Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Are power weapons really that confusing?

by Anonymous Foodie
My head-bone hurts

Now that the nerdrage from fortifications and allies has died down, we have a new contender for the ZOMG!!1one award - Power Weapons.
What is it?  What does it do?  Is mine fancy?  Is mine longer than that guys'?

Well, kids, it's time to find out.  Except maybe that last one.

I'm going to attempt to break this down as simply as possible.  I'd draw a pretty chart, but I only have a keyboard - though if anyone wants to buy me one of those fancy computer drawing pads, get my E-mail from Farmpunk and I'll be happy to oblige.

First, open your codex to the wargear entry appropriate to the weapon in question.  Reference pages 60-61 of the BBoR (or the Space Wolves FAQ if applicable).

Is the name of your weapon, or the name of the weapon that your weapon emulates VER BATIM held within those pages?
  Yes - Congratulations!  Use the profile listed.
  No - Continue reading.

Is the weapon simply listed as a power "weapon" with no further unique special rules?
  Yes - So close!  The following paragraph will cure you of your brain-herpes.
  No - Almost there!  Skip to the last paragraph to have all of your life's problems solved.

Power Weapons are broken into four, and only four types.  Sword, Axe, Maul, and Lance.  How do you tell which type your weapon falls under?  Look at it!

Sword - Daggers, knives, swords; single or double edged, typically straight but sometimes slightly curved, these weapons were most often carried by medieval knights, and apparently warriors in the far flung future.  I guess to look forward, sometimes you have to look back.

Axe - Axes, hatchets, most polearm/halberd weapons; If it looks like you can chop wood with it (effectively, that is) then you're probably looking at an axe.  You'll note an attached head with sharpened (and generally curved) blade, rather than a full, straight(ish) blade running from the pommel.  This is the biggest indicator that you're a lumberjack of the 41st millennium!  A deadly, deadly lumberjack.

Maul - Clubs, flanges, morning stars, staves; if the edge is blunt rather than sharp, you're a maul-toting maniac!  Congradulations, your 2nd-ed DnD cleric-like aversion to bloodshed (accidentally bashing brains through skulls doesn't count) has gifted you with the Concussive trait!

Lance - Spears, lances, javelins; if your weapon is a long shaft tipped with a dagger-like blade that would be a good fit in a punji-trap, then you're wielding a lance!  African war chants are not included, sorry.

Now, what if your weapon has unique special rules?  Per "Unusual Power Weapons" on page 61, if a weapon has its own unique close combat rules then it is simply treated as an AP 3 weapon that follows all of those rules.  If you're unfamiliar with the word unique, it means that the rules your weapon has are not rules common to other special characters or codices.  It means rules found only for that specific weapon.  So let's check again, does your weapon of choice have its own unique rules?

Yes - Good!  Your weapon is fancy!  It follows those rules, and it's AP 3.  Good job!
No - Oh, you realized that its rules are found throughout the game, therefor making them non-unique?  Reference the above chart to see what sort of weapon you have!

Congratulations, you've won the internet

Now grab your Power [insert type here] and go slay the [enemies/heroes, select one] of the imperium!

41 comments:

  1. I'm glad it's so obvious to you.

    Now look at the book again. The paragraph at the top left doesn't say unique. It just says special rules. The paragraph at the top right says unique.

    It can go one way or the other, but not both. I'm inclined to think it's the paragraph on the left where someone got sloppy and used the wrong term. But that's me. Someone else will see it differently. Only a FAQ will settle it outside of our particular group.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for pointing out the other side of the argument. I don't lean one way or the other, I think it's just another one of those things that is left undefined, sadly. It's something that needs to be FAQ'd, but never will

      Delete
    2. Well, I hope it will. Or else I won't be playing 6th with my army.

      Seeing the back-and-forth over this on BoLS is giving me a headache.

      Delete
    3. Oh, and now you have guys arguing that since Dante's Axe has it's own profile in the Blood Angels book, that the codex should take precedence over the BRB. GAH!!!

      This is where I point out (again) that Battlefront did it right. BRB should override codex. Only the new codices should override the BRB. We had a question at the tourney about whether my AA trucks had a 'Gun Shield' or not. The North Africa book didn't have it listed in the reference table, despite the model itself having a shield. So we pulled out the updated Forces book that comes with the 3rd Edition rules and there it was. Problem solved. Nobody had to nerd-rage to figure it out.

      Delete
    4. I am with you here. I wish the BF guys would write the GW rules. Both second and third edition were tight.

      Delete
    5. Irregardless, "master-crafted" is not a unique special rule. That much is simple fact. Er go, the "it's AP3 and follows its rules" *can not* apply.

      That either leaves you with the insanely reasonable option of following the standard profile of the type of weapon which it is, or ignoring it completely because it's not in the game.

      Take your pick.

      Delete
    6. Your opinion is a perfectly valid one. But you continue to miss my point.

      Delete
    7. I feel like you are missing the point and are getting real bent out of shape over nothing. You could be an adult and a stand up gamer if you talked about this problem with the person you are going to pay against. If you get your rocks off playing competitively, then you are going to ask the TO how they want to handle it. Sorry, but them is the breaks.

      If you choose to find yourself unable to talk about your problems rather than pitching a fit and quitting 6th, I do not think that the hobby would suffer in your absence.

      Delete
    8. FYI sandwyrm, I'm with you on this one...

      But actually, what you find when you read the rules is that the glaives have no rule that can be used by them.

      the "types of power weapons" says that if your power weapon has no further special rules... which the glaive does (two handed and master crafted). This means we cannot look at this paragraph to tell us the glaives profile.

      the "unusual power weapons" says that if your power weapon has "unique special rules" then they are AP3... but the special rules of the glaive are not unique. they are common special rules that are described in the special rules section. This section notes that unique special rules will be found in individual codexes...

      So, the glaives are not a particular type of power weapon nor are tehy unusual power weapons. NEITHER of the rules can be used and so NONE of the profiles rules can be used!? so WTF are they?

      who the fuck knows?

      this can be easily fixed if GW were to simply write "unique" in front of "special rules" in the "types of power weapons" parapgraph... until they do, apparantely glaives are simply nothing???

      Delete
    9. Thank you Oink, you understand the problem precisely.

      Vurumai, "talking about this with the person I'm about to play against" means an argument, and one I will quickly tire of. Best case... I roll a die to decide. That's not fun in the long run. Worst case, it'll be arbitrarily decided by a TO differently at every event I play. That's not fun either.

      Delete
    10. One thing that you aren't considering is what language the rulebook is in that is being referenced. this came up on the 3++ chat bawks the first day of 6th ed release whilst everyone was streaming all sorts of stuff in and we found that the french books in relation to grounded tests for flying MC's described it as when an mc took an unsaved wound they had to take a grounded test whereas all us English editions have whenever the flying MC is hit. Further prodding supposedly had the english ones printed first and itw as a typo of wording and 5they left them printed to be faq'ed later and then the french ones got the correct printing - I don't know the truth of that. Suffice to say, it might be worth considering what the rules state in different language based editions of the 40k rulebook and you might find a clearer description there. If so, let us all know. :)

      Delete
  2. So what about Kharn the Betrayer? He has a unique weapon yet GW FAQed it to be an ax, because he has an ax. Is GW full of fail or should he be I5 with an ap3 weapon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, obviously it wasn't a problem until you brought it up. Thanks Bud! ;)

      Delete
    2. He should have been given an option to use just his pistol to hit people with at I5, right? =D

      Delete
    3. He's now worse than a Vanilla Sgt with a PF (Who he will lose to 50% of the time @ Int 1), because he kills his own boyz.

      Delete
    4. Let's check the chart ;)

      It's only treated as an Ax (S+1, AP2, Init 1) if it has no *further* special rules. Kharn's Ax *does*, so that saves you from going at I1 (though also does not give you +S or better AP).

      The +d6 listed in the FAQ is perhaps a minor special rule, but it's a special rule nonetheless. I can't remember the last time I played against chaos marines with Kharne (actually I can... silly Muncie tournaments) but I don't know if Gorechild has any other special rules beyond that.

      *Typically* what all of this means, is that when you buy "a power weapon" for a squad leader, you choose what type you buy for him (or her, if you're equal opportunity).

      There are very few incongruities, and I'm actually very interested in the whole different-language thing that came up... we'll see if that all pans out to something.

      Delete
  3. By continuing to be ignorant of the actual rules I allow myself i rant and rave about stuff without knowing the facts (the best way to be): So just on first impression, i think making power weapons AP3 is crap. That makes those hard to kill 2+ Save guys now that much harder to kill! The balance of power shifts over all lop-sided once again. okay, sounds like some weapons will be AP2 but only some. the great equalizer is nerfed, rage on termies and all you invulnerable guys, now there's even less that can stop you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I firmly believe that Armor 2+ should be as hard to down as an AV14 vehicle. They are both the pinnacle of defense. Before you had too many ways to kill them, and now that it's hard they'll be feared as they should. Power weapons are meant to eat small armors, like power armor, so it's ok.

      People who complain at Armor 2+ being strong and not at the other more pressing issues are people who do not have access to 2+ very often but have either flyers or are nid/tau players who resigned themselves to just play the game because they have nothing better to do

      Delete
    2. I think that is the problem - 2+ saves sucked, it was the 3++ that was so revered. Now the THSS terminators aren't the be-all-and-end-all of CQC.

      It's not like plasma/melta guns ceased to exist, small arms fire is better than it used to be. Do it like the guard do it - gun them termies down!

      Delete
  4. So what is a choppa considered?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is considered something that you get to.

      "Get to tha Choppa!"

      Delete
    2. Is it an African Choppa or a European Choppa?

      Delete
    3. It's quite obvious: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Chopin

      Delete
    4. But what if the Orks are making unusual music? Does a theremin count as unusual? What about a keytar?

      Delete
    5. So then I'll count it as a powersword.

      Delete
    6. A choppa is just a normal weapon. If it is a power choppa it would be an axe to me.

      Delete
    7. Only Orks on Harlies get real power choppas.

      Delete
    8. The best ones though are the ones the Docs get because then your Orks have Medical Choppas and that's sick.

      Delete
  5. My concern is for the weapons that are not really defined... One of my armies is Eldar, and from the old days I have some Banshees that I'll be breaking out to see if I can make them work... The old RT Exarch I have has an axe. I'll probably use her as a normal Banshee just to have the AP 2 Str 4 weapon mixed in... Is this cheating? To my mind, no, but I am not a TO :-) And what AP would an Executioner be? I have one modeled as a spear like weapon (Boar Spear or Norse War Spear really)... So, is it a Lance? Giving me +3 Str on the charge or just a +2 Str AP 3 (more likely)... Now, our local group is pretty mellow, but if I travel to a tournament... Would be nice to have the company actually define their own stuff...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not 100% sure, since I don't have the Eldar Codex, but isn't an Executioner a "power weapon that grants +2 strength" or something of the sort? As such, it falls into the "unique weapon" category, much in the same way as Incubi Klaives and Demi-klaives.

      The physical model only matters if it's a "power weapon" and nothing else. In my mind, this makes it perfectly appropriate for a unit full of "power weapons" to be modeled with a variety of types to take advantage of the different abilities - every model in the game that has or can have a power weapon simply got a few more options!

      It goes a long way toward explaining the Init penalty with Axes. At first a lot of (marine) players kept asking "why would I ever take an axe?". Then Farmpunk shows up and throws out that with his Sisters (or Guard) it's a much cheaper way to get a sizable Strength bonus, since Init 3 often isn't enough to make a difference.

      Delete
    2. :-) Oh, I agree... Thinking my Commissar and SGT/LT types will get axes replacing swords as they go after I4 anyway....

      AP 3 is still pretty good overall, so my Executioner will end up there I think... Assuming Eldrad's weapon will be "unique" as well, so dodging the AP 4 of "staff" weapons that my Chaplain types all hate now... But I could easily be wrong :-)

      Delete
    3. So much for IG blobs not getting power fists. Axes are almost as good and all you have to do is swap the weapon on the model. :)

      Delete
  6. I think that "unique special rule" is a very bad definition for a game which now has a main book, 16 codexes, and several imperial armor books. I would guess that this really means a weapon special rule that is written in the unit entry instead of referencing the main book or the main army special rules but that does not in anyway say that it is "unique" unless I check every single army in the game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. to me it should be "if your weapon is not named it's one of the above. If it is it's an AP3 with it's own rules added". Simple as that.

      Delete
    2. I agree that "unique" is a bit harsh... although when the BBoR now has half a dozen pages of "special rules", I feel pretty confident in saying that a "unique" special rule is one that does not fall within these pages.

      Delete
    3. i'll just re=post this here and see what you think about it, anonfoo.

      The definition to "special rule" is at the beginning of the second paragraph, pg. 32: "whenever a creature or weapon has an ability that breaks or bends the mais games rules (...)".

      Yet, lower on that same page, on the topic "What SPECIAL rules do I have?", forth paragraph down, it reads: "most of the more commonly used special rules in warhammer 40k are listed here, but this is no means an exhaustive list. Many troops have their own UNIQUE abilities, which are laid out in their codex."

      With this we have found the definition of unique rule which rules the Power Weapon dilemma: It's a special rule, either one from the list presented on the list from the BRB, pgs. 32/43, or one presented on the unit's codex.

      Delete
  7. FOODIE! thank you sir for trying to clarify this for us, I appreciate this. You put on your cape this morning and ran into battle against the evil Wyrm and his whining. Alas we all shall see if he continues his whining. . .he will.

    NOW with the topic brought up, TYRANIDS! Boneswords. . .They are NOT power weapons. No where in the entry for the weapon does it say the word POWER it simply says that they do not allow armor saves. This is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I responded to Sand Wyrm in his post, and didn't want to clutter this blog with a copy/paste to this post, so I responded to you in my own blog post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Can you make a PDF of the flowchart so I can print it out and staple it to people that can't understand it? Really, is it this hard?

    ReplyDelete

Recent Favorites

All-Time Favorites