+ inload: Armaments of the Astartes M34–35 +

+ Armaments of the Astartes during the Nova Terra Interregnum +

+ Mark IIIc Godwyn-pattern Boltgun +

+ By this point in Imperial history, the Godwyn-pattern boltgun has been the Codex standard weapon used by the Astartes. Developed during the Great Crusade, from an STC discovered in what is now the Veiled Region, and prototyped on Saturn following the fall of Mars, large numbers of the first iteration of the Godwyn pattern boltgun (later retroactively dubbed the 'Mark I') were first used by the remnants of the Salamanders Legion prior to the Great Scouring. +

+ Following the Guilliman Reforms and adoption of the Codex Astartes by the newly-formed Chapters of the Second Founding, the weapon was refined during the events of the Scouring. The Mark II refinements saw an extended magazine housing (the Mark I had the housing recessed within the casing) to ease reloading, and a incorporated an ejection port, allowing for both traditional uncased and specialist cased ammunition to be used, and to ease the clearance of fouling following misfires. +

+ The Mark I and II patterns served alongside one another for a number of centuries, and the weapon was further refined in mid-M33, under the sanction of Mars by Archmagos Dewey-Kain. The Dewey-Kain variant Mark III was a substantially different weapon which benefitted from a number of STC fragments recovered in the years since the Godywn pattern's first creation, and was jointly sanctified by the Ecclesiarchy and Munitorum. +

Mark IIIc Godwyn-pattern Boltgun
+ The most obvious visual difference between the new weapon and its older counterparts was the extended barrel and casing, which sported a rail intended to allow the fixture of further modular enhancements and alterations. In practise, the longer barrel proved awkward, and the intended benefit of increasing the range of the rounds proved less than fruitful, owing to the nature of the ammunition. +

+ By late M33 and early M34, relations between the Munitorum and the Adeptus Mechanicus had deteriorated, resulting in the Astartes Chapters having reduced supplies and shipments. The Chapter forges, already capable of manufacturing and maintaining the small amount of weaponry required by an individual Chapter, took up the slack; with artificers and licensed technomancers refining and adapting the boltgun. By the time of the Nova Terra Interregnum, there were literally hundreds of variants that had found individual solutions to the Dewey-Kain original, most of which were consolidated under the Mark IIIb label. +

+ The second century of M34 saw the Imperium in a rare state of broad unity and plenty, and the Mark IIIc was issued, the intention to provide a full replacement across all the Chapters. It was a vain hope; supply lines had degraded since the high point of the Great Crusade, and while the weapon became widespread, it was far from universal. +

+ The Blood Angels, as a favoured First Founding Chapter, were issued the Mark IIIc as a matter of priority. They used the weapon throughout the Nova Terra Interregnum, though a number of the older patterns remained in use as revered relics. + 
+ Visually similar to the Mark IIIa, the support rail was retained on the Mark IIIc, but quietly sidelined – a recognition that the Astartes' autosenses largely rendered it surplus to requirementsA permanent iron sight was instead added to the casing, and numerous internal improvements were added. These included a code lock that meant the weapon could only be used in conjunction with authorised armour transmissions; a second ejection port being fitted, with the weapon automatically transferring to eject away from the firing hand; and an autosanctifying mechanism housed in the stock alongside the cleaning kit, allowing Astartes on extended duties to perform the religious maintenance rituals that had become commonplace following the official deification of the Emperor. +

+ The weapon was superseded when the Nova Terra Interregnum broke out, as patchy supply lines became entirely closed. The weapon was thus used fairly extensively by Astartes during the period, but many Chapters continued using the older, shorter, patterns or self-forged variants. The Mark IIIc remains a high point of sophistication for the boltgun, but this refinement and complexity meant it was ultimately a failure, superceded by the now-familiar Mark snub-nosed IV and V in short order. +

+++

+ Mark Ih Mars-pattern Flame-throwing Gun +

 + Sturdy, reliable and ancient, the standard-issue flame-throwing gun (increasingly known simply by its common name of 'flamer') remained little altered for millennia, though gradual refinement was introduced occasionally – generally to adapt it for various different atmospheric conditions. +

+ Part of the reason for its longevity was its simplicity; but also because numerous identical STCs for the weapon were found early on in the Great Crusade, completely intact and in a number of forms. As a result, very few variants developed traction amongst Imperial armed forces; and the manufacture of these simple weapons saw huge numbers of licenses sanctioned by the various Forge Worlds of the Imperium. +

+ Sturdy and compact, the Mars-pattern flame-throwing gun saw a number of aesthetic variations – generally in the cowling – but the underlying structure remained largely consistent through the centuries. +

+ Owing to their widespread manufacturing base, the Nova Terra Interregnum saw little disruption in the distribution of these weapons, and both adherents to Terra and secessionists used these flame units extensively. +

+ Mark II Proteus-pattern Missile Launcher +

Mark II Proteus pattern; shoulder-mounted variant.
+ An increasingly rare sight in Chapters founded after the Great Scouring, the Proteus-pattern Missile Launcher had largely been replaced by the simpler 'Soundstrike' Chapter Approved model by the time of the Nova Terra Interregnum. It remained in use, however, by many of the First and Second Founding Chapters, and came to symbolise ancient victories. Many were thus used specifically as tools of propaganda and intimidation, their distinctive shape proving readily-recognised by enemies and allies alike. +

+ A reliable and efficient weapon, the Proteus saw a number of unusual variants, from the common shoulder-mounted variety to a urban/tunnel-fighting variant intended to be fired from the hip or on the move. Common to virtually all was the distinctive protective cowl on the front and the three-missile magazine; though the placement of the latter varied according to variant. +

+ The Proteus pattern itself replaced the awkward Retobi pattern, originally developed on Terra itself. +

2 comments:

  1. I expect the MkI Godwyn is referring to the classic second ed bolter with no ejection ports. With its open (rounds exposed) magazine and pulled back cowling exposing a little more barrel, it is not really well reflected by any of the current FW bolters.

    It is aluded to in the design of some of the new Plague Marines- though these are heavily corrupted variants.

    I felt that this was the p90 type short, tunnel fighting boltgun to the Godwyn's battlerifle. Now Cawl has embiggened bolters with a real battlerifle, the Godwyn is back to behaving as a general purpose gun in my head.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, good spot on my inspiration for the Mk I :)
      I like to bring in as many real-world nods as I can, and while I play fast and loose with my writing, I try not to directly contradict any 'canon' text.

      I hadn't noticed that about the Plague Marines' guns, but it does make a lot of sense, particularly paired with their flared RT-style plasma guns.

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