Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Grav Guns and Tigurius Alternatives: Space Marines 6th Edition

You know what I like most about these new codices that Gee Dub is pushing on it's 40K players? It isn't the associated price tag- that's for sure. It's the printer's ink. I love the smell of a new book when you first open it's pages: That aroma of printer's ink that wafts up with each turn of a page- it's the best. With all of the colored pictures in this book, there is A LOT of printer's ink!

One of the cool toys in the new codex (and garnering a lot of attention) is the grav gun. The grav gun is a salvo weapon that uses the target's armor rating to determine what it wounds on: So, a target with an armor value of 2, is wounded on a roll of 2+ by a grav gun. Grav guns also have a unique rule when fired at a vehicle: A roll of 1-5 does nothing. On a roll of 6, the vehicle is immobilized and suffers a loss of a single hull point. Did I mention that grav guns are salvo 2/3 weapons? Oh yah, they are. So, a unit can move and shoot the first number at half of the weapon's maximum distance, or stand still and fire the second number up to the weapon's maximum distance. See how relentless would really benefit this weapon? Now imagine a bike unit with grav guns- or even a White Scars bike unit with grav guns backed up by Thunderfire Cannons...ouch! A grav gun costs the equivalent of a plasma gun and has the potential to wreak havoc on monstrous creatures as well as heavily armored targets.

So, are you convinced to swap out your plasma guns with grav guns? If you are, brace yourself as the current Ebay price for a grav gun bit is hovering right around 12 bucks!  What other options do Space Marine players currently have if Gee Dub is unwilling, or unable, to sell grav gun bits at a reasonable price?

Third party bits companies! In fact, there is a healthy amount of options to choose from at no where near the cost of the current Ebay price:

The first option is my current favorite- the Ion Rifle; an offering from Anvil Industries

Next up, the is the Nuke Gun by puppetswar, and let me tell you- this is quickly earning a place in my heart. I really like the little lightning bolt on the side of the weapon- wouldn't that look keen in the hands of White Scar bikers? The only potential issue I have, personally, is the hand that is sculpted with the gun. Even though I really like the pose and detail of the hand, it is a left hand and will have to be removed on most if not all of the weapons in order to magnetize the gun to my models...

Another option is provided by Maxmini in the form of Matter Displacement Guns: Check it!

Those are actually pretty cool, but, I really like another product provided by Maxmini- Nuclear 

Next up is an alternate offering by Anvil Industries, as pointed out by Rathstar, over at his blog 'Rathstar's Ramblings' (thanks Rathstar!).It is the Fusion Cannon, and I must admit that I really like this weapon as well. It does resemble a melta gun, but, I think the hose and the hand guard are unique enough to set the weapon apart (and make it identifiable). What do you think?

Wow! Zero just linked Spellcrow's hat that they tossed into the grav gun ring, and let me tell you- their offering closest resembles a grav gun. Made available today (24th of September), the guns are slightly more expensive than the others mentioned in this post, but, dang they look good!


Forgeworld produces a heresy-era 'graviton' gun that would more than sufficiently fit the bill (this one is really growing on me).

Kromlech threw their 'grav' in the ring by offering a very impressive grav gun alternative. Unfortunately, their product is only available on Ebay as of this writing (04/02).

Rob Baer's Spikey Bits offers a cheap DIY kitbash alternative to grav guns- check it out!

See, there are plenty of affordable, visually pleasing alternative bits that can be used in lieu of grav guns. If you have found alternative weapons that I haven't posted here, please share them in the comments section! Likewise, with Games Workshop having little to do with tournaments these days, 'the sky is the limit' with regard to third party bits and models!

Before I wrap up the grav gun portion of this blog post, I wanted to share a link to 40K Global where Alex Rae breaks down his interpretation of the current rule quandaries surrounding grav weapons. I have to say that I agree with him and share his interpretations. I think the most important thing to remember if you're planning to attend a tournament or grand tournament is to inquire before the event how rules for grav weapons will be handled by the TO. If you're playing a friendly game of 40K, remember to discuss these rules with them ahead of time to help keep the pace of the game. If neither of you can agree, dice it off to avoid hurt feelings and lost time!

James Tigurius Kirk- er, I mean Tigurius the Psyker, Ultramarines!

Now that Tigurius is an auto-take for any space marine army or allied army, the figure that Gee Dub provides has come under a lot of negative scrutiny as a result. Wait, why is Tigurius an auto-take for any Space Marine player? Well, lets see: He is a level 3 psyker, allows a player to re-roll any reserve roll for any unit from the same detachment; Tigurius gets to re-roll any or all of the dice to see what powers he knows, (...I'll pause for a second to let you catch your breath) he gets to re-roll failed psychic tests due to his badass Hellfire Helm, AND he can generate powers from ANY of the disciplines in the book. The only thing that Tiggy doesn't get stock is an invulnerable save. That means you're rocking his 3+ armor...Every rose has it's thorn? (I'm trying not to laugh as I type this)

Personally, I think that the current Tigurius sculpt is one of my least favorite Gee Dub offerings: Tigurius' face looks stretched and deformed first of all. Not to mention if Tigurius has to stop and shoot something with his bolt pistol wouldn't you say he has already lost the fight? Overall, there is no dynamism in this figure that screams, 'Best psyker in the UNIVERSE!' As a result I decided not to purchase it.

So what other options do we have available? The newly released librarian model? I mean it is badass, if you want to field a guy that looks like he is sixty-something and ready for retirement. Not to mention that the figure doesn't come with customizable options out of the box (boring).  Look at the picture below- the guy looks like he needs a walker! Look, I don't have anything against geriatrics, I thought that the Astartes didn't age?! Maybe it is a side effect of dabbling with the warp! Oh, did I mention that the figure is 30 bucks? CHEESE AND RICE! That exceeds Forge World prices. Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful figure, but THIRTY bucks?
Oh, look a creepy cherub with a servo-skull head...wtf?

What other options are left available to us? Well, Ron Saikowski, Father of the From The Warp blog group provided a really cool step by step tutorial how to create a psychic hood for a space marine. He even goes a step further by providing further inspiration for kit-bashing librarians: Check out the Flesh Tearer libby! I mean talk about a badass springboard to create your own Tigurius- wow. FTW is a hobby mecca that I constantly visit, and revisit for inspiration and tutorials- you should too.

Last but not least, Green Stuff Industries sells a really cool modeling tool that will fashion hoses out of green stuff! Obviously easier to pose than guitar string, I strongly suggest checking out their tentacle maker package! If you want to have a bunch of hoses protruding from your Libby's armor and helm, then this is the product for you.


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