Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Power Weapons: Are your Warriors using the right Weapons?

Hi all, Eldrad Vect here. Ah, the humble Power Weapon, the tool of champions and no name squad leaders, however in 6th edition they released the new rules on the different types of Power Weapons, this was awesome and I think one of the greatest things in the new rulebook (I love 6th Edition so much). It does beg the question though, what weapon should I use? well I'm here to give you the run down on what I think are the best choices for each race.

Space Marines/Chaos Space Marines (and Codex Chapters)
Power Sword and Power Axe:
Starting with the most popular race in Warhammer, Space Marines and their evil counterparts excel when using all weapon types but are particularly effective with these two. Since their base Strength is 4, the Power Sword is exceptionally useful, it's AP3 at full Initiative means in the hands of a Space Marine, can pull apart xenos and MEQs with equal ease. The Power Axe is also a great weapon for Marines but should be used defensively, i.e. if you have a Devestator (or Havoc) squad leader with a Power Weapon make it a Power Axe. The reason behind this is that the Power Axe's +1 to Strength and AP2 gives it sundering power unmatched, so it is effective at holding off attackers as it mean you won't lose combat and may even sweep your attackers since the upped Strength give you an greater chance to wound your foe.

Dark Eldar
Power Sword and Power Lance:
Dark Eldar need speed above all else and the Power Axe is too clunky for Dark Eldar and is also unnecessary because almost every Dark Eldar unit has access to AP2, whether it be shooting or CC, not only that but they have access to one the best Power Weapons in Warhammer, the Agoniser which always wounds on a +4 and is AP3 which can carve through Infantry and Monstrous Creatures. The Agoniser also makes the Power Maul useless too. Power Sword is for your shooty units to give them continuous AP3 to help even the Combat Resolution and maybe prolong combat so a more aggressive unit can help, where as the Power Lance is for your attacking squads, the +1 Strength on the charge is very handy for Dark Eldar. Personally, I typically use Agonisers but I do use Swords and Lances sometimes since they are cheaper than the Agoniser.

Imperial Guard
Power Maul:
Imperial Guard Sergeants should only ever wield Power Mauls, for them, the +2 to Strength allows them a chance to pummel even Marines in combat. No other Power Weapon is worth it, in my opinion the Sword is too weak, the Axe not needed and the Lance is pointless because IG don't often charge into combat, (well, I do).  

Sisters of Battle
Power Maul and Power Axe:
Sisters are weak, sad to say it but its true, S3 is not very good and unlike Eldar and Dark Eldar, these chicks ain't fast, with I3 they have the same problem as Guard. The Power Maul and Power Axe buff the Sisters to new levels, if your going to strike last anyway may as well do it with an AP2 Axe and take some foes out with you.

Power Sword, Power Lance and Power Axe:
The Triforce of Power Weapons used by the Eldar all work well, Swords and Lances keep the Eldar's high Initiative whilst killing Infantry easy, even Terminators or other 2+ Armour save units if the Jinx Psychic Power is in play, however you may be wondering why I have the Power Axe on this list. Eldar Aspect Warrior Exarchs have good armour and WS, this means a good Power Axe doesn't go to waste, however I only use this on units that is makes sense to, an example of this is one of my Dire Avenger Exarch, I always play Power Weapon and Shimmershield but the Diresword is AP2 and in order to give the unit a +5 Invuln. Save I have to sacrifice the AP2... well, not really, I simply give my Exarch a Power Axe, this gives him both a lovely Strength bonus that makes him quite a good Marine killer and the AP of 2 that he was missing out on. So while it all depends on your squad and what you like to use.

Orks, Necrons, Chaos Daemons, Tyranid, Tau, Grey Knights.
Sorry you guys, you either don't have access to conventional Power Weapons or have unique weapons that a similar but way better (i.e. Boneswords, Warscythes, Hellblades...) just keep doing what your doing and you'll be fine. I know that some of them do have Power Weapons but it is not as widespread as the others.

Whatever Power Weapons your troops wield just remember, it better than a Combat Knife.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great read! I enjoy your articles.

A question about IG, though - why not a blend of mauls and axes? It seems that the blob offers unmatched flexibility, and having one of each gives you the tool for more jobs, especially if you challenge (or decline) strategically to keep the better tool in the mix.

It also seems like the same mentality might fit here as with sisters: if you're going last anyway...

Note: I don't claim to be an IG expert - just a guy afflicted with curiosity.

Eldrad Vect said...

Hi Brittlewords, thanks for the comment, Axes do work ok and yes it's the same as Sisters, however I've played a Guardsmen blob (5 infantry squads, Sgt. and Commissars in each with Power Mauls) and the horrific punching power is crazy. I've never used an Axe on IG, so I think I'll try it :)

Ian Logsdon said...

Eldrad, yeah 5 power axes and 5 flamers in a blob squad basically scream "don't you dare charge me."

Your opponent can only challenge one sergeant at a time, so this is extremely useful for whittling down heavy assault units with AP2 S4 hits, plus the dakka of 5D3 flamer hits.

I run pure power axes on sergeants for my CSM (except my bike squad, which takes a power fist for vehicles). I do get gimped in challenges from time to time, but I find the T5 of my plague marines and bikes stands up pretty well to I4 power weapons. I do take a lightning claw on my chaos lord, since I'm paying for boosted initiative on him.

Eldrad Vect said...

Hi Ian. 5 Power axes and 5 Flamers is sickening... whats worse is adding a Commissar with Power Axe to each is even worse, it totals to 10 Power Axes, 5 Flamers and a 55 man unit with Stubborn.

I do love Lightning Claws and I find it intriguing that you run pure Power Axe, it's an excellent idea and by the sounds of it you definitely are an excellent Chaos player indeed. When I played Chaos I would typically have every Sergeant with Lightning Claws because I'd have a pair of them and then a Combi-Weapon as well so they could shoot effectively too, however I played Slaanesh so I relied on speed, from what you've said I'm guessing you play Nurgle, thus the many Power Axes you use are perfect. :)

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