Thursday, July 14, 2016

What 8th Edition 40k needs to fix about power weapons

What you say! There is nothing wrong with power weapons!

Well I beg to differ. Right now in any codex you buy a form of power weapon all at the same cost and they vary the abilities. Want something more powerful, well spring the 10 points for a powerfist, 15 for a hammer.

You have
- Power Sword: S: User, AP: 3 Melee
- Power Staff: S: +2 AP: 4 Melee, Concussive
- Power Axe: S: +1 AP: 2 Melee, Unwieldy
- Power Lance: S: +1/User AP: 3/4 Melee *(First Turn, higher profile)
- Power First: S: x2 AP: 2 Melee, Unwieldy, Specialist Weapon
- Thunder Hammer: S: x2 AP: 2 Melee, Unwieldy, Specialist Weapon, Concussive
- Lightning Claw: S: User AP: 3 Melee, Shred, Specialist Weapon.
-Countless specialized ones, including AP2 at initiative weapons

It is the inconsistent performance for cost that bothers me, as well as some of the non-sensical decision made, especially IRT to power axes.

I will address each weapon at a time.
Power Sword- Baseline, no change required.
Power Staff- Very under-utilized. What I don't get is how an Axe is unwieldy and this isn't, nor is this two handed or specialist. What I would do if I were designing 8th is slap either two handed or unwieldy on a staff (probably two handed) and reduce its points by 5. I would also possibly separate mauls/maces and leave them as is if it went this route.
Dante's Axe... The oldest most Bad A$$ Marine there is, and he strikes at I1. What. The. Heck.
Power Axe- UGH. I have waxed poetic on this in the past. More than once at that. Okay, ALOT! But here I go for a 4th time. WHY ARE AXES UNWIELDY. Sure, they need a detriment to counteract their bonus, but these weapons unfairly benefit lower S armies in a game where T4 is the base line. That Guardsmen Sgt. McFartFace doesn't care about being I1 if it means he will kill a terminator. But that SM Sarge who has decades, if not centuries, of experience with the weapon is JUST AS SLOW? To me, axes, for their measly +1 S, should be -1 or -2 Initiative. Basically have an "Unwieldy" and "Ponderous" rule, where one just slows you and the other sets you at I1. As well, since there are SOOOO many ways for armies to bypass the Initiative penalty ans still get AP2, it is illogical and unbalanced for armies that can't to have to be I1 for ALL AP2 attacks.
BUT at the same time, that would become "Too Good". I agree. That is why, if this were to be done, I would say bump an axe UP 5 points. Basically it is already the bridge between Swords and Fists, so why not cement that fact in terms of cost and capability as well.

Power Lance- To me, it should ALWAYS be S:User. AP3 first round, AP4 subsequent is fine. But instead of the S bonus, it should be an I bonus. The idea of a lance/spear is to hit your enemy BEFORE they are in range to hit you. That is why in Napoleonic Warfare, Lancers were maintained to counter the largely Sabre based cavalry of Europe. They had the reach to strike FIRST. SO to me, a lance should have a +1 or +2 I bonus on the charge.
Power Fist- Stay as is. Fine at cost and ability. Keep at I1
Thunder Hammer- I guess it is fine as it is. I think you should get the +1 A for stacking with a Storm Shield like back in the day. But alas. Mostly it is too many points for only gaining "Concussive".
Lightning Claw- Goodish. But in general the +1A is better than the reroll to wound IMO, so why not take a sword. A pair of LC should be 25 points, not 30 IMO. That would make them much more desirable. Basically, have it be a separate line in wargear lists with its OWN point cost.