Thursday, April 16, 2015

Eldar and Destroyer Weapons

Destroyer Weapons in 7th Edition 40k

As of this mid April morning in 2015, the game of Warhammer 40k is changing rapidly. There is a wildfire of unrest spreading through the community over Eldar getting access to "D" weapons or Destroyer Weapons in this new codex. Now that we will be seeing them in prevalence I think it's time we discuss what Destroyer weapons do to the game.

So THAT'S how it's done...

If you're reading this and it's September of 2019, none of this may matter. But right now, with the game's quite unsettling. Up until this point D weapons weren't readily available in common codex units. Never mind on infantry models. If the rumors are true, Eldar will suddenly have more D weapon access than any other army in the game. Even with the pace of releases, this is a daunting time to go up against such an army with the rest of our mortal forces.

Give them the "D."

D weapons DO have a place in the game in my opinion. They keep certain shenanigans in check. Everything in the game should be able to be killed with reasonable tactical application of force. It should have a weakness. Over the editions several units have not had one...and D weapons create that weakness.

First we see Necrons get a D weapon on the C'tan. It's random though, so it feels like it fits.

Then the new Bloodthirster model comes with a big axe, but it's unweildy. That leaves room to at least do something to it before it gets to use it. It gives both players a chance and creates tension. The best gaming moments are born from tension like this.

If we see what we think we're going to see with Eldar, all of their distort weaponry will have the Destroyer rule. Whether this is after a '6' to hit or pure Destroyer through and through is yet to be seen. Distort was always similar to Destroyer, but not on the same level. Distort left much of its power to chance, but on the overall was most dangerous on the high end of chance. Destroyer weaponry works pretty much every time and leaves very little to chance.

Ultimately, I think that's why this is an issue to so many players, Eldar alike. Eldar used to be a master faction. They belonged to the players who wanted a challenge. Those who could paint small surfaces and use strategy and unison with aspect units and dangerous tanks. They were difficult to play well, but if you played them correctly, very, very tough to beat. Introducing an abundance of Destroyer weaponry is the antitheses of that notion. It's point and click. No matter what unit you have on the board, if that Destroyer weapon touches doesn't stand much of a chance. The scale of its power scales with the power of its target as well. A single shot against a Grot and a single shot against an Imperial Knight have the potential to do the same amount of havoc. That flexibility is a tool that most armies simply don't have...but will they?

Is that...a tuning fork??
That kind of power goes in line with a race that once ruled the galaxy. As a former Eldar player, the quote, "Their arrogance is only matched by their firepower," was never really realized until recently for me. I would be 100% okay with it if it were points-expensive to achieve this, or the unit itself could be managed easily and it left the army open in other tactical senses (not being able to deal with massed infantry, for example.)

It doesn't seem like that will be the case however...

The Wraithknight has been rumored to have been changed to a Gargantuan Creature. To be fair this makes a TON of sense. The thing is huge. What doesn't make sense to me is the fact that there's even one in the Eldar army in the first place...but that's another story. This basic unit type change gives the WK a amphitheater's worth of defenses it didn't have before. A previous weakness to poison - gone. The ability to instant death it - gone. A newly granted feel no pain option to boot. Because something that would feel pain couldn't possibly be poisoned. Calling this a tough nut is vastly undervaluing it's defensive capability. Looking at it on the battlefield however, it makes sense. I just hope it's appropriately costed. It's very close to a Revenant Titan in its role now.

If the D weapons were the only new modification to the army I think it would cause enough stink. Jetbikes, arguably the best base unit troop choice in the game getting access to 4 S6 shots a piece really enables the Eldar to deal with anything and at all point levels. We haven't seen what's happening with the Wave Serpent or other units. I've always said if you can dominate two phases of the game you have a good shot at winning. So they may be the best movement army. The best shooting army. The best psychic army. Assault, no...poor Banshees and Scorpions.

Future Releases

These changes bring with them a very difficult army to stand against. The big question I have is how will upcoming releases incorporate D weapons? The past 3 books have delivered a Destroyer Weapon in the base codex. Will this trend continue? What changed between Blood Angels and Necrons that gave us this new style of codex as well?

If somehow every race gets access to this level of power things will even out. They may not all get the abundance that Eldar will, but a Destroyer weapon may be the best way to take down those opposing Wraithknights now.


  1. Well I don't believe Fox News is vary fair or balanced, but this post seems to be quite objective. It is very insightful. For example, you state the WK buffs offensively and defensive and rather than complain about how OP it is you question the point cost for such a unit. You get to the heart of the issue (eldar were the master race, so D weapons make sense), but you also realize that is could shake the internal balance of the game to its core. I love the intro of "If you're reading this and it's September of 2019" which beautifully displays how this may be old hat in even 6 months to a year. I might have to look at some of your other post.

    1. Thank you. We have a collection of gamers that like to contribute a positive and insightful aspect of the hobby. We do battle reports as well and want to share how we enjoy the game. You can find us on YouTube too.