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Space Elves

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:05 am 
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Thanks. :D

This next item comes under the heading of explosive devices.
It's a fist-sized spidery robot, perhaps looking something like this:
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Wraith Mite, 30 points: Encumberment .5 (half a kilogram). A Wraith Mite is a very small robotic wraith-construct, which may be controlled remotely, or may act autonomously through its capable artificial intelligence. Similar designs of Wraith Mite perform various tasks throughout Eldar society, from mechanism diagnostics and maintenance, to pest control and gardening. The Wraith Mites most commonly employed by Eldar warriors and outcasts are used for surveillance, sabotage, booby traps and area denial.
Movement 12 (centimetres)
Close Combat 7 (on a D12)
Ranged Combat 7
Strength 1
Armour 4
Wound Points 4
Initiative 7
Nerve -/10 (robotic, so doesn't actually use its Nerve)
Cost 30
Internal battery sufficient for 1000 hours of continuous use, recharge 1 hour of operation time for every 2 hours set to standby while exposed to source of heat (35º C+) or bright light.
Special: Intelligence 5, Knowledge 3, Alertness 7, +15. Size –4, Fearless.
Weapons: Built in laser: Moving Modifier –2, Close Combat, 0-6” +1 / 2+2D6, 6-12” / 1+2D6, 12-18” –3 / 2D6. Every shot reduces the remaining operation time by 1 hour.
Electrical discharge: 300,000 volt Taser and Air Taser. Every use reduces the remaining operation time by 1 hour.
Self destruct: direct contact 15+4D6, 1” blast 15+3D6, 2” blast 11+3D6, 3” blast 8+3D6. May be set to detonate automatically upon death.
Equipment: Thermal Imaging System, Cameleoline (no significant energy drain while in use, but must be turned off while recharging), Infrared Camouflage, Vacuum Rated, Submersible, Grapnel Spinnerets (4 metre/2” range), Adhesive Feet, Comm-Web Link.

With their need to periodically recharge when on long deployments, if you had lots of them dispersed throughout a city or around a facility, I can imagine they'd be accidentally encountered by the locals, found congregating in clusters around steam or exhaust vents, or sitting atop spires or communications masts catching sunlight. In some locales, maybe they'd even be mistaken for indigenous or introduced wildlife. :P

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:23 am 
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Yeah, that's good too -- although i think it would have EITHER a laser or a taser, not both... And, 500 shots still leaves it with 500 hrs operation? :eek:

That's why I like it having just the Taser, b/c I can reason that it's building up a static charge in its wraithbone or somesuch...

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:07 am 
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But I like the idea of little spidery bastards lasering people. :P
In giving it both a laser and an air taser, I reasoned that it would be fairly simple to route the power that would normally be pumped through the laser, down its grapnel wires to zap someone senseless.
Also, the laser is quite weak - it's shorter ranged and a less powerful than a cheap handgun. When dealing with armoured adversaries, it becomes tactically insignificant; anyone wearing armour better than Flak would be very difficult to even injure.

But, now that you bring it to my attention...
If I recall correctly, real-life tasers are usually powered by regular disposable batteries, and are good for several zappings. While as we all know, weapons grade lasers require an obscene amount of power.
I could assume miniature Eldar lasers are relatively efficient, and change it to -10 hours remaining operation time for each shot, instead of -1. This still makes ammunition expenditure vs remaining operation time fairly irrelevant though.
-50 hours perhaps. Its primary function is observing targets then self-destructing when in close proximity. The lasering and tasering is just an added bonus of Eldar tech.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:25 am 
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Yeah, 50 for the laser, maybe 10 for the taser sounds better...

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:27 am 
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From what I can gather from my old notes and currently available information, even several hundred thousand volt tasers are good for over a dozen firings, powered by a 9 volt battery or similar. Some information suggests they may be good for a couple hundred firings.
Therefore, if the Wraith Mite's power supply is capable of keeping it running for 1000 hours, and powering multiple firings of an approximately half-kilojoule laser, I reckon it's good for many hundreds of taserings.

Here's its non-exploding smaller cousin.

Scout Wasp, 10 points: Encumberment 0 (10 would have an Encumberment of .25 [would weigh about 25 grams each, or just under an ounce FTMC]). A Scout Wasp is a tiny flying robot, which may be controlled remotely, or may act autonomously through its capable artificial intelligence. Their minute size and stealth features make them extremely difficult to detect; they are the perfect infiltrators and widely used for surveillance and intelligence gathering, while their weak yet effective built-in weaponry make them a rightly feared severe nuisance. Their directional laser communication systems also allow Eldar to establish almost infallibly secure and reliable local communication networks.
Movement 16
Close Combat 7
Ranged Combat 7
Strength -
Armour 1
Wound Points 1
Initiative 7
Nerve -/10
Cost 10
Internal battery sufficient for 1000 hours of continuous use, recharge 1 hour of operation time for every 2 hours set to standby while exposed to source of heat (35º C+) or bright light.
Special: Intelligence 5, Knowledge 3, Alertness 7, +15. Size –6, Fearless.
Weapons: Built in needle laser: Moving Modifier –2, Close Combat.
Full Power: 0-6” +1 / 4+D6, 6-12” / 3+D6, 12-18” –3 / 2+D6. Every shot reduces the remaining operation time by 50 hours.
Low Power: 0-6” +1 / 2+D6, 6-12” / 1+D6, 12-18” –3 / D6. Every shot reduces the remaining operation time by 25 hours.
12 toxic or sedating projectiles, work as per Needle Pistol. May be injected directly into the target without firing, via the ovipositor-like barrel.
Electrical discharge: 200,000 volt Taser. Every use reduces the remaining operation time by 2 hours.
Equipment: Wings (Flying Movement), Thermal Imaging System, Cameleoline (no significant energy drain while in use, but must be turned off while recharging), Infrared Camouflage, Vacuum Rated, Vacuum Manoeuvring Thrusters, Adhesive Feet, Comm-Web Link, Directional Laser Communications.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 8:07 am 
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These "hover but use wings for control surfaces" presumably?

Ouch, flying needler! Take THAT ratling sniper squad :D

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:33 am 
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I'm glad I posted this, you keep pointing out things I hadn't even considered. :P
The wings themselves would be variable geometry anti-gravity filaments, generating lift, as well as directional control. Something like the vanes on swooping hawk wings. Perhaps they'd buzz or vibrate when in use, maybe even flap. :D
Make sure you pack a durable fly swatter.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:56 am 
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RobbieBuckshotLaFunk wrote:
I'm glad I posted this, you keep pointing out things I hadn't even considered. :P
The wings themselves would be variable geometry anti-gravity filaments, generating lift, as well as directional control. Something like the vanes on swooping hawk wings. Perhaps they'd buzz or vibrate when in use, maybe even flap. :D
Make sure you pack a durable fly swatter.
This sounds like exactly the kind of thing they invented "Warhammer 40,000" to swat!! :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:46 pm 
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The 26mm Shuriken Catapult is commonly used by Guardians of many Craftworlds, as well as being a familiar weapon amongst Eldar pirates, outcasts, mercenaries and exodites, making it perhaps the most frequently encountered Eldar weapon. It has rarely – if ever accurately – been reported in the hands of Eldar Aspect Warriors, who seem to prefer a longer, larger calibre of Shuriken Catapult. Related weapons of the same calibre exist, including a higher capacity catapult fed by a large top-loading disc-shaped spindle, and a small, light pistol version, normally loaded with an ammunition stack of half capacity.

Though crafted to evidently exacting tolerances, it is an inherently inaccurate weapon, relatively speaking, with an effective range slightly below that of a small calibre auto-rifle. Its accuracy is sufficient to reliably hit a human silhouette at 200 metres, but the number of projectiles landing on target beyond this range quickly decreases by approximately 10% per 15 metres, making it a useful area weapon to a range of 300 metres, but highly ineffective beyond.

The limited range is of little concern given this particular Shuriken Catapult’s intended use as a militia weapon fielded and fired en-masse, normally deployed in conflicts fought over close or confined terrain – primarily cities and boarding actions. The omission of a stock is a telling feature, showing that the weapon is in no way intended for long range or single-shot accuracy.

At 3.62 kilograms loaded, and .855 metres overall length, the Catapult’s size and weight are closely comparable to a Triplex Las-Carbine, though the Eldar weapon lacks a stock, and is considerably thicker – the tapering fins situated parallel to the barrel being 134mm tip to tip at their widest. Manufactured primarily from the Eldar’s ubiquitous psionic-reactive polymer, the material is comparable to plasteel, though lighter and with a characteristic slow-elasticity.

Individual projectiles are normally 26.05mm in diameter, 2.33mm thick, sharp edged, and weigh between 3.26 and 4.26 grams depending on the design of shuriken, and are fired at a muzzle velocity of between 1320 and 1510 metres per second depending on shuriken weight, invariably generating about 3700 joules of energy at the muzzle.

The centre of a shuriken is concave on each side, and the entire surface has a friction-reactive coating that vaporises as the spinning disc flies through atmosphere, enveloping it in a thin cloud of ionised gas that significantly reduces drag, and also acts as a tracer – a hail of shurikens leaving distinct shimmering streaks as they crackle through the air. Tests have shown that without the reactive coating on their projectiles, Shuriken Catapults are reduced to dubious weapons at best, the projectiles following random parabolic trajectories, scarcely able to hit a target 50 metres distant.

Projectiles retain the majority of their energy to their 200 metre effective range, after which the loss of critical velocity degrades their flight. Shurikens are no more susceptible to disturbance by cross winds than auto-gun bullets, but are easily affected by up drafts and down drafts, and can have their trajectory dramatically altered by minor obstacles such as foliage and airborne debris.

The shurikens may be made from a variety of materials in a diverse range of designs for different applications. The two most common materials are a hard, brittle crystalline polymer – the shurikens normally created with veins of weakness to facilitate fragmentation on impact, and an ultra-hard, tough aggregate designed to resist deformation, facilitating penetration. More unusual ammunition may feature inclusions of tiny but potent explosives, or channels delivering mutagenic toxins.

The terminal ballistics vary by ammunition type. Splintering shurikens are preferred for use against light infantry, where even a glancing blow can be fatal, the centrifugal force splitting the projectile into numerous shards on impact, that spread into a wider pattern, effectively increasing the wound diameter exponentially the deeper the shards penetrate the target. With a square hit on a human torso, from a 26mm entry wound, the exit wound can be as much as 380mm across, proving instantly fatal, multiple hits dismembering and mutilating. However, splintering shurikens are easily stopped by rigid armour protection of diverse types fielded by various races. Therefore, ultra-hard aggregate shurikens are the more typical battlefield ammunition, capable of completely penetrating 18mm of homogenous plasteel at 50 metres without even being blunted. The wounds inflicted are less severe than with splintering ammunition making shot placement more important, though the spinning shurikens have a tendency to yaw dramatically, still causing significant internal injuries before almost inevitably over-penetrating an unarmoured target, sometimes at as much as 58 degrees to the entry wound. But it is almost assured that if a hit is scored the target will be injured unless protected by particularly heavy armour, tests against Protexer Chitin-D carapace cuirass have demonstrated the weapon’s abilities. While oblique impacts are stopped or deflected, a square hit at close range will penetrate, with enough remaining energy to inflict a lethal wound. Though it has also been shown that if worn over a layer of flakweave or padding, acting as a shock absorbent backing, the carapace cuirass will completely resist shuriken penetration beyond 20 metres, and 90% of impacts within 20 metres.

The shuriken ammunition is carried and loaded via a slightly curved cylindrical sheath of relatively soft polymer, containing 120 shurikens, the complete unit weighing between 470 and 590 grams depending on projectile type. Inside the sheath, the shurikens adhere to each other through a powerful magnetism, requiring tools and considerable force to separate them. It is a combination of this magnetism and a similar force at the top of the firing chamber that holds the stack in place, and draws the ammunition up into the weapon during the firing cycle. There is a butt cap on one end of the sheath, and a cap with a suspension loop at the other, by which it is hung from webbing, a firm pull removing it from the looped cap, ready for insertion.

In operation, a single shuriken section of the stack is stripped off along with ring of the polymer sheath, which acts as a sabot, giving the impelling forces a greater mass to act on. The slight curve of the sheath allows the front face of the sabot to be narrower than the rear, unsheathing the shuriken cleanly as it leaves the barrel. Multiple partially used or unused stacks may be joined together by introducing two exposed ends, the butt cap being removed with a firm twist. The innate magnetism will fasten stacks together, correctly aligning them, and the polymer sheath seemingly heals over, forming an imperceptible join. While it takes considerable effort to sever a stack with a steel blade, the crystal polymer utility knives carried by Eldar – and in experiments a charged force blade – can effortlessly impart a perfect level cut, the sheath exhibiting a predisposition to being parted by these tools.

The firing cycle involves a minimum of moving components; the trigger is depressed, generators of artificial gravity cut a section from the ammunition stack and force it down the barrel at great velocity, and in its wake the stack is instantly pulled up into the firing chamber. Rows of vertical notches line the top and bottom of the barrel, providing surfaces against which an excess of gravitic forces act, effectively pulling the weapon forwards and counteracting the majority of the recoil forces, making the Shuriken Catapult very easy to control in sustained shooting, despite its high cyclic rate of fire - approximately 1200 rounds per minute. The firing cycle is very efficient and produces little heat. After emptying an entire 120 round stack in 6 seconds, the weapon’s internal temperature will only be a few degrees above ambient. Lengthy sustained fire of several thousand rounds can make the barrel exterior hot enough to cause minor burns, but no amount of concentrated use has been observed to induce failure. The firing mechanisms are essentially self-cleaning and the weapon needs little if any maintenance – as long as the internals are kept free of debris and the catapult is fed with ammunition and power, it can fire almost indefinitely.

The energy to power the firing cycle is drawn from either a cable or a crystal battery inserted into the butt of the grip. Eldar Guardians will normally have a power cable extending from the elbow of one arm, linked to their suit’s compact backpack generator. Plugged into the Shuriken Catapult, this can provide enough power to fire a greater combined weight of projectiles than the Eldar could ever conceivably carry – several hundred kilograms worth. Crystal batteries are glassy silver octagonal prisms, about the size of the tip of a human thumb, with a density equivalent to bismuth. These batteries are often preferred by various outcasts, who may demand a greater manoeuvrability and versatility from their weapons than the en-masse deployed Guardians of a Craftworld. Each battery providing enough power to fire 1200 shurikens, and the lack of cable allowing the user to operate or carry the weapon with no restrictions.

The rear upper receiver contains a type of psionic antenna to which the Eldar operator – being inherently psychic – can subconsciously interface with. This provides the operator with feedback on the weapon's status regarding ammunition, power levels, obstructions, structural failures and any other issues, but primarily allows them to aim instinctively via optical muzzle reference sensors, making adjustments for environmental conditions and providing them with a constant sight picture of the exact point of aim and predicted trajectory. No fixed sights are present, but without use of the psionic interface, adequate aiming can be achieved by sighting over the rail along the top of the barrel. The normal firing stance assumed by most Eldar is to brace the weapon against the hip, or to hold it in tight against the armpit, though it is also often held at arm's length over or around cover, using the advanced psionic aiming interface to fire from a protected position. This provides perfectly adequate accuracy even for long bursts of automatic fire, given the very light felt recoil, though versions of the catapult used by various outcasts may feature short fixed stocks, usually serving an additional function by housing an array of crystal batteries.

The external controls consist of the single-action trigger, a release button for the ammunition stack on the right side of the receiver above the trigger, a battery/power cable release button on the opposite side, a telescoping disassembly lever at the rear of the receiver, and a socket on top of the receiver to which a multispectrum scope sensor is sometimes attached. The firing grip has the appearance of being uncomfortably thin, but in the hand of a psionic operator it can expand considerably, forming a custom fit to the individual operator. While Eldar could easily create weapons that move, aim and fire purely under telepathic direction of the operator, or completely autonomously, and in many cases do, on an individual level they evidently prefer interacting with their weapons with their own hands.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:02 am 
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So much awe! Stop, you'll make me blush! :o

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:22 am 
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Eldar being Space Elves* are craftsman. Heck, the live in "Craft"worlds. The idea of building large numbers of disposable robots is very un-Eldary. It's something humans would do.

However, Eldar possess the ability to trap a soul in a crystal (or wraithbone whatever) and use it to control a robot body; Wraithguards and dreads being examples. I would just make this ability more common. Simply make all Aspect Warriors robots controlled by spririts of dead eldar. That way, the main strikeforce of the eldar don't involve the lives of the few remaining citizens plus it also solves the Path problem by just saying the different types of aspect warriors are different designs of robot bodies (plus, the spirit crystal thingies can be transfered from one robot body type to another which explains their universal skills.) The Aspect Warrior bodies are humanoid in shape because that is what the former spirit is used to controlling.

This leaves living Eldar as either Guardians, which are mostly defensive, and as Warlocks, heroes and leaders.


Aaron


*Part of the appeal, IMO, of 40k is its accessibility by using common elements (elves, orcs, marines, etc). That's why Eldar should be a similar as logically possible to Tolkien elves.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:36 am 
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Eldar being Space Elves* are craftsman. Heck, the live in "Craft"worlds. The idea of building large numbers of disposable robots is very un-Eldary. It's something humans would do.


Not particularly, the Eldar already utilize a number of robot based units and upgrades for vehicles.

Quote:
However, Eldar possess the ability to trap a soul in a crystal (or wraithbone whatever) and use it to control a robot body; Wraithguards and dreads being examples. I would just make this ability more common. Simply make all Aspect Warriors robots controlled by spririts of dead eldar. That way, the main strikeforce of the eldar don't involve the lives of the few remaining citizens plus it also solves the Path problem by just saying the different types of aspect warriors are different designs of robot bodies (plus, the spirit crystal thingies can be transfered from one robot body type to another which explains their universal skills.) The Aspect Warrior bodies are humanoid in shape because that is what the former spirit is used to controlling.


The whole 'spirit stone/soul stone' idea really is one of the less ingenious aspects of Eldar technology, an apparent dying race who use the infinitely precious souls of their dead to operate robots which in turn could potentially be destroyed or lost which defeats the purpose of issuing soul stones in their forces in the first place while committing the most despicable crime in Eldar society of losing an irreplaceable soul of one of their kin to the great enemy.
I always wondered what happened for example to an Eldar warrior who was incompetent or cross eyed or mentally retarded in some way, when they die you've got a cross eyed, mentally retarded or incompetent soul to infuse into the infinity circuit.
No doubt there are many jobs and positions within Eldar society and warfare that are simply untenable because of the shortage of manpower, roles that can easily be filled by the application of barely intelligent robots.

The Imperium wouldn't build robots, they're paranoid enough as is.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:51 pm 
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Yarlen Fireblade wrote:
The whole 'spirit stone/soul stone' idea really is one of the less ingenious aspects of Eldar technology, an apparent dying race who use the infinitely precious souls of their dead to operate robots which in turn could potentially be destroyed or lost which defeats the purpose of issuing soul stones in their forces in the first place while committing the most despicable crime in Eldar society of losing an irreplaceable soul of one of their kin to the great enemy.

I need to read up on my Eldar lore. I don't remember any of this.

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The Imperium wouldn't build robots, they're paranoid enough as is.
The Imperium builds tons of war robots.

Wait. What version of the game universe are we talking about?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:44 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:50 pm 
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Robots haven't played any significant part in the Imperium since 2nd edition was released. They're supposed to have laws against thinking machines, AI standing for Abominable Intelligence.

Sticking a spirit stone into a tactical wraith-construct amounts to robbing someone's grave, slapping their corpse awake, and booting them into battle to go and risk their immortal soul again, long after they've earned their eternal rest. Eldar are supposed to be understandably reluctant to use spirit stones in this way.

On the other hand, I see no good reason why Eldar couldn't or wouldn't create an artificial intelligence equal to that of the average human mind, that fits inside a pinhead, and is perfectly suited to installation in everything, from scalpels to grenades to battlefield robots.

There have been references to robots and wraith-constructs in the very little background material that actually deals with life aboard craftworlds. Presumably these abundant robots don't all have a dead Eldar's consciousness plugged into them. I think it would be an insult to any dead Eldar's dignity to ask them to inhabit the shell of a cleaning drone, for example.

So I think it's very un-Eldary to waste the lives of living Eldar, and to risk the souls of dead Eldar by having them control wraith-constructs.
On the other hand, AI controlled wraith-constructs require little more than raw materials and production facilities, and would provide an excellent alternative to risking Eldar lives and souls.
Prolific use of AI controlled wraith-constructs may not be featured in the official background at all, but that doesn't bother me. The official background is poorly conceived at the best of times. :P

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