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How does the Melta Cannon work?
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Old 25 Jun 2010, 01:22   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default How does the Melta Cannon work?

Don't worry this is a fluff question not a question about melta rules or how to use a blast template.

So how does the melta cannon operate? The impression I got about traditional melta weapons like the melta gun and multi melta was that they were heat rays they caused atomic agitation of the air in order to superheat their targets and vaporise them and that their main drawbacks were that the beam/stream quickly dissipated shortening their range, and they required a high energy input. So then, just how does the melta cannon managed to cause a melta blast? Out of all of the implausible concepts in 40K, a cannon that manages to lob a ball of gas or vapor superheated to the point where it could melt a tank's armor is something I really cant get my head around and believe me if you've been in the general 40K section I argue in favor of most things 40K as long as there is some reasonable fluff to back up why it works.

In my own opinion if they wanted a melta weapon that could take on multiple heavily armored units they should have made it so that you got an extended range flame template melta weapon for an increased points cost or they should have made it an anti tank weapon with an increased range or strength in comparison to the multi melta.
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Old 25 Jun 2010, 01:47   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How does the Melta Cannon work?

Perhaps its a bit like the battle fleet gothic nova cannon that fires a melta slug. So the cannon would fire, then the equivalent of a big meltabomb would go off when it impacted with the target.
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Old 25 Jun 2010, 02:14   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How does the Melta Cannon work?

A melta grenade launcher sounds more convincing it's a pitty that the model doesn't quite match the concept although you could say that the drums at the back carry compressed air for launching the shells to avoid accidental detonation in the barrel (you got to love having an imagination)
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Old 25 Jun 2010, 04:55   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How does the Melta Cannon work?

I thought that because it was a more powerful melta weapon, the blast was because it was firing a larger burst of air

ie, heating the air in a larger area(flamer template would make more sense in this regard but if they did no one would take the hellhound :P )
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Old 25 Jun 2010, 05:17   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How does the Melta Cannon work?

Could be as simple as a much wider or longer-duration beam. The use of templates in 40k is a little abstract.
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Old 25 Jun 2010, 10:20   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How does the Melta Cannon work?

I figure it just super-heats whatever it hits, to the point the target flash boils or it ignites the atmosphere locally since they beam doesn't have enough energy to light the whole planets atmo and there's no chain reaction due to the air rush caused by the vacuum after the initial explosion essentially blowing the flame out.
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Old 25 Jun 2010, 21:11   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How does the Melta Cannon work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazboab
I figure it just super-heats whatever it hits, to the point the target flash boils or it ignites the atmosphere locally since they beam doesn't have enough energy to light the whole planets atmo and there's no chain reaction due to the air rush caused by the vacuum after the initial explosion essentially blowing the flame out.
yes, it's not hard to consider a conventional air burst effect. Let alone shrapnel etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skullreken
So how does the melta cannon operate? The impression I got about traditional melta weapons like the melta gun and multi melta was that they were heat rays they caused atomic agitation of the air in order to superheat their targets and vaporise them and that their main drawbacks were that the beam/stream quickly dissipated shortening their range, and they required a high energy input. So then, just how does the melta cannon managed to cause a melta blast? Out of all of the implausible concepts in 40K, a cannon that manages to lob a ball of gas or vapor superheated to the point where it could melt a tank's armor is something I really cant get my head around and believe me if you've been in the general 40K section I argue in favor of most things 40K as long as there is some reasonable fluff to back up why it works.
yes that is how a melta weapon works, as far as I know. on a side note: "lobbing a ball of gas or vapor" is how plasma weapon works, and as far as all the odd sci fi weaponry in 40K its actually amongst the most plausible. I know various militaries did, and likely still are looking into weapons that use similar principles.

back on to the topic of meltas though: so we've established a melta weapon functions more or less the same as a microwave oven. I just took a glance and it seems to indicate that its a traditional melta beam, albeit on a larger scale, that bathes a large area in radiation at once. You've got to remember that radiation doesnt always travel in a straight line. reflection and refraction both need consideration, let alone any of the wave/particle duality of radiation's effects on it. Remember that the higher frequency radiation is, the more it will be effected by atmospherics...etc. Just figure that when you point the beam at a target, there's going to be spread (which will be non-linear so likely it would be distance squared or cubed), there will also be radiation coming OFF of whatever you're hitting (from reflection, refraction, nuclear decay) which would cause an area of localized radiation (consider if you threw a bunch of plutonium at someone. the area would be irradiated too). Then there's also the possibility that the target (or most of it) might not be the same natural frequency as melta beams, but its surroundings might (or its surroundings might be the same frequency as decay products, or refractions...etc.) which could mean other objects would be more grievously affected than the target, despite getting far less exposure. This is, of course, combined with the above mentioned conventional air burst, shrapnel, ammunition/fuel detonation...etc. damage.

Yeah so, a lot of variables, and im sure thats only a small percentage of them. I do admit though, I consider it a bit more likely that a flamer like template would be used than a blast template, but 40K is an abstraction after all, and i'm not a part of the Mechanicum so i'm not qualified to tell you precisely how it works anyway!
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Old 26 Jun 2010, 06:05   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How does the Melta Cannon work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEF Knight
yes that is how a melta weapon works, as far as I know. on a side note: "lobbing a ball of gas or vapor" is how plasma weapon works, and as far as all the odd sci fi weaponry in 40K its actually amongst the most plausible. I know various militaries did, and likely still are looking into weapons that use similar principles.
Eh? What militaries, and since when?

Lobbing a ball of gas or vapour is going to have all the effective range of a humidifier. :P Unless its magnetically bottled or something, but then making a shield to disperse it would be trivial.

Since its plasma, it's also going to cremate every unshielded human being within an unmanageable radius.

I prefer to rationalize it by pretending its some kind of particle projector.

[hr]

As I understand it, the meltagun is similar to a highly concentrated flamer. So that would explain the use of templates for the larger ones.
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Old 26 Jun 2010, 06:55   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How does the Melta Cannon work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Thunder
Eh? What militaries, and since when?

Lobbing a ball of gas or vapour is going to have all the effective range of a humidifier. :P Unless its magnetically bottled or something, but then making a shield to disperse it would be trivial.

Since its plasma, it's also going to cremate every unshielded human being within an unmanageable radius.

I prefer to rationalize it by pretending its some kind of particle projector.

[hr]

As I understand it, the meltagun is similar to a highly concentrated flamer. So that would explain the use of templates for the larger ones.
While I'm not exactly an expert on hypothetical plasma based weaponry thought experiments by the military, I can tell you plasma weapons could work in a variety of ways, some akin to charged particle weapons (but dangerous because of the nature of a substance in a state of plasma, as opposed to an electromagnetic charge and/or high yield kinetic energy) and some making use of containment methods, magnetic or otherwise. Also the term particle projector isn't really worth much. A bolter is a particle projector, so is a gauss rifle, as is a plasma gun, along with the tap on my kitchen sink. All of these things project particles. A plasma gun, however, projects particles of plasma which is best described as "so hot it's not even a gas anymore".

as for cremating humans, yeah, that would be the idea.


back to the melta weapons no, it really isn't much like a flamer. A flamer is a flamethrower, it spews flammable liquid. A melta gun is basically a supercharged microwave oven turned into a gun. They both cook things, but in wildly different ways.
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Old 26 Jun 2010, 19:13   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How does the Melta Cannon work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEF Knight
While I'm not exactly an expert on hypothetical plasma based weaponry thought experiments by the military, I can tell you plasma weapons could work in a variety of ways, some akin to charged particle weapons (but dangerous because of the nature of a substance in a state of plasma, as opposed to an electromagnetic charge and/or high yield kinetic energy) and some making use of containment methods, magnetic or otherwise.
No, it's not that simple. If you can contain it so easily, then you can deflect it with a similar mechanism just as easily.

Quote:
Also the term particle projector isn't really worth much. A bolter is a particle projector, so is a gauss rifle, as is a plasma gun, along with the tap on my kitchen sink. All of these things project particles.
Your definition of a particle projector is uselessly broad. To the rest of us, and in the scientific world, a particle projector is something that projects molecules or atoms or subatomic particles, generally a specific kind. Same idea as the LHC, but for shooting them at things instead of smashing them together.

Quote:
A plasma gun, however, projects particles of plasma which is best described as "so hot it's not even a gas anymore".

as for cremating humans, yeah, that would be the idea.
You mean, yourself and your squadmates? :P

Quote:
back to the melta weapons no, it really isn't much like a flamer. A flamer is a flamethrower, it spews flammable liquid. A melta gun is basically a supercharged microwave oven turned into a gun. They both cook things, but in wildly different ways.
It's always described as behaving like one in the fluff.
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