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Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 14:22:55


Post by: Ernestas


So, this is more of easy going thread to talk about what I was thinking. I write this half-jokingly, but also I want to show people something I believe they never thought about. We have ingrained into our minds that ranged combat is the only way and we can't imagine how melee combat could be effective, especially with even more advanced and destructive weapons than we have today.

Here is how 100 meters looks like:



A man can cover this distance lets say around 16 seconds. Humans can cover it under 10 seconds at their best. Cheetah can cover it at 6 seconds. As you can see, it is quite a lot of distance which can be covered remarkably quickly. Now imagine typical combat, wrecks everywhere, rubble, battle sounds. You are distracted and Chaos warband sends their own cultists to charge you. They get a drop on you. Your squad has 16 seconds to identify that they are being charged from a side, organize themselves, take up firing positions, aim and release fire. Seems pretty reasonable? Alright, now lets make it realistic. Lets say that Chaos warband is properly equipped. These slaves are running with explosive collars to motivate them not to stop or else boom and they get injected with frienzone. Now they can cover this distance in 9 seconds. They also ignore mortal wounds and it will take more than blown up arm to stop them. Are you so confident in your squad's firepower to keep these lunatics at bay? Now lets make it an actual combat scenario. We have demon which runs unnaturally fast or Eldar who can match human top sprint speed with all its battlegear. You have scary alien running at you and screaming so loudly that your nervous system starts to shut down. You try to close your ears, your body starts to shake. Good luck in killing her in those nine seconds. Now lets consider that a space marine is charging you at full speed. A proper Khorne beserker. It can cover this distance in 6 seconds, even with full auto you will see your shots fall off harmlessly off him. I would recommend to spend those precious seconds soiling yourself for it will do you more good than trying to fire at him. Now considering that even a basic hormagaunt really doesn't want to fall dead after a basic 5.56 bullet penetrating him, you probably can imagine why only foolish races rely on range combat.

All of this is when we exclude much worse things which can come for you. Then there is suppressive firepower, obstruction devices like Eldar holo fields or even firing a simple smoke grenade to defenders position will largely nullify any opportunity for them to fire upon you. I'm actually surprised how Tau does not collapse on their own due to their idiotic combat strategies. Imperium I understand, their lasguns have full auto, there are a lot of dudes, volley fire, a lot of heavy weapons. All of this makes charges into really difficult affair. Yet Tau relies on damn precision weapons as their main battle rifle! Their pulse rifle which they hand out to every Tau grunt is extremely poor weapon. It has relatively low ammo count, low fire rate which is limited to single shot only. It also has a massive recoil for such gun. Sure, it has a great bite and a properly aimed shot will hit like a truck charging beast with its kinetic energy to stop him in his tracks and plasma damage to do actual damage on his flesh. Yet, the moment something doesn't go their way we can see entire battlelines quickly overwhelmed under mass assaults or ambushes.


Melee combat would be a mainstay way to fight even during modern combat. The issue are with all those backwards ideas of "self preservation", "morality" and "personal motivation". In more enlightened warhammer future, those silly things are solved by an explosive collar and excessive application of combat drugs. Give me those combat drugs in today's environment and I'm going to transform even most feeblest of hosts into deadly modern army who prefers melee combat over this range nonsense.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 14:28:01


Post by: Excommunicatus


And the fact that your conclusion is in fact the complete opposite of the facts on the ground gives you no pause for thought at all?


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 14:39:08


Post by: G00fySmiley


"Yet Tau relies on damn precision weapons as their main battle rifle! Their pulse rifle which they hand out to every Tau grunt is extremely poor weapon. It has relatively low ammo count, low fire rate which is limited to single shot only. It also has a massive recoil for such gun. Sure, it has a great bite and a properly aimed shot will hit like a truck charging beast with its kinetic energy to stop him in his tracks and plasma damage to do actual damage on his flesh. Yet, the moment something doesn't go their way we can see entire battlelines quickly overwhelmed under mass assaults or ambushes."

what? its an ion pulse rifle, a tau rifle shoots energy. a laser rifle is shooting light, neither likely has any recoil. as to "slow fire" you are confounding game mechanics for lore. they shoot quite fast hard and are very accurate. btu it would nto be tabletop appropriate to say ok 30 shots per tau or guardsman.. then again it is represenative. that 30 man boy squad is likely much more numerous.

as to the idea that 100 yards is a difficult shot... it isn't with minimal training. I could take a novice and my dialed in rifle and get them to put them on a man sized target in an afternoon at 500 yards


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 14:42:59


Post by: Sterling191


I guess I missed the part where Tau dont field high RoF automatic weapons with the explicit design purpose of murderizing hordes of charging beasties (humanoid or otherwise). Or that Fire Warriors dont deploy with anti-infantry high explosive saturation ordinance.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 14:57:06


Post by: Not Online!!!


 Excommunicatus wrote:
And the fact that your conclusion is in fact the complete opposite of the facts on the ground gives you no pause for thought at all?


Laughs in Swiss füsilier nco

@ ernestas, ever heard of, i dunno, frag grenades, machineguns,fully automatic assault rifles, battlerifles,etc?

Further fatigue, engagement range etc.?


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 15:32:59


Post by: Crispy78


The scenario you're talking about... is overwatch. No, it's not especially effective in-game. Shooty armies try not to rely on it.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 15:36:14


Post by: Galas


Tau Pulse rifles have no recoil, actually. And they can go full auto. In the latest Psychic awakening story about a Human Gue'vesa they specify literally this. Barring that, yes, the rest is a correct justification about why in 40k meele is that prevalent, specially when a super human can explode a tank with a hammer strike.


But yeah. Most 40k battles are of three types: Urban or close quarters fighting: Jungles, space hulks, etc... where meele is very prevalent. Sieges, were meele is also prevalent at least once the defenses are breached, and giant battles and trench warfare were shooting is much more prevalent.



Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 15:38:09


Post by: Excommunicatus


To test a hypothesis you need an experiment.

Take a friend, a paintball gun and some goggles. Give your friend the paintball gun. Stand 30m away from your friend. Put the goggles on. Get your friend to aim and ready. Start running.

Post pics to show us how badly you got shot up.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 15:47:41


Post by: vipoid


 Ernestas wrote:

A man can cover this distance lets say around 16 seconds. Humans can cover it under 10 seconds at their best. Cheetah can cover it at 6 seconds. As you can see, it is quite a lot of distance which can be covered remarkably quickly. Now imagine typical combat, wrecks everywhere, rubble, battle sounds. You are distracted and Chaos warband sends their own cultists to charge you. They get a drop on you. Your squad has 16 seconds to identify that they are being charged from a side, organize themselves, take up firing positions, aim and release fire.


So you start by giving the maximum speed for humans on straight, level ground, and then assume that a battlefield with uneven ground, wreckage, ruined buildings etc. will somehow hamper the people shooting guns rather than the people trying to sprint across it.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 16:01:35


Post by: ccs


 vipoid wrote:
 Ernestas wrote:

A man can cover this distance lets say around 16 seconds. Humans can cover it under 10 seconds at their best. Cheetah can cover it at 6 seconds. As you can see, it is quite a lot of distance which can be covered remarkably quickly. Now imagine typical combat, wrecks everywhere, rubble, battle sounds. You are distracted and Chaos warband sends their own cultists to charge you. They get a drop on you. Your squad has 16 seconds to identify that they are being charged from a side, organize themselves, take up firing positions, aim and release fire.


So you start by giving the maximum speed for humans on straight, level ground, and then assume that a battlefield with uneven ground, wreckage, ruined buildings etc. will somehow hamper the people shooting guns rather than the people trying to sprint across it.


Hey, why not? GW does it.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 16:09:52


Post by: MrMoustaffa


You have a fun initial point, but WWI would disagree even with all the chaos of that war, a charge across no man's land, even with artillery, gas, and all the other distractions, entire infantry platoons could be wiped out in moments by a single machine gun. Very rarely is someone charging across perfect ground with no obstruction either. Mud, barbed wire, craters, bodies, wrecks, water, and all sorts of other hazards can make what should take 20 seconds take several minutes, and that's without being shot at. Like it or not, even in 40k shooting should be the more useful and reliable option for most troops. Not to mention a soldier with a gun doesn't need superhuman armor or reflexes or specialist training, he just needs to know how to pull a trigger and maintain his gun, hence why guardsmen are mostly armed with lasguns and not lasspears. But you'll note guardsmen are still given a bayonet, showing they know that at some point, fighting will devolve to hand to hand.

That's not to say melee shouldn't exist or be worthwhile, but that it should be a rarer thing, and an army composed solely of melee should realize it's going to fight an uphill battle. Just like a purely shooting or pure vehicle or pure infantry army, you should realize you have a major weakness and understand how to mitigate it. I think where melee most makes sense is stuff like boarding actions, trench raiding, or expendable/crazed soldiers that aren't worth giving a ranged weapon to. It absolutely makes sense in 40k that it would exist, heck to some point melee combat makes sense in any setting. It's just 40k has more of it due to the nature of the setting. Even nowadays you'll hear of people fighting in Iraq in hand to hand when their guns jam or they're caught off guard entering a building, rare though it may be.

Shooting is still the king of the battlefield, and rightly should be in my opinion. Granted I feel an army that focuses solely on shooting with 0 melee is doomed to fail, but melee for the average army in my opinion should be reserved for specialist units designed to punch a hole in a line or pick off key enemy units. Units that can be devestating if used correctly, but heavily reliant on support and covering fire to make it in, and vulnerable to enemy shooting if used stupidly. Maybe your average soldier can hold its own in melee (orks, marines, etc) but the average unit in your force should have a gun of some sort, if only so it has something to do while it closes with the enemy.

Basically I view a pure melee army in 40k as stupid as a pure shooting army in 40k, you need a healthy balance. Id argue you need a higher ratio of shooty to stabby, but each army is different.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 17:01:42


Post by: Ratius


I dunno, comp Tau gunlines, Eldar flyer spam and certain alpha strike Ork builds have done well over the last year to two.
Shooting in current 40k far out weighs melee (sadly).

Dont disagree that a mix is healthy but one can run a poor/average shooting list and still beat a decent melee list just because of the current game mechanics.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 17:16:03


Post by: Kroem


I think looking at real world examples will never prove that melee is viable, as in our current technological reality it simply isn't.
To consult the 'Iron Triangle' of Survivability -> Mobility -> Lethality; Lethality is much easier to increase than to survivability, so war has become about who can spot and destroy their enemy first.
With the range and damage of modern weapons, you can't survive long enough to get into melee.

However; 40K is fiction and doesn't need to operate under the same real world laws. The central conceit of 40k is 'what if battles in space were more like medieval/ fantasy battles'.
Like a lot of good Sci-Fi, you have an idea, however weird, and try to logically extrapolate from that.

So what would it take for armour to be relevant on the battlefield? A light and highly resistant 'wunder' material i.e. Ceramite or aliens of incredible constitution i.e. Orks, a technologically regressive society who aren't capable of developing better ranged weapons? Powerful melee weapons which can do brutal damage up close? This is when the 40k setting gets interesting and why we should resist the slow drift towards becoming WW2 in Space.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 17:30:44


Post by: Xenomancers


Just for a frame of reference.
A 5.56 Round travels at about 1000 mps.
It will cover the range of 100 meter in a little over a 10th of a second and in 3 seconds 30 rounds can travel that far...from 1 man with the most basic weapon on the battlefield.

Each shot is lethal too.

40k Buffs melee to a huge degree already. Essentially a 24" rapid fire gun gets 1 turn to shoot and 1 turn to overwatch (so basically gets to shoot 1 shot at max range and then overwatch with 2 shots hitting on 6's. In the time it takes for a 6" move with a 3.5" advance and then a 6" move the next turn and charge.

The reality is - the 24" rapid fire weapons should get about 30 + shots at the charging unit. (Assuming 24" is something like 100 meters).


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 18:19:39


Post by: Nurglitch


Talk about burying the lede, what Chaos Warband equips their cultists with Friendzone Injectors?


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 18:22:19


Post by: Insectum7


A nerf gun would be better research than the video.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 18:26:30


Post by: Voss


This reminds me of Pratchett's parody of Zeno's paradox, with philosophers arguing that its completely impossible to hit turtles with arrows because they'll just move out of the way.

Except this isn't as funny. Its just a single philosopher ranting while reality just blinks in complete befuddlement.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 18:42:16


Post by: Excommunicatus


24" translates to 72', or just under 22m.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 18:47:45


Post by: Tyel


I know its a jokey thread - but the logic never really works.

We have urban combat in real life. We don't fight with swords though because sure, you may only have a few seconds or whatever to shoot....
But you have guns that have over 600 RPM. You can unload a whole clip of 30 or whatever shots in 3 seconds.

You can then say "aha! they are immune to bullets" - but this just raises the question of "why wouldn't they be immune to swords?" If a 5.56mm bullet doesn't cut it, arm everyone with automatic elephant guns.

Ultimately 40k is an abstraction and a game. It should be a relatively short range scramble, because that's more fun that setting our armies up 3 feet away from each other and then just rolling dice until everything is dead.

And guardsmen get flashlights because thats what they get.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 18:49:32


Post by: Overread


See its this kind of thinking that was used during WW1 with men running over the tops of trenches at machineguns. It didn't work.

It works if you're a tyranid and you've got tens of thousands of others behind you. Yes they CAN choke machineguns. But realistically you're not going to cover that 100mm sprint. Anyone with a gun is going to have shot you and your fellows full of holes before you've covered that distance.


The fact that armed forces increasingly reduced close combat elements as guns improved should be all the evidence you need that, without endless numbers or insane levels of armour or other tricks; you basically find that ranged weapons work best.


Plus they keep working at 100m just as well as they work at 1m. In fact put a blade on the end and they work at 0m as well and you can then keep on shooting after that.




Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 18:55:05


Post by: Xenomancers


 Excommunicatus wrote:
24" translates to 72', or just under 22m.
Well then - it really helps out melee even more when you limit a rifle range to the range of a potato gun in that case.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 19:05:01


Post by: Cronch


See its this kind of thinking that was used during WW1 with men running over the tops of trenches at machineguns. It didn't work.

It's not even that. A lot of people assume those mass charges happened before the generals were all old fools. The sad truth is, at the level of technology of 1910s, once the war of maneuver (which Germans did try in 1914) settles down, there is no way to circumvent the trenches. There's no paratroopers or armor to break through, there's only amassing enough infantry that simple statistics ensure some of them make it to the other side.

I only mention this because OP's premise is so out there I don't feel like commenting on it.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 19:05:50


Post by: Excommunicatus


Yeah. The main battle-armament of the Adeptus Astartes has a maximum effective range that is shorter than a tennis court (78').

An Earthshaker's much-vaunted range translates, in reality, to less than a quarter of a kilometre.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 19:09:37


Post by: Overread


Cronch wrote:
See its this kind of thinking that was used during WW1 with men running over the tops of trenches at machineguns. It didn't work.

It's not even that. A lot of people assume those mass charges happened before the generals were all old fools. The sad truth is, at the level of technology of 1910s, once the war of maneuver (which Germans did try in 1914) settles down, there is no way to circumvent the trenches. There's no paratroopers or armor to break through, there's only amassing enough infantry that simple statistics ensure some of them make it to the other side.

I only mention this because OP's premise is so out there I don't feel like commenting on it.


Yeah trenches didn't really shift until the invention of tanks and even then it took a few years to get tanks good enough to really make a huge difference without breaking down. In fact I seem to recall seeing a documentary that tanks worked so well in some of the latter pushes that they'd overrun the advancing infantry too much; leaving themselves isolated well into enemy lines.

Lets also not forget gas which was used during WWI to horrible effect by both sides as a means to try and beat opposing trenches.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 19:13:53


Post by: Inquisitor Lord Katherine


 Excommunicatus wrote:
Yeah. The main battle-armament of the Adeptus Astartes has a maximum effective range that is shorter than a tennis court (78').

An Earthshaker's much-vaunted range translates, in reality, to less than a quarter of a kilometre.


I think they're mentioned in Vraks as shelling targets at least like 30km out. I think we can assume range compression so that it fits on the tabletop. Basically every tabletop miniatures game has fairly intense range compression.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 19:21:18


Post by: carldooley


OP, if it is easier, consider every model on a tabletop to be a representation for a smaller unit, with the ranges far larger than you see on a typical table. Each infantry model denotes a squad, not a single guy, for instance.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 20:04:48


Post by: Insectum7


 Excommunicatus wrote:
24" translates to 72', or just under 22m.


This is why you don't apply linear scale to 40K.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 20:24:17


Post by: Maréchal des Logis Walter


Actually as for infantry ranges in for example olt action, it also tries to mimic the fight that getting effective shots won't happen that much above a certain distance, if I remember correctly. But as everything in tabletop, it serves representation, it is not a detailed, accurate depiction of the imaginary fights carried out by our toys.

Anyway running toward somebody who's holding a rifle, even bolt action rifle, from 100 meters, is absolutly silly in my opinion...


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 20:33:59


Post by: Insectum7


 Maréchal des Logis Walter wrote:
Actually as for infantry ranges in for example olt action, it also tries to mimic the fight that getting effective shots won't happen that much above a certain distance, if I remember correctly. But as everything in tabletop, it serves representation, it is not a detailed, accurate depiction of the imaginary fights carried out by our toys.

Yeah that's also very true. Terrain in 40K is very 'broad strokes', and a clear plain or street is often not telling the whole story. Imo this is why dice are so helpful, they can represent the variables that the low-res table representation isn't accounting for. Rolling a lot of misses can just mean a plume of smoke from a nearby explosion is blocking the view, or the enemy squad found a small berm or terrain feature they could duck behind for a few seconds.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 21:23:09


Post by: BlaxicanX


 Galas wrote:

Most 40k battles are of three types: Urban or close quarters fighting: Jungles, space hulks, etc...

Where did you pull this out of? What are you talking about? 40K literally consists of millions of worlds. You're just as likely to fight on an open plain with no cover for hundreds of miles in every direction as you are a bombed out city or space hulk.

Melee combat is as prolific in 40K as fire fights for no reason other then rule of cool. And that's fine. But let's not pretend that it makes sense either in real life or even within the setting itself.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 22:05:58


Post by: Ordana


 BlaxicanX wrote:
 Galas wrote:

Most 40k battles are of three types: Urban or close quarters fighting: Jungles, space hulks, etc...

Where did you pull this out of? What are you talking about? 40K literally consists of millions of worlds. You're just as likely to fight on an open plain with no cover for hundreds of miles in every direction as you are a bombed out city or space hulk.

Melee combat is as prolific in 40K as fire fights for no reason other then rule of cool. And that's fine. But let's not pretend that it makes sense either in real life or even within the setting itself.
Sure. Armies fight in open plains with nothing in a 100 miles. But those are the battlefields where the guard army just shells their opponent into complete oblivion. Not the one where assault troops actually do anything and not the one that a 'normal' game of 40k is trying to represent.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 22:13:45


Post by: AnomanderRake


 BlaxicanX wrote:
 Galas wrote:

Most 40k battles are of three types: Urban or close quarters fighting: Jungles, space hulks, etc...

Where did you pull this out of? What are you talking about? 40K literally consists of millions of worlds. You're just as likely to fight on an open plain with no cover for hundreds of miles in every direction as you are a bombed out city or space hulk.

Melee combat is as prolific in 40K as fire fights for no reason other then rule of cool. And that's fine. But let's not pretend that it makes sense either in real life or even within the setting itself.


And considering various Deep Strike mechanics how often do you suppose two people set up in lines in open terrain and run at each other?

The general use of teleporters/Drop Pods seems a better argument for melee than dense cover on all the battlefields. It doesn't matter how open the battlefield is if you're always starting the scale-equivalent of 9" away.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 23:24:30


Post by: vipoid


Something else to consider would be that (if you're invoking realism), the effective range of guns is likely to be a hell of a lot further than 100m.

I mean, this is an advanced setting where the combatants have access to all manner of bionic implants, genetic enhancements etc. It's not hard to imagine bionic eyes or helmets containing advanced targeting systems - allowing soldiers to effectively engage enemies at ranges far beyond normal human sight (as well as negating smoke, darkness etc.).

Obviously this isn't represented on the table for the same reason that every movie depicts advanced fighter jets or spacecraft dog-fighting like WW2 aircraft - because it's a lot more visually interesting than a jet blowing up a target with a guided missile from several miles away. But if you're pulling the realism argument then it's something you really have to consider.


Cronch wrote:
See its this kind of thinking that was used during WW1 with men running over the tops of trenches at machineguns. It didn't work.

It's not even that. A lot of people assume those mass charges happened before the generals were all old fools. The sad truth is, at the level of technology of 1910s, once the war of maneuver (which Germans did try in 1914) settles down, there is no way to circumvent the trenches. There's no paratroopers or armor to break through, there's only amassing enough infantry that simple statistics ensure some of them make it to the other side.


Another aspect is that this form of warfare was very new, so generals were basically having to learn a whole new set of tactics.

It used to be that wars simply couldn't last very long because, even in the event of a stalemate, one side would simply run out of supplies (due either to lack of resources or lack of money) and would be forced to withdraw. However, mechanised warfare between countries changed all that by allowing troops to be constantly resupplied and which were also far more economically resilient. So suddenly the stalemates were lasting almost indefinitely.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 23:53:20


Post by: Galas


 BlaxicanX wrote:
 Galas wrote:

Most 40k battles are of three types: Urban or close quarters fighting: Jungles, space hulks, etc...

Where did you pull this out of? What are you talking about? 40K literally consists of millions of worlds. You're just as likely to fight on an open plain with no cover for hundreds of miles in every direction as you are a bombed out city or space hulk.

Melee combat is as prolific in 40K as fire fights for no reason other then rule of cool. And that's fine. But let's not pretend that it makes sense either in real life or even within the setting itself.


Why did you cut out the rest of that phrase where I literally said that?


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 23:54:42


Post by: ccs


 Inquisitor Lord Katherine wrote:
 Excommunicatus wrote:
Yeah. The main battle-armament of the Adeptus Astartes has a maximum effective range that is shorter than a tennis court (78').

An Earthshaker's much-vaunted range translates, in reality, to less than a quarter of a kilometre.


I think they're mentioned in Vraks as shelling targets at least like 30km out. I think we can assume range compression so that it fits on the tabletop. Basically every tabletop miniatures game has fairly intense range compression.


Yeah.
I've never seriously worried about "realistic" ranges in my minis gaming.
1) Because, well, it's a game. If everything simply had range to everything else it'd make things pretty boring. And I can't generally play this stuff on a large enough area to represent "realism". I'm constrained to 4'x? table tops for the most part. So if a rifle is supposed to be longer range than a pistol, but shorter range than a cannon.... Then you have to make that fit in a space 4' across.
2) When people go on about the "real" ranges being too long & the lethallity to great to allow forces to reach a 3-4 turn mv distance away from the other groups table edge?
I (mentally) shrug & assume that the action taking place represents those forces that did make that far. Probably a very small %. If the table streched out 20' feet behind me? It'd be strewn with thousands & thousands & thousands of pts worth of both our dead.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 23:58:05


Post by: Argive


All ima say there's a reason people shoot at each other, rather than stab each other with swords in war and have been since gunpowder became reliable..
However in very close qurters like bunkers, ship innards etc. Id take a pistol and a ballistic knife over a rifle...


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/04 23:59:12


Post by: Vaktathi


While I cannot claim to have ever been a soldier in a combat zone, I do have more than a few years of experience in owning, training with, and competing with both firearms and bladed weapons. I do HEMA Longword, Italo-Hungarian Sabre, Dussack, multiple different forms of wrestling/grappling and some more modern combatives, and will be in Prague later this year for a military sabre competition. I also own most major modern service rifles (or close commercial derivatives thereof) and have been shooting my entire adult life, including some action/dynamic competition like 3gun.

From that experience, I will say this. It is possible to close very quickly with a melee weapon and inflict a lethal wound. Without doubt, that is absolutely true. However, there is a reason projectile weapons dominate combat. Unless you are already within essentially "advance-lunge" distance with an opponent when armed with a blade, if they have a firearm at the ready (i.e. loaded and not in a holster) and are aware they are being attacked, you will die. Simple as. Likewise, within that distance, the firearm armed opponent can still use their weapon, and while you can block, parry, or void a blade, the same cannot be said of a bullet.

If we are going with realism, that is the simple reality of things. 40k however is Space Fantasy, a Tolkien-esque world with a Scifi texture pack, and it's best to just accept that for what it is.

More to the point, there is more to ranged weapons than just bullets. Explosive shells and crew served heavy weapons for instance.


EDIT: spelling


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 00:01:52


Post by: Amishprn86


ccs wrote:
 Inquisitor Lord Katherine wrote:
 Excommunicatus wrote:
Yeah. The main battle-armament of the Adeptus Astartes has a maximum effective range that is shorter than a tennis court (78').

An Earthshaker's much-vaunted range translates, in reality, to less than a quarter of a kilometre.


I think they're mentioned in Vraks as shelling targets at least like 30km out. I think we can assume range compression so that it fits on the tabletop. Basically every tabletop miniatures game has fairly intense range compression.


Yeah.
I've never seriously worried about "realistic" ranges in my minis gaming.
1) Because, well, it's a game. If everything simply had range to everything else it'd make things pretty boring. And I can't generally play this stuff on a large enough area to represent "realism". I'm constrained to 4'x? table tops for the most part. So if a rifle is supposed to be longer range than a pistol, but shorter range than a cannon.... Then you have to make that fit in a space 4' across.
2) When people go on about the "real" ranges being too long & the lethallity to great to allow forces to reach a 3-4 turn mv distance away from the other groups table edge?
I (mentally) shrug & assume that the action taking place represents those forces that did make that far. Probably a very small %. If the table streched out 20' feet behind me? It'd be strewn with thousands & thousands & thousands of pts worth of both our dead.


You mean b.c of this?



Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 00:27:09


Post by: flandarz


 Argive wrote:
All ima say there's a reason people shoot at each other, rather than stab each other with swords in war and have been since gunpowder became reliable..
However in very close qurters like bunkers, ship innards etc. Id take a pistol and a ballistic knife over a rifle...


Last I checked, military forces have started using carbines for close quarters combat. What I was taught in the military was "if they're in too close to use your gun, create enough space to use your gun."


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 00:46:04


Post by: Elbows


Soldiers armed with carbines or sub-machineguns are also likely carrying a sidearm and/or knife....so you go to them when needed (which would be exceptionally rare).


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 01:59:17


Post by: catbarf


 Argive wrote:
All ima say there's a reason people shoot at each other, rather than stab each other with swords in war and have been since gunpowder became reliable..
However in very close qurters like bunkers, ship innards etc. Id take a pistol and a ballistic knife over a rifle...


A handgun is strictly the weapon you use to fight your way to your rifle and a knife is suicide with more steps. Things were different circa, oh, 1916, when a rifle was a meter-long manually-operated bulky monstrosity and trench raiders needed lighter and more mobile weaponry for confined spaces, but modern intermediate-caliber carbines are small, lightweight, far more lethal than a handgun, easier to manipulate, easier to manage recoil, easier to reload, and with a much higher capacity.

Anyone who would choose a weapon other than a carbine (or, in a pinch / for the sake of their vision and hearing, a submachine gun) for CQB/MOUT does not know what they are doing. Naval boarding teams and SWAT officers alike favor carbines. You have to get into tunnel rat territory for a handgun to become the optimal choice.

 Elbows wrote:
Soldiers armed with carbines or sub-machineguns are also likely carrying a sidearm and/or knife....so you go to them when needed (which would be exceptionally rare).


I cannot think of any modern military forces which issue sidearms to regulars. Bayonets, sure, and it goes somewhere in the pack where you can get to it when you need to pry open a can or extract a stuck casing, not for combat.

But handguns are overwhelmingly for officers and specialists who don't carry long arms, and for SF who are armed to the teeth. Your basic infantryman has zero need for a handgun, and there is nothing that it does better than his rifle.

Regarding ranges: 40k's rules cannot be evaluated while assuming a 1:1 ground scale. That way lies madness- beyond the ludicrously short ranges it implies for ranged combat, it gives you infantry who panic when more than an arm's length from their compatriots, turns measured in seconds, and supersonic aircraft that move around 20mph.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 02:28:36


Post by: ERJAK


Can we add the fact that 40k should theoretically have MASSIVELY superior weapons in terms of effective ranges, accuracy, and lethality?


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 03:24:31


Post by: Excommunicatus


FWIW, I'm not at all complaining about the ranges.

It's just funny.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 03:51:24


Post by: ccs


 Amishprn86 wrote:
ccs wrote:
 Inquisitor Lord Katherine wrote:
 Excommunicatus wrote:
Yeah. The main battle-armament of the Adeptus Astartes has a maximum effective range that is shorter than a tennis court (78').

An Earthshaker's much-vaunted range translates, in reality, to less than a quarter of a kilometre.


I think they're mentioned in Vraks as shelling targets at least like 30km out. I think we can assume range compression so that it fits on the tabletop. Basically every tabletop miniatures game has fairly intense range compression.


Yeah.
I've never seriously worried about "realistic" ranges in my minis gaming.
1) Because, well, it's a game. If everything simply had range to everything else it'd make things pretty boring. And I can't generally play this stuff on a large enough area to represent "realism". I'm constrained to 4'x? table tops for the most part. So if a rifle is supposed to be longer range than a pistol, but shorter range than a cannon.... Then you have to make that fit in a space 4' across.
2) When people go on about the "real" ranges being too long & the lethallity to great to allow forces to reach a 3-4 turn mv distance away from the other groups table edge?
I (mentally) shrug & assume that the action taking place represents those forces that did make that far. Probably a very small %. If the table streched out 20' feet behind me? It'd be strewn with thousands & thousands & thousands of pts worth of both our dead.


You mean b.c of this?



No, that's just a cute picture. I mean because of exactly what I wrote.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 04:04:53


Post by: Argive


 catbarf wrote:
 Argive wrote:
All ima say there's a reason people shoot at each other, rather than stab each other with swords in war and have been since gunpowder became reliable..
However in very close qurters like bunkers, ship innards etc. Id take a pistol and a ballistic knife over a rifle...


A handgun is strictly the weapon you use to fight your way to your rifle and a knife is suicide with more steps. Things were different circa, oh, 1916, when a rifle was a meter-long manually-operated bulky monstrosity and trench raiders needed lighter and more mobile weaponry for confined spaces, but modern intermediate-caliber carbines are small, lightweight, far more lethal than a handgun, easier to manipulate, easier to manage recoil, easier to reload, and with a much higher capacity.

Anyone who would choose a weapon other than a carbine (or, in a pinch / for the sake of their vision and hearing, a submachine gun) for CQB/MOUT does not know what they are doing. Naval boarding teams and SWAT officers alike favor carbines. You have to get into tunnel rat territory for a handgun to become the optimal choice.

 Elbows wrote:
Soldiers armed with carbines or sub-machineguns are also likely carrying a sidearm and/or knife....so you go to them when needed (which would be exceptionally rare).


I cannot think of any modern military forces which issue sidearms to regulars. Bayonets, sure, and it goes somewhere in the pack where you can get to it when you need to pry open a can or extract a stuck casing, not for combat.

But handguns are overwhelmingly for officers and specialists who don't carry long arms, and for SF who are armed to the teeth. Your basic infantryman has zero need for a handgun, and there is nothing that it does better than his rifle.

Regarding ranges: 40k's rules cannot be evaluated while assuming a 1:1 ground scale. That way lies madness- beyond the ludicrously short ranges it implies for ranged combat, it gives you infantry who panic when more than an arm's length from their compatriots, turns measured in seconds, and supersonic aircraft that move around 20mph.


Yeah I was imagining like crawl/duct spaces in bunkers and ships etc.
Certainly some sort of rifle or SMG is what Id take to war rather than a pistol and knife


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 09:05:03


Post by: JohnnyHell


I’d thought no WWI Generals were alive today, but apparently the OP is one!


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 09:17:19


Post by: Not Online!!!


 JohnnyHell wrote:
I’d thought no WWI Generals were alive today, but apparently the OP is one!


Tbf, cqc assauls can work, infiltraiton tactics can work, but, BUT, slave fodder is not capable of These and amassing enough of them to Make up for their shortcoming makes them a prime target for any artillery in range.
Not to mention that logistics, especially for such mass armies and their Drive forward, play a gigantic role and the exemple here does not make sense due to the exemple here beeing chaos, which bluntly has logistical issues to the very core.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 09:28:03


Post by: tneva82


 AnomanderRake wrote:
 BlaxicanX wrote:
 Galas wrote:

Most 40k battles are of three types: Urban or close quarters fighting: Jungles, space hulks, etc...

Where did you pull this out of? What are you talking about? 40K literally consists of millions of worlds. You're just as likely to fight on an open plain with no cover for hundreds of miles in every direction as you are a bombed out city or space hulk.

Melee combat is as prolific in 40K as fire fights for no reason other then rule of cool. And that's fine. But let's not pretend that it makes sense either in real life or even within the setting itself.


And considering various Deep Strike mechanics how often do you suppose two people set up in lines in open terrain and run at each other?

The general use of teleporters/Drop Pods seems a better argument for melee than dense cover on all the battlefields. It doesn't matter how open the battlefield is if you're always starting the scale-equivalent of 9" away.


Bad idea to use 40k rules to assume that's how things are fought in 40k in universum. 40k makes abstract game with oddities. Ranges, reliability of stuff(like always appearing exact same distance with teleport...) etc are not how things would actually work(and don't as shown in fluff)


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 10:02:16


Post by: pm713


 BlaxicanX wrote:
 Galas wrote:

Most 40k battles are of three types: Urban or close quarters fighting: Jungles, space hulks, etc...

Where did you pull this out of? What are you talking about? 40K literally consists of millions of worlds. You're just as likely to fight on an open plain with no cover for hundreds of miles in every direction as you are a bombed out city or space hulk.

Melee combat is as prolific in 40K as fire fights for no reason other then rule of cool. And that's fine. But let's not pretend that it makes sense either in real life or even within the setting itself.

I've always been annoyed a little by people insisting melee makes no sense within the setting. Between things like Orks and Tyranids, Dark Eldar need for suffering, Craftworlder culture, the fact that Marines are meant to be terror troops and the weird technologies melee does make a degree of sense within the setting.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 10:29:27


Post by: Overread


I think the key to realise is that in the 40K world the arms race has resulted in not just an insane development of weapons, but also armours and shields.

The result is that close combat becomes a viable tactic for many of the 40K forces because their armour is good enough to allow them to survive into close combat.


Meanwhile forces like orks, guard and tyranids make it into close combat through two aspects:
1) Numbers - they just throw meat at the wall

2) The fact that their opponents are tough enough to survive into close combat means that close combat is part of the battle style that has evolved between the factions.


In the end its a fantasy setting and the game is highly abstract to reality. Trying to work it out would break your brain especially as things like unit representation are not uniform. Eg a single marine model on the table could be anything from an actual single marine to a squad. Meanwhile a guardsman or Tyranid gaunt is likely going to represent dozens to hundreds (to perhaps thousands for the tyranid). Yet at the same time the Hive Tyrant behind the gaunts might well represent only one.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 10:33:43


Post by: CthuluIsSpy


Are guard even that orientated towards close combat? They seem more shooty to me, especially compared to marines. Which makes sense; guard aren't power armored shock troops.
Apparently bayonet charges are a thing, but it seems to me that most of the fighting is done with artillery and fusilades of las gun fire. Its not really modern tactics, more WW1 - WW2 tactics, but then again we haven't really seen a full scale war in modern times.



Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/05 10:37:37


Post by: Overread


 CthuluIsSpy wrote:
Are guard even that orientated towards close combat? They seem more shooty to me, especially compared to marines. Which makes sense; guard aren't power armored shock troops.



They've some closecombat variations, but yes by the large part they are ranged. They have bayonets and some units, like Catachans, are more skirmishers. However their lore aspect is that they are sneaky so they cover the 100m dash by sneaking up on you rather than running bold in your face at you.

That said they've also got rough-riders who are trained to charge the enemy in a lancers style level of combat. Of course rough riders have also vanished over the years and there's a questionmark on if we'll see them reappear. GW even teased us a few months back with the idea of releasing dogs within the Imperial Guard (it was around the time that Blackstone came out and they had one of the rouge trader groups with a dog).


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 03:22:47


Post by: Inquisitor Lord Katherine


 CthuluIsSpy wrote:
Are guard even that orientated towards close combat? They seem more shooty to me, especially compared to marines. Which makes sense; guard aren't power armored shock troops.
Apparently bayonet charges are a thing, but it seems to me that most of the fighting is done with artillery and fusilades of las gun fire. Its not really modern tactics, more WW1 - WW2 tactics, but then again we haven't really seen a full scale war in modern times.



Bayonet charges are still a thing. In 2011, IIRC, a British platoon fixed bayonets and charged the enemy when caught in an ambush in Afghanistan.

While charging in mass to stick 'em with the pointy end is no longer the premier battle tactic, it's still valid and useful when the situation calls for it, and very effective at dislodging the enemy from a position.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 09:28:14


Post by: CthuluIsSpy


 Inquisitor Lord Katherine wrote:
 CthuluIsSpy wrote:
Are guard even that orientated towards close combat? They seem more shooty to me, especially compared to marines. Which makes sense; guard aren't power armored shock troops.
Apparently bayonet charges are a thing, but it seems to me that most of the fighting is done with artillery and fusilades of las gun fire. Its not really modern tactics, more WW1 - WW2 tactics, but then again we haven't really seen a full scale war in modern times.



Bayonet charges are still a thing. In 2011, IIRC, a British platoon fixed bayonets and charged the enemy when caught in an ambush in Afghanistan.

While charging in mass to stick 'em with the pointy end is no longer the premier battle tactic, it's still valid and useful when the situation calls for it, and very effective at dislodging the enemy from a position.


Huh, I did not know that. Interesting little fact there.
I especially didn't know modern rifles could still take bayonet attachments. I thought that got phased out.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 10:11:41


Post by: Ernestas


 G00fySmiley wrote:
"Yet Tau relies on damn precision weapons as their main battle rifle! Their pulse rifle which they hand out to every Tau grunt is extremely poor weapon. It has relatively low ammo count, low fire rate which is limited to single shot only. It also has a massive recoil for such gun. Sure, it has a great bite and a properly aimed shot will hit like a truck charging beast with its kinetic energy to stop him in his tracks and plasma damage to do actual damage on his flesh. Yet, the moment something doesn't go their way we can see entire battlelines quickly overwhelmed under mass assaults or ambushes."

what? its an ion pulse rifle, a tau rifle shoots energy. a laser rifle is shooting light, neither likely has any recoil. as to "slow fire" you are confounding game mechanics for lore. they shoot quite fast hard and are very accurate. btu it would nto be tabletop appropriate to say ok 30 shots per tau or guardsman.. then again it is represenative. that 30 man boy squad is likely much more numerous.

as to the idea that 100 yards is a difficult shot... it isn't with minimal training. I could take a novice and my dialed in rifle and get them to put them on a man sized target in an afternoon at 500 yards


A lot of people are unaware how Tau pulse rifle operates so I will make just one reply here.

Compared to other infantry weapons, the Pulse Rifle trades rate of fire for damage. Pulse Rifles also have significant recoil, which requires that the user be stationary to fire most effectively.


https://warhammer40k.fandom.com/wiki/Pulse_Rifle

Pulse rifles are more akin to battle rifles in our world. A single shot weapon can fire as quickly as you can properly aim and press a trigger, but this doesn't change a fact that you have something akin to pathetic 1 shot/s vs 200 shots/s of lasgun. Machine guns for comparison can reach 600 shots per second. Though, it depends on a weapon for how long it can maintain such rate of fire. Miniguns are designed to fire really fast while machine guns while being capable of that, will probably jam or overheat if you do not control your fire rate.

I do not know what you mean by it being a difficult shot. What I was saying is that organizing your infantry squad in a heat of battle is difficult. Everyone is doing something else and are concerned with something different. For example, Death Guard while doing little more than marching through open ground will always begin their marches with extremely heavy artillery bombardment prior to that. This will easily disturb unit cohesion and it will be a lot more difficult to efficiently coordinate your squad in a heat of battle. Especially when you have 10 seconds before you all are dead.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 10:12:41


Post by: Latro_


can't believe the fact tanks are a crap form of modern warfare hasn't come up yet .

Lets face it 'real' 40k would be drones fighting drones or worse invisible nano swams wiping everything out


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 10:20:33


Post by: Ernestas


Tyel wrote:
I know its a jokey thread - but the logic never really works.

We have urban combat in real life. We don't fight with swords though because sure, you may only have a few seconds or whatever to shoot....
But you have guns that have over 600 RPM. You can unload a whole clip of 30 or whatever shots in 3 seconds.

You can then say "aha! they are immune to bullets" - but this just raises the question of "why wouldn't they be immune to swords?" If a 5.56mm bullet doesn't cut it, arm everyone with automatic elephant guns.

Ultimately 40k is an abstraction and a game. It should be a relatively short range scramble, because that's more fun that setting our armies up 3 feet away from each other and then just rolling dice until everything is dead.

And guardsmen get flashlights because thats what they get.


Yes, but you miss one important thing. People are not running like madman to your lines being completely oblivious to casualties, injuries or what is before them, but in W40k they will. In real life you hit person once he goes down. You open fire with machine gun and everybody ducks and are suppressed. These things do not exist in W40k. 5.56 mm bullet is really laughable and just cute in W40k setting. Even in our world it has well known issues with killing people and we have reports where shot people just ignore it and keep on fighting.

Now imagine same thing with frenzone! This chemical overloads human body allowing it to function over its maximum potential and on top of it, it prevents body from figuring out what damage was inflicted upon it. In other words, if a person is charging you drugged with frenzone, it will take more than a dozen such bullets to take it down. He will simply won't care how many holes there are in his stomach or arms. Drugs will keep pushing him for dozen more seconds before body will be forced to shut down and those seconds will allow him to get into melee with you. What you need to stop such maniac is kinetic energy to stop his charge and pin point accuracy to person's head or heart to shut him for good. You know, just like with orks. These are just basic combat troops in w40k, anyone else who is going to charge you will be LOT worse than these mere slaves.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 10:21:02


Post by: CthuluIsSpy


 Ernestas wrote:
 G00fySmiley wrote:
"Yet Tau relies on damn precision weapons as their main battle rifle! Their pulse rifle which they hand out to every Tau grunt is extremely poor weapon. It has relatively low ammo count, low fire rate which is limited to single shot only. It also has a massive recoil for such gun. Sure, it has a great bite and a properly aimed shot will hit like a truck charging beast with its kinetic energy to stop him in his tracks and plasma damage to do actual damage on his flesh. Yet, the moment something doesn't go their way we can see entire battlelines quickly overwhelmed under mass assaults or ambushes."

what? its an ion pulse rifle, a tau rifle shoots energy. a laser rifle is shooting light, neither likely has any recoil. as to "slow fire" you are confounding game mechanics for lore. they shoot quite fast hard and are very accurate. btu it would nto be tabletop appropriate to say ok 30 shots per tau or guardsman.. then again it is represenative. that 30 man boy squad is likely much more numerous.

as to the idea that 100 yards is a difficult shot... it isn't with minimal training. I could take a novice and my dialed in rifle and get them to put them on a man sized target in an afternoon at 500 yards


A lot of people are unaware how Tau pulse rifle operates so I will make just one reply here.

Compared to other infantry weapons, the Pulse Rifle trades rate of fire for damage. Pulse Rifles also have significant recoil, which requires that the user be stationary to fire most effectively.


https://warhammer40k.fandom.com/wiki/Pulse_Rifle

Pulse rifles are more akin to battle rifles in our world. A single shot weapon can fire as quickly as you can properly aim and press a trigger, but this doesn't change a fact that you have something akin to pathetic 1 shot/s vs 200 shots/s of lasgun. Machine guns for comparison can reach 600 shots per second. Though, it depends on a weapon for how long it can maintain such rate of fire. Miniguns are designed to fire really fast while machine guns while being capable of that, will probably jam or overheat if you do not control your fire rate.

I do not know what you mean by it being a difficult shot. What I was saying is that organizing your infantry squad in a heat of battle is difficult. Everyone is doing something else and are concerned with something different. For example, Death Guard while doing little more than marching through open ground will always begin their marches with extremely heavy artillery bombardment prior to that. This will easily disturb unit cohesion and it will be a lot more difficult to efficiently coordinate your squad in a heat of battle. Especially when you have 10 seconds before you all are dead.


Yeah, the thing about Pulse rifles is that they aren't quite energy weapons like las weapons or necron gauss weapons.
They are basically rail guns - they use induction to fire a solid project that breaks down and turns into plasma upon leaving the barrel, due to it being heated and accelerated at high velocities. They are not true plasma guns, which uses gas or fluid as ammunition or even laser based, which uses light.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Ernestas wrote:
Tyel wrote:
I know its a jokey thread - but the logic never really works.

We have urban combat in real life. We don't fight with swords though because sure, you may only have a few seconds or whatever to shoot....
But you have guns that have over 600 RPM. You can unload a whole clip of 30 or whatever shots in 3 seconds.

You can then say "aha! they are immune to bullets" - but this just raises the question of "why wouldn't they be immune to swords?" If a 5.56mm bullet doesn't cut it, arm everyone with automatic elephant guns.

Ultimately 40k is an abstraction and a game. It should be a relatively short range scramble, because that's more fun that setting our armies up 3 feet away from each other and then just rolling dice until everything is dead.

And guardsmen get flashlights because thats what they get.


Yes, but you miss one important thing. People are not running like madman to your lines being completely oblivious to casualties, injuries or what is before them, but in W40k they will. In real life you hit person once he goes down. You open fire with machine gun and everybody ducks and are suppressed. These things do not exist in W40k.

5.56 bullet is really laughable and just cute. Even in our world it has well known issues with killing people and reports where shot people just ignore it and keep on fighting. Now imagine same thing with frienzone! This chemical overloads human body allowing it to function over its maximum potential and on top of it, it prevents body from figuring out what damage was inflicted upon it. In other words, if a person is charging you drugged with frienzone, it will take more than a dozen such bullets to take it down. He will simply don't care how many holes there are in his stomach or arms. Drugs will keep pushing him for dozen more seconds before body will be forced to shut down and those seconds will allow him to get into melee with you. What you need to stop such maniac is kinetic energy to stop his charge and pin point accuracy to person's head or heart to shut him for good. You know, just like with orks. These are just basic combat troops in w40k, anyone else who is going to charge you will be LOT worse than these mere slaves.


And that is why lasguns, autoguns and bolters don't use 5.56.
Lasguns can sever limbs on an unarmored target, because apparently it super heats the area and causes any moisture to flash boil, causing a small explosion. Or something like that, 40k science is weird.

Autoguns are chambered in 8mm rounds, iirc, although it varies by model.

Bolters fire armor piecing explosive rounds that are more comparable to rockets than bullets.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 10:32:25


Post by: Ernestas


CthuluIsSpyMade,

You did not understood me. In my original point I had mentioned that Tau rifles are like battle rifles of today. They are single shot weapon (it doesn't mean that there is some real delay between shots, but do not have rate of fire). I also had said that they operate on kinetic and plasma principle. Kinetic energy provides penetration and accuracy while plasma provides damage. Tau rifles hit hard and are accurate. They also possess quite a lot of inherent armor penetration.

As for 5.56 point, it is a real life comparison. The thing is, our calibers are poor at stopping power. 5.56 will not stop charging Ork. In Warhammer all armaments are a lot bigger and heftier. What we use today, mere 2 kilogram rifles 3 kg if they are loaded are children's toys. Even bolt pistol have more stopping power than burst from M16. It is not about W40k technology being all that better, but about that infantry weapons in W40k are of entirely different level in terms of weight. In W40k they would consider AK47 as lacking on stopping power and we use one level weaker gun all together.

This is how I see Tau pulse rifles in terms of use and rate of fire. They have superb accuracy, range and hitting power. Though they are mediocre to crap at everything else as weapons. They are long, unwieldy with high recoil. They are poor close quarters weapons. They are complex weapons which makes them heavy on maintenance and very demanding on resupply. They have low rate of fire and are difficult to effectively use them when ranges are 100 meters and below.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragunov_sniper_rifle

If I'm wrong, please direct me to lore where they behave differently.


Also, I had double checked on pulse rifle lore. While they do have automatic function, due to recoil of a weapon and that plasma temperature taxes barrel and it requires to cool off, these weapons are fired in single shot mode. In fact, precisely due to cooling difficulties of this rifle, it has separate barrel to alternative shots while unused barrel cools off.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 10:41:50


Post by: CthuluIsSpy


Yeah, I agree with you on pulse rifles. People have this idea that they are true plasma / energy weapons with high rates of fire, but they are a little more complicated than that and don't actually shoot as fast as you'd think. Lasguns, bolters and pulse rifles may be all rapid fire in game, but in fluff they are supposed to have different firing rates.

We can also agree that 40k weapons on a different level to our weapons, but as that's the case, then would enemies being hopped up on space PCP really be that much of a factor? I'd argue that the reason why 40k weapons are so power is because of the likes of space PCP and orks, and as such ranged combat should still be quite practical against those targets.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 10:51:40


Post by: Ernestas


It is because people do not consider all the things that allows melee combat to happen in W40k. My main point about melee combat today was using combat drug called frenzone. This combat drug converts person into beserker. His body will be overloaded and pushed beyond what a human is physically capable of. Furthermore it will allow person to ignore injuries which would kill most men. Blown up arm? Barely noticeable. Hole in a chest? Not something you are going to die fast enough. You only need ten seconds to get into melee to do damage and these drugs can prevent body from realizing damage that was inflicted upon it.

There is also a thing with exploding collars. In W40k slave masters of these troops will have each soldier attached to a collar with some explosives in it. If you don't do what he says, your head will explode. That is pretty big motivator to charge those troops without stopping. Especially when they have automatic drug injectors who will remove all fear, self preservation. No machine gun will give you pause. Only most severe wounds like blowing up head or heart will stop you for good, otherwise you will need to either riddle person with bullets in order to stop him for good.

I think that the only thing that prevents melee from happening in real life is our morality and self preservation instinct. Now, if we take those two things out. Lets say I'm a chaos lord and had enslaved a lot of people. Those slaves are useless to me. So, I will give them to slave masters. They will attach those explosive collars upon their necks. I do believe that will really motivate people to do what they are told as otherwise their fellow head explodes in a shower of blood and brain matter. The only thing and technology which we do not have to make melee a real threat in our world is this drug, frenzone.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 10:58:16


Post by: CthuluIsSpy


Ok, so frenzone is a little stronger than PCP. Wouldn't the practical solution then be to aim for the legs to slow them down? If you can sever an arm, you can sever a leg. I dunno, I see where you're coming from, I just don't think its that easy to get into melee.

Maybe if you popped smoke first to hide the charge, but that's practically an ambush.



Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 11:03:39


Post by: Gir Spirit Bane


Lads, this is a game where 8 foot super soldiers which can spit acid and fire rockets regularly engage british football hooligan mushrooms, 20 meters alien monsters and robots older than most planets.

I think we need to leave any pretence of realism at the door and just enjoy the spectacle.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 11:08:50


Post by: Ernestas


Well, I'm half joking in this thread. I do believe that ranged combat is most viable format in today or W40k world. I just want to play with people perception that melee combat only works because it is fantasy setting.

The thing with frenzone drug in lore is that it makes person into mindless beserker. You can cut person's arm with chainsword and it won't have any effect on him. Sure, his body might be dying, but combat is often very fast and brutal. He might need a minute to bleed out and die, but he only need a second to stab you with his knife.

If you aim for their legs you have a lot of people still crawling and trying to run in order to reach your position. A person drugged with proper mix of chemicals become little more than a hormagaunt. It will run mindlessly at you and will sustain ridiculous amount of damage, because its brain will refuse to accept a fact that it is already dead. This is why melee charges are so difficult to stop. It is not enough to merely hit a person anymore. Sure he might die on his own due to damage inflicted, but it will take him a little bit of time. If you do not stop person physically from running at you, he will still be a threat even if he is going to fall dead few seconds later due to his internal injuries. Heck, even headshot or hitting a heart won't do much good for you in some cases. Do you know that after you chop chicken's head, his body will proceed to run mindlessly around for few seconds? These few seconds while human continues to run at you out of pure inertia still contributes to a charge. It unerves soldier which might make him panic. It still forces soldier to fire even more rounds at him even if he does not need it. This is why fully automatic modes on your weapons, kinetic/stopping power is so important in W40k on your weapon. Then you can really be effective and put hurt upon someone who is charging you.

Yup, I had mentioned smoke when I had created this thread. There are many ways to help you with reaching other squad. Suppressive fire. Firing smoke into their positions. Artillery barrages. Mix in some assault weapons like flamethrowers. This is why guardsmen relies in lore so heavily upon their heavy armaments. Heavy bolters, flamers are often just the only thing that stands against their survival and being nom nomed by hormagaunts.

Also, troops about which we talked about often are used just as mere distractions. For example, crazed fanatics drugged with combat drugs in Chaos armies are merely cannon fodder meant to screen and protect far more valuable troops.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 11:49:59


Post by: Latro_


years ago we worked out how big a landraider actually was, you could live in it i think.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 15:40:37


Post by: Cronch


 Inquisitor Lord Katherine wrote:
 CthuluIsSpy wrote:
Are guard even that orientated towards close combat? They seem more shooty to me, especially compared to marines. Which makes sense; guard aren't power armored shock troops.
Apparently bayonet charges are a thing, but it seems to me that most of the fighting is done with artillery and fusilades of las gun fire. Its not really modern tactics, more WW1 - WW2 tactics, but then again we haven't really seen a full scale war in modern times.



Bayonet charges are still a thing. In 2011, IIRC, a British platoon fixed bayonets and charged the enemy when caught in an ambush in Afghanistan.

While charging in mass to stick 'em with the pointy end is no longer the premier battle tactic, it's still valid and useful when the situation calls for it, and very effective at dislodging the enemy from a position.

That was Iraq if I recall, and against what was essentially an armed mob. And not of the Ork kind Bayonets are like cannons on airplanes- no longer viable in 99% of cases (if I recall, since Vietnam war ONE combat airplane was downed by another planes' gun and two helicopters. That's it, 50 years and 3 kills) but no one is willing to get rid of them in case you find yourself in that 1% situation.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 16:53:32


Post by: Kap'n Krump


Are you forgetting that things like bayonet charges largely haven't been attempted since around the time of the american civil war? Or at MOST world war 1? Automatic weapons have largely made it irrelevant. There are some limited examples of melee fighting, but it's pretty rare.

Because rounding up a bunch of boyz and charging at the enemy has proven to be disastrously catastrophic for at least a century.



Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 16:58:05


Post by: warhead01


I don't know. My counter to drug crazed melee troops in the modern world would be triple strand concertina wire and more anti personnel weapons.
The problem with these drug fueled hand to hand killers is the lack of life expectancy. The drugs and activity will drastically reduce the reuseability of this type of troop. The drugs may let them ignore injury but in reality they will succumb to blood loss, loss of limb or punctured lungs. The side that uses these kinds of troop will always need a lot more than they have available .
Your answer to the first my be some kind of breaching vehicle but that would still contend with every other modern counter. Very few would make it through. The other problem is the numbers. Your drug warriors will need to be deployed in the hundreds or thousands to be meaningful in a conflict. Even then, if they have no command and control element they will be useless in the long run. We probably throwing the rules and laws of land warfare and every other governing document in the trash. Landmines will be back in season so will napalm and white prosperous and possibly poisonous gas.
One more problem is where will these drug troopers stage how do you get them any where? Those places and vehicles will get a hammer dropped on them for sure.
If anything war would get far worse than it already is.
I guess I just see an escalation to match the problem.
In 40K they have far more bodies to throw at a problem than we do in the real world.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 17:01:57


Post by: Charistoph


Ernestas wrote:
Compared to other infantry weapons, the Pulse Rifle trades rate of fire for damage. Pulse Rifles also have significant recoil, which requires that the user be stationary to fire most effectively.


https://warhammer40k.fandom.com/wiki/Pulse_Rifle

It is most unfortunate that they do not link the reference to that specific information. I do not recall reading it in the 3rd or 4th Codex.

Cronch wrote:That was Iraq if I recall, and against what was essentially an armed mob. And not of the Ork kind Bayonets are like cannons on airplanes- no longer viable in 99% of cases (if I recall, since Vietnam war ONE combat airplane was downed by another planes' gun and two helicopters. That's it, 50 years and 3 kills) but no one is willing to get rid of them in case you find yourself in that 1% situation.

The AC-130 would have a word with out, and you should read up on why the Top Gun school was created.

Still, in hallways or tunnels, rifles are a little too long to be used effectively.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 17:06:07


Post by: Bharring


We had a long discussion of bayonettes while back. Consensus in that thread seemed to be they're currently useful tools distributed still today, but primarily not a weapon today.

And, even as a weapon, they're more about ensuring your rifle can't be grappled with. So affixing it close-in can be useful, but more as a deterrent than weapon.

However, that same discussion showed that charges and bayonettes were useful and effective in warfare long after most thought they were not.

Close combat did not become completely useless upon the advent of firearms, as some would have you believe. It has some advantages. Not enough to be practical in modern warfare, but that doesn't mean it'll always be worthless.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 17:08:01


Post by: Charistoph


Bayonets are also made to be effective knives as well as pokey points on the end of a rifle.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 19:31:05


Post by: Maréchal des Logis Walter


CthuluIsSpy wrote:Ok, so frenzone is a little stronger than PCP. Wouldn't the practical solution then be to aim for the legs to slow them down? If you can sever an arm, you can sever a leg. I dunno, I see where you're coming from, I just don't think its that easy to get into melee.

Maybe if you popped smoke first to hide the charge, but that's practically an ambush.



As a regular shooter I feel that trying to hit somebody's legs while he's on the move could be a tough shot to pull off. You would actually aim at the chest were you still can hit something even while being stressed, in a hurry. Though you'd prefer not to have to do it at all, if your mental sanity is whole, and be quite reluctant anyway.

Gir Spirit Bane wrote:Lads, this is a game where 8 foot super soldiers which can spit acid and fire rockets regularly engage british football hooligan mushrooms, 20 meters alien monsters and robots older than most planets.

I think we need to leave any pretence of realism at the door and just enjoy the spectacle.


Just. This.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 19:48:23


Post by: Cronch


 Charistoph wrote:

The AC-130 would have a word with out, and you should read up on why the Top Gun school was created.

Still, in hallways or tunnels, rifles are a little too long to be used effectively.

The AC-130 isn't an anti-air platform. It's a slow cow designed to pummel low-tech opposition at a low cost. As for "top gun"... one airplane downed in anger by fighter's cannons in 50 years that passed since Vietnam. Sorry, but missiles are the default weapon against modern flying targets. It doesn't mean the fighter training school is useless, just that the gun is as much a backup option as a pistol is to a rifleman.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 20:17:13


Post by: niall78


 Kap'n Krump wrote:
Are you forgetting that things like bayonet charges largely haven't been attempted since around the time of the american civil war? Or at MOST world war 1? Automatic weapons have largely made it irrelevant. There are some limited examples of melee fighting, but it's pretty rare.

Because rounding up a bunch of boyz and charging at the enemy has proven to be disastrously catastrophic for at least a century.



Even in the American Civil War bayonets and swords only accounted for about 1% of battle wounds.

You really need to go back to the early age of gunpowder to see planned close assault with melee weapons.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 20:24:17


Post by: Alcibiades


 Xenomancers wrote:
Just for a frame of reference.
A 5.56 Round travels at about 1000 mps.
It will cover the range of 100 meter in a little over a 10th of a second and in 3 seconds 30 rounds can travel that far...from 1 man with the most basic weapon on the battlefield.

Each shot is lethal too.
.


Err? Most gunshot wounds are not lethal. They're not magic death rays.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 20:28:20


Post by: flandarz


Where are you getting your data for "most gunshot wounds are not lethal"? Cuz, I mean sure... if you shoot someone in the arm, shoulder, leg, hand, or foot, it probably won't be lethal. And if you shoot them in the abdomen, it won't be immediately lethal either. But people aren't aiming for those areas. If you take a 5.56 to the chest without body armor, you're probably gonna die, and that's the easiest target for a gunman to aim at.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 21:18:18


Post by: Racerguy180


CthuluIsSpy wrote:
Spoiler:
 Inquisitor Lord Katherine wrote:
 CthuluIsSpy wrote:
Are guard even that orientated towards close combat? They seem more shooty to me, especially compared to marines. Which makes sense; guard aren't power armored shock troops.
Apparently bayonet charges are a thing, but it seems to me that most of the fighting is done with artillery and fusilades of las gun fire. Its not really modern tactics, more WW1 - WW2 tactics, but then again we haven't really seen a full scale war in modern times.



Bayonet charges are still a thing. In 2011, IIRC, a British platoon fixed bayonets and charged the enemy when caught in an ambush in Afghanistan.

While charging in mass to stick 'em with the pointy end is no longer the premier battle tactic, it's still valid and useful when the situation calls for it, and very effective at dislodging the enemy from a position.


Huh, I did not know that. Interesting little fact there.
I especially didn't know modern rifles could still take bayonet attachments. I thought that got phased out.


Ernestas wrote:CthuluIsSpyMade,

You did not understood me. In my original point I had mentioned that Tau rifles are like battle rifles of today. They are single shot weapon (it doesn't mean that there is some real delay between shots, but do not have rate of fire). I also had said that they operate on kinetic and plasma principle. Kinetic energy provides penetration and accuracy while plasma provides damage. Tau rifles hit hard and are accurate. They also possess quite a lot of inherent armor penetration.

As for 5.56 point, it is a real life comparison. The thing is, our calibers are poor at stopping power. 5.56 will not stop charging Ork. In Warhammer all armaments are a lot bigger and heftier. What we use today, mere 2 kilogram rifles 3 kg if they are loaded are children's toys. Even bolt pistol have more stopping power than burst from M16. It is not about W40k technology being all that better, but about that infantry weapons in W40k are of entirely different level in terms of weight. In W40k they would consider AK47 as lacking on stopping power and we use one level weaker gun all together.

This is how I see Tau pulse rifles in terms of use and rate of fire. They have superb accuracy, range and hitting power. Though they are mediocre to crap at everything else as weapons. They are long, unwieldy with high recoil. They are poor close quarters weapons. They are complex weapons which makes them heavy on maintenance and very demanding on resupply. They have low rate of fire and are difficult to effectively use them when ranges are 100 meters and below.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragunov_sniper_rifle

If I'm wrong, please direct me to lore where they behave differently.


Also, I had double checked on pulse rifle lore. While they do have automatic function, due to recoil of a weapon and that plasma temperature taxes barrel and it requires to cool off, these weapons are fired in single shot mode. In fact, precisely due to cooling difficulties of this rifle, it has separate barrel to alternative shots while unused barrel cools off.


Cronch wrote:
 Charistoph wrote:

The AC-130 would have a word with out, and you should read up on why the Top Gun school was created.

Still, in hallways or tunnels, rifles are a little too long to be used effectively.

The AC-130 isn't an anti-air platform. It's a slow cow designed to pummel low-tech opposition at a low cost. As for "top gun"... one airplane downed in anger by fighter's cannons in 50 years that passed since Vietnam. Sorry, but missiles are the default weapon against modern flying targets. It doesn't mean the fighter training school is useless, just that the gun is as much a backup option as a pistol is to a rifleman.[/spoiler]

40K is lacking a little thing in the real world called the Geneva Convention. It is the reason every.single.cartidge designed(for open warfare) has to do a better job of wounding than killing. Cuz your dead buddy is dead, but your squad mate is alive & screaming in agony. Since it takes more people to care for an alive one than a dead one, it effectively takes more soldiers out of the fight.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/06 23:54:40


Post by: Inquisitor Lord Katherine


 Kap'n Krump wrote:
Are you forgetting that things like bayonet charges largely haven't been attempted since around the time of the american civil war? Or at MOST world war 1? Automatic weapons have largely made it irrelevant. There are some limited examples of melee fighting, but it's pretty rare.

Because rounding up a bunch of boyz and charging at the enemy has proven to be disastrously catastrophic for at least a century.



I dunno about that.

As observed, the most recent bayonet charge was in Afghanistan in 2011. Bayonet charges were also successfully performed by western units during the Falklands War, Yugoslav conflict, and during the Iraq wars.
During the Korean War, both sides used bayonet charges, the Chinese very extensively so.

It's pretty easy to turn up a fairly significant number of bayonet charges made during modern conflicts with a cursory search. While not the primary weapon of any military, it is definitely still something than is still used.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/07 00:01:04


Post by: Overread


I think the key is to realise that whilst ranged weapons beat close combat in an open situation; there's still ample reason to use close combat weaponry including a bayonet. It's just not part of standard battle practice and is a rarer and very situational method. As opposed to the historical past when bayonet charges were far more commonplace.

I'm sure you can find examples of people still using swords, spears and bows and arrows in battles today. People haven't changed. We still die if you can impale or bludgeon us with something. Those weapons still work. If you get hit in the face with a mace it doesn't matter if its the middle ages, ancient Rome or yesterday - its going to at best hurt a lot and at worst kill you.

However you're not likely to carry a mace today because your opponent isn't likely wearing full plate armour and you're unlikely to first encounter them in battle right up close. You're far more likely to trade ranged weapons fire even indirect fire and such long before.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/07 01:35:22


Post by: Insularum


 Inquisitor Lord Katherine wrote:
 Kap'n Krump wrote:
Are you forgetting that things like bayonet charges largely haven't been attempted since around the time of the american civil war? Or at MOST world war 1? Automatic weapons have largely made it irrelevant. There are some limited examples of melee fighting, but it's pretty rare.

Because rounding up a bunch of boyz and charging at the enemy has proven to be disastrously catastrophic for at least a century.



I dunno about that.

As observed, the most recent bayonet charge was in Afghanistan in 2011. Bayonet charges were also successfully performed by western units during the Falklands War, Yugoslav conflict, and during the Iraq wars.
During the Korean War, both sides used bayonet charges, the Chinese very extensively so.

It's pretty easy to turn up a fairly significant number of bayonet charges made during modern conflicts with a cursory search. While not the primary weapon of any military, it is definitely still something than is still used.

In Iraq 2004 at Danny Boy there was another close quarters engagement with bayonets and no British loses, however for anyone trying to romanticise melee over ranged combat needs to go play some paintball then reconsider.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/07 19:05:00


Post by: Racerguy180


Insularum wrote:
 Inquisitor Lord Katherine wrote:
 Kap'n Krump wrote:
Are you forgetting that things like bayonet charges largely haven't been attempted since around the time of the american civil war? Or at MOST world war 1? Automatic weapons have largely made it irrelevant. There are some limited examples of melee fighting, but it's pretty rare.

Because rounding up a bunch of boyz and charging at the enemy has proven to be disastrously catastrophic for at least a century.



I dunno about that.

As observed, the most recent bayonet charge was in Afghanistan in 2011. Bayonet charges were also successfully performed by western units during the Falklands War, Yugoslav conflict, and during the Iraq wars.
During the Korean War, both sides used bayonet charges, the Chinese very extensively so.

It's pretty easy to turn up a fairly significant number of bayonet charges made during modern conflicts with a cursory search. While not the primary weapon of any military, it is definitely still something than is still used.

In Iraq 2004 at Danny Boy there was another close quarters engagement with bayonets and no British loses, however for anyone trying to romanticise melee over ranged combat needs to go play some paintball then reconsider.


things are significantly more complicated when someone is shooting at you. That 10ft gap between buildings/cover is plenty of time for a bullet to find you. Hell, even an open doorway is enuff. or if your enemy is utilising barrier indifferent projectiles that car/wall/whatever doesnt provide any protection at all.

Barrett M82A1, turning cover into concealment for 35 years.



Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/07 20:42:44


Post by: Elbows


 flandarz wrote:
Where are you getting your data for "most gunshot wounds are not lethal"? Cuz, I mean sure... if you shoot someone in the arm, shoulder, leg, hand, or foot, it probably won't be lethal. And if you shoot them in the abdomen, it won't be immediately lethal either. But people aren't aiming for those areas. If you take a 5.56 to the chest without body armor, you're probably gonna die, and that's the easiest target for a gunman to aim at.


Well "most gunshots wounds are not lethal" is actually true. That's why people are saying it. Now, do you mean a rifle round will remove someone from the combat equation? That's a different thing entirely. Even a simple 5.56 or 5.45 round will take someone out of the fight most of the time if you score a shot in the torso. They might die from it, may not, depends on where it went, what organs it did or did not hit, and what kind of immediate and long-term treatment they have access to.

If you mean gunshots in a general term, including all types of handguns and long-arms, then they're most definitely not always lethal.

If you then expand that definition further to shots hitting limbs (which happens a lot), it's even more less than likely to be lethal. It's not uncommon at all for someone to survive 2-5 gunshot wounds.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/07 20:58:16


Post by: flandarz


If we're including ready and immediate access to modern medical care then, sure, most singular gunshots are not lethal. But that's the same as saying "heart attacks aren't lethal as long as you get to the hospital in time". My view on lethality is whether or not something would kill you if you didn't or couldn't receive medical care in a timely manner.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/07 21:06:19


Post by: Blndmage


For the purposes of discussing the lethality of weapons in 40k, I think we should be looking at "will it remove the target's ability to influence the battle?", not "will it kill them in one hit".

I've always pictured "slain" models as a mixture of under too badly to contribute and actually dead.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/07 22:16:08


Post by: catbarf


 flandarz wrote:
Where are you getting your data for "most gunshot wounds are not lethal"? Cuz, I mean sure... if you shoot someone in the arm, shoulder, leg, hand, or foot, it probably won't be lethal. And if you shoot them in the abdomen, it won't be immediately lethal either. But people aren't aiming for those areas. If you take a 5.56 to the chest without body armor, you're probably gonna die, and that's the easiest target for a gunman to aim at.


If you are a normal human and take a single center-mass bullet wound, you are most likely incapacitated as a casualty and unable to fight, but will likely still live.

That said, if a bullet clips a major artery or the heart, you die quickly. Also, the shoulder and leg both contain major arteries- the idea that these are non-lethal targets is Hollywood myth. Anyways, if it pierces the lung, you may suffer a collapse, but unless both lungs collapse you have ample time to seek medical attention. Anywhere else and you have a high chance of survival as long as you can be treated before infection sets in (particularly for gut wounds). You may be paralyzed by spinal injury, or have to get part of your intestine removed, but most gunshot wounds to the torso/abdomen that don't hit the heart or take out both lungs are survivable.

In the pre-WW1 era, where the most common munition was a 0.58-0.75" musket ball capable of shattering bones, the most common cause of death subsequent to gunshot wound was infection, not terminal effects of the bullet itself.

It's the incapacitating effect of pain and structural damage that renders the victim a casualty.

niall78 wrote:
Even in the American Civil War bayonets and swords only accounted for about 1% of battle wounds.

You really need to go back to the early age of gunpowder to see planned close assault with melee weapons.


While bayonets accounted for a very low percentage of wounds, bayonet charges were often tactically decisive far in excess of the casualties they produced. There are numerous battles that were resolved by a bayonet charge against a wavering enemy (Little Round Top is a well-known example), as infantry are far more likely to break and run in the face of blades than they are in the face of bullets. There is a massive psychological impact to knives and swords (both on the part of the recipient and on the bearer) that guns simply don't have. So while it is not accurate to frame the bayonet as an essential component of gunpowder warfare, it is also not accurate to dismiss its significance entirely on the basis of comparable lack of casualties. It's a psychological tool more than a weapon, but that was what won battles.

 Overread wrote:
However you're not likely to carry a mace today because your opponent isn't likely wearing full plate armour and you're unlikely to first encounter them in battle right up close. You're far more likely to trade ranged weapons fire even indirect fire and such long before.


If you were regularly encountering enemies in full plate armor up close, a .223 carbine would still be the optimal weapon. The issue is more fundamental than typical engagement profiles; modern firearms allow you to transform a lot of chemical energy into destructive kinetic energy in a short amount of time and human musculature can't compete.

Things may start to change when you bring in augmentation (power armor), energy delivery mechanisms masquerading as melee weapons (power fists), or defenses that require substantially more energy for terminal effect (power armor again). It's still liable to be super-handwavy, but it makes for good fiction.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/07 23:11:59


Post by: Vaktathi


 Ernestas wrote:
It is because people do not consider all the things that allows melee combat to happen in W40k. My main point about melee combat today was using combat drug called frenzone. This combat drug converts person into beserker. His body will be overloaded and pushed beyond what a human is physically capable of. Furthermore it will allow person to ignore injuries which would kill most men. Blown up arm? Barely noticeable. Hole in a chest? Not something you are going to die fast enough. You only need ten seconds to get into melee to do damage and these drugs can prevent body from realizing damage that was inflicted upon it.
This works...if pain is the only thing we are talking about. Bullets that burst lungs and open major arteries are going to leave a combatant incapable no matter how angry and resistant to pain they are. No drug is going to keep someone going if their blood pressure collapses in the space of a couple seconds and stops reaching the brain. Nobody is going to keep charging with a kneecap blown off or a femur shattered. Losing an arm is a gigantic problem for someone wanting to engage in close combat.



There is also a thing with exploding collars. In W40k slave masters of these troops will have each soldier attached to a collar with some explosives in it. If you don't do what he says, your head will explode. That is pretty big motivator to charge those troops without stopping. Especially when they have automatic drug injectors who will remove all fear, self preservation. No machine gun will give you pause. Only most severe wounds like blowing up head or heart will stop you for good, otherwise you will need to either riddle person with bullets in order to stop him for good.
It's really easy to inflict such wounds, and historical examples of suicidal combatants (modern IS forces, WW2 Japanese, WW1 human wave attacks, etc) have proven the primacy of firepower on every occasion.



I think that the only thing that prevents melee from happening in real life is our morality and self preservation instinct. Now, if we take those two things out. Lets say I'm a chaos lord and had enslaved a lot of people. Those slaves are useless to me. So, I will give them to slave masters. They will attach those explosive collars upon their necks. I do believe that will really motivate people to do what they are told as otherwise their fellow head explodes in a shower of blood and brain matter.
what you're far more likely to get are people who willingly walk into enemy fire to end their situation, or otherwise give up and hope said collars can be removed, or who turn on their masters when an opportunity presents itself.



Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/11 08:11:14


Post by: Ernestas


This works...if pain is the only thing we are talking about. Bullets that burst lungs and open major arteries are going to leave a combatant incapable no matter how angry and resistant to pain they are. No drug is going to keep someone going if their blood pressure collapses in the space of a couple seconds and stops reaching the brain. Nobody is going to keep charging with a kneecap blown off or a femur shattered. Losing an arm is a gigantic problem for someone wanting to engage in close combat.


The issue is how fast melee combat is. Even if you puncture major arteries, person will still keep running. It is great analogy with headless chicken. You can cut head off a chicken, but it will still keep running for God's sake for quite a while. This is what I mean by brain not realizing that it is dead. This is what I mean that it can be remarkably difficult to kill a charging beserker with range fire, especially one without kinetic force. Even if body is most definitely dead it will just keep on coming until from its own inertia and that is even worse. Your soldiers will panic, your troops will stay focused on a dead, harmless man and will fire more ammunition than it is necessary thus ignoring other targets. In melee combat, everything is decided within seconds. It can take under 10 seconds for charging units to cover 100 meter distance and it takes seconds to obliterate your lines if they get into melee.

It's really easy to inflict such wounds, and historical examples of suicidal combatants (modern IS forces, WW2 Japanese, WW1 human wave attacks, etc) have proven the primacy of firepower on every occasion.


Not exactly. Modern combat had proven that even stone age technology warriors pose serious threat to modern soldiers. If they are properly drugged and conditioned, it will take entire magazines to stop one such beserker and such sights will wreak havoc upon your troops. This video shows what happens when you have such soldiers properly employed in modern combat. Please take note that calibers used in this battle were a lot higher than ones we use in modern combat. In addition, these troops would count as cheap cannon fodder in W40k and most factions would have far more deadly variants than these. They at their weakest are exactly like here, driven utterly mad by Chaos and charging you without any regard for their own lives. Men, women, old people, children. Hordes of such people will descend upon your soldiers, previous citizens of your planet merely herded before you and your firing line. More often than not, they are only here to distract their enemies until more valuable and experienced troops get into positions to kill their foes. Now tell me, how that is not effective in modern combat? Our soldiers have PTSD from gak they see in real combat, brutal stuff like that would seriously tax their sanity even if they manage to ultimately win. This is why entire regiment had betrayed Imperium on Cadia and decapitated its command staff merely because it would rather betray Imperium and would die there and now rather than to face horrors of Chaos again.




Now, in W40k everyone uses level or armament at least one level higher than we use today. Autoguns, stubs in W40k are of Ak-47 level. Orks are known to utilize a lot of high caliber, high rate of fire weapons. Even then, W40k has equally ridiculous stuff in making melee a lot more feasible. This is outside of more unnatural things. We did not talked about charging Ogryn at all. What you gonna do when this brute will be charging at you and all you have is a lasgun? Soil yourself? Then there are even more ridiculous force multipliers like Chaos blessings. Nurgle is eager to bless his followers with unnatural resistance meaning that every single heretic simply doesn't die from things described in this thread. Punctured lungs, bleeding arteries? Nurgle worshipping average heretic is unlikely to die from that on his own. Now consider your average guardsmen squad. They have mere lasguns and laspistols. While they are deadly against unprotected human flesh, the problem with them is that they have zero stopping power. A full power hit can wreck entirely any area of flesh where it lands, but the issue with laser weaponary is that it seals wounds as it makes them. Meaning that any damage to flesh will require quite a bit of time to register and for brain to comprehend that it is dead. I do not envy guardsmen, while lasgun is remarkable weapon for an army, in such situations it is ineffective. The only salvation they have are in their heavy weapons. Flamers, heavy bolters. If they cease firing, they all are as good as dead.

what you're far more likely to get are people who willingly walk into enemy fire to end their situation, or otherwise give up and hope said collars can be removed, or who turn on their masters when an opportunity presents itself.


Humans can be trained as animals and all hope and spirit can be crushed if you are competent slave master. There are countless gruesome examples from real world where people will not resist and will accept their fate even if accepting mean certain death while resisting means possible survival for some.



Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/11 12:10:18


Post by: Overread


Yeah but in the video the tribesman lost 500 to only around 14 or so Americans.

Also you fail to account for the fact that if the Americans had gone into battle only with closecombat weapons as well, then they would have likely taken far greater loses because now their opponents would have made it into close combat unharmed. Ranged weapons let them down most to the majority of them at range; leaving them weaker and wounded by the time any that did survive, made it into close combat range.

So the side with ranged weapons takes far fewer losses, far fewer wounded and kills many times its own number at range.



Yes for the 40K setting you can simply wipe that away by having massive legions of close combat troops and with armours that resist the ranged weapons of the age, pushing them back to almost the equivalent age of muskets in modern day terms. However this still shows that ranged weapons are very powerful and effective and that, in modern warfare, ranged weapons still prove to be far more effective than close combat.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/11 13:01:11


Post by: =Angel=






I can tell that some of you are about to have a good hour and a half.

40k conspires to make the rare more common. Trench clearance, space dungeons, future warren streets, unequipped human militias, unequipped alien militias, monsters, active camouflage, warrior cultures, technological stagnation, technological advance, supply chain difficulties, vast numbers against small numbers. Shapeshifters, mind control, teleportation, tunneling machines, drop devices.
All in service of creating situations where the man with the axe is close enough to hit the man with the gun when he runs out of bullets or stops to reload or back is turned.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/11 13:17:32


Post by: Ernestas


 Overread wrote:
Yeah but in the video the tribesman lost 500 to only around 14 or so Americans.

Also you fail to account for the fact that if the Americans had gone into battle only with closecombat weapons as well, then they would have likely taken far greater loses because now their opponents would have made it into close combat unharmed. Ranged weapons let them down most to the majority of them at range; leaving them weaker and wounded by the time any that did survive, made it into close combat range.

So the side with ranged weapons takes far fewer losses, far fewer wounded and kills many times its own number at range.



Yes for the 40K setting you can simply wipe that away by having massive legions of close combat troops and with armours that resist the ranged weapons of the age, pushing them back to almost the equivalent age of muskets in modern day terms. However this still shows that ranged weapons are very powerful and effective and that, in modern warfare, ranged weapons still prove to be far more effective than close combat.


The thing with melee combat is that it only takes just that little small edge before your guys start breaking, fleeing and dying in vast quantities. If those troops would get a drop, would have something worse mixed into their formation, like lets say, Chaos spawn or be under effect of far more potent combat drugs, outcome would had been far different. Lets say, you mix up few veteran chaos marauders into the mix. Suddenly, they are advancing towards your line and taking shots at your guys with impunity while your soldiers are too busy handling those lunatics screaming and charging at them. This is insane force multiplier for any more professional force. This is EXACTLY how such soldiers are used in W40k. Penal Legion are here just to provide that decisive "bayonet charge" effect or simply to soak up fire while more important troops take up positions behind them and open fire themselves. Chaos just throw them at the guns to figure out where heavy guns are and more valuable troops proceed take out those key elements. They are nothing more than a force multiplier to them, like a man would use airpower to increase effectiveness of their infantry on a ground, Chaos uses mass charges of raving mad cultists and chaos spawns as just another weapon of war for their equipped and trained soldiers to do all the actual fighting.

Though, I never had said that this tactic is not intense on casualties. I had said that people who are dying are worthless. Children, women, men, old people. You know, no one of value while those 14 or so troops are of Imperial Guard. Sent through galaxy, trained for years, equipped with tons of gear. Capable soldiers who in a right place can effectively fight most of enemies they encounter. Versatile, deadly, professional. I have millions of these civilians driven mad after I had landed on a Imperial planet while you only have hundred thousands of IG tops. On the other hand, all I had sent were just bunch of raving lunatics. I actually won in this trade, because now I won't have to feed them and they won't just starve to death and continue causing incidents in my camp and I had likely won previous position of those troops together with their undamaged gear. A highly prized equipment in resource stripped Chaos armies.

As for example in that video, American soldiers came with close quarters specialized weapons. They were fighting in a jungle, this is why they had shotguns and why pistols were so important. Most soldiers were equipped with rifles which are primary range firearm. Modern combat possesses weaker assault rifles, less stopping and killing power per bullet. They are less accurate over range, but possesses higher rate of fire. Tau on the other hand made such rifles into their main weapon of war. Their guns are harder hitting with more stopping power, but at the same time, they are unwieldy, clumsy and requires concentration and focus from fire warrior to properly aim and fire.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/11 15:39:21


Post by: catbarf


I'm sorry, Ernestas, but that video is pop-history. The failure of low-powered .38-caliber revolvers to stop drugged-up Moros was a large part of the Army's move to a .45-caliber handgun. And even with inadequate equipment (note that the US Army didn't officially procure shotguns until WW1- the use of revolvers and commercially-bought shotguns in the Philippines was makeshift, not specialized), the US inflicted kill ratios in excess of 35:1. Not against 'children, women, men, old people', but physically-fit fighting-age combatants.

Modern intermediate-caliber rifles are not weaker than Hague-compliant spitzer projectiles in full-sized rifle calibers. Those older rounds have higher kinetic energy, but regularly overpenetrate and waste it. .223 and 5.45 are designed to yaw on impact and cause high transfer of kinetic energy. This makes them more comparable in terminal effect to the rounded lead slugs used in prior eras- for reference, the English .577/.450 Martini rifle had no trouble against Zulus on a cocktail of intelezi, dagga, beer, and fly agaric.

I have seen the terminal effects of .223 against the human body first-hand. Nobody, no matter how much khat they've been chewing or panzerschokolade they've been downing, will survive 'entire magazines' of fire. As soon as one round clips a lung, comes within an inch of the heart or spine, or hits the upper half of the skull, you are done.

Oh, and they're not less accurate either. Not only has propellant and bullet design improved to the point where MOA groups are practical with service weapons (something that only the Finns did, prior to WW2), but modern optics provide an enormous force multiplier. The limitation on rifle accuracy has always been the shooter, not the weapon. You do run into extreme cases when Pashtun insurgents are chucking .303s at you from a kilometer away and .223 can't reach back, but that's neither effective fire nor particularly representative of modern combat.

So your average modern soldier carries a weapon with higher rate of fire, greater lethal effect, and better accuracy than the long-arms used a century ago. And yet with those century-old weapons, in unfamiliar territory and adverse conditions, the US Army managed to inflict heavily disproportionate casualties on drugged-up melee combatants.

Bear in mind that a .223 rifle is, effectively, a melee weapon. It can be used at any range, right up to physical contact with the enemy, and delivers far more kinetic energy on impact than any primitive weapon is capable of. If you really are liable to be fighting in point-blank close-quarters operations, you put a bayonet on it- not so much as a weapon as to prevent unwanted manipulation.

There is no plausible context in which melee-armed combatants can threaten modern soldiers. You have to get into pure magic (ie 'nothing stops them except a headshot' zombies) for that to be the case. It's fine that 40K runs on rule of cool, but don't go looking for realism.

Edit: Also, stopping power is a myth and pulse lasers don't burn holes, they cause miniature explosions through thermal shock. Cauterizing or not, their terminal effects are described as comparable to modern rifle rounds, at least in the novels I've read (Cain/Gaunt's Ghosts).


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/11 18:07:48


Post by: Vaktathi


 Ernestas wrote:
This works...if pain is the only thing we are talking about. Bullets that burst lungs and open major arteries are going to leave a combatant incapable no matter how angry and resistant to pain they are. No drug is going to keep someone going if their blood pressure collapses in the space of a couple seconds and stops reaching the brain. Nobody is going to keep charging with a kneecap blown off or a femur shattered. Losing an arm is a gigantic problem for someone wanting to engage in close combat.


The issue is how fast melee combat is. Even if you puncture major arteries, person will still keep running. It is great analogy with headless chicken. You can cut head off a chicken, but it will still keep running for God's sake for quite a while. This is what I mean by brain not realizing that it is dead. This is what I mean that it can be remarkably difficult to kill a charging beserker with range fire, especially one without kinetic force. Even if body is most definitely dead it will just keep on coming until from its own inertia and that is even worse. Your soldiers will panic, your troops will stay focused on a dead, harmless man and will fire more ammunition than it is necessary thus ignoring other targets. In melee combat, everything is decided within seconds. It can take under 10 seconds for charging units to cover 100 meter distance and it takes seconds to obliterate your lines if they get into melee.
A chicken head and a human head are very different things, and a human head draws a whole lot more blood and the human brain is a far more complex and necessary object than a chicken's brain stem. If the right artery is hit, a person is going down very quickly indeed and absolutely is not going to charge 100 meters and successfully engage in combat. A brain doesnt need to realize its dead for it to be combat incapable.


It's really easy to inflict such wounds, and historical examples of suicidal combatants (modern IS forces, WW2 Japanese, WW1 human wave attacks, etc) have proven the primacy of firepower on every occasion.


Not exactly. Modern combat had proven that even stone age technology warriors pose serious threat to modern soldiers. If they are properly drugged and conditioned, it will take entire magazines to stop one such beserker and such sights will wreak havoc upon your troops.

This video shows what happens when you have such soldiers properly employed in modern combat. Please take note that calibers used in this battle were a lot higher than ones we use in modern combat.
Legends involving the Moros are largely just that, legends. People miss shots thinking they hit, get scared, etc. Same way you hear complaints about .30 carbine failing to kill Chinese troops on Korea because of thick winter coats, but every test done on them shows the round trivially penetrating such clothing and people most likely simply didn't hit anything when they thought they had, or the dude they shot got carried off by his buddies and no body was left to find.

The Moros were ultimately violently crushed with relatively few casualties and no real strenuous war effort on the part of US and Phillipine forces. Most of their success came from catching their enemies unprepared and unready, in which case if someone doesn't have a ready weapon at hand you can get away with a lot more.


Also, caliber alone is a relatively irrelevant value on it's own. If I have to choose between getting shot by a .45 or a .223, imma take the bigger .45 bullet every time because its packing a fraction of the kinetic energy of the .223 projectile.

Again, there's a reason that French cran and elan, Japanese martial pride and the Bushido ethos, etc fell before the primacy of firepower when put to the test.



In addition, these troops would count as cheap cannon fodder in W40k and most factions would have far more deadly variants than these. They at their weakest are exactly like here, driven utterly mad by Chaos and charging you without any regard for their own lives. Men, women, old people, children. Hordes of such people will descend upon your soldiers, previous citizens of your planet merely herded before you and your firing line. More often than not, they are only here to distract their enemies until more valuable and experienced troops get into positions to kill their foes.
Herding large groups of unwilling or forced people like tha is actually a very complex task that takes a great deal of effort and organization and tends to rapidly break down even without getting shot at. Theres a reason nobody really tries it in real life.

Now tell me, how that is not effective in modern combat? Our soldiers have PTSD from gak they see in real combat, brutal stuff like that would seriously tax their sanity even if they manage to ultimately win.
so have people from every side of every conflict in human history.




Now, in W40k everyone uses level or armament at least one level higher than we use today.
Hrm, only in the most basic of senses. 40k is Fantasy in Space, not really proper scifi. Modern MBT's have capabilities that would shame the Tau and Eldar. Radar guided counterbattery artillery fire able to drop shells within a few meters of a target a dozen miles away basically doesnt exist in 40k. Air defense networks are almost entirely gun based, the kind of integrated multi threat air defense systems seen in places like Russia have no 40k counterparts.



We did not talked about charging Ogryn at all. What you gonna do when this brute will be charging at you and all you have is a lasgun? Soil yourself?
Do what poachers in Africa do when confronted with charging elephants/lions/giraffes/hippos/etc, dump the magazine of their 50+ year old Kalashnikov in a couple of seconds, load a new magazine, and do it again if necessary. Works fairly well.


Then there are even more ridiculous force multipliers like Chaos blessings. Nurgle is eager to bless his followers with unnatural resistance meaning that every single heretic simply doesn't die from things described in this thread. Punctured lungs, bleeding arteries?
These things absolutely kill Nurgle stuff, theyre not immortal, just resilient (sometimes, not everything is a plague marine). All sorts of fluff shows nurgle stuff being killed by small arms.




what you're far more likely to get are people who willingly walk into enemy fire to end their situation, or otherwise give up and hope said collars can be removed, or who turn on their masters when an opportunity presents itself.


Humans can be trained as animals and all hope and spirit can be crushed if you are competent slave master. There are countless gruesome examples from real world where people will not resist and will accept their fate even if accepting mean certain death while resisting means possible survival for some.

None on a battlefield in the manner you describe however, hersing them onto prepared enemy positions as meatshields.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 00:10:06


Post by: Elbows


 flandarz wrote:
If we're including ready and immediate access to modern medical care then, sure, most singular gunshots are not lethal. But that's the same as saying "heart attacks aren't lethal as long as you get to the hospital in time". My view on lethality is whether or not something would kill you if you didn't or couldn't receive medical care in a timely manner.


So your definition of a gunshot being lethal is: do you sit and do nothing and bleed out...even from a non-lethal gunshot? Outside of the target zones (spine, lungs, heart, major artery) gunshot wounds are survivable in many cases, even with basic combat first-aid. You can triage and provide basic care allowing an individual to make it an hour or more without more competent medical care.

A basic gunshot wound to any extremity is not immediately lethal (major exception being the femoral artery, but even that can be staunched - though difficult). Rounds to the face/head are not immediately lethal. Numerous accounts of people having gunshot wounds chip their skull, go in one cheek and out the other (with teeth following shortly thereafter), etc.

Is your version of lethal "is this CAPABLE of killing someone?"? Well sure, a bb gun could kill someone if the wound got infected and the person did nothing about it...so I'm not following your argument. You should spend some time looking up the vast reports compiled by the FBI and some independent parties who actually study the physical effects of every recorded gunfight they can get their hands on. The science will surprise you.

There is a reason that law enforcement and military personnel are often trained to a minimum two-shot drill since the 1980's. In fact there has been a move away from two-shot drills (or "double taps" as they're more commonly called) because it became an ingrained detriment to special forces soldiers. Soldiers deployed in the field were so used to training double-taps they would shoot an enemy combatant twice and then move on their search or engagement....only to find the combatant was still alive and a threat.



Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 01:06:24


Post by: flandarz


To turn the question back at you, is your argument that things are only lethal if they immediately kill someone? Cuz if you can receive immediate first aid/medical care, almost nothing is actually lethal. My stance is that if you cannot survive 30 minutes to an hour without at least first aid (which is pretty average for an active shooter situation), then it's a "lethal" wound.

Sure, there are cases of people surviving shots to the face or head. There's also cases of people falling hundreds of meters and surviving. Edge cases don't lower the lethality of something.

In 2013, there were approximately 73.5k gun related injuries in the U.S. (so not including any warzones). Of those 33.5k resulted in death, which results at around 46% lethality. So while, technically, you could say "most gunshots are not lethal", I'd argue a 46% chance that someone shooting you is going to kill you is a pretty high lethality.

Of course, a fair portion of those deaths and injuries were suicide related, which may have skewed the data, but it's probably not far off the mark.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 02:18:17


Post by: catbarf


 flandarz wrote:
In 2013, there were approximately 73.5k gun related injuries in the U.S. (so not including any warzones). Of those 33.5k resulted in death, which results at around 46% lethality.

 flandarz wrote:
Of course, a fair portion of those deaths and injuries were suicide related


~2/3 of all firearm deaths in the US are suicides, so yes, that skews the data. Many of those 'gun related injuries' are accidents, too, and not just people getting shot. Here's a paper on firearm lethality, concluding an average lethality of 31.7% for victims suffering gunshot wounds during the period of the study (1992-1995).

I'll admit I've kind of lost the plot here regarding this specific area of contention. There are few places in the human body where you can be shot and walk it off without long-term risk of death. There are many places in the human body where you can be shot and live long enough to seek medical attention. There are a few places in the human body that cause immediate incapacitation and/or death. In a normal battlefield situation, an injury of the second kind produces a casualty. Against hypothetical drugged-up human wave melee combatants, it might take a wound of the third kind to stop the attacker, but with a modern semi-automatic rifle that is not hard to achieve.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 02:33:03


Post by: flandarz


The basic contention revolved around the lethality if "being shot". My stance being: if someone is looking to kill you (which, I guess, would include yourself), even a single shot is pretty damn lethal. To be fair, we're off on a tangent with this side conversation and it has little to do with the main debate.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 03:41:21


Post by: Charistoph


Casualties are more devastating than raw kills, though, so kill rate is a cow's opinion.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 07:25:01


Post by: Ernestas


I'm sorry, Ernestas, but that video is pop-history. The failure of low-powered .38-caliber revolvers to stop drugged-up Moros was a large part of the Army's move to a .45-caliber handgun. And even with inadequate equipment (note that the US Army didn't officially procure shotguns until WW1- the use of revolvers and commercially-bought shotguns in the Philippines was makeshift, not specialized), the US inflicted kill ratios in excess of 35:1. Not against 'children, women, men, old people', but physically-fit fighting-age combatants.


That is my point exactly. Video describes 0.38 caliber as somehow underpowered and justifies army switch to 0.45 caliber for increased stopping power. This 0.38 is a basic caliber of W40k and nowadays we went down to even more underpowered calibers, because of belief that it is enough to hit an enemy in order to take it out of action. While it holds true most of the time, because our enemies are not suicidal and delusional, there are many cases where such caliber just fails to do any damage upon impact and enemy trooper continues to fight ignoring injuries. If such calibers would had been employed in that jungle, it would had performed even worse against those charging lunatics.

Modern day most used caliber: .22
Caliber which historically proved to be underpowered to stop charging human being: 0.38
Historical solution: 0.45

You could argue that automatic fire had increased lethality of a rifle and you would be right. The issue is with ammo management, because you can ill afford time to reload your magazine during charge and automatic fire would result in more ammunition being spent on a single target than it is necessary.

Modern intermediate-caliber rifles are not weaker than Hague-compliant spitzer projectiles in full-sized rifle calibers. Those older rounds have higher kinetic energy, but regularly overpenetrate and waste it. .223 and 5.45 are designed to yaw on impact and cause high transfer of kinetic energy. This makes them more comparable in terminal effect to the rounded lead slugs used in prior eras- for reference, the English .577/.450 Martini rifle had no trouble against Zulus on a cocktail of intelezi, dagga, beer, and fly agaric.


I know that high caliber ammunition over-penetrates their target, but I'm not sure if modern ammunition is "designed" to do anything. It is just that lower caliber ammunition simply lacks kinetic energy to penetrate body and gets stuck. If anything, modern ammo is designed to penetrate more, because of its low caliber and low energy struggling to get through flak jackets which results in needle like ammo which just goes through tissue failing to do anything much. If you want a weapon which really inflicts damage on body look no further than AK-47 and similar weapons. As for stopping power in general, I'm not convinced. In hand gun market, nobody goes for low calibers, because there is a major concern that an assailant will not go down in one shot. There is huge preference for 0.45 caliber precisely because people are concerned that if they are attacked, merely shooting person will not do anything in time.

I have seen the terminal effects of .223 against the human body first-hand. Nobody, no matter how much khat they've been chewing or panzerschokolade they've been downing, will survive 'entire magazines' of fire. As soon as one round clips a lung, comes within an inch of the heart or spine, or hits the upper half of the skull, you are done.


We have historical precedent where people do survive an entire magazines if it is aimed poorly at them. Furthermore, it is not an issue with surviving, it is issue with spending that much ammo and time on one person. What you going to do when another one comes?

Oh, and they're not less accurate either. Not only has propellant and bullet design improved to the point where MOA groups are practical with service weapons (something that only the Finns did, prior to WW2), but modern optics provide an enormous force multiplier. The limitation on rifle accuracy has always been the shooter, not the weapon. You do run into extreme cases when Pashtun insurgents are chucking .303s at you from a kilometer away and .223 can't reach back, but that's neither effective fire nor particularly representative of modern combat.


You are right. I had thought that modern rifles can be accurate over 200 meters while in fact they are accurate to 550 meters.

Bear in mind that a .223 rifle is, effectively, a melee weapon. It can be used at any range, right up to physical contact with the enemy, and delivers far more kinetic energy on impact than any primitive weapon is capable of. If you really are liable to be fighting in point-blank close-quarters operations, you put a bayonet on it- not so much as a weapon as to prevent unwanted manipulation.


Not exactly. Bayonets are next to useless in real melee combat and they are used more for shock value, morale and to prevent weapon grabbing (though it doesn't do that at all). An actual melee weapon is just ridiculously better in melee combat than swinging your M16 with bayonet attached.

So your average modern soldier carries a weapon with higher rate of fire, greater lethal effect, and better accuracy than the long-arms used a century ago. And yet with those century-old weapons, in unfamiliar territory and adverse conditions, the US Army managed to inflict heavily disproportionate casualties on drugged-up melee combatants.


Like Tau you have silly faith in science and progress. Please report to your nearest commissar for these heretical beliefs.

When technology matures sufficiently, any further advances makes technology more efficient rather than revolutionizing it. For example, we had powder weapons in medieval age probably if you get fancy with imports. Yet, the core functionality did not changed over time. Getting hit by modern round is just as bad as getting hit by gun in medieval period. The only thing which had changed is how effective weapon is at its role. After sufficient advancement, around when first modern firearms were invented, we see very little advancement in effectiveness of a gun. It is more about making them more efficient. They jam less frequently, they are lighter, we invented better scopes, etc. M1 Grarand will kill you just as well as most modern firearm of today. Like you had said, it is not firearm which is important, but its user. So, it doesn't matter that modern technology had increased efficiency of those rifles. That is meaningless as most of those improvements are in areas such as accuracy, manufacturing, armor penetration. Useless things in situation we discuss here today. Nor those soldiers came under-equipped. They had specialized close quarters weapons like shotguns. These weapons back then were far more efficient in their role than any modern day rifle today in same situation.

Edit: Also, stopping power is a myth and pulse lasers don't burn holes, they cause miniature explosions through thermal shock. Cauterizing or not, their terminal effects are described as comparable to modern rifle rounds, at least in the novels I've read (Cain/Gaunt's Ghosts).


It is just extremely violent vaporization. It doesn't carry kinetic energy with itself and speed at which it causes damage to flesh is a problem in itself as body fails to register damage which it had suffered. Cauterizing helps body to survive for a little bit longer as there aren't any wounds which would actively threaten organism immedietly. This is why in lore lasguns are described as flashlights as they struggle to stop more determined foes like tyranids or orks. Thus, this is why IG relies so heavily on volley fire and heavy weapons to actually stop those charges.

In addition, laser weapons are silly. To evaporate anything takes extreme amounts of energy. What will happen when you are fighting in heavy mist or jungle? That foliage will essentially take all the bite out of your shot. Similar thing happens when enemy carries any sort of armor. Even humble flak jackets will prove an effective protection against laser weaponary. Lasgun is great equipping entire armies primary because it has huge ammo efficiency and theoretically infinite ammo without any logistical issues. At an army scale this is massive deal, even more on galactic level. It also benefits soldier as he doesn't need to worry about ressuply problems. Though, that is double edged sword as properly powerful lasguns require massive batteries. You might not be carrying ammunition anymore, but you are carrying massive battery pack on your back for your hellgun. If it is poorly designed, a single hit will basically take out all your ammo before fighting even begins.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 11:18:15


Post by: Ernestas


A chicken head and a human head are very different things, and a human head draws a whole lot more blood and the human brain is a far more complex and necessary object than a chicken's brain stem. If the right artery is hit, a person is going down very quickly indeed and absolutely is not going to charge 100 meters and successfully engage in combat. A brain doesnt need to realize its dead for it to be combat incapable.


You are missing an entire point. I do not know about chicken physiology, but human one is quite unique. Our muscles do not require brain or heart to function. We have quite ingenious biological means to produce energy at cell level without oxygen. It is called: oxygen debt and very same process can enable muscles to keep contracting under expected nerve impulses without adequate supply of oxygen (blown up arteries). Even if you cut head of an organism, said nerve impulses will just keep on going for excruciating several seconds. These seconds are why it is really hard to stop someone charging at you without kinetic energy. On large scale it means that soldiers will continue to focus and waste precious magazine ammo on foes which are already dead. This what "not realizing it is already dead" means. This phenomena is mentioned few times in W40k lore too.

Legends involving the Moros are largely just that, legends. People miss shots thinking they hit, get scared, etc. Same way you hear complaints about .30 carbine failing to kill Chinese troops on Korea because of thick winter coats, but every test done on them shows the round trivially penetrating such clothing and people most likely simply didn't hit anything when they thought they had, or the dude they shot got carried off by his buddies and no body was left to find.

The Moros were ultimately violently crushed with relatively few casualties and no real strenuous war effort on the part of US and Phillipine forces. Most of their success came from catching their enemies unprepared and unready, in which case if someone doesn't have a ready weapon at hand you can get away with a lot more.


Also, caliber alone is a relatively irrelevant value on it's own. If I have to choose between getting shot by a .45 or a .223, imma take the bigger .45 bullet every time because its packing a fraction of the kinetic energy of the .223 projectile.

Again, there's a reason that French cran and elan, Japanese martial pride and the Bushido ethos, etc fell before the primacy of firepower when put to the test.


These are not legends, but facts. It is proven beyond shadow of a doubt that human body can be remarkably resilient and people continue to fight even under multiple bullet wounds. Combine this with frenzone which pushes biological organism into absolute extreme of its capacity and you have soldiers who simply don't die or relent even after being blown up.

Duh, you assume that one force is irrational and wants to be defeated. This is how Tau thinks and how often mistake of modern day thinkers. You always assume that your enemy is irrational. That it wants to be defeated. That it will behave as you had imagined it in your head. This is why our military catastrophically fails each time when our enemies are determined. Even when military exercises and simulations are done properly we have these modern day scandals where our forces are getting demolished. Enemies adapt, they improvise. They do not come to be defeated. In a same manner, nobody is going to declare where they are going to charge you, give you time to prepare, set up artillery and air support. Charges are done either with overwhelming numbers or with some element of surprise and camouflage. My given scenario is quite typical. It is an environment where sneaking up is easy. It is not some unusual circumstance. In jungles or forests, being ambushed is just monday for you as we had seen in Vietnam. In a same manner, any modern day charges will not be performed on an empty field against armored columns. It will be "small scale" actions utilizing terrain and surprise to their advantage.

Bigger caliber has more stopping power, smaller calibers struggle to give up its kinetic energy efficiently. This is why all guns meant to stop opponent are of big caliber. Mass is king in this equation rather than velocity. Velocity is more important in penetrating rather than doing damage.

Herding large groups of unwilling or forced people like tha is actually a very complex task that takes a great deal of effort and organization and tends to rapidly break down even without getting shot at. Theres a reason nobody really tries it in real life.


You are wrong on this. It is very easy and there is so much historic precedence to this. Being herded in large groups to go somewhere is very easy. To force people to attack someone takes more effort, but it was done on large scale historically too through generations.

so have people from every side of every conflict in human history.


But we are not talking about humans here, do we. Anyone worth their salt will laugh at horrors of war, because they had endured horrors of the warp and managed to retain their relative sanity in a face of it. It is not Chaos worshippers who should be concerned with being broken down mentally, but their enemies. Traditional forces like IG are very susceptible to being driven mad or experiencing casualties due to mental breakdowns. If herding bunch of civilians causes our enemies to break, doesn't that mean that human wave charges are effective weapon of war?

Hrm, only in the most basic of senses. 40k is Fantasy in Space, not really proper scifi. Modern MBT's have capabilities that would shame the Tau and Eldar. Radar guided counterbattery artillery fire able to drop shells within a few meters of a target a dozen miles away basically doesnt exist in 40k. Air defense networks are almost entirely gun based, the kind of integrated multi threat air defense systems seen in places like Russia have no 40k counterparts.


That is largely a myth. W40k have all of these things. Though, I was talking about small arms and I'm not sure why you are expanding discussion in this off topic.

Do what poachers in Africa do when confronted with charging elephants/lions/giraffes/hippos/etc, dump the magazine of their 50+ year old Kalashnikov in a couple of seconds, load a new magazine, and do it again if necessary. Works fairly well.


Sigh, no no no and no. These people are called: "Big Game hunters" and they have specialized weapons to hunt these animals.

These things absolutely kill Nurgle stuff, theyre not immortal, just resilient (sometimes, not everything is a plague marine). All sorts of fluff shows nurgle stuff being killed by small arms.


You need to refresh your knowledge on lore and how Nurgle marines are portrayed there. You also need to read more about dispatching various others foes like zombies. Cultists on the other hand are just more resilient, but they also retain their human qualities like running, coordination, etc. So you now have someone who is very unlikely to be stopped just by few shots, because their flesh already is dying or half dead. How that is suddenly better and denies anything I had said?

None on a battlefield in the manner you describe however, hersing them onto prepared enemy positions as meatshields.


It was done historically already. Also humans are animals. Our survival instinct kicks in and you start doing stuff you never imagined you will be doing. Our minds and bodies prioritize survival over everything in the end despite our arrogance.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 12:39:33


Post by: Cronch


This thread is still hilarious in how cherrypicked the "Melee" scenarios are. Any ork horde described by GW in their books would be turned into fine mist by Zhukov's 1st Belarussian, let alone anything more modern. People who focus on rifle calibers and pistols and whatnot miss the obvious- the men with the rifle are there to babysit the men with the MGs and mortars and make sure no one gets to the God of War in the back.

40k loves it's gorey description, but I don't think there is a single GW writer that grasps just how murderous modern weapons are.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 12:47:56


Post by: Ernestas


They do understand. Some makes even distinct references to manning heavy bolters and covering its reloads with flamers or otherwise they all are as good as dead. They also mention that amount of bodies killed actually are starting to act against rushing attackers. Yet, when you are dealing with mere animals like Orks or Tyranids, you are not dealing with mere humans anymore. Tyranids are numberless beasts who can throw hundreds of small hormogants to overwhelm IG squad and still call it a win. Orks on the other hand are unpredictable and have extremely tough bodies. You can consider lucky if mere burst from autogun is enough to kill an ork. When you remove human element, sure, you remove all these tactics and it is just mawing down charging bodies with small arms, machine guns, artillery and vehicles, but you also remove all the limitations on incoming enemies. You get then burrowing massive beasts who burst out of ground and start slaughtering your troops with hundreds of smaller beasts emerging out of a tunnel. You get 10 ton armored animals charging your vehicles and tearing them apart with claws. Your troops get instantly surrounded and cut off as modern army lacks numbers to possibly cover ALL the ground from an enemy which for all intents and purposes are numberless.

Btw: In lore Chaos DOES end up throwing millions of deranged lunatics in massed human charges. So even if we assume 1:34 kill ratio, it is 30 000 professional troops lost for 1 million of theirs. I also have to repeat that these millions of troops not only are transported, but Chaos often just convert anything they capture into such troops. Now imagine if you are fighting Chaos army. Chaos has enough strength to capture Berlin. It has population of 3,748. Lets say they manage to get 4 millions of civilians. Soon they will be driven mad and be charging at your soldiers. That is 120 000 soldiers lost on its own. In truth, Chaos does not merely rely on them to kill your troops. They will use them to clear barb wire, minefields, provide cover for actual troops behind them, expose your heavy weapons positions, artillery positions. This is when Chaos artillery will start counter barrage. This is how actual troops will prioritize destroying heavy weapons, vehicles while they are pre-occupied in clearing out charging hordes of madmen.

All of this ignores far worse fates that can befell them. If it is Nurgle, soon there will be 4 million zombies slowly shambling towards your direction. Have fun you smug prick who thinks that modern firepower is so overwhelming that he will never get into melee!


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 12:48:25


Post by: Banville


Read up on the Wexford Rising of 1798. You had poorly-armed but very numerous rebels vs British Napoleonic Age infantry.

The rebels had some notable successes, wiping out detachments of over a hundred soldiers in the open field. And they took several towns at the point of a pike but they eventually were defeated in three major battles - New Ross, Arklow and Vinegar Hill. All three showed the advantages of massed firepower over courageous and desperate melee combatants. One of the eyewitness accounts describes charging rebels being "tumbled in twenties."

And this was with musket and cannon.

If melee combat was at all effective, it would still be used.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 13:11:25


Post by: RobS


The OP is not participating in a discussion, he is writing fan fiction.

Both are a valid use of time I suppose but it's worth being open about what the thread is.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 13:28:21


Post by: Ernestas


Then you should start reading my comments. I know that they are long and difficult to get into, but this is for what this thread is meant. I especially love when people prove me right with real world examples and then conclude that I'm wrong and melee combatants are outdated.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 13:43:48


Post by: A Town Called Malus


 Ernestas wrote:
So even if we assume 1:34 kill ratio...


That was 1:34 over a century ago.

Our ability to kill with ranged weaponry has massively increased since then. As an example, on the first day of the battle of the Somme the British suffered ~57,000 casualties, of which ~19,000 were killed.

That was only 3 years after the end of the Moro rebellion. Since then we have developed machine guns with much higher rates of fire, more powerful explosive ordnance, nuclear weapons etc.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 13:51:18


Post by: catbarf


 Ernestas wrote:
That is my point exactly. Video describes 0.38 caliber as somehow underpowered and justifies army switch to 0.45 caliber for increased stopping power. This 0.38 is a basic caliber of W40k and nowadays we went down to even more underpowered calibers, because of belief that it is enough to hit an enemy in order to take it out of action. While it holds true most of the time, because our enemies are not suicidal and delusional, there are many cases where such caliber just fails to do any damage upon impact and enemy trooper continues to fight ignoring injuries. If such calibers would had been employed in that jungle, it would had performed even worse against those charging lunatics.

Modern day most used caliber: .22
Caliber which historically proved to be underpowered to stop charging human being: 0.38
Historical solution: 0.45


Okay, so I gather you are not particularly familiar with firearms. That's fine.

Raw caliber tells you very little- that's just the diameter of the projectile. It says nothing about the shape of the projectile, its mass or the energy behind it. Kinetic energy is a more useful measure

The .38-caliber revolver in question, which was somewhat ineffective against the Moros (as Vaktathi said, lots of it was hearsay from guys who missed their targets) was firing .38 Long Colt, which is a 125gr projectile traveling at 235m/s, for an energy of 224J.

.45ACP, the round that replaced it, is a 230gr projectile traveling at 255m/s, for an energy of 483J.

9x19 NATO- also .38-caliber- is a 124gr projectile traveling at 373m/s, for an energy of 560J. It's more powerful than .45ACP despite being a .38-caliber round.

And .223, the most common modern rifle caliber, is a 55gr projectile at 990m/s, for an energy of a whopping 1,715J.

The stopping power myth is the idea that raw caliber is the most important thing in terminal effect. It has been soundly debunked, over and over again, for the past fifty years, and the holdouts are people who simply refuse to accept the evidence.

 Ernestas wrote:
I know that high caliber ammunition over-penetrates their target, but I'm not sure if modern ammunition is "designed" to do anything. It is just that lower caliber ammunition simply lacks kinetic energy to penetrate body and gets stuck. If anything, modern ammo is designed to penetrate more, because of its low caliber and low energy struggling to get through flak jackets which results in needle like ammo which just goes through tissue failing to do anything much. If you want a weapon which really inflicts damage on body look no further than AK-47 and similar weapons.


This is so wrong I'm not quite sure where to begin.

1. Ammunition is designed. Full stop. .223 projectiles have a rear-balanced center of gravity, which induces yawing on impact at high velocity. This is in contrast to older ball ammo in full-size rifle calibers, where maximum range was the design goal because they shared ammunition compatibility with LMGs/MMGs.

2. The prevalence of body armor is why we have things like M855 'green tip', rounds which have a hardened steel penetrator to defeat body armor before the yawing behavior begins. Narrow bullets (low caliber) aid armor penetration. They are not 'low energy'.

3. 7.62x39 is an objectively less lethal cartridge than .223 as it does not exhibit this yawing behavior, and whoever told you that the AK-47 'really inflicts damage' should be ignored, because they probably get their gun knowledge from Hollywood. Beyond cartridge design, the actual loadings seen in the field are significantly less lethal due to the Soviet use of steel cores in their ammunition, which do not flatten on impact and routinely overpenetrate. Compare the 5.56 and 7.62 profiles here.

 Ernestas wrote:
As for stopping power in general, I'm not convinced. In hand gun market, nobody goes for low calibers, because there is a major concern that an assailant will not go down in one shot. There is huge preference for 0.45 caliber precisely because people are concerned that if they are attacked, merely shooting person will not do anything in time.


One of the most popular calibers for concealed carry handguns is .380, 9mm (also a .38-cal, but with more powder than .380) is the most common handgun cartridge in the world, and .45 is increasingly unpopular (often referred to as '.45 AARP' because the guys willingly carrying it are almost universally over 60 and have no idea what they're doing), so no. Where did you even get that?

 Ernestas wrote:
We have historical precedent where people do survive an entire magazines if it is aimed poorly at them. Furthermore, it is not an issue with surviving, it is issue with spending that much ammo and time on one person. What you going to do when another one comes?


Yeah, that's called 'missing the target'. And the answer to what you do when another comes is 'reload'.

If a small force of Americans could hold off a much greater force of Moros, in unfavorable terrain, armed with poor weapons for the task (ever try reloading a double-action revolver under stress?), what makes you think a modern force with modern weaponry would be less effective?

 Ernestas wrote:
Not exactly. Bayonets are next to useless in real melee combat


Because the rifle carrying it is more effective in every way, even in close combat.

 Ernestas wrote:
Nor those soldiers came under-equipped. They had specialized close quarters weapons like shotguns. These weapons back then were far more efficient in their role than any modern day rifle today in same situation.


They were carrying commercial-bought shotguns, weapons intended for hunting birds. Nobody on a modern battlefield who has the option takes a shotgun over a carbine- they exist purely as specialized breaching tools and for firing less-lethal ammunition. A modern day rifle is objectively better than a modern shotgun in close quarters, let alone a vintage side-by-side or M1897.

 Ernestas wrote:
In addition, laser weapons are silly. To evaporate anything takes extreme amounts of energy. What will happen when you are fighting in heavy mist or jungle? That foliage will essentially take all the bite out of your shot.


That is not how pulse lasers work. Please, just, go read a Wikipedia entry or something. They don't work by evaporation. They're not severely impacted by atmospheric conditions. You might as well be arguing that bullets don't work in the rain because the bullets will get knocked off course.

Look, I mean this in the nicest possible way: You do not really understand what you are talking about. Can I give you some reading suggestions on the evolution of military small arms design if this is something you're interested in?


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 13:55:34


Post by: pm713


I'd like those reading suggestions if you don't mind.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 13:58:49


Post by: RobS


 Ernestas wrote:
Then you should start reading my comments. I know that they are long and difficult to get into, but this is for what this thread is meant. I especially love when people prove me right with real world examples and then conclude that I'm wrong and melee combatants are outdated.


I have. That's why I made the comment I did.

You are writing fictional posts about a fictional subject.

There is nothing that can be offered as real-world examples that will prove or disprove your point.

I'm not entirely sure what your point is, to be honest, but I think it's that melee is more powerful than shooting in general (and that this can be applied to the fictional 40k universe).


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 14:12:53


Post by: Slipspace


This thread is hilarious. Thanks Catbarf for the informative and interesting look at modern firearms technology, which was good reading.

 Ernestas wrote:
Then you should start reading my comments. I know that they are long and difficult to get into, but this is for what this thread is meant. I especially love when people prove me right with real world examples and then conclude that I'm wrong and melee combatants are outdated.


The proof you're wrong is the complete absence of melee combat being a useful tactic against any modern military for well over a century.

In 40k you get to handwave away real-world concerns by just saying Orks are so tough they can walk with no legs or the Chaos gods themselves intervene to keep their cultists alive. In the real world it doesn't matter how determined or drugged up you are a bullet through the heart, or the brain, or the spine will stop you in your tracks, narcotics be damned. Similarly, a bullet in the kneecap will prevent forward motion and it's nothing to do with pain response or shock, it's entirely down to your limbs not working any more.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 14:16:56


Post by: NinthMusketeer


Thing is, melee 'reasonably' will exist and be something a combat force in the setting would likely be equipped and trained to deal with. Why? Because Daemons, Orks, and Tyranids exist and each have respective reasons to be preferential to melee. Races that equip their troops with technological weaponry would reasonably include melee as part of a general equipment setup because combat against those foes is reasonably part of general warfare. That is before even getting into more theoretical aspects like the effectiveness of a chainsword against an Ork who may very well shrug off taking a half dozen bullets to the chest but is comparatively more vulnerable to being dismembered.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 14:19:59


Post by: RobS


Slipspace wrote:
This thread is hilarious. Thanks Catbarf for the informative and interesting look at modern firearms technology, which was good reading.

 Ernestas wrote:
Then you should start reading my comments. I know that they are long and difficult to get into, but this is for what this thread is meant. I especially love when people prove me right with real world examples and then conclude that I'm wrong and melee combatants are outdated.


The proof you're wrong is the complete absence of melee combat being a useful tactic against any modern military for well over a century.

In 40k you get to handwave away real-world concerns by just saying Orks are so tough they can walk with no legs or the Chaos gods themselves intervene to keep their cultists alive. In the real world it doesn't matter how determined or drugged up you are a bullet through the heart, or the brain, or the spine will stop you in your tracks, narcotics be damned. Similarly, a bullet in the kneecap will prevent forward motion and it's nothing to do with pain response or shock, it's entirely down to your limbs not working any more.


So is the thread about 40k? Or the real world?
Because I think most of us could agree that they are different and not that comparable.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 14:47:55


Post by: Cronch


Except it makes zero sense to train against Ork or especially tyranids in melee. The Ork is roughly equivalent to Marine in terms of raw strenght. Tyranid melee organisms are usually equipped with long blades on arms and superior reflexes. A normal, unaugumented human will have little to no chance deflecting an ork strike, or hitting with enough force to damage the ork in melee. They also won't be able to match the speed of an organism that actually has no survival instinct.
Training to match their natural skills in melee would be a collosal waste of time, might as well train the soldiers to grow armor-piercing teeth to deal with tau tanks.

If you assume normal laws of physics apply, a lasblast will have more kinetic energy than a bayonet, and will have better chance of de-arming said Ork than stabbing with a tiny blade.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 14:55:02


Post by: CthuluIsSpy


If you don't have time to shoot, trying to stab an Ork in the eye might buy you enough time to shoot, or for your buddy to shoot.

Not that guardsmen are even that well equipped for melee anyway. They are more shooty than stabby.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 14:57:59


Post by: A Town Called Malus


Cronch wrote:

If you assume normal laws of physics apply, a lasblast will have more kinetic energy than a bayonet, and will have better chance of de-arming said Ork than stabbing with a tiny blade.


This. Time spent drilling your standard guardsmen in the operation of their lasgun and on the firing range is better spent than time trying to train them how to use a bayonet against an Ork.

After all, if these drug crazed soldiers/monstrous fungus people/intergalactic bugs can shrug off lasgun fire whilst charging at you over open ground, why on earth would a knife be any more effective?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 CthuluIsSpy wrote:
If you don't have time to shoot, trying to stab an Ork in the eye might buy you enough time to shoot, or for your buddy to shoot.

Not that guardsmen are even that well equipped for melee anyway. They are more shooty than stabby.


Shooting is squeezing a trigger whilst your weapon is pointing at the target. Stabbing (considering these guardsmen are going to be using a rifle mounted bayonet or else they are dropping their primary weapon) is thrusting your weapon at the target.

Both require that the barrel of your gun is pointing at your target. Difference is you aren't trying to make physical contact if you're shooting them which means you are more free to move, less likely to have your attack deflected, can just flick your weapon to automatic or just keep squeezing the trigger.

You can make a lot more attacks by shooting in the amount of time it takes to try and stab them.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 15:01:31


Post by: Pyroalchi


Regarding the whole caliber discussion just as an more anecdotal point: I served as a paramedic during my conscription time and back then the Bundeswehr was almost done changing to the G36 (5.56mm) but there where still the older G3 (7.62 mm) around. There where some concerns if the smaller caliber would "do it", but on the whole the advantages where seen as dominant: the G36 was lighter, had larger magazines and much less recoil. The latter usually led to the point that you could be quite precise with the G36 even after a short training period or if you are not the physically strongest. Also with the G3 there had been instances were inexperienced users broke their colarbone due to the riflestock hitting it to hard because they did not put it firmly to their shoulder. Especially the precision thing was important as it was believed (I do not have a study on that, that's what I have been told) that it was more likely that a conscript could hit a target with the smaller caliber than with the larger. And "more stopping power" that can not hit the target is quite useless. And it was said, that the 5.56 was still more than capable to penetrate a helmet on a direct hit.

Due to the lower weight it was also possible to easily carry more reserve ammunition and even we paramedics all got a G36, as did a lot of the other "non fighting" personell. So you simply got more dudes having assault rifles, being able to use them with acceptable precision after shorter training length.

The lasgun is in my opinion that taken to the max: relativly light, sturdy, easy to handle, no recoil, easy to aim (as the shot goes straight, uninfluenced by wind and gravity). It does not really matter if it has not the stopping power of a boltgun, you can put it in the hand of an untrained civilian and he will quite likely hit SOMETHING, which he would not with a boltgun. And a hit with "low impact" is still better than a miss with a "high impact" gun.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 15:07:09


Post by: Klickor


I guess they get their melee training more for their normal assignments. They are propably more often deployed against other humans in which lots of the fighting is in huge cities with lots of close quarters and maybe against subhumans or weaker/primitive aliens than against Orks or Tyranids they have 0 chance against in melee anyway. If any of that general training gives them an extra 1% to take down an Ork with them in melee when they die its just a bonus and probably not something that shows up in the calculations for those higher up in command. Or it might do since even a rounding error could affect thousand or tens of thousands of soldiers lives at this scale.

Can also be a form of morale booster. If they think they have a chance that they dont actually have they might not flee as fast and hold the line better so someone else can shoot it dead. So even if they dont get to kill anything in melee them being trained and prepared for melee combat might still be worth it. At least they might fight slow down an ork 0,5s extra if they "grapple" instead of run.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 15:30:11


Post by: catbarf


pm713 wrote:I'd like those reading suggestions if you don't mind.


Ian Hogg's Military Small Arms of the 20th Century is a decent general overview, but is more focused on the histories of specific weapons than the field as a whole. If you can find them, the Smithsonian videotape interviews with Eugene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov from 1988-1990 provide a great firsthand account of the development of intermediate-caliber small arms. A paper by Robert Hinrichs entitled 'Rifle Development, Standardization, and Procurement in the United States Military 1950-1967' is a solid overview of the transition from battle rifles to assault rifles.

I'll have to dig more because there are a lot of good but very specific books about particular subjects, weapons, or eras, but general overviews tend to fall into the pop-history category.

NinthMusketeer wrote:Thing is, melee 'reasonably' will exist and be something a combat force in the setting would likely be equipped and trained to deal with. Why? Because Daemons, Orks, and Tyranids exist and each have respective reasons to be preferential to melee.

CthuluIsSpy wrote:If you don't have time to shoot, trying to stab an Ork in the eye might buy you enough time to shoot, or for your buddy to shoot.


I think it is entirely plausible, in a setting full of melee combatants, to be prepared for that eventuality.

Here's the thing, though- if you have time to stab, you have time to shoot. A bayonet has to be aimed, so anytime the bayonet is on-target, the muzzle is as well. And it is much easier (and quicker) to pull a trigger from a convenient one to two meters away than to actually make contact against an enemy who is trying very hard to not get stabbed.

The bayonet's heyday as a weapon was when firearms had a low effective rate of fire, so you couldn't just shoot instead. And even then, when you look at the Thirty Years War, Napoleonic Wars, or American Civil War, a strong theme emerges: The bayonet was primarily a defense against cavalry, secondarily an implement to drive the charge home and break an enemy whose morale is wavering, and actual use as a weapon is somewhere below that.

Even in WW1, despite the bayonet featuring heavily in the public consciousness and artistic depictions, it was not actually frequently used- most trench raids involved short-ranged firefights more than hand-to-hand combat. Here's a quote from Pvt Frank Raine, 18 DLI (British Army), who fought at Marseilles and the Somme:

Well I never used a bayonet. I couldn’t face sticking a bayonet into anybody. I could’ve done it, but I didn’t do it. Safer shooting: I always used to say, if ever it comes to bayonet fighting, I’m having a bullet in the breach. And that’s what happened with me. Instead of going near enough to use your bayonet, you could kill him from two or three yards with a bullet – no personal contact. That appeared obvious.


By the end of WW1, Sturmtruppen outfitted for trench raiding weren't using bayonets; they carried stocked, drum-fed Luger pistols appropriated from the Artillery corps, the MP18 submachine gun, and grenades. Their American counterparts were gearing up with M1897 shotguns (initially equipped with a sword bayonet, but eventually dropped), Browning Automatic Rifles (no bayonet), and Thompson submachine guns (also no bayonet). With an automatic or semi-automatic firearm there just isn't a need for a knife to do damage when the weapon itself is far more capable, and that's even when the expectation was that these would be used in point-blank trench warfare.

If we were to fight 40K's melee-oriented aliens IRL, there is a snowball's chance in hell that we would start ditching rifles to take pistols and swords instead. We would focus on maintaining fire superiority whenever possible to deny their advantage in melee, and train in CQB so that troops know how to use their weapons in close quarters. Who'd favor getting within arm's reach of an Ork or Hormagaunt over shooting them from a safe(r) distance? Give me a carbine- with a bayonet only as a last resort.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 15:48:48


Post by: Haighus


Tyel wrote:
You can then say "aha! they are immune to bullets" - but this just raises the question of "why wouldn't they be immune to swords?" If a 5.56mm bullet doesn't cut it, arm everyone with automatic elephant guns.


Precision. A melee combatant is much more likely to effectively hit weakpoints in the armour than a ranged attack, or to grapple and disable the enemy before targeting those weakpoints. Making the ranged weapons more powerful only works up to a point within the limitations of the technology of the time, before said weapons become impractical for a human to lug around as a personal weapon. If the armour protection can keep up and remain largely invulnerable to the ranged weaponry of common soldiery then melee remains viable.

Medieval men-at-arms generally required melee to shift because their armour and/or shields (depending on the time) provided great protection against the vast majority of ranged fire short of heavy weapons uncommn outside siege contexts. The same armour also made them very resistant to basically all melee weapons too, but melee combat allowed for hitting the joints and unarmoured areas much more reliably. This obviously didn't make ranged weaponry useless even against men-at-arms, but it left melee as the definitive option.

All it would really take to make melee a viable and frequent part of modern combat is a significant advancement in armour technology, although obviously heavy vehicle-mounted weapons are much mre prevalent and melee is unlikely to ever return to being the primary form of combat. You could argue this did happen with the invention of tanks- even in WWII, troops resorted to close-assault tactics to destroy tanks in the absence of heavy weapon support. This wasnt very effective, but trying to slap on explosives in melee had a better chance of destroying the tank than throwing them from a distance.


Edit to add: I think it is implausible that armour does catch up to firepower in a meaningful way, but in 40k, a premise of the setting is that it has.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 16:00:29


Post by: catbarf


 Haighus wrote:
Medieval men-at-arms generally required melee to shift because their armour and/or shields (depending on the time) provided great protection against the vast majority of ranged fire short of heavy weapons uncommn outside siege contexts.


The key difference being that the typical ranged weapons of the early medieval period- slings, bows, and throwing spears- were effectively melee weapons themselves, relying on the musculature of the human body to supply kinetic energy.

Once windlass-operated crossbows came onto the scene, common armor (mail) stopped being a practical defense against ranged fire. By the time the unreliable handgonnes had started to mature into the more useful arquebus, body armor was starting to disappear from the battlefield- the heavier muskets carried by specialists in the 1500s-1600s were capable of defeating any armor that then existed. By the end of the 1600s, no amount of armor could protect against even common firearms, and the last vestiges (eg the cuirass worn by European heavy cavalry into the 1800s) were, ironically, for protection against bayonets rather than bullets.

You need an awful lot of contrivance to explain why a bullet can't pierce fictional body armor, but a blade with a tiny fraction of the kinetic energy can- and then following on that, more contrivance to explain why the logical solution is to give someone a sword, rather than a captive bolt pistol. Because even if the optimal weapon profile just so happens to be a blade, spear, or club for some reason, we have much better ways of delivering kinetic energy than relying on human musculature.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 16:00:45


Post by: Haighus


 catbarf wrote:
pm713 wrote:I'd like those reading suggestions if you don't mind.


Ian Hogg's Military Small Arms of the 20th Century is a decent general overview, but is more focused on the histories of specific weapons than the field as a whole. If you can find them, the Smithsonian videotape interviews with Eugene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov from 1988-1990 provide a great firsthand account of the development of intermediate-caliber small arms. A paper by Robert Hinrichs entitled 'Rifle Development, Standardization, and Procurement in the United States Military 1950-1967' is a solid overview of the transition from battle rifles to assault rifles.

I'll have to dig more because there are a lot of good but very specific books about particular subjects, weapons, or eras, but general overviews tend to fall into the pop-history category.

NinthMusketeer wrote:Thing is, melee 'reasonably' will exist and be something a combat force in the setting would likely be equipped and trained to deal with. Why? Because Daemons, Orks, and Tyranids exist and each have respective reasons to be preferential to melee.

CthuluIsSpy wrote:If you don't have time to shoot, trying to stab an Ork in the eye might buy you enough time to shoot, or for your buddy to shoot.


I think it is entirely plausible, in a setting full of melee combatants, to be prepared for that eventuality.

Here's the thing, though- if you have time to stab, you have time to shoot. A bayonet has to be aimed, so anytime the bayonet is on-target, the muzzle is as well. And it is much easier (and quicker) to pull a trigger from a convenient one to two meters away than to actually make contact against an enemy who is trying very hard to not get stabbed.

The bayonet's heyday as a weapon was when firearms had a low effective rate of fire, so you couldn't just shoot instead. And even then, when you look at the Thirty Years War, Napoleonic Wars, or American Civil War, a strong theme emerges: The bayonet was primarily a defense against cavalry, secondarily an implement to drive the charge home and break an enemy whose morale is wavering, and actual use as a weapon is somewhere below that.

Even in WW1, despite the bayonet featuring heavily in the public consciousness and artistic depictions, it was not actually frequently used- most trench raids involved short-ranged firefights more than hand-to-hand combat. Here's a quote from Pvt Frank Raine, 18 DLI (British Army), who fought at Marseilles and the Somme:

Well I never used a bayonet. I couldn’t face sticking a bayonet into anybody. I could’ve done it, but I didn’t do it. Safer shooting: I always used to say, if ever it comes to bayonet fighting, I’m having a bullet in the breach. And that’s what happened with me. Instead of going near enough to use your bayonet, you could kill him from two or three yards with a bullet – no personal contact. That appeared obvious.


By the end of WW1, Sturmtruppen outfitted for trench raiding weren't using bayonets; they carried stocked, drum-fed Luger pistols appropriated from the Artillery corps, the MP18 submachine gun, and grenades. Their American counterparts were gearing up with M1897 shotguns (initially equipped with a sword bayonet, but eventually dropped), Browning Automatic Rifles (no bayonet), and Thompson submachine guns (also no bayonet). With an automatic or semi-automatic firearm there just isn't a need for a knife to do damage when the weapon itself is far more capable, and that's even when the expectation was that these would be used in point-blank trench warfare.

If we were to fight 40K's melee-oriented aliens IRL, there is a snowball's chance in hell that we would start ditching rifles to take pistols and swords instead. We would focus on maintaining fire superiority whenever possible to deny their advantage in melee, and train in CQB so that troops know how to use their weapons in close quarters. Who'd favor getting within arm's reach of an Ork or Hormagaunt over shooting them from a safe(r) distance? Give me a carbine- with a bayonet only as a last resort.

To be fair, a melee weapon also has the advantage of being defensive- you can block enemy melee attacks. Of course, you can do this with a rifle without a bayonet, but having more reach is an advantage in melee. The examples of 40k bayonets we have are also quite clearly meant to be effective cutters (especially Cadian and Vostroyan bayonets) so potentially they would be able to make big, incapacitating cuts like lopping off an arm from an attacker. Of course, this still only makes sense in a context where your enemy is determined to push into melee and can reasonably shrug off your gunfire, to the extent they can reach melee relatively frequently. So basically against Orks, Daemons and Tyranids in particular. Against power armoured foes a very pointy bayonet optimised for thrusting would likely be the better bet, although frankly the only way I could see normal humans successfully taking down a power armoured Marine with bayonets is to somehow overwhelm them in a mass grapple and try and cut as many wire and cables as possible.

Melee weapons being both defensive and offensive in nature is something that makes them distinct from purely offensive firearms. A gun is only able to offend the enemy, it cannot protect you directly from an enemy blow (unless it is being used as a bad melee weapon).


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 catbarf wrote:
 Haighus wrote:
Medieval men-at-arms generally required melee to shift because their armour and/or shields (depending on the time) provided great protection against the vast majority of ranged fire short of heavy weapons uncommn outside siege contexts.


The key difference being that the typical ranged weapons of the early medieval period- slings, bows, and throwing spears- were effectively melee weapons themselves, relying on the musculature of the human body to supply kinetic energy.

Once windlass-operated crossbows came onto the scene, armor stopped being a practical defense against ranged fire. By the time the unreliable handgonnes had started to mature into the more useful arquebus, body armor was starting to disappear from the battlefield- the heavier muskets carried by specialists in the 1500s-1600s were capable of defeating any armor that then existed. By the end of the 1600s, armor was no longer protection against common firearms, and the last vestiges (eg the cuirass worn by European heavy cavalry into the 1800s) were, ironically, for protection against bayonets rather than bullets.

You need an awful lot of contrivance to explain why a bullet can't pierce fictional body armor, but a blade with a tiny fraction of the kinetic energy can- and then following on that, more contrivance to explain why the logical solution is to give someone a sword, rather than a captive bolt pistol. Because even if the optimal weapon profile just so happens to be a blade, spear, or club for some reason, we have much better ways of delivering kinetic energy than relying on human musculature.


Except this is not born out by the historical record. For a start, guns arrived in Europe before plate armour- plate armour has always been designed with firearms in mind as a potential threat. Windlass (and crannequin) crossbows were also outlasted by plate in widespread use, and the best plate armour was proof* against arquebus at even point-blank range. 16th century muskets (which were much larger than later muskets) were specifically developed as heavy anti-armour weapons, and these large early muskets never fully supplanted arquebus during the period high-quality plate was still widespread- they were mainly light support guns. In wars where plate was widespread, the proportion of muskets relative to arquebus did increase (such as in Flanders).

Despite all these powerful ranged weapons existing, armour use continued to increase through the 15th and first half of the 16th century, and melee remained as important as before. Windlass crossbows certainly were not able to supplant plate armour- knights even largely stopped carrying shields as pointless extra weight during the time heavy crossbows were around. If crossbows were making plate ineffective, knights would have continued using shields.

The French Cuirassiers of the Napleonic wars actually still wore breastplates proofed against musket shot, at close range. Admittedly, by this point weight considerations meant there was no limb armour, but there are accounts of cuirassier armour resisting fire from infantry they are engaging at close range at Waterloo. Obviously there is also the famous example of the Waterloo breastplate rent open by a field gun shot, but field artillery has always been a much bigger threat.

There are strong arguments to be made that socio-economic factors lead to the decline of plate armour during the 16th and 17th century, not purely military effectiveness factors. A significant part of why muskets got smaller again is because they didn't have to contend with effective heavy armour as much.


Melee combat against plate is not really about penetrating it though, it is about targeting weak points, usually by disabling the human wearing it. Grappling techniques were a huge part of medieval martial arts because they allowed a fighter to disable an armoured opponent, and then either make them yield or stick a dagger through a joint. A lot of weapons favoured by men-at-arms were favoured partially because they gave advantages in grapples, like the poleaxe. In other words, the advantage of melee against opponents too well armoured for your ranged firepower to reliably defeat is the precision of being able to target the weak points with a variety of methods. Ranged weapons could sometimes hit a joint or a vision slit, but not reliably.

However, people still need to be able to move and fight in armour, so it is very hard to remove these weakpoints entirely even with improving technology.



*For the most part- the lack of modern quality control meant that almost anything could occasionally get lucky and pierce a supposedly top-quality plate.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 16:49:47


Post by: Cronch


If the armour protection can keep up and remain largely invulnerable to the ranged weaponry of common soldiery then melee remains viable.

And that's why full suit of armor made a knight nearly impenetrable to melee attacks that didn't involve spikes and warhammers, whereas it shrunk into a cuiraisse during early gunpowder era and disappeared completely around 1914. And it stil doesn't solve the 40k problem of hulking green monsters that can take any amount of precision hits with a bayonet before going down. It can swing it's weapon faster than a human (muscles=speed, no matter what fantasy novels tell you), it can deliver stronger blow that will be impossible to parry by a human, and it has almost no weak points compared to a human. Oh, and it has longer arms thanks to it's apelike posture, so it has the reach advantage in melee. It'd be like fencing a grizzly bear, good luck with that.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 19:02:59


Post by: Charistoph


 catbarf wrote:
By the end of WW1, Sturmtruppen outfitted for trench raiding weren't using bayonets; they carried stocked, drum-fed Luger pistols appropriated from the Artillery corps, the MP18 submachine gun, and grenades. Their American counterparts were gearing up with M1897 shotguns (initially equipped with a sword bayonet, but eventually dropped), Browning Automatic Rifles (no bayonet), and Thompson submachine guns (also no bayonet). With an automatic or semi-automatic firearm there just isn't a need for a knife to do damage when the weapon itself is far more capable, and that's even when the expectation was that these would be used in point-blank trench warfare.

I've heard a lot of soldiers who sharpened their trenching shovels for that purpose, too, because they were just rifleman who didn't have any of those guns. Interestingly, the Germans tried to get shotguns banned and threatened to chop off the hand of any soldier found with shotgun shells on their person if captured.

In the close quarters of a trench, a shotgun can be dreadfully effective, and we have fully automatic shotguns available today. Modern warfare doesn't face a lot of trenches, but they do include a lot of indoor and cave fighting, which isn't that dissimilar in ranges to the trenches.

In 40K, this translates to the shotguns and carbines having shorter ranges, but also being Assault versus the "standard" small arms of the rifles like the Lasrifles (though the Boltguns were carried like SMGs and Carbines). Of course, that was when moving and shooting with Rapid Fire really curtailed your range abilities.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 19:19:21


Post by: carldooley


I seem to recall a passage in a book, which could have been from an old IG codex, the infantryman's primer, or a novel, a passage in which a medic was patching a dressing on top of a lethal sound so that the sufferer could 'get back in the fight'. The point of it being that the medic knew that it was a mortal wound, but not an immediately lethal one. To shore up the OP's point about the ineffectiveness of danger combat.

But I agree with a later posted that wounds in 40k should be looked at as critical wounding, not an outright killing blow.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/12 22:34:20


Post by: Racerguy180


Hydrostatic Shock is one helluva effective means of stopping the threat.



Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/13 01:01:10


Post by: Blndmage


I'm a bit confused by the folks who are saying armour isn't a thing anymore. Do Kevlar vests and other body armour like things not factor in? What about full on riot gear?


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/13 01:40:59


Post by: catbarf


 Blndmage wrote:
I'm a bit confused by the folks who are saying armour isn't a thing anymore. Do Kevlar vests and other body armour like things not factor in? What about full on riot gear?


Body armor capable of stopping rifle rounds has only become a thing in the last two decades. Kevlar vests don't stop rifle rounds and never have. Riot gear doesn't stop even pistol bullets; it's meant to guard against thrown rocks and bottles.

So nowadays you need NIJ Level III armor to stop intermediate-caliber rifle rounds, or Level IV to stop armor-piercing rifle rounds. A single 10x12 plate of AR500 steel to cover your abdomen, with a thickness sufficient for Level III, weighs around eight pounds. If you go with ceramic plates instead, they're lighter, but can be broken by a sharp blow, and must be discarded after successfully stopping a round.

If you catch a rifle round on the plate, it'll knock you on your ass- better than being dead, but there's a good chance you might crack a rib and wind up a casualty anyways. If you take a hit that clips a major artery in the neck, arm, shoulder, or leg, the armor won't help. Or you might get shot in the face, and so far there's no way to armor that. Happens a lot when people take cover and the only thing really exposed is their head. I'm not aware of any ballistic helmet that can stop an armor-piercing rifle round at high velocity.

The point being that while you can get body armor today that will stop basic battlefield threats, the amount of your body you can feasibly have protected is small, so it's not something you can count on. Level III/IV plates are thick and inflexible, and just generally suck to wear- there's a legitimate case to be made that in many situations, the immobility and weight of body armor outweighs the protection it provides. Special forces tend to stay lightweight for this reason- if you look up photos of, say, Navy SEALs, they're usually wearing just a compact plate carrier and a lightweight helmet intended to stop fragmentation and pistol rounds.

So, yeah, while materials science continues to improve and there are some novel technologies on the horizon, body armor is not the bulwark it was in the medieval era. Modern combat is all about avoiding getting shot, and equipment that compromises a soldier's ability to do that ends up sitting in the FOB.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/13 01:41:27


Post by: Racerguy180


most "bulletproof" vest would be perforated by most readily available rifle FMJ projectiles. Add in a solid penetrator(steel, tungsten, depleted uranium) and most man portable defensive gear is basically ineffective. you might as well be an Ork with all the tshirt saves you'll need to make.

Also, if you've ever been shot and take a hit to the vest, it's more akin to having a roided-up Jose Canseco take a bash brothers swing at your chest. which for all intents and purposes, is what happens kinetic energy wise. scale it up to .75, add in mass-reactive self guided rocket propelled projectiles and boom. But 40k has such things a power armour, rosarius, divine intervention so melee will still be a necessity. cuz, ya know, someone made this all up...on purpose!


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/13 02:31:57


Post by: VoodooMan


 Blndmage wrote:
I'm a bit confused by the folks who are saying armour isn't a thing anymore. Do Kevlar vests and other body armour like things not factor in? What about full on riot gear?


Depends on what the armor is for. Body armor these days, at least for most modern militaries, is usually designed to be effective against fast moving kinetic penetrators like bullets or shrapnel. It's not that great against slower piercing and stabbing weapons. I suppose it would provide token protection against light slashing weapons, but a solid combat knife wielded by the average dude stands a reasonable chance at penetrating the vest.

But knives aren't what we encounter. Shrapnel is far, far more concerning, as one piece of shrapnel getting in the wrong place can spell the end. By comparison, direct fire is far less concerning, because humans are rather small targets at range, and they get harder to hit when they start shooting back at you. Artillery on the other hand pretty much punches everyone in the face in a wide radius, often exploding above the ground to shower you with light dainty kisses. Hence the Kevlar helmet and jacket.

One thing to consider is that we simply don't encounter anything like what 40k has. We train to fight against human armies. Things like swarms of hormagaunts aren't exactly a threat on the modern battlefield. If, say, housecats decided to go on millions strong rampaging hordes every now and then, we'd probably develop some very nasty solutions.

Ranged combat would still be the focus though. Ranged combat is the only really effective way to conduct a defense-in-depth. Not to mention, it's really exhausting to run across the battlefield, fight in close combat, then do it over and over again. Rather shoot, really.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/13 13:13:03


Post by: Overread


I seem to recall reading that wearing body armour today to stop bullets can end up weighing more than a full suit of plate armour.

Another important factor to consider is that battles are a lot longer in duration now. You might be patrolling and fighting and then patrolling again in that armour. Granted you can jump in a car for some of it, but you might spend far longer active in a battle situation.
Whilst in the past the battle would be brutal and bloody, but often as not it would be over in hours because after a certain point both sides are exhausted. Eventually you pull back and lick your wounds and regroup.

Special forces groups might even spend days or weeks out on a mission; so not only have they got to carry weapons and armour, but also survival gear, food water etc.... So, again, weight becomes a huge factor.



Exosuits (power armour) from what I gather aren't even being looked at in that context, far too complex for a battle situation as if anything breaks you're totally out of action until you strip it off. Then you've left high tech equipment in the field or you've got to be rescued and pulled out. Though I've heard that they are looking at them for mobile bases to replace forklift trucks and such. So that you can have much smaller and more rugged terrain setups. Helicopters and Harriers and such which need very small staging areas can then have a mobile base setup very fast and you've got people in power suits who can lift the weapons and armour and fuel into place even if the ground under foot is rough.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/13 15:31:02


Post by: warhead01


The IOTV with plates ect weighed in at 35 lbs or more.
It's been several years so I can't remember exactly.
All I recall is I wanted one is size medium or large but was issued one in a size too big and it was extremely frustrating. Ideally you want armor to be a little small, more snug fitting than loose fitting.
If it doesn't fit correctly it just makes everything more difficult to do. I want to say I remember the plates were suppose to stop a 7.62 but they would need to be replaced as soon as possible if it took a hit.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/13 15:44:21


Post by: Xenomancers


 Overread wrote:
I seem to recall reading that wearing body armour today to stop bullets can end up weighing more than a full suit of plate armour.

Another important factor to consider is that battles are a lot longer in duration now. You might be patrolling and fighting and then patrolling again in that armour. Granted you can jump in a car for some of it, but you might spend far longer active in a battle situation.
Whilst in the past the battle would be brutal and bloody, but often as not it would be over in hours because after a certain point both sides are exhausted. Eventually you pull back and lick your wounds and regroup.

Special forces groups might even spend days or weeks out on a mission; so not only have they got to carry weapons and armour, but also survival gear, food water etc.... So, again, weight becomes a huge factor.



Exosuits (power armour) from what I gather aren't even being looked at in that context, far too complex for a battle situation as if anything breaks you're totally out of action until you strip it off. Then you've left high tech equipment in the field or you've got to be rescued and pulled out. Though I've heard that they are looking at them for mobile bases to replace forklift trucks and such. So that you can have much smaller and more rugged terrain setups. Helicopters and Harriers and such which need very small staging areas can then have a mobile base setup very fast and you've got people in power suits who can lift the weapons and armour and fuel into place even if the ground under foot is rough.

Well realistically - if you have the tech to make an exosuit - you have the tech to make it totally automated. Ether by remote or autonomous. The future of combat is probably going to be full of robots.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/13 16:43:13


Post by: the ancient


Most of you are the problem these days.
Oh my .005 mil of whatever is awesome. Yours isnt.
Same with GW. Theyve forgotten how to joke as well.

Otherwise thered be a Jorus Bronsun, who caused the great rift,.
Or the Suchess Megiahan and Haruid. Who ran away from the hive when things got tough.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/14 17:06:15


Post by: Elbows


the ancient wrote:
Most of you are the problem these days.
Oh my .005 mil of whatever is awesome. Yours isnt.
Same with GW. Theyve forgotten how to joke as well.

Otherwise thered be a Jorus Bronsun, who caused the great rift,.
Or the Suchess Megiahan and Haruid. Who ran away from the hive when things got tough.


...what?


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/14 17:08:18


Post by: Insectum7


 Elbows wrote:
the ancient wrote:
Most of you are the problem these days.
Oh my .005 mil of whatever is awesome. Yours isnt.
Same with GW. Theyve forgotten how to joke as well.

Otherwise thered be a Jorus Bronsun, who caused the great rift,.
Or the Suchess Megiahan and Haruid. Who ran away from the hive when things got tough.


...what?

Seconded. What?


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/14 17:12:46


Post by: Vaktathi


UK current affairs jokes, Boris Johnson, Megan & Harry, etc.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/14 17:19:39


Post by: Elbows


Right, but it still doesn't make any sense...?


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/14 18:26:47


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


I suspect Orks are the reason we see melee in 40k.

They’re hard wired for close combat. Much as a nice loud gun is desired, a big choppa and satisfying wet crunches are more desired.

Consider their numbers, and how hard (background wise) they are to keep down.

They’re super numerous in the Galaxy, so your troops will need more than basic HTH training to deal with them.

And Space Marine HTH specialists exist because of their entire ethos - horrific, maximum violence in a single strike. They’re not just there to kill, they’re there to kill so spectacularly and overwhelmingly enemy morale plummets.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/14 19:13:00


Post by: warhead01


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
I suspect Orks are the reason we see melee in 40k.

They’re hard wired for close combat. Much as a nice loud gun is desired, a big choppa and satisfying wet crunches are more desired.

Consider their numbers, and how hard (background wise) they are to keep down.

They’re super numerous in the Galaxy, so your troops will need more than basic HTH training to deal with them.

And Space Marine HTH specialists exist because of their entire ethos - horrific, maximum violence in a single strike. They’re not just there to kill, they’re there to kill so spectacularly and overwhelmingly enemy morale plummets.


It's a real shame GW didn't give more ranges weapons to Ork boys. I'd take Orks with bolters or shootas with nearly the same profile if it were still available. I've found Ork shooting lists that I have played have done much better than I had expected and I'd like more of that. I was fielding a lot of shoota boys at the end of last edition and shoota boys in trukks were doing well this edition prior to the codex. Don't know if that sort of thing would still work, haven't played a game with the new codex yet.

I'm almost tempted to start a guard army if I ever start a new army or play again. A superior hand to hand army. Fix bayonets! Charge!


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/14 19:51:11


Post by: Gareth_Evans


OP seems to have missed WW1 completely. They tried what he suggested many times. Complete with the captain executing anyone who refused to go over the top.

In fact the whole schtick of the Imperial Guard and their stupid commanders and Commisars is a skit on the idiotic British Generals of WW1. The Germans called the British "Lions led by Donkeys". Watch a series called Black Adder Goes Forth on the web - you can easily imagine it being set in an Imperial Guard Bunker!


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/14 20:16:46


Post by: pm713


 Gareth_Evans wrote:
OP seems to have missed WW1 completely. They tried what he suggested many times. Complete with the captain executing anyone who refused to go over the top.

In fact the whole schtick of the Imperial Guard and their stupid commanders and Commisars is a skit on the idiotic British Generals of WW1. The Germans called the British "Lions led by Donkeys". Watch a series called Black Adder Goes Forth on the web - you can easily imagine it being set in an Imperial Guard Bunker!

Just bring tissues for the last episode.

Personally I've always thought it's a mix of terror tactics from Marines and you may as well train some people for melee as Eldar, Dark Eldar, Orks and later Tyranids are definitely going to use close combat.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/14 21:25:58


Post by: catbarf


 Gareth_Evans wrote:
OP seems to have missed WW1 completely. They tried what he suggested many times. Complete with the captain executing anyone who refused to go over the top.

In fact the whole schtick of the Imperial Guard and their stupid commanders and Commisars is a skit on the idiotic British Generals of WW1. The Germans called the British "Lions led by Donkeys". Watch a series called Black Adder Goes Forth on the web - you can easily imagine it being set in an Imperial Guard Bunker!


Eh, 'lions led by donkeys' is more myth than fact, stemming from the overwhelming majority of accounts of WW1 coming from enlisted. Even maligned generals like Haig learned over the course of the war and replaced obsolete doctrine with novel advances in tactics- human wave attacks were dropped after 1914-1915, replaced with fire-and-maneuver, aerial bombing, night raids, and machine gun barrage in support of infantry. These generals were pioneers in the development of modern combined-arms warfare.

In many cases, decisions which appeared, to the men, to be acts of incompetence were borne out of greater strategic necessity. For example, Haig was forced to order the attack at the Somme a month and a half earlier than he wanted, before complete artillery support was available, because the French Army was on the brink of revolt at Verdun and desperately needed relief. To his men, this seemed like an act of idiocy- the fact that the French Army was in danger of giving up entirely was most certainly not public knowledge.

If anything, it was the French insistence on the élan vital that drove their use of mass infantry assault. But when later supplemented by creeping barrage, gas, and aerial reconnaissance, they saw much greater success. The French offensives at Verdun from October to December of 1916 were, in their own right, surprisingly modern military strategy, and ultimately won the battle.

Blackadder is a great watch; just... keep in mind it's fiction.

All that said, you are right; direct human wave attacks don't work against WW1-era weaponry, let alone modern.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/14 22:17:13


Post by: Racerguy180


Gareth_Evans wrote:OP seems to have missed WW1 completely. They tried what he suggested many times. Complete with the captain executing anyone who refused to go over the top.

In fact the whole schtick of the Imperial Guard and their stupid commanders and Commisars is a skit on the idiotic British Generals of WW1. The Germans called the British "Lions led by Donkeys". Watch a series called Black Adder Goes Forth on the web - you can easily imagine it being set in an Imperial Guard Bunker!


For that matter, watch all of them.

Also, ranged combat is great...its called artillery!


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/14 22:32:27


Post by: Crackedgear


100 meters? Why are you standing so close to your enemy? The internet just told me this:
The AK-47 and AKM, with the 7.62×39mm cartridge, have a maximum effective range of around 400 meters (1,300 ft) and can travel up to 800 meters (2,600 ft).


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/15 21:15:08


Post by: Gadzilla666


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
And Space Marine HTH specialists exist because of their entire ethos - horrific, maximum violence in a single strike. They’re not just there to kill, they’re there to kill so spectacularly and overwhelmingly enemy morale plummets.

More proof that the Eighth Legion is the best legion.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/18 06:35:47


Post by: Ernestas


 A Town Called Malus wrote:
 Ernestas wrote:
So even if we assume 1:34 kill ratio...


That was 1:34 over a century ago.

Our ability to kill with ranged weaponry has massively increased since then. As an example, on the first day of the battle of the Somme the British suffered ~57,000 casualties, of which ~19,000 were killed.

That was only 3 years after the end of the Moro rebellion. Since then we have developed machine guns with much higher rates of fire, more powerful explosive ordnance, nuclear weapons etc.


Heavy weapons existed back then too. Like back then, today too there are situations when you can't have or your heavy weapons are disabled or used against you. Vietnam is a great example of modern conflict where melee is very feasible and modern military force could be slaughtered by nothing more than savages with clubs.

I have. That's why I made the comment I did.

You are writing fictional posts about a fictional subject.

There is nothing that can be offered as real-world examples that will prove or disprove your point.

I'm not entirely sure what your point is, to be honest, but I think it's that melee is more powerful than shooting in general (and that this can be applied to the fictional 40k universe).


Because this is half-joking, half serious thread which combines modern day realism with stuff that exist in W40k. People automatically believe that when you are shot by modern rifle, you are pretty much dead. People believe with absolute faith that no melee is possible and modern firepower is absolute. I want to challenge that faith. Though, your faith in your flas...lasgun is commendable guardsmen!

I'd like those reading suggestions if you don't mind.


Certainly, I'm attaching perfect example of most recent lore where melee is displayed realistically. These are veteran guardsmen entrenched in mountain next to choke point with unlimited ammunition and plenty of heavy weapons. They are fighting that is essentially simple humans who charge them over range through killing zone into melee charging them from extreme range with no cover. No tricks. No futuristic tech. Just simple, caveman age technology vs modern firepower. In this story guardsmen get destroyed hard by their attackers. Listen in order to understand why melee is so effective in W40k and can be in ours too.




Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/18 14:24:46


Post by: catbarf


 Ernestas wrote:
Heavy weapons existed back then too. Like back then, today too there are situations when you can't have or your heavy weapons are disabled or used against you.


The US troops in the Philippines didn't have 'heavy weapons' (what passed for heavy weapons at the time- field artillery pieces and early crew-served machine guns are NOT comparable to modern belt-feds issued on a platoon basis).

They still had an incredibly lopsided kill ratio.

 Ernestas wrote:
Vietnam is a great example of modern conflict where melee is very feasible and modern military force could be slaughtered by nothing more than savages with clubs.


No it isn't. Melee combat did not happen with any kind of regularity in Vietnam, even in conditions perfectly suited to it. Jungle warfare in Vietnam wasn't even particularly different (in terrain) from jungle warfare in the Philippines, and we already know how that went.

This is nonsense. Where are you getting your information?

 Ernestas wrote:
I'm attaching perfect example of most recent lore where melee is displayed realistically. These are veteran guardsmen entrenched in mountain next to choke point with unlimited ammunition and plenty of heavy weapons. They are fighting that is essentially simple humans who charge them over range through killing zone into melee charging them from extreme range with no cover. No tricks. No futuristic tech. Just simple, caveman age technology vs modern firepower. In this story guardsmen get destroyed hard by their attackers. Listen in order to understand why melee is so effective in W40k and can be in ours too.


What about it? I'll summarize so nobody else has to sit through it.

-Hordes of Genestealer-controlled civilians attack a Guard defensive position as a human wave, and are cut down en-masse without effect.
-The narrator says that they can hold them off indefinitely, despite the incredible degree to which they are outnumbered.
-The civilians throw themselves from a nearby cliff onto the defensive lines, breaking things on impact and clogging it up with their bodies.
-The narrator sees this and shoots himself.

So, what can we take from this? Even in GSC-centric 40K fiction, human wave attacks don't work, and it takes the Guard building their defensive position with an incredibly obvious weakness for an alternative strategy to work.

It might as well have been a couple of Pashtuns with hand grenades. Literally nothing in that excerpt provides a justification for human wave attacks being effective.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/18 14:35:03


Post by: Not Online!!!



It might as well have been a couple of Pashtuns with hand grenades. Literally nothing in that excerpt provides a justification for human wave attacks being effective.


like i said, Wave assaults have been preetty ineffective on their own for some time and probably will be until we are at a point were we can once again outnumber bullets casually with no supply issues at all.

Infiltration assault tactics on the other hand can work.


Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/19 07:22:59


Post by: Ernestas


What about it? I'll summarize so nobody else has to sit through it.

-Hordes of Genestealer-controlled civilians attack a Guard defensive position as a human wave, and are cut down en-masse without effect.
-The narrator says that they can hold them off indefinitely, despite the incredible degree to which they are outnumbered.
-The civilians throw themselves from a nearby cliff onto the defensive lines, breaking things on impact and clogging it up with their bodies.
-The narrator sees this and shoots himself.

So, what can we take from this? Even in GSC-centric 40K fiction, human wave attacks don't work, and it takes the Guard building their defensive position with an incredibly obvious weakness for an alternative strategy to work.

It might as well have been a couple of Pashtuns with hand grenades. Literally nothing in that excerpt provides a justification for human wave attacks being effective.


I'm not sure if we had listened to a same video. It proved that despite having every advantage, completely melee force just overpowered modern style army.

-There was a massive effect of those human wave effects which you utterly had missed. Psychological.
-That is misunderstanding the context.
-This tactic was extremely effective.
-Thus human wave assault won. It had its desired effect.


The US troops in the Philippines didn't have 'heavy weapons' (what passed for heavy weapons at the time- field artillery pieces and early crew-served machine guns are NOT comparable to modern belt-feds issued on a platoon basis).

They still had an incredibly lopsided kill ratio.


Those weapons were issued in widespread use from the moment they became practical and yes, they are comparable in effectiveness when they are firing.

Furthermore, these kill ratios are not lopsided. They are in fact favorable. You see, I do not count bugs which I crush beneath my boot as an act of violence as they are utterly beneath my consideration. I do not count how much oxygen soldiers will consume on their mission as it is utterly pointless. I do not count how much ammo soldiers will fire in war as ammunition is just too easily to replace. You count such silly things in order to justify your own pointless beliefs. People who often are sent into melee in W40k are not soldiers. In whatever faction they are so beneath the notice of their betters that my previous comparisons holds true. Chaos slavemasters will send their slaves just to see them being ripped to shreds as it amuses them. Tyranids will create literal mountains of dead hormogaunts as they are so cheap. Ork mere boys should be considered more as a symptom of Ork spores rather than an actual combatant. They are in Ork society as kids are in ours. They might one day become something of value, but for all intents and purposes they are utterly and completely useless and no matter how many you kill, the biggest impact they will have in their misreable lives is when they die and seed surrounding countryside with dozen more Orks.

No it isn't. Melee combat did not happen with any kind of regularity in Vietnam, even in conditions perfectly suited to it. Jungle warfare in Vietnam wasn't even particularly different (in terrain) from jungle warfare in the Philippines, and we already know how that went.

This is nonsense. Where are you getting your information?


Sigh, not melee combat. Engagement ranges. Lack of heavy firepower. That argument is to prove that there are plenty of wars where it is impossible to control engagement ranges or use superior range, accuracy and optics in real war.

Okay, so I gather you are not particularly familiar with firearms. That's fine.

Raw caliber tells you very little- that's just the diameter of the projectile. It says nothing about the shape of the projectile, its mass or the energy behind it. Kinetic energy is a more useful measure

The .38-caliber revolver in question, which was somewhat ineffective against the Moros (as Vaktathi said, lots of it was hearsay from guys who missed their targets) was firing .38 Long Colt, which is a 125gr projectile traveling at 235m/s, for an energy of 224J.

.45ACP, the round that replaced it, is a 230gr projectile traveling at 255m/s, for an energy of 483J.

9x19 NATO- also .38-caliber- is a 124gr projectile traveling at 373m/s, for an energy of 560J. It's more powerful than .45ACP despite being a .38-caliber round.

And .223, the most common modern rifle caliber, is a 55gr projectile at 990m/s, for an energy of a whopping 1,715J.

The stopping power myth is the idea that raw caliber is the most important thing in terminal effect. It has been soundly debunked, over and over again, for the past fifty years, and the holdouts are people who simply refuse to accept the evidence.


You continuously ignore my points. When it comes to stopping power sheer kinetic energy does not matter, size does. Medieval cannon ball might have as much kinetic energy as a modern bullet, but I won't believe that even you will argue that getting directly hit by a cannon ball will have less convincing power for you to stop than a modern bullet. You have a right mind when you mention qualities of a round itself, but largely they are irrelevant and most bullets are designed for ballistic performance and thus they are pretty much identical. You also ignore one of the reason why rifles were replaced by assault rifles. Their larger, more powerful rounds were too powerful to for their intended targets. In a very same way why some anti tank guns were not used, because they would just overpenetrate their intended targets.

In June 2010, the U.S. Army announced it began shipping its new 5.56mm, lead-free, M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round to active combat zones.[141] This upgrade is designed to maximize performance of the 5.56×45mm round, to extend range, improve accuracy, increase penetration and to consistently fragment in soft-tissue when fired from not only standard length M16s, but also the short-barreled M4 carbines


When I dig little further:

It uses the same components as the M855-a jacket, a penetrator, and a metal slug. But the new round contains some subtle changes (see Figure 1). The copper cup, from which the jacket is formed, is reverse-drawn, the opposite of how the M855 jacket is drawn. The hardened steel penetrator is almost twice as heavy as the one used in the M855 and is fully exposed instead of hiding beneath the softer copper jacket.


So, this round has doubled its cap size. What is a massive departure from what previous round was designed to do thus proving my point that new rounds are designed for penetration effect and not soft tissue damage. Article expands deeper on how new round is better, mostly its improvements are tied with more predictable performance which makes round more dependable. Also, improvements in manufacturing and eco friendliness. Considerable portion of soldiers had expressed that their 0.223 caliber lacks stopping power. This is why military improves ammunition which it gives out and considers increasing caliber of their main small arms.

https://www.army.mil/article/48657/evolution_of_the_m855a1_enhanced_performance_round

Also no, 0.223 exhibit yawning behavior like all projectiles do. It is more tied to quality of ammunition.


One of the most popular calibers for concealed carry handguns is .380, 9mm (also a .38-cal, but with more powder than .380) is the most common handgun cartridge in the world, and .45 is increasingly unpopular (often referred to as '.45 AARP' because the guys willingly carrying it are almost universally over 60 and have no idea what they're doing), so no. Where did you even get that?


Article briefly touches people concerns with high calibers. Furthermore, you are moving debate goals here. 0.38 cal is a proof that people prefer higher calibers for their stopping power. Now you suddenly ignore an entire argument and somehow to you 0.38 cal is the same as 0.223 cal.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/behold-10-best-guns-home-defense-66642


Yeah, that's called 'missing the target'. And the answer to what you do when another comes is 'reload'.

If a small force of Americans could hold off a much greater force of Moros, in unfavorable terrain, armed with poor weapons for the task (ever try reloading a double-action revolver under stress?), what makes you think a modern force with modern weaponry would be less effective?


That is called "hitting your target". You assume ideal conditions where everyone is calm, have time to aim their individual shots. These are not combat conditions nor how human psyche operates. Why modern force would be less effective? Because their weapons have less stopping power than before. Though, not exactly because of introduction of automatic fire. That argument was more to show that existing stopping power is insufficient against suitably determined foe by W40k standards.

Because the rifle carrying it is more effective in every way, even in close combat.


That is sadly a myth. Rifle is long, it requires aiming. It is difficult to quickly shift your angle of attack. It also requires reloading. There is a reason why we have an entirely separate class of guns specially designed for close quarters. Typical melee armament is some sort of sword and a pistol. Pistol is quicker to aim if it comes to duel over range and a sword is superior in close quarters in cutting down enemy opponent. It has wider arc of attack, it is more deadly, it has far greater psychological impact, it doesn't need to reload, it is infinitely more reliable and it can provide intimate defense where assault rifle is next to useless when opponent stands right next to you.

They were carrying commercial-bought shotguns, weapons intended for hunting birds. Nobody on a modern battlefield who has the option takes a shotgun over a carbine- they exist purely as specialized breaching tools and for firing less-lethal ammunition. A modern day rifle is objectively better than a modern shotgun in close quarters, let alone a vintage side-by-side or M1897.


It is like saying that bullets from previous age doesn't hurt. Like I had established previously, when technology matures sufficiently, there aren't any revolutionary improvements made anymore. Modern weapons are more efficient, but they do not have those God like differences in performance which you keep on claiming. In addition, your arguments are disingenuous. That shotgun was a standard army issue weapon.

That is not how pulse lasers work. Please, just, go read a Wikipedia entry or something. They don't work by evaporation. They're not severely impacted by atmospheric conditions. You might as well be arguing that bullets don't work in the rain because the bullets will get knocked off course.

Look, I mean this in the nicest possible way: You do not really understand what you are talking about. Can I give you some reading suggestions on the evolution of military small arms design if this is something you're interested in?


I did read and they are severely impacted by atmospheric conditions. In fact these are major limitations of even existing laser weaponary which we have and want to use today. Furthermore, as power increases so does various physical effects.





Why ranged combat is impractical @ 2020/02/19 10:56:17


Post by: Spoletta


Ork mere boys should be considered more as a symptom of Ork spores rather than an actual combatant. They are in Ork society as kids are in ours.


How can you compare those big green hulky things to kids??

They are rowdy, dumb, funny, mean, irrational...
...
...
oh god...
...



I will never face again a green wave list with the same eyes...


I'm a child slaughterer...