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Planetary Defence Force - Autogun or Lasgun
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Old 05 Feb 2009, 10:30   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Planetary Defence Force - Autogun or Lasgun

For starters, I'd like to point out some of the contradictions in the image of the standard lasgun.

On the cover of one of the older Guard codexes, there are some guardsmen in a trench. The rod on top of their lasgun's serves as a laser/targetter, and the stuff coming out the barrels is yellow. The same visual presentation of the lasgun can be found in some other artwork of a small army, including bald commanders and command squads. Carrying banners.

EDIT: IMAGE REMOVED

3rd Edition* perception: Laser pointers on top and yellow fire from the barrels

In the game fire warrior, the lasguns shoot red 'blobs' which leave very short trails behnd them. In the book, I can't remember the visual description but when Kais is hit he describes it as being "blunt" or like a "sledgehammer."

4th Edition(?) perception: No laser pointers. Round blobby shots are orange-y red in colour and leave about 8" trails behind them.

Dawn of war winter assualt/dark crusade... need I say more? These are badly represented, because there should be almost no recoil on a lasgun, yet the infantry hold them 90 degrees up in the air after every shot. Silly stuff

So, I guess it's each to their own about the way lasgun shots look. Personally I prefer the 3rd edition images...

Planetary Defence Forces are frequently equipped with Autoguns. I've done a Lot of research on the autogun, and want to know other's perceptions/opinions.

EDIT: IMAGE REMOVED

AUTOGUN COMPARISON WITH LASGUN

Lasgun:
Cheap to produce in huge quantities
Easier to maintain in prolonged conflicts (charges etc.)
No shells to eject

Autogun:
Actual projectiles (slug shots) mean more extensive/prolonged injury
Physical presence of bullets mean increased danger to tough creatures like orks.
Caseless ammunition means no shells to eject (see 40k lexicanum)

Of course, the differences aren't big enough for standard 40K (Epic anyone? Hee hee) but is modelled in Necromunda (according to what I've read.)

I was wondering how to present such a weapon in 40k. These are some ideas:

PDF Rules:
Sharpshooters doctrine due to the amount of physical bullets in the air.

Also they, usually being on a planet, will have acess to factories and stuff. This will keep up ammo production for Autoguns as well.

Carapace armour - because in a PDF force they're unlikely to have to lugg heavy equipment half-way across the galaxy.

Models:
There are no GW autogun models. The only FW ones are renegade militia arms, and you only get 7 autoguns and 4(?) autopistols in a 10-15(?) pack. Not very good.

Contents for discussion by you:
- Debate as to what comes out the end of a lasgun.
- How to represent autoguns in rules and through models
- Other doctrines to represent a PDF

Thanks, have a happy debate...

P.S I apologise if the pictures are too big.
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Old 05 Feb 2009, 10:50   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planetary Defence Force - Autogun or Lasgun

Right. You have many, many, many misconceptions about both the Lasgun, and the Planetary Defence Forces.

Let's go in order.

First, their appearance and function. There are over a million worlds in the Imperium, and that means there are, in theory, a million variations on the Lasgun. Cadians use Kantreal Pattern Lasguns, Catachans use Catachan Pattern Lasguns. Regiments equipped from Mars use Martian Pattern Lasguns. The Necromundans have their own, Necromundan Pattern Lasgun. There are so many Lasguns that almost every conceivable variation exists somewhere. It is not unreasonable to assume there may be similar variations in exactly how they function.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrisbeeForLunch
Lasgun:
Cheap to produce in huge quantities
Easier to maintain in prolonged conflicts (charges etc.)
No shells to eject
This is correct - the Lasgun is cheap, simple and efficient. Hence why the Lasgun, not the Autogun, is the weapon of the Imperial Guard.

Quote:
Autogun:
Actual projectiles (slug shots) mean more extensive/prolonged injury
Physical presence of bullets mean increased danger to tough creatures like orks.
Caseless ammunition means no shells to eject (see 40k lexicanum)
Incorrect on the first point - Lasguns cause severe thermal trauma. A Lasgun could blow your hand off and cauterise the wound in the same instant. This does mean that 'in theory' the Lasgun is worse, but an Autogun wouldn't blow your hand off to begin with. The Lasgun is most definitely the more dangerous weapon in terms of impact damage, and therefore causes more extensive / prolonged injuries.

Your second point is also incorrect - again, the superior impact damage is what makes the Lasgun dangerous. We have sources (Honour Guard) where men have survived injuries that, in the opinion of the medic treating them, would have been fatal if caused by a las-weapon.

Your third point is partially accurate - Autoguns should be caseless. However, so should Bolters. Given that the term 'Autogun' is applied to almost all automatic weapons, it is safe to assume that most Autoguns are, in fact, not caseless weapons at all.

Quote:
Of course, the differences aren't big enough for standard 40K (Epic anyone? Hee hee) but is modelled in Necromunda (according to what I've read.)
Yes, it is. The Autogun is an inferior weapon in Necromunda due to its inferior Ammo Roll - you need a 4+ to pass, as opposed to the Lasgun's 2+.

Quote:
I was wondering how to present such a weapon in 40k.
Lasgun stats.

Quote:
These are some ideas:

PDF Rules:
Sharpshooters doctrine due to the amount of physical bullets in the air.

Also they, usually being on a planet, will have acess to factories and stuff. This will keep up ammo production for Autoguns as well.
Very, very wrong.

Firstly, bullets are invisible in flight. Trust me, I've fired real guns. The only way you know if your shot was on target is if a bullet-hole appears where you wanted it to. In a real fight, you wouldn't be able to track your own shots, let alone anyone elses.

Since Lasgun fire is 'visible', if only for a split-second, you have the benefit of the tracker effect. In short, a Lasgunner should, in theory, be more accurate than his Autogunner counterpart.

As for ammunition production... the Autoguns require more production because they use up more ammo. You can recharge a Lasclip in any standard Imperial Power Unit, or by using a portable solar collector. Hell, you can throw it in a fire and it will recharge, though this will damage the clip.

In short, an Autogun is nothing but a liability as far as production is concerned.

Quote:
Carapace armour - because in a PDF force they're unlikely to have to lugg heavy equipment half-way across the galaxy.
Wrong on so many levels...


As for how to represent the PDF... use the vanilla Guard list. PDF are not super-soldiers, they're the troops who didn't make the cut. In other words, the PDF are a rung below the Imperial Guard. The Guard represent the best soldiers on the planet they are raised from, which is why they are sent to distant wars instead of being left at home. The PDF would not have access to high-end gear, such as Carapace Armour; most Guard regiments don't get that!
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Old 05 Feb 2009, 11:18   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Planetary Defence Force - Autogun or Lasgun

Way to crush a guy's imagination. BUT

You make a lot of good points - I do know about different pattern lasguns and stuff, but I assumed that the colour of the ammo was the same.

When I was talking about auotguns causing more damage, I meant, in creatures like orks that have a high pain threshold, the bullet will stay lodged in there until is is pulled out. A lasgun, sure, burns a nice big hole in you and then closes it up - the closing up thereof may theoretically stop the bleeding. A bullet, knowing a lot about them myself, tends to cause internal bleeding. The wound is not automatically cauterized.

I apologise about carapace armour. I was thinking about the Skitarii legions on that part.

"PDFs and by extension their Imperial Guard regiments are armed and appear as their world can best equip them, a sign of the diverse cultures that constitute the Imperium as a whole."

This means, ususally their arms would be crappy, but I was thinking one from a mechanical-based world that is being sent off somewhere. If this was a forgeworld, and therefore a Skitarri legion Surely even the stuffy, selfish adeptus mechanicus would like their troops to have decent stuff.

Anyway. Thanks for correcting me on stuff I just didn't get. Also, I just realised the Skitarii use lasguns, not autoguns. Oops. I am sure I read somewhere that they used Autoguns.... ah well.

"Skitarii is the Adeptus Mechanicus' official term for all military forces under its command (except for the Titan Legions). It is a term equivalent to 'the Imperial Guard' as it generally includes almost all combat personnel and armour that the Mechanicus possess."

Praetorians: These are the elite of the Skitarii. They are super-enhanced (bionically/cybernetically/chemically/genetically etc)humans who are augmented with a huge array of cybernetics and heavy weapons. They are, essentially, a sort of counterpart to Obliterators.

"Many old sources also suggest that Praetorians are instead an elite Skitarii type following the fashion of Imperial Guard storm trooper units, but with slightly more augmentations, putting them somewhere between storm troopers and Space Marines."

The highlighted bit in italics means I could theoretically, carapace my guardsmen and say "they are praetorians" but the part which says "between stormtroopers and space marines" would scrap that I guess.

Thanks anyway
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Old 05 Feb 2009, 11:25   #4 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Planetary Defence Force - Autogun or Lasgun

One more point on the Necromunda thing; at the time Necromunda was initially produced, Warhammer 40,000 was in its 2nd Edition. The stats of weapons in Necromunda are identical to those as they were in 40k 2nd Edition.

The difference in Necromunda is the ammo roll, as Wargamer pointed out, but also the Armour Save Modifier of -1; so a 6+ save is negated, a 5+ reduced to a 6+ etc. So we have actual evidence, from the current version of Necromunda which took its values from a previous edition of 40k, that the Lasgun has better armour penetration than an Autogun. This is also the same with the Laspistol as opposed to the Autopistol; it has a -1 save modifier and a better ammo roll.

The ammo roll is due to the reliability of the Lasgun as well as the accessibility of having reloads (as Wargamer mentioned, it is far easier to get more shots from a Lasgun than an Autogun since you could just recharge the power pack wherever you were).

Inquisitor gives us a little more detail. There are three types of Lasgun included; Mars Pattern, Necromunda Pattern and Triplex Pattern. The difference between each of these is minimal but noticeable; MP is more accurate at longer ranges though less accurate at shorter ranges than the others, NP has the option of a slight amount of rapid firing at the expense of a slightly smaller magazine and heavier weight, and the TP gives the option of overpowering shots at the expense of using up more ammo. On the other hand, only a single Autogun option is given. Like the Mars Pattern Lasgun, it is better at longer ranges than shorter ranges than the other Lasguns. In Inquisitor, an Autogun actually does slightly more damage than a Lasgun (excluding the Triplex overcharging its shots) but this difference is minimal. The magazine is far smaller and weighs the same as the (heavier) Necromunda Pattern. Where the Autogun far outshines any of the Lasguns is the fact it has the ability to fire on a semi-auto or full auto mode. This implies that the only real advantage the Autogun has over the Lasgun is weight of fire. However, under the Inquisitor rules, Full Auto firing is highly inaccurate.

Transferring this across to the current edition of 40k isn't too hard. It can be claimed that the higher rate of fire counters the lower rate of accuracy (if used) and thus, since a turn in 40k is an abstraction, the Autogun should have the same stats as a Lasgun, as described in Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition), Codex: Eye of Terror, Imperial Armour 5: The Siege of Vraks Part One and Imperial Armour 6: The Siege of Vraks Part Two.


At the end of the day, Las-weapons are the most common in the Imperium because they are cheap to make, easy to make, easy to maintain, do not require a great deal to reload and are as dangerous as any of their solid-shot contemporaries. Autoguns are harder to maintain and require further ammunition to be purchased to be used. However, they are the second most popular weapon of choice (after Las-weapons). They are often seen in under-equipped regiments, and likely stored as backup weapons in caches (such as those raided by the forces of disorder on Vraks).

[hr]

Edit: With respect to the damage caused, yes, a Lasgun doesn't do any internal bleeding. However, all that energy has to go somewhere (by Conservation of Energy). Whilst there would not be bleeding due to cauterization, the excess energy would seep outwards from the wound, likely cooking the target from the inside out. I'd consider that as bad a threat to continued life as internal bleeding.
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Old 05 Feb 2009, 15:37   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planetary Defence Force - Autogun or Lasgun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masked Thespian
Edit: With respect to the damage caused, yes, a Lasgun doesn't do any internal bleeding. However, all that energy has to go somewhere (by Conservation of Energy). Whilst there would not be bleeding due to cauterization, the excess energy would seep outwards from the wound, likely cooking the target from the inside out. I'd consider that as bad a threat to continued life as internal bleeding.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Lasbolts are also explosive, especially when they come into contact with human skin and tissue, which is around 70% water. When the water flash-boils and explodes, whatever might have been cauterized was just ripped open.
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Old 05 Feb 2009, 15:51   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planetary Defence Force - Autogun or Lasgun

As MT pointed out lasguns have different fire settings some more powerful than. Others this leads to another point.

Specifically the one about the color of the lasgun's beam. When in science they taught us that higher amounts of energy(in the class's case caused by different elements) may create different wavelengths of visible light thus make different color light.

So a more powerful lasgun could be a brighter color or simply a different color altogether. Really the only similarity of different lasguns(that has to be followed in fluff) is that they operate on a standardized system of clip size(actual size of the clip not amount of shots) and the amount of power the weapon can handle from said clip.

so the only thing similar between a given pair of differing lasguns is the clips(provided by the departmento munitorium). And even that's not a given, sometimes they use different clip sizes. In the case of the Gaunt's Ghost series(don't remember the acutal book name) on the air world, they got the wrong size of power cells do a shipping error.

As a note on carapace. PDF could have carapace armor but they would have to come from a highly industrial world where they could afford to outfit their PDF with such gear. As wargamer already pointed out, very few worlds have the capability or finances to equip their Guard regiments in such gear much less the PDF who at best are glorified watchdogs. The odds of any one planet being attacked compared to any one other planet are pretty low(not counting war worlds like Cadia or Armageddon)

Normally I'd see PDF represented as Conscripts on the playing table. With the actual guardsmen being maybe a mustering guard regiment or the best of the regiment(the ones the guard would recruit out of the PDF when a regiment was mustered) though these guys would be the minority.

@Mortis

and there was still alot of extra heat so it may have closed again. Thanks for pointing that out btw I never thought of it.
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Old 05 Feb 2009, 16:23   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planetary Defence Force - Autogun or Lasgun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnyboy
As a note on carapace. PDF could have carapace armor but they would have to come from a highly industrial world where they could afford to outfit their PDF with such gear. As wargamer already pointed out, very few worlds have the capability or finances to equip their Guard regiments in such gear much less the PDF who at best are glorified watchdogs. The odds of any one planet being attacked compared to any one other planet are pretty low(not counting war worlds like Cadia or Armageddon)

Normally I'd see PDF represented as Conscripts on the playing table. With the actual guardsmen being maybe a mustering guard regiment or the best of the regiment(the ones the guard would recruit out of the PDF when a regiment was mustered) though these guys would be the minority.
So, a highly industrial world it will be then. And besides, really, it comes down to what I want to spend my points on in my 600 point average friendly games. There may be small indutrial/forge worlds near warzones that field an army in dfeence of their planet, yet are too selfish to export blokes to help others. That seems very Mechanicus to me, they like being selfish.
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Old 05 Feb 2009, 21:48   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planetary Defence Force - Autogun or Lasgun

Don't forget,
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrisbeeForLunch
Lasgun:
Cheap to produce in huge quantities
Easier to maintain in prolonged conflicts (charges etc.)
No shells to eject
Autogun:
Actual projectiles (slug shots) mean more extensive/prolonged injury
Physical presence of bullets mean increased danger to tough creatures like orks.
Caseless ammunition means no shells to eject (see 40k lexicanum)

Actually...the reason lasguns are produced is out of siplicity. I says in the IG codex (under the vetran section) that many prefer lasguns to stronger weapons for the fact they can be easily recharged and are very handy as they don't jam.

Which brings me to my next point, lasguns are actually more expensive to manufacture and produce than autoguns due to the internal mechanisms to generate a laser this powerful. For this reason autoguns are supplied to seige regiments, and many traitor guardsmen (forgeworld) for the fact they are easy to reproduce and replace in large numbers.

Autoguns, unlike their laser counterparts do use ammo, and do have internal working mechanisms, meaning they are prone to jamming, hence making them less efficient.
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Old 05 Feb 2009, 21:58   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planetary Defence Force - Autogun or Lasgun

Quote:
Originally Posted by A happy fluffy bunny...
lasguns are actually more expensive to manufacture and produce than autoguns
Got a source for that? In everything I've read, the Lasgun is considered a cheaper alternative than an Autogun is (both with respect to initial manufacturing and continual upkeep).
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Old 05 Feb 2009, 22:13   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planetary Defence Force - Autogun or Lasgun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masked Thespian
Got a source for that? In everything I've read, the Lasgun is considered a cheaper alternative than an Autogun is (both with respect to initial manufacturing and continual upkeep).
It's in the Epic background material for the Baran Siegemasters. It says that siege regiments are almost all equipped with Autoguns because they are cheaper and easier to produce because they don't use many, if any at all, high tech parts.
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But seriously, a Guardsman, I'm willing to bet, could a) outshoot me, b) give me the beating of my life, and c) shove more squad-based tactics down my throat than I'd ever care to digest. Guard are hard, hard men. Whether or not GW's inconsistent, Marine-worshipping fluff keeps with that, mkay?

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