Is Melta the new Las?
This is a review about Meltaguns and other ranged Anit-tank weapons. Everything will come down to price, range, strength, ap, shots, and special abilities. We will also take time to review battlefield roles and what armies has that weapon. So you the reader can get the most out of you army and their anti-tank weapons.
Now this will cover most weapons with a strength 8 or better. We will also cover the Assault Cannon. You will see why later. This is a very good time to break out your codex. So you can follow with us. Now on too the good stuff. We shall start with the Meltagun.
- Melta and it’s cousins
Everyone has talked about the Meltagun being the ultimate anti-tank weapon sense the start of 5th edition. Let’s see why shall we? The Meltagun have a good strength at 8. That’s good for only costing around 10 points. This may vary from army to army. The Melta’s range is 12. All in all that’s bad. It only has a range of an average pistol. This is one of the best parts of the Melta. The Melta has a AP1. That cuts through all infantry if they do not have cover, or invulnerable saves. To make the AP1 even better, it grants a +1 on the vehicle damage table. Now that makes it even easier to destroy that Land Raider.
Next thing about the Melta is it only grants 1 shot per round. You will need a good number of them to get the best use out of them. You could just take 1 and hope your lucky, but that’s not the best of choices. The shots also count as Assault. So you can move, shoot, and assault if need be. Now the Meltagun has the Melta special rule. When your model is at a range of 1/2 maxium range or closer, it will grant a roll of 2d6 instead of 1d6 vs vehicle armor penetration rolls. That’s a very good rule, but what if you fail? You will most likely pay the piper.
The Melta has cousin weapons too. The Fusion Blaster from the Tau Empire. Then the Eldar has the Fusion gun and the better ranged Firepike. The Eldar also get the Fusion Pistol. It very short range at 6″ but, It has Pistol for it’s shots. So you can maybe get 2 shots, but only if you didn’t move. All Imperial Forces use the Meltagun. Chaos Space Marines also use the Meltagun.
Tau VX-8 Armed with Fusion Blaster
Eldar with Firepike
Imperial Forces also can have probably the best version of the Meltagun. It’s the Multi-Melta, which has a better range. The shots are Heavy 1, which means you can not move and shot in the same round with Infantry. This really isn’t a big deal sense Multi-Meltas used mostly on Tanks. Space Marine Devastators can carry the Multi-Melta but most of the time your not going to be moving them. Multi-melta cost more but, they are worth there weight in gold.
Space Marine Devastator with Multi-Melta
- Melta Cannon
The Melta cannon is another nasty version of the Multi-Melta. The Imperial Guard currently the only army to use this version. The Melta cannon has the same profile as the Multi-Melta but it uses the small blast template. It don’t seem like much but it will be a game changer. Right now it is only armed onto the Devildog but expect to see if mounted on other vehicles in the near future.
Next weapon in the Melta Family is the Combi-Melta. It’s a one shot per game Meltagun. It cost 5 points and it will come’s with a Bolter. The Combi-Melta is used by the Space Marines and their evil brothers the Chaos Space Marines. Big problem with the Combi-Melta is 1 fact. One shot wounder. It’s great when you take out a big point tank with a combi-Melta, but when you miss you use 5 points for nothing. So just for the cost of 5 more points. Get a normal Meltagun because, you can shoot that every round if need be. The only time to take a Combi-Melta is when you got 5 points to spare.
Here we go an overview of the Melta family. Melta weapons are cheap, and very good at taking out tanks with a good shot. They have a shot range compared to other anti-tank weapon, but make it up with the Melta rule. Meltas can handle anything but mass infantry. The Melta is best used with other Meltas. If you don’t have a good amount of Melta weapons, then there use is limited. If your army has access, then take them and make them a common place within your army.
The Lance Family is a small Family. Used by the Eldar and their cousins the Dark Eldar. The Eldar gets the Bright Lance. The Dark Eldar gets the Dark Lance and the short range Blaster. The Bright Lance and the Dark Lance has a range of 36″, Strength 8, Ap 2, shots are Heavy 1. The blaster has a shorter range at 12″, but it’s shots are Assault 1. So moving and firing with a Blaster is good for a fast moving army like the Dark Eldar.
What makes them good? The fact that Bright Lance and Dark Lance out range even the Multi-melta. Weapons in the Lance family has the Lance special rule. When Lance weapons are shooting at a tank with a Armor value of 12 or higher counts as a 12. So this can take a better tank and turn it into wreckage.
Dark Eldar Ravager with Dark Lances
Now the Eldar has more weapons within the lance line. We shall be only talking about 1 of the 2. That is the Star Lance. It has a range of 6”, Strength of 8, an AP of 4, and shots of Assault 1. Great strength but very bad range. This should probably see very limited use. It’s AP doesn’t help much or the fact of how close you will need to be to the target. So all in all Lances are very good, but doesn’t match up to a Melta.
Eldar Bright Lance
Now on to the next weapon, the Assault Cannon. We are sure your asking why the Assault Cannon? Well even though is only has a Strength of 6 it has the Rending special rule. We will talk about more a little later. The Assault Cannon’s range is 24”. That is equal to the Multi-Melta. Then it has an AP of 4 with 4 shots per round. That’s a lot of hot lead flying down range. It’s a rare weapon, and only used with the Space Marines.
Now on to the Rending part. Rending gives an extra d3 to you Armor Penetration roll of 6. This make the Assault cannon max out at 15. Making that Strength of 6 be able to take out a Land Raider. Yes the Melta family has a better chance to take out a Land Raider but, in a bind this will help. It’s shots of 4 is also very useful on the battlefield. For it can take out mass infantry as well as infantry with a high toughness.
Overview of the Assault Cannon. Useful for taking out infantry with it’s high amount of shots. Is it the best anti-tank weapon for taking out Land Raiders? No but, the Assault Cannon is still helpful in a bind. The Assault Cannon is useful vs light armor too.
Space Marine Terminator with Assault Cannon
Missile Launcher Family
One of the most common anti-tank weapons in the game. It has many forms. There is the Imperial version, Eldar version, and Chaos Space Marines has one. This list can just keeps going. I will break this family down by type.
- Imperial Version
The Imperial Version is the most common version. It’s use by most Imperial Forces and the Chaos Space Marines. This version fires a frag round or a krak round. This make this model very versatile. We at Librarium Online will only be talking about the Krak round.
The imperial version has a range of 48″. The Krak round has a Strength of 8 with an AP3. The Strength of 8 can not take out and Land Raider at all. The best you can do is get a glancing hit and maybe immobilize it. It is also a Heavy 1 weapon. All in all probably one of the worse anti-tank weapons. However it is versatile and can handle light armor like Rhinos and Chimeras with ease. It’s very cheap too. So cheap in fact, that a Space Marine Tactical squad can take them for free. Wowzer!!!!! So it does have a common place on the Battlefield.
Dark Angel with Missile Launcher
There is other versions for more specialized roles. Space Marine Terminators get the Cyclone Missile Launcher for 30 points. It has the same stat line as the normal Imperial Missile Launcher, but it’s shots are heavy 2. This works well because the Terminator can move, shoot, and assault. Even though it’s a heavy weapon.
A Terminator with Cyclone Missile Launcher
The next model is the Typhoon model. This is generally the same thing as the cyclone, but is only mounted on the Land Speeder Typhoon. It cost 40 points plus the Land Speeder. This is a very good weapon to place on Land Speeders but, not in mass. Best way to go is 1 Typhoon with Heavy Bolter and 1 or 2 Tornadoes.
Land Speeder Typhoon.
- Ork Version
The Rokkit Launcha is different from the Imperial Missile Launcher and not just in it’s name. It has a Range 24”, Strength 8, AP 3, and shots of Assault 1. It cost around 10 points. It has the same anti-tank ability as the Imperial version but a shorter range and can not fire frag rounds. Well, what can it do? Move, shoot, and assault is the answer to that question. Orks is a non-stop army. So a Rokkit Launcha is a very important part of the Ork army. The Ork also lack in the Anti-tank area. So the Rokkit Launcha is very important part to the Orks in general.
- Eldar Version
The Eldar version is a little better then the Imperial version in one way. It fires a Strength 4 and AP 4 missile. The missile also has blast and pinning for special rules. Other wise It’s Krak missile is the same as the Imperial Version.
Eldar Missile Launcher
- Hunter-Killer Missiles and there cousins
Armies of the Imperium has a Infinite range Krak missile called a Hunter-Killer missile. It’s a good choice but only for the right units. The Hunter-Killer missile is only mounted on vehicles. The Hunter-Killer Missile is a 1 time use Krak missile. The best time to take them in your army is with vehicles that has no anti-tank weapons or very few of them. Such as a Predator with Twin Lascannons and side mounted Heavy Bolters. It’s a good back up choice for that lay out. Another good choice is a vehicle like the Hellhound as a just in case measure. Would It be good to take all the time? No probably not, there is better choices. You could take a meltagun, a Missile launcher, or maybe a commissar. All that can be said is take it if you got the 10 points and if you really need it.
Hunter-Killer Missiles for Imperial Aircraft
- Hellstrike Missiles
Currently used by the Imperial guard and the Imperial Navy, This has the same profile as the Hunter-Killer missile. It also gets ordnance as a special rule. Making this Missile a little deadlier. The Ordnance special rule will be covered later. The Hellstrike Mission also has a range of 72”. So it doesn’t have the range of a Hunter-Killer missile, but a range of 72” is still very good on the battlefield.
A Hellstrike Missile
- Seeker Missiles
There is another version of the Hunter-Killer missile. The Tau Empire has the Seeker missile. Now unlike the Imperial version you can take a few on one vehicle. The Vehicle also doesn’t need a line of sight, but someone with a marker light does. Please read your codex for more info about the Marker Light and the Seeker missile. Now it comes to is it worth it? Yes of course it is. The Tau Empire don’t have mobile heavy weapon like other forces do. It’s really sweet when you pop a tank with something your enemy can’t see, and at only 10 points per.
Tau Empire Seeker Missiles
- Ork Kannon
We shall place the Ork Kannon in the Missile Launcher family sense it functions the same way. You can fire Frag or Krak rounds out. The Krak rounds functions the same as the normal Imperial Missiles Launcher, but It has a range of 36″. It can be mounted on some tanks and as artillery. Read your codex for more information. It’s a good choice for an Ork army, but there is better choice’s. It’s battlefield role is the same as any other Missile Launcher.
Grots with Kannon
Overview of Missile Launchers. Missile Launchers are not the best anti-tank choice, but they are versatile and cheap. So they can be useful and remain as one of the most common anti-tank weapons on the battlefield. They are best for taking out light armor or good for side shots on heavier armor.
Lascannons are a very common weapon for Imperial Forces. They can be use with heavy weapons teams, used on tanks, walkers, and even use on aircraft. It is not an uncommon sight for them to be twin linked or taken as a backup weapon for a main gun. Lascannons are used by Imperial forces and Chaos Space Marines.
They have a range of 48″, strength of 9, and an AP of 2. They can only shoot 1 time per round. This slow rate of fire is very common for anti-tank weapons. What make’s this weapon nice is the long range, high strength, and very low AP. The Lascannon can handle light tanks with ease and heavier tank with little difficulty. Even though not as good as the melta, it still has a very common place on the battlefield.
- Zzap Gun
The Zzap Gun is used by the Ork. It is a less reliable version of the Lascannon. It has a range of 36”, 2d6 for the strength, and an AP of 2. The big problem is the strength of 2d6. This means the Zzap Gun is unpredictable and there is other problems with it’s unpredictability. Your Zzap Gun can explode kill the crew using it. It also doesn’t grantee that you can kill the Land Speeder, even if you hit. All in all this is a weapon not worth taking.
- Heavy Gauss Cannon
The next weapon we will take time to review is the Necrons Heavy Gauss Cannon. The reason it is being placed in this section is because, It is basically the Necron version of a Lascannon. It has the same strength, AP, and shots as the Lascannon. So what changes? The range is drop down to 36″ instead of 48″. The Heavy Gauss Cannon also gets the Gauss weapon special rule. The bonus of the Gauss special rules is in codex Nercons. We shall take time to talk about the Gauss special rule vs vehicles. When rolling the d6 for Armor Penetration and a 6 is scored. It will count as a Glancing hit, even if the weapon don’t have a score high enough to cause a Glancing hit. Now this don’t help a Heavy Gauss Cannon because of it having a strength of 9. So a roll of 6 will make 15, and 15 is a penetrating hit against everything. So does the Gauss special rule help the Heavy Gauss Cannon vs Tanks? Short answer is No. The Heavy Gauss Cannon has an important role for the Necrons, as it is one of the few anti-tank weapons they have.
This is a very powerful but very small family. Railguns are only used by the Tau Empire. They are mounted on the Hammerhead and the XV-88′s. The one mounted on the Hammerhead is capable of firing a sub-munition and a Solid shot. We will only take time to talk about the Solid shot. Railguns on the XV-88′s can only fire Solid shots, but they are twin-linked.
The Railgun firing Solid shot has a range of 72, strength of 10, AP of 1, and shots of 1. This is one of the best anit-tank weapons in the game. If not the best. Why? It can punch through a Land Raider armor like a 22 rifle through paper. It also make’s heavy tank armies nerves when there is a lot of Railgun on the table. It’s AP 1 grants a +1 on the Vehicle damage table.
Then there is the range of 72″. So it has a very chance to strike first and strike second if need be before, the target gets into it’s own range. The Railgun on the Hammerhead can also fire the Sub-munition onto incoming infantry. This ability of fire the Sub-munition make the Railgun much more versatile.
A Tau Empire Hammerhead with Railgun
So how does this rate vs the Melta? Well it’s stronger, has a better range, and on a Hammerhead it’s very deadly. The Melta family has things over the Railgun. Namely price and availability. Many more armies has access to something from the Melta family and Melta are a heck of a lot cheaper. This alone make’s the Melta family tower over the Tau Railguns.
Tau Empire XV-88′s with Twin Linked Railguns
Vanquisher Battle Cannon
The Vanquisher Battle Cannon is mounted on the Imperial Guard Leman Russ Vanquisher. It has a range of 72″, strength of 8, AP of 2, and shots of 1. What, makes this cannon so deadly is the fact it grants a 2d6 for Armor penetration rolls at any range. So is basically has the melta ability but better. Draw back is the Vanquisher Battle Cannon has an AP 2. So no bonus to vehicle damage. It also has a very limited use on the battlefield. Sense this is only mounted on the Leman Russ Vanquisher.
All in all Imperial Guard commanders should make this deadly tank as part of their main army. It has great stand off range and is a perfect choice for Land Raider hunting. This great cannon can mount a co-axial heavy stubber for 10 points making this Cannon even deadlier. Please refer to the forgeworld site for more information.
Leman Russ Vanquisher with co-axial Heavy Stubber.
The Kustom Mega-Blasta is a very high tech weapon used mainly by Ork Meks. It is very uncommon and it is very expensive to have. It cost 20 points to upgrade a Killa Kan to have one. The range of a Kustom Mega-Blasta is 24”, the strength is 8, AP2 and shots is assault 1. It has the Gets Hot special rule. This can be bad, but it doesn’t happen a lot. So it’s not really a big deal. When it comes to hunting tank, It’s about the same as the Rokkit Launcha. You would have just a few in your Ork army.
An Ork Mek with Kustom Mega-Blasta
The Prism Cannon is a 2 setting Anti-infantry or Anti-Tank weapon. The dispersed setting is a large blast Anti-Infantry weapon. We will not really take time to talk about because it’s in the Anti-Infantry category. We at Librarium Online will be talking about the Focused setting, which if for Anti-Tank. The profile for the Prism Cannon in Focused setting is, range 60”, strength 9, AP 2, and shots are 1. It also has blast as a special bonus. It’s not precise, but is deadly. The Prism Cannon is used on the Eldar Fire Prism. It also is very deadly because, it out ranges most Anti-tank weapons.This weapon is great for use against light to heavy tanks, and even heavy infantry like Terminators.
Eldar Fire Prism
The Exorcist missile is a missile system use by the Sister of Battle. Also Known as the Witch Hunters. It is mounted on the Exorcist tank. The Exorcist Missile has the following profile. Range 48, strength 8, AP 1, and shots are heavy d6. The shot can be deadly vs tanks because, you can roll a 6. This means you roll for 6 shots. The AP 1 also helps greatly, as it grants a +1 on the Vehicle Damage chart. To get the best use out of the Exorcist, us it like a normal missile launcher. So go after light to medium armored tanks.
Sisters of Battle Exorcist
Tyranid Anti-Tank family
We shall talk about 3 anti-tank weapons that stick out from the rest of the Tyranid new codex.
- Impaler Cannon
First weapon on the list is the Impaler Cannon. It has a range of 24”, strength of 8, an AP 4, and shots are assault 2. It’s special bonus is no line of sight. No line on sight is great because, you don’t need a line of sight. That’s a dee da dee. Next thing that makes this weapon great is the rate of fire. So you have an anti-tank weapon the can move, shoot, and assault. Plus! you don’t need a line of sight. Major flaw is the short range and AP. Other wise this is a worth while weapon.
The use is very basic. Sneak up on to the target from behind a high wall and go after weak points. Miss the first shot, well that’s not a big deal because you got 1 more. We’re sure Tyranid player’s everywhere love this thing.
- Heavy Venom Cannon
While not the biggest or nastiest anti-tank the Tyranids have, the Heavy Venom Cannon is worth have in limited numbers. The stat profile isn’t the greatest though. It has a range 36”, strength 9, AP 4, and assault 1 for shots. Major down fall though, is the -1 to Vehicle damage. This don’t go into effect when the vehicle is open topped. So this weapon isn’t a bad choice when fighting Orks or Dark Eldar. Sense their vehicles main stay is open topped vehicles. It not a bad choice vs other armies vehicles, but it’s not as effective.
Hive Tyrant with Heavy Venom Cannon
- Rupture Cannon
This is the strongest of the Tyranid weapons. The Rupture Cannon is a range 48”, strength 10, AP4, and shoots assault 2 weapon. This is probably the fastest rate of fire, on a weapon with a strength this high. All in all this is one of the best weapons to have in the Tyranid arsenal. It is a good choice for taking out heavier armor, such as Land Raiders or Leman Russ Russ Battle Tanks, and makes minced meat out of lighter Wartrukks.
Weapons of the Ordnance Family is probably the largest weapons found on the Battlefield. All ordnance weapon are a very formidable anti-tank weapon. They use the large blast template. They also get a 2d6 pick the highest for Armor penetration rolls. Downfall is the center hole of the Large blast template or pie plate must be over the hull of the tank to get a full strength hit. You also must roll the scatter dice to see if it scatters off course. You subtract the gunners BS from the scatter dice roll, sense you need a line of sight to use them.
- Battle Cannon
Probably one of the more common Ordnance weapon is the Battle Cannon. It use by Chaos Space Marines, Space Marines, and the Imperial guard. It has a range of 72”, strength of 8, AP 3, and shots are 1. It is best used like a Missile Launcher, but it also has a better chance to go after the heavier tank. It’s AP 3 make’s it a good choice for taking out Space Marines with little problem, or horde Orks for all that matters. The Battle Cannon is a very good choice in limited numbers.
A Leman Russ Battle Tank with Battle Cannon
- Medusa Siege Cannon
The Medusa cannon is used on the Imperial Guard Medusa. It has a range of 36″, strength 10, AP 2, and shots are 1 ordnance. It is a Demolisher cannon with a better range in most respects.
Next weapon in the Ordnance family is the Boomgun. This is the Orks version of a Battle Cannon. It just has a shorter range at 36”, instead of 72”. This pretty much has the same battlefield role as the Battle Cannon.
Ork Looted wagon with Boomgun
- Demolisher Cannon
The Demolisher Cannon is next of the list of the Ordnance family. The Demolisher Cannon is the most common of all the Ordnance weapon. It’s mounted on a good number of chassis. The Imperial Guard Leman Russ Demolisher, Space Marine Vindicator, Chaos Space Marine Vindicator, and the Imperial Guard Thunderer Siege Tank. That’s just to name a few. Now on to the profile. It has a range of 24”, strength 10, AP 2, and shots of 1. The strength and ordnance special rule makes the best choice out of the ordnance family. It’s best uses are to take out heavy tanks, and level buildings.
Chaos Space Marine Vindicator
- Partical Whip
Next is the Necron Partical Whip. It’s use on the Monolith and it’s the Necrons best choice for ranged anti-tank weapons. It has a range of 24”, strength 9, an AP of 3, and shots of 1. It doesn’t have the greatest of range or strength, but is still deadly in it’s own right. The ordnance special rules make’s it a better choice for taking out Space Marines and tanks with armor 13 to 14.
Necron Monolith with Partical Whip
Ordnance Barrage Family
This is one of the smaller sections of this whole guide. The Imperial Guard is the only army currently with this family of anti-tank weapon. Ordnance barrage weapon use all the same special rules as ordnance, but they also have other rules. Ordnance barrage doesn’t need a line of sight to fire. You can instead fire them as barrage. This allows you to fire over terrain, but you must guess the range.
You also do not subtract the BS from your scatter die roll. You also must remain stationary to fire like this. Most Ordnance barrage weapons also has a minimal range when fire like this. Scored hits from a Ordnance Barrage weapon go against a vehicles side armor. Infantry also must make a pin test with a -1 to their Ld. Ordnance barrage can also shoot like normal ordnance weapons unless notes.
- Earthshaker Cannon
First on the list is the Earthshaker Cannon. It has a range 32-240”, strength 9, AP 3, and shots are 1 ordnance blast. This is the more basic Ordnance barrage weapon.
- Storm Eagle Rockets
Now on to the Storm Eagle Rocket. Storm Eagle Rockets are the weapon of the Imperial Guard Manticore. They have a range of 24-120”, strength of 10, and it’s AP is 4. What makes this really stand out is it’s shots of d3. It random shot amount can be very nasty.
- Deathstrike Missile Launcher
This is one of the most impractical weapons and I want to hear people’s comments on the Deathstrike Missile Launcher. It’s used by the Imperial Guard on their Deathstrike. It has a range of 12-960”, strength 10, AP 1, and is a one shot per game.
I want comment on it ungodly range of 960”. Why in 40k do you need a range like this?!?! I also joke about to other players about this. I’m going to shot your table 50 miles way from my living room. Mean come on, do you really need this. I understand for fluff because it’s like the old school ICBM missile carriers.
The Deathstrike also has tons of special rules. T-Minus 5 minutes to launch… and counting. This is a countdown rule and please review your codex for full information. The Deathstrike has a random blast disk size. The size is rolled when fired and it’s d3+3”. The Deathstrike’s blast disk is a strength 10 vs vehicles, not just the center hole. The Deathstrike also voids cover. All in all this is a one trick pony and is very impractical to use.
A final note
Are Meltas the best tank hunting weapons on the battlefield? No, but they are a very common place and are up there in the chain of anti-tank weapon. Also, when Meltas are use correctly with other anti-tank weapons it makes for a very deadly combo.
There are also other weapon that can be use for anit-tank that didn’t appear here. Such as the Autocannon. While not the best choice, it can still kill of light armor vehicles with ease.