Weapon Balance: Chain Weapons, 2 Handers and Combat Axes

Depending on the severity. I don’t think that making BM into a more sane blessing would change the fact that Caxe is just way too strong.

I’m more interested in buffs than nerfs currently. There are a whole bunch of useless blessings that need some revisit including some of the rare t4 ones. Soulblaze blessings on staves/Force sword, half of the powersword blessings, crucian roulette on Headhunter autogun, Glory Hunter, speedload… The list is just too long.

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The OP’s point is simply that as it stands now, the crit based weapons he showcases in this set of tests DO NOT currently stand on their own without the proper set of perks, traits, AND blessings… The tac axe can be used but even a grey combat axe just blows it out of the water with any build no additional blessings or traits needed. As it stands you can’t customize weapons like the hammers, combat knife, tac axe, or chain weapons much at all without seriously tanking their usefulness and making them more of a liability than a tool.

All weapons ideally would be able to be used with a moderate level of efficacy as total blank slate greys with any viable perk set. Building your character’s perk tree can definitely provide enhancements but if it’s a hard and fast requirement just to make the weapon even remotely viable, it’s not quite tuned right for any real build variety and customization just yet.

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I take imbalanced base weapons if this means blessings could be more interesting.

I think most weapons (not just the crit ones*) fall behind :joy: I don’t think it’d make a substantial difference in the results for most weapons, but for the purposes of demonstrating that Combat Axe is way ahead of its counterparts, taking suboptimal feats (if an optimal alternative exists) will broaden the gap.

If it were possible to not take feats, that’d probably be the fairest comparison of the weapon’s capabilities, although it’s not reflective of normal gameplay.

*I think crit as a whole gets a raw deal - 1% power is 1% damage, and is available in huge quantities; crit chance typically doesn’t give anywhere near the same return while also being available in far lower quantities, and crit damage is even worse.

if we were lore accurate, you should not have a power sword or any weapon that are rares… as they would never be in the hands of ex prisoners sent to battlefield in suicide missions…

This is a game, things have to be balanced.
This does not mean you cannot make several weapons feel special… but they have to be balanced or we will end with few weapons to play with.

It’s the best CC melee weapon in the game, and has good single target dmg/penetration

A little bit boring to play though

We are trusted members of the Inquisition. We aren’t prisoners sent on suicide missions anymore, we are basically shock troopers.

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Tell me the difference between the missions you did from the level 1 of confidence until the level 30?
Only at level 30, you get the confidence of the inquisitor. However, I am not sure a Power Sword is so easily obtainable for an ex prisoner that is a soldier of the inquisition and cannot get out of a space ship…
I will quote the wikifans of 40k:

Like a common sword, they allow the user greater attack options and defensive responses than many other melee weapons. Entire specialised styles of combat have been designed around the expansive number of variants found across the galaxy and beyond. Power weapons require great investments of time and rare materials to produce.
Therefore, power swords are typically reserved for high-ranking members of the Adeptus Astartes or other powerful and influential members of the Imperium, such as Inquisitors, Commissars or Astra Militarum officers."

We are none of these…

Great write up, but we all know Fatshark will view this data and just nerf everything instead of buffing the underperforming.

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You haven’t read previous discussions about this? Okay, I give you the abridged version:

First from wiki since you only seem to find quotes supporting your view:

The kind of Power Sword we use is made for officers of the Imperial Guard and specifically made for humans. It’s the perfect weapon for a veteran guardsman and isn’t something that is rarer or more special than Force Swords used by psykers or (Human use) Thunder Hammers used by the ecclesiarchy.

There are even story beats for the fact that as we become more useful (surviving) we are starting to get worthy of getting geared up with proper equipment even before level 30.

It would actually be illogical and pretty stupid for the Inquisition not to arm as properly based on what we are going up against after surviving 10 mission or so.


@Nish For sure, it would be super nice to make blessings actually interesting, I’m just saying at this current moment they are neither interesting nor optional for almost any kit. You need 1 maybe 2 combos of blessings and near perfect rolls on all the rest to even make the majority of weapons feel viable let alone actually fun and effective at all the various roles each of the classes has to fill in any given run.

Imbalance should exist to make some variety and give weapons different focusses but right now the imbalance is:
Combat Axe kicks ass at every single subrole the zealot is expected to fill at all difficulties… Everything else fills a few but not all of these roles and so falls short making them feel weaker than the C axe.

The kind of imbalance in the game now doesn’t help to highlight blessings as much as it could because most weapons feel ineffective compared to the combat axe and there isn’t much choice in viable blessing combos for any of the weapon families.

@Dumlefudge Yep, the combat axe (at least on the zealot) is just simply put the only viable option to maximize the versatility of the ZP. Any of the other weapons can be used, even greys but the cleanest fit for mobility, stagger, horde control, single target dps, crowd dps, dodge count, swing speed, attack pattern, etc is hands down a combat axe for most players. With a little tuning many more options could become viable alternatives regardless of blessings… it might take a lot more work and some additions to blessing pool before we really see a whole of fun variation in blessing sets though

I don’t agree as a whole, but some weapons have that problem. We’ll have a blessing patch soon so let’s take another look after that.

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Prob the perfect solution could lie in sidearms. Like if you take non-power weapon you can dual wield it with some kind of pistol (las, bolt, plasma etc) and it takes just one slot, so basicaly free additional gun. Like for catachan sword you can dual wield it with anti armor weapon - bolt or plasma pistol, but for chain sword just las pistol or stub revolver. Sure it will take new animations and some balance and even input adjustments (so will not happen)

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My main concern about chainweapons appart from the damage (which I would like to be increased, too, obviously) is that there are several little details that make them much less reliable than mundane weapons in some situations and it can get very frustrating at times:

  • the impossibility to push attack a rager out of his flurry animation. This one is BIG: on a Taxe or Caxe, you just push attack and they are instantly staggered. on a chainweapon, sometimes you get in front of a couple ragers and get absolutely destroyed because you have no way to interrupt their attack pattern. The tiny Taxe can do it, the basic Caxe can do it, but the big chainsaw axe can’t… Stupid AF! And about the chainaxe the light attacks doesn’t stagger enough when you compare them to Caxe light attacks. Spamming lights at a trapper, flamer etc should stagger them and prevent them from hitting you back/firing their weapon. Chainaxe light attacks ressemble more a tickling contest than anything else…

  • chainaxe mobility: give it 5 dodges for heaven’s sake, it’s a 1 handed weapon why should we move around like we have lead shoes. The number of times I have been netted/grabbed by a mutant because had not enough dodges left is absolutely depressing (not to mention the dodges themselves are no more than tiny cute ridiculous little side leaps: -12% dodge distance at best against +3% for the Caxe)

  • the chainsword has the same mobility stats as the Caxe, but for whatever reason after a few attacks your dodges are GONE. After doing a couple attack chains you have to wait 1 sec to have your dodges reset and be able to use them… Why? Do Taxe and Caxe have this problem? No sir…

Everytime I get in one of those situations i’m like “yup, if I had taken a mundane weapons I wouldn’t have died there and then the team wouldn’t have wiped, fun fun fun those chainweapons”. Low damage is the least of my concerns towards chainweapons i’m afraid

I would agree about this solution as it would balance things.

Well said… hoping they give blessings a little but of a facelift. And that’s just my take with my own personal style of Zealot play… plenty of us absolutely love hammers and flamers and all the rest of our fun kit pieces, and in the right hands (especially on a zealot) any weapon can be clutch


I also play a Zealot, and Hammer can be incredibly fun. :wink:

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Its basically mid tier at armor pen and absolutely garbage at actually killing things. Which is why no one uses it. It should be much better at killing basic tier enemies. Which is precisely what I propose.

We are inquisitorial acolytes. We absolutely would have access to such weaponry.

It would not. In fact the weapon’s arc of effectiveness would simply skew more towards flak and carapace. This would continue to make the weapon behave in an inappropriate way.

Quite to the contrary. A shredding 40k chain weapon should be far more effective against infested than some sharpened blade. But I’m not necessarily asking for chain weapons to be better, just to meet the standard of some mundane weapons.

I think that the difference here wouldn’t be such a big deal. Though I invite anyone with such a weapon to post their times from first strike to last strike on poxwalkers and scabs. My testing protocol is reproducible so that others can contribute. The heavysword still preforms very well and better than chain weapons so all that would do is drive this pattern further. Which is A-OK. I’m not trying to say that mundane weapons should be inferior in all cases. There should be some variety and flavor here. My representations above are meant as a “general guideline” on the arc of effectiveness. The heavysword outperforms chain weapons on hordes but is worse against carapace? That makes sense.

The combat axe out preforms pretty much everything in every category AND is better than dedicated power weapons against carapace? That’s a problem. That violates 40k norms.

Absolutely in disagreement. There is no world in a 40K game where a mundane axe should be competing even a little bit with a power weapon against a carapace armored ogryn. This is like arguing for the headhunter autogun to be more effective against crushers than the plasma gun. Its completely unacceptable. The Combat Axe must be nerfed against heavier armored targets or it must be made into a power weapon. Anything else and this just stops being 40k.

I did a poor job explaining myself I think but it depends a lot on the power weapon. I did a bad job using a single line to represent my concepts for power weapons. I’ll do a new one later. The thunder hammer should generally be bad compared to mundane and chain weapons against lighter enemies. Its actually quite appropriately designed in that way. Is main issue is that it doesn’t really hit hard targets hard enough for what it is. The bolter is far better against crushers and other ogryn when it should be the opposite. The Thunder Hammer in tabletop is S6 AP2 and deals like 2-3 wounds. Meanwhile the bolter in tabletop is S4 AP0 (used to be Ap5) so it should struggle a bit against crushers but be more effective than many other choices. The combat axe shouldn’t even be on the playing field against Crushers. This is the domain of weapons like Thunder Hammers, Eviscerators and Power Fists. Even Power Axes and Power Swords would fair better than some axe. Meanwhile all of these weapons tend to be inferior to an axe (close combat weapon) in tabletop against horde enemies because they don’t generally confer extra attacks and tend to overkill their targets and tend to strike last in a fight. Charged swings against poxwalkers with the thunder hammer WILL kill a poxwalker but that’s not that useful, right?

Obviously the power sword in current darktide is really strong against hordes and we have to live with that because I don’t think anyone would like it not being a super cool lightsaber now that we’ve all got a taste for it.

I’m not arguing for mundane weapons to suck. I’m trying to highlight the arc of effectiveness they should have. They should be at their strongest as weapons against targets flak and lower and at their weakest at flak and higher. They should be easier to use as a general rule and safer to use. This is mostly true already. The problem is chain weapons are too weak and the combat axe is a whole category by itself.

I hope I did better this time. I think you all are making totally valid points and discussions so I am trying to represent my argument as best as I can.

also seriously, you guys should just take your weapons and do my testing protocol and post your times. I can add it to my spreadsheet


So basically you agree with me.

I love the ironhelm a lot personally, it’s just not as good in my hands when it comes to closing with range, kiting bosses, general horde killing (It’s horde stagger is sexy though for sure). It has it’s place I just feel more nimble and lethal with the much faster C axe or T axe than the fun, flashy, still very reliable hammers even in situations with lots of carapace. Besides mobility, it’s true the ironhelm doesn’t really suffer much compared to the c axe except in swing speed… but the stagger and single hit damage potential can offset that once you’re comfortable with the timing. Even still, it specializes in boss killing and carapace but I find it easier and more reliable for self defense, group defense, and overall ttk to take a combat axe and stagger lock maulers, crushers, and ragers rather than losing the anti shooter capabilities of the C axe just for a slightly faster solo kill potential. It’s just preference and playstyle on what roles you feel you need to fill. I personally prefer mobility and versatility that’s all.

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