Apparently in the 41st Millennium, chainsaws have been re-purposed for hacking down things/aliens/people instead of simply harvesting lumber. By far the most common Chain weapon is the chainsword.
As its name implies, the chainsword is a bladed weapon with a rotating chainsaw blade in-between, that's powered by a motor mounted on the hilt and activated with a trigger on the grip. Of course, the sheer manliness in this weapon makes it pretty damn heavy, so it's actually really fucking awesome. But since almost all the users of it have some combination of power armor, bionics, or natural strength to swing them around, the weight is a lot less of an issue.
Although the chainsword is issued to virtually all forces of the Imperium, it is most famous with the Spehss mahreens who widely use the chainsword as the primary weapon of their assault troops and veteran soldiers.
The standard chainsword used to have the same rules as any other close-combat weapon. Which is dumb, considering most of the fluff describes it as cutting through armour with ease, even Terminator armour, with some additional effort. Because a giant chainsaw does as much damage as a combat knife. 8e changed it up a but, though- while it still doesn't do more damage than a basic close combat weapon, it does grant a bonus attack. This (along with its low point cost) makes it a good choice of melee weapon when the quantity of your attacks matters more than their quality (e.g. against Hormagaunt swarms and mobs of Ork Boyz).
- 1 Imperial Variants
- 2 Eldar Variants
- 3 Ork Variants
- 4 Notable Chainweapons
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Video Links
The Chainsword also has several variants that have been developed by both the Imperium of Man and Xenos. Here are some examples:
The smallest known Chainweapon.
These weapons are small enough to be considered as an attatchment to most rifles. As such it is a smaller Chain bayonet that is attached to a Bolter and utilised as a close-combat weapon during assaults. Although to be honest, it seems more practical to just have a large, sharpened serrated blade than a gas-guzzling weapon that will become useless once it runs out of fuel, and seeing how small the weapon and thus, fuel supply is, its gonna run out of fuel relatively quickly.
Basically it was the lancer assault rifle from Gears of War before Gears of War even existed.
A chainsword is just a chainsaw with a sword grip. Note how the blade is mounted on a
wafer-thin piece thick piece of metal, to ensure that the mounting does not DO interfere as you cut through something that you desire to be in more pieces. Most versions make use of monomolecular-edged or otherwise razor sharp teeth.
Like many examples of human invention, the chainsword’s many variants seem to have their roots in the shrouded heresies of the Dark Age of Technology. Some in /tg/ like to speculate that it was some AdMech Priest who had mistaken a weirdly designed Chainsaw for a sword, unfortunately official fluff dictates that it saw consistent use in the armored fists of techno-barbarians during the Age of Strife, and among the Emperor’s own armies during his Thunder Warriors’ conquest of Terra during the Unification Wars.
But whilst Techpriests debate on the origin of the Chainsword, a particularly amusing theory surface that states it was an inspiration stolen from an alien race, in a war that may never be remembered. If this theorem ever bears fruit, it is distinctly possible that the galaxy’s first wielders of chainswords were the prissy armored warriors of the ancient Eldar, not us Humans.
There are multiple varieties of Chainsword such as the Ironfang Chainsword, which is a variant of the chainsword created to allow human heretics to approximate the deadly blows of a Legion chainsword, this variant features a thick, bladed area with chained teeth nearly twice the width of an ordinary chainsword, and powered by a backpack-mounted fuel supply. Its greater tearing strength and weighted nose allow it to deal viciously violent heavy slashing blows. Needless to say, this weapon is heavy - 12 kilograms in weight, complete with power supply - and unbalanced, ie. a very heavy regular chainsaw.
A unique Chainsword and possibly one of the only ones that could actually cut anything worth a damn rather than bludgeoning the enemies of man to death. The Frost Blade is yet, another special weapon and equipment exclusive to the Space Wolves.
Like the Frost Axe, each blade is hand-crafted by a Master Iron Priest, and many incorporate the diamond-hard fangs of the Fenrisian Ice Kraken. They are highly sought after and in the skilled hands of a Space Marine they can be comparable in effect to most Power Weapons.
In the legends of the chapter, the finest Frost Blades are made of ice harvested from the heart of a glacier, and then tempered inside a Kraken's belly.
The Eviscerator's pussy brother. Otherwise known as the Heavy Chainsword, the Heavy Chainblade is a massive chainsword, significantly larger than one of the standard chainswords but far weaker than an actual Eviscerator. This also made it to it's combat stats, instead of the Eviscerator's manly SX2, AP2 with Armourbane, it's a weak S+2 AP4, with no additional bonuses (and being two-handed as well, so forget using it to get another attack). About the only thing it has on the Eviscerator is that it's not so huge that it's unwieldy.
Being used mainly by the Legiones Astartes in the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy, as well as the Mechanicum, it's unsurprising these seem to have mostly fallen out of favour in the 41st millennium, given how everyone seems to have swapped to the Eviscerator.
Chainsword but ECKS BAWKS HUEG. Used by the Ecclesiarchy's priests and by the Sisters Repentia of the Sisters of Battle (as well as Chapter Master Gabriel 'IN THE BALLS' Seth). Most recently however, Eviscerators have found their way into the hand of 7E assault marine sergeants, because meltabombs just weren't enough.
The Eviscerator is twice the size of a regular chainsword and so heavy that a normal soldier will need to wield it using both hands. The Eviscerator might also incorporate an exterminator, a portable flame unit that will not only help it breach armor, but also scare the fuck out of any normal man upon seeing a whacked up priest/nun swinging a fucking huge flaming sword-chainsaw. The Eviscerator is also extra effective against armored units.
In some works the Eviscerator is described as having a disruptor field weaker than those of energy weapons, which still helps carving through ceramite.
Imagine doomguy but a weapon. Yes, Warhammer has chainsaw axes, as insane it sounds. The custom weapon of Khornate champions, the Chainaxe was a fairly common weapon among Imperial troops pre-heresy. It's basically a huge axe with a powerful chainsaw as a blade. Pre-heresy it was practically standard issue among the World Eaters. The sheer weight of the axe and the fact that most Khorne Chaos Marine champions are super strong and completely fucking nuts ensures these will tear through most infantry armor.
It's wielded by non-Khornate Chaos Marines as well, due to the greater damage it inflicts, but mostly because of the showers of gore they call "wounds" - represented in 40k rules by being AP4, a straight upgrade from a regular chainsword and the woe of anyone not wearing power armour. Among Imperial forces, a chain-axe is most likely to be seen in the hands of a Space Wolf or a Raven Guard - the former due to the fact that they just don't give a flying fuck that it might associate them with Chaos, and the latter due to the fact that they mostly have older equipment due to infrequent resupplies. They are also very common among Flesh Tearers because they basically already are a Khornate cult.
A even more unconventional and unwieldy weapon than the Power Scythe.
The Chainscythe is both a incredibly rare and extremely difficult to wield. It is telling that only one unit from oldschool Necromunda was seen carrying this thing around. It is only seen wielded by the Spyrer Matriarchs, this variant of the chainglaive mounts the blade at a horizontal angle to the tip of the shaft.
Seriously though, how the hell do you fight with this thing? Not only does it share the same stupid profile of all chainweapons (That is the metal piece mounted on the blades are interfering with its cutting power), but it also shares the same awkward handle of a scythe. Try and hit someone with that thing, there is a reason why warscythes have their blades turned 90 degrees upwards like halberd to increase chances of it actually hitting anything.
Also known as Chain Halberds, the Chainglaive is an evolution of the Chainaxe, giving it a longer blade and haft allowing for wide, sweeping strikes capable of rending power armour without much trouble. It's used extensively by Vanguard Marines and Chaos close-combat specialists. An ancient design by modern standards, it's by no means common, and sees use primarily with the traitor legions due to this (particularly with the Night Lords, who had always favored its use).
They are also used by Rough Riders as a secondary or even primary weapon due to the weapon's reach and strength. These weapons come in a startling variety based on the sundry Forge Worlds and eras in which they were manufactured, but all are extremely deadly.
Another rare and obscure Chainweapon.
Chainaxe not insane enough for you? Black Crusade introduces the chain Hammer, a massive, normally two-handed weapon shaped into either a maul outfitted with multiple rows of spinning metal teeth on the club-like head, or four chainaxe heads fused into a shape of a maul which can both rip apart flesh and smash bone into pulp with the brutal impact of this insane weapon.
Chain hammers are known to be used by orks and the pit brutes of Kurse in the Screaming Vortex. Powered versions capable of splitting Power Armour were also wielded by the Accusators of the Black Judges.
It is as ridiculous as it sounds.
Another long-range Chainweapon.
Similarly to the chain glaive, this weapon combines reach with lethality, mounting a chainsaw-bladed length at the end of a long haft, ensuring that jabs and thrusts can tear open flesh with the lightest touch whilst keeping the wielder out of harm's way, in contrast to the chain glaive whose curved blade and hilt aims for a more slashing and cutting motion to dismember enemies from a distance.
According to Tome of Blood, some variants actually sport the sharpened teeth of the bearer's former victims as the cutting edges, which are enough to cause even the slightest hit to become a spray of blood and torn flesh. .
Intended to assist Terminators' not stellar mobility when involved in boarding actions, the Chainfist is a Power Fist that incorporates a powerful chainsaw blade for the purposes of slicing through armored bulkheads. The weapon is commonly used by Terminators both as a CQC weapon and a convenient tool to cut themselves a way through the average Space Hulk's too small doors/walls/ceilings/floors... during boarding actions. Of course, since it can penetrate thick metal with little trouble, it's also often used for ripping open enemy vehicles and bunkers.
The reason it's so effective is simple: the powerfist's energy field also encompasses the chainblade. That's right, the chainfist effectively marries a chainsword and power fist. Remember how a regular power sword cuts most stuff like a hot knife through butter? Now bring a chainsaw with hot knives for teeth into this butter world, wear it like a glove and that's how a chainfist feels. That's just plain scary. If anything, it's like hitting a target with a power sword at 40 strikes per second, so that the powerfield weakens the target and then the teeth hack it away. The alternative is having a static piece of metal that is still cutting, but just not as efficiently.
The easiest way to use a chainfist in combat is to wield it like a Tonfa. As its mounted just under the left wrist parallel to the arm.
A Chainfist but bigger.
In the Imperium, a Dreadnought Chainfist can exclusively be found attached to the Ironclad Dreadnought, although more vanilla Dreadnoughts are able to wield one if given the proper modifications. Unlike the smaller Chainfist which are used to open blastdoors, the Dreadnoughts use theirs to open tank hulls. This arm consists of a massive chainsaw shaped to fit a dreadnought power fist. This is a devastating weapon capable of tearing apart infantry and light armor.
The Forces of Chaos also makes use of Dreadnought-sized Chainfists, more specifically the force of Khorne due to its brutal blood-grinding method of destruction. It is not uncommon to see a World Eaters or other Khornate dreadnought equipped with dual Chainfists for maximum RIP AND TEAR.
The big brother of the Chainfist family.
The Reaper Chainfist is a weapon used by the Cerastus Knight-Acheron. Usually carried on the Knight's right weapon arm, the Reaper Chainfist is employed alongside the Acheron's Acheron-Pattern Flame Cannons as a weapon of extermination used to inspire fear in the foe.
The Reaper Chainfist is actually a set of two Chain Weapons linked together, with each one spinning in opposite directions to maximize damage. The blades are capable of tearing through both armor and fortified walls with ease. The weapon also features a built-in set of twin-linked Heavy Bolters to be used against infantry when the Knight needs to conserve fuel for its Flame Cannon.
The standard superheavy weapon in the Chain Weaponry, the Reaper Chainsword is the main weapon of most models of Imperial Knight. Unlike most Chainweapons you see here, it was originally designed as a Logging device for feudal colonists (You know, like modern chainsaws), though only the height of three men, the Reaper's adamantine teeth are no less deadly and thus, also works incredibly well as a massive melee weapon.
The Chainsword can be swung with all the power of the Knight's servo-motors, the Reaper is capable of cleaving through practically anything, from the thick ferrocrete walls of a defensive bunker and capable of carving open a Super-Heavy Tank with a single blow.
The big daddy-o of the Chainfist family. The Titan Chainfist takes the form of a large chainsaw attachment like the Chainfist, but on a gigantic scale. Thanks to the available power from the Titan's massive plasma reactor, Titan-grade Chainfists are also equipped with a secondary Melta Array, to soften up the target while cutting through it.
The Reaver Titan is the biggest user of these weapons.
Crunchwise, they are similiar to the Titan Power Fist, at Sx2 AP-5 10 D. However it can also cause -1 to hit. However, any to wound roll of 6 where a VEHICLE, MONSTER, or BUILDING is targeted deals 2D6 extra mortal wounds. Remember that void shields do not work against melee attacks, so against Titans and Titan-equivalents that lack melee weapons those Mortal Wounds can be a a big deal.
An Eldar variant of the Chainsword fielded by the Striking Scorpions. It's like the Imperial Chainsword but incorporates advanced equipment that increases the wielder's strength and incorporates a sleeker, less bulky design.
There's been fluff that suggests they are actually a lot more advanced than Imperial chainswords, consisting of a heavily serrated 41st millennium mono-molecular blade which doesn't whirl around most of the time. Rather, upon hitting an opponent, and the blade gets stuck in their body/armor, THAT's when it goes all chainsaw, ripping armor and people apart and ensuring that the blade doesn't ever get stuck in someone; it'll either go through them or at least rip whatever it's stuck in enough to be pulled out.
One of the Scorpion Exarch's unique variation of the Scorpion Chainsword. Chainsabres are unique weaponry used by Striking Scorpion Exarchs. These Chainswords are paired with ancient gauntlets which incorporate twin-linked Shuriken Pistols. Exarchs who use these weapons train to wield two of them at once, allowing them to level an unrelenting storm of attacks upon their opponent.
On the tabletop 8th edition, the Chainsabres are two one-handed chain weapons that can land a truly staggering amount of blows on a target. In melee they function the exact same as the Scorpion Chainsword, though these will grant another melee attack and have the Shuriken Pistol profile for your ranged attacks. Considered the most versatile of the bunch.
One of the Scorpion Exarch's unique variation of the Scorpion Chainsword. Essentially the Eldar copy of the Eviscerator. Biting Blades are large, two-handed, long-bladed Chainswords reminiscent of the massive Eviscerators used by zealots within the Imperium. However, where Imperial Eviscerators are heavy, noisy machines, Biting Blades are slender and quiet, but no less deadly for their relatively light weight. The advanced monomolecular-edged teeth of the blade tear through flesh as though it were parchment and equally shred bone and armor, easily cleaving a man-size target in two.
On the tabletop, the Biting Blade is a massive two-handed weapon whose effectiveness increases as a target is hit. Basically it is a two handed Chainsword that bumps up to S+2 (S5) AP-1 and 2 D compared to the run of the mill Scorpion Chainsword. The least expensive of the Exarch's selections, but it also costs him both his pistol and Scorpion Chainsword to use.
The Chain Choppa is the Ork version of the chainsword. The weapon is a handheld chainsaw (though it sometimes takes the form of a sword or axe) used for almost anything. Really, you name it. In a pinch it can stand in for anything ranging from a weapon to a household tool.
Regular garden variety Ork Boyz rarely have these weapons, while richer Orks like the Warboss or a Nob might have it because it's killy and flash. Many are simply war trophies picked up from loyalist and traitor Space Marines.
Big Chain Choppa
The Chain Hammer of the Ork Horde.
Sometimes simply called the Ork Chainaxe. It is basically a Big Choppa with a motor system attached to it. Like the smaller Chain Choppa, certain Orks prefer this over the average Big Choppa due to the amount or carnage it can spew out.
The sheer size and relative complexity in making one means that only the biggest, strongest and wealthiest Orks could purchase one, like Nobs, Meganobs, Warbosses and Warlords. Like most Ork weapons, there are no standardization for the Big Chain Choppa.
The Orks saw the Imperium's Titan-sized Chainfists and proceeded to one-up them in both length, size and girth.
A giant ECKSBAWKSHUEG Chainsword that are mounted only on biggest Ork walkers - from Stompas to Gargants and to see one in action is to witness a truly apocalyptic scene. These Mega-Choppas are designed to grind and rip apart enemy Titans with several swoops.
On tabletop, the Mega-Choppa is a Stompa's go-to carving weapon. It comes with 2 attack profiles. The first one is Smash which double's a Stompa's strength. Has a -5 AP. Causes 6 wounds per hit. Double S is inconsequential as there is nothing with T10. 6 wounds guaranteed are nice if you need exactly that, but more attacks are usually better. So you might want to use it for -5AP mostly. The second attack profile is Slash which is only user-Strength, with a somehow lower AP than a Power Klaw (-2 as opposed to a klaw's -3), does D3 wounds per hit instead of the Smash's 6, BUT it lets you make 3 hit rolls for each Attack.
Storm's Teeth - A giant two handed chainsword used by Rogal Dorn himself. It was so large that only a Primarch could use it, and it was said to be Dorn's favored weapon and is what he used against
Alpharius some random Legionary. He also broke it when he found the Emperor barely alive after his duel with Horus, but that's fine since its remains would be used to create the sword used by the Black Templars High Marshal.
Frostfang - An ancient chainsword used by Ragnar Blackmane. The techniques used to make it were kept a secret by Fergus Forgrim to his deathbed so no one knows how it was made, because it's not like that could have been important or helpful later, right?
Gorefather and Gorechild -
THE BEST WEAPONS IN THE WHOLE OF 40K HERESY. Two chainaxes used by Angron during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. The teeth of these weapons came from a MOTHERFUCKING MICA-DRAGON, and are lubricated by BLOOD (these weapons are so metal, they bring envy to the Iron Hands and Iron Warriors). Gorechild is currently being used by that Swell guy, and Gorefather is nowhere to be seen, but it might show up again was sadly destroyed on Armatura during the Great Crusade.
Teeth of Terra - Origin unknown, and with a tendency to show up in possession of many different chapters and disappear just as quickly, the Teeth of Terra is an ancient chainsword with obsidian teeth. It strikes hard and deep and allows the bearer to swing in huge, sweeping arcs.
|Weapons of the Eldar|
|Sidearms:||Shuriken Pistol - Fusion Pistol - Neural Shredder - Neuro-Disruptor|
|Basic Weapons:|| Avenger Shuriken Catapult - Death Spinner - Eldar Flamer - Fusion Gun |
Lasblaster - Laser Lance - Prism Rifle - Ranger Long Rifle - Reaper Launcher
Shuriken Catapult - Swooping Hawk Grenade Pack
|Exarch Weapons:|| Dragon's Breath Flamer - Fire Pike - Hawk's Talon - Prism Blaster |
Spinneret Rifle - Star Lance - Sunrifle - Tempest Launcher
|Warp Weapons:||D-Cannon - D-Scythe - Wraithcannon|
|Heavy Weapons:|| Bright Lance - Eldar Missile Launcher - Pack Grenade Launcher - Scatter Laser |
Shadow Weaver - Shuriken Cannon - Starcannon - Suncannon - Vibro Cannon
|Vehicle Weapons:||Doomweaver - Phoenix Missile Launcher - Prism Cannon - Pulse Laser|
|Super Heavy Weapons:||Psychic Lance - Pulsar - Revenant Missile Launcher - Sonic Lance|
|Melee Weapons:|| Diresword - Eldar Power Sword - Executioner - Ghostglaive - Mirrorsword |
Scorpion Chainsword - Scorpion's Claw - Singing Spear - Witchblade
|Weapons of the Orks|
|Da Basik Poppas:||Grot Blasta - Sluggas - Six-Shoota - Kustom Mega Slugga - Pokkit Rokkit Launcha|
|Trusty Banga:|| Gretchin Blunderbuss - Shootas - Shoota Kannon - Ork Blunderbuss |
|Spechul Dakka:|| Splash Burna - Shokk Attack Gun - Tellyport Blasta - Kustom Mega-Blasta |
|'eavy Gear:||Rokkit Launcha - Big Shootas - Snazzgun - Deffguns - Skorcha|
|Da Big Stuff:|| Supa Shoota - Dakkaguns - Big Lobba - Flakka-Dakka Gun - Supa-Lobba - Killkannon |
Supa-Kannon - Krusha Kannon - Bursta Kannon - Skulhamma Kannon - Seacannon
Grotzooka - Big Zzappa - Boom Gun - Magna-Kannon - Shunta - Mek Gunz - Supa-Skorcha
|Bloody'Uge Exploshunz!:|| Belly Gun - Deffstorm Mega-Shoota - Supa-Gatler - Gigashoota - Lifta-Droppa |
Soopagun - Soopa Zzap Gun - Skullkrusha Mega-Cannon - Pulsa Rokkit - Deth Kannon
Supa-Lifta-Droppa - Gaze of Mork - Flame Belcha
|Choppy Bitz:||Choppa - Chain weapons - Power weapons|