Anachronistic 40k: The Assault Cannon
Hello. Over on my blog, the Neverness Hobby Chronicle, I recently started a new post category where I recollect, possibly rant, on certain past elements of the hobby and game (specifically Warhammer 40,000) that I miss or just recall fondly.
The first thing I chose to write about was the assault cannon. With the release of the new Thousand Sons models, particularly the Soulreaper Cannon, I’m once again reminded of the glory days that have passed by for this old and iconic 40K weapon. Read it here for a historic trip about this nearly 30 year old game piece.
excerpt from the article
First up: the Assault Cannon. This was one of the heavy hitting weapons that was nerfed heavily for the 3rd edition of the game and hasn’t ever been brought up to the power level it once enjoyed. When it first appeared in the early days of 40k, it’s availability was exclusive to the wargear inventory of the Terminator armored Space Marines. It’s background stated that it’s RoF (Rate of Fire) was so great that the barrels of the gun would often have to be discarded after battle due to heat damage. The Assault Cannon could fire «hundreds of shells per second», causing the barrels to reach 300 degrees Fahrenheit, warping them to the point that they had to be discarded and replaced.
The original Following Fire rules from Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader
It’s important to discuss the original rules for Following Fire in the Warhammer 40,000 game. It had the potential to be utterly devastating. Especially in the hands of high Ballistic Skill wielders. Even when used by moderate or average BS users the potential for some serious hurt was high. All you had to do was hit and wound. It did not matter if the target made his saving throw or not, you could roll again! This was open-ended until you ran out of targets. You were restricted only by how many targets you had within the 4″ bubble of the previous shot. As you could see with how the phrasing is used in this rule it was perceived at the time that the word «original» was only applied to the 2nd shot, and that the 4″ bubble expanded with each subsequent shot. You were not restricted by units either, therefore, an army packed too close together could be reduced to hamburger so long as the attacking player didn’t roll a 1.
Hamburger is what you became when the Assault Cannon was pointed at you! Terminators back then all had BS5, and within 12″ he had a +1 to his die roll as well. Not many things could hold up against Str 8 either, and more often or not, he was wounding his foes on a 2+. Rare was the foe that could Save against this gun as it had a -3 Save modifier. Oh, and if you didn’t save your model would take D10 wounds. Nasty.
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