To enemies of the Imperium in Warhammer 40,000, that is to say virtually everyone, the Bolter/Boltgun is a very irritating factor.

It is often lamented that the Space Marines, whilst good for a starting army, are too powerful, even though they are supposed to be the elite of the elite. In addition to their near impervious power armour, they are good at virtually every aspect of the game under the sun. Not excellent, but good.

This extends to their basic weapon, the boltgun, the scourge of every other race player in the game.It has a good range, and as has been explained elsewhere (autocannon node), it is a rapid fire weapon, with a strength of four and an AP of 5.

In real terms it means that the basic troops of virtually every other race, (the Tau and maybe Necrons are the exceptions that immediately come to mind) are hacked down in droves, especially as with the Space Marine's ballistic skill of four (subtract BS from 7) gives a 3+ on a D6 to hit. Two thirds of the time, in other words, well ahead of most other races who only hit maybe half of the time, due to their usual weapon skill of three.This is of course, assuming that the Space Marine is standing still and shooting at a target at 24" distance.

I hate boltguns. I really do.