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Continuing on from the 'Non-Imperium Worlds' thread that was recently hi-jacked by me about the 'fluff' power of weapons. See, this is something that's been bothering me a while. It's like the age old question, "Mr. Space Marine, how many bolt-rounds does it take to get to the center of a Carnifex?". I'm sure it's come up before at the Fluff-masters, but I don't want to read through 100+ pages to find an answer.
So here we go, lets see if we can decide the 'fluff power' of weapons. Starting with the current arguement of 'boltgun V pulse rifle'.
I'm of the opinion that they are approximitely equal, as their strengths and weaknesses balance one another out as far as weapons go. And it makes sense.
The bolt-shell is an armor-piercing high-explosive rocket shrunk to a miniaturized size. I think it was tipped with diamonds, but it is definitely tipped with something hard to cut through the armor of opposing soldiers and possibly light vehicles. My breakdown of it:
-Armor peircing (It has mass to drive it through the opponent)
-Explosive capabilities (After all, it is a rocket)
-Morale (in the world of Camel, seeing your buddy explode next to you is disheartening)
-Some measure of guidance
-Rate of Fire (however, look below)
-Range (The size of the shell added to the weight means the propellent would run out fairly quickly, and then the shell drops)
-Rate of Fire (Ok, lets look at it this way. If a Space Marine DID go fully auto with his weapon, it would be a waste of the highest degree. He would run out of ammunition frighteningly fast. A mute point.)
Then we have the pulse rifle. You can think of this as a plasma gun, that fires short 'bursts' of it rather than streams. Pellet sized bursts, energized and propelled. Also, remember what color it is shown to be. Blue. This tells us one of two things. Either, the chemical composition of the ammo glows blue when it burns, or the plasma is of the highest degree. The hottest plasma glows blue/white. This is propelled by magnetic acceleration, as it seems to be the thing with Tau. My breakdown of it.
-Armor Peircing (Not to the extent of the bolter, however light armor gets melted right through)
-Range (It's not like it'll cool off enough between point A and point B to not be lethal, and the magnet acceleration means it'll be shot out really fast)
-Ammunition (Easy to make, and small. Small enough to fit at least several dozen into a clip, if not north of a hundred. Point is, the battery is more likely to run out before the ammo does)
-Rate of Fire (At long range, it wouldn't be as good. At short range it would improve drastically as the magnetic force required to propel to the give target is reduced, meaning less energy is used per-shot. Less energy per-shot, faster it charges back up. This is hypothetical, but it would explain why weapons like Lasguns and Pulse Rifles could have a higher rate of fire at closer ranges and would be effective and not hard to implement. Just have a little switch 'long range, short range, off'. It won't reach the rate of fire of a bolter, but... It could put a respectable amount of pulse down-range)
-Complicated (lets face it, the more things that can go wrong with a gun, the more things will. Magnetic acceleration of particles, energizing them into a plasma state, battlefield repairs would be next to impossible. Heck, if something goes wrong you'd best just throw it and hope it gets far enough away before it explodes on you. Plasma stings a wee-bit after all.)
-Durability (It won't break from throwing it on the ground, dropping it, or other battlefield mishaps, but... You don't treat the magnetically-powered plasma gun like a baseball bat. Bad things happen. Basically, it can't take the weathering a bolter can.)
-'Punch Power' (If the plasma doesn't kill you, it won't 'push' you back like a bolter will. A bolter hits you, you fly backwards and explode. Bolters are also unique in that they are going faster after they exit the barrel because they accelerate until the propellent is gone. This is key for those orky-moments when the enemy rushes forward in a giant mob.)
Does anyone disagree with the above, or have anything else to add?
you say that the pulse riffle would be unstable and overheat, but i thought that in the fluff that either the tau guns did not fire plasma(well except for thier plasma gun), but instead like amunition fired at super high speed.
That is not dead which may eternal lie,
for in strange aeons even death may die.
Sounds pretty well thought out to me.
Assuming you use the boltgun as the standard, this could get interesting.
Especially when you start trying to understand gauss weaponry.
No, pulse rifles don't get 'unstable' but if something damages it things could get ugly fast. It's not like Imperial plasma weapons that occasionally kill the user as a routine thing. The rifle exploding was kind of a joke, more likely the thing would just shut down completely and become totally useless. It's like our guns today. They don't usually backfire, but if something has damaged it the thing will blow up in your hand, probably killing you or at least taking your hand with it.
But ya, it shoots plasma. Or rather, a 'particle that breaks down as it's accelerated, creating a plasma pulse as it is fired). Something like that, I don't remember exactly how it goes from the Codex. Consider it a hyper-stable plasma gun.
What you're thinking of is Railguns. Those use magnets to hyper-accelerate a round to speeds many times that which can be acheived through chemical propellents (gunpowder, etc). Those are mean weapons. We'll get to rail-rifles later I think.
But anyway, guass weaponry eh? Let me think about that one a while. It would have to be something weird... A kind of electron beam might work. Something that would shoot electrons in such a way that they bond instantly to atoms/molecules. You pump enough electrons into something in this way, pretty soon (as in, almost instantaneously) the atoms and molecules of whatever the beam is hitting will be saturated in negative charges. If the charge is strong enough, then the magnetic force would break them apart, effectively breaking you down atom by atom...
Anyway, I'll think that one out later. Does anyone have something to say as to the comparison of pulse-rifle V bolter? I want this to be as fluff-accurate as possible, for all of those wishing to write fluff battle scenes between races that make sense.
Dropping for the moment the ever-present fact that this is science fiction and, as such, technobabble is endemic, I've got something to comment on.
1. The bolter's active range is as long as any other weapon. Either the propellant doesn't wear out, the shells aren't that heavy, or they just found a way around it, but no-where in the fluff does it say "Bolt rounds are unfortunately short-ranged due to the weight of the shell/propellant wearing out/X reason." Actually, since they're rockets, I'd imagine them to become more damaging as the range increased, as the bolt would actually accelerate during flight rather than lose kinetic energy.
2. Pulse rifles aren't plasma weapons. If the word plasma was used, it's technobabble, because the technology between a plasma gun and a pulse rifle seem very different. For one, a plasma gun is like a miniature fusion reaction (The interior of the weapon gets to 100,000 degrees Celsius, which is the minimum required for nuclear fusion). It's probably more accurate to call it a fusion gun, but the name's taken. This is universal; the only way to circumvent the impossible heat is with advanced venting technology, such as what's present in Eldar starcannons.
3. Bolters have a thirty-round sickle clip. Since modern submachine guns can and are fired full auto and have similar ammunition capacity, I see no reason why a bolter firing auto is stupid in any way. It's not like reloading is difficult; clip falls out, new clip pushed in. Space Marines can do that blindfolded. (Note: the "diamond" tip is actually "diamantine", which is more technobabble but presumably has something to do with adamantium.)
4. Pulse rifles are described as having a longer range than most Imperial weapons, both in the fluff and in the rules. Don't ask me why this is, they just are.
I hate lists. Remember; 40k is rife with meaningless scientific jargon that will only confuse and infuriate you if you attempt to understand it! Personally, I think this topic's fairly useless since we're either going to get Tau Fan X yelling that pulse rifles are pwnzor, regardless of what anyone else says, or we're going to get someone arguing about the properties of a depleted deuterium core.
The above poster = Totally a member of the Fluff Masters Clan. Click here for fluff pwnage.
Come, sons of LO! Kneel before Poodle!
Mr_Wayne: "Some people believe that the World Eaters do not field any ranged weaponry. Those people often die at a distance."
I don't think the bolter rounds have a problem of short range, for one simple reason.
Bolters are massive. (If you have ever seen a full-scale bolter, they are as long as a rifle, and about 20x thicker)
They are .75 caliber rounds, (meaning they are .75 inches in diameter, which is massive for a hand held weapon) with a small rocket attached to them. I'm sure that something with that much explosive power propelling them could go a very long distance, very fast. The reason why they have a short range is because something of that size is probably hard to hold accurately when it has a 4 shot burst fire, even when you are a mighty space marine. Assault cannons use the same kind of bullets, and the only reason why they have 2x the range, is because they are spewing out so many bullets.
Check out this link here, on a great article on assorted 40k weaponry
Weapons of the Imperium
Last edited by Jakester; February 12th, 2007 at 04:05.
I play my 40k with friendly fire.
Finally fixed the link!
The range of a bolter would be your standard, mdoern assault rifle-range (the lasgun has longer range though since it fires a laser beam meaning it has techincly nigh unlimited range).
I (IIRC) think that I have read that the Space Marines don't do full-auto. They do bursts of a couple of shoots (if the enemy is a tough-guy) or just single-shot everything to death.
I'm can't say that I'm an expert on this technical stuff, but shouldn't a Pulse weapon just 'burn trough' if it hits anything? While this could cause massive damage, does it not also burn the wound shut and stop the bleeding? I know lasguns have been described as doing that.
Ya, they would probably go through an unarmored opponent like a Guardsman or Eldar Guardian without much trouble... And burn the wound shut as well. You won't bleed to death from the gun, but it would also set your clothing on fire which might be worse. Unless you have really flame resistant cloth.
Anyway, the thing with the bolter's range, I was trying to explain -why- a pulse rifle had a longer range than it did. Poodle got it right on when he said 'pulse rifles are described as having a longer range than most Imperial weapons, because they just are'. I was trying to figure out why.
Oh, and the way I read it the pulse rifle does indeed use plasma. Plasma is hot, ionized gas. I mean, heck. We have plasma torches. The problem is getting the plasma to not dissipate as it travels. My guess is the Tau have figured out a way to project magentic fields to the target; they already do it with their gravity drives. Besides, the plasma in pulse rifles only becomes plasma as it exits the barrle. It's energized at the end, rather than in the beginning. So the little pellet is shot out and energized at the tip, so you get a 'pulse' of plasma going out the other end. There are no gases within the gun at all, near as I could tell from the description.
Not that I'm a munitions expert or anything but comparing the stats of the bolter and pulse rifle it seems to me that the bolters damage is a compound of rate of fire and damge whereas the pulserifles damage is more or less exclusivivly based on the damage done.
It strikes me as odd that many belive the bolter to do massive damage comparable to the pulserifle. The main cause of initial armor penetration is kinetic energy only from a bolter round the secondary explosion causes no armor penetration and I would rather view the bolter round as a squash head device with limited armor piercing capabilities compared to the pulserifle that admittedly relies on plasma energy impact. Taking into account modern armorpiercing weapons they all rely on focused explosion don't know the english term for that but basically it melts the armor.
damagewise on a scale from one to ten I'd say the bolter would be a good 4 whereas the pulserifle would be a hefty 7 or 8 the stats difference in 40k would imo be related to rate of fire rather than damage. No I'm not a tauhugger (chaos ftw) but frankly the bolter is overrated...
The bolter isn't overrated, it's an awsomely powerful weapon. Don't compare game stats, they don't justify the weapons in them. A bolter is (fluff-wise) capable of beating power armour without to much trouble (altough it's a lot less likely thanks to the resilience of PA) thanks to its diamantine (technobabble. Probably is something like a diamond reinforced with adamantium) tip.
As for damage, the bolter punches trough the armour (or flesh) and detonates them from inside. A pellet from a pulse rifle would strike right trough the target, giving less chance of killing them compared to a bolter.