How To Use Pistols In Warhammer 40k 9th Edition


This is a full breakdown of how to use pistols in Warhammer 40k 9th Edition. Pistols are always confusing in Warhammer 40k. This is because it’s a secondary weapon or “extra gun.”  However, with pistols, you can shoot in close combat.

We have a breakdown of pistols and other guns available for Space Marines here.

Click here to watch out video breakdown of how pistols work in Warhammer 40k 9th Edition!

Actually Using Pistols In Warhammer 40k 9th Edition.

Let’s break down exactly what pistols are and why they’re so good.

In Warhammer 40k 9th Edition, you have something called engagement range. This is when an opposing miniature is within one inch of your miniature. When that happens you are in close combat.

You definitely need to know how to use bolt pistols in Warhammer 40k 9th Edition.

Now you’re in close combat. Pistols have a weird rule that says they are allowed to fire while in engagement range or close combat. The catch is, they can only target models that are engaged in combat with them.

So if you’ve got a group of five dudes and you’re engaged with an enemy unit, they can only fire their pistol at them.

And then there’s a second rule. That would be the fact that you can’t fire any other weapons. So if you’ve got a bolt gun, a plasma gun, and a pistol, you can either fire the bolt gun and the plasma gun.

But you cannot fire the bolt gun and the bolt pistol.

Why is that?

Because that’s how the rules have stated it.

If you have a second pistol you can however fire both. Believe it or not, there are some models that can dual wield pistols.  That’s really cool because they can zip around the board and fire both pistols at once.

Plus, if they’re in close combat, they can still fire their pistols.

With that being said, pistols tend to have a much shorter range than any other gun in the game. So typically it’s like a backup weapon for when you are in close combat.

Examples of how to use pistols in Warhammer 40k 9th Edition

Some pistols are incredible.

How to use pistols with Harlequins in Warhammer 40k 9th Edition

For example, the fusion pistols that Harlequins have. It’s a strength eight pistol and because of the new melta rules, it does D6 +2 damage, which is incredible!

Because of that, the Harlequins can move up to you, shoot you within six inches, charge into close combat, and beat you up.

Then if you’re still alive, because you have invulnerable saves of 4 up. In the next shooting phase, they’re going to blast you in the face with that fusion pistol again.

If you aren’t familiar with Hareliquin’s they are part of the Eldar Faction. You can learn more about them by clicking here.

Pistols can be a powerful weapon. Keep in mind that if you’re firing your pistol or pistols, you can’t fire any other weapon while you’re firing them.

How Pistols Work During Engagement

The next big question that people ask is “If my model has a pistol and there’s another unit fighting in engagement, but my unit is not in engagement range can they shoot into combat?”

This is where it can get confusing.

Some say that pistols can shoot into combat. But that’s not actually true.

They can only shoot into combat with someone that unit is in engagement range with.

That’s when “rule specifics” come into use. Now you can turn the game in your own favor.

On top of that, you can usually have squads with three units or more. This gives you more pistol shots, plus an increase to your melee power to throw at them.

With units in engagement towards the enemy. They can fire at them because they are engaged with them. Which means I am allowed to fire back into them.

So you basically get the perk of being in combat, without actually being in combat.

That should be everything you need to know about how to use pistols going into Warhammer 40k 9th Edition.

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