Is The Power Fist Back? New Close Combat Weapons Rules

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Games Workshop has given us another preview leading up to the release of 8th. Come take a look at the latest rules for close combat weapons.

Warhammer Community just revealed how close combat weapons are going to work in 8th edition, let’s see what they had to say.

We’ve seen already that shooting weapons in the new Warhammer 40,000 use a Strength, AP, Damage system, and melee kit is much the same. The main differences being that there is no range on them, and a lot of them will use the user’s Strength as their basis.

Let’s look at some examples – we’ll start with the classic power weapon lineup.


In the current edition of Warhammer 40,000, the axe is the go-to weapon for a lot of folks. Players gladly took the unwieldy rule in exchange for AP2 and a bonus to Strength. Now, the obvious choice is far from obvious, as they clearly all have their uses. That sword, for example, is looking pretty deadly against most things, with the AP-3 helping it against every type of foe. Even with no bonus to Strength, using the new wounding chart shows that a Strength 4 Space Marine is wounding everything up to Toughness 7 on 5s (which is good,  because a lot of our models have swords).

Even the humble chainsword gets a boost. No longer just a standard combat weapon, the iconic combat weapon wielded by the Adeptus Astartes and many other forces, now gives its bearer more attacks in combat. Perfect for grinding through hordes of low armoured troops, the chainsword now functions on the battlefield how it always has in your head. This change also helps differentiate dedicated combat troops from those just wielding improvised or side-arm weapons.


We can see that all of the above still only do 1 Damage, meaning that while they can chip wounds off bigger stuff, they are primarily infantry killers.


At the cost of being more cumbersome to swing, it’s dishing out multiple damage with every hit, and at a Strength that will find it easy to wound anything in the game.

Another high damage option is Force weapons. Take a Grey Knight squad of any sort: every guy in there has a blade that, as well as having all the benefits of the equivalent Power weapon, also dishes out D3 damage on every wound! Those guys are going to be phenomenal up-close killers, as they should be.

D3 Damage is good, but if you really want to kill something, try the reaper chainsword. This deals a flat 6 Damage to whatever it wounds. That’s enough to carve a Chaos Lord in half, and a couple of hits will wreck most small and medium vehicles in a single Fight phase.

Melee definitely has it’s place in the new edition of 40k. Units strictly dedicated to melee are now something to be feared by all units, this isn’t just a shooty game anymore. You have a lot of different load outs when it comes to choosing your close quarters weaponry though. Your Power Axe, Maul, and Sword are all showing great stats to make your Space Marines a little stronger.

The User word on the Power Sword simply means that the Strength stays the same, but the big thing is you’re getting an AP -3 modifier. This is going to let you do damage to everything up to Toughness 7 on a 5+. If you’re attacking with a chainsword you’re going to get a second attack with it every time you attack with it. That Power Fist though…. Strength x2, -3 on Armor Penetration, it does D3 Damage, and your -1 on the hit roll, ouch!

But the little thing at the bottom, the Reaper Chainsword (Knight Titans), is dealing 6 flat damage to anything it wounds. Take out some infantry units, a hero, or put in work on some vehicles, the choice it yours!

What are your thoughts on the new close combat weapon rules? Let us know in the comments below.

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About James Rodriguez

I'm a huge fan of anything tabletop. I play strictly Chaos in Warhammer, and Imperial in anything Star Wars. I spent 8 years in the military. Now I'm happy to be a civilian working with a great group of people. "We are all tyrants. Do not fool yourself. We were bred for nothing else." -Mortarion

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