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Are 40K flamers more destructive than modern flamethrowers?


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#1
b1soul

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(Correct me if I'm wrong)

Modern flamethrowers eject a stream of ignited petroleum gel (i.e. napalm)

40K flamers eject a stream of ignited promethium gel (i.e. 40K "napalm")

Does the latter burn hotter than the former? To be effective against enemy Space Marines, I'm guessing that has to be the case?

#2
Ciler

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In the various fluff pieces, some flamers do indeed seem to burn quite hotter than our contemporary stuff. Having said that, I expect the effectiveness of flamers against marines (and vehicles) has more to do with the ability of the burning fluid to get inside the armour via vents, cracks, junctions etc rather than to burn of the ceramite (which by all accounts even currently isn't a very combustible or easy to melt material).
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#3
Panzer

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In the various fluff pieces, some flamers do indeed seem to burn quite hotter than our contemporary stuff. Having said that, I expect the effectiveness of flamers against marines (and vehicles) has more to do with the ability of the burning fluid to get inside the armour via vents, cracks, junctions etc rather than to burn of the ceramite (which by all accounts even currently isn't a very combustible or easy to melt material).

 

Power armour is sealed, it shouldn't be able to get inside without the armour being heavily damaged.


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#4
FelipeFlops

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In the various fluff pieces, some flamers do indeed seem to burn quite hotter than our contemporary stuff. Having said that, I expect the effectiveness of flamers against marines (and vehicles) has more to do with the ability of the burning fluid to get inside the armour via vents, cracks, junctions etc rather than to burn of the ceramite (which by all accounts even currently isn't a very combustible or easy to melt material).

 

Power armour is sealed, it shouldn't be able to get inside without the armour being heavily damaged.

 

 

I think he means burning the rubber-like parts at the elbow and knee joints for example, these joints in the books are always used as the culprit of a Astartes armour failing to protect them against anything Nurgle related, so I guess the same could be said for fire.


Edited by FelipeFlops, 08 December 2019 - 10:39 AM.

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#5
Ciler

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Yes indeed. Although the armor (in prime condition) is sealed, some parts are less impervious to damage than others (eye lenses also come to mind).
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#6
Doctor Perils

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Plus that explanation bears out with the loss of seal integrity to template weapons in Zone Mortalis ;)
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#7
Noserenda

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Flamers are odd in 40k tbh, shorter ranged are arguably less powerful in the rules against lighter troops (IRL getting even clipped by a Flame thrower is a Blighty wound pretty much) but then yeah, IRL you dont have superhumans wearing tank hulls wandering around :D 


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#8
Closet Skeleton

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Flamers aren't especially effective against Space Marines in most versions of the rules. They used to be devastating against gaunts and guardsmen in 3rd-7th but had a pretty low chance of killing a marine.

 

Flamers don't need to be able to damage power armour to kill someone inside. In WW2 Molotov cocktails that successfully landed on top of a tank could take out the whole crew via heat stroke despite not doing any damage, often the crew would have to bail and get captured. It was actually much more dangerous for the petrol to spread out on a wide surface area to burn than it would be to try and get the petrol through an open view port where you might just end up with a splash of petrol on a single crewmember.

 

Presumably space marines have much higher heat tolerance than unmodified humans (T4) and unlike a WW2 tank the power armour has in built cooling systems. Tank crews are in danger of heat stroke anyway, that's what makes added heat so dangerous. Just over-loading the power armour's cooling systems might be enough to do serious damage to the occupant. Its possible that flamer casualties for marines are actually the marine passing out from the heat and he can be revived afterwards.

 

In short, heat can kill you without burning you especially if you're in a enclosed space with an engine.

 

 

Plus that explanation bears out with the loss of seal integrity to template weapons in Zone Mortalis msn-wink.gif

Zone mortalis is indoors. Most fire related deaths indoors are due to suffocation then heat stroke, burning to death inside a burning building is actually a surprisingly difficult achievement.


Edited by Closet Skeleton, 08 December 2019 - 11:32 AM.

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#9
MegaVolt87

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It's contradictory, the effects of flame weapons on Astartes. Same with frag grenades, depends on who is writing. They either have horrific effects or are shrugged off with little bother.
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#10
Leif Bearclaw

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Also, don't forget that (assuming GW artwork and studio minis are 'representative') somewhere in the region of 20-40% of Marines don't wear their helmets. Doesn't matter how good your armour is if your face is on fire msn-wink.gif.

 

But yeah, Closet Skeleton got the gist of it, flamethrowers are shocking weapons (albeit highly specialised/situational) and the 40k version is if anything a major under-representation of just how bad news it is to be on the receiving end of incendiary weapons. Really flamers shouldn't be the go-to 'anti personnel special weapon', something more like a storm bolter/hot shot volley gun (but much better than the SB as it currently exists) as a SAW-equivalent would make a fair bit more sense, with flamers used by more specialised engineer/destroyer type units.



#11
Marshal Rohr

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Any type of incendiary weapon defeats power armor by compromising the soft armor and overloading the climate control systems inside. If the climate control breaks down, suddenly you’re wearing super heated ceramic that’s turned your joints into molten goo.

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#12
Jarl Caldersson

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Considering promethium is supposed to be like super jet fuel, I imagine that it does burn hotter than are modern counterpart.

As for damage it depends on how resilient the armor is. Even today we have things that transfer no heat (see aerogels) that could be layered into ceramite. The thing about 40k is the technology is supposed to be beyond what we comprehend, which is a problem to then try to describe it in books. However even now days we use layered armor and some of those layers are designed for heat. It also means you need a way to vent that heat and that is a climate control system that is vulnerable if exposed for long term. However what SM is going to sit there and allow their climate control to be outdone. Flamers are a short range weapon that a marine could probably stand it long enough to run into CQC.
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#13
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Wasn´t it said that, atleast astartes flamer fuel burns on contact to air, even seconds in space? I´m not really sure but do remember something of sorts


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#14
EnsignJoker

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Keep in mind real-world flamethrowers were primarily used to get to targets infantry couldn’t easily get to; Japanese island bunkers and WW1 trenches to name the most popularly depicted. They were too short ranged and too exposed to be used for pitched open warfare most of the time.

Edit: removed section on napalm because I was wrong about its original intention. Whoops!

In 40k, I always assumed a flamer was an ignited gas rather than a jelly, and it just burned super duper fantasy hot. I do agree against power armor it overwhelms internal systems at high exposure and penetrates the non ceramite areas eventually. It’s definitely a more all purpose weapon than the real life ones were.

Edited by EnsignJoker, 08 December 2019 - 02:15 PM.


#15
Gederas

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Flamers are odd in 40k tbh, shorter ranged are arguably less powerful in the rules against lighter troops (IRL getting even clipped by a Flame thrower is a Blighty wound pretty much) but then yeah, IRL you dont have superhumans wearing tank hulls wandering around biggrin.png

All depictions of flamethrowers in popular culture depicts them being way shorter ranged than they should be. Yes, they're shorter ranged than guns. But... the M2 Flamethrower the US army used in WWII had an maximum range of 132 ft (40 m), and an effective range of 65 12 ft (20.0 m).... Which is short, but not like Warhammer would give for Flamers :lol:

 

The craziest is the vehicle flamethrowers. In 40k the longest ranged one on a tank is.... 12" iirc? The Churchill Crocodile's flame projector had a range of 360 feet (110m) [with some sources saying it was closer to 450 feet (140m)!]

 

Keep in mind real-world flamethrowers were primarily used to get to targets infantry couldn’t easily get to; Japanese island bunkers and WW1 trenches to name the most popularly depicted. They were too short ranged and too exposed to be used for pitched open warfare most of the time.

Edit: removed section on napalm because I was wrong about its original intention. Whoops!

In 40k, I always assumed a flamer was an ignited gas rather than a jelly, and it just burned super duper fantasy hot. I do agree against power armor it overwhelms internal systems at high exposure and penetrates the non ceramite areas eventually. It’s definitely a more all purpose weapon than the real life ones were.

I mean..... Fire is an all-purpose tool. We just don't directly use it on people (purposely!) because humanity tries to pretend we're humane :lol:


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#16
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Fire and water and are two of the most destructive forces in the universe. With enough time they will destroy anything.


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#17
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Well I mean you auto-hit flyers in 40k with a flamer so yes?

As for a fluff discussion, I think it's difficult to say because effectiveness from weapons and armor vary so greatly in situations and by writer.

I have always thought the heavy stubber is like a .50 Cal, but heavy stubber 40k aren't super great and .50 cal weapons like the M2 are serious business.

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#18
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The Crocodile was exactly what i was thinking of, they often used to fire them without the pilot light on to cause a barrage of terrified swearing and rapid surrender, all this before anything was close enough to threaten the tank :D 

Stubbers are indeed .30 to .50 cal depending on the model and really are not serious business in M41. Though someone in the design studio has really had a keen on for them recently for some reason...


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#19
Raven1

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@Noserenda, maybe someone in the design studio finally understands how destructive they actually are in real life.

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#20
Marshal Loss

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There's a notable scene in HH: Massacre by FW where a Raven Guard marine is swarmed with cultists and the Iron Hands just flamethrower them all off him.

I was drowning in bodies, smashing left and right with my fists, crushing skulls, splintering bones, but there were so many, so damned many. My armour was failing, the joints were jammed up with gore and shrapnel, one of them jammed a stubber right against my faceplate, fired and my autosenses blacked out. They were weighing me down, a hundred fists battering at me, blades scraping, looking for a way in.

Then came the fire. It was the Avernii, the Iron Hands Avernii burned them, burned them from our backs. The fire washed over mad and I felt it burn me in a hundred places where my armour had been breached, but I endured it, the humans did not. The ashes of their bodies caked me like dried mud, casing me in. They cracked and broke apart like driftwood as I stood up, I will never forget that sound. I hear it in my dreams.

Edited by Marshal Loss, 08 December 2019 - 05:52 PM.

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#21
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Would the fact that Marines tend to have a not-insignificant amount of additional ammo kept on them maybe make fire a bit more dangerous to them? 


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#22
MegaVolt87

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Would the fact that Marines tend to have a not-insignificant amount of additional ammo kept on them maybe make fire a bit more dangerous to them? 

 

Marine profile is big, they could fit 2-3 canisters behind them off the belt. So that's 3-4 canisters including the one on the weapon. Seems about right for a mission. Unless you get behind or a clear flank, you won't be hitting the canisters with direct fire (sniper obv could probs do it). 


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#23
b1soul

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Yup, I think only plasma and meltas can burn through ceramite.

Flaming Promethium gel (A) burns through the rubbery soft parts of the joints (elbows, knees, groin, neck, abdomen, any bending portion of the armour) and/or (B ) turns the Space Marine's ceramite case into an oven, overwhelming the cooling system and then possibly cooking the Marine inside.

I think B is a lot harder to pull off than A. A should not be too hard if, say, a Salamander Pyroclast douses an enemy Marine trying to charge into close combat. The smoke/flames wrapping the enemy Marine would also obscure his vision, no?

Tabletop rules are tabletop rules. Not sure whether in the "real life" of the fluff, flamers would be a poor weapon against Astartes, especially if 40K Promethium flamers burn significantly hotter than Petroleum flamers.

Edited by b1soul, 09 December 2019 - 04:15 AM.


#24
Laughingman

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Yup, I think only plasma and meltas can burn through ceramite.

Flaming Promethium gel (A) burns through the rubbery soft parts of the joints (elbows, knees, groin, neck, abdomen, any bending portion of the armour) and/or (B ) turns the Space Marine's ceramite case into an oven, overwhelming the cooling system and then possibly cooking the Marine inside.

I think B is a lot harder to pull off than A. A should not be too hard if, say, a Salamander Pyroclast douses an enemy Marine trying to charge into close combat. The smoke/flames wrapping the enemy Marine would also obscure his vision, no?

Tabletop rules are tabletop rules. Not sure whether in the "real life" of the fluff, flamers would be a poor weapon against Astartes, especially if 40K Promethium flamers burn significantly hotter than Petroleum flamers.

 

 

Real life flamethrowers can kill through immolation, but they killed far more people by eating all the available oxygen in a closed environment (pill boxes, bunker networks, tunnels etc) This phenomena was first observed during WW2 in the pacific where US forces  would burn out a bunker but find dozens of bodies untouched by flames dozens of yards away. 



#25
MegaVolt87

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Yup, I think only plasma and meltas can burn through ceramite.

Flaming Promethium gel (A) burns through the rubbery soft parts of the joints (elbows, knees, groin, neck, abdomen, any bending portion of the armour) and/or (B ) turns the Space Marine's ceramite case into an oven, overwhelming the cooling system and then possibly cooking the Marine inside.

I think B is a lot harder to pull off than A. A should not be too hard if, say, a Salamander Pyroclast douses an enemy Marine trying to charge into close combat. The smoke/flames wrapping the enemy Marine would also obscure his vision, no?

Tabletop rules are tabletop rules. Not sure whether in the "real life" of the fluff, flamers would be a poor weapon against Astartes, especially if 40K Promethium flamers burn significantly hotter than Petroleum flamers.

 

 

Real life flamethrowers can kill through immolation, but they killed far more people by eating all the available oxygen in a closed environment (pill boxes, bunker networks, tunnels etc) This phenomena was first observed during WW2 in the pacific where US forces  would burn out a bunker but find dozens of bodies untouched by flames dozens of yards away. 

 

 

Except power armour and termi armour can recycle its owners carbon dioxide back into oxygen by sealing itself from outside environments. If the armour is damaged/breached, well it won't help much there so they would be safe from indirect flame weapon effects like lack of oxygen. 


Edited by MegaVolt87, 09 December 2019 - 04:46 AM.

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