- – Volkite Guns
Volkite weapons are Martian death-rays. In Warhammer 40,000, Volkite weapons are ancient and advanced weapons based on the principle of imparting so much heat to the enemy that he literally bursts into flames inside his armour. These flaming victims then cause more damage to their own squad, as they run around screaming while emitting the temperature of a rather large and unwieldy furnace. Their main drawbacks are that they are fairly short-ranged (although not to the same extent as Melta weapons), and are somewhat less effective at piercing armor than Bolters.
They are quite literally Martian ray-guns, as only the techpriests of Mars could make them. When the Great Crusade was just starting out, there were enough to equip every single Space Marine Legionnaire with them. Sadly, as the Crusade got underway and the Primarchs were found (thus, greatly increasing the numbers of Legionnaires), demand far outstripped supply and Volkite guns were relegated to "special weapon" status. Then, with the Horus Heresy, the defection of large parts of the Mechanicum, and 10,000 years of a technological roller coaster ride, the know-how to repair them was lost and Volkite weapons gradually disappeared from the galaxy. Hopes were rekindled among fans for their returned when Games Workshop brought grav-guns back into style with the new Codex: Space Marines and further reinforced when the new Cult Mechanicus codex revealed the Martians had access to a brand new Volkite called a Blaster which is about the same as a Culverin.
And apparently their return has been outright confirmed with the arrival of the new Primaris Lieutenant and their Neo-Volkite pistols, thank you Archmagos Cawl!
The most similar weapon in popular fiction to Volkite Weapons is surprisingly Phasers from Star Trek. If they were turned up to the highest setting (vaporizes fleshies) and had a rate of fire comparable to a Micro Uzi or ShKAS machine guns (over 1000 rounds per minute). Though we don't have technobabble describing how Volkite weapons work, yet.
A note on the above, Volkite weapons were excellent assault weaponry, especially when facing massed infantry, and had more potential against light vehicles than a Bolter did, but that was pretty much their niche. Bolt weapons, which were much easier to manufacture, had a slightly longer range and marginally better armor-piercing ability, and could use numerous specialty rounds, were a better tactical weapon that could adapt to numerous situations, as well as easier to field in the numbers demanded by Legions. The main drawback in the field was that Bolters were most often fitted with standard rounds, while specialty munitions were still rare enough to only be issued to specialist squads alongside their regular bolts.
Of course, given the manner in which Volkite weapons deal damage and the effectively unimportant small difference between its armor-piercing to that of boltguns, Volkite weapons would leave a heavily armored opponent vulnerable to more to follow up shots due to severely weakening the target's armor. Bolters have to blow their way through with repeated shots if they fail to outright penetrate. Ultimately, Volkite weaponry is superior to bolters. Cover is useless or even a disadvantage against it, groups of enemies are excellent targets for its wielder, light armored vehicles are sufficiently vulnerable to its death ray, and heavy vehicles and powered armor would take significantly fewer shots to get through than a bolt weapon would. It is, therefore, a highly effective all-purpose weapon for anti-infantry, anti-light and heavy armor, and anti-powered infantry. Its only blind spot is that it is ineffective against aircraft that do not come low enough to be in range of it. Ironically, this means that the Astartes had the opposite trajectory as the Wall of Guns, switching from a complex but highly-effective energy weapon to a simpler, less-resource-intensive ballistic weapon.
Each weapon is named after really old real-life firearms and cannons, except the chierovile which is made-up gibberish, and the blaster which is... just a normal word? Obviously they are just picking out random words that sound "cool" when it comes to naming these things. Not only are all the weapons named after other weapons (may actually be a riff on the Mechanicum's ignorance) but the name "Volkite" is also gibberish, meaning "People-Stone" or "People-Mineral, People-People," etc. Volkite Weaponry was also favored by the Night Lords due to its results. Possibly named after Magnus Volk (b. 1851, d. 1937), electrical engineer from Brighton, UK and builder of the world's oldest still working electric railway, suggesting the weapon uses electricity. The suffix -ite would here denote a follower or doctrine (similar to -ist), so the name would mean "following Volk's method". Further reinforcing this is the Ryza Relic "Weapon XCIX". Described as an "Up-Volted Volkite Blaster". This means Volkites are potentially...Microwave guns?
Their signature ability, deflagrate, means "a subsonic combustion caused by rapid heat transfer" which is a fancy way of saying "shit's on fire, yo." That is, it's literally the science word for normal fire.
- 1 Volkite Weapons
- 1.1 Volkite Serpenta
- 1.2 Neo-Volkite Pistol
- 1.3 Volkite Charger
- 1.4 Volkite Caliver
- 1.5 Volkite Blaster
- 1.6 Volkite Cavitor
- 1.7 Volkite Incinerator
- 1.8 Volkite Sentinel
- 1.9 Volkite Saker
- 1.10 Volkite Veuglaire
- 1.11 Volkite Culverin
- 1.12 Volkite Falconet Battery
- 1.13 Volkite Demi-Culverin
- 1.14 Volkite Chieorovile
- 1.15 Volkite Carronade
- 2 In action
On the table, A Volkite weapon has good strength and decent AP, but its real power is the Deflagrate ability; any unsaved wounds suffered from a Volkite weapon each inflict another hit on the same unit at the weapon's profile (minus the Deflagrate effect; the wounds do not chain infinitely). Pretty nice.
The pistol of the family, highly effective and powerful sidearm but with obviously low range and rate of fire.
The Adeptus Mechanicus still have a few of these on hand, but like most of the good stuff, instead of taking it apart and reverse engineering it, they instead keep most of them locked in stasis vaults and ogle them.
According to the announcement of the Moritat model the plural term is ”Volkites Serpenta.” Also, the Moritat model holds them like guns akimbo whilst doing a cool pose, and they deliciously awesome like that. According to the Angel's Tears, it's Volkite Serpentas. So.... And regardless of the plural, GW fucked up as usual, given the actual cannon it's named after is a Serpentine.
With the descriptions present, you would wish it would have resembled those awesome 50's-era Ray Guns like those of Fallout, but GeeDubs being the anathema of awesome decided to make them look as meh as possible.
This as you can imagine, is a bit of shame. But nevertheless, at the very least the Volkite Serpenta is a powerful little hand cannon that will fry your power armored Mary Sues alive.
Apparently Archmagos Cawl finally figured out how to make new Volkite weapons, because these shiny new pistols are being given out to the newest batch of Primaris Lieutenants. As per the release for the multipart Bladeguard kit standard Bladegaurd sergeants can take them now too, but not captains or ancients.
What is so different from the old one, we have no idea, but it could be as minor as the difference between each iPhone iteration (such as the miniaturization of the powerpack, so no more lugging around a giant energy cell connected by flimsy cables, yaaaaaaaaaaay!). So for all intents and purposes, the whole schlick of the "Imperium losing technology" has been thrown out of the window; demotes the Grimdark a bit, while cutting out some of the Grimderp. It also makes sense when one remembers how many high ranking magos are millennia old and Cawl is far from the only one who lived in the Great Crusade era. So Cawl coming out with this might begin smoothing that out and we can waive ten thousand years of “forgetting” as either excuses for hoarding more and more tech, and/or being distracted by increasing projects to reverse-engineer old technologies making slow but real progress.
According to this faction preview it's classified as a pistol 2 class weapon with a range of 15", a strength of 5, armor-piercing of 0, damage of 2, and a special rule that each unmodified wound roll of 6 inflicts 1 mortal wound on the target in addition to any other damage. Making it comparable to a Volkite charger just as a pistol. Essentially its just a Serpenta with the range of a Charger. ...Or Cawl slapped a new name onto some Charger blueprints and handed them out to his Primaris boys; even during the Heresy-era, it's fairly common to see Volkite Chargers used as pistols instead of Serpenta's.
The rifle of the family, as stated previously, at the outbreak of the Great Crusade were the goddamn standard weapon for the Adeptus Astartes. Which I'm sure was a terrifying prospect for the enemies of the Imperium. Whilst not benefiting from the range or power of its larger cousins, the charger retained the volkite beams deflagrating effects and allows its wielder a greater degree of movement. Volkite chargers are often employed by Legion Tactical Support squads. A Mastercrafted version is also the favoured ranged weapon of a certain Sick Fuck.
Unfortunately the laborious nature of their manufacture resulted in them being relegated in favour of the Bolter, which was much easier to manufacture and supply, which was important as the crusade grew from a few thousand marines, a planet, and a moon to many hundred thousands of marines, quadrillions of Imperial Army troops, and an entire galaxy of shit to conquer. By the 42nd Millennium they are exclusively used by Tartaros Terminator Sergeants, with both armor and weapon millenia older than the Space Marine using them. Whether Cawl or Guilliman has authorized Admech Techpriests and Astartes Techmarines to resume low level production is up in the air for now.
On the other hand, Veletaris squads were heavily equipped with Volkite Chargers and normal Solar Auxilia could use them as special weapons. The Solar Auxilia that made up twenty percent of the Imperial Army by the Horus Heresy. So, there were literally quadrillions of these being made by then. Most likely the shift to Bolters can be explained by their wide variety of Special Ammunition (even normal Bolt Shell production would quickly become waaaaaay more expensive than Volkite Chargers). If so, was a moronic decision as Bolt Pistols with anything except non-standard shells while using Volkite Calivers and Chargers as standard would have been far better. Mechanicum Infantry also used the Volkite Charger, further crippling the lore about demand out-stripping supply for the vastly less numerous Astartes. Thus the only real reasons for the change would be the Charger's poor armor penetration and the need for coolant compared to Bolters. As a direct energy weapon would heat up faster and for longer than an air cooled projectile firearm.
A long range tactical Volkite weapon.
If the Volkite Charger is the assault rifle of the Volkite family, then the Volkite Caliver would be considered as the light machine gun of said family. A rifle Volkite variant with a devastating effect on flesh and bone, the volkite caliver was often employed by mobile Legion Tactical Support Squads, utilizing firepower and accuracy far and above superior to that of the more common bolter. The larger frame of the Caliver means that it is able to house a larger energy storage and battery to power the entire weapon at a more efficient and cost-effective way.
It is also somewhat comparable to a light squad support weapon, longer and bulkier than the Charger, though still loaded from a box magazine and fairly easy to carry. With a better range than the Charger at a cost of being unable to fire on the move.
There are some claims that the Volkite Caliver was the standard issue Astartes weapon in the early years of the Great Crusade instead of the Charger. Perhaps a typo or perhaps just yet another layer of conflicting lore.
The only Volkite weapon in regular plastic 40k besides Charger armed Tartaros Sergeants and Relic Dreadnoughts (and not itself found in any 30k books, even the Mechanicum Red Book), and only seen on Tech-Priest Domini to boot. It might have been custom-constructed, or it might have started life as a Caliver before being integrated into someone's arm, but trades the tip of the Caliver's range for 50% more dakka.
Seeing as how it is now permanently attached to a Tech-Priest, the Volkite Blaster gets most of its source of power from the inner workings of whatever cybernetic hijinks that the Domini has incorporated into his body. Which allows it to technically have an indefinite amount of shots so long as the Tech-Priest is still alive and kicking.
As they are one of the few Volkite weapons still in use in the 41st millennium, the Techpriests in charge are understandably quite touchy and paranoid about this elusive piece of tech. Guarding it pretty viciously to any tech-thieves or bandits. However with Big Bobby G running around right now, the status of the Volkite Blaster being the only Volkite weapon in production might change in the near future. And it's happenend, look at the Neo-Volkite's entry above this one to see a brand spanking new death ray.
The shotgun of the Volkite family, exclusive to the Night Lords' Contekar Terminator Elite. With how much chaos Volkite weapons usually generate, it is not surprising to see the legion of Batman sociopaths hogging all the good Volkite shit. For those who do not know, the Contekars were recruits from Nostramo's ruling class. What this means is that like the Kabalite Trueborns of Dark Eldar society, they tend to view the common plebs with utter disdain. Now why the Contekars are a melee-heavy Assault Terminator-esque squad despite the whole Night Lords' doctrine of fighting fast and hard, we aren't too sure.
Nevertheless, despite the strange change in legion tactics, Contekars still do strike as much fear as a rampaging World Eaters berserker. Seeing as how all Contekars could wield a chainglaive, the introduction of the Volkite Cavitors serve as a highly complementary sidearm for these aloof twats. How the Cavitor could split its beams, we dunno, but the ability to hit multiple targets at once, who, in turn, may further spread the flames to their allies, makes the Cavitor a powerful force multiplier. Unfortunately, the Cavitor is stupidly short-ranged, as in, Inferno Pistol levels of short-range. This means that a certain absolute chadman, in one final fuck you, could quite literally run towards the Contekar who lit him ablaze and proceed to give him a warm, Vulkan-level hug.
On the tabletop, Cavitors spray four Strength 6 murderbeams, but at a measly 10" range (That is shorter than a Flamer mind you). Comes included with chainsaw bayonet to further fuck things up at close range, because why the hell not? This means it sucks at fighting other Terminators. Especially those with Cyclone Missile Launchers or Plasma weapons. It is a pretty good MEQ mulcher though.
The Volkite Incinerator was a powerful purpose-designed Volkite ray weapon that was mounted in the chest-unit of each Ursarax Tech-guard, allowing it to both attack its victims at range with a lethal Volkite beam and also by grabbing its foe within its claws and drawing them in to suffer the full brunt of this discharge at point-blank range.
This confined ray blast was particularly devastating in its power and was able to disintegrate even heavily armored warriors in mere moments at such short range, which makes it almost all but impossible to fight these things head-on in CQC.
Unfortunately, in terms of crunch, in contrast to the standard-issue lightning claws, the Volkite Incinerator isn't too great in CC despite the dictation of the fluff, as four attacks at S10 almost always beats ONE S6 instant death attack (even if the target is T6) but if you get locked in multiple rounds it can be okay enough against T6 models.
The weapon-sponsons of the Volkite family.
The Volkite Sentinel was an automated, slaved weapon systems controlled independently by its own Servitor-brain. Volkite Sentinels were used as defensive weapons found on a number of larger Mechanicum war engines, most commonly the Triaros Armoured Conveyer.
Each Volkite Sentinel was actually a pintle-mounted Volkite Charger which could be fired in addition to any other weapons the vehicle was carrying. Because of its Servitor brain, the Volkite Sentinel was able to target units separately from the vehicle's main armament or the direction of its gunners.
Crunchwise, Volkite Sentinels are a subtle, but potent feature. Essentially they are two Volkite chargers that may target independently of the Triaros itself (and presumably the other Volkite weapon); these can be used to take out "Chaff" units (exceptionally important if you're using this in 40k).
This weapon is one of the rare instances of a weapon variant specifically designed as a sponson or pintle-mounted armament. Almost any other time it is simply a heavy weapon duct-taped to the vehicle.
One of the three primary weapons of the Sabre Strike Tank
In contrast to the Sentinel, the Volkite Saker is a relatively large weapon of the Volkite family that offers a true 'medium' between the lighter hand-held Volkites to the fuck huge superheavy Volkites mounted on Knights and superheavy tanks.
As one of the primary weapons for the new and improved Sabre, the Saker is unfortunately hull mounted, meaning it is only as effective if the front of the vehicle actually faces something. You would expect that something like a Volkite, would be mounted on a more effective turret.
On a more interesting tidbit, although Saker may sound like gibberish, it is actually a type of medium cannon that was slightly smaller than the Culverin, another type of cannon. The more you know.
The Volkite Veuglaire is a type of Imperial Volkite Weapon.
Used on the Knight Moirax, the Volkite Veuglaire is a cousin of the Volkite Culverin and was a rare and ancient type of weapon. They were known for their complex mechanisms that were often beyond the ability of simple Sacristans to repair.
But for those Households that still operate them, Volkite Veuglaire are prized for their ability to clear light infantry from the battlefield. Combined with the Gyges siege claw, the Knight Moirax is a pretty nasty beast in CQC all things considered.
The heavy weapon, bulky, powerful, with a massive rate of fire and equally large ammunition requirement. The most potent man-portable Volkite weapon in the Imperium's arsenal, its beam has a devastating effect on organic matter, explosively burning flesh into ash and jetting fire. Contemptor Pattern Dreadnoughts could mount two Volkite Culverin on a single arm for a devastating primary weapon.
It's like a heavy bolter if it fired even faster and its shots caused the enemy to spontaneously combust. Perfect for taking out that 20 man squad of assault marines and for anti-infantry Scimitar jetbike loadouts.
Heavy weapon squads full of these guys are your best option for long-range multipurpose murder, as they will incinerate entire squads of light infantry in a single salvo, and 4 shots at S6 is pretty solid against light to medium vehicles as well.
Volkite Falconet Battery
The Volkite Culverin's big sister.
The Volkite Falconet Battery is a pair of extremely large Volkite weapons mounted exclusively on the Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought. The size of the Volkite Falconet Battery allows it to lay waste to large numbers of enemy units, and we mean a metric shit ton. Seriously, just look at the size and length of the barrel and imagine it being dual-wielded by a dreadnought. 'Tis some scary shit.
The Volkite Falconet Battery is often paired with the Boreas Air Defence Missile Platform, which makes the Deredeo a sufficient anti-air vehicle whilst having the weapon to deal with those pesky infantry trying to outflank it.
The bigger brother to the Culverin, this is only available to the Solar Auxilla (for now). A powerful weapon from the Dark Age of Technology, the weapon could tear through infantry squads with ease, it is basically one of the best tarpit cleansers if used correctly as the beams can jump from target to target on a much wider and longer range then normal Volkite weapons.
It boasts one more point of Strength and one more shot than the man-portable version, and is found on the spiffy Leman Russ Incinerator. Demi-culverin. For when you want to say "Screw that guy and everyone around that guy."
The Demi-Culverin is one of the best examples of Ad Mech naming incompetence in 40k. IRL a Demi-Culverin fired a shot half the weight of a full Culverin (Demi is French for "half"). So why the Ad Mech decided to make the Demi-Culverin more powerful than the Culverin is a mystery.
Big goddamn Volkite gun mounted onto the Questoris Knight Styrix. Just think of it as a Volkite Culverin on steroids as the Culverin is situated on a Dreadnought, this mother of a gun is situated on a Knight.
Seeing as how a normal Volkite Charger can already turn a few unfortunate bastards into radioactive isotopes, the Volkite Chieorovile can eliminate large numbers of enemy infantry at range far greater than a typical Volkite.
With a range equal to the Culverin version, this baby puts out five S8 AP3 shots which is great at turning entire armies into flaming soon-to-be-corpses. Who wouldn't want to use a gun that kicks out the equivalent of 5 Krak missiles that set blobs on fire per turn?
The biggest one of all (maybe; see above). Disgusted by the prospect of the largest weapon in a given type being able to be held by a person, those crazy Martians decided to supersize it and put it on the turret of the Fellblade super-heavy tank.
At first glance it's almost comically short-ranged for a super-heavy tank weapon, but when you consider it hits absolutely everything in a straight line (which is as wide as the weapon's barrel, which is about the same as the height of a space marine) between its smoking barrel and its max range, turning entire tank columns into molten heaps of slag and reducing infantry formations into screaming, flaming soon-to-be-corpses who proceed to set their own allies alight, it ends up looking pretty good. And unlike psychic beams, the beam's strength is only reduced by other super-heavies and buildings.
That said, it hits YOUR units too, so don't place anyone you don't want to lose in front of it when it fires. And don't think being inside a transport when it hits will save you; if the transport takes a penetrating hit, even if all it ends up doing is Crew Shaken, you take a bunch of hits. With the normal volkite ability to generate more. Dark Eldar, don't even bring Raiders; they'll just make it hurt more.
...although maybe they like that.
- A volkite charger equivalent in the game Killing Floor 2 *CHOOMING* zombies can be seen in action here.