Wait, so how does the chainsword work in 40k? Seems impractical to me. I've heard arguments saying that it's meant to chew through power armor with its teeth, but the chain's housing should preclude any meaningful depth and take too long to be effective in any case, right? Why does the Imperium not take the more traditional approach, i.e. an armor-piercing blade?
Is it just rule of cool, or does the lore give a better reason?
It's cheaper compared to making an entire monomolecuclar sword.
Each tooth of a Chainsword is made out of some adamantium/plasteel/diamond alloy shit that is honed to such a fine edge it can sever molecular bonds, allowing it to cut through most metals in the universe- it just can't slice through thick armor like tank hides or adamantium unless buffed with a power field.
The alternative would be making an entire sword monomolecular, which is a lot more expensive, and harder to repair. With a chainsword you can just replace individually damaged teeth.
It's because the chainsword was made to fight Orks, which have insane bone and muscle density. They're also too stupid to be slowed by ordinary wounds. You want to do *damage*, and damage that is as hideously traumatic as possible.
The Imperium, in fact, has armor-piercing blades. We call them 'power weapons', but they're comparatively rare.
I'll add - When fighting with chain weapons, Marines don't just swing at each other. They aim for the joints of weakness. It's pretty hard to chew through armor with a chain weapon (Even though it mangles flesh like no-one's business.)
The chainsword is basically for a new paradigm of warfare, where you're fighting something that needs to be hacked to death before it dies. I mean - They're fighting ALIENS. Aliens don't have human physiology.
Yeah TT is pretty retarded when it comes to that, that's the result of balance and the limited d6.
Although it should be noted it's not -that- effective against power armor. You have to aim for the joints because otherwise you're chipping away at tank-grade armor.
You're assuming that your enemy has normal tissue density. If you're fighting someone who is soft and fleshy, your chainsword is going to make him literally disintegrate.
If you need a weapon to hack at something, the spinning teeth allow you to simply hold the blade against the enemy, so you don't have to saw away at it.
Ah, I see. And apparently it's just badly designed chainswords that have such a housing in the first place.
I honestly didn't expect to find a scenario where a chainsaw mounted on a sword hilt actually made some sense.
Yeah, it's because the 40K paradigm of war is very different. You're designing equipment that isn't going to be used against humans. In our world, whenever we're making weapons, we think:
> "Okay, we're going to be fighting humans. I know all about humans."
In 40K, you could be fighting anything. You want to be prepared for these kind of insane eventualities. Melee combat is something you do when your enemy isn't killed by all your guns: At that point, your concern isn't about having a weapon that's easy to use. You want something that's REALLY going to mess the enemy up, because you might never get a second chance.
This is precisely why I like my Chaos Chainswords so much. They actually look like they could cut through something.
>sci fan setting with armor so hard that it can withstand bunker busting ammunitions
Admit it. The rule of cool is above all.
A thing to keep in mind about chainswords and the like is that the space marines were initially conceived as terror troops for the Imperium's reconquista. Their intended mission was to strike at an enemy point of interest (usually an HQ or something of the sort) and fuck everything up so quickly and brutally that the enemy is immediately cowed into surrendering.
Their equipment reflects that: Their armour is primarily protective, sure, but also huge and intimidating, especially due to the full-face helmet. A bolter is generally overkill against humans, but its explosive charge means that it causes incredibly gruesome wounds, going so far as to rip off limbs or bursting open chest. cavities. The chainsword is just the cherry on top, probably the most cruel and brutal weapon in their arsenal.
Imagine being in the army of an independent planet that is resisting the Imperium's claim. You're guarding the field HQ, usually a cushy and safe job. Then suddenly you hear a screaming sound from the sky. For a moment you think it's an artillery barrage, but no explosions follow the impacts. Before the dust has a chance to settle, fire pours on your position from all around you. You take cover and look to your buddy, only to see him slumped down on the ground with his head just *gone*. You get up to return fire, but the moment you're exposed you feel an impact on your arm and are thrown back down to the ground. You try to raise your weapon, but your arm won't obey. You turn to look and see why: Your forearm is only attached to your elbow by a few stringy tendons.
Now there's only a single soldier left at your post, desperately firing at enemies he can't see. A figure appears out of the haze, shots just harmlessly glancing off of its armour. It strides over to your position easy as you please, holding a goddamn chainsaw that's almost as big as you are. It just picks up your remaining comrade in one hand and just fucking saws him in half.
SM used to be ISIS in space
Just rule of cool OP. As a woodsman, trimmer, and climber I can tell you right now that chainsaws do two things constantly:
1) They push or pull depending on which side of the bar you use. According to WH40k many chainswords only have their leading edge and the tip exposed. 9 times out of 10, doing a proper plunge cut runs the risk of making the saw jump off it's target. Can't really stab with one using just one hand.
2) The bar and chain can be pinched hard enough to stop the chain completely. Once this happens, the chain moves so slow and weakly that it can be stopped on just about anything. Human bone can stop a chain pretty well if the saw cuts too deep too fast.
Chainsaws don't really *cut* as opposed to scrap/skin the tree to death.
Anyone know if the Imperium has chain-teeth with monomolecular edge? Wiki doesn't site sources unsurprisingly on the subject.
I'm asking because in dark heresy 2nd ed you can get monomolecular whips and warhammers, but not chain weapons
I think it's mostly rule of cool. As a world eater player I love chain axes to death but they are retarded as fuck.
Depending on the particular fashion a war hammer may have prongs, knobs, or even spikes, but nothing where any monomolecular technology would seem to be particularly useful. After all, part of the point of using a war hammer in the first place is to have a rather wide striking surface that makes it less likely for your strike to glance off of rigid armour.
In this case wouldn't taking the monomolecular add-on change the weapon to have edges or points that it can be applied to?
For example if you look at other add-ons...
Taking compact doesn't magically make the weapon take up less space, it refers to the weapon being physically altered and made smaller.
A fire selector adds a mechanism, it doesn't make the firing mechanism magically choose ammo based on your commands/intentions.
The text for the mono upgrade actually says...
>Mono weapons have specially fashioned blades with superfine edges, which can easily cut through armour and never lose their edge. Mono weapons no longer count as Primitive and add a +2 bonus to their Penetration.
So even a mono-warhammer would have a blade of some kind. If your default warhammer didn't then you'd be adding a specially fashioned blade instead of specially fashioning an existing blade into one. Same with a flail, unless it already has barbs or points you'd be adding them.
In the FF systems it does have an armor penetration value. Not as much as power weapons, but more than "mundane" melee weapons. The two-handed eviscerator of course cuts through pretty much anything like it ain't no thing.
Depending on the edition you're looking at, it also includes a rider that applying the Mono quality to a non-edged weapon actually means applying equivalent "Make this shit better" hypertech, like a hyperdense liquid core to a warhammer or whatever.
Melee weapons make sense when you're fighting berserker enemies that can tank lethal wounds so well they can literally have their heads cut off and still survive long enough to have it reattached with staples, and when you face foes that can quite literally jump out of the walls from Hell and decorate the entire room with your insides in a second.
You're thinking like a 21st century person, not somebody who lives in the 40K universe and the necessities of it.
This guy has a point, I mean its still a bit silly, but orks can take pretty standard munitions fire and slog on through it up to your face, would you rather fight a gorilla bare handed or with a chainsaw?
Daemons and Eldar jump in and out of the warp appearing all over the shit
Nids have creatures that are effectively armoured cheetahs wielding swords, its safer to have something you can smack back with
But even then, I'd generally assume any melee combat system would involve pistols or other shortened guns rather than swords, at least for ordinary humans. Maybe pair it with a defensive device like a buckler or something of the sort. A firearm will almost always inflict more severe wounds than a melee-weapon swung by a human (both IRL as well as when accounting for 40k tech), they're easier to use, and they're much more difficult to defend against. You can't exactly parry a bullet, after all.
Excepting Eldar bullshit.
Rather than going full medieval style, I'd rather expect the IG to develop some kind of CAR-style tacticool pistol method.
At least in the Rogue Trader book, it says that taking the "mono" upgrade on something without an edge, just means that it gets something else that makes it better at piercing armor.