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...
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 Rift Cannon 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. The weapon is amusingly called the Stained Glass Cannon primarily due to this kaleidoscopic explosion.
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 ubiquitous Vortex Missile, if the regular nuclear warhead of a Deathstrike Missile won't do it for you, than sending your enemies into the hatefuck realm that is the Warp, will. As previously noted, Imperial Warp tech is not as sophisticated and controlled as the Elfdar are. As such, they prefer launching these Warp weapons onto very long ranged missiles and hit the target far enough that it is safe for Imperial forces.
Due to the fact that they came from the Dark Age of Technology, these missiles are as rare as they are powerful, tearing a literal asshole in the very fabric of space. Vortex missiles are constructed by using Psykers to channel the raw energy energy of the Warp into an intercontinental ballistic missile. How the hell that works, we have no idea. 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 individual with a self-restraint that isn't a blundering trigger-happy moron that would push the button at the first signs of insubordination.
Vortex missiles like other support missiles mounted on Titans take up one carapace slot, 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. There, the warheads would then be exported to other forge worlds where they could be combined with their missile housings, before being distributed to the necessary regiment or fortification. Because of a clerical glitch of yours truly, the Departmento Munitorum, other Forgeworlds soon began constructing whole vortex missiles. By M35, almost all forge worlds in the Imperium had at least some expertise in its 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 Forgeworld is under attack puts the whole thing in scrutiny.
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). 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.
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.
Shokk Attack Gun
The Shokk Attack Gun is one of the only Ork-portable weapons that force the wielder to stay still while firing. It opens a conduit through the Warp to the target and shoves the ammunition through it. Orks like to use Snotlings for this; because they travel through the Warp unprotected, they get scared out of their minds by the daemons, and when they come out, they usually rip and tear their way through anything in front of them. It's crazily unpredictable though. 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 distinktive 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.
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.
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.