Is it worth taking a weapon that doesn’t have an AP value? 8th edition 40k has completely rebooted the way saves and armor penetration work.
Let’s focus on AP today and break down how powerful it really is.
Personally, AP is one of the most important things I look for when I’m deciding what kind of weapon I should use in my list. Let’s talk about how valuable even the slightest bit of AP really is in games of 40k.
40k’s Best Weapons All Have AP Values
When you’re balancing point cost of weapons, I’ve found that it’s usually best to go with the “middle-of-the-road” AP (-1 or -2). The reason is, for the MOST part, anything you shoot at will have a 50% chance or higher of failing their save when you do wound.
If you haven’t noticed by now, there’s not really any single-shot weapons that are only -1 & -2 AP. That means that you can pelt enemy armor with high-volume fire and eat away at them. By doing this, you aren’t paying premium points for high AP and high damage weaponry and you can just as easily use that weapon on infantry.
A model with a 3+ save wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t cost so much. For whatever reason, GW jacks the points up on almost anything with a decent save. You can notice a trend in balance. An army with a 3+ save will have fewer models. An army with a bad save will have twice as many models. The reality of the situation is that the army with a 3+ save will fold under any weapon with the slightest AP as well.
A heavy bolter or twin assault cannon instantly turns whatever you’re shooting at into a 4+ save. That means that you can expect half of those models to go away. A major weakness to those armies is that they don’t have the numbers to mitigate losses. Each dead model is a kick in the pants. On the other end of the spectrum, if you pepper an army with a bad save like Ork Boyz, you’ll probably kill whatever you hit. The fact of the matter is that they don’t care because there are so many models.
Don’t Give Me No AP Trash
As a disclaimer, certainly weapons without any AP have a place in the list. They’re fantastic for eating up things that decided to bring their T-shirt into battle. Just don’t make lists that focus on bolter fire. Sure you’ll get a lot of shots. But realistically, if you go against things with a 2+ save like Death Guard Terminators, you’ll just be pissing dice into the wind.
This slightest bit of AP can make a day and night difference with the mortality of your opponent’s models.
What weapons do you like to take with you in list building? Do you have the same mentality on AP? Let us know in the comments of our Facebook Hobby Group.