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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm putting together some fluff for a home brew Imperial Battlefleet and I'd like to use this board as a reference. Here's a few questions just to get started. Thanks in advance for your help.

1. While I know space sectors vary in size, what's a good (approximate) time span for capital ships warp jumping from sub-sector to sub-sector? A few weeks travel?

2. If a fleet is bouncing around a sector engaged in a void war, what kind of repairs would the ships receive during their brief down times? Maybe support ships resupply while external and internal work crews try their best to patch them up?

3. How exactly do capital ship sensors work, and what is their approximate range and reliability? Would they need to be in the same solar system? Do they primarily scout with their sensors or do they use smaller escorts to grab enemy fleet intel?
 

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Travel depends on a few things, the warp currents being favorable and how well traveled the routes are. So a week minimum would be a good number.

Repairs would probably depend on what kind of damage they took. Assuming they have armored hulls they probably would repair the armor and fix any broken machines. assuming of course the IOM is against using circuit breakers.

There's not allot to go on for their sensors but allot of what we read basically makes them out to be ab advanced form of radar, it would appear sensors are limited to a small percentage of a solar system as there's mention made of sensor stations and picket ships.
 

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1. While I know space sectors vary in size, what's a good (approximate) time span for capital ships warp jumping from sub-sector to sub-sector? A few weeks travel?
It's all over the place...which makes sense.

Travel via the immaterium is a bit cooky. How well the area has been mapped, access a navigator to has such information, the skill of the navigator, the vessel in question, how the tides of the Warp are at the particular moment, and just the quirks of the Warp itself will dictate the length of the journey.

A few weeks for good traveling conditions. 3-6 months probably on average...years are possible if the "path" is rocky or uncharted.

2. If a fleet is bouncing around a sector engaged in a void war, what kind of repairs would the ships receive during their brief down times? Maybe support ships resupply while external and internal work crews try their best to patch them up?
It seems most space repairs are more temporary patches until the vessel returns to drydock.

On page 228 of the Rogue Trader Rulebook, it says:

"To perform extended repairs, a starship should locate a suitable anchorage, perhaps high orbit around a gas giant in a deserted star system or nestled against a large asteroid to avoid detection. It’s crew will then spend several weeks on the repairs..."

It then goes to say that a more complete repair would require the facilities of a planet or space station. Such repairs would include replacing major components, like the sublight engines, gellar fields, weapons, ect.

3. How exactly do capital ship sensors work, and what is their approximate range and reliability? Would they need to be in the same solar system? Do they primarily scout with their sensors or do they use smaller escorts to grab enemy fleet intel?
All over the place. You'll have to take your favorite author's spin and go with it, I think.

Scanners are definitely within a single solar system...and almost definitely much less.

Fleets do use outriders to scout ahead of fleets, but a ship's sensor range is more than sufficient for combat operations which tend to fall within a couple hundred thousand kilometers to a few thousand kilometers (depending on the author writing).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
All over the place. You'll have to take your favorite author's spin and go with it, I think.

Scanners are definitely within a single solar system...and almost definitely much less.

Fleets do use outriders to scout ahead of fleets, but a ship's sensor range is more than sufficient for combat operations which tend to fall within a couple hundred thousand kilometers to a few thousand kilometers (depending on the author writing).
One of the reasons I ask is that I planned for the fleet's flagship to be an Oberon-class Battleship, and per its warhammer wiki entry it states it has exceptional sensory equipment that can identify enemy ships before they can detect it. I was then curious as to what exactly that entailed and how to showcase that advantage within a story.
 

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God damn it. Why does hitting the backspace on this forum delete everything!?! I'll try rewriting what I posted the best of my memory...

We know that sensors can not penetrate large astral bodies like planets. The Ultramarines couldn't see the second Tyranid fleet lying in ambush during the Battle for Macragge.

The Loyalist forces at Paramar could not detect a powered down fleet of Alpha Legion fleet at the edge of a system.

In the Battle for Molech, a Sons of Horus fleet was able to get point blank (literally able to launch assault pods) on Loyalist installations guarded by a fleet by powering down. A trick they also used in the subjugation of the Lunar enclaves as well.

We see something similar in Salvation's Reach when a Loyalist frigate is able to largely drift (with small thrust boosts to keep on course) through a debris field to land undetected on a Chaos installation.

The Rogue Trader Corerulebook has an entry for sensors:

"Sight is of little use when dealing with the vast distances of the void. Auspexes, grav-detectors, and auger arrays can spy the reflected light from a tumbling asteroid—or heat from an enemy vessel—thousands or even millions of kilometres
away. More advanced sensors can even spot the warp-wake of a vessel traversing the Immaterium."

That should give you an idea of ranges and by what means they do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@hailene Thanks for the info and the cited sources, huge help. I just thought up a couple of more questions so any more input would of course be appreciated.

-Do all capital ships (light cruisers and bigger) have an astropath on board for communication purposes? Would a Battleship have several on board? And is the astropath the ship's only means of interstellar communication or is there a technological device that can also transmit warnings and data to neighboring sub-sectors?

-Is there any fluff preventing females from being Commodores, Admirals, or even Lord Admirals in the Imperial Navy? I know of female navigators per the Night Lord trilogy, and I've read about females in the IG ranks, so I'm guessing there's no limit for them.
 

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As far as I know there is no limit to what women can become in 40k beyond Marines.
 

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Do all capital ships (light cruisers and bigger) have an astropath on board for communication purposes?
Battlefleet Koronus says, "Smaller void ships only carry a handful of astropaths but
capital ships commonly boast an entire choir for long-range communication."

Even a destroyer probably boasts 2 or 3 astropaths. Battleships probably have a couple-few dozen would be my guess.

And is the astropath the ship's only means of interstellar communication or is there a technological device that can also transmit warnings and data to neighboring sub-sectors?
In the traditional sense, yes. Barring some weird rare (and probably soon to be lost when the book ends) technological wonder, the only normal way to communicate is via astropaths.

Keep in mind that atropathic messages of a single astropath can travel only a few light years. Even when working together as a choir, the range is boosted but still not unlimited (to what precise degree I could not dig up). Most messages are telephoned across a chain of astropaths until it reaches its intended target.

Also remember that astropaths don't communicate in words but rather symbols and feelings. Things can get complicated and muddled after so translations and interpretations.

A symbol for one astropath may vary great in meaning to the next in line.

-Is there any fluff preventing females from being Commodores, Admirals, or even Lord Admirals in the Imperial Navy?
I know in 30k we're treated to a couple of female admirals (Betrayer and The Battle for the Abyss). I can't think of a single female admiral in modern 40k, though.

I wouldn't worry about that, though. The galaxy is a big place. Whether women are discriminated against (or whether war is seen as a feminine profession instead!) depends on the specific world and its traditions. I see nothing wrong with a woman reaching any rank as long as the world or subsector you're writing about gives it the A-OK.
 

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You are going to be hard pressed to find 40k info on Naval matters. If I were you I would look into the Honor Harrington series. David Weber does a fantastic job world building a believable space navy that emulates the golden age of sails. (So long as you ignore the fact that in his books gravity waves are FTL and in reality gravity has a maximum speed of C)
 

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Not to dredge this topic, but I have an interest in the same area and could add a few more questions to it. Luckily I have access to the Battlefleet Gothic rulebook, but it honestly didn't provide the kind of information I was looking for. What it did mention was an encouragement to use your own rules... which is probably where this comes in:

- On ships of Imperial design, we often see the armored prow. Cruisers and above usually have torpedo tubes and various protrusions implied to be sensors. But on roughly 80% of the designs there is always a large device at the "chin" position. Some ships are described as having Nova Cannons, which are distinctly visible at these spots, while small cruisers are said to have prow lance batteries. But the rulebook mentions no main lance armament for any of these other craft like the Lunar class. Is it safe to assume that these are, in fact, large lance guns, just not as significant as Nova Cannons? I find it odd that there would be such a conveniently lascannon-shaped device in the place of a Nova Canon that was just "another sensor," especially when there are designs that lack it. Besides, the armored prow suggests this is a logical place for a main forward gun of any kind in the first place.

- Gun batteries are described in the most vague terms possible: "Within each one is a range of weaponry including Plasma Projectors, Laser cannons, missile launchers, rail guns, Fusion Beamers and Graviton Pulsars." The handful of narrative descriptions refer to gun breaches, as if these are just big old cannons, but there are no nuanced rules for Battlefleet Gothic outside of decreasing damage with increasing range. How much leeway is there, then, for the description of these devices and the munitions they can fire? The narrative descriptions suggest these are straightforward, chemically-propelled weapons, but if that's true, can't they have any number of warheads like bolter rounds? "The Flight of the Eisenstein," for example, implies that they could fire "glide bombs" from the gun deck to specific targets on the planet below.

The rules of Battlefleet Gothic seem extremely basic all of a sudden, and the room for improvement seems immense. It makes me want to write a book for Black Library just to fill those blanks in myself.
 

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. Is it safe to assume that these are, in fact, large lance guns, just not as significant as Nova Cannons?
I poked around the Rogue Trader pen and paper stuff. I've seen warships with these large guns have lances, torpedoes, nova cannons, and macro cannons. I'd assume these large guns are just that...large guns. They can be anything really needed.

The narrative descriptions suggest these are straightforward, chemically-propelled weapons, but if that's true, can't they have any number of warheads like bolter rounds?
They vary...heavily. From the Rogue Trader -Into the Storm rule book section under "Macrobatteries" there are missile batteries, gauss cannons (the regular kind, not the Necron kind), regular old Big-Guns, melta-cannons, and even a "las-broadside" which is a bunch of long range weaponry. How this differs from lances, I'm not sure.
 

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Thanks for looking.

That ambiguity is really tickling my military "standardization" nerve. We already have ships in Battlefleet Gothic that serve distinct roles, vaguely reminiscent of terrestrial naval warfare in the 20th century, but leaving the manner of their guns totally open despite consistent appearances and in-game damage counts doesn't seem right... and at the same time you have the rather arbitrary appearances of weapons in what you may call a "nose weapon slot" that simply are not included, which was either an expedient for simplification or a deliberate nerf for the sake of balance. And that's a shame.

All the same, I'll stick with my original interpretation: Large-bore conventional cannons used for specific warheads ala bolters, and a prow lance that doesn't have the range or destructive capacity of a nova cannon but fits the same purpose in the scheme of battle. The former makes sense because of the supposed "simplicity" of the Lunar-class line, and because of exposition in certain stories; the latter bears out with the design philosophy of Imperial ships in the first place, which is a small cross section when at high aspect/nose-on, with an armored prow. The latter is the ideal engagement from afar because it minimizes the damage received, but at the same time the broadside is a much more reliable way of rapidly destroying bulky enemy vessels with all manner of shot and shell.

The cannon warheads do open up interesting questions of tactics that are not explored, but make sense based on my experience: The broadsides could fire the equivalent of "space flak" using a timed, remote, or proximity detonation with deliberately directed shrapnel. They could also be equipped with less potent variants of all torpedo warheads, including virus canisters, although the use of most of these would be exceedingly rare. Furthermore the main guns having a variable warhead also explain non-laser orbital bombardment from a position of relative safety: Gothic fluff describes the use of torpedoes and forward lances for bombardment, and some videogames depict ventral beams that seem excessive compared to the rest of the armament, but if a broadside of cannon warheads and/or lance decks was used then the ship could still present the opposite broadside to a target in higher orbit, or keep its nose pointed at a distant target while still attacking the surface.
 
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