In Warhammer 40,000, there are few things more dangerous to life in the galaxy than the Warp. Especially when it's weaponized. Some of the deadliest weapons in existence, Warp Weapons are devices capable of using the warp to deal tremendous damage to any target presented with.
- 1 Imperial Variants
- 2 Chaos Variants
- 3 Xenos Variants
- 4 Old Ones Variants
Vortex Weapons are based on the same technology as the warp engines of a voidship: they basically tear a momentary 'hole' (aforementioned vortex) between realspace and the Warp. But where a spaceship is (hopefully) protected by a Gellar Field to survive the experience, anything that gets sucked through find itself at the tender (lack of) mercy of the denizens of the Warp. Those weapons are frighteningly effective, but they are used with circumspection. In theory, the vortex' existence is very brief. In practice, sometimes it somehow can sustain itself and it starts drifting around... Or growing... or things start coming through from the other side to have some fun... Which explain why Imperial forces tend to chuck those at the enemy from very far away: should there be side effects, at least the enemy will be first in line to get fucked over!
Imperial sanctioned weapons come in two variations: Vortex grenades that are man-portable but whose effect is limited and the Vortex Missile which is mounted on either a Deathstrike Missile Launcher or Reaver/Warlord Battle Titans and can hatefuck much more massive holes in reality in a single strike.
An example of a non-standard Vortex Weapon is the Dominus Astra, an Emperor Class Battleship, which when strategically located and having its warp drive detonated was capable of destroying almost all of Hive Fleet Behemoth. Needless to say this is not something the Imperium is well equipped to do, as each Emperor-class is nigh-irreplaceable...
The smallest vortex weapon and the only one that can be used by hand. The vortex grenade is a rare and deadly weapon which utilizes complex warp technology to create a vortex between real space and the warp on activation. They are very difficult to produce, with only the Adeptus Mechanicus being able to manufacture them, and are not issued to regular troops, but to important Imperial agents such as Inquisitors or Assassins (Probably because they are the only ones trained enough to know when and where to toss them, in contrast to your average Joe who would treat them like a normal grenade and cause accidental friendly fire).
The Vortex Grenade takes the form of a weighty sphere, approximately the size as the fist of a grown man, consisting of an outer shell which encases a delicate and temperamental warp mechanism. The designs of the device date back to the Dark Age of Technology.
When the grenade is activated, it creates a tiny rift between realspace and the warp, a rift that becomes a vortex in the very fabric of space. In appearance the vortex is a ball of glowing blackness like a small black hole. Everyone and everything encompassed by the vortex is destroyed; all matter and energy is drawn through the vortex and it is turned into the very stuff of the warp.
It is unknown how applicable they can be when fired from a regular grenade launcher.
The Rift Cannon or otherwise known as the Kaleidoscope Cannon or the LSD Cannon by /tg/, is used by the Dark Angels Space Marine Chapter is also a warp weapon supposedly developed in the Dark Age of Technology. When fired, a beam of warp energy emerges that resembles a kaleidoscope of colors blossoming into a small rift in the Immaterium, opening at the beam's point of contact, while those who survive the brief tear in the Materium find themselves thrown awry. The weapon is amusingly called the Stained Glass Cannon primarily due to this kaleidoscopic explosion, which means that the enemies of Man literally taste the motherfucking rainbow.
In 8th Edition, the Rift Cannon is now a Heavy D3 Strength 10 AP -3 weapon. Its Rift Vortex works way better, no longer rolling scatter doubles. Instead, the weapon causes the target to roll a D6 against the Rift Vortex chart when wounded, dealing an additional D3 Mortal Wounds if rolled. The Vortex chart actually scales with the Dark Talon's BS depending on how many wounds are left on the target, which often starts at a 3+/4+/5+ scaling. In 9th Edition, the Rift Cannon now gains an amped-up version of the Blast ability, giving it the capability to automatically have its 3 shots hit successfully if the unit targeted has 6 or more models.
If the regular nuclear warhead of a Deathstrike Missile won't do it for you, then sending your enemies into the hatefuck realm that is the Warp, will. As previously noted, the Warp tech of the Imperium is not as sophisticated and controlled as that of the Eldar. As such, they prefer launching these Warp weapons using very long-ranged missiles in order to hit targets far enough away that Imperial forces remain unaffected.
Due to the fact that they came from the Dark Age of Technology, these missiles are as rare as they are powerful, creating a miniature (and short-lived) Eye of Terror when they explode. Vortex missiles are constructed by using Psykers to channel the raw energy of the Warp into an intercontinental ballistic missile. How the hell that works, we have no idea. (To note, older fluff described the warhead as a miniaturized one-shot Warp Drive like those found on starships, which makes slightly more sense, I guess...)
Vortex missiles mounted on Deathstrike Platforms are so valuable that they are guarded at a minimum by an entire infantry platoon, charged with concealing the weapon from enemy saboteurs and kill-teams. Nominally only Segmentum Command can sanction their use, and the launch codes are entrusted solely to the Lord Commissar in charge of the missile, as they are the only individuals with a self-restraint that isn't a blundering trigger-happy moron that would push the button at the first sign of insubordination.
A Vortex missile, like other support missiles, takes up one carapace slot when mounted on a Titan, although if it is destroyed before being fired it will prematurely activate and create a vortex field.
Due to the dangers of assembly and the uncontrollable forces involved, it was once the sole responsibility of the Adeptus Mechanicus to manufacture Vortex Missiles. By the end of M31, they were officially only to be constructed on Mars, Graia, and Gryphonne IV. From these three worlds, the warheads would then be exported to other Forge Worlds where they would be combined with their missile housings, before being distributed to regiments or fortifications. Because of a clerical glitch in the Departmento Munitorum, other Forge Worlds soon began constructing whole vortex missiles. By M35, almost all forge worlds in the Imperium had at least some expertise in their assembly which kind of knocks down its supposed 'rarity'. We in /tg/ can't tell whether this is Awesome or Fail as the lack of mass utilization of Vortex Missiles whenever a Forge World is under attack makes no sense whatsoever. Other than not wanting to turn your Forge World into a Daemon World by accident.
Wait. Waaaaait. A glitch in the Departmento Munitorum? Doesn't...that imply that the reason why so few Forge Worlds produce so little of the good tech awesome stuff is because of the fucking Munitorum and not the Mechanicus being retards?
A much bigger Vortex Missile that works on a completely different nature. This thiccboy is mounted only on the Warp Missile Rack on top the specially designed and modified carapace of the Reaver Battle Titan. The Warp Missile is unlike the WMD that is the Vortex Missile.
Whereas the Vortex is used in situations deemed FUBAR even by the standards of the Imperium, the Warp Missiles are far more precise and far more specialized. In this case, the Warp Missile is specialized in killing Titans rather than sucking an entire town into the Warp. Due to its specialization, the Warp Missile itself is one of the rarest and most powerful munitions available to Reaver Titan Princeps. Mounted atop the god-machine’s carapace, the Warp Missile can be fired just once. However, once is enough as the Warp Missile could phase through shields and attack the Titan directly causing severe and catastrophic damage. Like a giant C'tan Phase Weapon.
This is not surprising given that Warp Missiles come automatically equipped with a miniature warp engine like those on starships, which when fired, briefly enters the warp and emerges within an enemy Titan’s shields. The gigantic missile penetrator ain't housing anything special, its just a solid piece of FUCK YOU needed to pierce through the thickest armor of any Titan.
On tabletop in the Adeptus Titanicus game, if an attack made by a Warp Missile hits a target, it makes a location roll (Or choose a location if making a Targeted Attack). Then, regardless of whether the target is shielded, a D6 is rolled automatically. On a result of 1, the target location loses 1 structure point. On a 2-3, the target location loses D3 structure points, and if it hits on a 4-6, the target location suffers Critical Damage.
Being either creatures born for the Warp or their mortal servants, the majority of weapons use by the forces of Chaos use Warp energy in one form or another. The most famous ones are the various Daemon Weapons that actually house a daemon, but many of the Dark Mechanicus more outlandish weapons are in part or entirely fuelled by the Warp directly.
Though Warp weapons are considered taboo in Eldar society for their unnerving effects, Eldar military forces always seem to find that they don't really give a good goddamn when it comes to defending the craftworlds, and as such, make use of more Warp weapons than anyone else in 40k.
Carried by Eldar Wraithguard and a certain variant of grav-tank, these guns are just like the Imperial Vortex weapon in that they open a portal and drag anything near it to the warp. They are powered by the Wraithguard's psychic energy of its spirit stone, the Wraithcannon opens a small temporary rift between real and warp space, tearing apart its target as it is torn between different dimensions.
However, unlike the D-Cannon the Wraithcannon is more tightly controlled and more accurate. The Wraithcannons are so fiendish that no mortal (only Wraithguard) could wield them. There's also the Heavy Wraithcannon, which has triple the range, and is the basic weapon of the Wraithknight.
A variant on the Wraithcannon that is dispersed instead of focused, so it can hit more enemies at once but does less damage. There is once again a heavier variant called the Heavy D-Scythe that's mounted on the Hemlock Wraithfighter.
Considered a sinister and taboo weapon, D-Scythes can rip the soul of an enemy from their body and banish it to the Warp; which doesn't make ANY SENSE because it's firmly established in the setting that an individual is perfectly capable of being alive without a soul, A.K.A psychic blanks, the Sisters of Silence, Necrons etc. (though Necrons aren't organic anymore so whether they're truly 'alive' or not is debatable). This means if D-Scythes work exactly as how they're described, they essentially just turn whoever's on the receiving end of them into a psychic null, which is STUPID because blanks are anathema to psykers, and the Eldar are ALL psykers (God fucking dammit GeeDubs). It also would render these weapons completely useless against Necrons, T'au drones, the variety of Ad. Mech robots still around and, of course, psychic nulls (this, obviously, doesn't translate at all in the crunch). More likely, the removal of a soul from a being that has one is sufficiently traumatic to kill them. After all, people can survive without an appendix, but very few can survive their appendix exploding while still inside them. When fired, a D-Scythe emits no visible blast and leaves behind no damage, save the motionless corpse of those targeted. D-Scythes are normally wielded by Wraithguards in place of their Wraithcannons.
They look really freakin' cool.
A larger version of the Wraithcannon mounted on a special artillery platform, the D-Cannon can collapse realspace in a small area and suck in all unlucky sods that stood too close to the hole. You want it.
The size of the warp hole created depends on the size of the D-Cannon, with larger weapons requiring more power and a larger chassis to mount them. The largest D-Cannons are those mounted on Eldar Cobras and Phantom Titans, and even Void Shields are useless in defending against them. These terrifying weapons are capable of swallowing multiple battle tanks in one hit, and the shockwave that results from their sudden closure can knock over other armoured vehicles lucky enough to avoid being dragged into Hell.
The AdMech tried numerous times to reverse-engineer and study the mechanics of the D-Cannon. Failures, one too many.
It also has a interesting name.
The signature weapon of the specialized Warp Hunter tank, unlike other conventional Eldar D-weapons, the D-Flail has alternative firing modes, making it quite flexible. This large-scale D-Cannon variant can either function as a longer-ranged D-Cannon or can focus its energies to tear open a short-ranged rift to envelope nearby enemies.
It is unknown if the weapons found on Eldar Titans and Knights carry a form of the D-Flail.
Crunchwise, the D-Flail has the aforementioned two-firing modes. The first is called Blast. Blast is a long ranged (36") horde killing, Heavy D3, S 10, AP-4, D6 Battle Cannon. This mode is designed to wipe out Tarpitters, as it has this special ability in which it could increase the number of hit rolls made to 2D3, depending if the enemy unit has 10 or more models.
The second firing mode is called Rift. Rift is an extremely short-ranged (12") Heavy D6 railgun analogue. While 12" may not sound impressive and incredibly dangerous especially for a tank destroyer. The benefit is that it hits its target automatically. Great when it comes to dealing with charging TEQs and MEQs.
It was clearly named by a moron.
Shokk Attack Gun
The Shokk Attack Gun is one of the only Ork-portable weapons that force the wielder to stay still while firing, and quite possibly one of the strangest weapons in their arsenal. Its basically an oversized teleporter gun, that transports someone to a location using warp travel. Unprotected. Orks are too smart to get roped into being living ammunition (despite the fact that the law of averages would mean there has to be orks nuts enough to try it), and grots are too feisty to constantly catch and feed into the gun. So, the Meks rely on snotlings, who are too dumb to realize they're about to be monumentally screwed until its too late.
When the snotling gets fired through the gun, they briefly travel through the warp without any shielding, and so are completely subjected to seeing the multitude of horrors contained within (and remember: time functions differently in the wrap. A second in realspace could very well have been hours, days, or even longer for the snotling). If the snotling successfully makes it out: he's driven completely out of his fucking mind, and will proceed to rip and tear their way through anything in front of them until they die, including vehicles as the Mek will teleport the snotling right inside the armor, so the crew's stuck with what's essentially a tiny roid-raging slasher villain inside a confined space. How exactly snotlings suddenly possess the power to tear open powered-armor opponents, even after being driven insane, is not fully explained (you have a snotling materialize inside your helmet and see how useful the helmet turns out to be), though realistic it would not be unheard of for the snotling to have been changed by the warp into Chaos spawnAGHOAUGHGORKSAVEMENOUHOIUGHONESM
Like all complex Ork contraptions: it's crazily unpredictable. It can do anything from killing everything within D6" of the Big Mek, including the Mek himself or rolling double six and utterly destroying anything under the template.
In appearance it is a large, heavy piece of machinery with huge, spinning blades at the front and numerous whirring, grinding cogs and other gubbins sticking out from the casing. When used it makes a distinctive whine, shakes and rattles in an alarming fashion, oily smoke pours from inside as its Mek Operator holds on as tight as he can. It is very hard to aim with a Shokk Attack Gun, as even the strongest Orks find it hard to hold it still. Due to this, its sometimes seen mounted on a Mekboy Junka vehicle, to aid in stabilization and mobility.
The Tellyport Blasta is an Ork Energy weapon sometimes integrated into Mega Armour used by Big Meks. Basically an enlarged Shokk Attack Gun that, instead of opening up a Warprift and sucking up Snotlings for ammunitions; is big enough to just use enemy vehicles and units as its ammuntion.
This is because it is based on Tellyporta technology. The weapon folds its target in a Warpspace bubble and displaces it at random. Victims will only travel a short distance before they reappear again, so the Meks use the weapon to rematerialize them high in the air, or inside a solid object. Thus a Tellyport Blasta tends to be unpredictable, but, as many other Ork weapons, still effective.
An enlarged version of this weapon is used on Ork Wazbom Blastajets.
In 8th Edition, it fires an assault range 12" D3 shots at a S8 and AP-2, this thing has an interesting way of instantly killing its victims. Any model that is wounded, but not killed by this gun, is instantly killed at the end of the shooting phase if the Ork Player rolls higher than that model's current wounds on a D6. It is quite nice albeit somewhat situational having a little bit of extra dread for those super beefy characters that were already wounded but cling to their wounds at a virtue of inv save or other shenanigans.
Kustom Shokk Rifle
The Kustom Shokk Rifle is an upsized and overcharged version of the classic Shokk Attack Gun. It is the primary weapon of the Shokkjump Dragsta and was originally conceived when the Mad Mek Gungubbinz somehow managed to fire himself out of his own Shokk Attack Gun and live, the Kustom Shokk Rifle within the Shokkjump Dragsta incorporates part of the mechanics of a Shokk Attack Gun into its engine, allowing it to teleport short distances at will. Needless to say, most of the Dragsta's drivers tend to be not completely sane.
Additionally, the Kustom Shokk Rifle is able to zap targeted units into the Warp just like the Shokk Attack Gun, although whilst the Shokk Attack Gun uses Snotlings as live ammunition, the purpose of the Kustom Shokk Rifle behaves similarly to the Eldar D-Cannons.
Crunchwise, the Kustom Shokk Rifle is a 24" Assault 2 weapon that is strength 8, AP-3 and damages on a D6. Rolling a hit roll on a 1 causes the bearer to suffer one mortal wound whilst rolling a 6 on a wound roll causes the target to suffer one mortal wound along with any other damage sustained beforehand.
Mentioned in the Black Library ebook Brutal Kunnin’ as the preferred weapon of Da Meklord, it’s a Shokk Attack Gun/Tellyport Blasta mounted on the head of an enormous power hammer, such that any target struck by it is teleported into multiple places at once. Splat.
The Hrud use a type of warp-laced plasma to create a potent sniper weapon called the Warp Fusil. The plasma shot dematerializes from real space for a moment, allowing it to bypass barriers and armour, before emerging into reality a moment later and making a gooey, charred mess of whatever was aimed at. Because Hrud infest everywhere and their warp fusils are excellent at assassinating things, they see use among many alien and imperial mercenaries.
The Kinebrach used to make weapons, of which at least some required interaction with the Warp or Warp entities during their creation. Some of the weapons were Cubes. The production of many, if not all of their weaponry was later considered forbidden. The Interex showed these weapons to the Imperium, despite suspecting the Imperium being tainted by Kaos (their word for Chaos). This may have been a test to see if they were actually tainted by Kaos, an attempt to impress the militaristic Imperium, or both.
Old Ones Variants
During the War in Heaven, the Old Ones discovered that the C'Tan and their Necron armies were vulnerable against psychic forces. To capitalize on this weakness, they had the brilliant idea of weaponizing the Warp, thus turning it into the twisted shit-pit it is now. Of particular note is the Shadowlight, believed to be the power source of some larger assembly. The power source alone is capable of making psykers more powerful, latent psykers become psykers, and anyone else dies a gruesome death upon unprotected exposure to it (although psykers, latent or otherwise, might also suffer said gruesome death). According to a psyker inquisitor, if Chaos got their hands on it, there would be a lot of unsanctioned psykers running around (duh), and without the Emperor's protection they would get possessed, and within 2 generations the Eye of Terror would expand so large that it would engulf the entire Imperium. It is suspected that the assembly "can alter the very fabric of reality". This suspicion proved correct, as later it opened a portal to the warp, and a daemon came out. The assembly's intended purpose is unknown, but it is suspected to be designed to somehow help the old ones in the war against the C'Tan.
Each of these weapons was a star fortress equipped with main guns that made the Death Star look like a fucking pea shooter. Drawing upon the warp and channeling staggering amounts of power, they fired beams of pure psychic energy that caused anything in their path to suffer critical existence failure. These things were anti-star weapons! During the Gothic war, Abaddon used three partially re-activated Fortresses to destroy the entire Tarantis system by blowing the local sun a new asshole, causing it to go supernova. Quite characteristically, Abaddon still manages to lose the war with such powerful weapons.
Somehow, the Void Dragon survived a combined blast from multiple of these things and all it did was make him a bit drowsy. WOW. Then the Big E kicked him in the balls. Which gives you a pretty good idea of how shit of an idea it is to piss off the emprah. Except the Emperor fought only a mere shard of the Void Dragon, not the fully-formed C'Tan, which is literally a god, as powerful in the material realm as the Chaos Gods are in the Warp. Can Big E do that now? Probably. Could he when he was Saint George? Probably not.