

Given a typical (class Bravo-CVII) system, we have the following:
Two months, O&M, Titan class warship: 4.2 Million Imperials.
Two months, rations, crew of same: 0.2 MI
Two months, Tech Priest pastor: 1.7 MI
Two months, Servitor parish: 0.3 MI
Paint, Titan class warship: 0.9 MI
Dihydrogen peroxide fuel: 0.9 MI
Total: 9.8 MI

Contrasting with the following:
5 warheads, magna-melta: 2.5 MI
One day, O&M, Titan class warship: 0.3 MI
One day, rations, crew of same: 0.0 MI
Dihydrogen peroxide fuel: 0.1 MI
Total: 2.9 MI

Given the same amount with under one third of the cost, the Emperor will have saved a massive amount of His most sacred money and almost a full month of time, during which His warship may be bombarding an entirely different planet.

The Emperor, through this – His office of Imperial outlays – hereby orders you to attend one (1) week of therapeutic accountancy training/penance. Please report to Areicon IV, Imperial City, Administatum Building CXXI, Room 1456, where you are to sit in the BLUE chair.

For the Emperor,
Bursarius Tenathis,
Purser Level XI,
Imperial Office of Outlays.