Weapons of the AI Part I – Mag Weapons
From ‘Mag guns & Plasma’ magazine – The Best Reviews this side of the Determinate
By Jon Harrington
Note from the Editor
Welcome to the end of year edition of the MG&P zine. I’m sure you’ll agree we can look back with fondness on the many interesting and exciting weapons we’ve reviewed, from the latest C3 fractal weapons to the mobile Ghar disruptor cannon (although we are still undergoing decontamination from that trip). With the support of our sponsors, Algor Heavy Industries – “Things that make you go Boom” – we’re reprinting top reviewer Mat Faston’s two-part, seminal article on the weapons of the Algoryn. First up is Algoryn Armour and Mag weapons and the second covers the X and Plasma weapons.
Back in the early part of the year I was invited by non other than Cdr Enald Speers of the Algoryn 12th Division to see the latest developments in Mag technology that his team was testing. This was an opportunity not to be missed and so I arrived at the Weapon Test Facility on the appointed day and was met by Lt Elan Kaist, Cdr Speers’ Executive Officer. She explained that they had arranged all the current Mag weapons to be available for this test along with a small surprise at the end.
First up for protection, and to support the targeting systems, I was kitted out in standard Algoryn Reflex Armour. This comes with a Hyperlight energy shield that wraps around the basic armour (giving a +1 Res). Lt Kaist mentioned that this can be enhanced by the Hyperlight boosters fitted to Intruder skimmers (+2 Res when mounted).
As we walked to the firing range a squad of large (even for Algoryn!) troops marched past. Their armour was bulky, possibly with multiple layers of nano-cored material, and included what looked like a self contained hostile environment protection and a large reflex shell generator – does it have multiple reflex shells? I was not allowed to include any pictures of this so called ‘Hazard Armour’ as it is experimental but this reviewer has seen a lot of armour and reckons it must be pretty tough and probably enables the wearer to function in environments that would leave normal Reflex armour useless (+4 to Res). It appeared to have an integrated plasma carbine and distort generator/plasma shell thrower – or D-spinner as we prefer to call them – to give a hefty weapons fit. However I suspect the additional weight would slow them down and the reactions time would also drop (No Sprint, -2 Ag, -2 Init). Lt Kaist muttered under her breath about problems against powerful weapons still being worked out but wouldn’t say any more (+1 pin if hit by >SV5).
At the range Lt Kaist showed me the firing points and with only a short safety brief I was let loose on the weapons. First up was a mag pistol.
I loosed off a few rounds down the range, the distinctive whine of the metal spikes echoing around. The mag pistol comes in many forms but the latest Algoryn iteration is lighter and packs double the ammunition loadout in its compressed magazine.
Stepping across to the next firing point I hefted the mag gun, standard issue across Antarean space. Again the Algoryn APMG-IV version comes across as a well designed and dependable weapon, each shot producing multiple flechettes in rapid succession to enhance accuracy and boost armour penetration.
I have to confess enjoying firing this weapon: I collect classic mag guns and look forward to adding this version when it’s released to the general public.
Next up was the mag repeater. A great weapon for sheer rate of fire but it comes at the cost of a shorter range. Makes a nice noise though, a sort of whining purr.
Having stepped through the handheld weapons it was great to move onto something larger, in this case a mag light support weapon (MLS). Another, direct-fire, mag rail system, this pivots smoothly on its collapsible stand and unleashes a serious amount of firepower down range. It’s easy to pick up and carry too, the built-in suspensors taking much of the load. I noticed that, in common with much Algoryn weaponry, the suspensors don’t take all the weight, apparently to ensure some ‘positive feedback’ to the crew member carrying the weapon.
The long range means it’s usually deployed in a supporting or overwatch mode but it can be effective when fitted to a vehicle and moved rapidly around the battlefield. However sitting next to the MLS was my personal favourite support weapon, the mighty Twin MLS. Same stats as its little brother but double the rate of fire. I emptied the magazine testing this gun – it didn’t take long but it was oh, so satisfying.
As I made the Twin MLS safe I felt the floor of the firing range vibrate. Two huge doors at the back opened up and in rolled a fully kitted out Liberator Skimmer. It stopped at the firing line and one of the crew walked over and I realised it was Cdr Speers himself. As loyal readers will know he’s featured in MG&P ‘zine on many occasions, most recently after his success on Kar’A Nine. He indicated towards the vehicle and suggested I might like a try with a larger weapon. Climbing into a Liberator is a task in itself but I didn’t have to be asked twice. Settled in the gunners position I let rip with the mag cannon.
|Mag Cannon||30||50||100||5||Massive Damage|
With a noise like thunder, but surprisingly little recoil, I fired a few shots down range. It’s certainly a lethal weapon against almost anything but just in case you meet something really tough (and I’m talking Brood Mother tough) the Algoryn have an even larger version, the heavy mag cannon. This is fitted to the rarely-seen Bastion Heavy Combat Skimmers, so I had to use the stand mounted version. You can almost feel the power drain as it fires but the effect is truly astonishing. Space itself is disrupted when the round impacts a target and that target can be a long way away but still within range.
|Heavy Mag Cannon||50||100||250||6||Massive Damage|
So that was it for the day. Though I didn’t try it due to the accident earlier that day, Cdr Speers suggested I not try the Mag Mortar, simply because of sheer weight of fire. However, I did book up another visit in which he committed to showing me the overhead weapons (X- weapons) as well as the plasma weaponry used by command teams and special support teams.
|Mag Mortar||10-30||40||50||3||OHx2, Blast D10, No cover|
Even the most well trained forces have problems and apparently a crew had a small incident with the mortar firing procedure earlier in the day. This explained the cordoned off area with the burn marks and smoke damage at the end of the range.
With the mag pistol I managed to put a good number of holes in the Ghar shaped target. Using the mag gun I took out 2 of the legs and the main sensors. Whilst the mag repeater was less accurate, there were certainly a lot of holes in the target. With the MLS I completely removed the remains of the first target whereas with the Twin MLS I was able to take out a 3 Ghar squad with ease.
The mag cannon left a large dent in the back wall of the firing range. I thought this would be a problem but because of a slight inaccuracy in my aiming of the heavy mag cannon – it hit exactly where I aimed! – the next shot made the wall of the range disappear in a cloud of smoke, dust and rubble. Cdr Speers appeared somewhat resigned to my antics and the destruction of his wall. As he made no comment about the mess I’d made of his firing range, I still hope to be invited back to test more weapons in the future.
Until next time, this is MF signing out. Stay safe, stay armed and don’t forget our sponsor – Algor Heavy Industries.