Gaunt's Ghosts #2: - Ghostmaker analysis and tech discussio

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Gaunt's Ghosts #2: - Ghostmaker analysis and tech discussio

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-07-03 05:19am

Alright, I'm onto the second Ghosts novel. Didn't care for it quite as much as First and Only, but it had its moments. You all know the drill.

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-07-03 05:19am

Page 13
A soft chime signalled imminent landfall, and they both felt the sudden pull of deceleration g-forcecs.

The craft in question is either a small orbital cutter/shuttle: either it has no "inertial damping" at all (likely) or the shuttle's dampers operate in such a way that they only damp a percentage of the G forces (acting more like a multiplier - 20 gees would feel like 2 gees, etc.)

Page 19
"An hour ago, our ships in orbit detected a massive enemy armada coming in-system. It is no exaggeration to say that Tanith has just hours of life left to it.
Implies an enemy armada will kill all life on Tanith within "hours" at most. No idea on the size of the enemy fleet.

Note as well that depending on the size of the system, and the number of "hours" you define hours as (as later pages suggest, its liekly only a few hours tops.) the armada took less than a day to reach the planet. The enemy would be immediately detectable from warp emegence the minute they drop into realspace.

There are two ways to argue this: they were detected at FTL, at the edge of the system, and took a few hours to reach Tanith. That implies FTL sensors of some kind (warp sensors, probably passive.) as well as high acceleration.

The other interpretation is that the sensors were not FTL, and the signals took hours to reach the planet (depending on how big the system is.), it still takes less than a day, though not nearly as fast as the other examples.

Accecleration or FLT sensor calcs would depend just HOW big the system is (how many planets.) The Inquisition War novels imply that warp emergence points are typically "billions" of kilometers away from a planet. Either way, the calc is going to imply many thousands of gees, possibly 10,000 gees or more for the first (FTL detection) interpretation, but at least a few thousand gees (comparable to SW ships) for the latter, certainly. The FTL propogation speed in the former case would be rather slow as well, only a few times c at most.

Page 19 - mention of Naval pickets designed to guard "warp gates" towards "territories like tanith" (IE just re-conquered by the Imperium). Evidently the chaos fleet mentioned above slipped through some of these.

Page 20

- Gaunt informs the Tanith governor and officials that they will continue loading up the regiments, only leaving orbit "in one hour or at the point of attack, whichever comes first."

This also implies the "hours of life left" figure was probably only a couple hours, tops (more like an hour) It also implies a couple regiments (I forget how many troops) took only a few hours to remoe from the planet (possibly implying similar deployment times.

Page 20
The night sky above Tanith Magna caught fire and fell on the world. The orbital bombardment blew white-hot holes out of the ancient forests, melted the high walls, splintered the towers, and shattered the paved yards.
Effects of the bombardment. Hard to tell what weapons are doing it or calculate the yields. Though given that people on the planet still have enough time to fight in an attempt to escape its not terirbly destructive (IE not the sort of continentla-scale destruction implied in other novels like Caves of Ice.) Either the ships are deliberatley taking their time (hard to think why) they are fighting some sort of oribtal battle and cannot focus completely on the bombardment, or the Chaos ships are damaged (possibly both of the latter.)

Page 21
Then Sym's torso exploded in a red mist and Gaunt was thrown back off his feet.

At the head of the staris, the grotesque shock troops of Chaos bayed and advanced. Sym had seen them over Gaunt's shoulder, had pulled himself up and round to shield Gaunt with his own body.

Gaunt got to his feet. His first shot burst the horned skull of the nearest beast. His second and third tore apart the body of another. His fourth, fifth and sixth gutted two more and sent them spinning ack into their comrades behind on the steps.
No idea what explodes Sym's torso (vaporized?) orr how many troops/shots to do it, but we can conjecture. THe subsequent passage describes troops "at the head of the stairs" Most stairs are going tob e fairly narrow, allowing only a handful of troops to pass through. We see Gaunt kill four (thw bodies of the last to falling back on those still climbing the stairs), so no more than 4 troops seems likely. As far as weapons go, the most likely weapon of Chaos troopers is going to be lasguns or autoguns (bolters aren't common and probably would overpenetrate. Plasma and flamers and meltas have vfar nastier areas of effect.) Number of shots isnt specified but its probably no more than a few seconds between Sym spotting the troops and shielding Gaunt.

It also doesn't matter much what kind of weapon it is (at least in terms of lasgun calcs) because lasguns are at least comparable in effect to autoguns.

Assuming cauterization of 300c, that is about ~20 megajoules, disregarding any potential armour effects. If we use vaporization, it could be 40-50 MJ per shot. This means a couple seconds fire from no more than 4 Chaos troops yields a sustained firepower of between 3 mw and 6 MW minimum. Inefficiencies and other factors probablyh mean it is quite probably several times higher, easily.

The othe relevant bit is that Gaunt's bolter explodes a head with one shot, and blasts apart another with two. That suggests a bolter shell is comparable in yield to half of a grenade (going by the explosive myths on the more recent Season 5 episodes involving grenades and nitro patches.)

Page 22-23

- the implication here is heavily that the planet Tanith died at or just after Gaunt left. This suggests that the Chaos fleet injected at least 1e9 megatons worth of energy within a couple hours or less.

Page 23
Three great troop carriers, their ash-grey, crenellated hulls vaulted like monstrous cathedrals, and the long, muscular escort frigate Navarre, spined and blistered with lance weapons and turrets, hooked and angular like a woodwasp, two kilometres long.
"Escort Frigate" listed as 2 km long. This makes it large on the escort scale, as large as a light cruiser. Armed with lance arrays and turrets (weapons batteries I presume.)

Navarre is also Gaunt's personal ship, used to ferry (and support) the Tanith troopers in their operations. Thus, while the Guard does not "own" any vessels (few in the Imperium do) there ARE Guard regiments/troops with vessels assigned specifically to them (presumably either for special purposes, or to give them a more "rapid response" capability much like Space Marines.) The support of orbital weapons, naval armsman and NavSec troops, or even armed ratings probably doesn't hurt either.

Page 23

- Capital ship engagements lasting thirty six hours. Its not specified whether the "engagement" is purely the firing part or if it includes manuvers without firing (probably the latter, given similar incidents like in Execution hour.) Regardless, it does imply considerable durability/shield endurancee on the part of Imperium vessels.

Also, Gaunt salvaged 3,500 men from Tanith. Rather odd, because this implies the "regiments were each perhaps 1500-2000 men tops (Gaunt IIRC saved at least one and a half/two regiments.)

The Tanith's planetary tithe was 3 regiments, or around 6,000 troops. If we assume the usual "10% of the PDF force" figure - valid considering that this story indicates amny of them were militia (like RAwne and Corbec). This means about 60,000 PDF troops estimated total.

First and Only mentions that Tanith was a "forest world" and mostly "agrarian" in terms of exports, hinting that it was either a large agri-world, or a small civilised world. In the case of the former, the PDF might account for roughly 1/16th of the planet's total population. In the case of the latter, it would be closer to 1/250th (the Guard regiments would be 1/10th of that.), further establishing the ratio of PDF/population as being roughly 1% or so.

Page 24

- Here Gaunt, looking at his reflection, notes that he is "two meters twenty" of solid bone and sinew. At that height, ssuming he means "2.2 meters", he'd be well over seven feet tall. Quite a bit taller than most "real life" people. Probably also heavier, since it implies he's rather muscular (though not neccearily bulky, like Corbec or Bragg.) T his tends to confirm my speculation that 40K humans are somewhat physically superior to "real life" humans in many regards.

Page 25

- Corbec is taller than Gaunt, though by how much is not specified.

- Again Corbec and Rawne note that they witnessed Tanith's "death", suggesting that hte planet was wiped out just shortly after leaving (or Gaunt left.)

Page 27

- 10th Royal Sloka, implied to be some medium/heavy infantry. They are described as having "ornate battledress" or "scarlet and silver warsuits" (armour, heavy implied by Gaunt later.) This would tend to suggest a full-body, possibly fully enclosed body armor.

Page 28

- The Sloka have a field-use map projector, presumably man portable with its own power source (an aide "flipped up" the map projector, implying it was folded.)

Page 29

- Gaunt notes that the Tanith are "light infantry", whereas other regiments (like the Sloka, the Jantine, the Volpone, or the Vitrians) are heavy infantry, with appropriately differing weapons and armour. This tends to confirm what I speculated a page or so above.

Page 31

- "Try Again Bragg" is wielding a heavy bolter "like a rifle". The bolter in question began life as a pintle mount on a vehicle. The man is apparently not only as bulky as an unarmored space Marine, but laso quite probably close in strength to one.

Page 32
Forgal began to crawl forward. A lucky shot vaporised the top of his head.
Again unknown chaos cultist weapon. We don't know what kind it is. A bolter would probably explode his skull. Other heavy weapons like plasma and meltaguns have large areas of effect and would inflict damage over a larger area. Even plasma weapons would be more destructive (they typically vaporize/incinerate large chunks of a body, not localized bits.) This tends to suggest a lasgun or autogun (which again, are roughly comparable in results, so which it was at this scale doesn't matter.)

That just leaves the area affected. "top of the head" is not terribly vague, but we know the injury is fatal so that implies at least some damage/effect to the brain. Moreover, any wound is bound to be larrgely spherical or cylindrical in effect, given lasguns And probabl yautogusn) are "explosive" in nature.This probably suggests the 10-15 cm diameter wound effect. At the most conservative, you might ssume at least half a kilogram to a kilogrgam of head mass affected. Possibly as high as 1.5-2 kg (roughly 1/4 to 1/3 the head). Thies yields around 1.5-2.5 MJ at least per shot up to 5 or so MJ per shot.

Page 37

- Chaos space marines are "almost twice a man's height" - 3 1/2 to 4 meters tall roughly, maybe 5 meters. Clearly this is more due to mutations or whatnot, but it would imply that CSM's toughness is also increased along with size.

Page 38
The Ketzok had the firepower to flatten a city
As noted on the page, there are eighty Basilisks in the regiment. A basilisk (as per IA1) carries about 20 rounds. That means a total of 1800 rounds. Assuming a 10 km diameter radius for a city (equal to about driving 30 mph in about ~10 minutes.) Each shell would have to affect a roughly 250 meter diameter area and a bit of overlap. It would probably take around ~10 tons of TNT at least to flatten the city. Not exactly "nuclear" yield, but its also probably rather conservative. (considering some Earthshakers are supposed ot mass some 38 kg per shell the energy density per kg is insane to say the least.
Last edited by Connor MacLeod on 2007-08-25 04:16am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ford Prefect » 2007-07-03 05:52am

What do they feed them on Tanith? Is there something in the water? I mean, I realise Bragg is supposed to be astoundingly large and strong for a human, but both Guant and Corbec are over seven feet tall.
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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-07-03 06:16am

Ford Prefect wrote:What do they feed them on Tanith? Is there something in the water? I mean, I realise Bragg is supposed to be astoundingly large and strong for a human, but both Guant and Corbec are over seven feet tall.
Wait until I reach the Volpone stormtroopers.

It doesnt seem unusuahl. I ran across a fair number of 2 meter or so tall individuals reading the Soul Drinkers novels too (Space Marines there are 3 meters tall..)

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Post by Shadowtraveler » 2007-07-03 01:40pm

Ford Prefect wrote:What do they feed them on Tanith? Is there something in the water? I mean, I realise Bragg is supposed to be astoundingly large and strong for a human, but both Guant and Corbec are over seven feet tall.
Cain is just under two meters in height, so maybe the Schola Progenium makes their commissar cadets bigger for inspirational purposes or something.

As for Corbec and Bragg, we never really saw just how big the average Tanith is, so maybe they're not all so massive.

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Post by Black Admiral » 2007-07-03 01:59pm

If I recall rightly (it's been a while sicne I read through the series), the Tanith as a whole tend towards being tall and (relatively) lightly built, with the obvious exceptions.
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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-07-30 01:02am

Next up...

Page 38
The rasp of belching flamers reached his ears and he heard the screams of men cooking inside their superheated tank hulls.
This may sound bad, and it probably is to some extent, but we really don't know just how *hot* the tank hulls get. Given the extreme thermal resilience they exhibit against energy weapons (melta weapons in particular), they probably require alot of heating to actually cook the crews inside (meltas or lasguns don't seem to do that as a rule.)

page 38

- A World Eater CSM takes sustained fire frfom an autocannon before it "Blew apart" - he also claimed it would soak up the kind of punishment htat would "kill a Leman Russ". Frankly I'm leaning towards exaggeration, considering the sorts of things we see Leman Russ tanks take in later novels.

Page 39
The monster rocked, two or three times, swayed for a moment. And exploded.

No idea what kind of weapon did it, never specified. Unlikely to be a lasgun, and metla and plasma wepaons tend to have more immediate and devastating effects. Grenades or rockets are a possibility, though the fact the basilisk commander survived at close (melee) range, but was covered with "grease and ichor." suggests that the vast bulk of force was absorbed by the World Eater's armour.

Page 39

- One World Eater was "punctured dozens of times" by lasgun fire and was killed. World EAter space Marines, such as they are, are perhaps the suckiest Space Marines you could possibly conceive of, though I'm betting thse were full power and/or hotshot rounds.

Page 39
Another [World Eater] was flamed repeatedly as he ripped apart the wreck of a Basilisk with his steel hands. The flames touched off the tank's magazine and the marine was incinerated with his victims. His hideous roar lingered long after the white-hot flames had consumed him.
World eater (as per difference in height/body dimensions, and the novel Harlequin ought to mass at least twice as much (without armour) as a Space Marine. A basilisk also has a crew of four. given "incineration = cremation" from before, its probably at LEAST several GJ worth of energy (the "bare ass low end based on specific heat of humans and incineration temps"), but more likely 6-10 GJ (based on "BTUs needed to burn a person, which can be anywhere from 1 million to 3 million BTU, or 1-3 GJ) This can work out to at least 100 MJ per round (grossly conservaitve) to around 500+ MJ per round (more likely.) In fact, the calcs can probably be increased by several factors because of the omnidirecional nature of the magazine explosion, accounting for the Space Marine's armour (and the tank armour) absorbing/redirecting the blast, etc. so the rounds are probably low GJ range at least (Which meshes with Storm of Iron's Basilisk calcs.)

Page 41

- Major Gilbear, adjutant to General Sturm of the 50th Volpone regiment (the "Bluebloods") and IIRC a stormtrooper, is "nearly two hand a hlaf metres tall." The man is as fucking tall as a Space Marine, but I suppose given his role, that may make sense to have some huge, burly guys.

We'll learn later in Ghostmaker that Gilbear isn't horribly remarkable or unusual in his height. Though I believe Bragg also overtops him considerably

Pages 41-42

- Blueblood "elite" troopers all evidently carry chainswords. This might make them fairly nasty close combatants.

Page 43

- General Sturm commands fifty thousand "Bluebloods." Whether this refers to the 50th as a whole or whether Sturm commands more than one regiment isnt specified (at least not at this point.) I believe later on, though, that its indicated these are the entirety of the Bluebloods.

Page 45
Ortiz consulted a map-slate, angling it to show Gaunt. "Navigation puts us about two kilometres or so short of Pavis Crossroads."
"Map-slatE" some sort of (computerized?) navigational tool. How it works is not specified, but it probably works like any other data slate (and probably can request/receive information from other sources, like satellites or orbiting starships.)

Page 47
"A glass plate in a metal frame mounted like an easel on a brass tripod. Gaunt cranked the knurled lever on the side and the galss slowly lit with bluish light. He dropped in a ceramic slide engraved with the local geography and then angled the screen to show the assembled men;"
- Gaunt conducts a briefing using a field-map. Not quite on the same level as the holographic stuff we see in novels like the Cain novels or in the Soul Drinkers novels (Crimson Tears had a Guard General using something like that.) But its not bad, considering the somewhat mobile nature of the Ghosts.

Page 47
As if for emphasis, the nearest Basilisk outside fired and the dugout shook. The field map wobbled and soil trickled from the roof.
No way I can think of to calculate this, but it does suggest some insane recoil.

Page 47

- Gaunt notes here that the Volpone 50th have spent six weeks trying to crack the objective the Ghosts have been ordered to take, suggesting that the aforementioend "fifty thousand" troops are in fact all of the 50th.

Page 48

- the Volpone are a "semi-armoured" regiment (meaning they have vehicles like Chimaeras.) This also presumably is meant to imply that they're not fully mechanised like regiments such as the Armageddon Steel Legion. The number of troops mechanised is speccified below.

Page 48
"I've spoken to the Blueblood colonel. He has seven thousand men in motorised units ready to advance and take advantage of any opening we an make.
7,000 out of 50,000 troops "mechanised" (at least.) Its possible more were and just not available (IE deployed for other purposes.) Note that this does imply they have at least 700 Chimareas.

Page 49[]/b]

Gaunt adjusted his nightscope and panned it round, seeing features in the darkness as a green negative. The watergate was thirty metres across and forty tall, the mouth of a great chute and adjoning system that returned water to the Bokore once it had driven the mills inside the city. Gaunt knew that somewhere sluices must have been lowered, and the flow staunched, closing off the chute's operation. Sandbagged emplacements could be made out up in the shadows behind the gate's breastwork.

Gaunt has night-vision/infrared gear. Also a description of an objective that is very shortly going to be rocketed into oblivion.

Pages 49-50

"Try Again" Bragg was a spectacularly lousy shot. But the watergate was a big target, and the missile rack held four melta-missiles.

The night exploded. Three missiels went straight up the throat of the chute. The force of the heat-blast sent stone debris, metal shards, ,water vapour, and body parts out in a radius of fifty metres. The fourth vaporised a chunk of wall, and brought down a small avalanche of basalt chunks. For a moemnt, the heat was so intense that Gaunt's nightscope read nothing but emerald glare. Then it showed him the chiselled mouth of the watergate had become a bubbling blazing wound in the huge wall, a ragged, slumping incision in the sheer basalt. He could hear agonised screaming from within the chute.

The Ghosts charged the watergate. Orcha led the first squad up the sloping drain-away under the molten arch of ruptured stone. He and three of his men swung flamers in wide arcs, scorching and scouring up into the darkness of the echoing chute.

One missile vaporizes a huge chunk of wall. No idea on precise dimensions, but it sat least several meters in diameter (big enough for people to walk through), and the wall is probably at least one or two feet thick (probably alot more than that.) Assuming those dimensions, the missile would need to pack at least ~33 gigajoules of energy to vaporize. Its almost certainly conservative, but we can safely say the missiles are probably definitely in the double, or more probably triple-digit GJ range.

Incidentally it also confirmed the "infrared" aspect of Gaunt's NVG's

Page 50

- Bragg is stated to wield the heavy bolter previously mentioned the way a "smaller man might heft a heavy rifle." If we knew how much a heavy bolter weighed, it might give an indicator of how strtong he is. (Probably close to Space MArine strength, anyhow)

Page 51

An assault cannon raged out of the darkness of a side chute. Brith, Orcha,, and two others disintegrated instantly into red mist and flesh pulp.

Effect of an assault cannon on a human body.about what a couple of grenades at point blank range would do, I think.

PAge 52

Las and bolt fire slammed back at the Ghosts, dropping several of them. The charging Guardsmen met the cultist force head on in a tight, tall sub-chute, no wider than two men abreast. Bodies exploded, blasted at close range.

- not precise what the bodies are "exploding" from, since two kinds of weapons are being used (nor the quantity of fire causing it) In terms of a bolter that's definitely grrenade-levle explosions (severral tens or huundreds of grams of TNT minimum), for lasguns its alot less precise, but it would probably imply substantial cauterization of much of the body mass.

Page 54

More, heavy fire came their way. Forbin lost his left arm, and then the side of his head.

- said cultists are armed with lasguns and boltguns, as before. Again, not sure what kind of weapon causes it.

Page 55

The blast was so loud, it almost went beyond sound. The shockwave mashed into them, chopping the water like a white squall.

A kilometre away, a hundred metre section of the curtain wall blew out, ripping a vast wound in the city's flank, burning, raw, exposed.

- Gaunt had earlier orderd that one man in ten would carry as much high explosive as he could, and this was done by a single (Cluggan's) squad. Given earlier statements that the wall was ~40 meters tall, we could utilize the Asteroid Destruction Calculator's "cratering" vallue for rock/silicon, we can easily determine it probably required at lest the equiavalent of a hundred or more tons of TNT. No matter how you look at it, that points to the explosives the Guard/Imperium use as being vastly more powerful than what we carry (he's probably carrying not much more than a couple hundred kilos worth tops)

Page 63

Before him, block-mounted, sat a cogitator, a vox-uplink, and a flat-screen mimeograph. A tech-priest had spent over an hour diligently intoning prayers of function as he made the sacred machines ready. They were still propped in their half-open wrought-iron casings to protect against the damp, and thick power feeds snaked off from them and ran from clip supports on the rafters, out of a socket-shutter and off to the distant generator. Lights and light images shimmered and flickered on glass plates glossed by condensation. Setting dials throbbed a dull orange. The vox-link made a low-level serpent hiss as it rose and fell through frequencies.

Gaunt leaned forward and idly surveyed the latest information and tactical data coming through from the orbital fleet and other units. A skein of coded runes crossed and blinked on the dark glass.

Gaunt has access to some failry sophisticated communications and computer gear. Not exactly "man portable", but not quite "napoleonic" either. And there's some data relayed from other sources (like orbital units.)

Page 63

- Some regiments (like the Ghosts, it seem.) have cooling (refridgeration) units, that provide ice.

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Post by Feil » 2007-07-30 01:16am

I would point out that anybody with a primitive heat pump has a functioning refrigeration unit. Hardly a great secret of the Mechanicus.

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-07-30 01:44am

I find it more remarkable as its something of a luxury for the Guard - Gaunt isn't really known for taking extravagant luxuries as an officer, I believe. (unlike say, Sturm or Dravere.)

I mean to some people the concept they might bother with chilled beverages is contrary to the whole "fanatical religious nutcase, bayonet-waving infantry charge" perceeption of the guard

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Post by Stormbringer » 2007-07-30 10:10am

World EAter space Marines, such as they are, are perhaps the suckiest Space Marines you could possibly conceive of, though I'm betting thse were full power and/or hotshot rounds.
It's not terribly surprising that the World Eaters perform poorly here. Even compared to a lot of the other Chaos Legions, they're horribly fragmented. Because of their berserker nature and the fact that Kharn essentially screwed the Legion up, they're a real mess. Now it's obvious that they can't all be blood thirsty lunatics all the time but they are demented enough to poorly maintain their equipment. Further the fragmented and scattered warbands mean that repair and supply is non-existent for the smaller groups.

Which probably explains more than anything why these World Eaters did so poorly. I'd contrast that to the shock-assualt by the World Eaters in Traitors Hand where they provide a good example of just how tough Space Marines are (but that band is implied to be much more sophisticated than the one we see in Ghostmaker).
Blueblood "elite" troopers all evidently carry chainswords. This might make them fairly nasty close combatants.
That's not terribly surprising. It's not possible under the specific rules set of the IG Codex but it seem a reasonable extension of certain doctrines.

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Post by white_rabbit » 2007-07-30 04:12pm

Stormbringer wrote:
World EAter space Marines, such as they are, are perhaps the suckiest Space Marines you could possibly conceive of, though I'm betting thse were full power and/or hotshot rounds.
It's not terribly surprising that the World Eaters perform poorly here. Even compared to a lot of the other Chaos Legions, they're horribly fragmented. Because of their berserker nature and the fact that Kharn essentially screwed the Legion up, they're a real mess. Now it's obvious that they can't all be blood thirsty lunatics all the time but they are demented enough to poorly maintain their equipment. Further the fragmented and scattered warbands mean that repair and supply is non-existent for the smaller groups.

Which probably explains more than anything why these World Eaters did so poorly. I'd contrast that to the shock-assualt by the World Eaters in Traitors Hand where they provide a good example of just how tough Space Marines are (but that band is implied to be much more sophisticated than the one we see in Ghostmaker).
Blueblood "elite" troopers all evidently carry chainswords. This might make them fairly nasty close combatants.
That's not terribly surprising. It's not possible under the specific rules set of the IG Codex but it seem a reasonable extension of certain doctrines.
Theres a Warhammer monthly comic , Orks versus World Eaters, they use land speeders, Havocs, custom terminator suits, the whole works.

Kharn really kicked the shit out of them though.

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Post by Falkenhayn » 2007-07-30 06:42pm

The Volpone are taking a page from All Quiet on the Western Front. Remarque says specifically that veteran troops cleared trenches and dugouts with sharpened trench spades and bombs. The Volpone may well practice similar tactics in the however man thousands of years they've been heavy infantry for the IoM.
page 38

- A World Eater CSM takes sustained fire frfom an autocannon before it "Blew apart" - he also claimed it would soak up the kind of punishment htat would "kill a Leman Russ". Frankly I'm leaning towards exaggeration, considering the sorts of things we see Leman Russ tanks take in later novels.
There's a similar instance in Grey Knights, where a power armored squad is strafed by Helicopter mounted Autocannons. The effect wasn't nearly as catastrophic, nor were there any casualties, but it was made clear that the incident was a close run thing.
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Post by Stormbringer » 2007-07-30 11:05pm

white_rabbit wrote:Theres a Warhammer monthly comic , Orks versus World Eaters, they use land speeders, Havocs, custom terminator suits, the whole works.
I'm not saying that they don't. I'm just pointing out that far more than most of the Chaos Legions, the World Eaters have suffered as a result of the Heresy. No doubt some of the stronger war bands did quite well out of it while others are much reduced.

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Post by white_rabbit » 2007-07-31 03:57am

Stormbringer wrote:
white_rabbit wrote:Theres a Warhammer monthly comic , Orks versus World Eaters, they use land speeders, Havocs, custom terminator suits, the whole works.
I'm not saying that they don't. I'm just pointing out that far more than most of the Chaos Legions, the World Eaters have suffered as a result of the Heresy. No doubt some of the stronger war bands did quite well out of it while others are much reduced.
Yah, I was just illustrating your earlier point, the contrast between a bunch of guys who got themselves knocked off killing some guard, and a Warband that chewed up some Orks.

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Post by Stormbringer » 2007-07-31 10:13am

white_rabbit wrote:
Stormbringer wrote:
white_rabbit wrote:Theres a Warhammer monthly comic , Orks versus World Eaters, they use land speeders, Havocs, custom terminator suits, the whole works.
I'm not saying that they don't. I'm just pointing out that far more than most of the Chaos Legions, the World Eaters have suffered as a result of the Heresy. No doubt some of the stronger war bands did quite well out of it while others are much reduced.
Yah, I was just illustrating your earlier point, the contrast between a bunch of guys who got themselves knocked off killing some guard, and a Warband that chewed up some Orks.
Okay, thanks. Sorry about the misunderstanding.

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-08-15 02:50am

Page 72

- Chaos dreadnought - four metres tall, and wider than "three men" This probably suggests a width of around 1.5-2 meters.

Page 72

- Dreadnought is 3 metres away from Mkoll at this point. The reason for noting this shall become important shorttly.
The dreadnought swung and targeted the source of the scream as rapidly as the plants around him did. Poison needles spat into a body that had, mere microseconds before, been incinerated by a belching plasma gun.
The target was another Ghost Mkoll was trying to help. Which means that it took less than "microseconds" for the plasma beam to reach Mkoll's position. The actual number of "microseconds" isn't specified, but it does suggest a plasma "velocity" of many hundreds if not thousands of kilometers/second. A very high propogation rate indeed.

If the plasma "round" has recoil equivalent to slightly less than a modern rifle, say 2.5 kg*m/s (about what a low-end .32 or 9mm could do) and we assume a velocity of around 800-1500 km/s - the KE of the round would be roughly a couple megajoules. Lower velocities (300-400 km/s) would of course be less KE, but it would still be in the triple digit kilojoule range.

Sufficec to say, unless the velocity is MUCH higher than implied (ie highly relatavistic) or unless the plasma gun has higher recoil (not sure if they visibly recoil) the KE of the beam is insufficient to cause the level of damage implied above or in other noves (IE inceineration, which is hundreds if not thousands of megajoules) - so plasma weapons likely have some other damage mechansim in addition to mere KE (probably some sort of thermal one, given the goofy/exotic nature of 40K "plasma" and its relation to plasma reactors. Game fluff, especailly early sources, often implied some sort of "matter/energy" conversion.)

Speaking of "incineration", it may seem contradictory that the aforementioned poison needles hit a "body" supposeldy incinerated, but it may not have been "perfect" incineration, or the "body" was largely a husk (or maybe it just thumped into the charred remains and only served as implication of what would have happened if the body were still intact.)

As a final possibility, if we were to adopt the "particle/projectile" interpretation of lasguns (like the needler siper rifles or the mandiblaster), we might infer that the "projectile/particle burst" were capalbe of at least similar velocities (but probably at least several times greater), and would thus have a corresponding KE component (high KJ low MJ). Of course, lasguns in the Ghosts novels have more visible recoil, and thus the KE could be higher too.

Page 73
the "wounds of the Adeptus Astartes were deep and fearful across its visor. Its optical units had been blown away in some great act.
Front of the Dreadnought had already been penetrated/damaged by Space Marine weapons. Types of weapons involved are not clearly specified, however.

Page 74

- the frontal armour of the dreadnought is described as "already ruptured." Again means or extent of the rupture unknown.

Page 74
Mkoll started to run.

By his estimation, there were five seconds before the lasgun magazine overloaded as he had set it.
You can turn a lasgun (or at least its powerpack) into an improvised bomb by overloading the magazine. This does imply at a (minimum) that a power pack should contain as much energy as a grenade, ,or perhaps a tube charge. Probably not as much shrapnel though, but the potential energy capacity of such a round could be equivalent to many tens or hundreds of kilos of TNT (base don other lasgun calcs I've done before.)

One possibility is based on Mkoll running for ~5 seconds to "get clear" before the overload goes off. Given an approximate running speed of 2-3 m/s, Mkoll could have cleared 10-20 meters distance before the lasgun went off.

For comparison, a Mk3A2 Hand grgenade has a lethal radius of 2 meters and carries eight ounces of TNT, or nearly a quarter kilo of explosive. The difference in "lethal" range would lead to a difference in "yield" of an order of matngitud eor two at least.. (50-200x to be a bit more precise, at least going by what I can figure.) This works out to roughly several tens or several hundred megajoules of energy for a power pack of unnkown capacity, but roughly matches what I figured above (ahdn what might be needed to breach even a damaged Dreadnought.)

Note: I would NOT suggest using this alone as a calc for lasguns. It is more of a supplementary analysis to corroborate all the other estimates and refine the "range" of firepower - as if that really needs further rpoof at this point.

Again, I repeat, I do NOT suggest you use this as an independent calc. Use something else.

Page 75

They found the dreadnought broken open in the blackened clearing. The overload had not killed it, but it had split its armour as the towering machine had strode forward. Poison darts had done the rest, puncutring and killing the now-vulnerable once-man inside. Mkoll could see where the maddened Chaos beast-machine had strode arrogantly on for a few heavy steps after the puny laser blast.
The overloaded/exploding lasgun/powerpack was sufficient to "break open" and "split the armor" of the dreadnought enough to expose the Dreadnought's organic controller. Presumably the rupture helped (provided a weak point to crack the dreadnought open along) but it is quite likely that it required something comparable to a mid to high MJ output at least, as estimated above.

Page 77
His stomach somersaulted as the troop-ship plunged out of the sky, and every bone in his body shook as the impossibly steep descent vibrated the sixty-tonne vessel like a child's rattle.

- This is presumably a much smaller drop craft than most others (which tend to be hundreds or thousands of tons, depending on the craft of origin) Given the mention of the "two hundred tonne" dropships just a page or so later, this seems likely. Perhaps its a dedicated dropship for command crews (like Gaunt). Crew complement is discussed later.

Page 78
It was hushed like a chapel and always serene, even though it controlled a starship capable of crossing parsecs in a blink, a starship with the firepower to roast cities.
Crossing parsects in a "blink" implies the ability to cross several parsecs (~6-6.5 light yearS) in a very short period of time . Taking it literally, it probably refers to an "eyeblink" Going by here we can infer a duration of between 1/4 of a second (how long the blink lasts) to "average number per minute", which is 3 seconds. working this out gives a FTL speed of between ~60 million c and ~756 million c. This DOES imply high Warp travel speeds, but in practice this is not neccesarily a commonly achievable speed (the evidence tends to suggest its probably not a "typical" speed, but one under special-circumstances, like favorable warp tides or a "calm".) It could be interpreted as as indicating potential capability, however.

"roasting cities" - tends to suggest that the frigate is capable of generating a fireball large enough to engulf a planet via bombardment. Given the potential scale of some cities (tens or even hundreds of kilometers in diameter - ie hive cities fall under this definition) the outputs could be many gigatons or even teratons, depending on your exact figures/parameters.

Page 78
Imperial starships hung in the blackness between it and him: some vast, grey and vaulted like cathedrals twenty kilometres long, some bloated like oceanic titans; others long, lean and angular like his own frigate. They floated in the sea of space and tiny black dots, thousands upon thousands of dots, tumbled out of them, fluttering down towards the ripe planet.

Kreff knew the dots were troop-ships: each spek was a two-hundred tonne dropcraft loaded with combat-ready troops.
Three things:

- "two hundred tonne" dropships. This would place them on the size scale of space-borne Imperium fighters (Furies and Starhawks). Preusmably they're large enough to carry at least 1-2 platoons, possibly an entire company

- With "thousands upon thousands" of "dots", this implies at least hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of troops are assaulting the planet.

- Some Imperium starships reach twenty kilometres long. It is not specified which kind of craft, although the context implies naval warships of some kind (there is nothing to suggest Adeptus Mechanicus vessels present here, like the Abalsom in First and Only.) It could be a freighter, or it could be a warship. My bet would be on warship.

Page 79
Kreff knew war as a silent, detached, long-distance discipline, a chess-game measured in thousands of kilometres and degrees of orbit.
- space combat occurs at "thousands of kilometres" and "degrees of orbit" Presumably he's referring to "thousands" in a vaguer ather than precise sense, since we know tens or hundreds of thousands of kilometers are also viable engagement ranges for weapons.

Page 80

- the sixty-tonne dropships carry at least twenty six to thirty personnel.

Page 83
Next to Larkin, Trooper Raglon, the squad's communications officer, looked up from the powerful voxcaster set. "No contact form the commissar's dropcraft, sir. I've been scanning the orbital traffic and the Navy band, colonel. This filthy psyker storm took out a whole heap of troop-ships. They're still counting the crash fires. We was lucky we got down before it really started.
- Tanith's comm officer's vox set can reach into orbit (hundreds or thousands of kilometers range), as well as scan various frequencies, including orbital traffic and the Naval frequencies (useful for calling in orbital bombardment as we soon see.)

Pag e83
"Our psykers upstairs are trying to break the storm, but..."

"but what?"
"It looks pretty certain the commissar's troop ship was one of those vaporised in the storm."
The Psyker storm was capable of "vaporizing" a 60 ton shuttle (at least) This tends to imply (assuming iron composition) that its output is at least 450 GJ minimum, and more probably low TJ in output.

Page 86

- fifteen out of however many (unknown- a platoon?) survived the crash of Gaunt's dropcraft, the "rest were pulp".

Page 86
Out of this he slid a topolabe from its cushioned slot and held it up by the knurled handgrip. The small brass machine whirred and the concentric dials span and clicked as the gravimetric gyros turned in the glass bubble of inert gas.

After a moment, the machine chimed and published a read-out on the back-lit blue display.
"We're in a forest caldera called K7-75, about forty kilometres north north-east of the Nero city perimeter. Your assessment was good, major. We're on the wrong side of the lines and in pretty damn inhospitable country. There's dense forest for at least eight kilometres in any direction, and this sinkhole's about a kilometre deep. We'd better get ready to move.
Gaunt employs some sort of (fairly sophisticated) navigational tool. Presumably it is guard issue and it provides fairly good detail.

Page 88
The commissar checked the topolabe again, scanning for closer detail.
"Interesting," he muttered. "About four kilometres east there's some kind of structure. Maybe an old farming complex or something.
The device in question appears to have some sort of scanning capability (at least able to detect buildings) this may indicate it is simialr to an auspex or surveyor in function (one kind of such device(s), perhaps.)

Page 88
Blasting as he advanced, Corbec fired ot the left and right, through doorways and thin plastic-board walls, cutting down or exploding the foe all around.
Corbec's lasgun fire supposedly "exploding" his "foes". Its not specified whether a single shot or a barrage does this, ,but probably the latter. Assuming 30% body cauterization from the effects and about one second's worth of fire, the lasgun outputs at least ~25 megawatts of firepower, assuming ~300C cauterization temp.

Page 89
Trooper Raglon answered on the bead-link. "Marauder flights are all out of action, sir. Fleet Command recalled them because of the storm. The Chaos effects are screwing their guidance.
Chaos effects like the warp storm can interfere with fighter/ship systems - implies one kind of "jamming" effect that might be employed (by either side.)

Page 91
He took out his nightscope, a little heat-sensitive spotter he'd used back home poaching larisel out in the woods at night. He trained it up the hall, found a hub of heat emanating from the wall.

Most would have aimed for that, thinking it the body heat of the gunner. Larkin knew better. The source was the muzzle heat of the big cannon. That put the gunner about sixy centimetres behind it, to the left.
Larkin's "special" sniper scope, a "nightscope" - here it says its a "Heat sensitive spotter", but later in the series we'll see it has other odder properties.

Page 91
Larkin punched a single shot up the stairwell and through the wall.

Covering each other, they moved up the smashed staircase, past the landing where the cult soldier lay dead across his stub gun, head half gone.

- Larkin's long-las punches through a wall and takes out half a Cultis's head (no bleeding it seems.) Cauterizing a lil over half the head should take approximately 3 Megajouiles. vaporizing a hole through the wall (2 cm diameter, as per the GG omnibus short story) might require another megajoule or so more. Given later shots can vaporize an entire head (Sabbat Martyr) this may mean its either a.) not a hotshot pack (Larkin uses both in his long las) or b.) its a hotshot, but it didn't expend all its energy in destroying the cultist's head (as evidenced by its overpenetration of the wall.)

Also, Stubber (stub gun) 60 centimeters long (about 2 feet long).

Page 93
Corbec was sure his life was over when Larkin started shooting. Driven over the edge byh what he had see nailed along the wall, Larkin just went crazy; mindless, oblivious to the otherwise transfixing image of Chaos in that old tenement. Larkin simply opened fire and kept firing.

"Larkin! Larkin!" Corbec hissed.

"The little man's howl was drying away into a hoarse whisper. A repetitive clicking came from the lasgun in his hands, the power cell exhausted.
Larkin drained the power-cell on his lasgun in a rather short period of time (subjective matter of seconds.) Not sure if it was a full or near-full pack (or how many shots he'd fired.) but it implies a high rate of fire. Supposedly long-las aren't meant to have auto-matic mode though. Either Larkin's is an exception or he was firing semi-auto and just has a fast trigger finger.

Page 95 - flamer has a range of at least sixty metres, and cleared a "wall of jungle" by scorching it aside over a period of twenty seconds. This is somewhat better (by what I can find) than real life flamethrowers achieve (the highest ranges I'm getting are in the 40-45 meter range.)

Page 95
Gaunt paused as the self-focus dials on his scope whirred and spun. "An Imperial installation. Three armoured, modular cabins, two larger hardened shelters... they've all had the insignia spray-painted out. Communicator-array and up-link mast for a voxcaster, that's probably what's jamming uss.. perimeter defense net... slaved servitors mounted into autoloader bolt cannons. You must have tripped a sensor as you came in, major.
Many things- some sor tof auto-focusing (electronic) vision scope (magnouclar?).

Installation has a communciator array/uplink mast for vox (transferring or receciving data other than comm signals?) Also can serve jamming functions (electornic warfare)

Page 96
"Hey, Raglon! Over here, lad!" he yelled to his comm-officer. "Patch me a link to the Navarre"
Again, backpack-carried vox-set can reach starships in orbit. (hundreds or thousands of kilometers range)

Page 96
"Doesn't this idiot know anything about Naval tactics?" he chuckled. "Fleet weapons will only engage a surface target from orbit before troop deployment. Once the ground forcecs are in, air-strikes are the responsibility of the attack squadrons."

Kreff nodded. "Which are grounded due to the psychic storm, sir. The colonel is aware it is counter to usual tactics, as orbital bombardment is not known for its... um... finesse. However, he claims this is a critical situation... and he can supply us with pinpoint co-ordinates."
Discussion of naval tactics and procedures. The problems with precision bombardment are outlined, although if coordinates can be obtained (from crews on the grround - some ships like battleships in 13 legion carry officers for just such purposes - beacons also work) it is possible, as demonstrated here.

Page 97
Wysmark grinned back, very slightly. He rotated his chair to face Kreff. "Let's see those co-ordinates."

Kreff jumped forward and handed him the data-slate.

Wysmark keyed his micro-bead intercom. "communications; patch me to Fleet Command. I wish to advise them of our next action. Fire control, energise the main batteries... I have a firing solution here. All stations, this is the captain.. rig for main weapon firing."
Again - capital ship weapons ARE capable of precision fire, at least under specific conditions/circumstances.

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-08-25 04:05am

Page 104
Steepled, tall, rising within a curtain of walls eighty metres high, the capital city-state of Bucephalon clung to the ridge of the mountains. Smoke obscured the sky. Las-fire filled the air like bright sleet. Two or more kilometres away, he saw the pair of enormous storming ramps that the sappers of the Imperial Guard had raised against the walls. Huge embankments of piled earth and concrete rubble almost a kilometre long, rising high and broad enough to deliver armoured vehicles to the top of the wall. Heavy fighting within blooms of flame lit the ramps.

Below, nearer, the men on the ground looked like insect dots. Thousands, churning in trenches, spilling out across the chewed and cratered mess of the battlefront to assault the forbidding walls.
Larkin is at least 2 km away, possibly more, from the walls. (of interest is the fact the walls are wide/thick enough to hold up armoured fighting vehicles.. that implies they are perhaps at least 10 meters thick if not more.)

Note that the men (likely the Guards "assaulting the wall") are "closer" to Larkin than to the wall, but it doesn't specify how close. Given the "length" of the ramp, they are probably at leat a kilometer or so away. the presence of las fire implies that either the Guard or defenders (on the wall presumably) are firing at each other from this range, giving their weapons at least a kilometer range, ,possibly two (or more.)

Page 106

- the bulk of Larkin's conversation in this short story takes the role of discussions with an "Angel". The story describes them (supposedly) as "manifestations of the Emperor's Will" designed to bolster the resolve/courage/fighting ability of Imperium forces. Larkin is more pessimistic, believing them to be little more than delusions/hallucinations (something he himself suffers from.) The story does not definitely say whether it is a genuine "manifestation" or merely a hallucaination, but the "scarf" the angel gives him remains at the end, hinting that it is genuine. And given that this is 40K and the Emperor is a living, tangible entity, the idea of "manifestations" is not really far fetched either (we know he does such acts.)

Which brings one to the question of what the "Angels" are - are they the Emperor literally, simply manifesting in a convenient guise/shape? Are they one of the "component" elements (a spirtif of the Shamans that earlier fluff had said died to reincarnate as the GEoM?), or are they perhaps some entity that may have served the Emperor? A dead psyker or a saint (or both)? Given the nature of the warp, it is quite likely that these may be similar to "daemons" in nature, and the souls of strong/powerful psykers/saints can return or manifest to aid the Emperor in his acts (perhaps even through his power.) Space Marines (like the Blood Angels novels) have been known to experience "visions" as well - they may be the manifestations of the dead Primarchs.

Page 108
"That firefight in the canal. Close quarters. Lopra dead, head blown off."
One of the Tanith with his head blown off. The weapon donig it is not specified, but given the usually "poor" or scavenged state of cultist weaponry, its probably either a las-weapon or slugthrower of some kind.

Page 110-111
"A lasgun. Workhorse of the Guard. Solid, dependable, tough. You can knock it, drop it, club with it, submerge it and it just keeps on going.

The Angel took a step forward, looking at the gun he held out to her. "It's not standard. Not a standard M-G pattern. Where's the integral optics, the charge-setting slide? That barrel: it's too long, too thin. And that flash suppressor?"

Larkin grinned and reached into his pack. "It's the sniper variant. Same body, but stripped down. I did some of the work myself. I took out the integral optics because I use this." He held up a bulky tube to show her for a moment, then slotted it into a bracket on the side of the gun case. He flipped covers off both ends of the tube and the device spread a faint red glow ahead of the gun.

"Night spotter. My own. I tooled the bracket to fit. I used to use it to spot for larisel in the woods back home."


"Small rodents with a fine pelt. Make a good income hunting them before the Founding."

He slid his hands down the gun and tapped the barrel. "XC 52/3 strengthened barrel. Longer, and thinner than the standard. Good for about twenty shots." He kicked the pack at his feet, which clinked. "I always carry two or three spares. They twist and pull out. You can switch them in about a minute if you know what you're doing."

"Why the strengthened barrel?"

"Increased range for a start, tighter accuracy, and because I use these..." Larkin pulled a power pack from his kit and slammed it into place. "We call them 'hotshots'. Overpowered energy clips, liquid metal batteries juiced to the limit. Bigger hits but fewer. Perfect for marksman work. And that's why there's no charge setting slider on my piece. One size fits all."

"The stock is made of wood."

"Nalwood, Tanith grown. I like what I know."
"And that long flash suppressor?"

"I'm a sniper, Angel. I don't want to be seen."
Larkin describes his modified long-las variant of the lasgun. A number of points:

- long-las do not have "charrge-setting slides", although the long-las is based on the same basic lasgun (just different attachments, mainly.)

- The "M-G pattern" is mentioned to have "integral optics" of an unknown quality.

- the long-las barrels are worth twenty shots from a hotshot pack (about what a hotshot pack is worth according to the Uplifting Primer.) It takes a minute to change them. No idea if this is true of the regular lasguns, though the fact the regular barrels are thicker but shorter may suggest that they last longer. The "strengthened barrels" give grgeater range and accuracy over the shorter barrel normal on an M-G pattern (understandably.)

- Larkin uses his own "night spotter" scope. Its a specialized scope, implied to be some sort of infrared one, and implied to be non-standard to sniper variants. however, we know that Guard rifles CAN come with infrared scopes, an the fact that LArkin could use one as a scivilan/PDF for hunting implies that they are not exactly unusual/unique. Moreover it may be more exotic than a simple night vision/infrared scope, given some of the observed abilities later in the novel.

- Larkin implies that the hotshot packs get "fewer" hits as a result of firing a more powerful shot. In later novels they're "one use" deals, but here (and in other earlier novels) they seem to be multi use (like indicated in the Uplifting primer.)

Page 112-113
"Shh! To take a shot, your breathing must be controlled. More than that, your weapon must be pointing naturally at the target." He opened hi seyes again and fiddled with the lasgun as it lay in the lip of stone.
Larkin describes his sniper technique.

Page 112-113
Larkin flexed, as if fidgeting. "I must have a stable firing position. If the gun wobbles even slightly, the shots can go wild. I need a firm grip, but not too tight. I want it to point naturally at the target. If I have to apply pressure to keep it aimed, then its going to miss. See, here's the trick..."

He closed his eyes.

"Take aim and then close your eyes. Open them again. Chances are your aim will have wnadered. Realign your body and repeat."

"How many times?"

"As many as neccessary." Larkin closed his eyes again, opened them, shuffled, closed his eyes.

"Eventually, when you open your eyes, teh gun will be pointing precisely, naturally, exactly where your body falls and directs it."

"You're breathing slowly," said the Angel, a whisper in his ear. "Why?"

Larkin smiled, but ever so slightly as not to disrup tthe perfect pattern of his firing position. "Once you're in position, breathe slow, a regular rhythm. Keep it going, nice and relaxed. When you get the shot, ,take a couple of deep breaths, pause, breathe out just a tad, and then hold. Then fire. Then breathe out fully."

"How long will this take?" the Angel asked behind him.

"As long as it takes to get a target."
More discussion of his technique.

Page 113

- Larkin's target, one Nokad the Smiling, is described as "well over two meters tall, his frame heavy set and powerful." Yet another 40K human who seems to be substnatially taller than modern people :P

Page 113

- Nokad witnesses the "butched and exploded remains" of his foe, the guardsman. No mention of the weapon type. Again, may or may not include las-weapons, but may include others.

Page 114
There was a crack, a stab of light - and Nokad's head vanished in a film of blood.
Larkin's hotshot round destroys Nokad's head. "vanish" in a film of blood may imply vaporization (partly) but this is unlikely since the blood mentioned is not turned to vapour. Cauterization is more likely, and implies at LEASt 4-5 megajoules. The bolt probably overpenetrated, though, rather than wasting the majority of its energy in destroying his head.

This is, unfortunately, all we can tell from this incident. We don't know how far away Nokad was when Larkin made the shot. It would stand to reason that Nokad was in the city and thus remained close to it while defending the Aqueduct, but it is not a definite given. If we do assume that, then Larkin's long-las has a range of at least 2 km, and probably more.

Page 123

- Meryn and Caffran at this poitn are about a kilometre a head of the convoy.

Page 124

- Three more outriders are behind Caffran and ahead of the convoy, paralleling Caffran and Meryn's path. the far left outrider is five hundred metres away (Ochrin and Hellat). Center (relative to the left) is Kelve and Merrt (the latter a sniper.) On the far right, presumably a similar distance away, are Mkendrick and Beris. There are further outriders behind the convoy (3 more: Fulke and Logris, Mktea and Laymon, and Tanhak and Grummed.") with a half track vehicle driven by Wheln with Abat and Brostin at the weapon station, and another double track driven by Mkteeg with Rahan and Nehn wielding a missile launcher. Presumably their distances are roughlly symmetrical to the forward outriders.

Page 125
Hellat took the tin from Ocrhin's outstretched hand just as he realised Ochrin no longer had a face

Stubber wound inflicted by the raiders at range. Interestingly, this is about what a lasgun/laspistol has been known to inflict as well (Nightbringer, First and Only, etc.), which implies some lasguns (at least on higher settings) inflict damage equivalent to .50cal (or higher) stubber rounds.

Page 125

- on the far left, forward, Ocrhin and Hellat are killed by stubgun fire from raiders. Range isnt known, but evidently coming from distant dunes and cliff ledges. The half-tracks take cover hull-down behind the dunes and reply back with missile fire, while the outriders open up with their autocannons (at least a kilometre away in Caffran's case.) Apparently, as deemed later, the attack was coming from the right-hand side. (or maybe from both sides, its hard to tell.)

If we assume they just entered stubber range and the weapons are similar to a Ma Deuce (likely given statements describing such weapons) we could infer they are a kilometer or two away.

Page 125
"A second later, a missile lifted his cycle into the air and blew Hellat and Ochrin's corpses into pieces of cooked meat each no larger than a clenched fist.
If by "cooked" we assume "boiled" or "cauterized", and that both men weere around 80 kg in mass, this implies it took between 43 MJ (to boil) and 147 MJ (to cauterize, assuming 300C temp).

The above also assuems a rather improbable focused detonation - antipersonnel weapons are typically area effect, which indicates the effect could be at least several times higher.

The rocket also possessed enough momentum to physically lift the motorcycle (and its occupants) into the air. Assuming a fairly massive bike (200-300 kg, which is quite possible given the armament/military nature of the bikes) and the weigh tof the passangers, we can infer a momentum of at least 300-500 kg*m/s Given that performance ratE (roughly equivalent ot what a LAW can do.) it also implies an engage ment range of at least a few hundred meters, if not close to (or more than) a kilometer, especially if the momentum were higher. This would add to the autocannon engagement ranges.

Page 125
Mkendrick raced his bouncing bike in, screaming a Tanith warcry, and only when his gunner didn't begin firing did he turn to find Beris hanging dead over the pintle mount, sunlight shining through a vast hole in his torso.
- Stubber wound presumably, no idea how big it is aside from the fact it didn't come close to bisecting him. Fist sized, maybe?

Page 125

- MKendrick brakes to a halt and opens fire on the raiders with the autocannons himself. No idea on the range, but presumably still roughly half a kilometer or so away, given his initial positioning.

Page 126

- Merrt uses his sniper rifle to pick off missile launcher crews from extended range. The exact range is not stated, but given Merrt's positioning prior to the attack and the positions of the others, he was probably at least (roughly?) half a kilometer a way, possibly a kilometer or more if other considerations are taken into account.

Page 126

- As I noted above, the ambush is coming from the starboard side, with everyone pouring fire in that direction.

Page 128

- here, the bandits are described as "slowly encircling". the now-halted convoy.

Page 128
Outside, laser and stub fire whined into the circled convoy.
The raiders are using stubbers for sure, but we dont know if they are using lasguns (or if those are the Ghosts' weapons.) though later on we learn they are indeed using las-weapons.

Page 128-129
Fulke, Mktea, and Tanhak ran the line. From the back of Fulke's machine, Logris excelled and scored four kills. Mktea's gunner Laymon made one of his own before the upper part of his head was scythed off by a las-shot at the mouth. Tanhak and Grummed made six, maybe seven, good kills before a shorrt-range missile endied their lives and their glory.
- Single las bolt takes off a guy's head "at the mouth" - scything implies a cutting attack rathe rthan an "explosive one. If we assume so, the beam raked a narrow path along the face. Assuming a 20 cm diamter head, and a beam diameter of ~2 cm (as implied in the Ghosts Short story post Necropolis)l a narrow channel massing ~.68 kg would be created. This would also be vaporized (its the area affected directly along the beam's diameter) - this implies at least 1.5-1.7 MJ to vaporize. Cauterization would extend the area of effect, maybe at least another .5 MJ to 1.2 MJ depending on extent of cauterization and temp.

If it "were' more explosive instead of lsicing, it would imply a diameter of roughly 20 cm or so (slicing "thorugh" the neck). A spherical volume of that diameter would be roughly 3.5 of mass (over half the mass of the head, in fact) and comprise 3-4 kg affected. Assuming 300C cauterization the output is between 2.7 and 3.7 Megajoules. Vaporization along the beam's path would only add a few huundred kj more at most.

Page 129[b/]

- Bragg is wielding a pair of taped-together autocannons - "the like of which were usually fixed to tripod or pintle mounts." This probably indicates he is at least sevearl times stronger than a normal man, easily.

Page 130

The laser burst punched through the top of the bandit's bowl-helmet, presneted as it was by his head-down appraoch. The shot probably passed down through his skull, his neck, and his torso, following the line of his spinal column, Merrt thought, as the figure dropped stone dead in a crumpled pile.

Again, assuming a ~2 cm diameter for the beam as per the Necropolis short story. and about a meter or so of penetration along the body. implies around .4 kg of mass affected, which comes otu to a little over a megajoule for vaporization. Cauterization could add about 500-600 more kilojoules at least.

If a larger area was effected (likely) it could easily extend to several megajoules minimum (larger area to cauterize) No idea either how much energy the helmet absorbed or what it was made of.

Page 131

- a 'slight recoil' from Merrt's sniper lasrifle. No clue as to what it is - can't be the momentum of the beam (too little energy) - it might be a reaction inside the process or the expulsion of gas (IE coolant) Lasguns ceratinly have no other identifiable cooling mechanism (like radiator fins) and they run off powerpacks.

Page 131

- the missile launcher in the half track is implied to automatic-feed (capable of firing single shots or volleys of at least five missiles.) - they are used for indirect fire on the dunes.

Page 131

Mktea fired the autocannon mount Laymon had been manning until the feeder belt jammed and the gun glowed red.

effects from sustained autocannon firing.

Page 131

- enemy las-fire blows up the vehicle as Mktea flees it. Not quantifiable however, as its possible the lasfire set off the gas tank or ammo hoppers.

Page 132

He pulled out his laspistol and shot the first one through the head, gutting the second and blowing a knee off the third.

- Caffran's auto cannons "explode" the raiders who were in "eye-shot", the rest scrambled for cover.

- "exploding" people implies grenade-like damage effects (whether this is from the kinetic impact of the rounds or some sorrt of explosive capability is not specificed. Possibly both)

"Eye-shot", is also vague, but if we assume that means to the limit of Caffran's vision this might imply autocannon ranges of several kilometers. On the other hand, it could also simply mean he fires on enemy that is within line-of-sight.

Page 133

The Marauder bombers came low over the ridge, annihilating the enemy with their belly-slung payloads.

Marauders are capable of low-flying attacks - a very good "terrain flying" capability, it would seem.

Page 134

Around them, sheets of incendiary bombs and phosphor fire scorched the hills. The Imperial fighter-bombers shattered the air as they went supersonic and corssed the low hills to pull around for another massacre run.

Imeprial "fighter-bombers" capable of supersonic flight at very low altitudes (no more than a few hundred meters up in the air, probably much less.) just "how" supersonic is not specified, but I believe this is also a rather impressive feat at such a low altitude (implying fairly high acceleration and structural durability.)

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Post by Adrian Laguna » 2007-08-25 04:43am

Ford Prefect wrote:What do they feed them on Tanith? Is there something in the water? I mean, I realise Bragg is supposed to be astoundingly large and strong for a human, but both Guant and Corbec are over seven feet tall.
Actually there is a fair bit of evidence suggesting that Mankind in the 41st Millenium is on the average bigger and stronger than Mankind now.

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Post by Ford Prefect » 2007-08-25 05:14am

Adrian Laguna wrote:
Ford Prefect wrote:What do they feed them on Tanith? Is there something in the water? I mean, I realise Bragg is supposed to be astoundingly large and strong for a human, but both Guant and Corbec are over seven feet tall.
Actually there is a fair bit of evidence suggesting that Mankind in the 41st Millenium is on the average bigger and stronger than Mankind now.
So it would seem; Connor told me earlier that there were lots in the Soul Drinkers books.
What is Project Zohar?

Here's to a certain mostly harmless nutcase.

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-09-02 06:33am

Page 140
More shots came his way. Rawne had become used to the peculiar sound the impacts made in the place: a wet popping and a sizzle as superheated rounds punched into ice which melted around them and refroze. Blackened wounds, perfect circles, dotted the red ice sheet around hm.
Ork bullets melt holes in the ice. Given the orkish propensity for high calibre weapons (stubbers and such), we can assume at least half an inch to an inch in diameter, and at least 2-3x that in length. For a half inch round the volume of ice melted would be between 13 and 20 grams, which would take at least 7-8 kilojoules to 11-12 kilojoules. For a full 1 inch diameter bullet the ice affected rises to 32 to 50 grams, which is between 16-19 kilojoules to 25-30 kilojoules.

This isn't directly (or wholly) the KE of the round, and it coudl be considered lower limits, but it does give a rough benchmark of just how powerful Ork guns are (which is to say, very, which fits with stubber-bolter level bullet damage.)

Page 140
- The orks (they're orks firing) are at least 100 metres behind Rawne, probably considerably more than that, since he can see noone except the black shape of the guardsman killed by the gunfire.

Page 140

- Rawne's lasgun can fire a triple salvo. Its also firing on the orks at least 100 metres away.

Page 141
Finally, it [surgical thread] was pinched between unfeeling fingers. He took the needle and tried to thread it. He'd have had more chance making a bull's-eye on a target ten kilometres away with a wrong-sighted lasgun.
If this were meant to be taken literally, it

Page 141

- the ork in question is 3 metres tall and "almost as wide", heavily muscled. This makes it taller (and much more blocky) than a spacec marine, although gievn that Orks stoop he's probably much tarller than 3 meters (3.5-4 meters I'd guess if fully erect.) This might also imply the ork is over a meter wide - a bloody giant.

Assuming that the ork's body density is roughly that of a human, this sucker is bound to mass several metric tons easily (A frigging giant.) Probably more like a warboss or nob than a "standard" ork.

Page 141
"Its head was huge, twice the size of a human'
If "size" means mass, this means the Ork's head masses around 8-10 kg. If its referring to dimensions, this could be 10-30 kg easily (compared to a human head.) It would also imply a body mass of around 100-400 kg if the head/body mass percentage ratio remained simialr to that of a human (~8%.. or 5 kg of a 60-70 kg body)

Note, though, that this doesn't quite mesh with the Ork beign 3 meters tall (nearly that wide)... so one must conclude there is a certain amount of exaggeration in the former and that the latter might be understated (unless this is an unusually tall or gangly ork.) On the other hand, given the masses Gaunt notes for the Ork later, the mass is probably closer to "half a ton or less" than it is to "one or more tonnes", which only exceptionally huge orks (WarbosseS) even approximate.

Page 143
In the blink of an eye, he saw the ork explode, its mid-section disintegrating in a burst of light.

It fell,a lmost in two parts. Its body fluids froze as it flopped to the grorund.
- Gaunt's bolt pistol disintegrates the mid-section of the Ork attacking Rawne. No idea how many shots but probably no more than a couple. Given that Orks mass at least several times more than a man easily, and that a single grenade blast can obliterate a human torso (as demonstrated in Season 5 mythbusters episodes dealing with the "jumping on a grenade" myth) we can conclude a bolt pistol round's explosive effect is several times more powerful than a hand grenade (quarter kilo to half a kilo of TNT minimum.) With the bodyh masses implied above and later by Gaunt, even "Several times" may be somewhat conservative.

Page 144

- Gaunt starts a fire using "chemical blocks" - a replacement for firewood (one presumes) on ice-worlds where fires and their resourcecs are scarce.

Page 145

- Gaunt is using dehydrated food cubes to make a bean soup (whether it is guard issue or something special to Gaunt becaue of his officer/commissar status, is a good question.)

Page 145

- Gaunt had at least six "fuel blocks" with him, probably more, and evidently burn for long periods.

Page 148
From shelter, a scoop cut in the ice floor, they watched the vehicles pass five hundred metres away. Four big ork machines, black and puming blacker smoke rom crude combustion engines.)

- Gaunt and Rawne watch a group of Ork snow vehicles pass five hundred metres away from their position. The vehicles had tires and sled runners or tracks Probably a Wartrukk or track variant.

Page 149
"They know how fast we can run," he said. Sure enough, a roar reached them ove rthe howling wind a minute or so later, and the vehicles sped back past the way they had come, searching back over the grgound to see what they had missed. One pulled away wets and two more raced onwards. The fourth curved around in a spray of ice and moved towards them to search along the wall of the valley.
- the vehicles continue past Gaunt and Rawn for a minute or so (several minutes, to pass by them, likely) One of the vehicles veers off towards them, curving around and then slowing. Assuming that the vehicles moved at a rather sedate 35 km/hr (chimeras and scout vehicles, whcih these seem closer to, move 2-3 times faster), those vehicles could have been half a kilometer to a kilometer further away from the hiding spot before they turned around.

Page 149
The ork half-sled lsowed and one of the burly warriors jumped down, running alongside the vehicle, firing into caves along the valley wall.


Gaunt turned to Rawne and nodded to his lasgun. "More range, better sight. Take the weapon's operator."


He knew he was no marksman like Larkin or Elgith, but he was passable.
- Gaunt notes that Rawne's lasgun has more range and better accuracy (and sights) than Gaunt's bolt pistol. Rawne does not consider himself a marksman, but snipes the gun-operator of the snow-vehicle. (possibly 400-500 metres away or more, given the prior statement. If Gaunt's bolt pistol is anything like a Dark Angel Chaplain's pistol in Angels of Darkness, then Rawne's lasgun can easily have a 300-500 meter range or more. If he's targeting while the vehicles have not crossed their intial distance as above, it coudl be a kilometer or so away.)

Page 151
Nearly four hundred kilos of dead weight refused to budge.
- Gaunt notes the Ork probably weighs 400 kilos.

Page 152
Rawne was standing on the flatbed, pointing back. A kilometre away, three dark shapes were kicking up ice smoke as they raced after them.
- Orks are pursuing Gaunt and Rawne now, and are about a kilometre way. Both groups are riding in roughly the same kind fo snow machine.

Page 153
Rawne had thought about firing back at the ork machines closing on them, but the bumpy ride had thrown him to the greasy deck and it was all he could do to cling on and lie flat.
- Given the distance above, and the fact Gaunt started the machine and drove off immediately upon discovering pursuit, (even though the orks are still overtaking) implies lasguns having a range of roughly a kilometre or so (at least)

Page 172
Tremard started up, grabbing his scope from the sandbags. He fumbled with the focus ring, pulling the green-on-green night vision view into true.
Ghost trooper, has a "scope' (either a rifle scope, or more likely some binocular like device) with night vision capabilities.

Page 173
Eight lasguns against the encroaching dark, eight lasguns picking their targets through scope and skill, matching the huundresd of fire-points blasting back at them from the fens.
Night fighting as above, indicated by the night vision scope metnioned on the prior page. This may indicate that Ghost lasguns do have some night-vision element to their scopes (or can be added.)

Page 176

- Guardsmen are firing "single, aimed shots" ot preserve ammo.

Page 177
A soldier of chaos, cut down and presumed dead in the ditch, had crawled forward, and now loomed over the inner fence above the scrabbling Volpone. His chest had been blasted open, and blood and tissue dribbled from exposed ribs.
Chaos trooper had his chest "blasted open", presumbly by lasguns, since thats the only real weapon mentioned firing up to this point (then they use tube charges.) Assuming the flesh was blasted off at least to a depth of severla inches (5-8 cm) over the rib cage (~30 cm by 20 cm roughly) means roughly 3.5-4 kg affected (minimum). Assuming cauterization occured (which probably helps account for why the trooper survived by no bleeding out immediately) at 300C this implies 3.2-3.7 megajoules minimum. Unfortunately we dont know how many shots to drop them for sure, but its probably "per shot" given the previous page mentions them wanting to conserve ammo.

Note however that this figure probably is higher, since the chest is supposed to be "blasted open" and this may imply cauterization of organs and the ribs being blasted apart as well. What we don't know is whether the Volpone drooped him or a Ghost - the Ghosts weren' tusing full powered shots as per Corbec's Orders, but the Volpone (or at least some) were.

Page 177
- Many of the cultists in this attack (dozens, by the Volpone alone, at least) survived supposedly killing shots from las-weapons and tried to continue attacking. They had to be killed via tube charges, three of which "liquified" the organics of the soldiers in the trench. This also gives us an indication of just how resilient at least some chaos troops can be. (not quite Ork level, but alot tougher than normal humans.)

Page 178
...hefting a misfiring Volpone heavy stubber he'd found leaning against the wal in the long hall. It had a drum of sixty rounds left in it, and he'd resolved to use them all before switching to his laspistol.


Brostin settled in, getting to know the unfamiliar stubber. Its cyclic rate was poor and it jammed frequently, but when it fired, the thump and blast was satisfying. He shredded half a dozen shapes that loomed beyond the outer fence.
- Volpone (heavy infantry) make use of "heavy stubbers". The magazines have at least 60 rounds (probably more... closer to 100+). Its capable of shredding "hafl a dozen men" in a brief period of time (probably no more than a few second's fire, because he continues using it.)

The "Cyclic rate" or rate of fire of the weapon is considered "poor", but its not specified relative to what. Probably not a flamer (Brostin's usual weapon) nor to meltas (the only other known heavy weapon the Ghosts use at this point, at least.), but its likely referring to lasguns. (The ghosts IIRC don't make use of slug weapons until sometime after Necropolis or Guns of Tanith.)

Therefore, if a stubber is at least comparable to an M2 (as implied in earlier fluff like Wargear and Rogue Trader), then a lasgun has at least (and probably better) rate of fire than a stubber.

Page 178
- Full powered lasgun shots fire off an "orange" burst. The volpone are using max-power shots against Corbec's orders.

Page 178
Though able-bodied, the man had a head wound and one eye bandaged. The lack of binocular range-finding was ruining his shot.
I'm not sure if this means that the guy can't shoot well because he only has one eye, or his one eye prevents him from properly using a special kind of scope on the Ghost's rifles (which implies
the Rifles use rangefinding scopes.)

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Post by Shadowtraveler » 2007-09-03 06:06pm

Connor MacLeod wrote:I'm not sure if this means that the guy can't shoot well because he only has one eye, or his one eye prevents him from properly using a special kind of scope on the Ghost's rifles (which implies
the Rifles use rangefinding scopes.)
Maybe he has his left eye, but the scopes for a right one? Not everyone is Big Boss. :D

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Post by Peptuck » 2007-09-03 06:50pm

One other thing that I think bears mentioning - and ties in with your above assertions regarding Bragg's strength - is how he kills a man with a single punch at the end of "That Hideous Strength." It doesn't describe exactly how Milloom was killed - his face was reduced to an unrecognizable mess in the passage - but Bragg is clearly incredibly strong. I'd wager he was killed by a broken neck, personally.

Not quite as strong as a Space Marine, though, as in Horus Rising Loken's punches were described as being able to decapitate a normal human, but he was clad in full power armor at the time. But regardless, Bragg is insanely strong for an unaugmented human.
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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-09-11 06:19am

Next to last.. but the one I've been anticipating, because its got one of hte most reliable lasgun calcs I've ever (yet) done.

Page 188

- Oskray Island, the "current" (as relates to the story) objective of the Ghosts, is twenty kilometres in diameter, with walls a hundred meters thick. Relevant later on.

Page 189-190
Men were still coming off the ramp-end above, falling on those Ghosts now coming up from below. A boot had hit him. The man it belonged to was inverted in the water behind him, panicking, dying. Caffran kicked away, trying to rise and not breathe in to ease his emptied, screaming lungs. He saw men explode into the grey, dreamy world from above, fighting the water as they hit and sank. But that at least told him the surface was only a few metres away.

The man who had kicked him on his way down had become entangled with another by the slings of their lasguns. One of them fired his lasgun in desperation, twice, three times. The water boiled around each slicing minnow of orange light. Caffran's ears throbbed as they heard the fizzing reportt of the underwater shots. One fo the las rounds punctured a drifting corpse nearby; another punctured through the leg of a desperate swimmer next to Caffran. Blood fogged the water.
Las-gun firing underwater, as I referenced earlier. Much like in "Eye of Terror", though a rifle rather than a pistol, and no exploding fish. Caffran was still several meters at least below the water (2-3 meters) and then man whose las-weapon fires is at least several meters below Caffran. (Caffran himself adds a nother 2 meter sor so due to his height.) This means that the las-shots punch through at least 4 and 6 meters of water.

The "diameter" of the beams is described as "minnows". Admittedly this is not a very precise definition, but in context we might consider it referring to something like this or this - giving a diameter of a few centimeters. We can further remedy this with two other sources: the "Ghosts" short story in "The founding" omnibus (quoted earlier) gives a diameter of a beam of a few cm (finger thick), which also matches the aperture diameter of the beam. Likewise in "ravenor" the passage of a las-weapon creates a wound in a target the size of a bottle-cap (Again a few cm.) Further, down below we see that Caffran's lasgun strap was severed by one of the beams, again implying at least one, possibly two inches area affected. So we can reasonably establish our volume.

In terms of effect, it literally describes boiling, though some vaporization does occur along the path of the beam (like in Eye of Terror, but also as described in the 3rd edition core rules.)

Given a roughly 3 cm diameter (a little over an inch) and a 4 meter "penetration" of the water, the quantity affected is nearly 3 kg (about 2.85 or so to be precise.) Assuming a 5 cm (2 inch) diameter) the area affected is roughly 8 kg (7.85 kg to be precise.) For a 6 meter depth multiply by 1.5 (4.5 and 12 kg in other words.) Note that tehse are sill conservative, since we don't know precisely the volume of water boiled around the beam. If going by just vaporization, assuming 2 cm diameter at 4 meters is 1.26 kg.

Assuming a roughly 288K starting temp (about 15c, or around 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit) and assuming merely boiling, 357 kilojoules per kg of water is needed. Vaporization adds another 2.25 MJ/kg.

So for just boiling... at 3 kg it takes 1.071 MJ. At ~8 kg it takes 2.86 MJ. minimum to boil. (again for 6 m depth multiply by 1.5)

For vaporization, assuming the 2cm beam diamter at 1.26 kg adds 2.84 MJ. Assuming a 3 cm diameter for "vaporization" you can add nearly 6.75 MJ.

No matter how you work otu the numbers (or combine them) you're getting at least several MJ per shot for a lasgun. At the higher end you're getting into nearly double digits for the lasgun (10 or more MJ per shot.)

Page 190
Behind him, las-rounds punched up out of the water into the fog as other unfortunates lost their grip on everyting but their triggers as they drowned.
Here, las bolts are punching up through the water, so they're not losing all their energy in penetrating to the surface (possibly others aren't as well.) Again, a few MJ minimum even at just a few meters depth.

Page 190
Bolt rounds and las -fire whipped and stiched the breakers around him, cutting down the Ghost beaching next to him.
The Ghosts have just arrived on the beach and are being fired upon from the walls of the Fortress they are to assault by the enemy. both bolt and las-fire are striking them. Given the lack of messy death, these probably aren't lascannon or heavy bolters either.

Page 190
He felt his lasgun grow heavier and flop away. The shot had cut his gun-strap across the shoulder.
- Lasgun beam (or its effects at least) are enough to "cut" the rifle strap on Caffran's gun. Implying a beam/effect width of at least 1-2" This corresponds/reinforecs the calcs on firepower done above.

Page 191
The fire-storm fell amongst them and some dropped silently, or screaming, or in minced pieces.
Las and bolter fire evidedntly cutting peopel apart.

Page 191
"Nothing! Visibility is low! Heavy resistance from up there!" Domor pointed up into the spray-fog at something only his augmented vision could resolve, and then only barely.
Domor's augmentic eyes can cut through fog/spray and other low-visbility conditions. Also, Domor seems to be pointing at the walls, again, indicating the source of the fire.

Page 192 -
Along the beach, under the down-pour of fire, men were coming ashore. Most were dying, some were making it to cover.
And again, once more, the enemy fire down upon the Imperial Guardsmen coming ashore the moment they come up from the water.

Page 193
A whinnying bolt round ricocheted off the top of the groyne's solid woodwork and took Chilam straight in the face, exploding his head.
Bolt round explodes a man's head, like a las-bolt can.

Page 193
The vast white curtain wall of Oskray Island's sea-defences rose ahead of them, almost a kilometre high. Apartt from some stray scorch marks, it was unlbemished.
The wall is "almost a kilometre high", which means that the enemy troops are firing down on the guardsman from over a kilometer away. The exact "length" of the beach isn't known, but a few hundred meters seems likely, so the "actual" range could be 1,200 meters, 1,500 meters, or more.

Page 193
A troop-ship, one of the great fat beetles, on fire from end to end, was coming in low, half-sidelong, nose down, spilling burning fuel and shreds of fuselage. It was huge, blocking out the sky, six hundred tonnes of dying metal keening in towards the beach over their heads. Its jaw-hatches were still closed.
Crashing drop ship, masses 600 tons. Troop hatches are front-facing deploying, and presumably quite large to allow large numbers of troops (or vehicles) to deploy simultaneously

Page 194
The stricken troop-ship had slammed over them, coming to rest at the head of the beach where the last few seconds of its crash-flight had been broken by the fortified seawall of Oskray Island. The impact had blown the wall in. For six hundred metres, its immeasurably old and solid stone was fused and fractured. A blackened chasm had opened into the heart of the refinery.
The Impact of the 600 ton shuttle cracked a 600 meter wide (several hundred meter deep) hole in the wall of the island. Generally speaking, it would take many tens or hundreds of kilotons for an impact to create a hole that big. The shuttle was mostly intact (and noone nearby was fried or killed), so it was not mainly explosion but kinetic impact that did the deed, ,but even if chemical (explosive) contributed to it, ,it would take substnatial velocity for a 600 ton drop ship to do any damage. Even at a velocity of 1 km/sec, the impact probably wouldn't make a hole quite that big.

In any case, we can determine that the shuttle had to travel "a few seconds" to hit the wall, which implies that the distance between wall and beach is at least on the order of a kilometer or two. Given the aforementioend range, this probably means that the effective weapons range is closer to 1.5 to 2 km.

Also, the shuttle, though recked, seems mostly intact, which has to say something for the durability of Imperium construction. (It also says something about the wall that it would take a kinetic impactor with nuclear-warhead level energies to put a hole in it.)

Page 194
Enemy fire still strafed down from the wall, though it was thinner now such a chunk of the wall had gone.
600 meter diameter hole in the wall, wepaons fire still coming down from a 1 km wall. AGain, reinfroces the idea the weapons range is at least 1.2-1.5 km.

Page 194
Stray las-shots winged down at them and stubber rounds rattled with a curious clack-clack sound off the stone facings to their left.
Las-shots and stubber rounds firing down from above.

Page 194-195
Ahead, one hundred meters down the v-shaped channel blasted by the crash, a dimness loomed.
The hole in the wall extends at least a huhndred meters.

Page 195
The fleet could have vaporised Oskray Island from orbit but it was too valuable. That meant a land assualt to retake it form the legions of Chaos.
The fleet could have "vaporized" the island from orbit. no idea on how manyy ships are in the fleet (a few dozen, tops?) but vaporizing a 20 km diameter island would require hundreds if not thousands of gigatons. Vaporizing the fort itself (assuming granite composition) woudl take several gigatons easily.

Note as well that "ground attack" is used by the Guard only when a target is valuable. Otherwise they'll just wipe it out (and presumably start over, save in the ase of Exterminatus.)

Page 197
Vulliam, two metres ahead of Caffran, was one of the first to break into the open. Stub rounds broke him messily into four.
Stubber rounds "quarter" a ghost. no idea of how many rounds, but its messy and nasty firepower I woudl say.

Page 198

- mention of "cindered flesh" being eaten by carrion birds. This may imply remains from teh shuttle crash (unlikely, given the magnitude of destruction that any traces should be thoroughly cooked/cremated, and no such remains were observed on the way up) or lasgun fire (since the only other known weapons are stubbers and bolters, and the bolt round effects were not thermal as mentioned before.) This would in turn imply at least partial incineration/cremation by lasgun fire (which is likely given the numerous cauterization comments.)

Page 198
"heavy Infantry?"
"The Volpone have just beached in legion strength. THey have heavy armour and weapons.

No idea how big a "Legion" is meant ot be. If in context of a Roman Legion it might be 4,000-6,000 men. If we thiunk int erms of "space marine Legions" from the past, it could be tens of thousands or more.

Also the Volpone have "heavy armour and weapons". Its not sure if "Armour" means body armour or vehicles, ,and what "heavy weapons" refers to (stronger las weapons, or extensive crew-served weaponry or what.) but it implies they're more formidibably equipped regardless.

Page 200
A Shell hit the wall and vapourised Gorley, as if he had never been there.
One of the Ghosts is vaporized by a shell. Its not specified whether it was an impact or explosion. In the case of an impact, its over 200 MJ of kinetic energy (something on the order of a ship gun, which is singificant.) Howver, its liklier that its an explosive shell, which means it had at least 200 MJ or so. More probably, its like 400-600 MJ, since only a portion of that blast would have hit the guy. Even more likely its low GJ range, given that a person represents such a tiny target in terms of surface area.

In all probabilitiy its a basilisk shell.

Page 200
Behind them, the stonework of the great sea wall began to shake.
- The basilisk bombardment is knocking the wall violently, enough that it can be shaked noticably. Not exactly quantifiable, but the recoil/explosive effect must be insane.

Page 201
They reached a vertical communications shaft, down the centre of which ran a great wrought-iron spiral staircase. The air was damp and smelled of wet bricka nd the sea. Shock damage was evident here too, and the bolts securing the metal stairway and its adjoining walkways to the shaft-sides had sheared off or snapped. The entire metal structure, hundreds of tons of it filling th eshaft, creaked uneasily with each shuddering impact from the guns of the distant basilisks.
- The bolts are "the size of a man's forearm" in the process of the bombardment by basilisks.. Again, I'm not sure how to quanify it, but it seems nasty.

Page 205
Bude stumbled as a [las] round hit him in the top of the left shoulder and exited through his right hip.
Vaporizing a 1 inch hole through the body, ignoring flak, requires at least 1 megajoule.

Page 206

- the Volpone here are all stated to be as big as Gilbear (2.5 meters), indicating his height/size is not dramaitcally different from usual (At least among heavy infantry.) And you guys wondered what they fed Bragg or Corbec. Odds are these are all Gilbear's storm troopers, suggesting that they're ALL similar sized.

Page 225

- the Volpone are all taller than the ghosts present, (Varl, Brostin, ,Caffran, Raglan, and Milo) save for Bragg (who is larger than the Volpone.) Bragg is therefore over 2.5 meters tall, but the others are smaller (Varl IIRC is 2 meters tall and Caffran is about that.)

Page 227

- General Sturm is described here as the comamnder of the Volpone 50th. This implies the Volpone units are all one group (tens of thousands of troops, in other words.)

Page 227

- Mention of auguries and Emperor's Tarot (consultation of tha Astropathicus.), so precognition is partt of a large-scale Imperial Guard assault as well as other aspects.

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Connor MacLeod
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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-09-17 02:26am

Last entry in this one.. God it took forever to write up!

Page 231

- Gaunt notes that there are few female Inquisitors (at least of Lilith's rank and position.)

Page 246

- An Eldar Witch (or is it Wytch) of sufficient power can detect or influence the minds of many hundreds of thousands of beings. (the influence/actions he'd taken to affect matters were referred to as "simple deceits" which I take to be minor/subtle manipulations as opposed to full-blown illusions.)

Page 250
Las-fire volleyed across the water of the lagoon and figures at the far end fell. Some dropped into the water, ,face down, others knelt for cover in the tree roots of the bank and returned fire. Laser shots echoed and returned aross the water course. The lowest bolts cut furrows as they flew across the water. Others steamed as they hit the liquid or exploded sodden, decomposing bark.
- Corbec and his unit exchange fire with Chaos forces across a Lagoon. Unfortunatley we don't know how big the lagoon is, so range cannot be judged. It is worth noting that the las fire here again is rather effectively penetrating the water. Moreover, it's rather evident that its vaporizing both the water it hits (steam) or in the trunks of the trees (exploding bark.) The previous page specifies that the Lagoon has tree roots/limbs sprouting out of it. These treeas are quite larrge (manyy tens of meters.. 50-60 meter tall trees stated on page 268.) This does imply some fairly large/thick roots that are being exploded, but calcs cannot be definitely done based on this.

Page 251
Las-fire spat across the glades at the First platoon. Lowen fell, cut through and smouldering.
"cut through" probably means that it sliced straight through the man's body (cutting him into pieces.) And probably cauterised as well.

Page 253
Enemy fire stripped the trees all around, pulverising bark and foliage into sap mist and splinters. The enemy had at least two stub guns and a dozen las-weapons in cover on the far side of the narrow creek
Las guns and stub guns appear to create rather significant shrapnel damage (the effect is implied to be comparable as well, ironically.)

Page 253
His wild fire hit somethign - a weapon power-pack, perhaps - and a seething sheet of flame rushed out of the far creek bank, stripping and felling trees and tossing out two blakcened bodies which cartwheeled in the air and fell into the creek bed.
The explosion of a power pack (las-gun, probably, since the aforementioned enemy only had las weapons and stubbers). The power pack is sufficiently powerful to knock down trees and physically send flying two bodies (which it also "blackens, implying substnatial burning.)

Assuming something around cauterization and boiling of water (which would lead to "blackened" burns the blast would need around 6-7 MJ per square meter (conservatively) at a distance of 1 meter. Assuming an omnidirectional blast this would suggest around 80 MJ for the powerpack. Given that a lasgun powerpack before could breach the armour of a Dreadnought, its small wonder at the implied power. And bear in mind as well that not all the energy was thermal - there was substantially more blast effect.

Page 254-255
He pulled his data-slate from the pocket of his leather coat and plugged the short lead into the socket at the base of the vox-link on Raglon's back. Then he tapped his clearance into the small board of rune-marked keys, and main battle-data began to display on his slate, direct from General Thoth's Leviathan command base. Gaunt selected an overall tactical view so he and Corbec could take in the state of the battle.
- The data slate downlaods and displays tactical data from other groups in the overal battle, and can specifically isolate and acquire data on the locations and dispostiions of specific units (such as Rawne's.) This suggests tremendous degrees of coordination and data-sharing between various elements of an Imperial Guard army, even down to the infantry level.

Page 260
The sky over that section of the Monthax glade-wilderness buckled and exploded. Blinding forks of lightning blinked downwards in a hundred places out of a heaven that had previously been clear and sultry blue. Stands of trees exploded under the electrical hammerblows. Several armoured vehicles in the Imperial vanguard were struck and destroyed. A Volpone hellhound, struck by ball-lightning, went up like a torch as its huge fuel reserves were touched off. At another place, in a dry creek bed, fourteen Basilisk self-propelled guns, their long barrels raised to the sky ready for bombardment, became lightning conductors. Electrocuted, the gun-crews danced and jerked, or melted onto the white-hot hulls for ten seconds before the combined munitions blew a square kilometer of jungle into the sky in a column of superheated energy and debris.

The blast shook the hulking, hundred metre-high Imperial command Leviathan stationed sixteen kilometers back and threw the bridge crew to the deck. General Thoth leapet up as his multiple screens and main holographic display fizzled and went out.
The infamous "psyker storm that fries a buncha Basilisks" that I dealt with long ago. This was created (incidentally) by the old eldar witch from before, but he loses control (which is why it gets so powerful), but he still technically "created" it.

A basilisk has a crew of four. That means fourteen basilisks is around 56 people. If we take "melting" to reference cauterization (the closest analogue I can come up with, ,where flesh is fused/burned to prevent melting) and assume my usual 300C cauterization temp, it would require around 4.1 gigajoules to "melt" that many crewmen.
That's not all. The basilisk's hulls are described as "white hot". For metals, that corresponds to a temperature of around 1480 Kelvin. Assuming a specific heat equivlaent to Iron, that's around 514-736 kilojoules per kg. A basilisk masses around 40 tons. 14 of them would be (of course) 560 tons. To make that much iron white hot it would requir between 288 and 412 gigajoules, minimum.

Note, however, that a basilisk is likely NOT composed of iron or anything remotely like that. Iron's melting point is around 1800K, which is close to the "White hot" temp outlined above. Moreover, these tanks are white hot for at least ten seconds and exhibit not the least bit of deforming. (you'd think after 10 seconds at 1500 K or more, barrels and the like would start melting.) This hints at some extreme thermal resilience on the part of the tanks, and that the calcs are probably quite conservative.

In any event, a powerful Eldar witch can summon and manifest CONSIDERABLE energies - that represents only part of the overall storm he was trying to control.

Lastly, the munitions of a basilisk "blow a square kilometer of jungle into the sky in a colum of superheated energy and debris." This tends to suggest that the "square kilomre" is mostly fireball and thermal radiation. At a minimum, going by the "nuclear effects calculator" a 1 kiloton explosion wil create a roughly 1 km diameter "third degree burn" blast radius (close enough to "superheating" for my intents and purposes.

If we assume that it boils the vegetation within one square kilometer...
here it notes that a rainforest might have around 300-400 trees per square kilometer. As a contrast other "forests" seem to have higher densities: as here indicates an "AveragE" density of around 700 trees per acre.

One square kilometer will have around 247 acres, which is between 74,000 and 99,000 trees, approximately. Assuming each tree is 20 meters tall and about 2 meters in diameter, each tree would averag earound 40-45 tons. Total: between 3,000,000 and 4,500,000 tons of tree to be "superheated."

Assuming that the water content of a tree was ~50% and a fairly high startting temp of around 310 degrees (human body temp). To raise 1.5 million tons of water to the boiling point requires some 402 terajoules
Thise doesn't include "other" vegettion. Assuming a .1 "depth" of vegetation over 1 saure km would add around another 40,000 tons of plant matter to be "superheated. (conservativee) but could be safely ignored as minor relative to the trees. boiling that much plant matter requires 10 terajoules.

A basilisk typically carries 20 rounds of ammo. For 14 basilisks that is 280 shells max. This suggests that basilisk artillery can carry TREMENDOUS firepower per shell - tens or hundreds of gigajoules easily, perhaps even a few terajoules. at the upper end. Its worth noting that there are ALOT of variables and some conjecture in the calcs above, but even if we assume the true value is merely 1% of what I have estimated, a basilisk shell would be able to chuck several tons worth of TNT per shell, easily.
Note that "low yield nuke" grade firepower like above is not neccesairly impossible, given the existencec of melta weapons. A melta shell should be easily created and could quite easily carry that much firepower. (It would also explain why nukes are rarely used. Why bother when you have equivalents at hand already.).

Page 263
The storm, a spinning electrical disk of clouded black fury sixty kilometres in diameter, held its position unerringly above the battle front. Its power and force were so great, even the mighty cogitators of the hexathedral Sanctity high in orbit, couldn't compute its magnitude or penetrate the dome of blistering interference it crated.
The storm is 60 km in diameter, and is so powerful its fucking with the orbial sensors of starships. (Psyker phenomenon, if sufficiently powerful, makes a very good EW system.)

Page 264
The escort was thirty troopers from the Royal Volpone 50th, the bluebloods. They woer the grey and gold body armour and low-brimmed bowl helmets of the Volpone, with wet-weather oilskins draped lankly over their torsos. Their shoulders and arms were massive with segmented carapace armour, and they were each armed with a matt-black hellgun fresh from the weapon shops of Leipaldo. Each man had a bright indigo Imperial Eagle stud pinned to his armaplas collar section, marking them all as from the Volpone Tenth Brigade, the elite veteran force.
equipment of "elite" Volpone troopers. Implied to have a whole Brigade worth of similarily equipped (or possibly 10 of them). Given that Brgiades can number as big as regiments (say 4,000-5,000 as standard NATO ones IIRC) this implies that a substnatila number (if not all) of the Volpone forces might be equipped as well as storm troopers.

Page 266
She pulled out her data-slate and reviewd it. It showed the positions of all the Imperial forces,e ach individual unit, as last recorded before the storm came down. A complex data-mosaic of thousands of individual components, one that would take a trained tactician hours to assess.
Once more an indication of the coordination/data sharing between various elements in an Imperial Guard army. forces down to the "unit" (squad or platoon) level are kept track of and updated on a consistent basis, and accessible to any higher-level officer (like Gaunt, or in this case an Inquisitor) upon request (with the proper passwords.)

Page 267
The muddy ridge which had previously sheltered him was hit by four separate bursts of enemy fire. Boiled mud spattered up in lazy splashes. The tumultuous rain washed the steam away immediately.
Again we see that las-fire boils/vaporises wateR (or rather mud, but it still comes to roughly that) in a vey short timeframe. Useful to note for quantificaiton purposes.

Page 268
He could see the enemy, nine or more, scrambling down the bank onto him, the closest twenty metres away.
They opened fire. It was silent still, just that rumble like grinding teeth, but plumes of mud burst up from impacts around him, and scythed through the bole of a tree to his left, bringing the fifty metre tall trunk crashing down.
Digging his heels into the soft ground for purchase, he swung up and leand across the tree trunk, firing a pistol in each hand.
- laspistols have a minimum range of 20 meters (implied to be more, given the conditions.) Also note that bolts frm his laspistol were white beams. The chaos weapon had red beams.

- Chaos weapons fire (lasgun probably) scythes through a "fifty metre tall" tree, implied to be a single shot (but probably sustained, given the cutting effect.). A 50 metre tall tree is going to be quite thick, as noted here - several metres in diameter easily. ASsuming the usual ~2 cm thick beam, and vaporizing 50% of the water content in the tree, it would affect ~20 kilograms.. requiring around 40-50 megajoules to vaporize.

Page 268
Mkoll ducked down and crept along the length of the fallen trunk as return fire cremated and split the section he had been using for cover.
Again the weapons fire "cremates" the section he was hiding behind.

Assuming a several meter diameter, half meter wide is about 1000-1500 kg of tree matter. "cremation" in trees is hard to quantify, not least because wood has a not-insigificant energy density and could, if ignited, burn itself easily. However, "wet" wood (especially that like you find in a jungle) is not easily burnt - like the human body, its mostly water, which must be mostly removed before any ignition can occur. On the other hand, given the nature of las weapon its probable that the weapon would incinerate long before it could ignite and totally self consume in a very short period of time. And generally, the energy required to incinerate is usually equal to the energy to vaporize (at least in humans) so it probably is of little matter in conservative calcs.

In any case, ,assuming it only vaporizes about 1/4th the water content of the tree, thats 250-300 kg, for around 625-750 MJ total. There are around 9 or so (but possibly morem even though Mkoll shot several) troops, achieving this in a short period of time (long enough for Mkoll to duck and crawl away... a matter of seconds) Assuming ~4 seconds and around 6 troops firing, that would be at least 20-30 MW sustained firepower.

Even if the calcs aren't valid, we can draw from this that lasguns CAN incinerate organic matter, as implied in other cases.

Page 268-269
He blasted with his twin guns again, exploding the shoulder of an attacker flanking him to the left. A las-round exploded the trunk in front of him, and he reeled back into shelter, sucking at the new splitners of wood slivered into his forearms and fingers.
One or two shots (single or both las pistols) can "Explode" the hsoulder of a Chaos trooper, which probably includes boiling/cauterization. Given rough dimension sof ~.15-.2 meters for a spherical "Explosion affecting the shoulder, the bolt should easily affect between 1.7 and 3 kg worth of flesh (call it 2-3 kg).

Boiling would require at least 540 and 800 kilojoules (270-400 kilojoules per shot for two laspistol.) For cauterization (300C) its 1.85 to 2.76 MJ (roughly .9 to 1.4 MJ per pistol)

Secondly, its worth noting yet agian that las-fire can create significant (and dangerous) shrapnel wounding from near-hits.

Page 269
He wondered if he had been shot in the head, if his thoughts and motions were simply a nervous reaction carrying him forward past the point of death, his brain cooked backwards out of the exploded cup of his skull.
Here Mkoll believes he'd been hit by a las-blast, his "brains cooked" and his skull exploded. If we take "cooking" to mean boiling and or cauterization (the context implies some vaporization causing his brain matter to be driven out the bakc of his skull) suggests around 400 kilojoules to 1.3 MJ alone for the brain. Factoring in effects on the overall head (or even a significant part of it) can double or triple that figure.

Page 273

- Corbec is onyl a few centimeters shorter than Gilbear. So this makes Corbec about 2.5 meters tall.

Page 282
Two Bluebloods had been atomised by electircal arcs, and another two, along with one of the Tanith, ,and been flayed alive by the wood chips.
More effects of the psyker storm. Two carapace-clad Bluebloods are (more than) vaporised.

Page 282
Lilith cursed silently. Gaunt was right. They were cut off from orbital locater signals, and the storm was playing merry hell with their finders and codiciers. All they had to work on was a memory or location and terrain.
I'm not sure what they mean by "orbital locator signals", some sort of GPS satellite or perhaps orbiting ships acting as relays, but it does indicate that their computer equipment (like the "finders and codicers" have linkups/connections with or through orbital equipment in order to function (or to connect with other targets). This suggests their coordinating ability extends far beyond "line of isght" ranges.

It's also implied that they DO carry some fairly extensive computerized gear "in the field" fairly often. And that among those fucntions, mapping and location-finding is one of them. Of course they're equally capable of doing without as well.

Page 284
Las -shots scorched at his heels, exploding trees. He glanced backwards and began to run.

An enemy warrior loomed ahead of him and Mkoll blasted with one of his pistols, taking the head clean off.
Las-fire from the enemy "explodes" a tree. I shouldn't have to bother mentioning this is probably MJ range, again.

Also, Mkoll blasts an enemy's head off with his laspistol. Again, high kilojoule/low megajoule, I shouldn't have to bother recalculating.

Page 284
He shot him point blank and then rose, cutting the knees off the next foe who advanced with a double spit of las-fire from his guns.
Las-pistol fire severs the knees of his enemies. An area of effect of roughly 15-20 cm in diameter (and 10-15 cm "wide") 2-3 kg worth of flesh affected easily. At boiling point its 500-800 kilojoules. Cauterizing is 1.8-2.7 MJ. per knee. Again, high kilojoule/low Megajoule, and for a pistol.

Page 285
He killed left and right. Maximum firepower. Then he realized his captured laspistol was coughing inert gas. He threw it aside.
Mkoll is using his laspistol (now) at maximum firepower. Probably not before, because he was firing lots of times (and not having reloads, at least not for the captured one)

The "inert gas" bit is interesting. It does imply that there is some part of the las-weapon process that utilizes gas. It could be involed in the creation process, but I'm rather doubtful. My guess is that its probably the main method of "cooling" the weapon (gas coolant), since las weapons have demonstrated no other means of cooling themselves that I am aware of, and radiators wouldn't cut it unless they were hideously efficient weapons (well they are already...) Moreover, the fact the gas is "inert" tends to make it unlikely that it does anything "active" in creating the laser.

Of course, it might not be true of all guns. las weapons could operate (and probably do) by many different principles.

Page 286
Capturing the lasgun, he turned, setting it to full auto and cutting down a wave of Chaos infantry as they pressed in on his heels.

He was still shooting, blindly into the night, his lasgun's power cell almost exhausted and three dozen slain foe about him, when Corbec found him.
His "captured" las gun had at least 3 dozen shots in it (probably much more, given his full auto spraying and the fact that the enemy probably did not just stick a fresh clip inside.) I'd guess at least 50-60 shots more probably.

Page 293
may I remind you that we can't even find this place? Our locators and auspex are screwed, my scouts can't tell one direction from another"
- Gaunt mentions that he and Lilith (and their group) seem to possess auspex and locators (Which aren't working in the storm.) Presumably, they're tied into the data-slates somehow.

And again, of course, it shows just how well equipped a Guard regiment like the Ghosts can be.

Page 294
Blueblood and Tanith guns blew the things apart as they came close.

"Warp creatures," Lilith hissed, appearing by his side. "Manifestations of this unholy storm. Mindless, but lethal."
- The Bluebloods are using Hellguns, the Tanith using regular lasguns. No idea of how many shots are required in either case, or how big the creatures are (but they have to be fairly large to represent a danger, say dog/wofl sized at least?) but any Warp spawned creature manifesting into the materium must acquire mass from a source, it cannot "create" it or subsist without it (usually from whatever was sacrificed to draw it here.).

It does indicate las-weapons can blow large organic bodies apart with relatievely short barrages, and indicates that hellguns and lasguns probably aren't HUGELY different in firepower (less than an order of magnitude.)

Page 299
Larkin was tuning the night-scope on his long gun, stabbing a slender target beam of porcelain blue light up at the roof.
I don't quite know the purpose of the "blue light", but the color changes from story to story :) It does suggest his "night scope" is an active system of some sort, and probably more complex than merely infraread/low-light/night vision. Maybe its a laser sight

Page 301

- the shrieker cannon seems to fire 1000-star bursts of shuriken fire. It also has stabilizing gyros and bucks noticably in the Eldar's hands as he fires it, implying significant recoil against the Eldar's strength.

Note that unless the shrieker cannon has some sort of AG "counterforce" anchoring the guy in place, the mass of a shuriken round cannot be that great (nor can its velocity. At 1000 rounds, assuming a 2 second burst (500 apiece) and that the recoil is 200 kg*m/s (which infers the guy IS rather firmly braced in position before firing and probably a generous upper limit), each round can only have no more than .5 kg*m/s worth of momentum - say a half gram projectile at 1000 m/s, or a 1 gram projectile at 500 m/s. KE would alos be very low (few hundred joules at best.)

Then again, being monomol they don't need alot of mass/velocity to do damage, and the numbers more than amke up for it (1000 such rounds DOES amount to alot of KE). And given that their range sucks anyhow, you dont need much mass/velocity again either.

Nonetheless tis tends to make Shuriken weapons (at least firing in this way) more akin to some sort of exotic "shotgun" or "flechette" gun. It works, and the above burst would probably shred any armoured group of enemies within range, but I still prefer a lasgun.

Page 304
Milo snatched the sniper gun out of Larkin's wavering hands, and sighted it at Munnol, looking through the scope. The bead of the blue light beam kissed Munnol's drab camo-cloak like a tiny spotlight. Milo looked through the scope viewer, seeing Munnol as a ghost of blues and shadows.

Munnol, as if sensing the beam on him, turned to look back at Milo. Through the scope, Milo saw Munnol as he swung slowly around, his eyes hooked and slanted in his cold pale face. A second more, and those eyes became the visor slits of a great sculpted helmet of gleaming white armour, backed by a towering crest of red feathers. Munnol's great fatigues became a tight suit of blue armor that locked majestically about his huge, powerful frame. The lasgun in his hands became a long, fluted lance weapon with a ridged, coiled pipe, silver vents, and a beautiful inlay of chased pearl and gold.
Larkin's "blue beam" seems to be able to "see through" the psychic illusion being cast over the Eldar. I'm not sure if this is some inherent property of the device, or whether Larkin's near-religiosu belief that he "sees truth" through his scope allowed him to pierce the psychic illusion (odds are the latter is moer likely.) Nonetheless, this is further indication that it is far more than a simple infrared/night vision device that Larkin carries. Also note that the beam seems (at least briefly) able to see through the helmet, implying some X-ray like properties to penetrate matter, and again affirming that there seems to be an "active detection" element to the night scope. And that .

Page 314
Once the Way was shut, closely-targeted orbital bombardments incinerated the massed forces of the enemy.

The Jungles of Monthax burned.
To prevent the Chaos troops (hundreds of thousands, if not millions) from accessing the Webway and the jungles, they are subjected to an orbital bombardment. Incinerating that many troops (nevermind their equipment or whatnot) would imply many hundreds of kilotons if not many megatons of firepower dropped on the immediate locale. This indicates the scale of "bombardment" they typically execute against enemy troops. (and its not the frist time we've heard of "megaton range" orbital support against enemies during battle.)

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