Arcatian weaponry, from the individual to strategic level, largely conforms to modern conventions. Personnel fight with sophisticated chemical-propellant weapons in all the deadly colors of the rainbow, ships sling ballistic ordnance and self-powered torpedoes with a variety of payloads, and aircraft leave flaming trails of missiles, chaff, and countermeasures across the sky.
Still, Arcatia has forced violence to conform to its own unique attributes. The low radioactive cloud layer and omnipresent danger it represents forces aircraft down to altitudes of a mile at absolute best, where wind shear and atmospheric density make traveling at supersonic speed anywhere from extremely uncomfortable to outright suicidal. The dearth of satellite intelligence and total unreliability of long-range communication and guidance systems force even large-scale aero-naval engagements to extremely tight quarters, where combatants will frequently be in visual range. While the guided missile still reigns supreme, the autocannons, conventional artillery, machineguns, railguns, gauss accelerators, torpedoes, and even boarding systems that would be rendered ineffectual in engagements at greater distances retain a fierce grip on relevance on Arcatia. In these engagements, aircraft almost always play a pivotal role, whether through merely suppressing enemy threats or delivering a killing blow on an unprepared target while their slower, more vulnerable carriers are well out of range.
Technologically, Arcatian naval combat is distinguished by a profusion of drones, active defenses/passive offenses, and an emergent push towards light energy weapons. Chaff and physical countermeasures are ubiquitous, but semi-smart explosive Active Offense drones (either microballoon mounted or seeded by torpedoes) make enemy maneuvers even more agonizing. Defensive microwave lasers, directed electromagnetic weapons, and the Protectorate’s newfound love of magnetically-accelerated projectiles push the boundaries of ship and aircraft mounted weapons.
Though Arcatia’s extensive archipelagos and profusion of coastal cities make full-fledged war a largely naval and aerial affair, infantry still factor heavily. The sheer size of Arcatia’s cities tends to curtail the utility of land vehicles, though combat for strategic land-locked assets (such as farms, power generators, and the like) occasionally see the odd tank or IFV. These instances are few and far between, however, and for the most part what isn’t decided at sea is decided in the streets. Arcatian infantry tend to deploy from aircraft and focus on a combination of mobility, long-term endurance (a district changing hands or VTOL being forced to crash land could put a squad half a mile behind densely-populated enemy lines) and anti-aircraft firepower (due to the aforementioned preference of aircraft for transport on all sides). It’s worth noting, of course, that most Arcatian ground combat since the War has been insurgency/counterinsurgency, which adheres to a very different doctrine.
Infantry weapons typically consist of concussion-fired chemical propellant repeaters, though liquid and electrochemical firearms are common choices rather than rare prototypes. The centrality of naval operations has also spawned a continuing appreciation of mechanical, pneumatic and other underwater-capable weapons systems, while close city fighting has led to further developments in nonlethal weapons (especially electrostatic and concussive) and even hand to hand combat.
Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological
Strategically, there has never been much need to push beyond the sordid-yet-solid standbys of nuclear weapons and nerve gas. The planet’s electromagnetic phenomena make conventional artillery the most reliable long-range delivery system, and so the nation-states of Arcatia are forced to stare at each other over arsenals that would have to be hand delivered or blasted back and forth at a range entirely unsuited to weapons of mass destruction. The use of nuclear fission and fusion driven weapons is prohibited only by vague, informal international agreement and a general collective interest in the planet’s continued survival. Radiological weapons remain popular choices, especially in the Unity, for long-term area denial operations despite their horrific environmental cost. And though chemical weapons retain a dark stigma, only the Protectorate and Equilibrium have regulations forbidding their abuse, a fact cynics would argue is only due to their paltry capacity to manufacture the agents in comparison to Serica and the Unity. The nerve agents D4 Precursor, Oros and semi-lethal Tarix remain alongside conventional Phosgene, Cyanogen Chloride, and experimental Syphys and Phosgene-Oxime-Derived Fessariko remain as well-maintained, actively trained, and occasionally deployed staples of armories in both nations.
Advanced transfusions and active antivirals make conventional bioweapons all but unheard of. The Rapid Adaptation Mutagen is a notable exception to this; during the war Lithis Chemical and The Rastakgan Hierarchy experimented extensively with Mutagen delivery and control mechanisms from hand-held weapons to massive ship-sized contamination engines.
Notable armament-focused Supercorporations:
With additional, if less influential, contribution from:
The Ancestor Initiative
The Insington Corporation
Notable infantry weapons:
Venator ICR (Icer)
Cas-Vak Harpy (HHRPW)
Venator ERSR (Eraser)
Cas-Vak Shrieker HISS
Aurora Plasma-Phase Projection Pistol
Notable non-portable weapons systems:
Aerotech Aegis System
Republican Steel Thunderhammer II Cannon
Republican Steel Aerial Repeating Howitzer
Aerotech Stargazer Modules
Aerotech/Venator Concussion Warhead Deterrent System
Rastakgic Accelero Cannon
Unity Mercy Network
Unity Intractable Class Surface Cannon
Supercavitating Hydrobaric Torpedoes
Unity MagTherm Torpedoes
Cas-Vak Universal Threat Suppressant
Journey’s End/Isalis Atmospherics/Venator Security Luminous Phalanx