Bolter Discipline is now out for Beta Testing and it’s changing the game. But what about those other “Bolters” now? Let’s chat.
If you missed the big news from yesterday, Rapid Fire Bolters just got a pretty big boost for Adeptus and Heretic Astartes alike. Abe already touched on some of the big winners with the new rule, but now we want to talk about some of the other options that really got hosed by this new rule.
Intentional or not, this new rule really does a number on the Intercessors and Reaver Bolter options. Yes, Reavers have a Bolter option, too. That’s part of the problem and why we think it’s important to talk about the three Bolters that just got put on notice. Now, this rule is still a Beta and perhaps GW has some plan for the future of these other Bolters to make them better. We hope so – in fact, we have some suggestions as to how to make them better.
Now obviously, all these weapons would need a major points overhaul – in fact, if this beta rule does become a real rule, then I think GW SHOULD increase the points of the standard Bolter…but that’s for another day.
Auto Bolt Rifles
Before the new beta rule, Auto Bolt Rifles were in the running as the top option. With Assault 2, you could effectively dance around the max range of this weapon and reliably put out 2 shot per Intercessor. Not bad! Then we got the Vigilus Defiant and the stratagems had a lot of folks eyeing the Bolt Rifle as the king of the hill. Now, with Bolter Discipline it’s hard to argue against 40 shots at 30″ range when you don’t move vs 20 shots all the time.
To bring this weapon up to snuff, we thought of two options.
+1 to hit – This effectively ignores the penalty for advancing and shooting. We like this option as it makes the Auto Bolt Rifle super reliable. Maybe it’s the advanced stabilizers, or maybe it’s just a hail of bullets at the target – whatever the reason, this gun is great on the move and even better if you are standing still. Our idea makes it so that you can still be mobile with this gun and not have to be a static gun-line.
Assault 3 – Personally, I like this option. The Auto Bolter is now 3 shots per Intercessor and while it’s still Str 4 with 0 AP, it’s a volume of fire that will have this gun on par with the new Bolt Rifle possibilities. With a unit of ten pumping out 30 shots all the time, now you have a meaningful choice between the Auto Rifle having the double tap range of 30″ which is a potential 40 shots with the Rapid Fire Stratagem. Now that’s a tough decision.
We here at BoLS have a few issues with this gun. First, why is this a thing? It’s literally the same gun as the Auto Bolt Rifle (check the profile). Second, a Carbine is supposed to be for shorter ranges than a Rifle. As perturbed as we are, we think we have a pretty simple fix to highlight the short-range benefits of this gun without invalidating the Auto Bolt Rifle OR the Pistol option:
+1 Strength at 1/2 range – This weapon is still AP 0 and has Assault 2 but now, if you get within 12″ it hits harder, similar to the shotgun option for Scouts. This makes the gun actually different from the Auto Bolt Rifle and doesn’t mess with the AP Curve. This also helps to make it different but not necessarily better than the Pistol at 12″. We like that as it makes the player make a tough decision.
Ohhh boy. Talk about a gun that just got slapped in the face with this change. The Stalker was already in a bad spot. Sure the range is nice, but honestly, the 1 shot was killing this gun. At the same time, we understand why it should be 1 shot! And we love that it’s AP -2. It’s a marine killer, and the stratagem from Vigilus also made it a threat vs Characters, too. We didn’t feel like giving it a ‘Sniper’ rule would be the right option.
It’s already a Heavy 1 gun, so it wasn’t going to move anyhow…but the problem has always been it just doesn’t do enough damage. The answer is not to up the rate of fire either (it’s a sniper). So what stat can we change? We can increase the damage stat by 1 – making it 2 Damage. Now it’s more than an Anti-Marine weapon, it’s an Anti-Primaris Weapon.
Suddenly the Stalker Pattern Bolt Rifle has the same Damage potential at long range (20 damage from 10 shots) as the Bolt Rifle without a stratagem (20 damage from 20 shots). It also makes characters a little bit more hesitant to pop their heads out, too!
Again, all of these guns would need a tweak to points. And these aren’t the final/only options either – but we definitely think that if GW is going to make Bolters better, let’s make ALL the Bolter options better in a good way and not invalidate other options.
What do you think? How would you bring the other Bolter options up to snuff with the new Bolt Rifle?