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40K: Astartes Weapons: Going, Going…

4 Minute Read
Jul 29 2020

There’s enough Primaris units now to see a trend. A lot of “classic” Astartes weapons look like they are obsolete.

We’ve already talked about how about twenty new Primaris units are headed our way with the launch of 9th Edition and the new Space marine codex. As the Primaris range grew over time, we slow but surely saw a new picture emerge of what the new army would look like not only in stats, but in equipment.

One of the big surprises is how different the Primaris armory was, compared to what came before.  While the quintessential Bolter family is here to stay, a lot of weapons that have been trustworthy parts of the game for decades were nowhere to be seen. Other new weapons such as the Heavy Stubber, normally associated with the IG popped up all over the place for Primaris.  It was clear that the designers had a new vision for what the Primaris army should be armed with.

We went through the list of classic weapons and compared it to every Primaris unit we know of to see what may be headed to the trashheap, soon to be recycled by that snazzy new Primaris Techmarine.

Missile Launchers

The humble Missile Launcher has been with us the the RTB-01 days and is gone. There are some variants  that are kinda close like the Icarus Rocket pod, but it’s not the same.  I’m surprised to see such a basic marine weapon disappear, while you can’t walk five feet without tripping over a heavy flamer.

Plasma Cannon

The Plasma Cannon is a perfect example of a weapon being left behind by updates. The Hellblasters use weapons more potent, and the Redemptor has an oversized version. The old fashioned Plasma Cannon now has no reason to exist… and it doesn’t for Primaris.


Assault Cannon

Remember when people would pay $35 per Assault Cannon bits back in the day? Well that day is gone.  Not a single Assault Cannon remains, as the Primaris have moved onto the larger calibre Gatling Cannon family that are showing up all over the place.


Where the heck did the Grav weapons go? These aren’t even that old, and have a retconned legacy dating back to 30K. If there is a weapon I expect to show up one day in a future Primaris unit, it’s Grav. Of course, maybe the designers think that it’s too exotic and a better fit for the Ad Mech. Time will tell.




More classic marine weapons with no reason to exist. The Eradicator’s Melta Rifles make a mockery of the entire concept of Multi-meltas, being superior in every way. This in turn makes the standard meltagun the appendix of the Astartes armory. A new mystery is that distinctly melta-looking sponson on the just revealed Galdiator Valiant, but perhaps it’s some new superior Melta weapon we have never seen before.

The Future

It is still possible that some of these will appear in future Primaris units. Some are gone in particular, if not in spirit with related variants still carrying on (looking at you Plasma Cannon). But some like the Grav family are nowhere to be seen.

Hey buddy, do you mind? You don’t seem to be using it.

I do wonder as we see the Astartes evolve into a new armory, if we will see some of these “obsolete hand be downs” starting to show up as options in future CSM units?

~ For the Emperor


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