Space Marines in 8th Edition – Weapons Part 2

Ladies and gentlemen, good day! In this instalment, we will look at the effect the new weapons rules revealed by GW will have on Space Marine armies.

First off, twin-linked weapons have been completely reworked, and in a way that is more beneficial for Marines (and other high BS armies) than for those not endowed with high marksmanship. This is simple math: the old rule to twin-linked resulted in 33% more hits for a weapon fired by a BS4 model, whereas a BS2 model (like say, an Ork) would see a whopping 66% increase in hits with a twin-linked weapon. Now, both will get twice as many hits, which is a boost to both low and high BS armies, but more so for the latter than the former.

Given how many twin-linked weapons Marines have access to, this is going to be a huge bump in firepower for us. Now, this is mitigated somewhat by the fact that vehicles will be suffering a -1 to hit when firing heavy weapons on the move: a twin Heavy Bolter Razorback will cause 3 hits on its target if moving, whereas it would have been 2.66 before. The flipside to the flipside is that it sounds like a Razorback will be able to move its full move distance while still firing at almost full effect whereas it would have been snap-firing before.

The one thing that worries me a bit is how this is going to be costed in practice: how expensive is a Razorback going to be, for example? During 7th, Razors became a rare sight outside of the Gladius Task Force because – when upgraded with a twin Assault Cannon, for example – they were more than twice as expensive as a Rhino: the extra firepower was nice to have, but the fact that the base hull was no more resilient than the humble Marine APC’s made them a bit of a liability – smart opponents would often prioritise their destruction as that cut into the Marine player’s firepower a lot and would hamstring his mobility to boot. Consequently, the cheaper Rhino (and more so the Drop Pod) were usually preferred.

The change to combi-weapons is glorious. Having the ability to get what is basicaly an additional special weapon in a squad will significantly improve the deadliness of many of our squads. I’m personaly planning on combi-plasmas for my Tactical Squads, combi-meltas for my Scout Squads and combi-gravs for my Bike Squads (if they are still relentless).‎ Devastator Sergeants will likely continue to go without if the rules for their Signum remains the same. Sternguards will probably get combi-plasmas but that I may go a different route after some experimentation. Of course, all of this is subject to the specifics of point costs.

Finaly, the change to Blast weapons is also welcome. Marines have access to quite a few of those,‎ and them being more broadly useful (if less so against some targets) increases their attractiveness for TAC lists. I see a lot of Plasma Cannons in my future… On the receiving end, however, Marines are going to be relatively more vulnerable to Blasts than they were before (again, relatively), as big blobs of bunched hordy types will be no more punished by blasts than our own small model count army.

All in all, some very exciting changes for Marines. Can’t wait to see what else GW has in store for us!

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18 responses to Space Marines in 8th Edition – Weapons Part 2

I’d been putting Combi-Flamers on my Tactical Sergeants for a while now; there weren’t often many situations where I needed the Ignores Cover short range shot more than once in a game (usually to clear off an objective I wanted tbe Tacticals to claim) with the addition of Overwatch/Wall of Death they became even more useful… and now they won’t be One Use Only!? Oh happy day!

Now, if only they’d tell me what Storm Bolters. Assault Cannons, Power Fists, and Thunderhammers do. My Deathwing are starting to get nervous.

Space Marines essentially getting another special weapon in their squads is pretty huge. I don't recall if CSM had this option but it's definitely a leg up on their smaller squad sizes compared to the GEQ type armies who can get lots of guys to access more weapons. GK are of course crying with their lack here.

I don’t think the Grey Knights need to break out the sackcloth and ashes just yet, we have seen that mêlée is going to be pretty decisive, in general, but we haven’t seen what Nemesis Force Staves, Swords, Falchions, Hammers, and Kitchen Sinks do in terms of rules. Assuming they’re mostly the same as the Force Weapon options of the Rubric Marines’ Sorcerer… Yowza.

CSM (at least currently) do indeed have combi-weapon options, so it's safe to assume they keep them. The various cult marines do not, however.

From the way 1KSons work, it wouldn't be unreasonable to presume that Nemesis Force weapons are not only doing d3 damage, but also that each GK squad has the "baby" version of Smite that does 1/d3 wounds to a target- and if so, that's a huge firepower boost all on its own, since they can push mortal wounds en masse onto almost anything.

I had not thought of Smite with GK – that would be fairly interesting if so. Same with say Tzeentch Daemon armies.

I wonder if GK vehicles will remain psykers…

Since the only GK psyker vehicle right now is the Dreadnought, I'm not sure "remain" is a good term.

Psibolt ammo also remains an x-factor. But if it is even half as good as before, I suspect “PassBacks” and “PolterBacks” are going to be very popular.

It was Psybacks. Don't take away what we created here.

I would wait and see what, if any, psychic power is going on with GK vehicles and what psybolt ammo does (+1 S still seems viable or maybe -1AP), let alone the cost. One of the reasons we saw the Passback and Lasplasback disappear was they were simply too easy to attrition away for their points but the humble Psyback or defensive juggernaut Wave Serpent remained as they became points efficient.

Obviously point efficiencies and mission goals will influence a lot, but assuming some rough parity across the editions, I think that the G’Ræy K’Nīghts™ will be in a good place.

Janet, can we get an umlaut on that 's' right there? It's still looking a bit too normal.

Honestly, I'm just happy that the Land Raider might be worth using again. All these changes make one of the most iconic vehicles in the game actually maybe worth it's place on all the cover art.

Just giving the damn thing Split Fire would have been a major boon for the Phobos-pattern, turning it from the neglected “schizophrenic” unloved cousin of the Crusader into a viable unit. Giving it Split Fire _and_ doubling its Rate of Fire is just golden.

Although, I do wonder how Hurricane Bolters will work now. Rapid Fire 6!? EACH!?

>Rapid Fire 6!? EACH!?

Yeah, this is what's got me droolin'. I wouldn't turn down those S6 AP-2 sponson flamers getting d6 hits each, neither.

It will all depend on points. Even if they had done nothing than lower its point cost, the Phobos could have been good. I mean, imagine a 100 pts 14/14/14 mobile bunker…

So yeah, all these changes MIGHT make the LR good again… but if they screw up its point cost, it will all be for naught.

Yeah, going to four Lascannon and six HB shots makes a big difference for that thing, especially if it's able to move and actually fire its weapons (even if it is at a -1 penalty.)