Feast of Blades '13

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Curious Case of Unusual Power Weapons vs. Normal Power Weapons: Dante in Particular

Hey all, controversy with a new rules set is aloft! This edition brought us a wider variety of weapons from which to choose from and it has the neck-beards going crazy! In this edition we pay a base amount for a power weapon and then use whatever we modeled on our units. this gives us the option to choose which type of weapon we would like to use from the ever popular axe to the simple sword or to all the OOP models with mauls quickly being cut off model arms and replaced with swords. A nice option Ole Matty Ward has given us. Some may say that you cannot change a weapon for that would be modeling for advantage but naysayers may I disagree for we only have been paying for a power weapon not a power sword. There are many types of power weapons and this is a clear option we have as players. Nay-sayers just need to get over themselves.

Anyway to the point of the article is the particular and unusual case of the unusual power weapon. Now according the page 61 of the big Green Book (BGB) an unusual power weapon is defined as a power weapon with its own UNIQUE rules         <- the key word being unique
Any of these weapons should be treated as AP3.

To find an awnser I will play Bill O'rielly and have both sides make their case and then fact check where needed afterwards....

So this is the argument of the pro-dante having a power axe camp

So this is an issue as there are many name brand weapons for special characters but there seems to be some confusion as to what a unique rule is. Some seem to believe that any power weapon with rules is unique yet Nay I say! It is not! For some of these weapons are just using USR's and there is a clear difference between Universal Special Rules and Unique Special rules. If the rules designers intended for Unusual weapons to be considered a weapon with a USR attached they would have stated any weapon with a unique or USR. Yet they did not so any of these new brand power weapons with just USR's such as a MC power sword must follow the same rules as listed under power weapons which is to use what is seen.

For instance the large controversy falls around Dante and his Axe. It states that is axe is a Master crafted power weapon and ends right there. It has no UNIQUE rules to it, just a USR. therefore it is a Power Axe that is just master crafted and therefore would follow the rules for a power axe and not be ap3.

Now the counter argument is as follows.

A power weapon is further defined stating that if you have a model which is defined as having a power weapon without any further SPECIAL Rules it is one of the following. This clearly makes it different from unusual power weapons so that nay character with a power weapon that is not just a plain one as described it must be a unique power weapon. Since Dante's Axe has a special rule, of being a master crafted weapon, it is therefore an unusual power weapon.

So we do have a good argument on both sides yet I must throw out an example.  I take a normal HQ choice that has modeled on it a power axe so I buy it a power weapon. I then have the option to make this power weapon master crafted for 10 points. If I buy it master crafted then does it make it not a power axe anymore but a UPW? Seems weird in this perspective but what makes that different than Dante's power weapon. In general an FAQ clearly needs to be written defining what a unique special rule is. to me a unique special rule is a non-universal special rule. So for instance a rune priest with that awesome axe modeled on is in fact an unusual power weapon since it has it's own unique special rule not found in the main rulebook yet my hq choice that bought a power weapon and master crafted is not since it has a usr and therefore it is not unique. Clearly this needs an FAQ yet only time will tell.

So which camp do you lie in? Please comment below and then subscribe to my channel on the right hand side. Thanks for reading. :)


  1. In cases like your example I am in the Power Axe Camp. If it was a "Power Weapon" that let you re-roll all missed hits and fail wounds then I would say it was "unusual". Master Crafted weapons may be "rare" but they are not unusual to come across... fluff wise.

  2. Yes as that is a unique rule not in the universal special rules section of the BGB therefore it is a unique special rule and therefore a UPW

  3. This is one issue that needs clarification in the form of a FAQ. I believe the intent of GW was to make the Axe Mortalis and Glaive Encarmines unusual power weapons (and AP3). I explain my reasoning in great detail, here.

    Until GW provides further clarification with regard to this subject, I will treat weapons such as the Axe Mortalis and Glaive Encarmines as unusual power weapons, and not defined by the model.

  4. Master-Crafted IS a universal special rule. It's right on page 39, with all the rest of them. For fluff purposes, you could assume a weapon that is master crafted is 'unique', in the same sense that a Stradivarius violin is unique. But as far as rules go, a weapon is 'unique' if it has some rules/effects that cannot be achieved by a combination of existing USR's, like the Emperor's Champion's sword. The rulebook also says that you go by what's on the model. If the Axe (AXE AXE AXE) Mortalis is a master-crafted power weapon, and the model and name (REALLY don't feel like that point can be overstated haha) are clearly an axe, then it's an axe. In a game of BasementHammer I could care less whether my opponent decided he'd rather have it be a MC sword, maul, or spear rather than an axe. But if you take that argument to a tournament I wouldn't expect results.

    1. This is the explanation I would take to a tournament (or rather discuss with a tournament organizer prior to committing to the event): On page 23 of the Blood Angels codex the term 'unique' is defined with regard to weapon and wargear. A weapon is unique if it is not found in the book's relative weapons section, but rather in the owner's relevant entry.

      Further, 6th Ed rulebook reads that a weapon is not defined by it's model if it has one or more special rules (of which Master Crafted is a special rule).

  5. Im sorry, but if you are to quote rules to prove your point, you must quote them acuratly, as a word here or there changes a meaning greatly. Pg 61 BRB "...that have one or more unique rules. If a power weapon has it's own unique close combat rules, treat it as an AP 3 ...". Replacing unique with the word special, would indeed prove your point. However it is not the wording used. But there is nothing stopping someone from changing the axe to a sword for instance.

  6. I hadn't thought of that, actually Gonewild. Since there are two uses of the word 'unique' there it pretty much just comes down to the FAQ since we really have no basis for deciding if those two were supposed to be equivalent or if it was just an accidental use of the same word to mean two different things in two different places.

    And Senor Melon, I typed that up as part of my morning pre-class ritual, so I apologize for any misquotes haha. But the section you quoted mentions 'unique' special rules; unless I'm embarrassingly misinformed, the only rule the Axe Mortalis has is Master Crafted. That wouldn't be a unique rule, like Kevin said you can pay for most SM/GK HQ choices to get the same rule on their dinky swords. It's listed in the BGB under Universal Special Rules, so it wouldn't qualify as a unique rule i.e. only that particular weapon has that effect. Astorath's Executioner's Axe, for example, forces re-rolls on invulnerable saves made against it. THAT'S a unique rule, as nothing else in the game does that (aside from the Swarmlord, but that's a whole different thing). That actually seems like a better subject for debate, I think.

  7. I think you mistake my response to gone wild, as a response to you. I am actually in agreement with Kevin on this one, shocking I know. But there is nothing stopping a person from hacking of Dantes axe and giving him a sword mortalis. The rule for the weapon simply states power weapon and not power axe, so if fluff isn't an issue, change it. Problem solved. If the upcoming FAQ fails to address these problems, I will be addi.g the sword to my Dante model.

  8. the problem with that Terra is a power weapon is not a power swords. Power weapon is the catagory. your taking the term power weapon as you use to be which was sword when now that term means many things

  9. There is no problem. Dont look at the past. The rule states it's a power weapon. There is no rule stating power axe in Dantes rule nor was it FAQed as an axe. Name is fluff only. So I am waiting for the new FAQs before I hack my dante up. But if nothing changes I can give him a sword, axe, lance or maul. The rule clearly states that it is as the model shows.

  10. Hold up a minute. Are people GENUINELY saying that the only type of power weapon that can be master crafted is a power sword? I make this statement on the basis that any ‘Unique’ power weapons have the same stats as a sword, plus their ‘Unique’ rules, thus if I take a Master crafter Power Axe, Maul or Lance, the Naysayer camp is saying I’ve basically bought a Master Crafter Power Sword?!? Why, can someone explain, can you not have a Master Crafted Power-anything other than Sword? That doesn’t make any sense.

    A Master Crafted anything doesn’t make it unique. In fact, what EXACTLY does it say in the Master Crafted USR? I don’t have my rule book to hand, but I’m guessing its something like ‘…treated exactly as a normal weapon of its type, except you may re-roll…’. Now a Power Axe is a TYPE of weapon, not category like Power Weapons. Thus, if my suspicions are correct re wording in Master Crafted, then I think this is the trump card in the argument. I’m pretty sure its doesn’t say ‘…treat as a unique weapon which follows the normal rules for a weapon of its type…’.

    Finally, to the neysayers, has anyone ever heard of the spirit of the game?

  11. Im not saying that...lol...all im saying is that I would prefer for Dante, a master crafted power sword over the master crafted power axe that he is modeled with. And if the new faqs that are due later this month, does not address his weapon in any way, I will model my preferred power weapon to him. I actually agree with your assessment