Can Powerfists turn off allowing me to use my initiative in close-combat and sacrifice the increased strength and benefits of a power weapon?Quick answer: No. On page 42 of the rule book under the "A normal and a special weapon" header it reads:
These models gain one additional attack. All of their attacks, including the bonus attack, benefit from the special weapon's bonuses.Now you may be wondering why this is such a big deal. Well let me give you a scenario: a lone powerfist-wielding sergeant assaults 20 grots with two runtherds. If the sergeant's powerfist attacks are used, the grots will strike first dealing out 20 attacks, 10 hits, 1.667 wounds plus the runtherd's 4 attacks, 2 hits, 1 wound. Therefore, because the sarge used the powerfist attacks, the grots have an 89% chance of killing him.
This time, the sarge will use his normal attacks and have the benefit of initiative. He has 2 base attacks, plus 1 for charging. 3 attacks with 2 hits and 1.667 grots are killed. If he only kills one, the grots chance of killing the sarge goes down to 86% and if the sarge kills two it goes down to 83%. Yeah, it's not much, but by choosing whether or not to use the powerfist or normal CCW, the Space Marine player is able to cut the statistical chance that his sergeant will be killed!
Terran Forge Final Opinion: You cannot turn a powerfist, or any special weapon, off. If a model is wielding a special weapon and a normal weapon, all attacks use the special weapon's bonuses.
Yes, this question is from the same thread but is very interesting and ties into the above (kinda).
Does Marneus Calgar get the bonus attack for having two powerfists even though he also has a powersword?First thought: WTF? Yes, you rules-lawyer! But think about it for a second, like I did. The Space Marine codex lists his two powerfists as one weapon entry, the Gauntlets of Ultramar (which are a pair of matching powerfists). His wargear entry also lists a powersword. So perhaps Games Workshop specifically wrote these wargear items out like this to tie into page 42 of the rulebook under the "Two different special weapons" header which states:
When it is their turn to attack, these models must choose which weapon to use that turn, but they never get the bonus attacks for using two weapons.The shear act of choosing a weapon to fight with seems to deny the extra attack for two close-combat weapons. Plus, perhaps GW specifically added Calgar's extra profile attack (he has 4 opposed to every other character in the book who only has 3) to make up for this? I mean he gets to choose either powerfists or powersword. High strength, low initiative or high initiative, medium strength. Both ignoring armor saves. BAD-ASS! Honestly, I think this makes him more of a threat in close-combat despite not having the extra attack.
Still, though, why give him two powerfists if he isn't going to get the bonus? The logic above seems right, but it feels weird saying a model that clearly has two-powerfists does not gain the extra attack. Even using a RAW v. RAI argument is hard because RAW can be taken both ways (though I'd certainly lean more towards no extra CCW) and RAI can be taken both ways since it's hard to determine what is intended. Is Marneus supposed to be able to choose what weapon he uses AND get an extra attack with his powerfists? This is something you certainly have to discuss with an opponent every time you encounter Calgar, but we are still going to give you a ruling.
Terran Forge Final Opinion: Marneus Calgar does not receive the extra attack for having two powerfists. The ability to choose between powersword and powerfists is very powerful, especially since both weapons allow re-roll to wound. One extra attack isn't going to make a huge difference anyways, and it's always better to err on the side of caution. (Marneus calgar does need the attack anyways, his army synergy and relative power is already immense - Alex).
I emailed GW about the Calgar question in hope for a second opinion, but they have not responded yet. As soon as they do (or, well, if they ever do) I will amend the post with their opinion as well. As always, these FAQs are fan-produced and totally unofficial. If you have a question you'd like answered or have seen a very sketchy question floating around the internet, please feel free to email it to us at email@example.com!