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!