Grenades & Explosives
Grenades, bombs, mines and explosives comes in all shapes and colors of the gore-infested rainbow with almost every playable faction having a grenade or two equipped. All of them are usually hand-held devices meant to be thrown; however, certain weapons such as Grenade Launchers fire grenades at a much further and accurate distance. Nevertheless, this page is meant for the hand-held/thrown variety. 40k has a shit ton of grenade types, but we are only listing those that have a presence on tabletop or else have sufficient information and images.
- 1 Offensive Anti-Infantry
- 2 Offensive Anti-Vehicle
- 3 Tactical
- 4 Exotic
- 5 Navigation
These are grenades specializing in killing a swath of light infantry. These grenades rely on shrapnel or any form of omnidirectional blast to maximize casualties. However, its omnidirectional blast makes it piss poor at armored targets.
The most ubiquitous, common and identifiable type of grenade not only in the 40k universe but the entirety of military fiction. Frag grenades (or fragmentation grenades) are small, anti-personnel grenades, exploding in a hail of thousands of tiny and deadly shards of metal, the effect being to deny an enemy the benefits of any cover as they are assaulted.
Frag grenades are very simple in design and effect, consisting of a central explosive core with a fuse inserted and secured by a pin, wrapped in a steel casing. Upon detonation, irregular shards of the casing are propelled at high velocity into the nearby surrounding area. The casing is typically grooved, both to create more shrapnel upon detonation and to provide a secure grip.
A single frag grenade weighs about 1 kilogram and has a blast radius between 3 meters and 5 meters.
Nothing more than a bundle of dynamites rented from the Loonytoons. Blasting Charges are a type of Imperium-derived explosive. Created from scavenged detonators and low-end demolition gear, the short-fused blasting charges used by Genestealer Cultists can be hurled into the enemy ranks to sow death and disruption ahead of a concerted assault. Like most 'weapons' from the Genestealer Cults, Blasting Charges originated from demolition charges meant to destroy large rocks and minerals in mining activities.
On tabletop, these things are Frag Grenades by any other name, booms just as sweet. Never forget to use them since it increases your shooting output from 1/2 S3 shots to D6 (and you also use the Grenadier like stratagem to shoot 10D6 of these!).
An Orkified Stielhandgranate. These are the Ork's version of the Frag Grenade and functions almost identical save for maybe size and throwing range. Stikkbombs are Ork grenades in the form of a stick with the explosive part at the top and the pin at the bottom. The stick handle is very useful, allowing the grenade to be easily carried stuffed down a boot or through a belt. The main reason for the popularity of the design is its brutal appearance and appropriate sense of size and power. Although in reality, it could be for the fact that like the real life Stielhandgranate, the handle gives Stikkbombs a further and more accurate throwing range at the cost of being poor at 'rolling a grenade at short range.
Big enough to hit enemies with in close combat, but this usually makes the 'nade go off in the Ork's hand, killing both him and whoever he's hitting. Somewhat risky to use in general, inasmuch as many Orks forget which part of the grenade they're supposed to throw.
Stikkbombs comes in even more variety and flavors than the grenades of the Imperium. However, they all bare the same shape, with only the fillings inside being different. Certain Orks are known to strap a couple of Stikkbombs together to create one super grenade called the Super Stikkbomb.
Stikkbombs can be found mounted on a Stikkbomb Launcha if the respective Ork proves to be lazy in throwing a grenade.
Tl;dr, it an overgrown Ork hand grenade, built in a similar manner to a German stick grenade.
Burna Bottles are a type of Ork weapon analogous to a Molotov Cocktail.
This weapon consists of a glass bottle (or in the case of Snakebites, a clay pot) filled with Squig oil, Promethium, or whatever other flammable substance Orks can think of. When lit and thrown, the Burna Bottle will shatter on the enemy and engulf them in flame. It is the favored weapon of Boomdakka Snazzwagon crews.
The weapon seems to be the more popular incendiary device than the 'Firey Stikkbombs' as they are cheaper to produce and easier to make in the truckload. Great for clearing a occupied manhole, poor at killing anything wearing Carapace armor and above.
The most infamous user of Burna Bottles is Big Pyro, who is a deranged Deathskull obsessed with fire.
I love the smell of napalm in the morning!
The more fiery cousin of the regular Bomm. The Burna Bomb is a variant of a standard Bomm, that can be mounted on Ork Fighta-Bommers or more specifically, the Burna-Bommers. When these bombs explode they blanket vast swathes of the battlefield with burning promethium.
On tabletop, the Burna-Bommers gets two Burna Bombs, and can drop one per turn on a unit it flies over. Roll a D6 for every model in the unit they drop on (capped at 10), inflicting a mortal wound for every roll of 5+, or 4+ vs INFANTRY.
See main page here: Plasma Grenade
Plasma Grenades are grenades that utilize Plasma as its main form of detonation and explosive. Only two factions seem to use Plasma Grenades in bulk. The Imperium and Eldar.
Imperial Plasma Grenades make use of a deliberate plasma containment failure to unleash a highly lethal blast of heat and light similar to a miniature sun which can take out almost any target. However, they are rarely used due to the technological cost needed to make one.
The Eldar and Dark Eldar use plasma grenades in placement of the more crudely designed Frag Grenades used by the Imperium. They use a small amount of exploding plasma to blind the enemy and prevent them from properly using their terrain to defend their position against advancing enemy forces.
Combine the wide ranging effect of a frag and the cutting power of a krak and you get the Egerian Geode.
Egerian Geodes are a form of Grenade recovered from xenos crystalline maze-cities. Despite their overall simplistic and minimalist design, these grenades are made of advance materials and lethal explosives. Inside them are compacted shards of Diamantine glass that upon detonation become deadly cutting projectiles capable of slicing through most armor.
As such, they cut through materials much higher than the standard frag grenades. Making them great in dealing with swathes of power armored enemies that would have shrugged shrapnel from more normal frags. Due to their nature, only Imperials with special access such as Rogue Traders and Deathwatch are allowed to use these weapons.
As you know, they are the only grenades that does not belong to one of any of the major races. If anything, they are only found in the Rogue Trader Rulebook, which makes these grenades old as fuck.
A specially icky type of grenade utilized extensively by the Death Guard.
A Blight Grenade, also known as a Death Head of Nurgle, is a highly effective improvised grenade and chemical weapon utilized by the Plague Marines, Chaos Sorcerers and other devoted followers of Nurgle. Each is made from a literal decapitated head of a conquered enemy and are filled with a metric shit ton of chemical and biological agents.
When they explode the resulting shrapnel carries deadly toxins and contagions that can penetrate cracks in armor, cause flesh to boil and slough away, and fill the air with blinding spores, all the while keeping the victim alive until the very end.
Sometimes, the Death Guard can be less disgusting and use a bleached skull instead. Of course, it would be one hell of a sight seeing Chaos Space Marines lobbing over exploding decapitated heads as grenades. Of all the possible ways to dies, death by exploding head is one of the more....unique we would say.
The opposite of anti-infantry grenades. These grenades are meant to disable to outright destroy vehicles ranging from scout bikes to tanks. As such, some of these devices has a explosive shaped charge meant to penetrate armor rather than the omnidirectional blast of normal frag grenades.
The Yin to the Frag's Yang. Krak Grenades otherwise known as simply Kraks, are the quintessential anti-tank grenade used predominantly by the Imperium. Designed to "crack" open armored targets such as vehicles through a concentrated implosive blast. However, the krak grenade must be placed more carefully on the target than frag grenades, because their explosive radius is only half that of a frag grenade.
Typically Krak Grenades are attached directly onto vehicles or fortifications with magnetic, adhesive or physical clamps, maximizing their effect on the target. They can also be used against monstrous creatures (such as the larger Tyranid bioforms), when they are attached to the creature's carapace before detonation.
Krak grenades are commonly used by the Imperial Guard, Sisters of Battle, loyal Space Marines, and Chaos Space Marines. Kraks are often thrown underneath the vehicle so as to maximize the implosive radius and target the weak underbelly of most vehicles.
Blasting Charges on steroids. The Demolition Charge is a short range explosive carried primarily by the Imperial Guard. It is effective simply because of its strength but has a dangerously short range (as far as a person can throw it). This short range makes it just as dangerous for the attacker as it is for the defender.
"Demo Charges" are primarily used to damage or destroy tanks, fortifications and buildings. However, it can also act as anti-personnel weapons, although the power of the typical explosive charge would be a tad overkill and a waste of explosives.
A standard-type charge looks similar to a flattened cylinder and weighs around two kilos and detonates upon impact after being activated and thrown. Its lethality-sphere is supposed to be around twenty meters. Demolition charges are not always standardized, however, and often are actually improvised in the field. As a result, there are numerous variances in weight, appearance and detonation method. A common improvised demolition charge is simply a group of tube-charges taped together and set off remotely by wire or timed detonation-tape.
See main page here: Melta Bomb
A Melta Bomb is a type of explosive charge belonging to the Melta design tree. Typical examples have dimensions analogous to that of a grenade, but can be larger. When activated, they explode with intense thermal energy, 'melting' the target away. Like all melta-weapons, melta bombs are especially useful for attacking vehicles, buildings and other armored targets.
They are used by being attached or thrown to walls, hulls or bulkheads and have an integral timer that can be set for one hour. When it comes to tank hunting, it is often optimal to attach the bomb on the side of back of a vehicle (Or any area that serves as a 'blind spot'). Unlike the smaller Kraks, it is not advisable to throw one due to the weapon's weight and size being a hindrance.
The most common munitions dumped by Imperial Naval Aircraft such as the Marauder Bomber. Heavy Bombs are aircraft weapons that is used in conventional bombing runs. Though they cannot be fitted to the Marauder Destroyer variant. They are an ordnance weapon capable of crippling infantry, light to medium vehicles and buildings, weighing between 1,000 and 1,500 pounds each.
On tabletop, in three times a game the Marauder can bomb a unit on the field. Roll dice to stack mortal wounds on the target: 3d6 per vehicle/monster or d6 for every other model - every 4+ causes a mortal wound.
Although it has a model, it is barely given screen time due to the fact that they are usually housed internally within the Marauder.
The Imperial MOAB, for when you want to nuke an area without going full nuclear. Only the Colossus Marauder is modified to carry this big bastard, and it could only carry one.
The Colossus Bomb features a diamantine armor-penetrating tip, a mass reactive fuse, and an internal Melta Warhead, all of which is backed up with 10,000 kilograms of high explosives. The bomb features a guidance system that is controlled from the craft that guides it to its target accurately, adjusting its tail fins until the moment of contact. Given the Armor Penetrating head the most direct real world comparison would be "Earthquake bombs", which burrow into the earth before exploding destroying targets via making an underground cavity, which then collapse in, bringing the structure in with it.
It is of no surprise that this monster of a weapon has been used by the Imperial Navy as an effective Titan killer, since a direct hit from the weapon will result in catastrophic damage to any target, including God-Machines and super-heavy tanks such as the Baneblade and Shadowsword.
Ork Melta Bombs, although it would be more accurate to call it a anti-tank shaped charge.
Tankbusta Bombs are heavy magnetic discs size and shape of manhole covers. They are directional and are used when Stikkbombs simply aren't sufficient to destroy something (and as such are more attractive to many Orks).
They are attached to the vehicles by magnetic clamps and detonated with deadly efficiency. They are commonly used by Tankbustas and Kommandos. They were best seen during the intro cinematic of Dawn of War where one of the Boyz manage to turn the Dreadnought inside out.
Likewise, due to its size, only one Tankbusta Bomb can be carried by a single Tankbusta. However, it ain't feasible to see an entire squad of Tankbustas all carrying around these giant magnet of doom.
Unfortunately, despite this hunk of awesomeness, they only appear in the intro for Dawn of War for....reasons. However, it could be stated that these bombs was also seen attached on Bomb Squigs during Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. On tabletop, Tankbusta Bombs can only be thrown one at a time unless you use the new Stikkbombs strategem to throw up to 10 and equate to a Rokkit Launcha with D3 shots and D6 damage.
These bombs look like your conventional WW2 gravity bombs with a fin stabilizer and all. Whilst it can kill a bunch of infantry, it is mostly use to blow the hatch (Or the entire turret) off an armored vehicle before the aircraft unloads its other payload of Boyz or Dakka.
On tabletop, for the Warkopta, you get two of these for free. Drop them on units you move over, deals a mortal wound to each model in the unit (max 5) on a 5+. For the Deffkopta, you can get one of these for no points (which is probably why the Kopta itself costs so much), so you probably should do that. Once per game it can be dropped after moving over the target in the Movement Phase, delivering damage the same as the one on the Warkopta.
The lazily named Bomm is essentially the Ork equivalents of Imperial Bombs. They can be mounted on almost any Ork aircraft, including Fightas, Fighta-Bommers and Heavy Bommers. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they usually look like an upscaled Bigbomm (The irony is not lost on this one) with an enlarged fin stabilizer packed with as much explosives as possible.
Fightas and Fighta-Bommers can only carry around one-to-four Bomms in total, the Fighta-Bommer could carry three Bomms per wing if there is enough modifications. What you want is to have the Heavy Bommers, 'cause this bird can carry a metric shit ton of Bomms to effectively nuke the entire area in a single bombing run. Seems to be slowly phased out by either Rokkits, Burna Bombs or Boom Bombs.
The big cheese of Ork bombs short of nukes. Boom Bombs (AKA Boom Bomms) are heavier versions of a standard Ork Bomm. These huge, crude and unsubtle bombs serve as the main armament of Blitza-Bommers as they are the only aircraft big enough to carry one of these under their wings. For some reason, you would expect the Heavy Bommer to be able to carry a number of these, but they can't.
On tabletop, Boom Bombs count VEHICLES and MONSTERS as three models when working out how many dice they get to roll for mortal wounds - and they inflict mortal wounds to all targets on 4s, while Burna-Bommers' Burna Bombs require 5s for non-INFANTRY. Bomb squadrons of smaller vehicles for maximum pain.
Eldar EMP grenades in a nutshell.
Haywire Grenades are used by both the Eldar, Harlequin and Dark Eldar for disabling enemy vehicles. Each one sends out a pulse of electromagnetic energy which shorts out electrical wires and disrupts many energy systems. They don't have any effect on biological creatures.
In 1st Edition, Haywire Grenades emitted a massive pulse of electro-magnetic energy primarily designed to destroy electronic systems, but could also affect the neural systems of nearby organisms.
An EMP Grenade also known as Pulse Grenades, is a type of Tau grenade that is sometimes issued to Fire Caste infantry such as Fire Warriors and Pathfinders. EMP Grenades as its name implies, briefly emit an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) upon detonation, which can overload electronic circuitry, causing anything from minor malfunctions in electronics to fires, complete meltdowns and other critical malfunctions.
On a vehicle/robot the havoc is enough to at the very least disable them temporarily, or, more often than not, cause some form of catastrophic failure in a system, leading to an explosive reaction for the unfortunate vehicle or robotic construct.
It is, like the Eldar Haywire Grenades, almost useless against regular infantry or anything biological like the Tyranids.
Tactical or utility grenades aren't meant to kill or maim its targets, rather they are meant to create affects that puts the target at a temporary disadvantage. This includes blinding them, creating a smokescreen or stunning them.
Smoke Grenades are one of the most common form of tactical grenades. When people think of non-lethal grenades, the Smoke Grenade comes into mind.
A Smoke Grenade is a simple metallic canister designed to emit a thick, persistent smoke cloud in order to shroud an opponent's vision. Related to, but not as effective as Blind Grenades, Smoke Grenades are used by the military forces of the Imperium of Man as a tool to take tactical control over the battlefield. The most notable users being Primaris Infiltrators.
However, there exist many technologies among the various intelligent species of the galaxy that are more than capable of penetrating the simple visual obfuscation caused by smoke. This can make these grenades ineffective in this role against certain well-equipped foes.
Blind grenades are a more complex version of a smoke grenade, releasing a dense dark grey smoke cloud as well as infrared bafflers and broad spectrum electro-magnetic radiation and chaff to disrupt enemy scanners. The broad range of interference makes most forms of direct attack through it impossible, though the effect only lasts for a short time and the cloud can quickly dissipate given the correct weather conditions.
As mentioned above, a variant of Blind Grenade used by the Blood Ravens Astartes chapter releases a bright flash of energy that incapacitates rather than harms its targets. This type of blind grenade does not work on vehicles or infantry units that are inside of a building.
Here's a fun fact, the cannon appearance of Blind Grenades look like three doughnuts duct taped together.
The ACTUAL 40k Flashbangs.
A Shock Grenade is a non-lethal type of Imperial grenade designed to produce a blinding flash of light and loud, raucous noise without causing permanent injury. Shock Grenades are most often used by the Reiver Squads of Primaris Space Marine formations who deploy them to stun the enemy long enough for the Reivers to launch a close assault that makes quick work of the foe.
Shock Grenades are known to be shaped similarly to that of a Krak Grenade. Why they made it like this, we have no idea. They differentiate themselves from Kraks by having what appears to be a glass casing filled with a yellow substance (possible the pyrotechnic chemicals needed to shoot out the bright flashes). Of course, whilst it is not lethal, holding one when it is about to blow would result in losing one's hand.
Mindscrambler grenades are a special type of grenade only used by the Adeptus Mechanicus and most commonly issued to Sicaran Ruststalkers. The munition contains the egg-sac of a Cthellan electrogenesis squid. When detonated, the resultant surge of bio-electricity causes heavy neural trauma to any living creature and artificial sentience alike. It's basically a reverse EMP grenade that gives targets PTSD.
Whilst no canon model exists for the Mindscrambler Grenade, it is heavily hinted that the small pouch next to the Ruststalker ammunition accessory model, may actually contain the grenades (The larger pouches obviously stores the ammunition for the Ruststalker's Flechette Blaster).
In 7th Edition, these things are AP4 Haywire Grenades that always wound on a 4+ (They become S3 when assaulting vehicles). This specifically isn't Poisoned, so you can screw with Monstrous/Gargantuan Creatures with that. As such, they are pretty awesome.
The Stasis Bomb is a deadly archaic weapon only utilised by the Dark Angels Space Marine Chapter and the Successor Chapters of the Unforgiven. The Stasis Bomb is an archaic holdover from the Dark Age of Technology, and is deployed by the Dark Angel aircraft such as the Ravenwing Dark Talon that is a part of the armory of the Dark Angels' elite 2nd Company.
Basically a time bomb, the blast of a Stasis Bomb causes a degree of damage but, more importantly, will momentarily halt the flow of time.
While the actual suspension of the normal flow of the space-time continuum is measured in mere milliseconds, this unnatural disruption to the time stream has lingering effects on those in close proximity to such a blast, causing gut-wrenching disorientation and slowing their reaction times, making them ripe for a good old fashion Dark Angel Blamming.
A smaller variant is called the Stasis Grenade although it is much rarer.
Tau Flashbangs, with more emphasis on the flash and less on the bang.
Photon grenades are designed to emit an extremely bright pulse of multi-spectrum light which will damage any viewing equipment or optical devices. This will blind them and make them effectively put them into a protracted state of shock, during which time they cannot defend themselves.
Tau photon grenades are designed to emit a sonic blast and a pulse of multi-spectrum light. They can be thrown by hand or fired from a Pulse Carbine.
The Imperium makes use of a photon grenade known as a photon flash or simply a flash grenade but in lesser amounts. This could be due to the fact that the Imperium has a lot of choices to choose from such as Blind or Smoke Grenades.
AKA, the LSD Grenade. Hallucinogen grenades are used as psychological weapons. They release a cloud of invisible gas which has strange and unpredictable effects on the minds of those inhaling it. These effects usually have the result of taking the victim out of combat or making him turn against his allies; effects range from turning victims into passive zombies or idiots, to producing delusions, paranoia and hallucination.
Only those with armor which seals them from the local environment (Such as Power Armor, which means most Space Marines are gonna laugh it off) are unaffected by hallucinogenic gas. Though the effect may be much strong on the victim, it is usually short-lived and ceased soon.
These grenades can be thrown or launched from a backpack grenade launcher.
Hence, these grenades are popular among the Dark Eldar and Harlequins who use various forms of hallucinogenic weaponry, such as terrorfex grenades. The more prolific user of these grenades are the Shadowseers whose Pack Grenade Launchers lob them like there is not tomorrow.
These are grenades and explosives deemed too weird, bizarre or unique. They are often their own category as they do not follow into the normal conventions of a grenade. Basically, these are the super weird ones.
See main page here: Vortex Grenade
The most known of the exotic grenades. Vortex Grenades are grenades that open up a tear in reality and sucks in everything within the Warp much like that of a black hole. For all intents and purposes, Vortex Grenades are pretty similiar to Eldar D-Cannons, which are warp weapons, however the Imperium can not fully control the vortices of the Warp unlike the Eldar. Therefore, these vortices are doubly dangerous, as once they are created they behave in an unpredictable and uncontrollable manner. They may shrink, expand, vanish, remain for long periods of time, move or even divide. For this reason, they can be as deadly to their user as their intended targets.
Due to this, Vortex Grenades are very difficult and expensive to produce; reserved only for the most elite and accomplished of warriors/servants of the Emperor. Seeing as how these grenades are nothing more than a piece of glassball barely holding in the power of the Warp, a simple detonator is needed to let the whole thing go to literal hell. Everyone and everything encompassed by the vortex is destroyed; all matter and energy is drawn through the vortex and it is turned into the very stuff of the warp.
Another well known exotic grenade. Psyk-Out weapons have similar effects to Psycannon bolts; they are anti-psyker weapons meant to fuck with the psychic stability of the target. Psyk-Out weapons could take both grenade and missile form.
When they detonate they release fine dust particles which are heavily impregnated with negative psychic energy. This form of energy is extremely rare; in all of human space it can be obtained only as a by-product of the Emperor's metabolism.
Using the material to create anti-psyker weapons is considered by many to be a great waste, and their issue is strictly controlled. Psyk-Out weapons are useless against non-psychic targets. Against psychic creatures such as daemons and psykers, however, their effects are devastating.
Hand-held dirty bombs.
Rad Grenades are weapons utilized by Inquisitors of the Ordo Xenos or Space Marines. Rad grenades detonate in a shower of tiny, radioactively-contaminated fragments. Each particle's radioactive emissions have a millisecond half-life, ensuring that the thrower can charge in without exposing himself to contamination. Nevertheless, those enemies caught in the initial blast will feel the rad grenade's debilitating influence for some time afterwards.
It is unknown whether the AdMech utilizes Rad Grenades, but seeing as how they are always the main users of Radium Weaponry, it would not be surprising in the slightest if we see some Skitarii scuttering around with a bag of these.
The Void Mine is one of the most feared weapons employed by the Dark Eldar.
Delivered with pinpoint accuracy by Voidraven Bombers, the void mine has two warheads, the first detonates a split second before the other. The first has no direct effect, it merely creates a bubble in reality that protects everything outside and condemns everything within. The second contains a particle of darklight, which when introduced into realspace produces a catastrophic implosion. If it were not for the initial bubble in reality, the Voidraven would also meet its end. As it is, though, anything caught within the crackling sphere is all but annihilated and a hemispherical crater is all that remains in the void mines wake.
These bad boys despite being called a mine, acts more like a bomb and are so big that even a Voidraven Bomber could only carry one Void Mine per mission. Henceforth, Voidraven pilots are often quite pickish when it comes to murderfucking units with the Void Mine.