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A Void Shield is a special form of gravitic or electrically-charged energy field employed by the Imperium of Man's various military forces to protect super-heavy vehicles like starships and Titans from enemy attacks. Void Shields use Imperial Warp-based technology to displace ranged attacks by subtly distorting the localized space-time around the point of impact. It is unclear whether Void Shields neutralize the projectile or energy beam in realspace, transport it into the Warp, or whether they use some other method to displace the damaging force of a physical attack upon the vehicle or vessel. 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 races 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. 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 direct 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.
- Adeptus Titanicus (1st Edition), pp. 5, 26, 33-34, 37
- Battlefleet Gothic: Rulebook, pp. 25, 27, 35
- Chapter Approved (2004), pp. 20-21
- Dark Heresy: Creatures Anathema (RPG), pg. 42
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 302
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pg. 121
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks, Part Two, pg. 9
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks, Part Three, pp. 40-41
- Rogue Trader: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 220
- Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Koronus (RPG), pg. 32
- Rogue Trader: Lure of the Expanse (RPG), pg. 30
- Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse, pg. 96
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