So the new weapon ranges for 3rd ed have been released, well a few of them anyway! It makes for very interesting reading as you can see some immediate winners and losers.

3rd Edition Weapon Previews

3rd Edition Weapon Previews

Below is a quick break down of the weapons:

HMG: Surly the most anticipated change to any weapon in 3rd ed, the HMG see’s a nerfing or more accurately a re-balancing. In 2nd ed the HMG is a university powerful weapon, firstly as it’s almost always within a favorable range modifier and secondly as it has a high burst. The 3rd edition sees the range modifiers completely change with a -3 within 8″ and 0 within 16″ . This means if a combi rifle gets within 16″ of a model with a HMG, it will be at a significant advantage. This is a real game changer and HMGs will no longer be a panacea. So although the HMG still retains a high burst and decent range, I think the rule of the HMG is finally at an end!

Pheasant Rank Imperial Agent with Sniper Rifle

Pheasant Rank Imperial Agent with Sniper Rifle

Sniper Rifles: These have the same close range bands (well within 16″ anyway!) of the HMG, but has a much longer optimum range band of +3. In fact the sniper rifle can shoot at an optimum range from 16″ to a massive 48″ (the length of a standard  Inifnity table!). This gives the sniper rifle an extra 16″ of optimum range over a HMG! I can see models armed with sniper rifles being excellent to place within your deployment zone to give covering fire and hunt down those pesky HMG wielding adversaries.

Grenades: These can now be thrown up to 8″ with a nice +3 modifier (an extra 4″ than before). This should help warband troops with smoke grenades get to where they are needed, as well as make all other grenades more of a threat.

Rifles and Combi Rifles: Both rifles have mainly stayed the same, although is usefulness has improved as other weapons have had their short range bands negativity effected. That said the rifle is only at a -3 up to 32″, rather than the previous 24″. This will give the humble rifle some chance of engaging longer ranged weapons.

Aswang with shotgun

Finally it’s great to use the Aswang with shotgun, rather than proxy as a combi rifle

Boarding shotgun: Possibly the biggest winner from the 3rd ed weapons. The shotgun now has a (massive) +6 within 8″. This is the only weapon (currently anyway) that gains such a  massive modifier within its optimum range. Because of this shotguns will truly be deadly at close range, even if it only has a burst of 2.  I expect this currently rare weapon to have a massive rise in popularity. Indeed the old “shotgun tax” saying has surly been put to rest.

Spitfire: This is currently one of my favorite weapons, but it does see a slight nerf in 3rd. Notably when within 8″ the spitfire is no longer at a +3, but instead a flat zero. That said the spitfire still for fills a useful mid way point between rifles and HMGs and I expect will remain popular.

Pistol: Most models have a pistol but never use it, unless absolutely forced to! Now pistols have a use because the ranges on other weapons, like HMG and sniper rifles have changed. In particular pistols will help models armed with HMGs and sniper rifles defend themselves when opponents get within 8″.


An intruder with his improved sniper rifle and now useful pistol!

Final Thoughts

It looks like weapon ranges are far more specific in 3rd ed, which will lead to player wanting to maneuver their force into the optimum range of their weapons, whilst ideally getting your target into a less favorable range. This should lead to more dynamic games where maneuvering  is more important than ever. Interesting I also see dodging coming up more often, as models will find themselves at a  range disadvantage more often than in 2nd ed.

I also expect to see far more diversity in weapons used on the table. In fact I expect many list to consider having a variety of weapons to suit as many range bands as possible. In particular sniper rifles and shotguns are looking really appealing!

I am really looking forward to seeing more changes from 3rd ed. Indeed the changes so far seem really well thought out and will (hopefully) lead to an even more tactical and enjoyable game.