At the moment it is hard to image that the Thunderhawk could fly. Let alone be an effective aerial combat vehicle considering it's un-aerodynamic 'blocky' style. It looks like it would fly about as well as a brick. And a very big, and heavy, brick at that. Yet it is put forward in the background as being superb at its role. It seems to out perform many a modern day jet fighter (and space shuttles!). This post is my take on the design concept. An attempt to explain away how the Thunderhawk works in principle, and why the STC design is the way it is.
The Thunderhawk is an aerofoil-proxy design. It uses power-shields (similar in concept the power-canopy for Rogue Trader p.124) to form a proxy aerodynamic surface. This allowed the STC designers to kill two birds with one stone: not only would the shields deflect air and act as a proxy aerodynamic surface - but it would also stop bullets! (and bird strike)
In action: the shield (power-canopy) at the front cuts through the air, and because it's a shield it can be 'razor sharp' and frictionless. At hypersonic speeds this fore shield would create vacuum behind it, with the air rushing in around to contact the flat sides of the Thunderhawk and straight through the engines.
Small arms bullets would also be defected, but as they are heavier than air can't be sucked in as much as air and so wont go though the engines (which is a good thing) and if they are the nature of power-fields (as I describe them would soften the bullet)
Oh, and bird number three to kill: As it is friction less it also makes an excellent heat shield for entering planet's atmosphere from Space. Ideal for orbital drops.
Those aren't wings they're anti-gav systems!
The problem with wings is that the need a decent atmosphere to function. On thin atmosphere worlds they're a bit useless especially with a heavy tank that thinks it's bird. Conversely on thick atmosphere worlds; friction is a big problem (not with those shields though!).
Another important point is durability. Renegades and aliens aren't always happy to see Space Marines and have a tendency to open fire on sight. Wings are usually a good thing to shot at. So the Thunderhawk doesn't have wings, but heavily armoured pylons housing anti-gav systems and fat guns on the end.
It's a brick
Bricks fall pretty good; much the same as a Thunderhawk crashing through the atmosphere. Wings are we know them on planes can be a bit weedy and sheer of at hypersonic speeds, so the STC designers wouldn't use them. Bricks hurt if they land on you, planes are a bit light and just burn up on impact with the ground. Whereas a downed Thunderhawk makes a huge hole ("For the Emperor! Even our death will count towards final victory" - some random space marine being well 'ard 😀 )
When referring to the Golden Age of Technology I put a lot of emphasis on the 'Technology' bit. I do not see it as the Golden Age of Humanity! (Certainly puts the 'Dark' into the Dark Age of Technology when viewed in retrospect by the populous of the Imperium). It seems to me that machines with AI are quite capable of going of and colonising worlds to extract materials, build other machines, fighting wars and even act in a diplomatic capacity when dealing with sentient aliens etc. Humans are a bit redundant in this Human-Machine empire if it weren't for Psyker powers.
With the human removed from the colonisation equation, even extremely environmentally hostile worlds are up for grabs. From a human point of view most worlds with 1G gravity found in the Milky Way are going to be hostile in some way, but these hostile worlds are relatively easy for purpose manufactured machines, and hence 'humanity', to colonise.
Earth like worlds in our reality are a rarity, and finding another Earth is like looking for a needle in a hay stack. It could be that there are no Earth like planets for thousands of light years (in reality), our nearest star may not have any habitable planets, or the next nearest, or the one after that. However that ignored the interference of the Old Ones...
In my version it is the Iron Men who first leave our solar system and conquer the stars in the beginning and throughout the D/GAoT. Humans only start moving about once warp drives are invented and machines find that humans have psionic powers and are the only way to navigate the warp. Otherwise we human would not have gotten an invite to this party.
Once humans start to travel, they travel to worlds already claimed by the Iron Men. They move into complexes already built by the Iron Men which simulate standard earth environments. In many ways this is a machine 'breeding' program, playing a numbers game, to find the interesting mutations and manifestations of Psykers. I image that basic human tribal society is what brings he greatest frequency of manifestations of psionics, and hence the machines try to model a tribal society and enforce such a system. This leads to the Ecorium and Ecopolis designs of Project Eden.
The Machine-Human Empire is a four level system;
- The Artilects. Great mountains of photonic based artificial intelligence.
- The Corporations: run by humans for humans they make the decisions.
- The Machines: the replacement for middle and working classes They make everything happen.
- Humanity: Living a simple 'village' existence within Ecorium. A sort of real life virtual reality made possible by the technology, were they are responsible for themselves and their families and live protected by that technology.
In my mind everything outside the Ecorium would be automated, and Iron Men count as part of that automation. This allows humans to live within idealised tribal societies and retain their strongest card in regard to the Machine-Human alliance: latent psyker powers are a rich resource for the machines to 'exploit' for the benefit of all. Hence the navigator program, but also many more.
The machines may have eventually figured it all out, the generic harmonics and the warp image, but it was all brought down by a sudden explosion in psyker manifestations, plunging the Machine-Human empire into disarray and for the Machines to level the charge on humans as 'traitors' and withdraw from any and all agreements. Machines disappear, and humans are left with billions of Psykers and demonic manifestations to fight.
The Imperium is made up of several powerful allied factions: The Armies of Terra (Earth), the Adeptus Mechanicus and their armies (Mars), the Inquisition (Terra), each of the Space Marine chapters (Various worlds) and the Grey Knights (Titan) to name but a few. Each a virtual self-contained autonomous empire in their own right, so how do they interact?
This musing of mine is about the protocols for cooperation between the factions. What is the process that allows one faction to become part of another's chain of command? How is the authority established for joint ventures if each is independent and actively protects and enforces its autonomy? How can it be implemented at the local level, when most humans on many a world have never seen an actual 'Space Marine'? Most only know of them as mythical angels of half-forgotten legends. Or to really push out the boat to make the point, we must consider the shadowy and obsessively secret order the 'inquisitors'. How does a secret organisation assume authority if no one knows about them, or have no idea what an Inquisitor seal is, or how to verify any Inquisitional credentials???
How does and Inquisitor gain power over another Imperial faction yet rIn practical terms, how does and Inquisitor gain power over another Imperial faction, such as the Adeptus Arbites, yet remain 'secret' and not alert those they hunt to their presence?
The idea I come up with is to assign a 'second'; a liaison officer between the The idea I come up with is to assign a 'second'; a liaison officer between the perceived interloping 'allies' and the main body they are interacting with. This allows the force to isolate the influence of the ally through the liaison officer, giving the actual orders to the force's troops.
How this works with Space Marines interacting with the Imperial Guard; the Marine command requests a liaison officer. The Imperial Guard command then assigns a liaison offer to the Marine force. This liaison officer, with a rank as agreed in treaties, grants the Marines the authority equal to the liaison officer's rank. The Marines then use the liaison officer's rank to give commands; the liaison officer is as a proxy. The liaison officer only has to confirm the arrangement with other Imperial Guard officers and units in the field. Once the authority is verified, and the new chain of command established, the liaison can step back. This way, the IG officer in the field knows the orders to obey the Marines is authentic as it came from their own command (and no judgement calls are needed). Even if the Imperial Guard unit has no idea what a Marine is, they know their own officers, and it's the officer that tells the rank and file.
Once set up the Space Marines can now order Imperial Guard units about the place, through the power of the liaison officer, with an effective rank of the liaison officer. This also means that a liaison officer can override Marine orders (though upsetting the marines in battle is not a good idea, and they may dismiss the liaison officer and act unilaterally!).
The great thing about this is that when the Imperial Guard see the liaison officer, they recognise them instantly and accept their authority. It's the liaison officer that vouches for the marines. Without this setup, there could be issues. The Imperial Guard troopers, without confirmation from their own command, could refuse to take an order from a Marine (in battle this may be a stretch, considering how awesome Marines are) as they do not recognise the authority of the marine - which is technically correct as the Marines are not part of the chain of command of the Imperial Guard (none of them wants to be shot by a Commissioner!).
In action, I would imagine that the liaison officer acts more as C&C in the field of battle rather than following the marines about (and if they do, they'll hang back).
I also imagine that the marines may take temporary campaign markings on leg armour and such. Markings similar to tanks (as Marines are like mini-one-man-tanks!)
More on Space Marines
This is where it gets fun as the Inquisitor does not have to proclaim they are an inquisitor merely a 'special investigator' or some other cover. The liaison officer assigned to them for official business does not have to be told who the Inquisitor really is, all that matters is that someone high up in the world's local government has cleared them for access at the highest level possible.
All the people of the world deal with the liaison officer. It is this officer that All the people of a given world will deal with the liaison officer. It is this officer that supplies the 'recognisable authority' to local populous, and provides the units for back up. The inquisitor does not have to show a badge of office; the liaison officer, and the associated unit (Arbites, PDF etc.) is their 'badge of office'.
No enemy or chaos minion is alerted to the presence of the Inquisition. The existence of the Inquisition is neither confirmed or denied. As far as the records show, the Inquisitor was never there, and the operations were all carried out by local units.
This means that all orders for assistance in the field go up through the Inquisitor's chain of command (reports going with it) to the appropriate level (highest level if needs be) and then jumps over to the appropriate level in the chain of command of the faction the Inquisition is dealing with.
The Imperium is not noted for its speed, and this system can cause problems. If an Inquisitor suddenly turns up, without any groundwork and has not been assigned a liaison officer, and demands to requisition a starship from the navy; it can take time. The navy officer does not have to comply (they wouldn't comply under this system) but instead waits for order from their own chain of command to cooperate, and to what level. About all the Inquisitor can do when they show up, and if they want to keep their identity secret, is claim a form of 'diplomatic immunity'. Perhaps provide some codes (probably handled like nuke launch codes) in some form of passport (which does not identify them as an Inquisitor but a noble or some other high-ranking cover).
If a liaison officer from the navy is already in place; the Inquisitor can assume command of any ship, up to the rank of the liaison officer. If the Inquisitor needs more power; they can request it from their own command structure, which works out the details with the navy, who then issues the command.
All nice and neat, and also allows the Inquisition's command and control to keep an eye on their inquisitors!
More on The Inquisition
How do the Tech-Priests of the Adeptus-Mechanicus eat? Ever seen one feed? Do they feed like regular humans?
I was musing on this and figured something similar to my ideas of the Space Marines back-pack may prove to be a good place to start. Perhaps a little radical but how about mixing a re-breather with a backpack bio-waste recycling system to produce an integrated life-support system powered by a micro plasma engine?
The system would reprocess all waste using the energy of the plasma-engine to drive the reprocessing, before feeding it back into the bio-system. As a bonus bionics can also be powered by this system.
This would mean the a Tech-Priest does not each food as such and instead is powered buy a plasma-engine and 'feeds' on tritium (H3). This feeding could be via implant flasks with a back up (for times when fuel supply not assured) could be a face mounted hydrogen extractor to process regular air and- or water.
It may be a bit extreme but it gives the Tech-Priest a nice 'otherworldly' feel to them. Plus is they process water they would have an excess of Oxygen and could vent it with puff of fire via a stovepipe (stovepipe is a type of top hat, and that's not weird at all... ) or some snazzy palm mount hand flamers.
This life-support system may also work wonders for Space Marines.
This is a concept of cross-linking Warhammer 40K Psykers with Warhammer Fantasy Wizards by having them share the same meta framework.
The 'winds of magic' as chaos energy drawn into reality and stabilised via Slann Tech. In the fantasy setting this is a residual effect of the polar gates, processing the warp energy and spewing it into the world.
Light (white) magic is a collection of all the colours. The Elves in fantasy can use light magic and it is very powerful. Humans in fantasy can only use a single colour. Dark Magic is not a 'wind of magic' but instead a direct tapping of the warp (circumventing the Slann Tech processing).
Using this concept in 40K, the Eldar use white magic which is processed via their technology. This isolated them from the full temptation and corruption of chaos.
Human Psyker tap the warp directly and therefore use the fantasy equivalent of 'Dark Magic'. This leave them prone to corruption and temptation by chaos (hence most human psykers are soul bound).
The wind of magic in the fantasy setting sense are rare in 40K, but they do turn up near warp rifts and the Eye of Terror. When a human in 40K is exposed so the winds of magic some find they can channel it and effective become magic-users (hedge).
Some machines in 40K, like warp drives, leak winds of magic and therefore need special counter measures.
At high concentrations the winds of magic can be inhabited by 'spirits', these are similar in concept to the daemons of the warp except they are in the winds. This opens the option of having the undead in 40K, zombies and ghosts. Therefore a warp engine that is leaking can be haunted...
It seems to me that that playing a PC (Player Character) in a RPG (Role Play Game) is a bit like having an avatar/ user name on a forum: some people like to get on with everyone and some do not. For a small minority the anonymity goes to their head and they mutate into trolls. I suppose they act in this way because they enjoy, and are able to do so because they are not afraid of the consequences.
These same 'troll' like behaviour often appears during role play games sessions, these 'PC trolls', are players who act very destructive in the game setting. The means the GM uses to curb this behaviour is not the same as on the forum as there is a big difference. On a forum moderates have to ban, and other members ostracise and ignore. Dealing with PC it is different from the net: for while the player (the soul of the PC) is anonymous in the game world, they are not anonymous to their friend sitting around the table. That's the difference, and that's how you can play to their desires, but how to you curb power gaming and the players hacking and slashing all day long if that's the aim?
Change the rules of the game setting. As the reality changes so will the player's choices and actions. If the aim of the game is career advancement and the best way to so that is kill everything guess what is going to happen?
As GM I suggest the first thing to do is to change the way you handle the NPCs. You can't control the blood-soaked player's heart's desires - but you can control the NPCs. Many games promote by implication or holes in the rules (and GMs follow) that NPCs do not act like living beings. Instead they act like cannon fodder and deserve little respect.
In such a game I think it would be natural to kill everything in sight because why should the Players be interest in a bunch of NPC idiots? Players are people, and people like to make friends those they consider 'one of us' and respect enemies that can put up a decent fight. This fight usually involves brains and overcoming the odds in an RPG sense and story sense - but 'matching levels' is not much fun (might as well min-max, kill mooks to gain levels and then crush the boss, it's how the game is played).
I would introduce the concept of fear. An the biggest fear inducer is an enemy with intelligence, and those with intelligence are prone to fear.
For example: Gretchin, the 40K goblin.
No one is scared of a Gretchin. They are weak, cowardly and spiteful to those weaker than themselves and only really dangerous to the unwary. What they do have going for them is their cunning (apparently).
Yet in a game they often act like heroic, fearless martyrs.
If the PCs encounter Gretchin change the common RPG trope of how they (mooks) act;
Gretchin will not engage in hand to hand combat unless the PC is critically injured and the Gretchin have a 'sure thing'. In these instances of a 'sure thing' the Gretchin will go for capture (for story purposes). If charged they will run away and they are fast and small, and if in a built up area with disappear down a sewer pipe of small opening quicker than you can shout 'get 'em!'.
Second they Gretchin love guns and will ambush the PCs, fire one or two shots from high ground and then leg it! Once they leg it they will circle around and attack the PC's flanks. Rinse and repeat. These Gretchin are actually 'cunning'.
Next up is 'set pieces' sooner of later the PCs are going to get frustrated and chase the Gretchin, unfortunately this leads them slap bang into a pit-fall trap. In can be a dug out hole (tiger-trap) in woodland, or holes cut into the ferro-crete floor that drops the PCs into underground catacombs, basements or anything else that takes your fancy.
It's a good way of rail-roading PCs by using the NPCs and the malicious Player desires. However, sooner or later the Player will twig that you are herding them by pulling on the their nose-ring and they gain an inclination to stop acting like a bull in a china shop.
Now you have 'em. Now the Players will start to think about their situation and take the threat of the 'mooks' seriously. Levelling up and charging in will no help because the Gretchin are being smart. It is this smart element that makes the Players think twice and pay attention to the game universe and start to look for advantage-as humans do when pressed- to find an edge. This edge may include friendly NPCs.
Another point is human NPCs should have fear too, and if the PCs start torturing NPC for info, they will get bad information (the NPC will tell them anything) and other NPCs will run off (and some will come back with help). The first thing regular human NPCs usually do when you pull out a massive gun it run like hell! The only time humans do not run is if they have an advantage (if the NPCs do not run at the sight of a gun it should set of the Player's alarm bells), and that usually means the PCs are standing in someone's 'territory' and being actively targeted.
This is not to say the PCs can't have a bit of fun and kill 'mooks', but these should be against the foolhardy and stupid and it should be made clear the targets are inexperienced and it's like shooting fish in a barrel (and no XP!). The death of these weak targets will not endear the PCs to the local populous, because if the targets were so weak the chances are they weren't much of a threat and are most likely young loud mouthed gangers (who have families, and hence another hook - sooner of later the PCs learn to kill quick and quiet and without witnesses.).
Oh, as for XP, give it for completing the mission and surviving not for killing. There is no benefit for killing in most cases, and let the Player know the 'mercy' in some cases gives kudos (and sometimes side-kicks!).
All in all, fights should be there as an adventure hook. That's not to say you can't have a few 'easy-win' on consequence fight it just that if you use them as mere 'fights' players will get board (usually right after they master the rules). Fights that are used as an unimaginative obstacle to get in the PCs way, become dull as without consequence (other than the threat of death - which many Players assume is a bluff anyway) there is no real continuation. It's like applying the brakes. If you do too much the Players will act 'stupid' and start to put their wasted intelligence to other uses; such as min-maxing and obsessing about their PC's stats (because in this type of mook-hunt that's all that matters!)
The long and short of it, is that the Players are smart and creative people and they need a challenge. If you do not provide that challenge 'in game' by immersing them in a 'story' with a 'plot' and instead present an endless line of idiotic fearless enemies then do not be surprised if the Players act up!
Note: The only time mooks should act like mooks is when they are zombies. Unless you go with the surprise attack 'rage-virus' zombie! 😉
There has always been a lot of debate about the accuracy of the 1,000 marine limit per codex chapter. As the logic goes; If there are 10 companies of 100 marines, which is 1,000, then how can there be a limit of 1,000 if the Companies' Captains, Apothecaries, Chaplins, Standard Bearers, or the Librarians, Techmarines, Dreadnoughts, Drivers, Senior Officers and the mighty Chapter Master have not been counted yet?
It seems to all come down the scout company not being countered towards the 1,000 marine limit. Space Wolves aside, is seems that Scouts are definitely not full space marines and are still regarded as Neophytes.
"As the Neophyte nears the end of his training, but before he can become a full battle brother, he is inducted into the Scout Company to earn the right to wear blessed power armour and demonstrate in the fires of battle that he is ready for the final stage of his transformation – the implantation of the Black Carapace"
Codex Space Marines page 11
"Once a warrior has proved his courage in the Scout Company, he is elevated to the rank of battle brother and inducted into one of the Chapter’s Battle Companies"
Codex Space Marines page 12
As to limits, it’s never specific. True, at first look, 10 companies of 100 troops make a thousand, but this does not include all the Company's Captain, Apothecary, Chaplin, Standard Bearer, or the Librarians, Techmarines, Dreadnoughts, Drivers, Chapter Master and Senior Officers. This would be far more than 1,000 Space marines per chapter.
Maybe it’s all down to some strange quirk of fate: that the 9 full battle brother companies (excluding the scouts), plus the veteran sergeants from the Scout Company (seeing as the Vets are full Space Marines), Captains, Apothecaries, Chaplins, Standard Bearers, Librarians, Techmarines, Dreadnoughts, Drivers, Chapter Master and Senior Officers also just happen to come to around 1,000. If this is the case, then there are indeed 1,000 Space Marines per Chapter, but the Scouts are not counted.
It should be noted that in all the pilots (inc. Thunderhawk) and vehicle crews may come form the 6th,7th,8th, and 9th companies providing 'support' to the other Chapters. They may not be extra marines.
All this confusion is a simple misunderstanding, at seeing the 10 companies/ 100 troops per company and taking that as the thousand without digging any deeper.
Well that my reasoning, and it seems to fit the facts 😉
This is a bit of wild musing on the nature of the Golden Men/ Stone Men/ Iron Men. It differs from GW material and what I have posted on my concept page on my site: Dark Age
I'm rather taken with the idea that it's a bit like Hesiod's works and days, specifically the ages of man. Obviously we have to muck about with it (or it's no fun) and I kinda lean towards the concept that it should aim to describe what it means to be human (or rather sentient) and their progeny. The idea of progeny has to be expanded a wee bit, to allow for creations other than reproduce that are 'sentient'. Not just genetic but meme, where DNA is but a code of information to create other codes of information in other formats.
Golden men = Original Psykers made by the Slaan (Old Ones)
Stone men = the great artificial intelligences
Iron men = a new chaos immune species.
This may have all be done to 'invade' the materium.
Transition of life form types
- In the grand scheme of concepts the Old Ones [who are warped based] create a materium species who are the Slann.
- The Slann variants include human beings. The humans start out as being fantastically powerful psykers, and are basically the gods of myth like Zeus etc.
- The humans then (seem to) degenerate away from being Psykers. They become 'us' (modern humans).
- Modern day humans are a transitional phase (see below), and do not show up in the ages.
- Humans, who devolve to merely having latent psyker abilities, but this does allow a link to the warp and for creativity. The humans create technology and the machines.
- Machines rise as a full materium life form lacking any form of warp connection.
- The great artificial minds are powerful, a 'god' in the materium, but not as good as the original Psykers in the god stakes.
- The machines create a new biological life form in the Iron Men.
- The Iron Men are literally a 'Tau' brain in a machine case (probably 'T.A.U'?).
As such humans are merely a means to an end and are outdated. They were made to bring about a fully 'materium being' able to function without connection to the warp.
Why the Old Ones would want to make such a creature is open to debate?
As I see it (in this concept) The 'ages of man' are merely steps to creating at end result (I suspect the Iron Men have left to do what they had to to, whatever that was. They may even have ended up as 'Necrons/ C'Tan' and form a basis for a warp invasion (where the Necrons are not actually opposed to the 'chaos gods', and function as counter-parts and agents. All working for the Old Ones?).
I suppose that's really pushing into what people are calling 'grimdark' a little too much. I'm sure many are not going to like the idea that the whole of human evolution is a mere 'stepping stone' to great plans, and all the terrible calamity in 40k is a mere trifle compared to the concerns of the Chaos Gods - Necrons and the greater plans of the 'Old Ones' (which makes the Old Ones power level off the chart (but they may be dealing with infinite alternate realities (all connecting to the same warp)). The plans of the Old Ones marches on relentlessly and humans have been forgotten. A mere 'remnant' of the fabric of the universe.
- Old Ones - govern infinite alternate realities and the warp
- Chaos gods - govern warp local to a given reality accross a whole universe
- Slann - govern the warp local to a given galaxy and can materialise.
- Necrons - govern a given galaxy and the physics within.
- Humans* (and other sentients) govern worlds and lesser lifeforms on the (perhaps part of an 'evolution protocol' driven by 'chaos' and stabilised by the Necrons - Necrons perform 'cults' in this breeding program)
- Humans are currently hitting outside their weight.
As to fact and connection, I vaguely remember RIk or someone suggesting the Stone Men were silicon based (CPU) with Iron men as robots, but I could be wrong.
I have been reading fan's views posted on various forums of the new development trailer for the game: 'Warhammer 40.000: Space Marine'. It seems the developers what the bolter as a destraction and have made it very weak (almost like a H&K UMP). While fans want a super Bolter, a weapon worthy of a MARINE.
I think that with a little imagination both camps could have their cake and eat it, or at least be able to co-exist without killing each other.
Expanding on what I said earlier about Bolters on the Anargo forums (what follows is a bit of a ramble);
Ideas for reconciling the two camps
VS Marines (loyal vs chaos)
- Assuming bolter have a small kicker charge to get them going (the case is more to protect the bolt, the kicker to clear it) then they would lack impact up close. (gyrogets can be stopped with a hand place over the muzzle)
- To get around this they could use a shaped charge (HEAT) to make up for the lack of kinetic impact. However, marines may employ a form of 'electric armour' that will defeat the penetrating effects of a shaped charge warhead.
- However the explosion would still pull the marine back suddenly and cause impact damage, but marine are tough and can take it - though they may be stunned.
- Further, if a marine can survive a direct hit from a bolt, then it would logically follow that any explosion near a marine would have far less effect (such or the firer being close) though if too close they may be stunned too. Hence close combat weapons when the close (or both may end up on the floor with little start wizzing around their heads!)
- At range the gyrojet/ rocket of the bolt gets it up to speed and it will hit with far more kinetic energy. At long range the major damage is kinetic not explosive. The HEAT charge is all but redundant and instead a rod or core is what causes the penetration.
- At range this impact are going to be very fast, many times the speed of sound (hypersonic) and such impact even marine will have trouble shrugging off. So would some armoured vehicles. (The bolt may even come in as some form of scramjet variant for special ops?)
VS others (cultists)
- Humans would be seriously damaged by the HEAT explosion even if not a direct hit (perhaps a bit of fragmentation to anti-personnel? The proximity fuse could be used to do an 'air-burst'?). Humans (cultist) would be knocked down and seriously stunned, with those nearest to the blast killed outright.
- This means humans and cultist can be mown down in their droves with air-bursts. The problem would be ammo supply. As this type of Bolt is getting very large, the ammo-supply would be quite limited. However, a air-burst would be great for killing several cultist at range.
Using these concepts a marine would use a Bolter at short range to stun chaos marines so they could close and finish.
They would kill chaos marines at range with careful single sniper shots. Though chaos marine would not like to be in the open, and if their were they would like to by running (and hence loyalist marine may decide to close)
Against humans is would be a gore-fest at any range. But a marine may run out of ammo, and wading through heavy fire may take it's toll on his armour. The marine may air-burst over the humans to stun more of them, then close.
All the time the marine is looking for one hit take downs.
The Bolter could be set for a three or four round burst fire, and it would be frighteningly effective. However the play would run out of ammo if they used it like a light machine gun to suppress.
Finally, suppressive fire: Marines would not bother with it because they can fire a single air-burst over the cover which explodes over the heads of those in cover. This means a marine can quickly close and would not have to stop if confronted with enemies in cover (which is good encase someone is tracking them with a heavy weapon and bolter at range, and as soon as they get pinned the are vulnerable).
Marine may have in the back of their mind that running around in bright armour and being a bullet magnet means they can never stop and never pause. They push on all the time. This could be added into the game as 'sniper fire' where chaos marine who see the player at range take shots. So being stealth only works with lots of cover.
Imagine the game play visuals with a a good swarm system and physics.
Standing atop ferro-create stairway in front of mighty cathedral the marine faces down hundreds of charging cultists but only has a single clip!
As the cultists surge forward the marine takes out the leading ranks with 5 'air-burst' bolt salvo. These could be set in the game option at 'within 3m of living target' with a toggle between modes while in the action. As each bolt hits they explode and create 'crop circles' in the masses. Each salvo therafter piles up the dead and as the cultist slow and stubble on the dead they become more dense and the air busts affect far more (the funnelling of the stairs would also help).
When the dust settles the marine has killed hundreds with a 25 round clip!
Similar situation to the above, except the marine faces a brother who has fallen to Khorne.
The player ties an air-burst and the chaos marine barely breaks stride!
The player flips the toggle to enable direct fire and the fire bolt slams right into the cheat of the marine knocking them down.
Then the chaos marine gets back up! The player pumps in another round but the chaos marine leans into the blasts (nutter!) and now only stumbles when hi (Khorne!)
The player pumps in round after round and the Chaos marine closes chain sword buzzing!
Another chaos marine, say of Nurgle charges into range and take the hit. Gets up an fires back! Player is stunned and the chaos marine is closing.
A Slaanesh marine may play guitar when hit, and only has to get close enough to affect the player' marine with it chaos sounds Would be fun to have a illusion effect where random friendlies turn in the visage of chaos scum, and some chaos marine look like pure loyalists. When the laze clears...)
Tzeentch marine may sniper from afar or a sorcerer may create multiple images (to waste out ammo and improve chances of closing).
The Bolter would be lethal, but the marine hard as nails!
Well that's my thoughts. I think it would give an interesting game play, what do you think?
Inspiration often strikes when you least expect it, and sometimes even casual chit chat on a forum can spark the imagination. What follows in a outline of how I see daemons in 40K. This is self-quote from a thread on the BL Forums, inspired by Schaferlord's off hand remark... Sometimes that's all it take to send my imagination into a tail spin!
Source: "Ickle Baby Daemons" thread on the BL Forums
I think the chaos demons are just that - highly chaotic, and demonic, and are generated as needed. Their manifest form may follow a blueprint built into the human id (and other sentience species'). These spontaneous daemons would appear in areas of great emotional outpouring and death, born of the fragments of souls (as the break apart in the warp) and powered by the fears and desires of those still living in hellish conditions. These warp manifestation are 'emergent properties' of high concentrations of soul fragments and energy.
Only very powerful demons who survive in an area for a long time would be able to retain their shape and leave the warp image of the world they were born. I would hazard a guess that on a world like Earth (using Earth as a template) that certain gods would form daemons, and if kept powered for long enough and enough die (natural or otherwise) they could become free of their binding to Earth. So there could be daemons formed in the image of various gods of cultures form all over the world; from Aztec and Norse gods. For example: there could be a daemon of Xolotl and Thor. However I think these would be very local - but as the world expanded they could merge together and grow (as cultures mix) and become a thunder god of all of Earth with aspects of all the cultures thunder gods.
Such Thunder God could be evil or good or 'it depends', I think the Emperor is a 'Thunder God' of Earth (Terra) manifest into reality and possessing a human body (close match as the 'daemon' is made form human emotion and fragments).
These merged Gods may be great, and as the process continues greater still. Instead of covering a country, continent or world the could keep going until they cover a whole galaxy. These would be the real 'Chaos' Gods, and ironically after the Emperor conquered half the galaxy he (may have) become one of these super size 'Gods'. he may not have started out as a super god but he become one.
Well that my fluff heresy for the day...
This all ties in with my thoughts on the nature of the Emperor and of the Emperor's corruption, where the Emperor is a super Psyker who becomes so much more though a process of absorbing other's energies. I quite like the idea that a powerful Psyker can become a focus for energy and start to become powerful like a god because they begin to attract warp side energy; that their soul becomes a 'daemon' in the warp growing fat on the emotional energy of those around the Psyker and perhaps absorbing other's soul fragments and becoming 'corrupted' in the sense that their soul is no longer wholly their own.
Once the Emperor may have been a human super Psyker a perceived 'god' but not a real god. As time progressed he began to absorb the power of those around him and it began to corrupt him. To stop this he forbade worship of him and tried to stay away from those who were over emotional (regular humans). The Primarch acted as a buffer between himself and regular humanity. It is therefore ironic that with his death and the rampant Emperor worship, that he can no longer resist and is 'becoming'. However he is no longer purely himself, his soul has transformed and mutated by the emotions focus on him, and he soul is now alien to the mind that dwells in the materium. To a regular human it would be like having a massive Id, a powerful beast the dwells beneath he surface. I suspect it's all the Emperor can do to keep it caged, and on the of main reason for the Astronomican is to drain the nascent god of its power.