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?