Sunday, 14 March 2010

(WEAPON TYPE.) Plasma Gun V Melta Gun?

Melta, Melta, Melta & More Melta! If you read any 40k board or forum its all you will see Melta this Melta that. Well I suggest something different Plasma. Lets look at each.

Melta Gun:
Range 12". Strength 8. Ap 1. Assault 1. Melta(2 x D6 Armour Pen at half range.)
Lets look at this short range one shot weapon gonna mash most armour and kill any troop instantly kill T4 multi wound and take a wound off MC's. A good gun aimed at vehicles and good against MEQ and TEQ. Also as an assault weapon means you can assault after meaning potentially more damage to units. Very short range one shot weapon great for armour but bad against hordes or large squads.

Plasma Gun:
Range 24". Strength 7. Ap 2. Rapid Fire (2 Shots at <12".) Gets Hot(Roll a 1 take a save.) Now straight away we have a gain of 12" on the range and gain a shot close up. You take a a slight hit on the strength and the Ap, but this means you are still wounding most infantry and Mc's on 2's & 3's. Now the gets hot roll basically you have 1/6 chance of taking wound when firing. You get your armour save.

Now I'm going to talk about a concept which I believe the Marine Codex was designed for flexibility. Looking at a Tactical squad you have a Sgt, Special Weapon, Hvy Weapon & 7 MARINES WITH BOLTERS!!!!! Now think a marine squad main component is the lowly Bolter marine s4 ap5 rapid fire gun. They are designed to cause damage to infantry they have Frag and Krak grenades to deal with vehicles etc. Basically the Plasma Gun fits, if you fire Melta then assault your making the rapid fire Bolter redundant, might as well give them all pistols and leave it as that. For vehicle or heavy armour there are items in the codex better designed to deal with these threats Multi Melta Attack Bikes, Land Speeders etc.

My argument here is that a Melta provides a 1 shot weapon good against armour and maybe pre assault when firing pistols (losing 7 rapid fire shots) but the Plasma Gun provides a weapon which fits in with the other 7 members of the squad and still provides an anti armour aspect not to be sniffed at. As lets face it Tacticals are the 'jack of all trades, master of none.' they should be used as such to support other better suited units such as Assault=Vanguard or Honour Guard. Shooty= Sternguard & Shooty Command Squad.

Melta has its place but since the rise of 5th edition I think the Plasma Gun has taken a nose dive. Both are niche weapons and have to be applied to the situation but i think to use just Melta is a mistake. The Plasma Gun nicely bridges the gap between a bolter and melta providing a happy medium and little reduntancy within the squad. Anyway enough of a rant now everbody will agree the worse thing about Plasma is the 'Gets Hot' roll. Now what about a way of lessening it effects. Now I have your attention. Well you will have to wait till next time for that one. Sorry if I have gone on. Now just through reading this I realise I myself are guilty of many of these things redunancy & lack of flexilbilty have think about your own army are you guilty?

Keep Smiling,

(Bro Cpt. Ventris.)


  1. plasma pistols and plasma cannons have their place in the marine 40k universe but for me plasma guns are out. The 2 I have in my 6 tactical squads are being prised out of their hands and replaced up with meltas of pain. My Blood Angels on the charge do not benefit from stopping to rapid fire ..... may as well blow a transport and assault the men that are left standing. Plasma would destroy the transport n leave your man open to the charge !!!!

  2. From what you suggest the unit would be existing on its own it needs support lets say a multi melta attack bike takes out wave serpent filled with banshees im not going to charge into them just stand rapid fire hopefully kill enough to force morale check or wipe them out. In the case of the blood angels tacticals are usually 5 man therefore it will probably be in your best interst to choose melta as you are only losing 2 str 4 shots. The main point I was trying to make was be aware, dont just choose melta as an automatic choice. Its just one option of many.

  3. But the worst option in my opinion. Flamer or melta & if you take 10 man combat tactic them & take a plasma cannon if u really want a worthwhile plasma weapon. The plasma weapons on vehicles are a better option for melta weapons --- no gets hot & razorback with twin linked plasma gun is a better option than twinlinked lascannon.

  4. Each to there own! I think the added risk just makes it more fun. What other weapon gives you that comedy blowup value. BOOOM!!!!!!

  5. You may enjoy this battle report, in which 3 CSM die in 2 turns to the vagaries of Plasma ventilation.

    This may seem like a shameless bit of self-promotion, but it's not intended as such (honest).

  6. plasma smazhma ....... melta all the way !!!!

  7. bsmoove ........ good battle report & a good supporting article proving sanguinius (I am a primarch afterall) knows best

  8. bsmoove - fantasic battle report, do you have any more?

  9. I think plasma weapons are underated, a plasma pistol, although 15 points is a handy weapon to fit in somewhere for the extra attack and still be able to scare the termies before the charge, or hope for a lucky can opener shot. With melta guns being cheaper it is understandable why it is the more popular option, but I like to take at least one or two plasma pistols and guns. Plasma Cannons are definatly a good choice, especially on vehicles negating the gets hot and at only 5pts in a Tactical squad, not something to be turned down.

  10. NOt to mention its wounding MC's usually on 3's and can potentially take two wounds off ina single shooting phase ap2 also means death to heavy infantry.

  11. I hate idiots who discredit plasma weaponry saying its useless just because of the gets hot rule well F*** OFF! BOTH have Ups and Downs SO STOP BEING ANTI PLASMA!

  12. plasma is a very good weapon option, i really hate playing against a lot of plasma, it generally has longer range than melta, depending on the weapons type (pistol, gun, cannon) it can be used in combat (extra attack), rapid fire or be an area effect weapon. All of which is AP2 so no FNP, no 2+SV. at S7 it can hurt light and medium armour. Its a very good weapon option. I just hate the gets hot when it happens.