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It’s like Russian Vostroyan roulette every time you shoot. Never was anything great achieved without danger. Niccolo Machiavelli Plasma is the fourth state of matter, beyond gas. It is a sea of ions, or charged particles exposed to so much energy, such as nuclear fusion or lightning, that the bind between electrons and nuclei become weakened and the electrons freely flow through the plasma as a current just like through a metal. Plasma is produced by applying a very strong electromagnetic field to a gas, such as hydrogen.
The plasma is then contained within an electromagnetic field, keeping it out of contact with the weapon’s components which it would almost certainly damage. In the grim, dark, dark, horrible, grim, dark grimdark future of Warhammer 40,000, plasma weapons are a type of heavy weapon used by the Imperium, Chaos forces, the Tyranids, and the Tau. Plasma technology is relatively rare in the Imperium as it is incredibly hard to produce and maintain properly in large quantities, and is thus scarce in both Imperial and Chaos forces. However, its power means that these forces use it every chance they get.
The Tau are so advanced, their basic weapons are plasma-based. Because of their high firepower, plasma weapons are the go-to choice of most players when dealing with heavily-armored infantry such as Terminators or Tyranid Warriors. There is also “blood plasma,” which may be of interest to Vampire players, but the idea of a blood-plasma rifle is kinda gross, but can be made exceptionally awesome if done right such as sucking the life force of an individual. It is however possible that it’s just another Bloodstrike Missile-esque thing. A Weapon that Beats Spess Mehreens? Imperial and Chaos plasma weapons are powerful and point-efficient.
They are easily capable of taking out light and medium tanks without the need to flank and target rear armour, can go through any infantry armor and are rapid-firing. Chaos players aren’t terribly fond of plasma weapons due to the “Gets Hot” rule. According to the fluff, Imperial plasma weapons are extremely rare and most are at least a few centuries old. However, since ALL Space Marine Chapters, many Imperial Guard Regiments, and even underhive gangs seem to have access to them, this admonition comes across a little flat. 8th edition shakes things up again.
Plasma can choose between the standard profile which does not have Gets Hot, or the Supercharged profile which does. Note for all of the below that lacks an updated profile: in 8th edition replace “AP2” with “AP:-3” and “AP1” with “AP:-4”. The smallest weapon in the family, retaining the incredible power of the Plasma gun, but with a decreased range and rate of fire. As a pistol it also counts as a Close-combat weapon.
Officers favor plasma pistols for their power to neutralize heavily-armoured enemies in an easily-handled pistol configuration. As well, their rarity marks plasma pistols as icons of status that the bearer is considered important enough to have access to one. Amongst Space Marines, plasma pistols are available to Assault Squads to become more effective as tank hunters. Logically speaking the plasma pistol should be the safest of the bunch since the gun is held away from your body when firing instead of held up to your face while you look down the sights. Even if the gun melted down, you’re likely to lose your hand but unless it explosively ruptured with the force of a grenade it is unlikely for you to lose something critical. The standard, rifle-sized plasma weapon, capable of a range and rate of fire similar to boltguns and Lasguns, with a Strength value of 7 and an AP of 2. In 8th edition, As with all Imperial plasma weapons, the Plasma gun is now, somewhat, revamped.
It can now fire in two distinct modes. A super plasma gun, created Primaris Marines Hellblaster Marines. Usually, Imperium-produced Plasma Weapons all fire searing bursts of energy, but the Mark III Belisarius Pattern Plasma Incinerator is the most advanced of its kind, firing a potent armor-melting blast with no risk of overload for the first time since the days of the Horus Heresy. Two other variants of it exist-the Assault Plasma Incinerator is weaker but allows for firing after advancing since it’s an assault weapon, and the Heavy Plasma Incinerator is a heavy weapon that has fewer shots but packs more power into each one and possesses a longer range.
More information can be read below. A Heavy Plasma Incinerator is a variant of the standard Plasma Incinerator that is capable of unleashing an even more potent plasma blast that does even more damage. This extra power is generated by a large power pack that is worn on the back and is connected to the weapon by a short cord. The Assault Plasma Incinerator is a variant of the standard Plasma Incinerator that has been outfitted with a more sophisticated targeting array. This allows the wielder to unleash far more accurate plasma blasts from the weapon. Another Primaris Marine-only gun, this time for Inceptors.