Jump to content

Welcome to The Bolter and Chainsword
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Anti-tank vs blast

  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic




  • 10,462 posts
Demolisher cannons have always, well, demolished what they hit. They were always good at anti tank, bring the only S10 weapon in the game for ages, and rolling 2d6 for armour pen, as an ordinance weapon.

It's a different kind of anti tank to others. The potentially high burst damage is offset by the low range. For exactly the same points, a predator with pred autocannon has a max damage of what, 18? Compared to the 36 of the vindi, but the pred has range and reliability on its side.

Closet Skeleton

Closet Skeleton


  • 2,321 posts
  • Location:Hertfordshire
  • Faction: Black Templars

I mean Missile launchers have been doing literally exactly what tank cannons should have been doing since Rogue trader, where they probably would have had split profiles but cannons were an afterthought, Autocannons were originally an MBT style main cannon, which explains the weirdly under gunned Predator turret* biggrin.png

(*At least until recently and 30k where the Predator Autocannon finally became less puny! )


Rogue trader missile launchers had one profile and then a bunch of ammo types, 2nd ed ones were similar.

Predator was never a main battle tank. Rogue Trader/first ed Predators had a transport capacity of 5 and was stated to be a APC variant or 'assault tank' while the Land Raider was the 'battle tank'. Neither are main battle tanks in the modern sense.


First ed autocannon was much more powerful at strength 8 but it was -3 AP d6 damage 1" blast while the lascannons were S9 -6 ap 2d6 damage so the autocannon was never the main damage dealing weapon. Heavy bolters were -2 ap damage d4 so autocannon damage wasn't that much higher than it is now.


2nd ed introduced Leman Russ tanks, infantry and carriage based autocannons and that demeaned the status of the Predator's turret gun but kept autocannons at S8 d6 damage -3 save mod and gave them sustained fire instead of the 1" blast. Lascannon stats also remained the same from first ed but armour value was introduced with the autocannon being 8+2d6 while the lascannon was 9+3d6 vs armour so the predator's sponsons were still more serious weapons. Battle cannons were stated to be larger variants of autocannons and were S8 -3 save mod like an autocannon but no 2" blast opposed to sustained fire, 2d6 damage and a 3d6 to penetrate armour vs the 2d6 on an autocannon. So in 2nd ed the predator's lascannons were still better anti-armour weapons than a battlecannon which was intended as the main baneblade (and ork scratchbuilds) weapon before the leman russ came out.


2nd ed took away the predator's transport capacity, added the razorback, annihilator/destructor options and had the predator's armour values at essentially the same as the rhino.


3rd ed nerfed autocannons and gave the predator better front armour than a rhino.




  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 2,398 posts
  • Location:Poole, UK
  • Faction: The Scions
There are numerous game systems that have implemented rules for AP/HE shells. It doesn't complicate them at all.

Though, GW being GW, they aren't likely to copy any of those rules as they like to fully own their rulesets.

The simple delineation should be, that an AP shell can only achieve 1 hit, but does more damage, while a HE shell might cause more hits (if there are more targets) but those hits are correspondingly weaker.

The old solution of blast templates was more reliable in terms of causing those hits against infantry with HE, but could only achieve 1 hit against a single target, such as a vehicle. Which was representative of those weapons being better suited to dealing with multiple targets. The current ruleset, however, does a very poor job of differentiating between them.

Going back to 5th edition, there was also varying strength of blast weapons depending on the target being under the hole in the centre of the blast template or not, which was a good way of delineating between a direct hit (more damaging) vs splash damage (less damaging).

Realistically, if GW were to give split weapon profiles (AP and HE profiles) to the sort of weapons that suit them (Battlecannons, Autocannons etc.) Then that would help mitigate the problem of weapons not feeling representative of what they should be capable of.

But how best to implement that?

Personally I'd rather see HE return to blast templates, but I'd be willing to accept a single shot that, should it hit, causes multiple hits depending on the number of enemy models in the unit.

These weapons should have a low damage yield per hit accordingly.

AP rounds would therefore retain their value by virtue of HE rounds becoming significantly less suitable when fired at a vehicle.

By splitting the profile, you wouldn't make weapons like the demolisher cannon any less viable, you would instead be encouraging players to use those weapons correctly. In the case of said Demolisher cannon, the decision between firing a HE shell at infantry or an AP (bunker buster type) shell at a vehicle. The split profile would then result in more realistic damage being caused accordingly.

But it would require GW to want to implement those changes and I personally doubt that they will. Mainly because game systems like Bolt Action, Battlegroup, Infinity etc. have already done so, and in so doing have already covered the best ways of implementing those changes. So, coming back to my previous point, GW doesn't like to copy other rulesets.

TLDR: I think there needs to be better representative rules to differentiate AP and HE weapons from one another, with utilitarian weapons being given a split profile of AP/HE stat lines to better represent the effects of those weapons against corresponding targets. The methods by which this could be achieved, I've gone into above.

Edited by Dam13n, 15 December 2019 - 02:04 PM.




  • 713 posts
  • Location:Liverpool
  • Faction: Black Templars
GW could just import modified versions of some of the apocalypse rule set, at least for heavy weapons.
Maybe also boost the T value for all vehicles at the same time. GW has added ways for some armies to get >S10 weapons, T>10 seems a lot rarer.
Damage only applying at the end of the turn so everything gets to do at least something would also fix a lot of problems with tanks being killed by turn 1 alpha strikes as well

2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users