Gauss Weapons are a form of exotic energy weapon used exclusively by the ancient and extremely powerful xenos species called Necrons. These weapons destroy the enemy by firing a green-tinged blast of lightning-like energy that shears apart the target's atomic bonds, literally stripping their bodies apart atom by atom and molecule by molecule. The Imperium of Man is confounded by the nature of the energy used by these weapons, not only because the most basic weaponry of the Necrons can cause great harm to even the most advanced vehicles deployed by the armed forces of the Imperium, but also because by all the physical principles known, these weapons should overheat and malfunction as a result of the tremendous energies they unleash, destroying the warrior who is firing it. This has been proven many times by the Tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus who have examined captured Necron weapons, and yet the Necrons have perfected this unknown technology which is based on scientific principles that were either never discovered or have long been lost to Mankind.
At their most basic level, Gauss Weapons can be described as linear induction motors. When fired, they appear to produce focussed bipolar magnetic fields so that anything the weapon is targeted at, such as a human body, will be "pulled" (at the sub-atomic level) towards the gun. Gauss Weapons appear to pulse with intense electrical currents, which form the potent magnetic fields that strip the target's constituent atoms even as the target is attracted towards the weapon.
The design of a Gauss Weapon, with all its parameters kept dynamic to achieve maximum efficiency, is a seeming mathematical impossibility. The greatest problem encountered by the Magi of the Adeptus Mechanicus in replicating Gauss Weapon design is devising a means to safely generate and release the power of the energy discharge, which runs in the multi-megawatt range. Because the power required for Gauss Weapons is extremely high, even microscopic imperfections in their design will generate massive energy losses. If a mechanical trigger is used to deliver the firing pulse, the moment the firing mechanisms come into contact, microscopic irregularities in the material will dissipate so much energy as to completely vaporise the gun and its user. If the trigger then somehow manages to close, the vaporised surfaces and the molten metal beneath them weld together, and the trigger is thus ruined. How the Necrons overcome this technological conundrum is unknown. Assuming these firing difficulties can be overcome, the final effect would be a beam capable of stripping a target down it its constituent atoms extremely rapidly, which is what Imperial forces have witnessed on the battlefield.
Extensive study by the Imperium of Man on Gauss Weapons and their effects on both organic and inanimate matter has, thus far, been hampered by the lack of a working device to examine. Investigations into the remains of Necron troops and their equipment reveal a fascinating level of interaction between the Gauss field and the target's atomic structure. It appears that the unknown energy field generated by the weaponry is capable of breaking the bonds of the target material at a sub-atomic level and energising them with an opposing magnetic charge to that generated by the weapon itself. This accounts for the "flaying" effect noted in many after-action reports from Imperial commanders in the field. As each layer of skin or muscle is exposed, it is broken down by the weapon's beam and carried towards the gun. This obviously results in catastrophic failure of the biological components involved and their dissipation into vaporous form.
Known Gauss Weapons
Gauss Flayers are rifle-like weapons used by Necron Warriors. They consist of a metal stock, a transparent tube containing the unholy and unknown energy the weapon fires, and an axe-like bayonet underneath the muzzle. The weapons fire green, lightning-like beams at the enemy, which strip the targets away molecule by molecule. The beams are capable of stripping away almost anything, even ceramite armour and starship hulls, with ease. It is, supposedly, extremely painful to be shot with a Gauss Flayer, and victims die as much from shock as the damage caused by the beams.
Gauss Flayers are the most common of all the weapons carried by the Necron soldiery, in no small part due to the fact that every single Necron Warrior is armed with one of these potent weapons. However, both Doomsday Arks and Ghost Arks mount linked arrays of five Gauss Flayers on their sides to repel would-be flankers and assaulters. Tomb Stalkers also are commonly armed with two Gauss Flayers on their forelimbs so as to better engage with the enemy at range.
A Gauss Blaster is essentially a heavier, double-barreled variant of the Gauss Flayer. Gauss Blasters fire more powerful beams than Gauss Flayers, and are extremely potent against infantry and light vehicles alike. Gauss Blasters are most commonly wielded by Necron Immortals as their main weapon. However, Tomb Blades have been known to make use of twin-linked Gauss Blasters as their primary weapon instead of their usual twin-linked Tesla Carbines. Necron Pariahs also make use of a form of in-built Gauss Blaster integrated into their Warscythes.
A Gauss Cannon is larger than the more common Gauss Flayers and Gauss Blasters, and consists of four barrels instead of the one for the Gauss Flayer and the two for the Gauss Blaster. Gauss Cannons fire more powerful beams than Gauss Flayers, and are more similar to Gauss Blasters in strength. However, Gauss Cannons have a better capability to be fired on the move, and shots from Gauss Cannons also contain greater armour penetration abilities; being able to rip through even Astartes Power Armour with ease. They are extremely potent against infantry and light vehicles alike. Gauss Cannons are most commonly used by Necron Destroyers as their standard armament. However, both Catacomb Command Barges and Annihilation Barges are able to mount an underslung Gauss Cannon instead of their usual Tesla Cannon.
Heavy Gauss Cannon
A Heavy Gauss Cannon consists of a single, elongated barrel Gauss Cannon that sacrifices the rapid firing rate of Gauss Flayers, Gauss Blasters and Gauss Cannons for greater power. Primarily serving as anti-vehicle weapons, a Heavy Gauss Cannon is akin to Imperial Lascannons in both size and strength. They are extremely potent against vehicles and heavy main battle tanks alike. Heavy Gauss Cannons are most commonly used by Necron Heavy Destroyers as their standard armament. However, Triarch Stalkers can be armed with twin-linked Heavy Gauss Cannons instead of their usual Heat Ray; allowing the Stalker to better serve in an anti-vehicular role.
Gauss Flux Arc
A Gauss Flux Arc is type of Gauss Weapon that consists of linked batteries of three Gauss Flayers. Gauss Flux Arcs are only found mounted as a defensive weapon system on Necron Monoliths, where they come in the form of four automated turret projectors positioned around the vehicles hull, where they constantly sweep the local area for enemies. Gauss Flux Arcs are often used by Monoliths to scour the immediate area around it clean of enemies, whether this is to clear a beachhead after it has teleported directly into enemy lines, or to destroy any would-be assaulters.
A Gauss Exterminator is a large Gauss Weapon mounted as the primary weapon on Necron Sentry Pylons. Similar in power to a Heavy Gauss Cannon, a Gauss Exterminator possess a higher rate of fire and is able to engage targets at extreme ranges. Gauss Exterminators are also capable of using their sophisticated targeting systems to accurately track and fire upon aircraft
A Gauss Annihilator is one of the largest known forms of Gauss weapons, with the only Gauss weapon similar in size to it being the Gauss Obliterator. Gauss Annihilators are only ever found mounted on devastating Necron Gauss Pylons. Gauss Annihilators are supremely powerful weapons, capable of a relatively fast rate of fire that can penetrate even Titan armour with ease; let alone vaporise smaller tanks. Gauss Annihilators can also be fired as a flux arc similar to the Gauss Flux Arcs mounted on a Monolith. However, a Pylons version is stronger and can even destroy Space Marines with comparable ease in a larger radius; as Gauss beams lance out all around it.
A Gauss Obliterator is one of the largest known Gauss Weapons, with the only Gauss Weapon similar in size to it being the Gauss Annihilator. Gauss Obliterators are only found mounted on the Doomsday Monolith variant, where the weapon itself consists of a large focusing crystal leading to transparent conduits containing the unholy and unknown viridian energy the weapon fires. Doomsday Monoliths can focus their awesome destructive energies into devastating beams which can be fired from its Gauss Obliterator; the beams themselves are capable of outright destroying infantry and vehicles alike. However, a Doomsday Monolith is inevitably accompanied by several lesser constructions, whose eldritch power it can siphon towards its own cataclysmic ends. This additional energy is drained from the power matricies of other Monoliths, and is discharged from the Gauss Obliterator in the form of additional blasts. This increases the weapon's rate of fire and all but ensures the doom of the enemy.
- Apocalypse, pg. 164
- Apocalypse Reload, pg. 49
- Codex: Necrons (3rd Edition), pp. 14, 17, 54-55
- Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pp. 34, 81, 83, 91, 93-95
- Codex: Necrons (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 199
- Deathwatch: The Outer Reach (RPG), pg. 119
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2nd Edition), pg. 90
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve – The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 123