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Made in lt
Regular Dakkanaut





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.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/02/04 14:23:20


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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?

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"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

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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.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/02/04 14:45:08


 
   
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 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.?

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2020/02/04 14:59:29


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

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.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/02/04 15:42:24


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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.

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 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.

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 insaniak wrote:

You're not. If you're worried about your opponent using 'fake' rules, you're having fun the wrong way. This hobby isn't about rules. It's about buying Citadel miniatures.

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 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.
   
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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.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/02/04 16:11:26


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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.

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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.
   
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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).

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

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A nerf gun would be better research than the video.

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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.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/02/04 18:28:36


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

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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.

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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.



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 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.

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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.
   
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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.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/02/04 19:07:00


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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.

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 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.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/02/04 19:15:43


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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.

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


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

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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...

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 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.

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 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.
   
 
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