SB's WH40K Horus Heresy analysis thread

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Mr. Oragahn
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SB's WH40K Horus Heresy analysis thread

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:18 pm

I don't have enough time these days to take a deeper look at Connor's enthralled scholastic studies of some random Warhammer 40000 material and look for bits of nonsense spewed by our rather enthusiastic (and now SB moderator) hammie. It's not that I necessarily have anything against the guy really, but his constant inflationism from the old SDN days is still something he hasn't managed to get over. I don't know if it's worth sighing or smiling. If anything, I wrote this for informational value.

So there we go. I'll show you a telling example of biased, selective interpretation, typical of the man, this time picked from the Spacebattles thread dedicated to Horus Heresy, in the technical subforum.
Specifically, an examination of the Extermination material.

The WH40K author makes use of the word buck and this leads to a specific interpretation from CML, allowing him to calc the event and obtain figures in line with his usual biggatons.
CML wrote: PAge 174
A lance-beam seared past, missing the aft-decks by less than five hundred metres.
Another lance-burst screamed across the void between the two vessels. This time it hit, slamming directly into the Sickle Moon’s engines and making the void shields shriek and crackle.
The frigate bucked wildly, corkscrewing away from the impact. Banks of warning lights, already blinking red from the damage taken in the warp, went into overdrive.
Which implies a lance strike carries significant momentum, enough to physically shove a frigate aside. Assuming the FFG millions of tons and ~2 m/s velocity imparted (~7 million tons)140 it would be a bit over a gigaton of energy for a massless laser lance. Bear in mind this doesn't take into account duration of strike, as lances can last longer than a second)
We note that the ship took a direct hit to the engines. Now, the calculation would be legit if the void shields soaked the energy from the beam's particles.
But the following paragraph tells us that the ship took damage.
In other words, it got physically hit in the section responsible for thrust and maneuvering, took structural damage there and this put the ship onto a spinning motion.
Yet all this motion has to be a transfer from the beam, nothing else.

Later on, CML provides the following quotation and his own commentaries:
CML wrote: Page 194-195
The Kaljian bucked as it took a direct hit, the void shields flexing like drum skins before the energy was absorbed.
Shields apparently do not remain rigid against collisions but apparently 'flex' - why and how I have no idea. In any event a lance hit again seems to impart some momentum. Figure a 6-7 million ton frigates and a 1-2m/s velocity imparted means e17-e18watts at least for a laser lance (3e8 watts per kg*m/s)
In this case, we have a clear description of the shields holding on and having their shape be altered due to the energy.
Not indication is made of the ship being structurally damaged.
Now, time for definitions (damn I hate playing that game but there's no other choice really).
Buck | Merriam-Webster, Buck | TheFreeDictionary

For the former, the verb section highlights those definitions:
MW wrote: of a horse : to jump violently into the air with the back bent upward
to oppose or resist (something or someone)
The first one can easily be discared because we're not talking about a biological lifeform such as a horse that gets its back bent upward, which leaves the second option, to oppose or resist.
Said secondary option doesn't comply with CML's interpretation of the text, yet fits remarkably well with the description.

The detailed definitions are:
MW wrote: Full Definition of BUCK
transitive verb
a archaic : butt
b : oppose, resist <bucking the system>
: to throw (as a rider) by bucking
: to charge into (as a headwind)
a : to pass especially from one person to another
b : to move or load (as heavy objects) especially with mechanical equipment
intransitive verb
of a horse or mule : to spring into the air with the back arched
: to charge against something
a : to move or react jerkily
b : to refuse assent : balk
: to strive for advancement sometimes without regard to ethical behavior <bucking for a promotion>
— buck·er noun
See buck defined for English-language learners
Examples of BUCK

<the car bucked and stalled>
<bucked the trend to outdo everyone else and just wore the same clothes they had in previous years>
So if you count the archaic defintion out (butt, "to thrust or push headfirst; strike with the head or horns"), we have 3a that fits with what CML needs for his multi-gigaton figure ("to move or react jerkily") and we also have 1b: oppose, resist (the secondary and only other definition highlighted by MW), which is just as valid if not contextually superior considering that the paragraph describes how the shield does resist and survive the hit.
Of course, definition 1b of Merriam-Webster doesn't open the door to gigaton-friendly calculations at all.

As for TFD, here are their definitions for the verb:
1. To leap upward arching the back: The horse bucked in fright.
2. To charge with the head lowered; butt.
3. To make sudden jerky movements; jolt: The motor bucked and lurched before it finally ran smoothly.
4. To resist stubbornly and obstinately; balk.
5. Informal To strive with determination: bucking for a promotion.
1. To throw or toss by bucking: buck off a rider; bucked the packsaddle off its back.
2. To oppose directly and stubbornly; go against: "Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the country, is bucking the trend" (American Demographics).
3. Football To charge into (an opponent's line) carrying the ball.
4. To butt against with the head.
Out of five definitions, CML's choice is the only one favouring an inflationist calculation.
Now, if you look at some of the definitions, you might dispute my choice too. By what reason would I retain "to charge with the head lowered, to butt against with the head?"
First of all, they can be apt metaphors as they suggest violence and opposition of forces, which fits for a space brawl of sorts between space ships connected by their lance beams. Secondly, they do fit with what we read a few paragraphs earlier. This is observed thanks to another quotation CML provides but doesn't take into consideration:
CML wrote: Page 192-193
The Kaljian’s forward lance opened up, spitting a beam of coruscation directly at the target. The enemy void shields splashed with a corona pattern of static, and the ship reacted, ducking out of line, rolling away and returning a volley of broadside las-beams. Spearing bursts peppered the Kaljian’s dorsal void shields as the Alpha Legion ship thrust round to bring its own lance to bear.
Spinal mount lasers and broadside lasers as primary armaments. Also note that evasive patterns on receiving impact from gunfire plays important roles when you're escorts - you can't just take the punishment of a major warship.
In other words, the Kaljian is charging head first. Get it? :)
So a few lines later and without any indication of a change of course, when the ship takes another hit to her shields, she's still rushing forward, towards her enemy.
So to speak, when the beam was shot and hit her, perhaps "in the face", she may have very well "butted against [the beam] with the head (prow)".
It's even more interesting when you remember that prows could be ornated with figureheads too, which might lead to an even stronger relevency of the metaphor.

The problem here isn't really that CML defends his extreme firepower calculations as it's objectively a sound observation; it's that he quickly brushes away any other interpretation. His feigned interest at being objective is quite plain to see because there's simply none to be found.
This is nothing new though. We have large proof that it's what he's been doing for ages. I don't think the guy will ever change.
At some point he did try to backpedal to some degree, but this was not as conclusive as one might have hoped.

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