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Engaged in Melee

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Page. 229 of the Core Rule book states 

 

 

 

If an attacking character is adjacent to his target, both the character and his target are considered to be engaged in melee.
 

When it says "attacking" character, does it mean that the PC/NPC is required to have actually made an Attack Action or is it simply referring to the current 'actor'.

 

An example would be something like;

 

Thrash the under-hive ganger is out of Charge range of Grendal, the Confessor. As Grendal is only armed with a melee weapon he chooses use a Full Action to Run to Thrash ending his turn adjacent to the NPC under-hiver.

 

Would that have Grendal and Thrash 'engaged in melee' or are they simply standing next to one and other?

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There was, in DH1e's forums, a rather large thread on this topic, and personally, I don't think it ever answered the matter satisfactorily.

 

Personally, I feel an attack must be made, otherwise, the most optimal method of dealing with emplaced heavy weapons is to run directly next to them, so as to lock them in melee.

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Isn't that a legitimate - albeit suicidally stupid - tactic? Heavy weapons have a long range, high RoF and damage but have to spend time setting up and are useless in melee combat.

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I'd argue that there doesn't have to be an actual attack. The "engaged in melee" ruling is used in many different things, for example shooting into melee or only being able to shoot pistol weapons.

Both things apply even when you don't make an attack. Shooting people who stand side by side in a combat situation is difficult, regardless of one hitting the other and using a rifle when an enemy is standing next to you is rather difficult as well.

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Ok, bothered to check the rules, and here it is:

 

p. 223

Move

 

If the active character ends his movement adjacent to an opponent, he may engage that opponent in melee.

 

The Run action (same page), lacks such a statement. 

 

This implies that indeed, a melee attack, or some other rule that invokes "engaged in melee" must occur for two adjacent characters to be "locked in melee." Simple adjacency is not enough.

 

You cannot run up to the heavy stubber to prevent the weapon from firing. At the same time, the point-blank range modifier is even remotely useful, as mere adjacency is not automatically locking you into melee (and thus negating range bonuses).

Edited by KommissarK

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Ok, bothered to check the rules, and here it is:

 

p. 223

Move

 

If the active character ends his movement adjacent to an opponent, he may engage that opponent in melee.

 

The Run action (same page), lacks such a statement. 

 

This implies that indeed, a melee attack, or some other rule that invokes "engaged in melee" must occur for two adjacent characters to be "locked in melee." Simple adjacency is not enough.

 

You cannot run up to the heavy stubber to prevent the weapon from firing. At the same time, the point-blank range modifier is even remotely useful, as mere adjacency is not automatically locking you into melee (and thus negating range bonuses).

 

 

See I took something different from that. The Run Action doesn't have the statement because there is already a description of what happens when the character ends their movement adjacent to opponents as described under the Move Action.

 

As for Point Blank, the Move Action infers that being Engaged is a choice for the active character which would allow them to get within the 2m range for Point Blank.

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I'm with KommissarK on this one. Move and Run are completely separate actions with different use cases. I'd rule that ending your movement adjacent to a target using the Move action counts as engaged, regardless of whether an attack was made, but using the Run action would not count as engaged (unless you somehow made a melee/pistol attack).

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Ok, bothered to check the rules, and here it is:

 

p. 223

Move

 

If the active character ends his movement adjacent to an opponent, he may engage that opponent in melee.

 

The Run action (same page), lacks such a statement. 

 

This implies that indeed, a melee attack, or some other rule that invokes "engaged in melee" must occur for two adjacent characters to be "locked in melee." Simple adjacency is not enough.

 

You cannot run up to the heavy stubber to prevent the weapon from firing. At the same time, the point-blank range modifier is even remotely useful, as mere adjacency is not automatically locking you into melee (and thus negating range bonuses).

 

 

See I took something different from that. The Run Action doesn't have the statement because there is already a description of what happens when the character ends their movement adjacent to opponents as described under the Move Action.

 

As for Point Blank, the Move Action infers that being Engaged is a choice for the active character which would allow them to get within the 2m range for Point Blank.

 

I feel the rules are quite clear that "Run" as an action behaves as it is intended to entirely on its own, and no reading of the "Half Move" or "Full Move" rules are needed in interpreting what happens when someone performs a "Run." Honestly,

 

It is decidedly clear, from the rules you reference on page 229, that being engaged in melee is a state that two characters arrive at when one character initiates a melee attack against another character. It is not merely a matter of being adjacent. Two allies standing next to each other are not considered to be engaged in melee.

 

As I was trying to point out, this is -why- the Point Blank Range bonus means anything, as otherwise a distance of 1-3 meters could easily be considered melee range by some definitions of melee. I should point out the the rules are abysmal at identifying what range a melee attack can be made at. I personally consider Point Blank Range to be the point at which a character can initiate the melee combat. If all it took was mere adjacency to a hostile target to "engage" two individuals in melee, then there would be absolutely no point for the Scatter weapon quality to provide a bonus at Point Blank Range, as no Basic weapon (the bulk of the weapons which have the Scatter quality in these rules) would be able to shoot at Point Blank, due to adjacency forcing being engaged in melee.

 

You pointed out that this is a "stupid" tactic in light of the danger posed by heavy weapons. I would point out though, that if one could lock the heavy weapon in melee so easily, then it immediately poses no danger, as the gunner would have to move and re-brace in order to attack. If the rules supported the ability to Run, and immediately lock an adjacent foe in melee, it would be quite smart on the part of players to run up to heavy and basic weapons.

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I think what I will rule then is that the Move Action will allow someone to be Engaged - as cps says - whilst simply running over to someone won't have them being Engaged. 

 

I think where I was coming at was more thematic and less mechanical, thinking that someone has effectively closed in enough to be able to attack with a close range weapon and are doing so as they run over; whereas mechanically these are two distinct actions.

 

 

 

You pointed out that this is a "stupid" tactic in light of the danger posed by heavy weapons. I would point out though, that if one could lock the heavy weapon in melee so easily, then it immediately poses no danger, as the gunner would have to move and re-brace in order to attack.

 

What I had meant about 'stupid' was that the heavy weapons in the game - bar the heavy flamer - have ranges of 100m+. That's a fair distance to charge across before being 'Engaged'. 

 

I realise that those ranges may not always be applicable but it was meant as more of throwaway comment that a serious argument.

 

Thanks for your inputs on this, hopefully help things go smoothly in my game.

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Plus when you take a run action you give enemies a bonus to hit you in melee indicating that you really aren't trying to fight or even defend effectively so why would that count as engaged until the enemy decides to attack you or you slow down enough to start actually fighting again. 

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Running up to and lying on an enemy's machine gun is a way to stop them from (accurately) firing their machine gun. Has happened in history.

That would probably qualify as a grapple or a takedown. Running directly up to it without making any kind of attack means you haven't made physical contact with it yet, you're still in the process of getting there.

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Running up to and lying on an enemy's machine gun is a way to stop them from (accurately) firing their machine gun. Has happened in history.

The problem is its not -just- emplaced heavy weapons that would be affected by this, but all basic weapons as well.

 

Consider the following:

 

Open field, broad daylight, two opponents, 18 meters apart, both with AB 3 (i.e. 9m charge, 18m run). One is armed with a sword, the other with an autogun. Both are fully aware they are about to fight (i.e. no surprise round stuff), but are intentionally not taking hostile actions (i.e. the guy with the gun isn't performing an Overwatch action). The guy with the gun rolls lower on initiative. In this scenario, if you rule that the Run action allows engaging the target in melee, then the character with the sword will be able to run this distance and completely prevent the other character from firing the weapon.

 

I'm sorry, I just don't buy it. The autogun should at least have a chance to have been fired before the combat goes to being locked in melee. Charge distance is charge distance because thats the distance a character can cover while still being able to attack that turn. Run represents an action so fully dedicated to movement that it ought not provide any other benefit.

 

It's just cheesy. It reeks of players trying to game the system in order to lock down opponents.

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I have a house rule covering that, since I think it's (to borrow your word) cheesy to be able to run up before someone pulls the trigger.

 

House rule: A melee character who is further away from a target with a ranged weapon,  than his (the attacker's) agility bonus, receives -1/m outside his agility bonus.

So, if the melee guy has AB 3 and he's 18m away, he'll have -15 on his initiative, which will give the guy with the gun plenty of time to fire his weapon.

 

Sure, this is a huge negative modifier, but I think it's more realistic and it doesn't take long to calculate. The melee guy can still succeed, if he isn't too far away, but 18m is a long distance to cover and a guy with a ranged weapon just have to point and pull the trigger.

 

Anyway, that's my two influence.

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Running up to and lying on an enemy's machine gun is a way to stop them from (accurately) firing their machine gun. Has happened in history.

The problem is its not -just- emplaced heavy weapons that would be affected by this, but all basic weapons as well.

 

Consider the following:

 

Open field, broad daylight, two opponents, 18 meters apart, both with AB 3 (i.e. 9m charge, 18m run). One is armed with a sword, the other with an autogun. Both are fully aware they are about to fight (i.e. no surprise round stuff), but are intentionally not taking hostile actions (i.e. the guy with the gun isn't performing an Overwatch action). The guy with the gun rolls lower on initiative. In this scenario, if you rule that the Run action allows engaging the target in melee, then the character with the sword will be able to run this distance and completely prevent the other character from firing the weapon.

 

I'm sorry, I just don't buy it. The autogun should at least have a chance to have been fired before the combat goes to being locked in melee. Charge distance is charge distance because thats the distance a character can cover while still being able to attack that turn. Run represents an action so fully dedicated to movement that it ought not provide any other benefit.

 

It's just cheesy. It reeks of players trying to game the system in order to lock down opponents.

 

 

This scenario also highlights question of why charge and run are separate actions with different ranges. Clearly they're intended to have different effects.

 

I have a house rule covering that, since I think it's (to borrow your word) cheesy to be able to run up before someone pulls the trigger.

 

House rule: A melee character who is further away from a target with a ranged weapon,  than his (the attacker's) agility bonus, receives -1/m outside his agility bonus.

So, if the melee guy has AB 3 and he's 18m away, he'll have -15 on his initiative, which will give the guy with the gun plenty of time to fire his weapon.

 

Sure, this is a huge negative modifier, but I think it's more realistic and it doesn't take long to calculate. The melee guy can still succeed, if he isn't too far away, but 18m is a long distance to cover and a guy with a ranged weapon just have to point and pull the trigger.

 

Anyway, that's my two influence.

 

This is bad for a lot of reasons. For one, the rule is confusingly written. It totally breaks down with more than two combatants. It makes ranged weapons the correct combat choice because using melee weapons somehow automatically drops you to the bottom of the initiative track. It serves no purpose, as it is a solution without a problem.

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Running up to and lying on an enemy's machine gun is a way to stop them from (accurately) firing their machine gun. Has happened in history.

The problem is its not -just- emplaced heavy weapons that would be affected by this, but all basic weapons as well.

 

Consider the following:

 

Open field, broad daylight, two opponents, 18 meters apart, both with AB 3 (i.e. 9m charge, 18m run). One is armed with a sword, the other with an autogun. Both are fully aware they are about to fight (i.e. no surprise round stuff), but are intentionally not taking hostile actions (i.e. the guy with the gun isn't performing an Overwatch action). The guy with the gun rolls lower on initiative. In this scenario, if you rule that the Run action allows engaging the target in melee, then the character with the sword will be able to run this distance and completely prevent the other character from firing the weapon.

 

I'm sorry, I just don't buy it. The autogun should at least have a chance to have been fired before the combat goes to being locked in melee. Charge distance is charge distance because thats the distance a character can cover while still being able to attack that turn. Run represents an action so fully dedicated to movement that it ought not provide any other benefit.

 

It's just cheesy. It reeks of players trying to game the system in order to lock down opponents.

 

 

This scenario also highlights question of why charge and run are separate actions with different ranges. Clearly they're intended to have different effects.

 

I have a house rule covering that, since I think it's (to borrow your word) cheesy to be able to run up before someone pulls the trigger.

 

House rule: A melee character who is further away from a target with a ranged weapon,  than his (the attacker's) agility bonus, receives -1/m outside his agility bonus.

So, if the melee guy has AB 3 and he's 18m away, he'll have -15 on his initiative, which will give the guy with the gun plenty of time to fire his weapon.

 

Sure, this is a huge negative modifier, but I think it's more realistic and it doesn't take long to calculate. The melee guy can still succeed, if he isn't too far away, but 18m is a long distance to cover and a guy with a ranged weapon just have to point and pull the trigger.

 

Anyway, that's my two influence.

 

This is bad for a lot of reasons. For one, the rule is confusingly written. It totally breaks down with more than two combatants. It makes ranged weapons the correct combat choice because using melee weapons somehow automatically drops you to the bottom of the initiative track. It serves no purpose, as it is a solution without a problem.

 

If the melee guy has higher initiative, then he's considered charging, if that's what he wanted to do and will receive defense bonus from that (if he has talents etc for it). So he will 'activate' before the guy with the gun, but he'll not attack before the guy with the attack.

Sure, ranged weapons will be better if you have the range, hence the proverb "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight". I just don't like the rules as they are so I've made that change to our game.

If the melee guy is too far away, he'll have to do something else, pull out a ranged weapon or dive for cover. If it is an open field and he has no gun, then tough luck, he'll better charge then and hope for the best.

That's how I have handled it *shrugs*

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I've thought about what you said, cps, and I've made some changes to the initiative calculation (since it was too steep).

 

The melee guy now reduces his initiative by 1, for each AB meters away from the ranged guy, not counting the first AB meters.

So in the 18m charge distance example, with AB 3, the melee guy's initiative will be reduced by (18-AB)/AB, where AB=3, equals -5. He still 'activates' on his normal initiative, just like before, but now he can make that 18m charge if he's fast and/or rolls good. If he's closer, he'll have an even bigger chance.

This way melee isn't downgraded as much, but they still got an disadvantage compared to a ranged character, if they're too far away.

 

Thanks for your input, by the way.

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I've thought about what you said, cps, and I've made some changes to the initiative calculation (since it was too steep).

 

The melee guy now reduces his initiative by 1, for each AB meters away from the ranged guy, not counting the first AB meters.

So in the 18m charge distance example, with AB 3, the melee guy's initiative will be reduced by (18-AB)/AB, where AB=3, equals -5. He still 'activates' on his normal initiative, just like before, but now he can make that 18m charge if he's fast and/or rolls good. If he's closer, he'll have an even bigger chance.

This way melee isn't downgraded as much, but they still got an disadvantage compared to a ranged character, if they're too far away.

 

Thanks for your input, by the way.

 

But he still can't make an 18m charge. He can only charge 9m, because there'd be an attack at the end. 

So, he gets shot regardless. And if he runs 18m, then he gets shot at Point Blank before he's allowed to attack. (which kind of makes sense, if he's just running in a straight line at the guy)

 

But white rooming is often a poor way to discuss actual mechanics....

Edited by Flail-Bot

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Ok, bothered to check the rules, and here it is:

 

p. 223

Move

 

If the active character ends his movement adjacent to an opponent, he may engage that opponent in melee.

 

The Run action (same page), lacks such a statement. 

 

This implies that indeed, a melee attack, or some other rule that invokes "engaged in melee" must occur for two adjacent characters to be "locked in melee." Simple adjacency is not enough.

 

You cannot run up to the heavy stubber to prevent the weapon from firing. At the same time, the point-blank range modifier is even remotely useful, as mere adjacency is not automatically locking you into melee (and thus negating range bonuses).

 

 

See I took something different from that. The Run Action doesn't have the statement because there is already a description of what happens when the character ends their movement adjacent to opponents as described under the Move Action.

 

As for Point Blank, the Move Action infers that being Engaged is a choice for the active character which would allow them to get within the 2m range for Point Blank.

 

I feel the rules are quite clear that "Run" as an action behaves as it is intended to entirely on its own, and no reading of the "Half Move" or "Full Move" rules are needed in interpreting what happens when someone performs a "Run." Honestly,

 

It is decidedly clear, from the rules you reference on page 229, that being engaged in melee is a state that two characters arrive at when one character initiates a melee attack against another character. It is not merely a matter of being adjacent. Two allies standing next to each other are not considered to be engaged in melee.

 

As I was trying to point out, this is -why- the Point Blank Range bonus means anything, as otherwise a distance of 1-3 meters could easily be considered melee range by some definitions of melee. I should point out the the rules are abysmal at identifying what range a melee attack can be made at. I personally consider Point Blank Range to be the point at which a character can initiate the melee combat. If all it took was mere adjacency to a hostile target to "engage" two individuals in melee, then there would be absolutely no point for the Scatter weapon quality to provide a bonus at Point Blank Range, as no Basic weapon (the bulk of the weapons which have the Scatter quality in these rules) would be able to shoot at Point Blank, due to adjacency forcing being engaged in melee.

 

You pointed out that this is a "stupid" tactic in light of the danger posed by heavy weapons. I would point out though, that if one could lock the heavy weapon in melee so easily, then it immediately poses no danger, as the gunner would have to move and re-brace in order to attack. If the rules supported the ability to Run, and immediately lock an adjacent foe in melee, it would be quite smart on the part of players to run up to heavy and basic weapons.

 

My reading of the rules was contrary to this, I actually thought the rules made sense to have people engaged in melee if they run past or stop next to an enemy. For example, if there was four armed men with swords, bayonettes or even fists, if a enemy comes running past them (touching their base: I use minis and a grid) they get a free attack at the character. If the person is running, they also gain the bonus to attack in melee/running targets. The reasoning being, they make themselves vulnerable and thus suffer the engagement rules. I thought it was a welcome change and an interesting one tactically and strategically for combat as it dramatically and in a fun way changes how combat plays out. 

 

However, you guys bring up an interesting point. This kinda removes one of the major benefits/roles of pointblank such as moving really close up with a shotgun or any basic class gun. I'm going to reread those specifics to see if I missed something.

 

Also fun fact there are melee weapons with range greater than melee (whip, and long spears and the like).

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The run-past is a good point.  I don't feel a character should be able to safely run through a mob of orks just because they leave a 1m gap.

 

Rules like Attack of Opportunity could easily be implemented here. Basically, moving into and out of melee range without the Withdraw action would allow free Standard Attack actions (as a reaction, perhaps)?

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Running through a line of orks sounds like a fantastically dumb idea even if they don't lock you when you run past them. When they have a turn next, one or more will move next to you and attack you, formally granting you the engaged status, tying you up, and you now have a line of orks between you and the rest of the party.

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Running through a line of orks sounds like a fantastically dumb idea even if they don't lock you when you run past them. When they have a turn next, one or more will move next to you and attack you, formally granting you the engaged status, tying you up, and you now have a line of orks between you and the rest of the party.

 

What if you maglev off a cliff? Or dive into some water? Or board a ship, whose pilot goes next? Or jetpack in the air? Or close a blast door after you?

 

Point being: it is pretty silly to just run through a line of orks, regardless of what happens next.

Edited by Flail-Bot

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The run-past is a good point.  I don't feel a character should be able to safely run through a mob of orks just because they leave a 1m gap.

 

Rules like Attack of Opportunity could easily be implemented here. Basically, moving into and out of melee range without the Withdraw action would allow free Standard Attack actions (as a reaction, perhaps)?

 

I do believe that is actually what is to be done by RAW except not as a reaction simply a free attack (counts and rolls as a standard attack). I am still trying to find the section where I remember reading that simply moving next to a opponents counts as melee, I may be remembering it wrong...

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Found it! Haha, my memory did not fail me! Pg. 220 boxed info describes the penalties and effects of fleeing and or leaving melee (if a withdrawal is not done or cannot be done, enemy gets a free standard attack, if the player runs or is forced to run, they suffer the free standard attack plus the attacker gains the running bonus to hit. From each person/monster they are engaged by: +30 to hit in total). Then on pg. 229 the rules to determine who is in melee says "If an attacking character is adjacent to his target, both the character and his target are considered to be engaged in melee."

 

I should point out though that it does indeed say "an attacking character is adjacent" not "If an character is adjacent", so I am now more inclined to believe it should be an attack or an action to would naturally lead up to an attack... I'll keep looking to see if I just made up the concept or if there was reason for it.

Edited by Olifant

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