Remember me

Forgot Password?


Why dont Space Marines use Storm Bolters as special weapons?

Discussion of anything 40K related

Why dont Space Marines use Storm Bolters as special weapons?

Postby LordMalekTheRedKnight » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:35 pm

Hey all :)

something i often wonder about...

Space Marine squads currently have the ability to swap one of their Bolters for a Plasma Gun, Melta Gun or Flamer as their "special" weapon - but why cant they take Storm Bolters? :?:

Grenade Launchers i can understand - despite being an Imperial weapon, no-one in C: SM can take them, so it seems like they are trying to keep them something special for the IG. which is fair enough.

but Marines do use Storm Bolters: their ICs, Termines, Veteran Sergeants, Dreads and Tanks can already have them. the very squads limited to Plasma/Melta/Flamer can have Storm Bolters carried by their Vet Sgts.

i dont think its for looks, either: SOB have them, as do SM Vet Sgts/ICs, and they look great - not at all out of place on Marines or other models in Power Armour.

could it be for fluff reasons? is there something written that only Plasma Guns, Melta Guns or Flamers are allowed as special squad weapons? if there is, could this only apply to strictly "Codex" chapters (could it be overturned by use of a Trait, for example)? and when a Vet Sgt takes such a weapon, could this be seen as violating the spirit of the "rule" (in the fluff)? :?:

its certainly not for logistical reasons: the Storm Bolter uses the same ammo as the squad's normal Bolters, so if anything it makes more sense to use them as special weapons in this regard as they can share ammo with their squadmates (no need for replacement fuel cells/promethium tanks etc just for the specialist).

could it be an artificial constraint for the purposes of game balance? i dont see how it would be unbalancing to allow Storm Bolters instead of the other Special weapons, especially considering (1) they would be competing alongside the Plasma Gun (considered to be the "powergamers" weapon of choice) and (2) they can already be taken in such squads anyway by giving them to a Vet Sgt (for 10 pts more than a Plasma/Melta gun, you can upgrade a model to a Vet Sgt and give them a Storm Bolter).

so why cant they have Storm Bolters? is there some designers note or piece of fluff that i have missed? and do you think they should have the option? :?:

it would allow players to take a long range Special Weapon without defaulting to the Plasma Gun, for a start - acting as a sort of middle ground between Bolter and Plasma. they also look good IMO and it would add the possibility of more variation in Marine armies.

from the Marine players perspective, this is what they offer:
- more shots at long range than any other special weapon
- better range when moving than any other special weapon
- longer max range than Flamer & Melta
- more shots at close range than Melta
- can be fired before charging, unlike Plasma Gun
- dont "Get Hot", unlike Plasma Gun
- same range, Str & AP as the squad's Bolters (less redundancy than when a Melta Gun shoots a tank, for example)

they also encourage mobility too (and less reliance on Rapid Fire weapons at long range = less "stand and shoot" tactics).

as for points cost, i think the price listed in the Armoury would be fine (should stop Plasma Guns from being a "no-brainer").

a counter argument for their inclusion could be that special weapons are supposed to aid their squads by doing something that they cant do with their normal weapons (tank hunting, penetrating heavy infantry armour, clearing enemies out of cover etc) - which is a fair point. but IMO the Storm Bolter does do this, as it allows the squad to move and fire whilst still keeping the enemy at arm's reach - something none of their other weapons (Heavy, Special or normal) can do.

i think they would definately have a place in balanced armies (alongside all the other special weapons) - do you agree? :?:

do you think that Tac Squads w/Storm Bolter and Heavy Bolter (with maybe a 2nd Storm Bolter on a Vet Sgt) would become the new "Las/Plas"? and if so, would this necessarily be a bad thing? :?:

cheers in advance :)

~ Tim
8O :D OMG - Im a Dad - of THREE!! :D 8O
:) I am "LMTRK" on The Wizards Community and MTG Salvation
User avatar
Lord Marmite
Lord General
Posts: 4876
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Stamford, Lincs, UK

Postby Culven » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:54 pm

I think that it is done for (unwritten) fluff reasons. Only Veterans have access to Storm Bolters as a personal weapon. Perhaps they are seen as a revered item (a bit like Terminator Armour), and it is considered a special honour to be granted one from the Armoury.

I cannot think of any (non-vehicle) example of a non-Veteran having a Storm Bolter in the Space Marine codex.
Last edited by Culven on Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Commander, Catachan XIII "Black Cats"
Pray that a Black Cat never crosses your path.
User avatar
Junior Officer
Junior Officer
Posts: 783
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:00 am
Location: At a desk working on one of too many projects.

Postby Angelwing » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:04 pm

I think it just turned out that way from the designers mindset. Everyone used to have the same weapons at the start of 40k, with the same sort of distribution. Race only weapons began to creep in until now where only a few weapons are shared.
I think its ingrained that space marines have the options they do. If you see where I'm going...
Battle sisters only had the option relatively recently. Marines may get the option in the next redux, but I think it will stay an 'elite only' weapon because it wouldn't feel 'space marine' to have them anywhere else.

Personally, I think it would be an interesting option that wouldn't be unbalancing at all. I don't think we would see many players using it though as the las/plas combo is seen as king due to the number of tanks/MC's etc that are in games. Even battle sister players rarely use it as the 2x meltagun or melta/Hvy flamer combo is simply better.
User avatar
Posts: 2311
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:00 am
Location: Bridgwater, Somerset
Medals: 17
Gold (5) Silver (1) Painting Entrant (11)

Return to 40K Discussion

 Social Links