I’ve been thinking – is the game improved by having weapons fire more shots, or do more damage?
Goatboy here and I just want to drop a little nugget of thought out there for the 40k inter webs. The idea that we can repair a lot of issues with weapons by just increasing the damage versus increasing the amount of shots. The reason why I am talking about this is the reveal of the Heavy Bolter going to Damage 2 and how through all the iterations of discussion on the methods to fix the heavy bolter – we never really thought about just making it do more damage.
I think the idea of increasing damage is just a foreign thought thru the last few editions of 40k. We went from a low wound and high defense model in 5th-7th with most things having a lower amount of wounds or in reality their wounds were not really the same such as vehicles. This move to doing more damage per shot is just an interesting concept when looking at fixing weapons. A lot of high damage output guns usually sat on either expensive platforms or had the dreaded issue of rolling that super sweet 1 for damage. There is nothing worse than hitting with your Lascannon, getting the wound, and watching that one pop up for the damage roll.
Beyond just looking at the heavy bolter look at the Melta change. Moving damage to a guaranteed amount – in this case 3 damage – helps resolve some of the issues with a game with random damage rolls. It makes you think that we should probably do this with more weapons. Heck – look at some of the updated strats for some armies and how simple tweaks like causing an extra point of damage turns a unit into something scary. Just this past weekend I got a chance to try out some White Scars and when you hit that sweet spot on turn 3 you just burn through enemy models. A few aura abilities and bam – you are throwing out 2 damage like candy on Halloween.
This has me thinking that we might see more weapons get tweaks like this. I know that a Lascannon in the fluff burns holes thru just about anything so having it be d6+2 or +3 might make them worthwhile on the table top. Heck there are a ton of higher damage guns that can easily move to 2 damage. The Havoc Reaper Chain Cannon from Chaos could be a really nutty 8 shot, 2 damage gun if they want to push it in that direction. Heck I could see pushing the Autocannon to a flat 3 to make it match some of the other guns. It becomes a lot scarier to think about 8 shots having the chance to cause 24 wounds if things go your way.
This increase in damage also makes the idea that the 2 wound Marine isn’t nearly as big of a deal – especially when you think about how they want to limit some of the horde mentality some of the armies start to have. What other guns can we see move up to that sweet flat 2 damage? I think Plasma should always be 2 damage and overcharging throws it into the 3 damage category. There are a ton of Knight weapons that can get that better “bad” roll damage option too. These moves to eliminate some of the amount off shooting but moving it into quality firepower all feels like the continues idea to make games smaller, deadlier, and hopefully faster.
What guns do you think need an update? Do all big laser weapons need to have flat damage potential? Should things start to have the ability to auto kill with max 8-10 damage per single hit?