“D” Weapons are the most powerful ranged weapons in the game. How do you prevent them from overpowering your Apocalypse game?
The Apocalypse rulebook introduced a new class of weapons to the new large scale 40K games the book created. Destroyer, or “D” weapons are immensely powerful ranged weapons that are fielded on Super heavy tanks and walkers. They punch through armor, automatically wound infantry, and more.
So why the new weapons? Well, with new, bigger War Machines, such as Baneblades, Ork Stompas, Warhound, Reaver, Warlord, Phantom and Revenant Titans all over the place, Games Workshop figured that a new class of weapon that could punch through this armor was needed. So, what are the advantages of these “D” weapons?
2. +1 on the vehicle damage table – Thus a much better chance of destroying that vehicle and on super-heavy tanks, getting that all important “6” for the chain reaction.
3. No cover saves against it – Smoke, Kustom Force Fields, lurking in ruins, etc, doesn’t help against this.
4. Automatically wounds any non-vehicles model – The 1 in 6 chance of surviving due to a wound roll of 1 that you get with normal weapons doesn’t exist with this weapon. No survivors when a group of infantry get hit, whereas a normal weapon will sometimes leave one or two standing when it fails to wound them.
5. Inflicts Instant Death irregardless of targets toughness – So if a Wraithlord is hit (toughness 8), it will immediately die from just the one wound.
6. Points costs for D weapons are often underpriced compared to other weapon options, or D weapons and normal weapons are priced similarly points wise.
As just one example, look at the Warlord Titan. Compare the Volcano Cannon and the Melta Cannon. Both are one shot 10″ templates. The Melta Cannon looks real cool at first glance. Lots of dice to go through armour. But wait, the D weapon ignores the armour – no need to try to get through it. And it has 240″ range vs 72″ for the Melta Cannon. Infantry hit by the Melta Cannon would get cover saves, and would survive a wound if toughness 6 or better and had multiple wounds. A D weapon would instead kill them outright.
“D” Weapons Issues
There are 3 problems with “D” weapons in Apocalypse:
1. Everyone shows up with a max load-out of D weapons. Yes, I have played against the Warlord Titan with 2 Turbo Laser Destructors and 2 Laser Blasters. That’s 10 5″ D shots a turn! Plus, many of us have seen, or even own 🙂 the double turbo laser Warhound Titan.
2. Also, some races don’t have access to D weapons – Tyranids, Dark Eldar, etc.
3. “D” weapons are insanely powerful when aimed at infantry. Wiping out huge bunches of your most important units. No one likes taking their prize unit off the table without ever getting to fight!
So how do we deal with these issues?
Well, the solution to # 1 & 2 is simply to balance the number of “D” weapons on each side. We do this all the time and it works out well. If players keep an eye towards fairness, this is never an issue. I always have plenty of models and usually don’t take “D” weapons outside of my Titans. Often, I am giving the other side my Titans to balance things out.
The solution to # 3 is more complex. Two solutions have been used, and both have their advantages.
The Template Reduction Rule is a house rule that reduces the template size used by one level. So a 5″ template uses a 3″ instead. A 10″ uses a 7″ instead. This also provides incentive for players to use the other weapons instead of the D ones, as their larger blast makes them better against infantry.
The other solution is “D” Weapon Targeting Priority. In this rule, any “D” weapon must be targeted at a Titan first, then a Super Heavy Vehicle, then a vehicle and then if you have none of those targets, you can target infantry.
So there you go! Those are the issues you will face with “D” weapons. Find out more at the Apocalypse40K blog.
How do you deal with “D” weapon awesomeness?