40K: 9th Edition Updates - Blast Weapons
Updated: Jun 24
Over on Warhammer Community today we saw ‘Having a Blast!’ - today’s sneak peak at the new and updated rules for Warhammer 40,000’s upcoming iteration. This is a pretty small but significant reveal so read on for my take on what the latest preview means for Craftworlds.
So what's happening to Blast weapons in 9th?
Well, you know when that blob of <INSERT TERRIFYING SEETHING MASS OF HORROR> is coming at your over the table a bit too quickly and you REALLY need those Blast weapons to rack up as much of a toll as quickly as possible only for you to roll a 1 when determining how many shots a D6 shot weapon fires?
Pause for tears and flashbacks to THOSE games.
Well, that will be a whole lot less 'swingy' now, though bear in mind that the new Blast rules don't currently appear in 8th Edition so my musings below are an educated guess at which weapons will get the benefit. Here's how it will work:
1) Blast weapons firing at units of 6 or more models always fire at least 3 shots (so if you roll a 1 or 2, you fire 3 shots instead).
2) Blast weapons firing at units of 11 or more models always fire the maximum number of shots (so a Grenade D6 will automatically be 6 shots etc.).
I know - great right! Right, but who will benefit from this the most in a Craftworlds warhost and why?
These have gone up and down in everyone's estimations. They started over the top, now they're largely looked over, but Wraithknights with sun cannon will benefit from the new Blast rules the most. I sounds like a minimum of 3 shots isn't great on a Heavy 2D6 weapon (whose current minimum shots is 2), and this may be clarified later in an FAQ, but shoot that sun cannon at a blob of 11 or more models and all of a sudden you're rolling 12 dice.
Sadly, the Blast rules say you can't fire those weapons in close combat, which makes complete sense, but if you're looking to spend a lot of time in close combat, maybe take shoulder mounted weapons and the titanic ghost glaive.
Two of our three choices here are currently Blast weapons - namely the shadow weaver and distort cannon (I refuse to call them D-Cannons - I'm not sure why they put the Imperial abbreviation in the Craftworlds own codex?!).
Both of the above weapons will now be a lot more reliable. I have never been a fan of the shadow weaver as it seems really lacklustre, but the distort cannon will now be taking its maximum shots at any unit of 6 or more. Might come in handy for those upcoming Primaris bikers!
Three words - Aeldari missile launchers. Your war walkers are hopefully not planning to spend much time in close combat so not firing blast weapons up close won't be a problem (though a krak missile to the face is better than a kick in the teeth......).
With these things being able to move and fire without penalty as vehicles now, I think we'll be seeing a lot more Aeldari missile launchers. eBay will run dry I'm telling you!
This still doesn't go any way to making the Lance profile of the prism cannon have a use, but the other two modes will benefit enormously as this thing fires TWICE when remaining stationary or moving half its maximum movement or less. Against a blob of 11 or more models that's twelve S6 AP-3 D1 shots (potential 12 total damage) on the Dispersed firing mode.
Against blobs, this is maybe THE big winner with its doom weaver alongside the Wraithknight with sun cannon. It's not clear if Blast weapons with 2D6 shots make a minimum of 3 or minimum of 3 per D6 when shooting at a unit of 6-10, but against a blob of 11 or more you're getting the maximum 12 shots here.
We're specifically talking about the Exarch with tempest launcher here. With the new Blast rules, you can choose an Exarch trait other than Rain of Death and maybe opt for something else like Long-Ranged Fire. Sadly the new Blast rules would't work when character hunting with the Focussed Fire trait :(
OK, maybe THIS is the big winner (unless they give distort scythes the Blast rule too!). Choose the right unit size to shoot at and your 2D3 shots become 6 automatic hits.
Ok, now I'm dribbling!
In short, I think we have a lot to be excited about here! Also more to be fearful of too. I might need to very sadly re-think my large blobs of Guardians! BUT, tomorrow is a preview on the new terrain rules and how they can help mitigate this vulnerability, so stay tuned!