Plasma weapons are any weapon that projects gaseous molecules excited to the state of plasma. How this is accomplished may vary from Empire to Empire as certain aspects of construction are taken into account. The biggest consideration taken into account among plasma weapons are heat, and the most notable users of Plasma are the Crescanian Confederacy, and the New Covenant.
Plasma Weaponry of the Crescanian Confederacy
Crescania is one of the biggest producers and users of plasma weaponry, using it as standard weaponry among military regulars. But these weapons differ greatly from plasma weaponry of the other empires in that instead of using magnetic fields to sustain plasmatized material towards its target, Crescania instead uses weapons that fire what is called Plasma Capsules. These capsules are transparent, ball-shaped pieces of glass fibre-enforced plastic designed to break easily upon impact. These capsules are filled with L-26, a synthetic, transparent liquid that when coming in contact with oxygen or hydrogen, experiences an extreme chemical reaction that heats up the liquid enough to turn it into plasma in approximately 0,3 seconds. These capsules are launched with high force and speed by a Nogava reactor, most often placed just above the main grip.
This kind of construction completely removes the risk of the ammunition overheating the weapon, and also lowers the weapon's cost severely, as well as the weapon's power consumption. It also allows for much higher ammo capacity than other plasma weapons. However, these weapons also have more downsides than other kinds of plasma weapons. The most eminent one is that the capsules are too fragile to be used in a scattergun, as they would no doubt bash together with each other and break, thus destroying the weapon instantly. It also has too high bullet drop to be used in a sniper rifle with a normal reactor, and a larger reactor along with required cooling units would be economically impractical. This reduces the technology's potential to medium-ranged weapons such as assault rifles and pistols. Another downside is that the capsules, which just splashes the plasma against the enemy upon impact, are not as effective at killing its target as other weapons, even though it is very effective against armour, and more often than not give a bit slower and much more painful death to hostiles. Another thing to be noted is that these kinds of weapons tend to be very cold to hold due to the cooling systems required for the Nogava reactor, so much that it may cause minor frost damage to anyone holding it for too long without gloves. However, this does not bother the Croiz much, who are by nature used to freezing cold.
Plasma rifles These are the main weapon of the Crescanian army, and exist in extremely high quantities. The most common plasma rifle is the XLS Assault Rifle, but the K-9 Assault Rifle is also used a lot. Plasma rifles of this kind does not use batteries like other empires' weapons do, but instead uses magazines. These magazines are universally designed, having place to hold up to 100 plasma capsules and fits for all rifle models. The Nogava reactor is most commonly placed just above the weapon grip, but it can be found inside the rifle stock on older models. They also have a cooling hatch on its side which can be opened to cool down the reactor even quicker at the cost of not being able to fire while it is open. This hatch is opened by a lever close to it which is pulled in the same manner as when a bullet is loaded into a ballistic firearm. This lever can also be used to manually power up the reactor, should the automatic powering malfunction.
Plasma pistols These are the main sidearms of Crescanian soldiers in all parts of the military, and include the BP6 as well as older models like the PPG90. It follows a similar construction to the plasma rifle, and once again has the reactor placed right above the grip, while the magazine - which to the pistol contains 12 capsules - is placed in front of the grip. And like the rifles have their levers, the top of the pistol can be pulled back to cool the reactor and also to power it up if something malfunctions.
Plasma Weaponry of the New Covenant
Unlike the Confederacy, Plasma weapons on the infantry level are fairly rare, usually kept to specialists among squadrons, though it is possible to field an entire specialist group with such weapons, but they are usually dangerous, though more recent models are safer than older models of plasma weapons, but still have cooling problems. This is made up for the fact the New Covenant Plasma weapons are absolutely devastating, and are effective anti-armor weapons and anti-infantry. These weapons in their larger form can kill enemies just from the heat of the plasma bolt passing by in larger versions. These weapons use magnetism to contain the bolt over the distance until impact with the target. Plasma weapons also include missiles and torpedoes as well that have a Plasma charge.
Infantry Grade Plasma Weapons
Infantry plasma weapons are some of the most expensive and temperamental weapons of the New Covenant. They can be characterized by the high amount of power they have over firearms of the same type in other Empires. Being some of the most powerful man portable and hand held plasma weapons has its drawbacks though, as these guns suffer from far to much heat generation more than their cooling systems can handle, and that makes them dangerous in untrained or careless hands. These weapons have a good chance of hurting their user by Plasma discharge from failed cooling or outright exploding. Plasma weapons though have come a long way from their older more dangerous models, and while their is still a risk of death or injury, many newer models have better cooling and warning systems. Through the need for efficiency and the power of these guns, it is not uncommon to see twin-linked Plasma Guns as Vehicle weapons, affording a greater rate of repeating fire and using vehicle grade cooling systems, making for very powerful Anti-Infantry and Armor weapons. Some of the Models are listed below.
- PR-x70 "CONFECTOR"
- The Confector is an older model of Plasma gun, as it fire only singular large shots, and can fire about to to three shots reliably while maintaining the weapons integrity as long as these are not fired too rapidly. It takes about two to four seconds to cool it down, and can have mods attached to it to enhance its cooling. The gun fires about 20 shots before needing to be Reloaded with a power clip, and around 200 shots before a new fuel canister needs to be loaded in. This Plasma gun is most widely used by all branches of the New Covenant from Guardsmen to Crusaders. It is effective for what it is and is actually preferred over other models. This model is also commonly used as a a vehicular weapon or as a stationary turreted weapon when twin linked and attached to larger cooling systems and power. This implementation of the weapon for vehicular use is a newer development but was decided to be done for the sake of efficiency.
- PHC-x83 "Judex"
- This Plasma pistol, Designated as a Hand Cannon, is a powerful weapon, easily capable of blasting through thick armor. However the Plasma pistol is far more limited than its larger version. These weapons are usually badges of office and rank, and are typically used in tandem with a Melee weapon to enhance combat efficiency against armored targets. This gun is capable of firing about 10 shots before a power clip reload is needed and around 75 shots until a new gas cartridge is needed. Like its larger version heating problems are apparent, and it can explode if misused and fired to quickly. This weapon is most common and some artisan crafted ones can tend to work better and have less problems than more common ones. It finds use only by officers, in both Guardsmen, Dark Watch and the Crusaders.
- This model of Plasma guns is visually identical to the older models of the Plasma , but it uses advances not present in earlier models and some may consider it a downgrade, but it is wholly untrue. This allegation comes from the weapons ability to fire small plasma Projectiles in rapid succession much the Croiz or Edolosian Counterparts. This makes it an assault rifle of sort capable of suppressing targets better than the single powerful shots. Unlike the Edolosian plasma weapons though, the cooling systems are still meant to handle the larger shots and so the gun is able to fire its entire clip without overheating, this is only true in its full auto setting. It can fire around 300+ shots before a power pack is needed to reload. This weapon is however a mid to short range weapon, and possibly a bit shorter ranged than a fully powered shot. The rapid fire shots are capable of wearing down armored targets easily as long as a constant firing is maintained on the target. As an added bonus this weapon can switch firing modes to fire its singular powerful shots, however in this mode it acts identical to previous models, heating problems included. This weapon is more expensive, and is only available to Crusaders, and Spec Ops troops.
- This weapon is drastically different from the Plasma Hand Cannon, and instead can fire plasma shots rapidly, with each pull of the trigger. It is semi-automatic as stated, and is good weapon for pairing with a melee weapon. Its ability quickly fire makes sometimes seen as superior to older models, though its stopping power is limited. This weapon though has a unique feature, it can charge up a shot, like Edolas's own Plasma Pistol, however the similarity ends there, as the shot is similar to a Shot from the Hand Cannon version, but this shot acts as a magnetized explosive. The magnetic veiling around the Plasma latches on to the target like a sticky grenade, and detonates seconds after attaching to its target. The shot is capable of even latching on to a shielded target, creating delayed damage, and most likely powering down the shield as it explodes making the target open to strikes with a melee weapon. After firing this shot the pistol must cool down, which takes only a few seconds. This weapons strange functionality comes from its origins, it is inspired by Xenos tech from the black market, and developed by the certain people in the Technologis. This knowledge is known to very few, and really only know to the party within the Technologis that deals with Alien tech without the knowledge of the rest of the organization. This pistol was only recently released to use by the Crusaders, who have no knowledge of the weapons origin, and was only released after making the weapon look like a Standard Plasma Pistol. The Black Market commonly deals in the prototypes of this weapon that still bore a resemblance to the Xeno tech they came from.
The Plasma Cannon is a much larger Vehicle mountable Plasma Weapon with a longer range than the Standard Plasma Gun and are far more devastating. The Bolt of plasma produced by the extremely high end models can burn enemies just by passing by. This Weapon can also be held by a Crusader, as a heavy weapon, and it uses a Power pack that the Crusader attaches to his armor. It is also mountable on vehicles most notably Walkers and it can also be equipped on the side sponsons of a Tiber Battle Tank. It has two firing modes, a Long range Concentrated Anti-Armor shot, or as an Anti-Infantry Ordinance Blast, which can take out entire squads of heavily armored units. These can also be mounted on tripods for emplacements as long as they have a power source connection. There are a few models of this Cannon, they all perform a similar function.
- PCd-44 "Solus"
- The Solus is the Standard Plasma Cannon, it is a powerful Anti-Vehicular weapon but can also be used as a ordinance weapon to destroy groups of targets caught in its blast. Some of the more Valuable Artisan Crafted ones can literally burn enemies as the Plasma ball passes by, these are among the rarest and are usually used by Crusaders. This model is also the most commonly mounted on Vehicles. Plasma Cannons have a high deployment time, as there is usually no problem with running out of Ammo during a battle, especially in vehicle versions. Crusaders are the only known force to take this weapon into battle as a Man Portable weapon, these heavy weapon teams usually have a Generator and Fuel supplying power pack to keep the weapon powered. Like all New Covenant Plasma Weapons these cannons can over heat very easily.
- PCa-44 "Purgator"
- This model is only a different version of the previous model, it is only used when mounted as a defensive man operated stationary turret weapon. Much like the newer Plasma Gun, this large cannon can rapid fire plasma shots, but these shots are of the same power as a Standard Plasma gun shot, making this a quite powerful weapon. It also can be used against vehicles more reliably with its full powered shot. The New Covenant Guard make use of this in defensive structures, and emplacements.
- This model is a larger standard Cannon that is used by the Experimental Sentinel Walkers. It is elongated and has sufficient cooling for it to be a walker grade Carbine weapon, for both Anti-Vehicular and Anti-Infantry weapon. If fires full powered shots, like the Solus, but its much larger cooling systems allow for it to be fired quicker, around 30 a minute, meaning it cools within two seconds.
Larger Plasma Variants
Plasma Weapons have more specialized variants that are more powerful than their smaller Cannon Counterparts. The Eradicator is a specialized experimental Plasma Cannon that can be mounted in the turret of a Tiber Battle Tank, and is a weapon capable of burst fire of plasma. It fires a burst of three plasma shots, that are effective anti-infantry and anti-armor weapons. These weapons of course tend to heat, so this is why they use a burst fire setting and sustained fire would cause a reactor overload. This weapon though highly effective tends to cause the tank to explode with devastating results if destroyed. The even more massive Plasma Blast Cannon is a massive device that can only be mounted on the largest of Land vehicles, most often a Greatsword Battle Tank variant. It is rumored that Massive Walkers that dwarfed buildings are capable of fielding this weapon as well though knowledge of them has been lost to time.
Ship Based Plasma Weapons
Massive Plasma Cannons can be used for short to Long range engagements depending on size and use, these weapons are common among the New Covenant Navy, and come in many forms. Most other Cannons are mounted on the sides of ships for broadside combat. Plasma Torpedoes are a standard weapon ordinarily used in ship to ship combat, as they are highly effective in ignoring shields of ships as the torpedoes are usually not detected due to them not traveling as fast as the projectiles that shields are designed to stop, as if the shields detection speed is lowered the torpedoes impact and explosion is usually strong enough to overload the shields after multiple impacts.
Plasma Weaponry of the Kingdom of Edolas
Similar to the Confederacy, Plasma Weaponry in the Kingdom of Edolas are rather commonplace among infantry; just underneath Electromagnetic Weaponry in terms of commonality. Edolas always follows a distinct pattern regardless of the specific plasma gun; the plasma is stabilized using magnetic fields. As without the field, the plasma dissipates too quickly to be of any real use. The field controls, contains, and guides the plasma without interfering with firing. Despite the technology imbedded within these plasma weapons, though, they generally overheat rather quickly; making sustained fire a bad idea in most cases. Edolas infantry plasma weapons are rather devastating; but generally not at the level of New Covenant plasma weaponry due to the general emphasis on speed sought by Ventus soldiers, as heavy and powerful weaponry tends to lower movement speed.
Plasma Handgun The Plasma Handgun is a pistol powered by a battery cell and uses a superheated form of Hydrogen Fluoride gas as a source of fuel. The weapon has a power output of 100-150 KV, but when overcharged, the power output is 1.5 MV. It's is a semi-automatic weapon using a single collimator design that gives the weapon its smooth and aerodynamic, claw like appearance. Against infantry, the Plasma Handgun is lethal. Injuries inflicted to a victim can include severe third-degree burns. The plasma shot by the weapon can instantly cauterize wounds upon impact. Adjacent body fluids are subjected to flash vaporization, inducing a strain or a shock on the body after impact, and the trapping of fluids in organs or blood vessels in addition to the rapid expansion of heat can cause ruptures or small explosions within the victim. Generally, two hits from a Plasma Handgun will kill a light or unarmored target. The pistol also has the ability to charge a single superheated bolt, which can instantly deplete many forms of energy shielding, and temporarily disable mechanics. Against infantry if an overcharged bolt were to hit an unarmored flesh target, it would usually result in an instant kill. This high-powered shot makes the Plasma Pistol a formidable strategic weapon; however; prolonged periods of fire will overheat the weapon.
Plasma Rifle and Repeater The Plasma Rifle has a power output of 100-150 KV, and can fire plasma bolts at 360~540 rounds per minute. Unlike the Plasma Pistol, the plasma rifle is capable of semi-automatic and full automatic fire; this is thanks in part to its dual plasma collimator design. Placed atop one another, these collimators fire in a "stagger" taking the slow automatic fire of each individual collimator and combining it, this design allows a faster rate of fire and more rounds per second, which adds to the lethality of the weapon. Taking fire from the Plasma Rifle can cause severe second, third, and in some cases, fourth-degree burns (a fourth-degree burn completely burns away all flesh, leaving only bone tissue). It is the general plasma weapon of the Edolas military.
The Plasma Repeater is similar to the Plasma Rifle, but with major differences in performance due to it's status as an officer and specialist weapon; it's capable of firing more plasma bolts, has a higher rate of fire, is more powerful, fires bolts at higher speeds, has more accuracy, and can be cooled faster than the Plasma Rifle, but has a high cost that dissuades the military from equipping soldiers with it.
Plasma Scattergun Designed for close-range combat, the Plasma Scattergun is a spread weapon with tremendous stopping power. Unlike traditional cyclotron designs, a walled centrifugal well is used to simultaneously shunt dozens of plasma charges, generating a wide-pattern ‘kill spread’ that is lethal over short distances. The excessive recoil produced by each discharge is absorbed by the pneumatic armature, allowing the weapon to be fired repeatedly without significant injury to the user. The operator controlled crank-action flushes coolant through the interior well before cycling additional rounds into the chamber, thereby preventing excessive overheating of the barrel and components. The resulting impact, heat, and electrical charge of the impacted plasma generally instantly overloads shields and barriers and causes massive trauma to unarmored targets.
Plasma Autocannon Used as a heavy mobile weapon in ground based combat, it provides a rapid-fire stream of powerful plasma rounds to suppress enemy movements and offensive actions. The autocannon is basically a mobile support weapon and as such offers no protection for the operator. The gunner is completely exposed to enemy fire, so either a well-covered emplacement position or to be constantly on the move is desirable for prolonged use, especially if under fire. It's uncommon among Ventus soldiers due to it's weight -which, relative to most weapons it's size, is still rather light-, but is a very powerful and useful weapons in line-breaking or defensive engagements. This is also the preferred Optional Mounted Weapon of Dragons.
Plasma Sword The Plasma Sword consists of a curved hilt, which houses an energy storage and generation device, as well as the blade projector; that forms a composition of two highly magnetic polar points that shape and hold a partially ionized, free moving electron based gas into a blade-like form stabilized by two small magnetic field generators built into the handle of the weapon — this forms and contains the oval shaped, ionized blades for which the weapon is recognized. The battery's energy is reduced for each successful strike. Each strike from the sword will drain the battery by 5% of its maximum energy output. Once the battery power is fully depleted, the sword will deactivate unless recharged; this is not the case with more advanced and rare variants of the Plasma Sword, which can be used for longer periods of time without as much battery being used up. The Plasma Sword is an extremely powerful and effective melee weapon in close quarters combat. A single strike can penetrate through most energy shield systems and into the armor and flesh of even a Brain Charger. This is due to the design of the weapon which utilizes magnetically sealed, partially ionized, free moving electron based gas rather than traditional shaped, solid matter. Because of this, the Plasma Sword's edge is extremely sharp, being able to slice through the toughest metals with ease.
Injuries to living creatures by the sword can range from bad to gruesome. Stab wounds by it are, in most cases, fatal — as the blade passes through the body, the innards of the body are burned and cauterized by the temperatures produced by the blades. Survival is minimal at best and in the case of non-vital organs being stabbed with the energy sword, proper medical treatment must be applied as soon as possible to ensure long term survival. Because of the swords sheer destructive power, dismemberment is another common form of fatality to victims, ranging from decapitation to bodies being sliced in half. Loss of limbs is a common injury, while not always fatal, it will disable a victim. The sheer destructive power of the sword makes it a weapon to be feared on any battlefield, but it's rare among Edolas soldiers due to it's expense.
Larger Plasma Variants Plasma weapons for ground combat larger than the Plasma Autocannon exist, in the form of the Lancelot Albion Knightmare Frame's V.A.R.I.S on Plasma Mode; these cannons are capable of firing large and fast blasts of plasma which melt through most armor with ease. Aside from this, there exists a powerful siege weapon called the Beam Cannon which is capable of near incredible destruction; as typically Edolas fires their Plasma in bolts, which is accomplished by forming a magnetic bubble around the superheated ionized gas - the Beam Cannon, once fired, uses the magnetic bubble holding the Plasma to guide it towards its destination. With plasma being fired in a narrow, concentrated beam instead of bolts; this is accomplished by modifying the magnetic field so that the superheated Plasma is guided continuously in a straight line towards its destination. The Beam Cannon is usually reserved for Knight Giga Fortresses such as the Scarab. The Beam Cannon is generally used to take down large scale objects, that either may be in the way of infantry objectives, or as part of destroying a habitable area. If faced with a large military presence a Scarab can use it's Beam Cannon to cut through armor and infantry with ease.
The Plasma Blood Energy Shaping System of a Lazengann Prototype Knightmare Frame is, by far, the most devastating and technologically advanced use of plasma in ground combat in Edolas, if not the entire galaxy; capable of creating havoc and destruction across any battlefield and destroying entire armies with only a few units.
Ship Based Plasma Weapons Ship-based plasma weapons generally take the shape of Plasma Turrets which fire guided Plasma Torpedoes; which pierce through both shielding and armor with relative ease due to both speed and the sheer power of the plasma itself. Another strength of the Plasma Torpedoes is that they nearly never miss, having te ability to track down and home onto an enemy similar to a missile due to the long-reaching magnetic field projected by the Plasma Turret. Other than this, no other general use of plasma exists in the Edolas Navy; with preference given to more powerful and devastating Laser Weaponry, Electromagnetic Weaponry, Particle Beam Weaponry, and Radiation Weaponry.
Plasma Weaponry of the United Systems Commonwealth
Unlike the Crescanian Confederacy, Kingdom of Edolas or the New Covenant, the Commonwealth mainly limits its use of plasma to shipboard and armoured weapons, mainly out of budgetary and practical reasons. The Commonwealth makes plasma the primary armament of its warships and fighters, as well as its Goliath Mechanized Combat Walkers. Commonwealth infantry are not issued with plasma-based firearms, due to its expensive construction, though specialized teams as well as Special Forces personnel are given access to experimental plasma-based weaponry.
Plasma Thrower The IPX-422 Plasma Thrower is an advanced anti-infantry and room-clearing weapon, used by the Commonwealth's Royal Guards Divisions. The Plasma Thrower works similar to a regular flamethrower, only it uses classified compounds to spew out compressed super-heated plasma, instead of flame.
Larger Plasma Weapons The Commonwealth uses high output plasma weapons in its Goliath Mechanized Combat Walkers, Warrior IV IFV's, Challenger V MBT's and orbital and ground-based defence grids. The Goliath MCW's use the LPG-500 Cannon, used as an anti-tank weapon, with an energy ouput in the multi-kiloton range. The Warrior IV uses the smaller LPG-450, which is used for taking out light tanks and armoured vehicles. The Challenger V MBT uses two LPG-450's, used for dealing with light targets. The Defence Grid's uses 200-Megawatt quad-barreled pulse cannons, for anti-air purposes, as well as the AS/A3 and PPT-5 Plasma Cannons, used for anti-ship/armoured purposes, all with with a multi-megaton power output.
Ship-based Plasma Weapons Commonwealth warships use plasma weaponry, called pulse cannons, as their primary armament for space combat. The lightest pulse cannons used on a Commonwealth warship have an output of no less than 636 terajoules, or the equivalent of a 152 kt bomb, while the heaviest pulse cannons have an output of no less than 42,428 terajoules or the equivalent of a 10 mt bomb. The average output of the more common medium pulse cannons is around 12,728 terajoules, or the equivalent of a 3 mt bomb. The pulse cannons of Commonwealth warships, fighters and defence grids are able to guide their rounds, due to the long-reach of the magnetic field of the turrets which aids the targetting systems used on the ships. The Commonwealth uses a large amount of these pulse cannons, with the intent of overwhelming opposing vessels with plasma fire, used in conjunction with Railcannons, particle beam cannons and ballistic, nuclear and antimatter missiles.