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Luddite

Melee / Close Combat Range?

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Mark It Zero said:

How are you going to reliably keep track of each meter without needlessly sucking up game time, when it's much easier to say, "If your opponent can stab you with his weapon of choice, you are officially in melee range."  The same would apply if a player put himself in stabbing distance of an enemy.  Once they can be struck in melee all easy ranged shots are out the window.

Personally?  I'm not.  I take a narrative approach, never using tools like gridmaps etc.  This is roleplaying after all, not a skirmish wargame.  I was just trying to find in the rules where it deals with 'melee range'.

As far as i can see, it doesn't.  The question came up elsewhere and i was just looking for advice from those who use gridmapping, etc. as to how they deal with determining when characters are in melee.

Mark It Zero said:

So let's say we establish a meter as the default range for melee.  Does that mean a guy with a whip is unable to stress a ranged opponent unless they are no more than a meter apart?  So a guy with a dagger will cause the same melee threat range as a guy weilding a spear?  The reason a set amount is vague is likely because in some circumstances it makes little sense.

I wouldn't set the default at a meter.  In fact, in most games i set it at 3 meters as in my experience, 'close combat' fighting take place within this range, with protagonists circling, backing off, closing and striking, etc. within this range.  Even untidy drunken brawls....sad.gif

Which for me is interesting since 'point blank * ' appears to be considered 3 meters in DH.

 

*I've always found the term 'point blank' referring to 'extra close' a bit wierd anyway.  Its an archery term used originally (earliest etemology for the late 1500's) to mean 'close enough to a target that the arrow does not need to be adjusted for gravity, wind, etc., and can be loosed directly.  Which in most cases would be around 30-50 yards/paces.  'Point' + 'blank' (the white centre space of old targets).

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The way I gaged it, unless you want to start to include "reach" of the PC's and NPC's like in boxing it's best to stick to a generic distance.

The way I do it iseverybody has a 1m (3ft-ish) "reach" unless you have a two handed weapon like a staff or such then it'll go up to 2m (6ft-ish). Now just because you're with in that range doesn't mean you're in melee.

If Bob is within the range with Goon #1 and they are actively fighting they are in melee; now Timmy is within the range, but decides to clean his nails and let Bob take care of him self he is NOT in melee and therefore no bonuses or penelties get add to the melee. Now since Timmy is with in the melee range Goon #1 decides to take a swing at him instead of pounding on Bob, Timmy is now in melee and all melee rules apply.

Now if Bob wanted to he could take a swing at Timmy for standing around and force him into melee and you have a three-way fight.demonio.gif

Whether or not Timmy is 'Unaware' or not is up to the situation and the GM's call, as well as any other factors.

I use both mats and drawings during my combat depending on when it happens and use house we play at, but when i do use the mat i equate one square/hex to  1m (3ft-ish) since most of my melees are in small areas.

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Pg 199 in core rulebook states that if you are up to 3 meters away you are in point blank range. Any closer than this, you are in close combat/melee(except with shotgun?not sure). So I would assume that 0-3 meters( around 0 to 9 or 10 feet) would be the rule?

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Mithras said:

Pg 199 in core rulebook states that if you are up to 3 meters away you are in point blank range. Any closer than this, you are in close combat/melee(except with shotgun?not sure). So I would assume that 0-3 meters( around 0 to 9 or 10 feet) would be the rule?

Sounds reasonable in most circumstances.  I would imagine a guy with a sword could easily menace a 9-10ft radius around him pretty easily.happy.gif

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Especially when thrusting forward with a power sword. But I think the designers gave a bit of "room'  for this range to account for both combatants making forward and backward motions as seen in many fencing competitions.Still, as for the original question, it would be nice to see something a little more clear and concise in the core book, as I find the PC's constantly starting from ranged combat and moving in (or sometimes smartly running away) for close combat. And I'm sure this tactic occurs frequently in many other peoples games.

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Page 194 says "To make a melee attack with a hand-held weapon you must be engaged with your target."

On page 192 it says "whenever you end your movement adjacent to an adversary you are said to be engaged with that opponent."

So the "range" of a melee attack is "engaged" and "engaged" is defined as being adjacent. So you can only do close combat attacks if you're right next to someone.

That is a most definite abstraction for the sake of the game but that's how the rules are meant to work. In the same way that the book makes explicitly clear that a parry roll isn't your one and only parry in a fight "adjacent" doesn't literally mean that the fighters are always toe-to-toe. There will be some wiggling and shuffling around.

Now some may disagree with the way that that part of the rules is meant to work and start introducing some more simulationist rules to allow for different reaches of weapon.

However I personally find that it works just fine and is exactly the same way in which Pendragon works. In that game pretty much all combat is melee combat and I find that for the level of detail I want in my gaming it ticks over nicely. So in WH40k where the proportion of melee combat is much less I'm more than happy with the simplification. 

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Letrii said:

Adjacent functions on premise you are using a map with 1m per square.  In which case you would need to be within 1m for melee.

I don't believe that it does, adjacent is meant just meaning "next to".  If you do use a grid, which is an optional rule, then you are adjacent if you're in the next square.  If you use miniatures with no grid then you can be adjacent when your mini's base touches another.  If you don't use mini's or grids then you're adjacent just when you're next to someone.

Yes you will be within a meter of your target but all that really matters is that one character has said that they are moving adjacent to another, they're then engaged and use the melee rules.

I can understand people wanting to add a bit more crunch and detail but the rules abstract it as being "adjacent" = "next to" = "melee combat" without needing to actually explain what that distance really means and without attempting to account for different melee weapon ranges.

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Back to the original topic at hand... how complex of a melee system do you want to use?  Do you want to give a mechanical advantage per weapon size?  If so, do you then wish to alter that advantage with skills or levels?  You really can make it as complex a system as you wish but I think you are on the right track in not doing so and simply stating that melee = point blank range or near to it.

As to an official statement in black and white rules... I've not seen one.

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Aethilgar said:

Back to the original topic at hand... how complex of a melee system do you want to use?  Do you want to give a mechanical advantage per weapon size?  If so, do you then wish to alter that advantage with skills or levels?  You really can make it as complex a system as you wish but I think you are on the right track in not doing so and simply stating that melee = point blank range or near to it.

As to an official statement in black and white rules... I've not seen one.

I think that it is there in the rules, whenever you are adjacent to an adversary you are "engaged" (p.192) and to attack someone with a melee weapon you must be "engaged" (p.194).

That's it.

Melee cannot equal point blank range, as when you are "engaged in melee" you can't use ranged weapons other than pistols.  Being "engaged" isn't optional, you move "adjacent" to an adversary you're "engaged", that's it, there's no choice in the matter.  So if melee equals point blank range than you would never be able to shoot any weapon, other than a pistol, with a point blank modifier (and IIRC the errata makes clear that even that doesn't happen, being in "point blank range" is a distinct thing from being "engaged in melee").

Yes it really simplifies things and yes it's a huge abstraction but that's how the rules seem to be written.

In combat played out simply with words or a hastily drawn map it's enough for me to say that one character moves up to another, they're adjacent, they're engaged and melee rules apply.  If they want to stay a couple of metres away then they're not in melee, they can use ranged weapons and someone would have to move up to the other to "engage" them.

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Whether you are using hex maps or imagined battle grounds if people move into one another to engage combat it doesn't matter the range, It only becomes an issue when people are moving randomly or can't quite reach enemies.

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Oly said:

Aethilgar said:

 

Back to the original topic at hand... how complex of a melee system do you want to use?  Do you want to give a mechanical advantage per weapon size?  If so, do you then wish to alter that advantage with skills or levels?  You really can make it as complex a system as you wish but I think you are on the right track in not doing so and simply stating that melee = point blank range or near to it.

As to an official statement in black and white rules... I've not seen one.

 

 

I think that it is there in the rules, whenever you are adjacent to an adversary you are "engaged" (p.192) and to attack someone with a melee weapon you must be "engaged" (p.194).

That's it.

Melee cannot equal point blank range, as when you are "engaged in melee" you can't use ranged weapons other than pistols.  Being "engaged" isn't optional, you move "adjacent" to an adversary you're "engaged", that's it, there's no choice in the matter.  So if melee equals point blank range than you would never be able to shoot any weapon, other than a pistol, with a point blank modifier (and IIRC the errata makes clear that even that doesn't happen, being in "point blank range" is a distinct thing from being "engaged in melee").

Yes it really simplifies things and yes it's a huge abstraction but that's how the rules seem to be written.

In combat played out simply with words or a hastily drawn map it's enough for me to say that one character moves up to another, they're adjacent, they're engaged and melee rules apply.  If they want to stay a couple of metres away then they're not in melee, they can use ranged weapons and someone would have to move up to the other to "engage" them.

 

The following questions remain unanswered by the book; "At what physical distance is 'adjacent'?"  "Does 'adjacent' take into account scale of hastily drawn map?"

The rule is stated for miniature game play assuming a set, unmentioned scale.  However this is not a miniature based game and is often played without them.  Melee range is either a GM's arbitrary call or subject to weapons used at the time.  A 6 meter long pike would have a target in melee well outside the point-blank envelop.  A dagger would come into play at around a meter or less and within point-blank range.

It is dependent on the GM to take into account the size of the melee weapons used without getting bogged down by them whether miniatures are used or not.

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Letrii said:

Actually the scale is mentioned in the core book.  There is a sidebar talking about using maps and the scale is 1m/square.

 

EXCELLENT!  Well done and thank you!

It would then follow that adjacent = melee = about 1m... center of square to center of square.  That said, I (personally) would consider 'special' weapons as having a greater than 1m melee range (pike, (perhaps) spear, (perhaps) polearm, etc, etc); but as a hard and fast rule that's not bogged down by details, 1m works!

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