"Gravity is a harness. I have harnessed the harness."
- – Sigma, Overwatch
"It just works."
- – Every techpriest questioned about grav-weaponry
Weapons that employ ancient Graviton technology, selectively altering gravity to turn the target's mass against them. Grav weapons were used by many of the Space Marine Legions during the Horus Heresy. However, in the 41st millennium, the secrets of how to build and maintain them are locked deep within the vaults of the Adeptus Mechanicus on Mars and are even rarer than plasma guns, and like Plasma guns this will not stop every marine and his primarch from fielding bucketloads of them. Only a select few know these secrets and only the most promising techmarines are trusted with them.
Graviton weapons from Forge World operate completely differently than the grav-weapons shown in the new Space Marine Codex. The reason for this was a mystery up until Horus Heresy III - Extermination came out and actually had a Graviton weapon that behaved like a Grav weapon: the Graviton Imploder. The explanation is that all 40k grav weapons started out as graviton weapons, but graviton weapons were not actually intended to be used as weapons at all; more likely, they were to be used like Star Trek tractor beams. Nevertheless, they were used as weapons until some guy on the Forgeworld of Tigrus figured out how to make a cheaper replacement which concentrated the energy into single targets rather than over wider areas. The tech-priests called this blasphemy, owing to the fact that it was not how the technology was originally intended, but considering they are generally more useful on the battlefield they became more common than the original design.
- 1 Tabletop
- 2 Special Rules
- 3 Imperial/Chaos Variants
- 3.1 Close-Range Grav-Weapons
- 3.2 Hand-Held Grav-Weapons
- 3.3 Vehicle Grav-Weapons
- 4 Squat Variants
- 5 Necron Variants
Essentially, grav guns are meant for killing the big, tough units in an enemy army while leaving the fodder for the rest of your army to handle.
Unfortunately, as a consequence of high RoF and AP values combined with a simply peerless anti-vehicle capacity, grav-weapons, specifically grav-cannons for space marines, single handedly shattered the relevance of vehicles in 7th edition. Statistically, a grav devastator squad pays approximately 51 points per glance for any armour value, where lascannons pay 60-210 points over the ranges of armour 10-14.
8e addressed the above by smacking grav-weapons hard with the nerf bat; they now have S5 AP-3 D1, and Graviton has been replaced by increasing the damage to D3 if it wounds an enemy with an armor save of 3+ or better. Between the stat changes, the removal of glancing/penetrating hits and AV, the buffs 8e gave to all plasma weapons, and the pitifully short range grav-weapons have when compared to said plasma weapons, they've been relegated to anti-heavy infantry roles (and even in that niche plasma is better most of the time).
9e has once again shaken up the Grav/Plasma balance. While Grav weapons have seen a shift to a flat D2, Plasma has been hit by a trio of indirect nerfs:
- The arrival of Eradicators, which are both extremely powerful and criminally undercosted, makes Plasma less point-competitive for tank-popping
- The general shift of Space Marines of both flavours to 2W, meaning you MUST overcharge to have a shot at killing, combined with...
- The change in how modifiers work with Gets Hot triggering on unmodified 1s and reduced access to rerolls, make overcharging much riskier
Grav and standard Plasma have the same AP and to-Wound versus MEQs, with the critical difference that Grav actually does enough damage to kill. Against overcharged Plasma their to-Wound is slightly worse but without risk of blowing up, which is far likelier than 8e. Of major note are the heavy variants, as the Grav Cannon now hits 4 times versus the Plasma Cannon's 3, and is marginally cheaper to boot.
Overall, the range difference is still noticeable (but not excessive) and you do get slightly better to-wound rolls with overcharged Plasma. But for players who want safe and reliable MEQ-wreckers and have more important units their re-roll auras could be babysitting, Grav weapons are a very attractive choice in 9e.
In 7e, all grav weapons have the Concussive and "Graviton" rules. Instead of comparing Strength to Toughness when rolling to wound, the firing player (you) instead rolls the target's armor save, down to a minimum of 6+. For example, if the target has a 2+, that's what they get wounded on. (Go Orks!) When rolling to Pen on vehicles, 1-5 does nothing and a 6 immobilizes the vehicle and takes a hull point (so an already immobilized vehicle loses two hull points). Graviton weapons have no effect on buildings. All grav weapons were also AP 2.
8e nerfed this down to causing D3 damage against anything with a 3+ armor save or better along with S5 AP-3, and quite frankly the things deserved it. Now that immobilization doesn't exist and the gun itself is overshadowed by the improved plasma weapons, it's gone from being a gamebreaker to a bolter that's a little bit better against MEQs.
They come in four varieties, similar to the way plasma weapons do.
Giant one punch hammers in the shape of a gauntlet.
The Graviton Hammer was a type of Graviton Weapon built into the frame of Domitar Class Robots used by the Mechanicum during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. These powerful close-combat weapons amplified the robot's blows with waves of gravitational force which could pulverize battle tanks and even Space Marine Dreadnoughts.
On tabletop, because it is a Graviton weapon, the Graviton Hammers can handle vehicles and buildings in equal measure thanks to four attacks at S10 and its WS4 makes it so it'll hit all other automata on 3. Additionally, Graviton Hammers are able to force opponents to make disordered charges when hit, making it a great weapon for Squad Broken.
Could also provide for a utterly new meaning for the term fisting.
The big beatstick to clobber enemies to death.
The Graviton Maul was a Graviton Weapon adapted by Perturabo for use by his Iron Circle. Whilst technically a Graviton/Grav weapon, in function it fares more like a Thunder Hammer. A variant on the Mechanicum's Graviton Hammer, these weapons were capable of crushing armored targets and particularly destructive when employed against fortifications.
On tabletop, the Graviton Maul is a giant fuck off bat. This thing is a S10 AP2 beatstick with a concussive, wrecker and crushing blow rules. On a hit roll on a 6, you are allows an additional attack to beat the shit out of your enemies right and proper.
The smallest of the grav-weapons and comparable to Plasma Pistols in terms of how often people use them. Its effect is not quite as powerful as that of its larger counterparts, but it can still do enormous damage to targets possessed of a large mass.
Like all Grav-weaponry, the Grav-Pistol fires a stream of graviton particles which affects the local gravitational field of a target area, making the targeted object either far heavier or lighter depending on the weapon's setting.
The middle sized of the Grav Weapons. This medium-sized Grav-weapon utilizes the gravitic reaction principle most commonly seen powering grav-vehicles such as the Land Speeder. Each gun is a rare relic left over from the Dark Age of Technology and are now sacredly guarded by the Adeptus Mechanicus, and very rarely will they allow one to leave their armories, but some Space Marine Chapters still field a handful of such weapons.
The effect is generally non-lethal and can be used to incapacitate foes who need to be captured alive, but the power of the Grav-gun's highest settings is sufficient to rupture organs and crack bones even inside armor. Some living targets will be affected more variably; a very large creature may be killed under excessive weight, but most targets will either be slowed or completely immobilized.
The Power of the Graviton Cannon is sufficient to rupture organs and crack bones even inside armor, but its primary use is to counter enemy machinery without the risk of secondary explosions. Graviton Cannons have also been seen mounted on Rapiers as well. Standard devastators can now take them too as of recent updates.
Space Marine Chapters are among the few warriors of the Imperium to be gifted with the use of Grav-weaponry let alone the Grav-Cannon, and it is considered a sacred responsibility to wield such a potent weapon.
The bigger, blacker Grav-Cannon, for Adeptus Mechanicus of course. This things can turn a tank inside out or turn the METHUL BAWKS into a even smaller and boxier METHUL BAWKS. Such is the Heavy Grav-Cannon that it is seen as a serious threat to even superheavy vehicles such as the Baneblade and its dozen brothers or even Imperial Knights.
Space Marine Chapters are among the few warriors of the Imperium to be gifted with the use of Grav-weaponry let alone the Heavy Grav-Cannon, and it is considered a sacred responsibility to wield such a potent weapon.
At 30' range and salvo 4/6, it could make Wraithknights cry.
As of 8th, the Heavy Grav-Cannon will outright delete any MEQ infantry - AP-3 will fuck over anything with a 2+/3+ save (Invulns are still a problem, though), and that D3 damage against units with said save is nasty against single-wound models.
A piece of specialist wargear that allows any grav-weapons being used in the same squad as the model holding it to re-roll failed wounds and vehicle damage (i.e. gain Shred). Large enough to rival even a Grav-Cannon. The Grav-Amp is a wonder of ancient technology all by itself as it focuses the field of a users Grav-Weapon, further amplifying the already devastating affects of a Grav-weapon due to its unique gravitational lens, hence its name, the Grav-Amp.
It is often wielded by Centurions who are big and strong enough to wield a Grav-Cannon with ease, which in itself can be upgraded into a Grav-Amp. In fact, it seems that only Grav-Cannons are big enough to allow a secondary attachment such as the Grav-Amp to act a as a force multiplier. A better view of the Grav-Amp can be seen on the Grav-Cannon image. It is the weird looking lens below the barrel of the Grav-Cannon.
As of 8e, it no longer has any affect whatsoever and just comes built into the Grav-Cannon.
The baby version of the Graviton Singularity Cannon.
Graviton Pulsars are a type of Graviton Weapon that is capable of crumpling power armor or ripping the treads from a tank via the projection of its crushing force. Unusually enough for Imperial standards, while able to cause great destruction, such weapons are more often employed to disable and impede rather than destroy, fired to halt the advance of war machines so that they might be captured largely intact.
Funnily enough, despite being the baby version of the Graviton Singularity Cannon, the Graviton Pulsar can also be found in ship-form. Oh yes, starship-sized graviton weapons sure sounds like a recipe to make an Inquisitor quite erect indeed.
On 8th Edition, they are basically a super Grav-Cannon, with D6 shots at S6 AP-3 D2, up to D4 vs 3+ or better saves. Falls to the same pitfalls as most Grav weapons, as while the AP and Damage scream Anti Tank, the lackluster Strength holds it back, while the 4 damage is gross overkill against any Infantry that isn't a Character. Has a strong niche against Light Vehicles with good armour, like Armoured Sentinels and Landspeeders, but the Lightning Lock and Volkite Veuglaire have very similar stats at better range. It still does surprisingly well in the anti-tank roll with its high rate of fire and assurance that if a shot does wound, it's going to fucking hurt - provided you are shooting targets that have a 3+ or better save, at least 4 wounds, and don't have a great invuln, this will usually be your best gun.
When you want to anally fist vehicles and buildings instead of people.
This weapon is the Graviton Hammer on bath salts that is used primarily and exclusively by the Thanatar-Calix-class Siege-Automata. It looks like one scary-ass metal brick with three large barrels in which compressed gravity is expelled out.
The Graviton Ram is an ancient design of unknown origin once believed to have been used for mining and excavation during the Dark Age of Technology, these Graviton Weapons have been turned into implements of destruction by the Mechanicum.
The Graviton Ram is capable of pulverizing rock, metal and flesh in cascading waves of gravitational force. These weapons can send out powerful gravitic shock waves even at a distance, allowing the Thantar to attack enemy units that are believed to be out of melee range.
In the Horus Heresy tabletop, the Graviton Ram is a Assault - S10, AP1, Armourbane, Concussive, Structural Collapse weapon that fires a Heavy 1, Concussive, Graviton Wave, Haywire flamer template. As you can imagine, in assault it is gonna punch and fist everything to death whilst doubling out any T5 monsters into pulverized meat. Structural Collapse makes this a D weapon against any buildings or fortifications.
In shooting, Graviton wave makes models take a strength test on a D6 or take a wound, so useful against T3 4+ save troops certainly. Additionally morale checks caused by this weapon are taken at -2 LD. But mostly you want it for the haywire, which if attacking a squadron could hit multiple models if placed right.
The Graviton's equivalent of the Hellex Plasma Mortar.
Graviton-Charge Cannon is the primary weapon found on the smol Legion Arquitor Bombard artillery tank. Despite the small size of the vehicle, the sheer size of that Graviton cannon allows this little sucker to fire weaponized gravity on an arc.
What this means is that the Graviton-Charge Cannon could outright not only fire with no line of sight, but the sheer splash damage coming from that artillery piece is gonna give any fortifications a very bad day.
Unfortunately, the size of the Arquitor Bombard and the limited power needed to charge the Graviton-Charge Cannon, means that it has a disappointing short range for an artillery piece. Given the expanse required to make a Grav weapon in the Great Crusade let alone the 41st Millennium, along with the short range and piss-weak defenses coming from such a smol tank, don't expect the Graviton-Charge Cannon to be used that often.
Grav Flux Bombard
The Grav Flux Bombard is a type of heavy Graviton Weapon and it is fucking ECKS BAWKS HUEG.
Developed for unique use by the Leviathan Dreadnought, the Grav Flux Bombard is a short range siege weapon that is essentially the Grav version of a Demolisher Cannon. A Leviathan Grav-flux Bombard creates a spiraling vortex of gravitation-torsion force, and is a fortress-breaching weapon which can reduce the toughest armor to twisted scrap and crush anything living beyond recognition. Additionally, the Grav Flux Bombard looks sweet as hell, by far one of the coolest looking toys in the Horus Heresy games.
Seriously this thing clears mobs of infantry like butter. Usually leaving behind an icky paste since they get crushed by the gravitational waves.
We just wish we could add this in the 41st millennium. Now we can, and it's even better than it used to be!
The Graviton Imploder is a type of superheavy Graviton Weapon used by the Adeptus Mechanicus. It is one of the primary hull weapons used by the Macrocarid Explorator. It is a relatively rare weapon model-wise as the Macrocarid is no longer available on Forge World and not a lot of people use the model, rather opting for a Mauler Bolt Cannon for versatility.
The weapon was designed on the Forge World of Tigrus. Also called the 'Tank Crusher', it was a concentrated beam that created a collapsing grav-field which brought down kinetic force proportional to the density and mass of the material it struck. It thus proved effective against heavily armored foes and vehicles. Crude and power-hungry, the design was deemed blasphemous by some Magos who saw it as a perversion of ancient patterns. However its capabilities proved invaluable during the Horus Heresy.
On the Horus Heresy tabletop, these are the 40k grav-guns you're used to. Trouble with Terminators? Belial-led Deathwing got you down? Accept no substitute! These are Salvo 2/4 AP2 grav guns, so the roll to wound mirrors the armor save of the target, with 18" range. So now you can have it both ways. It has problems when faced with large blobs with poor/no armour, but those things are generally easily killed by everything else, so it balances out.
Graviton Singularity Cannon
Okay okay, we may be cheating a little here, but this gun is so devastating it might as well be part of the Grav family rather then the Graviton family (And seriously, would anyone complain about the similarities?).
The Graviton Singularity Cannon is a type of Graviton Weapon used by Imperial Knights. This motherfucker as its name implies, shoots motherfucking BLACK HOLES! It makes the Eldar D-Cannons look fucking limp in comparison. The weapon is extremely effective against any target that is trapped in the singularity, however it is especially effective against vehicles, the more massive the better.
Of course this cannon is a violently destructive but potentially unstable and hazardous weapon to its user since every time it is fired there is the risk of the singularity collapsing, the Graviton Singularity Cannon is typically mounted on the Knight Atrapos.
This advanced and highly destructive weapon system was much more common during the Horus Heresy than in the modern setting and had enough force to rip apart even enemy Titans. Reaver Graviton Destructors are mounted on the Titan's back, allowing the weapon to have a 360-degree firing arc. Warhound Destructors meanwhile are mounted as arm weapons.
It is found only on the Adeptus Titanicus tabletop and it is unknown if any still exist in the 41st millennium.
The oddly named Graviton Ruinator is a type of large Graviton Weapon mounted on Imperial Warlord Titans. It is considered as the 'middle child' of Titan-grade Graviton weapons.
This advanced and highly destructive weapon system was much more common during the Horus Heresy than the modern setting, having enough force to rip even enemy Titans apart. Warlord Titans are able to mount two of these as arm weapons, although one is already enough to act as a potent anti-superheavy weapon. Sometimes, some men just want to make sure that that Titan is deader than Horus and mount two instead. Compared to the larger Krius Grav Imploder, the Graviton Ruinator has a longer and more accurate range to compensate for its weaker power.
It is found only on the Adeptus Titanicus tabletop and it is unknown if any still exist in the 41st millennium.
Krius Grav Imploder
The largest Grav-weapon to date and the more range-friendly version of the Krius Siege Drill.
The Krius Grav Imploder is the Graviton Imploder's bigger and nastier father. They are mounted and exclusively used by Warmaster Iconoclast Heavy Battle Titans.
However, these lost age weapons are barely understood by the Tech-Priests, who sanction their use. Through means unknown, the Imploders concentrate gravity into a beam that can effortlessly turn the mass of an enemy against itself. When used, they can turn Titans into a heap of molten slag or crumple a Knight like an empty tin of Corpse-Starch.
With how Graviton weapons work against a bigger target, this would be one of the most powerful and devastating of anti-Titan weapons, let alone anti-superheavy. Like the Krius Siege Drill, it has the claws and the in-built Melta Cannons for twice the killy power.
Brôkhyr Graviton Hammer
The Squats too have their own version of the Graviton Hammer.
These Graviton Hammers are welded exclusively by the Brôkhyr Iron-Masters and, unlike their imperial counterparts, actually looks like a goddamnned hammer. It functions the same as any gravity-based close-combat weapon, but just in a more compact form. Despite similarities, they should not be confused with the Concussion Hammer.
On the tabletop, this translates as a grav-gun, but in a hammer, and only used by the aforementioned Brokhyr Iron-Master. Sx2 AP-2 D2, with attacks allocated to models with a 3+ save or better doing 3 damage. This neat little toy may make any would-be attackers think twice about bullying your resident repairman.
A pint-sized version of the much larger Graviton Blast Cannon.
The Graviton Rifle is technically the Squat equivalent of a Grav-Gun but with the power of a Grav-Cannon. Used only by the Brôkhyr Iron-Masters and is regarded as one of their primary standard-issue weapons. Their short and compact form still holds a wallop of a punch equivalent to their much larger kin and is a very convenient weapon for the Iron-Masters who are more of a backseat sort of bloke.
Ruleswise, these rifles translates as an 18", HunTR 3, S5, AP-3, D2 weapon; nearly identical to the Graviton Blast Cannon which is fucking ridiculous. MEQs and TEQs just bend over and cry when this bad boy comes packin.
Graviton Blast Cannon
The Graviton Blast Cannon is a type of Graviton Weapon used by the Squats.
Specifically, these specialist weapons are used only by the Brôkhyr Thunderkyn who are the only ones with the knowhow and experience in operating these complex machinery. Like some weapons from the Leagues of Votann, the Blast Cannon most likely had an origin as a piece of civilian mining equipment, Dead Space-style. In which they used the gravitational shock wave to pulverise rock into manageable chunks.
Crunchwise, these things are Grav-Cannons on steroids, a 18" HunTR d6, S5 AP-3 D2 gun with Blast, and has the standard grav effect of doing extra damage to anything with a 3+ save or better. An alternative for your Thunderkyn, when you want space marines to die super hard. Its short range hinders it a bit, though.
The Necrons too have Grav-Weaponry on their own and theirs are obviously far and beyond the technological capability of the Imperium's. The Singularity Generator is essentially the Necron equivalent of the Graviton Singularity Cannon.
Singularity Generators are weapons mounted on the Necron Seraptek Walker. These heavy weapons create miniature quantum singularities, drawing in nearby matter before collapsing in a catastrophic implosion that damages anything nearby.
Crunchwise, this thing is the one of the ultimate Necron anti-vehicle and anti-monster weapon. The Singularity Generator can put out between 6-18 shots at strength 8, -3 AP, d6 damage at 36" inches, and any 6's to wound cause one additional mortal wound on top of other damage. Ironically, this means that the Singularity Generator is technically weaker than the Synaptic Obliterators, which is compensated by having more shots. Yes, the gun meant for anti-vehicular warfare behaves more like a anti-infantry weapon than the actual anti-infantry weapon.