IMPORTANT: This page was written at a time when the only rules for Co-Ax weapons were in Imperial Armour, and a plastic baneblade kit didn’t exist. That said, as this page has been viewed more than any other on my blog I’ve decided to update it, four years too late, but if you find this helpful (or not) please feel free to comment.


 

I have spent my morning at work thinking about Co-Axial weapons, or the lack of them.

If you’re not familiar with the term ‘Co-axial’, they’re basically an extra weapon, usually with a high fire rate (often something like a Heavy Stubber or an Autocannon) mounted in parallel to a much bigger gun, which is in turn mounted on a vehicle (you don’t say…). The thinking behind mouning a weapon in this way is that the model can essentially fire ‘tracer rounds’ at a target, making any subsequent shots from the ‘Big gun’ it’s attached to more accurate.

baneblade turret
Baneblade Super-Heavy Turret with Co-axial Autocannon

In Warhammer 40k you see co-axial weapons most often on Super-Heavies like Baneblades (see right), but there are, or at least were, a few more of them than people think.There are two forge world vanquisher variants for instance (from when the Vanquisher had rules but no plastic kit) that come with Co-axial weapons.

I also believe the Imperial Knight Battle Cannon has a ‘Co-axial-weapon-that-isn’t-actually-co-axial‘ modeled on to it.

Vanquisher
Leman Russ Vanquisher (Ryza Pattern) with Co-Axial weapon

“Co-axial” as a rule isn’t especially well known, and has always existed on the fringes of the core rules, in the first versions of Apocalypse and Imperial Armour primarily. If you heard someone talk about them, ‘Googled’ the term and that bought you here, rest assured you’re not alone.

 

 

As of 7th Edition and the Escalation rule-set however, the rule no longer formally exists. This is a bit sad, as the rule made a lot of sense where now they are simply treated as any other weapon, declaring and resolving at the same time as everything else.

This doesn’t sound too bad until you see it in practice. In the case of the Baneblade, which has a turret with a 360 arc, you can theoretically fire the Baneblade cannon at something directly ahead on the other side of the battlefield, but fire the Autocannon at something behind you (or in the air above you!)  even though it’s actually modeled as part of the same weapon in most cases, literally fused together.

Silly, no?

My Solution

These are the rules I tend to use to represent my models that have Co-axial weapons modeled onto them. The explanation for counting them as one weapon is so that you get a ‘downside’ without having to balance the points cost upward to compensate for the advantages. I hope you can see where I’m going with it.

Anyway:

{Co-Axial Weapon Rules for 7th Edition}

A Co-Axial weapon is always fitted in parallel with a vehicle’s Primary Weapon. If the vehicle does not have a gun with the Primary Weapon rule (i.e, it’s not a super-heavy) then the ‘Primary Weapon’ is simply the gun with which it shares a mounting point on the model.  Attacks that would destroy the Primary Weapon destroy the co-axial weapon, and vice-versa. If one has to snap fire, they both do, and vice-versa.. They are not rolled for as separate weapons when working out vehicle damage.

When a vehicle declares a target for the Primary Weapon (and any other weapons it may have), you may choose to resolve the shooting attack of any co-axial weapons first, slightly out of sequence; If a hit is scored with the co-axial weapon then the Primary Weapon gains the {Twin Linked} universal special rule for the duration of that phase.

Co-axial weapons can never Target Flyers. If the Primary Weapon can target a flying unit and chooses to do so, the Co-axial weapon and it’s rules are ignored.

Here’s hoping these rules make sense to you.

Mat

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