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Gregorius21778

Longlas: a sniper weapon with visible LasBlast?

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Greetings,

a certain thing starts to puzzle me. 

The "LongLas" is described as a sniper weapon
As far as I know "fluff", Las weapons of the imperium are described to have a very visible "blast" / "ray"
A sniper does not want to give his position away. As long as possible.

In conclusion, a Las weapon seems rather inappropiate to a sniper. At least, to me. 

I know about "prominent snipers" in novells (this "Tanith One & Only" seems to have one) totting LongLas or similiar weapons.

Is this "visible light"-thing mentioned their? How is it handled in the novels? I am more then willing to bend thing this way and that way to ensure that the long las is at least "usable" for sniping. 

Thanks!

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I'm no scientist (to put it mildly) but wouldn't it be possible to use a laser which produces light which falls on a part of the spectrum that is invisible to humans? Like an infrared or ultraviolet laser?

I believe there are some weapons systems in the real world which project targeting lasers from guns that can only be seen through night vision goggles. I think I saw some in use in the HBO series "Generation: Kill." 

If you can project a laser that only shows up on NVGs, surely, you can use a long las that produces an invisible discharge. Maybe that's how they work?  

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I was wondering about the same thing yesterday while playing Dawn of War II. Every imperial guard had las carbine and it was visible as well as quite noisy. But meaby while shooting from greater distance if leaves a short blur instead of a visible shooter-target line.

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Lightbringer said:

I'm no scientist (to put it mildly) but wouldn't it be possible to use a laser which produces light which falls on a part of the spectrum that is invisible to humans? Like an infrared or ultraviolet laser?

I believe there are some weapons systems in the real world which project targeting lasers from guns that can only be seen through night vision goggles. I think I saw some in use in the HBO series "Generation: Kill." 

If you can project a laser that only shows up on NVGs, surely, you can use a long las that produces an invisible discharge. Maybe that's how they work?  

Hi Lightbringer,

yes, you are of course right with this. I once even read about "X-Ray lasers" in the novell "Schismatrix" from Bruce Sterling. But I wonder how this is handled in the game.

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First, it's "invisible".

Then, It doesn't "interact". It is visible or not. If you shoot radio-frequency waves, you won't see anything. Or else, you would see waves around you every frickin' day, as our every day's environment is completely filled with them.

The fact is, we don't really have lasers such as those from 40k (meaning, ones we could use as weapons), so everything is possible...And if everything is possible, why not invisible lasers? :)

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Another fact to consider is that 40k has all sorts of descriptions of lasers. Including:

 - Energy 'bullets', complete with recoil.

 - Red beams. Because the laser is red.

 - White beams. Because the laser heated the air it passed through.

All because of authors who don't know what they are talking about.

 

I've got a red laser pointer at him. It doesn't show any visible beam unless there is something (smoke, dust, etc) in the path of the beam. So in clear conditions, even a laser using a visible light frequency shouldn't have any visible beam.

 

As for picking a non-visible frequency, there are two possibilities:

 - You pick one that the air is partially opaque to. This means the laser will lose energy to the air, heating it, and causing it to glow. With enough power, you get a white beam. This is the same mechanism that makes lightning visible.

 - You pick one that the air is very transparent to. Then the beam remains invisible. But a visible light frequency would also be invisible in air.

 

Also, if the laser beam is weak enough that it doesn't make dust glow, then I don't see it being powerful enough to seriously hurt unless you blind someone with it. So a non-visible laser wouldn't be much help there either.

 

So the only time a non-visible laser frequency would help is if the medium you fire it through is opaque to visible light, but transparent to that frequency.

 

At the same time, different frequencies will diffract differently as they travel through an pocket of warmer or colder air. So the idea frequency for your laser is the same frequency as the laser sight. And the core rulebook describes the laser sight as being red.

 

So I'd say that the longlas has an invisible beam.

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40k science time!  Woo!

Okay, a lasgun is not a laser weapon as we understand them.  Rather, it's closer to a directed energy weapon called an electrolaser.  They're actually pretty cool; the basic premise is using a laser pointer to direct a lightning bolt.  More technically, it uses a laser to create an ionized plasma column that directs an electrical discharge.  Now, a lasgun isn't precisely an electrolaser, because ELs require some sort of gas between emitter and target to ionize and therefore direct the charge, yet we have fluff examples of lasweaponry working in space (ship lances, for one), but with 10,000 years of scientific advancement to build on string theory and our understanding of basic particles (basically, mass is just dense energy, and energy is everywhere), I don't find it that much of a stretch to believe that the weapon's laser guidance beam can be modified to excite and ionize portions of the EM spectrum itself to guide the discharge.

Anyway, as far as the beam being invisible... you could make the argument a perfect sniping weapon would be, but you'd be wrong, because a sniper/spotter needs to be able to guide misses ("high left! take it down one and right three!") to correct the aim.  And even a laser wouldn't be point and click, due to wave refraction across atmospheric differentials.  However, just because a beam is visible doesn't mean it can be easily traced to its source; discharge velocity plays a role.  Step up the amperage and decrease the emission time accordingly on the longlas and instead of something that looks like a beam, you have more of a very fast-moving pulse, just as difficult to trace as a modern sniper round that you can "see" fly by if you know what to look for (didja know large, fast sniper rounds effectively leave contrails in the air for a brief moment?).

Plus, the electrolaser idea neatly explains the crack sound the lasgun makes when it fires (it's thunder: superheated air around the plasma column) and recoil (superheated air at the barrel tip expands and makes the gun buck).

Ah, 40k.  I wouldn't know half as much science that I do if I didn't try to figure out how in the world to make you make sense happy.gif

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Hi guys,

I was more hoping for something along the lines of "in the novel XYZ, this one LongLas was described as ABC and had DTN". Not a semi-science-discussing about an RPG-Darkspace-OPERA-universe. happy.gif

Anyone read any 40k-novel with a LongLas Sniper in it? Thanks

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Well I have read a couple of 40k novels, even one with a sniper but that one used SP.

I do however like to give a couple of reactions to the above posts as I do have a scientific background (Physics).

Assuming a lasgun is somehow based  on high energy laser, it is VERY unlikely its frequency is within our visible spectrum, cause to do any damage it would have to be of a very high intensity (amplitude) in which case its theoretically possible to get that at a wavelength thats within our visible spectrum, but very unlikely. With high intensity lasers, which usually have a much shorter wavelength than the ones visible to us (<400 nm) I can imagine 2 circumstances that you will see the beam:

it might heat up the air it passes through, though I doubt if you would see that

it might be accompanied with a (red or green or maybe even an adjustable color) targeting laser, which you still don't see through the air, just on the target, unless as discussed before there is mist or smoke. If so you could obviously turn it off.

Other things to consider is that with a laser you will NEVER see 'something moving through the air' like in Star Wars. consider it a (hight tech) flashlight, if someone turns it on its just there and you see the reflection on e.g. the wall, not the beam through the air (unless there is smoke, dust or mist). What will be the case is that this flashlight will be 'on' for a period of time and then off again (again think flashlight) to heat up the target. I imagine that this period of time can differ from the quality (and intensity) of the weapon and can vary from milliseconds (ms) to maybe up to a full second. E.g a MP lascannon is likely to be on for a full second, while a multi-laser will be in the area of ms.

I know its not 40k fluff, but then again when I read a novel I do appreciate it if the writer did some background checking (like they did pretty thoroughly in Start Trek) before it loads off a load of BS on paper and if the writer does that, then it will abide the descriptions here above.

btw: The electrolas Tyraxus spoke about is (I think) the equivalent of the plasma gun.

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The Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer describes a sniper variant lasgun as such.

 

A sniper's weapon is a modified standard pattern lasgun wih an XC 52/3 strengthened barrel which is both longer and thinner then the usual model.   The strengthened barrel allows for increased range and tighter accuracy.  The rifle dose not have a charge setting slider.  Ammunition used is the hotshot.  A hotshot is an overpowered energy clip with liquid metal batteries that fires fewer blasts - a clip is good for about 20 shots - but compensated by producing bigger hits.  Because of the power of the shot the stress on the barrel is considerable.  the resultant metal fatigue a sniper needs replace the barrel with frequency.  A long flash suppressor fitted to the gun muzzle ensures the sniper's position is not betrayed by the telltale flashes. Sniper variants are quiter then their brasher cousins, which also works to the shooter's advantage.

 

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@Gregorius: see below.

Bilateralrope said:

Another fact to consider is that 40k has all sorts of descriptions of lasers. Including:

 - Energy 'bullets', complete with recoil.

 - Red beams. Because the laser is red.

 - White beams. Because the laser heated the air it passed through.

All because of authors who don't know what they are talking about.

Once again, the 40k fluff is no the most coherent, especially when it comes to the pseudo-science of the 41st millenium. As such, it is quite reasonable to use "real" science to rule such an argument. If you do'nt want it, just hand wave it, invoke the Holy Suspension of Disbelief (which is cool imho) and just play with it the way you want it to be.

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This is an interesting link on this topic:-

http://defensetech.org/category/lasers-and-ray-guns/

The top entry has a video showing the US Navy's experimental electric laser weapon successfully firing on a moving boat in broad daylight. There is no visible beam, even though this is a beam weapon. There IS a visible dot/sunburst effect on the boat's outboard motor before it bursts into flames.

I would imagine that this is the sort of energy level one would expect to see from a 40k laspistol over five or six shots.

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Of course. Try all Gaunt's Ghosts novels and watch out for Mad Larkin.

Being visible is a downside of the long las. Fluff-wise though the upside would be that a las beam is not as easily distracted by wind, air pressure and moisture as a bullet.

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If you want fluff and not pseudo-science, there's the Gaunt's Ghosts novelsthat Dok Martin mentioned.  There's also For the Emperour! by Sandy Mitchell (a Commissar Cain novel), though it deals more with the psychology of a longlas sniper than the actual longlas bolts.  Lasbolts themselves are described as "bright" and "scoring the air," so there's no doubt from the fluff perspective that regular lasbolts are visible; in a later section, where the sniper gets to do his thing, there's no mention of the bolt being any different from bolts from the lasguns or hellguns being used by other troopers.  Absent evidence to the contrary, even from other writers, I'd say that means longlas bolts are visible just like other lasweaponry.

Dok Martin, don't forget logistics.  Longlas charge packs can be recharged just like regular charge packs.  Give a trooper five charge packs and you've supplied him practically for life.  Give a guy with an SP rifle five magazines and, well, he needs more after a couple of hours in-theatre.

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The way in which 'las weapons' are described, both in terms of how they work and the visible effects, are greatly variable depending on which 'official source' you read. 

Nothing new with 40k 'canon' there then!

The bad news is therefore that you have to figure this sort of thing out for yourself and make a GM ruling.
 

The good news is therefore that you CAN figure this sort of thing out for yourself and make a GM ruling!

 

For me i produced this in terms of hos las-weapons work;

 

Las Weapons
Las weapons or Laser weapons are some of the most ubiquitous and widely used weapons within the Imperium, and exist in thousands of different designs. Imperial laser technology is relatively simple, with many Imperial worlds possessing the technological base needed for their manufacture. Las weapons are cheap, easy to maintain and highly reliable. They are issued in vast numbers to the Imperial Guard in the form of the Lasgun and these are readily available on most Imperial worlds.  How Lasweapons work Lasweapons are 'Directed Energy Weapons' (DEW). When fired, they emit a  femosecond duration, highly focused beam of intense photonic light radiation energy. This is technically a low-divergence beam within a narrow  wavelength spectrum of monochromatic light (typically red, blue or yellow). It is emitted utilising a modelocked pulse wavelength to maximise power
during the femto-second beam which ensures that when the trigger is pulled the las-beam discharges with maximum power. This beam is so brief that it is actually invisible to the naked eye, but is seen as retinal after-burn image by anyone viewing it.


The las-beam, depending on type emits at an energy level between 485 Watts to 2200 Watts and is so hot that it explosively superheats the air it passes through (particularly at the barrel-tip) causing an ionised plasma-bloom within an atmosphere that requires a bulky suppressor baffle at the barrel tip to stop the bloom conducting back down the gun and burning the user.  This beam has three unavoidable effects (in atmosphere at least):


1. The air at the barrel tip flashes and blooms as it burns.
2. As the air molecules rip apart they make a distinct 'crack' sound (like a mini-lightning bolt), focussed mainly at the barrel tip.
3. It creates a 'DEW-line'. Where the lasbeam passes, the air remains hot for around 10 seconds (2 combat rounds) after firing.
 

During this time, infra-red (IR) and thermal imaging vision will see these DEW lines.  As a result, lasweapons cannot be silenced and the beam emitted cannot be concealed. The lasweapon itself doesn't generate 'recoil' like chemical propellant weapons, but the 'plasma crack' caused by atmospheric
superheating does force the weapon to ‘jolt away’ slightly from the shot. Lasweapons inflict damage by super-heating any target surface struck; therefore causing explosive boiling. This will crack iron, shatter wood, or cause a horrible mix of blasting and burn damage to flesh. Generally, targets with
high moisture content will suffer higher damage due to explosive steaming, and most lasweapons are calibrated to be most effective against endoskeletal flesh density.

Component-melt is a serious issue for lasguns which is why most Imperial Guard-issued weapons are incapable of higher power settings. In fact an Imperial Guard logistics corps carries as many (if not more) replacement barrels as it does replacement ammunition. Persistent and prolonged use
will cause the vitric-conduction rods in the barrel, and the lock-focussing lenses to warp, crack or melt. The lasweapon will then need to be repaired. Typically a lasgun barrel should last 50,000 shots.


Most lasweapons use rechargeable power packs to feed the discharge exchanger. Power packs usually possess a highly efficient liquid metal core and vary from small internal packs for lasguns and pistols, to crate sized generators for lascannons and similar heavy lasweapons.  Most worlds produce their own distinct designs made of locally available materials. Designs include derringer type pistols, highly ornate hand-crafted duelling pistols and the
more robust versions issued to the Imperial Guard. Most designs conform to very similar performance tolerances so that differences between makes are often simply cosmetic. Prominent manufacturers include Accatran, - 3 - Kantrael, Lucius, Mars, Necromunda, Ryza, and Thracia.
 

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I think to get around the Long las problem of it revealing the position of the shooter, you should say that it has a type of suppresser or silencer that acts not only on the sound but on flash of the weapon. As for the beam itself I have always taken it is part of the pro and con of a long las. Basically what I do is this, I bump the penetration and damage of the long las and say
1. the Long las weighs less and needs less amo then a solid projectile sniper rifle


2. You can suppress the initial weapon report and flash but you cannot deal with the actual beam that’s a con (usually a -00 perception test for the people being shot at though this gets modified depending on weather they are shot from behind distance and environmental circumstances)


3. A +2 to the Damage and +3 to the pen for the long las, I have taken the approach that las weapons are totally nerfed and I have universally added +2 to damage as well as Penetration for all las weapons as well as added a low/med/high setting for the weapon making it more flexible and more comparable to the auto rifles. I mean why take a lasgun when you can take an auto rifle which can fire on full auto with special ammo etc

 

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Gregorious, as a long time gaunts ghosts fan, let me say this. Throughout the series, the regiments master sniper, Hlaine "mad" Larkin, refers to using a special type of sound suppressor designed for the long las variant sniper rifle; although the exact nature of the suppressor is not mentioned, in the novel "Ghostmaker", Larkin explains that he uses the suppressor because hes a sniper and doesnt want to be seen

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Nuada_Obliage said:

3. A +2 to the Damage and +3 to the pen for the long las, I have taken the approach that las weapons are totally nerfed and I have universally added +2 to damage as well as Penetration for all las weapons as well as added a low/med/high setting for the weapon making it more flexible and more comparable to the auto rifles. I mean why take a lasgun when you can take an auto rifle which can fire on full auto with special ammo etc

Surely you've increased the damage of everything else then - my own rough guidelines put each point of strength from the tabletop as being about 5-6 points of average damage difference in the RPG, so where a RAW lasgun deals 8.5 damage on average, a bolter should deal 13.5 on average, give or take a couple of points to allow for variation. If you push las weapons up, but nothing else, then you make redundant or trivialise a lot of other weapons by comparison.

Background-wise, the Autogun and the Lasgun are approximately equivalent in lethality, and pretty much always have been in every edition of the wargame and associated games. The Lasgun, by comparison has a bigger magazine and is more reliable, while the autogun has a faster rate-of-fire but is heavier, less reliable, more demanding of supplies and maintenance. As has been proven before, the Lasgun is vastly superior from a logistical perspective (a Lasgun and 5 charge packs for each soldier gives you 300 shots, which can be easily and quickly recharged... the same capability from the autogun requires 10 magazines, weighing down the Guardsman more heavily, and a continual supply of bullets to replenish ones expended, and may even require more as the high rate of fire can burn through that ammo at three times the speed)

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I know you already mentioned Gaunt's Ghosts, there was a short story (I think it is in the Founding Trilogy) about Larkin and another Tanith sniper (both armed with longlas) firing at an enemy trench. The other sniper gets a kill and takes another shot across no-man's land, Larkin silently admonishes him for not relocating after taking his first shot. Moments later the other Tanith sniper's head disintergrates and Larkin secretly relishes the fact that the enemy has half competant snipers for him to compete with. Now what I would take from this is that the weapon at least has a muzzle flash of some kind for the enemy to have focused in on but the idea that the longlas would fire a bolt tracable by the naked eye would make the weapon next to useless as a sniper weapon, it would be like a modern sniper firing tracer rounds with every shot, his position would compromised almost instantly. Now I'm not saying that a lasbolt might not appear in the visible light spectrum but just like a bullet in flight it would be travelling so fast that the refresh rate of your retina cells would too slow for you to actually "see" it.

In game terms I have gone with Awareness tests to spot the muzzle flash or noticing the sniper relocating. If they fail to notice the first two then you could possibly use Common Lore (Imperial Guard), Scholastic Lore (Tactica Imperialis) or even a straight Intelligence test to try and deduce the likely location of a sniper.

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Tyraxus said:

40k science time!  Woo!

Okay, a lasgun is not a laser weapon as we understand them.  Rather, it's closer to a directed energy weapon called an electrolaser. 

Why do you think 40k uses electolasers ?

 

The problems with firing an electrolaser in vacuum are big.

Then we get to problems with an electrical current as a weapon. You would need two paths (notice that RL tasers fire two wires) of ionized air to do this*, one path for the current to travel down, another for it to travel back and complete the circuit. The only places they connect are in the weapon, and in the target. The current travelling through the target is what deals the damage. But when you hit metal, the current will travel through the metal instead of flesh (electricity always takes the easiest route), meaning a lot of the damage potential is reduced.

 

How much metal is there is there in your average heretek ?

I pick heretek because the Ad-Mech uses a lot of laser weaponry in hunting them down. And not precision weapons like the long las (which can aim for exposed flesh, if there is any), but things like lasguns and hellguns, which can only really be aimed at the target.

 

*Which means you need two lasers firing simultaneously. Every picture I've seen of a lasgun has a single barrel.

 

Given the problems an electrolaser really strains my suspension of disbelief. Especially when there is a simpler option: Lasguns fire high powered lasers.

 

Though an electolaser weapon does have some potential. Think of it as a taser with a higher ROF, greater range and a clip size greater than 1. Last I heard, real life research into electorlasers was moving in that direction.

Thanks for brining them up, I've got a few NPCs in my current RT campaign that would use them.

 

Anyway, as far as the beam being invisible... you could make the argument a perfect sniping weapon would be, but you'd be wrong, because a sniper/spotter needs to be able to guide misses

How does a spotter guide misses with real life sniper weapons ?

Bullets already travel too fast to be seen.

Why can't that method apply to laser snipers ?

 

And even a laser wouldn't be point and click, due to wave refraction across atmospheric differentials.

I gave a solution to this in my post. Use a low-powered laser pointer of the same frequency as the laser. It will diffracted in the same way as your laser blast. Thus, if you have the pointer mounted parallel to the gun barrel, then you know that your weapon will hit a point exactly x mm down (assuming a pointer mounted on top) from where the pointers dot is.

This has the problem of the target seeing the dot. Unless you use a frequency that the target can't see for both your pointer and blast lasers.

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The problems with firing an electrolaser in vacuum are big.

True.  You'll note I addressed that in my post, what with me mentioning lances and whatnot, then postulating advances in physics in 10k years allowing a weapon working on similar principles to work in a vacuum.

Then we get to problems with an electrical current as a weapon. You would need two paths (notice that RL tasers fire two wires) of ionized air to do this*, one path for the current to travel down, another for it to travel back and complete the circuit. The only places they connect are in the weapon, and in the target. The current travelling through the target is what deals the damage. But when you hit metal, the current will travel through the metal instead of flesh (electricity always takes the easiest route), meaning a lot of the damage potential is reduced.

An electrolaser using AC current.  It's very literally a lightning bolt, as I mentioned.  The ionized plasma column puts boundaries on the lightning path, making it so that the beam is directed properly.  You don't need a double-barreled lasgun, if nothing else the emitter may contain both a positive and negative terminal.  As far as damage, electricity doesn't just follow metal for the hell of it, it tries to ground.  But the particle transfer means that, regardless of the point of contact, there's a lot of damage at the point of impact before grounding (flash vaporization caused by massive energy conversion to heat due to sudden resistance; at least the Cain novels mention the partial cauterization of las wounds).  Metal content doesn't have a whole lot to do with it, since metal will flash vaporize just like flesh will if you put enough energy into it.

Given the problems an electrolaser really strains my suspension of disbelief. Especially when there is a simpler option: Lasguns fire high powered lasers.

That's fine.  Believing that lasweapons are laser weapons strain mine, due to the fact that laser weapons aren't visible like the 40k ones are, don't have recoil the the 40k ones have, and don't give off a crack like the 40k ones do.  The electrolaser idea is nothing more than me justifying these attributes.

How does a spotter guide misses with real life sniper weapons ?
Bullets already travel too fast to be seen.

Read what I wrote: modern high-powered sniper rounds leave what are effectively contrails momentarily due to the air displacement around such a fast moving object.  A spotter, sitting beside the shooter, watches this trace to guide fire.  An invisible laser beam wouldn't have this or any tracking mechanism.

I gave a solution to this in my post. Use a low-powered laser pointer of the same frequency as the laser. It will diffracted in the same way as your laser blast. Thus, if you have the pointer mounted parallel to the gun barrel, then you know that your weapon will hit a point exactly x mm down (assuming a pointer mounted on top) from where the pointers dot is.

This has the problem of the target seeing the dot. Unless you use a frequency that the target can't see for both your pointer and blast lasers.

Good point... except that the fluff and crunch has red-dot sights available for las weapons, not required by them to shoot properly (Necromunda leaps to mind).  And what if you're shooting at extended range?  I don't know about you, but I can't reliably see a ~1mm dia dot with unaided eyesight at 150m.  Sure, you may have a scope of some sort that could possibly have a system built in to allow you to see your alternate frequency dot... but didja ever notice that longlas weapons can mount scopes?  Are you scoping your scope so that you can scope while you scope?  Maybe you can replace one, but then why wouldn't a longlas scope be vastly more expensive than one for an autogun due to the necessity to have that alternate frequency visibility built in?

Good conversation, but I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree... you said you find the electrolaser idea to stretch your suspension of disbelief; similarly, I find the high-powered laser idea to stretch mine.  Either could work with the proper application of rationalization, but I think the real reason 40k las weapons are the way they are is that the original 40k writers just didn't know that much science.  See as evidence the depleted deuterium core in bolts.

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True. You'll note I addressed that in my post, what with me mentioning lances and whatnot, then postulating advances in physics in 10k years allowing a weapon working on similar principles to work in a vacuum.

Postulations that amount to:

 - Name a popular science concept that isn't understood by most people and probably doesn't apply in this case. How does String Theory apply to transmitting electricity across a vacuum ?

 - Claim that they are more advanced.

Therefore we can ignore the problems.

You haven't said how the problems can be overcome. You just sprouted technobabble and claimed that it would work. I find that leaving something unexplained to be better than an explanation that doesn't explain anything.

 

You don't need a double-barreled lasgun, if nothing else the emitter may contain both a positive and negative terminal.

If the negative and positive terminals are both in the same channel of ionised air (a single laser only gives you a single channel), what stops the current short-circuiting ?

 

As far as damage, electricity doesn't just follow metal for the hell of it, it tries to ground.

Then why do tasers fire two prongs on separate wires ?

If electricity just tries to ground itself, wouldn't the second wire do nothing ?

If you need the electricity to ground itself, how can you use it against a starship ?

 

But the particle transfer means that, regardless of the point of contact, there's a lot of damage at the point of impact before grounding (flash vaporization caused by massive energy conversion to heat due to sudden resistance;

Metal has a lower resistance than flesh. Which means that less of the electricity will be converted to heat. At best, this means your dumping the heat over a larger area (minor burns all over vs flash vaporisation of a small point). At worst, a significant portion comes back up the channel having not heated the target.

 

at least the Cain novels mention the partial cauterization of las wounds

How does that fit better with an electorlaser ?

A laser still damages the target by heating it.

 

Metal content doesn't have a whole lot to do with it, since metal will flash vaporize just like flesh will if you put enough energy into it.

The metal content matters for how easy it is to put that energy into it. The better a substance is as a conductor, the less is heats up when you pass an electrical current through it.

 

That's fine. Believing that lasweapons are laser weapons strain mine, due to the fact that laser weapons aren't visible like the 40k ones are,

Depends what visibility you are talking about:

 - Coloured beam. Makes sense with a laser of that colour and dust in the air. I can't see it making sense with an electorlaser.

 - Energy bullets. Doesn't make sense with a laser or electorlaser.

 - White beam. This could work with either. Energy from the laser or electorlaser is absorbed by the air, heating it up, making it glow.

don't have recoil the the 40k ones have,

Why would an electorlaser have any more recoil than a laser that uses a similar amount of energy per shot ?

This is one of the big "author doesn't know what they are talking about" issues with me.

and don't give off a crack like the 40k ones do.

Energy from the laser or electorlaser is absorbed by the air, heating it up and making it suddenly expand. Hence the crack. The more energy lost to the air over the same distance, the louder the crack.

The crack isn't a special property of lightning. It's a result of the air being suddenly heated.

 

Read what I wrote: modern high-powered sniper rounds leave what are effectively contrails momentarily due to the air displacement around such a fast moving object. A spotter, sitting beside the shooter, watches this trace to guide fire. An invisible laser beam wouldn't have this or any tracking mechanism.

My mistake. Though I will point out that, unless operating in a vacuum (where a bullet won't produce a contrail) there will always be some energy lost to the air. So a spotter using sensitive enough IR goggles will be able to see that heated air.

 

Good point... except that the fluff and crunch has red-dot sights available for las weapons, not required by them to shoot properly

Which just means that those without the red-dot fire less accurately than those with one.

 

And what if you're shooting at extended range? I don't know about you, but I can't reliably see a ~1mm dia dot with unaided eyesight at 150m.

Then you either need a scope, or need to be good enough that you can aim without the dot or scope.

Though a scope on its own should be helpful in most cases. A scope is enough for real life snipers, and they have to worry about gravity and wind. The dot is just going to improve accuracy, if the user is willing to risk it being seen.

 

Wouldn't the electorlaser have the same diffraction issues with its laser component ?

 

but didja ever notice that longlas weapons can mount scopes? Are you scoping your scope so that you can scope while you scope? Maybe you can replace one, but then why wouldn't a longlas scope be vastly more expensive than one for an autogun due to the necessity to have that alternate frequency visibility built in?

A better scope would be more expensive. But if you don't use a laser sight, the alternate frequency isn't a necessity.

 

The easy way to convince me about electolasers would be to find quotes that shows the target suffering from an effect similar to an electrocution, since electricity can be fatal with much less energy than you would need for flash vaporisation. Given that an electorlaser is pumping in enough energy for nasty thermal effects, shouldn't we be seeing some major effect of electricity on the nervous system ?

 

But all I know of are thermal effects. Not a single effect that says electricity.

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