New 40K game: Space Marine
15th Sep, 2008

I have been reading fan's views posted on various forums of the new development trailer for the game: 'Warhammer 40.000: Space Marine'. It seems the developers what the bolter as a destraction and have made it very weak (almost like a H&K UMP). While fans want a super Bolter, a weapon worthy of a MARINE.

I think that with a little imagination both camps could have their cake and eat it, or at least be able to co-exist without killing each other.

Expanding on what I said earlier about Bolters on the Anargo forums (what follows is a bit of a ramble);

Ideas for reconciling the two camps

VS Marines (loyal vs chaos)

  1. Assuming bolter have a small kicker charge to get them going (the case is more to protect the bolt, the kicker to clear it) then they would lack impact up close. (gyrogets can be stopped with a hand place over the muzzle)
  2. To get around this they could use a shaped charge (HEAT) to make up for the lack of kinetic impact. However, marines may employ a form of 'electric armour' that will defeat the penetrating effects of a shaped charge warhead.
  3. However the explosion would still pull the marine back suddenly and cause impact damage, but marine are tough and can take it - though they may be stunned.
  4. Further, if a marine can survive a direct hit from a bolt, then it would logically follow that any explosion near a marine would have far less effect (such or the firer being close) though if too close they may be stunned too. Hence close combat weapons when the close (or both may end up on the floor with little start wizzing around their heads!)
  5. At range the gyrojet/ rocket of the bolt gets it up to speed and it will hit with far more kinetic energy. At long range the major damage is kinetic not explosive. The HEAT charge is all but redundant and instead a rod or core is what causes the penetration.
  6. At range this impact are going to be very fast, many times the speed of sound (hypersonic) and such impact even marine will have trouble shrugging off. So would some armoured vehicles. (The bolt may even come in as some form of scramjet variant for special ops?)

VS others (cultists)

  1. Humans would be seriously damaged by the HEAT explosion even if not a direct hit (perhaps a bit of fragmentation to anti-personnel? The proximity fuse could be used to do an 'air-burst'?). Humans (cultist) would be knocked down and seriously stunned, with those nearest to the blast killed outright.
  2. This means humans and cultist can be mown down in their droves with air-bursts. The problem would be ammo supply. As this type of Bolt is getting very large, the ammo-supply would be quite limited. However, a air-burst would be great for killing several cultist at range.

Using these concepts a marine would use a Bolter at short range to stun chaos marines so they could close and finish.

They would kill chaos marines at range with careful single sniper shots. Though chaos marine would not like to be in the open, and if their were they would like to by running (and hence loyalist marine may decide to close)

Against humans is would be a gore-fest at any range. But a marine may run out of ammo, and wading through heavy fire may take it's toll on his armour. The marine may air-burst over the humans to stun more of them, then close.

All the time the marine is looking for one hit take downs.

The Bolter could be set for a three or four round burst fire, and it would be frighteningly effective. However the play would run out of ammo if they used it like a light machine gun to suppress.

Finally, suppressive fire: Marines would not bother with it because they can fire a single air-burst over the cover which explodes over the heads of those in cover. This means a marine can quickly close and would not have to stop if confronted with enemies in cover (which is good encase someone is tracking them with a heavy weapon and bolter at range, and as soon as they get pinned the are vulnerable).

Marine may have in the back of their mind that running around in bright armour and being a bullet magnet means they can never stop and never pause. They push on all the time. This could be added into the game as 'sniper fire' where chaos marine who see the player at range take shots. So being stealth only works with lots of cover.


Imagine the game play visuals with a a good swarm system and physics.

Standing atop ferro-create stairway in front of mighty cathedral the marine faces down hundreds of charging cultists but only has a single clip!

As the cultists surge forward the marine takes out the leading ranks with 5 'air-burst' bolt salvo. These could be set in the game option at 'within 3m of living target' with a toggle between modes while in the action. As each bolt hits they explode and create 'crop circles' in the masses. Each salvo therafter piles up the dead and as the cultist slow and stubble on the dead they become more dense and the air busts affect far more (the funnelling of the stairs would also help).

When the dust settles the marine has killed hundreds with a 25 round clip!

Chaos marine
Similar situation to the above, except the marine faces a brother who has fallen to Khorne.

The player ties an air-burst and the chaos marine barely breaks stride!

The player flips the toggle to enable direct fire and the fire bolt slams right into the cheat of the marine knocking them down.

Then the chaos marine gets back up! The player pumps in another round but the chaos marine leans into the blasts (nutter!) and now only stumbles when hi (Khorne!)

The player pumps in round after round and the Chaos marine closes chain sword buzzing!

Another chaos marine, say of Nurgle charges into range and take the hit. Gets up an fires back! Player is stunned and the chaos marine is closing.

A Slaanesh marine may play guitar when hit, and only has to get close enough to affect the player' marine with it chaos sounds Would be fun to have a illusion effect where random friendlies turn in the visage of chaos scum, and some chaos marine look like pure loyalists. When the laze clears...)

Tzeentch marine may sniper from afar or a sorcerer may create multiple images (to waste out ammo and improve chances of closing).

The Bolter would be lethal, but the marine hard as nails!

Well that's my thoughts. I think it would give an interesting game play, what do you think?


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Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concepts posted on this website. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!

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