Weapon Ranges and Gamestyles

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Aenno
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Weapon Ranges and Gamestyles

Postby Aenno » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:49 am

Disclamer: I know, I know, we have some threads about weapon ranges already, and it's not so simple to get why it's so important. It's minor issue, true; but it's kind of minor issue where some point of realism ("verity", a point were "suspension of disbelief" turns off) sacrificed without some kind of real, tangible benefit. I can't really see what would be broken if every distance for ranged weapon in-game would be doubled.

There was an assumption in Errata thread:
gribble wrote:My point was simply that the rules, as they are written, work exactly as I expect them to. Doubling weapon ranges, extrapolated from the experience I have had with the rules (not just this combat, also the quickstart with less capable and well armed inquisition agents vs poxwalkers), would break the game for melee oriented characters. As noted, the melee oriented characters had little or nothing to do in the combat with the rules as they are. Doubling weapon ranges would have made them even less effectual and more frustrated.


Disclamer2: I should admit - I'm a staunch enemy of idea "hey, rules should be optimized to allow everybody to play"; it's making fights "I'm roll my best attack" more, and "I'm doing tactical decisions to emphasis my strenghts" less. It's a subjective playstyle, but it works for me, it's making fights more intresting and my positions here are influenced by it.

Still. The points of having melee weapons for SMs are:
1. Heavy bolters and simple bolters can shoot just so many bolts in any given time. Sooner or later a big wave of Orks or Tyranides would overwhelm fire walls. Still, it's ranged weapons that make hordes die (Devastator and Tactical Squads), and melee guys who are not allowing enemies to close to fire positions.
2. Still, there is a problem of "special" guys. That kind that are not just die from fire, by any reason (good force fields, prescience allowing to dodge las shots, things like this). For this, Space Marines go close and heroically fight.
3. Also there is a situation where squishy enemies are better in shooting then SMs are (happens, right? eldars or tau). For this kind of situations Assault Marines have jump packs, allowing them to close enemies.
4. Also combat rarely goes on some kind of terrain that's flat as table with rare landmarks. When you're storming buildings or ships with doors, airlocks or hard turns in narrow passages, having melee weapons can really be handy - because you would be close to the enemy instantly.

So, I don't think assumption "reducing shooting ranges is the only way to allow melee oriented characters" is correct. Maybe it would make players behind melee oriented characters to be more tactical, and more creative in their ways to close to enemies; can't ever say it's bad thing.
What do you think here?
I argue fiercely, but I never believed disagreement should be capital offence.

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Re: Weapon Ranges and Gamestyles

Postby gribble » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:44 am

For me it's an issue of fun at the table and emulating the setting. When I think 40k, I don't just think "ranged weapons". In fact, probably the iconic character is a marine with a boltgun and chainsword. Look across the models on a 40k table, or those portrayed in the fiction. The setting is as much or more about deadly close range battles as it is about long range shooting.

Therefore, when players join a 40k game, it's inevitable that some of them will want to play a melee character.

As it stands, for an average combat (i.e. taking place at most basic weapons range of around 40m, give or take), it would take an average speed 6/7 PC at least 3 rounds to close with an opponent (sprint, sprint, charge). At that's assuming they can move in a straight line towards their target, and are happy to suffer -2 Def while not being able to make use of cover - if they want to advance more carefully, it could be 4-5 rounds before they reach melee combat. In the meantime, their allies are peppering the opponents with ranged attacks, likely taking them out entirely or at least leaving only a token resistance for the melee characters to mop up.

That's already not fun for a melee character, in a game where combats tend to be short and deadly (rarely going for more than ~4-5 rounds IME). If you double the basic weapon ranges, you double those numbers and in essence entirely neuter melee characters. The average combat for them will be rushing forward into enemy gunfire to arrive and find the battle already over. Sure, you could set in the battles in tighter confines... but if you're doing that then doubling weapon ranges has exactly zero effect.

That's why I'd never double the weapon ranges in a W&G game. Well, maybe not never... as mentioned in the other thread, if you had a group with no melee characters who wanted this sort of long range combat only experience, then maybe it'd be appropriate... but it certainly wouldn't feel like 40k to me at that point.

TL:DR - The Devs knew what they were doing when the set the weapon ranges as they are. It may not be 100% accurate to the minutae of the lore, but it creates a game that is much more fun, and much more accurate to the theme and feel of the majority of the lore. In play, it feels right for 40k, and a game with doubled weapon ranges just wouldn't IMO.

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Aenno
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Re: Weapon Ranges and Gamestyles

Postby Aenno » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:57 am

gribble wrote:As it stands, for an average combat (i.e. taking place at most basic weapons range of around 40m, give or take), it would take an average speed 6/7 PC at least 3 rounds to close with an opponent (sprint, sprint, charge).

Take a jump pack - which is a common piece of equipment for melee characters on tabletop. You'll take 24 m per round (6*2*2), through two Pilot tests. So in two rounds you'll cover 48 m, which is Lasgun range.
Or use Wrath for narrative declaration and place some moving object on high speed to help you move to with Athletic check (like balancing on moving car or using transporter line).
By the way, let's compare with tabletop circumstances. Lasgun range is 24. There is a possibility it would be covered within two rounds - if you first roll 6 on advance roll, and then roll at least 6 on charge roll. The most range you can take per round (considering you're human without some special options) is 18'', and you're really should be lucky. And that's a ruleset where, I believe, 5 turns are hard limit for majority of games.

gribble wrote: In fact, probably the iconic character is a marine with a boltgun and chainsword. Look across the models on a 40k table, or those portrayed in the fiction.

"You brought this."
Space Marines Codex, 8th edition. Generic Space Marines army organization (The Ultramarines 2nd Companion).
Command squad. Yes, there are a lot of melee people there, 7 of them.
4 Tactical Squads, each include only one person with a melee weapon.
3 Intercessor Squads, no melee weapons.
2 Assault Squads, with chainswords, bolt pistols and jump packs.
1 Devastator Squad, only one person with a sword.
1 Hellblazer Squad, no melee weapons.
1 Inceptor Squad, no melee weapons.
Cover poster boy is Tactical Marine, with bolter only.
Painting example is Tactical Marine, with bolter only.
So, no. The most iconic character is a tactical marine with a boltgun. Melee weapons is a weapon of specialized troop who have some ability to close range swiftly (jump packs, for example), or a badge of the office for officers.

Still, it's not my point.
Even in WH40 setting melee guys (generally) are limited by their range. The first army I collected was shooting Tau army who didn't include any kroot, built around "I'll bury you in the fire until you'll came close to hit me in melee", and it works good. Imperial Guard have a very little choice of dedicated melee characters (officers and sergeants can take melee weapons, sure, but it's mark of the office more, not a choice "to be useful in melee combat against, let's say, horde of melee gaunts"). That's actually the very reason why Space Marine training starting from Devastator Squads.
Making ruleset "optimized" to negate such a basic disadvantage of melee guys, which is inherent to melee guys, and which really should be understood by any guy who create a melee character, is a bad design decision, I believe. If you want to play melee guy, you would have a problem "how to get into melee distance", and you'll need to think about it. The very reason you believe this is good decision ("that would mean that in every combat melee character would be guaranteed to patricipate, no matter if he is doing something for this or not") makes me to believe it's bad one.
I argue fiercely, but I never believed disagreement should be capital offence.

I'm editing my posts often. English isn't my native language, and I'm doing a lot of mistakes; that, with thoughtful rereading, I often found and want to edit.

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mrwonx
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Re: Weapon Ranges and Gamestyles

Postby mrwonx » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:34 am

I agree with your point about balance. Characters should not always be balanced in every situation. But just as your melee fighter is going to have a hard time running across the battlefield, your sniper ain't doing a bit of good in that bar room brawl after he's taken a broken bottle to the jugular. In that aspect - I feel characters should be balanced as far as a campaign, not specific scenarios. A GM should give the brawler time to shine later on.

I personally just let my characters try to fire their weapons from where they are - and if it seems ridiculous, I step in. Just treating the range as a "recommended sweet spot" rather then a "hard line that can't be broken". Cause lets face it - a decent marksman on a good day can get a rifle to fire farther and more accurately then me on a windy day.

So I don't think doubling the effective ranges would be a bad thing, personally. Brawler should be holding back and waiting for an opportunity anyway - not running up the field in a fire fight.

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Re: Weapon Ranges and Gamestyles

Postby Aenno » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:28 pm

mrwonx wrote:But just as your melee fighter is going to have a hard time running across the battlefield, your sniper ain't doing a bit of good in that bar room brawl after he's taken a broken bottle to the jugular.

Of course. And the first (good) thing about it is that W&G forbid to shoot anything but pistols into melee.
P.S. Also I believe ability to declare (minor) narrative point for the point of Wrath is really, really underrated. It allows player to dictate tactical situation to his character's benefit, and for clever combatant it's priceless.

mrwonx wrote:I personally just let my characters try to fire their weapons from where they are - and if it seems ridiculous, I step in. Just treating the range as a "recommended sweet spot" rather then a "hard line that can't be broken". Cause lets face it - a decent marksman on a good day can get a rifle to fire farther and more accurately then me on a windy day.

That's exactly the thing I'm doing. In my campaigns we use three ranges: "short" (where rapid fire works), "medium" (where it's ok), "long" (where penalties shot), and they are defined as GM sees appropriate, and as a guideline we use "rulebook distances twice". Still, as I'm running civilian resistance campaign against Chaos occupation just now, characters didn't fight on long distances yet. The longest distance was about 20 meters - hallway in local Mechanicus chapel was something near 400 m2.
I argue fiercely, but I never believed disagreement should be capital offence.

I'm editing my posts often. English isn't my native language, and I'm doing a lot of mistakes; that, with thoughtful rereading, I often found and want to edit.

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Re: Weapon Ranges and Gamestyles

Postby gribble » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:26 pm

Aenno wrote:Take a jump pack - which is a common piece of equipment for melee characters on tabletop. You'll take 24 m per round (6*2*2), through two Pilot tests. So in two rounds you'll cover 48 m, which is Lasgun range.

With the W&G rules, Jump Packs don't turn up before tier 4. So it's not really a solution, except for the highest levels of play.
And even then, if you doubled weapon ranges, it would take 4 rounds for a character equipped with one to close with a lasgun armed trooper. That is just ridiculously long. Did you miss the part where I said most combats will be over within 4-5 rounds (often much sooner)?

I'm sorry, but you've presented no evidence at all that doubling weapons ranges won't cause rules problems, whereas I've presented a lot to the contrary. Your attitude seems to be "I feel like ranges should be longer", without caring at all about whether that will actually make the game better or feel more like 40k as it is actually portrayed in the media... as far as I can see it will do neither. All it will do is cause problems.

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Re: Weapon Ranges and Gamestyles

Postby Aenno » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:59 pm

gribble wrote:I'm sorry, but you've presented no evidence at all that doubling weapons ranges won't cause rules problems, whereas I've presented a lot to the contrary.

I'm sorry as well, but your evidence is "I feel like melee characters would be useless". Yes, in a plain field without any means to close to your enemy through killzone they would, and they should be, that's my very point. It's not a bug, it's a feature.
You want your melee characters to be useful - it's very ok, but why don't achieve it by creating a logical situations where melee weapons are useful, not making ranged weapons useless in situations they were designed for?

So I still can't see problems.

P.S.
On tabletop a character who is rushing to a Imperial Guardsmen with a lasgun would take at least three ranged attacks, if he's lucky. It's two tabletop rounds, 1 attack on first, 2 attacks on second. Oh, yes, it's also overwatch attack. Four attacks. In W&G, where you can make only 1 ranged attack per round, it's four rounds.
I argue fiercely, but I never believed disagreement should be capital offence.

I'm editing my posts often. English isn't my native language, and I'm doing a lot of mistakes; that, with thoughtful rereading, I often found and want to edit.

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Re: Weapon Ranges and Gamestyles

Postby gribble » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:49 pm

Aenno wrote:I'm sorry as well, but your evidence is "I feel like melee characters would be useless". Yes, in a plain field without any means to close to your enemy through killzone they would, and they should be, that's my very point. It's not a bug, it's a feature.
You want your melee characters to be useful - it's very ok, but why don't achieve it by creating a logical situations where melee weapons are useful, not making ranged weapons useless in situations they were designed for?

Ummm... you're the one petitioning for change in the rules as they currently stand, based on nothing more than a desire to match some minutae about weapon ranges. The rules, as they currently exist, work fine for both melee and ranged characters. They are balanced, and they capture the feel of 40k well. They certainly don't make "ranged weapons useless" - in fact they do the opposite. Ranged weapons are already very strong, and you're proposing to make them even stronger? That you're even claiming the current rules favour melee characters means you haven't really played the game, and you don't really understand it. Yet you're still lobbying for change.

I'm saying, that the changes you propose would tip things too far in favour of ranged characters and make melee characters useless - backed up with experience from actually playing the game as it is currently designed to work. If you want change, how about you play the game a bit as it is written and intended to be played, then come back with some hard evidence that it heavily favours melee characters? Then we can have a meaningful discussion.

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Re: Weapon Ranges and Gamestyles

Postby Aenno » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:17 am

First of all, let's both try to resist using "they catch the WH40 feeling well". It's totally subjective. As I said, in my experience in fluff, in corresponding media AND on tabletop melee weapons are the major ones for majority of factions, and used by specialized troops with some kind of means to catch their enemies fast, to survive firestorms or as secondary weapons after fire contact. That's my feel of 40K, and I believe fluff and army rosters support it, but I don't think it's useful to debate "what's the real meaning of 40K".

There are other points.
1. Are current rules works? Well, they do. They would work even if you make lasgun range 20 m. Or 10 m. Or close combat only. So yes, I don't defend changings in the rules because current ones "don't work". They're not crumbling mechanically.

2. Are they work "fine" (whatever "fine" is)? It's subjective, but, until players don't argue some decision, it works fine. As you can see here on forums, players definitly ARE arguing, so no, current rules doesn't work universally fine (until you're not ready to claim that everybody who disagree with you just never played the game or played it "wrong"; which is, of course, end of discussion, because the only answer to such claim is "no you"). You can check people arguing about it in at least three threads here on forum. As you can notice my personal decision is eschew the defined ranges totally - because my party playing without minis or game table, and keeping in mind tactical information with ranges to the meter is a burden without practical benefit; still, we tried to play RAW, and I used to simulate RAW a lot. And yes, current rules tend to make every fight to a melee fight (if melee combatant wants it), which is bad.

3. Now about this claim:
gribble wrote:? That you're even claiming the current rules favour melee characters means you haven't really played the game, and you don't really understand it.

I believe you don't really understand my point.
Rules supposed to model some kind of tactical situations. It's not playing with numbers for the sake of it, it's about (theoretically) roleplay and consistion situations. I'm solid in a thought then advancing toward fire position through killzone would be bad for combatant health, and this kind of killzones are larger then 100 metres. Melee character without some kind of means to ignore fire and move quickly would be killed. Every change in rules that removes this situation is favouring melee characters. You're defending it describing how it's favouring melee characters, who wouldn't be able to fight other way, for god's sake!
Yes, in plain sight, within fire distance, against enemies who can be reliably shot by ranged weapons, melee weapons and characters build into melee ARE useless. That's the very idea of ranged weapons, and the reason why Space Marines are, essentially, shooting army (again, check SM roster). The decision where every fight would be melee fight IS favouring melee characters, because it's mechanical limitations of ranged weapons.

4. I also believe you don't get my claim because don't look at situation from the angle I do.
I have a feeling you're looking at W&G as some kind of tactical game, chessmates of sort. It's useless to look at chess and saying "hey, in real world my pawn wouldn't die so quickly - it's supposed to be infantrymen with a spear, and infantry line with spears can hold against single horsmen", I do agree.
But I'm looking at W&G as RPG. Which means ruleset should try to model a world where game happens, as close as possible. So the first question I'm asking here is "how long lasgun effective range REALLY is". So question here is: are you defending that lasgun effective range should be 48m, or you do agree it's mechanical limitation included for mechanical reasons?
Because every decision to suppress roleplaying for mechanical reasons is bad one, and should be (in my staunch opinion) taken only if there is no other choice. It's them that should be defended, not the opposite ideas.
I argue fiercely, but I never believed disagreement should be capital offence.

I'm editing my posts often. English isn't my native language, and I'm doing a lot of mistakes; that, with thoughtful rereading, I often found and want to edit.

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Re: Weapon Ranges and Gamestyles

Postby gribble » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:32 am

Aenno wrote:On tabletop a character who is rushing to a Imperial Guardsmen with a lasgun would take at least three ranged attacks, if he's lucky. It's two tabletop rounds, 1 attack on first, 2 attacks on second. Oh, yes, it's also overwatch attack. Four attacks. In W&G, where you can make only 1 ranged attack per round, it's four rounds.

BTW... you do realise this isn't how W&G works, right? Multiple attacks against a single target are represented by bonus dice. So for the first round, the guardsman would get 1 attack with (presumably) +1 BD for aiming, and (optionally) another +2 BD for salvo fire. On the second round, they would get a further +1 BD for rapid fire. So while it might not generate the same number of attacks as 40k, it would have the same effect (excepting overwatch, which is not present in W&G and would be best implemented as a held action).
If there were multiple targets, then the character could essentially make "two attacks" (via multi-attack), also when shooting at a mob (built in - hit one extra target per 2 exalted icons).

Also, while we're on the topic of 40k, you do realise that weapon ranges already have effectively been doubled, right?
In 40k, a lasgun is 24" range, and a guardman has a move of 6".
In W&G, a lasgun has a range of 48m, while a guardsman has a speed of 6m.

Ergo, weapon ranges are already effectively doubled from the tabletop game. By doubling them yet again, you would make W&G feel much too different from the tabletop game which everything (including weapon ranges) are based on.

If you really need a house rule to account for some minutae of the lore with regards to weapon ranges, I'd suggest something like adding an "extreme" range band, which can fire up to 4x the weapons base range (i.e. twice it's long range) with a penalty of +4 DN. If you really wanted to go wild, you could do it again and let them fire up to 8x the base range with a penalty of +6 (or maybe even +8) DN. From what I've seen, I think those changes would be ok, and minimally change the rest of the game.


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