In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the newly standardized Weapon Abilities for Warhammer 40k weapons that were recently previewed by Games Workshop. We will examine each of these abilities and discuss how they will impact the game, as well as what this change means for players and their armies.
Weapons designated with the [HEAVY] tag in their profile are considered Heavy weapons. When a model attacks with a Heavy weapon, they receive a +1 bonus to their Hit roll if their unit did not move during the current turn. This means that Heavy weapons are especially effective when used by stationary units that can take advantage of their increased accuracy.
Weapons designated with the [ASSAULT] tag in their profile are considered Assault weapons. Units equipped with Assault weapons can still shoot during the Shooting phase of a turn in which they have Advanced, which is a movement action that normally precludes shooting. However, when firing in this way, the unit may only use its Assault weapons to make attacks. This makes Assault weapons particularly useful for armies that rely on speed and mobility to stay effective in combat.
Weapons with the [DEVASTATING WOUNDS] tag in their profile are known as Devastating Wounds weapons. These weapons are capable of inflicting Critical Wounds, which bypass traditional wound rolls and instead immediately deal a number of mortal wounds to the target equal to the weapon's Damage characteristic. Once a Critical Wound is inflicted in this way, the attack sequence ends. Devastating Wounds weapons can be particularly effective against high-toughness targets or units with multiple wounds, as they can bypass these defenses and deal significant damage with a single attack.
Weapons designated with the [MELTA X] tag in their profile are known as Melta weapons. When attacking a unit within half the weapon's range, the Damage characteristic of the attack is increased by a value denoted by x. For example, a weapon with the [MELTA 2] tag would deal an additional 2 points of Damage when attacking a unit within half its range. This makes Melta weapons particularly effective at close range, where they can deal significant damage to high-value targets like vehicles and characters.
SUSTAINED HITS X
Weapons designated with the [SUSTAINED HITS X] tag in their profile are known as Sustained Hits weapons. When attacking with a Sustained Hits weapon, if the attack roll results in a Critical Hit, the weapon will score a number of additional hits on the target equal to the value denoted by x'. This makes Sustained Hits weapons particularly deadly when wielded by units that can consistently roll Critical Hits, as they can rack up significant damage against enemy units with a single attack.
The Weirdboy datasheet includes the Precision Weapon Ability for its 'Eadbanger Psychic attack, which targets enemy characters. This suggests that the attack can bypass any protection offered by the unit or formation in which the targeted character is located. 'Eadbanger is a classic Weirdboy psychic power that can deal a lethal blow to an enemy character by bursting their brain.
Weapons designated with the [TWIN-LINKED] tag in their profile are known as Twin-linked weapons. When attacking with a Twin-linked weapon, the player has the ability to re-roll the weapon's Wound roll, which determines if the attack successfully wounds the target. This makes Twin-linked weapons particularly useful for armies that rely on precision and accuracy, as it allows them to potentially hit their targets even when the initial attack roll fails to wound.
The new standardized Weapon Abilities include Anti-keyword X+ abilities, which grant models the ability to automatically inflict Critical Wounds on vehicles, regardless of their Toughness, when they roll a to-wound roll of X or higher. For example, an Anti-vehicle 3+ weapon would successfully wound a vehicle on any to-wound roll of 3 or higher. It's worth noting that there are likely to be other Anti-keyword abilities beyond Anti-vehicle, though the full details have yet to be revealed.
The recently revealed Frag missile profile for the Terminator's Cyclone missile launcher in the upcoming 10th edition of Warhammer 40k features the Blast keyword. However, there has been no official explanation from WarCom on how this new rule works. If it follows the pattern established in 9th edition, Blast weapons will have a random number of shots, with a minimum of three shots when targeting units with six or more models, and maximum shots when targeting units with 11 or more models. This would make Blast weapons particularly effective against large hordes of enemies, but less reliable against smaller units.
As stated in a recent WarCom article about psychic powers, the use of Hazardous weapons in the upcoming 10th edition of Warhammer 40k carries a significant risk for the shooter. Specifically, an unlucky roll while using a Hazardous weapon could result in the shooter's death, or in the case of a character or large model firing the weapon, inflict mortal wounds. If the rules for Hazardous weapons work similarly to Plasma weaponry in 9th edition, this effect will be triggered on a to-hit roll of one. As such, players will need to carefully weigh the potential rewards against the significant risks when deciding whether to use Hazardous weapons in battle.
According to the datasheet for the Shuriken Cannon in the upcoming 10th edition of Warhammer 40k, the weapon has the Ignores Cover ability. Although WarCom has not yet provided an official explanation of what this ability does, it is widely assumed that the weapon will bypass any benefits of cover that the target may have, regardless of what those benefits might be in the new edition. As players continue to learn more about the changes and updates to the game, the specific mechanics of the Ignores Cover ability may become clearer.
In Warhammer 40k, a Lethal Hits weapon is one that has the potential to automatically wound its target on a roll of 6 or another specific result, such as a Critical Hit. This means that if you roll a natural 6 when making an attack with such a weapon, you do not need to make a separate roll to wound - the attack will automatically be considered a successful wound. This can make Lethal Hits weapons especially deadly in the right circumstances, and can be an important factor for players to consider when choosing their armies and strategies.
In Warhammer 40k, the Pistol Weapon Ability is a trait that some weapons possess, such as those found on the Termagant datasheet. In 9th edition, one of the benefits of Pistol weapons is that they can be fired by a unit that is currently engaged in melee combat, allowing the unit to continue fighting even while in close quarters with enemy forces. When a Pistol weapon is used in this way, it can target the unit or units that the firing unit is currently engaged with, making it a potentially powerful tool for taking down nearby enemies. However, players must carefully consider the positioning and tactics of their units in order to make the most effective use of their Pistol weapons in combat.
In contrast to earlier editions of Warhammer 40k, the 10th edition does not have a distinct Psychic phase. Instead, psykers will have new capabilities listed on their datasheet, such as melee and ranged attacks featuring the Psychic Weapon Ability.
The Heavy Flamer on the Terminator datasheet includes the Torrent Weapon Ability. Based on the previous edition of the game, it's probable that weapons with this ability will automatically hit their targets.