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- 1 Description
- 2 Dangers
- 3 Known Plasma Gun Patterns
- 3.1 Ragefire Pattern
- 3.2 MK II Ragefire Pattern
- 3.3 MK XII Ragefire Pattern
- 3.4 MK V Mars Pattern
- 3.5 MK I Apollo Pattern
- 3.6 MK VI Sunwolf Pattern
- 3.7 Ryza Thunderbolt Pattern
- 3.8 M35 Magnacore Pattern
- 3.9 MK I Accatran Pattern
- 3.10 MK II Accatran Pattern
- 3.11 MK IId Accatran Pattern
- 3.12 Mezoa Pattern Plasma Gun
- 3.13 Nihilus Pattern Plasma Gun
- 3.14 Asandre Pattern Plasma Gun
- 3.15 MK IV Clovis Pattern
- 3.16 Quinspirus Pattern
- 3.17 Sequana Sub-Type
- 3.18 Mars Pattern MK III Sunfury Assault Plasma Gun
- 3.19 Dekker Pattern Plasma Gun
- 3.20 Gantic Pattern Plasma Gun
- 3.21 Luther Pattern
- 4 Variants
- 5 Notable Plasma Guns
- 6 Images
- 7 Related Articles
- 8 Sources
An uncommon weapon, even in the ranks of the Imperial Guard or Adeptus Astartes, most extant plasma guns are hundreds if not thousands of years old. As a testament to their design, they remain as deadly today as the day of their fabrication.[23c].
Aesthetically they appear to be stubby and 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 flasks generally contain enough fuel for at least 10 shots before needing to be replaced. An alternative to using plasma flasks, it can use a backpack with a feed line.
Plasma guns can generally be fired in two modes: standard mode (the normal and safest), or a higher-powered blast with a longer range and higher temperature. The latter requiring a short time to replenish the plasma back to firing levels.[29a]
The weapon fires a highly energized ball of hydrogen-based plasma.[1b] Plasma guns, like most plasma weaponry, work by energizing liquid hydrogen fuel into plasma, and held in the weapon by powerful magnetic containment fields. When fired the fields dilate open and the plasma is ejected via a linear electromagnetic accelerator in a bolt of superheated matter akin to a solar flare in appearance and temperature.[29a] Emergency cooling ducts and exhaust vents periodically expel excess heat from the gun.
The weapon is useful against both heavily armoured infantry and light armoured vehicles. In combat, a plasma gun is capable of heavily damaging Tau Battlesuits, Tyranid assault organisms, Ork Meganobs, APCs, and light tanks
Generally, Imperial models are prone to overheating with continual firing and can cause severe injury or death to the user should they experience such a meltdown. When the weapon reaches critical temperatures, it will release a cloud of super-heated vapour. Imperial Guardsmen consider it a dubious honor to be chosen as a squad's plasma gunner for this exact reason. Astartes push the limits of their own resilience by using hydrogen in a higher quantum state that standard Imperial patterns.[29a]
In the event of a overheat, the weapon is likely to survive, though the wielder is often less fortunate.[23c] Space Marines are at least afforded a degree of protection against these catastrophic overheats because of their power armour, the ceramite plates and hard seals usually limiting the damage to their surroundings. Even so, an overheat can still kill or maim a Space Marine, especially if the exhaust vents clog or the coils crack from the intense heat. For less protected soldiers, like Imperial Guardsmen, overheating plasma guns are almost always fatal. In rare cases, plasma guns are even capable of detonating if they get too hot. This may occur as a result of excessive firing, but can also be the result of a flaw during manufacture. Should the casing crack or the magnetic containment fail, the firer will have only a fraction of a second before the gun turns into a ball of blazing energy in his hands, consuming itself with the heat of a star and vaporizing everything with reach.
In addition to the dangers of an overheat, plasma guns are difficult to reload. Only with the requisite prayers should the hydrogen flasks be screwed into place, their unstable ammunition all too prone to spilling or fouling the plasma intakes. An incorrectly attached flask can cause the weapon to explode the first time it is fired, as an empty or partially filled magnetic chamber creates inescapable pressure that will tear the gun apart, in addition to its user. Removing a flask is also dangerous, as even a small amount of plasma leaking out of a broken seal or an incorrectly closed value can burn away a hand or cost the shooter several of his fingers. For these reasons, plasma guns are slow and difficult to load or unload on the battlefield, a task often best left to a Techmarine or Tech-Priest and long hours of binary prayer. In combat, a Space Marine can rely on a plasma gun for a dozen or so consecutive shots before the flask starts to run dry, and he runs the risk of triggering a catastrophic overheat.
Known Plasma Gun Patterns
The most common model of this uncommon technology, Ragefire pattern plasma guns are often deployed by the Adeptus Astartes in situations where raw takedown power is required against highly resistant or armoured enemies.[29b]
MK II Ragefire Pattern
MK XII Ragefire Pattern
The MK XII Ragefire is a common plasma gun pattern used by the Adeptus Astartes, with it being found in the armories of many chapters. It is capable of holding up to 100 shots before needing to reload, firing up to 16 shots before overheating, would refuse to fire once overheated (to prevent explosive weapon failure), and could be manually vented to release heat build up. When overcharged this pattern loses effective range and ammo efficiency, but the plasma bolt fired is hotter and causes a damaging explosion upon impacting the target.
MK V Mars Pattern
MK I Apollo Pattern
First adopted by the Blood Angels, the MK I Apollo Pattern Plasma Gun was created design by one of their lesser known Techpriests. The weapon gained popularity with other “fire based” chapters, like the Salamanders, when it was shown to have a “molten lava” like effect when fired on most worlds. While the blue-white coils burn hotter than standard blue plasma weapons, resulting in a longer damage over time effect, they are also prone to overheating faster.
MK VI Sunwolf Pattern
Plasma Guns and the blazing bolts of energy they fire are very popular with the Space Wolves, who as mortals revered the sun just as much as the moon, and take any excuse to grant the foe the searing kiss of the Wolf's Eye.
Ryza Thunderbolt Pattern
M35 Magnacore Pattern
MK I Accatran Pattern
Less commonly seen among the ranks of the Elysian Drop Troops, this pattern is used as the main weapon of a regiment's Veterans.
MK II Accatran Pattern
The MK II Accatran Pattern is the standard plasma gun of the Elysian Drop Troops. It is an improvement over the MK I due to an attached carrying handle (which also houses the weapon's optic) and optional bipod. Two photonic hydrogen fuel cells screw in underneath the weapon.[12b]
MKII Accatran Pattern Plasma Gun with bipod.[12b]
MK IId Accatran Pattern
The MK IId Accatran Pattern Plasma Gun was special issued to and used by the Death Korps of Krieg's 134th Heavy Infantry Regiment's Thamyris Taskforce during the Necron invasion of the Orpheus Sector sometime before 998.M41.
Mezoa Pattern Plasma Gun
This is a squad-support weapon intended for use by battlefleet armsmen, which has subsequently found extensive use in the private cadres of many Rogue Traders and with renegades and pirates wealthy or fortunate enough to acquire them.
Nihilus Pattern Plasma Gun
Asandre Pattern Plasma Gun
Following its acceptance of the Imperial Creed, the world of Asandre underwent a period of radical technological advancement as Jollus Marquette brought the planet into the fold of the Imperium of Man. With the help of adepts of the Mechanicus, Asandres already burgeoning industrial capacity was vastly improved and turned to manufacturing arms and military equipment. Among the weapons manufactured on Asandre are plasma guns modeled on the venerable Mezoa-pattern. Unfortunately, some defect in the plans and schematics provided by the Tech-Priests resulted in unforeseen fluctuations in the weapon's power output, resulting in somewhat irregular blasts. The defect has been noted by the adepts assigned to Asandre, but the manufactorums continue to produce these plasma guns nevertheless.
MK IV Clovis Pattern
While the Clovis Munitorum is deservedly known for its shoddy and low-quality manufacturing, this gun represents a genuine attempt to imitate an ancient high-quality weapon using recently-sanctified designs discovered just decades earlier. The goal of manufacturing a more powerful plasma gun met with failure, however, given the near-impossible task of properly applying the underlying holy sciences involved; the Dark Age of Technology still remains a shadowy beacon over humanity which may never be grasped. The Mark IV pattern nevertheless became an accidental success of sorts, as its weaker collimation system produces smaller, more diffuse plasma spurts. Though it has lesser power than standard (and better manufactured) plasma weapons, the Mark IV allows the user to spray several blasts with one shot, providing effective suppressive fire against even heavily-entrenched enemies.
Mars Pattern MK III Sunfury Assault Plasma Gun
A high-power weapon issued to Imperial Guard units facing heavily armoured foes. The Sunfury can spit out plasma bolts capable of destroying even light vehicles with ease, although its rate of fuel consumption is high. Its reputation grew in the Calixis Sector when it was used great effect during the Meritates Uprising along the Ixaniad border several hundred years ago against the augmetic reavers of the savage Meritech clans.
Dekker Pattern Plasma Gun
A rare Baal-variant model. The Dekker Pattern Plasma Gun is a thickset, twin-core design. The weapon’s cowling is enameled in blood red, and dressed with a skull emblem in beaten gold. An example of this weapon is carried by Blood Angel Sergeant Rafen, which has etched below the skull emblem the name of a missing Blood Angel hero: Brother-Captain Aryon.
Gantic Pattern Plasma Gun
A unique variant crafted as a combi-weapon, it incorporates two plasma guns which, when fired together, give twice the effective damage, but also at a higher risk to the user. The guns share the same fuel canisters, lowering the weight of the weapon but keeping the number of shots it can fire to roughly the same as a regular plasma gun.
Ryza Hellshot Plasma Blaster
The Ryza 'Hellshot' Pattern Plasma Blaster was available for personal requistion by Legio Astartes during the Great Crusade.[17a]
MK III Belisarius Pattern Plasma Incinerator
Developed by Magos Belisarius Cawl, it is a refinement of the older Plasma Gun design and the most advanced of its kind in the Imperial arsenal. The Plasma Incinerator fires a potent armour-melting blast with no risk of overload, though safety can not be assured when it is fired on an overloaded charge setting. The plasma incinerator comes in multiple variants of its own.
Barrage Plasma Gun
Barrage Plasma Guns are rare and venerated Plasma Weapons, jealously guarded by the Techmarines of the Jericho Reach Deathwatch, and issued only to the most honoured Space Marines. They are highly-tuned, rapid-fire weapons that can lay down incredible volumes of plasma energy. While their ability to fire in semi-automatic and automatic modes make them both versatile and deadly, they use an immense amount of energy and are more prone to overheating than a typical plasma weapon. Deathwatch Space Marines see this as a small price to pay for the ability to spray volleys of plasma energy into xenos enemies.
Phased Plasma Rifle
One of the more dangerous special issue weapons within the Crimson Guard, the Phased Plasma Rifle foes away with many of the drawbacks common to Imperial plasma weaponry, all but eliminating the need for recharging, and significantly reducing the excess heat that conventional plasma weapons tend to generate. This technology is guarded jealously, and since it was rediscovered the Tech-Priests of the Lathes have refused any attempts to adapt the technology for more general use. From their perspective, the Phased Plasma Rifle is a weapon of purity, and to change it in any way would defile the machine-spirits that drive each weapon. With the Adeptus Mechanicus glacial opinion unlikely to change, this weapon will remain only within the hands of the Crimson Guard.
Selvanus Pattern “Sentinel” Plasma Rifle
A Cerix Magnus design perfected by the dogmatic scrutiny of Selvanus Binary, the Sentinel pulse rilfe eliminates the usual drawbacks of plasma weaponry by changing the nature of the energy discharge, through smaller pulses rather than large bolts. This pattern also includes a higher rate of fire and a better targeting system. Designed in tandem with the Praetor Armour of the Ebon Guard, Askellian collectors go to great lengths to acquire one.
Notable Plasma Guns
- Plasma Gun 438 - Deathwatch Armory
- Blasphemy of the Mechanicus - Blood Ravens Armory
- Blaze of Retribution - Blood Ravens Armory
- Blazing Light of Truth - Blood Ravens Armory
- Fearsome Light of Faith - Blood Ravens Armory
- Jupiter Thunder - Blood Ravens Armory
- Lamentation of Heretics - Blood Ravens Armory
- Light of Salvation - Blood Ravens Armory
- Purifier of Tombs - Blood Ravens Armory
- Scourging Fury - Blood Ravens Armory
- Searing Plasma Gun - Blood Ravens Armory
- Plasma weapon
- Plasma pistol
- Plasma cannon
- Imperial Guard Weaponry (List)
- Space Marine Weaponry (List)
- 1: Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One
- 2: Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 69
- 3: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Chapter 12: Dying of the Light
- 4: Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 5: Imperial Armour Volume Four - The Anphelion Project
- 6: Warhammer 40,000 4th Edition Rulebook, pg. 34
- 7: Warhammer 40,000 3rd Edition Rulebook, pg. 60
- 8: Rogue Trader: Into the Storm, pg. 114
- 9: Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pg. 102
- 10: Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pg. 59
- 11: Munitorum: Plasma Guns
- 12: Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara
- 13: Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, pg. 75
- 14: GW Website Imperial Guard Vostroyan with Plasma Gun
- 15: Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (2nd Edition), pg. 30
- 16: Eternal crusade Rogue Trader Store - Space Marines (last accessed 18 March 2015)
- 17: The Horus Heresy Book Three - Extermination
- 18: Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 170
- 19: Deathwatch: Rites of Battle, pg. 175
- 20: Dark Heresy: Inquisitor's Handbook, pg. 134
- 21: Necromunda: Gang War III, pg. 6
- 22: Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pg. 59
- 23: Only War: Core Rulebook
- 24: Rogue Trader: Core Rulebook, pg. 123
- 25: The Horus Heresy Book Six - Retribution, pg. 267
- 26: Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition Rulebook, pg. 60
- 27: Rogue Trader: Faith and Coin, pg. 83
- 28: Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Within, pg. 44
- 29: Deathwatch: Core Rulebook
- 30: Dark Heresy: The Lathe Worlds, pg. 60
- 31: Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook, pg. 55
- 32: Black Tide (Novel), Chapter 4
- 33: House Van Saar Collection
- 34: Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 123
- 35: Agent of the Throne: Truth and Dreams (Audio Drama) ca. 00h:43m:36s
- 36: Necromunda: House of Artifice pg.110-111
- 37: Rogue Trader: Into the Storm, pg. 114
- 38: Necromunda: House of Blades, pgs. 112-113
- 39: Necromunda: House of Iron, pg. 112
|Imperial Guard Weaponry|
|Melee Weapons||Chainsword • Combat Knife • Hunting Lance • Power Weapon|
|One-Handed Weapons||Bolt Pistol • Laspistol • Hellpistol/Hotshot Laspistol • Plasma Pistol|
|Two-Handed Weapons||Lasgun • Flamer • Grenade Launcher • Hellgun/Hotshot Lasgun • Lascarbine • Long-Las • Meltagun • Plasma Gun • Shotgun • Sniper Rifle|
|Heavy Weapons||Autocannon • Heavy Bolter • Heavy Flamer • Heavy Stubber • Lascannon • Hotshot Volley Gun • Missile Launcher • Mortar • Sun Gun • Ripper Gun • Grenadier Gauntlet|
|Grenades||Frag Grenade • Krak Grenade • Melta Bomb|