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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Can space marines swim in power armor?

Those suits are a tad heavy.

The fifth edition space wolf codex mentions their assault on an underwater Tau mining facility: the battle of Kvariam Alpha.

Seems to express that power armor can function underwater, but can they swim in it?

Wondering if there are any other mentions or examples.
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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Well that rather trite piece of fluff seems to say that they don't swim but instead just simply sink to the bottom and fight as they normally (completely ignoring that they would be kicking up all sorts of sand and silt whenever they took a step). We can therefore assume that bolters work underwater as well? How about special weapons? Heavys?

As somebody who scuba dives that piece of fluff irritates me. A lot. They might possibly be able to use some sort of inflation device to allow them to manipulate their bouancy but even then without fins they won't be moving in a forward direction at anything more than a pace similar to a snail pulling a truck. Short of a full on purpose built pack akin to a jump pack then swimming is out. Full stop. Not going to happen.

Then again we are talking about a codex that has space marines taking Thunderhawks for joy rides so why I am not surprised.
 

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One of the Space Wolf novels has Ragnar Blackmane swimming in power armour cannot remember which. To be honest the amount of shite fluff for space marines is getting a bit much, yeah yeah it is a fantasy world I hear you cry but realism is what makes sci fi appealing, over the top and far fetched I can cope with, but utter nonsense no it ruins the setting in my opinion, boo I say, booooo
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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+ 1 to that. Space Marines in particular are getting worse. One of the reasons why I stopped reading BL books tbh.
 

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+ 1 to that. Space Marines in particular are getting worse. One of the reasons why I stopped reading BL books tbh.
Or why I now focus on the WHFB world ones.

I don't see how a marines suit could make him buoyant enough to float, again I say this as a diver also.

Unless this is suddenly another unknown quality of ceramite lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
haha when I was trying to figure this out earlier thats why I decided to ask the forums about is. Because I was like wait....so a space marines weakness is water then? They just sink to the bottom lol. I guess they have all the time they need to walk back out eventually.

There's just so much written about space marines that I think sometimes they are kind of afraid to make a factual call like that and make it official fluff. They dont want to 'prevent' someone from having their fun of pretending space marines can do these types of things without thinking about it. You know, for the kids or whatever.

I definitely agree about the realism making it more appealing, otherwise it all becomes nonsense and unappealing. Since so much of the 40k universe is inherently nonsense, it is a good idea to stick to realism when you can, and I think this is a good example of that.

I think a large portion of the community tries hard to keep space marines a cool, interesting concept. But there are many instances where they just become whatever the person wants them to be at the moment.
 

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I seem to recall that they had to modify the power armour to be better suited to under water conditions, In addition i remember something about SM being able to use their 3rd lung under water, so they technically have a gill like feature.
i would imagine SM could just nuke the whole planet to get rid of all the water if they wanted.
Water and the vaccum of space are pretty similar anyway.

If i recall correctly, many chapters have a strong emphasis on hunting under water, like the space wolves and Iron snakes, both hunting huge creatures that live on their planets under their waters.
 

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The Emperor designed them to be able to fight under any condition and it's clear that this is the case with the amount of worlds (many consisting primarily of oceans) they conquered during the Great Crusade.

We just haven't had writers write about this because its probably somewhat difficult to have action scenes take place underwater without sounding boring.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The Emperor designed them to be able to fight under any condition and it's clear that this is the case with the amount of worlds (many consisting primarily of oceans) they conquered during the Great Crusade.

We just haven't had writers write about this because its probably somewhat difficult to have action scenes take place underwater without sounding boring.
The big difference between void warfare and submerged warfare is that the marines are weightless in the void, no gravity and all. They have magnetic boots that lock them onto the outside of hulls and platforms. That makes a lot mores sense to me. In water their weight would be a complete burden.

But they are designed to fight under any condition so I wonder why authors have avoided it. Its a huge potential to design marine naval vehicles and assault units. And there are definitely mentions of ocean worlds in the 40k universe. I think a book covering an underwater war on an ocean world commenced by a space marine chapter would be very interesting, personally. It seems odd this hasn't been touched in depth over the decades 40k has been around and I feel like its because authors know how silly and unbelievable it would be to have marines in power armor fighting underwater with any significant amount of mobility. If they decided on a way the Astartes get this done, it would be nice to know about.

The Laeran world in Fulgrim was mostly ocean.

Unless someone remembers off the top of their head before I can find it, Im going to read the part about Solomon crashing into the ocean. Pretty sure there's no mention of him swimming but I'll double check.

There's also this bit about that campaign:

"Underwater cites were discovered within days of the campaign's opening and detachments of Astartes took the fight to the abyssal darkness of undersea trenches, smashing into structures that had never known the touch of sunlight, in specially modified boarding torpedoes fired from Imperial Cruisers hovering above the sea. Solomon Demeter led his 2nd Company against the first of these cities, subjugating it within six hours, his plan of attack garnering praise from his Primarch"

thats from warhammerwiki. I'll re-read that part too I suppose.
 

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In the short story Kraken, a sole space wolf fights a huge tyranid monstrosity underwater. Becoming reliant on his third lung when his armor is breached and water pours in.

He defeats it and even survives, but is horribly mauled by the ordeal.


Kraken was added to the recent There is only War omnibus.
 

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Bear in mind that power armour has servo motors in it, so the water resistance can be countered to a great extent like that.

By virtue of being void-proof they are water proof (hell, loot at how NASA test space suits and practices weightlessness).

Any weapon that works in space *should* work in water, lasers and energy weapons could be interesting though. Plasma should just evaporate itself a super-heated path through, and flamers use chemicals so don't require an external oxygen source (think thermite).

It would certainly be a different style of combat, but shouldn't be anything like impossible.
 

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Most of the SM fluff has them sinking.
Brotherhood of the snake, main mentions could just walk to unknown primarch statue with his armor but that would break the tradition. The fluff you had said that they sank to the bottom and fight as norm. Soul Drinkers book, 1st, some SM got knocked off a boat and sank, Serp said that if they were lucky they would get crushed otherwise they would either suffocate or starve to death. Fulgrim (HH) Mentioned similar on Lyr (opening planet)
 

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Most of the SM fluff has them sinking.
Brotherhood of the snake, main mentions could just walk to unknown primarch statue with his armor but that would break the tradition. The fluff you had said that they sank to the bottom and fight as norm. Soul Drinkers book, 1st, some SM got knocked off a boat and sank, Serp said that if they were lucky they would get crushed otherwise they would either suffocate or starve to death. Fulgrim (HH) Mentioned similar on Lyr (opening planet)
Seems incorrect, especially the suffocating part, they have a third lung that can use water afterall, hell we have stories of them hunting sea creatures with and without armour without sinking.
probably just another mistake, different authors saying different things
 

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Seems incorrect, especially the suffocating part, they have a third lung that can use water afterall, hell we have stories of them hunting sea creatures with and without armour without sinking.
probably just another mistake, different authors saying different things
My knowledge is that the third lung doesn't work forever, it's a stopgap measure that given enough time will stop working, brotherhood it worked for what 12 hrs straight.

There was a thread like this awhile ago, I think it was started by the same piece of fluff, in which someone cited, one of the spec games which stated that Scout armor was light enough to swim in while unmodified SM armor without mods would sink.

Multi-lung
Phase 9: This additional lung activates when a Space Marine needs to breathe in low-oxygen or poisoned atmospheres, and even water. The natural lungs are closed off by a sphincter muscle associated with the multi-lung and the implanted organ takes over breathing operations. It has highly efficient toxin dispersal systems.


But not proof.
 

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The Space Wolves codex describes a story in which they fought the Tau under an ocean (p. 20). Though possibly only landraiders and Terminators actually fought under the water.
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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We just haven't had writers write about this because its probably somewhat difficult to have action scenes take place underwater without sounding boring.
It's not sounding boring that's the problem but trying to write it so that it technologically makes sense because as this thread is beginning to demonstrate, that's not easy.

In the short story Kraken, a sole space wolf fights a huge tyranid monstrosity underwater. Becoming reliant on his third lung when his armor is breached and water pours in.
Depending on the depth in question, if his armor is breached I have to wonder how he survives the pressure.


Bear in mind that power armour has servo motors in it, so the water resistance can be countered to a great extent like that.
Servo motors in the armor won't help them move forward much as their feet are small compared to their bodies. Why do you think divers wear fins, ducks have webbed feet and fish have membranes in their fins? Under water you don't need power as much as you need surface area to displace the water and push you forwards (or upwards/backwards etc). That's what fins provide. This is even more important when you weigh a tonne. It's either that or you need jets or propellers.

I don't see how this is a problem. If they sink what's the big deal they do have teleporters.
It's just TDA that is teleporter capable, not PA. Underwater, especially at depth you also have the issue of pressure fighting against you, you move slower. Teleporters won't help with that.
 

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It's not sounding boring that's the problem but trying to write it so that it technologically makes sense because as this thread is beginning to demonstrate, that's not easy.



Depending on the depth in question, if his armor is breached I have to wonder how he survives the pressure.




Servo motors in the armor won't help them move forward much as their feet are small compared to their bodies. Why do you think divers wear fins, ducks have webbed feet and fish have membranes in their fins? Under water you don't need power as much as you need surface area to displace the water and push you forwards (or upwards/backwards etc). That's what fins provide. This is even more important when you weigh a tonne. It's either that or you need jets or propellers.



It's just TDA that is teleporter capable, not PA. Underwater, especially at depth you also have the issue of pressure fighting against you, you move slower. Teleporters won't help with that.
What about all those times humans and standard marines are teleported?
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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They have? I was under the impression that it was just TDA or GK strike squads thanks to their "we have to have something cooler than Jump Packs because Ward wuvs us".
 
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