40K Deep Thought: Dreams of an Adepticon D – Part 1


I’m hurtling 30,000 feet above the central United States in a marvel of human engineering and I find myself able to think of only one thing. D’s. 

Note: this column was written on the way to Adepticon 2016

I’m currently 30,000 feet above the central United States.  I’m in a marvel of human engineering, hurling through the sky like the mighty hammer of Thor.   I look out the window and gaze at the majestic beauty of our country, and I find myself able to think of only one thing. D’s.

Pure, unmodified, throbbingly painful D’s slapping me in the face over and over and over again.  I write of course, about Destroyer Weapons in the game Warhammer 40k.  If you found your heart rate increasing while reading the introduction to the paragraph, it’s ok man, it’s 2016.



Chicago is my destination, specifically a small suburb of Chicago named Schaumburg known for its auto dealerships and the world famous tabletop gaming convention, Adepticon.  This will be my second time attending this convention, and Frontline Gaming’s first time exhibiting our fine wares in their legendary vendor hall.  I couldn’t be more excited to be attending again, since the majority of events I attend every year we are running ourselves and I don’t really have any time to enjoy myself during them.  This year I will be competing in their Warhammer 40k Championships, and I must say I put a lot more time and effort into creating my list than I normally do.  I know at this point in the column you’re thinking what this has to do with my obsession with D’s 30,000 feet in the air.  Well I’ll tell you if you just give me a chance! OK!  I’m bringing a Stormlord.  That’s all I really need to say about my chances in going to the second day of the tournament.  Whilst preparing for the event I knew that the Adepticon folks like to run their tournament as close to the 40k rulebook as possible, with leaving Invisibility and it’s re-rolleable 2+ saves as they are, etc.  I completely forgot how good rolling to go first is when playing straight out of the rule book.  One thing I completely failed to take into account when writing my list including a mediocre Super Heavy Tank is their leaving the Destroyer Weapon table unmodified. And now I look around me and all I see are D’s.  Just slapping me in the face with their 6’s.  I’ve played the ITC version of the Destroyer Weapon Table for so long I forgot just how devastating and incredibly game breaking the D weapons are in the game.  It’s a mechanic that simply revolves around your opponent’s luck while rolling a die.  They get that 6, you remove your model or unit, shake their hand and go grab a drink.


It’s really a mechanic that feels completely alien to the rest of the game and to be honest hammers the point home that Warhammer 40k is not a game meant to be played in a competitive environment, at least not when playing with the rules written as they are in the rulebook.  I understand the argument FOR playing the D weapon rules as written.  It’s a counter to un-killable Deathstars (not really), Lords of War, Super Heavy Vehicles and Gargantuan Creatures.  I GET IT. I GET YOUR POINT.  My counter to your argument would be what about my single Leman Russ Battle Tank?  Certainly not a competitive or overpowered unit. It took a really long time to assemble and paint the model in my orange and yellow color scheme.  My dad got me that model, and it really compliments my Astra Militarum army.  I also have a single Chimera, some Ogryn, and a couple of Infantry squads on foot.  Excuse me?  What do you mean I have to remove the Leman Russ off the board? You rolled a 6? What? Oh ok. I probably won’t be coming back to this tournament. (END SCENE).  As you can see in our little narrative the D strips away all dignity and leaves both players with a nasty taste in their mouth.  I must note that the scenario above would also be true in the ITC modified D Weapon Table.

The pilot has turned on the seatbelt sign and we’ve begun our decent into Chicago.   I shiver in anticipation, imagining the D’s that await me.  Lain out in their glory on every table.  What does my future hold?  Will my Void Shield hold, allowing my Guard firepower the time to purge the alien filth or will it be Warp Spider’d (a new verb) on turn 1, only to have the pride of the fleet Belligerence double D’d out by a Wraithknight?   Find out next week!


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FLG void shield
  • Djbz

    In my experience D-weapons aren’t really all that.
    (Been on both sides-using and being target of)
    And in my game group we have them ignore most saves (Allowing non-war gear based invulnerable saves and jink only).

    • An_Enemy

      So D-weapons aren’t all that, but you use a modified ruleset for d weapons. I’m…not following your logic here.

      • Djbz

        We modify them to be MORE powerful.
        And they still barely do anything in our games.

        • An_Enemy

          Ok then I misunderstood you. The main focus in the article was on that magic roll of a six so it sounded like you modified that since it already disallows saves and you were talking about allowing jinks.

  • rtheom

    D weapons would be much more manageable if most of them didn’t also come with massive blast radii. The problem is the fact that you rarely ever take a D weapon shot that’s just wasted. The templates are big enough and the power level so very high that you’re likely to get value in every D weapon shot you take. It’s a lot of reward with very little risk.

    • TweetleBeetle

      That describes literally zero D-weapons legal for use in 40k. The ones that can are on super expensive, relatively easy to kill platforms. They will make their points back less than 5% of the time.

      • generalchaos34

        I didnt know Wraithknights were so easy to kill! I should try harder I guess.

        • An_Enemy

          They’re easy to kill if you have grav. Good thing every army has access to grav or an equivalent AP 2 weapon that will wound a T8(?) Model on a three with a million times rollable shots.

          • ZeeLobby

            Grav was the dumbest thing ever added to this game.

        • georgelabour

          My mechanicus LOVE wraithknights.

          The look on an Eldar player’s face when they lose them in the first round of shooting is always priceless.

          Also it’s worth pointing out wraithknights do not have blaster marker D weapons which is what Rtheom had claimed made those weapons so unmanageable.

          • Jamie Garrett

            I agree. I think Grav is much more devastating that D. I run a squad of 4 Servitors with grav in my Mech 1850 list and when you’re rolling 24 dice, (rerolled in conjuction with the right cards) and wounding on 2/3’s then even the mightiest drop!

  • TweetleBeetle

    This is an absurd article. D-weapons are hardly relevant on shooting platforms in 40k. The ones that have it will NEVER make their points back relying on them to kill things in the shooting phase.

    I have played in Adepticon the last two years, both singles and team events, and had a whopping 1 unit hit with a 6, and I also only took out 1 unit with a 6 of my own. D-weapons are relevant on cc weapons only, and often times are being used against equally ridiculous units or deathstars (so it’s relatively fair).

    • An_Enemy

      That’s great man. My teammates had a Lynx and Wraithknight both removed by two shots from an Eldar D-Cannon support battery.

      As has been explained many times and by many people here…your thoughts and experiences do not always match with the rest of the world around you.

      • Ronny

        So you are upset that YOUR cheese units demolished by what you consider a regular unit that’s playing in a league only reserved for yours?

        • An_Enemy

          What? You realize that thinking something is wrong doesn’t necessarily equal being upset right? Or do you usually cry your eyes out when you get diet coke instead of regular?

          And who says a D weapon on a support battery is a regular unit? It’s still a D Weapon. Same profiles as on the WK except the WK might have 12″ more for threat range. In fact, it’s a better choice really if all you want is a D Weapon. It’s cheaper. Money and pointswise. Not to mention I believe you can buy them in ObSec units.(could be wrong on that one)

          How about paying attention to what people say instead of seeing it as an opportunity to twist words into something that fits your preconceived script?

          My entire post was about how dumb D Weapons are and you walked away with, “only I should get D Weapons”? Go back go school dude.

        • ZeeLobby

          There’s a difference between cheese killing cheese units, and a cheese unit killing anything based completely on luck.

      • georgelabour

        Vehicles and units being wiped out in one shot aren’t exactly new to this edition.

        So I suppose that means the game hasn’t been fun for oh..about twenty years now.

        • An_Enemy

          Vehicles and units being wiped out in one shot usually mean two things happened. The owning player made a mistake and the opposing player got lucky.

          D Weapons only require one of those things.

          • georgelabour

            Even if your opinion was true (which it’s not) that still does not change the fact that similar ‘I win because I roll a 6’ issues have been with the game for almost its entire life span.

            So again if that’s what makes the game bad then it has been bad and not fun for pretty much the entirety of its existence.

  • Yann Queffelec

    D weapons counter deathstars, like stomp does, they are new mechanics that seems broken, sure in fun game they seems a bit off but in competitive play it in a option that help manage the nearly unkilleable units like canoptek harvest, wolfstar, seer counceel or screamerstar.

    One of the thing that I think is really good to manage a little of balancing is the team tournament like ETC because the game is now with all the option a rock paper cissors game (Tau can beat eldar, eldar beat necron, necron can beat wolfstar if you can deny the hit and run by spreading units all over the table etc… it depends of the list and how you build your team).

    That is my feeling for the moment, I’ve found my way to play good play in team tournament, but it’s time consuming (making matrix, building the roster etc take LOT of time) so I know lots of gamer don’t want this kind of event, but if it speak to some of you, what are your feeling about the game balance then ?

    • An_Enemy

      How does a D Weapon counter an invisible unit? It’s usually one or two shots. You roll a lot of quadruple sixes?

      • Yann Queffelec

        Wirth a culexus, sometimes invisibility fail, sometimes the opponent don’t get it… Or a first turn kill before invisibility casting… I was also speaking about stomp for this case.

        • ZeeLobby

          In reality both D and invisibility are bi-products of dumb rules…

  • Defenestratus


    D is just fine as it is. Stop putting all your eggs in a single huge basket and you’ll realize that D isn’t all that its cracked up to be.

    • Clearly it’s D’s fault he took a very, very subpar unit to a competitive tournament that he didn’t bother reading the rules for.

      • Valeli

        I agree, actually.

        I think the D mechanics are terrible, but not for the reasons cited. I don’t feel that removing a model in a turn from that is significantly different from removing a landraider in a turn back in 4th from a good lascannon hit.

        The main difference, to me, seems to be that the game has skyrocketed to focus on units way more powerful than that land raider, none of which should reasonably vanish in a turn unless pummeled by a Shadow Sword or two.

        That’s the issue – that these things are in the game now. Not that a single dice roll can do what used to take two or three.

        Edit: And yes, if you’re going to a tournament, know its rules when making your list.

    • ZeeLobby

      D is just a negative play experience based totally on luck. I have no problem with expensive units being killed in a turn, but by 1 weapon with 1 roll is just not enjoyable. Suddenly first turn becomes a bigger priority than the game itself…

      • Red_Five_Standing_By


      • Void Shield Generator and never worry about going second.

  • Koszka

    A one in 6 chance removes a model from the game doesn’t seem so easy to attain, but multiply it by 4 heavy D-cannons and some D-cannon batteries and you probably have a pretty decent chance.

    I mean over the course of 6 turns in my round 1 game, My army got hit by 5 6’s on the D-chart. Regardless of model placement or rules, the D will get you. Congratulations Space marines and Mechanicus; you have all the Grav weaponry. Most other armies have a very hard time melting a wraith knight in one turn. Granted, two 10 man squads of skitarii vanguard shooting at BS7 should do the trick, but even then thats a rough path.

    It was sad watching dual wraith knights vs. riptide wing and storm surges though. Games ended turn 1 for some of them 🙁

  • Iron Father Stronos

    92 Players with Eldar. 92×2 wraithknights, that many D shots… yeah Eldar ruined the competitive scene and it seems the only way to beat them at this years GT was with illegal lists! Expect a serious overhaul.

    Void shield generators, 3x riptides and 2x wraithknights with scat bikes….30x of those exact same armies.

    I expect Apoc, and Titanicus to take off next year because players will be sick of paying to win, or simply facing off against those willing to do so.

  • Mandragola

    Man takes mediocre army to hardcore tournament, worries that he might lose against better armies which are designed for the meta in which they are playing. Man is right to be afraid.

  • “It’s not fair that a single shot removes my model.” Let’s dump Instant Death then, too.

    • ZeeLobby

      It honestly does make some armies and units almost unplayable. I didn’t mind when instant death was a unique special rule a piece of wargear used to have. Now strength doubling toughness is enough, and for some armies (aka not space marines) it’s just bad.

      • lorieth

        Our house-rule is double strength causes 2 wounds (and triple causes 3). It means high strength weapons are still nasty to characters, but at least S6 weapons don’t insta-kill any T3 character.

        • ZeeLobby

          That’s a good house rule, and honestly, should have been the rule from the start. Scatterbikes just slaughter DE, making them even more irrelevant.

    • Pascalnz

      if only there where other weapons that could instantly kill his leman russ tank with twice the efficiency… melta anyone?? or maybe fire dragons lol:)

      • ZeeLobby

        OH, you mean the stuff that worked perfectly fine before. Yeah… don’t know why we needed more…

        • Pascalnz

          it worked fine for regular vehicles.

          • ZeeLobby

            Before GW started shoveling GMC and Super Heavies into 40K.

  • If you rage quit over a Leman Russ getting removed, then good riddance.

  • snakechisler

    Ranged D belongs in Apoc games the toned down ITC version is just as broken but in a different way.