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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking about either including a dakka pred or a squad of havocs with 4 heavy bolters in my army because I like hoolding big fistfuls of high strength dice in my hands, and was wondering if they are a viable option over say plasma weapons or reaper autocannons for my budding Chaos Army. As a former tyranids player I was always quite terrified of heavy bolters since they would mow down my carnifexes with ease, but that was 4th ed and I am really not sure if they are decent vs all opponents or not. All of my friends scoff at heavy bolters as useless but I think they have potential and I wass hoping that I am not the only one who thinks this. Thanks in advance!
 

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Look, I rather like them and all, but as a guard player I have them in spades on my vehicles so I'd never outfit infantry with them if I was playing competitive.

You're really focussing on anti-infantry with them, because even in a pinch they'll have a relatively low chance at cracking light armour such as scout sentinels, kans, trucks and rhinos.

That being said, s5 hits on t4 creatures is always nice, especially if you are just looking to generate volume of fire advantage over an opponent.

In summary, Autocannons are the better option in my opinion, but heavy bolters are ok!
 

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I would recommend taking the autocannons instead of the heavy bolters if you were going to be going to be taking havocs. higher strength weapon and it has a better chance of hurting just about everything besides land raiders.
 

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Were the heavy bolters costing 3 points, they would be ok. A mid strenght, mid range weapon is handy, if spammed enough. However, they cost same as an autocannon, wich has more strenght and more range.
So, yeah, basically HB is the retarded cousin of the autocannon.
If only HBs had Pinning...
 

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Heavy bolters are good on a dakka pred (autocannon, heavy bolters, havoc launcher, combi bolter). I think the only other time I'd pay for one is on a 10 man CSM squad on foot- and even then I'm not sure at the current price (it should be halved) if it's worth taking the heavy bolter or just adding an extra guy to the unit
 

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Heavy bolters were useful. A long time ago.

"Here lies the heavy bolter (1983-1998), victim of 3rd edition."

And now for a sad little history lesson. In second edition the heavy bolter was awesome. It was still pretty worthless at fighting armor but it was MUCH better at killing troops.

Each one got 2 "sustained fire dice" effectively a special GW D6 which had 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, jam! Each sustained fire die was added together to tell how many hits you got. So heavy bolter usually got 3 or 4 hits at str 5 with a -2 save modifier (like in fantasy battle.) AP didn't exist yet. Twin linked at the time just doubled the number of sustained fire dice. So a dreadnought with a twin linked heavy bolter rolled 4 of these dice and was nasty. Usually 7 or 8 hits, wounding marines on 3's and marines then saving (-2) on 5's.

After the changes moving into 3rd edition with the reduction in points and inflation in army size coupled with the AP system and the weakening of twin linking heavy bolter basically became useless. For the slots available in the FOC there was always a better choice.
 

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As others have said there are better options to heavy bolters, but if you know you will be facing armies that are going to contain lots lightly armoured infantry then yeah, spam out the heavy bolters and do some lawn mowing
 

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Heavy bolters were useful. A long time ago.

"Here lies the heavy bolter (1983-1998), victim of 3rd edition."

And now for a sad little history lesson. In second edition the heavy bolter was awesome. It was still pretty worthless at fighting armor but it was MUCH better at killing troops.

Each one got 2 "sustained fire dice" effectively a special GW D6 which had 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, jam! Each sustained fire die was added together to tell how many hits you got. So heavy bolter usually got 3 or 4 hits at str 5 with a -2 save modifier (like in fantasy battle.) AP didn't exist yet. Twin linked at the time just doubled the number of sustained fire dice. So a dreadnought with a twin linked heavy bolter rolled 4 of these dice and was nasty. Usually 7 or 8 hits, wounding marines on 3's and marines then saving (-2) on 5's.

After the changes moving into 3rd edition with the reduction in points and inflation in army size coupled with the AP system and the weakening of twin linking heavy bolter basically became useless. For the slots available in the FOC there was always a better choice.
Interesting. I first got into the hobby in the summer of 99 so 2nd ed was before my time, by all accounts it sounds like an entirely different game.

What about the heavy bolter in the 3.5 chaos codex? IIRC it cost 5 points for a CSM unit. That would seem like a fair price today considering the other anti infantry heavy weapons either can't snap shoot (frag missile) or have fewer shots and no better AP (autocannon). Also at 5pts it becomes cheaper than the autocannon and significantly cheaper than a plasma gun

I'd prefer if the next edition of 40k just increases its shots to four but it's had the same stat line for the best part of twenty years now so I'm not holding my breath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I may be kind of out of line here but since in the fluff the most common heavy weapon for a standard squad of 10 marines to have is the heavy bolter, so why not make it free with the purchase of a squad and then make it upgrade-able to plasma etc rather than making one marine's bolter upgradeable? Not only would it being free make it actually good but also things would be more realistic overall since not many chapters have squads that dont carry at least one special weapon.
 

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I may be kind of out of line here but since in the fluff the most common heavy weapon for a standard squad of 10 marines to have is the heavy bolter, so why not make it free with the purchase of a squad and then make it upgrade-able to plasma etc rather than making one marine's bolter upgradeable?
I like it! Nice idea.
 

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Currently I think people largely ignore HBs unless on vehicles, which is largely right. That being said my single 5 woman SoB HB Retributors sometimes actually perform better than my two Exorcists, especially when I get my faith off.

But yeah go with Autocannons
 

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Sisters of Battle have useful Heavy Bolters, since they can give them Rending.

Honestly, people talks smack about heavy bolters, but they're still a... decent... weapon. A decent amount of dakka, a decent points cost. There are just so many weapons that are better than simply "decent". Autocannons are sort of the case in point, here--roughly same points cost, in most cases, more effective against a broader range of enemies, and still a solid number of shots.
 
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