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Are melee attacks even useful?


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#1 Doctor Badass

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:46 AM

 Can someone please explain to me why, in the revised ruleset, one would bother to equip a character with both melee and ranged weapons?

i've played quite a few games already, but so far the usefulness of a back-up weapon eludes me. As I understand, melee attacks allow you to target adjacent opponents out-of-path, while ranged attacks do not. While that might come in handy once in a blue moon, it doesn't seem worth the equipment slot such an item takes up. I prefer blazing away with automatic fire at adjacent enemies any day! The old rules gave every weapon type a minumum range; melee could attack adjacent circles, pistols needed one circle space between the target, automatics required two and heavy guns required three. I'm the first one to admit the old rules stank to high heaven, but at least this bit -flawed as it is- makes melee attacks useful to have. 

Anyway, I was wondering if I'd missed something… In my humble opinion, a hybrid rule between old an new might be a solution. For instance, you could say only melee attacks and pistols can target opponents in adjacent circles, while melee attacks can also target out-of-path victims. Heavy and Automatic weapons can only fire at targets that are at least two circles away (i.e. one circle between attacker and target). I feel this somehow better reflects reality. After all, there was a reason why WWI troopers sharpened their shovels for close quarters combat, eschewing their long and unwieldy rifles.

Thoughts from the community?



#2 PsychoWolf

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:42 PM

I think they are not completely useless. Of course they won't be used very often, but in case of a failed Bull Rush a Hand-to-Hand Weapon really is worth his price (equipment slot.)

Also for Shogunate characters their Melee attacks are much more powerful than their Pistols.



#3 Doctor Badass

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:04 PM

PsychoWolf said:

I think they are not completely useless. Of course they won't be used very often, but in case of a failed Bull Rush a Hand-to-Hand Weapon really is worth his price (equipment slot.)

Also for Shogunate characters their Melee attacks are much more powerful than their Pistols.

I must admit that in case of a failed Bull Rush, you are right. However, in 10+ games played so far the necessity for attempting a Bull Rush has not yet surfaced.

I also haven't played Shogunate yet, so I wasn't aware. The fact that these guys swing around huge swords honed to a razor edge should justify them being more powerful than a pistol - so that seems well done.

Perhaps I should ask the following instead: has anyone here houseruled melee attacks in their games to make them more useful? If so, why and how did you change the rules? Of course I might just be the only one bothered by this (in which case I'll have to review my opinion on melee, perhaps) but I imagine there are others out there…



#4 ??!

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:32 AM

Doctor Badass said:

 Can someone please explain to me why, in the revised ruleset, one would bother to equip a character with both melee and ranged weapons?

Several important points have already been stated, as the ability to attack through doors, the possibility to have a powerful melee weapon plus a rather lame ranged weapon and the improved attack after a failed Bull Rush - with Bull Rushes are used more often if certain characters can't be targeted by attacks or if a character blocks the entrance to an important part of the board.

But considering your question, there is another important point: You don't have a choice! Using the Revised ruleset, you may not choose any Equipment tokens that you like, but you have to use one of the equipment packs given in the rule book. So if the character you want to use is always equipped with a ranged weapon and a melee weapon, you just have to equip both. Or if you want to use an equipment pack including powerful tokens but also a rather weak melee weapon, you just have to use all of the pack's tokens or take another pack. I think sometimes an equipment pack including several powerful tokens is deliberately "balanced out" by adding a weak melee weapon instead of another useful token, but that's just my opinion.

So, depending on a character's packs, you often have to equip a character with both a ranged weapon and a melee weapon even if you don't think it's useful. But of course you could just trade the melee weapon for a Bonus token.



#5 Moebius

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:26 AM

On the bull rush: This is actually a feature very often used if you play CTF or Domination as placing a high stamina character in a key circle is the way to deny the opponent entrance to a part of the map or a room where a flag may be  placed. It is also the best way to de-cloak hoax or to damage a un-targetable character if you have the correct bonus token.

On the melee rules. Here is the home rules I use, heavily insipired in the melee rules created by artemus maximus (not to say blatantly copied and happily adopted).

Whenever a character attacks using a melee weapon place a melee marker between the two characters, therefore these characters are considered "engaged in melee".

A character engaged in melee may only use his action in two ways attack using a melee weapon or a pistol, or use his action to break the melee thus removing the melee marker.

A character engaged in melee may move away from the melee but before the movement, the "fleeing" character will receive a free melee attack from the other character engaged in that melee unless a command point is spent to avoid this, this attack uses all normal rules as any other attack.

This rule means that characters are trapped in melee unless they spend their activation escaping or suffer an attack. I have played many games with these rules and they open a whole new tactical dimension to the game, also they help shogunate a bit which is welcome as they are under strenghted. By the way we also homeruled Hoss to be both shogunate and Reich much like Oksana is Matriarchy and Union, this also helped Shogunate to even out vs other factions and made shogunate more appealing for players.



#6 Doctor Badass

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:05 AM

??! said:

But considering your question, there is another important point: You don't have a choice! Using the Revised ruleset, you may not choose any Equipment tokens that you like, but you have to use one of the equipment packs given in the rule book.

I think that might be the most important reason: balancing. I suppose that does make sense… 

I'll play a few more games first, keeping in mind melee's strong points before deciding whether or not to houserule things. Right now I have the impression it might be best to just leave things the way they are ;-)

Thanks for sharing your views!



#7 k7e9

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:56 AM

I've not played much, but I've found that having a strong melee character guarding a door (i.e. standing right behind it) can be of great use. For example placing a mutant trooper (stosstruppen  right?) behind a door in the corridor in the temple of kiaz(?) can be really beneficial. The enemy needs to take a long detour to get to you without having to take the risk of bull rushing your trooper, and the reichs many out-of-path attacks can be used effectively from a safe distance.

The enemy cannot attack the melee guy with ranged weapons, since he's out of path, and a bull rush is risky as explained above (especially when having both supernatural strength and immunity to pain like the stosstruppen).

In one of our games the mutant trooper was really the one that held the Reich team together (even if they lost in the end).






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