Surface Weapons

Surface weapons are designed for combat on a planetary or habitat surface, generally within a significant gravitational field. Surface weapons may be mobile or fixed position and employ a variety of technologies. Tanks, infantry drones, and combat and ambush type synsects are all examples of surface weapons.

  • ACER (aka 'Boom Bullets')  - Text by Luke Campbell, Mike Miller, and Todd Drashner
    Personal weapons system that operates by firing small nuclear explosive shells.
  • Active Polymorphic Defence  - Text by John B, with additions by AI Vin
    Systems using amorphous systems such as utility fog, bushbots, swarm or conglomerate technology or fuzzy shielding can use a variety of defence measures to minimise damage.
  • Aerovores (Gray Dust)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, adapted from a paper by Robert A. Freitas
    A form of goo replicator constructed almost solely of CHON (Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen), and hence able to replicate relatively rapidly in a standard Terragen-like environment using only atmospheric resources and powered by sunlight.
  • AFV  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Armoured Fighting Vehicle. Any macroscopic armoured military fighting vehicle equipped with a selection of projectile and/or energy weapons, whether wheeled, tracked, walker, or a ground-effect, Industrial Age to Recent.
  • APC - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Armoured Personnel Carrier. Basically, any macroscopic wheeled, walker, or ground-effect military, police, or paramilitary AFV, used for transport of personnel. Although only lightly armored (contrast MIFV) an APC generally provides good protection against light arms fire, chemical, biological, and simple nano weapons, and may or may not be equipped with one or more non-lethal or lethal light projectile and/or energy weapons. Industrial Age to Recent.
  • Autocannon, Cannon  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Large-calibre (generally 20-40 mm) self-aiming rapid-firing kinetic weapon fixed to armored vehicles, gunships, or Mecha.
  • Autonomous Explosive Delivery System (Boombot)  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Explosive robot carrying an ACER round or similar miniature warhead
  • Babel Plague  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Human viral infection of artificial origin, likely developed as a bioweapon during the 300's.
  • Barbwire-Bush  - Text by David Hallberg
    The Barb-wire Bush is a genetic construct designed for use in low-tech entrenched fortifications, such as those on the Western Front in the First World War of Old Earth, or in any number of prim to low-tech conflicts in the millennia since. It may also be used in civil settings as a low-cost privacy and security measure.
  • Barovam Class Weapons platform  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Quasi-arachnoform weapons platform developed by the Age of Consolidation Varadic Hegemony in 3370 AT.
  • Boostbomb  - Text by Todd Drashner and Adam Getchell
    Total conversion bomb.
  • Claymore Edge Series mines  - Text by John B
    A series of explosive devices that are part of the Trillicon Arms range.
  • Claymore Tuber  - Text by David Hallberg
    A more sinister plant than most neogenic domestics is the infamous Claymore Tuber, which is widely used by bio-terrorists. Its tiny seeds can be scattered in the target area by an explosive device or missile.
  • Combat Jacket  - Text by Ryan B
    Wearable Multi-gun platform for versatile personal offensive/defensive operations.
  • Defender Multi-8 Series  - Text by Ryan B
    Popular series of personal sidearms that can be loaded with multiple types of ammunition that a user can dial-up to face a variety of threats.
  • Disassembler  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, updated by Steve Bowers 2024
    A system of very-small-scale devices, able to take an object apart a few atoms at a time, while recording its structure at the molecular level. Often employed as a swarm or part of a swarm. This could be used for uploading, copying objects (when used with an assembler system), a dissolving agent or a weapon.
  • Dreadnought (weapon) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A mech or exoskeleton of maximal size or offensive/defensive capacity.
  • Dusters   - Text by Michael Boncher
    Particulate Matter Sprayers.
  • Exploding Cockroach  - Text by David Hallberg
    A gengineered insect, with an altered biochemistry. It is modified to produce an internal deposit of some explosive (most commonly Penthyle, since it is a naturally existing chemical in most biosystems).
  • Gauss Gun  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A generic term for kinetic weapon that uses a magnetic charge to accelerate a projectile.
  • Gimbaled Sentry Weapon Platform  - Text by Johnny Yesterday
    Robotic weapon consisting of a base, gimbal joint, warhead, sensor suite, and control systems such as an inbuilt ai.
  • Goo  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A general term for replicators, especially but not exclusively small replicators, often with the implication of hazard from possible uncontrolled replication. A nanoswarm capable of spreading and growing, particularly if it has escaped its original parameters, is commonly referred to as goo.
  • Grenade Launcher - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Short-barrelled, large calibre (generally around 40 mm), hand-held projectile launcher. Depending on the design, a grenade launcher can use compressed air, a small explosive charge, or a magnetic charge to accelerate a grenade; the grenade by be guided or unguided, and if guided it can be non-sentient, subsentient, or pre-sentient (sentient grenades tend to be difficult to manage). The grenade can carry various types of charge, whether non-lethal crowd-control, explosive, fractal, goo, etc. Many military-grade rifles and AFVs are also fitted with grenade launchers.
  • Guardweb  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Limited function angelnet system used for security, law enforcement, and general control of subject or conquered populations.
  • Gunboat/Gunship  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generally, a heavily armed and armoured, short-range military vessel, capable of operating in a hydrospheric, atmospheric, and exoatmospheric (vacuum-capable) environment for prolonged periods of time.
  • Hand-held Lasers  - Text by Luke Campbell
    Handheld laser weapons have long been used in combat situations on planetary surfaces and elsewhere.
  • Limitations of Nanoweapons  - Text by Michael Walton
    Nanoweapons have a number of inherent limitations which mean that, in practice, countermeasures can be devised to slow down or stop many or most forms of nanoattack.
  • Mecha  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Humanoid Armoured Fighting Vehicle, basically a manned walking weapons platform. Can range from an armoured exoskelton only slightly larger than the occupant, to an excessively large construct the size of a skyscraper.
  • Melee/Close Combat Weapons  - Text by Michael Walton
    A range of weapons used in close-range armed conflict.
  • Military Spore Technology  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Spore technology is a common defence and self-preservation strategy employed by many devices operating in hostile environments. A spore device, typically a bot or vec, periodically releases numerous small "spores" that quickly conceal themselves and then go dormant for some period of time or until they receive an activation signal or, conversely, cease to receive a signal. At this point, the spores begin to rapidly and often stealthily replicate and then construct a duplicate of the original combat unit.
  • Mobility Denial Hooks Chain  - Text by Johnny Yesterday
    Class of deployable restraint technology for subduing mobile targets
  • Mobility Denial Myoribbon (MDMr)  - Text by Johnny Yesterday
    deployable restrictive technology for subduing mobile targets.
  • Nuclear Weapons, Fourth Generation  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Fission and fusion explosives intermediate between chemical and conventional nuclear devices in yield.
  • Optical Phased Arrays  - Text by Luke Campbell and Steve Bowers
    An optical phased array (OPA) uses phase technology to produce a wide range of optical images and emissions.
  • Plasma Weapons  - Text by Adam Getchell
    Plasma weaponry becomes practical with the advent of controlled nuclear fusion, and is distinguished from other high energy weapons by the use of fusion-grade fuel.
  • Railgun  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A ship or vehicular mounted kinetic weapon that uses magnetic fields to accelerate a shell at very high velocity
  • Scorn Cannon  - Text by Peter Kisner
    Multi-barrelled autocannon popular among steamecha enthusiasts.
  • Scrub Slug  - Text by David Jackson
    Large or very large footed ground vehicles for military or civilian use.
  • Shoulder Laser  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Shoulder mounted laser weapon, designed to acquire targets independently while still remaining under the user's control.
  • Squirt Guns  - Text by Michael Boncher
    Liquid spray weapons.
  • Stendhal-Bomb  - Text by Graham Hopgood
    A memetic instrument most often utilized against baseline and nearbaseline human populations, consisting of art that is precisely tuned to the individual target or target group to elicit strong emotions.
  • Vechidai, Vechai  - Text by Michael Boncher
    Limbed or skirted vehicles or weapons platforms.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner

Initially published on 31 December 2007.

Additional Information