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[Being a study on the methods and culture of the ancient Necrontyr race]

Transmitted:  Magos Biologis Research Station: Nespis VIII
Received:  Nallisea III
Date: 8826999.M41
Astropath: Prime Torel
Ref: INQ.XB.928/T
Collated by:
Magos Biologis Justov Thon

Tau Weapons

My Lord,

An important realm of knowledge for Imperial soldiers in the field of battle has always been the enemy's weapons.  To that end, I have put together this report on the weapons employed by the Tau.

By far the most common weapon in their arsenal is the pulse rifle.  The pulse rifle is able to fire a 'bolt' of galvanized gas over a substantial distance.  The galvanization process within the rifle is what makes it dangerous, as the molecules in the gas fired by the weapon are excited to a lethally potent level.  Each bolt has the power to melt through armour up to and sometimes (though rarely) including power armour.   The range provided by the galvanization process allows the bearer to fire from outside the distance of many of our basic weapons, affording him great security.   However, this range is only available while the weapon is held stable.  While moving, or snapping off quick shots, the galvanization process is disturbed.  This has no effect on the weapon's power, but it greatly decreases the effective range of the weapon, reducing it by 60%.

To correct the shortcomings of the pulse rifle, the Tau introduced the pulse carbine.  This weapon has an improved galvanizer, allowing the gas to be excited while the rifle is being quickly moved around.  The tradeoff is an increase in size and a 40% decrease in range over the pulse rifle, though this is hardly a penalty for a weapon that can fire rapidly even while its user is running.  Thankfully the Tau have only been able to make a few pulse carbines, so they are assigned only to elite troops and specially trained Fire Warriors.

The Tau use a plasma rifle similar to our own, but they have created a cooling system based on a new gas that we have never encountered before.  This gas is super-cooled in a chamber surrounding the main firing mechanisms, preventing any overheating from taking place.

The Tau also use flamers that are like our own.  Though they are different in appearance, the firing process remains the same.  A small jet of fuel is expelled from the weapon's barrel, which is then ignited from a spark fired by an ignition device mounted on the end of the gun.  When the trigger is released, the weapon quickly expels a short burts of fuel and closes the firing chamber, preventing a backlash of fire that would result in a lethal explosion.

The Tau's rapid-fire burst cannon is effectively a high powered multi-barreled laser, able to cycle quickly and provide a high rate of fire with potent lasers.  It works on the same principles that our own lasers use, though the focusing crystals appear to be of a better quality, focusing the beam tightly and allowing accuracy over greater distances.

The rail gun is a long barreled gun that is lined with several powerful magnetic accelerators. When the weapon is fired, these accelerators come online and begin to apply massive amounts of magnetic pull to the weapon's ammunition.  A large shell is rapidly pulled down the vehicle's barrel, then encounters an extreme shift in magnetic polarity, expelling the shell from the vehicle with high velocity and force. The rail gun uses two forms of ammunition. These include hollow point shells, which explode on impact and rain shrapnel upon an area, or solid shells, which impact a target with such force that even the strongest armour is penetrated as if it were mere paper.

The ion cannon is not as devastating as the rail gun in its effect, but it is still powerful enough to cause damage to any target. The ion cannon uses gas that is ionized in a special chamber and then expelled toward a target. The ionization gives the gas explosive force, which is pushed outward upon impact with a target, allowing a wide area to be affected to some extent.

The Tau use two kinds of missiles: smart missiles and seeker missiles.  Both are equipped with guidance software to allow them to home in on targets.  Smart missiles are the smaller of the two, able to fire rapidly from a rack of missiles.   Seeker missiles are similar in size and power to our own hunter-killer missiles.   This versatility in missiles has been a great aid to the Tau, allowing them to simultaneously inflict casualties on our troops and damage our vehicles from afar.

The Tau use two types of grenades.  This include the photon grenade and the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) grenade.  Photon grenades are usually thrown at an enemy who is charging a group of Tau.  The grenade releases a bright photon flash, momentarily blinding the Tau's opponents and allowing the Tau to better defend themselves.   EMP grenades are used for assaulting vehicles.  Once they hit a vehicle, they emit a strong electromagnetic pulse, disrupting many of the vehicle's systems and sometimes having disastrous results (such as a vehicle's weapons or motive power malfunctioning).

APPENDIX I: Resources

This report was compiled from observations made from battlefield holos, testimony recorded during debriefings of soldiers, and a number of recovered weapons. Again I was able to gain a number of valuable artifacts from the Battle at Tyr Gorth. Many of the weapons recovered from that battle were undamaged, allowing us to study them in an unprecedented fashion.  Field tests were conducted as per the regulations in the Modus Milia Operandus, using a series of live-fire and static tests.  It should be noted that equal effectiveness was displayed by all weapons regardless of the target materiel (plascrete, steel, wood, adamantine, etc.).  This is probably due to the energy/gas reactions used in the weaponry, and makes them well worth additional study.


Appended to this report you will find some images recorded from battlefield observation equipment. These images give you a rough idea of what the Tau weapons are in appearance.  They are very useful for helping our forces distinguish between the different types of Tau weapons, so they can be better prepared to defend themselves.

tau-pulse-rifle.jpg (7970 bytes)

tau-railgun.jpg (11420 bytes)

tau-smart-missiles.jpg (8341 bytes)


tau-pulse-carbine.jpg (4593 bytes)

tau-ion-cannon.jpg (8560 bytes)

burst-cannon.jpg (7409 bytes)

barracuda-missiles.jpg (13967 bytes)

Your obedient servant,
Magos Biologis Justov Thon