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Advance specialties and ranged weapons

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#1 Moonshine Fox

Moonshine Fox


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Posted 19 March 2013 - 05:12 PM

I know that in both the game and all the literature and pictures, Astartes are often depicted as being glorified via close combat, locking swords and chopping foes down. This is seemingly reflected in most of the advanced specialties which focus on either melee mastery, or command positions. I'm playing a Long Fang though who is as masterful with his heavy weapons as any champion is with his sword, but I can't find any advanced specialty that really puts a focus on ranged mastery. The closest to that is limited to tech-priests only which doesn't help a Dev.

Does anyone know of any specialties, in one of the books or home brewed, that puts a focus on ranged combat. I'm about to just forget about an advanced specialty but I figured I'd ask my Battle Brothers on the forum here and see if y'all can help me out.


Moonshine Fox

#2 herichimo



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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:58 AM

Interestingly… or perhaps tellingly… it wasn't until 5th edition the whole marines are all melee centric came about.

Marines have always been shooting, I mean come on, the holy weapon of the Emperor's wrath used to get much more use. (Back when almost every enemy was T3… vs. T5) Once the melee edition (5th) came around, and the meta shifted to super-squads with butt-tons of power weapons attacking at high initiative with multiple, effective ranged weapons did the idea of marines prefering to lay waste to the Emperor's foes with the holy bolter fall out of favour. I mean come on, you want a unit that can only put out 2 shots the enemy gets saves, or a unit shooting 4 shots + charging in with 4 melee attacks each which doesn't allow saves all in the same turn (very slight exageration for dramatic effect)?

I won't even go very far into the current "destroy all established background for a buck" edition (very similar to 5th but now with "wizard did it" buffs and no counter I-win buttons [coughmindshacklecough])… But in the heyday, and according to Codex instruction marines do indeed prefer shooting. Yes, even the Blood Angels (who are actually at the core a codex chapter).

As for your question, I can agree many of the specialities seem slanted to melee. You cannot blame some of them though. A Chaplain should have a crozius as a sign of office, though the chaplain speciality has little in the way of melee talents. The same goes for the Captain speciality, the sword is just a sign of station. Unfortunately most of the advanced specialities seem to have a melee weapon as a "sign of station". It is a little overused. Take a look at the deathwatch veteran specialty, if memory serves it gives many bonuses which can be tailored to ranged fighting. Most of its special abilities are "experience" related, and a lot of the options in the advance tables is centered around getting good gear, though not specifically limited to melee gear.

#3 Nikollo



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Posted 14 April 2013 - 08:03 PM

You could always discuss the creation of a new class with your GM. Either the Core or Rites of Battle brings that up as a possibility, though they offer no rules for doing so beyond discussing with your GM appropriate talents and skills in their pricing in advancement. Or you could make a custom chapter and have it part of the chapter lore that those in certain positions carry gear unique to the chapter's traditions (specialized triple-barrelled bolter for Chaplains, a graviton gun for captains or veterans).

I did something similar with my own custom chapter. Each company has a distinctly different combat doctrine, and the company my character came from had a strong range and stealth focus, specializing in laying ambushes (Devastator, Honour Thy Wargear advancement table, Stoic demeanour). In this company, the Captain and all of his retinue wield sniper rifles of a chapter unique configuration. It came into play when we did an out-of-party roleplaying session between this captain and the captain from a custom chapter belonging to one of the players, involving a joint operation, and the forging of a chapter-alliance.

Don't be afraid to try and negotiate with your GM between sessions. Some really great stuff can come out of it.

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