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Ultramarine Master with Gauntlets of Macragge





Upstate, New York

 tauist wrote:
I always thought chainswords have some sort of energy field around the chain as well. Do I misremember things or has this been retconned in the lore?


That might just be chainfists.

   
Made in ca
Secretive Dark Angels Veteran



Canada

I think it appropriate to go to the 2nd Edition Wargear book for spiritual guidance on these matters:

"Chainsword. This is a popular weapon with officers in Imperial Guard forces, boarding parties and close assault troops. The powered chainsaw edge is studded with sharp monomolecular teeth capable of slicing through armour and steel bulkheads..."

So there you have it. Monomolecular teeth that can slice through armour. I'm sold. The weapon has been in use for over 10K years - its gotta be effective.

ps - The same book does indeed mention that the Chainfist has a cutting edge encased in a power field.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/12/29 16:45:38


All you have to do is fire three rounds a minute, and stand 
   
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In universe, a fantastic weapon, in real life, just no.
   
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 Nevelon wrote:
 tauist wrote:
I always thought chainswords have some sort of energy field around the chain as well. Do I misremember things or has this been retconned in the lore?


That might just be chainfists.


No reason you couldn't combine power field technology with chainsword technology, though such a weapon would be expensive and rare. Like, 40k lightsaber rare. Someone with that kind of clout would probably go for better weapons. No point in juicing up a Chainsword if you could just have a Lightning Claw instead.

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Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

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Dakka Veteran





Lebanon NH

Adding to the speculative nature of this thread:

How fast would the teeth need to move for them to essentially be treated as just a single edge if they hit/rebound off something?

My reasoning goes like this: even square wheels basically roll as round if you get them going fast enough (Thank you Mythbusters!) so shouldn't there be a point where the teeth are moving so fast that they are essentially just a single coherent edge?

Essentially, even if the contact time is very small (say a fraction of a second,) and the teeth are moving fast enough, shouldn't they essentially behave as a single unified edge?

Granted, this is probably a LOT faster than any real chainsaws move, but we are talking about silly-nonsense 40k here...
   
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Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






That’s a bloody good question! And I’m not even close to having an answer.

However, my initial thought (which I do not claim to be clever) is that due to the shape of the blade, and the typically curved teeth, the physics might be different to a wheel?

There’d also be pressure coming in from the wielder, which might affect things some. Which to my mind links back to my initial thought that the effective wielding of a Chainsword is a martial discipline unto itself.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Grey Templar wrote:
 Nevelon wrote:
 tauist wrote:
I always thought chainswords have some sort of energy field around the chain as well. Do I misremember things or has this been retconned in the lore?


That might just be chainfists.


No reason you couldn't combine power field technology with chainsword technology, though such a weapon would be expensive and rare. Like, 40k lightsaber rare. Someone with that kind of clout would probably go for better weapons. No point in juicing up a Chainsword if you could just have a Lightning Claw instead.


I’m sure there are Astartes relic weapons described as exactly that?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/01 00:38:20


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The Teeth of Terra is as relic/artificer a chainsword can get so would that then have all the bells/whistles it could, right?
   
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I think you’ve got a typo? Sadly it being New Year I’m nowhere near sober enough to figure out where!

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Dakka Veteran




One last thing. I know chain swords are supposed to be fuel powered. Current chain saw protection, chaps and trousers, dont really protect against battery powered stuff. Mainly cause they dont have a sprocket for stuff to tangled in.
   
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Stone Bonkers Fabricator General






Chainswords are completely ridiculous and therefore very 40K weapons. I remember Gaunt mentioning in a chainsword duel he was in that "it's all in the wrist". Ya I guess using a one handed chainsaw would require quite a bit of wrist strength... I think the only way anyone could even remotely use one is if they're made of some sort of futuristic ultra-strong but ultra-light material. Like maybe a chainsword only weighs like 2lbs despite the fearsome look of them.

 
   
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Stalwart Ultramarine Tactical Marine



Alaska

I look at chainswords as being psychological weapons. As mentioned by others, the primary targets were most likely on the softer side during the unification wars and great crusade. Additionally the primary users (at least imperial) have been gene enhanced Thunder Warriors and Astartes, both of which have massive strength and are covered in heavy armor. Space marine armor is bold and bright to make a statement, "I am wearing bright yellow that you can see a mile away and I don't care, I am coming to smash your head like a pumpkin, you can't stop me so start crying now". When you have a fully armor encased Astartes smash a chainsword into you, you can flail/beat/shoot his armor with cultist/rebel weapons all you want, he has the time and strength to dig in with the chainsword. Really adds to the fear factor and shock and awe like the bold armor colors. Imagine the morale hit when you see someone on your team get dug through with a mega sized blender stick. Commissars and other normies latched onto the reputation and fear factor of what it symbolizes. They have become more of a badge of office with the bolt pistol, again for the psychological effect. Once Ibram Gaunt gets his power sword though, he doesn't go back to the chainsword. Add in the stagnation of the imperium and it never changed with new non-squishy threats. Eldar uses for them...I'unno, what is their armor even made of? Common usage could be orks considering the history of the Eldar.

Someone also mentioned the other uses of chainswords. I guess you could find some utility in them like breaching tools, for lowly humans? Faster than an axe I guess. I just see more effective means like breaching pens, grenades, space marine walking through said door or wall. I mean it'll work to disable some equipment if you shove it inside and turn it on, but so will putting a grenade in said equipment. Counter rotating blades might do okay for cutting razor/barb wire? I just keep looping back to the psychological aspect of employing it more than anything.

Either way, the chainsword is 80's metal and cool. So I scifi handwave rationalize it like others.
   
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Fresh-Faced New User





I read the first 5 Gaunt's Ghosts novels and there chainsword fighting is its own martial art to a point where changing the belt rotation direction is part of effectively fighting with it.
But that's about as much as they can salvage that thing.
Been said plenty of times already but especially the imperial model with its boxy case can only cut as deep as the teeth protrue as the clunky box won't be cutting like the teeth.
And wielded in human hands, you'd need precognition because you'd lose grip or worse a hand if the super powerful motor suddenly rips the sword away from you once the chain gets caught.
Traditional swings and cuts like an actual sword also wouldn't make much sense, you'd rather try to just push the teeth into the enemy with a very stable grip, just like Star Wars lightsabers would develop a totally different way of fighting since just lightly pushing any part of the "blade" would do damage, there's no need to wind up the swing since your cut doesn't get any better from that.

If I was to redesign them, I'd turn them more into circular saw type axes (kinda what the Borderlands psychos use) with a straight handle under the saw and a horizontal one behind it. Sawblades are way less finnicky than chains, easier to repair / replace. And if you came up with some wierd sci-fi flex you'd have something that cuts through armor, has a noisy engine, throws sparks and tears flesh and bone thus suitable for 40k.
   
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Dakka Veteran




Most chain swords come fully equipped with suspensors. So theyre as light or heavy as needed.

Ive only seen chaps fulfill their use once in 10yrs and that was cause of a trip and the saw blade on a whipper snipper. I thought hed chopped his leg off at the shin.

Not to mention getting a saw blade retipped costs a bit more in time and $ than a chain.
   
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I've honestly never seen any game book or novel suggest chainswords have suspensors.

Even back at the beginning when they were an integral part of heavy weapons.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/22 17:30:48


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I can see them incorporating some kind of gyroscopic stabiliser, but I too don’t recall suspensors ever being mentioned?

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Suspensors have been mentioned as far back as space marine, it was multiple if slapped on h bolters and are lunchers. If i remember that heretical tome right.
I vaguely remember the chainsword wargear book. That gw used to try and flog off mentioning them. Though i could be wrong.
   
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Maybe a high end chainsword might have them, but it would be a one off thing.

Self-proclaimed evil Cat-person. Dues Ex Felines

Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

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Made in us
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the ancient wrote:
Suspensors have been mentioned as far back as space marine, it was multiple if slapped on h bolters and are lunchers. If i remember that heretical tome right.

That was out of the book in Rogue Trader. Pretty standard across armies for heavy weapons- all they did was reduce the movement penalty by 1/2" each. (a lot of heavy weapons had a 2" move penalty)
Even the Imperial Guard army list got 'the appropriate number of suspensors' for all its heavy equipment.

I vaguely remember the chainsword wargear book. That gw used to try and flog off mentioning them. Though i could be wrong.

I'm honestly not even sure what 'wargear book' that would be.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/23 04:19:54


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Oh a few years back GW tried flogging off war gear books. Pay a pound or 2 for a book about a bolter or chain sword.

Yes it was as full of sheet as you imagine.
   
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Ancient Venerable Dreadnought






As a semi related tangent knights were never originally for combat. They were labor robots used for harvesting lumber, mining, and clearing out/moving rubble, then one day someone said hey....what if we strapped armor to it and used the rock lasers on things instead of rocks?

The imperium has a history of taking I dustrial equipment as slapping an aquilla on it and calling it a weapon

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 Backspacehacker wrote:

The imperium has a history of taking I dustrial equipment as slapping an aquilla on it and calling it a weapon


That is more of a human quality than just unique to the Imperium. Any armored vehicle is just a tractor with armor and guns.

Self-proclaimed evil Cat-person. Dues Ex Felines

Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

MURICA!!! IN SPESS!!! 
   
Made in us
Hardened Veteran Guardsman




Others have already mentioned it, but it is my hadcanon that all the melee weapons actually started out as breaching tools that soldiers just started using as weapons. If you can equip your infantry units with chainsaws and other things like power fists, it wont take long before some smart guy figures that he can sharpen his tools and use them as weapons if he already has to carry them (in the tradition of WW 1 trench warfare using spades). A few hundred/thousand years later, the original reasoning is lost, but all those power swords, chainswords, mauls and other tools are still used to breach bulkheads, tear down walls and cleave skulls with equal ease.

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Waiting for my shill money from Spiral Arm Studios

A lot of people do kind of get stuck thinking that Tools =/= Weapons. When really, the truth is that weapons are just tools, tools that are specifically designed to kill, but regular tools are plenty lethal too. The most common weapon in all of history is the Spear. Spears are incredibly multi-use tools and only one of those uses is stabbing an offensive member of your own species. Its a hunting tool, its a knife, its a walking stick, its a projectile, etc...

Most "soldiers" throughout history just showed up to battle with whatever tools they happened to own. A copper axe for cutting wood and clearing brush is perfectly usable for cutting people. Dedicated "weapon tools" is actually a pretty luxurious concept.

Self-proclaimed evil Cat-person. Dues Ex Felines

Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

MURICA!!! IN SPESS!!! 
   
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U.k

 Grey Templar wrote:
A lot of people do kind of get stuck thinking that Tools =/= Weapons. When really, the truth is that weapons are just tools, tools that are specifically designed to kill, but regular tools are plenty lethal too. The most common weapon in all of history is the Spear. Spears are incredibly multi-use tools and only one of those uses is stabbing an offensive member of your own species. Its a hunting tool, its a knife, its a walking stick, its a projectile, etc...

Most "soldiers" throughout history just showed up to battle with whatever tools they happened to own. A copper axe for cutting wood and clearing brush is perfectly usable for cutting people. Dedicated "weapon tools" is actually a pretty luxurious concept.


But that doesn’t mean that all tools make suitable weapons, some are better suited to attacking folk with than others. I could hurt someone with a power drill. Doesn’t mean it would be a good thing to bring to a fight. Equally, a lot of tools are very dangerous to the user if not used carefully. Fighting with them, not very careful. My point isn’t that using a chainsaw in a fight wouldn’t hurt anyone, it’s more that it would hurt “everyone”. But to reiterate. I LOVE chainswords. But they are a silly idea. Gloriously silly.
   
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 Grey Templar wrote:
A lot of people do kind of get stuck thinking that Tools =/= Weapons. When really, the truth is that weapons are just tools, tools that are specifically designed to kill, but regular tools are plenty lethal too. The most common weapon in all of history is the Spear. Spears are incredibly multi-use tools and only one of those uses is stabbing an offensive member of your own species. Its a hunting tool, its a knife, its a walking stick, its a projectile, etc...

Most "soldiers" throughout history just showed up to battle with whatever tools they happened to own. A copper axe for cutting wood and clearing brush is perfectly usable for cutting people. Dedicated "weapon tools" is actually a pretty luxurious concept.


Yes and no, depending on the era.

A Woodsman’s Axe is still going to be deadly, because of course it is. But, compared to a Bearded Axe, it’s less useful in battle. A mallet, sledgehammer or maul can still smash someone’s brains out, but again is less useful and suited to battle than an actual Warhammer or War Club.

As covered elsewhere in this thread, Chainswords can only superficially be compared to Chainsaws. Yes they have similar properties (a bladed chain, driven at high speeds), but that’s about it. Chainswords are balanced for combat. We can see their drives are much smaller than a Chainsaw. Combined that makes them less unwieldy during fisticuffs.


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Northumberland

One thing that as far as I've seen has never popped up really in the discussion in this thread or in the other thread that this started out in..

That is chainswords are actually designed in-universe as weapons. It's not some cack-handed attempt to use a chainsaw as a sword. It is a weapon with a chainblade, designed and created for use in combat. All of the things where people go "pfft, wouldn't work" the designer of the weapon has clearly found an in-universe solution for in order to make it viable as a weapon. This is why I don't quite get this discussion.

As TangoTwoBravo points out
So there you have it. Monomolecular teeth that can slice through armour. I'm sold. The weapon has been in use for over 10K years - its gotta be effective


Regardless of whether or not the thing was originally implemented because it's ludicrous and cool as an aesthetic choice, (which it is) it exists in the setting. Therefore, it works as a weapon because it exists in the universe. A weapon tends to exist when you have a need for it. Clearly regular weapons aren't doing enough damage to someone who is perhaps gene-enhanced (like ye olde technoe barbarianes for instance) so you need something that is going to make sure they stay down. If you're fighting someone coked up on a cocktail of the crazies, you want a weapon that is going to get them to register them being dead (Orks also fit this bill).

A fair bit of the nitpicking in this thread is based entirely on some people's fairly dubious knowledge of chainsaws and how they function. I hope that doesn't wound anyone too much

Now, before I went to uni and then on into my current job, I used to work as a contractor and did a fair bit of work with a chainsaw working in a national park. To my mind, it would be hellish easy to use one as weapon, especially the lighter models used for pruning. A model you use when you are halfway up a tree is balanced rather differently to ones you use at the bottom. It's almost like someone thought this stuff through?

I think a lot of yous are thinking of a massive chainsaw that people use for felling, which is one example sure, but there are a hell of a lot of different chainsaws out there.

In real life right now, you could produce a balanced and useable chainsword. It wouldn't be as big and meaty as a 40k one but you could do it with fairly minimal hassle. It would be fairly expensive but it would chew through steel and you could swing it about like a sword. Actual swords are unbalanced and unwieldy in combat unless you know how to use them properly and are designed around the user.
As they are described in various books, they have an accelerator that increases the speed of the saw blade. Presumably you can go from easy breezy hacking through flesh mode to slicing through something heavier.

Also, I'd argue Grey Templar is more in the right of it here, most weaponry was originally a tool of some kind, or served another purpose beyond fighting. Swords are one of the few that were expressly designed for combat. It also cost a lot to produce, a lot of iron goes into it and required time, effort and skill to make a decent blade. All through history, a sword has been a luxury item.

Axes are wonderfully useful in that regard. Axes have existed for a very, very, very long time. In fact, axes have been in use by humanity even longer than spears. They are one of the very first flint tools.

A Woodsman’s Axe is still going to be deadly, because of course it is. But, compared to a Bearded Axe, it’s less useful in battle.


I would point out that the rather dubious "bearded axe" which has become this fanciful modern "viking" axe is still a woodcutting axe. It was used both as a tool and a weapon. They still exist now as a planing tool and they are the same thing. Are you perhaps thinking of the larger 'hafted axe' which has occasionally been described as a "Dane axe"? They are longer hafted weapons used more extensively for combat throughout the early medieval period and beyond.



This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/30 01:04:35


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 Olthannon wrote:


Now, before I went to uni and then on into my current job, I used to work as a contractor and did a fair bit of work with a chainsaw working in a national park. To my mind, it would be hellish easy to use one as weapon, especially the lighter models used for pruning. A model you use when you are halfway up a tree is balanced rather differently to ones you use at the bottom. It's almost like someone thought this stuff through?

I think a lot of yous are thinking of a massive chainsaw that people use for felling, which is one example sure, but there are a hell of a lot of different chainsaws out there.

In real life right now, you could produce a balanced and useable chainsword. It wouldn't be as big and meaty as a 40k one but you could do it with fairly minimal hassle. It would be fairly expensive but it would chew through steel and you could swing it about like a sword. Actual swords are unbalanced and unwieldy in combat unless you know how to use them properly and are designed around the user.
As they are described in various books, they have an accelerator that increases the speed of the saw blade. Presumably you can go from easy breezy hacking through flesh mode to slicing through something heavier.



You know the first time I used an electric chainsaw I was almost mind blown. I immediately thought "chainswords are SOOOO possible!". It was for light log work in a yard so it was small and definitely light enough to be usable one handed by a large person. INSTANT torque as well. Some of the hedging saws are out on a pole too, definitely light weight if designed to be. So yeah a purpose built item is going to be way more functional than a repurposed one. And if more than one species, human and Eldar, had convergent weapon evolution then there must be a use right (unless humies copied the pointy ears).
   
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Convergent development is a fallacy in this case though. Eldar amd thenImlerium both use chainswords because in the 1980s (or maybe early 90s), someone at GW decided that they wanted chainswords and liberally sprinkled them through the model ranges.

Regarding chainswords themselves, you could Definately make them work in some way, it’s just the old Titan argument. Is it worth putting more complexity and material into a weapon, when you might be better off just making more of a different weapon that is easier to use and more effective. Eg power swords

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/30 09:10:55


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Northumberland

Now then Flinty, surely you wouldn't be saying a sword which when you press a button it electrifies to become a super sword which cuts through everything like it was paper, is easier to weild than a mere chainsword?

Come on folks, let's have a little realism in our 40k please!

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