|Imperial Small Arms and Equipment|
|Modern Swords for the Modern Samurai|
|Faction||Empire of the Rising Sun|
|Function||Imposing Imperial Will from 200 m|
|Brief||Japanese Guns are Weird|
Service Pistols and Other Sidearms
Type-52 Service Revolver
One of the earliest sidearms present in the Imperial Army, the Type-52 Revolver is simple double-action revolver that has now been phased out of use. Equipped with only a five-round cylinder and firing a modified knock off of the .38 special cartridge, dubbed the .35 Imperial, it was shunned by a majority of Japanese military personnel. However, thanks to a large surplus of the weapons and military connections, the revolver is now wildly used by the Yakuza as they are considered cheap and disposable. Though it no longer sees service with military use, the Type-52 now enjoys popularity with criminal elements and a small, growing market for gun ownership in Japan.
Type-63 "Stampede" Kinetic Burst Revolver
Though officers, vehicle crew and others are expected to carry bladed weapons if swords are impractical, pistols were considered a practical off-hand weapon to supplement them, and so a design request was put out for a dignified firearm that could be used as a personal defence weapon for pilots and officers, and as a back-up weapon. The eventual winner was Miroku Corp, Japan's leading manufacturer of firearms. At first glance a traditional break-open revolver of unusual heft, several unusual features become apparent on closer inspection. For one, the weapon discharges from the bottom cylinder, above which is a heat extractor and the iron sights. Secondly, the weapon contains five rounds stacked in each of its eight cylinders, giving it a total magazine size of 40 rounds. After each shot, the cylinder revolves to keep the chamber cool and prevent the plastic propellent from melting. If the user attempts to fire more than eight shots in rapid succession, the weapon may fail to fire, so a digital counter tracks the weapon's internal heat and will warn the user if the active cylinder is overheated. In order to rapidly cool the weapon, the cylinder vents can be opened, and an electric motor will rapidly rotate the cylinder to fan out the excess heat.
Type-68 Kinetic Burst Handgun
In the wake of practical experience during World War III, the Stampede revolver was found to have quite a few problems; for one, it was known to refuse to fire in extremely hot climates, and humid conditions could cause its electrical system to short out. The Nambu Rifle Manufacturing Company, seeing a lucrative opportunity, introduced the Type-68 kinetic burst handgun, which Nambu quickly dubbed the 'first practical kinetic sidearm'. About the same size and shape as a Colt 1911 handgun, but with a more streamlined look, the box magazine of the Type-68 contains 10 rounds of ammunition.
Interestingly, the ammunition used by the Type-68 is a hybrid of conventional and kinetic-burst technology. When the trigger is pulled an electrical charge is induced in the bullet's conductive metal case, causing the metal to heat up and fire the rounds. Each round actually consists of 2 .35 calibre slugs stacked inside an outer metal case. One advantage to this system is that any residue usually generated from firing kinetic rounds is ejected from the gun inside the used up conductive metal case, which greatly simplifies maintenance; not to mention the fact that the hybrid ammunition is easier to load, the only drawback being the fact that the second round of the burst tends to have half the effective range of the first round, however it was considered acceptable since sidearms are most often used in close range anyway. However, as the Type-68 only entered production at a late stage of the war, only a few hundred were produced before the Empire's truce. Nevertheless, the Type-68 has since started to replace older sidearms in the Imperial military, and is expected to be issued to most frontline soldiers, with preference given to soldiers in hotter climates first.
Designed by Shiro Kamina himself and issued in an extremely limited run to officers of the Dragon Army, this weapon is a six-shot pistol with a handle designed to resemble the hilt of a beam katana and fitting snugly into the scabbard of the same. Utilizing an overpowered charge and rather volatile propellent, it's not a practical field weapon by any means, lacking sights and being quite likely to ruin its internal mechanism by the time it has expended its magazine. However, it has proved itself an unexpected self-defence weapon on several occasions, most notably when then-Shogun Kamina used it to shoot Lt. General Shiratori Yujiro dead when the man challenged him to a duel over command of forces defending Pearl Harbour on the eve of battle. The weapon is still not commonly known, though knock-off imitations have been found in the hands of Yakuza.
A variety of traditional Japanese bladed weapons enhanced with modern technology, a beam sword consists of a deadly blade with an internal battery, a magnetic generator, a heating element, and a scabbard with a nanite-assisted coating system and recharger. While the sword is in the scabbard, it is actively coated with a film of chemicals that, when when heated by the blade, burst into a dangerously hot plasma field contained by the magnetic field of the sword. This field not only keeps the plasma from radiating off the sword, but channels it along the edge of the blade in a rippling motion; a swung beam katana is part sword, and part energy chainsaw, rending through targets with ease. Experienced warriors have even learned to flick their swords such that plasma will ripple off the tip and slash out at targets who are otherwise out of reach.
When a soldier pulls his blade from its scabbard, he is commiting to a charge. The sword is far too hot to put away, requires both hands to use, and represents a considerable self-hazard if dropped. To emphasis their commitment to this action, many Japanese soldiers have the medical dispensers on their armour programmed to automatically shoot them with adrenaline when they draw their weapon, though the practice has been banned repeatedly.
Obviously, while a sword is active, it cannot be put away until the chemical fire has burned away, at which point the red-hot blade can be safely stowed and the cooling sheath goes to work cooling the blade, repairing any cracks or notches that it gained, and recoating it in chemicals.
The most recognizable beam swords are the full-sized katana used by frontline infantry, but smaller wakizashi are employed by vehicle crews, polearm versions are used ceremonially, and bayonet versions exist.
Type-36 Kinetic-Burst Submachine Gun
While originally the Empire had no interest in shotguns or submachine guns, the logic being to them that there is no need for short ranged guns when a blade would due, eventually it became apparent that the sword couldn’t solve every problem in modern close quarters combat.
Developed by a small company known as Seburo Munitions Works, the Type-36 uses a thirty round magazine and is chambered in the same recently developed .35 round as the Type-68 Kinetic Burst Handgun although 60 round drums are also available. Thanks to a ceramic barrel, it can maintain fully automatic fire for prolonged periods without overheating. The Type-36 has an impressive rate of fire, making it highly effective for suppression duties, though the trade-off is that it is highly inaccurate, even in the prosthetic hands of an experienced Imperial marksman. Currently only issued to snipers as a backup weapon, Imperial soldiers and naval forces have shown interest in the weapon as well.
Model ZZ Kinetic Shotgun
Commissioned by members of the Dragon Army early in the war and prototyped on-site at Leningrad by Kamina's AI assistant Aramaki, the so called "Double Z" shotgun is essentially a knock-off MY-243 Masterkey with an kinetic-burst electric firing mechanism. This stubby shotgun is notable as one of the very few modern Imperial weapons to feature case ammunition, though the shell is notably very small; each shell is half the length of the shotgun shells from the original Masterkey, featuring a block of pellets, mostly square with the edge pellets rounded off, in casing of stiff plastic. At the end of the casing is a thin ring of brass with the plastic propellent held in the center. After firing, the user clears the chamber by pumping it; he must do so immediately, before the paper case is allowed to burn too long inside the chamber. Because of the small size of the shell, the Model ZZ can hold twice as many rounds as the Masterkey, yet hits with comparable force and additional burning. The weapon is powered by a quick-change battery in the stock. A long rail along the top serves as crude iron sights, but they are hardly nesssary; the square pellets of this weapon make it completely inaccurate at any range.
Thanks to its crude design, the weapon was referred to as a "ruffian weapon" in subsequent analysis and Imperial media, who intended to discredit it compared to the elegantly-crafted weapons they were originally issued. This served only to heighten its appeal among veteran soldiers, however, who appreciated the weapon's scrappy features. Not only is it practical, but the weapon is frightening and fundamentally dangerous; with each shot, a blast of superheated plastic roars from the barrel, each of the square pellets finding their own wild course through the air. The sound is deafening, and the sheer impact of the weapon combined with the burning pellets will put down any enemy with ease. Even the pump action of the weapon is violent, with considerable pull required to work the mechanism and ejecting burning paper and red-hot brass. Due to its crude action, the weapon invariably wears itself out by the time it's fired its hundredth shot, the barrel coated in melted plastic and the chamber inundated with scraps of paper.
Though the weapon was immediately banned, Shogun Kamina "lost" the digital blueprints of the weapon, and it was copied and distributed among Imperial soldiers on flash drives. Before urban fighting, it wasn't uncommon for soldiers to seize control of field nanolathes or cores and print out a few dozen Double Zs. However, since the end of the war these same blueprints have found their way into the criminal underground, making the Double Z a common sight in the hands of Yakuza enforcers or petty gangsters.
Type-56 Semi-Automatic Rifle
The Japanese were quicker than most countries to see the various advantages that the semi-automatic rifle afforded. At a time when most of the world was still reluctant to develop semi-automatic weapons, believing that soldiers issued them would not take the time to aim but rather empty their rifles blindly, Japan had already started work on a semi-automatic rifle of indigenous design.
This weapon, the Type-56 semi-automatic rifle, replaced the bolt-action rifles that the Imperial Japanese Army had been previously equipped with just in time for the Second World War. However, though it was ahead of the curve in several aspects, the Type-56 enjoyed mixed popularity with its users. No one doubted that each rifle was impeccably crafted, with excellent ergonomics, low recoil, and impressive accuracy. But the elegance of the design was also its greatest flaw.
Due to its mechanical complexity, the Type-56 proved to be less reliable under harsh field conditions compared to more rugged weapons like the Garand. Particularly troublesome was its complicated gas operated autoloading mechanism, which suffered from fouling problems; later models did eventually solve this problem when the Japanese acquired several Garand rifles, but were never produced in enough numbers to make a significant impact. Even ignoring the mechanical reliability of the weapons, the 6.5mm cartridge it chambered lacked stopping power, in contrast to the powerful .30-06 calibre used by the Garand. Its small 12-round magazine, though larger than the 8 rounds of the Garand, proved inadequate, compared to the larger 20-round capacity of the Soviet SKAS.
The Type-56 would end up being replaced after the Second World War by the Type-79 assault rifle, which itself would later become obselete when kinetic burst weapons were introduced. Despite this, the weapon still sees use in some countries in Asia, and a small number have landed in the hands of GLA cells in Central Asia.
Type-79 Assault Rifle
Immediate post-war relations between the western countries and Japan were fairly warm. Though before long Japan would once again shut its borders to the outside world, at the time this would lead to some limited trading, allowing Japan to get their hands on several pieces of equipment and technology. Among other things, Japan soon gained possession of a small number of FN-FAIL assault rifles, hoping to develop an assault rifle of its own.
The design that resulted from this attempt, the Type-79, was a fairly straightfoward copy of the FN-FAIL, though with some modifications, such as the usage of lighter materials, a slight scaling down in size, and a change in calibre from 7.62mm to 6.5mm. Otherwise, the Type-56 proved fairly unremarkable for its time, and is today somewhat looked down upon due to its lack of any electronic aids. Due to its relatively simplistic design (by Japanese standards) and not inconsiderable weight, the Type-56 was soon phased out in the Imperial Army and replaced by the MX Type-2. The Type-56 is still in service, however, primarily with Prefecture militia units. Recently, South Korea has also shown interest in purchasing surplus stocks of these weapons for its own armed forces.
MX Type-1 Modular Combat Rifle
For a short period after the Second World War, the Type-79 assault rifle, a scaled down version of the FN FAIL, served as the service rifle of the Imperial army. It was not long before the Empire grew dissatisfied with it, however, and began to look for a replacement.
For a time, the MX Type-1, immediate predecessor to the MX Type-2, was meant to be this replacement. Developed by the finest minds in the Imperial military, the MX Type-1 was to be the rifle that would arm the soldiers of the Empire when the time came for them to achieve the Empire's "divine destiny", and for this it needed to be superior to any other weapon of its class; after all, nothing else would do. As it were, the MX Type-1 was a highly ambitious design.
For one, the MX Type-1 incorporated a number of new and untested technologies, such as plasma propelled kinetic-burst technology, electronically assisted targeting systems, or the usage of nanopolymers for almost every component in order to minimise weight. Most notably, however, was that the MX Type-1 was designed not to be a mere assault rifle or carbine, but an entire weapons system rolled up into a single elegant package--submachine gun, squad automatic weapon, sniper rifle, and more. To achieve this ambitious goal, the design was built to be highly modular, such that a soldier in the field could convert his light machine gun into a sniper rifle in a matter of seconds, with only the switching out of a few components. It was reasoned that this would give Imperial soldiers a great deal of versatility, allowing them to convert their weapons on the fly depending on the battlefield situation. Additionally, since the soldier need only carry one weapon instead of several, the reduced weight would allow him to carry more supplies and ammunition.
Despite the promise of the weapon, however, it suffered from multiple flaws. Elegant and versatile, the MX Type-1 certainly was. Robust and affordable, however, it was not. Like many other Japanese weapons, the design proved overly complex; even with nanolathe technology the design was prohibitively expensive to produce in bulk, and it also suffered from a number of other issues, like reliability. Frustrated by the weapon's issues, the Imperial army eventually demanded that the designers develop a cheaper weapon. This would lead to the creation of the successful MX Type-2, a slightly simplified Type-1 that possessed only the assault rifle configuration.
Despite this, the Type-1 still enjoyed a limited production run, as to simply throw it away would be a waste. Though not issued to the rank-and-file Imperial warrior, these versatile and effective weapons would go on to see service during the Third World War with select units of the Imperial military.
MX Type-2 Kinetic-Burst Carbine
The modern weapon of the Imperial Army, entering service in late 1966, is a plasma propelled kinetic-burst weapon designed to be robust, easy to manufacture and effective against a wide range of targets. Weighing 4 kilograms and measuring 40 inches long from the end of its adjustable stock to the tip of its barrel, the plastic-framed, air-cooled weapon is loaded with a 75 shot prepacked magazine of caseless ammunition and is capable of firing single shots, adjustable bursts of two to five rounds, or fully automatically at a rate of 300 rounds a minute, though the weapon will quickly overheat if fired too quickly. The MX Type-2's iron sights can accommodate a reflex sight or scope, which clips over them, and has also has a lug for a powered bayonet. Each Type-2 has the top of its casing stamped with the mon of the Imperial family, marking it as the property of the Emperor (and, by extension, reminding each Imperial Warrior that his actions are carried out in the Emperor's name).
A small computer monitors the action of the weapon, especially heat management, and provides the user with dynamic information regarding conditions such as wind direction, a sonar-based rangefinder with automatically adjusting sights, and component condition. This computer is powered by a battery inside the weapon, which is good for a week's use. The battery can be charged with a plugin, but is impractical to replace in the field. The weapon is still capable of being fired in the event it runs out of power, but without electric monitoring, it is only capable of fully automatic fire. In the event of damage to internal components which render the weapon incapable of firing, the weapon will automatically shut down and perform repair procedures using a cylinder of nanites loaded into the pistol grip.
The weapon hits far above its weight class; though the stopping power of individual rounds is substandard, subsequent burning is usually enough to incapacitate a target, and while its rate of fire is fairly low, the weapon is ergonomic and easy to control, making it an excellent option at 200 metres. However, accuracy tends to begin to suffer at longer ranges, as rounds have a tendency to being tumbling due to superheated particles of plastic affecting the flight pattern. Veteran soldiers will often fire in extended bursts to increase chamber heat during long-range firefights; higher internal heat causes a more clean vaporisation of the plastic propellant, so less gets stuck to the round.
Finally, each weapon has a built-in IFF scanner which continuously scans for valid ID chips that all Imperial soldiers have built into their uniforms. If the IFF scanner doesn't pick up a valid signal within a radius of 25 feet and someone tries to pull the trigger or open its casing, it will be fused shut by a microcharge designed to destroy its computer and melt its important components.
MXS Type-14 Marksman Rifle
Around the same time that the Imperial military began developing the MX Type-1 to replace the Type-79 assault rifle, several companies also began developing their own competitors to the Type-1, hoping to offer them as alternatives to the Type-1. One of these designs was the KBR-1 or "Kinetic Battle Rifle".
While like the MX Type-1 it also made use of the then-new kinetic-burst technology and also incorporated electronic targeting systems into its design, otherwise it differed heavily. Compared to the MX Type-1, it was far heavier and bulkier, using metal components instead of the Type-1's polymer frame, and boasted a larger calibre of 7.7mm compared to the Type-1's 6.5mm calibre. Though it possessed considerably more stopping power and greater accuracy, in the end the MX Type-2 was chosen over it, as the lighter weapon possessed a lower production cost, high ammunition capacity, and lower weight, among other factors.
One other notable aspect of the KBR-1 was its considerably superior accuracy to the Type-1, or in fact any other firearm in the Empire arsenal; realising this, the designers of the KBR-1 reworked the design, producing the MXS Type-14, a designated marksman rifle meant to replace the bolt-action and semi-automatic sniper rifles in the Japanese inventory.
As a designated marksman rifle, the MXS Type-14 performed well. Though it was not built from the ground up as a sniper rifle and thus lacks the accuracy of a more dedicated weapon, it has some advantages that traditional sniper rifles do not. For one, its 30 round magazine, while reduced from the original 50 rounds of the KBR-1, is still much larger than most sniper rifles, and coupled with the semi-automatic action a skilled marksman can maintain an almost continuous rate of fire. The inbuilt targeting computer helps to reduce some of the accuracy issues the rifle has compared to its counterparts, and also tries to automatically account for wind conditions, distance to target, and other such factors that might affect the accuracy of a shot. All in all, this makes for a highly lethal weapon system, one that has its effectiveness amplified even further when used by a sniper with the right training and prosthetics.
Type-X03 Shinigami RifleA rare demonstration of Japanese weapons favoring power over finesse, compared to the many fine swords and precision crafted weapons, the X03 stands out as a man-portable cannon. Inspired by the use of anti-materiel rifles in foreign armies, the X03 is built upon a similar role of anti-infantry and light vehicle destruction. Whereas most anti-materiel rifles are essential scaled up sniper rifles, the X03 is a scaled down cannon with a rifle frame built around it. The result is a weapon that can easily punch through infantry and lighter vehicles, though heavier vehicles are a different story. It features a bullpup setup and fires the devastating, but small, 10.5 x 100mm slug, allowing for a compact and deadly weapon.
The weapon is not without its drawbacks, however. The gun consumes a staggering amount of energy witb each shot, which means that the power cell is quickly drained. Because of this, the power cell must be replaced every five shots along with the magazine. Furthermore, the design is both costly and extremely complex, meaning that only a very small number of these rifles have been produced so far, and none have been used in anger.
Type-82 Automatic Rifle
One of the oldest designs in the Imperial Arsenal, the Type-82 was one of the Imperial Army's attempts to modernize its weapons during WWII. The Type-82 was created in a very short amount of time during the early 1940s due to the ever looming threat of a Second World War. Mechanically, the weapon is mostly a simplified knock-off of the Browning Automatic Rifle with similar barrel lengths, bullet velocity, and other factors. Recognizing that simply copying another nation's weapon was not enough, especially when that nation has had more use of it, the Japanese army ordered a few changes to be made. The weapon was re-chambered for the 6.5mm round and was redesigned to load top-down and set up with a revolutionary for the time saddle drum magazine. Between the standardized 6.5mm ammo and the 80 round drum magazine, the weapon allowed operators to spray heavy amounts of gunfire at targets.
Unfortunately, it is widely disliked by its operators for being near impossible to hit a target. The weapon shudders badly when being fired and most soldiers joke about the weapon being held together with bailing wire, which is due to the fact that it was made with as many lightweight materials as possible for the time in order to make it easily portable for the average Japanese soldier, problems which were even worse with its larger 7.7mm relative the Type-83 heavy automatic rifle. Though the Type-82 is disliked by its operators, it is widely loved by everyone who doesn't have to use it. The wall of lead the gun throws out is excellent at keeping enemies pinned down, allowing soldiers to advance and engage the enemy in glorious hand-to-hand combat.
MXY Type-2 Kinetic-Burst LMG
The squad-level LMG of the Imperial Army, the MXY Type-2 is essentially just an MX Type-2 with an extended barrel, bipod, and heavier heat-management systems. With an adjustable rate of fire between 300 and 600 RPM, controlled using the dial used for burst adjustment on the MX, the MXY is typically fed with a double drum magazine arrangement, which carries 450 rounds, though it will also accept rifle magazines. The weapon includes a freon-based cooling mechanism that augments its air-cooling system, allowing it to fire long bursts; the entire weapon also pops open to allow the firing mechanism and barrel to be removed and replaced in the event of a critical overheat.
These features come with serious drawbacks, however; a loaded MXY weighs almost 11 kilograms. However, thanks to the use of new nanopolymers and ceramic materials, as well as other mass cutting measures, newer MXY Type-2s have had their weight cut down to 7 kilograms.
MXW-20 Wave-Force Lancer
A recent development in Wave-Force technology is the creation of a man-portable Wave-Force weapon, something previously thought a pipe dream by most Imperial engineers. That weapon is the MXW-20 Wave-Force Lancer, an anti tank weapon of immense destructive power. Only a few of these weapons exist, having been issued to the greatest heroes of the Tankbusters.
Compared to the plasma-cutters used by most Tankbusters, the Wave-Force Lancer is far more powerful, capable of blasting through multiple main battle tanks with a single shot, although it is heavier and longer. Unlike larger Wave-Force cannons like those mounted on Wave-Force Artillery, however, the Wave-Force Lancer relies not Wave-Force generators storing up particles for firing, but on pre-charged "energy-capacitors" that already contain stored up Minofusukī particles in a harmonised, almost fully aligned state. This short circuits the need for a good portion of the equipment found in a larger Wave-Force cannon, and also allows the Wave-Force Lancer to fire without first having to charge up.
There are drawbacks, of course. An energy-capacitor will exhaust itself after several shots, requiring that it be replaced with a fresh one. Fortunately, Tankbusters equipped with Wave-Force Lancers usually have enough energy-capacitors for a battle, and can recharge their energy-capacitors at the nearest base. Still, there is the fact that the Wave-Force Lancer requires extensive training be able to use properly.
The Wave-Force Lancer's internal computer plots firing solutions, monitors power levels and gauges distances through the use of a sonar rangefinder, among other things. The computer is powered by a separate battery, as opposed to the plasma-cutter cannon where the internal computer is powered by the same plasma fuel cell that the plasma-cutter derives power from. Each Wave-Force Lancer is fingerprinted to its user, making it impossible for anyone else to fire the weapon. This is in addition to the standard ID chip, and also keeps Tankbusters not trained in the Wave-Force Lancer's use from accidentally injuring themselves or others. As with the plasma-cutter cannon, the weapon is linked to the pair of goggles over the Tankbuster's eyes, letting him aim the weapon.
Grenades and Explosives
Type-00 Plasma Grenade
A quirky blend of modern and ancient, the Type-00 grenade was developed to supplement the heavy Japanese reliance on mortars, to give Japanese infantrymen cover as they entered a trench or other built-up area. This stick-grenade design was made to be operated with one hand; the user wraps its priming cord around their belt loops or webbing, pre-set to the desired detonation method. When they grip the weapon's bamboo handle, a pressure sensor around the grip unlocks the cord, allowing the user to arm and throw the grenade with the motion of pulling it from the webbing. This allows the user to hold an active beam sword in one hand while tossing a grenade with the other.
The grenade was designed with three detonation methods. The default was a motion-sensitive mode, which activated after the grenade impacted a surface and came to rest. Programmed to identify enemy troops and detonate in their presence, or deactivate if thrown unsafely, in theory the grenade would detonate immediately should it land in an enemy foxhole or bunker. What's more, if somebody tried to grab the handle to throw it back, the pressure sensor would cause it to detonate immediately. However, the software wasn't quite up to scratch; enemy soldiers quickly learned to stop moving to avoid detonating it before throwing a blanket or tarp over it, spoofing the detector until it deactivated as a "miss". The second mode was an airburst, designed to detonate midway through arcing to the ground via proximity sensor. If used correctly, it was excellent against trenches and foxholes but less so in urban environments. Finally, the booby trap mode caused the grenade to detonate immediately upon pulling the cord; this could be used with tripwires or left for enemy soldiers to pick up and attempt to use; this followed a general Japanese policy of making their weapons self-destruct or injure untrained users to prevent the technology from falling into enemy hands. Towards the end of the war, Prince Tatsu issued a general order instructing soldiers to use their grenades in this fashion if they were in danger of being captured; though Japanese officials since have attempted to disprove any instances of this order being followed, there is a great deal of documentation regarding this so-called "Honourable Discharge".
The Type-00 grenade's actual operation consists of a plastic cord, a battery, and a fragmenting casing. Upon detonation, the plastic is ionized by an electric charge, turning it into a rapidly expanding field of plasma and sending the casing flying as shrapnel. The lethal radius of this weapon is rather lacklustre compared to traditional fragmentation grenades, but the high temperatures associated with its detonation make it useful for demolition work.
Type-64 Multi-Purpose Mine
Like the Type-00 grenade, the Type-64 is a blend of ancient know how and modern technology. Made out of a nano-reinforced plastic, the Type-64 is undetectable by conventional screeners, and the chances of an animal finding it is next to nonexistent because the plastic absorbs the scent of whatever the mine is buried in.
The Type-64 can be adjusted by a dial on top to either a narrow blast that fires the plasma charge straight up in a column to take out tanks or a wide spread setting which can engulf enemy infantry in a superheated cloud of plasma (which Imperial soldiers nicknamed the "Death Blossom"). Once the mine is set in either mode, the Imperial soldier inserts the key into the hole next to the dial and turns it. For safety purposes, all mines are equipped with IFF scanners that can detect the signal emitted by a valid Imperial ID chip, and will temporarily disable itself so as to prevent causing harm to Imperial forces. In addition, the Type-64 can be set to be detonated remotely by any one of the standard issue transmitters all Imperial soldiers carry. Though of little use in most scenarios, Imperial Ashigaru Bombardiers have been known to abuse this function frequently, using the mines as anti-structure charges with much success. At least half a million such mines were made.
However, since the Type-64 was next to impossible to detect, it became heavily disliked in the Japanese army as it was frequently a greater danger to Japanese troops than to their enemies. Though they were supposed to deactivate in the presence of Imperial ID cards, reliability was an issue, and there was a serious problem with enemy soldiers looting these chips. For an army as keen on mobility as the Japanese, these were unacceptable issues. As a result, production was shut down after the war. The Type-64 is likely to see service for quite some time yet, though, given that there are so many surplus mines stored away.
Type-100 Rocket Automortar
The Empire of the Rising Sun is no stranger to mortars, having used them since the Second World War. The Type-100, introduced prior to World War III, is the latest of these weapons and the current platoon level mortar of the Imperial army. The 150mm rocket assisted automortar provides a weapon capable of providing accurate, long range fire support for an infantry squad, bombarding enemy positions and defences with deadly shells.
In spite of its large calibre, the Type-100 is surprisingly light for a weapon of its size. The incorporation of an AI unit does most of the targeting, plotting trajectories and firing solutions; the use of rocket motors extends the range of the mortar and even allows it to make some mid course corrections, and the spin stabilisation of the rounds makes them more accurate. Imperial designers didn't even bother with sights or aim adjusters, since the AI could do the job of targeting all by itself, only requiring the mortarman to input the desired coordinates and fire the mortar, since data regarding external factors could be collected via an array of sensors linked to the AI, with backup sensors in case some failed. The Type-100 is extremely precise; accuracy is guranteed to within no more than a few metres from the target, even at extreme ranges. Mortar teams typically work with burst drone spotters to ensure the highest level of success.
Besides the standard high explosive rounds, numerous types of ammunition were developed for the Type-100; such as nanite rounds, which are filled with nanites that will eat through any metal in seconds once released onto the battlefield, or plasma rounds, plastic cased shells that turn into superheated fields of rapidly expanding plasma upon detonation.
The Imperial army relies heavily on these mortars; particularly during WWIII, when they were often the only form of artillery support Imperial infantry had. The recent deployment of the new Nezumi and other new introductions to the Imperial arsenal means that the Empire doesn't rely as heavily on its mortars as it used to, though they are still a very common sight.
Imperial "Ō-yoroi" Armour
The standard armour of Imperial front-line infantry throughout most of WWIII, the Ō-yoroi (Great Armour) suit was designed for maximized upper-body protection and technological integration while leaving the arms and legs for maximum mobility. Consisting of a two-part powered vest, an armoured equipment belt, and the Jingasa-style segmented helmet with integrated face protection and goggles, the armour weighed 6 kg altogether. Considered proof against 9mm rounds from any distance and resistant to rifle rounds up to 100 m, the armour had a frontal grill for cooling and was infamously bolted to the soldier wearing it. A sash denoting rank would be worn crosswise over the assembly. The helmet was modelled after the classic kabuto with a flexible shikoro (neck guard) designed to protect against blows or shrapnel to the back of the neck. Inside the armour, a computer system monitored the vital signs of the soldier wearing it, injecting painkillers, adrenaline, disinfectant, and localized clotting agents if the soldier was wounded or experiencing erratic life-signs.
Though the armour was intimidating and initially quite effective, holes in the design quickly became apparent. Most imporantly, the armour was not nearly as forgiving to the mobility of the soldier wearing it as was hoped; the helmet was excessively heavy and made turning the head difficult, and the inflexibility of the vest made long-term operations extremely taxing. Though being bolted into the armour was a potent sign of the soldier's devotion, it made removing the armour or uniform, either in case of fire or other emergences, or for simple day-to-day living, a considerable issue. Soldiers in the field who experienced weight gain or loss due to illness, nutritional changes or stress found the armour would quickly lose its fit and would begin to chaff terribly. It also made many combat actions, especially fighting while prone, awkward. Most damningly, the armour forced a soldier to turn his body in order to use his weapon, exposing the arm-hole to the enemy; for all the protection the vest offered, it essentially gave his foe a clear shot at his heart.
After considerable debate, the armour was replaced towards the end of the war.
Imperial "Tosei-gusoku" Armour
The so-called "Modern Armour" pushed by Shogun Kamina, the Tosei-gusoku armour was designed with the lessons learned from the Ō-yoroi suit in mind. Gone was the one-piece suit and excessive neck protection, in favour of an eleven-piece assembly held in place by webbing straps. Much more streamlined, the armour is much less intrusive while offering comparable protection to the Ō-yoroi suit. A simple, one-piece helmet allows far greater head movement, and is more comfortable to wear over long periods. Use of multiple plates means the armour is flexible over the shoulders and stomach, for far greater flexibility, and can be unclipped fairly easily. Though the internal medicine component has been, for the most part, removed, with a simplier interface for just monitoring and simple injections, the fact that the armour can be removed from a wounded comrade for treatment by his squadmates has improved the chances of wounded soldiers considerably. Most importantly, two new plates have been added to either shoulder, with a larger one on the gun-side. This protects the body from enemy fire and shrapnel that would otherwise enter through the arm-holes.
Modern armour has been issued to all frontline units and is rapidly being issued to reserve troops.
Goukai Field Ration
The Imperial war machine was, in the eyes of the Japanese military leaders before and during WWIII, a beast of the most magnificent kind. It was fast enough to strike where and when it wanted, tough enough to withstand the feeble resistance of the barbarians outside Japan's walls, strong enough to win any engagment with the exact amount of force applied to triumph cleanly and quickly, beautfiul as the natural rising sun herself, and yet practical. And while, in time, this view of the Imperial military would be heavily disrupted and nearly eliminated, the same can at least be said for the rations used by the Empire of the Rising Sun.
While ordinarily fresh food can be hunted in the local area or brought in via Sudden Transports and stored in freezers within an instant Dojo, there are times when fresh supplies can not be brought in, or more often times when infantry are expected to be away from their main bases for days at a time. In these instances, all Imperial infantry are kitted with always-at-hand containers known as Goukai Field Rations. Kept in two sealed white thermos containers capable of resisting all but the most punishing of wear and tear, each Goukai Field Ration is capable of supplying a single infantry for a day and a half while supplying the minimum of nutrients needed to keep soldiers in fighting shape. The larger of the containers, in addition, contains a miniature internal heater and stand that would rapidly heat any liquids inside the container to boil in five minutes after activation - this was for both the ration's drink and the meal in question itself.
Every Goukai Field Ration comes with around thirty ounces of white rice as well as picked radishes, a miscellaneous mix of fresh vegetables and meat, Shoyu sauce, bean paste, sugar, salt, and a haiku to read while eating (One of the more popular being a frog sees a fly/ in hurry, snaps large mouth wide/ but chokes on own tongue). The second container, meanwhile, contains both a supply of fresh water (for cooking) as well as a supply of green tea (for drinking). Perhaps the most famous of its containers, however, is also in the second thermos - a packet of dried instant noodles.
Devised by the Nissin Foods Holding Zaibatsu as a quick and fast source of carbohydrates for Imperial soldiers operating in the field, these instant noodles can be simply poured into the larger thermos along with water, heated to a boil, and then enjoyed as a filling meal - all within minutes, with no other preperation needed. These Chikin Ramen portions were the most enjoyed out of everything in the Goukai Field Rations, with Imperial Warriors trading their portions with others for favours and to injured warriors to show their condolences. After the war, they became so popular with those soldiers returning back home that the Nissin Zaibatsu started to market them openly on the market - where they found an even larger audience worldwide. Now, instant noodles can be devoured by protesting college activists to hidden Vietnamese guerrillas alike, as well as still in the thermos containers of the average Imperial soldier.