PDA

View Full Version : Heavy Bolters nor rare enough!



Steel_Legion
12-07-2006, 15:29
I was pondering over this tohught yesterday, reading my black tempalr codex, about how each bolter is hand crafted, and is such a rare thing etc etc, but the heavy bolter is comman as dirt! Surely it should be even rarer than a Boltgun? Yet every imperial guard tank has access to them, clearly not rare at all! it just seems odd is all, and i think it would make a lot more sence if another gun was used instead of the rare heavy bolter on tanks and given to infantry, thats all, just my train of thought for the day

Overlord Krycis
12-07-2006, 15:36
I think the reason for this is that it is easier to make a Heavy Bolter (larger components?) than a Boltgun.
Plus, the only people who use Bolters really are the Space Marines, so they can afford to spend lots of time individually crafting each one.
Since when did you see a heavy Bolter that looked Masterfully Crafted...?

Alsiaie
12-07-2006, 15:41
Heh... BT fluff has a lot of problems with it. Kinda like the half-put together quote from monty python. HB may be hand-crafted and available for IG, but then again IG officers can have bolters as well. (or is that storm bolters?) Either way both are hand crafted. You do have to remember that even though an IG platoon can take 6 heavy bolters, that doesnt mean it happens. IG have their own fluff and probably don't take that many. Afterall, each platoon is only allowed one plasma gun...if that. But in game terms, I can have six. I think that autocannons are pretty common though. Don't forget each IG division have favored weaponry. If they don't favor the HB, that doesnt mean they don't like it. It may mean they just dont' have a lot of them. Another thing I don't like about BT fluff is that GW now labels them the Angels of Death. Wow... I thought. *Turns around and opens his 2nd ed Angels of Death codex...* Nope no black templars here. :angel:

MorningStar
12-07-2006, 16:42
Well this is just my two cents on the subject but maybe bolters, like the rifle and pistol are rare *rolls eyes* since they are pains takingly hand crafted *cough-stupid* maybe just maybe for the heavy bolter its mass produced with interchangable parts for easy battle field repair, which brings the 41 millenium leaping into the 21st century. :)

Khaine's Messenger
12-07-2006, 17:28
This has always been "solved" (iirc) by simply making Space Marine bolters (and various ceremonial Guard bolters) rare while heavy bolters and your average guard lieutenant's bolter are basically a stamped gyroc (let us say, the rough difference between a thompson smg and a "grease gun"). Bolters are one of the iconic weapons of 40k, and while they can be rare enough that their ammo is traded on some worlds as holy relics, they're common enough in the heroic sort of fiction one finds being churned out of BL and GW.

Of course, if one considers even the Guard to be relatively rare (levelling out to be much less than 1% of the Imperium's total population) then yeah, you're not likely to find one if you're going about in the day-to-day.

Colonel_Kreitz
12-07-2006, 18:40
I would imagine that a marine boltgun is also, in part, rare, because of unnecessary ritual and decorative work that goes into it.

Certainly, an ivory-gripped .45 caliber revolver with inlaid silver work a la Patton is rare. But a plain old .45 caliber revolver is not. Marines hand-craft their weapons, bless them, and ritualize them, making them rare, because that is part of their Warrior-Priest/Templar imagery.

Imperial Guard use heavy bolters and a few boltguns because they're mass produced on Forge Worlds and issued to them.

Comandos
12-07-2006, 18:52
Yea, HBs are mass produced. What you shuld really worry about is plasma weapon. Every single IG squad can have them and marines don't skip on these either.. So much for a rare gun that most forge worlds lost the knowlage to make...

Eversor
12-07-2006, 20:38
Weapon rarity is much over-exaggerated. Even plasma weaponry is mass produced and is common enough on hive worlds. It's one of those things that has deteriorated through time, each generation of background writers making things worse.

Kage2020
12-07-2006, 22:24
Indeed. It's nice to apply the common "Golden Age Doctrine" Image of the 40k universe, but when you compare it to the supposed scale of the 40k universe? Hmmn...

Kage

Colonel_Kreitz
13-07-2006, 05:05
Indeed. It's nice to apply the common "Golden Age Doctrine" Image of the 40k universe, but when you compare it to the supposed scale of the 40k universe? Hmmn...

Kage

Well, just like terminator armor (heck...pretty much all marine armor) is supposed to be incredibly ancient and nearly impossible to recreate. Yet if that were truly the case, we'd have quite a lot of marines running around in flak vests by now...

cailus
13-07-2006, 05:47
A problem I have is Imperial Guardsmen wielding storm bolters. Why not just give everyone in the entire Imperium a storm bolter if a normal man can fire it with as much ease as a Terminator?

Personally I would tighten up the restrictions on IG weapons:

- no storm bolters for IG officers.
- 0-1 limit on bolter
- 0-1 limit on bolt pistol
- heavy bolters are limited to tanks
- 0-1 limit on personnel plasma weapons per 1,000 points. So in 2,000 points you can have 2 plasma weapons.
- two new anti-infantry weapons are introduced for IG infantry:
1.) Heavy Stubber
2.) Multi-laser

Colonel_Kreitz
13-07-2006, 06:30
A problem I have is Imperial Guardsmen wielding storm bolters. Why not just give everyone in the entire Imperium a storm bolter if a normal man can fire it with as much ease as a Terminator?

Personally I would tighten up the restrictions on IG weapons:

- no storm bolters for IG officers.
- 0-1 limit on bolter
- 0-1 limit on bolt pistol
- heavy bolters are limited to tanks
- 0-1 limit on personnel plasma weapons per 1,000 points. So in 2,000 points you can have 2 plasma weapons.
- two new anti-infantry weapons are introduced for IG infantry:
1.) Heavy Stubber
2.) Multi-laser

In the American Civil War, repeating rifles were developed that could fire 7 shots just as quickly as a man could aim and cock the rifle. Thanks to cartridge design, men could easily and quickly load it as well. The Spencer Carbine (and many other such repeaters) were powerful, accurate, and could law down a hail or lead. By way of comparison, a standard muzzle loading musket fired 3 rounds a minute if the firer was very well drilled and trained.

By the end of the war, virtually everyone still fought with muzzle loading muskets. They did not kill better, they fired far slower, they were in fact harder to use and required more training, and they were only marginally more accurate at long ranges. So why not equip everyone with repeaters?

Well, repeating rifles were expensive. They were difficult to manufacture and thus, the military couldn't afford to equip hundreds of thousands of men with such a pricey weapon. Additionally, they were complex machines, with many more moving parts than a musket and therefore, they required much more maintanance and spare parts. I'm a Civil War reenactor and, in fact, know several people who own repeating carbines and constantly say that it's an enormous headache maintaining them so that they'll fire in the field.

That's pretty much why the Imperium doesn't just give everyone storm bolters. It's really expensive and their difficult to maintain, requiring many man hours and many spares. Plus, ammo is expensive and bolts consume a lot of space and are difficult to move. Note that the major case for the lasgun is that it's easy to take care of, easy to make, and ammo is rarely a problem, since it can be recharged in just about any way imaginable (including tossing the power pack into fire).

Simple, cheap, easy to take care of. The storm bolter may be more powerful and flashier, but it is none of those and that's why the Guard relies on the lasgun.

That having been said, individuals who have time and who are willing to take said time to take care of their weapons have access to them. Hence officers and hardened vets can take more complex, more specialized weaponry. They can pull the strings to get them and either have aides to help take care of them or are well versed enough in technological matters (and are willing to set aside the time) to keep them in working condition. Note that in the fluff within the Codex, it's noted that many veteren guardsmen and officers carry laspistols/lasrifles into action either exclusively or in adition to flashier bolt weapons because they are more reliable, carry more ammo, and just generally are solid weapons.

Outlaw289
13-07-2006, 06:32
The storm bolter may be more powerful and flashier, but it is none of those and that's why the Guard relies on the lasgun.

Flashier than a lasgun, eh? :eyebrows: :p

jfrazell
13-07-2006, 11:47
A problem I have is Imperial Guardsmen wielding storm bolters. Why not just give everyone in the entire Imperium a storm bolter if a normal man can fire it with as much ease as a Terminator?

Personally I would tighten up the restrictions on IG weapons:

- no storm bolters for IG officers.
- 0-1 limit on bolter
- 0-1 limit on bolt pistol
- heavy bolters are limited to tanks
- 0-1 limit on personnel plasma weapons per 1,000 points. So in 2,000 points you can have 2 plasma weapons.
- two new anti-infantry weapons are introduced for IG infantry:
1.) Heavy Stubber
2.) Multi-laser

I'd actually be onside with the additions of the heavy stubber and multi-laser to replace the the heavy bolter. However, if you limit plasma per 1,000 points (which I'm ok with) then you need to price the average guardsman properly. Their price was increased in 3rd edition solely becuase the author of the new rules didn't like to see so many models (this was stated by him). Drop them back to five points.

Eversor
13-07-2006, 11:53
Like I said: neither bolter nor plasma weaponry are rare by any stretch of the imagination. It's just a case of generations of bad authours destroying the background. That's the real issue.

Eulenspiegel
13-07-2006, 12:29
In "Warhammer40K-the game", weapons are only ever limited because of play-balance. If it is at all possible for a unit to have a certain upgrade, then all units of that type may have it, disregarding the relative scarcity of that weapon.
Some items have a little higher points value attached to them than their tabletop-effectiveness suggests, but that is just about it.

Take Plasmacannons or Inferno Pistols - they´re rare as hell but with just a little effort you can produce a list that fields an unrealistic amount of them.
With the 40k universe being so large and diverse, this army may be rare beyond belief, but it can exist, and just because one of your friends fields it every weekend doesn´t mean it is widespread.

The solution is not to take weapons / units / upgrades you yourself deem rare, or to take only one of them (Plasmaguns in Tactical Squads, Bolters for Imperial Guard Officers, Kustom Megablasta for Orks, ....).

Obviously you cannot enforce this on your opponents, if you want to play them regularly that is, but there you go - I´d be such a happy guy if I could force reason onto others.

Makaber
13-07-2006, 14:18
You also have to remember a couple of things:

A lot of stuff is "hand crafted" in the Imperium, because it's often cheaper and easier to have some random Joe Schmoe or Servitor slaving away at a menial task, then going to the trouble of automaticise (spelling?) the process.

Secondly, the Imperium has no trouble building stuff large. However, they do struggle with miniaturisation. Mechanics don't get more complex the larger the machine, rather the opposite.

I also think the Boltgun isn't that hard to manufacture, rather it's the ammunition that contains most of the weapon mechanics. Imagine the logistical nightmare of producing and distributing enough tiny mass reactive missiles to supply an entire Imperial Guard scale operation.

Finally, during a Warhammer 40k battle, you typically play out what's going on right at the frontline. You have to consider the fact that the actual military operation, and the manpower needed for it, is in fact much, much larger than what you see represented on the battlefield. There's logistics, staff personell, sentries, artillery crews, scouts, ect., and it's doubtful these froces have access to (for instance) plasma weapons, simply because they're reserved to frontline duty (ie. your army) because of their effectiveness and rarity. In my IG army, I have about 65 men, and two or three Plasma Guns. If we assume a third of the force fights in the front (a number I just made up in my head now, so I have no idea how representable it is), that puts the total mancount up to nearly 200 men. That's 100 men per plasma gun. That's pretty damn rare.

Tonberry
13-07-2006, 14:35
A problem I have is Imperial Guardsmen wielding storm bolters. Why not just give everyone in the entire Imperium a storm bolter if a normal man can fire it with as much ease as a Terminator?

Because Guard aren't expected to live long enough to deem them worthy of such exotic equipment. And if they do live long enough, they're no doing their duty.

Kriegsherr
13-07-2006, 14:46
Its sad there are no ammo throw in 40k these days like in necromunda.

thos throw clearly showed why bolt-weapons generally are only used by show-offs. If a 1 was rolled for the to-hit roll, a throw had to be done (something like a save) to be able to use the weapon further in the game. If you failed, ammo ran out or the weapon was jammed.

All las-weapons had an ammo throw of 2+, and therefor, while beeing quite weak even in necromunda where even a flak west was rare, were a very good choice for players who wanted to be on the safe side and liked reliable weapons.

All solid shot weapons like submachine guns and assault guns were 4+. Not as reliable like a las-gun, but at least the submachine gun had nice modifiers on the to-hit roll compared to the las-pistol.

Bolt-weapons on the other side, while beeing similarly strong as in 40k 4th ed, had an ammo throw of 6+ (this was also showing that ammo was even rarer in the underhive than anywhere else in the imperium, but also that these weapons tend to jam regularly). So only the flashiest and most insane players took the boltguns or heavy bolters, and most of the time for the sheer possability of some turns of shooting from these beasts and the look on the face of the opponent when he saw a mini with a boltgun pointing his weapon at their minis. And naturally, all minis with boltguns got las-pistols or las-guns as sidearms.

So, in the 40k rules of today, the boltguns drawbacks are not really shown. Fact is, only REALLY sourcefull organisation like the Marines or AdMech can get their hands on enough bolt-shells and provide the necessary Maintenance needed to keep a lot of boltguns working for a longer period of time (I'd give them a 4+ ammo roll, they'll still prone to jamming even in a marines hands).

But Officers and Veterans use Boltguns as show offs or some kind of "special weapon" for special occasions. their guns won't survive long under battlefield conditions as they don't get much ammo (they will have to get it maybe even illegally or on their own expense), and won't have the needed expertise / good quality boltgun to prevent constant jammings.