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Colyer

Shooting While Engaged in Melee

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Hey guys,

So it's come up a couple times in our game and I can't for the life of me find anything about shooting while engaged in melee, only shooting into a melee (which gives the -20 unless you have Target Selection). I can guess at what limits should be imposed, but I'd really like to know what the book says and where. Thanks!

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RAW forget it, but tbh, I would handle it over WS to line up the shot since it covers pretty much any kind of melee and your opponent will be actively seeking to prevent you from getting your gun barrel in his direction, usually.

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Page 144 under Pistols:

These weapons are fired one-handed and can be used in close combat. However, when a Pistol weapon is used in close combat, the firer gains no bonuses or penalties to hit for range or targeting equipment. Pistols with the Scatter quality fired in melee are considered to be firing at Point-Blank range, but do not gain a +30 bonus for being at Point-Blank range.

 

Page 228 under Two-Weapon Fighting:

If a character with Two-Weapon Wielder (Melee) and Two Weapon Wielder (Ballistic) talent is armed with a Melee weapon in one hand and a one-handed ranged weapon in the other, he may perform a melee attack action [...] or a ranged attack action [...] with one weapon. He may then make a second melee attack action or ranged attack action with his secondary weapon. Any ranged weapon hits must be inflicted upon targets in melee. Resolve each attack separately by testing Weapon Skill for the melee weapon and Ballistic Skill for the ranged weapon.

 

Page 230 under Point-Blank Range

When a character makes a ranged attack against a target that is two metres away or closer, that target is at Point-Blank range. Ballistic Skill tests made to attack a target at this range gain a +30 bonus. This bonus does not apply when the attacker and the target are engagend in melee combat with each other [...]

 

That's all I could find. So following the rules it would be a BS based roll with modifiers for what kind of attack you fire. +10 for standard attack, +0 for semi, -10 for full auto.

Other boni/mali apply, except for range and equipment.

Edited by madMAEXX

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I'm pretty sure RAW that only pistol class weapons can be used in melee. Heavy/Basic cannot be.  Whether the book goes out of the way to say that or if you're left to figure it out based on things like what madmaexx quoted, I don't remember.

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In the book it says that Pistols can be used in Melee combat. It says the same thing for Melee Weapons (what a shock ;)). It doesn't say that for Basic/Heavy weapons. For me this strongly implicates that you can only shoot Pistol weapons while in Melee combat.

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Would you count the - 20 for shooting into engaged? If so, is Target Selection valid. Can one shoot at another target they aren't engaged with? Or are they limited to the big target in front of them. Seems it's all opinion at that point, and I have mine. But curious what others think.

Thanks for finding all that! I was scouring the book but looked in all the wrong places (I found point blank range, but thought it was a little inconclusive).

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I wouldn't count the -20 for shooting into Melee, because you don't have the risk to hit your ally, but I would say that you can only shoot targets that are in the same Melee with you. If there are more than one you can chose between them.

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Only Pistols are valid in melee, that is how it was ever ruled in the other systems and it seems to be the same here. You fire with the regular attack modifiers except any range one. The skill test required is BS and imho it should be. Though on the contrary we house-ruled that WS Parry tests can still work. In melee you are not exactly fighting with a gun like you would with a melee weapon though your opponent may still be able to push it aside. Melee focused skills should always be superior in melee.

 

Also I count the pistol to be a improvised weapon if it makes contact with a real melee weapon (i. e. parry) and hence I houseruled a base 25% chance to be damaged that adds up with the 75% of a power weapon. If you reinforce the weapon that 25% penalty is lost though power fields still have their 75%. A melee weapon might still be a piece of metal once it has gotten a dent where else a firearm is fragile mechanic where only one minor component has to be damaged to make the entire thing fail to work.

 

This way a gunslinger is still able to fight somewhat decent in melee and save his hide though it comes with a risk of loosing equipment (something every player fears) and so it is not a get go action to run into point blank and risk being engaged in melee for you still can full-auto to someones face resulting in damage only a decent melee character can reach with the needed talents.

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Also I count the pistol to be a improvised weapon if it makes contact with a real melee weapon (i. e. parry) and hence I houseruled a base 25% chance to be damaged that adds up with the 75% of a power weapon. If you reinforce the weapon that 25% penalty is lost though power fields still have their 75%. A melee weapon might still be a piece of metal once it has gotten a dent where else a firearm is fragile mechanic where only one minor component has to be damaged to make the entire thing fail to work.

 

I like that houserule. I think I'll adapt that for my games.

 

The big advantage pistols in Melee have over Melee weapons is, that you don't need talents to make multiple attacks. Everyone can shoot semi and full auto, but only dedicated Melee specialists can do Swift and Lightning attacks.

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On the other hand, melee weapons add SB to damage. Firearms are great until you run into someone or something whose shell they can't crack.

 

As far as weapon breaking while parrying goes, we do so as well, but it's far more handwaived there. Somethign canonically stated as insanely durable, like a las or plasma gun would need a power weapon to crack, for example, while more fragile constructions are far more easily damaged.

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As far as weapon breaking while parrying goes, we do so as well, but it's far more handwaived there. Somethign canonically stated as insanely durable, like a las or plasma gun would need a power weapon to crack, for example, while more fragile constructions are far more easily damaged.

 

Well these weapons can always count as being reinforced, actually that would make quite an interesting Lasgun pattern. Though being damaged is not the same for firearms like for a melee weapon. A firearm is composed of several elements that have to work perfectly together where else a melee weapon might just be a big slab of metal. A lasgun might be durable  but given that is is only 25% chance these resemble being hit on the barrel, trigger, focus lenses etc. and just a dent in the barell might make the lasgun shoot itself rather than the enemy.

 

Hitting someone with a rifle butt is still fine. Humans are soft but once you actually make contact with a dedicated melee weapon you are in serious danger of damaging that thing that is why I said only 25% break chance for contact with a melee weapon. The rifle butt is more a desperate action, if you prepare for melee you just take a bayonet and be fine. As for a plasma weapon getting hit on the magnetic accelerators or trigger might still be a problem though and these make up roughly 25% of the surface. A plasma weapon is durable but there is also a reason for them being treated with the utmost care and that is not just to their self-exploding behavior.

 

On the other side I though see that benefit of being more flexible with that though we prefer rather strict rules everyone knows beforehand and actually this gives a rather good reason NOT to use a plasma gun to smash someones head - as if there weren't enough.

 

Another method to make weapons more durable though would be to include the craftsmanship, a best craftsmanship gun that is less about bling but exceptional materials might also not "simply" break apart.

 

As for the Full-Auto vs. Lighting Attack thingy.

Especially in the early game Full-Auto is normaly vastly superior for there is no lightning attack and opponents do have rather weak TB and/or armor. It progresses through mid-game where melee weapons get noticeable stronger than melee weapons - righfully so.

 

The regular ranged warrior is about dodge and WS. At range that makes him a hero and in melee his defense works just as good where else his ranged might take a minor penalty. A melee warrior is about WS and hence naturally Parry though many still pick dodge though mostly never reach that high levels as others do. This turns them into God in melee whereelse they have no option at range rather than to lay suppresive fire or pick a sniper rifle that has the greatest impact on the worst shooter. (I hate that vanilla accurate trait)

This is why it was my intention to make melee in actual melee more superior and add some nerf to ranged in melee for Melee is somewhat the king of warfare in WH40k as "all" the important dudes embrace it. Ranged is the queen that wins battles and wars but the king is about having the greatest impact of its own.

Edited by FieserMoep

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