Loopy’s Back! Guest Editorial on D Weapons in 40k

Loopy returns with a follow up article on D Weapons. Check out his blog, WAAGH!! Drillteef for more of his content!

I was over on the Frontline Gaming forums chatting about D-Weapons in 40k when I had a little bit of an amateur game design thought about how to streamline the rules for D-Weapons in 40k.  It’s clear that the primary issue is the alpha strike component of the rules which really make even fluffy games of 40k a bit of a snooze fest with entire swaths of models meeting their maker far too early in the game.

Having said that, though, there are a lot of fun units which are allowed in Escalation which could be great fun.  Many of the Baneblades are really cool and, of course, my green heart adores Stompas of all variety.

I’d like to suggest the following rule for use in friendly games of 40k whether the games be fluffy or competitive.

D-Weapons are extremely powerful weapons which are not only deadly to the enemy but are also dangerous to operate. The power sources and mechanisms involved are among the most arcane and complicated in all the galaxy.

As such, these powerful weapons are not armed at all times. In the protracted engagements which are represented by games of Apocalypse, they begin the game armed and operational, but in the skirmishes represented by regular games of 40k, they are not.

During a game of Warhammer 40,000, a D-Weapon may not fire at full power in the first game turn.  Additionally, a unit may not fire a D-Weapon during the game turn in which it arrives from reserves.   At the start of every other of your player turns, you may attempt to power up your D-Weapons.  Roll a dice for each D-Weapon you control. On a 3+, that weapon becomes fully operational.

Alternatively, before deployment, you may choose to power up all of the D-Weapons possessed by a unit right away, either by arming warheads prematurely or shunting power directly from more conventional sources. Whatever the case, if you choose to do so, the D-Weapon’s profile is changed to Strength 10 and AP 1 with no other additional special rules for the entirety of the game.

What do you think?  Wanna give it a try?  I’m guessing the “no other additional special rules” may need some more precise wording to avoid rules lawyering.


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12 Responses to “Loopy’s Back! Guest Editorial on D Weapons in 40k”

  1. Tangentical January 19, 2014 12:29 am #

    Hmmm, gets complicated with some of them eg Transdimensional slide as it isn’t actually a weapon.

    Would this mean he can’t slide (which is a movement type/ability and not actually a weapon) or just can’t cause the D-hits as D-hits are powered up?

    Also how about CCWs, do they power up, I’d assume not.

    Interesting idea, helps with the Revenant certainly but for me would just mean he becomes a huge waste of 900 points (would die horribly before those weapons power up) and so may as well just ban it as the effect would be the same. Also some other D weapon tanks just become utterly useless (Shadowsword). The C’Tan could still be worth it though as he has a variety of weapons.

    Hard to make the Revenant worth 900 points but not OP as most 900 point Death Stars (the most comparable use of 900points) are OP (eg an Ovesa star).

    One idea I toyed with was that all LoW have to come in from reserve with no positive reserve modifiers applying (eg 3+ or worse if enemy has a warlord trait that hurts reserves).

    • cavalier January 19, 2014 6:56 am #

      I like your idea about LoW coming in from reserves…it would make it seem like a larger battle is taking place around the game you are playing. Its just like all the BL novels when a Titan strides ominously into the middle of skirmish and all of a sudden everything changes.

  2. Leon "Boomstick" Smith January 19, 2014 2:42 am #

    This is what we are playtesting at our club at the moment.

    Str D use the following profile in addition to any other rules the weapon has such as Primary Weapon.

    Str 10 AP As Written Special Rules: D Weapon

    D Weapon-
    Against multi wound non vehicle models any wound taken after saves becomes D3 instead of 1
    Against vehicles and buildings D weapon allow you to re roll the damage result on the damage table.
    In addition successful Cover Saves must be rerolled.

  3. Jaysen January 19, 2014 6:04 am #

    I don’t agree. By completely nerfing D weapons and making them useless, you might as well just not play with escalation. There are already balancing rules in the game for Lords of War. Read the book, use the escalation warlord traits, use the escalation scenarios.

  4. Ross January 19, 2014 10:05 am #

    I like it. I haven’t really played escalation,nor do I want to, but if this rule was in effect I’d have no issue with someone bringing a super heavy.

  5. bugsculptor January 19, 2014 10:40 am #

    I was discussing this with Adam B the other day. He has a pretty good idea to simply comp all the lords of battle across the board: no single unit greater than 1000 pts, no unit is able to take more than one d weapon or a d weapon with more than two shots a turn.

    For a regular tourney game this would let a little D in the game, people can play revenants, warhounds etc, but you can’t simply take the most abusive and unbalanced weapon load outs.

    Anything more than DD is tricky to handle 😉

  6. Shane January 19, 2014 12:21 pm #

    I haven’t seen it even mentioned anywhere but why can’t “D” weapons just be changed to S12 AP1.

    I see no reason to arbitrarily restrict them to S10 and S12 means potential to instant death T6 while still giving the T6 model a chance for cover or invul saves. It seems to me that S12 AP1 still gives D weapons the significant advantage they are intended to have while no longer auto removing models.

    Just a thought, but as a game mechanic I feel it offers more than the S10 AP1 or the power up option suggested while also being simpler, and simpler is usually better when it comes to game mechanics.

  7. madfjohn January 19, 2014 12:53 pm #

    to be honest you can set this up as part of the missions each time and should be just fine its a missions you remember the rouge trader tournaments they had some fun rules for there missions

  8. Kelshin January 19, 2014 1:14 pm #

    The issue with taking away D’s punch at all is Gargantuan MCs. They are INSANELY hard to deal with conventionally except for armies with access to tons of rending, and D weapons are in part designed to help balance them out. if you nerf them to S 10 Ap1 or whatever, or take away their extra wounding power now GMCs just laugh as they walk or fly across the board. And I’d point out that most of them dont have a source of D, but can still murder huge swathes of someone’s army with little fear from most things.

  9. Pablo January 19, 2014 6:00 pm #

    Why not give them their old stats, instant death, wound on a 2+, and models get their invulnerable saves!

  10. Pablo January 19, 2014 6:08 pm #

    Also I know that most meta players tend to make a balance factor to their advantage, they can abuse strength d weapons and turn d weapons into the meta which leads to faster games and no fairness for their opponents. Str D are dangerous against vehicles, fortifications and Msu units like marines (which are he majority army being used). Make it str 10 ap 1 instant death and ignore re-roll invul (the re- rolls are for pissing off storm shield terminators and fortune units :p)

  11. Hush January 20, 2014 2:37 pm #

    I think what is missed about D weapons is they takes some silly powered death stars. This alone kicks the door open to a positive influence on the game. As long as LoW not over 600pts are taken I find it fine.

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