"Never was anything great achieved without danger."
- – Niccolo Machiavelli
- – Sergeant Schlock plasma gun
Plasma is the fourth state of matter, beyond gas. It is a sea of ions, or charged particles exposed to so much energy, such as nuclear fusion or lightning, that the bind between electrons and nuclei become weakened and the electrons freely flow through the plasma as a current just like through a metal. Plasma emits truly heroic amounts of energy, both as heat and light, because the free electrons within the mass are frequently caught in the attractive pull of the nuclei, resulting in circular motion around the nuclei, which decelerates the electron, causing it to emit a photon in order to maintain conservation of energy (Bremsstrahlung emission). This means plasma is incredibly hot and incandescent, though unless it is optically dense (thick enough to reabsorb the vast majority of emitted photons), it cools rapidly. Seeing as it is a mass of charged particles, it is also highly susceptible to influence from electromagnetic fields. Plasma is the most common state of (regular) matter in the universe; this is because intergalactic space consists mostly of low-density plasma, and stars are giant balls of high-density plasma. Nuclear fusion requires hydrogen gas to be heated to the plasma state to overcome the Coulomb barrier between nuclei.
Plasma is produced by applying a very strong electromagnetic field to a gas, such as hydrogen. The plasma is then contained within an electromagnetic field, keeping it out of contact with the weapon's components which it would almost certainly damage. The tokamak, a prototype fusion reactor, exploits this by accelerating plasma in an intense electromagnetic torus until it becomes so pressurized, hot and fast enough that fusion is achieved, although the cost of power outweighed the possible electrical production benefits. In fantasy sci-fi, "plasma" weapons fire insubstantial ammunition that imparts extreme heat on impact, or just as with gauss weapons, plasma guns can be anything that sounds cool. Hard sci-fi plasma weapons come in types: "flamethrowers" or cannons that expel stored plasma, Fusion cannons, melta weapons where so much energy is expelled from a weapon that it turns the air outside into plasma, lightning guns such as Tesla coils, with a large pulse of energy sending a huge electrical charge that produces plasma conduits across the air, or Ion Cannon like the ones that GDI uses as its signature superweapon.
In the grim, dark, dark, horrible, grim, dark grimdark future of Warhammer 40,000, plasma weapons are a type of heavy weapon used by the Imperium, Chaos forces, the Tyranids, and the Tau. A few variants are also used by the Eldar and Dark Eldar, and the Orks have a few that they no doubt stole from the Imperium. They operate by firing a bolt of superheated energy that's hot enough to melt virtually anything in proportion to its size (pistols and guns can take out heavies while cannons can take out super-heavies and titans), with its primary drawback being the massive amount of heat generated per shot. Imperial and Chaos players like to use plasma weaponry for its raw, balls-out power and point efficiency.
Plasma technology is relatively rare in the Imperium as it is incredibly hard to produce and maintain properly in large quantities, and is thus scarce in both Imperial and Chaos forces. However, its power means that these forces use it every chance they get. The Tau are so advanced, their basic weapons are plasma-based. Because of their high firepower, plasma weapons are the go-to choice of most players when dealing with heavily-armored infantry such as Terminators or Tyranid Warriors.
There is also "blood plasma," which may be of interest to Vampire players, but the idea of a blood-plasma rifle is kinda gross, but can be made exceptionally awesome if done right such as sucking the life force of an individual. It is however possible that it's just another Bloodstrike Missile-esque thing.Pus-rifles on the other hand? Ew.
- 1 A Small Notice to all Devou/tg/uardsmen on Plasma Weaponry
- 2 Imperial Plasma Weapons
- 2.1 Plasma Pistol
- 2.2 Plasma Exterminator
- 2.3 Plasma Talon
- 2.4 Plasma Gun
- 2.5 Plasma Caliver
- 2.6 Plasma Repeater
- 2.7 Plasma Blaster
- 2.8 Phased Plasma-Fusil
- 2.9 Plasma Incinerator
- 2.10 Plasma Cannon
- 2.11 Plasma Culverin
- 2.12 Plasma Destroyer
- 2.13 Plasma Storm Battery
- 2.14 Hellfire Plasma Cannonade
- 2.15 Plasma Eradicator
- 2.16 Macro Plasma Incinerator
- 2.17 Hellex Plasma Mortar
- 2.18 Plasma Decimator
- 2.19 Plasma Blastgun
- 2.20 Plasma Destructor
- 2.21 Plasma Obliterator
- 2.22 Plasma Annihilator
- 3 Chaos Plasma Weapons
- 4 Tau Plasma Weapons
- 4.1 Plasma Weapons
- 4.2 Pulse Weapons
- 4.2.1 Pulse Pistol
- 4.2.2 Pulse Rifle
- 4.2.3 Pulse Carbine
- 4.2.4 Longshot Pulse Rifle
- 4.2.5 Pulse Blaster
- 4.2.6 Burst Cannon
- 4.2.7 High Output Burst Cannon
- 4.2.8 Long Barrelled Burst Cannon
- 4.2.9 Heavy Burst Cannon
- 4.2.10 Pulse Bomb
- 4.2.11 Pulse Submunition Rifle
- 4.2.12 Pulse Submunition Cannon
- 4.2.13 Pulse Driver Cannon
- 4.2.14 Pulse Blastcannon
- 4.2.15 Pulse Ordnance Multi-Driver
- 4.3 Ion Weapons
- 5 Eldar Plasma Weapons
- 6 Ork Plasma Weapons
- 7 Tyranid Plasma Weapons
- 8 A Weapon that Beats Spess Mehreens? NEVAR!!
A Small Notice to all Devou/tg/uardsmen on Plasma Weaponry
Due to a recent modeling discrepancy with man-portable Imperial plasma weaponry (and GW making the errors canon), two things need to be said:
First, the Plasma Pistol, Gun, and Cannon only have one barrel. The bottom "barrel" is actually the access port to the main accelerator coil of the weapon. The accelerator coil is a ferromagnetic electromagnet, and thus loses magnetic potency as its molecules shift due to the powerful charges and pulses it experiences. This means it wears out with frequency, and needs to be replaced every so often, or at least often enough for the designers to add an access hatch.
Second, handheld plasma weaponry has a very small opening for the plasma to escape from. The large space that everybody seems so fond of drilling out to make an enormous-caliber barrel is in fact a magnetic plate shaped like a parabolic dish. The actual barrel hole, inside that plate, is small enough to get drilled with an in-universe pin vice(!) so you can see why no one tries to mould it (soft sci-fi weaponry is SRS BZNESS!) This is because the plasma, when it is being charged, is compressed to what is almost a dense gas in order to increase heat retention. The tiny plasma reactor within the weapon is breached for a quick moment, and the spill is immediately drawn along the length and through a narrow tube in a large, ferrometalic block. The block is supercooled to avoid catastrophic burnout, but it is mainly a focusing and directing mechanism. Through the tiny pinhole runs the plasma charge, but it does not touch the sides due to the block's strong magnetic field. When it reaches the muzzle, it is going so fast and is under so much pressure that the parabolic disk shape is necessary in order to focus the plasma as it nearly explodes out of the barrel. The disk face is also magnetized to avoid touching the plasma. The one exception to this is the latest Pattern of Plasma Cannon, which borrows design elements heavily from the Mars-pattern Plasma Destroyer mounted upon the Leman Russ Executioner. It should be noted that all Mars Pattern vehicle-mounted plasma weapons use the "newer" huge-caliber devices, while Ryza Patterns use the pinhole-barrel devices. This can be seen in the Mars-pattern Plasma Blastguns, and conversely on the Ryza-pattern Plasma Annihilator mounted on the Emperor-class Titan. Perhaps this is part of the reason why Ryza plasma technology does not overheat nearly as easily as Mars-pattern plasma tech?
This is basically the ONE downside of plasma weapons. They have a chance to overheat to the point where it explodes in the user's face. If any of a plasma weapon's shooting dice come up 1, the model has to make a save (armor or invulnerable) or take a wound. To multi-wound models, this is a noticeable dent, and to most models, which only have one wound, it's potentially deadly. Vehicles were immune to this rule until 6th Edition; with the advent of Hull Points, they now lose one Hull Point unless they save on a 4+.
Still, a lot of players aren't really concerned with this because of the simple fact that plasma is one of the most easily-accessible anti-armor weapons there is to IG, SM, and CSM players. Besides, it's not like you're rolling a 1 every turn, right? In any event, if your plasma gunner(s) are power armored, you usually won't care, although bad luck can cause a pretty nasty waste of points sometimes. If they are guardsmen, you have reserves so, again, you won't care, other than about the gun itself a bit.
It's a common belief that when a plasma weapon gets hot it always explodes and like many common beliefs, it's totally wrong. What happens most of the time is the weapon's fail-safe mechanism making emergency heat dump in order to avoid the containment breach and explosion (sometimes, abeit rare, plasma guns do experience meltdown and explosion). Unfortunately for the wielder, this "heat dumpling" takes the form of the cloud of superheated steam, hot enough to boil the unfortunate wielder's flesh alive. While such occurance is almost guaranteed lethal to unarmoured shooter, Space Marine's power armour could provide some measure of protection from it.
Note that all of the previous paragraph is nullified in 8th edition; see the section below:
8-the edition crunch
8-th edition rulebook makes rather radical departure in terms of how imperial plasma guns work in tabletop's crunch (as per fluff the overheating issue of most imperial plasma guns, barring some experimental models, remains as it was). Now a player can choose to fire his plasma weapons in normal or supercharged mode.
- On normal firing mode the gun functions normally and doesn't have any equivalent to "gets hot" rule and is safe to fire.
- On supercharged mode, however, the gun gains +1 Strength and +1 Damage, but on "to hit" roll of one it suffers catastrophic meltdown that either slays the shooting model with no armour or invulnerable save allowed or inflicts mortal wounds, depending on the unit and the gun. Due to how modifiers work in 8th edition this happens more at night, but sometimes never happens at all.
Interestingly, the idea of a overheat-less normal mode appears in the fluff before the 8th Edition. The Fantasy Flight RPGs included the option for Plasma Guns to use an alternate fuel type that would stop them from Overheating, at the cost of not being able to Overcharge at all. On a similar note, Dawn of War 2 portrays some instances of plasma guns being able to be temporarily overcharged at the cost of overheating it (though the overheating drawback isn't potentially killing its user).
Imperial Plasma Weapons
Imperial and (and by extension, Chaos) Plasma weapons are powerful and point-efficient. They are easily capable of taking out light and medium tanks without the need to flank and target rear armor, and they can go through any infantry armor as well as being rapid-firing. However, Imperial/Chaos players are not terribly fond of Plasma weapons due to the "Gets Hot" rule. The overheating issue is likely caused by unreliable electromagnetic field generators failing to properly contain the Plasma, or perhaps that the Plasma is worth several thousands of kelvin in temperature and can easily melt the operator's face off in the event where the weapon needs to vent excess heat. According to the fluff, Imperial Plasma weapons are extremely rare and most are at least a few centuries old. This is due to the difficulty in mass-producing Plasma weapons on any Forge World other than Ryza, whose hat is that they Plasma the shit out of everything, and the difficulty in properly maintaining/using Plasma weaponry in light of the massive amounts of heat it gives off.
However, since ALL Space Marine Chapters, many Imperial Guard Regiments, and even Underhive Gangs seem to have access to them, this admonition comes across a little flat. They might just be extremely expensive and the Adeptus Mechanicus just says that they are "relics" so people will take better care of them. The official reason seems to be that they are "rare" in terms of numbers, a million Plasma Guns being made per year would be "small" compared to billions of Lasguns made per year. Fun fact: the Adeptus Mechanicus does have Plasma weapon patterns that do not overheat, but boggarts them as usual with the good shit. Seriously, even their Skitarii forces have to deal with the Gets Hot. Then again, given how frequent Imperial forces turn traitor ranging from said Chapters, Regiments, and even Gangs, taking whatever Post-Heresy tech they had with them; the Mechanicus should be understandably paranoid about how and what tech they choose to share like this with their allies (or more specifically, how they refuse to share) since their allies are notoriously unreliable and volatile, and their main enemy is a malevolent bunch of crazies who are more than happy to reverse-engineer and mass-produce their venerable machines with reckless abandon.
Note that prior to 3rd Edition of 40k, there was a split between Good Guy–Bad Guy Plasma technology, with team Imperium having the safer MkII Plasma weapons that required recharging between firing, and team Chaos being stuck with the older MkI Plasma weapons which were bulkier, covered in pipes, and able to spit out up to three shots per turn compared with the MkII's one every other turn, but with the chance of overloading and leading you to roll on a random table to see whether it just gets hot, vents plasma over the bearer, or blows up and takes out everyone in the squad. Even Dreadnoughts were not immune to this, with the MkI Heavy Plasma Gun able to spit out three smaller (coin sized) blast markers, but runs the risk of the weapon taking out the arm and possibly the entire chassis. When the ludicrous volumes of bookkeeping were scrubbed for 3rd Edition, the recharging mechanic was removed along with the stacks of counters, and all Plasma weapons then developed the Gets Hot rule as below, playing into that Edition's general theme of larger armies with more expendable and easy to kill models.
And 8th edition shakes things up again. Plasma can now choose between the Standard profile which does not have the Gets Hot rule, and the Supercharge profile which does – and that Gets Hot instantly kills the shooter, no saving rolls or multi-wound shenanigans allowed save for specific units and weapons (and even those take mortal wounds should Gets Hot trigger). Worth to be noted, however, that Supercharge also means you are getting an eight in Strength (wounding most tanks on 4+ or wounding MEQ on 2+) and dealing a two in Wounds per successful attack (capable of taking down a Terminator with a single shot or wrecking a Leman Russ battle tank with just six successful attacks). Between that and the heavy nerfs the Grav-weapons got, Plasma has re-established itself as a viable option in the metagame.
The Plasma Pistol: theoretically doubles as a Plasma Grenade provided that it's your last fuel cell and/or you really need that explosion.
Now, despite the significantly reduced size, the Plasma Pistol still has all the punch of the regular-sized Plasma Gun. What's the trade-off for a nuclear reactor that fits your holster, you ask? None... is what we'd like to say. You just have to cope with shooting slower and at a reduced range. Commonly carried by officers from both the Space Marines side and the Imperial Guard side, some specialized assault units such as Assault Marines may also at times be armed with Plasma Pistols, likely as an alternative to Inferno Pistols to shoot at tanks. Logically speaking, the Plasma Pistol should be the safest of the bunch since the gun is (should be) held away from your body when firing instead of being held up to your face while looking down the sights. Even if the gun were to actually melt down, you're likely to lose just your hand. Unless it explosively ruptured with the force of a grenade, it is unlikely for you to lose something critical. One of the latest pattern of Plasma Pistols available to the armed forces of the Imperium of Man is the Mark III "Sunfury," but only a handful of Chapters including the Novamarines are capable of manufacturing the new model. On the other side, Chaos Space Marines love to live dangerously by using hydrogen fuel in a higher quantum state. No, we have no idea what that really means. It's probably just hotter.
Also, Techmarines have access to the Plasma Cutter, which seems to be an allusion to our real-life tool. This Plasma Cutter, however, is better than ours since it also doubles as a rather effective weapon. Appearance-wise, it looks just like two Plasma Pistols attached together. Finally, there is Cypher's. His Plasma Pistol seems to be an ancient (as in, really good) kind since it doesn't get hot in 7th, and it uses Supercharge stats in 8th without the blowing up part.
For a name with a word like that, you'd think it's a huge cannon or something. This gun is an "Exterminator" on a more local scale, like pest control.
The Plasma Exterminator is another Primaris-only gun, this time for the Inceptors. It is likely another variant of the Plasma Incinerator. Hellblasters don't use these and stick with their regular Plasma Pistols. Like the more standard twin Assault Bolters that usually comprise their weapons loadout, Inceptor Marines may wield two Plasma Exterminators together as an alternative to the maximization of ass-rape. While rather short-ranged because the rule of common sense states that smaller guns don't shoot very far, the Plasma Exterminator packs as much power as a Plasma Cannon despite that compact size. This may have something to do with additional safety features in order to make room for a much more destructive blast. The wiring adjacent to the feeding cable connected to the backpack is indicative of that. Perhaps the power requirement of this weapon makes it exclusive to Gravis Armor, which would allow non-Inceptors who happen to wear one to use one, unless the Plasma Exterminator completely relies on some system which is only present within the Inceptors' variant of Gravis Armor. Also, the part at the back may either be a spare hydrogen flask just in case the backpack runs out, or it's a high-speed autoloader crucial in maintaining the firepower of this overclocked Plasma Pistol.
Because it has a cabling which will likely take some time to disconnect, it is not recommended to use this weapon as a Plasma Grenade.
This weapon is the Plasma cherry garnished at the top of the Dark Angels' Ravenwing smoothie.
While Space Marine Bikes usually have either Bolters or Grenade Launchers as their primary armament, the upper echelons of the Dark Angels have access to something more... esoteric. And by the upper echelons, we specifically mean the Black Knights of the Ravenwing and its associated officers such as Apothecaries who may pimp their bikes out with the Plasma Talon, which is essentially a twin sawn-off Plasma Guns instead of the usual twin Boltguns. Indeed, the Plasma Talon seems to be an archaic weapon since only a notable few may attach one on their bikes in a Plasma-heavy Chapter. Given the size and firepower, it seems to be a Plasma "carbine" if there ever should be one. In fact, its effectiveness is at about the same spectrum as the Plasma Exterminator of the Inceptors, and it might as well be the same in design concept if the Black Knights/Bikers can tear off those two sawn-off Plasma Guns and use them when they crashed their bikes. By the looks of it, Cawl might have been responsible to a few "missing" Ravenwing bikes. In battle, the Ravenwing Black Knights drive at top speed upon their Mark IV Raven Pattern Assault Bikes towards the foe. On their approach, their Plasma Talons tear holes in the enemy lines before they ride over their quarry, cracking armor and sundering flesh with their Corvus Hammers as they go.
Speculations aside, the fact is that the Plasma Talon is a couple of short-ranged Plasma Guns used by the Black Knights of the Ravenwing.
Everyone's favorite walking death trap.
An uncommon weapon even in the ranks of the Imperial Guard or Space Marines as mentioned above, most extant Plasma Guns are hundreds if not thousands of years old because, well, they tend blow up without proper handling/luck. As a testament to their design, they remain as deadly today as the day of their fabrication. Aesthetically speaking, they look stubby and also rather clunky, with a ribbed back and flared cooling vents along the front. Hydrogen flasks stick out of the butt and bottom of the weapon. These generally contain enough fuel for at least 10 shots before you need to swap it out with a new one just like a magazine. If you don't like to carry lots of hydrogen canisters because you don't have Power Armor that can mag-lock stuff as well as handle the weight, an alternative is a backpack that can hold more hydrogen with a feed line to the gun. Plasma guns can generally be fired in two modes: the Standard mode which is not only normal, but also the safest and practically a flat-out upgrade over the conventional Boltgun; or the higher-powered Supercharge mode with a longer range and higher temperature, which is definitely not the safest, possibly lethal, and powerful enough to potentially one-shot a Terminator or Primaris Marine. The latter requires a short time to replenish the plasma back to firing levels after firing.
But here's the twist for not following safety procedures and why it is possibly lethal – firing in such a high-power mode may result in catastrophic plasma containment breach, that is, crunch-wise, represented by the user being automatically slain on a hit roll of 1. No saves of any kind are allowed and it doesn't matter how many wounds they have left, the wielder gets removed from the table.
On the Plasma side, the Skitarii do not use the same Plasma Guns like the Space Marines and Imperial Guard. They have something arguably better.
For your information, "Caliver" is not a made-up word. It is a corruption of the word "Calibre/Caliber" which literally refers to the bore size of a firearm. Indeed, the Plasma Caliver here doesn't seem to have anything to do with bore size at all, so-so compared to the larger available sizes in fact. Historically speaking, the Caliver is a standardized form of the arquebus, an early form of the firearms we know of. This definition fits very well with the whole steampunk vibe the Mechanicus maintains for their Skitarii. As volatile as it is deadly, the Plasma Caliver exchanges range for a truly terrifying rate of fire, making it a Plasma machine gun. A squad of Skitarii armed with several Plasma Calivers lights up the night sky with each volley, which should say a lot on how much Plasma this thing spews out. The Plasma Caliver seems use three fuel cells attached together at a time, which we may allude to how it shoots three times on the board. If we assume as such, then the Plasma Caliver probably shoots pretty damn fast, emptying all the three fuel cells at the given moment. To say they risk life and limb in the process is a grave understatement, yet to their Tech-Priest masters, such collateral damage matters not at all. Either the Plasma Calivers are cheap to produce to be disposable, or the gun itself may be salvaged somehow after blowing up.
For some reason in the current edition, the Plasma Caliver is identical to the Plasma Blaster where effectiveness is concerned with two shots to speak of.
Dark Angels are well-known for their array of Plasma weaponry in 40k. Wind the clock back about ten thousand years or so, and this is in their arsenal.
The Plasma Repeater is a 30K weapon for the Dark Angels, the smallest Plasma weapon to apply the principle of More Dakka. Spewing enough firepower at Melta range to make Loyalist/Traitor Terminators regret their life choices up to that point. As the First, Dark Angels have access to a panoply of war not from the forges of Mars, but from their equipment cache back from the Unification Wars on our Ancient Terra. This means the Plasma Repeater is one of the relics that are often difficult to replicate and mass produce, and/or possessing too much firepower to be reliable to handle. Thankfully, the Plasma Repeater isn't too much to handle, and it is one of the few weapons from the Age of Strife which the Dark Angels were exclusively sanctioned to deploy with. In fact, there are certainly a lot of these around back then too, since despite being relics which you'd expect the notable few such as commanders to carry like the Plasma Blaster with the Tartaros Terminator Sergeant, the Dark Angels may fit entire squads with Plasma Repeaters instead of the usual Plasma Guns. We do not know what the Plasma Repeater actually looks like, but judging from the strength, rate of fire and weapon type it'll most likely resemble a scaled down version of the Phased Plasma Fusil, albeit with a second barrel making it a double-barrelled Plasma submachine gun; sweet mother of cheese does that sound fucking rapetastic.
Sadly, the crunch doesn't match that rapetastic prospect. Their primary failings include short range, comparable to what the Plasma Pistol can pull off, but since it's salvo it lowers to a meager 6" if the unit moves. Their second failing is that only two units can take them (for the moment) since you can only give them to units who can take Plasma Guns (and no, Twin-linked Plasma Guns don't count because Forge World says so.) Legion Veterans have better weapons and rules, so that should leave you with Support Squads as your only choice. On the upside, Twin-linked makes Gets Hot a non issue 90% of the time, though it doesn't make up for the downsides. There are two ways to use them: the first is to spend a few points and cash on a Rhino and hope that your opponent is blind or stupid enough to let them get near whatever's toughest/priciest; the second way is to put them in a Drop Pod and hope they drop in close enough to be near the priciest/scariest thing your opponent has, and also hope your opponent forgot to buy Augury Scanners.
For a distinctive tabletop representation, you will probably have to make do with something like painting your Plasma Guns differently or something. You may have the marines carry Plasma Incinerators to differentiate, or you may get these Plasma Repeating Shotguns made by White Wyvern Designs.
At that time, the Plasma Blaster is essentially a Combi-weapon that is two Plasma Guns joined together. It is not a linked weapon, which means you do not fire both of them at the same time, but one at a time. And because of the massive power drain, the Terminator Armor with its bigger power pack is the perfect candidate to carry it. A Plasma Blaster was wielded by Saul Invictus, Captain of the Ultramarines 1st Company, before he was nommed by the Tyranids (Rest in Pieces) and Severus Agemman took his place, but sadly not his Plasma Blaster. The Plasma Blaster was later re-vamped into a Great Crusade / Horus Heresy era weapon-relic depending on which millennium you're in. During the Horus Heresy, one may find Terminators carrying them – mostly Tartaros – and Contemptor Dreadnoughts having one installed in their claw. Though the range is rather short compared to standard Plasma Guns, the higher rate of fire the Plasma Blaster affords gives it a tactical edge when engaging in assaults. What differentiates this "Combi-Plasma" from other Combi-Plasmas is that this thing is literally two fully-functional Plasma Guns that can last the entire battle or more if you still have flasks left, while the Plasma Guns fitted to general Combi-weapons are only worth a single shot.
Fusil is a type of light flintlock musket, hence the term for a person using one, "Fusilier". The word "Fusil" itself is derived from "Foisil" which means "Flint".
Unlike the previous Plasma Caliver, the Phased Plasma-Fusil is the proper Plasma Gun equivalent of the Mechanicum in terms of application beyond infantry. The 30k Mechanicum's favorite weapon in a 40 watt range, the Phased Plasma-Fusil is tremendously effective against Marines as you might expect. While the Plasma Caliver is only carried by the Skitarii, the Phased Plasma-Fusil is also mounted on vehicles apart from being an option for Thallaxii. The most distinctive features of this gun is the fact that it has two barrels, and the fact that it is slender. You can probably tell that it looks pretty unremarkable when not carried by the relatively smaller Thallaxii and Tech-Priests (and their Servitors). So, vehicles: the Minotaur artillery tank of the Ordo Reductor may use the Phased Plasma-Fusil as its side weapon; and although technically not exclusively Mechanicum, the Magaera variant of the Questoris Knights has one in place of where the Heavy Stubber or Meltagun should be. As one of the few Plasma weapons that do not Get Hot at all, it is typically treated as an Assault 3 weapon because most troops equipped with the Phased Plasma-Fusil are Relentless for some reason or another. Extremely solid choice to increase the fire rate of Thallaxii or to make a death star of Myrmidons roll up in a Triaros and start tearing into Marines with two of these Fusils each.
Also shares the name with a Hrud (Warp) Plasma weapon weapon favored by mercenaries and Inquisitors, although this is likely coincidence or owed to naming conventions, as the two weapons are quite different.
Because, apart from the Dark Angels, Space Marines are rather lacking in terms of Plasma weaponry, Primaris Marines have their own dedicated squad composition with its very own Plasma weaponry.
Imperium-produced Plasma weapons all fire searing bursts of energy, but the Mark III Belisarius-pattern Plasma Incinerator primarily used by the Primaris Hellblaster Marines is the most advanced of its kind, firing a potent armor-melting blast with no risk of overload for the first time since the days of the Horus Heresy. The same cannot be said when the Plasma Incinerator is fired on its deadly overcharged setting, however. So, this Plasma Incinerator here can fire at more or less the same potency as an overcharged Plasma Gun and a little extra range without any safety concerns to trouble you with, but still has an Overcharged mode just in case that Hellblaster Marine is feeling a little lucky for that extra punch. The Plasma Incinerator distinctively features a part which looks to be a high-speed autoloader similar to the Assault Bolter as well as the Auto Bolt Rifle. Unlike most Plasma Guns out there, the Plasma Incinerator uses two hydrogen flasks at a time instead of the conventional one at a time. Perhaps the high-speed autoloader is there to push the extra plasma out. On the other hand, the one of the two might be the actual flask that is used, while the other is a spare attached close by to improve reloading speed. Distinctively, the gun also comes with a handle for you to carry with convenience while you wait for the thing to cool down.
Possibly either Mark I or Mark II of the Belisarius-pattern, the Assault Plasma Incinerator is more at home with the regular Plasma Gun where range is concerned. It is, however, a little bit different in terms of capability when compared to the regular Plasma Incinerator. The fuel flask intake is tilted clockwise possibly for a better grip. The Assault Plasma Incinerator is also fitted with presumably laser and another sophisticated targeting sights because for the reduced rate of fire, you've got to be doubly sure of making that hot shot count.
Possibly either Mark I or Mark II of the Belisarius-pattern, the Heavy Plasma Incinerator is at about the same level as a Plasma Cannon in terms of punch. Presumably, the extra range comes from the juices of the power pack which is connected to the gun. Shunning magazines altogether, this gun/cannon uses a feed line connected to a backpack/fuel tank that is stuck right on top the power pack. The backpack also features three extra ports. These are possibly additional hydrogen flasks for the Hellblaster Marine to swap the Heavy Plasma Incinerator into a regular Plasma Incinerator when the backpack runs out of fuel.
We can now see that early in the list, our next Plasma gun is already a full-fledged vehicle-mounted weapon because it's too large to carry around.
The exceptions to that rule are the Space Marines because they're big and wear Power Armor. Although the Sisters of Battle do wear Power Armor as well, we can probably infer that the power packs carried by the Sisters are not enough to charge the Plasma Cannon up, while the larger Space Marines with larger power packs may afford to do so. Outside of the Power Armor ring, the Plasma Cannon remains a weapon to be installed on vehicles. Apart from the Servitors and influential/fortunate Hive World gangs, you won't see a Heavy Weapons Team with Plasma Cannons because you have to remember that this technology is pretty rare, and it shouldn't be installed on something less protective than in the hull of a Leman Russ Battle Tank and, strangely enough, an Armored Sentinel. Of course, Dreadnoughts may use this also because they're Space Marines made even larger. By being a larger Plasma Gun, the Plasma Cannon delivers destruction over a much larger area; several individuals may be caught in a single blast. The blast itself is also a little different from the usual Plasma Guns. Instead of a small "pulse," the Plasma Cannon fires out a larger "ball" of boiling nuclear energy which looks more or less like a miniature star, hence the "Sun Gun" moniker.
8th Edition introduces a couple more of Plasma Cannon variants mostly for representing a different effect when things go wrong just because the safety is turned off.
Continuing the early firearms theme at the size of what we would call cannons for the Mechanicus is the Plasma Culverin.
There seems to be a running theme between the Mechanicus and rapid-firing Plasma weaponry, because the Plasma Culverin is also the Dakka-friendly kind on a bigger scale. In fact, the whole thing looks just like the Plasma Caliver in design concept. Since it is much bigger, it will be too unwieldy for an average Skitarius to carry around. Unless said Skitarius happens to be an Ogryn or something, the Plasma Culverin currently sees usage with Servitors, specifically Kataphron Battle Servitors, more specifically the Destroyer kind that actually carries around the big guns like this or the Heavy Grav Cannon. Plasma Culverins sacrifice the range of their cannon-pattern equivalents in exchange for a higher rate of fire. Only the Adeptus Mechanicus dare coax such rampant destruction from their Plasma weaponry, yet to the adepts of Ryza in particular, the scars they leave on wielder and war zone alike are considered quite normal. Since it is essentially a larger Plasma Caliver, and Skitarii usually handle with weapons which are also usually outright lethal to people who aren't half-machine, the Plasma Culverin might actually be that much dangerous to the wielder, and so it is carried by Servitors who are half-dead along with already being half-machine.
Because of its low damage per high rate of fire, the Plasma Culverin is applied as a Plasma Gatling to "accommodate" horde armies.
What makes the Plasma Destroyer different from your regular Plasma Cannons is that it is big enough to be considered a main gun.
Certainly, the Plasma Destroyer is too big to be carried by Space Marines or mounted on flimsy walkers like Sentinels. The only pattern we know so far for this class of Plasma weaponry is the Executioner-pattern Plasma Destroyer mounted on the eponymous Leman Russ loadout; Space Marines used to install this same type of cannon on their Deimos Predators too, but those tanks have been reduced to relics by the present age. The following is why plasma tanks are so hard to come by here. The Plasma Destroyer is produced at Ryza, a Forge World that is the capital of plasma and magnetic containment field, both of which an essential component when you want to make Plasma weapons. Concerning the performance, the Plasma Destroyer is a rather volatile for a cannon with only 12 shots worth of plasma before running out of juice; to recharge, it uses photonic fuel cells, one at a time. Heat management is a critical factor when handling this weapon. In fact, the Leman Russ needs to be modified to accommodate heat vents as such to not melt the insides out. There is also an emergency coolant system by the rear of the cannon, but since the damn tube is outside and vulnerable to damage by stray fires or something, the fail-safe usually doesn't work, so most tank crews usually ditch the tank when it starts to get too hot and the Commissar isn't watching.
There seems to be a distinct difference between a couple of Plasma Destroyers: the Executioner Plasma Cannon that is mounted on the Leman Russ chassis deployed by the Imperial Guard (that we have taken liberty to refer as "Plasma Destroyer" since it is at about the same size anyway), and the Plasma Destroyer that is mounted on the Predator chassis used by Space Marines. We can see that by appearance alone, where the Executioner Plasma Cannon looks to be a giant Plasma Cannon, the Plasma Destroyer seems to be more like the next size of the Plasma Blaster. What makes the Plasma Destroyer more reliable? It doesn't get hot. Recently, this translates to not letting you take your chances and overcharge its shots.
Plasma Storm Battery
Just like the Plasma Talon, the Plasma Storm Battery is also a twin-linked Plasma weapon of sort.
Unlike the Plasma Talon, this thing is a much bigger talon used by the Ravenwing on their much bigger Land Speeder Vengeance for an occasion there is a much bigger prey that needs a much bigger Plasma bombardment. Yes, complementing the Heavy Bolter or Assault Cannon of the Vengeance is a couple of Plasma Cannons. Like a supernova born amid the fire of battle, the blast of the Plasma Storm Battery annihilates anything it touches. Whether spitting multiple bolts of energy or loosing a single, monstrous blast, this weapon spells death to all before it. A Plasma Storm Battery is a relic weapon long held in the armory of The Rock. Normally a Land Speeder shouldn't be able to bear the weight of two Plasma Cannons and another Astartes controlling the turret, but not only is the chassis of the Land Speeder Vengeance much bigger, it also has superior lift-engines to carry the heavy weaponry. By service records, the Plasma Storm Battery is the senior equipment compared to the Land Speeder it is mounted on, which was discovered recently at around M36. The Dark Angels just noticed that the new big Land Speeder can carry the Storm Battery and promptly installed it. The original purpose of the Plasma Storm Battery is unknown, though we can perhaps suppose that it used to be mounted on larger relic vehicles such as Deimos Predators.
Do note that it is not recommended to fire this weapon on Supercharge; since all Imperial armies ran out of vehicle weapon-coolant somewhere during 4th Edition, firing this baby in that mode will likely result in multiple mortal wounds, quickly killing the land speeder itself.
Hellfire Plasma Cannonade
As the Devastator of Dreadnoughts, of course, the Deredeo chassis has access to a true Plasma Cannon equivalent, and it shoots like a machine gun.
Alright, that is probably an exaggeration. The Hellfire Plasma Cannonade is a development from existing Plasma-based weapons technology. It was in its experimental, field-testing stage by the onset of the Horus Heresy. The Hellfire is clearly the Imperium's attempt on making Plasma cannons that can fire a lot of miniature stars at a time. It sacrifices range which is something of a standard quality for the Deredeo's armaments for increased armor penetration as well as the aforementioned rate of fire. As a bonus, it may also a fire a one huge blast like what a Plasma weapon should be able to. Fast-forward to 40k with 8th Edition, however, the Hellfire Plasma Cannonade has lost its ability to fire one huge blast, which isn't really as bad as it seems since the Hellfire is supposed to be a Plasma cannon battery that shoots out a lot of Plasma in a short period of time. And for some reason in the present age, it is referred to as Carronade instead of Cannonade. The present rendition is likely a typo, since Carronade is a short but powerful cannon mounted on 18th–19th century warships, while the Cannonade refers to a continuous discharge of heavy gunfire. Clearly, despite being short-ranged like a Carronade, the Hellfire is a Cannonade with its high rate of fire.
Another Primaris-exclusive Plasma weapon since a couple of this can be mounted on a Primaris-exclusive vehicle.
Possibly a derivative from the Plasma Incinerator family along with the Plasma Exterminator, the Plasma Eradicator with a similarly intimidating name is perhaps a cousin to the Macro- variant. The Plasma Eradicator may be installed on both side turrets of the Astraeus Super-heavy Tank favored by the Primaris Space Marines as an alternative to the Las-rippers. Concerning firepower, the Plasma Eradicator is more or less similar, but not the same compared to the Macro Plasma Incinerator with a similar size, but the super-heavy tank makes up for that by being so heavy enough to mount two on its sponsons. Since the design of the Astraeus was actually based from a recovered STC with some additions here and there from Cawl's part, it is likely that the Plasma Eradicator was one of such additions, modified a little to become a weapon fitting for a heavy hovering tank and not a heavy Redemptor Dreadnought. Since the Plasma Eradicators are not only cheaper than the Las-rippers, but also provide more range that is a whopping extra 12", they are 90% of the time a better choice for you to live with; being within the 24" range will put the Astraeus in danger of being chopped up by enemy Knights or other equivalents, not to mention making it a prime target for most Plasma weapons from the other side.
You'd think a tank that big would be able to feed more juice into its Plasma Eradicators.
Macro Plasma Incinerator
The Plasma Cannon size of the Plasma Incinerator family alongside the Heavy variant, notice the "Macro" prefix if the looks of it is not obvious enough for you.
In a similar fashion to how the Heavy Plasma Incinerator is a relatively smaller for better handling by the Primaris Hellblasters, the Macro Plasma Incinerator is just simply a bit too large to carry alone. In their army, if Space Marines can't carry the weapon, then the Dreadnoughts will. For this particular cannon, not just every Dreadnought will do. It has to be the new Redemptor chassis which is also exclusive for the new Primaris Marines possibly due to being designed exclusively for it; regular Dreadnoughts can probably carry it, but likely don't have enough juice to fire the thing. For now, only Redemptor Dreadnoughts are compatible with the Macro Plasma Incinerator by having a better engine. To highlight the exclusiveness, it might have been tailored specifically for the Redemptor Dreadnought, which is a good reason to why we don't see this thing used elsewhere. Appearance-wise, it has a total of five flask-like objects attached to it. The three big ones are likely the fuel cells which are also likely used one at a time. The other two flasks might either be spares or possibly some sort of coolant. Since Primaris Hellblasters tend to handle with Plasma weaponry for the most part, the Macro Plasma Incinerator is a great familiar option for a Redemptor Dreadnought who was a Hellblaster back when he still had more limbs to speak of.
The Macro Plasma Incinerator is essentially a giant plasma gun made (possibly exclusively) for a pattern of giant Dreadnoughts. With a little adjustment, other bigger present Dreadnoughts might be able to use it.
Hellex Plasma Mortar
Instead of the usual cannon, the Hellex is a mortar, which means it shoots the Plasma up instead of the usual front.
Now, Plasma Mortars are certainly not new. Starforts for one may have them as part of their collection of batteries. In fact, it isn't that strange for a mortar or two to be used on naval ships of the past – the bomb ketch is a good example. As shown in Eternal Crusade, the Plasma Cannon may also double as a Plasma Mortar by aiming significantly higher, which is probably why there isn't a Plasma Mortar proper available. What makes the Hellex much more in line as a mortar is its payload. Deployed by Siege-Automata Legio Cybernetica under the Thanatar class, the Plasma coming from the Hellex they carry comes in a shell, but not the regular kind. Shunning the crude shells favored by most siege guns, the Hellex Plasma Mortar fires high-density charges of burning Plasma in programmed trajectory arcs timed to detonate over their targets. These airbursts create rolling waves of incinerating energy which engulf the surrounding area, burning through anything they encountered. The Hellex doesn't fire out raw Plasma. It shoots out a shell filled with raw Plasma, and detonate it over its targets – it fires out a star that promptly explodes. This results in a Plasma Wave that will definitely do a lot of damage over the perimeter. Though a debris might be able to cover you from regular mortar shells, you might need to pray to your god(s) for this one.
There are some of additional points for the Hellex Plasma Mortar. On tabletop, the Plasma Wave essentially means you (or your opponent if you're using one) have to re-roll your successful cover saves. Because being stationary means more time to probably balance itself, the Thanatar will be able to shoot with the Hellex doubly further if it didn't move at that moment. Finally when assembling the model, the end of the barrel may be flared out if you prefer the sight of a blooming flower that shoots out miniature stars a few moments before going supernova over the poor sods over at the other side.
8th Edition brought out a lot of new Plasma weapons, and the Plasma Decimator is another one of them.
The Plasma Decimator is mounted as one of the two primary weapons of the Knight Castellan, Dominus-class chassis. It is a huge and obliterative weapon capable of bathing swathes of the battlefield in searing energies and reducing the enemy to glowing ashes. Because it is a Dominus Knight, it possesses dual plasma cores, which translates to more energy to feed into more and larger weapons these Knights carry to battle. Appearance-wise, this cannon seems to be the next size after the Plasma Culverin. It is one of the few instances where a rather Mechanicum-exclusive weapon makes its way to other Imperium forces, Imperial-aligned Castellan Knights for this case. Pilots of the Knight Castellan are adept at regulating the flow of that abundance of plasmic energy to this potent weapon, even if it risks rustling the Machine Spirits' jimmies in order to unleash an especially ferocious blast should the situation demand it. Simply put, it's just a fancy description for the signature Supercharge affiliated with most Plasma weaponry. Fundamentally speaking, the Plasma Decimator is one of the smaller, pseudo-Titan-sized middle finger graciously-signed to an entire horde of MEQs charging up their way. With the Plasma Decimator, you will be shit-firing plasma from your Knight Castellan at up to 48" across the board.
Of course and as stated, like all Plasma should be, even Knights have to deal with the volatility of that class of weaponry, so supercharge this gun at your own risk and volition.
Unlike the usual kind, this Plasma Decimator is exclusive to Mechanicum-aligned Knights Castellan.
So, why is it named after a certain Tech-priest we know? You see, while our illustrious Archmagos Belisarius Cawl was working on some advanced Plasma weapons technology that ended up with the Primaris Marines – particularly to reduce the size to increase portability – some time around the centuries that took the work, he made this singular Plasma Decimator. Its enhanced containment fields and Machine Spirit data-shackles allow it to generate even more lethal volumes of energy than a typical example of such a weapon. The cannon itself was likely assembled as a testing bed for the containment fields which are crucial to Plasma weaponry, and/or the data-shackles that supposedly keep the Machine Spirit in line so that the system doesn't break down and explode or something. After confirming his results after a session or two of test firing, Cawl probably went back to his labs and told the Knight Castellan to take Cawl's Wrath home in a show of generosity, or the Knight just went home with Cawl's Wrath because his/her House sponsored that part of the project for the better Plasma Decimator. Since Cawl spent most of his working hours over the thousands of years on Mars, the Knight House in question is likely House Taranis, or any other unknown Houses that just so happens to be on Mars.
On the tabletop, it is simply a more potent Plasma Decimator available to Knights Castellan whose loyalties lie to the Machine God.
With a seemingly less intimidating name, the Plasma Blastgun is where we jump to the super-heavy class of this kind of weaponry. It also seems to be the next size after the Plasma Destroyer.
The Plasma Blastgun is, by all means, sized for a Titan. In fact, Warhound Titans may carry these as one – or both – of their primary armaments, and the larger sizes such as the Reaver and the Warlord may mount them as secondary weapons by what we anatomically call the shoulders. Continuing the tradition, the Imperium unsurprisingly straps this gun on tanks as well. The Stormblade, a Shadowsword variant, distinctively uses it as its main gun. The Macharius chassis, though smaller in size, also mounts the gun in a similar manner, though that variant in question is a little inferior. It was discovered relatively recently as a Plasma Blastgun that is more compact and easier to maintain. The prospect of churning out more tanks with guns that fire out hot plasma came with a drawback – only about three Forge Worlds know make the damn thing. Speaking of variants, the Plasma Blastgun on the Stormblade was exactly the same Plasma Blastgun used by Titans. Recently, a distinction has been made since it is obvious that the colossal Titans have more room to accommodate support systems such as that of power and cooling than a super-heavy tank. The Plasma Blastgun on Titans are obviously much better to shoot with. Despite being less powerful, the difference made by the one on Stormblades is surprisingly range when compared by overcharging.
It is not recommended to stand near a Plasma Blastgun unprotected since when this thing vents out heat with you standing nearby, fourth-degree burns will probably be the least of your worries.
The Plasma Destructor is an even bigger Plasma cannon that seems to have been forgotten and mothballed with the Plasma Annihilators.
While the smaller Titan classes such as the Warhound and the Reaver are stuck with the Plasma Blastgun, Warlord Battle Titans has the Plasma Destructor here as an option. Fun fact: way back in the ancient days with Adeptus Titanicus, this gun was called Plasma Cannon, and the smaller Plasma Blastgun was just Plasma Gun. Later on to the 2nd Edition of Epic with Codex Titanicus, they acquired themselves the new names we have here. The Plasma Destructor is so powerful that even for a Titan, it cannot do anything else after firing for a while; it takes that much power to fire the Plasma Destructor. As of recent, this quality isn't mentioned in its Apocalypse incarnation, though the high power demand should secure its place to nothing less than the Warlord size. And since the Plasma Destructor is considered to be at the size for Warlord Titans, some has suspected that the modern Sunfury Plasma Annihilator to be equipped as a primary weapon for the modern Warlord Titan is in fact a Plasma Destructor. But since there hasn't been an official model for this distinctively-shaped Plasma cannon since the Epic age, the Plasma Destructor is merely a fading memory while other Plasma weapons have moved on with models we can actually recognize and say, "Yeah, that's definitely a Plasma."
Footnote: unlike its incarnation in Apocalypse, the Plasma Destructors back in those distant days may also be shoulder-mounted as well.
This is the point where the gun is big enough to be worth mounting as an emplacement on a bastion.
The Plasma Obliterator is just at about that size. It may be mounted on Aquila Strongpoints. These things are really, really rare. Although Plasma weapons are established to be pretty rare on their own, this one has a special garnish on its cake. Aquila Strongpoints with Plasma Obliterators installed on were designed by Rogal Dorn during his fortification spree for the Horus Heresy. Because Plasma weapons are pretty good at killing traitor Space Marines, the man himself made sure pop huge varieties on defense lines. Sadly, ten thousand years is a heck of a long time, and the Mechanicum doesn't seem to be building new ones to replace the old ones which were destroyed. Those cogboys are probably more at peace with reserving giant Plasma guns for their God-Machine Titans. Since the Plasma Obliterator is only about second to the Plasma Annihilator below in terms of sheer power, the size might be that of a Plasma Destructor. Plasma Destructors are also kind of short for something that big, and the relatively short Plasma Obliterator fits that criterion as well. Although a Primarch, we don't really hear that much about Dorn's engineering prowess; he probably isn't at the same level as Manus and Vulkan. The Plasma Obliterator is less likely a new weapon entirely designed by Dorn, but more of a Plasma Destructor appropriated by Dorn for fortification.
Since Aquila Strongpoints are reserved for things that are big and bold like Macrocannons, the Plasma Obliterator is perhaps also similar to the Plasma Projectors mounted on voidships.
Walking cathedrals deserve no less than a gigantic cannon that fires out giant gouts of Plasma on one arm (or both).
A weapon of terrifying and indiscriminate power, the Plasma Annihilator is capable of incinerating entire cityscapes and rendering the strongest armor into steaming vapor. Developed from designs intended for the broadside batteries of void warships, Plasma Annihilators are able to be mounted only on the largest of the Imperium's war machines. Since the Plasma Blastgun is already the limit for super-heavies such as the Shadowsword chassis, the Plasma Annihilator seems to be reserved to nothing less than a building, or the kind that moves such as the bigger Battle Titans, as they have both the reactor-strength required to charge them and the motive power to wield them into the fighting. The blatantly intimidating name is also not just for show: the Plasma Annihilator annihilates. Not only is its payload big and bold, creating humongous craters as well as turning surround sands into glass, it also has a high rate of fire to keep that payload coming. Indeed, the weapon is so loud that those glass might as well shatter few moments after being made by the previous shot. Emperor-class Battle Titans can afford that much destructive capability simply because they have a "dynamic" reactor, which essentially means they have much more power than lower-tier Titans.
The Sunfury pattern is a recent rendition of the Plasma Annihilator mounted as the primary gun of Warlord Titans.
|Weapons of the Genestealer Cults|
|Sidearms:|| Autopistol - Bolt Pistol - Hand Flamer - Laspistol |
Needle Pistol - Web Pistol - Liberator Autostub
|Basic Weapons:||Autogun - Lasgun - Shotgun - Webber - Storm Bolter|
|Special Weapons:|| Flamer - Grenade Launcher - Sniper Rifle - Mining Laser |
Silencer Sniper Rifle - Proclamaitor Hailer - Scrambler Array
|Heavy Weapons:|| Autocannon - Heavy Bolter - Heavy Flamer - Heavy Stubber |
Missile Launcher - Mortar - Multi-laser - Seismic Cannon
Heavy Mining Laser - Atalan Incinerator - Multi-Melta
Plasma Cannon - Lascannon
| Battle Cannon - Clearance Incinerator - Eradicator Nova Cannon |
Heavy Seismic Cannon - Hunter-Killer Missile
|Melee Weapons|| Chain Weapon - Power Weapon - Tyranid Close Combat Weapons |
Heavy Rock Drill - Heavy Rock Cutter - Heavy Rock Saw
Miscellaneous Weapons - Basic Close Combat Weapons
Chaos Plasma Weapons
Chaos Plasma Weapons are basically the same as the Imperium's but with more spikes, Chaos decorations and they fire crimson red plasma rather than the Imperium's blue. However they do have a few Plasma weapon exclusively designed by Chaos, for Chaos.
A Plasma-ish weapon that doesn't seem to settle on whether it wants to be called "Æther-Fire" or "Æther-Flame".
Either way, the Æther-Fire Cannon is an option for the Castellax-Achea Battle-Automata to take instead of the usual Mauler Bolt Cannon loaded with psychoreactive toxins (also known as nerve agents). While the Castellax-Achea itself was developed by a Forge World with a Chaos Dwarfs-ish name, Zhao-Arkhad, the Æther-Fire Cannon is a later development by the Techmarine artificers of the Pyrae Cult – Bright Wizards of the Thousand Sons. This obviously modified Plasma weapon was developed with occult lore as well as the unique "techno-arcana" of the aforementioned Zhao-Arkhad. Aside from the psychic robots, Thousand Sons who happen to carry a Plasma Cannon may switch to this Æther-Fire Cannon instead. On the tabletop, the Æther-Fire Cannon basically adds ten points of Soul Blaze to a Plasma Cannon. If this is bought, all such guns in the unit must be upgraded in the same manner. Although it is nice of them to push the under-used Soul Blaze rule, a whole squad of 5+ Plasma Cannons is likely going to erase or cripple anything remotely susceptible to Soul Blaze anyway. Given that a whole squad of Plasma-Cannoneers will fork out 100pts for what is basically a one or three of Bolter hits a turn... you can see why Soul Blaze is under-used in the first place. If you've got a Castellax-Achea rolling around with 15pts to spare, you might want to consider this.
It is unknown whether the present Thousand Sons still have this psychic-Plasma Cannon at their disposal, or what kind of work a thousands of years in the Warp has done to it.
GW wanted to give Chaos Plasma a distinctive name. Thankfully, there's already a "Plasma" in "Ectoplasma".
For the most part, an Ectoplasma Cannon can be found as a weapon on the Forgefiend Daemon Engine when the guys who make it want to try something else instead of the usual Hades Autocannons. The pulsing energies of a Forgefiend’s furnace are not always employed to produce solid ammunition. Some sport flex-sheathed Plasma weapons of ancient design, weapons so large they would look more at home on a light aircraft than a land-bound walker. Those Daemon-beasts the Imperium have nicknamed Cerberites bear no less than three of these Ectoplasma Cannons, one mounted on each weapon-limb and one jutting out from their maws. Gargoyle-mouthed and drizzling balefire, the searing energies these devastating weapons hurl outwards are a hybrid of Plasma and burning ectoplasm channeled straight from the Forgefiend’s tainted heart consisting of raw daemonic energy from the Warp and fire tortured, screaming souls. Presumably, the Forgefiend eats stuff to make bullets for the Hades, so it wouldn't be too far-fetched to say that Forgefiends with Ectoplasma Cannons eat, well, people. The Ectoplasma Cannons were once prized artifacts, dating back to before the Heresy, but the Warpsmiths have perverted them into something far worse. In practice, it certainly has become better in regard of not getting hot as of recent.
The Hellwrights themselves seem to also have access to the Ectoplasma technology. A couple of variants, both of which notable weapons hardly found in the present age, have been corrupted into an Ectoplasma alternative. Although we do not know for sure what exactly the Ectoplasma Cannon used to be, we are certainly sure for the following two. The Ectoplasma Blaster is just that, corrupted Plasma Blasters mounted in the fists of Contemptor Dreadnoughts. There is also the Ectoplasma Battery, which is a warped variant of the Hellfire Plasma Cannonade mounted on Deredeo Dreadnoughts. Unlike the Ectoplasma Cannon, these two will still overheat if you're not careful/lucky with it. Perhaps it has something to do with how Dreadnoughts are not Daemon Engines.
And yeah, yeah, cue the Ghostbusters theme.
Tau Plasma Weapons
The Tau make extensive use of Plasma technology. In fact, almost all of their weapons are plasma-based in one form or another.
Tau plasma weapons generally shoot the same globes of magnetically- shielded overheated plasma as imperial ones, but do not suffer from the "Gets Hot" rule as they are less powerful than Imperial models and are somewhat lighter. Unlike imperial plasma weapons Tau ones only rely on energy to fire, rather than a combination of energy supply and chemical fuel.
Fun With Fluff
Thanks to 8th's new Overcharge Mechanics T'au plasma weapons got a substantial nerf. The lower power was a reflection of the fact that T'au weapons didn't Overheat. Now that people can choose whether or not their weapons overheat through the overcharge profile, T'au having a lower Strength is both meaningless and a secondary nerf to Crisis and Broadside suits who have already suffered nerfs via cost increases. Plasma weapons aren't that worth it anymore.
The Plasma Rifle is essentially a Plasma Gun with its safety engaged. If you want their "Plasma" weapon that does blow up like a Plasma should, check out their Ion arsenal below.
Indeed, the Plasma Rifle is the Plasma Gun equivalent for the Battlesuits. The only difference it has to our usual Plasma Gun is that this thing is actually safe, relatively speaking, which translates to a lower power output compared to the Plasma weaponry of their oppositions. In practice, this is the only Plasma proper weapon widely available to the Tau since their Plasma Cannon below were in its field-testing stage by the time of the Taros Campaign. Although it is called a "Rifle", the range of this gun does not surpass our usual Plasma Gun at all. The lack of punch compared to what the Imperium has to offer is probably why the Tau upscaled it into their Plasma Cannon. For the XV8 Crisis Battlesuit, the Plasma Rifle is available as a primary weapon option. A couple of Plasma Rifles may be installed instead of the Smart Missile System over the shoulder of the XV88 Broadside Battlesuit – the same can be said for the XV104 Riptide Battlesuit as well. Recently, the Plasma Rifle used by Commander Farsight now has "High-intensity" attached to it, no doubt to differentiate from the rest of those used by the other Battlesuits. The High-intensity Plasma Rifle is a much better variant overall, powerful, with the same range as the Plasma Incinerator as well.
It really looks like the Plasma Incinerator, doesn't it?
Plasma Accelerator Rifle
The lack of "Plasma" weaponry with the Tau does not mean they neglect working on this branch of their tech tree. The Plasma Accelerator Rifle is one of the recent developments available on the field.
In fact, the Plasma Accelerator Rifle is also one of the deadliest inventions from Bork’an’s renowned science divisions, blending pulse-induction technology with a high-yield plasma generator. No, the gun does not have a metal detector mounted on it, probably. "Pulse-induction" most likely refers to their Pulse technology below which also shoots Plasma, though indirectly since it's not Plasma that comes out of the barrel. The Plasma Accelerator Rifle, on the other hand, uses Pulse technology in conjunction with proper Plasma technology. The result is a long-range armor-piercing weapon that is highly effective against both infantry and light vehicles. Now, plasma acceleration is actually a thing, and it does so through an electric field which we may correlate to the embedded Pulse tech. This E-field in particular is also special in its own way, since it also must be associated with the electron plasma wave (plasma oscillation) or other kinds with "high-gradient plasma structures" as well. Do not actually take any of our word for this, though, since the closest thing most of us get to being scientists is using a search engine. Relatively speaking since the Tau practically steamrolls through achievements, it really took the Earth Caste quite a while to figure out that they should try to combine two similarly "Plasma" weapon systems together.
It seems to be a matter of time before those nerds figure out how to incorporate their Ion technology as well in order to unite the Plasma trinity together in a single frame. Right now, the Plasma Accelerator Rifle is probably still under the early stages of field-testing – a single Battlesuit may be found with one attached in a Bork'an force, and its effectiveness is at about the same level as Farsight's High-intensity Plasma Rifle with a little difference.
Tau Plasma Cannon
Forge World produces a turret for the Hammerhead Gunship that lets it mount a twin-linked Plasma Cannon instead of a railgun or ion cannon. This gun first saw use during the Taros Campaign where it was 'coincidentally' being field tested there, this gave the Tau much needed boost in their little Weeaboo hands to counteract heavy Imperial firepower.
Basically an enlarged Plasma Rifle grown a tad bit too big. Because of this, they are more powerful than their little kinder and also fire more rapidly. However, a Plasma Cannon sacrifices some of its armor penetration power for this advantage, making it similar in damage output to an Ion Cannon.
Unlike imperial Plasma Cannons, it does not cover the small area with a plasma blast, rather fires in bursts, which means it's more suited for vaporizing singular big targets rather than groups of heavy infantry stupid enough to clump up.
Most Tau plasma weapons are "pulse weapons," which shoot a particle that super heats the air in its immediate vicinity due to its extreme level of excitement. Unlike what many people think, it does not fire plasma. It shoots individual, energized particles. The same thing as a Disruptor Macrocannon except in fires a single particle instead of a shell of particles. The glow is from the particle hitting the air, effectively turning it into plasma. Pulse weapons are as much of a "basic" weapons as shuriken weapons are basic eldar guns, or bolt weapons are basic non-cannon fodder Imperium guns, but they are superior to both in terms of power and effective range, with only ballancing point being they are mounted on rather human-like Fire Warriors. (And Bladestorm)
Predictably, a pistol-sized pulse weapon. A Pulse Pistol is a far smaller version of the Tau Pulse Rifle. As a pistol-sized Pulse Weapon, it is only used by certain Tau personnel as a basic defence and hold-out weapon for use in desperate situations.
The only time you'll see one of these on the board is if a battlesuit equips an ejection system and the pilot bails out (5th edition) or on a Sniper Drone spotter (6th edition). Hilariously, this thing manages to retain the same shot-for-shot power as a full-sized pulse rifle.
In a hilarious part of 40k fluff (Depends on whether you find a dead Fishface turned into a Fishcake hilarious), a lone Tau Water Caste was trying to secretly kill a Smurf by pretending to talk the angry blueman down through the use of Diplomacy. This includes the use of speaking to him of Ultramarine culture and whether it would be considered honorable to kill an 'unarmed' woman and what Papa Smurf would think of this dishonor. Her weapon of choice? A Pulse Pistol. Yes you heard us right, a Tau bred to be diplomats first and soldiers later actually thought it was a good idea to kill a supersoldier with lightning fast reflexes at close range with what counts as a
slightly much more powerful flashlight. Suffice to say, in a rare stroke of Awesome, Cato Sicarius of ALL people saw through her Bullshit and proceeded to flatten and crush her to death with his hueg augmented blueberry muscles.
The Pulse Rifle is the basic firearm used by Fire Warrior squads, and occasionally Gue'vesa and Kroot who earn the trust of their Tau comrades. In terms of crunch, these things have better range and power than lasguns and even regular bolters. The fluff tends to respect this too, and the first Ravenor novel mentions a Guardsman who (rightly) ditched his own weapon in favor of a scavenged pulse rifle. Whilst they can fire on automatic, they aren't good at it and users are expected to pick and choose their shots rather than fill the air with energy rounds. The increased range appears to be due in part to a built-in gyrostabilizer -- that little circle gizmo at the end of the barrel (at least, according to Fantasy Flight Games' Rogue Trader RPG).
The Pulse Rifle was developed early in the Tau Empire's history, shortly after the end of the Mont'au. It was introduced during the Campaign of Scouring against the Orks, where it proved essential to victory.
A more Dakka version of the regular Pulse Rifle.
Basically a pulse rifle with shorter barrel, better portability, slightly higher full-auto fire range but no single shot long range mode. These usually come equipped with a photon grenade launcher to pin down enemy infantry and markerlights and are given to scouts and bodyguards, or attached to drones. You can choose to give these to your Fire Warriors for free, which is now actually not a bad choice for Devilfish squad.
Like most Tau weapons, this little thing was invented to counteract the swarm tactics of the Orks, suffice to say, the high rate of fire and the blinding effects of a photon grenade worked wonders against the greenskins, especially in close combat where the Tau are most vulnerable in being turned into fishballs on a stick.
They are frequently wielded by Tau Pathfinders and Gun Drones.
In the All Guardsman Party, they are a favored weapon due to the punch and full auto. They were disguised as lasguns, but as of the latest, they lost them.
Longshot Pulse Rifle
A long-barreled variant of the Pulse rifle that can be used as a sniper rifle. Fairly standard as far as sniper rifles go except they have a greater rate of fire (read: Rapid Fire type) and usually built in the called Sniper drones.
They are lethal weapons capable of sending plasma pulses over great distances, a well-placed shot from a Longshot Pulse Rifle is capable of taking out any target.
Longshot Pulse Rifles were a lethal fruit of the Pulse Weapon technology first developed during the Tau Empire’s Campaign of Cleansing from 606.M38 to 792.M38, the first prolonged war of the Tau against the Orks (AKA Tau target practice/living experiments). Whilst the Tau suffered many defeats early on, they were ultimately able to eradicate the Greenskins, thanks in part to the Earth Caste refinement of the first Pulse Weapons. As a result of this campaign, the Dal'yth Sept was successfully founded.
The Pulse Blaster, also known as a Pulse Shotgun, is a type of Tau Pulse Weapon. Commonly used by Fire Warrior Breacher Teams. Similar to the Human Shotgun in function, the Pulse Blaster is designed to deliver powerful close-range firepower. Though the Tau are historically disdainful of close-range warfare, the Pulse Blaster had to be developed due to Tau difficulties in urban combat on labyrinthine confined Imperial Hive Worlds.
The Pulse Blaster uses a two-stage firing process to enhance its lethality of its plasma-based ammunition. When the trigger is halfway pulled, an invisible volley of negatively charged particles paint the target, followed by the full plasma payload. This causes victims to glow with a ghostly light moments before they're hit.
Crunch wise, they are the newest Pulse tool for the Fire Caste to play with, it resembles nothing more than an Over-Under Shotgun Married to an Assault Rifle; with the same rate of fire as the Pulse Carbine (Assault 2) this is the Tau's answer to Close Quarters combat, acting as a Pulse Scattergun that grows more powerful the closer the target is, at its longest range it won't even put a dent in Ork or Kroot "armour" (S:4 AP-), while at point blank range it'll tear through a Space Marine's armour and the Space Marine inside (S:6, AP3), although currently it's only seen on the Tau Fire Caste Breacher Teams.
Essentially a pulse minigun. These things are on EVERYTHING; stealthsuits, battlesuits, every single Tau vehicle, and if you include Forge World models, aircraft and drones too. For all intents and purposes, it is a Tau Assault Cannon.
With four rotating barrels to mitigate thermal stress, Burst Cannons are able to sustain ferocious rates of fire, albeit at the expense of the long ranges that many other Pulse Weapons possess. However, this drawback is usually offset by the Burst Cannon’s portability, and the maneuverability of units commonly armed with them. The most common Burst Cannon design leaves the weapon’s four barrels exposed to the environment, though certain Tau units make use of Burst Cannons that are fully enclosed with an armored sheathing.
High Output Burst Cannon
Get a regular old Burst Cannon and proceed to further increase its fire rate and rotor capabilities up to 11.
The High Output Burst Cannon is essentially a Burst Cannon given crack cocaine. Seriously it behaves like a druggie hyped up on speed. As you can imagine, this thing has a pretty difficult handling due to the amount of Dakka it can spew out within a short frame of time.
Also, it would have plenty of heat sinks for it to cool down the barrels before it reaches melting point and the whole thing
falls apart breaks apart at high velocity due to how fast the barrels are spinning, most likely decapitating a unfortunate meatshield Kroot in the process.
Found only on the XV 8-06 Coldstar Commander Suit, this weapon is the middle step between a regular Burst Cannon & the Heavy Burst Cannon, with Assault 6 & Twin-Linked, it was obviously designed as a Strafing Weapon for the airborne suit but the number of shots it puts out wouldn't do too badly against light fliers so long as you can get their RAV, roll a good dice or two and have a successful hit.
Long Barrelled Burst Cannon
A Burst Cannon given a literal penis extension.
It's in the name - a Burst Cannon with longer barrels, and thus increased effective firing range. It also has a much higher firing rate due to being mounted mostly on aircraft or tanks whose reactors can muster more energy than your average battlesuit or speeder.
It is of note that the Hammerhead gunship’s Long-Barrelled Burst Cannon also fires with more power and armour penetration per shot when compared to the standard Burst Cannon found on Battlesuits.
Heavy Burst Cannon
The Burst Cannon's abusive father.
The biggest and the most powerful weapon from the Burst Cannon line, it is capable of a ferocious rate of fire that can mow down hordes of enemies like a neckbeard on a diet on cheez whiz and crackers. It projects plasma rounds further and with greater force than normal Burst Cannons. Even in daylight, these heavy weapons produce a blinding muzzle flash, their barrels a blur of motion with the only sound the enemy is capable of hearing is a constant noise of "BRRRRRRRRRRRT!" rather than the more soothing "DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA!". It is the Tau's answer to the Imperium's Punisher Gatling Gun.
Developed during the Tau Empire's Third Sphere Expansion, it can only be found on the Riptide battlesuit so far. It fires more powerful rounds (S6 AP4) at the same rate of fire and range as the LB one, and can be overcharged with the Nova reactor to double it's firing rate and gain Rending at the cost of overheating and potentially damaging the suit.
By opening up in-built pulse induction inhibitors, a Heavy Burst Cannon can also draw upon the XV104’s Dark Matter Nova Reactor to go super saiyan, making possible a devastating storm of pulse rounds so ridiculously huge that it can crack even the toughest of armor with ease and make reinforced ceramite to cave in and bend over.
On the tabletop, the Heavy Burst Cannon is now a Heavy 12 S6 AP-1 2 D, making it much better at wiping out two-wound infantry and gives it a secondary role of killing light vehicles with its sheer number of shots.
Created by the Pulse Bomb Generators fielded on Sun Shark Bombers.
Pulse Submunition Rifle
Another "shotgun" version of the pulse rifle, this one could be found on Hazard suits, and fires what could be described as a "pulse shrapnel" shot that explodes above enemy heads, covering quite a big area with cover-ignoring pulse shots, in a way similar to railgun submunition needle packs.
While it does have a decent range, and killing power, the trade of for spreading shots is it's armour-piercing capabilities, as even the IG's Flak armour has a decent chance to hold pulse submunition shots. Nonetheless it has proven to be an awesome tools for clearing trenches and buildings from infantry, and wiping out tightly packed Ork and Tyranid hordes.
Shas’O Vesu’r Ra’lai is a notable Tau Commander who pilots an XV9 Hazard Battlesuit, and wields an experimental version of a Pulse Submunitions Rifle as his primary armament. The weapon he wields sacrifices a degree of damage and blast radius in favour of a higher rate of fire, and the ability to be loaded with several potent, limited-issue warheads. Whilst powerful, these warheads are currently experimental as their barely contained power can damage the Battlesuit itself.
Pulse Submunition Cannon
Naturally, a bigger, badder SPR, found on R'Varna battlesuit. A deadly experimental weapons system, the Pulse Submunition Cannon fires micro-cluster projectiles capable of saturating the target area in a storm of plasma pulses. Additionally, larger targets such as bulky infantry, monstrous creatures and vehicles inevitably suffer proportionally greater harm from Pulse Submunitions Cannons, as they can be struck with a wave of near-simultaneous detonations, amplifying the blast and turning them inside out. Exceptionally handy when it comes to fending off Tyranids. Some have even consider calling it as the Tyranid's Bug Spray, cause it kills them that easily. This plays on tabletop as it fires considerably more powerful shot at considerably larger range, with a cluster effect, which means the bigger the target is, the harder it gets hit.
While rifle's role is anti-infantry, the cannon's primary purpose is killing light to medium vehicles and monstrous creatures, and it's ridiculously good at it, especially against Tyranids, who tend to deploy their monsters in squads, where they can suffer from both huge blast range of the cannon and it's cluster effect.
Like the Heavy Burst Cannon, the Pulse Submunition Cannon can also nova-charge the weapon systems via its Dark Matter Nova Reactor and double their rate of fire, this is used when you absolutely must muderfuck a entire horde army up to and including hordes of gargantuan creatures.
Pulse Driver Cannon
XBAWXHUEG cannon, mounted on Stormsurge battlesuit, the Pulse Driver Cannon utilizes pulse induction fields generated by a particle accelerator to propel huge bursts of plasma over great distances and is designed for cross-battlefield destruction of enemy main battle tanks. Emitting a deep bass thrum that rises in pitch as its particle accelerator relays spool up, the cannon can build up enough force to level a building before a volley is released. The phenomenal amount of heat generated in this process is emitted through huge heat sinks built into the weapon. The Pulse Driver Cannon is capable of killing Titans (Albeit small ones).
On the tabletop, it goes way overboard with its firepower launching S10 AP2 pieplates with enough range to hit anywhere on the board, lest you play Apocalypse. And on top of that, as it's mounted on the top of a very high platform, meaning it would always have the high ground advantage.
The Pulse Blastcannon AKA the Pulse ARC Cannon is one of the largest Pulse Weapons at the Tau's disposal, employing superheated plasma on a scale that leaves only glowing craters to mark where its targets once stood. Pioneered by the finest of T'au's Earth Caste weapons scientists, the Pulse Driver Cannon is a weapon so massive in size and power that it can only be borne into battle by a dedicated artillery Ballistic Suit such as the KV128 Stormsurge. The Pulse Blastcannon uses Aggressive Reactive Charge technology (A.R.C) to hyper-accelerate plasma energy. A stream of negatively-charged particles are fired from the gun milliseconds before the main plasma charge, accelerating the plasma blast into the target to explosive effect; a shot that disperses over a wider area the further away the target.
It is common for some people to confuse the Blastcannon with the Pulse Driver Cannon due to their similarities in appearance.
Pulse Blaster in a cannon form, only slightly smaller than the Driver, it shares the short range, rapid rate of fire and "goes stronger the closer the target is" shtick with it's smaller cousin, just turned up to eleven, with the "weakest" long range mode being S9, AP5 large blast, and the "strongest" being the almighty D.
Pulse Ordnance Multi-Driver
Hey you! The Pulse Driver Cannon not doing enough Shoop Da Woop for you? Is it not killing enough superheavies fast enough for you? Do you need to compensate even further for your lack of manly parts? Fear no longer for the Tau have got your back!
Take a regular Pulse Driver Cannon and than triple the amount whilst supercharging it at the same time. You want a Weeaboo Turbo-Laser? You got one. You want a Weeaboo Turbo-Laser Destructor? Well you already have it!
The Pulse Ordnance Multi-Driver is a set of three extra-long Pulse Drivers mounted on the back of the Ta'Unar supremacy armor. This triple-barreled system is designed to combat super-heavy enemies such as Imperial Knights and Tyranid beasts.
It can either fire in volleys that will reduce entire city blocks to dust with a ridiculously accurate bombardment, or concentrate the fire of all three Drivers into one ridiculously powerful titan-killing shot. Because no kill is better than overkill.
Ion weapons are not specifically called plasma guns, but seeing as how they shoot a stream of ions at their targets, they meet the scientific definition of "plasma". Fluff says it doesn't so much fire Plasma, but shoots a stream of Ionising particles that reduce what ever the stream hits to Plasma like a bastard hate child of laser and plasma weapons, and it's pretty horrific if you think about it. Original Ion weapon technology came from one of the Tau Empire member race known as Demiurge, but then Earth caste tinkered with it for a bit, and replaced the power source with a more compact one that could also now be "overcharged" by removing its radiation shielding - this results in weapon firing single powerful blast shots instead of a torrent of weaker ones, but also runs the risk of wounding the weapon operator or damaging his suit/vehicle with a burst of ionizing radiation from the power source. Opposite to pulse weapon, which started as small arms and then evolved in to bigger and bigger weapons, ion weapons started from the biggest of the big (spaceship cannons, analogues to imperial lances), and then went the way of minimizing down to vehicle weapons, to battlesuit weapons, and finally to compact rifles.
The aforementioned new power source allowed Earth caste engineers to create a tau-portable ion weapon. The resulting weapon combines the size of a pulse rifle and the firepower of an Imperial autocannon in one deadly package.
Ion Rifles are currently only issued to Pathfinders as special weapons, where their firepower boosts the team's combat capabilities by allowing them to vaporize heavy infantry and light vehicles alike. Tau Interceptor Drones are also armed with a set of twin-linked Ion Rifles as standard weapons, which they use in conjunction with their advanced targeting systems to blow incoming aircraft out of the sky. They are basically the Tau's quintessential Lascannon equivalent or a rocket launcher equivalent.
Like it's big brother, the Ion Rifle can be overcharged for an S8 AР4 small blast, but in order to do so a soldier must expose the rifle's power source to air. This is not a good idea, considering said power source is highly radioactive. As a result, pathfinders, equipped with this weapon usually die from cancer, unless they get killed in action before (and considering the high risk of their job, there is a good chance they will).
Quad Ion Turret
Little more than four Ion Rifles duct-taped together, it is the main weapon of the Razorshark Strike Fighter. If you know how anti-tank a single Ion Rifle can be, imagine four of them synchronizing their shots for maximum FUCK. For some reason, it is never given to ground vehicles despite the benefits of a ludicrous anti-tank weapon device.
While it lacks the range and armour-piercing capability of the Ion Cannon, mounted on the Barracuda, it packs pretty much the same power per shot and even slightly higher rate of fire, and due to it's rather compact size it could be mounted on a 360° turret, making Razorshark an excellent AtG craft as opposed to more of a dogfighter of a Barrcacuda, which can only lay hate on groundpounders in strafing runs.
As with all Tau Ion Weapons, a Quad Ion Turret's design allows for the weapon to be overcharged by exposing the reactive Mor'tonium power source to the environment, though this also exposes the vehicle to the dangerous ionising radiation emitted by the Mor'tonium, and risks overloading its primary power cells. Overcharging the Quad Ion Turret allows it to generate a massive explosive blast with increased damage compared to its normal fire mode, cause why not limit yourself in the overkill department? Just don't get too surprised when all your little Tau pilots turn out every end of the battle with cancer.
On 8th edition, the Quad Ion Turret was hit with a massive nerf bat. The gun has basically been reduced to a reaper autocannon, which aren't even any good in the CSM army. Overcharge helps out a bit, granting +1 S D3 damage and D6 shots
Cyclic Ion Blaster
So the Tau heard the calls of the weird decision on not putting an anti-tank weapon such as the Quad Ion Turret on a ground vehicle. Thus, the Tau have delivered an answer to the problem. Low and behold, the Cyclic Ion Blaster is born.
Before the Ion Rifle was invented, Earth caste tried to apply Ion weapon technology to a weapon small enough to be carried by infantry or at least battlesuits - and the result of their research was a cyclic ion blaster, which fires very quick bursts at pretty much the same power as Ion Rifle, but has a considerably smaller effective range. The original design had a static block of four barrels firing in cycles, and the modern one, which uses new power source has a rotating 3-barrel block. As a result, the Cyclic Ion Blaster's role changed to one more similar to the more stable Ion Rifle design, and now features a moderately high rate of fire with immensely more damage capabilities per shot.
For quite a while it was stuck in development hell as the Earth caste constantly worked to improve it and then re-worked it with a new power source, so the number of working models available to field personnel was rather scarce, but as of recent (999M41-recent, aka five minutes till advancing the storyline) it finally made it out of experimental stage and went to mass production. As of Damocles rematch it's one of the standard weapons of Crissis suits and is even available to the newest marks of Barracuda fighter.
Cyclic Ion Raker
The Cyclic Ion Blaster is not doing enough bang for your buck for you? Worry not, the Earth Castes of T'au have learned the mystic arts of the Imperium and thus, had supersized their smaller guns into something bigger and badder.
This fancy new Ion Weapon is found on the fancy new XV95 Ghostkeel Suit, acting as an advanced version of the Cyclic Ion Blaster (and looking like a bigger version of it) that can be mounted on Crisis suits, the Cyclic Ion Raker reacts destructively with its target, vaporizing flesh and metal alike with equal ease.
Like the previous Ion weapons, this thing can be supercharged to fire even more powerful shots at a higher fire rate in exchange on getting cancer for free! Not a particularly good trade off mind you, but maybe just enough if you can look at the enemy's face once you blow up his precious superheavy with this cheesemonger of a gun.
Featuring one of the highest rates of fire of any Ion Weapon in it's normal firing mode (R 24",S:7, AP4, Assault 6) which can over charge to a devastated explosion of Ionising Radiation (R 24", S:8, AP4, Heavy 1, Large Blast, Gets Hot!)
Phased Ion Gun
A Phased Ion Gun is a Tau Ion Weapon developed as a primary weapon system for the XV9 Hazard Battlesuit that is capable of engaging enemies at range with high energy ion streams, vaporising flesh and metal with equal ease. These high-energy particles are accelerated by an electromagnetic field and react explosively with the target as a result of the direct transfer of energy at an atomic level. The Phased Ion Gun was developed during the Tau Empire's Third Sphere Expansion and based on the Ion Weapons technology acquired as part of a fruitful alliance between the Syrr'Tok Brotherhood of the Demiurg and the Water Caste of the Dal'yth Sept.
A Phased Ion Gun is a prototype weapon system designed specifically for use by XV9 Hazard Battlesuits, as their advanced power cores allow them to most effectively use these weapons. The Phased Ion Gun melds the rapid-firing technology of the Cyclic Ion Blaster with the power of the vehicle-mounted Ion Cannon into a stable Battlesuit weapon system. The lengthy particle accelerators that comprise the Phased Ion Gun's mechanism allow the Battlesuit pilot to engage the enemy at range with a storm of projectiles that react explosively at an atomic level, decimating heavily armored infantry and vehicles.
While the rate of fire is stable and very high, the ionisation effect remains unpredictable and varies due to the developing nature of this still-experimental technology. At its peak, a Phased Ion Gun's energy streams are able to bypass virtually all forms of armor. Whilst a Phased Ion Gun is similar in its tactical role to a Cyclic Ion Blaster, it sacrifices some of the latter’s rate of fire for extra damage per shot.
The Ion Cannon is a powerful Tau weapon mounted on large vehicles and starships.
The Ion Cannon itself operates by generating a stream of high-energy ionised particles and launching them at a target using an electromagnetic field. These particles react explosively with the target, transferring tremendous energy at the atomic level. The resulting vaporization only magnifies the amount of damage dealt, with starship-based models comparable to Imperial Lances.
The default non-railgun weapon for Hammerheads, it's basically a long-range Plasma Destroyer with AP3, and the option for a large blast (making it arguably superior to a railgun). Due to new power source it could be overcharged for single S8 AP3 pie plate with gets hot, to rape some marines even more.
Pretty much long-barreled double-barreled version of the Ion cannon, commonly used by Riptide battlesuits as their main weapon.
For their size, Ion Accelerators have a relatively high rate of fire; and their strength allows them to engage both heavy infantry and vehicles effectively. While it does have two barrels, it does not have double rate of fire despite what the fluff states, nor does it count as twin-linked - both fire simultaneously, combining their streams to increase weapon's armour piercing capabilities (to AP2).
The Nova reactor overcharge can empower it's overcharged blast shot even more, turning it into S9 and Ordnance, meaning it could rival the almighty Railgun it it's ability to bring down heavy armor.
Ionic Discharge Cannon
Pretty much the opposite of an Accelerator, compared Ionic Discharge Cannon, found on Y'Vahra battlesuit is little more than sawn-off Ion Cannon. Due to it's stub of a barrel it has one of the lowest effective ranges amongst Ion weapons, and is unable to use overcharge blast mode, but it's shots also have an EMP effect as they ionize conducting surfaces they hit, making it extremely deadly against enemy vehicles at close range.
The Ion Accelerator is based on Ion Weapon technology acquired as part of a fruitful alliance between the Syrr'Tok Brotherhood of the Demiurg and the Water Caste of the Dal'yth Sept, and is a prototype weapon designed for use as a primary weapons system for the experimental XV109 Y'vahra Battlesuit. An Ionic Discharge Cannon can be nova-charged by the Y'vahra's Dark Matter Nova Reactor to dramatically increase its rate of fire
Tri-Axis Ion Cannon
You want to fuck that Stompa formation quick and clean. You want to give a Warhound Scout Titan a good pause in its merry run on stomping your forces. You want to shower those pesky Nid hordes in a good bath of irradiated plasma. Ladies and gentlemen, the Tri-Axis Ion Cannon.
The biggest of the big, save spaceship-mounted Ion Cannons, this triple-barreled Gatling Ion Cannon is a rapid-firing, multi-chambered variant of the standard Ion Cannon whose firepower is unmatched for its size in the Tau arsenal, a Tri-axis Ion Cannon is designed to reap through enemy formations. Seriously this thing is like the more dakka version of the Pulse Ordnance Multi-Driver. But whereas the Pulse Ordnance Multi-Driver is the Tau's Turbo-Laser, the Tri-Axis Ion Cannon is the Tau's Gatling Blaster. Dakka indeed.
Mounted only on the Ta'Unar Supremacy Amour. This...thing can fire either the unholy barrage of standard ion cannon shots, or slightly less rapid firing torrent of powered up shots that surprisingly for Ion technology aren't blasts, but single target tankbusting coherent beams that could rival imperial lascannons in their power.
Eldar Plasma Weapons
The Starcannon fires plasma bursts, and does so by firing many smaller pulses as opposed to single stronger ones; using sophisticated electromagnetic pulses to guide bolts of destructive plasma to a target. Though its plasma core produces the incandescent heat of a star, unlike its crude and clumsy Imperial counterparts the Starcannon uses containment fields to not only prevent the weapon overheating but keep it cool to the touch.
That humanity uses a weapon which could maim or kill the wielder is seen by the Eldar as a testament to our idiocy. Starcannons are more accurate and infinitely more stable than their Imperial counterparts, and are typically seen mounted on Falcon and Wave Serpent grav-tanks as well as weapon platforms used by Guardian squads.
The souped-up version of the Starcannon above, with more oomph. A Suncannon is a large Eldar Plasma Weapon and makes use of a small nuclear fusion reaction to superheat a stream of matter into its plasma state. A Suncannon is a rapid-fire weapon and its wide and potent blasts are able to pierce all but the heaviest types of armor worn by enemy infantry. It is also hauntingly accurate due to its use of a sophisticated electromagnetic pulse to guide its lethal blasts to enemy targets.
As with all Eldar Plasma Weapons, it is far superior to its Imperial counterparts, as the core of the weapon is protected by a sophisticated series of electromagnetic containment fields to ensure the weapon will never overheat in the hands of its wielder despite producing the incandescent heat of a sun. Suncannons are scaled-up versions of the more common Starcannon, and are only used by Eldar Wraithknights due to their immense size and power.
Identical in pretty much every way except that it dispenses pie plates instead of ho-hum boring-old hits. These nasties are found mounted on the extra-large Wraithknights.
Plasma grenades are basically plasma in grenade form. They're a small but deadly time-delayed explosive device that releases a plasma-based explosion after a short amount of time, much like the Imperium's frag grenades, but also nothing like frag grenades. Despite their description and obvious anti-everything application, TT-wise they allow Eldar assault forces to ignore the attack initiative their targets get when they're in cover and can be thrown/attacked with in combat like other grenades. Since units with these are generally armed with guns with ridiculously short range anyway, this could be called synergy.
Plasma weapons are often described as striking with the force of a sun. Because of the pathological need of the Dark Eldar to make everything dark and edgy, their Disintegrator Cannons are powered by a particle of matter of a stolen sun.
So yes, not only can they steal entire stars and proceed to weaponise them, they do so at the cost of the sheer power that the Imperial designed weapons have. The plus side is that these weapons do not overheat, fire faster than any comparable design and still strike with enough force to vaporise a Space Marine.
|Weapons of the Dark Eldar|
|Sidearms:||Blast Pistol - Fusion Pistol - Splinter Pistol - Stinger Pistol - Terrorfex|
|Basic Weapons:||Blaster - Shardcarbine - Shredder - Splinter Rifle|
|Special Weapons:|| Destructor - Eyeburst - Hexrifle |
Liquifier Gun - Ossefactor - Splinter Pods - Tormentor
|Heavy Weapons:|| Dark Lance - Haywire Blaster - Heat Lance |
Phantasm Grenade Launcher - Splinter Cannon
|Vehicle Weapons:|| Disintegrator Cannon - Horrorfex - Implosion Missile - Monoscythe Missile |
Necrotoxin Missile - Shatterfield Missile - Spirit Vortex - Stinger Pod
|Melee Weapons||Dark Eldar Combat Weapons - Power Weapons|
Ork Plasma Weapons
The Orks have only two plasma weapons, but that's all they need. It comes in many different shapes and sizes.
Kustom Mega Slugga
Basically the pint size son of the Kustom Mega-Blasta. The Kustom Mega Slugga is an experimental energy weapon and it is used if the Mekboy found himself in a pinch and wants to have a weapon that can blow apart Terminators yet still has a convenient enough size to be wielded with only one hand. Basically, they are the Ork's Plasma Pistol equivalent. Despite what appearances may suggest it isn't a Flamer in any way.
Like its larger counterpart, the Kustom Mega Slugga can only fire on maximum charge, so you'll always be taking mortal wounds on 1s to hit. S8 AP-3 D D3 means this packs a fierce punch. But Rokkits are same S one less AP, give you reliable 3 wounds instead of D3 and will not wound your models. Despite a lesser range, it is a pistol class meaning that you can fire whilst in melee. So happy hunting!
A while back, some random Mek took a plasma gun from some dead Imperial and thought to himself "We needs us sum ov dese." Today when they need something to kill all those pesky MEQs and TEQs, Mekboys can carry a S8 AP2 Assault 1 plasma slinger. It can also be mounted on Grot vehicles. Unfortunately, due to most Orks' shitty armor saves combined with Gets Hot, the second option is more common.
Kustom Mega-Blastas do not always have to fire plasma, although they are used in a tactically identical manner. Kustom Mega-Blastas could be Microwave lasers, lightning guns, linear accelerators, or even micro-wormhole generators! Modeling on a GW-produced Big Mek with Kustom Mega-Blasta (that sold like spoiled cheese) showed the Blasta in question to be a bulky pistol with an ammo feed, so a fast-firing pulse-weapon is not out of the question either. Either way, plasma is a common variant, and Orks just make and do whatever they want.
As far as the "Gets Hot!" rule is concerned in 8th edition, Orks naturally don't give a fuck - they always fire at maximum power because it's more fun that way, so they also always have the danger of the weapon blowing up (which is also more fun for everyone involved).
Tyranid Plasma Weapons
Exclusive to Carnifexes, it is a biological equivalent of a shot from a plasma cannon, and just as deadly.
The Tyranids makes use of "Bio-Plasma", which they vomit out through their mouths. To do so, a Tyranid with this ability regurgitates an unstable series of chemicals from its innards, which it then spews from its mouth, ignited using electrical impulses along the Tyranid's throat - much in the same way that a Venom Cannon works. Once launched, the glob of biochemicals go off in an incandescent explosion of plasma. Because it does not burn while inside the creature it will not overheat inside its user, negating any heat related issues. It's not terribly popular as far as upgrades go since players in general prefer Venom Cannons, which are both safer and longer-ranged for their anti-armor purposes, though Bio-Plasma can prove useful against heavily-armored infantry.
The iffiness of the Bio-Plasma is further explained as here: since Monstrous Creatures can only fire 2 of their ranged weapons per Shooting Phase, and you should already have two sets of twin-linked brainleech devourers on your 'fex, AND it's only 12-inch range, you'll never get the chance to use this biomorph and shouldn't waste the points to begin with. While 8e lifts that restriction, it's still held back by its short range, limited number of shots (Assault D3 12" S7 AP-3 1 D), and exclusivity with the more useful Enhanced Senses and Tusks.
Massive Bio-plasma-emitting spines can also be found on Tyranid bio-ships. These spines emit gargantuan balls of Bio-plasma that can devastate enemy voidcraft. Bio-plasma spines serve as effective short-range weapons batteries in void combat for Tyranid bio-ships.
Exclusive to the Screamer-Killer Carnifexes, with a boosted range and fire rate. The first strain of Carnifexes encountered became known as Screamer-Killers because of their terrible ululating shriek, caused by rasping plates in their esophagus that were used to energize a form of bio-plasma in their gut in to shoot, and in some instances Screamer Killers were reported using an electrical field around their claws to build up an incandescent bio-plasma ball before launching it at a target over longer ranges.
The Scream is a Assault d6, 18" range, and AP-4 which make this a much better weapon overall than the standard Bio-Plasma and lets it soften things up before it charges.
Take a Spore Mine Launcher and then supersize it. The Bio-plasmic cannon is a large type of Plasma Biomorph used by the Tyranids.
The Exocrine is a Tyranid creature that comes equipped with a huge Bio-Plasma Cannon which can fire either a stream of the stuff to hit several targets or a great ball of it to cover a small area with Marine-melting goop.
This massive gun contains the brain which controls the Exocrine, and can aim itself via its six eyes. Imperial observers have reasoned that this weapon-symbiote like the Pyrovore and Biovore is actually more intelligent than the beast it is mounted on. The Bio-Plasmic Cannon is able to unleash a vast ball of roaring energy, or several focused streams of death from its multiple barrels.
Mounted on the back of an Exocrine (or the "Giant Plasmavore" as I've taken to calling it) it delivers the same S7 AP2 as any other plasma, and can be fired either in Large Blast or Assault 6 modes so you can season to taste. 24-inch range.
|Bio-Weapons of the Tyranids|
|Small Bio-Weapons:|| Devourer - Fleshborer - Spike Rifle |
Spinefists - Strangleweb - Blinding Venom
|Medium Bio-Weapons:|| Barbed Strangler - Deathspitter - Tyranid Flamespurt Cannon |
Impaler Cannon - Shock Cannon - Spore Mine Launcher
|Large Bio-Weapons:|| Acid Spray - Bio-Plasmic Cannon - Brainleech Devourer |
Drool Cannon - Fleshborer Hive - Heavy Venom Cannon
Rupture Cannon - Stranglethorn Cannon - Tentaclids - Bio-Cannon
|Inbuilt Bio-Weapons:|| Bio-Electric Pulse - Bio-Plasma - Cluster Spines - Flesh Hooks |
Grasping Tongue - Ripper Tentacles - Spore Mine Cysts
Stinger Salvo - Thorax Swarm
|Melee Weapons||Tyranid Close Combat Weapons|
A Weapon that Beats Spess Mehreens? NEVAR!!
|This article or section involves Matthew Ward, Spiritual Liege, who is universally-reviled on /tg/. Because this article or section covers Ward's copious amounts of derp and rage, fans of the 40K series are advised that if they proceed onward, they will see fluff and crunch violation of a level rarely seen.|
When you have a weapon that's good at killing Marines, it's only a matter of time before you draw the ire of the spiritual liege. Infuriated that there were units in the 41st Millennium which actually had the firepower and weaponry to pop asshole units like Terminators, Matt decided it would be a lovely idea to give the Grey Knights a piece of Wargear for the Ordos Xenos inquisitor that functionally renders any unit using a Plasma weapon within 12" of that unit completely worthless, as its plasma weaponry is treated as BS1. The Ulumeathi Plasma Syphon is supposedly hindered by its short range, but in practice, /tg/ has found it quite easy to get the Inquisitor carrying it into the enemy's midst (often with allied units protecting it) in order to keep high-threat units like nests of Fire Warriors or a Leman Russ Executioner completely locked down. It's particularly nasty against Chaos (which as a rule lacks high-AP weapons except for the Vindicator's Demolisher Cannon and Plasma Weaponry) and Tau, who rely extensively on plasma weapons as described above. Apparently Ward forgot that there is a difference between fluff making Marines unstoppable juggernauts and actually making them that way on the tabletop. 6th Edition ameliorated this somewhat with the advent of the Inquisition Codex giving more Imperial Armies (and a handful of xenos armies as well) access to this broken tool and making the thing only affect Plasma weapons as described in the BRB, thus giving the Tau a fighting chance. Everyone else (Chaos as a whole, basically), though, is still right fucked.
Fuck you, Matt Ward.
But still grav-guns.
In 8th is no longer a thing. As the Syphon has been replaced in favor of Inquisitors in Terminator Armor and the Telethesia physic discipline.