Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Where Aqillas Dare

De-conflicting 3D battlespace is not easy.

At ground level there are the various weapon systems used by the sleepy headed killers on the ground.  They also have mortars. 

Immediately into this space come close air support assets such as Vendettas and Valkyries being used in a support role.

Firing into this space on a ballistic trajectory are the medium artillery systems, Earthshakers and other heavy artillery, Manticores and other MLRS.  This also includes AAA, which has to be prevented from engaging friendly air assets.

The air layer immediately above this includes the ‘cab rank’ of Thunderbolts in CAS role (‘Jabos’), Vendettas, Avengers and their ilk; including Maruder destroyers on interdiction missions.

These first three layers often become mixed during action; most of the engagements happen at flying stand level.  It is important that pilots return to their allotted airspace as soon as practicable to allow close orbit command to manage the battlespace effectively.

Above them in a much larger layer are Thunderbolts in the CAP role, Marauders bombers on their missions and Devastator bombers on their strategic missions.  This layer is always broken into separate strata if there is likely to be more than one asset crossing a location.

Above this, a little way back from the combat zone, will be flying tankers, either flying specific missions or on call to keep other assets on station until their munitions are used.  This space is shared with Marauder ISTAR and wild weasel missions.

And the layers are further occupied by whatever weather systems the planet has.  Seemly benevolent skies with perfect flying conditions will inevitably have lethal, wing-ripping-off windshear or an overcharged layer which lightening strikes anything at a certain altitude.  Straight forward things like sand or dust or electrical or ion storms can block areas in vertical or horizontal vectors.  Factors like the imposition of an operational ceiling is just something else for the Battlespace Commander to deal with. 

Through these layers come the occasional ballistic missile system (deathstrike, etc).  Whereas the majority of battlespace control is broken into 1km3 blocks and 20km3 cubes, any flight of a weapon system has to be treated as if it were a priority airframe, clearing other assets out of the flight path before it can be deployed without risk of a ‘friendly’ fire incident.

Adding the enemy into this space is fairly straightforward.  Enemy air assets do not need to be de-conflicted from battlefield artillery systems.  AAA systems are free to engage up to a certain level.  Above this, interception is the responsibility of Thunderbolts in the CAP role.

Much more complex are allies with incompatible C3 Systems or blatant unwillingness to coordinate.  Drop pods, lance and torpedo strikes could be accommodated, if they were known about.  Much less easy to integrate are Thunderhawk and smaller flyers which inevitably fly with their transponders disabled, even if notice is given about a likely flight into an area, experience has shown that they will not file a flight plan, not attempt to communicate with Close Orbit Command and often stray out of that area anyway.  All of which means that they are more than likely to be engaged by Imperial AA assets, both AAA and interceptor aircraft. 


  1. So that's why it is so hard to fire a deathstrike, lol!

    And Space Marines.... I can so imagine that. Or they just lock up every target in the sky from orbit.

  2. Firing on space marine vehicles is not recommended by insurance companies.

  3. I love this.

    Also, does this explain the 6" minimum range for a deathstrike? - Do we assume it bounced off a marauding marauder?