Great Weapons - the no brainer choice? - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
    Keeper of Records and Ale King Ulrik Flamebeard's Avatar
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    Great Weapons - the no brainer choice?

    [NB: Stole, more or less, from a Mr Nick Huge from Bugmans Brewery]

    As the title says, is the GW a no brainer choice in the game?

    Picture this; a choas lord is given a balde of emmense power, the soul of the biggest meanest daemon is bound within it - it would match that of the Sword of Khaine. But he keeps it nice and wrapped up in his hut because it costs too much, and to be frank a big shiney axe will help him more.

    So, ok probably won't happen but the point remains. Is the great weapon becoming a choice of weapon over others? A magic weapon typically costs twenty five points or more, and what do you get? Ignore saves? With a Great weapon, those saves are reduced by minus two already - then add your hero's strenght. Extra strength? Umm.. GWs do that. Re-roll failed to wound? GWs eliminates most of this, wounding on twos or threes in most cases.

    The reason behind the GW choice? Cost. A GW typically costs somewhere from four to twelve points, that's well under half the cost of a cheap magic weapon. It boosts your strength making it a better choice against cav and highly armoured troops - infact it makes killing them easier. Reducing their save from a 1+ (Empire Knight) to only 4+ (based on average S4), making it much easier to rank up three or more kills with a simple hero.

    And in some cases it's just hideous. A vampire or chaos lord with these things can shatter chariots and the like in one blow, and against ordinary troops they slapping on a hefty minus four save mod - reducing even the heavily armoured Ironbreakers 2+ save to a mealy six plus. These weapons have all the goodness of a magic weapon, except certain abilities and the magc attack, but surpass them in cost and availablity - almost all characters can take one.

    Lets look at the stats here -

    (NB: No actual stats as I can't do them ^_^ - Sorry)

    Chaos Lords -
    Great Weapon - 6pts
    Cheapest magic weapon - 25pts (Khorne only)/30pts

    Vampire Lords
    Great Weapon - 6pts
    Cheapest Magic Weapon - 30pts

    Dwarf Lord
    Great Weapon - 6pts
    Cheapest Runic weapon (well of use ^^ ) - 20pts (RoCleaving)

    etc

    Another thing about the GW is that it can't be nulled, magic weapons can. You 'uber weapon of Killyness' would be nothing vs a Asur Prince with the Null Stone, but with a GW why worry?

    Surely having a GW can't be all pro's right? Well most the con's to the weapon isn't much;
    Two handed - so no shield.
    Strike last; with a ward and good armour no worries.

    Well.. that's it. Two bad points about the weapons, good thing is the points you're not spending on your expensive hero with a magic weapon can go into his defence. You're striking last but spending those points saved you can give him a great armour save and a decent ward in most cases. Also with GWs, giving the character normal armour and a shield he can be a lot more versatile - either the high S or a better save (Hw&S) an option unavailable to magic weapon wielding characters.

    Again, something I can make with the dwarf lord;

    Dwarf Lord
    Great Weapon
    Gromril Armour
    MRoGromril
    RoResistance
    MRoSpite
    Total = 238pts

    And he has; a 1+ re-rollable save, a 4+ ward save and four S6 attacks. He's very safe in most cases, even a challenge he's likely to win out.

    To get the same effect with a runic weapon I'd have to add two RoCleaving, adding fourty more points to his cost. Making him 272pts See the difference?

    What does everyone think? Are Great Weapons the simple and no brainer choice in the game now? Or is this a load of crap?

    KU


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  3. #2
    LO Zealot th0r's Avatar
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    Although a GW is a great choice because it will always give you +2 strength I feel that the fact that it makes you strike last (after the charge) means your wasting good initive of your character. Maybe its not so much for other armies but its rare my Blood Dragon Count doesn't get to go first. Also with the shield availible, the enchanted shield in most cases will bring you down to a 0+ save which means even if you are strength 5 im still saving on 2's. I prefear to have lances on my characters (who are all on nightmares btw), as it suits my fear causing force just fine.
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    i think in most cases you are correct, but every so often there's things that call for something a little more upmarket.

    how's that GW looking when you go against, say a bloodthrister? admittedly, most would prefer to shoot that than go anywhere near it, but from what i understand, some armies don't have a choice.

    and sometimes you don't need the extra strength. thinking of skaven and humans in particular, the amount of attacks for the likes of VCs and chaos lords would be more important, no? simply because they already have the strentgh to bypass the saves of most of the troops and wound on twos?

    these are some examples of when some magic weapons might be worth taking, but they are still expensive compared to GW's, and most cases i think the GWs are still a better bet.

  5. #4
    LO Zealot Grimbog Elf Ater's Avatar
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    For dwarves I don't see why you'd take anything else (especially with such low I values to start with), given that you have access to the MRoGromril and RoStone - not to mention the MRoSpite! Dwarve's best offense was always a good defence anyway!

    However, you can't always account for your own inability to roll dice. Yes, wounding is normally not too much of a problem (unless you're tying to hack off a stegadon's horns ), but hitting is where it counts for your lords. In a challenge you want to be able to re-roll hits (or something that bestows hatred on your character) and have the benefit of higher strength to wound easier and modify armour saves taken by your opponent, but the only way you can better your hitting chances is to rune up or take a magic weapon for all other armies out there.

    Given the points to play with, I'd prefer to take a weapon that grants the +2 Str bonus over a great axe. It only matters in a locked combat if you come to think of it properly, but if that means striking 3-4 times at rank and file troops and thuis denying them fight back, that's much better than them taking out some of my front rankers and denying my own troops fight back!

    Ultimately though, I think that choice is really dependant on points available to you and the foe that you are facing. If you are facing someone with better initiative than you, take the GW. If you are facing someone with equivalent or worse initiative than you, take the magical version (if available to you!). Yes, you can buy 4 extra models for the cost, but you can also save that many of your own and cut down that same number of foes before trampling their entire unit after winning CR with a weapon that strikes at you initiative rating.
    The iron crowned is getting closer,
    Swings his hammer down on him,
    Like a thunderstorm he's crushing,
    Down the Noldor's proudest king.

    Under my foot, so hopeless it seems.
    You've troubled my day, now feel the pain.
    - Blind Guardian

  6. #5
    Senior Member Bobby_Wokkerfella's Avatar
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    Personally my mundane weapon of choice is the humble Halberd. With my lowest hero-level Inititive being 6 (Not counting spellcasters here) it would be a shame to lose out on striking first agaisnt most foes. The halberd gives a decent +1 strength to my character and he can still wield it hella fast. That being said I almost always prefer taking some big magic weapon on my characters anyways, as I find it more characterful (Who can pass up the Blade of Black Fury anyways?) But this is what I find best for my army, I can clearly see how GW's can be purley beneficial to certain armies (Lizzies, Ogres, Orcs and Dwarfs spring to mind here) as their I (and sometimes WS) is very low, even on their Characters.

  7. #6
    Member Aegir's Avatar
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    I completely agree with you, King Ulrik. Giving my Night Goblin Warboss S6 is immense. A wound on 2/3+ and a -3 armour save modifier is great for a mere 61pts (55+6 for the weapon.) All those bonuses for a measly greenskin called Silthin.
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." - Hector Berlioz (Musician: 1803 - 1869)

  8. #7
    Son of LO Pierced53's Avatar
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    I almost always take Great Weapons where possible, except on Mounted people. I give them lances instead, as they still recieve +2 Strength(On The Charge), and with this may not stay in combat for that long, but don't strike last.

  9. #8
    Senior Member aufde's Avatar
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    I hate GW's. I avoid them at all costs. I play chaos, so I have a high initiative that I don't want to waste. I would much rather take a sheild so I have a much better armour save. And with a shield, I still have a high strength, and my opponent gets -2 armour save and I have a 2+ armour save, so if my opponent survives my 5 attacks, I will be able to survive his attacks, and kill him the next round.(This is very easy, because I take armour of damnation, so my opponent has to re-roll there succesfull hits.) The only way I would ever take a great weapon, is if I started playing an army that has a magic item that gives me a 1+ or 2+ save automatically.
    <-- that room over there in my avatar is full of people who think you are funny...BURN...

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  10. #9
    Junior Member Finlos's Avatar
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    Great-weapons

    This is a relevant place, I think, to mention one of my personal favourite units:

    High Elf Swordmasters.

    A unit full of foot troops carrying greatswords (with all corresponding benefits) that ignore the 'strike last' rule, Can't really go wrong there. I like using them (when it works) as a one-two punch to charge a unit held in melee by your Chariot / Dragon Princes / Silver Helms that charged the turn before. It gets really rude when you add a Prince (Lord) with the swordmaster honor, even before adding in magic equipment.

    cheers,
    Finlos

    First post, woot! (gotta start somewhere)

  11. #10
    The Pointy Eared elfwarden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finlos
    It gets really rude when you add a Prince (Lord) with the swordmaster honor, even before adding in magic equipment.
    agree, my prince always has the SM skill, whats not to like about +2 S and KB?. get the armour of the gods, and a guarding phoenix and watch those chariots crumble.....
    i love it, i love it, l i love it!!!!!!!

    good Hunting!

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