There are many awesome pieces of wargear in the 41st Millennium, with every species having access to something cool. From Thunder Hammers to Iron Halos, from Big Shootas to D Scythes, there are so many options out there for our armies that our chalice really does runneth over. And then among all of those sweet bits of gear, there are some unique pieces that really give the game its flavour. I’ve picked out 10 of those unique pieces of wargear that I consider to be my favourites. It should be noted that this isn’t about rules – it’s about fluff. If these things had the rules they deserve, games would be a lot shorter (and though one player would be having a lot more fun, the other probably wouldn’t). Anyway, enough of all that; let’s dive into the list. In descending order, the 10 coolest pieces of wargear are…
10. Trazyn The Infinite’s Empathic Obliterator
When the ‘Archaeovist of the Solemnace Galleries’ (as this pretentious robot likes to call himself) hits you with his big stick, you know about it. Well, you know about it for a split second before a psionic shockwave rips your body to pieces from the inside out, killing any of your buddies who were dumb enough to be stood next to you. This staff is rumoured to contain some sort of horrific primordial energy that was used by the Old Ones themselves, and only an expert collector like Trazyn could get his hands on that sort of thing. It would be a pretty cool way to go, but you wouldn’t be around long to appreciate it.
9. Jain Zar’s Jainas Mor
Howling Banshees are pretty terrifying in their own right. Swords whirling, masks screaming as they rush towards you at terrifying speeds, but their big chief is even scarier. Jain Zar, the Phoenix Lord of the Howling Banshees not only has a terrifying mask and a weapon known as the ‘Blade of Destruction’, but she also has… a boomerang. Yes, the grimdark’s own homage to the classic Australian curvy stick (well, if you stuck three of them together). The Jainas Mor (that’s ‘Silent Death’ for those of you who don’t speak Space Elf) flies through the air, its blades wreathed in black fire, before decapitating everyone and then returning to Jain Zar. Good on ya’ mate.
8. Commander Farsight’s Dawn Blade
So, the most famed member of one of the newest space-faring species in the galaxy is wielding one of said galaxy’s oldest weapons. That’s already pretty cool, but this blade is actually making Farsight live longer (not that he knows that). According to the books, the Dawn Blade has ‘chronophagic alloys’ (obviously *snort*) which take the life force of any individual it kills and bestows that life force to the user. Farsight didn’t know this when he picked it up for the first time to kill a Bloodthirster, but I’m sure he wouldn’t give it up now, if only because it’s so darn useful. It’s powers have helped him live longer than any fishface before him, and it’s pretty much the only sword in the ranks of the Tau. Also, it’s so old, no-one knows where it really comes from. Intriguing…
7. Gabriel Seth’s Blood Reaver
Chainswords in general are among the most common weapons in the grimdark, but Blood Reaver is a bit special. For a start, it’s an eviscerator (or two-handed chainsword) which immediately elevates against most other chainswords, but this one is even more special. Because it kills everything. And because it belongs to Seth who, despite being a bit of a moderate of the chapter, is a Flesh Tearer. The angriest of the Blood Angels successors, and named after the often-censured, rage-filled Captain Amit, these guys cleave through armies like a lawnmower going through dry grass, and Blood Reaver is always at the front of the action. And it looks really cool. So there.
6. Lucius The Eternal’s Armour Of Shrieking Souls
Let’s just start with that name. The Armour of Shrieking Souls. How cool is that!? But names alone don’t get a piece of wargear into this list. So, what’s so cool about the Armour of Shrieking Souls? Not much. Just that it’s a sign of Slaanesh making Lucius immortal! When a swordsman beats Lucius (which is pretty rare) Lucius is reincarnated in that warrior’s body, and the face of that warrior ends up howling and grimacing forever as part of the Armour of Shrieking Souls. Not only that, but those howls can be focussed into a freakin’ doom siren – the best of the sonic weapons. How’s that for a slice of fried terror.
5. Maugan Ra’s Maugetar
The Phoenix Lord of the Dark Reapers has one hell of a fancy gun/farming implement to play with, and though there are similar weapons to Maugan Ra’s ‘Harvester’ (I’m looking at you Death Jesters), none of them are quite as cool as this bad boy. Even the Eldar aren’t quite sure where this shuriken weapon comes from, with many believing it was forged by the Gods or… something else. It can slaughter foes at range with its unusually large discs, or it can be used as a warschythe which, when operated by someone with the stats of a Phoenix Lord, makes it ferociously deadly in close combat too. From its psychoactive grip to its spirit stones, this is the weapon the Grim Reaper himself would buy, though I doubt Maugan Ra would sell it.
4. Garran Crowe’s Blade of Antwyr
Farsight may have a blade that’s helping him to live longer, but Garran Crowe is such a badass that he’s walking around with one that’s actively trying to kill him or turn him to Chaos. Now, walking around with the sharp, pointy embodiment of the Chaos Gods isn’t necessarily cool (err… yeah, it is!), but when Crowe wades into war, he can coax this weapon into doing some pretty gnarly stuff. It makes him one of the best swordsmen in the grimdark and even Lucius would probably think twice before trying to add Crowe to his tally. If the blade meets a daemon it had beef with way back when, it will actually help Crowe kill it. Of course there are times when it meets an old buddy and then Crowe has far more problems than any genehanced, psychic super-soldier ought to have. Swings and roundabouts.
3. Kaptin Badrukk’s Da Rippa
Ah, the joys of Orky ‘technology’. There’s not much to dislike about the Ork equivalent of Captain Jack Sparrow, but his gun is a particular favourite of mine. Da Rippa used to be a Ripper Gun, as wielded by Ogryns across the galaxy. When Badrukk’s Meks got hold of it though, they made him one of the most Orky weapons you can get. Instead of firing the garden variety oversized shotgun shells that it used to fire, Badrukk had it built to fire unstable canisters of plasma energy. Because that sounds totally sensible. You shouldn’t even be on the same battlefield when he fires this thing. It gives off horrendous levels of radiation when it’s not firing but when it does go bang, you get to witness the energy of a small star obliterating the enemy, and then all your skin melts off. No wonder Badrukk wears a lead-lined coat.
2. Abaddon The Despoiler’s Drach’nyen
Most swords can cut through armour. Some can cut through the hull of a tank. Drach’nyen can cut through reality. It can literally rip a hole in space and time, and if you happen to be standing in the same spot, it’s ‘good night, sweet prince’ for you. Its other names include ‘Shard of Madness’ and ‘Thorn in Reality’, and whenever it kills someone, their skull can be seen writhing and twisting down the blade itself. Not only is it that unsettling, but it inspired the 1st Black Crusade and made Abaddon the powerful Warmaster that he is in the 41st Millennium. As far as game changing swords go, this pointy stick is one of the most important and impressive in the galaxy. In terms of legendary status, it’s up there with Anathame and the Blade of the Laer. It really is one hell of a sword. When you absolutely, positively have to kill every Imperial pigdog in the joint, accept no substitutes.
1. Inquisitor Karamazov’s Throne of Judgement
“COME CLOSER SO I CAN KILL YOU WITH MY CHAIR!”
Need I say more? Well, I will because it’s my blog and I get to do that sort of thing. Only an Inquisitor could see a Space Marine dreadnought, say ‘Mine’ and then actually turn it into a walking throne, pulpit and weapons platform. And why have a standard two-barrelled multi-melta, when you can have one of your little slave servitors stood next to you firing a THREE-barrelled Multi-melta? Covered with scrolls and parchments to the extent that it looks like a walking printing press, this is, as far as I’m concerned, the coolest bit of kit in the grimdark. From its flaming braziers to its big clompy feet, I actually want one for myself. I would consider going back to uni for 10 years, mastering engineering and robotics, and then building one so that I can sit in it, stomp around in it and scare the neighbours. The Inquisition really does get the coolest toys, and this is top of the pile.
So that’s my list. Do you agree? Disagree? Too sword heavy? Not enough guns? Tell me what I missed out by leaving a comment below. If the above list is anything to go by, I can’t wait to see what wargear we get in the future. Onwards!