Melee problems

Hi, I’ve now got a number of Firefight games under my belt and I think that the melee system has a problem.

The problem is that too much advantage is given to the attacker. You see, it’s usual that the attacker will charge and deal a wound. This forces the defender to immediately roll on the wound table. This inevitably leads to a stunned result. Therefore there are few instances when the defender actually manages to strike back.

I see the Firefight rules as more “set piece” and “cinematic” but the tendency for melee combat to deny the defender a return strike kind of removes the cinematic feel. The full GF rules probably came across the same imbalance a while ago. Perhaps that’s why the combat resolution and morale tests demand that you wait until both parties have struck blows.

Could the Firefight rules not be tweaked to allow the defender to strike back, similar to the GF rules?


Actually in GF melee is even more brutal, because if the defender takes wounds the models are immediately killed, whilst in GFF there’s a 2/3 chance that they’re only Stunned. The wound mechanics of GFF were introduced to give units more survivability, because you can just un-stun them and negate the attacker’s charge, or at least the opponent has to use up an extra activation to take you out.

In any case, we don’t intend to change the way the melee mechanics work for now, maybe for a future edition sure, but right now we’re trying to keep the game stable. :slight_smile:

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When we first discovered OPR we thought the same way. But in the end it’s a tactical element of OPR games. Everything dies pretty fast. Even heros when attacked by a psycher. And I think this is a big part of the thrill of Firefight. Every unit is precious and you really have to think about placement and movement. And perhaps Firefight even more than GF profits from a really dense table setup. Otherwise fast armies (like eldar) have a (too) big advantage.

Hmm, I think, for me, it’s the inevitability of melee that’s a bit boring. The charger - particularly if he has Furious - will inevitably land a hit. The defender will inevitably end up stunned. The defender will inevitably be killed next round. Feels kind of unfair and drawn out.

I appreciate that the rules have to stabilise. Perhaps, when you’re next considering them you may want to add a small opportunity for melee combat to be less predictable. I don’t have the answer. I’m also struggling to articulate what the exact problem is but the game was less fun because of this issue…for my friend and I anyway.

Stunned models present a low profile. -1 to shoot them
Wound table result 2 = last gasp action (dodge 3" to the side, retaliate in melee on a 6+)

But isn’t it the same for ranged attacks with a flamer for example? And you also have your defense roll. Of course for many armies the defense is pretty weak but even a storm trooper has a 50% save chance. In firefight the number of attacks a unit dishes out is pretty valuable. The first time we played it (because we didn’t read the rules in correctly) we had as stunned table 1: Nothing happens, 2-5 Stunned, 6 dead
This could also work out as a house rule

Just to clarify, only if the target takes wounds do you roll on the wounds table, so if the charging unit lands a hit but the defender blocks it, then he gets to strike back normally. :slight_smile:

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