gribble wrote:the game isn't trying to simulate "modern military", it's trying to simulate 40k military. For that purpose
For that purpose isn't it logical to look into actual WH40K lore? And than find out that humble lasguns are, for example, perfectly capable of effectively killing opponents while shooting at them from ranges of up to 300-500 meters.
500 meters distance was referenced in "Gaunt Ghosts: Nercopolis" when engaging Ferrozoican PDF troopers that fell to Chaos while 300 meters distance was referenced in "Fifteen Hours" when guardsmen were fighting ork boyz.
Making the "footslogging melee character feel like an ignored threat"
Well, a single human opponent with just melee weapon and flak armour in battlefield condition would be an irrelevant threat in 40K realities.
But there are ....other issues that should be taken into account.
1) Some melee combat specialist, like the ones from Necromunda's underhive gang wars do not operate in battlefield conditions, instead they use their deadly skills when fighting in the claustrophobic confines of the bowels of the hive city. With maze of interlocking corridors most likely denying the advantage of long range firearms while simultatniously provide opportunities to set vicious traps and ambushes upon the enemy.
2) Some of the melee weapons specialists either have bodies that are WAY more resilient to damage and wounds than normal humans (like the ork boyz do, for example), or are clad in armour that allows them to wade through torrent of usual small-arms fire without incident or sport a combination of both. Such melee specialists often do also employ means to cover open field more easily - like the Space Marine assault squads sporting the jump packs or Eldar howling banshees make use of specially designed sonic weapons, designed to disorient or outright paralyze their enemies.
3) And in some cases there is a combination of strength in numbers and ignoring battlefield casualties. Like than during the battle for Alaric Prime (Sanctus Reach: The Red Waagh campaign book) Cadian Astra Militatum infantry simply gunned down advancing ork boyz with well aimed volleys of lasgun fire, but the greenskins just kept coming and coming...
opponents like tyranids and orks, which have little or no ranged threat... I certainly wouldn't want to turn those opponents into jokes that run fruitlessly at the PCs for several turns while being gunned down in droves...
Well, ork boyz, as I mentioned earlier have a body structure, allowing them to literally shrug off bullet and laser impacts that would instantly kill a human on spot.
Tyranids... there are two cases here actually.
Larger beasts are generally resilient to damage and armoured.
Lesser beasts are usually actually gunned down in droves. However, that is not a problem to the respective hive fleet, since suich creatures are meant to overwhelm the opponent through sheer numbers superiority. For example, smaller breed of tyranids (hormogaunts and so on) were gunned down in droves by the Astra Militarum with lasgun and heavy bolter fire while defending Tyran (info from Codex: Tyranids, 8-th edition). However it was soon realised, to the horror of local Imperial Guard commanders, that there are actually way more tyranid beasts, then there are heavy bolter ammo and lasgun charge packs available.....