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La'mour Le Breton
04-09-2012, 13:31
I saw the "do power weapons cauterize wounds?" thread, and it made wonder if there are different types of power weapons, and if so what are they?
I read part of the "Angel of Fire" Macharius novel and they have a part where a guardsman comments on how he felt the vibration of an ork power axe as it passed over/near his head. I always assumed that some power weapons were "virbroweapons" like in star wars. I also remember reading about Tona Criid in the Gaunts Ghosts novels using a tiny vibro blade at one point.
Point being, Are all power weapons using the "displacer field" type technology, or are their other types of power weapons in 40k?
If so, what are they? If anyone can make a list of different types that would be great.

MajorWesJanson
04-09-2012, 14:03
Well, you have the basic energy wrapped blade where the energy is used to separate molecules so the blace can cut, tear, or crush easier- basic power swords, axes, mauls, power fists and chainfists.
You have energy capacitance weapons where the energy is stored instead of projected, and released in a burst that disrupts matter in a more sudden and widespread matter- see thunder hammers.
You likely have cruder and/or simpler/cheaper versions that do not project an energy field but vibrate the blade to produce a better cutting effect. Seems suited for the examples you mentioned- small blades and crude ork weapons.
Finally, there is the most advanced, where the weapon is a full on energy blade, with no material core. Like a lightsaber. Very rare, very rarely seen. Only show up in places like the hands of Inquisitors or high ranking Mechanicus officials.

Then you have other non-power weapons that use similar effects, like force weapons that use the psyker's power to get the same effect. Eldar who do the same. Tyranids who use bio-engineering, bioelectric, and maybe things like specially coated with solvents or poison blades. And Necrons, who use sufficiently advanced technology, perhaps such things as matter teleportation or EM or gravity manipulation.

Lord Zarkov
04-09-2012, 14:12
Power Mauls (aka 'Shock Mauls') have historically been of the 'energy capacitance' type rather than the 'disintegration field' type - Adeptus Arbites and Enforcers use them for subdual of criminals for arrest and in public order situations.

Sai-Lauren
04-09-2012, 15:19
Could also be that the energy field for a maul is released over a wider area, compared to a blades edge which would just cut. Plus, as they're designed for subdual rather than killing (although they can probably be ramped up to lethal if necessary), they would likely be of a lower power level anyway, especially compared to something like a Thunder Hammer.

The_Klobb_Maniac
04-09-2012, 15:27
Some could also be heat-based. Having a layer of extreme heat on the tip of the blade may weaken (some) armor types before hitting them with force. (I base this on raw thought rather than background support mind you...) This is how modern tankbusting works and how a hot scoop goes through ice cream. You do run into the issue of needing a better blade material than their armor but.. meh?

Like Major said, Necrons can achieve something similar by phasing a blade into you. This happens with Wraiths, Voidblades, and Hyperphase swords (presumably) in much the same way.

Further there could be some weapons, such as an Ork Power Klaw, whos energy field is less important because it's a giant hydraulic claw that... well.. will kill you anyway.

Askil the Undecided
04-09-2012, 19:29
You are making a very common error, you are equating rulebook generalisations with in-world similarities.

Rulebook power weapons were (until very recently) just a label for any weapon that game designers wanted to ignore armour saves.

In-world power weapons are called power weapons because of the power field (which is canonically described as being blue) they use to disrupt matter and multiply the effect of the force applied to the strike.

In short: a power weapon is a power weapon... except when it isn't and someone was too lazy to be accurate.

Scalebug
04-09-2012, 19:49
In the RT basic rulebook weapon description sction Power Axes were actually Vibroblades as mentioned by the OP, and Power Swords were more or less lightsabers... It was never really represented by the actual models in the game, and not mentioned more than those few lines each in the basic book. When weapons got new descriptions in White Dwarf towards the end of 1st edition, when they published alternative rules for close combat as sort of a pre-view or playtesting article for 2nd edition, both weapons was described as we know them now, solid edge covered with a disruptive field.

Power Mauls are not the same things as Shock Mauls. The first is club with the disruptive field around, used by early Terminators because the STC for powerswords had not been discovered yet* (2nd edcodex chaos). It was later the basis for the Crozius Arcanum, so the 6th ed rules should fit.. teh latter are not the same tech, it is just plain old electric shock rather than molecular disruption.



* So in 2nd ed you couldn't take powerswords for a chaos army. A 3rd-6th ed chaos models with them though, and characters in the Horus Heresy books wielding such blades... though I guess it can be explained that not having a STC for it yes means there will be no mass production, and the swords we see are artifacts found or one-off artificiers works... )

Chem-Dog
05-09-2012, 01:36
Could also be that the energy field for a maul is released over a wider area, compared to a blades edge which would just cut. Plus, as they're designed for subdual rather than killing (although they can probably be ramped up to lethal if necessary), they would likely be of a lower power level anyway, especially compared to something like a Thunder Hammer.

No probably about it, Arbites style power mauls (power truncheons/batons?!) can be ramped up to at least the power level needed to blast through walls, it's the sonic screwdriver of the thumping things with a stick world.



In short: a power weapon is a power weapon... except when it isn't and someone was too lazy to be accurate.

Askil has the size of it. For me a power weapon is one that fits the precise "wreathed in a field of disruptive energy" type, other things are other things that can by entirely analogous in effect but are something else.

I'd also like to add "Mononmolecular blade" to the list of things that could be considered into the OP's list, they have been used to represent the power weapon effect in game at least once to my knowledge (See: Shiv of the Last Chancers). There are also fractal-edged weapons, though I really don't know quite what that's supposed to suggest in regard to a bladed edge.

A.T.
05-09-2012, 09:04
I always assumed that some power weapons were "virbroweapons" like in star wars.The core of a basic power weapon is the matter disruption field and associated protective field but the weapon underneath can be many things. There are vibroblades, monoblades (including self-sharpening mono blades), plasma blades, chainblades, high energy capacitors, etc.

The effects of the field itself can also extend beyond the blade - heat, electrical discharges, proximity disintegration, and so on.

The basic types would be :
-Protective field only (some self sharpening blades, expensive ceremonial weapons, relic non-power weapons, etc)
-Generic (matter disruption field, typically over something bladed including chain and vibro weapons)
-Less-than-lethal (power mauls, etc, where the field can be dialed down - typically combined with a capacitor - see below)
-Capacitor discharge (builds up and releases energy on impact)
-Projected blades (contained plasma weapons such as the sollex plasma blade)

A few rare power weapons are capable of projecting their field/energy over a short distance, the rod of grace is the only one that springs to mind right now.

Sai-Lauren
05-09-2012, 09:57
No probably about it, Arbites style power mauls (power truncheons/batons?!) can be ramped up to at least the power level needed to blast through walls, it's the sonic screwdriver of the thumping things with a stick world.

What type of walls? :) Even the basic power level would likely have no problem with wattle and daub on a low tech world, but the average hive world domicile unit would be a lot tougher to break through.

And that would also reduce the endurance, shorten the life of the maul's components and so on - eventually leaving you with nothing more than an expensive, heavy stick.