Power Attacks and Weapon Qualities

Power Attacks and Weapons.

This stuff has been messed up for a while now. As far back as 2012, as a matter of fact. And in MK3, no changes were made.

Existing Rule

“When a model makes a power attack, do not apply the special rules on its weapons unless they specifically reference power attacks” (Primal 44).

Interactions with Power Attacks

1. No weapon qualities count for a weapon being used to make a power attack.

“Weapon qualities are special rules that are marked as icons on a weapon’s stat block” (Primal 20).

2. There is precedence for weapon special rules other than a quality that affects power attacks. For example, Hard Head is a rule on tusks that allow models to add the POW of the tusk to Slam and Head Butt power attacks.

3. Some power attacks specifically say that the model is using a weapon to make the attack, and others imply one.
Head Butt implies the head, but the head is not normally a weapon on a card.

“A model making a head-butt power attack smashes its head into a model to drive it to the ground” (Primal 45).

Power Strike and Sweep say the weapon being used is an open fist weapon.

“A gargantuan making a power strike power attack uses the force of its tremendous melee power to send a smaller-based model flying. A gargantuan must have at least one weapon with the Open Fist weapon quality to make a power strike power attack. The power strike power attack has a melee range equal to that weapon’s melee range. Its target must be in the Open Fist’s field of fire” (Primal 45).


“A gargantuan chooses a melee weapon with a location of L or R to make the sweep power attack. It then makes one melee attack with the weapon against each model in the weapon’s field of fire that is within the weapon’s melee range, ignoring intervening models when determining line of sight. This power attack does not require a target, but each separate attack does” (Primal 46).


“A model making a throw power attack picks up and throws another model. A warbeast must have at least one weapon with the Open Fist weapon quality to make a throw power attack. A throw power attack has a melee range equal to the melee range of its weapon with Open Fist” (Primal 46).

Proposed Change.

Add at the end of the quoted paragraphs for power attacks Sweep and Strike, “Weapon qualities apply for the weapon used in this attack. Add the POW of the weapon used to the damage rolls.”

Potential problems/concerns:

What about e-leaps? Since the e-leap rules are special rules on the weapon, but not weapon qualities, the e-leap rules won’t be an issue. Also, note that Electro Leap says it triggers on a basic attack.

Why not throws and tramples? The damage isn’t being done by a weapon. The Power Attacks for those don’t have you pick a weapon. It’s just the weight of the beast or jack doing damage when it hits.
What about head butts and slams?

Proposed Change 2.

Change special rules like Hard Headed to this: “This model can add this weapon’s POW to its head-butt and slam power attack damage rolls, and the weapon qualities will apply.”

Furthermore, rules like Cortex Damage and Stall should be looked at individually to see if they could be applied to one or more power attacks as well.

I believe these changes will be beneficial to Gargantuans and Colossals, as well ad smaller models capable of making certain power attacks. The limitations of the proposed changes should prevent undesirable interactions with special rules and power attacks.

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