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Rapid fire means that the character can move and shoot in the same turn, and that the model can fire two times if the target is within 12"
Assault weapons do all that, plus that the model is able to assault in the assault phase.
Here comes my problem: The Shuriken Catapult is an "assault 2"-type weapon.. what do you make of that?
assault 2 means you fire 2 shots with it. so guardians with catapults get to move, fire 2 shots then charge.
You missed something for rapid fire. If you move, you may ONLY fire at 12" range. The longer range is only if you are stationary. And yes, if any member of a squad fires a rapid fire weapon the entire squad may not charge.
Hence, assault weapons are exactlly that. Weapons used for assaults. As you can move fire them up to their shots at their maximum range and assault when you are done.
Mentor of Space Marine Commanders far and wide.
Efficiency VS Point Cost VS Ease Of Use - Your best bets:
1) Chaplain led Assault squad - 2 plasma pistols, powerfisted sergeant
2) 8 man Devastator squad - 4 missile launchers
3) Land Speeder Tornado - HB + AC
Farseer Sareld, I believe You've misunderstood...
The amount of shots Rapid Fire weapons get is detailed in the RF generic rules.
The amount of shots Assault Weapons get is the number X, when the weapon is "Assault X". Assault Weapons always have a number listed after their type, because unlike RF weapons, their amount of shots isn't listed in their generic rules but is weapon-specific.
Thus an "Assault 2" weapon would be able to fire two shots using the rules listed for Assault weapons, whereas an "Assault 1" weapon would only ever be able to shoot a single shot.
Note that Rapid Fire and Assault are two completely different things with differing rules... Assault weapons are not equal to RF weapons which can still assault: 4thEd page 29, "Weapon Types". As we can see, two different weapon types with their own rules.
"The meat things seek to destroy ourselves. They hunt us as we hunt them but they are weak and uncertain. The inferior flesh will be entirely destroyed, all biomatter consumed. Ourselves will fight to the last, all weak flesh must be devoured."