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I've been looking for a few weeks now, I've read a lot of the book and have tried searching online, but I haven't been able to find anything about wielding two two-handed weapons, one in each hand, or even about whether I can wield a single two-handed weapon in one hand. I'd be pretty happy with an answer either way, it's just not really mentioned anywhere that I can see.

It's probably mostly a Black Crusade thing. I doubt the other WH40k games would have the issue come up often, but I have a 12 Strength bonus at the moment (inclusive of unnatural) and I'm thinking it makes sense that I could, but also it might be game-breaking if I did.

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5 Answers 5

It is actually possible for a space marine to dual wield two-handed weapons, though a DM might not allow it.
In BC, space marines are automatically ambidextrous. And, as a space marine, you can take a power armor mod called 'Recoil Suppression' that lets you use Basic weapons one handed without the penalty.1 Slap on the Two Weapon Fighter (Ranged) talent, and you're good to go. Although any shots are going to be at a -10 for both weapons. Not much of a problem if you're fighting hordes, though.
Note that while this works for things like Legion Bolters and stuff, it won't work for any weapon heavier than Basic. So no dual-wielding lascannons, sorry.

A normal human could also do this with pistol-gripped (a weapon upgrade) weapons (say two autoguns) and the Two Weapon Fighter (ranged) talent. And perhaps the Ambidextrous talent, too.

Enjoy your heretical dakka, traitor!


1 Further supporting my assertion, I found this piece of text while crawling the book again (p. 244):

"If a character with the Two-Weapon Wielder (Ballistic) Talent is armed with two pistols (or two other ranged weapons that can reasonably be wielded in one hand)."

So one needs to be able to reasonably convince their DM that the recoil suppression on SM armor allows one-handing bolters freely. Or simply use smaller bolters.
Not sure how this applies to human characters, unfortunately.

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The first answer that comes to mind is: Yes, if you're a Space Marine wielding two-handed weapons designed for normal people.

That's less from a rules perspective, and more from a thematic one. You might be strong enough to wield a zweihander one-handed, but directing it is another matter - two hands gives you control as well as power. A Space Marine has power-armour that assists with grip and control - as well as being larger than a normal person to begin with.

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After a lengthy search, including the other game-lines in the 40kRPG series, I would surmise that NO, you cannot dual wield two-handed weapons. Especially in terms of Deathwatch, and the somewhat limited wargear options, dual wielding two Power Claymores would quickly make that character more powerful than any other melee fighter, making it a game-winning strategy.

Furthermore, the lore supports the idea that dual wielding two-handed weapons is a very rare trait - the only mention I can think of is Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters. Considering he was a Primarch (and probably the strongest of their number) so instantly far larger than a normal Space Marine, it makes sense for him to be able to do it, like a Space Marine can easily dual wield 2 human-sized great weapons.

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The answer is no, it is not covered in the core rules.

As the rules (well, the Deathwatch rules which are akin to Dark Crusade) cover in detail the game mechanical effects of dual wielding, and they make no mention of the option for "larger" weapons one handed. The same rules have two handed great-swords used by some marine chapters, and they are wielded two-handed. In the absence of a R.A.W. citation, I'd say no to allowing it. Your group can always say yes obviously.

Remember too that a marine's standard sword is probably the size of a normal person's great weapon, so a chainsword or energy blade is already probably 5+ feet long, and the marine can only use them because they are 8-10 feet tall and greatly enhanced by the gene-seed.

I also think a high Strength score is not enough of a justification alone for using a weapon that large one-handed. The holder will have problems with leverage, strain, physical coordination, etc. Even space marine powered armor is probably not enough of a boost to allow it.

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Alright, let me answer this from a lore and logic point of view, as well as taking realistic circumstances into account.

As already mentioned by ironboundtome, Space Marine weapons are already larger than those of reuglar humans to make up for their size, this means that a Space Marine chainsword is probably too heavy to be used by any kind of human in one hand, and probably not even with two hands unless he is the new hulk of the imperium.

Now, by means of Strength it should be no problem for a space marine to simply carry two large weapons, however, it should be a problem to use them continiously. If we look at the animations of Space Marines in like, let's say the Space Marine video game (not saying its a good source of perfectly researched lore and such, just taking it as an example) then you can clearly see that when wielding two handed weapons they don't fling them arround like little toys.

Even if Strength wouldn't be a problem- have you ever tried to use two two-handed wooden swords as a kid? Fighting with two weapons is a hard enough task as it is- now taking into consideration how LONG those are in this example it gets really hard. Once you get swing into a heavy object it logically takes time to stop it, or change its direction, this gets even worse the longer the weapon gets which is why they usually have a larger handle to use both hands at once in order to be able to use the 2nd hand to direct the weapon and movements of it.

However, I think it depends on the weapon, and how the character intends to use it. I for myself would probably allow it, but make it harder to use both weapons as it is obviously a more difficult task than simply attacking with two normal sized weapons.

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