Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Power Weapons Pt. 1

Power Weapons have changed drastically in 6th edition. Some good, some bad.

This will be the first in a series of posts covering the changes to power weapons, what they mean, tactics to use and will raise a few questions at the same time.

Part 1: Unique Characters

The first subject of discussion we will cover is unique characters, and how these new rules effect them.

To begin we must start with a question; Can unique characters benefit from the modeling part of the rules for power weapons?

This question sits on a fine line. On one hand, unique characters are just that, unique. They almost never have any options, and they almost always have a model to correspond to their rules. On the other hand, there seems to be no real rule to exclude them. GW encourages us to convert and forge a narrative.

 This seems to be a question that each event will have to address on its own. Luckily, the list is pretty small for the characters that can benefit from this rule (Remember that the weapon can have no melee special rules, such as Master Crafted, or Two Handed). Lets take a look at those that can:

Imperial Guard

Colour Sargeant Kell (model has Sword)
Chenkov (model has Sword)


Baharroth (model has Sword)


Huron Blackheart (model has Axe)
*Ahriman (model has a Staff)
*it is important to note that Ahriman's force weapon does have special rules, however, since the special rules are not melee special rules, it does not make his weapon unique like GK Nemesis weapons or Runic Weapons.

The list is small, a total of 5 unique characters that can possibly be modeled to have different power/force weapons. So let us now look at the benefits that each character might have from said change.

  • Kell- Kell comes equipped with a power fist as well as a power weapon. Modelling him to have an axe would therefore be a waste. A power sword seems fitting for the initiative 4 strikes. A maul would also be interesting for some S5 shots at I4, but for the most part is not that great when you can go at I1 S6 AP2.
  •  Chenkov- Chenkov, like most IG characters, benefits from a power axe the most. This is a model were changing to an axe would be more beneficial.
  •  Baharroth- Being a Phoenix Lord, Baharroth sports an impressive I7. Giving him an axe is almost a crime with that high initiative. He has a good number of attacks at 4 and a very high WS at 7. Even though he is only S4, he can cut down a few marines well. I will say, I do like the idea of a Maul on him for the S6 to knock out vehicle Hull Points, but with haywire grenades and probably a unit of hawks with the same. it seems a power weapon is best suited for him.
  • Huron Blackheart-Like Kell, he comes with a powerfist. This makes the axe he is modeled with redundant. He would be best suited with an sword
  • Ahriman-With the change in targeting IC's in HTH, Ahriman does not need to strike at initiative. He would be best suited switching out to an Axe.
It would seem that 3/5 of our Unique Characters benefit from a little conversion. So, the question once again is "Are they allowed too?".


  1. that all seems a little underhanded, seeing as there is a strong emphasis on wysiwyg. i think that the gamesworkshop intended for the modesl to use exactly what they are modeled with. ahriman has a staff, not a power axe, and to change that on a model with specific rules and no options just seems wrong. just my opinion of course.

    1. I would tend to agree. But the line gets blurred with non unique characters. Death Cult Assassins have 2 power weapons, do they get an axe and sword if you model them that way? Or is it 2 swords since the model has that? A box of Assault Marines comes with an axe, can I convert using a sword from another kit?

      I will leave it as that, since that is all part of the next article.

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