Monday, November 29, 2010

[40K] Beginner's Project: Weapons

I'm planning a Space Marine variant, so my questions are about SM weapons. I'm sure there are other questions out there, and I'll try to hit them as I can.

Please explain the difference between the following weapons:

Plasma Gun
Las(er) Gun
Melta Bun/Bomb
Flamer Gun

What benefit does each offer and what scenarios are each best at?

For Eldar, the Shuriken cannon seems pretty dubious alone. Is this a weapon that's better in a large volley of fire? 


  1. Plasmagun - rapidfire like a bolter. High str, low AP. Good for killing things like terminators, as wounds them on 2+ and ignores their armor (but not inv) and big beasties. Can be good against light vehicles too. AP lets it bypass FNP which is more and more common. Downside is Gets Hot.

    Lascannon - expensive, but long range, very high str, low AP. Use to take out tanks, walkers, knock wounds off of monstrous creatures, try to snipe any ICs off on their own hoping for instant death. Downside is cost and no move/fire for infantry.

    Meltagun - high str, low AP. Can fire and still assault. Good against same types of targets as plasmagun, but better against vehicles due to extra penetration die at half range and AP1 giving +1 to damage results. Downsides are one shot and short range.

    Meltabomb - super krak grenade, if you can hit helps blow up vehicles.

    Flamer - cheap, no roll to hit, lay template down, count up enemies underneath, roll to wound. Ignores cover. Great for packed up enemies. Lethal to weak units, but can still hurt tough ones if can get a bunch of hits. Can fire and assault. Downsides are range, hard to hurt high Toughness targets.

    Want to bust tanks? Melta
    Want to kill marines? Plasma
    Want to kill weak guys in cover? Flamer

  2. Taurus summed it up well.. I'd add:

    Plasma Gun - usually only available on special characters or units.

    Lascannon - usually only available on armoured stuff or immobile heavy weapon teams.

    Meltagun - same as Plasmagun.

    Meltabombs are only good in close combat and available as an upgrade.

    Flamer - more common even basic troops and yeah, rocks crappy troops hiding it cover.

    Shuriken Catapult / Avenger Catapult / Shuriken Cannon is full win against stuff with poor armour or mid-toughness and it's move and shoot being Assault 2. But yeah, you usually need a squad decked out in them to make anyone worry.

  3. What the guys said! I want to add that plasmaguns and lascannons were very popular in the previous edition. Since everyone is putting their units in transports these days there has been a swift to meltaguns (amazing vehicle killers) and missile launchers (much cheaper than a lascannon and almost as good at destroying low AV vehicles). Flamers have become much more popular too because almost everything is getting a cover save under 5th edition rules so this is the ideal weapon to negate them.

  4. Pop over here ( and have a boo. That might work for transporting your troops as well, especially the plastic minis. He glues 15mm metal stoppers to the bases, and presto.

  5. Dudes, she said 'lasgun'. As in 'like a bolter, but rubbish, but there's more of them'. Reduced strength and armour penetration are, in theory, offset by the sheer number of shots a Guard army can throw out.

    Shuriken catapults are indeed dire. My pal Shiny, who recently gave up playing Eldar, described the Guardians who carry them as a one-hit wonder, only without the wonder. They move up, they unload an ineffectual bucket of dice from within enemy assault/rapid fire range, and then they die. That's assuming they haven't already died of being outranged and shot up while they trudge forward.

  6. Yeah, but she was talking about Space Marine weapons, and I assumed that she wasn't planning on using lasguns in her Black Templars army since AFAIK they can't use them. Not that they would want to.

    But to answer the question for the lasgun: What benefit does it offer - it's better than nothing. What scenario is it best at - it's better than a Grot Blaster, unless you want to assault.

    And btw...she said shuriken cannon, not catapult. ;-)

  7. Crap! I totally forgot I had this scheduled. I intended to work on it, as it wasn't a completed thing- it was just a bunch of random thoughts!

    I was looking for general knowledge, because really, I know practically nothing about the weapons outside of bolters (suck) and chain swords, lightning claws, etc.

    However, paying attention to my intended army doesn't hurt me in any way, because that is eventually what I'll need to know the rules for.

    Von, thanks so much for addressing that lasguns are crap. I suspected as much, but had no way to prove it.

    Harald: That's a cool idea. We used to put washers under our fig's bases, and then lay strips of magnetic tape on the bottom of our cases. Worked much the same way.

  8. I too assumed Lascannons since it seemed marine themed.

    As for Guardians with shuriken catapults, yeah, they kinda suck if you run them straight at the enemy instead of dancing them back and forth like any good Eldar player.. plus 40 Str 4 AP 5 shots /turn is nothing to shake a stick at... but there are the Dire Avenger Catapults which have an extra 6" range.