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Warhammer 40K Hot Mess: Dreadnoughts

3 Minute Read
Sep 26 2023

Goatboy here with this week’s 40K Hot Mess – Dreadnoughts.  I think they could be much cooler, and here is how I would make them actually scary on the tabletop.

Let me preface this by saying I don’t think Dreadnoughts are bad.  In fact I think they have a lot to offer right now and in upcoming stuff.

Dreadnoughts should be a class of vehicle and not just a name given to specific choices in their codex.  We should see it as a Keyword and it gets some things for being saddled with this word on their Dataslate.  Just like a vehicle, it should have its own class of awesome abilities, which would make it better and simplify how these types of options should play.


Dreadnoughts – Keyword It!

First of all, we should classify this to a ton more vehicles.  This way, we can pass on the savings and “vehicle” types to cover a ton of stuff.  Like some of the Daemon Engines should be keyworded like “Daemon Engine, Dreadnought, Awesome” to give it a plethora of rules, we could also look at some of the other Xenos race options and help give them the same thing, too just like how Monstrous Creature gives them something.

Give Dreadnoughts More Rules!

So now we could utilize this Keyword to give it some rules.  Maybe things like “Massive Bulk” which grants them more attacks when they charge in.  Maybe things like Tank Shock, but a bit different to help shift it away from a treaded vehicle of insanity coming in hot.  It would also grant it things like acting sorta like Infantry and going Kool-Aid Man through a Wall.  There are a ton of little things just creating and adding this Keyword could do.

Shift How Dreadnoughts Shoot

Maybe they should get more rules if it shoots with a heavy option while standing still.  Maybe it grants the Assault Keyword to all its weapons because it is a dreadnought.  How about it just likes to shoot a lot or have a cool stratagem that lets the idea that it is both a “person” and machine and it can somehow be better?


Dreadnoughts – the Verdict

I like the idea of keywords being used as it creates a nice level of balance if things are followed between all the armies.  The 10th Edition keywords on weapons was mostly a good idea. Beyond using some things a bit too much in some books it was handled pretty well.  I think we can easily shift it to adding more keywords and abilities to broad unit types – like Dreadnoughts.  This would help move some 40K rules around and create a much more even playing field with all the armies’ options. We could have a whole slew of simple keywords that grant extra rules and helps free up Dataslates to be a bit cleaner and more unique with their extra rules on top of it.

What do you think?  Would it be cool to grant a cool Keyword option to these types of vehicles with a host of other rules?

Would it give enough flavor and unique taste to make Dreadnoughts interesting?

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