Goatboy here to ask the eternal 40K question that comes up with every new codex – what makes a weapon TOO good?
I’m here again with a quick bit of discussion. With new armies coming out with updated weapons I want to ask the question – what makes something too good? Is it just the damage potential, rate of fire, or some other mixture of things that make it too powerful? Personally, I think it is a mixture of all of these that create these interactions that feel a bit – unfair.
Suspect #1 Volkite Culverin
Let’s look at some of the most powerful weapons currently in the game right now. I think the biggest “issue” gun right now is the continued bit of Forgeworld nonsense in the Volkite Culverin attached to a Contemptor dreadnought chassis. This gun hits all of the issue spots to make it on the edge of most likely being too powerful. It has a high rate of fire, a huge upswing of damage (if you roll 6’s and failed opponent armor saves), and it mixes all of this into armies that have a ton of overlapping powers with Auras, rerolls, and stacking abilities. Now is this too powerful? I am not so sure as you have to hit that upscale on reroll wounds to really amp it up. Still it can just be an oops – I killed you with 6’s which leads to some unfunny interactions. It also doesn’t gain nearly as much from the +1 to wound mechanic as you would rather just have rerolls option to make it good.
Suspect #2 Las-cannon
From there let’s look at the Lascannon. We know that a lot of new armies got the sweet spot of 3+d3 for the damage output which puts the weapon into the range of pucker up buttercup when you get hit by one. Currently, we don’t see it nearly as much due to the constant struggle of needing some help to push it over the top from either re-rolls to hit or rerolls to wound. The last one lost that when it forgot it shouldn’t be a CORE keyword so I suspect we won’t be worrying about these nearly as much until we see if Chaos Space Marines get upgraded ones. I think if Predators for both T Sons and Death Guard got the upgrade/change it would be a very different story when needing to find some much-needed long-range punching firepower for both armies. Still – it is one of those weird options that seems to suffer from an overcorrection in point cost mixed with lack of friend handshaking power.
Suspect #3 Liquifier Gun
The last one that really hit home how something was too good was the Liquefier issue we had for a bit. You mix in units that could take a bunch, an automatic powerful bonus, and getting a +1 to wound into a cheap flamer base and you got something problematic. Heck the extra bit of AP to spice it up means these were by default awesome weapons and most likely would have been the part of an Admech murder sandwich if they stayed around. I really think the +1 to wound was the biggest issue (beyond ignoring the gets hot and die rule) as it shifted interaction into the worrisome territory. Heck, you see this in Admech with all the buffs to push their basic trooper into a murder machine.
Just Right – Heavy Bolter
Now to go into the other direction into weapons boosted but not doing nearly as much we can just look at the Heavy Bolter. Adding in an extra bit of damage is nice but without changing any of the other interactions it becomes a cute gun. Could you imagine if it lost heavy, gain some kind of explosive killing power (extra hit on 6’s native), or some other kind of buff it could be something. It was the initial poster child of 9th edition and while neat it doesn’t nearly work as much without a lot of extra buffs. I really wish we saw it in the regular Death Guard army as I think it could well fit as an upgrade on Plague Marines and other options. I never understood how it should be heavy and instead should have had a shift profile that showed you standing still and hold down on the trigger or running around like a crazy person spraying things with the holy bullets of the Emperor.
What other weapons do you think weren’t pushed enough? I feel the bolter and other options feel alright but things like the Multi-Melta and other big name guns still don’t feel correct. I want to tremble in fear when a Lascannon hits or the Battle Cannon revs up and throws a payload of murder onto my power little armies head?
~What do you think is too good, just right, or dreck?