A Needler (No, not THAT Needler) is a silent and deadly ranged weapon that
uses both laser power and needles crafted from a form of crystallised neurotoxin kills its targets through sheer affront to any science ever. Needlers have a long and bloody history, having been utilized by Mankind for millennia. These deadly weapons were favored by the assassins of the Terran Courts during the days before Unification. Needle weapons are notorious due to its two-staged firing mechanism, making only the most skilled snipers capable of even landing a hit. As of now, Long-Las Sniper Rifles and conventional Sniper Rifles has overtaken Needler weapons as preferred long-range weapons due to an ease in maintenance and ease of construction.
Also, the Needler is a silent killing weapon. If you don’t care about that you can just use an autogun designed to fire (modified with mono-molecular tips for armor) hellfire needles. The enemy is just as dead, the ammo is affordable (for a galactic government) and easily stores in massive quantities and autoguns are dirt cheap and stupidly easy to make and maintain.
Needler weapons fire a laser bolt like the lasgun to propel the toxic sliver to penetrate any armor weakened by the laser. A millisecond after, it fires the needle. The laser bolt melts and cuts through armor, leaving the skin (or other vulnerable parts) exposed for the needle, which knocks out or kills the target with a virulent neurotoxin. A Needler is a silent weapon and the needle of neurotoxin is so fine that its target often does not even feel it penetrate his or her flesh.
The crystallized toxin dissolves immediately upon contact, is extremely fast-acting and takes effect almost immediately. The laser component of the Needler operates on an invisible wavelength of light and thus cannot give away the position of its user. A multitude of different toxins can be used with a Needler, though the most common are deadly neurotoxins, sedatives which only render the target unconscious and intoxicants which can stupefy the target or make him amenable to interrogation without rendering him fully unconscious. A Needler is a valuable weapon which needs specialized ammunition and maintenance which is even more so than the Sniper Rifle Lasgun and is therefore usually reserved for elite sniper units of the Imperial Guard or the shadowy Assassins of the Officio Assassinorum.
The Needle Pistol is the most commonly employed form of Needler. Small and elegantly crafted for concealment, they are sophisticated and elegant handguns whose operation is silent, invisible and deadly. The finest examples use a combination of a flash-less laser to pierce flesh, followed by an impellor-shot of virulent poisons delivered instantaneously into the open wound. This combination can lay low the roughest foe with ruthless efficiency.
It is a common weapon amongst the Imperial Assassins of the Officio Assassinorum, particularly for the Eversor Assassins.
On tabletop, this is one of the many sidearms you could equip on your Inquisitor. In 9E, they wound everything except vehicles on a 2+. No AP to speak of. Probably best to pass. Pretty cheap, though. Alternatively, with their cost and the wounding on a 2+ this might be the only (albeit niche) pistol pick for acolytes; Monsters have average saves. Still, it will struggle to outperform your other options, since it has the lowest possible rate of fire, AP, and damage.
Belasco Galvian Needler
A known Needler variant of dubious provenance, the Belasco Galvian Needler was created by the Belasco Deathworks, the manufactora of the powerful House of Belasco on the Hive World of Malfi located in the Calixis Sector. This advanced and elegant Needle Pistol unlike other conventional Needlers is designed for close-range work.
The pistol also has the dubious distinction of being the weapon used for the infamous murder of Cardinal Tyndale and a dozen other deacons and priests of the Ecclesiarchy at the famed "sorrowful matins" massacre on Gallowglass, the deliberate infection of the lauded High Lady Alatia of House Krin with Mori immedicabalis, and numerous other high profile killings over the years.
This has lead to the House of Belasco being denounced from the Ministorum cathedral pulpit as "sinful deathmongers" on several occasions, a claim the Belasco family have not deigned to refute. For an additional 300 Thrones (the primary Imperial currency in use in the Calixis Sector and many others), a modified Galvian Needler can be bought that is fitted on a special hidden rig and worn on the user’s forearm, fired by means of a special palm trigger.
Not to be confused with, despite the similar spellings, Glavian Needlers which are made on Glavia and are also apparently very high quality too.
Needle Sniper Rifle
This Needler is a rifle-sized weapon that has the highest accuracy of any Needler weapon. It is also the largest and most expensive of the Needler family. The Needle Sniper Rifle offers much greater range and armor-piercing qaulities then their smaller brethren (Although it is still poor and not recommended when other Sniper weapons is more suited for armor and tank-busting capabilities such as the Transuranic Arquebus).
Despite this, their only rules are in Necromunda and they are used mainly by House Escher. It’s a mid-range threat capable of bypassing wounds. It’s highly accurate at short range, but its single shot and scarce ammo make its usefulness questionable. It could be useful for picking out a multi-wound character, but anyone worth their salt will screen their heavy hitters. It makes more sense to go high-Strength and Damage. That being said, 35 credits for a potential leader-sniper is not bad. If you take one, grab a Chem-Synth.
Mark IX Sniper Rifle
The big cheese of the Needler family. The Mark IX Sniper Rifle is a heavy Needler sniper rifle used by the Deathwatch chapter of the Space Marines for long-range anti-personnel and anti-materiel work.
At just over two metres in length and weighing at a ridiculous fifty kilograms (Seriously there are machine guns that weigh less then that) which begs the question on what type of material this thing is made out of, the Mark IX allows a Deathwatch sharpshooter to engage targets with incredible accuracy at very long ranges.
A highly-respected and revered weapon, it is often selected as the weapon of choice for Space Marine snipers in many Deathwatch Kill-Teams.
Silencer Sniper Rifle
A specially modified sniper rifle made from the Genestealer Cults. Used by the Sanctus, these sniper rifles has been converted to specifically fire specially made Needle rounds; each toxin dart carried by the Sanctus is filled with alchemical serum brewed by the sect's Biophagus. Engineered from a pure Genestealer's blood, this mind-afflicting poison renders its victim a drooling imbecile in seconds. Should their target be a Psyker, the serum induces a mental overload as the Hive Mind is visited upon them. Despite this, there doesn't seem to be any physical evidence of a silencer on the sniper rifle.
On tabletop, the Silencer Sniper Rifle is a 36" Heavy 1, S4, AP-1, D3 weapon that force a Psyker unit to suffer Perils of the Warp after the attack has been resolved and when successfully wounded.
Chaos seem to have only one type of Needler and that Needler seem to only prop up with one special character (You will find out below). This Needler is called the Xyclos Needler and you would have just as much difficulty trying to say the name as much as you getting one.
The Xyclos Needler is a special Needler which, instead of having a two stage firing mechanism, it goes straight to the needle component. The Needler fires virulent poison darts, quickly incapacitating anyone whose armor it could effectively penetrate. The gun contains three kinds of poisons which are honestly pretty lazily named: Xyclos A (Hyper-venom), Xyclos B (Hallucinogen), and Xyclos C (a Pyroclasmite).
Although looking at how the gun works, it is not known exactly where it fires the needle from as the barrel looks like it just houses the poisonous liquid instead. This is mainly because there is no clear indication on where the needle ammunition actually goes. That or the Needler actually spits out the poison which would betray the whole point of a Needler in the first place. So it could be rested that it is more of a Fail in the art direction than anything else.
You know that special character mentioned above? While it is no one other than Fabulous Bill who commissioned the weapon specifically to test his genetic serums during combat, and had it outfitted with the ability to fire from a selection of lethal cocktails which includes other than the normal Xyclos.
Otherwise simply known as the Stinger. The Stinger Pistol is a special type of Dark Eldar Needler used primarily by Haemonculi. This weapon resembles a smaller, more rounded Splinter Pistol, although the similarities end there. Unlike conventional Needlers, the Stinger skip the laser bits and go straight into the syringes.
The Stinger, instead, fires small hypodermic needles at the target, the cavity of which contain an incredibly exotic bacteria. This bacteria, once introduced to the target's bloodstream, multiplies quickly, and shortly afterwards causes the victim to literally explode, sending fragments of bone and armor flying in all directions. In the event that the victim's comrades are close enough or unlucky enough to have one of these fragments lodged in their bodies, the bacteria will travel from the lodged debris into the comrade's bloodstream, multiplying and ultimately causing them to explode.