Corbite Systems Review Summary, Weapons of the 21st Century Confederate Era.
It is an interesting item that one can look at the weapons used throughout the confederation and still find references that have not changed since the creation of the first knife and the first gun. While directed energy weapons, tactical fusion warheads and capital gauss cannon may be used when one gets into armoured warfare or that of the great naval ships slogging at one another, the simple fact of the matter is that when one gets ‘personal’ the weapons we use have not changed much at all in millennia.
This summary attempts to look at the various ‘close quarters’ or ‘personnel’ based weapons used by Confederate, Corporate, Unity and Accord Forces along with a number of independent worlds and systems.
Perhaps the most often seen form of weapon as they commonly are carried by police forces Electronic Stun weaponry uses electric fields to effectively trigger a nerve response that can range from non-lethal to lethal force, in many respects they are similar to Tasers and stun weaponry of the past only far more refined and efficient.
Most forms of these weapons emit a static like discharge from a handle and can be tuned to adjust the exact form of nerve impulse that it triggers. This actually has made this form of weapon a favourite for criminal groups as they can trick a person’s nervous system into believing that it has taken large amounts of damage when really it has not. In effect it allows them to torture a victim without leaving any physical sign beyond short term nerve impulse damage.
Most law enforcement agencies use the weapons in their intended form to trigger nerves to stop responding and take down a potential criminal in a non-lethal manner. It should be noted however that most ship suits and body armour are designed with a protective grid to dissipate electro-stun weapons.
Plasma Based Weapons
Plasma based weapons are another form of common weapon found across a ‘range’ of actual weapon types, all of the weapons are however based on a common principle, the use of a ionised gas plasma capable of being tuned to a specific range, thus making it more or less deadly depending on the setting.
Most Terran based plasma weapons are actually dual systems, that use a combination of laser and plasma technology to achieve the delivery of the Plasma to its target, Unity and Accord weapons on the other hand tend to instead use a small compact nanotech emitters to create a magnetic bottle around the plasma, this method gives them far longer range, better accuracy and a variable level of punch. Terran technology is only just beginning to catch up.
When used in knives or other ‘short’ forms of weapon the plasma is contained within a small adjustable magnetic bottle, being Plasma however allows the weapon to actually be fully adjustable and this can be used both for hand to hand and ranged weapons. Most plasma weapons have ‘Cold Fire’ modes which use cold plasma to actually cause freezing damage to a target, others can be set to ‘room’ temperature where the plasma tends to have more of a concussive burst or only target certain material forms, while others can be changed to ‘hot’ plasma ranging from light burns, to actual vaporisation.
It is this level of adjustability that makes Plasma based weapons the mainstay of shipboard combat, as the weapons can be adjusted to make certain that no damage is done to hull bulkheads, thus preventing any accidental decompressions.
Terran Plasma Technology – Delivery System.
Since even the 20th Century Pre Confederation it has been well known that containing any form of plasma beyond a short distance requires either being able to maintain a magnetic bottle around the bolt, shotting the plasma at a speed fast enough to prevent dissipation (which in turn tends to make it more a ‘particle’ gun than a plasma one) or removing the air along the pathway that actually causes the rapid blooming and dissipation to occur. Many methods have been tried and used over the past 2 millennia but the most common method in use to date is the dual laser/plasma delivery system while the second most common is the shell based delivery. We will look at the laser/Plasma system first;
This system uses a low powered laser burst to ionise the air between the weapon and the target in the moment before firing the plasma projectile, the exact wavelengths vary based on the actual plasma content but the laser channel in turn allows the plasma bolt to remain coherent out to a distance of about 250 – 500 meters.
This limiting factor means that Terran based systems tend to be for personnel level engagement only.
The shell based delivery system is again another ‘hybrid’ system, coupling traditional rifle techniques with advanced energy weapon technology, in this method a shell is used as the primary container for the plasma. Prior to the actual firing of the round the weapon injects into a magnetic containment bottle at the trip of the round plasma, as well as rapid charging the rounds battery. Gauss technology (again magnetic in nature) then fires the round down range where on impact a dual release of energy occurs, first the plasma’s magnetic bottle will either punch into the object being targeted exposing it to the plasma, or be pushed back against the actual shell, causing the emitters to overload and the rapid explosive release of the plasma across the target, followed closely by the actual ‘shell’ itself which in most plasma weapons is designed to superheat and shape itself into a needle of hot molten metal. This method allows it to punch through most armour simular to a plasma based lance.
Due to this property shell based plasma weapons are typically restricted to ground combat, and ship external weapon mounts only, as inadvertent firing of the weapon within the confines of a ship may result in the puncturing of the hull.
Unity, Accord Plasma Technology – Delivery System
The Unity and Accord use nanotech engineering as part of their plasma delivery systems, by embedding a single short life nanotech machine at the centre of the round they are able to have it form a stabilised gravity or magnetic bubble that keeps the plasma coherent across any range. It should however be strongly noted that this method does not give the weapon infinite range, the energy required to maintain the actual field structure by the nanotech machine is drawn directly from the actual plasma that it is bottling thus as the round moves further away from the weapon that launched it the actual delivered ‘package’ is significantly being reduced. Most personnel sized unity weapons have a range of approximately 750m – 1km anywhere beyond this distance the amount of plasma remaining is considered impractical and quickly dissipates at which point the nanotech emitter will cease to function.
It will however be noted by any astute reader that a larger plasma package should mean longer range, while this may seem the case if one studies the actual ‘physics’ of the system it quickly becomes apparent that it is not. A larger plasma projectile will yes deliver more plasma onto the target, however it requires a larger mag or grav bottle to contain it, this bottle in turn requires more energy to keep functioning and range again tends to be limited to about 750m – 1km over all.
Sniper based plasma weaponry and fixed or vehicle mounted overcome part of this range limitation by broadcasting an energy signal for a brief moment to the nanotechnology, this method extends the range of the projectile as the projectile is not required to start scavenging it’s energy content until further down range, this tends to allow sniper based weapons to operate out to about 2 – 3km in range and vehicle mounted weapons out to approximately 25km.
One member of the unity is on record as saying that while Plasma based technology is good, old fashioned slugs will always be used if only because you can fire them into orbit.
Projectile based weapons have been used in one form or another for as long as any culture can remember, humanity still to this day uses standard firearms that combine gunpowder, oxygen and a projectile which in most cases is formed of lead, steel or another heavy base metal type that is thrown at high speeds towards a target with the intention of creating as much physical damage as possible given the size and speed of the projectile.
Rather than go into a complex look at the methods used we will instead simply note that 3 primary means of moving the projectile, they are Gunpowder or simular explosive mix, Gauss technology which uses magnetic fields to project a heavy metal slug down range though in some cases this has been upgraded to gravity technology in Angel and Watcher technology bases and air or other compressed gas form.
Direct Energy Weapons
Directed Energy weapons have become one of the mainstays of personal weapon systems, while original Terran units where bulky the advent of man-portable fusion technology, greater energy storage methods lead to the eventual miniaturization and proliferation of directed energy systems. The most common known is of course the ‘LASER’ though the actual methods used would better be termed phased energy manipulation the corporations developing the technology in the late 2120’s found themselves constantly blocked by copyright law on the term they wished to use, instead ‘Laser’ came to incorporate any weapon which uses a coherent ‘stream’ of high energy photon based radiation.
Some of these weapons function very much like true lasers, the beam is generally invisible except at the target point and the impact of energy burns the target, others use a harmonic phasing of the photonic energy to form a coherent beam, this actually lead to an effect similar to those seen on many 20th and 21st century scifi shows where the ‘bolt’ could be seen. No matter the actual method used to deliver the energy the result is the same, destruction of material through the exciting of the molecular structure, aka.. By heat.
However Laser energy is not the only direct energy method used, Particle Projection is commonly used in larger anti-armour based systems, and these weapons like their laser cousins only became practical with the proliferation of man portable high energy generation. They function effectively by being man-portable particle accelerators, where in a stream of particles is accelerated within the main body then shot at speeds approaching that of light down range, the constant stream and the related release of energy results in damage across a target surface and due to the radiation given off by the particles annihilation the very real possibility of ‘soft’ kills on the operators of the armoured target.
The Unity and Accord appear to use systems simular to though slightly more advanced in places than their human counter parts, phased energy weapons for example tend to be pulsed based in 90% of the Unity arsenal due to their ability to manufacture gravity lens rather than complex magnetic or physical ones. This ‘pulse’ ability allows their weapons to typically pack more ‘punch’ for the same energy cost, as rather than the beam being interfered and diffracted by the ablative of the attacked material the small time between pulses allows the gas cloud formed by the ablation to dissipate. Add to this the fact that Warrior units going into battle are almost always in exoskeleton suits means that they also tend to be of higher calibre.