Thursday, August 2, 2012

Power Weapons Pt. 2, WYSIWYG

In our last entry, we discussed unique characters and the question of modeling their weapons. In this article we will take it to the generic codex entries and discuss what options models actually have and again look at the question of modeling to your advantage.

We will take a look at the Grey Knight Codex to see the differences in weapons. I will make 2 lists. The first is models that have access to a Power Weapon, and the second will be those that specify Power Sword.

Codex GK:
Power Weapon
Death Cult Assassin
Tech Marine

Power Sword/Force Sword
Warrior Acolyte

This trend exists, albeit a lot less with the FAQs. Now lets see what it means.

The Death Cult Assasin is armed with two power weapons. The Crusader has a power weapon, the Acolyte a Power Sword and the Inquisitor a Power Sword.

The argument here is that even though the DCA has 2 power weapons in it's entry, the official model is equipped with swords and therefore the model has swords and prevents conversions to the contrary. This argument has some logic, but it has a few hiccups. Such as the fact that the DCA on the right only has one weapon, or better yet this:
Here we have an Inquisitor model armed with a Power Maul/Force Maul. Inquisitors only have the option for swords, so this model is illegal. What does that mean for the rules. The question also is raised for plastic kits. A SM Assault Squad comes with a Power Axe, so can he be modeled with the Power Sword from the Plastic SM Captain Kit?
It comes down to the fact that you have to allow for conversions, which makes the question raised in the first article that much more a hot topic.

Also, as a suggestion, in addition to being WYSIWYG, players will need to indicate what their models have on their army lists. This is to prevent you from switching from Axes against the the Death Wing army to Maces for the Ork player because you either have extra models to represent this, or they are magnetized.

This post was edited thanks to a catch by Chris Dillion.


  1. Except that your whole point of the two lists at the start of the post falls apart when you read the official FAQ.

    Page 1 of the Space Marine FAQ, bottom right: "Change all references to Power Sword to Power Weapon".

    It boils down to simple WYSIWYG. As to players attempting to customize loadouts between matches, that falls on tournament organizers to watch out for.

    1. Thanks for the catch. That change does not exist for Grey Knights, so I will edit accordingly.

    2. I tend to view it as an oversight that other codexes have not been FAQed the same way.

      When dealing with unique, named characters, I defer to the description and official modeling of the character's wargear.

      When dealing with non-unique models, they can be modeled with whatever power weapon you want, but they must follow the rules for that type.

    3. I believe this will probably be the way it is played. However, the indy GT circuit seems to be going with RAW with everything now.

  2. my arguement is more aimed towards unique and named characters. you mentioned ahriman in your previous article. it was stated that because ahriman has a "power weapon" within his entry of the c:csm, that it allows people to essential choose what kind of power weapon. my argument against those statements was that if you were going to take a power weapon of any sort, that it should in fact be what the ic is molded with. so according to my logic, ahriman should armed with a power staff. thoughts?

    1. That sir is exactly the point of the first article. Ahriman has a force weapon, which by the definition in the book is what is modeled. In his case he comes with a staff, so he should get the +2S ap4 attacks. However, since the rules state to look at the model the question is can you model him with an axe?

      In the second article I explore that on non unique characters to kind of re-examine the first article. The rules make no distinction about unique characters. It doesn't feel right that Ahriman can have an axe, but it seems legal. Forge a narrative I guess....

  3. "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?"."

    while i understand that this is purely an opinion piece, i find it troublesome that this statement almost encourages people to lawyer up and try to get away with making a character more beneficial based on the ambiguity of the rules with power weapons.

    compelling argument and article, btw

    1. My pieces are written with tourney play in mind were RAW decides a lot of arguments.

  4. "while i understand that this is purely an opinion piece, i find it troublesome that this statement almost encourages people to lawyer up and try to get away with making a character more beneficial based on the ambiguity of the rules with power weapons."

    None of these characters have been designed with the new edition in mind, any benefit gained from modelling your characters is hardly game breaking when they have been designed on an old ruleset which never took into account the fact a models design may totally gimp it in the future.
    Also keep in mind anyone can do this kind of conversion, it isn't unfair, it isn't unbalanced, you either have a set power weapon thanks to it also having a special rule OR you can model one of the specific types available.

    1. We had heard rumors that everything after Nids had 6th in mind. We know for a fact that Necrons was designed for 6th. After looking through the most recent books, it would appear that DE, GK, and SW had some thought about 6th put into them.