Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hmmm, fist or blade...

That's it, I can't go any longer without ranting about this.  I've been a good boy and I've kept quiet for a couple months now as far as my ranting and with the new edition of rules released.  But I'm exploding now, so 'ere I go!

The new rules seem fantastic to me.  I must admit that I don't own the rulebook yet (only days away now!!!) and I haven't played the new version of the game.  But I am a regular on the blogosphere and I've seen, read, heard, watched, and even witnessed mostly everything this new edition seems to offer.  And from my 'outside observer' point of view, I have to admit that I've gotten rather excited. 

I'm not a fan of a couple things for sure, but the thing that I admit being totally geeked about is the whole AP-values being assigned to close combat weapons.  Now I'm not gonna sit here and say that I knew it was gonna happen or even that I wished it had happened long ago.  No, I'm just here to say Wow! that was a brilliant move!

Why, you ask?  Well, there's two main reasons.

1.  It finally adds something to the close combat phase that has always been there in shooting.  I DID think about this concept many months ago, of course, but it was just a 'crazy' thought.  The thing is- there are so many different kinds of guns that have so many different effects.  But when it comes to anything up close and personal, there were all of three rules- does it ignore armor saves?  Does it add or double strength?  And does it strike last or at initiative?  That's it?  That encompasses millions of years of sentient conflict and infinite possibilities for the oldest types of weapons?  Yeah, I guess only bullets and beams can ever be different, while blades and hammers are really the same...

In addition, how cool are the new layers of toughness and impact warriors now gain just because...  Think about this:
  • Power Swords are simply AP 3 CCWs.  This comes in handy later...
  • Power Mauls are AP 4, but they add 2 to strength and are concussive!  Chaplains may not be able to mow down marines like they used to, but they'll REALLY hurt a Hive Tyrant if they survive and can shred vehicles with impunity.
  • Power Glaives/Halberds/etc. I think are AP 3 and add one to strength or something.  I know I've read this, but I don't play any armies where this matters, so I've forgotten.  Sorry, guys.
  • Lightning claws are AP 3, but they get to reroll wounds.
  • Power Axes are AP 2 and add a strength, but they are unwieldy.  Luckily, they cost the same as Power Swords, so it's really similar to taking a 'mini-' power fist.
  • Power Fists are AP 2, double strength, and unwieldy, as always.
  • Thunder hammers are power fists with Concussive!
  • and so on, and so forth. 
See?  It's really cool how just the type of CCW a model takes can change the entire way they operate now.  It's nice to be concerned with more than just whether I'll get an armor save or not...

2.  The second reason I declareth Yay!- Power Swords.  For too long has the Power Fist ruled everything.  If I was fighting against a Space Marine player (and there are plenty), or a Chaos player, or an Ork player, or a unit of Striking Scorpions, or a...  you get my point here, I'm sure.  But whenever I fought any of those things, I knew I was facing somebody with a Fist.  Meanwhile, my lads are usually loaded up with Power Swords.  Not only would I have a grand total of THREE more marines in my army for it, but I would kill about THREE less enemy than they kill of me in close combat.  I was always sad at my choice, but I have my reasons for it (and, of course, I DO have Power Fists in alot of squads, just not EVERY). 

Why does this matter so much?  Well, think about how many times your IG squad would get charged by a Space Marine squad, lose four guardsmen, kill one marine, and then lose two more guardsmen to their power fist.  It would always lead to the IG failing their morale (well, the three dudes left, anyway) and then getting chopped down on the run.  Was there anything you could do about it?  Nope.  But now there is.  With the new 'Challenge' rules, your cheap-ass IG sergeant can call out that damned Space Marine sarge armed with a Power Fist.  The guardsman is higher initiative, hits half the time, and with a single roll of a '5' will kill that unstoppable armored bohemoth of killy death.  Oh, and that IG sergeant won't die (most of the time)!!!  Now your lowly little IG man is a fair match to a Nob and Aspiring Champion alike. 

This will mean that more people will pay the less points for the Power Sword option now, but I guarantee that the popularity of Terminators and Artificer armor will keep that swing in check.  I believe that the Power Sword will, for an appropriate points cost, finally be an outstanding option to the Power Fist and will level the battlefield with the great debate once again-

What's more valuable, the Power Sword or the Power Fist?

Let me know what y'all think on this topic.  I appreciate you listening to me rant for a bit, and I hope I made you as excited as I am about a glowy, bladed weapon...  :-)

Happy Hobbying!


  1. Wow this makes Terminators so much better now that they get a 2+ against just about everything in close combat. Finally you have a real incentive to get them stuck into assault where they should be instead of staying at long range and just blazing away with assault cannons.

  2. Oh yea cuz those poor termies had it so hard. BOO HOO!. What about the ORKS!! Do NOBS even get the chance to have power weapons or is the the same old racial bullshit?

    1. Power weapons on orks come in the form of blowtorches. Plus, what does striking on initiative do for you when your Initiative stat says 'SLOW'? :-)

    2. Terminators (as difficult to kill as they are) had the difficulty of being worth their points. 200 (or more!) points for only 5 guys? And they're slow. At least now they're a little more difficult to kill in close combat. If you have problems with Orks killing Paladins, then you aren't unloading ridiculous amounts of dakka on them.

  3. I really like the variety offered by the change to Power weapons, it gives me more of a reason to model different weapon options. I think some people are too caught up in trying to stratify this option as the best with the other option as the second best and finally the third option as the worst. I think of it like a tool box, a screwdriver is a terrible hammer but an excellent way to get a screw into a board. A power sword can give you a real leg up in the right situation, while you may need a power fist to kill a tank. Overall neat changes.

  4. Yeah I agree this is a good change. For me and my Fists now arming my seargents with power axes makes their fluff more game effective. Althogh I think that the GK halbards should be a little better.