A Cyclic Ion Blaster is an experimental Tau XV8 Crisis Battlesuit Ion Weapon system developed during the Tau Empire’s Third Sphere Expansion. The Cyclic Ion Blaster was developed using Ion Weapon technology acquired as part of a fruitful alliance between the Syrr’Tok Brotherhood of the Demiurg and the Water Caste of the Dal’yth Sept. Early prototypes of the weapon combined the designs of a Burst Cannon and Ion Rifle, and were developed to combat multiple, lightly-armoured enemies at short ranges, and functioned by generating a rapid stream of ionised radiation before unleashing it through its four barrels.
Though the extremely high rate of fire of this early prototype was stable, the ionisation effect on armour was variable. Later developments almost completely changed the nature of the weapon, mainly due to the discovery of a Mor’tonium power source which allowed for the efficient powering of smaller scale Tau Ion Weapons. As a result, the Cyclic Ion Blaster's role changed to one more similar to the more stable Ion Rifle design, and now features a moderately high rate of fire with immensely more damage capabilities per shot. The real similarities of later models to their older counterparts lie in their range and armour penetration.
Current Tau Ion Weapon designs also allow for the weapons to be overcharged by exposing the reactive Mor’tonium power source to the environment, though this also exposes the user to the dangerous ionising radiation emitted by the Mor’tonium. Overcharging a Cyclic Ion Blaster allows it to generate an explosive blast with increased damage compared to its normal fire mode. Due to the weapon's experimental status, it is a special-issue weapon entrusted only to Battlesuit pilots of the rank of Shas’vre or higher. Its availability is usually limited to one per Hunter Cadre as a result of this restriction.
- Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition), pp. 66, 72
- Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), pg. 26
- Rogue Trader: Tau Character Guide (RPG), pg. 37
- Battlefleet Gothic Magazine - Issue 19, pg. 9