LPG - Shooting in melee

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This article is part of Warmachine University's Learning to Play the Game (LPG) series, which is "Basic Training" aimed at new players who are still learning the core rules.
(You may also be interested in our "Intermediate Training" series, LOTS.)

Most of the time models that are in melee can't make ranged attacks. In this article we'll go over the exceptions to that rule.




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Prime Digest, 2018v1 (★)
A model with the Gunfighter advantage can make ranged attacks targeting models it is in melee with and can make free strikes with its ranged weapons. If it does not have a melee weapon, it gains a melee range of 0.5˝.

A model with the Gunfighter advantage can make charges. If it makes a charge, the model can make its initial attacks with its ranged weapons, but these attacks can target only models in its melee range. The charging gunfighter’s first melee or ranged attack after ending its charge movement must target the model it charged. If the charging gunfighter did not fail its charge and cannot make its first melee or ranged attack against the charge target, the charging gunfighter can make its first attack against any eligible target. Remember, your first attack after charging is a charge attack only if you make it with a melee weapon, and a model in melee cannot aim (p. 30).

Gunfighter does not allow a model to make melee and ranged attacks during the same activation.

(★) The rules for Gunfighter were slightly changed in the 2019.07 Oblivion update, but the Developer's have confirmed that this didn't work out as intended and they're reviewing it in-house (as of the 30th July 2019)

On the surface Gunfighter is quite simple, but there is one little oddity a lot of players forget when it comes to a Gunfighter which charges, and dozens of odd interactions between Gunfighter and other special rules. The important things for a newbie to learn are:

  • General
    • Gunfighter doesn't let you make both ranged attacks and melee attacks while in melee. (You need a rule like Dual Attack or Quick Work to do that.)
    • Even though you're making the attack while in melee, it is still a ranged attack.
      • You use your RAT (not your MAT)
      • You apply the cover/concealment bonus.
      • You ignore the "Target in melee" penalty, and you cannot gain the "Aiming" bonus
      • You apply any anti-Ranged Attack abilities your opponent has (such as Submerge, Deceleration, etc)
    • You can make free strikes with your gun.
      • You get +2 to hit, and boosted damage.
      • If you make a free strike with a spray weapon or AOE weapon, then you only get the +2 and boosted damage vs the model that triggered the free strike, not vs everyone under the template.
  • Gunfighter charge vs not-charging
    • Quick referesher: Say you have a Gunfighter with a 0.5" melee range, and the Gunfighter is standing 1.5" away from an enemy model. The enemy model has a 2" melee range.
      Both models are in melee with each other.
      The Gunfighter is engaged by the enemy, but it is not engaging the enemy.
    • Normally a Gunfighter can target anyone it is in melee with, so it can shoot the enemy. But when a Gunfighter charges, its initial attacks can only target models in its own melee range.
    1. If you walk into melee...
      • all your attacks can target anyone you're in melee with.
      • if you kill everyone in melee, and still have more ranged attacks to make, then those extra attacks can be made like a normal ranged attack.
    2. If you charge into melee...
      • your initial attacks can only target anyone within your own melee range.
      • if you kill everyone in your melee range, and still have more initial ranged attacks to make, then you lose those initial attacks.
      • if you kill everyone in your melee range, and have some way to get additional ranged attacks, then those attacks can target anyone you're in melee with. (Or made just like a regular ranged attack, if you've killed absolutely everyone in the entire melee.)
    • There is a weird scenario where you have two models in your melee range, but one cannot be "in melee" (it is knocked down, stationary, etc) so sometimes you technically can't target it. I am waiting until the Oblivion update is finalised to see how that scenario should be played out.

See also:

Point Blank


Dual Attack & Gun Platform


Huge based models