A Void Shield is a special form of energy field employed by the Imperium of Man's various military forces to protect starships and super-heavy vehicles like Imperial Titans from enemy attacks. Void Shields use Imperial Warp-based technology to both power the shields and then displace ranged attacks by subtly distorting the localised space-time around the point of impact.
It is unclear whether Void Shields neutralise the incoming projectile or directed energy beam in realspace through the manipulation of gravitic or other physical forces, transport it into the Warp, or whether some other method is deployed to displace the damaging force of a physical attack upon the vehicle or vessel.
Imperial Void Shields act in the same manner as Ork Kustom Force Fields, though Ork energy fields, like all Greenskin technology, are far less reliable and tend to be inoperable by other intelligent species without access to their gestalt WAAAGH! energy once downed.
Inversely, Imperial Void Shields can be re-activated after being collapsed, even during battle. In combat, Void Shields do not protect from close combat assaults or other vehicles moving through them to then attack the shielded vehicle or vessel.
Such shields are also used by Imperial military and civilian voidships to survive the hostile environment that is the vacuum of space. Shields form an invisible band of energy around the vessel, a variable layer of force that can absorb radiation, interstellar dust, and particle showers as well as weapon hits.
Void Shields have a maximum tolerance and can be overloaded by sustained weapons fire or massive collisions, forcing the generators to shut down temporarily to vent the excess kinetic or directed energy, leaving the ship's unprotected hull open to attack.
When used to protect ground forces, these shields are most commonly mounted on Imperial Titans for protection from ranged attacks, but they have also been employed on other super-heavy main battle tanks. On vehicles with multiple Void Shields, or Void Shield banks, it has been said that the Void Shields must be calibrated to overlap perfectly or "weak spots" can occur.
These chinks in the shields appear to be undetectable to anything but direct visuals, and can cause catastrophic Void Shield bank failure when shot at by Titan-sized weapons. Void Shields are also said to whine audibly when active, and fizzle against one another when touching or overlapping.
Notable Void Shield Variants
- Triple Void Shield Array - The ancient grand cruisers occasionally still operated by the Imperial Navy and certain fabulously wealthy Rogue Trader dynasties possess titanic layered banks of antique Void Shields that fill cavernous field decks the size of small towns. These are hellish compartments, rank with the stench of ozone and prone to unpredictably deadly arcs of lightening from copper discharge points as the onion-layered Void Shields are pounded by enemy ordnance. Grand cruisers are capable of mounting triple layers of Void Shields, making them more durable than all but battleships.
- Voss "Glimmer" Pattern Void Shield Array - Void Shields are an ancient standby of human defensive technology, an almost un-improvable design. Their only real flaw is the great power drain produced. The Voss Forge World attempted, more than six standard millennia ago, to lessen the power demand of Void Shield generation by reducing the phased shield pattern output. While more energy-efficient, this reduced the protective value of the shields. No longer manufactured by Voss, some of these designs are still in use in relatively safe regions where little opposition is expected.
- Reflex Shield - A Reflex Shield is an ancient variant of Void Shield technology that was used by the starships of the Raven Guard Legion as a cloaking device to protect them from detection by enemy sensors and even the naked eye. The Reflex Shield technology was deployed as a notable feature of the Shadow of the Emperor, the Raven Guard Legion's flagship during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy.
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- Rogue Trader: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 220
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