View Full Version : Time delays during warp travel.

12-10-2006, 11:10
What happened to the real time delays ships got when travelling through the warp? In older background it says that 15 days spent in the warp could be up to two years in the real universe. I couldn't find any mention of this in the newer background apart from some "time flows different in the EoT boohoo" rubbish. Has this concept been totally abandoned or what. It didn't work anyway but there seems to be no explanation why this dissappeared. Imagine this: Incoming astropathic message: dear sm chapter, our important hive world is attacked by billions of orks, we desperately need your help . Outgoing astropathic message: no worries chaps, we'll just hop into our cruisers and fly over. This will take us about a week, so expect us in your orbit around next christmas.

So theres an explanation why it has been abandonend, but I don't seem to find any substitute about whats happening during warp travel nowadays except some mumbo-jumbo about the sea of souls. Is there an explanation to be found anywhere? No, the nids had time discrepancies for dessert after they lunched away the squats, to be found somewhere? I'd be happy with that.

12-10-2006, 11:13
The laws of physics break down in the Warp and so if you are travelling through the warp 99.9% of the time you think you are travelling for 24 hours and you actually have been travelling for 24 hours. 0.05% of the time you think you have been travelling for 24 hours but you actually have been underway for 5 minutes, and 0.05% of the time you think you have been going 24 hours, but really you have been going for 240 years.

Its like everything else in the warp. Sometimes your instriments say you have travelled 5000 lightyears, but you have only gone 5 lightyears etc.

12-10-2006, 11:28
I liked the whole time dilation thing. If you're writing fluff from the point of view of a crew in the Warp their journey only seems to take, say, a month so you can crack on uneventfully (no running out of food, getting space madness etc.), but at the same time it's taken them years in realspace to reach their destination, thus avoiding a ghastly Star Trek or Star Wars-like universe where ships can cross the galaxy in five minutes.

But yes, I haven't seen this since 3rd ed.

12-10-2006, 11:28
So the old "you spend 15 days in the warp and outside two years have passed" standard is finally gone for good? This makes the coordination of wars at least possible.

12-10-2006, 11:38
Check this (http://wiki.anargo-sector.net/index.php?title=Warp_Travel) out, the ASP has been working on a big article about warp travel :)

12-10-2006, 11:45
So the old "you spend 15 days in the warp and outside two years have passed" standard is finally gone for good? This makes the coordination of wars at least possible.

That was one of the most interesting aspects of Warp travel. Now its just like any other form.

12-10-2006, 13:52
According to the ASP the time shifts still occur. If that is the case and you cross-check it with a map of the galaxy then estimate the distance from Maccrage to Armageddon you'd see that it would have taken the smurfs about three years to reach the planet, and that only if the warp stayed calm and sailing was smooth all the time.
How could something like the sabbat world's crusade work? Those delays would make coordination impossible. Troops would arrive at places where the fighting has ended long ago, while whole systems would be lost to approaching enemies and the only answer HQ could give would be: Hold out we're sending reinforcements, they'll be around in half a year if you're lucky.

I really liked the old concept, it just hasn't been thought through thoroughly, therefore it doesn't work. That is a shame because it's a lovely concept but it simply renders any form of administration completely useless.

12-10-2006, 13:56
I doubt the Imperium would send in reinforcements from the other side of the Imperium due to this problem of time, unless its a very very long term war. Hence to me it never makes sense that all the chapters and regiments of the Imperium are all coming together to this warzone like lets say Armageddon and fight together against the Orks. The logistics just dont make any sense. I assume any form of reinforcements would come from the nearby sectors in order to prevent travelling for three years to get somewhere.

12-10-2006, 13:57
Yes, it was really one of the most interesting aspects of it (and the best it that labels give min. and max. time passed whilst in warp, so it's not clearly stated how long time it takes, naturally.): First you travels in warp; light years on extreme short time, and then the time you perceive whilst in the warp is not the same as in the matterium, so you 'lose' time, technically, but it still is so damn much faster than the impossible (or unrealistic if you have the warp, and especially if you wants to maintain a loose knotted empire somewhat good...) 'conventional' space travel. Also, people then also ages slower whilst in the warp (yes, this is a gravitational phenomenon; it is different from world to world etc, but it is nothing 'unreal' with it), so it makes crewmen and navigators pretty long lived. Or, in the lower hierarchal standing crewmen's case; relatively long lived, as a lot of ships' owner-operators tends to have a 19th century view of life...

The Imperial response mechanism (system-subsector-sector-segmentum-Imperium) works quite well, and you adapt, believe me, you adapt.

12-10-2006, 14:12
Yes, I think that that the Imprial response mechanism makes the whole issue quite believable again. Maybe GW should simply stop cramming armies from all over the galaxy into one warzone.

12-10-2006, 14:28
My estimation of the actual (ie, realistic, not official), numbers of Imperial troops on Armageddon would be something rough like ca.
2,5 billions local militia,
3 billions PDF,
14 millions present Armageddon Steel Legion Imperial Guard,
4,25 billions Imperial Guard of neighbouring systems to hub Armageddon,
2,75 billions Imperial Guard from the wide Imperium.

This would give 12 514 000 000 troops fighting on Armageddon; a fair amount of men and women at arms, in my opinion. Don't forgett that much of this is drawn from large areas, and Armageddon is populous enough to raise their numbers to this when attacked by a Waaagh!

As you can see, I respected the fact that GW wanted relatively many regiments to be drawn from the wide Imperium to Armageddon, and not just the surrounding ones to the nave.

12-10-2006, 14:49
Yes, seems like a fairly realistic estimation. As it was quite a long war you could imagine troops from far away systems to be slowly pouring in.
But no marines from the other side of the galaxy, a few local chapters would have been much better.
Why had it to be the ultras? They tend to be in a lot of places for being only a thousand men strong. And almost certainly have more problems to deal with at the eastern fringe.

12-10-2006, 14:55
Troops would arrive at places where the fighting has ended long ago

Or even better, hadn't even begun yet!

12-10-2006, 14:56
That'd mean that routine 'reinforcements/check patrols' would be voyaging through warpspace all over the Imperium.:D

12-10-2006, 16:07
Time dilation occurs most strongly over long jumps. It is still a problem, and is why the Imperium uses its 'zone' method of reinforcement in the face of major attacks: a world holds out with the pdf, regiments from nearby worlds in their system are raised, then nearby systems, and then gradually spreading out further and further as the conflict endures. The shortage of distance travelled and number of jumps they use to do it determines how quick they can get there. Regarding the smurfs: it's likely they were engaged in something close to Armageddon, and were re-directed due to their proximity.

Remember that the Imperium doesn't only use the Astronomican to direct ships: shorter-ranged beacons are used for major systems, trade routes and shipping lanes, which help.

12-10-2006, 16:35
Adaption is the only viable option for survival, to put it cruelly.

12-10-2006, 19:39
There are several factors to consider here. 1) The randomness of the warp. 2) The differences between ships' navigators, both in skill and numbers. 3) The use of calculated warp jumps in old fluff.

By randomness of the warp, I mean the fact that in the old fluff, a ship could arrive at its destination long after it set off, or instantly, or even before.
By the differences between ships' navigators, I mean that Imperial warships and especially Space Marine ships probably have the most talented navigators, and several of them, which makes warp travel quicker and more predictable. By the use of calculated jumps, I'm referring to the fact that in the old fluff you could travel in the warp without a navigator, by just letting your warp drive calculate its route through the warp. It was a very unpredictable and slow way of travelling, but necessary due to the lack of Navigators. In recent fluff, Navigators seem to be a dime a dozen.

12-10-2006, 19:43
The calculated warp jump is not 'out' from the new fluff...

12-10-2006, 23:23
Personally I use the old 'fluff' on this subject, as evident by the "warp article" on the Anargo Sector Project (http://wiki.anargo-sector.net). I think that maintaining the 'fluff' published in WD139/140 offers to many advantages to the 40k universe, thus removing it is a bad thing. This will, of course, have a feedback into the RP and wargame campaigns of the Anargo sector, rather than being tacitly ignored for the purposes of supposedly integrated narrative.

Of course, the situation present in the article, above, is meant merely to suggest that this is the average situation. Exceptions can occur to the rule, obviously, and these are highlighted by CELS, above.

As to the new 'fluff'? CELS has the right of it with regards to the implications of the new 'fluff', i.e. concentrating on the "requirement" of both Navigators and Astropaths for warp jumps. (Although some point out that this is present in the very earliest of material, so it becomes - as always! - a value judgement as to which you believe.) Others might suggest that it is a reaction against the Star Wars-esque approach that the modern 'fluff' has been pushing on the fans, i.e. the Warp Zone which now seems to be a handful of diameters away from a planet, the movement to using "Age of Sail" timescales for travel, etc.


13-10-2006, 05:25
I remember one of my favourite stories involved a Callidus assassin sent to take a corrupt planetary governor. When she arrived at her destination, her ship had taken a long ass time (as I forget how long) in real time, though only a few scant months in the warp, to reach the planet and the whole ruling party of some 200 individuals was corrupted and had turned from the Imperium. Naturally, she scored a body count that makes me jealous.

I do miss it being more prevalent, but I don't think they have eliminated all together, you just don't hear about it as much.

13-10-2006, 07:19
This could be of use


Though from talking with game designers I came to know that you can actualy travel back in time through warp. You may take of today and arrive to the location of your choice yesterday. The further you travel the greater chance of time fluctuation. On most ocasions time will flow forward but slower while on others it will go back as you go forward. Strange I know.

13-10-2006, 09:05
There are safe passages through the warp, created long before the Imperium was made, presumably by the Slann. They are similar to the Webway, having a gate at each end, which a ship enters and travels faster than he would in normal space, but nowhere near as fast as he does in "normal" warp space. These are very rare though. Many freighter pilots chose to use these though instead of risking becoming a ship full of lunch.

13-10-2006, 14:01
A commercially (long term) good position then for a system that can grant safe passage, chance to arrive alive and external unturbulence. I hadn't heard about those safe passages, or at least not like these.

13-10-2006, 14:05
IIRC those Slann gates are from Rogue Trader. I don't think GW has mentioned them since.

13-10-2006, 14:08
But they should be included in its spine-background again, then, as it re-adds diversity and complexity and possibillities.

13-10-2006, 14:55
One thing that I would add is that the local nature of the warp itself is going to have as much play in this as the Navigator and the flightpaths ability to draw on the Astronomicon.

In many places the warp is calm; has been for millenia. These are routes (and all ships, if they want to stay alive, generally stay along traveled routes through the warp) are relatively safe, but will have more "jumps" involved and will probably take longer. In these routes, the time lapse, I would think would be fairly constant.

Throw in an unskilled or inexperienced navigator or a lot of nasty activity in the warp, all bets are off. Anything can happen, I just don't think it does in a majority of cases. Mankind uses warp travel to FEED entire planets. It's not an "efficient" way to do things, but I can't see the Imperium spending the resources on merchant fleets that they have no way of knowing will show up.

On another semi-related note, I think the same low troop (and odd) troop levels that GW comes out with for campaigns affect both the Imperial Navy and the Merchant Fleet. A Segmentum Battlefleet would be a truly awesome force... but GW apparently doesn't think so...


13-10-2006, 16:53
Why does this unrealistic/illogical/uncalculating/inestimating/military illiteral view of the universe always pop up in GW?

13-10-2006, 23:36
;1006048']The calculated warp jump is not 'out' from the new fluff...

"In order to travel through the Warp, ships must have a Navigator..."
Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook, 4th edition.

If it's not 'out', then they're sure doing a good job keeping it secret.

14-10-2006, 05:45
I do remember mention of safe passages through the warp. I don't remember any background on them, but I remember a mention of something like, where it is unusually stable to enter and exit.

14-10-2006, 12:35
With reference to "stable warp pathways", check out Execution Hour and even Farseer, Black Library novels by Gordon Rennie and William King, respectively. The implications are, however, that they are most definitely not yet another construct of the Old Ones. (I mean, come on! Do we really need to attribute everything to either the C'tan or the Old Ones?)

As to the relative skill of the Navigator, the nature of the Geller Field and the perception of the Astronomican? This is one of the reasons that the Anargo Sector Project (http://wiki.anargo-sector.net/) advocates the premise of "depth" in the warp and comensurate fragmentation of the physical laws of reality (which tend to be stable near the warp-matterium boundary). It's amazing how many problems it solves. :D


15-10-2006, 10:30
Originally in the fluff the warp tunnels were Old Slaan made. But don't get me started on the canabalisation of the fluff when they decided the C'Tan needed to be put in.

15-10-2006, 12:41
Perhaps you're talking about the Warp Gate Network, Llothlian, which would definitely be the Old Ones. (Note: Not the Webway!) Stable warp pathways, on the other hand, are arguably a natural product of the Warp itself if, for a short while, you can suspend the idea that the warp is entirely Chaos dominated and, rather, was originally a natural system into which Chaos was introduced. Thus, the 'stable warp pathways' are remnants of this...

At least, in the absence of better (or any) evidence that is the tack that I would take. And do take, in fact.


15-10-2006, 13:36
Perhaps they are not just remnants, but a proof that the miasma of the warp is not possibly Chaos-dominated and that Chaos is not as all-powerful spanning as it wants its appearence to be, for logical reasons.

16-10-2006, 06:33
Chaos are just neutral creatures, like humans (in their own way), just because humans are everywhere in the 40k universe, doesn't mean they own it, or the universe is created FOR them.

16-10-2006, 14:14
Cut deeply to the heart of some simpliftic naïvety, Llothlian.:)

16-10-2006, 23:27
;1010569']Perhaps they are not just remnants, but a proof that the miasma of the warp is not possibly Chaos-dominated and that Chaos is not as all-powerful spanning as it wants its appearence to be, for logical reasons.
Erm, that was the general implication of what I mentioned above, yes.


17-10-2006, 11:03
Argh, that is correct Kage; I forgot to add something that I - uhm - should have done. It would almost not have ended looking confusing then. Curse it.