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What is the best special weapon?
It depends.. it depends.. you're probably best off including flamers in some squads and meltaguns in others while having a plasmagun in a third squad.. (well not really, but yea..) your army needs to work together.. if you've got a billion lascannons already you might not need the meltaguns as every tank is probably blasted before you get in range anyway.. likewise if you've got no way of dealing with hordes a few flamers would probably be a good choice for your list.. they all got their uses
but the rest of his post is right, it depends, having a flamer against an army of little units, few and far inbetween, flamers are next to useless unless you get a lucky go
while if the army list is void of tanks, a meltagun is useless etc
so this poll misses a last option, namely "no preference" =p
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I magnetize my special weapons trooper so I can switch out the loadout, that gives me versitility for who im playing, then make up 3 list with the different weapons in them so I'm still on points.
However, if you are deciding on what gun to use, reflect on who you mostly play against and choose that way. Flamers are good for horde armies. Plasma are good for Elite armies with lots of termies or say Nob Bikers. Meltas are good for a mechanized list. And choose that way.
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Flamers and Meltaguns are highly specialized weapons that have a very low range. In tight spaces, against the proper target, they can work wonders.
But nothing beats the Plasma Gun for its flexibility and use against a wide variety of targets. With it's range, strength and AP (and possibility of multiple shots) it is a threat against all but the heaviest tanks. It is a great compliment to the bolters that are the mainstay of the tactical squad, because it is also a Rapid Fire weapon.
There are lascannons and mobile multi-meltas for AV 13+. Massed bolter fire takes care of light troops. Plasma guns fill in the gap against heavy-armored troops and low-medium armor vehicles like transports, speeders, and walkers (and don't forget those monsterous creatures!).
I am assuming, of course, that we are talking about the best special weapon for a tactical squad. Other specialist squads like Assault Squads, Command Squads and the like are intended for close combat where the Flamer is probably the best weapon to thin enemy ranks prior to charging in.
As a Nid player I dont worry too much about flamers. If I know a squad has a flamer I can usually shoot the squad down or hit them before they can use the flamer. If they are deep striking/flanking it might hurt, but only for a turn.
Plasma however is something of a bane for me, as high Toughness and good armour saves usually go together for bugs and plasma cuts through both, and can rapid fire!
As of Tyranid 5th Ed. codex I have the Gaunts I wanted. I did, however, loose the sniperfexs I relied upon and they were more important then the gaunts.
Flamer - Good for assault squads bent on anti-troop duty. At its best against "horde" forces.
Meltagun - Good for rapid squads which need anti-tank abilities, such as biker squads or tactical squads using rhinos.
Plasma - Good for dealing with heavy armor, from a distance. Basic killer of any armored-type warrior. Bad habit of blowing up in the users face, however.
Meltagun - you have krak granades in whole unit or powerfist/meltabomb on sergeant or melta on bikes/speeders/dreads. here really not.
Flamer - better on assaulters or heavy flamer version, but generally good choice, lots of hits
Plasma - antitank and antiinfantry, gamble weapon
So I vote for plasma, its really not best weapon, but its universal and tactical squad is universal unit. For antitank it has cc capabilities because of krak grenades, against horde infantry has rapid fire, against everything has plasma and universality is what are space marines about.
Last edited by czechImenhotep; April 26th, 2009 at 22:20.
I would say the melta gun and flamer are at opposite ends of a spectrum of weapon purposes, the flamer being anti-horde and the melta being anti-vehicle and IC killer. The plasma gun is middle ground between the two.
Flamer Pros: Great Anti-horde. will cut a nice hole in those charging orks/IG/whatnot. Ignores cover saves (which have become an important part of 5th ed).
Flamer Cons: Relatively low strength and AP (Compared to meltagun and plasma gun). Shortest range of the three. Hit or miss against MEQ. Nearly useless versus 2+ armor. Can't kill vehicles.
Plasma Pros: High strength and great AP. Longest range of all the weapons. Can take out tanks. Can instant death guard equiv ICs. "Gets Hot" got nerfed between 4th and 5th edition. Rapid Fire.
Plasma Cons: "Gets Hot" can still kill you. Can't kill heavy vehicles. Only semi-useful against hordes. Can't instant death marine equivalent ICs.
Melta Pros: Awesome strength and AP. Melta rule kills tanks. Causes Instant Death on Marine Equivalent ICs.
Melta Cons: Short Range, even shorter range to take advantage of the 2D6 rule. Only 1 shot. Pretty useless versus hordes.
In this case, there is no "best special weapon." Each weapon excels in different situation. Personally, i like flamers, so i'm gonna vote flamers
All I have to say is I have I've never had a plasma gun last an entire game. I usually have 2 in my army, and both die after 3 turns (generally 1 on the first turn).
Just to be clear, they blow themselves up. I have a nasty knack for rolling 1's with them. Stupid 'Gets hot' rule.
But that aside, I always take them for their versatility. Can't go wrong with a gun that can handle well in any situation.