Let’s see if we can glean any new information from the Tanith First and Only rules and what it may mean for Astra Militarum.
Gaunt’s Ghosts are the first Astra Militarium models/rules to come out in 9th Edition, and they join just a very small handful of new models for the faction in the past several years. They are undoubtedly awesome models, however as we’ve mentioned their rules can be a little wonky. They are the first rules for the faction this edition, and we can expect a new codex sometime in the nearish future, so it’s only natural that we take a look to see if we can get any ideas for upcoming rules changes.
We might have found a big one. Let’s take a look.
A New Weapon?
The Ghosts have a large collection of weapons. Some of them are clearly unique items belonging to a specific person. Others are items that we know only the Tanith use, in this case the Straight silver knife. Yet more are already existing weapons. One weapon however stands out to us, the Lascarbine. This is not a unique weapon and there is no reason it should be tied to the Tanith alone. Lots of different types of las-weapons are in use in the Guard. This has got us thinking that it might possibly be a new generic weapon that will be an option for Guard Infantry. The idea is not so far-fetched, GW has been on a kick of giving units more weapon options. Normal and Heavy Intercessors, as well as Hellblasters have access to Assault/Rapid Fire/Heavy versions of their guns. Necron Warriors got a 2nd gun option with their codex. It’s clear Guard need a shake-up and this could well be part of it.
Now you might be saying right now that this can’t be a new gun because it would straight up be better than the basic Lasgun, Assault 3 is after all much better than Rapid Fire 1. And that’s quite fair. However we knew GW is taking the opportunity with these new books to change up weapon stats, and I think the Lasgun is ripe for a change. After all, it sucks right now. If the Lascarbine becomes an option, then the Lasgun would also have to get better. I doubt they will go the Bolt Rifle/Auto boltrifle approach and make a Lasgun have 30″ range and AP -1… but I could certainly see them upping the Lasgun to Rapid Fire 2.
This change would actually make a lot of sense. Lasguns can put out a lot of shots, and probably should have a higher rate of fire than a bolter. It also helps move Guard infantry into putting out a lot of low-power fire, where they should be. Sadly I suspect First Rank Fire!, Second Rank Fire! will somehow get nerfed, or go down to only one use a phase, but being able to throw it on Rapid Fire 2 weapons would be nice. This would also be a real choice. Choosing between Rapid Fire 2 and Assault 3 is an actual choice. If they want to go really Intercessor-like, they could provide a third option in heavy Long-lases. Overall I think these changes would help buff Guard and make for interesting choices.
An Argument Against
One strong argument against this theory is the new updated Cadian box. This box notably does not come with lascarbines (nor enoughn Long-Lases to equip the unit). Modern GW is pretty shy of giving units options that don’t come in their box, indeed many 9th Datasheets have been updated to more closely match the exact contents of a box. Since one of the goals of the box was to update the models to more closely resemble the unit’s options it would seem to be a huge oversight not to include Lascarbines if they were becoming a basic weapon. This leaves us a few options:
- There aren’t going to be lascarbines and I’ll be sad.
- Lascarbines have no physical difference with lasguns- this would be pretty odd for GW.
- There is another new box coming that will have Lascarbines. This would mean either a non-Cadian Infantry Squad (Steel Legion?) with the alternate weapons or potentially a new infantry choice- Mechanized or Assault infantry squad?
- There is no Lascarbine, but Lasguns could still in theory get a rework.
Any of these options are possible. I’m really hoping the Lascarbine is coming and that it will be part of a big shake up for Guard, but I guess we will have to see.
Let us know what changes you think might be coming to the Guard, down in the comments!