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Thread: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

  1. #1
    Chapter Master RandomThoughts's Avatar
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    Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    Keeps coming up all the time and I keep wondering:

    People that play competitively claim 5th is a shooting game, with a serious bias against melee armies. On the other hand, people that play casually claim melee armies dominate their games, with shooty armies at a distinct advantage.

    I keep wondering, why is that, what makes this distinction. And then recently I think I finally got it - now I'd like to hear what other people think about my theory:

    5th is not dominated by shooting per se, it is dominated by shooty vehicle armies. Actually, make that vehicle armies, since there are no other kind of vehicles than shooty vehicles.

    Which would mean, essentially, that vehicles trump melee, which trump shooty infantry. Or to put it even shorter:

    vehicles > melee infantry > shooty infantry

    Assuming that I am right, this would explain the different perception by different players, as on the tournament scene shooty infantry seems to be as much of a rarity as pure mech spam is with most casual fluff players.

    Essentially, the one half means vehicles when they talk about shooting, the other half means shooty infantry, and as a result they really do talk about different things. But none really notices, because the term "shooting" is used by both.

    Does anyone agree? What did I miss or get wrong?
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    Chapter Master TheDoctor's Avatar
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    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    I see your point- trying to melee vehicles is a headache. Not having to melee 11 rhino chassis means melee combat becomes much more effective.
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  3. #3

    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    And shooty infantry beats vehicles to complete the circle. But vehicles also synergize better with shooty infantry than assault infantry (due to things like fire points, transport rules and the turn order). Thus armies that have shooty vehicles and transports with shooty infantry inside beat both assault infantry and other vehicles, creating the current meta.
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    Commander Nym's Avatar
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    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    I pretty much agree. Actually, *transport* shooty vehicles trump melee, because if you destroy them in melee, first they blow up in your face, then what was inside the vehicle just bails out and annihilates you.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomThoughts View Post
    Actually, make that vehicle armies, since there are no other kind of vehicles than shooty vehicles.
    Orks have non-shooty vehicles, like Battlewagons and Trukks. The first one is a transport-melee vehicle, the second one just a transport vehicle.

  5. #5

    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    melee becomes better when you move away from full mech, so most casual environments won't reflect the whole shooting dominance thing as much as the net makes out.

    However, it really comes down to mobility. The dominance of Mech has seen AT weapons go through the roof as well as requiring most armies to be pretty mobile. What you basically end up with is "most mobile army wins" where the players will be aiming to bring down the opponents transports to strand them. This environment is terrible for melee as they're far less likely to find a safe route to combat
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    Chapter Master totgeboren's Avatar
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    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    I don't fully agree with the op. The big issue in 5:th for me is that transports more or less negate melee. Melee infantry is better than shooty infantry. However, if you put your shooty infantry in transports, melee infantry can't do anything. Putting your assault infantry in transports doesn't work out as well for the melee dudes however, so for me, the big problem with 5:ed is the transports. I know lots of people hated transports in 4:th, but I think the transport rules from 4:th with the damage tables of 5:th would have been perfect.
    It's just silly that infantry takes more or less no damage from being inside their transport when it gets destroyed.

  7. #7
    Commander megatrons2nd's Avatar
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    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    I can see the vehicle/transport shooty being best. I recently got curb stomped by an assault army against my shooty one. The amount of FNP and 3+ saves he had(Blood Angels) and the speed he has overwhelmed my ability to shoot. Had I been meched up I don't think it would have gone his way.
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  8. #8

    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    Take a look at the hardest armies to beat in the game at standard points values like 1,500pts; Blood Angels with 6 Predator variants and at least 4 Razorbacks, Space Wolves with 3 units of Long Fangs and 2-3 Rune Priests with that S7 Lightning power with infinite range and half a dozen Razorbacks, Grey Knights with 3 Dreadnoughts with Autocannons and Psy-bolt rounds (whatever they are called) and massed Psycannons in the army, Dark Eldar with 27 Dark Lances...

    All of them go for dominance from the shooting phase.

    Hell I've seen an Imperial Guard army wipe out an opponent's Imperial Guard army in 1 turn using Manticores and Scouting Melta units.

    Even Draigo-Wing lists dominate some opponents because no-one can assault them and the main unit has 16 Psycannon shots a turn and all the rest of the firepower.

    6th edition needs to give a leg up to assault based armies to balance the game.

  9. #9
    Chapter Master Gaargod's Avatar
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    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Idaho View Post
    Take a look at the hardest armies to beat in the game at standard points values like 1,500pts; Blood Angels with 6 Predator variants and at least 4 Razorbacks, Space Wolves with 3 units of Long Fangs and 2-3 Rune Priests with that S7 Lightning power with infinite range and half a dozen Razorbacks, Grey Knights with 3 Dreadnoughts with Autocannons and Psy-bolt rounds (whatever they are called) and massed Psycannons in the army, Dark Eldar with 27 Dark Lances...

    All of them go for dominance from the shooting phase.

    Hell I've seen an Imperial Guard army wipe out an opponent's Imperial Guard army in 1 turn using Manticores and Scouting Melta units.

    Even Draigo-Wing lists dominate some opponents because no-one can assault them and the main unit has 16 Psycannon shots a turn and all the rest of the firepower.

    6th edition needs to give a leg up to assault based armies to balance the game.

    No, 6th ed needs to tone down transports. Or at least, make it so that transports are death-traps if it goes wrong. As people have said, it makes no sense if your truck gets literally melted to the ground, but most units bounce out with a couple of casualties, at most.

    Look again at that list. All of them, with the exception of Draigowing, are mech-based shooting armies. And Draigowing are 2W 2+/5++ models with wound-allocation shenanigans and possibly even FNP, so they're ridiculously tough versus anything except AT weapons. That's not to say they don't have combat troops - the SW have thunderdoggies/grey hunters aren't bad, the DE have wyches, the BA take assault marines, etc (only the IG don't take much combat, but they have tons of tanks instead), but the main focus is on mobility and anti-tank. Infantry out of tanks tend to get deleted by specialist melee troops or wiped out very quickly by flamers and the like.
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  10. #10
    Chapter Master RandomThoughts's Avatar
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    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    Seems like everyone so far agrees with my conclusion, although I should probably clarify one thing:
    When I talk about shooty vehicles, I also mean shooty infantry inside transports they never intend to leave.
    When I talk about shooty infantry, I mean actual foot-slogging, models on the table infantry.

    Thanks for the replies so far.

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  11. #11
    Chapter Master Brother Muninn's Avatar
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    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    As a Daemon player, I agree wholeheartedly. Probably the worst thing for me is the "vehicle shuffle" Wherein the shooty transport moves 1" forward, then 1" back, giving it all the benefits of having moved while facing very little disadvantage.

    I'd probably do the same if i saw a Thirster charging me though.
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  12. #12

    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    So a possible set of fixes might be to reduce the resiliency and safety of transports (hull points, more danger to passengers from damage results, or allowing the assaulting unit to consolidate into the passengers), while improving unmounted infantry's options against an oncoming assault (reaction fire, changes to pinning, or improved mobility with rapid fire weapons).

    Make sense?
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    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    The problem is again transports being too cheap for what they do =P They should make Rhinos cost the same as devil fishes =P
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  14. #14

    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    I'd actually make the argument that it has more to do with true LoS than with shooty vehicles. Its really hard to hide things, and the benefits of terrain (cover) are counteracted by the disadvantages (moving slower). As good as a 4+ save is, its not nearly as good as old area terrain rules preventing them from getting fired at in the first place. I like to read battle reports from the tournies I can't afford to go to , and Nova was really interesting because a lot of players complained there was too much LoS blocking terrain (just read an interesting blog article about it), and lot of the more spamming netlists (razor spam, leafblower) didn't do very well.

    In addition its easier to explain how to play a shooting army online, and thats where a lot of us go for advice. Take the Footdar list that made the top 16 at adepticon, that list isn't the sort of army that you can just read the list, what bad matchups to look out for, and be successful. Whereas with a long fang/razorspam wolf list, you really just need to know how to deploy, what to shoot at, and when to grab objectives.

    I still think firing points need to be fixed, having units have to be disembarked to hold an objective, and having objectives count for points as their held instead of just the last turn would help out a ton.

  15. #15
    Brother Sergeant Gondrak's Avatar
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    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    Im with Wu.
    Hull Points, consolidation into passengers and maybe an increase in point costs seems the right way to tone down transports, while unmounted infantry should gain a benefit against assault units with reaction fire. thats severly needed, seeing how fast assault units are in combat and how much damage they do, if you dont hide in a transport.

  16. #16

    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaargod View Post
    No, 6th ed needs to tone down transports. Or at least, make it so that transports are death-traps if it goes wrong. As people have said, it makes no sense if your truck gets literally melted to the ground, but most units bounce out with a couple of casualties, at most.

    Look again at that list. All of them, with the exception of Draigowing, are mech-based shooting armies. And Draigowing are 2W 2+/5++ models with wound-allocation shenanigans and possibly even FNP, so they're ridiculously tough versus anything except AT weapons. That's not to say they don't have combat troops - the SW have thunderdoggies/grey hunters aren't bad, the DE have wyches, the BA take assault marines, etc (only the IG don't take much combat, but they have tons of tanks instead), but the main focus is on mobility and anti-tank. Infantry out of tanks tend to get deleted by specialist melee troops or wiped out very quickly by flamers and the like.
    Hold on, how are assault based armies going to get into combat if they have no transports? If you tone down transports you just make infantry gun lines more preferable to Mech gunlines or assault armies.

  17. #17

    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Idaho View Post
    Even Draigo-Wing lists dominate some opponents because no-one can assault them and the main unit has 16 Psycannon shots a turn and all the rest of the firepower.
    No-one can assault Draigowing because... right, because they are so damn deadly that they will completely rape the fool that assaults them.

    Similarly Blood Angels and especially Space Wolves are so harsh in shooting matches because trying to assault them is often far worse choice. Ever seen what a bunch of double-weapon wielding Long Fangs will do to a "normal" space marine assault squad that is stupid enough to assault them?

    So tell me again how was game biased against armies that are assaulty? It seems to me that being hard-core enough in close combat so that no-one sane will dare to assault you unless outnumbering you hugely is simply the prerequisite for a good shooting army.



    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Idaho View Post
    6th edition needs to give a leg up to assault based armies to balance the game.
    You do understand that getting assaulted under the current rules is horribly deadly for armies that are vulnerable to sweeping advance, like Imperial Guard, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Tau and Necrons?

    If enemy gets into assault faster and more safely than they do now the sweeping advance needs to be toned down or armies that don't have army-wide ATSKNF or Fearless will be shafted big-time.
    Last edited by Polaria; 13-05-2012 at 15:12.
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  18. #18

    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    No-one can assault Draigowing because... right, because they are so damn deadly that they will completely rape the fool that assaults them.

    Similarly Blood Angels and especially Space Wolves are so harsh in shooting matches because trying to assault them is often far worse choice. Ever seen what a bunch of double-weapon wielding Long Fangs will do to a "normal" space marine assault squad that is stupid enough to assault them?

    So tell me again how was game biased against armies that are assaulty? It seems to me that being hard-core enough in close combat so that no-one sane will dare to assault you unless outnumbering you hugely is simply the prerequisite for a good shooting army.
    Granted Draigo-wing are very powerful in assaults, but they win their games through shooting.

    Blood Angels and Space Wolves - So how hard are Long Fangs, tanks, and 5 man Assault Marines and Grey Hunters then?

    The level of condescension in your post doesn't really marry up with your competetive gaming experience if you think assault armies dominate 40K. Check the top tables of a tournament and see just how much firepower the armies are sporting. Even Tyranids bulk out their lists with Hive Guard for a reason...

    Quote Originally Posted by althathir View Post
    I'd actually make the argument that it has more to do with true LoS than with shooty vehicles.
    I actually think this is a good point. 4th edition had area terrain blocking line of sight so it was possible for even a lowly Rhino to make it round to an attacking position. I hope area terrain changes big time in 6th edition as it's so silly you can't hide anything on the table.
    Last edited by Captain Idaho; 13-05-2012 at 15:54.

  19. #19

    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Idaho View Post
    Granted Draigo-wing are very powerful in assaults, but they win their games through shooting.

    Blood Angels and Space Wolves - So how hard are Long Fangs, tanks, and 5 man Assault Marines and Grey Hunters then?
    Long Fangs and Grey Hunters are better in close-combat than same-size unit of assault marines. Which is "not a push-over".

    Blood Angel 5-man assault squads aren't very hard, unless combined with an apothecary. But then again Blood Angels are hardly Space Wolves in level of competitive success anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Idaho View Post
    The level of condescension in your post doesn't really marry up with your competetive gaming experience if you think assault armies dominate 40K. Check the top tables of a tournament and see just how much firepower the armies are sporting. Even Tyranids bulk out their lists with Hive Guard for a reason...
    I actually HAVE checked and the sad fact is that pure shooting armies like Imperial Guard, Tau and Necrons are not at the top. I currently have compiled statistics from ten most recent North American GT:s and if I take a sample of 100 most successfull armies (top ten from each ten GT) it looks like this:

    1st place: Grey Knights - 18
    2nd place: Space Wolves - 11
    3rd place: Imperial Guard and Necrons - 9
    4th place: Orks, Blood Angels and Dark Eldar - 8
    5th place: Tyranids - 7

    Notice that if all armies were equal the average score would be 10 for each. Imperial Guard, Necrons and Space Wolves are around the average. Grey Knights dominate. Orks, Blood Angels, Dark Eldar and Tyranids are struggling towards average. Everyone else is way below.

    The shootiest armies in top places, Imperial Guard and Necrons, together count for 18 out of 100. Grey Knights and Space Wolves together count for 29 out of 100. Still Grey Knights and Space Wolves are NOT the shootiest armies point-for-point. Both IG and Necrons can field a lot more firepower with same points than the colored guys in power armour can. The thing that makes GKs and SW so damn dangerous is that they have enough shooting power to compete with the best while, at the same time, being assaulty enough to sweep the best shooting armies out of the table once their transports are popped.
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  20. #20
    Chapter Master hazmiter's Avatar
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    Re: Does shooting really trump melee in fifth? Or...

    I don't know about that, meta gears towards shooty. I gear towards laughing maniacly as my flesh tearer dc come streaking down the middle getting ripped by vindicators......

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