# Are post-eratta heavy bolters better than lascannons?

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Except against heavily armored targets, HBs seem much better than lascannons. Now presumably the lascannon is supposed to be an anti material sniper rifle but realistically, the HB is just flat out better unless the target has more than 20 armor...unless I can't count. Anyone good at maths able to help me out?

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Are they "better"? Well, the Heavy Bolter is designed to be a fully-automatic support weapon, while as you say, the Lascannon is a single heavy punch. By asking this question, you must be implying that both weapons are being used against armored targets, as there's no way that a Lascannon would be considered a good alternative to a Heavy Bolter for firing into lightly armored infantry.

Heavy Bolter
Class:    Heavy
Range:  150m
RoF:       --/--/6
Dmg:     1d10+12   Pen: 5

So the HB's damage range is 13-22 Pen:5 per shot, meaning a range of 78-132 assuming all shots land on target.

Lascannon
Class:    Heavy
Range:  300m
RoF:       S/--/--
Dmg:     5d10+10   Pen: 10

So the LC's damage range is 15-60 Pen:10 per shot.

Assuming that both weapons are firing at a target with 20 Armor, let's compare the maximum possible damage...

HB        22 Pen:5  -->  20AR  = 7 dmg.  So assuming all 6 shots hit the target, we can expect a maximum of 42 dmg.

LC        60 Pen:10 -->  20AR  = 50 dmg.

So, the Lascannon and Heavy Bolter have similar damage output at this level of Armor, but you'd have to roll pretty spectacularly to do consistant damage with the HB, while the LC should deal more reliable damage.

Let's look at a target with 10 Armor, again comparing for maximum possible damage...

HB        22 Pen:5  -->  10AR  = 17 dmg per shot. 6 shots dealing a maximum of 102 dmg.

LC        60 Pen:10 --> 10AR  = 60 dmg.

This is exactly what I would expect, where the high firing rate of the HB will trump the high Pen value of the LC.

Finally, let's look at a target with 30 Armor, again comparing maximum possible damage...

HB        22 Pen: 5  -->  30AR  = 0 dmg.

LC        60 Pen:10 -->  30AR  = 40 damage

Again, exactly what I would expect to see. The high burst damage of the LC coupled with the high Pen makes this weapon ideal in this situation.

So to summarize, is the HB better than the LC? I would have to say that completely depends on your target.

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fleshbearer said:

Except against heavily armored targets, HBs seem much better than lascannons. Now presumably the lascannon is supposed to be an anti material sniper rifle but realistically, the HB is just flat out better unless the target has more than 20 armor...unless I can't count. Anyone good at maths able to help me out?

It was much worse before the errata. Also the HB is still very good if you have Bolter Drill and Mighty Shot. But then again against all kinds infantry it is supposed to be good. Just give the Lascannon Felling(2) and its very deadly again.

Protip on using the Lascannon: Fire For Effect squad mode ability. Tips the scales towards the Lascannon.

Alex

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I think you're forgetting that any big phat monster has his 12-18 Toughness (with various levels of Unnaturals in it of course).

Therefore the critical threshold of "20 armor" (let's better say "20 damage reduction") is swiftly reached for big baddies.

As for "normal" enemies, why yes they're minced to tiny bits by the HB, that's what they were made for. But then again, a Lascannon can fry them too, the problem here becomes not much damage as rate of fire, where the HB definitely commands.

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Ok, that's reasonable. My character specifically has a Ballistic Skill of 79 currently, and I was just crunching numbers to see which suited which situation.

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