Grav guns suck!

Now that I have your attention, I want to compare grav guns to plasma guns.  It’s my belief that plasma guns are still superior to the latest out of the imperial armory, the grav gun.  I know they are becoming popular weapons among space marine players now, and can be quite good about taking down tough monstrous creatures.  If stop to think about it though, the grav gun is only good in certain situations; where as the plasma gun still maintains functionality against anything.

Lets look at the range as the first stat.  Plasma guns are 24 inches, all the time.  Grav guns are salvo, so 9 moving or 18 standing still.  Already the plasma gun has the edge.  If you look a number of shots, it starts to balance out.  3/2 for the grav gun means if its in range it will always tie or exceed the shots coming from the plasma.

Okay, so call it a push for the range and shots stats.  Lets look at their ability to wound.  Against a marine (the standard) plasma wounds on 2’s and grav guns on 3’s.  Now say you want to shoot something tougher, say a biker.  Still 2’s and 3’s respectively.  Terminators make it 2’s and 2’s.  When it comes to taking down tough or elite infantry, plasma seems to be the better option.

In fact, if you sit down and think about it, the only cases of the grav gun wounding easier than the plasma is against the following: Riptides, Wraithknights, Wraithlords.  I am sure I am missing a few other cases (mephiston I suppose), but those are the big three.  Yes, they are common units that get fielded, but they are not the only thing you will see arrayed against you.  When you look at the two guns across all monstrous creatures, the plasma gun has the edge.

Now lets look at vehicles.  This is where it get a little weird.  AV 10, 11, and 12 all are more vulnerable to plasma.  AV 13 is a tie.  AV 14 is more vulnerable to grav guns.  The only things I can think of with 14 all around (outside of forgeworld) is a landraider.  So, all vehicles except land raiders are more vulnerable to plasma than grav guns.

So, here is my point.  Unless you will be fighting against nothing but land raiders, wraithknights, and riptides, bring plasma guns over grav guns.  Yes, there is a risk in overheating, but a marine has about a 5% chance of killing himself with each plasma shot.

 

3 thoughts on “Grav guns suck!

  1. I agree with Severus to the limited extent that plasma is probably more effective than a grav-gun in a tactical squad. But then I would always ask myself the same question; why not melta?

    As our lord Primarch has pointed out several times, well armored monstrous creatures can be very challenging for Space Marines. Also, there are plenty of other weapons to deal with low armor vehicles, and melta works great for both low and high armor value!

    Ultimately I would only take grav guns on a relentless model, so that it always has 3 shots at 18.” By this I mean bikes, giving the model an impressive effective range of 30″! Plasma on relentless models? Still rapid fire 24.”

    With a bike captain you can have several squads of 4-5 biker marines, with two grav-guns each. This is a decent output of shots, that threaten the hardest models for SM to deal with. If you want to be extreme, you can put your entire command squad on bikes and give every single one of them a grav gun! Expensive, to be sure, but with artificer armor, your captain can tank high AP shots, while your average save is 3+ with FNP…which is 4+ if you are an Iron Hands marine…I mean, bikes ARE metal right?!

    There you have a truly lethal unit with good survivability and excellent mobility. Personally I would stick to two units of 5 bikes with the command squad, so you have points left over for drop pod marines/armor.

  2. You’re right. A lot of the grav hype is misunderstood. It is only that popular because

    – When mounted on Centurions or bikes, you get more shots than plasma
    – The targets it is good against (Riptides and MCs) are extremely popular and troublesome
    – It’s new

    Overall though, I believe plasma SHOULD BE THE STANDARD GO-TO SPECIAL WEAPON. You take flamer and melta if you have a use for them, same with grav. But if you don’t really have anything in mind, you should be defaulting to plasma.

    You could argue grav is the new default but that would only be because so many people are currently playing specific armies, and not because of the game itself. In a vacuum, grav should be a specialist niche weapon just like melta. Grav is just the 6th edition version of 5E melta.

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