Two Wound Marines will be everywhere in 9th edition. Here’s my choices for how to keep them from overwhelming every other race.
Two wound marines and their Chaos brothers are headed towards a tabletop near you. This will be the biggest shakeup for them since late Rogue Trader in the early 1990s, when Marines went from T:3 to T4.
With roughly a third of the game’s armies moving to W:2, the game is going to need a way to deal with them, to keep things fair. The most obvious way is to adjust at least one common weapon per faction to be a “Marine Killer”.
The Heavy Bolter
The Heavy Bolter is the single most common and currently cheap heavy weapon in the game. It is used commonly by almost all Imperial factions, Marines, and Sisters. Ad-Mech have some access to it. It is such a common weapon that I think its change to 36″ S5 AP-1 D2 needs to be seen as a single change taken together with the Astartes W:2. One doesn’t work with out the other. But this does nothing to help all the other non-imperial races out there. Here’s the weapons I would target to bring parity.
What’s good for the goose… is good for the pointy ears. The Shuriken Cannon is the most common and cheap Craftworld Eldar heavy weapon, and can be accessed by many units in the codex. Like the Heavy Bolter, I would leave it is untouched aside from an increase from D1 to D2. It’s short range makes its use tricky, but the lighting quick Eldar are used to playing with fire. It’s an easy update that would further diversify the long-standing range of Eldar Heavy weapons.
Another direct analogue to Heavy Bolter. While the Big Shoota seems to be more potent than the above two weapons, as is is both Assault, and has a 36″ range, remember that Orks miss – a LOT. So the increase to D2 isn’t as crazy as it seems. It would make a sharp difference between the Ork vehicles and Lootas who cound now nail Astartes and the basic infantry who will have to get stuck in and use their choppas to settle the matter.
Yup, I think it’s time for the generally ignored mainstay of the T’au Heavy weapons to get it’s day in the sun. Increasing the D1 to D2 on the basic burst cannon, does a couple things. First it now makes more sense as the smaller cousin of the Heavy Burst Cannon, just with fewer shots and 1 lower strength and AP. Burst cannons are all over the place in the Tau list from Suits to all the Vehicles, so increasing it would be, very, very on par with the other upgrades we have suggested. I personally think there’s a case to be made to increase Pulse Rifles to D2 within half range to put some punch back into what used to be the scariest standard infantry rifle in the galaxy, but that’s an argument for another day.
How many editions have wee been waiting for Medium bugs to have a purpose? Make the Deathspitter D:2 and the ORIGINAL Tyranid weapon (from the early 90s) will finally get some respect. Overnight you will see things like Tyranid Warriors matter as they can evolve into elite Astartes hunters, while all the little bugs go ofter the masses of horde targets. Plus, come on, we all know the Bugs need all the help they can get right now.
~I’m sure we missed some and Necrons are just around the corner in any case. What weapons would you make Marine killers?