A railgun is a form of gun that converts electrical energy (rather than the more conventional chemical energy from an explosive propellant) into projectile kinetic energy. It is not to be confused with a coilgun (Gauss gun).
A Railgun is a type of Magnetic Accelerator Gun (MAG) that utilizes an electromagnetic force to propel an electrically conductive projectile that is initially part of the current path. Sometimes they also use a movable armature connecting the rails. The current flowing through the rails sets up a magnetic field between them and through the projectile perpendicularly to the current in it. This results in the rails and the projectile pushing each other and in the acceleration of the projectile along the rails.
Although conceptually simple, the development of a railgun involves several problems that have to this day made a practical design (one that can be used in the field to replace conventional weapons) difficult. Recent advances have increased the likelihood of practical applications, particularly in shipborne weapons, extending the range of a five inch (125 mm) naval rifle from 15 miles (24km) to 200 miles (320km). This would make such weapons extremely cost effective compared to cruise missiles, provided sufficient power can be generated for a fast rate of fire.
Meltaguns work by producing a small scale fusion reaction using a pyrum petrol fuel mix. This is projected as a blast of incredible heat. They have a short range but are very powerful weapons and are favoured for use against armoured targets.
Plasma Guns use magnetic fields to accelerate balls of extremely hot gases (plasma) towards the target. Although the guns themselves are quite temperamental, plasma weapons find regular use throughout the armies of the Duchy. They are difficult to maintain, but they are worth the risk on the field, as they have a long range and quite high strength. Their power is countered by poor cooling, and they can build up dangerous levels of heat with continuous operation. On these occasions, they will explosively vent the built up heat, killing the operator.
Pulse weapons use electromagnetic induction fields to convert particles to a plasma state and propel them out the barrel of the weapon.
Electromagnetic induction is the production of an electrical potential difference (or voltage) across a conductor situated in a changing magnetic flux. Faraday found that the electromotive force (EMF) produced around a closed path is proportional to the rate of change of the magnetic flux through any surface bounded by that path.
In practice, this means that an electrical current will be induced in any closed circuit when the magnetic flux through a surface bounded by the conductor changes. This applies whether the field itself changes in strength or the conductor is moved through it.
Electromagnetic induction underlies the operation of generators, induction motors, transformers, and most other electrical machines.
Laser weaponry or Las weapons are laser-based ranged weapons used by the Duchy. They fire a single coherent ray of light. These weapons are relatively easy to produce and maintain. They require no solid ammunition, and use power cells which can be recharged or quickly swapped with a fully-charged power cell. This makes them ideal for distribution among large numbers of men, such as the Duchal Army. While the accuracy of a laser cannot be distorted by wind unlike projectile weapons, it can be diffused by heavy particles in the air such as smoke and thus a laser can dissipate over long distances.
Laser Gun / Lasgun
Lasguns fires a focused pinpoint laser bolt, which is effective when used en masse, but considerably less effective when used singly.
Lasguns are powered by small rechargeable power packs. The power packs are extremely reliable that they can be recharged by exposing them to direct sunlight or by throwing them in an open flame.
Laser Pistol / Laspistol
The laspistol is the pistol form of the lasgun, and operates in a similar way. It is suitable for quick use rather than firepower or range, and is often used in conjunction with a close combat weapon. Many laspistols have power packs mounted in front of the pistol's grip rather than within the grip itself, so that heat from the power cell can be quickly dissipated and the power cell quickly changed when depleted. While it is more likely to be hit when exposed and cause a potentially debilitating explosion, the likeliness of this occurring is outweighed by the benefits.
Laspistols are carried primarily by Army officers and advisors, such as Telepaths. Some dedicated close combat units can also be armed with laspistols.
The needlegun and needle pistol (or needler in general) are silent and deadly weapons that uses both laser power and poisoned needles. The weapon fires a laser bolt like the lasgun, but, a millisecond later, fires a needle. The bolt melts and cuts through armour, leaving the flesh (or other vulnerable parts) vulnerable to the needle, which knocks out or kills the target. It is a valuable weapon which needs specialized ammo and care - even more so than the sniper lasgun - and is therefore usually reserved for more elite troops or outfits.
The Flamer is a flamethrower-type weapon that project an ignited stream of flammable liquid over a wide area, igniting many enemies in a single shot.
Stealth suits utilize holographic camouflage.
Possible Battle Tactics: Teams of up to six suits operate independently of the main force, and are given broad parameters by which to operate. Most Stealth Teams are not factored into battleplans, and the appearance of a Stealthsuit-equipped team can be a surprise to both forces. Stealth Team members are perceived to be eccentric, and are said to delight in employing new and unpredictable tactics.
Mesh armour is a bodysuit usually made from carbon-ceramic polyfibres. Phased out of the Imperial Guard in the 31st millennium, its use is — and always was — far more common in the hive gangs. The gangs preferred them as all a ganger needed to make one was a loom, water, and some powdered bone.
Made from high-tensile padded fabric, flak armour is usually designed as a vest or a sleeveless jacket which covers the upper torso. It is rather uncomfortable and unpopular although it is cheap to make and generally mass-produced. Really only useful for protection against shrapnel and low calibre weaponry (hellguns, bolters and pulse rifles will invariably pass right through it), the flak jacket may not exactly be the armour of choice for many but, like-it or lump-it, it is the only armour that most Guardsmen have access to.
Comprised of rigid plates of armaplas or ceramite, carapace armour is made up of plates that are moulded to (loosely) fit the body. Usually a carapace suit will cover the torso and major joints with separate plates for the limbs along with a helmet, although it is also available in full-body suit form. Most wearers are in a relatively fit condition compared to other flak-wearing troopers, due to the armour being so heavy. Unlike flak armour it can realistically be expected to stop a large variety of mid-range weaponry. During periods of relative peace, and during training exercises, some Space Marines will don carapace suits- such garb befits a Space Marine during times of wait. Space Marines Scouts are only allowed access to Carapace Armour as they are not yet worthy enough to wear power armour and that their Black Carapace has yet to have grown in so they are unable to properly interface with the armour.
Often freighters operating in dangerous areas would install military gun batteries and fire control systems operated by warship crewmen. It sometimes even helped. Less common, but still not unknown, is for these freighters to actively engage in military duty, lending what little support to an outnumbered or isolated battlefleet.
Wipes out deflector shields and drains the energy of all units in the target area. Similar to a SW Ion Cannon
The radiation bomb creates a field of radiation that does extreme damage to biological units in a certain radius. Does not work on enclosed units, such as power suits, tanks or fighter craft.
A particle beam is an accelerated stream of charged particles or atoms (often moving at very near the speed of light) which may be directed by magnets and focused by electrostatic lenses, although they may also be self-focusing (see Pinch).
Subatomic particles such as electrons, positrons, and protons can be accelerated to high velocities and energies, usually expressed in terms of center-of-mass energy, by machines that impart energy to the particles in small stages or nudges, ultimately achieving in this way very high energy particle beams, measured in terms of billions and even trillions of electron volts. Thus, in terms of their scale, particles can be made to perform as powerful missiles for bombarding other particles in a target substance or for colliding with each other as they assume intersecting orbits.
High energy beams are created in particle accelerators, in which a charged particle is drawn forward by an electrostatic (not magnetic) field with a charge opposite to the particle (like charges repel one another, opposites attract); as the particle passes the source of each field, the charge of the field is reversed so that the particle is now pushed on to another field source. Through a series of fields in sequence, the particle accelerates until it is moving at a high speed. A natural analogy to particle beams is lightning, where electrons flow from negatively charged clouds to positively charged clouds or the earth.
Low and medium energy beams are quite common. Traditional cathode ray tube televisions and computer displays use them to scan out each image, and some radiation therapy methods use them to treat cancer.
Though particle beams are perhaps most famously employed as weapon systems in science fiction, the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency started work on particle beam weapons as early as 1958 , two years before the first scientific demonstration of lasers. The general idea of particle-beam weaponry is to hit a target object with a stream of accelerated particles moving at near the speed of light and therefore carrying tremendous kinetic energy; the particles transfer their kinetic energy to the atoms in the molecules of the target upon striking, much as a cue ball transfers its energy to the racked balls in billiards, thus exciting the target's atoms and superheating the target object in a short time, leading to explosion either of the surface layer or the interior of the target. Currently, the materials for such weapons are "high-risk" and may not be developed for some time. .
The power needed to project a highly powered beam of this kind surpasses the production capabilities of any standard battlefield powerplant, thus such weapons are not anticipated to be produced in any near time. Particle beams could possibly be used from fixed locations, or in space, for example as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative (dubbed "Star Wars") or similar initiatives, but the problems related to power source still stand at present, pending future development in that field.
Particle weapons are often overlooked when compared to lasers, even though they have some advantages over their more well known counterpart. Because the particle beam is in fact millions of atomic-scale projectiles, there will be different issues regarding protection of targets (some particles, especially those without charge are hard to deflect or absorb). Within the atmosphere, the air would reduce the beam strength of many kinds of particles very quickly through scattering. Only actual testing will prove how effective particle beams would really be for military applications.
Wave Motion Gun
Also known as the Yamato Gun, the Wave Motion Gun is capable of taking out ground defenses and heavy air units with impunity. The Yamato Gun utilizes an intense magnetic field to focus a nuclear explosion into a cohesive energy beam.
Barrage bombs are configured specifically for penetrating the atmosphere of a world and bombarding planetary targets. In comparison to ordinary anti-ship torpedoes, barrage bombs have a relatively diffuse blast radius, being designed to achieve maximum saturation of the target area.
Possibly already included in present systems
This Torpedo type is equipped with multiple sub warheads, decoys, and jammers and is designed to attack small craft rather than starships.
Boarding torpedoes are designed to punch through the outer hull of an enemy vessel and plunge a squad of heavily armed troops inside to sabotage the systems of the target ship.
Guided torpedoes are directed via telemetry from the ship which launched them, allowing them to be guided onto a target, even directed against a specific enemy ship amidst the confusion of battle. Although tight beam communication links are used for control from the parent ship, guided torpedoes are still vulnerable to enemy interference and jamming.
A neutron bomb is a type of tactical nuclear weapon developed specifically to release a relatively large portion of its energy as energetic neutron radiation. The neutron radiation inflicts harm on biological tissues and electronic devices without causing nuclear fallout.
Self-guided torpedoes. Logic engines and matriculators aboard the torpedoes themselves enable them to identify the attack vector most likely to result in the salvo reaching a target. The disadvantage of seeking torpedoes is that the surveyors they use to detect enemy ships are easily blinded by blasts and debris, leading to premature detonation.
Gravitic Polarization Beam
The Gravitic Polarization Beam is a molecular weapon that disrupts matter on an atomic level and rips it apart.
Biological warfare (BW), also known as germ warfare, is the use of any pathogen (bacterium, virus or other disease-causing organism) or toxin found in nature as a weapon of war. BW may be intended to kill, incapacitate or seriously impede an adversary. It may also be defined as the material or defense against such employment.
The creation and stockpiling of biological weapons ("offensive BW") was outlawed by the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), signed by over 100 countries. The BWC remains in force. The rationale behind the agreement is to avoid the devastating impact of a successful biological attack which could conceivably result in thousands, possibly even millions, of deaths and cause severe disruptions to societies and economies. Oddly enough, the convention prohibits only creation and storage, but not usage, of these weapons. However, the consensus among military analysts is that, except in the context of bioterrorism, BW is of little military use. Many countries pursue "defensive BW" research (defensive or protective applications) which are not prohibited by the BWC.
As a tactical weapon, the main military problem with a BW attack is that it would take days to be effective, and therefore, unlike a nuclear or chemical attack, would not immediately stop an opposing force. As a strategic weapon, BW is again militarily problematic, because it is difficult to prevent the attack from spreading, either to allies or to the attacker, and while an attack is taking effect, the opponent can undertake massive retaliation.
Chemical warfare is warfare (and associated military operations) using the toxic properties of chemical substances to kill, injure or incapacitate an enemy.
Chemical warfare is different from the use of conventional weapons or nuclear weapons because the destructive effects of chemical weapons are not primarily due to any explosive force. The offensive use of living organisms (such as anthrax) is considered to be biological warfare rather than chemical warfare; the use of nonliving toxic products produced by living organisms (e.g., toxins such as botulinum toxin, ricin, or saxitoxin) is considered chemical warfare under the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Under this Convention, any toxic chemical, regardless of its origin, is considered as a chemical weapon unless it is used for purposes that are not prohibited (an important legal definition, known as the General Purpose Criterion).
About 70 different chemicals have been used or stockpiled as Chemical Weapons (CW) agents during the 20th century. Chemical weapons are classified as weapons of mass destruction by the United Nations, and their production and stockpiling was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. Under the Convention, chemicals that are toxic enough to be used as chemical weapons, or may be used to manufacture such chemicals, are divided into three groups according to their purpose and treatment:
- Schedule 1 – Have few, if any, legitimate uses. These may only be produced or used for research, medical, pharmaceutical or protective purposes (i.e. testing of chemical weapons sensors and protective clothing). Examples include nerve agents, ricin, lewisite and mustard gas. Any production over 100 g must be notified to the OPCW and a country can have a stockpile of no more than one tonne of these chemicals.
- Schedule 2 – Have no large-scale industrial uses, but may have legitimate small-scale uses. Examples include dimethyl methylphosphonate, a precursor to sarin but which is also used as a flame retardant and Thiodiglycol which is a precursor chemical used in the manufacture of mustard gas but is also widely used as a solvent in inks.
- Schedule 3 – Have legitimate large-scale industrial uses. Examples include phosgene and chloropicrin. Both have been used as chemical weapons but phosgene is an important precursor in the manufacture of plastics and chloropicrin is used as a fumigant. Any plant producing more than 30 tonnes per year must be notified to, and can be inspected by, the OPCW.
Advanced Drive Technology
A cloaking device which replaces shields (if any), and causes the ship to become invisible to sensors.
Long Range Sensors
Ship Defence Grid
The chaff countermeasure is a means of protection against warheads commonly mounted on small spacecraft. Deployed from the ship's aft, a chaff burst causes a scattering of particles designed to confuse a warhead's guidance system, detonating the warhead prematurely and thus protecting the ship itself.
The flare type countermeasure is an anti-warhead defense mechanism used by small spacecraft. It consists of a supply of small, inexpensive low-yield warheads whose targeting systems are designed to home in on incoming warheads and detonate them before they poses a threat to the ship itself. If no incoming warheads are detected, the flare will instead home in on the nearest enemy starfighter. Though not powerful enough to cause significant damage, it is useful as brief distraction. While less accurate, and therefore less reliable, than the chaff type, the flare is more versatile.