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The term experimental weapon is usually used when referring to the rarer and more temperamental machines, weapons and devices that come out of the Imperial College of Engineers. Many fantastical and and often strange devices have been developed by the tireless engineers and their frazzled assistants. These items are at best quirky, yet useful and outright devastating given the chance, and at worst a total failure and more than likely highly dangerous and volatile to the user.
Some devices have seen use for long enough to be considered "Standard" equipment, as their continued use has helped to iron out most, if not all, engineering defects or oversights. Even so, most of the "reliable experimental weaponry" is only given to the trusted individuals who have proved to be able to use and maintain these technological marvels.
Examples of experimental weapons in the Empire
Some of the most used and better known inventions, with their official names as given by the college, include:
- Hochland Long Rifle (Leon Todmeister's Fantabulously Far-reaching Harquebus of Unforseeable and Unperceived Bereavement) - One of the most well-known, and highly praised handgun designs. It was developed from the weapons used by the hunters of Hochland and is said to be the terror of enemy commanders and unit leaders.
- Repeater Handgun (Von Meinkopt's Whirling Cavalcade of Death) - A handgun with 6 barrels on a rotating mechanism. A relatively recent innovation, it is a very deadly weapon with a high rate of fire.
- Repeater Pistol (Von Meinkopt's Micro-mainspring of Multitudinous Precipitation of Pernicious Lead) - Following the example of the Repeater Handgun, this pistol is fitted with 4 to 6 rotating barrels making it a fast firing and highly effective/dangerous side arm.
- Grenade Launching Blunderbuss (Pfielmann's Incendiary Projector of Explosive Misfortune) - Developed by taking the gamekeeper's blunderbuss and marrying it to the technologies of pistons and explosives, this weapon was designed to knock out heavily armored enemy knights, but is also quite effective against other targets.
- Mechanical Steed (Meikle's Equine Effigy of Dynamic Locomotion) - Built by Frau Meikle, the first woman to be (somewhat reluctantly) admitted to the Imperial College of Engineers. This mechanical masterpiece has the appearance of a horse (albeit rather steely and gear laden), and has a pair of brass globes attached to the "horse's" head that are linked to an accumulator that is in turn connected to it's legs. The Engineer riding the steed can unleash the stored energy inside into a lightning arc powerful enough to roast a foe alive.
- Pigeon Bombs (Herstel-Wenckler Pigeon Bomb) - The Engineers have succeeded in training a determined cadre of homing pigeons to fly away from the carrier and towards the oncoming foe. Each bird is fitted with a bomb on a light metal harness, designed to fall away from the bird when the fuse burns to a certain point.
- Helblaster Volley Cannon - One of the most infamous black-powder weapons ever invented, its devastating firepower is able to tear an entire regiment apart in one thunderous volley. The lethal creation of the deranged Engineer Von Meinkopt, it's terrifying reputation has spread to all corners of the Old World.
- Helstorm Rocket Battery - The invention of Master Engineer Herman Faulkstein. This eccentric piece of artillery is notoriously inaccurate, yet when it does hit it's intended target the effects are pretty devastating, with entire regiments blown to pieces by earth-shaking cascade of shrieking, explosive rockets.
- The much feared and marveled Steam Tanks are one of the most complex and proudest achievements of the College.
Other referenced weapons and devices
- Von Hugon's Terror Bell.
- Thunder Barrel.
- Ice Rays.
- Alchemical bombs.
- 1: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (8th Edition)