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Interrogator Dariel

Thunder hammer drama

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I don't usually math-hammer weapon stats in my rpgs, so perhaps the more technically minded of you guys could shed some light.

Why aren't thunder hammers two-handed in Deathwatch? They are pretty powerful and I bet that they are taken with storm shields more often than not. A great combo, but kinda inappropriate for a brother in power armor, IMO. I see assault terminators as a more viable choice for such a loadout. Partly for reverence reasons, but also because I've never seen any minis (or astartes elsewhere) one-arming thunder hammers.

Also, because it seems to marginalize the poor power fist, which I've always had a crush on (pun intended).

On the topic, do any of you laugh in the face of numbers and take the power fist, anyway? I never see it in any threads and players never take them, it seems.

I feel that if I make the thunder hammer two-handed except for TDA users, then the power fist might get some attention from more aggressive assault marines and tac marines.

Thoughts?
 

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 I house-ruled it. I've never seen any depictions- mini, art, video, anything- of an Astartes wielding a thunder hammer in combat in one hand outside of Terminator gear. I did it partially because I like fluff and partially to prevent the utter cheese of dual-wielding hammers.

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 The current Space Wolves box has a one handed thunder hammer in power armour, as does the old Iron Hands upgrade kit. They are also classed as one handed weapons in the Space Marine, Blood Angel and Space Wolf codexes whether in power armour or terminator armour, though like power fists and lightning claws you only get the extra attack for two CCWs if you have two thunder hammers.

I'd say this was a pretty good precedent for thunder hammers being one-handed, though I can understand if people want to rule them as one handed to give power fists their own niche.

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Alternatively, or in addition to whatever changes you make, having a giant power hand can have other, more creative uses, given that it has fingers. Turn it off and pick a guy up to interrogate him - I think that's worth an intimidation bonus :P

Also: Throwing or lifting junk. It increases Strength bonus, so you might consider allowing players with Powerfists to do things like that as well!

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Well admittedly, I have abused the thunder hammer. My initial interpretation, which was false, was it was two handed for power armor, and one handed for terminators.

In our story arc, our watch captain was the promoted Brother Sergeant Agamorr from the Shades in Twilight adventure from Purge the Unclean. In a large battle with tyranids he fell, and while still on mission I asked to honor him by using his hammer to continue his work for the Emperor. GM and I agreed, role played it out and I equipped it.

Then a Rank 5 almost 6 Black Templar Assault Marine was murdering everything the GM threw at us. It was constant -50 or more to Toughness tests and with Lightning Attack it was sick. Thats when Black Crusade came out and we opted to use its rules for Unbalanced/Unwieldly weapons. We also house ruled a nerf to the toughness test. But for the life of me I can't remember what we decided on.

If anything the BC ruleset for Unbal/Unwield weapons tones them down, but leaving them as a one handed weapon is fine.

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Lucrosium Malice said:

Thats when Black Crusade came out and we opted to use its rules for Unbalanced/Unwieldly weapons. We also house ruled a nerf to the toughness test. But for the life of me I can't remember what we decided on.

If you're using the Black Crusade rules in part, why not use the altered rules for the Concussive quality from there as well? In BC, each Concussive weapon has a rating, which determines the penalty on the Toughness Test (instead of varying it by Degrees of Success), so a weapon with Concussive (1) imposes a -10 penalty, a weapon with Concussive (2) imposes a -20 penalty, and so on.

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To be honest N0-1_H3r3, we probably will use the new Concussive rules, just need to decide on a number. Our house rule topped out around -40 which would be difficult to get if I remember right, so maybe a Concussive (3)? Not really sure.

Our story arc has us jumping from Dark Heresy to Deathwatch as the story progresses, we have not been in the DW arc since BC came out. Right now our DH characters don't have overly complicated weapons (no thunder hammers . . . yet demonio.gif ), just unbalanced/unwieldly ones.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Lucrosium Malice said:

Thats when Black Crusade came out and we opted to use its rules for Unbalanced/Unwieldly weapons. We also house ruled a nerf to the toughness test. But for the life of me I can't remember what we decided on.

 

If you're using the Black Crusade rules in part, why not use the altered rules for the Concussive quality from there as well? In BC, each Concussive weapon has a rating, which determines the penalty on the Toughness Test (instead of varying it by Degrees of Success), so a weapon with Concussive (1) imposes a -10 penalty, a weapon with Concussive (2) imposes a -20 penalty, and so on.

 

So it amounts to: the DH/RT/DW rules are fairly obsolete? A year after release? And it needed a revamp of weapon stats to give it some balance?
Because it sounds like "The BC rules are better than the DW rules, here play it like this." Not very flattering for the DW rulebook.

 

Alex

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I would agree to that, it sometimes seem very hard to follow which set of rules you are using, when using multiple sets of books to have various rules, for the most part our group is using a mix of rules (it is also hard when you have to follow two different forums and merge the ideas). However to the Thunder Hammer Drama questions, Dark Heresy Deamon Hunter states on page 70 under Thunder Hammer "This weapon requires two hands to use and doubles the users strength bonus when calculating damage (or increases the users Unnatural Strength multiplier by 1)."  So I would go with the two handed unless in TDA and call it good.

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ak-73 said:

So it amounts to: the DH/RT/DW rules are fairly obsolete? A year after release? And it needed a revamp of weapon stats to give it some balance?

Because it sounds like "The BC rules are better than the DW rules, here play it like this." Not very flattering for the DW rulebook.

Not very flattering, no... but the BC rules were written acknowledging a lot of problems that have plagued previous iterations of 40kRP, so it's inevitable that there would be solutions to numerous issues with the DW rules within the BC rules, given that this was at least partially the intent.

 

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ak-73 said:

So it amounts to: the DH/RT/DW rules are fairly obsolete? A year after release? And it needed a revamp of weapon stats to give it some balance?

Because it sounds like "The BC rules are better than the DW rules, here play it like this." Not very flattering for the DW rulebook.

I wouldn't necessarily say obsolete. But I think that until BC came out most GMs and Players looked at RT when it came out to see if the rules were better in areas and modified those rules back in DH. They certainly didn't need to but with any new iteration of a ruleset, discrepancies will be adjusted on FFGs part.

DW stood on its own, I believe, because we were talking about gene enhanced super humans, so the ramp up of power was understandable.

But when BC 'did' come out which merged both human and super human talents into one book, some people said, "Hey, these rules seem to work better, lets adopt this to our DH game." You don't need to, as the rules in DH, RT and DW work fine by themselves, albeit there are some issues as have been mentioned in other posts.

I think N0-1 was offering a suggestion for "our" group to use the new rules from BC to tone down the Thunder Hammer by assigning a Concussive value, rather than some crazy concocted house rule that I could not remember.

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 It's pretty obvious that the DH-based system breaks at higher power levels. Ascension and Deathwatch define the upper limits of system play. Both suffer for basing high-level play on a system initially designed for playing relatively low-level deniable-asset and ultimately disposable covert operatives (even without Ascension's own unique slew of problems). 

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I still DW's scaling problem isn't so much rules. DW's scaling problem is that by rank 8 every PC is pretty much a super-hero in its own. So the GM has the options of killing off PCs or witnessing the campaign become pretty darn over-the-top.

DW starting characters are much better than the starting characters in most RPGs. They are already much closer to peak. Therefore there should be less to be gained per rank. Especially since you also have the renown mechanic (and badges) in place to reward progress.

Slower scaling = less over-the-top at higher levels; sometimes less is more. What you can put in instead is a few more (and cheaper) Sound Constitution picks. Or you limit it partially (= only the specialty skills) branching style, a la Star Wars Saga edition.  That way you can introduce lower buffs that players need to buy to get at the good stuff at high levels (buy a +5 to WS talent to get Preternatural Speed).

 

Alex

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Page 113 of the space marine codex has a assault marine holde bolt pistol and thunder hammer. top right model with red helmet. Also on page109 it has a captain holding a thunder hammer one handed but the hammer itself look more 2 handed. Page 52 has concept art of a captain holding 2 thunderhammers and fireing a wrist mounted weapon. As for actual table top rules go you can have Vangaurd Veterens with 2 hammer or hammer and storm shield and they wear only power armor. It very much is plausible for the thunder hammer to be both 2 handed and 1 handed. Maybe Give extra benifits for holing it with 2 handed instead of saying you can hold on to them 1 handed.

As a house rule do you think its alright to make thunder hammers double the SB like chainfists and powerfist since it does on tabletop?

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 The 'double strength bonus' rule is in the errata. Thunder hammers do that now. On the issue of one-handed versus two-handed... what sort of alterations would you make to the one-handed profile? Remove concussive? Have it not double strength score?

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I wouldnt so much as make holding it 1 handed weaker rather then I would make holding it 2 handed stronger by maybe added and additional 1d5 damage. I mean I have no problem if somebody wantes to use it 1 handed because it is lighter then a power fist and chainfist.

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knightofthedeamon said:

Keep in mind that it is easy to attach a pistol or basic weapon to a power fist ... not so with a thunder hammer. A powerfist with stormbolter built in would be more of a universal weapon since you can fire or smash.

Well a storm bolters not normally allowed, but then there are examples of SM's with two handed weapons having bolters and storm bolters stuck to their arms too.

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What I did was nerf concussive to -30% tops (though since I got Black Crusade in the mail yesterday I'll port the concussive rules from it into DW), and "reward" using the TH two-handed by giving it Unbalanced instead of Unwieldy (as, let's face it, circumventing Unwieldy isn't much of a problem with DW rules if you have a Storm Shield).

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the only group that I am aware of that has Storm Bolters attached to their arms as standard gear (no extra requisition required) are the Grey Knights so that they can hold their two handed Nemisis weapons,

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For justification of using a thunder hammer one handed, I refer to the original Dawn of War PC game. When Gabriel is given the Daemon hammer from the inquisitor, he wields it one handed. Even the inquisitor is able to wield it one handed, as if memory serves he also uses a plasma pistol. If a normal human can wield a thunder hammer one handed, then a space marine should have no problem doing so. Also, the core book even makes mention of how marines often use a storm shield with a thunder hammer, without reference to terminators. As for dual wielding thunder hammers, that has never been done in any of the fluff I have seen, and I don't believe it ever will. Even power fists are only equipped to one arm in space marine lore. The only marine that I know of that uses two is Marneus Calgar with the Gauntlets of Ultramar. So what it boils down to is that yes you can wield a thunder hammer one handed, but it would be too unwieldy to carry anything more than a pistol or a shield in your other hand. A good way to look at it is thinking about how encumbered your marine is. Even a genetically altered super soldier can only carry so much.

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Check out the badass picture of the Chapter Master in teh 5th ed space marine codex - dual wielding Thunder Hammers and it's a build that's supported by the codex.

Personally? I've stated in my game that Thunder Hammers are single handed in terminator armour, two in power. I'm using a (increasingly common, by the sound of things) DW/BC hybrid, so the THunder Hammer can't be used for lightning attacks. When the Salamander Tech-priest hits with his thunder hammer, the target stays hit. When the Black Templar wades into combat with power sword and bolt pistol, he does less damage, but decimates hordes. It's a balance that works for me.

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For my upcoming game we'll be trying the following rules for our thunder hammers:

  • There is no lightning attack allowed unless you use this weapon as a two handed weapon(can be switched on the fly).
  • The concussive toughness test penalty maximum is -30
  • Requisition cost increased to 40

In the table top, the stats for thunder hammers and powerfists are nearly identical with exception of the concussive quality. In the space marine codex, there is a 5 point increase in the thunder hammer over the powerfist. DW has the req. listed as 30 for both items. Just like in DW, if both items were priced the same in the tabletop, i highly doubt you'd ever see a powerfist on the table.

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I have been reading on this subject for a while, and if I am not mistaken: Thunder Hammers are usually used as Two-handed weapons because of the shock force accompanied by the impact. That is why the power field within the weapon only activates moments before impact to somewhat avoid the problem; however, some chapters favored the approach to allow some of their Assault Squad members to wield the Thunder Hammer with a Storm Shield so that it could absorb some of the impact energy, allowing it to be wielded with one hand.

Conclusion: Allow the player to wield the Thunder Hammer as a One-handed weapon in combination with a Storm Shield only. If the person loses the Storm Shield or does not have the Requisition points to get both then the wielder must wield the Thunder Hammer as a Two-handed weapon to make up for the impact power. As for adding double the Strength Bonus, maybe it is only when you wield it as a Two-handed weapon, making it a reason for others to prefer using it as such. 

But what do I know, I am a relatively new Warhammer fan, and I also never played the game though I wanted to do so. 

Edited by Azernath
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