To call the items that the Virai Dronescourge use in ranged combat ‘weapons’ is somewhat of a misnomer. Like their other manipulator arms, a Virai’s ‘weapons’ are either tools turned to use in war or dual purpose digging/cutting tools-cum-weapons. The First Instances, for example, are equipped with a pair of fusion cutters which they use to slice through suitable metal, rock and minerals whilst first building a hive or more drones, and the warrior’s and fusion flamer is a combination heavy-duty mining tool and battlefield combat weapon.
This is the basic hand tool powered by the internal power sources of a Virai drone. It is carried by architectors and some constructors as it is primarily a general-purpose cutting tool that can have its focus adjusted for use in combat. Like many Virai fusion weapons, it is much more effective close in, before its destructive power becomes too dispersed.
This is the most common, general-purpose weapon-tool carried by Virai warrior drones it can be seen as an upgraded or more powerful fusion cutter. As pragmatic as all Virai weapons and tools, it is normally used as a powerful cutting and mining tool by warriors accompanying scavenging or mining squads. The flamer projects a field into which a fusion reaction is forced. Whilst the fusion cutter is often built into appendages, the fusion flamer’s additional control and focusing circuitry make it a hefty weapon so can be highly visible on warrior drones, depending on the availability of materials.
A simple, straightforward adaption of the warrior’s fusion flamer, the flamer array is multiple flamers blocked together into a single mount. It is the primary Virai battlefield weapon that – in true Virai style – also doubles as a heavy-duty mining tool to supplement the fractal weapons the Virai tend to use. From a combat perspective, however, the real benefit of the flamer array is that it has two modes: anti-tank and anti-personnel. The first is a focused, synchronised firing of all the flamers in (effectively) a single blast, whilst the second is a stutter-mode firing of all the flamers separately. Both are lethal up close, but less effective at range.
|Virai Ranged Weapons||Range|
|Fusion Cutter||10||20||30||1×SV2/1/0||1×SV2||Variable SV, Standard Weapon|
|Fusion Flamer||10||20||50||1×SV3/2/1||–||Breaching, Standard Weapon|
|Flamer Array: stutter mode||10||20||50||3×SV3/2/1||–||RF, Breaching, Light Support, PBS|
|Flamer Array: focused mode||20||30||60||1×SV5/4/3||–||Breaching, Light Support|
Breaching: Many Virai weapons are able to take apart rock and ship superstructure.
Scavenged Mag weapons
In addition to the above, Virai will appropriate non-nanosphere weaponry left behind by opponents or will even renovate such weaponry they find. These are best represented by the mag light support, the mag cannon, and the mag heavy support and heavy mag cannon – four of the most basic and reliable support/heavy weapons in Antarean space. The mag light support and mag cannon are fitted to weapon drones by military-minded Second Instances in more established hives who are willing to experiment with longer-range, battlefield weapons rather than the mixed mining tool/battlefield weapon that is the flamer array.
|Scavenged Mag Weaponry||– Range –|
|Scavenged Mag Light Support||30||50||80||3×SV2||–||PBS, Light Support|
|Scavenged Mag Cannon||30||50||80||1×SV5||–||Massive Damage, Light Support|
|Scavenged Mag Heavy Support||30||50||100||5×SV3||–||PBS, Heavy|
|Scavenged Heavy Mag Cannon||50||100||250||1×SV7||–||Massive Damage, Heavy, Large, Move 3|
Mining equipment turned to battlefield use
In addition to the above, the Virai have some understanding of the theory behind frag and fractal mining tools and weaponry. Not only do they build their own using designs reverse-engineers from the Freeborn and Boromites, but they regard an abandoned frag/fractal weapon as a significant find – it seems in the early stages of establishing a hive, their scavengers are particularly focused on finding such weaponry or the materials to make them.
|Adapted Mining Borers||Range|
|Frag Borer||20||30||50||1×SV4+3||–||Fractal Lock, Breaching SV5+4, Light Support
|Heavy Frag Borer, aka Fractal Demolisher*||50||100||200||1×SV5+3||–||Fractal Lock, Breaching SV7+4, Large, Move 3, Heavy, Cumbersome|
*The Disintegrator is one of only two, long-range weapons the Virai use (the other being the heavy mag cannon), and even this is typically deployed for use against distant buildings or engineering works.
The effect of such frag weapons builds up over time so they are only really useful against a stationary target or one that is pinned. If the target moves, then the accumulated effect is lost and the crew has to start again. When used in a demolitions or mining role, of course, the target does not move!
The Virai do not have any battlefield overhead weaponry. This is because most of their work and conflict is based aboard spaceships, orbitals, asteroids or in mines.