Engaged in Melee?

Besides the range of the attack there seems to be no difference between a melee attack and a ranged attack in Warcaster. Is that true?

Some Cyphers work exclusively for one type not the other. But apart from that I agree.


There is no such thing as “in melee” in Warcaster. :slight_smile: So, yes, the primary differentiator is the RNG.

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Another thing is melee attacks never have to worry about cover (the exception being flying models getting +2 red dice against non-flying melee attacks, but that’s a similar but different rule). Frequently, especially when fighting over an objective that provides cover, a melee attack can be more reliable


I see so melee vs ranged weapons are more of a terrain choice. When enemy models are in cover, it might be better to send a unit or solo to attach them with melee.

In theory, yes.

In practice, you sort of need to already have had your melee models on the table three turns before you needed them there, so they have a possibility of advancing to their targets in time. (Infantry has the hardest time, in my experience. Warjacks can generally have their activation tokens removed much more easily. I have found it difficult to regularly activate each unit more than once a pulse round. That is assuming you’re not banking on playing with like 4 models on the table and gambling they’ll live long enough to capitalize on your activation token advantage.)

Ranged attacks have the benefit of being able to reach out 2-3 “turns worth” of advancing/gate+deployment. I assume that essentially ubiquitous cover is there to prevent the game from turning into purely gun line-focused combat.

As strange as it may seem in a game with no concept of “engaged”, melee is still a very useful option to have in your forces. Melee attacks ignore cover, which is generally how models improve their chances of not being hit by attacks. They also tend to be slightly higher POW, Cleave, Armor-Piercing, or Repulsor (i.e. Slam), all of which are just awesome.

There are other cases where melee weapons make a difference – notably when fighting the Nemesis. Its charge ability gives it ARM against ranged and fury attacks, which can make it a TANK when fully charged. Melee attacks bypass this, making a big difference when you are trying to kill one efficiently.
(The one catch is that enemy models with flight get 2 Power Dice on Defense Rolls vs melee attacks from non-flying models, so you need to be flying if you expect to kill a Nemesis with melee.)


I’ve heard it many times “all the important bits happen in knife range”
The fact that warcaster is objective focussed, and (most) objectives grant cover, means that models will clump around them. Once there, they are mostly in melee range (in the 1" halo), and mostly in cover from the objective. You can advance in, take your attacks, hopefully kill the target, and then already be holding the objective. Ranged attacks near the objective may just bounce off it due to cover.

While you get a lot more attacks at range, and may kill the melee models first, the most important attacks will probably be in melee. Holding back isn’t really an option anyway :slight_smile:


Addung on to this, kinetic, which is the primary property of melee most of the time, does not yet have a unit that has resistance to it. So far.


I was just looking up the kinetic resistances for… reasons… Phaetheon does.

To be honest, I don’t think the resistances are too big a driver. Ballistic has some of the worst resistances - mainly due to the troublesome ISA Maelstrom and Emp Starfire Array (both great guns even without resistance to the most common damage type). Beyond that resistances are few and far between: Phaetheon and Harlan are the only I can think of off the top of my head (with an AC bias)